Unconquered Sun, page 1
"THE UNCONQUERED SUN"
Table of contents
Interlude. Emperor. 3
PROLOGUE. PRINCE AND FAIRY. 4
PART I. PAST GHOSTS. 27
Chapter 1. Incident in the wood. 27
Chapter 2. The prince changed. 51
Chapter 3. Hidden threat. 62
Chapter 4. Where Prinze disappeared? 73
Chapter 5. A secret is revealed. 85
PART II. TWO FAIRIES. 99
Chapter 6. Prince Gaston. 99
Chapter 7. Reserved Thicket. 123
Chapter 8. Sea queen Laura. 150
Chapter 9. Hospitable Hostess. 166
Chapter 10. Secret Plan. 188
Chapter 11. Desert of Desires. 211
Chapter 12. The Rocky Mountains. 231
Chapter 13. Gloom offsprings. 254
Chapter 14. Unexpected meeting. 281
Chapter 15. Transformation of the Prince. 306
Chapter 16. Tag. 330
Chapter 17. Decline of the Invincible Sun. 344
PART III. PUNISHMENT. 357
PROLOGUE of II. Triune Knowledge. 357
Chapter 18. Shah, shah, shah and … castling. 387
Chapter 19. A Farewell to Arms 400
Chapter 20. Justice above all! 413
Chapter 21. A birdie in a cage. 437
Chapter 22. Transformation of the Invincible Sun. 450
Chapter 23. Prinze and Lily. 461
Chapter 24. The pendulum shook. 476
Chapter 25. A fox in a hole. 491
Chapter 26. Return. 502
Epilog. Outcast. 513
Recently I often dream the world what it was far back in the past, at the time of my youth. As alive, I see juicy emerald meadows and accurately tonsured fruit trees of gardens, the boundless woods more reminding well-planned city parks, and a set of the rivers as if the blood vessels overtaking from one end of the continent in another streams fresh, transparent as rock crystal of water again. I see again the populous cities which you will not distinguish for anything from each other - so they are similar at each other - accurate tile roofs and brick fencings of houses, carefree crowds of the inhabitants working not to fatigue, even not suspecting what is danger, hunger or a senile infirmity.
Tselestiya … Blessed country, promised edge of pleasure and rest! The country where the summer is never replaced in the winter where rains drop out as by request in which woods you will not find any wild animal. Millions of square miles of well-groomed arable lands, pastures, meadows, woods and gardens. Millions of happy inhabitants who are not knowing what is need, diseases, hunger. Thousands of the cities not distinguishable from each other. Fifty kingdoms soldered as chain armor plates, to the uniform Commonwealth in the shadow of mighty Avalon …
When I think of how there lived then people, the first that comes to my mind - it is children. Children, perhaps, the only beings who perceive everything available for them as a reality as self-evident, without suspecting at all that all those benefits that they have, someone worked to make, earn, and, maybe, even to steal. Well, and if someone gave these benefits to you, so you already we depend on it, so you are not free. The child always we depend on the parents even if it is the best parents in the world even if he about it does not suspect.
So there lived then all inhabitants of the Blessed Country. Lived happily, without noticing fetters on the hands and legs, including them it is simple jewelry. And yes really - our fetters were made of pure gold …
Having already almost semicentennial experience of management of the Empire, I can tell that the strongest power - this that power about which you do not suspect. So governed all mankind, dexterously and was able, Heavenly Empresses. And only the few then knew the truth. But even from those who knew about it only units could wish other share.
Now, when passed already nearly half a century as Hera Poryadca and Prosperity passed, me often ask to write about what was then - what was the world before on it the Pink Rain spilled. And I vowed to myself to tell about what happened to me and to other participants of the world drama in those times of troubles, on a change of Eras. But earlier on my shoulders intolerable freight many urgent public affairs lay, and I could not force to take up the pen in any way. Now, when my grandsons and great-grandsons fill with everything already, I nevertheless decided to force to execute promised to write that I have to. And, who knows, can be then these dreams will leave me, at last, alone?
