" Her name was Julia and she was stuck in her high tower,
waiting for her Romeo to rescue her.."
Chapter 1 – Rescuing Julia
Once upon a time, there lived a prince named Maximilian I. But to make it not like how usual fairytales introduce characters, I'll make other characters do the whole introduction business.
" Prince Maximilian is a good kid. I've never really had any trouble with him." – Osman, the head butler who is actually a fairy
" He loves to eat. Strawberries are his favourite." – Marion, the cook
" Flirt." – random village girl A
" I love him! He's a sweet gentleman." – Princess Julia, fiancée
" Flirt." – random village girl B
" He always beats me at chess." – Antoinette, little sister who sucks at chess
" Flirt." – random village girl C
And, that was basically how the other characters felt about Max. Anyway, he was a good person as well as a good prince. He was 17 at the time his dearly beloved was abducted, which is where the story will take place..
" Osman! Please call Osman! It's urgent!" the messenger shouted at the high gates of Aurialis. Nobody but the guards by the gate could hear him. " I have an important message!" The guards looked down at him then let him in. Immediately, he dashed towards the castle, knocking over a few items as he passed the market.
" Osman!" He shouted once he spotted the young butler inside the castle.
" Is something wrong?" Osman raised a brow.
" It's Princess Julia. She was kidnapped." The messenger handed Osman the ransom note, still fresh and unopened.
" Oh my." Osman unfolded the note and read it.
" Is it bad?"
Osman nodded. " They want the prince in exchange for the princess." He folded the note and threw it into the nearby fireplace. " I have to inform His Highness." He turned to leave the room.
" Wait, who is the kidnapper?"
" Someone called the Dark Knight apparently." He closed the door behind him.
" I win." Prince Maximilian said then rested his back on the chair. He had a smile on his face.
" One more time." Princess Antoinette said.
" No. This is the sixth time we played already. Our bet was only ONE game."
" But Max..!!"
" No buts. I'm marrying Princess Julia and that's final! Still, I don't get why you don't like her."
" There's just something about her.."
" Which is?"
" I don't know myself. I can't tell weather you made the right choice or not."
" What's wrong with Julia? She's very nice. Even nicer than the last one."
" It's not what's wrong with her. It's what wrong with you!" She poked her brother's head.
" Me? Why me?"
" You, dearest brother of mine, have a strange choice of girls."
" What's that supposed to mean?"
" You always fall in love with some girl, then you find something ugly about her and that's when you dump her."
Prince Max didn't reply.
Antoinette continued, " I just hope you'll stick with Princess Julia this time, though I get this feeling that she's gonna end up like the others."
" Don't worry, sis. She's not gonna end up like the others. She's my one true love."
" I hope so." Antoinette kept the chess pieces as Prince Max stared at the window beside him.
He thought about Julia and how they met. He thought about how fragrant her honey-colored hair was whenever she rested her head on his shoulder, how they had watched the moon together that one night when he told her how he felt about her. He was certain that she was the only one for him and that he was the only one for her.
" Your Highness, something terrible has happened." Osman appeared at the door.
" Terrible?" Prince Max looked at the young butler in concern.
" Princess Julia has been kidnapped."
Prince Max gasped dramatically in shock as he heard the horrifying news. " I have to save her!" He wielded his sword and did a pose.
" Although it is your obligation as the prince to save the princess, I'm afraid I can't let you go this time, Your Highness."
" What? Why not?"
" It's you they want. If you just go there by yourself, it's like feeding yourself to crocodiles just to get your milk back."
" Crocodiles? Milk? Don't you have any better comparison?"
" As I was saying, Your Highness, you are not to leave your room until it is safe."
" But my room is in a high tower.. the girl is supposed to be the one stuck in a high tower!"
Osman shook his head. " This is for your safety, Your Highness."
" Can I still go to the ball though?"
" I suppose so.. since that event is hosted by the queen. The prince can't just go missing. Plus, it's tonight. I guess it would be alright."
Prince Max looked back at her sister.
" One more time..!!" Antoinette pointed at the chess board in front of her.
Prince Max sighed. " You never quit, do you?"
Prince Maximilian I stared outside his window. Somehow, he didn't feel like going to the ball being held downstairs. All he wanted was Julia. He looked forward to the event, knowing that Julia would be there with him. As long as she was there, any boring gathering or party was an exciting one. But, she wasn't there at that moment. She just had to be kidnapped and he just had to be stuck in his room wile she was waiting to be rescued.
" Brother, won't you be going down?" Antoinette called from behind the half-open door.
" In a minute." He said and got up. Then, he slowly made his way down the stairs and into the ballroom.
It was a happy sight: people dancing merrily with their partners, people chatting with their friends and people enjoying the food. There was even an orchestra playing great music. The curtains were drawn, showing the full moon outside.
Why me? Prince Max thought.
