Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, the kingdom was ruled by the powerful Ice King. Now, he was dubbed so because of his pale features, and his coldness to the world around him.

--

Was he a mean king? The child leaned forward, eyes glittering with anticipation. She loved stories, especially stories that started with a, 'Once upon a time.'

Of course not, my dear, now sit back and listen.

Yes, daddy.

--

Although his personality was frosty, the Ice King cared very much for his people and kingdom. He did not show it, but he felt compassion for those around him and in turn, the people loved him very much. However, the Ice King had one close friend, a young Seer with bright orange eyes. The Seer's family had always served the King's family for centuries with never-wavering loyalty.

--

Like a dog!

The man chuckled. Yes, like a dog, to put it that way.

I like dogs.

I like them too.

--

One day, the Ice King called for the Seer. "Come forth," he said. "Bow to me, swear thy allegiance."

--

What's 'thy'?

Er...I mean -

--

"Come forth," he said. "Bow to me, and swear your allegiance."

And bow the Seer did before the king, his colorful robes sweeping the floor. "I swear my allegiance," he replied quietly, eyes closed. "I will stay by you and only you. Even if your majesty is usurped from his throne, even if he strays from righteousness, I will catch him when he falls, I will correct him to his path."

--

The little girl grumbled. That's too many big words, daddy. So what's 'allegiance'?

The man blinked at the belated question. Hmm... Allegiance is a promise, an oath. It means that the Seer is going to stay loyal to the king.

Promises are important.

That's right. Never forget that, and never make a promise that you can't keep.

--

"Rise"

The Seer did and looked straight at the king. "Why does your majesty call for me?"

The Ice King rested his head on one hand, sitting crookedly on his throne. "I have a gift for you, a gift as sign of our friendship, and my gratefulness of your House."

"I have no need for a gift," the Seer said with a gentle smile. "As long as I can stay close to your majesty, and I can continue to serve, that is enough for me."

"You cannot refuse this gift, my friend." The king shook his head. "As this is an order and a gift I cannot bestow upon anyone else other than you."

"What is this gift?"

Snapping his fingers, an old servant walked up to the king and handed him a mirror, a beautiful mirror with pearl glass and silver and ebony frame sitting upon a royal cushion. The Seer's eyes widened as the king explained, "An important, magical treasure my family has kept for centuries. Treat it with care."

"You mustn't!" The Seer protested.

--

Why did the Seer protest?

The mirror was extremely powerful, holding the kingdom's fertility and peace within it. It was part of the reason why the kingdom thrived for so long.

Fertility?

You'll learn when you're older.

Aw, daddy!

Hush now and listen.

--

The Ice King gave one of his rare smiles. "This is an order, Seer. As long as you serve me, you must not refuse any order given from me."

The Seer gasped, "Such honor! An honor I will accept as it is from you, but surely, you cannot give me such power?"

Smirking, the king took the mirror, took a heavy ring from his left, middle finger, and oh-so-gently, tapped the middle of the glass with the ring, once-twice-thrice. The throne-room gasped as a single crack went from the ring, and the mirror split into two.

"One half goes to you, and the other belongs to me."

The Seer could only gape and nod as the king wrapped one half in black silk and hand it down to him. The Seer spluttered, blushed, then finally bowed his head down low as he accepted, and the Ice King wrapped the other in white silk. "Thank you," he whispered.

The king nodded to him. "Now as the mirror has been split, each must swear allegiance to me, and to my Seer." And they both placed their mirror fragments to the floor and backed away as the fragments rose, spinning in the air. In a quick, bright flash of light, in their places were two young men.

One schooled with dark features, wearing a black-silk cloak, and the other more paler, with a white cloak. Their names were Myra and Arym and bow they did to the king and to the Seer, swearing their allegiance. Smiling happily, the Seer led Myra away by hand as they left, and Arym stayed with the king. This would later prove to be a mistake, although the Ice King never regretted creating Myra.

