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Part 1: Cursed Prince (Book 2 of the Asteria Series)
Pairings: Sudo
Summary: When a freak storm blows in out of nowhere and his horse throws him, lowly Prince Joonmyun is left outside a lavish mansion with a bruised pride and a twisted wrist. Surely you're not supposed to listen to disembodied voices in an enchanted mansion...
Word Count:1699

When a freak storm blows in out of nowhere and his horse throws him, lowly Prince Joonmyun is left outside a lavish mansion with a bruised pride and a twisted wrist. Surely you're not supposed to listen to disembodied voices in an enchanted mansion...


Joonmyun bows to the pair of newly weds sitting on the dais.

When he rises, he catches the eye of the prince.

Joonmyun doesn't remember a time where the prince has looked so happy.

Kris's lips are stretched in a gummy smile, his lover's arm curled around his.

The man who stands at the prince's side is startlingly beautiful, with milky pale skin and dark soulful eyes.

The wedding has been the talk of the town, with the townsfolk speculating the origins of the foreign man.

As long as the prince is happy. Joonmyun muses to himself, shuddering when he remembers the dark period where the prince has sunk into depression because his lover left him.

Thank god he returned, for the world had been thrown into darkness and everyone was treated to lots of stormy days and odd weather.

The prince pulls the man down and whispers something into his ear.

Joonmyun watches, envious of their relationship, for who doesn't wish for such love.

Joonmyun backs away slowly, done with his congratulations to wander towards the banquet.

The prince's lover detaches himself from the prince and after a few whispered words with the prince, follows after Joonmyun.

"Hi. I'm Yixing." The man holds out his hand shyly.

Joonmyun blinks, startled.

The nobles of the palace rarely associate themselves with him, a prince of such little wealth and position.

Clearly, this Yixing is not from around here.

Joonmyun can hear the whispers start around him and he tightens his jaw.

"Joonmyun. Congratulations." He says shortly.

He wants to turn away but it would seem so terribly rude of him so he stays put.

Yixing smiles at him and leads him towards the banquet table where he secures two glasses of sparkling wine that smells sickeningly sweet and has the colour of cherry blossoms.

"Why do they look at you in that way?" He speaks lowly as he pours a glass of wine for Joonmyun.

Joonmyun is astounded at the ease of which the man serves himself instead of allowing the servants to bring a glass for him.

He takes the glass and murmurs his thanks.

"My family is not as well off as they are."

He says after draining his glass.

Yixing makes a sound of disbelief.

"They don't like you because your family is not as well off?"

Joonmyun decides that he likes this man.

He nods and turns when the sky rumbles.

"I should be going."

Yixing nods and touches his hand.

"I hope we meet again."

Joonmyun grins.

"Give my congratulations again to Kris for marrying someone as beautiful as you."

Yixing blushes, red climbing up his neck.

"Why does everyone here like to make me blush?"

He grumbles to Joonmyun's delight.

"Off you go and be careful Your Highness."

Joonmyun hurries out of the Great Hall, grabbing a servant as he leaves, asking him to fetch him his cloak.

He heads for the stables and leads his horse from its stall just as the servant appears with his cloak.

The storm clouds are darkening rapidly, an odd sign.

Joonmyun mounts his bay horse named Samson and turns him in the direction of the Enchanted Forest.

He would have to take the short cut if he wants to get back home fast.

Joonmyun digs his heels into the Thoroughbred's sides and spurs him forward into the dark cover of the forest.

Thunder rumbles and the sky darkens considerably.

Joonmyun urges his horse into a canter, the dark leaves of the forest going by in a blur.

The sky growls and without warning, the heavens open up, rain pouring down heavily, lashing through the foliage of the forest, startling Samson.

The horse snorts and fights Joonmyun's hands as he struggles to keep him under control.

"Woah boy!!"

Joonmyun gasps as Samson surges forward.

He wraps his hands into Samson's mane, barely managing to stay on as he breaks into a frenzied gallop, crashing through the trees.

Joonmyun leans forward and crouches low to avoid the branches.

A sharp branch still catches his cheek, tearing the skin.

Joonmyun gasps in pain but keeps himself crouched over Samson.

Blood from the open wound drips down and stains his cloak.

The rain pours down in buckets with no intention of stopping. It soaks right through Joonmyun's cloak to his clothes underneath. The hood does nothing to keep the rain out of his eyes as he gallops forward on a barely controlled horse.

The storm clouds above him boil in anger and lightning flashes, lighting up the sky.

Finally, when Joonmyun thinks his muscles are about to give out from exhaustion, they break through a line of trees and out onto a hill overlooking a majestic estate.

