Scorned Prince: Sample

Chapter 1


The queen was going to kill him. His own mother. Prince Migo Rikaydian squeezed his eyes tight. He didn’t want to be afraid, but the feeling seeped into his soul. 


The voice was distant. Muted. The whirling roar of the storm drowned it out. Thunder echoed with every heartbeat. He huddled deeper into the corner of the room, thick arms wrapped about himself. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t escape the storm. The voice always haunted him. How childish he seemed. Seventeen years old, but still he cowered.

“Migo!” The voice was closer now.

A sharp pain stung his face. The familiar bite of his mother’s nails nipped his cheek. He deserved it. 

“Coward! What would your soldiers think if they saw you cowering like a child in the corner? Look at me!”

Migo cracked his eyes open. He needed to be brave. His mother stood over him menacingly, a fierce queen, her fine black hair, glittering apparel, and flawless, light brown skin gave her a regal appearance, marred only by the angry sneer that curled back her lips. The Maedari, a powerful storm tainted with dark magic, sprung up so suddenly that Migo hadn’t had time to close a window. Torrents of sand and ice shot through the opening with unnatural force and formed a swirling maelstrom that churned the contents of the room. 

“You’re pathetic.” They locked eyes. “The shamans could take you without trouble, and you’re supposed to fight them.”

Her words stung harder than her nails. Migo struggled to his feet, cheeks burning with shame. His eyes strayed to the window where the storm thrashed its way into the room.

The queen clicked her tongue and covered her face with a veil. She strode through the elements to the window, forcing it shut with a quick jerk. A painful stillness settled with the dust. She dropped the lock in place then shook her head at him as she pulled her veil down. “Make yourself presentable.” She exited the room, leaving it empty. Broken. 

Migo let out a shuddering breath and wiped his face where a tear managed to sneak by his defenses. He trembled. Rage and shame boiled beneath his skin. 

The room was in shambles. Everything smelled of wet sand. His mother was right. What would the soldiers think if they saw their captain like that—deathly afraid of the storms? Coward. He clenched his fists. I deserve to be a captain. I deserve to be the prince. Even in his mind, the words felt fickle. They made him angrier. He clenched his fists tighter, resisting the urge to punch the stone wall. 

He brushed his arms and face, sand scraping off his skin. The storm raged outside, and he barely suppressed a shudder as he walked by the window, boots crunching. Though it had been eight years, every storm brought with it the same nightmare about his mistake. He would never be forgiven. He saw the spite in his mother’s eyes every time she looked at him.

I will make up for it, mother. But what would it take to please her? 

A knock rebounded on the door. “Captain?” The deep, friendly voice was that of his cousin, Hatan. 

“Come in, Hatan.”

The door opened, and Hatan rushed in. “I came as soon as I heard,” Hatan said, voice thick with relief. His cheeks were red. “I’m sorry the queen made it here before me. How… how was she?” The man was more than twice Migo’s age. He was tall, with the large body of a hardened warrior. It was nice to have somebody who cared. 

Migo shrugged. “The damage has been done. Besides, how much more of a shame or disappointment can I be?” 

Hatan winced. “There’s no shame in it, Migo. Anybody who’d experienced what you had could have reacted the same way.” 

Trauma. That’s what it all led back to. “This was the first time she’s come to my room the whole year I’ve been back. It had to be right then.” 

“She’s been wary of you since your seventeenth birthday.”

Migo narrowed his eyes. “What do you mean?”

Hatan placed a hand on Migo’s shoulder. “Migo, I don’t know how to put this any simpler, but the queen has no intention of abdicating the throne when you turn 18, as is your right.”

Migo’s mind spun. “How can she do that?”

“There’s only one way.” Hatan gave Migo’s shoulder a squeeze. “I was going to wait for a better time to tell you, but… I have a source within her inner circle. She plans to have you assassinated in seven cycles.”

Migo gulped hard. He was out of breath, like he’d been punched in the gut. A cycle was a full rotation of the moon, the only way to track time since the sun never moved. Night and day was a thing of the past. “I have seven cycles to live.” That was it then. She’d given up on him. 

“I’m afraid so. She’s hiring professionals so that it can’t be traced back to her, of course.” 

“Is there any way to change her mind?” Migo asked, closing his eyes. 

Hatan sighed and rubbed a hand through his short black hair. “Possibly. But she thinks you are weak. Cowardly. Unworthy to rule.”

“Maybe she’s right.” He’d just been cowering in the corner. It was the same reason shamans had been able to assassinate his father. Because of Migo’s cowardice. Sorrow enveloped him like a cold blanket, but he had no urge to cry. What was the point?

“She’s wrong,” Hatan said, eyes fierce. “You are strong and capable, as a warrior and a leader.” 

“Then I must prove it to her.”

“No, you should flee. I won’t let her destroy you.”

Migo took a deep breath. “If I flee, then I will only prove her point that I’m a coward. I will not abandon my honor, even for the sake of my life.” 

Hatan shook his head. “Cousin, please reconsider. How would you prove this to her?”

Migo didn’t answer at first, but opened his battered wardrobe, selected a beige and maroon uniform, and threw it over his shoulder. With his left hand, he drew forth his heavy battle glaive. “If there’s any chance to redeem myself, I’ll take it. I’ll find the shamans,” Migo growled, grip tightening on his weapon. A calmness washed over him. All of this was the shaman’s fault. The shame. His mother’s hatred. His father’s death. The storms themselves. There was only one solution that remained. “I will kill them all.”