Lampleton and the Dead Princess

After planning to propose to the Golden Princess of Golden Gates in the Fountain of Dances, Steven is met with an unsettling sight.

Steven is deeply disturbed and hate boils in his heart from this sinful act. On a journey of love, loss, and ultimately revenge, Steven is packed for an adventure that will test his limits.

Will Steven fall victim to the Black Gate Cult, or will he find the justice he seeks for the Golden Princess Melanie?

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1. Fountain of Dances Coated Red

Drifting, that velvet colored dress. So spectacular and iridescent. A beautiful display of royalty and nobility in a single fabric. Loved by many, hated by few, until her blood was coated along with the morning dew.

That dress now floats without destination along the streaming river, soaked in water as the blood stains will remain to blotch the dress for an eternity. 

My feet idly waver as an emotional pain swarms my heart and mind. Her body is pale and lifeless in the water as I stand there with an unsettling feeling pitted at the bottom of my stomach. "Melanie..." My voice lost.

A dagger with blood plastered about its metal sat in the grass away from me. The Fountain of Dances was no longer a fountain of the purest and clearest water, but was now painted red with evident struggle. 

The planets would collide at any moment as my heart cracked beneath the pressure of loss. A set of feet smacked against the ground behind me as tears emerged from my wasteful eyes, "Who comes here?" I ask.

"Why it's me, your friend, Miles!" Miles proclaimed, "Why're you crying Steven?" He drifted his hand on my back, until his gaze met the water and his posture immediately changed.

"Mela--you...you are responsible for this? You killed Melanie?" 

"It wasn't me I swear!" I scurried onto the grass as Miles furiously unsheathed his blade and held it above me, "You vile scum! You'll pay for this!" Miles sank the sword down towards my chest as I rolled out and onto my feet.

"It wasn't me Miles! I swear on the Seven Gods of Lampleton."  

Miles looked me up and down in hate, "How am I supposed to believe you? Why should I believe you?" He began walking towards me, his sword level with his legs.

"There is no blood on my hands Miles, I came here to propose to her, as tradition would have it! Think about it, why would I kill my own love?" I began to ease back to the wall of the garden. My back touched the wall.

Miles was lost in anger as he closed in on me, his blade swaying dangerously near. I unsheathed my own blade, praying Miles would have mercy and we wouldn't have to come to blows.

"Steven, you smell of putrid sin and dishonorable notoriety on this day. I shall cleanse you from this world. Only my blade will forgive you with the taste of your blood." Miles reared his head back drunkly with emotion. 

"I am not a murderer! Why would a noble kill the princess?" Sweat materializes on my face. 

Miles charges me and shovels his blade down onto me, as I block with my own. The clanging of the metal sends shivers down my bones. 

"Believe me friend, I loved her too...I loved her so much." Tears crawled down my face as my body shook heavily against his angry assault. His hot breath assailed me, studying me intensely as he became more rabid.

Miles loosened his onslaught and stepped back from me. He gave me one more look before giving me his testimony.

"I choose to believe you are an honest man, who would not deceive me. I give you my mercy on this day Steven. But...I must inform father of this deed of evil, and if you disappear by the time I am back, I will have your head." He sheathed his blade.

Miles with anger and tears running down his face looked back at his dead sister and then back at me before running towards the glass door to the castle halls. He wailed in tears as he opened the door, and ran for the king. 

I walked towards the Fountain and looked over at the beautiful blonde who floated in the water. A sudden depression sank me deep into thought.

It was early in the morning, and it was suppose to be where I proposed to her...to Melanie. When I got here, I was met with a gruesome sight. The gruesomest site. Something told me that fate couldn't be broken. That this was only a dream, but I could feel the real pain.

Whoever did this is a monster, everyone liked Melanie, and for what reason was she murdered like this? In all of the great kingdoms of Lampleton, who would commit such an atrocious and despicable crime? 

My heart went out for my love, and my hate cradled inside of me. I grabbed Melanie's lifeless hand and surfed her from the calm water. Pulling her up from the water, I put my other hand under her waist as I glided my other hand to her neck. Carrying her to some dry grass and laying her down.

