5th of April in the Year of Growing Snow
in the Oakleaf Castle of the kingdom called Rnekai
To His Majesty the respected King of Rnekai, the son of Welon Darkshade and Kirissa of Crahfel
And also to the crown prince of Rnekai, the leader of the victorious armies of Rnekai
I can hardly ask you to forgive me for my deeds that in some sense could be considered as a betrayal. Betraying you for any mortal enemies was never my intention, but betraying you for my heart seems to be my fate.
I feel that you have the right to know that before the war he was a quiet and modest boy, hard to notice in the corridors of the large castle. Half the time people did not seem to remember that he even existed. He was underestimated by all, maybe except his mother, who was a perceptive lady and most probably could see her son's potential and willpower. His father was blind to it and thought his son more as an enemy than as his own flesh and blood. His older brother was busy with the training his father put him through, so he would be a fitting heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Melkia. I do not believe him ever having time to say more than the necessary courtesies to his younger brother.
It is true that even then the young prince of Melkia, Iselio of icy winds, was never a one fond of socializing. He was withdrawn and cold, but civil in case somebody talked to him. It was said that the lack of warmth that ruled the wintry night he was born seeped into his heart and froze it in his chest. I hope you to understand that he was never cruel even though when war continued we learned that he was capable of killing in cold blood. He was proud and calculating, a prince with self-discipline so strong that it truly scared everybody. His willpower made stronger men grawl at his feet pleading for forgiveness that his cold eyes did not promise.
After his older brother's honorable death in battlefield his father the king did not come to him or his wife. Part of this indifference was because of the raging war, I believe, but little it can do but veil the truth in excuses. His father went to continue the war personally bidding a short farewell to his wife before leaving. He never returned as you know, and the young prince had to take all the king's responsibilities on his shoulders at the age of nineteen. He had to lead a war that was threatening to be lost without even a vague idea about the size of the king's – and now his – armies. I think that it says a lot of his abilities that he managed to fight almost half a year before you conquered the whole kingdom of Melkia.
While the war was still going on and he was forced to be the commander of the armies, we saw a new side of him. He proved that he was a self-sacrificing and dutiful prince, a natural talent with strategies and a charismatic leader. Everybody was relieved that he seemed to be able to rule the kingdom during the war. I saw a change in him, but I was not the first to notice because his mother the unnaturally beautiful queen of Melkia, warm-hearted Mimily of Eastern Forests, saw it first and later when it was more evident came to me. She sought my help and if only I could have given it I would have, if not for my loyalty then for my love. But there was nothing we could do and gods were not merciful for a worried mother and a lovesick sorcerer. The look in his eyes was growing colder and colder at the same time than the weather outside the castle became warmer and warmer.
Everybody knew it even before Your Majesty's armies were besieging the dark King's Castle of Melkia. We knew that we would never win the war. I am still not sure if you tried to negotiate the terms of surrender with us in order to avoid a useless battle we could not win even if gods had been blessing us, but if you send any kind of message to the King's Castle the prince was the only one to know about it. I would not be surprised if you had tried to avoid unnecessary bloodshed but, if I am allowed to be rude, you were a fool if you thought my icy prince would surrender without a fight. He always preferred death to giving up, and it was not unexpected that he supposed his soldiers to think like him.
I know that when he offered the glass of poison to his mother the queen, he wanted to take it away from her and drink it himself. Luckily for Mimily of Eastern Forests her son was ready to place himself to be humiliated and taunted and save his old mother from the shame. His sister, who was a beauty with a heart of a swan and was a lot like his brother, asked him a favor when she herself was not strong enough to take it to the end. I will forever admire the strength and fearlessness he showed when he pushed his own sister over the railing that circled the edge of the tallest tower of King's Castle.
I was told that when your soldiers invaded the King's Castle and barged in the throne room Iselio of icy winds was sitting on the throne, the crown on his dark locks. I can easily believe that his first words to your soldiers were: "I am the king of Melkia, Iselio of icy winds. You have no reason to search for my relatives: they have already left this castle and moved to a safer place, where they will not be disturbed." I suppose your soldiers thought that they had fled and that they were very surprised when they realized that the royal family except for the dutiful former prince had either died or committed suicides.
