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Part 9: 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: 686

Kyungsoo crashes through the trees, feeling the skin on his upper arms split apart as the curse advanced. He breaks through a line of trees and freezes. He stands on a cliff overlooking his family's estate but even from a distance, he can tell that something isn't right.

The sprawling mansion looks nothing like how it had been before when he left it. Instead the house seems to have aged a hundred years with the gardens overgrown with masses of vines, leaves and trees. Slack jawed, Kyungsoo makes his way down the cliff and approaches the gates of his home, stunned at the transformation.

In his bed, Joonmyun writhes as pain invades his body and briars snake around the bed, thorns pricking him by accident as they climb. His dreams turn to nightmares as he thrashes in pain and fear. The sky darkens and lightning flashes.

Kyungsoo hurries to the huge metal gates, worry trickling through him. Am I too late? He rattles the iron gates, metal cold, hard and rusted beneath his skin. He shakes them harder, fury rising in him as he thinks of Joonmyun, asleep beyond those gates and helpless to what is happening. He roars and strikes the gates with his fist, the brittle metal crumbling and giving way beneath his furious repeated strikes.

He is faced with what is essentially a forest of briars and thorns, designed to block his entry even to the mansion itself. He lashes out with his claws and grits his teeth against the pain when a thorn sinks into his flesh. Reaching for the short sword that he thanks god he had though to bring with him, he strikes at the briars with the blade of the sword, slicing through the vines and thorns like they were made of butter.

He forces his way through the thicket, thorns catching on his clothing and skin, drawing blood as he moves through, hacking away at the vines and briars blocking his way. Joonmyun arches with a scream in the bed, nightmares filling his subconsciousness. Sweat beads on his forehead and his face pales even more as he fights the unknown terror. Kyungsoo slashes away a part of the forest and nearly collapses to the floor. He can feel Joonmyun's pain.

Snarling in fury at the thought of anyone hurting his beloved, he drives the sword point through the earth with all his strength. The sky rumbles and lightning blinds him as it flashes. The forest clears instantaneously.

Kyungsoo stands at the foot of the tower, covered in mud, grime and blood, panting as he stares. The sky darkens even more as he climbs up the tower, terror rippling through him when he kicks open the door to see the thickets of thorns surrounding Joonmyun. He stares in disbelief. Joonmyun screams in his sleep and that snaps Kyungsoo out of his daze and he strikes at the briars with renewed energy. The vines encase around Joonmyun, wrapping around his wrists and ankles, immobilizing him. He thrashes, as if sensing the danger even in sleep. The thorns dig into his flesh and blood drips onto the covers.

Kyungsoo slices away the last of the thorns and reaches for the ones wrapped around Joonmyun's wrists. He ignores the biting pain of the thorns and pulls desperately. The rose that Jongdae had placed in Joonmyun's hand glows eerily and Joonmyun stops moving. Kyungsoo freezes.

He releases the vines and reaches out to lay a hand against Joonmyun's nose. His breath catches when he feels nothing. He checks his chest but there is no rising and falling.
"No, no, no!" He gasps, sinking his knees. A tear trickles down his face and he presses his face into the duvet in despair.

He is too late.

He raises his head to stare at Joonmyun's sleeping face. He looks so peaceful now compared to how he had been struggling before. Kyungsoo bites his lip and struggles to contain his tears. He rises to his feet, hands clutching at Joonmyun's hands like a lifeline. Swallowing hard, he leans forward and covers Joonmyun's lips with his own.


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August 2016

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