The Royal family pierced through the glass door to the Fountain of Dances as they encompassed her pale form. King Miodus cried, "Melanie, Melanie! Melanie..."

The king looked up at me in anger and confusion. "Did you do this? I'll have you hun..g.d.." The king's throat relapsed under his painful cries for his daughter.

"Father, I do not believe Steven is responsible for this act, I put my honor on the line to defend his case. Although I do not fully trust this man yet, I see little reason for him to murder his lover." Miles slightly regained his composure.

The king was too lost in thought as he stared down at his daughter. The words only being received after he returned to reality. He was then reemerged into dreadful agony.

Her pure blonde hair was soaked at her sides, and her golden eyes resided into a thousand yard death stare. Her red velvet dress was covered in a thick oil of blood. 

I looked down at my blood stained hands and the blood that had gotten on me from pulling her out. The king soaked up his tears and looked at me, "Who is responsible for this Steven? Who would do such a thing to my golden princess?"

He looked at me as a source of hope momentarily, I felt the hate boiling in his heart too, "I have no idea, your majesty." I got down on one knee. 

"I came to propose to your daughter, Melanie, in the Fountain of Dances as tradition would have it, but I was met with this unsightly scene, your majesty." My voice croaked as I finished my sentence.

The king rose above me, with his golden layers of hair that wrapped around his back and curved with his stubble beard. "Steven, Miles... Gather a carriage and inform the citizens of Golden Gates that Princess Melanie has been underhandedly murdered. Anyone with information on who the perpetrator may be will be rewarded. Now go." The king ordered, as he fell back down onto his knees bawling.

"Yes, your majesty." I said, as Miles followed behind me into the halls of Golden Gates Castle. The halls were marble and fabric. It was coated with a velvet carpet and shiny decorations. Sketches of the Royal family lined the halls and windows on one side of the hall had magnificent glass windows which gave light to the beautiful city of Golden Gates.

The city was vast and expansive, with beautiful structures and natural wonders. The castle itself was upon a rocky mountain's cliff, and posed as a natural defense. The city was built into the mountain's two inclines as a large gate wrapped the kingdom inside. A pearly gate sat at its center, untouched by the enemies of the outside world. Lampleton was large, but so was the Golden Gate Kingdom. A single city kingdom, with some farms lingering on the outside of the walls. It was naturally beautiful, but also praised as the center hub for Lampleton. 

As of now, they're building a tunnel system through the mountain to sift goods through. There were few poor in the city, and most people who lived here were regarded as nobility. 

Miles and I passed through the hall and entered a set of doors that led to the main castle center. From the beautifully decorated center with all kinds of furs and fabrics, we departed towards the outside. 

The fresh air pierced my nostrils as we made our way down the steps and onto a side trail. This side trial led to a dirt road that could easily be horse-driven down, instead of actually walking all of the steps down to the bottom.

We were met with a few clean looking gentleman who talked and joked around as they lounged around on their carriages. They immediately went silent when our presence became known. Wide-eyed and flabbergasted, the noble coachman crowned to one knee as they welcomed the prince of Golden Gates, Miles. 

"My prince, how may we be of service to you, most gracious?" The coachman asked with dignity and humbleness in his voice.

"Set aside your formalities Levi, and take us down to the citizen district. Princess Melanie has been murdered." Miles glazed his hand, which held a decorative amount of bracelets.

Levi gasped along with many others, as he jumped on his wagon and waved for us to get in. Another man opened the Royal wagon door for us to enter, and we did so comfortably. The leather interior was comfy and nice. It smelled of pure scents. Royalty had always been nice in my mind, but even coming from a noble background, this was extremely nice.

The wagon took off as Levi put his black hat on along with his work shirt and pants. His black hair rode down the sides of his head, and his bald spot began to show as the wagon hit a bump.

The air was fresh, but dreary. It was sweet and savory, but in all of the wrong ways. It'd be better to say this moment was sour and bitter. Miles didn't speak a word, nor did I. I looked at the floor, painted the same color as Melanie. It was all still too fresh, as I could still smell the blood on my hands. 

