The Cursed Prince - Chapter 9 - line123462 (2024)

Chapter Text


Every morning since it started, the first thing my conscious mind hears is the whisper. Even though I am still not fully awake, hints of self-harm begin. This morning it encourages me to hit my head against the wall. Honestly, a tempting offer. That street singer, I must find her. Whatever she did yesterday, I need to find out what it was and how she did it. The sound of my door opening takes me away from my thoughts about the girl. Because of the voices, I hadn't heard the knock from the servant girl. She stepped over to me and placed a platter with my breakfast on the table next to my bed. "Good morning Your Royal Highness," she says followed by a curtsy. The voice has begun to tell me to harm her. "It is morning, well get on with it," I mutter. She starts the morning routine. First opening the balcony door letting the fresh sea breeze in. If it were cold she would make sure the fire in the firepit was lit, but it's summer so she leave it. After she is supposed to go out with the nightpot and then return to help me get ready for the day. But I don't have time for that, I need to get to the market. "I do not need assistance this morning, please don't come back." She looked surprised at the command, but she couldn't argue or even state her opinion. "As you wish Your Royal Highness." She curtsies once more before leaving.

I'm sure it'll be noticed that I've ventured out two days in a row, but finding her can't wait. Collecting the clothes from yesterday, I start getting dressed. Usually, I have at least one servant helping me get dressed, doing it alone does create some difficulty for me. When I tie the last knot on the boots, I'm facing an energy slump. Starving from not having dinner, I sit down to eat my breakfast. But before I get to take a bite, a knock is at the door, "I said I didn't need assistance this morning." The door gets thrown open "I am not a servant," Zora yells. "As I suspected you are going out, I am coming with you," she demands. "Not dressed like that," I say. Zora is wearing a beautiful white dress embroidered with yellow flowers. "Obviously, I am going to change, wait for me," she says, then she turns around to leave. "You can come, if you finish before I am done eating," I yell after her.

The morning sun is waking the city up. The street is filled with the sound of people talking. Kids are laughing or crying, as they follow their parents around, helping them do the day's chores. Some carry water, others are setting up their shop for the day. The smell of freshly baked bread mixes with the sour smell of Ammonia. Near the pups, a couple of guards are waking up drunks who have slept in the street. As we walk by them, I pull my cape closer around my face. Hours pass as we walk throughout the city. When we reach midday, the dread that we won't find her starts to settle. "Valor I am tired and I wanna go home," Zora complains."Then leave, but I am not giving up yet." We have come to a halt in the middle of the street. "What do you intend to do? Search up and down the street of the city, every day until you find her?" Zora says while crossing her arms. "If it is what it takes, then yes," I reply. The street we are standing on is in a less fortunate part of town. A few people are looking at us, we are dressed too nicely for here. "That is ridiculous. We should return home and inform Father, so that he can send guards to search for her. Instead of us wasting our time out here" She is right, the guards would be able to find her faster. But I am not ready to give up yet.

Maybe I can convince her to keep going after a break. "Let's go into that inn and get something to eat," I say while pointing to the sign saying The Way Inn. Reluctantly she follows me over to it. I stand by the door ready to go in, but Zora has stopped to look in through the small window. "What a horrid place, we shouldn't go in there. Do you know what kind of people frequent that kind of establishments...," she gasps "It's her! It's the singer she is in there." I move to look through the small dirty window. It's hard to see in, as the place is dimly lit, only a few people are present, so it's not difficult to find her. She is standing by the bar with the two Easterners. "It is her, let's go." I grab the handle and walk in. Zora is very displeased, but she still follows me through the door. The place has a mixed stench of stale ale, smoke from tobacco and burned wood. The place is quiet. A couple of men sit in a corner playing some card game, but besides them the place is empty. At the bar, the woman is leaning over it letting her fingers go through the flame. "Stop that before you get burned again." The young man by her side, angrily says "Getting burned is the least of our problems." I'm heading right towards them while my mind flies through a thousand thoughts. That is until Zora pulls my arm "Valor, we need to be wary, I don't think we should tell them who we are. After all, they could be criminals for all we know." She is right, they could be anyone. "But I need to tell her about the curse. Maybe I could say it is a friend who is cursed," I suggest. "Just be careful brother."

As I get near the bar, I hear her say, "After we have eaten, I wanna scavant the area around Mens Blissful Menders, before we meet your friend tonight." Men's blissful menders? That could be a good place to start, I could say I know the place. No that is stupid, I don't know what it even is. "Sorry about the wait." A boy not much older than Keisha says, as he walks behind the bar "What are you interested in?" "What is available?" she asks him. The boy started to tell them the different food options "We have meat, bread, tarts, some stew," The male interrupted him to say "Stew sounds nice, what kind?" "Mostly veggies, carrots, onion, parsnips." They don't seem to have noticed my sister and me, or they might just be ignoring us. "We will have three of those then," he says. It's now or never, I think while opening my mouth to say "Make it five, and how much will I pay?" I spoke fast, wanting to be sure not to get interrupted. "You are the people from yesterday." The male says. The street singer she spun around, her brown hair swirling around her face from the movement, she was staring at me with wide eyes, as if awaiting an explanation "it will be 25 ears for five stews." Ears, the lowest form of payment, 100 ears equal one crown. "I hope you don't mind us joining," I say while fumbling to find the small copper coins. "We do mind, what is it you want," the male snarls. "We need to talk, can you spare a moment to listen" I ask, looking at the street singer. "No, go away," she says. Looking at her face, I notice a soar around her eye, she didn't have that yesterday. "He paid for the food you can at least listen while we eat" Zora snapped. "Fine, we can listen while we eat. But whatever it is you want, the answer is no."

