In the Kingdom of Lawrencia, the royal family of Winchester live happy, fulfilled lives; wise and enlightened rulers beloved by their subjects.
Soon all that is going to change and the young princes Dean and Samuel will face the greatest challenge to try and save their world

Chapter One:- Land of Milk and Honey.
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In the kingdom of Lawrencia, life went on as usual.

The inhabitants smiled as they went about their business. The people were not rich but they had all they needed for their daily lives, and as they passed under the Castle walls they thanked God that they were blessed with a King and Queen who had always shown the greatest concern for their subjects, making sure that every-one was happy and well-treated.

The Rulers of Lawrencia were unique, for the other kingdoms that bordered on theirs were badly ruled, and the unfortunate peasants who lived there, miserably treated and wretched.

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In the Great Hall of the Castle, the Royal Family was gathered around the enormous oak table that dominated the tapestry-bedecked chamber.

King John and Queen Mary sat at the table-heads while their two sons, the Princes Dean and Samuel across from each other on the sides.

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The Queen was renowned throughout the land for her great beauty and graciousness while the King for his wisdom and fairness.

The two Princes were fiercely loved by all the populace who had watched them grow from two beautiful children to the two most handsome and courageous young men in the kingdom.

Prince Dean was the elder, 22 years old, tall and strong, with beautiful green eyes that had made many a maiden's heart flutter, while the younger Samuel, 18 years of age, had overtaken his older sibling in height, a fact that he never forgot to teasingly remind his brother of.

Samuel was known for his gentle and courtly ways and his love of books and science, eagerly welcoming to Court all those who could expand that knowledge with new ideas and inventions.

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Both Princes were well-versed in the arts of weaponry and both excelled in swordsmanship.

Dean was also a crack-shot with the cross-bow while Samuel preferred the knife, his favourite being an oriental dagger with a wickedly serrated blade, brought as a gift from a far-off land to one of his ancestors.

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The young men trained every morning with their weapons-master and instructor Sir Robert Singer who had coached them in the use of arms and in horsemanship since they were toddlers.

He loved the Princes with a devotion as strong as that of the King and Queen.

His wife, the Lady Ellen, who superintended the smooth running of the Castle, doted on them, spoiling them with tit-bits whenever she could, though by the other members of the household she was feared for her awesome wrath.

One would imagine that the two young Princes would have grown arrogant and haughty but they were the kindest and most humble of men.

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"Dean," the Queen smiled ruefully at her elder son, "I know you don't want me to bring this up again, but it's time for you to seriously think about choosing a wife and providing heirs for the family.

"Oh, Mother, no more please!" Dean answered exasperated. "You have paraded so many young women before me, but I couldn't imagine myself spending the rest of my life with any one of them!"

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He looked over sourly to his brother who was grinning from ear to ear, enjoying his sibling's discomfort at their mother's words.

"Don't laugh too much Sammy, before long you'll be the one getting this treatment," Dean snarked.

"No, no, no, Dean, you're the eldest and heir to the throne, YOU have to marry and beget sons. I can marry at leisure and pick whoever I want, or not marry at all," Sam grinned, his dimples trying to take over his face!

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"Boys," the gruff voice of their father broke in warningly. "Dean, it's your duty to take a wife and continue our line, and you Sam, stop teasing your brother for your time will come soon enough!"

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His father's words wiped the smile from Sam's face as he remembered what Dean had been forced to endure with the endless parading of simpering young princesses brought in for his appraisal, and he exchanged an eloquent look with his brother. "This marrying thing sucks, Dean."

"Yeah," was the silent answer.

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Having taken leave of their parents, the two boys made their way to the stables where the head Huntsman Caleb had their horses ready for the afternoon ride.

"Good Day, m'boys, your mounts are champing at the bit, ready for the open road." There was no disrespect in Caleb's tone, the Princes had long ago insisted that all at the Castle treat them no differently from all the other young men, and so it had been.

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The only one who still insisted on their royal title was their Tutor and Language teacher, Master James Murphy, who still followed their education in the Sciences and Arts, and who was now approaching at top speed, a thick tome under his arm, his black cloak flapping.

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"Come on, Sammy, before he drags us to that extra Latin lesson he's been talking about!" Dean exclaimed tugging at his sibling's doublet.

"Dean, I like Latin and just because you don't...!"Sam began to protest.

"Come on," Dean repeated forcefully, earning himself a right royal bitchface from Sam, but he mounted his horse along with Dean and both were out and across the drawbridge before Master James entered the stables.

"Too late, " Caleb grinned, amused by the Tutor's disapproving expression. "Perhaps you'll manage that Latin lesson tomorrow! Ser James!"

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The townsfolk smiled fondly as they caught sight of the young Princes galopping along the old castle road at break-neck speed.

They knew that when Dean became King, nothing would change, for he loved his subjects as much , if not more, than his father King John.

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The boys rode to their favourite spot, a wooded glade which had the added bonus of a small lake, a lake in which they had been taught to swim by Sir Robert.

He believed the Princes should become proficient in as much as possible, and up till now they had absorbed all they'd been taught like two sponges.

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It was a beautiful summer's afternoon.

The brothers stripped down and threw themselves into the lake, silently enjoying the warm embrace of the water and each other's company.

They swam its length to the other bank and lay down side by side on the soft grass, falling asleep while the warm sun caressed their strong young bodies.

The two slept on, unaware that when they awoke, the world they had known would be no more.

X

TBC