KASARINLAN'S VERDICT: Stigma of the Chosen/C3 ACT 02: PRACTICE DUEL (Part 1)
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KASARINLAN'S VERDICT: Stigma of the Chosen/C3 ACT 02: PRACTICE DUEL (Part 1)
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PRINCE Sari, age 12. For as long as he could remember, everyone called him “Prince” or “Young Prince” because he came from a Royal Family. They always stated that he was an important person in their kingdom. They also said that one day, he would become King of Kabinihan. Prince Sari had no idea what it all meant back then. Even now, he still couldn’t understand everything or what was his real purpose in this world.

“Young Prince, how is the soup? Is it to your liking?” A middle-aged woman dressed in all white asked the kid Prince nervously. She just served a different kind of soup today. They were anxious to let the Young Prince have a taste before they introduced the soup to other Royal members of this palace. If the Prince didn’t like it then they would get rid of it immediately.

“It’s delicious. I like it!” Prince Sari honestly commented while putting on a smile. The woman was relieved by his words. The nervousness she was feeling just now slowly faded away.

“Thank you, my Prince. I will tell the cook to serve the same soup for tomorrow morning,” said the woman.

“Okay. Thank you for the food. And please tell the cook that I would like some fried eggs, too,” the Prince politely asked and the delighted servant quickly nodded her head.

“Absolutely, my Prince.” She was about to leave when a woman suddenly spoke. She was sitting across the table and she had a very strict aura around her.

“Prince Sari, as a growing boy you should eat healthier foods. Fried eggs? That will blunt your memory. You have a lot of practicing to do for today. I am afraid you might end up fainting before lunch time is ready,” the strict woman reprimanded the young Prince Sari. She was called Miss Ilang. Her duty was to teach the Prince table etiquette and watch over his health in general.

Prince Sari low key bit his lower lip to prevent himself from talking back to her. She was older than him, after all. Even if he was Prince of this kingdom, it didn’t mean that he could be rude to people without knowing his place as a child. “I am sorry, Miss Ilang,” the Prince sincerely apologized.

Miss Ilang softened a bit before sighing. “I hope you don’t take it to heart, Young Prince. I must make sure that you are eating a balanced diet in order to toughen your stamina during sparring lessons. You have a practice duel this afternoon, right? You must eat a lot,” she said and Prince Sari nodded to her last statement.

Yesterday, the Prince was told that he would have a practice duel with a young *Mandirigma who was four years older than him. The young Mandirigma came from a proud family of Mandirigmas that had greatly shown loyalty in protecting their kingdom from enemies. The young Mandirigma was also said to be a prodigy in battle. And starting from today, he would be the Prince’s mentor in learning various fighting skills.

Apparently, even Royalties were required to at least know one fighting skill so that they could defend themselves if they were to be attacked while not being guarded.

“I understand, Miss Ilang. Sorry for worrying you,” Prince Sari deeply apologized again. After that, they had a hearty breakfast together. Of course, the Prince got to eat the fried eggs but Miss Ilang requested to add more foods in today’s menu that had high protein content in them.

Prince Sari had known Miss Ilang since he was five. They always ate together. They would exchange fun conversations while she taught the Prince how to eat like a true Royalty. Sometimes, she would be strict but the young child found her caring in a lot of ways. And most often than not, he would imagine that he was spending most of his times with his own mother. Miss Ilang became a role model to the child.

Prince Sari was told that his mother left Kabinihan when he was still two years old. Details to her sudden abandonment of her people and very own son were unclear, but the Prince would often hear from other Kabinihan people that she must have regretted giving birth to a male offspring.

Not known to many, the child’s title as Prince was only one of his few roles in this kingdom. In this place, they served a certain Deity named Kasarinlan, whom they considered a god after this Deity gave them a paradise to live on and that was known as Kabinihan to this present day. For them to return the Deity’s kindness, they were to present a maiden in every generation that was destined to carry the Deity’s child.

A certain clan were the only ones capable of having offsprings that might become Chosen Vessels. They could determine that the child was a Chosen Vessel if she had a flower-shaped tattoo on her lower abdomen the moment she was born and they called that tattoo as the Mark of Kasarinlan. The Mark of Kasarinlan was absolute and the people strongly believed that it was something they could not defy for it would bring them great misfortune.

However, an incident from 12 years ago brought drastic change to Kabinihan’s beliefs. The Queen had a male offspring and that child had the Mark of Kasarinlan — making him the Chosen Vessel — without doubt. It was considered a heresy and disappointment to the Deity. Many were shaken but they vowed to never doubt the power of Kasarinlan and the existence of Chosen Vessels so they chose to raise that child. Not only he was a Chosen Vessel, he also came from a bloodline of Royalties which made him the next in line to become Kabinihan’s future King.

And that heretic child was no other than Prince Sari.

Prince Sari, himself, had still no idea what was the real purpose of being the Chosen Vessel. He was not a woman and worst of all, couldn’t bear a child. Wouldn’t all their efforts go into waste once he met Kasarinlan in person eight years from now?

Setting that aside, the Prince had no idea of how much about his mother’s issue was a lie. Everyone seemed to despise her for leaving the kingdom. Rumors said she was eaten by her own selfishness. Oddly enough, there was this one particular woman who always told the Young Prince little stories about his mother. He never heard her say bad things about the late Queen. It was as if she idolized the Queen that much regardless of what she did. So, the Prince suspected that she might be someone very close to his mother but then, he was still too young to understand.


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