Pisano at summer the fifty second from Hera Imperatora's beginning.
I. CHRONICLE OF THE PRINCE AND FAIRY.
PROLOGUE. PRINCE AND FAIRY.
The slender white fallow deer nibbled a grass on a glade in the middle of the dense birch wood. It was kingly graceful, really unearthly beauty an animal. A marble shade, without uniform dark speck the silky skin fancifully cast it silver under bright beams of the midday sun. Thin, with golden, but not brown hooves, almost weightless legs, appear, did not touch the earth at all. In each movement of her fine body, in a mild look pure as a tear of eyes so much internal nobility, graces, advantages was its that it was possible to think that this fallow deer - not the animal, but some wonderful forest deity which on some whim of destiny assumed shape alien to it.
Only one circumstance broke the general idyll. Though around only ringing trills of forest birds were heard, the fallow deer kept obviously on the lookout. She continually lifted graceful as if turned by the skillful woodcarver, a head, shy spun the nice ears and scaredly looked around. The easy summer breeze which was softly moving branches of birches, and, perhaps, it blew and informed of some suspicious smells a fallow deer.
Really someone watched a fallow deer. It was the fair-haired young man who hid in the depth of a birchwood and, slightly breathing as bewitched kept the eyes glued on the snow-white forest beauty. The fitting cloth trousers, holshchevy khaki a shirt, a jacket with a big hood from waterproof matter, a hat with a feather and jack boots - here everything that made his suit, usual for inhabitants of those deaf places. Growth it was rather high. However in combination with a little shchuplovaty constitution, and also a little disproportionately long hands and legs, this advantage turned for it rather into a shortcoming. In any case, at many its appearance involuntarily raised a smile. At such constitution he reminded something a fire kalancha and if at the same time with enthusiasm told something, with emotion waving a hand (that happened to it, it is necessary to tell, is frequent), then, perhaps, even a windmill. Too long was at it and a nose, too outstanding on a face so something the reminding beak of some bird, and a receding forehead - such what is usually at people of not too superior intelligence. However, some shortcomings of appearance of the young man with interest paid off always good-natured expression of his face and that the most important, unusually pensive and naive, as at the child, a look big, a navykata, and blue as a sea wave, eyes which were entirely directed on a wonderful fallow deer now.
It was visible that the young man very much wanted to consider the beauty closer. He continually impatiently shifted from one foot to the other, bit lips and is ridiculous as immoderately the curious goose, extended the already long and thin neck.
"And cock-and-bull stories of skilled hunters are suddenly right, - he thought, - that white fallow deer with gold hooves - magic and if to catch them, then they directly from these here hooves can beat out coins? And not some copper coins, but sound royal ducats!!!" The hands shivering for nervousness the young man wiped a perspiration which acted at it on a forehead.
No, this young man, of course, was not self-interest
Obsessed with this thought, the young man began to creep to a fallow deer closer and closer. He carefully moved on a soft green carpet, trying to go so that not to frighten off the forest beauty. The benefit, wind amplified, and noise of foliage absolutely muffled its steps.
Here he passed from one birch to another, carefully crept on tiptoe to the third and hid behind a thick trunk of the fourth. The young man could already distinguish color of eyes of a fallow deer and consider separate hairs on her wool - so close it approached it. But while the celebration of the young man was almost full, he so was fond that did not look under legs and stumbled about a root which it is not known as turned up to it under a leg! The squeezed shout, and a fallow deer as an alarmed moth was distributed, at the very same time flew away, having disappeared in the depth of a birch thicket.
- Wait, the beauty, I will not do you the harm! - cried it, following what there was forces a young man (as if she could understand the human speech!), and right there rushed to a pursuit of the beautiful fugitive.
