Summary: His life was completely normal for a Prince, betrothed to a beautiful girl, until he accidentally heard the prophecy. Who could make him into a slave, and how could he then love that person, to make him strong enough to save the country?

Warnings: This story is an original slash fiction, meaning it contains yaoi, boy-love, shounen ai, man on man action, and all that good stuff. If that doesn't interest you, than please do not continue reading, even if it misleadingly seems like the main character is as straight as an arrow. I like to give my characters a little emotional stress, like coming to terms with their sexuality. Also, this story will contain a lot of beatings and such, as will be explained in the prophecy in chapter 2.

A/N: I am not the type of author to beg for reviews, so you won't ever hear me ask for them. If I get them great, and if not, oh well. However, this is a rough draft, and although I have proofread it myself 800 times, I'm sure it is still riddled with mistakes. I was using a dictation device for this chapter, and it had a tendency to misunderstand me (darn thing!). Anyway, feel free to point them out so I can fix them, even if they are things that concern the plot of the story, like a character doing something completely out of character. I love constructive criticism! I hope you enjoy!

The Assassin

Chapter 1

It was a bright and sunny day in Warelind, the perfect day for the children with no obligations in the world to be out romping in the ponds and streams that peppered the royal city, but no children inside Nivaldi Palace were playing. The servants' children were working with their parents, and the heirs to the Court of Nobles were in school, required to be educated unlike the peasants of Gehannis. All of the offspring of the Court of Nobility were cooped up in a large marble classroom, only able to see the sun through large, narrow windows, but it was rare for an eye to even stray to the yards where the might have been running around if they hadn't had responsibilities. They all knew their duties; even the youngest only longed to impress their parents and the Royal Family and take their places on the Court, not frolic in the fields. The teacher, a small balding man with beady eyes magnified by wire rimmed glasses, was very happy presenting to such an attentive class; he loved children who strived to learn.

"So you see children," Professor Minde pointed, "we are all here, in the country of Gehannis. We are bordered by Renk to the west, Icatharilt and Lecantha to the south, and the Callandore to the East beyond the Jiang Mountains. These five countries, along with many others, make up the continent of Trente. Can anyone tell me the name of the other five continents on Areidis?"

Almost every hand in the bright room shot up into the air instantly, all in fact but two. "Alright, Sera, can you tell me one?" The teacher asked. The smallest student, a meek girl in the front of the group, piped, "Archantis!"

"Good! And where is the continent Archantis?"

An older girl with a mature voice answered, "Archantis is on the far tip of Areidis, is completely covered in ice, and is the opposite pole to Atlantis, which is in the north and is in the same condition."

"Very good Leias. And now another. Joran?"

A boy with a quiet, stuttering voice replied, "L... L... Li Sir. It... it has no known civilizations, j… j… just savage b… beasts and savage p… people."

"That is correct. It is one huge jungle that is almost impenetrable, and never has an advanced civilization such as ourselves been discovered or shown itself. Now, only two more left. Anyone? Ani?"

A chubby blonde boy replied, "Joridia is to the northeast of us. It gets really cold there because it's so close to Atlantis, and they are the best shipbuilders in the world."

"Nice job. And now, the last continent. Anyone? Anyone?"

Hands were dancing in the air, but Professor Minde wanted someone in specific to answer. "Kaelin? What is the last continent on Areidis?"

A boy in the back, one of the two who hadn't volunteered, looked up from a game of marbles and he had been playing with the other student not interested in class. His dark eyes seemed very bored. His classmates stared at him in a slightly insolent manner even though the rest of their well-trained faces were blank, but that didn't bother him. He never cared what was going on in class, why did the teacher always try to include him? The girl next to him even looked at him uneasily, she only didn't participate because she wanted his attention, and everyone knew it but him. She still got top grades. Only he purposefully tried to cause trouble when he got bored, especially in this class with the nice bald professor.

"Who cares Mindie? When do we get to do something fun?" He asked in a commanding voice and the girl he was sitting with cracked up with obviously fabricated snickers. He could tell that his classmates were offended no matter how hard they tried to hide it, but the teacher just shook his head condescendingly. "Oh come now Kaelin, you are the Prince of Gehannis and you will one day be King. Don't you think it is important to know who your neighbors are?"

