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from The One World Saga by Gregory Nimmo

Copyright © 2019–2021 Gregory Nimmo

Chapter 1
The King's Truth

Ezra Vosk had never always hated being a prince.

           He hadn’t left the palace grounds since he was a young boy and from what he remembers of the outside world, it was magical, in every sense of the word. He remembers the cacophony of voices in the market every Sunday when his mother, Osla, the Queen of Amaathos, would sneak out of the palace grounds with him tucked under her cloak. He could never see that well in front of him as she shielded his identity from the townsfolk but he always clung to her side nevertheless, light from the outside world always spilling through her various flowing, ornated garments.

           The townsfolk never suspected the Queen and the Prince to be among them. They would go about their business, often just walking endlessly, absorbing the energy from the people simply living, interacting and on the odd occasion, Weaving.

           Life outside of the palace was indeed, truly magical. Some individuals were masterful in the art of Weaving, a mysterious power enabling it’s master to accomplish super human feats. Ezra lived for the days he would witness the art being performed.

           He remembered the day clearly, when the man with power to create gold from stone tried to single handedly buy out the entire market or when the man with the power to heal began to announce the arrival of God, to demonstrate his own power as God itself. The King did not tolerate such claims. Ezra watched with his mother, unbeknownst to the soldiers sent by King Aslar, as they dragged the man who claimed he was God towards the palace never to be seen again and never spoken of.

           It was the first time Ezra saw the true power his own father held. The power of the people. And in a world where powers manifest in individuals sometimes from birth, there truly was no power to surpass that. With the power of the people, the King remained on top as leader of Amaathos. The source of his power, granted and passed by his predecessors, not only the power of the people but the power which many crave, the ability to grant and remove a person’s ability to weave.

           For a long time Ezra didn’t understand at the time how his father truly acquired this ability, assuming he earned it as King, but as time passed, he aged and his mother grew more ill. She spoke to him, their last conversation before she passed away. When the two of them were alone, she spoke of a world before the Veil.

 

Queen Osla lay gently on her bed, beads of sweat trickling down her face, her smile frail but nevertheless her eyes shimmering with love for her son.

 

“Do you remember the dream you had when you were little Ezra?” Queen Osla spoke quietly. Ezra assumed it was because she was too faint but she was lowering her voice to avert the curious ears of the guards posted outside her door.

 

“Ehrm…” Ezra pondered, trying to recall eventful dreams from his fourteen years of life.

 

“You were so very afraid” Osla began looking away from Ezra and shifted her eyes to the ceiling above her, decorated with floral patterns, each petal more beautiful than the last. “You told me about the end of the world. That you saw the Veil, which protects our city, shatter and fall to the ground, exposing us to the world outside.

 

Ezra remembered. However, he wondered why his mother would speak about this now. He remained silent and never looked away from her face, even though hers was turned away.

 

“You were terrified. I held you in my arms as you trembled and recounted your dream to me. You spoke of the creatures beyond the Veil ravaging our city. Taking the lives of everyone, including me and your father. You stood alone, atop the palace, looking down at the lives of everybody you knew being taken. Such a horrid dream for a young boy to have, don’t you think Ezra?&rdquo...






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