Crown prince Albert has found love with the handsome prince Paul: the son of the duke of the West. Their love was an easy one. But a well-kept secret inside the walls of his home. The imperial palace. A house filled with conspiring noble houses. A world within a world. Where defying the Sovereigns right to rule will swiftly send the accused to live out their days in a black cell. They collectively nicknamed this gilded prison: silent as gold.
Friends since childhood the boys truly believed their love would last forever. Despite the danger of their unlawful union. The two believed in everlasting love. In this world and the next and to be sure. Albert cut the throat of a large bull to the empire’s principal god: Divine Sol. The animals blood believed to hold magic properties dips through a platform showering over Paul below sealing their fate. This offering widely practiced by the royal family gave them hope in the future.
In winter with only his private guards to witness; Albert agreed to marry Paul. They said their vows and kissed beneath a canopy of Hortense purple roses. Being the crown prince, Albert gained a wealthy position next to his mother the queen. He stood as the second richest royal in the imperial palace. His only worry now- their secret marriage. He pays the palace guard’s known as Grey coats, double their salaries of 50 rubes to keep the secret. He sold all his stately crowns, jewelry, rings of his office, his clothing. Even his silk gold shoes to raise the sum needed for them.
Albert understood the cost of secrets in the imperial palace. He would give it all for his lover Paul and best friend. For only in Albert’s palace centered outside the reaches of political power. Could they live out their fantasy as husband and wife. Away from the rules of court life. They had a chance to have perfect freedom.
Two years later while a grand show of the empires 2,000 nobles praised the conquer queen on her two decades on the throne. Albert paid in advance each of his mother’s palace guards 120 gold rubes. An elite soldier’s yearly salary. They held a tight control over the movement between the hallways. Giving Crown prince Albert command. With his new authority he gave instruction to the household servants,
“It is our wish that the household staff have the night off.”
The royal pair were now free to move about the inner corridors linking his palace with the royal court. Holding each other; the two start their night in the marble hall; an endless golden room lit by candle flame. Built under past Sovereigns to greet foreign guests. Albert sat by his mother’s throne barred off with a rope.
With endless mirrors to reflect their secret. They drew there sabre’s and tested each other’s fencing choreography.
The time reached one in the morning. They whispered in each other’s ears promising to always defend one another. Paul sang heroic poetry while Albert caressed his hands. it was a morning they would chairess throughout their lives.
Today the sun would fully rise over their open happiness. They had to return to the prince’s palace before anyone saw them. The Grey Coats escorted them unseen through a hidden passage. Only known to the guards and the queen as the Tunnel.
As their private time was ending like any other. They held hands as the darkness swallowed them.
They kissed each other’s necks good morning while the guards led the way.
The pair drunk on their happiness showed their affection under the cover of pitch night.
As they were nearing the mouth of the tunnel. The princes overheard a conversation. One voice was immediately recognized as the commander of the Army; when they match his blue eyes with his rough dry pitch voice. They collectively understood to not make a sound.
He stood in the embrace of the prince’s mother; her long jet black hair shined as a single torch lit the wide cavern. The guards froze at the sound of her voice echoing. Albert squeezed his lovers right hand. Paul understanding the danger covered his mouth witth his left hand. indeed the man in charge of the Army held the mistress of nine continents warmly. Confident they were alone the commander confesses to killing his father the king for her. Albert and Paul could not believe what they were hearing and remained hidden as best they could. The crown prince never knew his father; he died mysteriously six months before he was born. He feared his life was now in danger. if this treason came to light amongst the soldiers. Either he will die, or the outcome could spark another civil war. Destroying the Nine Nation Empire. They both agreed to one day use it against the queen with the grey coats help. If only to save their lives. They would draw it out like a sword for the protection of their love. They were now players in a game of power. At the same time, they both felt their youths begin to disappear. Since that day their lives seemed to be over. They were not prepared for war.
Paul’s father the duke of the West. In a surprise gamble rebels against the queen in favor of Albert’s right to the throne as he now reaches manhood. Causing conflict between Albert and the one person he dare not cross on the battlefield. The Queen his mother; a brutal dictator monarch and a master tactician in the art of war. she perseids over an age of iron will. The sword and gun became the symbols of her terror. Gripping her nation and abroad in fear of her army. Any city calling for rebellion againt the state. Forfit their lives and land. There was no room for rebellion in her expanding Nine Nation Empire.
