Once there was a village, though small, was happy and prosperous, lead by the Magistrate and her four sons. The villagers adored the only child of the former Magistrate, her father. She was renowned for her kindness, fairness, and being good of heart. The Magistrate also had four sons. The eldest three were spoiled, greedy, and abhorred how their mother would give so kindly and generously to the people. They thought they were entitled to all of the riches, food, and goods of the village.
The fourth and youngest son however, was a spitting image of his mother. In addition to kindness, fairness, and purity of heart, he was just, brave and loyal. A favorite son of the Magistrate and the village. The three brothers, being as vindictive as they were, loathed him and did whatever they could to ostracize him from their group.
However, the Magistrate was old and became very sick, causing worry to the village and their fourth son. Many gave gifts and blessings upon her that the Spirits would heal her to health. One night, before the Magistrate and Mother passed away in her sleep, she made one dying wish and blessing, that her youngest son would be the next magistrate and rule the land as the way she had, and divide her riches, not within her nuclear family, but to the poor and destitute, in hopes to make life better for them. The fourth son held her hand as she made her last breath, and cried out in distraught.
Outraged by the blessing, the three elder sons, plotted together to frame the youngest son for crimes against the village, take the family riches and divide them amongst themselves.
After the funeral was over and the fourth son began to re-enter the palace, he was stopped and put under arrest for allegedly killing the late Magistrate and put on trial. After the testimony of three servants, a guard, and one of the elder brothers, they claimed that the late Magistrate was gradually being poisoned the youngest, that he wanted the position and riches for himself, using his mother's old age as a cover up to make it seem that she was dying naturally of old age. Despite the fourth son's protests, he was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.
Everyday since the imprisonment, three brothers took turns to torture their youngest through psychological and physical means. The more this process went, the fourth brother became less resistant and defiant, nearly forming into a broken shell of the former young man he once was.
The eldest son then was sworn in as Magistrate, taking the previous riches from the poor, insistent that if they wanted to gain anything, they would have to work for it, the taxes spiked up, and the riches that were taken, were divided only to the three brothers who indulged in food, luxury, and love as the less fortunate's quality of life worsened.
One night, as the fourth son lied upon the cold, stone floor feeling betrayed, distraught, and hopeless, he heard a murmur outside of his jail window, the only source of light he had, as the prison chambers were deep under the ground. The young man slowly stood and looked up to see tiny feet near the jail bars. Peering more, she saw something slip through the bars and float gently down below for him to catch. It was a written message in albeit juvenile looking writing.
We don't belleve you kill the Magistrde and your Moder. I We do what we can to help. As she has helped us. Don't lose faith!
The man's eyes watered, as the message instilled a small flame inside, knowing that at least there was someone…or by the look of this note, a group that believed him. He uttered a thank you to the window, even though the tiny feet already had disappeared. Whoever this "C" was, he hoped to see them in person and return the favor if they fulfilled their part to set him free.
Weeks rolled by, the tortures had less and less impact, the days become long, cold, and dull of any life in the prisons. The outside however, was vastly different, there was more civil unrest as the three brothers failed to earn the trust of the people to the point of riots. Word spread fast of the controversy of the youngest brother as well, as they slowly began to realize how fooled they all were.
At the crack of dawn, it started low and whispering, only to grow in size as every single villager, young and old, merchant and beggar surrounded the Palace, demanding the release of the youngest Prince and goods that were stolen. If the brothers did not abide by these demands, they would break down the doors, take what was rightfully theirs, free the brother, and on his order, execute the selfish three.
Terrified for their lives and the possible loss of their riches, the sons ordered the release of the fourth brother and returned many of the goods back to the people. Upon stepping out in the light for the first time since his mother's death, the fourth son marveled and embraced the care and loyalty of his people. Some even with apologies for their unbelief before.
The former three servants of the Palace fled the scene and the guard that testified against the youngest brother took his life before he was brought to justice. The three brothers stood on trial for crimes against the village, framing their brother, and paying the four people to join their cause. As punishment, all three were banished from the village, penniless and without a home.
The youngest son became Magistrate and was celebrated although the village. It was then he finally met the individual named "C". With the pitter-patter of small feet, he recognized immediately, as the young girl introduced herself as a peasant and child of the family that were indebted to the late Magistrate and Mother. As they never believed for one second the lies the former brothers fabricated. The youngest son exalted the family, including them as honorary family and friends. He proved himself worthy, kind, fair, and good of heart as his mother once was. He fulfilled her wish and was beloved throughout the village for all time.