Long legs and harmonous constitution helped the young man to run quickly. But the fallow deer, of course, ran even quicker. Soon it passed out of sight. But the young man was, apparently, a skilled pathfinder and the forest tramp. It continued a pursuit, dexterously finding the swept together look the hot scent left then, there by its small round hooves.
And meanwhile the wood changed directly in the eyes. Light and thin birches were gradually replaced by pines, pines - larches and firs, and those, in turn, fir-trees and cedars. The soil began to fail under legs, the tender and dense grass was gone, and instead of it where look, only mosses yes horsetails grew. Enthusiastically joyful trills of songbirds abated, ubiquitous playful proteins and chipmunks got lost somewhere, cheerful white butterflies and efficiently buzzing hard workers bumblebees were gone. In the wood it became unusually silent, and the fallow deer trace, meanwhile, conducted further and further, in the depth of a dark and gloomy marshy thicket.
And here, at last, there came the moment when the young man began to be tired of a pursuit. In his head even the treacherous thought crept to leave it at all and to go back, the young man did not know this part of the wood at all. But something nevertheless prevented it to be given, leave.
"The creator, such miracle as a white fallow deer with gold hooves can be met only once in life! If I miss it today, then I will never forgive myself it!" - the young man thought, and this thought gave him a second wind. He pripustit forward again and fearlessly whisked in the thicket of very tall spreading fir-trees in which shadow even in solar summer midday the eternal twilight reigned.
When the young man's eyes, at last, got used to darkness, he noticed some white spot ahead. "Really it is my fallow deer?!" - he thought, and heart joyfully trembled in his breast. The spot in the twilight did not move. Then he as far as could silently, walked on a thick carpet from a brown soft moss, being torn through the prickly fir-tree paws which were painfully scratching the person. Still step, still … At last, having moved apart the next couple of branches, he … saw the fallow deer!!!
"But what is it?" - the young man with astonishment thought: the fallow deer stood as driven in the depth of a thicket. It helplessly spun ears and shivered with fear, without deciding to go neither forward, nor back. It seemed to the young man that the fallow deer at the same time was afraid also of the person behind, and what she guessed ahead. Meanwhile the young man took one more step forward - and here shrill wild howl the silent wood shook absolutely until then.
The young man for fear fell down from legs, and the fallow deer was swept up on the place and did not know where to run. Probably, she guessed that those who made these terrible sounds already took them in a ring. It was felt also by the young man. And several moments later heard awful noise from the predators which are torn through a thicket.
Having forgotten about a fallow deer, he understood one - it is necessary to escape! And then absolutely unconsciously made that only thing that was perhaps in such family way for the ordinary unaided and not aggressive person - is prompt, itself without knowing as, scrambled on a trunk of a century fir-tree directly on its top. And a fallow deer, having made a plaintive guttural sound, suddenly guessed a gap invisible to a human eye in a ring of the coming predators, rushed to it with a speed of wind and was such is.
On a tree the young man felt obviously ill at ease. Wind strongly shook the top thin branches on which that was double up in three deaths so it hardly kept to falling. That wolves left, it had no confidence, and therefore the young man did not hurry to go down back on the earth. And, as it became clear soon, correctly made because three huge black wolves, everyone size from a large one-year-old calf, a jog trot ran up directly to that place where still some time ago there was a young man. Heart of unfortunate grew cold with fear. It seemed, still slightly, and it will not sustain and will fall down - directly in the predatory wolf mouths opened in a hungry grin.
And wolves, meanwhile, were very and very unusual. This young man was competent and inquisitive, and books about animals were the most favourite his reading. He knew all about animals and birds. Knew also wolves a little - what they were far back in the past. But about SUCH wolves he never before did not hear: that they were black moreover and of the size of a calf …
"Well is not present - such wolves are not!!!" - refusing to trust own eyes, the young man thought. And as if in response to his thoughts the largest of sitting under a fir-tree an animal suddenly … started talking (!!!). By the rough, barking, spiteful, guttural voice.