The prince gazed out from beneath his curly brown mop of hair and sighed. The students of the group were all of he Nobles' children, and their ages ranged from six to seventeen, all that was required to be forced into a group class like this was to be able to read. He had heard and studied everything on the damned neighboring countries so many times he could practically recite what Minde was going to say before he did it himself! He still could not understand why the older students still played this good little angel gig, he didn't fall for it at all and this was supposed to be his Court! He simply sat up straight and crossed his lanky arms across his loose-fitting blue toga, and smiled politely. "There is nothing at all to gain from Atlantis or Archantis, they are just frozen wastelands. There is no intelligent life on Li, so there is no need to make peace or fear war, or even to venture there. Joridia is at peace with the country of Renk, and Renk will sell their trade to us, so there's no need to be bothered with them. And Kalcia, they are on the other side of the world and have no desire to communicate with anyone else. Their land is more impenetrable than Li's, and those who try to force their way in disappear. They want to be left alone. So what is there to know? Sir?"

Everyone was silent, but he could read their faces. Sera, her freckled nose and cheeks always turned bright red when she was angry, and she was that often for someone so young. Joran always tried to curry his favor and was as submissive as a servant sometimes, but the way he felt was always practically written in words across his forehead. He was embarrassed right now, almost like he felt like he had answered, like he could have ever gotten a full paragraph out like that without stumbling over himself. Leias was closer to his age than his friend Schala, and she was also quite high on the hierarchy ladder, meaning she was next up to be his queen, but he could never consider her with her attitude. She always thought that she was better than him, smarter than him; being married to her would be like his father being married to his mother! She currently wore a scowl openly on her face, like she didn't even care that the Queen had been discussing ways to get him married to Schala instead of her for years. She would have been out of the running anyways now that his mother had announced his betrothal to the Princess of Joridia, something he didn't even want to think about! Leias could go marry Ani then, they seemed to like each other and her plain face and stringy blonde hair went with his sweaty ones. Ani seemed mildly irritated at best, but he was also the best at hiding his true motives and emotions. He would have to be someone to be wary of in the future Court, even Kaelin's mother agreed.

He glanced over at his friend, but she was used to this and kept her head down, patiently waiting for the explosion from the only adult in the room. It was delivered right on cue. "How... how can you even say that Kaelin Jaed ni Rim'Nivaldi? Atlantis and Archantis are filled with ruins and fossils of our past, and as archaeologists study we learn more about ourselves! The Old Kingdoms had technology we've never even dreamed of, and we are deciphering it right now as you and I speak! We have colonies on Li right now, botanists learning the qualities of the exotic plants that we have never seen; because of them we now have the cure for the black flu! You didn't see the epidemic, it was horrible! So many people died painful deaths until the iricis flower was discovered! Joridia might be friendly with Renk, but what if they have a disagreement? What if Gehannis and Renk have an argument over land? Then we have no more Joridian ships? Textiles? Tobacco? Joridian tea? None of these wonderful things you obviously take for granted! The only thing to do is to create a Treaty with them ourselves, something your parents have been trying to do for two years now! And Kalcia! All we know is that any time someone has been sent to explore if they never return! How do we know they aren't hostile?! It is of the utmost importance that we try to learn about them, and protect ourselves in the meantime! Or are you going to abandon the military too?!"

Professor Minde was livid, his bald head was purple with rage, and Kaelin just smiled. "What military? Gehannis couldn't even protect itself from Renk or Callandore if they attack; you think you could stand up to an entire continent?" He inquired. The teacher let out a yell of anger and slung his hand toward the door. "Class dismissed! Everyone leave, and I want a three-page essay on the importance of intercontinental relationships! Kaelin Jaed, come with me now!" He ordered.

All twenty six students started collecting their things, shooting uncomfortable looks at their ruler-to-be as they exited into the grand hall. Kaelin's friend Schala sighed sadly. "Does this mean that we aren't going swimming this afternoon Kae?"

"Don't worry Schala; I won't be in that much trouble. What's Mindie going to do, interrupt my mother during her trade with the Renkie ambassadors?"

"Does he know that she is in that meeting? You had better tell him before he barges in and gets in trouble; that would be too mean." She whispered in a warning tone, but he only put a hand on his hip playfully. "I would never do that, not even to him. I don't hate Professor Minde, he just gets so furious when I say things like that, and I just can't help myself. It's hilarious. He should know I don't mean any of it. I'm not going to sabotage the country, I swear. Besides, he's just talking tough, he won't even take me to her."