Joonmyun is blinking the water from his eyes when a crash of thunder startles the horse beneath him.

Samson bolts and Joonmyun lurches forward, grabbing at the mane with his hands slick with rain.

Samson gallops down the hill towards the tall wrought iron gates of the estate and rears up, screaming in fright when another bolt of lightning flashes and thunder roars.

Joonmyun screams as well when he is thrown from the horse's back, hands scrabbling blindly for the reins.

He is free falling, hurtling towards the ground at terrifying speed.

Thud! He lands painfully on the ground, his right wrist twisted in an awkward position.

Pain shoots through him and his vision whites out for a moment.

He groans even as he watches his horse vanish in the distance without him.

Joonmyun winces as he wiggles his legs and hands, avoiding the wrist that is beginning to swell.

He drags himself to his feet, groaning in pain.

Cradling his injured hand, he approaches the tall gates with an air of apprehension.

As soon as he reaches the gates, they swing open without a sound.

Joonmyun gapes at the sheer size of the mansion that had been hidden partly by the gates.

In the storm, the dark stones of the mansion appears to look sinister but the light shining through the crack in heavy velvet curtains beckons to him.

Joonmyun limps forward and raises his hand to knock but like the gates, the big oak doors swing open silently.

Joonmyun takes a hesitant step past the threshold and another, the warmth coming from the house beckoning him.

He sneaks a glance outside.

The storm is still going heavily, showing no sign of stopping anytime soon.

Joonmyun stands in the foyer of the mansion, water dripping off him onto the marble floor.

The heavy doors close behind him as he steps further into the mansion.

"Hello?"

Joonmyun calls, not wanting to startle the owner of the house.

Sit down and eat.

A disembodied voice whistles into the foyer, accompanied by a gust of air that pushes Joonmyun forward towards a large dining hall lavishly decorated with crystal chandeliers and velvet drapes.

Joonmyun stumbles and the invisible hand guides him into a plush velvet seat.

Joonmyun stares at the table in awe.

The table is laden with enough food to feed a hungry army.

Roast pheasant and sweetmeats are among the many delicacies on the table.

The smell that rises off the table is good enough to cause his stomach to growl.

The invisible hands whisks away the cover of the plate in front of Joonmyun and a delicious scent wafts through the air.

A ladle floats through the air and fills Joonmyun's bowl with an orange coloured soup.

Joonmyun inhales and instantly identifies the soup as his favorite pumpkin soup.

He thanks the air, feeling a little stupid as he does so before dipping the soup spoon into the soup.

When the soup touches his tongue, he is astonished as it tastes exactly the way his housemaid makes it, rich, creamy and full of pumpkin.

The invisible servants keep him busy, refilling his glass and serving course after delicious course.

At last, Joonmyun holds out a hand to stop the servants.

"Thank you for the meal."

He says aloud.

Hands curl around his shoulders and waist to urge him towards the tall staircase.

The disembodied voice speaks again.

The mansion is yours to explore. However, don't go into the West Wing if you value your life.

Joonmyun shivers and lets the invisible servants guide him up the grand staircase, towards a lavishly decorated room.

He has just begun to take his shirt off when the door opens and a tray floats into the room.

The warm towel on the tray wraps itself around his swollen wrist and a bandage follows after.

A wet cloth wipes at the cut on his cheek that he has forgotten about and he winces at the sting.

Peroxide is applied to the cut, seemingly without the help of any living person.

He sees a navy blue night robe fly off the rack as he is whisked out of the room into a bathroom with a massive tub with steam rising from the water.

The scent of roses invade his sense and he exhales, feeling more relaxed than he has ever been.

He is unclothed and unceremoniously shoved into the warm water.

Joonmyun closes his eyes and feels his tense muscles relaxing in the warm water.

Bottles of scented oils pour themselves into the water and a soft loofa scrubs at his back.

After he has washed, Joonmyun returns to his bedroom and slides between silky sheets.

The thunder outside the windows keep him awake.

Grimacing at the pain shooting through his wrist, he swings himself off the bed, and wanders off to explore the house.

The hallways are dimly lit when Joonmyun peeps out from behind his bedroom door.

He wanders down the hall, occasionally opening doors to peek inside.

His breath is taken away when a set of double doors swing open to reveal an enormous library.

Oh wow.

Joonmyun gasps at the sheer amount of books in the library.

The library is lit with a central chandelier but little oil lamps light themselves as he steps towards the shelves.

The Odyssey and Hamlet are just some of the titles on the impressive shelves.

He gently slides the doors close, mentally reminding himself to return in the morning.

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August 2016

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