The Dark Prince Returned

It was the year 1476. The time of when a young prince was born whom was destined to have ultimate power. For it was said that in 1000 years, after the death of the Gods of earth, air, fire, water, light and dark would be reborn through human flesh and would rise to power and have the fate of the universe in their hands. Though it was only through the dark God's mate's reincarnation and her reunion with her sisters, the mates of the other God's, could their powers be returned to them in perfection.

(Celina's P.O.V.) This morning was like the rest of them. I opened my eyes and I saw what I see every day… the damned sky through the roof. My mother has yet to fix it and seems to be too busy to care that I could die if it rained on me and I caught a cold. But that is harsh and I know my mother would never do such a thing. She loves driving me crazy too much. What would I do without her?

Quickly I got out of bed and cleared my thoughts of the dreams I had had last night. I must forget them. I must, for they aren't real. They will never be real. My masked rider on horseback will never come and take me to the ocean like he does in my dreams. He will never be real. He doesn't exist.

But then why does he come to me in slumber and persist on taking me to a new place, as if on a different world? Why can I not forget him and continue to be the average peasant for the king? Why do I dream of my dark masked rider taking me away? Away from everything I have ever known. It both frightens me and excites me. But these dreams must stop here and now. For they have become too dangerous too dream.

Last night my dark masked rider finally reviled himself to me. And it hurt me more than ever to find his identity out. As it turns out, my rider is no other than Seru-sama. That's the private nickname I have given him and no one shall ever know it for he is Prince Chester, or now as he likes to be called Prince Seru, hence the nickname. But it is forbidden to think of royalty like that when you are a peasant like me. I must be rid of my rider, my secret lover, forever and always. He would never look at someone like me like that. I'm not worth the dirt that he walks on.

As fast as I could, I took off my nightgown and replaced it with my one dress that I wear every day. It is brown and white layers, brown on top and white on bottom. Then I slip on my shoes and head into the kitchen. It is almost dawn and my mother is not up yet. She is the only person I live with. My father died when I was young and I have no siblings. I grew up a lonely child, but I got by. I looked for the bread and butter to start breakfast but noticed that there were no eggs in the basket. That means that I have to go to the market. If my mother doesn't get her eggs, she yells. I truly hate it when she yells. I sighed and grabbed an empty basket and took a few pieces of gold from the bag under the shelf, then headed out the door.

The walk to the market is a mile away and dawn is not for another hour. That should give me time to be home before mother wakes. So I headed on. I decided that a light jog would be best and not take a chance at dealing with my hungry mother. Running was easy for me. All my life I was on a time limit and so I had to run everywhere just to be on time. I made it to the market in about twenty minutes. As usual, the market is already blazing with customers to start their day. But to my displeasure, Ernest was working at the stand where the eggs were being sold. For the longest time we have been enemies since we were children. Now every time he sees me he refuses to hurry up and sell me the damned eggs! I don't know why, he's around my age but doesn't act like an adult. I'm twenty-two years old! He needs to grow up. But the thought of my mother yelling at me gives me the courage to go over there.

As I predicted, the moment he saw me he had a huge grin on his face. "Why if it isn't Celina, the castle cleaner. How is life, being dirty every second?" I knew it. He wanted to start something. I don't even know why I deserve this. But I always win in our little fights. With the biggest smile I could muster I opened my mouth. "Fine, thank you. But at least every day I bathe, unlike some people whom just happen to like to blab about how much money they make, Ernest." I knew I hit a nerve. That was the best part. He never could say something else after I hit one of his nerves. The steam was practically coming out of his ears now. "Are you going to buy something or do I have to call the guards?" he asked angrily.

That was when I heard familiar laughter from behind me. Then the most alluring voice ever combined with the neigh of a horse. "Call the guards? An egg seller? They should arrest you for antagonizing Ms. Celina. As if my guards would come to your aid anyway." I knew that voice anywhere, and it frightened me so much that my heart skipped a beat. It was Prince Seru's voice. "It is true that she does work in the castle but doesn't cleaning make one clean if they use soap and water?" he added. Ernest's face was pail now. This pleased me, but did not settle my racing heart. "I guess my lord." "Good. Now, apologize to Ms. Celina and let her do what she came here to do." With that, I heard the horse move on, but not until the Prince said, "Have a nice day Ms. Celina."

