Chapter 1 Prologue

It was chaotic. The Medicine King and his physicians were immediately summoned to the castle. The servants scrambled in bringing everything they could need to save the young prince's life. Meanwhile, the family was told to wait by the door. The lords and ladies rushed to the monarchs' home as soon as the news spread throughout the kingdom: that the prince was badly wounded and was losing a huge amount of blood. Queen Amelia and Princess Elizabeth held hands as they waited near the door of the prince's room. Queen Amelia was on the verge of completely falling apart. The only thing that kept her standing was her daughter's firm grip on her hands and her constant comfort. "Robert will get through this, Mother," Elizabeth whispered, rubbing her mother's arms. But as they all focused on the unconscious prince behind the door, nobody paid to notice the silent king, staring into nothingness by the third window to the left. He was petrified. His silence could easily be mistaken for being the calm within the storm, the foundation for a structure that's currently near crumbling down. But they couldn't be more wrong. Because the nobility was anticipating news, the queen was in a panic... the king was sent back to his limbo. It was a familiar scene. An all-too-familiar one... that brought back painful memories. With his arms crossed, he rested his mouth onto his fist. He watched as everything around him seemed to move slower as time continued. The cries of his beloved wife, the scattering of servants, and the whispers of the lords and ladies gradually muffled around him. He was in shock. For the longest time, he didn't want this to happen again. But alas, faith has its way of bringing you back down from your high horse. After what seemed like forever, the chaos has died down. Some of the nobility decided to go back to their homes, and let their fellow lords tell them the news. Queen Amelia was brought a chair but she refused to sit down until she knew what was happening to her son. Princess Elizabeth left once to fetch her mother a cup of tea. But that, too, was rejected. James stayed where he stood from the moment they arrived. And he didn't move a muscle. He wanted to walk over to his wife, console her and be her rock. But even that, he couldn't do. He knew he also wasn't stable enough to support her. He knew he didn't have enough strength in him to be her pillar. And he was pained by this, but he didn't want to add more to her misery. Finally, the door opened and Queen Amelia was quick to approach the Medicine King. James stayed where he was, afraid of what kind of news would be given to them. "Medicine King, what has happened?" Queen Amelia didn't waste any time. "Please, tell me that you were able to save my son." Wiping his blood-drenched hands clean, he said, "Let us thank the gods that he was spared." Queen Amelia and her daughter sighed out of relief, grateful for the news. "With the amount of blood that he lost, I was surprised that his heart didn't stop beating," the Medicine King continued. "I was able to close his wound and transferred some of my blood into his system. But he would still need more, and that must come from a family member. My blood won't do any good to his recuperation. It has to come from his family." Queen Amelia reached out to the Medicine King, her hands shaking. "Thank you," she uttered as her tears fell. "Thank you." The Medicine King smiled and kissed her hands. "Be comforted, Your Majesty. All is well now. He must take his time to rest and regain his strength." "Yes, Medicine King." After the exchange, the Medicine King went on his way. But when he caught sight of James by the window, he stopped. They shared glances before the Medicine King gave him a nod of reassurance. James closed his eyes after a breath of relief and allowed the Medicine King to be on his way. Queen Amelia saw this. She slowly walked over to her husband, whom she neglected during the whole fiasco. She gently held his arms and asked, "Darling? How are you feeling?" As he saw her soft gaze, he grabbed onto her hands and cried silently. Queen Amelia stepped closer to him. She freed one hand and caressed his cheek. "I was horrified, my dear. Horrified," he admitted as he looked up. "I thought, for the second time, I was going to lose him." His words broke the queen's heart. She pulled him into her arms and caught him as he completely broke down. For the second time, a king was broken down to his very weakness.
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