The story starts off in the Kingdom of Bumbaran. King Bumbaran lead this kingdom, which was prosperous and full of good people. HOWEVER, the king himself was not happy.
One day, enemies attacked, and Prince Bantugan lead his army of men off to fight off the invasion.
Soon Prince Bantugan returned victorious from battle. To his astonishment no one met him, no one praised him, and no one even wanted to speak to him.
This saddened the good prince. He knew that his brother hated him, so he decided to leave Bumbaran. He preferred to live in other countries and to travel to far lands and forget about his unkind brother.
He decided to travel to the King-between-two-Seas.In his travels he heard about the beautiful land of the Kingdom-Between-Two-Seas. It was ruled by a good, kind king and his sister, the beautiful and kind Princess Datimbang.Prince Bantugan decided to go there. He traveled through forests and across rivers and mountains and at last reached the Kingdon-Between-Seas.
When the king of the Kingdom-Between-Two Seas heard of the stranger who had died at his palace gate, he and his sister,Princess Datimbang,went to see the body. Even in death Prince Bantugan was very handsome.
The heart of Princess Datimbang went out to him in love and sorrow.
“What a handsome young man,” she said weeping softly.
“I wish I could have spoken to him before he died. I am sure he was as good as he was handsome.”
“How unfortunate that he should die here, “the king said.
“Does anyone know who this young man is and where he came from? By his clothes and appearance, he must be a king or a prince.”
No one knew who the strange young man was. The king ordered his body to be brought into the palace. The king was afraid that the relatives or subjects of the dead man might wage war upon his kingdom. He therefore treated the body of the young man as he would a royal person.
The king then ordered the great brass going to be sounded. He made a proclamation that all his people and the people of the neighboring kingdoms must come to look at the prince or king so that he would know who he was and where he came from.
People from far and near came to see the body, but no one knew who the man was. The beautiful Princess Datimbang watched nearby. She had fallen deeply in love with the handsome stranger.
In another part of the kingdom, some parrots were talking about the young man and how he died in the Kingdom-Between-Two-Seas. Suddenly they noticed that the parrot from the kingdom of Bumbaran was silent and sad.
“Why are you sad, my brother?”one of the parrots asked.
“I lost my master ,the Prince Bantugan.” The parrot from Bumbaran answered.” He left Bumbaran never to return. I have looked for him everywhere but have found him.”
“Ah, your master is lost, indeed, “another parrot said.”He is dead. But you can see his body in the palace where he is lying in royal state.”
Without another word, Prince Bantugan’s parrot flew to the palace. He saw his master’s body and shrieked in grief.
Princess Datimbang heard him and asked him what the matter was.
“My master is dead! The parrot cried in grief.
“My master, Prince Bantugan of Bumbaran, is dead-he who was so good to his people. He defended them in war, he gave them wise advice when they were in trouble, and cured the people when they were sick.”
When the king heard what the parrot had said, he was determined to put the body on a vinta and take it himself, with all honors, to the kingdom of Bumbaran. Princess Datimbang went along with him.
Before the royal party left the Kingdom-Between-Two Seas, the princess asked the parrot to go ahead of them and notify the King of Bumbaran of their coming.
The parrot flew ahead to the kingdom of Bumbaran. When he told the king about the death of Prince Bantugan, the ladies shrieked and tore their hair and fainted. Everyone grieved for the Good Prince Bantugan. Even the king, his brother, was stricken with remorse and pain. He was full of repentance. He blamed himself for the death of his brother. He did know what to do.
Prince Madali and Prince Mabaning, Prince Bantugan’s brothers, offered to retrieve his brother’s soul from the land of the dead. It was a very dangerous journey, but the two were not afraid. They rode on their magic shields and rode up to the sky.
For five days they flew. They reached the place of lightning, thunder, and endless rain. Five more days they travelled. They reached the land of burning heat. Their magic shields almost melted under them. So great was the distance that they went on for five more days. At last they reached the highest portals of the sky.
The keeper of the gate asked them,” Why are you here? What do you want?”
“We have come to ask the angel of Death when we shall die and when the end of the world will come, the young men were answered, “Go to the next door ,”the gatekeeper told them.”You will find the angel who guards the soul of the dead there.
“Why are you here?”asked the guard.”You have no business here.”You are not dead.”
“We have come to ask the Angel of Death when we shall die.”Prince Madali answered .
“Come in but only for a minute,” the guardian said opening the door.”Then you must return to earth right away.”
As soon as the angel was out of the room, Prince Madali whispered softly,”Bantugan, my brother where are you?”
From a large blue bottle near them, the voice of Prince Bantugan answered, “I am here.”
With the Angel Distracted, Madali went and searched for his brother, finding his soul in a huge blue bottle. He took the bottle and left with Mabaning to return his brother’s soul.
When they reached the place, the king and the princess of the Kingdom-Between-Two Seas were just landing with the body of Prince Bantugan. Prince Madali transferred the soul of Prince Bantugan from the bottle to his body.
The body stirred. Then Prince Bantugan sat up and stretched out as if just awakening from a deep sleep.