A/N: So I don't really know where this came from... I got the idea from a similar original that I wrote at sixteen, but I think mostly I just love AUs so I decided to write one myself haha!
It seems my beta is a bit busy at the moment, so this hasn't been looked over yet, sorry for any errors. :)
Hope you guys like it!
If there was one thing Prince Castiel was absolutely certain of, it was of his hatred of diplomatic expeditions.
He understood why they were necessary, why every few moons the King's presence had to be confirmed in even the remotest corners of the empire. He knew why his brother kept sending him on these faraway missions, because as the youngest of the four princes he was able to ensure a much greater control over the regions than any mere representative.
Perhaps he was also usually sent to these remote places because he was the youngest, which meant he wasn't fit for the most important missions and would be safer out here. None of his brothers admitted it to him, but he knew it was true. Few enemies ever ventured as far as the realms of all the little towns he was currently travelling through. Maybe a few stray raiders or creatures would make their way out of the forests, but never more than that.
Castiel had to admit that he found himself to be rather irritated at his brother for his protective attitude. He was a trained soldier after all and had seen battle many times. He had fought in the last Great War their world had seen at the age of only twenty years and had stood his own bravely. He would gladly have protested against all these harmless assignments, but alas his oldest brother was the King and was to be obeyed at all times.
Thankfully he would soon be at the end of his journey and be able to travel back home, where he would hopefully be sent to achieve a much grander duty.
He currently found himself in one of the larger towns of this region, though he had already forgotten the name of it again. The place was obviously not used to visitors of such importance, for as the small group of soldiers rode in on their horses there were several citizens staring at them, quite a few of them children. Castiel didn't mind the latter, there had always been something about the pure innocence of children that had appealed to his affectionate nature.
The town's mayor was a nervous and skittish little man, his chest heaving rapidly above his round belly and his face turning from the embarrassment of red toward a slightly greenish color as he awaited them anxiously on the large square before the city hall. The young prince saw him from afar and instantly wondered how utterly long a meeting with this man was going to take.
He had never had been good at communicating with people. Perhaps that was also a reason why his brother liked to use him for diplomatic trips, because he knew that Castiel's harsh and unsociable attitude could serve as a further accelerant of fear toward his subjects.
He exchanged a quick glance with his closest guard, Inias and the two men nodded to each other wordlessly. They had gone through this routine many times by now.
"M-my Lord," the mayor stuttered as Castiel rode up to him, wondering to himself how the man could still breathe beneath all his spluttering. "How good of you to come."
Castiel stopped his horse next to the man and instantly received a profound bow as a greeting. "It… it is such an honor," the mayor continued babbling.
"The pleasure's all mine," Castiel responded curtly, not really paying attention to the other man's anxiety.
"Please, Sire…" he started. "Join me inside, then we can"-
The rest of his sentence was forgotten the very moment a bloodcurdling scream sounded through the town and over to them from a terrifyingly close distance.
Castiel's head immediately snapped over to its place of origin along with all of his soldiers. The young prince who had just been preparing to get off his horse, now swiftly brought his hand to his side to extract his silver blade as he heard the unmistakable clanking sounds of sword fighting drawing nearer.
The members of his guard barely had time to draw back their horses and spread out across the square when Castiel could already see the hostiles coming in from the streets.
Apparently the insignificant town was being attacked by a large group of soldiers and it was appearing to be quite an easy target. There was no resistance to the enemies on the streets; the countless citizens were running desperately for their lives, mothers were screaming for their children and there was no one to stop the soldiers from bursting through quickly to the center of town, some of them on horseback, others following on foot. The two guards that were stationed in front of the city hall bravely stepped out onto the courtyard to face the hostiles, while the panicking mayor ran past them and fled into the building. Other than that there were no trained defense mechanisms, it was obvious that the town was not prepared for an attack of this sort.
An arrow fired from an enemy on horseback barely missed Castiel and instead hit one of his soldiers behind him, knocking the mortally wounded man off his horse. The prince angrily drove his horse forward and lifted his sword to stab his adversary in the chest before the man even had time to lower his bow.
Looking around at the battle that was now ensuing between the few of his soldiers and the large group of foes, Castiel noticed the dark uniforms the other soldiers were wearing. He had not seen those uniforms in almost a century. These were not the King's soldiers, nor were they from any other place within the empire. No, these were soldiers from the King's archenemy, the one that had been defeated some time ago. Or so they thought.
