Prince Playing Peasant

Adalwin goes to the castle of Van Falkenburg to seek a position as stable boy, to help support his family after they had been overthrown in their own castle by his uncle. As he works in the stables, he starts to fall in love with the Princess Linza, and she falls in love with him. But, he's a peasant, and she must marry someone of noble blood. What will happen when she learns that he is just that? What will happen when he attempts to reclaim his right to the throne? All will cry, laugh, and fall in love while reading Prince Playing Peasant.

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1. Prologue

The wind howled as it beat against the side of the cottage, seeping through the small holes that had started to form through the rotting wood. Glancing down at the children who slept in front of the fireplace, huddled up to keep warm, the woman hobbled over to the fire, poking it with a stick to keep the measly thing alive. What heat she could procure from the small flame, she made sure that her children got the most of it.

She went to the wall, stuffing strips of old cloth to try and keep the wind out, but to no avail. The blizzard winds outside pushed the scraps back out, determined to give the poor family frostbite.

The door flew open, and in rushed a large shadow, covered in snow and rags, holding a bag of meal and a few rabbits.

The burly shadow closed the door, and shook off the snow in the corner of the one room cottage, trying to keep the children as warm as possible.

Off came the hat, and the woman saw her eldest son’s face, bright pink from the harsh winter air nipping at him.

He set the rabbits and meal by his mother, and sat down on the chair across from her, rubbing his calloused hands to create warmth.

“So, my son,” questioned the mother, “have we enough money to pay for a house in the big city?”

The young man dropped his head into his hands, shaking it. “We haven’t even enough money to afford new cloth or thread to mend our woolen dresses.”

    The mother and son turned their head to her children, his siblings, despair coursing through their veins. How would they survive the winter? Without fresh clothes, they would more than likely freeze to death, black frost covering their limbs and eventually killing them.

“What are we to do? We cannot go back to your uncle, he would kill the children!”

The young man looked up at his mother, fear evident in her deep, brown eyes, and knew that he had to protect his family not only from frost and starvation, but also from the man that had haunted their past and their nightmares.

Her son pondered on their dilemma, and finally opened his mouth to announce the idea he had had for quite some time.

“What if,” he suggested, “I go to the palace, and become a servant there? I have heard rumors that they pay their help very kindly, and I could request that they send it to you. That way, once you have accumulated enough money, you could finally buy a house in the city, one that is not full of holes and has neighbors who might help.”

His mother’s head shot back to him, astonishment clearly read from her orbs. He had always been able to tell his mothers emotions. Her face was quite expressive.

“What are you saying, my son,” she trembled, “are you saying that you shall leave us, alone, in this cottage which has holes like cheese?”

“Yes mother, that is what I am saying, but you shall only need to stay here for a short while longer! I will make enough money to keep you all safe, safe from the cold, starvation, and from him!”

His mother looked down to the floor, a battle of thoughts raging in her mind, debating whether she should allow her son to do this, when Adalsinda, her youngest daughter, sneezed. Her eyes teared up, knowing that what she wanted and what had to be done were two different things.

She sighed, and looked back up to her son, patience, determination, and hope swirling in his steel irises.

“Hurry, Adalwin, to the palace and request to serve the royal family. But please stay safe,” she reached over and grasped his hand firmly, “and never forget who you really are.”

He jumped out of the chair, and rushed to gather his belongings, only those that were necessary and which would remind him of his true heritage.

He stood in front of the door, turning to face his family once more before journeying a dangerous path to the palace, and to freedom.

 
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