Author's Notes: I want to give praise to ImaginationIsEverything as a beta for this prologue. Reviews and Help is needed and are greatly appreciated.


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Prologue: A Lost Respect

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Sixteen year old Athie sat near a horse stable intolerantly, dressed in the grubby frequent garments that folks in the streets would generally wear on a standard day. She exhaled noisily under her long chocolate locks, which blew up and hastily descended, and twisted her long braid. Novon should have been right there; next to her, making conversation. But he was most likely getting into trouble, just like he always did; then she would probably have to liberate him from his daily troubles in life. She honestly already had enough to do in her scheduled existence; but she did it anyway. Her father said that young men were interruptions, but she did not care what her father said. She liked Novon.

Novon ran down a street that was crowded with people. Athie was going to be so furious with him! He would be dead meat if he did not show up and accept his fate. Besides, he was history anyways with his master, (Lord Ragmor,) mad at him. He knew for sure that he was in love with Athie, though he tried not to show it in front of her. It would be tremendously awkward. She was so amusing, and comical; she wasn't like bratty princesses in the other lands, as in comparison with Kathïbon. The other problem was that he was a meager servant, who worked so that he could provide for his mother, and she was the princess of the empire! The successor to the whole empire of Azurna. It would be ludicrous if he just asked for her hand of marriage, in front of the king.

The only way he could wed her was if she loved him as well…. which was almost certainly never going to happen. She never showed any feelings for him.

He got to the stable as abruptly as he could. He sighed under his breath; Athie was already there and …very irritated. "Where the heck have you been, moron?" she said, in her tetchy voice, after standing up. She put her hands on her hips.

Novon knew that he had to act composed, so he smiled, "Don't make a scene. By the way, the names Novon, not moron, you really must be bad at word pronunciation," he said, leaning on the stable's wooden pull, leaning on his shoulder.

"For your information, I am particularly good at word pronunciation. Your name should have been Moron," Athie retorted, sitting back down, and crossing her legs. The mare that was right next to Novon started biting his sleeve. Novon quickly moved to the bench, shaking his arm, trying to get the horse slop off. "So…" said Athie, moving the solitary word in her mouth, her irregular emerald and amethyst eyes sparkling in the sunlight. "What do you want to do?" Novon sighed. He hated that question. If he got a coinage for every time she said that, he would be a rich man. Before he could answer the question the stable boy walked over and shoved horse water between them so that it was right near their faces.

Athie turned her head away from the bucket; a couple of flies flew near the water. The stable boy, who was fifteen, smiled. Morlith had worked at the stables for a year already. He had black curly hair that pounced everywhere, and black eyes. "Pure horse slop! You want a try? It's free," he said.

"Take it away, Morlith," ordered Novon.

Morlith spat. "This is the stuff I drink, heck, you'd understand, a slave yourself," he said, then turned to Athie. "But you, your royal majesty," he said the words as insulting as he dared, (and he did dare…) Athie turned around. He knew who she was. "Your best meal was probably with the Prince of Kathïbon. But me….my best meal was when I ate with the horses; you see, I usually eat with the pigs… so if you start complaining about how your meal wasn't cooked just right or it doesn't have any of the lemon crap on it, think about me."

"Fact one," said Athie, looking up at Morlith, a quick glare resigned in her eyes. "There is no prince of Kathïbon, there's a princess. Fact two, you don't have any pigs in the horse stables. Duh."

"The horses are pigs …when they eat!" said Morlith.

Athie rolled her eyes, "Come on Novon, let's get out of here."

"Ahh, so now you're leaving me?" asked Morlith. "Okay, have a worthy time."

"Go away Morlith, you're just an annoyance," said Novon, grabbing Athie's hand.

"Nah, I'm notta annoyance, you just don't respect me!" exclaimed Morlith.

Athie mumbled, "Yeah …whatever." Then Novon and Athie left. Morlith shoved the horse water near a gray and colorless horse that was groomed perfectly.

