The False Prince [Open] Sept 6, 2014 23:01:29 GMT -6
Post by Ruppa on Sept 6, 2014 23:01:29 GMT -6
Guardian of His.
Though it wasn't the name his birth mother had given him, it did fit him. No.. More like it was he that fit the name. He was molded into it by his training, by what they wanted him to become. By what he was now. He had been heated and hammered like metal into this tool they could use. A sword to be wielded. A mace to bludgeon. A shield to protect. And all the while he was meant to keep his brother-prince entertained. Guard. Assassin. A king's Fool.
But the prince wasn't at all his brother, he learned. The shock of that knowledge shook him to his core. The rock-solid body-guard felt like the very foundation beneath him had given way. Why had his father -no, not his father- told him that he had been found as a child? All this time he had believed he was the meaningless second-born prince with no real purpose but to protect the heir, when in reality he was even more worthless than even that. Who the hell was he? And why had his fath- the king - felt the need to tell him just then? Did he know something bad was going to happen and was trying to protect him? He had to know Akkadian would run away after hearing it. No, he would protect his heir before he would do anything for a child that wasn't even his own. Nevertheless, he did run and the entire royal family was murdered in his selfish absence.
Little details that his child's mind had just accepted as simply what was started to come back to him and he had to question them. He questioned everything now. Who he knew to be his family were all predominately white, gray, or fleabitten, while he was the near-literal black sheep of the family as dark as the darkest night. How could he have not wondered about that before now? And their faces.. he didn't look as much like them as a son should; their faces were more concave and dished than his own. It was so obvious now. He should have known. How could he have been so naive and blinded? He wondered how many had known his true story. The true prince never seemed to notice his differences, or cared. Suddenly a memory came back to him. The princess Jjalari, just barely old enough to speak and be allowed to run off on her own, galloped clumsily up to her big black brother wanting to play. They had chased about a bit until he nudged her just a little too rough and her awkward body toppled over. Shock was in her big eyes and she looked as though she couldn't decide if she should cry or not. He came over to her and pressed his muzzle to her little cheek, his warm breath gently blowing on her. She settled visibly, immediately soothed by his presence. "Anam ami," her little voice whispered with a smile. His eyes widened at the phrase and he quickly glanced around to be sure no one could have overheard her innocent confusion.
The words can not be easily translated. It is a phrase that can hold many meanings. In general, it is a way to acknowledge a strong bond. But even that doesn't suffice; it is so much more than that. A dying mother could say it to her child as a way of saying "I will always be with you." Comfort. If Akkadian had said it to her, a brother to a little sister, it could be as if saying "I look after you" or "I protect you." Safety. Security. Even then, there are other meanings it could hold. But the way Jjalari had said it to him, the tone and inflection she used, very clearly claimed their bond as something very deep and personal. Her version of the phrase translates closest as "Soul Love." A connection of the souls can not be ignored or denied. It is a bond of absolute in their culture. Uncontested and unquestioned. Such a claim is incredibly rarely spoken. In fact, he doubted even the king had ever said it to his beloved Larsa. Indeed, it was a very powerful thing, and should never be spoken so easily.
"Where did you hear that! No, Jjalari, you must never say those words. They are forbidden. Very bad. Do you understand? Never say them. Never!"
Perhaps he had spoken too harshly as he watched her eyes well up with unshed tears. He hadn't meant to hurt her feelings. Here he was, a trained warrior and assassin, and he couldn't bear the sight of this innocent little filly crying. Akkadian walked around her and laid down against her back, nudging her cheek very briefly before he continued. "Those words are not meant for a brother, my princess. You must learn this and understand. Never say them until you understand. Ok?"
She nodded silently, but looked puzzled. He could almost see the wheels turning in her mind as she worked through it. Finally, she spoke again, her little voice confident and certain. "Not talking to Sandad. Tell Kade." He shook his head slowly. "You do not understand, Jjal. It's ok to not understand yet. Just do not say it again, ok?" She remained quiet again, just looking at him over her shoulder as he lay next to her. The fleabitten filly still looked confused, but resigned herself with a shrug. "Sleep now?" she asked sweetly, and before he could respond she lay her head down and closed her eyes. Akkadian stayed where he was for a few minutes, letting her fall asleep before he left her.
Looking back on the memory, he had to wonder if her child's innocence saw through what he as a colt ignored. Had she somehow seen through the fake family relationship? Or had she simply been confusing the meaning of the phrase or her emotions towards him? No, it was preposterous to believe a little filly barely old enough to roam on her own would know before he that he wasn't really family. He was letting this get to him. It was starting to taint even his most pure memories, slipping in underlying meanings that were never there. The incident with Jjal was simply a moment when a brother had to correct his sister on the words she chose. Nothing more.
Akkadian gave a heavy sigh as he came back to the present. The entire royal family was dead now, and he could only hope they had ended his little sister's life swiftly and painlessly. The region he was from was mostly desert. There were some cliffs and rocky parts, but the stone he stood on now was different. It almost had a metallic ring to it as he walked, and the surface was stained a deep reddish brown. There was a desert in the distance below, but it certainly wasn't home. He had no where to go and so he meandered into a band of fellow quads called the Syndicate. He didn't want to be asked about his past and nobody there ever tried. They didn't care who he was or where he was from. Everyone there was only looking out for themselves, taking jobs for something in return that would somehow benefit themselves. He didn't care much for the way they chose to live, but it was the best he had. It would further his training, and he was certainly ok with that. As a mercenary, he could use what he already was trained for and not be questioned about how he had come to learn these skills. Guard, assassin, or whatever else, he was already accustomed to those tasks. Until someone chose to use him, he would spend his day here and try not to think of the past.