The Silence Broken Prologue

By Master Odin

An aging man laid upon his covered bed, asleep. His face was pale and thin from illness, his brow covered in sweat from the fever. The red beard that covered his face showed specs of gray and white, adding age to his already ill-stricken appearance.

The room he laid in was beautifully decorated. Crimson tapestries depicting battles fought long ago hung on the walls. The bedposts were tall, slender lizards, looking in the four directions away from the comfort of the bed.

Beside the bed sat a young woman, close to twenty five years of age, in an old yet finely polished wooden chair with sapphire felt cushions. She had strawberry blonde hair and a slender build. Her emerald eyes were now red and swollen from hours of crying, and small streaks of tears still made their way down her lightly blushed cheeks. She wore a white, bell-shaped dress, the one her father so loved to see her wear. She had been holding the man's hand now for hours.

The heavy oaken doors to the bed chamber swung open, allowing entrance to an elderly man. He wore green robes and a turban to match. His long white beard was almost long enough for him to trip on. "Your Highness! Princess Nadia! Sir Crono has arrived," he announced upon his entry.

Following the man in was a solidly built young man, who seemed only a year or two older than the young woman, with untamable spiky red hair. His green eyes and furrowed brow showed his distress for the situation. Without a word he walked over to where the princess was sitting and, taking her free hand, helped her to stand. He wrapped his arm around her waist and looked at her face, his eyes darting back and forth as they searched the princess' stressed facial features.

"I'm alright, Crono," she claimed, seeing the worried looked on the young man's face.

Crono brought his hand up and held her head to his chest. No matter what happens, Marle, I will be here for you, always, he thought to himself. Always thought, but his words never went any further than that.

"I know," he heard her whisper. "I know."

They heard the man on the bed groan. Crono released Princess Nadia from his hold to go to her father's side. She knelt next to the bed and grabbed his bony hand with both of hers. "Nadia...," he said with a weak, raspy voice before he opened his eyes.

"Daddy...," Nadia started to say, but did not know what else to say. Finally she said the only thing that came to mind, "Daddy, Crono has come to see you."

"Let... let me... see him...," the king ordered between labored breaths. Nadia stood and let Crono approach the bed. He knelt beside in and placed his hand on the king's to let his presence be known.

"Crono...," the king began, taking a deep, painful breath, "it... it has been... two years now... since you married... my daughter. Your... chivalrous... acts five... five years ago..., when you... protected all of... past, present... and future..., as well... as... the honor... you... you have shown my... my daughter... afterward... have... have proven you... a... a worthy husband... for her...." He was silent for a moment, taking deep, painful breaths before he began again. "I... I shall... pass on soon.... When I do..., Nadia will... succeed... the throne. I ask... I ask that... that you will... that you will stand by... stand by her side..., protect her.... I... I ask you... I ask you to be... to be the king... the king she needs you... needs you to be...."

Crono looked to Nadia with a surprised look in his face when the king had said this. "Go on," she prodded him with a nod. Crono turned back to the king, then nodded.

Nadia wiped a tear from her eye. "He said he'd do it, Daddy."

The king weakly gripped Crono's hand. "I... I knew you would.... What a... a fine lad... you are."

The old man with the long beard walked over to the bed. "I'll let your decision be known, Highness."

The king made a weak attempt at a nod, but his head barely moved. "Very well, Chancellor." He turned his attention then to Crono and Nadia. "Now... now let me be.... You have... you have no need to... to watch this old... this old man as he dies...."

"Daddy...." Nadia said under her breath before the Chancellor whisked both her and Crono out of the royal bed chamber.

The king closed his eyes after he was alone and took a deep breath. "The kingdom is... is in good... good hands...." He took another deep, labored breath, then gave up his ghost.


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