The Emerald-Opal Heir - 24

The Emerald-Opal Heir - 24

A Chapter by A.L.

The Prince


“You better have a good reason for this, because I don’t appreciate being woken up from my beauty sleep.”

Beckett snorted. “Trust me, beauty sleep isn’t going to do anything for your complexion.”

The pale girl from the dungeon glared at him between the bars of his cell. “Oh, that’s rich, coming from the boy who looks practically identical to me.” She snorted, obviously pleased with herself.

“Yeah? How else did you think I’d know that?” 

Her smug little grin settled into a deep scowl and Beckett felt the hair on the back of his neck prickle. 

“Fine,” he sighed, immediately wary of whatever magic she might possess. “I just need to talk real quick and then I’ll leave, okay?”

The girl reluctantly nodded.

“Great,” Beckett said, relieved to have gained some semblance of trust from her. “First, I don’t think we’ve been properly introduced. I’m-”

“Prince Beckett,” the girl said, wrinkling her nose and raising the octave of her voice in a mocking way. Then, more serious, “Everyone knows who you are, Beckett. They’d be fools if they didn’t.”

“You should address me as Your Highness-”

“Emmeline and Newt and Forrest don’t,” the girl challenged, crossing her arms. “And you should hear the things that Clara’s called you.”

The name made his heart skip a beat. 

“Clara’s talked about me?”

“Only bad things,” the girl clarified, the ghost of her grin returning. “Why? Is there something you’d like to say about her?”

Beckett groaned. If he would’ve known that this girl was so infuriating, he wouldn’t have based his plan on her compliance. “Forget I said anything.” 

“Not a chance.” 

Fine, a change of subject then. “What’s your name?” he countered, trying to steer the conversation away from himself. 

The girl heaved a sigh, obviously disappointed by the change. “Brooke.”

The name didn’t sound entirely familiar, but then again, Beckett knew Clara and Titus had been charged with finding the other heir, and he’d left with Baelle by the time they’d returned with the mysterious heir in tow. 

“And you’re a real heir?” he inquired.

Brooke’s joking demeanor was gone. “Is that what these lines mean?” She rolled up her sleeves to show the green and silver tendrils. Beckett had only seen them once before, and he never told Baelle about them. Obviously, Brooke’s guards must not have paid any attention at all if they hadn’t discovered that she was an actual heir. 

Brooke caught him staring and swiftly covered her arms again. Her voice was almost inaudible. “What do they do?” 

“Magic,” Beckett answered vaguely. He wasn’t sure if he could trust her yet, and he didn’t want to give a possible enemy any knowledge that they could use against him. 

She didn’t seem satisfied with that answer, but she didn’t press the issue. “And I assume that telling me about magic isn’t the point of your visit?” 

Beckett ignored the disgust behind the comment. “Yeah, actually. I kind of need your help.” 

Brooke laughed at him. 

You need my help,” she repeated. “The divine prince, Blessed by two ancient goddesses, child of both kingdoms, needs my help.” 

Beckett crossed his arms, trying to show her that he was being serious. 

But Brooke was too busy doubling up, laughing softly. “Oh, goddesses, this has to be a joke.” 

He stared at her, feeling heat rise to his cheeks. 

Brooke finally regained her composure enough to wipe at her eyes and stop laughing. “What does ‘His Royal Highness’ need from a prisoner?” 

Beckett was seriously beginning to debate if he even wanted to go through with this. It was evident that Brooke didn’t really want to help him, and it was understandable considering everything she knew about him based on the opinions of his friends. But he needed her - she was where his plan came together and what everything relied on. 

“Baelle is planning a coronation for me,” he said. “She’s going to kill me there and there’s nothing we can do about it - at least, that’s what Baelle thinks.”

Brooke was actually listening now, her interest obvious in her wide eyes.
“And you have a plan on how to stop her?” she asked, once again completely serious. “It didn’t go so well last time someone tried to.”

She was talking about Emmeline of course, probably trying to get some details about how the attack had gone. Beckett decided he would update her later, as a means of proving that she could trust him. 

“Of course,” Beckett said, offering a small smile. “How would you like to be my heir?” 

The next day, Beckett found himself in Baelle’s office, sitting opposite of her with a desk in between them. While the entire desk was covered with papers, Baelle had cleared a small area for Beckett to work. 