"If Melanie's death was by your hand, my honor will be reared like that of an ass's and I'll be slandered for an eternity by the people of Golden Gates. Steven please assure me my dignity." Miles sighed, his eyes closed and his head leaned against his hand in notable stress.

"I give you my word Miles." I said.

I wanted to wash it all off, and forget any of this ever happened.

We reached the bottom, as people began to come out of their homes and paused what they were doing to address the Royal wagon now in presence. It was rare that the Royal family made appearance, unless it was important. As men and women, along with their children crowded around, the carriage stopped.

Levi got off, and opened the door for Miles, I shuffled out behind him. Miles looked down at the dirt, as if he felt strange being here or something. He walked in the silence, around towards the front of the horses, as the people had formed a wedge around the carriage, their forms knelt in a respectable fashion.

Miles stopped in his tracks and looked around for a moment and then broke the silence, "Stand." 

The people stood on command, and gave undivided attention towards Prince Miles. 

"It appears I will be needing a Royal Guard from this point onward. Princess Melanie is dead, and someone shall pay for their high crimes." 

The crowd started to buzz as cries of agony for the princess became apparent. The people were undoubtedly loyal to the Royal family, and this was like losing a child to them, or losing a role model.

The Golden Princess Melanie, is how she was widely known, and now the people had lost their princess. The King and Prince Miles, along with a few other cousins could not maintain the kingdom without a Princess to win the hearts of the people. 

Wails of pain shrouded the air and covered my heart in deep depression. Then I remembered my duty to the king, "I was going to propose to the Princess in the Fountain of Dances this morning, but was met with her pale lifeless figure. Anyone with information on who murdered the Princess will be rewarded properly. This was assured by the King himself." I shouted into the crowd. 

The crowd was still full of shrieks of hate and sadness, but a path opened its way for a mysterious group that presented itself. Black robes and black masks were now in my face.

It was the Black Gate Cult, a mysterious group that rarely spoke, but hated the Royal family and nobilities. Some say they're just commoner scum, but others rumor that nobility heads the organization. 

A single man presented himself in his robe from the group, as he took off his mask, I was met with rugged black hair, and a scar that lined his eye. His glare gave me chills in my shoes. "You, the brown hair, blue-eyed boy." He pointed at me.

"What's your name?" He asked.

"Steven. Why do you ask such a question now?" 

"The Black Gate Organization has information on Princess Melanie's death, but we don't want money."

"Then what exactly do you want then?" I asked angrily.

Miles stood impatiently watching the scene. Hoping to rid the Black Gate Cult for good in his mind. They were hated by all nobility for their mysterious actions. 

"We want you Steven. You're exactly the man we've been looking for. Come with us, and we'll tell you what we know about little Melanie." 

"Do not mock my sister! Heathen!" Prince Miles spat, "I'm coming with you Steven, I don't trust them to take you alone. What if they hurt you? They were probably the ones who killed my sister!" Miles shouted grotesquely. 

"I will only take Stevens, or I will not tell you anything, my Prince." The Black Gate member said mockingly.

I leaned over into Miles ear, "It's okay, I'll go with them, and you stay here. If they kill me, you will know it was the Black Gates who dishonorably murdered our Golden Princess. Farewell, my prince." I moved away from Miles.

"Hopefully this removes any doubt you had about me Miles." I gave him one last look.

Miles stood there looking at me blankly as I turned towards the Black Gate Cult. I walked towards them in my noble attire, painfully renouncing my honor by agreeing to these terms.

"You've made the right decision Steven, now let us find somewhere more private to talk, before we continue further." The man put his black mask back on, ordering the group to turn around. I followed suit with them, as we dispersed from the crowd and lingered down the great streets of Golden Gates and into a shady looking alleyway.

Hey guys! Thanks for reading my first chapter, if you enjoyed it please leave a vote or a comment on how I can improve this story! Tell me what you liked. :) Thanks! -Devedia

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