King Martin’s childhood is no secret. Everyone knows the tale of how Queen Margaret went into hiding and gave birth to a little boy away from court as his father’s kingdom was attacked. She left the boy to be cared for with a sweet family while she returned to join her husband in his captivity under the False King. They say that he was raised by a poor, peasant family, but that’s not quite true. He was raised in a poor home, but it was my eldest sister who raised him, the first daughter of Duke Krallen. Martian was raised in a simple home, but with all the teachings of a high bred family, so that any moment Martin would be ready to return to the court at a moment’s notice, as soon as the False King was thrown down. Since I was only two years his senior, the closet in age to Martin of all the Duke’s family, I was often sent to visit the young prince, to be friendly, since he wasn’t allowed many friends for fear that people still wanted him dead. In fact, I was with him when the news of the true rebellion came. I watched him ride off, only ten years old, to lead his small collection, to rejoin his father and reclaim his place. When the true King was on the throne again, my family was invited to visit him in court. In fact, I was Martin’s first courtly dance partner. I was so much taller than him at the time, it would have been comical if Martin didn’t have that regal grace and ease that he is so well known for. He was good to me, a kind and friendly companion, but from then on, he was just my prince. A young boy, and then a man, that I saw once or twice a year as his campaigns passed my father’s lands. With the exception of the prayers said for the royal family every morning, I forgot about him in my day to day.
Until of course, I was seventeen. I was the youngest daughter of ten children, and my inheritance would be slim if there was any for me at all. To marry me, my father was going to take any proposal he could get. The proposal that came was from an absolutely gruesome man. He was twenty-six years my senior, all ready married five times with five dead wives buried on his lands, known for his temper. My father was not pleased, but he knew he wasn’t likely to get any better offers, so after stalling as long as he could to see—he accepted the proposal. My mother couldn’t tolerate the thought of it, so she whisked me off to court. To this day, I’m not sure how she did it, but she got me a private audience with the young prince. I told him of my proposed marriage and how I feared for my life. I implored him to remember that I was kind to him as a child, and begged him to prevent the marriage from going through.
I didn’t expect for his response to be so live altering.