You will never understand the immense fear I felt when I realized that the battle and with it the whole war was lost. My fear had little to do with my own personal safety but with my prince's safety. The mere thought of him committing suicide to avoid surrendering to the enemy horrified me, mainly because I knew that he would not want to be left as a play toy for the winner of the war. To see him held captive was heart breaking, but at least he was still alive. I respect you for the just way you treated your captives and especially for the fact that you did everything you could to prevent your men from harming the civilian.
As your wizard companion noticed I bound the young prince to myself and took him as my lover as soon as it was evident that you were not going to execute the last royal member of the infamous warrior king Arloitu's bloodline. My real reason – beside the fact that I had loved him for the last seven years – was to prevent him from committing suicide or trying to avenge his family by attempting to kill you. Either of them would have ended with him dead and me left alone to mourn his passing away.
I am truly thankful for Your Majesty for hiring me as one of your armies' sorcerers and for letting me have a fresh start. Your decision of letting your former enemy's son and heir to live and move in your castle was a generous gesture and I am sure that he appreciated it as much as I did. The first weeks in Oakleaf Castle were mentally exhausting for me, because I had to prove to you that your trust in me would not go in waste and still take care of my prince and lover, who was too proud to complain for anything.
My happiness was obvious and enormous, when he seemed not to hold grudge against you. Even though your wizard companion was worried for your safety, when my prince and you locked yourselves in some room to have a private conversation, I was relieved that he most probably would adjust and have a comfortable life ahead of him. Sometimes I felt jealousy when you spent more time with my lover than I was able to, but I never let him know it, because he was still Iselio of icy winds, my cold-hearted and independent prince, who would not like to find his lover to be possessive. He was no one's property and will never be.
I begged you to grand me a permission to teach him swordsmanship and you agreeing in this made my life even better and sweeter, although it was impossible for anyone to master the art of sword perfectly when the training started so late. He knew that too and despised his father for forbidding him all weapons. When we found out that he had a drop of sheer magic in his noble blood I was on cloud nine. He had the self discipline and willpower needed for a sorcerer, but... Still the training began too late and it was evident that he would never be well known for his magical skills. Nothing stopped him from trying and he really exhausted himself with trying to learn both swordsmanship and sorcery in such a short period of time.
I could clearly see that he did not feel happiness or joy, nor think he was lucky to be alive. I believe that the thought of never succeed in mastering the art of sword and magic was a hard burden for him, who had always been ready to absorb any information available and use it. The position he was in also was hardly a compliment for him, he had never been good at handling pity and charity and that is what he thought he was getting from you. He was not utterly happy with me either. I do not think that the way I had nearly not asked his opinion of becoming my lover never really left his mind.
I noticed it a couple of weeks ago. The way his eyes had been darker and without his usual spark of life and pride in them. He had also gotten thinner and slept less with every passing night. I was worried and voiced my concern, which made him even colder towards me. When more and more days floated past us and he started looking even more transparent, I admitted it to myself: the death was seeping through him. It was painting his nails and eyelids with a bluish shade of gray and combing his long hair into a floating mass of matte curls. His movements were sharper than usual and he walked with a more strength, even though his lips were paler and hardly let any words past them. My prince was dying on me. If it had been a disease or a curse I could have done something, I could have cured him, but it was something inside him, something that longed for death to come and take him.
I have no other choice, since I do not consider giving him to death as an opinion. Iselio of icy winds will never belong to anybody, mortal or immortal. I must send him away and I cannot let him go alone, so I will follow him wherever our journey will take us.
Yours with sincere respect: Eskil Shadowhunt
He looks so peaceful and innocent. The coldness that seeped in his heart years ago when he took his first breath is now away with the air in his lungs. His body beside me is still warm and his skin smooth to touch. The marks of his coming death are no longer visible. There is even a slight hue of the color of midsummer roses on his cheeks. I have arranged his limbs, so he would look as beautiful as possible. As soon as I feel the first shivers the poison causes I will cease writing and lie down against him.
My last wish is that despite the way you decide to violate my body for my deeds, at least do not allow shame to be brought upon him or his name. Let him be lowered into his tomb in the same manner he opened his eyes on the first time: beautifully and gracefully. Untouched.