Castiel was just about to drive his horse forward once more when he felt the animal staggering beneath him, it too having been pierced by a rogue arrow. After a few moments of swaying back and forth, the horse buckled and collapsed onto the hard ground, sending the young prince rolling across the square, only a miracle ensuring that he was not trampled to death by any other of the creatures. Without giving himself time to recover from the fall, Castiel quickly jumped to his feet and though his vision was still a bit blurry immediately set out to attack one of the adversaries on foot. After a brief and on his side rather graceful duel the enemy fell to his feet, blood pouring from a deadly wound on his neck.
They had no chance, Castiel realized fairly quickly, for they were largely outnumbered and not at all prepared for serious battle on what had been intended to be a peaceful journey of negotiations. His soldiers were falling right, left and center until pretty soon he was the only one left fighting on the square, lashing out furiously at all the foes surrounding him, stubbornly refusing to give in.
He had just swung out his sword violently, slicing a rather ugly wound across one of his adversary's abdomen when he was roughly pushed from the side and crashed down onto the cobbled ground with his backside. Several sword points were immediately aimed at his chest, holding him at bay so he couldn't possibly strike out again without the definite consequence of getting himself killed.
"Don't move, you filth!" one of the men hissed, pressing his dangerously sharp sword slightly into the fabric of the prince's clothes.
Realizing that he had lost, Castiel didn't dare to put his sword to use again but instead glared viciously at every single one of the hostiles surrounding him. None of them seemed impressed by it.
He gave a wordless growl of protest when he felt his sword being pulled out of his grip from behind. The soldier who had taken it soon let out a gasp of recognition.
"Oy, look what we have here!" he called out. "We got ourselves an angel blade. Silver make and everything!"
A murmur filled equally with disdain and glee ran through the group of men holding Castiel at sword point. Some of them looked around at the bodies scattered across the square. "Angel scum!" one of the men scoffed and spat at one of Castiel's fallen comrades.
Before even realizing what he was doing, the prince pushed himself off the ground and moved to direct his hatred over the disrespect at the offending enemy. He didn't get much further than to a kneeling position though, for the reaction among his captors was prompt, several of their swords shifting to press against his exposed throat.
"If you don't want us to bleed you right here like your little friends, I suggest you don't move another inch!" the same man from before threatened him. Castiel did his best to shoot him his most murderous glare in defiance.
Suddenly a rumble of unease went through the group of soldiers and several of them moved aside to reveal a tall and strongly built man with a fierce expression on his face. His whole posture spoke of authority. It was clear that he was a superior to all of the surrounding men.
"What's all this?" he demanded, looking from the kneeling prince on the ground to the soldiers.
"General," the soldier who still held Castiel's sword in his hands spoke up. "We have captured an angel, Sir. He had this blade on him."
The general took the sword that his soldier handed him, but spared it only a brief glance, instead looking to the side at Castiel's slain men. "Yes, angels," he remarked. "I noticed from their uniforms. I've seen them before."
He then turned his attention back to the sight before him, studying the kneeling and defenseless man with apparently great interest. "But you're not just an average angel, are you?"
Castiel looked up at the tall man with all the disdain he could muster, when inside he was slowly starting to panic as the full weight of his situation sunk in. He couldn't see any possible way to escape this.
Meanwhile the general had taken a few steps toward him and was eying him carefully. He seemed to have a particular interest for his uniform. "He bears the king's sigil, boys." Castiel shivered inwardly at the victorious grin that spread over his enemy's face. "Which means…" the man slowly walked around the kneeling prince and came to a stop behind him. "He's royalty. Most likely related to the king, aren't you?"
Castiel ground his teeth together and did his best to hide any signs of distress from his face as the hostile soldiers around him jeered approvingly. He wondered and cursed himself over the fact that only a short while ago he had disapproved of this mission being dull. What wouldn't he do now to have the dullness back.
His heart hammered rapidly in his chest and he tried to force himself to breathe evenly, but there was no way he could control the sudden outbreak of fear. As alone and helpless as he was, there were only two possible ways the situation would end for him, he would either be killed or kept alive for worse. If they managed to figure out exactly whom they had before them, the second option was far more likely.