"Kaelin!" The teacher commanded.

The lanky boy gave his friend one more grin, then grabbed his pack and followed the teacher out the door demanding, "That's Prince Kaelin to you Sir!"

He followed the Professor through the pillared stone halls, ignoring his rants and thinking to himself; he didn't even pay attention to where they were going. He knew how to run the country; he had been training for it since he was old enough to walk. He knew the importance of alliances and treaties and trade, that's why he hadn't even fought when his mother had announced his betrothal to Princess Aurelia, even though he still secretly wanted to marry Schala. This castle would one day be his, in all of its architectural brilliance, and from it he would send out the colonists, the botanists, and the archaeologists, and from inside it he would hold counsel with the nobles and host banquets with merchants and ambassadors from other countries. For now though, all he wanted to do was have fun, before he was never allowed to do it again. Kings didn't play tag in the gardens, or swim in the fountains, or chase birds in the plains across the lake that the city of Warelind was built around. Was he bad for just wanting to be a kid once in a while?

"I swear Kaelin; you're going to give me a heart attack one day! What did I ever do to deserve this stress? Do you hate me? Am I a bad teacher?"

"Professor! Calm the hell down! I was just joking..."

"Joking? Joking! The welfare of Gehannis is not something to joke about, do you know how fearful is to let the heir take over? Do you know how many nations have been ruined when some snot nosed kid took possession of the throne and ran the country into the ground?! And with you about to marry out of the continent too, so many things could happen, terrible terrible things..."

The dark-haired boy stopped listening again, he heard it all before. Geez, did everyone know about Aurelia already? Kaelin continued to brood until they took a turn into the main hall, white marble streaked with lapis blue and lit with huge sunroofs fifty feet high. The colorful tapestries were instantly recognized by the young prince, the bright sky blue rugs leading to the main conference room.

"Wait a minute Mindie; you seriously aren't taking me to my mother are you? She's in a meeting, she'll kill you!" He warned in a serious voice. It was never a good idea to mess with her when she was working, not even he and he was her favorite person! If they barged in on a peace meeting, she would probably fire Minde, she might even actually get mad at him for making her have to find another teacher, she was never mad at him! The professor had to be faking it.

"I am sure that meeting is over by now, the ambassadors have been here for three days now, so you are damned right we are going to the Queen! I cannot handle you anym—"

"No! We can't bother her, she's busy! I'll stop; I'll never bother you again!"

"You should've thought of that before your little act today, shouldn't you? And stop calling me Mindie! My name is Professor Dian Vanus Minde!"

"Professor, no!"

Kaelin tried to pull on the bald man's arm, anything was better than seeing his mother at this time, but the teacher grabbed him by the ear and commenced to drag him down the hall. How dare he treat the Crowned Prince of Gehannis this way? He deserved to get canned!

As soon as they pushed through the main double doors though, and everyone turned to look at them, the Renkie ambassadors surprised and insulted, it was obvious that the teacher felt he had made a mistake and was wishing he had taken the Prince's advice. He glanced back and forth, weighing the idea of just leaving to trying to make an excuse for barging in, but the Queen spoke before he could decide.

"Are you having a problem with my son Dian?" she questioned. Her manner might have been considered friendly except for the tiniest bit if sternness, but those who knew her respected that sparse display of authority. Minde began to sweat. "No, well yes, I mean, yes I... um..."

"It's okay if you are. I'll take him if he is giving you trouble."

One of the ambassadors opened his mouth to express his opinion on the interruption, thick eyebrows drawn in, but before he could even get a word out the Queen turned her sharp eyes onto him. "Do you have any children at home Corsi? Nothing comes before them right? Kaelin will, after all, be King, and I for one would not want an undisciplined brat on a neighboring throne. Would you?"

The woman next to the protesting man hit in the arm and his teeth clicked shut before he even spoke. Renkies were known for getting into the same job classifications as their spouses, she was very likely Corsi's wife.

"Now," Kaelin's mother began, her commanding voice drawing all attention, "what was the problem Dian?"