Quickly I bought my eggs and headed home just in time before my mother awakened. But the whole walk home I was thinking one thing. He knew my name. He knew my name. Me, a peasant, and he knew my name. Sure I work in the castle cleaning and the chances of him hearing my name were slim to none, but KNOWING MY NAME? Why would he bother to know my name at all? I'm the help. But I was broken from my train of thought when I heard coughing from inside my mother's bedroom. I walked in and saw my mother very pail and very sick. She looked over in my direction. "Celina, come here." Obediently I obeyed. It was a force of habit. I looked into my mother's brown eyes. "Celina, I can not work today. I cannot even get out of bed. My illness is worsening. I am not long for this world."

Tears were forming in my eyes. Jolts of pain shot through me as if I was being struck by lightning. My mother was dying before my eyes. I could not take this. "What are you saying mama? You look fine. You aren't dying," I lied. Again she coughed and blood was what came out. Her breathing became raspy and I knew I had to face the truth. She looked at me with sad eyes. "Don't tell yourself lies. It'll do you no good. I want you to go to work, and by the time you come home, I'll be dead. You need to make money, so go to work and forget me." "But mama-" "DO as I say!" she yelled. Having the fear of her voice in my head, I headed towards the castle, forgetting that I had left the fire in the kitchen on.

The tears were very visible and as I was let in the castle, I could hear the guards laugh at my misfortune. They always laughed at someone's misfortune. I ran as fast as I could to get to the kitchen and start cleaning there since that's where I always started. I just hoped that no one would see my tear stained face. Now my vision was so blurry that I could not see the person who I had just bumped into. Quickly I apologized without looking as to see whom I had hit and continued on.

(Chester's P.O.V.) This morning is going to be great. I just know it is. Why? Because today I've got sparring practice with Michael, a paint war with Joseph, learning French with David, racing with Bradford on horses, making a lot of annoying noises with Rob. But most of all, it's going to be a good day because I'll get to see HER. She's shy, she's smart for a peasant, very objective, speaks her mind and above it all, she fascinates me. For the past twelve years I have been fascinated with her and she has yet to notice that I even look in her direction every time she's around. I know not why, but she even makes me lose all feelings except hope. Now I say hope as a strong word because I never feel hope. There is no need. I am the only son of the king, the only heir to the thrown, my father is dying, I am in a lot of power, strong, young, and am damn good looking. What do I need hope for? But yet, I like it when I get the feeling if she causes it. This hope is something strange to me. But I accept it with full grace.

Slowly I stretch and look around my room. It is absolutely ridiculous and I hate it with a passion. It is flourished in red and yellows. That would be my mother's fault. She insists that I have color in this room. I'm not the kind of person that wears color or prefers to be surrounded in color. I like dark things. That's what kind of person I am. My preferred name would say it all. I was born Prince Chester of this land but now I am Prince Seru. It is the name of a legendary God from over about 1000 years ago. He was the God of Darkness. How do I know this? Simple answer. I AM SERU.

1000 years ago, I ruled all the land of dark with my mate. Are you lost? Let me explain. Yes, I am a young prince, born of human flesh and 29 years old. But my soul is of the dark God. I remember everything from that life so long ago. And I remember my mate. My Katana. She was the one being in existence that could control me, could make me bend to my knees and the only one that can resurrect my powers now. I need her. All my life, my brethren Gods have searched for our mates and I am the last to find mine. I have not found her yet, I think. These feelings I get for Celina are very strong. Just as strong as the ones I had for Katana in our past lives. Is she the one I am searching for? Is she my Katana? She must be. I sense power flow from her and it is the same as Katana's.

This goes perfectly with my mortal feelings for her. If I were to be the God I once was again, she would be my mate once again. These mortal feelings I have currently are longing, desire, lust, and dare I say it, pain. The pain is caused because she never looks upon me and it is her eyes that I want to be seen by. I do fear that there is a possibility that she is not my Katana. If she is not, then my future is split. I love Katana but I know I love Celina as well. If they were not the same, then I would have to give one up. If I give up Katana, I give up my powers. If I give up Celina, I would… what would I do? We have only spoken to each other when an order was given to her, or a request was made. She never even talked to me then. Why should I feel bad if she were not Katana, or if she did not love me at all? This is why I hate humanity. It's so complicated. Things used to be so much easier when I was a God. There you have it. The story of how this is my life.

