It is snowing when Cenric visits the royal graveyard behind the castle. No, he is not there for any of the late kings, nor any other late member of the royal family. Cenric is there for the one and only commoner buried among the nobles. A hero who brought independence to Valria, a small kingdom in northern Eigria which was never mentioned in any history lesson outside its own. Written on the gravestone, as Cenric wipes away the snow covering it:
Here lies Daniil, Grand General of Valria, the Hero who brought freedom to Valria.
Despite his heroic feat, Cenric does not know the man. Four years old was way too young for Cenric to remember Daniil, who died shortly after leading Valria to victory during the war, freeing it from centuries long of colonization. There are no portraits of him either, since Daniil had died before anyone could draw his face to honor his noble deed. Nonetheless, Daniil’s grave holds a personal connection to Cenric, keeping his deepest secrets. Only the grave knows he hates both military and politics, his life, as well as his ‘special’ dreams which foreshadow things he never wanted to know.
Cenric spreads a thick blanket on the snow. He sits down as if he had all the time in the world, while in fact sunrise is already approaching, just a few hours prior to the Queen's Birthday Celebration, when he starts to talk.
"General, forgive me, for I have to disturb your sleep when the sun is not even awake yet."
Cenric tightens his mantle, shivering from the cold brought by occasional breezes, but he remains determined to stay there. Ironically for Cenric, the cold graveyard provides him more comfort than his own warm, spacious bedroom. Every time those nightmares are haunting him, only in front of this grave is he able to find solace. Not in any corner of the castle. Not in anyone, including the King and Queen.
"Did you know? I just dreamt. I was wielding a big sword, commanding some unfamiliar men who called me 'General’. On the battlefield stood an unknown tower which I had never seen before. While my men were fighting the surrounding enemies, I went inside, took a step on the winding staircase, then continued climbing, guided by my own feet as if my body instinctively knew where I needed to go. At the top, I opened a room, and found someone who looked like— no, he was almost an exact clone of Nicola. We fought. I swung my sword, he casted his magic. Suddenly, someone stabbed me from behind, and I woke up. Do you know why I dreamt of that?"
Of course, silence is the only response he gets. However, Cenric always loves the silence, and the unexplainable charm of it.
"Was that really me? A General?" Cenric asks again in disbelief. He can not picture himself being a General even for a second. While he is not bad at wielding a sword, he has no interest in the military at all. Naturally, his question is met with silence once more.
Those dreams always worry Cenric. They are not merely dreams, but premonitions that become reality. In the past, he was able to uncover two plots against the kingdom, which nobody in the royal army was aware of. The perpetrators' faces, their targets, their intricate plans — everything was accurately depicted in his dreams. As he recounted his dreams to Nicola, the Prime Minister, he could vividly remember and sketch out every single detail with the help of his inborn artistic talents. It was thanks to his ‘gift’ that potential threats could be promptly dealt with, the only thing that earned him proper recognition and respect.
Nobody knows why the hell it has to be him. Yet, those precognitive dreams are the only significant contributions he has made as the crown prince in protecting the kingdom, moreover, at the expense of having peaceful sleeps. Knowing well the power his dreams hold makes Cenric constantly ponder. Why would he fight Nicola, the current Prime Minister? He has nothing against Nicola, who is capable in his work, pouring his heart into every decision, working day and night for Valria. He is stuck.
Just as he is telling his brain to stop thinking, words slip out of his mouth, "Or, was that actually you?"