Albert fearing he will lose his position as crown prince sends Paul from his palace and openly denounces his lovers’ father in favor of his mother. Going as far as to rip up at his clothes and claw at his chest in front of the royal court. Albert from then on could not sleep without his iron dagger at his side. His mother’s wrath against him gave him nightmares about rats eating away at his toes and fingers in a dark cell. His life before was fitting for her. Quiet and out of the way. Now he posed a real threat to her authority. There could only be one sovereign.
Paul shattered by his lover’s cowardice and betrayal. He flees to his castles in the West despite the queen issuing a full pardon. Even raising him to the rank of Grand Duke of the West. Now that his father’s head met the headsman’s axe. Albert would not see his lover again for the next two years. But Paul’s love for Albert never wavers. he dispatches a letter not coded to him. knowing the whole court would read it. Paul with the west at his command believed Albert could be king 1400 miles away in the west.
Unless backed by gold, a prince’s secret, will always be told. Albert always warns him. Yet Paul had enough of secrets.
The Queen fearing her position on the throne was slipping. Employs her network of secret police. led by the Aryan noble Leo. Quick to seize his opportunity, Leo von con caperivi shows him self to be a man on the rise: he personally Investigates the queens own sons involvement in the rebellion. He sanctions a raid on the prince’s palace. Within days he concludes the crown prince took no part in the uprisings. But her mind could never fully trust her son again. Leo plays on this and suggests the crown prince be removed as sole heir. The queen agreed against her commander’s counsel. “Your own house may with draw their support.” The queen’s confidence determined no threat by them and tosses a comment by him. “My disgraced house will no longer hold my nation back general.” by her nation she meant herself.
In the coming weeks with no surprise the queens own House challenges her right to her fathers crown. The Gossier dynasty which now command an impressive Army of 25,000 men issued a proclamation naming Albert their Sun king. Announcing the king is of age.
In a calculating shift the queen summons her hated Aryan nobles to stay in power. For 20 year she fought to keep them out of her government. Now she needed them. Behind closed doors the queen sides with her family’s enemies. The Aryan aristocracy; the new majority land-owning masters of the empire. After cutting a deal with her secret allies she makes Leo her Chancellor of Naples. signaling to the nine-nation empire her new power base. This Insured her safety on the golden throne. With the queens backing. Leo derails all Albert’s supporters hopes of him inheriting his mother’s throne. He started by removing his name on all official office’s and incomes. There by signaling to the divided nation his disfavor. crippling his ability to fanicans his base of support.
Paul’s letter is intercepted by Leos spies and is leaked around the imperial palace. None of the Aryan nobles payed Albert any respect which was unspeakable to ignore a prince. many of the sun tribe nobles withdrew honors to him. Unthinkable to not give favor to the next in line to the throne. High ranking Dukes spit at him when he passed by and when it looked like the queen was going to fall to the rebellion. Albert is arrested publicly by Leo’s own personal soldiers. Paul is shut away by his own guards and could do little to save his lover. As did the palace nobles supporting his rights as prince. none came to the fallen princes defense as he is taken away.
Thrown in a jail cell with no windows. Albert praised the queen and wished her a long reign and health even under torture. He put his faith in the ancient law. there can be no other heir but him,
“No one will inherit that red crown but me,” he said with his stomach fuild tossing out with his every word.
He takes a gamble on her ambition to stay in power. He understood that the queen could not sit on the throne without a male heir or husband. Nor can the empire be without a future. However, if all else fails he would reveal his mother’s secret to her back-stabbing court. Guaranteeing her fall after his. The 10 lashes branding his backside came with a reward. After the Gossier army is soundly defeated. Albert is freed and welcomed back to court. The jail was well known to all the nobles. He became the first subject to feel the fresh rays of the sun again. Each dawn after his release he would watch the sun rise. Reminding him of his first day light from the terrifying black tower prison.
In a years’ time the prince recovers. He escaped with his life. But the time spent in that abyss showed life without Paul held little meaning. He found his mate in life and would die for him. They met again a few weeks later and renewed their passion for one another.