As I was saying, I like dark colors. Specifically the colors black, blue and green. When my father dies (or I become Seru again) I am going back to dark colors. I took one more look around the room and decided that I would not stand another second of this agony if feel. Quickly I got dressed in my black shirt, pants and robe with the green dragon on the back and headed out the of the castle to the stable to get my horse, Enigma. Enigma was a black mustang and had these eyes that could see into the soul. She was perfect for me. "Ready to go for a before sunrise ride?" I asked her. She neighed in delight. I easily got on top of her and we took off like the wind.

"Where should we go to Enigma?" I asked her. Suddenly she headed off towards the village market and it made me wonder because she doesn't really like to be around people. As the market was getting closer, I could suddenly feel that power flow again. It was Katana's power, and Enigma must have felt it for she is an enchanted horse. She will only let me; my God brethren, and their mates ride her. She can run faster than any other horse, sense magic and can disappear into mist or fog. And she never was wrong with her judgment. That made me wonder more weather or not Celina was Katana.

The power flow was pure energy going through me now as I saw Celina come into view and currently in a fight with the egg seller. I made Enigma slow down so I could creep up behind Celina. The argument became clear now to hear. "Why, if it isn't Celina, the castle cleaner. How is life, being dirty every second?" That practically set me on fire hearing that man say that. But what she said next was funny. "Fine, thank you. But at least every day I bathe, unlike some people whom just happen to like to blab about how much money they make, Ernest." Then he replied. "Are you going to buy something or do I have to call the guards?" That made me laugh out loud. This fool thought he could call the guards? "Call the guards? An egg seller? They should arrest you for antagonizing Ms. Celina. As if my guards would come to your aid anyway. It is true that she does work in the castle but doesn't cleaning make one clean if they use soap and water?" The look on his face was priceless. "I guess my lord," was his reply. "Good. Now, apologize to Ms. Celina and let her do what she came here to do." Not once did she look at me and it made my heart throb. Before I decided to leave I said, "Have a nice day Ms. Celina."

There was no reply as I kept going on. Sunrise was coming and I had to be Michael to the spot where we were supposed to spar for a little while. If I did not beat him there, he would make fun of my horse for the next few hours and that was not going to happen. Using Enigma's speed, we were there just before sunrise, but to my amazement, Michael was already there setting up our swords. He looked up at me with his famous grin. This astonished me. "How did you beat me here?" I asked. He looked over to a spot by the tree where a small camp was made then back at me. "I know nothing on this world that can go faster than that horse of yours so I spent the night here. Therefore, beating you at the first game. And to think, you thought you would win with your enchanted horse and all." He laughed at the dark look I threw at him. "Well excuse me, God of Water. But you cheated."

Yes, it's true; Michael is my brother, the God of Water. And if you can connect the dots, you would know that Joseph is my brother God of Light, David is my brother God of fire, Bradford my brother God of Earth and Rob, my brother God of Wind and Air. We are the God's of the main elements, or at least were and will be again. We are not mortally related but that does not matter. What matters is that we will once again be free from our human limitations and in power once again. The only thing stopping us is that Katana and her Goddess sisters must be reunited with us all (the twelve of us). There is Michael and Mina. Joseph and Rita. David and Danielle. Bradford and Mesa. Rob and Lilly. As I have already said before, Katana and I make up the rest.

"For your information Seru, I did not cheat. I said who ever is here first in the morning will win. I was here first. So there, I didn't cheat. You just hate loosing." He always was the one to know me best. "True. But let us forget this and spar already. I didn't get up early just to hear you sing all day long." As we sparred, we got into the conversation about how I thought I have found my precious Katana. "So you really believe you have finally found her?" Michael asked me seriously while putting his sword down. I took a deep breath. "I swear on this world that Celina has to be Katana. It is the same power I feel. They must be one in the same." "Only you can find her Seru. She is your mate. The rest of us have found ours, all we need is Katana back and we will be free." "Yes, I know. But you know that there is a possibility that she could just be some normal person and I'm going nuts! It's been over 1000 years Michael! I am going mad!" Michael placed his hand on my shoulder for comforting. "Then you will have to put her through the tests as the rest of us have had to do with our mates. If she can see the true color of your eyes, hear your real voice and is drawn to you then she is your mate. Only your true mate and brothers and her sisters can see and hear such wonders. You know this. I have faith in you that you will find her." I nodded in agreement, but I was afraid of what I would was going to do if Celina was not my mate.

On our way back to the castle, I couldn't help but get the nagging feeling that something bad was happening at the moment, but disregarded it.

