Invincible, that is the Legend
Disclaimer: I do not own 1/2 Prince or the Legend of Sun Knight and make no profit from writing this.
Chapter 5: Invincible Prince on a White Horse... or not. Because. You'd at Least Need a Horse to be a Prince on a White Horse.
In the holding cells of the City of Everglade, a white-haired dark elf sat leaning against the wall, his hands cuffed before him. Two guards stood outside of his stark prison with their backs facing him. Whenever the guard to the right of the dark elf's sight twitched, head turning slightly to glance at their prisoner, the guard to the left would step heavily on the former's foot to get his eyes to stop wandering.
After all, they were guarding a dark elf. Who knew what wicked things the dark elf would do to them if they were caught staring?
The dark elf's skin, black as ebony, blended into the darkness of the dimly-lit prison. Only the dark elf's white hair stood out in the flickering candlelight, so white that it almost gleamed like the metal that cuffed his wrists and feet. Neither of the guards had ever seen a dark elf before, but they had heard the legends. Dark elves were a notorious race that lived below the surface, easily distinguishable by their dark skin, white hair, pointy ears, and blood red eyes, physical traits that couldn't be any more different than a human's. They possessed not an ounce of compassion; wickedness ran in their poisonous blood. Ruthless murderers and heartless thieves made up the lot of them, apathy and deceit their second name.
Neither guard had thought they would ever see a dark elf in their lifetime - dark elves never deigned to come to the surface, thank the Shadow God for that - but here a dark elf sat, imprisoned and shackled with only a few metal bars separating him from them.
It was both frightening and a tad bit exciting.
When the first guard tried to sneak another look (he couldn't believe that he was actually in the same room as a dark elf, or that dark elves even existed in the first place), he caught the dark elf just as he raised his head. The dark elf stared back at him with narrowed green eyes. Not red like the legends, but a piercing green. Despite that, he was definitely a dark elf. There was no mistaking the color of his skin, the translucent quality of his hair, or the sharpness of his ears. Or the way he had cursed at them in that undecipherable language of his when he'd been captured.
Who knew what kind of horrid fate the dark elf had damned them to in his alien tongue?
"Stop staring!" the guard on the left hissed, once again digging his boot into the other's boot.
"Ouch! Not my fault, okay? I mean, look at his skin. And those ears!"
After he spoke, he couldn't help looking back again. When he turned his head, the dark elf stared right back, green eyes narrowed and unblinking.
"Besides," he protested, unable to tear his eyes away, voice tight with nervousness, "he's staring too."
The dark elf really was. Staring, that was. In a not-so-friendly manner.
"Do you have a death wish?" asked the second guard. "I bet if the dark elf were to break free, the first one he'd attack is you with your offensive staring!"
"Come on, don't jinx me... I have a family, you know," gulped the guard. He really didn't want to be on the receiving end of a dark elf's wrath.
"Then stop staring. You can do that for a day, can't you? He's going to be out of our hands soon after all. Show some restraint."
"Huh, what do you mean?" That finally caught the guard's attention enough for him to tear his gaze away from his possible demise.
Exasperated, the second guard dropped his voice and whispered, "I can't believe you haven't kept up to date on our orders. He's being moved to the capital tomorrow."
"Whoa, he's gonna get executed?" exclaimed the first guard in a loud voice, rendering the other's discretion completely useless.
"Will you stop being so freaking loud? Who knows! Maybe the Silent Eagle just wants to see him."
When both guards glanced back at the dark elf to see what he'd made of their conversation - after all, he had to have heard considering how loud one of they had been - the dark elf merely stared back at them, revealing no apparent reaction to their words even though they had just been talking about the possibility of him getting executed. If not that, he would still be dragged in front of the Silent Eagle, and that was akin to being judged by the Shadow God Himself, considering how the Silent Eagle was the one with all the power in the Cathedral of the Shadow God.
Just how apathetic could the dark elf be? Or could it be... they were all below his notice?
The guard on the right gulped once again and slowly turned away from the dark elf. Perhaps he really should stop staring.
When the next day dawned, the city's guards dragged the dark elf out of his prison, leading him down the main street to where the dark knights who would take him were waiting. The people of the city lined up on both sides of the street, solemnly watching the procession.