On the eve the queen was to announce Albert’s future wife. In order to produce a new heir. Paul risks his life once more. He announces his feelings for Albert in front of the royal court. Outraged the queen shouts at the court to leave. Albert pulls Paul taking him to kneel before the throne. The queen, in a joyous humor tells them both the story of her power hungry brothers and the cause of the civil wars that brought her to power. At the same time, in a special session of the imperial Senate. Leo passes a law forbidding male unions from inheriting the throne. To Leos surprise under the existing law male unions could have ascended the throne. The rank of a king or Queen has absolute authority under the law. thus, with the queen’s permission he passes a law to counter bribery not sanction by her. As well as raising the palace guards’ salaries to 350 rubes. The princes scandal never made it out of the imperial palace.
Seven months later under house arrest Albert feels compelled to topple his mother. After a night of nightmares profisecying his death.
The month, June, 24th Wednesday morning. A guard under Leo’s command is swiftly killed by a man dressed in a sky blue corset skirt.
in the hours leading to the imperial guards panic search for him. Albert made his escape east. reaching a small fishing town between the gate way to the north and east. there he met his army. This would be Albert’s first command and his first day as king.
“Soldier’s! Am I your King?” he said.
his army replies favorably.
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
Albert with fire in his heart rebels openly for the first time. With one thousand of his own fully payed Grey coats. He Increases their pay to 500 rubs a year. A lord’s one month earning. He Borrows all the money from Paul’s estates. With his elite killers he storms his mother’s private palaces in the east. Seizing all entryways and private bedrooms. He orders her entire household servants be put to the spear.
Albert after declaring, “This fight is not for me. But for you… the soldier.” draw out his courage to press his birth right. in a thunderous sweep of her palace. He storms his tyrannical mothers throne room. she reclines on a wooden throne embroidered with purple roses. His grey coats surround her. he commands, “subjugate her.” they remove the state gems off her rode. they take the red crown and swiftly hand it to Albert. However, he is given a lesson in true command. Although his guards were payed for their loyalty to him. The queen possessed a powerful influence with all the soldiers of the Empire. They worshiped her as a God of soldiers. Albert nearly collapsed as he now found himself her prisoner. “Black prince. Come here my baby boy, How do you think I survived in an Aryan’s world? Loyalty can be bought with gold for a time; My son, at days end. A man learns the world he lives in,” She advises him with such love he nearly forgot this woman feared him.
With only one card left to play. He no longer quivered at her vengeance. He black mails directly the queen of the known world. Revealing she murdered his father. The grey coats true sovereign. “Grab her” he shouts. The Queen draws quiet. The Grey coats, unaffected by his command await her decree. The Queen waves them with a swing of her index finger to leave. they bang their spears against the marble floor and hail her as the true queen,
“HAIL THE QUEEN.”
To Albert’s utter loss and confusion, he bends the knee. Mother and son were alone for the first time. Feeling a real bond with her son. She praised his command and leadership. “How brave.” She laughed. “You grabbed what you wanted by force, my son indeed,” She sat proud and smiled. His coup was almost a success. The palace was fully under his control. Her personal attendance lay dead. No subject could be granted an audience here in her summer palace. Albert could rule the empire by decree within these gilded walls until he consulted his power base. But she reveals his one mistake. she is a survivor of other coups before him. Adapting to all her opponents seen or unseen. Unknown to Alberts generation. By her own decree. She told the story just after his birth. Not found in any official document. She bragged about a high lord chancellor waging war over the superiority of the opposite sex. “This noble man was so sure of himself. The look on his face as I took his life with my own sword. A blind fool like all sheep before him.”
Albert began to see the sacrifices, the loss, the deaths and pain one endorses to have the perfect freedom he desired. The crown is cursed. Albert therefore chose the man he dreamed to one day sit on the throne beside. Without him the red crown would be just a hollow decoration. just as it is now.
“Did you murder my father?” He shouted.
Entering like an ever-watchful spider chancellor Leo advises the queen to have the prince killed at once. Entertaining the option, she instead continues talking with Albert about the future.
In his brief life the two have never been closer. She tells him of his birth and how she ordered him killed. But let him live because he survived the assassin’s blade. “You will never die that way again my son,” She said. finally giving the signal for the grey coats to enter. The Queen allows him to leave. but privately has him watched before his trial. She Forbid him to see Paul again if he ever wanted the crown. and to never mention his father again. He must once and for all give them both up. And leave him in the west and his father in the dirt. “Fulfill your duties as the male heir of this family. Or you can bury your beloved underneath the palace.” Albert, scared for his lovers safety shuts his heart to him. in a letter the next day Albert warns Paul to remember his duty and respect the rightful Sovereign the queen. he would receive no reply.