- Well, nothing, nothing, hang for a while on a tree, the little man, you will not ripen yet, and you will ripen - you will fall, from us all the same not uydesh-sh-sh-sh!!! - the wolf growled, without tearing off a baleful hungry look of the cold eyes, yellow with red streaks, from the victim.
It was so unexpected that the young man at once nearly fell down from a branch. It small began to tremble as an aspen leaf, convulsively shivering sweaty palms embraced a tree trunk and began to remember feverishly all those prayers to the Creator whom in the childhood his devout mother learned. Nothing else, probably, remained to it any more because wolves were obviously not adjusted to leave, and, on the contrary, thriftily settled down directly at roots of a fir-tree and began to wait patiently.
Minutes developed in hours very slowly. Prayers ended soon, and there were absolutely absolutely nothing to borrow the head. With boredom and overfatigue the young man several times nearly fell asleep, but every time woke up in time, by miracle avoiding falling. And the sun, meanwhile, further and further set for the horizon, shadows became longer, and soon the young man did not see anything around, except any indistinct spots any more.
Night was especially terrible in this place. Here trills of crickets, usual for such time of day, singing of night birds were not heard. There was a dead, oppressive, sepulchral silence which only the silent and ominous scratch of branches on wind yes broke the muffled hoarse dialect of terrible wolves. Judging from the fact that the young man managed to sort, they ryadit among themselves who what part of his body will receive for dinner today.
From this terrible conversation at the young man, of course, the good mood did not increase. On the contrary, its of everything proshib cold sweat and knee tendons again foully began to shake why unfortunate clasped a thick tree trunk even more strong, as if it one could save it from awful death. The magic fallow deer was forgotten, the rural tavern in which he heard for the first time cock-and-bull stories about it was forgotten. In a breast there was only the one and only desire - there was a wish to survive, survive at any cost!
And meanwhile in a dark night fi
Only the first silvery beams, having broken through by some miracle through dense coniferous thickets, concerned the wolves sitting on the earth as there was something absolutely unimaginable. Their backs suddenly began to be bent by an arch as hardly tense onions, and then, having curved to a limit, each of wolves made breakthrough and … Rose on hinder legs! Their muzzles literally in the face of began to be shortened, wool - to thin, tails absolutely disappeared …
Was not in time the young man and an eye to blink as he saw three tall and unusually brawny, covered with a thick black hair men. Their appearance was awful: wild expression of faces, the jaws pushed forward, flat receding foreheads, strongly protruding eyes. The most disgusting that eyes and teeth at these creatures did not change after their transformation into "people" at all: the same huge wolf canines, the same yellow predatory cold and hungry eyes, hooked, claws keen as a razor on fingers.
The young man hardly resisted horror on a branch, and his all clothes became impregnated then. He a tongue twister whispered everything: prayers to the Creator, plots which he heard at rural women and, of course, of the promise to itself it is more NIKOGDA-NIKOGDA not to go to the wood and not to run for lanyam.
Meanwhile terrible sharp-toothed men already rapaciously watched up, oshcheriv the awful mouths. Then the largest of them approached a fir-tree on which the young man hid, and began to rise slowly but surely up. Long curve claws suited at the same time it obviously - it as a cat clung them to tree bark why clambered upward very dexterously.
The young man understood that his situation - desperate. Even what usually saves unarmed people from wolves - high trees - appeared absolutely powerlessly against werewolves. But at the same time he could not make anything for the rescue. On the contrary, as bewitched, he kept eyes glued glazed over from horror from the monster which is persistently clambering on a trunk. It seemed to it at the same time that he has some dreadful dream from when for you someone terrible runs, and you, applying various forces, run away from it, and cannot escape all the same and mark time, and then when the monster, eventually, overtakes you, you shout and wake up in cold sweat. The difference consisted only that the young man would be and is glad to wake up and therefore even few times pinched itself for cheeks, but awakening did not come. When the awful humanoid creature almost reached it, he, at last, cried with all the might the lungs.