As he indulged himself in a solitary monologue, a girl with pigtails tied with black ribbons who had a slim figure, homey-colored skin and who wore a black dress approached him.
" Excuse me, Your Highness, I'm looking for the bathroom. Would you be so kind to show me the way?" she asked and smiled sincerely.
" Follow me." Prince Max broke free from his monologue and led the girl to the bathroom.
Little did he know that the girl was leading him into a trap. She was actually Aldheid the witch, the eighth of the Vynette Sisters, who had plans of killing the prince and getting rid of him since that was what she was ordered to do.
" Here we are, Miss." Prince Max said when they reached the bathroom door.
" Oh, thank you." The girl reached into her pocket and pulled out a big strawberry. " Please accept this as a gift of thanks, Your Highness."
" Oh boy! A strawberry!" Prince Max happily accepted the gift. He loved strawberries a lot so it's no surprise that he would accept a strawberry from a stranger. He ate it. Then, something weird started to happen. He began to shrink. In a matter of seconds, he became a frog prince.
" Great Scotts..!!" Prince Max croaked. " What in the world did you do to me?!"
The girl laughed sinisterly. " Greetings, Your Highness. The name's Aldheid, eighth sister of the Vynette witches. Pleased to meet your acquaintance."
" Turn me back into a human!" He demanded.
" Hell no."
" In your dreams." Aldheid snatched the little frog prince from the floor and slipped him into her pocket. " You're coming with me, little princy."
" I order you to turn me back! Or at least tell me how!"
" Sheesh. Didn't you read the story about the frog prince? The rules are practically the same everywhere—" She noticed that the frog prince had jumped out of her pocket and was now hopping away from her.
" OSMAN!! GET OVER HERE AND THROW THIS WITCH INTO THE DUNGEON!!!" he shouted.
" Oh, no you don't!" The witch bended to scoop up the little frog prince but he jumped and accidentally gave her a smooch on the lips. She pulled back.
The prince returned to normal in an instant, which was good. But, as soon as he returned to normal, he received a hard slap, the hardest he ever received, from Aldheid the witch.
" You little prick! That was my first kiss!" She looked teary-eyed, but the aura around her started to change into a dark one. " You're dead, frog prince.."
" Umm.. Osman! A little help here!" Prince Max called in fear.
" Yes, Your Highness?" Osman appeared beside him in an instant.
" Where were you when I called a while ago?"
" Forgive me, Your Highness."
" Anyway, get rid of her." He pointed at Aldheid.
" Uh-oh.." Aldheid made a dash for the exit, but a witch's speed was no match for a fairy butler's. Osman immediately caught her and threw her into the dungeon.
Later that night, Prince Max played chess with his younger sister, Antoinette, again before retiring to bed.
" Max, I heard a witch tried to attack you." Antoinette said after making her move.
" Yeah. But don't worry, she's gonna be sentenced to death tomorrow, and she can't escape using magic cause the wizard guy dad hired placed some magical barrier around the dungeon."
" Maybe she knows where Julia is."
Prince Max immediately looked up as soon as he heard his lover's name. " I have to go ask her at once!" He stood up.
" After this game finishes, Max."
" It's already done. Checkmate."
Antoinette stared at the chessboard in shock. " What?! No way! One more game then!"
" NO. Get out of my room and get to bed!"
" Tch." Antoinette stood up and left the room.
Prince Max walked quietly to the dungeon and looked for the cell where the witch, Aldheid was in. Once he found it, he called for her to check if she was awake.
Aldheid moved into the light and revealed herself. She didn't look happy to see him. " What do you want, frog prince? Can't a witch get any sleep before she gets executed?"
" Do you know Princess Julia?" Prince Max said immediately.
" Who doesn't know that goody-two-shoes?" She rolled her eyes. " So? What about her?"
" Do you know where she is?"
" The Dark Tower.. DUH. You know.. Dark Prince = Dark Tower? Common sense, frog prince."
" Where is that?"
" Hey, hey.. what's with all these questions? Are you trying to rescue her or something? Cause if I were you, I wouldn't. It's like feeding yourself to crocodiles just to get your milk back."
" Weird. That's exactly what Osman said."
" Osman? The fairy butler?"
Prince Max thought hard then took a deep breath when he reached his decision. " Alright. Let's make a deal."
" Deal? Go on." The witch smiled.
" You tell me the directions to the Dark Tower and escort me there. And in return, I'll let you go."
" You're at a big disadvantage in this deal, did you know that?"
" I really have no choice.. I have to save my cutiepie."
Aldheid pretended to vomit. " Oh, spare me the pet names."
" Do you accept, Aldhyde?"
" It's a deal. And, it's AldHEID, frog prince. I'm not a functional group of a hydrocarbon derivative!"
" Derivative? What's that?"
She shook her head in disbelief. " Look it up, freak."
Prince Max opened the lock to her cell. " Anyway, we leave tonight."