A formal piece of paper laid threateningly in front of him. It was blank, except for a golden seal in the top right corner. 

“I’ve looked through the wills of most of the other rulers, dating back over five centuries ago,” Baelle explained, tapping her fingers on the desk. “And I’ve compiled most of their basic commands into one letter for you. The main point is designating an heir, but you can also leave your personal belongings to others.”

Baelle knew full well that Beckett had no personal belongings, but Beckett let it slide. 

“What do I write?” 

“Here.” Baelle slid another paper across the desk. It was covered with neat handwriting riddled with blank lines, probably for filling in specific words. “Just copy it down but replace the blanks with whatever you choose.”

The unsung threat hung in the air, making Beckett’s stomach twist. 

One wrong choice, and Baelle would know. She would make him pay for it. 

He took a pen from Baelle and began slowly drafting the will. To write something that seemed to solidify his own mortality made him nauseous, but Beckett forced it down. He copied word for word from the document until he reached a peculiar sentence. 

“This here,” he said, calling it to Baelle’s attention. “This sounds really weird. Is it based on the original text or the adapted version?”

The sentence in question was actually phrased terribly, but it was one that Beckett, Steel, and Glass had decided on when they’d broken into Baelle’s study the previous night. Beckett could feel the stiff parchment rolled in his sleeve, an identical copy to what laid on the table. 

“Hmm.” Baelle glanced at the paper, her lips drooping into a frown. “Let me check…” 

She ducked down and began rummaging through her desk drawers for papers that Glass had purposely moved to the bottom of an entirely different drawer. Beckett took his opportunity to switch the paper in his jacket with the paper on the table. 

The seal wasn’t perfect on the counterfeit, but it was close enough to hold under Baelle’s scrutiny. 

Under Baelle’s, not under further investigation by another party. Which was the point. 

“I can’t seem to find the original,” Baelle mumbled, returning from the bottom of her desk. “Just, uh …” she paused. Her brow furrowed as she glanced at his paper. 

Beckett’s heart thudded heavily in his chest. Goddesses, she was going to see right through him. He held his breath, trying to keep cool as he plotted the easiest way to escape. He would need to find Glass and Steel and Alys, of course-

Baelle blinked once. Twice. “Beckett…”

Beckett sent a silent prayer to whichever goddess wanted to listen to him - as long as it wasn’t Baelle. 

“When you’re done here, I have a job for you,” was all she said. 

Beckett didn’t move. Was this some sort of trick? Did she really think he would be stupid enough to fall for that?

“Well?” Baelle said a moment later, gesturing at the papers on the desk. “Finish up.”

“Of course.” He let out a breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding. Today was not the day he would be caught. 

He wrote as fast as he possibly could, every second another chance Baelle had to decide to check his will. Though his handwriting was barely legible at some points, Beckett figured he could blame it on never being properly educated. Baelle didn’t even spare him a second look as he worked, which made Beckett a little suspicious but he didn’t press it. 

When he finally finished, Beckett rolled up his parchment and took a piece of ribbon from the desk to tie it shut. 

“Aren’t I supposed to seal this with my ring?” he pointed out. 

Baelle shrugged. “You’re not king yet, Beckett. You don’t get a seal unless you're a king.” Which sounded just like an excuse to him. He decided not to press the issue. 

“So,” he ventured. “What are we doing next?”

Her smile was so wide that it sent a shiver up Beckett’s spine. “Come with me.” Who knew three words could evoke such dread. 

She took Beckett’s will and tossed it on the desk carelessly. He could still feel the real will tucked into his sleeve, waiting to be finished when Glass would use his photographic memory to help fill in the blanks. 

Baelle led him down to the dungeons, something that worried Beckett greatly. 

Did she know about Brooke, or was she here for other reasons? Beckett was sure that his magic had functioned perfectly when he’d visited Brooke. The shield he’d put up with the emerald magic should have been enough to keep Baelle at bay. 

But Baelle strode right past Brooke’s cell without even bothering to slow down. 

Beckett shot the girl a pitying glance, but she was facing the corner of her cell, probably bored out of her mind. If it wouldn’t raise any red flags with Baelle, Beckett resolved to try and get Brooke some entertainment. 