Albert entered into the next step in his game of power with his mother. He now viewed all the great houses as pieces to get him the throne but on his own terms. He Became more calculating in his friendships. Seeing infiltrator’s everywhere in the palace. His only way to true power was gaining personal influence with the Empires 800,000 soldiers. the imperial guards were beyond his influence. they belonged to the queen.
6 months later
Victorious in battle. The Nine nation Warrior queen wins another great war with the empire’s traditional overseas enemy the Franks. A three-month Army triumph was awarded to praise her victory. With the nations celebrating Albert tried a new strategy. By helping individual soldiers with their personal problems. there will be 95,000 soldier’s in the capital. He has a chance to create his own influence with men acorss the known world.
his plan went like this if there was a noble girl a soldier wanted to court. Not uncommon in the empire. Albert being the heir, he, gained knowledge and favor of over 1000 ladys. giving him match maker authority. One soldier he met this way was a Aryan soldier stationed for a few days at the city gates. He wanted to make his love known to a female noble who belonged to the house of Metternich. the Victors of the first civil war. They are considered the empires third Royal house. When Albert was crowned, he housed in their estate. In other gatherings He hosted a party for them when he needed there financial support. even then Albert understood the value of his position. He made sure the other royal family’s had close ties with him. His dreams of being king with Paul now drove him to be the male leader the empire needed. Yet his current plan relayed for now on romance.
When the royal departs for her valley estates in what is considered the countryside. Occupied solely by the nobility. Her carriage must pass by a high gate tower with white walls. this is where the handsome soldier he promised her was stationed. Albert understood the language of soldiers. A basic language: short and to the point. He coaches the soldier to find his courage. Our nobility share the same desires as any common soldier in that we are equals. They both want to find happiness. next he Tells him she will faithfully drop her slick handkerchief threaded with gold. he alone must be the one to lay hands on it along with his eyes matching hers.
It was mid-day When the time arrived. Albert sends a letter informing the soldier to peek down from his watch and show his sharp jaw and brown eyes. if she liked him, he would get her favor. And to his luck, their eyes found love. Through letters to each other. they agreed to meet 1 month later. Albert’s plan worked. for him It didn’t hurt that they were both attractive. Getting along well with the dashing soldier. They shared a friendship. Albert even promoted him to captain of the tower. allowing him to stay close to his new beloved.
In the winter they both agreed to duel each other at his noble cousins’ estate. The soldier wanted to see if Albert was telling the truth about the nobility being his equal. Albert gave him his answer. Fencing reminded him of Paul. It was their favorite pastime together.
The soldier after some time bought him to the main city barracks. where he met other veteran soldiers. Finding he had a lot in common with the men. he believed this was the way to take the next step to real power. This was his calling: a leader of the army without holding a rank. He also witnesses firsthand the cult of personality and fantasy around his mother’s image. He wrote later in his journal. “They would at certain times of the day pray to her for good luck and for easy victory in dice games.” he finally found new soldiers that weren’t bought with gold, “a few hundred down a half a million friends to go.” he said.
Summer was coming to an end and the queen was off on her last campaign. Her black eyes became set on a once powerful empire but now a weak regional power. The prize of its conquest would be her long-lasting legacy. her destiny to rule the world and to add a tenth nation to her empire. At home Leo planned one last chance to remove Albert before his mother returned. Just as he was practicing with his new off duty soldiers. A fighting force reaching five thousand men. an army of armored imperial dawn star soldiers seized Albert. When they came to his aid the nations soldiers were showed little mercy as they were cut down. The prince found himself alone once more. The prince is taken and beaten to the point of death. he confesses his desire for the throne. But the mood towards Albert began to change in the empire. The queen wasn’t getting any younger. With no other choice even the most loyal of dukes and Aryan nobles wished to see him rule one day. The imperial senate calls for his release until his trial. Leo is forced to set him free on house arrest.
Fearing payback Leo employs foreign assassins to get rid of what he called. “An abomination to his plans.” Prince Albert is not fooled the day they came for him. He swiftly defends himself. Backed into the servant’s quarters. he seizes his resolve to be with Paul again. He breaks off his attackers’ assault. Taking his first human life. later in a letter to the court for a fair trial he demands to be set free. Yet he cannot escape the palace and is still shut away as the queen returns. bringing with her a new suitor. One who may finally replace Albert with another heir.
End of part 1