More experiments with diverse genres other than plain narrative.
'Hark! Praise the glory of Landen Kingdom
Where there is no criminal in the castle dungeon,
The only inmate is the prince, the king's prodigal son
Whose joy of life was taken, and he was sent to martyrdom.'
So I was locked in the dungeons to cool off and remember my responsibilities as a prince. As if I had invoked the armies over a trifle. A pampered boy who lost a fight and asked his older brother, twice his size, to give a beating on his opponent. But, hell, it is about the love of my life! Those senseless... How could they expect me to see my bride taken away and stay impassive? To react in a collected manner? 'Oh, Sir, I think I'll have to find myself another bride...' How can my own father be so insensitive to my own feelings? Does that mean had it been mom and him, he would not chase her wherever she was taken to? I prefer to believe it had been just an inappropriate reaction in the heat of the moment, for the sake of my own peace of mind. However, I admit our relationship had been strained by his complete lack of empathy.
Now, I face veiled opposition everywhere I go. Although I had been released from the captivity, there is still no official support to my quest. If I wish to see my beloved Maia once again, I'll have to go after her by myself. Seems like my father and other Landen noblemen are not concerned if the prince heir is killed. My life means nothing if I am not obeying the orders given to me blindly, like a Pavlov's dog shaking its head at the sound of the bell. All that talk about being the most important man in the whole kingdom, the only one with Orakio's blood running inside his veins were all lies. They don't seem worried if the last drops of pure Orakian blood are spilled somewhere in Landen plains.
Everywhere I go, people accuse me of being vain and selfish, of taking a dangerous quest and endangering their lives by provoking the anger of the mythical Layan monsters.
'Screw the damsel in distress, what is her life compared to their safety?'
'Her coming was a bad omen.'
'She must be a Layan witch herself, infiltrated on Landen castle to kill all Orakians. '
'She was an imposter that charmed Prince Rhys to a marriage that would be good only to her.'
'Probably she was a prostitute on her land, trying to lure a rich fool into marriage.'
'We are happy to see her gone.'
'I hope she died in the claws of that monster.'
Despite of my own grief, those were the things I was forced to listen to during my journey, sometimes mentioned in a indirect way, sometimes straight-faced. In a stark contrast with the encouragement words for me and praising words for her character and beauty my ears used to be washed with during my errands on the town, there was no one to show compassion for the prince. I've learned the hard way one of the cruelest aspects of being a noble: you will never hear a sincere word. It is no surprise I love Maia, because she understood me and loved me.
'Poseidon, a heavenly gift he had sent me
In the cyan ocean of her eyes, I was swallowed by
And, in her tender smile and sad stare
Like the promised Messiah descending from the sky
The importance of giving, her holy aura made me see,
And, with every person's well-being, I started to care
Paying hate back with kindness, helping people to be free
And with love, all my mistakes I will try to repair.'
Every time I remember her face, her smile, her sweet scent, her melodic voice, I suffer. Because she means a lot to me. Since I've found the sea maiden lying on the sand, helpless, I've become another man. Though only a few months have passed, it is as if I had matured ten years since I've first met her. Maia has an unnatural charm that made me stop being the selfish and reckless teenager I used to be. Gradually, I started caring about the others as well. She compelled me to be a better person, to treat the other people with kindness, especially the servants and other people considered to be in a lower position than mine. She taught me to be thankful for what the other people did to me, and not consider their servitude as a right, but as a service. To make them feel human. And, as I started following her advice, the servants started doing their job better. The displeasure they could not conceal from their countenances as they served me disappeared, giving room to sincere neutral expressions.
It should be enough to justify my affection for her, but there are many other things involved, and not just her beauty. However, since her kidnapping, people have been very harsh to me, accusing me of choosing her as my bride just because of her beauty. They accused me of being a lustful teenager who had been enchanted by the well-endowed mysterious woman. Worse, some even said that I was abusing the amnesiac girl cast away on unknown shores. As if I was incapable of truly loving a woman. Because no one can believe how lucky prince Rhys was, to find the love of his life by accident, as if she had been heaven-sent. In my eyes, Maia is so perfect that sometimes I find it hard to believe that she loves me, but then, I'm doing my best to be worthy of her affection, to honor her and to make her happy. To see her smile is a heavenly experience.
