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Morgan Rose

Student

11

--

Among the Kings

1ca317af

Book Link: https://www.wattpad.com/story/52868145-among-the-kings

NOTE: Will be an ongoing project for NaNoWriMo 2015

Target Audience: New Adult (focus towards individuals with an interest in the genres of paranormal, mythology, folklore and spirituality) This isn't a story with a linear plot, these are a collection of shorts. I write short collections rather than novel length stories, ideal for people who may have interests in certain aspects of life or stories following certain themes all while revolving around one characters life.

Summary:

"You will go by many names, but never forget the one that is true. For you will be a king among many kings and you mustn't forget who you are and why you do what you do."

Balthazar has existed longer than any mortal can have the honor of saying they have. As one of the most - if not most - powerful demon kings in Hell ruled under the Emperor Lucifer, he has witnessed kingdoms - both spiritual and mortal - fall, worlds be born, loved and lost many, and has lived more lives than many spirits could ever dream of. Even as a king, a God, and even a mortal, Balthazar is just one spirit who simply holds a book of stories, both heartwarming and heart wrenching that are what make him a king among many kings.

A collection of shorts depicting the lives, loves, and losses of one of Hell's most powerful demon kings.

Excerpt:

Ereshkigal's Little Prince (Story One)

This wasn't the first time that Balthazar had found himself alone and entertaining himself. His only companion was a small teddy bear sitting on his lap as he sat outside of his mother's chamber door. The young boy had lost track of time while waiting for his mother to finish with her latest male companion. Balthazar was young, but he knew better than to disturb his mother and her partners.

His head hung low, scruffy white hair covering crimson red eyes as he tried to drown out the noise that echoed into the hall from the room beyond the door. He knew very well his mother may be occupied through the evening and well until dawn, but he waited. He always did.

Minutes turned into hours and the child had given up any hope that his mother would finish before evening. He curled himself up into a ball on the cold marble floors, tightly holding the bear in his arms to his chest. He'd continue waiting. Even if that meant waiting until morning. His fingers tangled in the plush fur of his teddy bear, carefully stroking the soft ears of the toy. With a heavy sigh, he burrow his face into the bear's fur, silently hoping his mother would finish soon.

By the time the door to his mother's chamber creaked and moaned from being pushed open, Balthazar had dozed off into a light slumber. A rush of cold air half awoke the child, sending a shiver through his body. He didn't bother to sit up, he merely half turned to see a man stumbling out of his mother's room, dazed and exhausted as he stammered down the hall. Balthazar sighed before burying his face back into his plush toy. He wasn't surprised, it was like this many days. After a long moment, behind the man appeared a young woman in the doorway.

Her sepia skin glistened with sweat and the shimmering black and red sheer robes that draped over her pregnant body had been lazily thrown on. Long white hair that fell past her knees had become tangled and she carefully began to tease the knots undone with her fingers as she rested her free hand over her swollen stomach.

A grin grew on the woman's face, her red eyes sparkling with satisfaction as she watched her latest conquest struggle out of sight.

"Typical," she giggled to herself. It wasn't until she turned to retire to her room once more that she caught sight of her young son shivering and curled up on the floor. Her eyes widened and concerned replaced her earlier arrogance.

"Balthazar?" the woman's gentle feminine voice was as sweet as honey and laced with motherly concern. "What are you doing lying on the cold floor, sweetheart?" Balthazar stirred at the question and pushed himself up before bowing his head in shame to his mother.

"I was..." he paused, gripping his teddy bear tighter and taking a deep breath. "Lonely. None of my younger siblings wanted to play with me." As he spoke, he stood, ready to turn and leave if his mother was expecting another guest. Ereshkigal's eyes lowered, a small frown forming on her delicate lips. She slowly knelt down in front of her son, carefully minding her pregnant body before offering her hand to him.

Balthazar stared at his mother for a moment before cautiously placing his hand in hers. Ereshkigal's expression softened as she stroked her son's smooth skin and carefully stood up. She guided the child into her room, gently coaxing him inside before shutting the door behind herself as she took a step in the doorway.

