This story started a long, long time ago in the kingdom of Edgewater. Long before Myungjun was even thought of but somehow he'd been dragged into it's mess regardless, and it wasn't even his kingdom, Edgewood. But as a minstrel he knew the story by heart before he even realized he would ever become involved. The story he had learned started like most stories about kingdoms, with a love story.
The story went that the kingdom of Edgewater was once a very peaceful kingdom ruled by very in love young rulers.
The very young King had been enamored with his young Queen from the first moment he had set eyes on her. Doting on her just as much as the loyal and loving subjects did. Together they did great things for their own kingdom and the surrounding kingdoms. Including the kingdom of Edgewood.
Starting trade and promoting peaceful ends to conflicts. War was unheard of with Edgewater. As everyone adored them. And their reign seemed to be destined to last forever in peace as they ruled gracefully at a young age even without the magics of the kingdom of Edgewood. Though as all good things it was never destined to last.
The young Queen became pregnant as most Queens did. However the birth of an heir cost the King, for when the baby was born the Queen was unable to be saved neither by magic nor medicine. She died after naming their son, Prince Jinwoo.
Though the birth of the Prince was celebrated and the people mourned while rejoicing only the King did not join in the festivities. Instead a darkness was born in his heart and he pushed his young son and heir into the arms of the Queen's sister.
Soon after the Queen's death war planning started as the once kind King grew bitter and filled with anger and hatred towards everyone else. Refusing to even see his son as he grew up raised under the tender care of the Queen's sister. Who raised him to be kind, as kind if not kinder than the Queen herself was. And so the years passed peacefully for Prince Jinwoo even as the kingdom fell further to anger. The planning the King had been doing taking shape in the ways of armies being created and treaties broken.
It was on the eve of Prince Jinwoo's sixteenth birthday, the birthday of his crowning as Prince that the Queen's sister passed away. The kingdom once more was thrown into celebrating while mourning as the King then took the Prince under his wing. And for awhile the King was gentle again as the Prince greatly resembled his mother.
The kingdom rejoiced at the peace that seemed to return. For a week the kingdom was peaceful as the King came to know his son again. Though just as the Queen's life the peace was short, too short. The King came to wish for a new wife to help him raise his rediscovered son.
In order to find the perfect wife and in the name of peace he called upon the witch women of Edgewood. They came relucently sending a small party of expendables in case anything were to go wrong. Though the King was pleased with their beauty and entertained them before they gave counsel. In this way the most powerful and cunning among them fell for the King. So she looked into the future to see what would become of her love.
What she saw were two paths the King could take. One path that would lead him away from her to peace and also lead to an early grave for the King where he did not remarry. The second path was a path of conquest but it was a path with her by his side. It required the use of magic and would require the Prince to be removed, both from the King's side and the people's memory.
It only took the witch woman an hour to decide and in that hour she had woven her curses. The curses she would cast upon the Prince, the people, and her own beloved. For if it meant having the King she was willing to do it.
And so on the eve of her departure she cast her curses upon the King and his people. She saved her curse for the Prince for last knowing it would take the most out of her and for that she would need the King on her side. And so it was told that on the night of the fullest moon the kingdom of Edgewater had ever seen the witch woman cast her curse upon the sleeping Prince. After which he was never seen again and was soon forgotten by not only the people but the King as well. And in his place grew rumors of a dragon.
A dragon that raided the castle and stole what would have been the treasures of the next Prince if the New Queen bore a son. The same dragon that brought Myungjun to Edgewater.
For this is where he knew he came in on the story he was using to sing his way through the streets of Edgewood and would eventually sing in Edgewater. Making enough money to buy the supplies he needed to keep traveling for the mission that had been thrust upon him. He wasn't really looking forward to completing the mission. He'd been told though that he was the only one who could accomplish it and end the many wars that Edgewater had started since the late Queen's death and the New Queen's crowning.
Looking at the long road ahead of him Myungjun couldn't help but wonder what his chances of survival were as he made his way into the first town across the tree addled border between the two kingdoms. The border that served to, for the most part, keep Edgewater magic free unless the one crossing possessed very controlled magic or very, very little magic.
The small town was known as Astro for the stones that they mined from the nearby mountain that looked like the night sky. They had many magical properties like many of the stones in Edgewater, which was why he'd even been called on this mission. Edgewood wanted the wars to end so trade could prosper again. And their kingdom could get the resources they needed for their magic once more.
Myungjun only hoped that they really had made the right decision in choosing him. A minstrel. Who was armed only with his lyre, a boot knife, and the mission they'd given him of facing a dragon. But they'd already told him unless he was successful there was no coming back.