When Baelle finally slowed her stride, they arrived outside of a cell that held a man Beckett didn’t recognize. He looked average in pretty much everything, except for the holes where his eyes should have been. It was a bit sickening to look at, but Beckett didn’t let himself look away. 

This is what Baelle does to people. This is why you must kill her. 

But at the same time … once Baelle died, there would be no saving Alys. 

He pushed the thought away, leaving it to worry about later. He had more important things to focus on - like this man before him. 

“This is Arthur Bones - one of the men in charge of the rebel army. I don’t know if the two of you have met before,” Baelle said, her hands tucked behind her back and her voice filled with thick smugness. 

“We haven’t,” Beckett interrupted. 

The man didn’t appear as though he had heard them at all, but Beckett was pretty sure this conversation was being staged for his benefit. Baelle probably wanted to rub it in that she had blinded him. 

“Well, Prince Beckett, a recent trial has proven that this man is guilty of crimes of treason. Therefore, the most reasonable punishment is death.” She said it all so nonchalantly that Beckett took a moment to register the words and their meaning. 

Baelle wanted him to kill Arthur.

His hand dropped to the sword he constantly had strapped to his hip now. It may have been a fake version of the Sacred Blade (he intended to steal the real one as soon as he figured out where Baelle had hidden it) but it was still entirely usable. The blade was sharp enough to cut - and although it wouldn’t harm a goddess, it could still kill a person. 

Unless Baelle intended for him to use magic, which was almost worse in a way. 

“You call hours of torture and forced confessions a trial?” came a voice from the cell. It was a bit slurred, as though drunk or with a lisp, but Beckett could still understand what was being said. 

Arthur was facing them now, his head propped up on his elbows. His chin was dotted with stubble and his mouth was twisted into a grimace of pain. 

“Mister Arthur Bones, you have every right to remain silent,” Baelle said. 

The man scoffed. “Oh, really? Are you going to torture me again? Make me confess to things I didn’t do and things I did? You’ve already taken my eyes, you-” 

He was cut off with a growl of pain and Beckett had a feeling Baelle’s now outstretched hand had something to do with it. Her expression was one of scorn and disgust, as if she couldn’t handle the filthy presence. 

“I took your eyes because you used your gift against me,” hissed Baelle, her teeth gritted. 

Beckett felt intrigue prickle inside him. 

“My Blessing can’t be used against anyone,” Arthur argued. “Seeing the future can’t change it.”

“Well, then, you predicted the wrong one.”

“It’s not going to happen the way you think it will,” Baelle snapped, her anger rippling through the air. 

“Isn’t it?” asked Arthur, and Beckett had the odd sensation that the man was focusing on him. He dropped his gaze and the feeling disappeared, though Beckett still felt sick. Maybe it was the idea of all the things Baelle had done to this poor man. 

“Enough!” Baelle’s voice was practically a screech. “You will die, Bones, no matter what you try to say. The prince will kill you.”

Will I? Beckett wanted to say he wouldn’t. He wanted it so badly it hurt. 

But it was him or this man, and Beckett knew what Alys would say to him. He knew she valued his life, knew she recognized his importance. 

Arthur was still focused on Beckett. “The prince, you say? Prince Beckett? The one Clara talked so much about?”

The name was a sucker punch right to Beckett’s heart and he nearly toppled over. 

The one Clara had talked about. This was Clara’s captain, the one she’d written Emmeline letters about. This was Clara’s friend. 

And Beckett was going to kill him. 

“At a loss for words, little prince?” Arthur sneered, and there was no kindness in his voice. “Do you feel bad for what you did to her?”
“How did you-”

Arthur tapped his forehead. “I don’t need eyes to see with Ibeni at my side, little prince.” He gave a small shake of his head, grinning. “She hates you. She wishes she could be the one to deliver the killing blow.”

Don’t believe him, Beckett told himself. 

Baelle was probably manipulating this man’s words, trying to worm her way into his head. Well, Beckett wouldn’t have it. 

“You’re lying,” he said. “You don’t even know Clara, do you?”

A question he almost hoped that Bones wouldn’t answer, but that he also hoped that he would. Yes, Baelle was standing there. Yes, she was learning that Beckett had never quite moved on. But Beckett couldn’t care less-

“I do,” Arthur said, sounding more sincere this time. “Or at least, I did.” 