Orders had come from above - let all know the fate of the dark elf. Normally, something like this would have been kept under wraps to prevent the citizens from panicking, but the dark elf had been caught in plain sight. It had been ruled that showing the citizens that the dark elf would no longer be present in the city would do much more for calming the citizens down than keeping him hidden from the public eye.
Who knew whether that was a sound decision or not, but orders were orders.
Because of the ruling, the dark elf was now being paraded down the streets. Whispers filled the air as the common people laid eyes on the dark elf, many for the first time in their lives. Others had only seen a dark elf for their first time when this particular dark elf had been captured a little over a week ago.
"Why is his skin so dark, Mommy?"
"Shh, don't look!"
One of the guards snorted. If you don't want your child looking, you shouldn't have brought your child here.
"You calamity bringer! Get out of our city!"
"The Silent Eagle will know what to do! Long live the Silent Eagle!"
When the procession finally reached the dark knights, the guards pushed the dark elf forward, causing him to stumble. He stubbornly remained on his feet, glaring at his new captors through his long, white hair.
The captain of the dark knights gestured toward the dark elf. Two dark knights hurriedly followed his command, grabbing the dark elf by his arms.
"Nhanduay emay!" the dark elf cursed and tried to shake them off to no avail, chains clattering in the process, hair whipping around wildly.
The crowd gasped when they heard the foreign words out of the dark elf's mouth.
The captain surveyed the dark elf, completely unfazed by his poisonous words and his struggling. He merely motioned for his dark knights to grab on more tightly, forcing the dark elf to still. "So this is the dark elf?" the captain murmured. He turned toward the common folk and announced, "We will be taking him to the Silent Eagle. Have no fear!"
As the crowd cheered loudly, a hooded figure within the crowd stayed silent. Once the dark knights led their prisoner away, the hooded figure slipped through the crowd in the direction the dark knights had left in. Two others, one holding a magic staff and the other a sword by his waist, followed after him.
Zhuo Ling Bin, stuck as his avatar Wicked, didn't understand how he had landed himself in this position. He had only been trying to get his bearings when he'd gotten attacked.
No one had understood him despite how much he had tried to explain. He hadn't understood their language either, and when he'd tried to defend himself, the feeling of cutting into the man's leg had felt off. Hand momentarily losing strength, he hadn't dared to injure his attackers any more than he already had.
After that, he'd let them take him in... but that had perhaps not been his smartest idea. No one had come to talk to him. He never had a chance to explain his circumstances. He'd tried to talk to the guards, but all they ever did was stare at him in wariness, eyes full of distrust. That, and they did their best to ignore him. Only one of the guards had watched him in curiosity, but when Ling Bin had tried speaking with him, the guard had looked as if he thought Ling Bin was trying to curse him. Ling Bin had watched as the guard's partner kept stomping on his foot. It didn't look too comfortable.
Now, he was being moved. For all he knew, he was possibly being marched to his death. When that thought crossed his mind, he dug his feet into the dirt, steps slowing nearly to a stop. Although he had had only limited facts to work with, he'd had plenty of time to come up with theory after theory about where he was and what that meant. Death in all of his conjectures was something to be avoided. He didn't know whether it would be permanent or not, but he had a feeling he shouldn't test it out.
Immediately, the person behind him gave him a shove and shouted, "Ti evom!"
He stumbled, shackles chafing his wrists and ankles, the links of his chain clinking against each other. He shot a glare at the man behind him, but the man merely pushed him again, forcing him forward.
They continued on the move with Ling Bin unable to free himself. He discretely studied his surroundings and also noted the number of people that were escorting him. All of them wore dark armor, ranging from gray to black, and they carried swords. Some also had shields. There were too many people for Ling Bin to make a break for it, and he had no weapon either. Moreover, his hands were shackled together, and his feet were also chained, the chains only long enough to allow him to walk. Still, he was out in the open. That meant that escape wasn't impossible. He didn't know how long it would take for them to reach their destination, but he hoped the trip would take longer than a day. If the men were to stop to rest for the night, Ling Bin didn't doubt that they would lower their guards then.