The general walked around to his front side again and crouched down before him, giving him a cruel smile. "What's your name, son?" he asked.
Castiel merely showed him a defiant glare, but said nothing whatsoever. The soldiers around him were laughing now, as if they didn't think he would be able to hold up that attitude for long.
"I said," the general repeated, his voice sounding slightly more menacing even if his face seemed thoroughly relaxed, as he placed Castiel's own blade against his throat. "What's your name?"
"Go to hell," Castiel spat in response, making it clear that he would rather die than give up his identity. His brothers would kill him if he let himself be used against them.
"All right," the man shrugged. For a moment Castiel thought that this was it, that he was about to die, but then the general rose to his feet and waved to someone out of his line of sight. He could see some of the soldiers laughing gleefully and it made his fear even more unbearable.
The sound of a body being dragged across the pavement registered in his ears and then a moment later his blood froze in his veins as he gazed upon the figure that was dropped to the ground a few feet away from him.
"Inias," he whispered anxiously, taking note of the heavily breathing man that gazed at him through wide-open, fearful eyes.
"Good, so you let us know his name," the general nodded approvingly, stepping over to where Castiel's wounded guard had collapsed on the ground. "Tell me yours and I won't kill him."
Immediately following his words, one of the man's soldiers pulled up Inias' head by his hair and pressed a dagger to his throat.
"No!" Castiel protested desperately. "Release him, he is not part of this!"
"Gladly, if you tell me your name," the general smirked.
Castiel hesitated, his helpless gaze meeting Inias who was doing his best to shake his head adamantly, despite the dagger. His eyes pleaded for him not to do it, but Castiel couldn't oblige. He couldn't condemn his companion, his friend to death simply for his own benefit.
"You give me your word, you'll release him?" Castiel asked weakly, all form of control lost from his voice, as he feared for his guard's life.
The general shrugged. "Sure," he said. "But not until you hold up your end."
"No"- Inias choked out pleadingly.
The prince gazed at him sadly, before taking a deep breath.
"Castiel," he said loud and clear.
A murmur of excitement instantly passed through the group of soldiers, while the general's face lit up in a gleeful smirk. Inias looked like he was on the verge of utter despair.
"Well, well, Castiel, is it?" the man sneered, stepping closer toward the kneeling prince once again. "The youngest of the empire's princes in the flesh! Gotta say, it's quite an honor."
Castiel felt his inwards contract painfully as the soldiers laughed at their leader's words, for he had just lost his last hope for any sort of dignified ending to this situation. Knowing his position in the kingdom and his closeness to the King, he had no doubt that he would be used for the most gruesome of purposes. At least he had managed to spare Inias.
"Well, I'd say this was quite a catch, boys!" the general stated, instantly receiving loud cheers from his soldiers. After the celebrating outbursts had quieted down again, he turned toward the man still holding Inias at bay. "All right, kill him."
Castiel barely had time to scream his friend's name before the dagger was set in motion, slicing cleanly through the man's throat and releasing a gush of blood onto the pavement. All sound seemed to drown out around him and all he could see were the lifeless brown eyes and the pale white face and the blood, so much blood… He closed his eyes, trying to suppress the images that were now forever burned into his memory.
"No- you… you"- he choked, seeing his enemy's evil smirk before him, enormous floods of hatred suddenly making out all of his being. He had never known that a human being could feel so much hate.
He braced himself on his hands and knees, trying hard not to keel over with all the disorientation. What sounds had been muted at first were now suddenly magnified and threatened to drown him in an endless sea of screams, laughter and swords cutting through flesh.
When he had finally composed himself enough to open his eyes again, he instantly flinched back at seeing the general's amused face right before him, crouched down on the ground again.
"Don't feel too bad," he said quietly, that same evil smirk sitting calmly on his face. Only now that he was so close did Castiel suddenly notice the eerie yellow glint in his eyes.
"Death was a great mercy on your friend compared to everything that awaits you."
A/N: So that was it, what do you think? It was mostly just me fooling around haha, do you guys think I should continue this? Let me know what you guys think, then I'll see if I should go on with this or not.
Also don't worry, I am not abandoning The Man Who Knew Too Much, that one is still my main fic :) Update is coming soon!