As they had been split, Myra's personality contrasted and often clashed with Arym's, much to both the Ice King and the Seer's amusement, though often, they had to be scolded. Myra was bold, blunt, and often hot-headed, acting on impulse. He stayed extremely loyal to the Seer, often following him around like a lost puppy, and happy when praised. Wearing his emotions on his sleeve, he was well-liked, but often got into trouble.

Arym however was more mysterious, cunning, and sly. He thought things out than acting, and wore a smirk on his face. He was the lady-killer at the palace, and no one knew what he was thinking.

--

The girl's eyes were wide with horror. He killed ladies?!

The man coughed, scratching his head. Ah, the minds of children. No, I mean, the ladies just liked him....a lot.

Oh, well why didn't you say so?

Eh heh...

--

Arym and the king got along well enough, and Myra and the Seer became friends. The kingdom lived on peacefully, livened up by the fragments, however one day-

--

Hey! Daddy, your name is the same as Myra's!

I-I…w-well, I was named after him.

Really?

If you keep interrupting, I will send you to bed!

Eep!

--

However, one day changed the happy times drastically, as the kingdom was plunged into war, darkness, and terror. That day, a servant had burst into the Ice King's room, looking wild and frenzied.

"Your majesty!" He had managed to get out through pants. The Ice King frowned, irritated at being interrupted.

"What? What is it? Speak."

And tears rolled down the servant's face as he told the king the tragic news. "The Seer has been killed!"

"...What?"

--

The girl frowned. Change it! she demanded. I don't want the Seer to die!

The man had hugged the girl close. I can't. That's how the story goes.

Tears welled up in her eyes. This is a stupid story, and I don't want to hear it anymore.

You can't, dear. This is an important story you must hear.

...Fine.

--

The Seer had been doing a special ceremony. A ceremony he did every once a year to determine the likeness of the future for the kingdom. Dressed in magnificent robes telling of the kingdom past and a long, gold staff in one hand, he arrived at a mystical lake with a band of family members and the royal council.

The water in this lake was special. It was said to cure any disease, give humans unimaginable power, and heal the heart. The reason why it has not yet been drained was because the lake was hidden away by a door that only the Seer House could open. As he waded out to the middle, the Seer raised his staff to the sun, and he was filled with energy. With that energy, his eyes were open to the future.

When he was about to speak, an arrow suddenly came slicing through the air, and it pierced the Seer right in the heart. Almost as if time had slowed, they watched his eyes widen slightly and then he fell with a soft splash from the lake. Silence reigned upon them for a moment as the onlookers stared in disbelief, then chaos erupted.

"Medic!"

"Who dare shot that arrow?!"

"Call the king!"

"Find the assassin!"

"Seer! Seer!"

But more importantly, a screech rang out, clearly heard to their ears. "MY SON!!" The Seer's mother waded out and pulled her son to the shore as she wailed. She was extremely close to her young son and the beautiful mother felt as if her heart was literally shattering into a million pieces. Myra was panicking.

"My lady," he shouted. "Calm yourself!

"Silence," the Seer then rasped out, as he was still alive that moment. Eerie quiet settled over them as the onlookers stared at him gravely. "Traitor," he hissed. "Traitor to the king, traitor to the kingdom, traitor to me." He stared at the sun as he said this, his bright eyes dulling. "You are cunning as a fox, but you will be no match for your own reflection." Chuckling hollowly, the last bit of life faded out from him as he turned his head to Myra. "My friend, you must know...." And he finally died with a smile on his face.

Myra knew. He knew, and he clenched his fists as he seethed. "Arym!"

--

No way, but didn't he promise?

Promise he did, the man murmured as a dark look flashed into his eyes. They made an oath yet Arym's heart was tempted by the darkness, that coward! I hope he's rotting and being tortured in the darkest pits of hell, that son of a bi- He stopped abruptly and flushed darkly as the girl tilted her head. He coughed and sheepishly ruffled her hair. Forget I said anything.

I feel sorry for the Seer's mother, the girl sighed sadly. Somehow, she felt really sympathetic to her. A look of longing and heartbreak flashed in her eyes before it disappeared. The man looked at her strangely and nodded.

