The Solune Prince
Sun Kiss the Moon
Thank you for visiting, this is my first full-length novel. Please be forgiving of the quality, as this is the second draft of the manuscript. The writing quality picks up a few chapters in, if you are willing to take it that far. I hope you enjoy.
“Are you always such a failure Ammelia?”
The younger aristocrat took a deep breath before answering. Her father had always taught her that in this world, one should always defend their family’s honour. She took another breath. It wasn’t helping.
“Yes sir, all my life.” There, I used sir. I’ve maintained etiquette. No, wait, I—I just degraded myself!
Fortunately, providence favoured Ammelia. The man took her comment to be a smug remark, rather than an honest reply.
“Is this a game to you?” He said.
Ammelia looked around the dark room. They had made quite a spectacle on her behalf.
“The answer you want is yes, correct?”
Her eyes were starting to adjust to the dim little hall. There were five elaborately carved stone seats, each of which rose up more than a full person’s height above her. Four of the seats were filled now, two woman, and two men. She knew one of the men as their acting leader. He was doing all of the speaking. They had had a cold relationship up to this point. It seemed it was going to be pretty hot from now on. Everyone else’s identities were not known to the revolutionaries. This was, of course, by design. It allowed the nobility to attack the crown without revealing who exactly was involved. They were protected by justice in this way, no name, no one to answer for crime. But Reagent wasn’t the true leader. The centre chair was his, but it was almost never occupied. Their leader seemed to do his work from afar.
The prosecuted girl lifted her chin high—so arrogantly high that despite her position, she was able to look down on the seated congregation. “You’re the ones who are playing. What is this nonsense?” Use big words; words that carry weight. Her father ringed through her head. “This grandstanding, how infantile. Open the curtains or something, or would you hide in the dark?” And at the end of each of your statements, assert your dominance—especially if you don’t actually have any. “I will not be intimidated by this.”
““—No!” She spoke over him, “I just,” Ammelia’s laugh was incredulous, haughty. “Only a moment ago told you that such words will not work on me! Did you not hear?”
If things get heated and your intuition hints to you that the time is right, fell free to belittle your opponent. The lectures and teachings of her father seemed to have swam closer to the surface since his death. She didn’t mind. It was like he was always there, helping her. I… I can’t tell father. Please help. There was no reply. There never was. All she had was the past.
“Remove yourself from this tribunal and never return!” He boomed the command, and then stood. “You are no longer part of the Revolt against Ryann’s family. If you are ever seen inside of any of our Revolutionary Asylums from this point forward, you will be punished.”
The woman to his right, in a deep voice, added, “Punished. You will have your light taken from you.”
The other tribunal woman—the one who never spoke—began to laugh, laughing in amusement. Ammelia turned only her head, hoping to get a look at this person, and perhaps try to memorize whatever facial features she could discern in the dark.
It seemed that the woman knew exactly what Ammelia was thinking, because she leaned forward in her mirth; forward into a muted ray of light. It was clearly a coordinated move, but Ammelia didn’t know what to make of it. She didn’t know what to make of what she saw either. She knew this woman, but wasn’t certain why she of all people was taking part in the plot against the Lussa throne.
One Week Prior.
Chloe Rhye looked out the window and saw nothing. Her mind was filled with thoughts and considerations, many paths of thinking that seemed to end in cliffs no matter which she followed. It was the first time this had happened, the first time that there was a gap in her knowledge that no amount of research could fill. The capital city and all its libraries, archives and institutions had no answers for her, and she was left here, in her room, with nothing but her reason. Her mind wandered through informational wastelands.
Who were the Lussa people? Where were they now?
The only information Chloe had to stand on was what little her father had time to tell her. She had, as a last resort, asked him about it earlier that day, but he’d only had a few minutes to talk at the time.
“The Lussa people are our ancient ancestors.” He had said.
Chloe replied, “If that is true, then why is so little known about them?”
“The split between the Lussa and Solune societies predates recorded history. Even though I am the King, the knowledge was passed down through our family from that time is limited.”
“Why? It seems to me to be important.”
The King looked at his daughter and nodded. “I agree. I personally believe that those involved in the incident itself didn’t pass too much of it down to their children for emotional reasons. The splitting of a civilization can be a time a great stress. Further, it is the Solune who left the homelands, the result of which you already know.”
“Is that why there are no artifacts or ruins?”
The rest of that conversation, Chloe remembered, consisted mostly of her father trying to return to his duties. He had been engulfed in boarder issues and foreign relations since the kingdom’s walls had opened two years ago.
Chloe stood from her window seat and walked to her bedside table. The little notebook that sat on it contained the small bits of information she had collected on the Lussa in the past three or so months, complete with citations for future reference. She picked it up and sat on her bed, entering one final state of deep thought before going to sleep.
All the information I’ve gathered is from the capital. Only the capital…
Two floors down, Gwenhime paced back and forth. “Rhye, once already you’ve tried and failed to encourage that child to make something of herself. Why should this attempt be different?”
