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As the sun slowly began to rise above Yaounde, the capital of Kamer Kingdom, a hint of morning light filled the bedroom of an 11-year-old boy. He was quite tall for his age, measuring 160 cm, and had dark circles under his eyes that highlighted his jet-black hair. The boy had been tossing and turning all night, unable to escape the grief that consumed him as he held a photo album tightly in his hands.
Just yesterday, the boy and his mother had been seated in the living room when a procession of six generals, their uniforms pristine, solemnly entered their abode. Each bore General Marcus Thorne's insignia, a poignant reminder of the fallen hero. The lead general stepped forward, bearing the weight of the world as he shattered the news that would ripple through the Kamer Kingdom: one of its most revered figures had succumbed in the throes of battle.
The pages of the album were filled with frozen moments, memories captured in vivid detail. His father, General Marcus Thorne, stood tall and proud in uniform, a beacon of strength and honor. The boy's quivering fingers traced the contours of his father's face, his heartache deepening with each touch. The memories came flooding back, a torrent of images and sensations that threatened to engulf him entirely.
He could practically smell the familiar scent of leather and gunpowder that clung to his father's coat, the same coat that had once enveloped him in a comforting embrace. The boy's chest tightened, the weight of his loss making it difficult to breathe. His father's warm laughter echoed in his mind, a melody that had always chased away the shadows.
lightsΝοvelTears welled up once more as he turned a page, revealing a snapshot of a lazy afternoon by the lake. His father's patient voice guided him through the intricacies of casting a fishing line, the gentle ripples on the water's surface mirroring the tranquility of their bond. Each memory was a dagger to his heart, a reminder of all the moments they had shared and all the moments that were now forever stolen.
As he gazed upon the images, the boy's thoughts were a tumultuous storm, a whirlwind of longing and regret. He wished he could have said so much more, and expressed his dreams, his fears, and his gratitude. But now, those words remained trapped within his chest, locked away by the cruel hands of fate.
He sat up in bed, his body trembling as the weight of his grief threatened to overwhelm him. A choked sob escaped his lips, and he clutched the photo album to his chest as if it were a lifeline. The morning light filtered through the curtains, casting a bittersweet glow on his tear-streaked face.
He stumbled out of bed, still clutching the photo album, and knelt down in front of a shrine dedicated to his father. His mother had set it up the night before right after they received the news, and it served as a reminder of the sacrifices he had made for the kingdom.
As the boy finished his prayers for his father's soul, he felt a renewed determination to ensure his father's legacy lived on in the Kamer Kingdom. Wiping away his tears, he focused his thoughts on how best to honor General Marcus Thorne's memory.
First of all, he should look into the box his father left him. The day before, the generals didn't came empty-handed. They had 2 packages for him and his mother. The package was still on his table, unopened as he didn't have the heart to open it the day before. His mother noticed this but said nothing about it; perhaps she understood that her son needed time to grieve before he could start to move on from his father's death.
The boy shuffled closer to the table, lifting the box with trembling hands. He examined it carefully; it was constructed of a deep mahogany wood, and golden accents adorned its sides containing scenes of battle carved into each corner. On top of the case was an extravagant silver lock imprinted with three simple words: "For my beloved son," and his father's seal etched onto it. It ensured that it had not been opened since his sire had closed it, even making the item almost invisible to X-ray scans.
He took a moment to gather his thoughts before inhaling slowly and gingerly unwrapping the box. He was greeted with a white envelope, two silver envelope, and a seemingly plain bracelet. Despite his sorrow, the boy was stunned and quickly grabbed the bracelet, examining it to confirm it was what he believed it to be. After confirming his doubts, he placed it carefully back in the package knowing that he needed to be calm to process its implications.
The boy felt the thud of his heart in his chest as he reached to pick up the crisp white envelope. Carefully, he slid out a single sheet of paper and unfolded it. He read the familiar block letters that spelled out his father's words.
"My dearest son,
I am sorry that I had to leave so suddenly. But never forget that I will always treasure our time together. You are brilliant (just like me) and have the same heart your mother has. I know you were not made to be a general like me or your grandfather, but I'm certain that you are meant for greatness and as a dedicated father, I must do all I can to aid you in this pursuit. In this letter, I have included some items that might be beneficial to you on your path. Remember that I am with you so long as you keep me close in your heart and repeat these words daily: "I shall make my father proud"
Your loving father,
The boy read these words over and over again until his tears blurred the ink on the page. He held onto his father's letter tightly against his chest as he finally allowed himself to process all of the emotions that had been raging inside him since hearing about his father's death. He knew now more than ever how much he wanted to honor his legacy by becoming a successful general like him someday but like his father said he wasn't made for that career but he knew that he has many other ways to keep the Thorne house at the top.
Once he had calmed down, he grabbed the two silver envelopes. He opened the first and was met with a letter stamped with the Kamer military insignia. He quickly read it through, including the "Just in case" clause written by his father at the back of the page, and eventually found himself laughing out loud for a few moments.
This 'referral' letter gave him the opportunity, if he wish so, to join the army directly as an officer, skipping all the normal recruitment processes. He found it funny that his father knew he couldn't fit into the military, but still gave him this letter. What made him truly laugh was the fact that no one from his house could be drafted or even enlisted without their expressed approval and a soul oath - not even the King had any power over this!
With a nod of gratitude and appreciation for his odd but dependable father, he reached for the second envelope. He pulled out a rectangular piece of paper and read it with wide eyes. A smile of pure joy stretched across his face as he realized how lucky he was to have such a thoughtful and caring father. His father was definitely the best.