But that was a long time ago. The voice appeared directly in his head, itchy and uncomfortable because it didn’t belong. Beckett wanted to claw it out until he realized it was Arthur talking to him. I don’t know what you’ve done to her, Your Highness, but from the glimpses I’ve seen of Clara, she’s struggling with your betrayal.

I didn’t want to betray her, Beckett protested, feeling a bit weird for saying it in his head. I didn’t want her to get hurt. But this is where I belong, Bones. My place is in the castle, her place is out in the open fields where she doesn’t need to worry about me.

Arthur heaved a sigh, but it was in Beckett’s mind. Clara talked about you a lot, Beckett. The prince that she described to me - he wouldn’t put his duty above his friends.

I’ve changed, Beckett replied, a bit defensive. 

And so has she, Arthur said. I understand that you must kill me, Beckett. It will hold up your facade well if you prove your loyalty. My only wish is that you remember who you were.

What do you mean?

I’m afraid I’m out of time, little prince. 

“Kill him, Beckett,” Baelle ordered, cutting off the conversation. Beckett desperately grabbed at Arthur’s retreating presence, but he was already gone, sitting complacently on the chair where he’d been before. 


Baelle’s hardened gaze focused on Beckett. “Kill. Him.”

“With what? Magic? My sword?”
Baelle crossed her arms. She didn’t answer. 

Beckett turned back to Arthur, who was frozen, anticipating his death with what had to be happiness. Or maybe peace was a better word for it. 

I’ll make it quick, Beckett promised, even though he knew the man couldn’t hear him. 

He focused on the tingling in his arms, pulling the magic from deep within and forcing his power to his fingertips. He held up his palms and let the magic go. 

Like a slingshot, it snapped forward and hit Arthur straight in the head with a burst of silver light. There was no blood as the man toppled to the ground, no sound beside his limp body hitting the floor. 

And when Beckett turned back to Baelle, she was watching him. 

And smiling. 

He forced on a mask of indifference, but the second Baelle let him return to his quarters, Beckett vomited several times. 

He was a monster after all. 

It was the middle of the night and Beckett was perched on the edge of Alys’s bed. 

There were no maids or guards to keep them apart when the entire world was asleep. No laws, no magic, no goddesses. 

Alys was still unconscious, her face pale in the soft moonlight. 

Beckett cupped her soft palm in his, her blackened skin exposed to the air. The illness was creeping up her arms and towards her chest now. It was only a matter of weeks before it would consume her entirely. 

He pressed her hand to his forehead, feeling the slight thump of her pulse against his. 

“I killed a man today, Alys. He told me I could, and that made it worse. He knew Clara too, and I know you don’t know her, but I think you’d like her. She’s a lot like you, actually.” He chuckled to himself, thinking about the two fiery girls meeting, both with their own different flames. One that he had smothered with his betrayal, leaving a wound on her heart that would probably never heal. 

“Alys, am I a monster?”

She didn’t reply, as usual. Beckett dropped her hand, burying his head in his arms instead. 

“I’m going to prove I’m not a monster, Alys. I’m going to save you, okay?”

He took a deep breath. This is my story. My ending. I get to choose how this goes, and I will bend fate to my will.

“When I’m king, all of the goddesses will bow to me,” he whispered to her. “And I will make them all pay.”

© 2021 A.L.

Author's Note

This is the last of Beckett's POV before part 2 begins, and I'm kinda happy with how he ended up. When I first planned this story, Beckett was supposed to disagree with Baelle but slowly learn to trust her, and then Alys showed up and everything changed. I wanted to give Beckett a new friend, but I never really realized how much he needed one until he fixated on her. I don't know how realistic this descent is, nor do I know how corny it may be. Whatever the case, Beckett ended up where I wanted him, and feel free to share your thoughts about him and whether you consider him "good" or "bad" or somewhere in between. Thanks, and happy reading!

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Added on December 11, 2021
Last Updated on December 11, 2021
Tags: blessed, cursed, adventure, goddesses, sword, love, death, betrayal, kingdom, kingdoms, war, castle, magic, reading, writing, prince, king, queen, royalty



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