Professor Minde stared awestruck for a moment, but that wasn't unusual. A lot of people found a hard to communicate around her. It wasn't even her dark beauty, which was immense; it was just was the way she held herself. Her beautiful light green dress hung off her broad shoulders when she stood or sat tall, her defined throat decorated with the Opal of Purity, the feminine Royal stone of Gehannis. Her brown wavy hair, streaked with gray, held the Tiara of Streia, showing her status of highest woman in the country. Even her eyes, penetrating black, and her voice, sultry, demanded respect. All loved her. All feared her. Even the King revered her and consulted her before any decisions were made.

"Well?" She encouraged, her thin eyebrow just ever so slightly raised.

"K... Kaelin was fooling around in class Your Majesty." It was obvious that Minde felt like the fool now, Kaelin would have smiled had he not been worried out of his mind if he was in trouble or not. His mother very rarely got mad at him, but when she did…

"Fooling around?" Her voice let everyone know that she required respect and Minde tried to stand straighter. His voice however, sounded like a mouse. "Ye... Yes Eminence. He refuses to take things seriously and he jests about things he shouldn't an--"

"Well, it definitely sounds that you are justified in interrupting my meeting, he must've been being absolutely horrid. I'll take him off your hands." Even King Jaysone looked at her curiously for her quick response.

"Oh Mistress, it is not necessary. I'll--" Minde tried, but the Queen would not let him finish a sentence. "I insist, he must be punished. Give him here."

Kaelin was still being held by the ear, completely still, and Minde dropped him like he had just remembered he was holding him.

"Come son, to my sitting room." His mother demanded, and dismissed the teacher like nothing.

"Um... Catrina... What about the meeting--" his father started. "Oh, I'm sure you can handle anything you throw your way Jaysone. I'll trust your decisions." She was very good at never letting men finish speaking.

So she stood up as simply as if leaving school after class was over, grasped her son's hand in hers, and led him out and down the halls to her sitting room. It was bright and had a lot of windows and comfortable chairs, and it overlooked one of the many flower gardens, he knew it was her favorite actually. Kaelin stood near the door, sulking uneasily, but Catrina barged in, threw off her crown, and plopped into a chair. "Oh thank the Gods came Kae, that meeting has been going on for three damned days, I wanted to just kill myself! Well, have a seat son; I'm not going to flog you."

The boy was instantly relieved. "You aren't angry? I was sure you would be, with him barging in on you like that! I told him not to…"

"Angry at you? Goodness no! I cannot be mad at you baby, haven't I told you that? I'm glad you came, I've been so bored. That meeting has been going on for three days. Three days Kae! Your father can handle those ambassadors, but he is so scared I'm going to get mad at him for something he insists I be there! Why is everyone so afraid of me?" she questioned innocently.

"Don't pretend like you don't know, or do it on purpose for that matter." Kaelin laughed, now sure he wasn't in trouble, and found a seat in front of his mother. They had always been close, and he was probably the only person who could get away with saying something like that to her.

"Well, I suppose that is why I'm such a good ruler, is it not?"

The Prince gave a smile. "Yeah, I suppose it is."

"You seem to be pretty good at intimidating your teachers, I'm sure you'll be a great king yourself. What were you doing to get Mindie into such a tiff this time?"

He loved when his mother was playful like this. "Oh I was just telling him how I'm going to ruin everything you and dad have done and it run the country into the ground."

"Really? Did you tell him that you plan to marry a peasant and let them have free reign of the castle? That's what I did to my tutors. They tried to convince my father to not let me take the throne."

"Yeah, yeah, I know you were as bad as me in school. Probably worse!"

"Well of course! How is a royal child going to have some fun before they're condemned to boredom the rest of their life?"

The younger boy wasn't surprised in the least; he had always had a lot more in common with his mother than his father. "I just get so bored, all I want to do is play but everyone gets mad at me. Even my classmates. Leias hates me! Only Schala likes to hang out with me..."

Catrina reached out and stroked her son's cheek gently. "Who cares what Leias thinks? We decided a long time ago that she was out of the question didn't we? I'll tell you what though, you know I think that your studies are very important, but so is having a life of your own, one without having to worry about what people think about you. How about you invite Schala to one of our personal lessons once a week from now on? We can all have some fun together then."

Kaelin's dark eyes lit up, his mother usually knew exactly how to make everything seem wonderful. "Oh, that would be great! The more time the better with Schala; after all, I don't think my wife-to-be will much approve of our friendship." Just thinking of that made him release a sad sigh; he hadn't even meant to let his mother know his worries on that subject!