"So many younger siblings to play with and yet...you do not get along with any of them," Ereshikgal said as she watched Balthazar hesitate before seating himself on the cushioned bench near the far end of the room. There was no spite in her voice, no anger, rather a certain melancholy that sank deep into her heart.

She watched as Balthazar stared out the window that overlooked the vastness that was Ereshkigal's realm. Pink and orange sunlight filtered through the glass, making Balthazar's tired red eyes sparkle as the last bit of sunlight reflected off of them. Ereshkigal bit her bottom lip as she gazed down at her stomach, gently rubbing the new spirit that resided inside of her. There was no doubt in her mind that the child within her womb too would dislike her eldest son.

She quietly made her way across the room, standing closing enough to her son to reach out and caress his soft white hair. Balthazar turned to look at his mother, unable to read her blank face. He turned his attention back to the window, the warm light now fading into darkness.

"Why does everyone dislike me?" Balthazar asked, his voice barely audible. Ereshkigal's eyes widened before her gaze fell to the ground. A weak smile appeared before a heavy sigh escaped past her.

"Not everyone dislikes you," she began. "You're my precious son, my favorite little boy...my little prince," she said. The words did not illicit any reaction from her son. She knew she would have to work harder to get him to understand. "You are a very strong spirit, one who will do many great things and has many opportunities in line for him. You are a prince after all. One day I know you will be one of the most powerful kings. But with power...comes a price." Balthazar frowned, pulling his teddy bear closer to his chest. Those were words the young boy had no reason to believe.

A silence fell between the two before Ereshkigal sat down next to her son, scooping him into her arms in one graceful motion. She rested her head atop his and gently rocked him back and forth in her arms like a small child. Once again silence filled the room, but comfort joined it. Ereshkigal had hundreds of children, and would have hundreds more, but Balthazar, her eldest was truly her dearest. She had no regrets in playing favorites. Balthazar was her precious little prince.

"Why does Father hate me?" Balthazar asked, breaking the peaceful moment that had settled comfortably between the two. Ereshkigal sighed, pulling Balthazar closer to her.

Farbauti...she thought to herself. The name of her former partner and Balthazar's father chimed in her mind, as an unpleasant reminder of a man she held more distaste for than affection.

"Father doesn't even call me by the name you gave me..." Balthazar added when his mother did not speak. "He only will call me Byleister and is angered when I do not respond to him." Ereshkigal remained silent. This was a matter far too complicated for a child to comprehend. No matter how intelligent Balthazar was, he still was a child, one who was already feared and envied by many.

Balthazar waited patiently for a response. With the silence grew anxiety in the boy, knowing he should have not asked to begin with. Before he could take back his question his mother began to speak.

"Your father does not hate you," Ereshkigal said. It was not a lie, even if the circumstances were convoluted. The deity known as Farbauti did not hate his child, but there had been unspoken expectations established from Balthazar's birth that she knew her son would not fulfill for him.

Everything from Balthazar's muddled demonic and divine lineage to his gentle personality clashed with his father's desires. Ereshkigal immediately claimed possession over her son after his birth before Farbauti could take him away from the Underworld to the Nordic realms. They argued every detail over Balthazar even before his birth. From his upbringing down to what Ereshkigal considered the most important detail; his name. Farbauti insisted the child be named Byleister while Ereshkigal named him Balthazar even though the young boy had learned the necessity of responding to both. Names would stick through existence, titles would come and go, and Ereshkigal believed that Balthazar would be the name to remind him where he was from and where he was to go.

"Your father merely wants what is best for you," Ereshkigal said. "Just as I do." Balthazar leaned back against his mother, a sigh escaping him as he became comfortable.

"Just remember one thing, my love." Balthazar half turned to look up at his mother and tilted his head. She smiled, bringing one hand up to stroke his cheek. One day this child resting in her arms would be a powerful feared king, she knew it, even if he was such a gentle spirit now.

"Never let anyone take your name away from you. You will go by many names, many titles, and live many lives. Just like your father calls you Byleister, and you live a certain way with him, but never forget your true name." Balthazar was confused by his mothers words.

"Balthazar?"

"Yes, Balthazar, my little prince."

Author Profile: https://www.wattpad.com/user/ohimemiko

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