The King stood in front of the throne, listening to his wife carefully. This had been their habit for decades. Nearly all of his decisions and ideas, both as ruler and father, were passed through her doubt and scrutiny before seeing the light of day. Thus, the kingdom was ruled by what he thought of as his raw wisdom tempered by her zealous reason.
“When we sent Chloe out of the city on a recruiting mission, it only failed because it went against her temperament. You might remember that she did participate in the war.”
Gwenhime frowned, “Yes, but she had a spell of nerves on the battlefield—”
“That worked in our favour.”
“Even so, had I been her commander, I would have discharged her for it. Not that I would have had to! After the war, even before most of her friends left the city, she returned to her den and the library.”
King Rhye nodded. “It seems to me that Chloe will not bother to maintain any activity that does not suit her interests.”
Gwenhime considered this. “I suppose the circumstances are different in this case? A military mission did seem an unsustainable pursuit for such a page-minded girl.”
“Yes, this time I intend to send her on an expedition seeking precisely what she is looking for.” He brandished a letter from his coat pocket and handed it to his wife. Before he could give it any context, there was a knock at the door and the head of a young woman peeked inside.
“Father!” Chloe said, a little too loud.
“It is good that you have come. Your mother has something for you.”
“What?” Chloe entered the room and shut the door behind her, striding over to her mother.
Due to the length of the letter, Gwenhime had time only to scan it before she met her daughter.
Chloe received it. “First, I should tell you why I came here at so late an hour. I think it would be a good idea to visit another city’s knowledge bases and see if they know of the Lussa.”
She gave a defeated smile. It seemed to Chloe something of a hopeless endeavour since the capital was the centre of knowledge, but it was the only thing she could think of.
Her father gave her a look that agreed with hers. He said, “I believe the letter will give you some better ideas. Please read it aloud for your mother, I’m not certain she had time to finish it.”
Chloe looked from one to the other, and then to the letter. Everything between her shoulders tightened, and she swallowed. Once I start, I should be fine. It’s just my parents.
She began reading. “Hello, Member of the Solune Royal Family—blood relative of our Lussa Royal Family!”
Chloe stopped reading, “This is a letter from the Lussa! They, ah, they’re still alive! And, ah, it seems that whichever of them wrote this very much enjoys punctuation.”
Chloe’s mother squinted at her with a look of pent doubt. This, Chloe knew by now, was a common expression of hers. Her father simply nodded, added that the style was certainly unique, and bade her continue.
Chloe did, now deeply interested.
“We, the Lussa Royalty, are your ancient kin. We are your land-crossed family! It is with this in mind that I, Prince Ryann, after thousands of years neglecting our distant relations, with deep regret ask for assistance.
“Our King has been dead for one-quarter-annum. He died a martyr at the hands of an outsider, in defence of our City. Of course, we immediately began the planning of the new heir’s coronation. But, alas! She, rightfully so, sought her father’s revenge, and took half the guard and one of the two Captains, out of the city to seek it! Fourteen days later, they returned, and she was missing; absent from her own search party!”
“Both the death of the King and the missing of our heir have left the Kingdom in a state of flux. Worse, the City Denizens have deemed none but the original heir as worthy enough to lead. They demand that she be found and crowned. The desert continues to be searched, even as I write this message.”
As Chloe read, Gwenhime considered her daughter carefully. She was often unkempt, and even today her unnecessarily long hair fell down her back in a mess of blond curls. Gwenhime always believed that her daughter looked a lot like her, except for the features that were muddled with elements of her father. She had the same feminine brown eyes and small, upturned nose, but the effect was interrupted by the King’s wide jaw. The same quirk was continued in the rest of her body. Chloe had moderately broad hips but, to Gwenhime’s chagrin, a slightly broader chest, and almost masculine shoulders. She was concerned that her daughter’s mixed-bag physique and attitude would end up working against her in the future.
Chloe glanced at her mother as she read. They locked eyes, and Chloe saw her severe look. Unaware of the banality of Gwenhime’s thoughts, she nervously returned to the letter.
“This would have been managed internally if it had not been for rising unrest. My advisor, the ancient and young Lilllith, reminded me of the ancient split. Certainly, the conflict that arose between our people around a thousand years ago has been left behind in irrelevance, if not memory—my appeal relies on it!
“Now I proceed to the request. It is simple, but not simple. We are in need of someone of Royal Blood to aid us and to help sway the people to peace and monarchy. Should, heaven forbid, the heir be found dead AND the Denizens a second time reject the rest of the potential heirs, then the line may fall to you, our distant kin. Please send us a reply IMMEDIATELY, or any time near.
“Second heir-in-waiting to the throne.”
“First Draft Status”: This is, essentially, the first draft of this work. (Though it’s been edited at least once, since I handwrite and then transcribe.) As a result, certain things, such as the beginning, aren’t as well written as they should be. Characters may be a little inconsistent, details may get forgotten, scenes may be too brief or too long, and pacing may be…Jagged in some places.
Thanks for reading!