Yet, I'm criticized for going into a quest to retrieve my beloved fiancée. People say I should not waste my time over such a selfish subject. They say that as if saving an innocent's life was not worthy every effort in the world. The only ones who stood by my side are two androids. Not a single soul had compassion for me. Maybe that is because, as machines taught to think rationally, Mieu and Wren can see beyond their prejudice and envy, beyond their general distrust against the others, their lack of empathy and selfishness. I'm very afraid I'm starting to lose confidence in my own people, and I hope this scar can be mended in the future, because it hurts so much to be rejected by the ones you have been raised to love.
'Thus the time has cometh for the last fight
Glory or death, with honor, makes no difference
My soul hath been blessed by the heavenly light
And, for the eternity, love will be the reason of my existence.'
So, my beloved fiancée is really a Layan. A Layan princess. I can't deny I'm impressed. And scared. Will she still love me after all? From what I know about her, I'm sure she is waiting for me, with the same love in her heart, or even more, grown through the absence caused by our forced separation. This journey had been an enlightening experience for me. I've learned a lot about the world, the truth about the Layans, who are no monsters, but humans like us. Even Lyle, a Layan prince, has helped me on my quest. Obviously, his help was not for free, he had his own objectives. But I can't blame him for wishing save his land, being crushed by unstoppable ice storms. I feel glad of being able to help them, for Maia has taught me that giving is more rewarding than receiving. And it didn't matter if they were Layans, for they were humans in the first place, and that is all that matters. Besides, it gave me a greater purpose on my quest. Not that I didn't think that saving my beloved Maia was not reason enough, but it may serve the purpose of shutting the mouths of my critics.
And then, there was Lena. The mysterious girl who had helped me out of Landen's castle dungeon is still helping me. For my surprise, she is also an Orakian noblewoman, princess of Satera, a neighbor kingdom. For my greater surprise, she was also interested in helping me to finish my quest. All along the way she had been nice to me, maybe even too nice. If my love for Maia was not so strong, maybe I'd have fallen for her charms, because she is very pretty, charming, and adorable. However, both Lyle and she have been hiding something from me. They were always talking by whispers, plotting something in secrecy. But they can't fool me. My loyal androids are able to hear even the faintest sounds, and Mieu has been my right arm in revealing what that mysterious couple was plotting against me. I've learned that Lyle is Maia's cousin, who had an interest in my fiancée's hand himself. And I also learned that my father and Lena's parents had secretly arranged that, when the right time came, they would start forcing us together, as if it had been natural, with the objective of make us fall in love, and then marry. Their purpose was to tie by marriage two of the strongest Orakian kingdoms, in a political alliance. Now I understand why they have been so strict in trying to prevent other women to reach me, and Maia's sudden appearance was a big blow to their plans
Therefore, I learned that my companions were not in earnest in helping me to find Maia. Like my father, who acquiesced with my relationship with the mysterious commoner hoping I would realize how senseless had been my decision, both Lena and Lyle are pretending to support me with the intention of dissuading me from the idea of marrying the Layan princess. Lyle tries to frighten me by reminding me constantly of King Cille's wondrous powers; Lena tries to make me feel guilty for acting for my own benefit, and not considering what would be the best for Orakian people. I can't blame them too much for it, because maybe I would do the same if I was told that a man met a woman, fell in love, and after a few months was risking his life and the apparent peace of his whole country because of that girl. Looking from outside, it looks shallow and irresponsible. Just a teenage rebellious act taken by impulse, out of stubbornness, vagary and eccentricity.
However, there is another thing I learned from Maia. How do we think we are when we judge so harshly the others, without knowing what lies within their hearts? Why can't my love for Maia be real? Why can't our marriage be the best alternative? Why am I not allowed let the flame that burns inside my heart glow through the sincere love I feel for my Maia? It is not my fault that they can't understand what it is to feel an infinite and eternal love for someone else. They can't understand that my Marlena means all the world to me, that I value her more than my own life. They can't give me a vote of confidence; trust the earnestness of my feelings. Humans are like that, always suspicious about the others, they only believe in their own feelings. So, to the others' eyes, every love demonstration looks pathetic, every pledge of love sound fishy. If it wasn't for that general distrust, maybe Orakians and Layans would not be facing this situation of unfounded animosity towards each other for centuries. My fight is not only for Maia, but also for a permanent peace between our people, built over freedom, instead of this unstable peace based on terror.
Anyway, it is too late now. Tomorrow we will be storming Cille's castle, and my Marlena and I will finally be reunited. So we will be able to finish our wedding ceremony that was interrupted, confirming our love for each other, and putting an end to this ordeal we were unjustly forced into. Either that or death, for life outside the afterglow of her love is not possible anymore once I have tasted that blissful feeling. I swear to you, my love, that by the end of the day, I'll be closing this travel diary with a sweet happy ending.