That would be Ling Bin's best chance of escape, perhaps his only chance even.
"Su rof elbuort fo stros lla gnisuac neeb sah taht fle krad eht si siht kniht uoy?" asked one of the men. "Egalliv eht nwod denrub taht eno eht?"
Someone grunted in response while another shrugged. The man that had spoken glanced at Ling Bin, eyes calculating.
The men often talked among themselves, but Ling Bin didn't understand a single word of their conversations, much like how he hadn't been able to understand the guards back in the city either. He thought these men were probably talking about him considering how often the men glanced at him. Or perhaps they were just distrustful of the color of his skin and the fact that he had pointy ears. No one in Second Life had ever batted an eye at Wicked, but this was definitely not Second Life. All the people Ling Bin had encountered so far were humans, and they...feared him.
Ling Bin frowned, brows furrowing.
As he studied the men around him and tried to devise a way to escape, he thought he saw a splotch of red out of the corner of his eye. However, when he looked upwards toward the right, there was nothing there but trees.
When night fell, one of the men signaled for everyone to stop. Like Ling Bin had expected, they began setting up camp and looked like they would be resting for the night. Two men stayed alert, one guarding Ling Bin, the other guarding the other side of the campsite.
Ling Bin pretended to sleep. He closed his eyes, letting his breathing even out. This was something he often did with his brother Ming Bin in the past, waiting for their parents to fall asleep before they would sneak outside of their rooms, past their bedtimes, just so they could sneakily log onto some MMORPG they were playing together. They had eventually outgrown that, but Ling Bin still recalled the memories fondly. Now, he needed some of his childhood sneakiness again to get himself out of his predicament.
He tried to relax, but worry gripped him, brought to the forefront from his thoughts about his brother. Where is Ming Bin? Where is Xiao Lan?
However, he would do no good for either of them as a captive.
In and out, he breathed, slowly and evenly, willing himself to appear asleep. But wasn't he already asleep somewhere out there, in a place that he couldn't currently access? What did this mean then? Sleep within sleep? Despite having slept on and off throughout the week, he still didn't understand how this worked.
With his eyes closed, Ling Bin could almost pretend that he was back home, but the raw skin around his wrists ached and would not allow him to forget or pretend. He waited patiently for his captors to settle down, and he listened for their breathing to fall into a natural rhythm. When enough time passed, he narrowly cracked open one eye to sneak a look at the sleeping men. Then, he glanced at his guard.
The man was slouching against his sword and was even using it to hold himself up, but he was still awake and attentive while Ling Bin was tied to a boulder.
That was slightly problematic.
Just as he pondered how he could possibly free himself, chains shot out of nowhere, entangling the man Ling Bin had been studying. When the chains appeared, Ling Bin also heard an accompanying, hurried whisper.
"Chains of Love!"
Ling Bin started. He'd actually understood the words. The voice had also sounded familiar.
In the next moment, a burst of action happened. The man guarding Ling Bin fell over, bound tightly in chains, his weapon clattering onto the floor. At the same time, a burst of flames and claws broke the chains that had bound Ling Bin to the boulder. Immediately, he dove for the guard's sword, claiming it for himself.
"Xineohp a?" the fallen man exclaimed from the ground. He then remembered to yell, most likely trying to wake everyone up. Chains bound his mouth a moment too late. His words were out.
Behind Ling Bin, a gust of wind sent his hair flying and his chains rattling. Ling Bin whirled around, sight greeted by majestic red. He also saw that all the men had woken up, weapons in hand.
"Dleihs thgil!" someone chanted. Warm light enveloped Ling Bin, invigorating him, making him feel impervious.
"This way!" a cloaked figure urged while chains materialized from the air, shooting at the men that were now coming after them. Many of the chains caught onto the men's feet, making them fall before they managed to reach Ling Bin.
Without further thought, Ling Bin scrambled in the direction of the cloaked figure. A melody graced the air as chains continued descending upon the men.
"Never thought I would use this here," said the cloaked figure in disdain. "This wasn't meant to be used on you."
"I never asked you to save me!" Ling Bin retorted, discontentment boiling within his heart. He'd almost rather prefer rotting away in prison than to owe a favor to this man.