Yes, he murmured. The Seer's mother was never the same after that…

--

The Ice King ran out from his throne room and bumped into Arym. He fell down to the floor from the impact and glanced up. "Gather the intelligence, Arym. I must go to the House of Seer."

"I'm...afraid I can't do that," Arym said a strange smirk on his face, and the king frowned.

"What are you saying? The Seer is dead, I have to go-"

"Your majesty," Arym said, more loudly in a mocking tone. "I said that I'm afraid I can't do that."

The Ice King's eyes widened in realization and he got up quickly from the floor. "You-!" he started but was quickly cut off when Arym pointed, muttered a spell, and the king froze and fell to the ground.

And from then on, the Ice King was then forever known as the Immortal One.

--

Immortal?

The Ice King was cursed. He now had the curse of immortality.

Eh, so now he has to be an old person for a long time!

The Ice King wasn't old.

He wasn't?

Of course not. He was the youngest king at that time, only sixteen years old.

You're lying, that's old! Really, really old.

Whatever you say, my dear lady.

But the king gets to live forever, isn't that a good thing?

No, immortality is painful. You watch as others you love around you grow old and die, and you don't.

That's lonely.

It is. The man's expression was sorrowful. It is.

--

Arym forced the Immortal One and Myra into the shadows as he took over the kingdom. He ruled strictly, and the people were distraught. The once beautiful kingdom was now turned into one of horror, and the streets were stained with blood. Arym was sadistic, enjoying the screams of pain and the people's broken expressions. Many years of Arym's rule followed and it seemed that there was no hope.

However, he didn't know that Myra and the Immortal One were planning a rebellion, and gathering brave men. Using all their strength and power, the rebellion warred against Arym. It took a long time, but they finally got the upper hand, and Myra, still in despair over the dead Seer was the one to plunge the sword. Arym was now gone and the kingdom once again at peace and the Immortal One handed the throne to someone else, someone smarter and more powerful with a large, loving heart.

Yet the Immortal One was still cursed. The only way to break the curse of immortality was to renew the oath with the Seer. The immortal and Myra went their separate ways into the world, hoping that one day they would meet again with each other, this time along with the Seer.

--

...That's it? The girl said with disbelief. That's the end? How could they meet with the Seer anyway, he's dead! That ending is not even happy. Well, except for the kingdom part, but the king and Myra deserved to be happy!

That's not the end.

Then what's the end?

The man smiled and ruffled her hair. Even I do not know that, child. The ending has not yet been found. The Seer hasn't been found yet after all.

But he's dead!

His soul still lives on. Now go to bed. You must be tired.

I'm not! she protested weakly but let the man carry her into bed and tuck her in. He kissed her head and turned off the light and whispered,

Good night, sleep tight. Don't let the bedbugs bite.

And the little girl grew up to a beautiful woman, the bedtime story from long time ago, still tucked far away inside her head. She married a gentle, nice man, taking on the name of Sear, and loved him as she was loved. She then birthed a beautiful child.

A beautiful child with bright orange eyes and the brightest smile the couple had ever seen.

The woman cried as she saw this child and for the most inexplicable reason, her heart started to ache and she whispered gently into his ear, "Welcome back, dearest one."

Her adopted father stood a little from her hospital bed, still retaining his young look as if he had never aged a day, but his eyes did widen from seeing that child, and smiled a fond smile. As he held the child in his arms, he kissed him gently on the head and told him, "My allegiance still belongs to you."

As soon as the woman heard those words, she burst out laughing, and rolling her eyes, she told her father, "Oh dad, you're so silly." Since that day, his features got older and he watched, together with his daughter as that child grew up, and a few gray hairs he got from that child's antics.

Later in life, that child would meet a special person known as the Ice King at his school for his cold aura, freezing calmness, and his ability to make anyone do what he wanted as if he was royalty. Once, that child – a teenager now – took him home and introduced him to his family. The old man and the Ice King shared a secret smile and nodded at each other before the teenager – but honestly, he was still more of a hyper-active five year old – pulled him up to his room.

And best friends they became, making an oath. And best friends they stayed through sickness, through health, and old age.

They all lived happily ever after, but not forever, because no one could be immortal.

end.

edited March 13, 2010