I have found myself at odds with my father several times in the past. I do not completely agree with his decisions and extreme political views. In our Kingdom, we have workers and families that do not carry the dragon gene. Those people work the dirtiest jobs that no ones want. It is the only way they can feed their families.
Then there are the commoners in our Kingdom who carries the dragon gene but their lineage is weak due to affiliating with other races. Our Grenagon Army is full blooded dragons with strong lineage. It was important to carry the dragon gene to defend Grenagon. Political figures in our kingdom also carry dominant dragon genes. In these cases, mating for the royal bloodline never falls below that bar. Throughout my life, many Grenagon officials from the Cabinet has tossed their daughters at my feet in hopes I will choose one of them.
There was a Grenagon Minister who had two daughters. His oldest has mated but his youngest was just of ripe age to mate. It wasn’t that bad. His daughter, Rain, was a beautiful woman. We had a lot in common. The only problem was she was in love with the stable boy.
There was a few more after that. Then there came Song. It felt like a thorn was placed at my side.
All these people, they seek something I can give them but they can’t give me what I need.
I believe when you have gone so long without something. You begin to long for it. You recognize its value and will do anything you can to protect it--to keep it safe.
My father was waiting in his study when I finally made it. General Takashi excused himself from the room. My father’s back was facing me. His eyes were looking out his window. Ronin was sitting in a chair in front of my father’s desk. My stepmother glared at me the second I came into the room.
She stormed over to me and slapped me hard across the face.
“You ungrateful bastard! How could you embarrass your father?” She spat with venom.
“This is not my fault.” I grounded through clench teeth.
“How can you say that? You brought a human into this kingdom with the intentions of making her your chosen mate.” My stepmother screeched, she backhanded me once again. My skin stung on contact. Still, I made no move to touch her.
“You brought this on yourself!” I threw back. “I told you before that I wasn’t interested. Did any of you listen to what I have said? You consistently tossed that woman at me when I have told you I do not want her!”
“He’s undeserving of the throne.” Ronin stood up from his seat. His eyes connected with mine and I can see the smug cockiness behind it.
He took a few steps and stood in front of me and leaned forward to whisper in my ear, “Looks like I am going to take back what is rightfully mine. As always--undeserving. I will always get what I want, Raiden. Haven’t you learned yet?”
When he pulled back enough, I looked into his eyes. He expects me to get angry--to fight him. To give him an excuse to eliminate his competition but my masked expression gave nothing away. His smug expression faltered slightly before he turned to our father.
“Father, he doesn’t deserve the throne. You have seen it yourself! A commoner’s son will always be dissatisfied. I’ve always known that feeding vile dogs like him will one day bite back.” Ronin said in outrage.
“Quiet, Ronin,” Father spoke up for the first time. He slowly turned in his spot to look at Ronin before glancing at me briefly.
Ronin threw me a hateful glare.
“Akeno, listen to your son. He is speaking the truth. A commoner’s son can never be King. It is a misfortune that I have given birth to Ronin after but we can still make him King!” My stepmother demanded.
“He’s my son too, Ushi. Half of my blood runs through that boy’s vein.” Father pinned her with a daring look. She pulled back slightly but unwilling to let this go just yet. She spoke up again.
“Of course, I understand that he is. I have accepted him but you can’t let this go! Tell me you aren’t going to let him shame you like this!” My stepmother demanded.
“I will do what I deem fit.”
“Father-” Ronin started.
“Silence!” He roared and my stepmother cowered back a few steps. Her eyes dropped to the ground. Ronin’s words fell upon our father’s order.
My father took a few steps to her, “If it wasn’t for your incompetence, Ushi, Ronin could have been King. Now, I will live with what I have to work with whether you like it or not.”
My stepmother whimpered. Ronin moved closer to his cowering and upset mother, placing an arm around her shoulder. My father turned his attention to me.
His hands behind his back and his chest puffed. He was exerting his power. His eyes dared me to defy him. Anybody underneath this power will cower. I felt it forced me to submit but I fought through it. My eyes refuse to look down.