"Why not? She is just a friend right?" the Queen questioned. Even Kaelin wasn't completely sure though how he felt for his friend, but he knew he wanted to be with her instead of Leias or the Joridian princess.

"Well, yes," he answered slowly, plotting out what he was going to say so he didn't blurt out anything unprincely, "but I wish she could be more. Mother, I think I love her! I've had a while to think about it since you announced my betrothal and I want to marry her instead of this stupid foreign girl! What if my wife isn't as beautiful? As fun and as easy-going?"

The Queen just gave a smug smile. "I don't think you'll be disappointed."

Kaelin knew what that meant; he trusted his mother's opinion. That meant that she was gorgeous, and that made it even worse! This was why he had been avoiding brooding about this subject…

"What if she's better than Schala!? And she gets so depressed she leaves the castle and becomes a missionary!? Or a botanist and she runs off to Li and gets eaten by wild animals or—"

A laugh interrupted him. "That's a pretty active imagination you have there my child. Look, I know the idea of a preset marriage can be scary, but it isn't that bad. You have got to look at it on a bigger level. You aren't marrying for your happiness, you don't have to. You will have enough money and power to do anything you want to make you happy. You are marrying for your people. When you marry Princess Aurelia you are giving your people in new window of hope. Joridia and Gehannis will be one; there'll be new job and travel opportunities. And they have less to fear when we have an entire continent to come to our aid if we need it. It isn't great, but our lives as royalty are just vessels to improve or deny the happiness of our country."

The Prince scoffed. "Well I might have money, but that won't buy me happiness I hate my wife. Did you love Dad when you met him?"

"No way, I was in love with my mother's manservant! And your father was in love with his sister's best friend from one of the least-known Noble branches. He and I hated each other in the beginning, but as time went by, his love decided she loved another, and my dear servant man died from the black flu, and we had no one else to talk to but each other. Solitude can do wonders to the feelings. If you are forced to spend most of your time with one person, you learn to coexist and eventually care for that person."

"But did you stay with your love in the beginning? And Dad didn't care? Do you think Aurelia will let me do the same?" Oh if only she would…!

"She might have a love of her own too, but perhaps not. You could study her culture to see if she would accept something like that. The fact of the matter is though, as long as there are no out-of-wedlock heirs, if you don't get caught you can do whatever you want. I don't think you'll want anyone but your wife once you are in the throw of things, but you'll be King, and Kings obeys no rules but the ones they set. As it is now, monogamy is not a law, and I don't plan on making it one before you take over."

Heirs? He was way too young to think about things like that. Well, maybe not way too young, but not yet anyway. He simply gave a shaky chuckle. "I guess I'm just scared."

Catrina whipped out her hand and grabbed him by the wrist, massaging it fervently like she meant to comfort him, or punish maybe. He tended to sway to the latter knowing his mother. "Kings aren't scared of anything Kaelin," She told in a stern voice, "but I'm sure you'll laugh when you find out how easy this problem will be to solve. Things will be much tougher for you in the Court, just wait and then you'll learn what I mean. But remember, I'm always here to help you if you need me, and you know it."

He just gently pulled his arm away from her and slipped his fingers into hers instead. He did know how reliable she was, especially when it concerned him. "Thank you Mother, I know I can count on you. But I do have one question: if Kings aren't afraid of anything, then why is dad so scared shitless of you?"

"Well, there is a very simple answer to that question too baby." The Queen reached out and pulled her son into a tight embrace. She put her lips to the shell of his ear and whispered, like someone would dare eavesdrop on her, "It's because I'm the King of Gehannis, not him, and he knows it."

Kaelin giggled, he knew it was true. Everyone did. "Well, I'll never let my wife take me over like you've done to him, or anyone else for that matter. I will always be the leader; I will always be in charge of my life."

"Good. I know you will. Now go play with your friend, before gets too late."

Smiling and content, the young man darted from the room after a tight embrace to find Schala, black eyes watching him go. He was strong like her; she felt he could handle anything. Even though he was so young, she could already see him crowned on a horse with a sword, leading his people into war, and this troubled her. Gehannis had not seen war for around two hundred years, yet every time she looked at her son she saw this. With a sigh, she found her feet and stood, it was time for another trip to her hidden seer, maybe the woman had had a vision of this by now.

Catrina would do anything to protect her son and her country.