Part 1: The Kiss
She was up in the dreadful tower, Prince Hunter knew. He sat upon his faithful steed, staring up at the tower, covered in sickly gray thorn so large they could impale a man. Dark clouds set the background, giving the white stones and blackened shingles a nearly ominous feel.
But Princess Emerald of Lockheart was in the tower, fast asleep. And she would remain asleep if he did not go to rescue her himself.
Giving a determined “hmph!”, he readied his steel blade and ornate shield, then spurred his horse into action.
The ride through the narrow cliffside and dusty roads were dangerous, and soon the way became so choked with thorns Hunter was forced to abandon his horse and continue his journey on his own two legs.
He had known Emerald since their childhood, back when she had been known to him as the mysterious girl who lived in the forests of Mackshire with no parents and only a trio of fairies to watch over her. He had visited her as often as he could, and when his father, the king of Mackshire, found out about this mysterious girl, he had tried to find out exactly where she had come from.
The answer came as a surprise to Hunter. An evil witch had cast a spell on her that would see her fall into a deep sleep at the age of eighteen, and she had been spirited away into the forests, far from her own kingdom, so that she would remain safe. Alas, it was all for naught. Emerald had been without her parents for all those years for nothing, as the curse had found its way to her.
But Hunter would set things right. Courage rose in his chest, puffing him up with pride. He would see this girl safely back to Mackshire, where they would certainly wed and live happily ever after.
He neared the tower, his sword gripped firm in his right hand and his shield strapped onto his left arm, and he marched forward, ready to do what was needed to awaken his future bride. He was stopped by a terrible roar that shook the ground, and had to cover his ears to block out the sound.
When the roar had dissapted, he looked up to find himself face to face with a large beast as black as night. No, blacker than that! Green tendrils of smoke coiled around the dragon like a halo meant for demons, and the smell of fire burned through Hunter’s nostrils. Though the dragon’s giant claws scraped the ground as it came close, Hunter called upon his courage and raised his sword.
“Fight me then, evil one!” he called to the beast. “I know you to be the one who set this curse upon Her Highness, and I will see to it that you are properly defeated!” With a gallant battle cry erupting from his lungs, he lunged with his sword poised to strike.
The dragon was ready for him, however, and swept it’s clawed hand in a wide arm to swat the prince away like an insect. Prince Hunter landed back on the ground, grunting with the impact of falling onto the rocks, which were luckily not so sharp that he could easily be injured enough to be defeated. He was quick to roll to the side when a blast of green fire poured forth from the beast’s maw, blasting the ground where Hunter had just been a second before.
Hunter leapt back on his feet. The intense heat from the fire still filled the air like an oven. Hunter, covered in sweat and feeling his cheeks burn from the heat, rushed forward again.
The dragon’s tail whipped around and knocked into a part of the mountain, crumbling it to bits and sending rocks flying towards Hunter. The prince raised his shield to protect himself from the rocks, pressing forward to land a strike on the dragon.
With another shout, a jumped high and slammed his sword down on the dragon’s side. The thick scales proved difficult to cut through. Hunter forced the sword down with all of his strength, and managed to wound the beast before it flung him off of it’s back.
The fight continued on, with the beast breathing fire and swinging his tail and claws in an effort to squash the prince. And Hunter would climb the dragon’s back to land more hits, only to be flung off once more. But he would not be deterred, no matter how many times the beast flung him off, he would climb right back on.
The dragon began to anticipate his moves, and when he tried to climb up another time, the dragon swatted him away, sending him flying towards a cluster of thorn vines. With a shout, he moved his shield arm to block the thorn that would have run his straight through had he landed on it, and when he dropped to the dusty ground, he looked up at the beast as its nostrils puffed plumes of smoke, preparing to breath out yet another stream of fire.
As the dust from the ground cleared, the fire he was expecting came, and Hunter brought up his shield to protect himself. Even with the shield, his face burned from the proximity of the flames, and his clothes began to smoke.
This had to end now, Hunter knew. Princess Emerald was waiting for him, and he hated to make a damsel in distress wait. With another shout, he took his sword and threw it with all of his might, his shout turning into a cry of anguish when the green fire burned his hand.
The the fire abruptly stopped, and the dragon roared in pain. Once the smoke cleared from Hunter’s eyes, he could see his sword had planted itself right in the beast’s heart. The beast released one last blast of fire from its mouth, which Hunter easily blocked with his shield, then it began to fall backwards towards the steep cliffs behind them. The ground shook as its powerful claws pounded against the ground, knocking Hunter off of his feet.
With a roar that seemed to shake the world, the dragon fell down the cliff, falling so far that Hunter could not see it anymore when he ran to look over the side.
“Good riddance,” he muttered. He held up his shield, which had partially melted from the flames, but it would still be of some use. Giving a nod of satisfaction, he looked to the tower. There would be nothing stopping him from reaching his beloved now. He ran as fast as his legs would carry him, being careful not to trip on any of the thorns.
Inside the tower, a spiraling stairway seemed to go on for miles and miles, but it did not hinder him for even a moment. He raced up them, not even noticing his fatigue once he neared the top.
Finally, he reached the door to the room where Emerald was being kept. As he expected, the door was locked. But would that keep him out?
“I have defeated a dragon,” he spat, readying his shield. “Does the witch think herself so powerful that she can keep me out with a locked door after defeating her?” He rammed his shield into the wooden door. It cracked under the pressure with barely any effort, and he was inside.
Princess Emerald was there, looking so much like a corpse that Hunter almost believed he was too late. But no. The spell only made her sleep. It did not bring death. He approached her, slowly, taking in her beauty. Her skin still held a tint of color, reassuring him that her life had not been extinguished. She was wearing the last thing he had seen her in, which was a gorgeous pink gown that he knew was her favorite. She laid on a bed of soft quilts, with a canopy over her, and transparent curtains to partially hide her from view. But he could see her just fine through them, and he could see the blood red rose she held in her gentle hands. He wanted to reach out and take those hands. He could already feel their warmth. Their fragility. But he had a duty to accomplish first.
He pushed the curtain aside, his breath catching now that he was close to her.
“My dearest Emerald,” he whispered, sitting down on the edge of the bed. She appeared so peaceful in her sleep. he hoped that she had dreamed only pleasant things while she slept, for it did take him a good while to get to her. “I have come to rescue you. The witch is dead. The spell will be broken now, and you can return to your home and be my bride.” His heart hammered in his chest. This was the moment he had traveled so far to get to. He reached out and touched her face. Her warmth made him smile, as it was another reassurance that she was alive. He bent down to kiss her soft, rosy lips, his chest filling with anticipation.
But when he pulled away, nothing happened. Her eyes remained shut. Her chest only rose up and down in the same slow pace it had been before.
Hunter, her true love, had kissed her, and she still slept.
~ 〈♥〉 ~
I hope y’all enjoyed this! I’m sorry for how short this is, but I promise it won’t always be like that! I also apologize that it’s a little late! I graduated High School today, and I’ve been really busy, so that’s the reason for all that! Anyway, I’m so excited to be writing this and I have a feeling this will be so fun for me to write! Also, another shout out to Spider-Man lover for the wonderful cover art!
Let me know what you think about The Unlikely Prince: Part 1 in the comments below!