"Then you shouldn't have let yourself get captured!" snapped the cloaked figure. "It's not like I want to save you either! You're just the first one I've found!"
Back-to-back, Ling Bin and the cloaked figure efficiently fought off the remaining men despite their arguments. Ling Bin's sword sang through the air, flat side of the blade slamming against the men's armor, impact sending them stumbling. When the area before him momentarily cleared, he slammed his sword down repeatedly against the chains that fettered his ankles. The moment the chains broke, he sent a kick at his next attacker, the end of the broken chain from his shackles whipping the man in the face, leaving an angry, red lash.
While Ling Bin defended and held his own, the figure next to him formed magical arrows and shot them at the men. Another two people, strangers to Ling Bin, also seemed to be on their side. One of them slashed at the men with his sword while the other cast protective spells, but even so, they were still greatly outnumbered. When one of their attackers got too close, a screech from above deafened Ling Bin's ears. Next thing he knew, fire erupted in a burst of scorching flames.
"Quick!" the cloaked figure exclaimed. "Run!"
Ling Bin didn't need to be told twice. He turned and ran, the raging fire behind them stopping the men in dark armor from chasing them. The chains from his shackles slapped against the ground as he ran, nearly tripping him.
Another melody graced the air, and he felt his legs lighten. He thought he could also breathe more easily than before. Above them, a large bird soared and shrieked, red tail feathers bright with flames.
Ling Bin ran with all his might even as he hated himself for being saved by Gui of all people. He didn't need a prince on a white horse to save him like a damsel in distress, and he certainly didn't need to be saved by Gui!
The hooded bard followed right behind Ling Bin, protecting him from their pursuers with his arrows formed out of magic.
"Just what did you do to piss them off so badly?" asked Gui in gasps, short of breath. His stamina had never been very good.
"Nothing," gritted Ling Bin. "My very existence seems to rub them the wrong way."
Just like how Gui's existence completely rubbed him the wrong way too, but Ling Bin couldn't deny that Gui had saved him this time.
"Thanks," Ling Bin finally managed to say.
Gui snorted. "What kind of professor would I be if I let a student die here?"
Ling Bin rolled his eyes. "It's too late for you to start acting like a professor."
The two strangers who had fought along with them caught up then, though one of them was nearly being dragged along by the other. The man looked completely exhausted, magic staff almost falling out of his hands.
"Revol ruoy si siht os?" asked the tired man in curiosity. "Rof gnikool erew uoy nosrep eht?"
Gui blanched and answered in the same language, sounding like he was vehemently denying whatever the man had just said. He also shook his head ferociously enough to cause his hood to fall off his head. The two strangers didn't seem to find Gui's appearance surprising. Ling Bin thought this probably meant they had already seen his appearance before.
Has Gui managed to learn the language in a mere week?
Sometimes, Ling Bin found it too easy to forget that Gui was smarter than he looked.
Gui gestured wildly at Ling Bin before he hastened his steps and slapped Ling Bin on the back, stunning him.
"Rehtorb ym yllautca si eno siht!" Gui declared. "Ecnalbmeser eht ees uoy t'nod?"
He gestured at his ears and then at Ling Bin's. He even grabbed a lock of Ling Bin's hair and pulled it against his.
"What in the world..." Ling Bin wondered out loud.
Above him, Fire Phoenix snorted a curl of fire. "He says you're his brother."
"What? Why would he say that!"
"Or did you want to be thought of as his lover? His stupid claim is the only reason these two haven't run screaming from you yet."
Apparently, "Wicked" was Gui's half brother. A very nice and misunderstood dark elf.
to be continued
A/N: Speech from LSK characters when heard by 1/2 Prince characters is written backwards! In case you want to read what they're saying. ;) You shouldn't have to decipher any of their words though to understand the story.
The two strangers are Kylie and his warrior teammate from chapter 3. I originally planned for them to be from a four member team, but I decided to ax the other two members, so now they're only a two member team. Four again now, with the addition of Gui and Wicked, haha.
I haven't updated the map for this chapter (it seems a bit much to update it every single time?) but it will be updated in the future when we find out the locations of more characters.