In the furthest corner of the inn, we had sat down at a wooden table with weathered benches on each side. The small windows there let the sunlight in, doesn't reach over to us. But there is a fire pit, which illuminates the corner in a red glow. The stew I bought is very salty. Zora had only taken one bite, made a disgusted face to then drink the glass of water she had gotten with it. "Are the food not to your liking? "The black-haired man asked "It's... different than what we are used to," I reply. "Yes, it would be assumed that someone dressed like you two would not frequent these establishments," he says. The remark makes me aware of how much I don't belong here. Even though this is my least flaunting clothes, it's good material and decorated. Most people wouldn't be able to afford such luxury. "You are right, I have never been to an inn before, but I needed to talk to her," I say, gesturing to the street singer. "Me? what do you want from me?" That is a good question, but how do I even start to explain? Maybe I should start with a simple question. "Where did you learn to sing?" She gives me a sideways glance and says "Nowhere." Zora replies a bit too loud and with a tone of doubt "What! Are you saying you never had any lessons?" The girl's eyes furrow "Do I look like someone who can afford something so useless as music lessons?"

"Pardon my sister, but it is hard to believe that your voice is just talent. It's almost as if there is something magical about it. Are you a spellcaster perhaps?" My question may have been too forward, but it's better to get straight to the point. "I am, but I have never enchanted my voice, " She says. "People sometimes inherit magic gifts, are you related to a siren or something similar in nature?" When I ask this, she looks down at the table. "I wouldn't normally tell this to strangers, but I wouldn't know if I do, as I have never known my parents," I had the feeling of my heart sinking, this woman doesn't know why her singing was magical. But it do not matter, I don't need anyone els, she can help. After all she is a peasant I am sure she will accept for the right price, and I sure can pay it. "I am sorry to hear that" "Can you just say what it is you want!" she snapped at me. Putting my hands up in defence, I stutter a reply "I..! bee...n cursed." I feel a jolt of pain in my arm, as Zora knocked her elbow into it. I had forgotten about our plan. Well, it's too late now.

"What kind of curse?" the eastern male asked, the woman who looked much like him, hadn't spoken a word in the time we had been here. "I hear these voices, they tell me to do things, horrible things," I explain. "And? Isn't that just thoughts?" the street singer says. If that is her normal thoughts, she might not be as innocent as she looks. "It's not like that, the voices ain't thoughts, but it's as if somebody continually urges me to do awful things, terrible things," I try to explain. "What kind of things does it tell you to do?" he asks. Picking up the spoon, I point it at him. "At this moment, to gouge out your eyes with this spoon," I casually said. They all have a moment of shock on their face "What did you do to get cursed?" the male ask, he is tapping his fingers on the table. "It's not my fault, my father he angered a witch, and in anger she cursed me." The black-haired male snorts, "Your father must have done something horrible to get this curse put on you." Having her executed, would count as being something horrible, but I can't tell them that. "As tragic as your curse is, I do not understand what it has to do with us," the street singer says. "My curse it has a way to stop the voices temporarily, when music is played it stops, but the moment the music stops the voices return." I take a breath before continuing. "That is until yesterday when I heard you sing. When you sang the voices disappeared and stayed gone for hours after."

"My singing did that?" her mouth is slackening, did she not know she had a magical voice? "It was properly just a coincidence," Sneered the male. "Then test it, sing something," Zora demanded. The singer sends Zora an angry glare. "Oh my lord," She says with a tired voice and an eye roll. She starts singing a few tunes. By the first note, the voices leave my ear. When she stops, nothing. "They're gone, your voice is truly magical, it's incredible." I couldn't help but smile. This could be my salvation. Dear God, let her be willing to take care of me. "We have money, and my brother here will be happy to pay whatever you want if you are willing to work for him," Zora says. "You sound desperate," The singer replies. "I am desperate. And I am ready to pay anything to keep the voices at bay."

"Your offer is very tempting, but we are leaving the city as soon as possible." Leave? They are not from here? Thinking about I do hear a bit of an accent from the singer, but the male doesn't have one. "You have my compassion, this curse must be horrid. You won't believe how much I wish I had any information about who I am, and where this power originates from. But I am unable to help you." The three rise from the table, as I see them head for the door, I hear Zora say "What a waste of time," My body feels warm, and my hand are clenched. The moment of silence I had didn't last as long this time, the voices had returned. Go to her grab her, hit her, push her head into the wall so she bleeds do it DO IT. Those horrible horrible voices

"I do not care if I have to order her, but I am not letting this one chance walk away from me," I shouted at Zora. As I get up to follow them, She yells after me "Valor wait. you can't do that" It has only been a few minutes they have gone far. Gripping the door handle to the outside, 3 things meet my eye as I open it, the blinding sun, the gravel ground, and splattered blood.

The Cursed Prince - Chapter 9 - line123462 (2024)
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