"At least you have a decent drink," he said, as he patted the mount. The horse lazily drank the unclean water. As the horse drank the water, it splashed out onto the hay on the land. Morlith ignored the spilled water and grabbed a horse brush and started to brush the mount. He glared at Athie and Novon as they walked down the alley and out of view.
"You will respect me one day, you will, I swear," mumbled Morlith, under his breath. "Somehow I will salvage my value in time and," he said threateningly, "in my vengeance."

Morlith heard a snicker, his master walked into the stable. "Your wits are too lean, think inside the stable…not out." he glared at Morlith. Morlith sighed, his master hated employees that would think about, (as his mater would call it) 'The outside world' as preferring to outside the stables. It was really ridiculous, but Morlith did not want to risk everything he had, just to make that truth acknowledged.

"Yes Master," mumbled Morlith. His Master grabbed a rag and started to sponge down his hands. "You see, Morlith, revenge is pleasant and powerful, but it always bites back at the end."

"Yes Master," said Morlith, though he strongly disagreed with what his master had said.

"But misplaced respect is something that humans cannot stand. I would know, being a stable owner." Morlith was confused, why the heck was his master being …kind of nice to him? "So, fight for your dreams! If payback is what you want, then go for it!" Then his master walked off into his house. Morlith looked down at the mount he had been brushing; his black curly hair pounced a little bit.

"He's right, I should be following my dreams and start plotting…" He thought about what his master had said for a bit, and then he packed his slender belongings. If he was going to pursue his dreams of revenge, he certainly could not do it here, in this pig-stinking stable! He walked off and once he was out of the city, he looked at a high mountain that had no snow on the top of it but it rather had an orange color that looked like dark orange sand. He knew that it would be a perfect lair, so he started his journey to the mountain.

After he had found a big wide cave, that had three parts in it, he grinned widely. He had perfect view of the whole land, but the thing that he noticed the most was the shiny and stony castle where Princess Athie lived. He knew that he was going to have revenge soon, so he started plotting…

However, his plan took ten years to get into real action.

In that decade, Athie had married Novon, and they had been crowned king and queen. Seven years after marriage, they had a child, male, one to take the throne. But when he was almost three years old, Morlith kidnapped him.

Morlith looked around; he had the baby: good. He rode down the shadowy alleys; he got out of the city, and made his black horse go faster. He tasted his success. He rode into the woodland, but after a while his long, and thin black cape caught on one of the braches, he fell off the mount. He cursed, because he had dropped the infant. It was so dark, he was tired, he had lost the baby, and his horse got so scared that it ran away. "Blasted horse!" yelled Morlith angrily, and then stalked back to his lair.

A middle-aged man walked out of the gloom, he had heard a baby's cry. He had been on a walk to reduce the stress from himself because of his difficult and challenging duties. He walked into the radiance that the moon provided for him; his shinny blue cape that he wore lightly brushed the dirt off the ground and made the powdery dust float in the air liberally. The man looked as if he was twenty-nine, but his eyes looked as if age had sucked out his existence of youth. He picked up the wailing child.

"Oh dear," he sighed, mournfully, "Another child, orphaned to the world?" He could not believe it; he'd found two other children, one ten and one four in the forest. They were always in the forest. However, this child looked as if it was two, and somehow the man knew he was extraordinary somehow. Maybe a gift that was blessed on him, or maybe in had just been the way he was born. He did not know.
"Better go back to the training field," he said with a soundless grunt, and so he took the infant to the training shelter of magic.

They named the boy Skipio. No one knew where he had came from or why he had been lost in the forest, and they never found out. Skipio learned so much at the training field of magic; he had many adventures, and had been in risk many times.

Once he had to kill an apprentice because he was going to be to dominant and turn against everyone. But when he was thirteen, he and his best friend Lukio were doing a spell. Lukio somehow lost control of his magic, or had worded the spell differently and Skipio disappeared. Nobody knew why Skipio disappeared, because everyone knew that Lukio was very proficient at controlling his magic, (but unfortunately not his actions.) But Skipio was gone.

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