When we reached the castle, that feeling was still there and I couldn't help but wonder why it seemed to be getting stronger. From my balcony I looked upon the kingdom. It truly did not fit my taste and I would fix that right away as soon as the old man croaked. The only reason I would wait is because he didn't have long anyway. The man was in his seventies for crying out loud! Let him have his power to rule while he was still around. It wouldn't matter if I was a God again. The Dark Prince will return to his true form, even if it takes me another decade!

There it was again. That power I feel, it's at the gates. My eyes swept over to the gate. It was Celina again, and she was running to get inside the castle. I looked around the bottom of the balcony and saw no one around, and then I jumped the fifty feet and landed gracefully with my long coat fluttering after me. Having supernatural powers kicks ass, even if they are limited right now. And the timing was right, for Celina was coming right at me, but the tears in her eyes made me not move forward. She was crying so much that see seemed to not have noticed me at all as she bumped into me and saying a quick apology then continuing to run until she was inside the castle. Never in my life did I feel weak, or the yearning to help so much as I felt right at this moment in time.

(Narrators P.O.V.) Celina went straight to the kitchen closet and grabbed a dirty rag off the floor to start cleaning. She did not see the soap anywhere so that meant that she had to ask someone where it was. Human contact was the last thing she wanted right now. No matter whom it was. Her vision became so blurry that she took the rag and wiped her tears away. She knelt down to have a seat for a moment. Breathing was labored, the muscles in her legs hurt from the running and to top that, her will to live was almost gone. She couldn't hear the footsteps coming from behind her and when she turned around, it almost scared her to death to see who was there.

It was Lord David. He had a big smile on his face but it disappeared when he saw she was in distress. "Oh! I did not mean to scare you Celina. It's just that you seemed busy and I was wondering if you had seen Rob anywhere?" After a few heart beats her heart went back to normal and her tears were gone. "No, Lord David, I have not seen Lord Rob anywhere. I myself have just arrived. I'm sorry for not being able to help." He laughed at her shyness that she displayed. "It is okay Celina, I will find him eventually. He can't hide forever can he?" "No Lord David. Not forever." With that he retreated to find Rob. When he was out of earshot, Celina continued to weep but, as she wept, a strange realization occurred to her. Lord David had, like Prince Chester, known her name as well. But she ignored it for she had bigger problems to worry about.

This time she heard footsteps from behind her, and when she turned around Prince Chester was there. Quickly she wiped away her tears so to not let him see them. The look on his face was somewhat… sad. "Are you alright Celina?" he asked softly. She put on a fake smile. How dare she look weak in front of royalty! It's disgraceful. "Fine, Prince Seru. Nothing is wrong." His dark eyebrows scrunched up together in slight annoyance. He didn't like liars and he knew when someone lied. "Tears my dear, do not fall all on their own. Something causes them to be there. What is troubling you?" Still she did not confess. She didn't need to lose her job if she bored him to death with her story of her mother. "He would not care," she thought. "I am fine. Really. There is no need to question me." Again the fake smile appeared. "I am perfectly happy doing my job cleaning the home you live in."

Prince Chester rolled his eyes and sighed. If he was going to find out if she was Katana, he need to start talking to her truthfully and getting to know her now. "Well you will no longer be cleaning anymore," he announced. Celina's breath held. "W-what?" she mumbled. "You're discharging me?" she asked. "But you can't! I need this job!" He looked at her reaction. "Oh no! I'm not discharging you, I'm reassigning you," he stated. It was her turn to be confused. "Reassigning me? Did I do something wrong? I don't know what else to do but clean." His eyes saw the rag in her hand and swiped it away from her. "She wont be cleaning anymore if I can help it." He smiled brightly for her to see all his white teeth. "No, you did nothing wrong. It's just that I've been thinking about having you as my own personal, uh, what's the word? Not servant, uh… well for lack of better words the only thing I can think of is friend. You will spend every waking moment at my side from now on. Starting right now and that means you will not lie. So come along."

Before she had a chance to question him more, he was pushing her out of the kitchen and outside to find Joseph and the soon to be paint war. Outside it was now after sunrise, about eight in the morning and the sun was shining. While Prince Chester was enjoying the mere fact that he was touching Celina's shoulders, Celina was going into overload crush. Having him touch her was just lighting her on fire in more ways than one. As if her life wasn't miserable enough, the one she loved was treating her nicely after something terrible happened and she could not even accept his kindness the way she wanted to by giving him a hug. It would not be proper for a servant to touch royalty. In fact, it was forbidden. The law has said that for the past several hundred years.