After a moment of silence, he sighed and took a few steps to me. I was raised by this man. I know the way he thinks. Just like what my stepmother had stated, he can change things. He can make Ronin be the next King. No one will have a say in it because his word is absolute law. However, I knew that what was stopping him is the fact that Ronin cowers underneath his power. To my father, he deems that is unworthy. A king never bows.
“You are my son. You will do as I say.” He started. “You have embarrassed me enough, Raiden. I took care of you. I raised you not to be a fool. After all, I have given you life when I could have killed you the second you were out of your mother’s womb. I would think that you will be grateful but I should have known that you would carry your mother’s disobedience!”
“I never said I am not grateful for what you have done for me. You have raised me and taken care of me. If it was something else I might consider following through with your orders but this demand you ask of me, I can’t do it.” I countered angrily.
“Raiden!” His voice shook with a warning.
“I am sorry, father. I will not-”
My father flashed before me. His hands moved to my throat and slammed me against the wall. It was the last straw in me. The image of Anna’s bruised cheek added gasoline to my fury and I flashed before him. I landed a punch to his stomach and he went flying to the other side of the wall.
My stepmother gasped out loud. My father roared before disappearing from the broken wall and appearing before me. He gripped my neck and lifted me in the air before slamming down onto the ground. His grip tightened.
“Disobedient, ungrateful child! I will teach you a lesson. Ronin!” He ordered for Ronin’s presence.
Ronin appeared next to us.
“Beat him.” My father ordered next.
Ronin wore a malicious grin on his smug face, “My pleasure, father.”
He made a move to hover over me but I rolled over and pushed myself to a standing position. I lowered my stance to defend his attacks.
“I haven’t said this before but I find this is the perfect moment to tell you. Don’t blame me for being born after me. Blame your mom.” I taunted with a smirk.
I heard my stepmother’s gasp of outrage.
Ronin threw a fist and I ducked underneath it before landing a hard punch to his stomach. I felt him grunt before he elbowed me in my back.
“How about I give that human mate of yours a good rut in the sheets? I am sure after I am done with her she won’t look at you the same way again.”
I clenched my teeth before grabbing a hold of his thigh and pulling it up. He fought to control his footing. Slamming his elbow repeatedly into my back but I yanked his leg up and he went falling to the ground. I towered over his body and was about to slam my fist into his face when our father grabbed my shoulder and dislocated it.
Caught off guard, I stumbled back, gripping my shoulders. My eyes landed on our father who was glaring at me.
“I thought I could make you change your mind but I can see clearly now that you will not back down.” He spoke in an ominous voice.
I clenched my teeth against the pain. My free hand on my shoulder. Ronin stood up and moved back a few steps.
“I won’t get to you by doing this. I’m going to order you to marry Song in five days. If you ignore this request, I will end your mother’s life in front of your eyes.” He finalized.
Rage filled me, burning in a fury. It heated my skin, numbed my mind.
“Don’t think about doing anything irrational, Raiden. Think this through first. Who is more important? Your chosen or your mother? Do you want me to end her poor little life? I have tolerated your insolence for far too long. It is time I teach you that I am in control here and you will not win.” My father threatened.
There were no words to explain the climatic rage inside of me. I am amazed I am holding it in through all this. The beast inside of me is begging to be released. To wreak havoc in this world.
My father didn’t wait for what I have to say next. He turned and walked out of the room. My brother threw me another threatening glance before following after with his mother.
I stood alone once again. A damaged soul seeking warmth. A man needing comfort but unable to find none.
There is a pain in my chest. This pain is a vice on my heart, tightening with constant pressure. It kills me every day just a little bit more, smothering any happiness inside me and replacing it with my demons and nightmares. My vision blurred and wetness touched my cheeks.He is going to make me choose between two people that hold a place in my heart.
I will die before that happens. I will give my life up for the ones who have shed the only lights into my world.
I stood in his study for a long time after this. Unable to move.
I grimaced as I fixed my dislocated shoulder. Clenching my teeth to stop the cry of agony.