“Are we there yet?!”
From the inside of the ebony polished carriage, despite the loud crunching of stones between the guilded golden wheels, Guin could hear the coachman physically groan and facepalm himself as she asked the same question for the umteenth time.
“No, not yet, your highness… Like I said, we should be there very soon, but the roads are rather busy this morning thanks to our delay at Fort Noch.”
Guin could hear the blame in the stubborn man’s voice. She scowled, stuffing her head back inside and shutting the window. “Its not my fault I had to go for a p-ss.”
There was a thump on the carriage, as her assigned knight and protector shot her a warning look from outside. Ears like a bat as his horse snorted proudly. “Language, madam.”
“Oh, stuff you, Barriton. Just because I’m a girl doesn’t mean I have to act like some stuck up princess. I mean, seriously, who’s idea even was this to begin with?!” She motioned to the irritatingly extravagant dress 3 that was currently doing a great job of getting tangled around her legs and stuck up in places no dress ought to be. “Did dad really think this would be a good idea, or is this just his way of torturing me after I pranked Elanora? Because if I had known she was actually going to use that shampoo before attending that gala, I swear, I would never have put blue dye in it!”
Sir Barriton gave an exasperated look as he put a hand to his forehead and tried not to lose his mind. After so long riding in the sun, decked out in his full army regalia, she was surprised he wasn’t sweating like a beast. He really needed to teach her his secrets. She probably smelled like a swamp right about now, she was that pent up and nervous.
“Just… Do your best, and try to stop slouching. You’ll ruin your back if you sit like that.”
Guin made a show of mocking him like a nagging mother, sitting up straighter and putting her legs together, crossing them at the ankles and even pretending to sip a cup of tea with her little finger out. “Better?”
“Much. Though you can cut the attitude.”
Guin didn’t cut the attitude. Attitude was all she had these days, when surrounded by people who constantly spoke like they always knew better than her, and maybe they did but it wasn’t like it mattered. The war was over, they had won, who cared if she could eat with the correct fork or wave in a ‘polite and dignified’ manner. After a few more minutes of silent carriage riding, she returned to her slouch and tried to waste the time away by counting clouds or carriages heading in the opposite direction. Just, please don’t let there be a fanfare when we arrive. I’m so sick of fanfares…
Sure enough, when the academy did finally make its way into her view, there was no fanfares in sight. Just a long line of tired little carriages, each one more unique than the last, and a bunch of flags flapping in the wind. This made Guin perk up in her seat. Ever since the war, she had heard nothing but nonsense about kingdoms that had once been mere trivia to her. Now, here she was, in a place that asked all politics to be left in exchange for peace, as though the last several years had just never happened. It made Guin excited. Finally having the chance to meet people from places she had only heard about, the sight of a gorgeously unique egg-shaped carriage - it’s dark horses noble and sturdy - and a very shocking half-naked man driving it… She did a double take at that sight. Beside her own carriage, Sir Barriton shook his head.
“Ujamaans… always showing off too much.”
Guin had to disagree. With the appearance of another astonishingly handsome man, she couldn’t help feeling like her own carriage man was not even trying. He looked like a frog that really needed a pee.
“Why don’t we have stupidly handsome carriage drivers?”
Sir Barriton decided not to answer that.
Now glued to the window, unable to keep herself in her seat, Guin staired out wide-eyed at the impossibly fantastical place now surrounding her. And in it, a clash of colours and people so vivid it made her practically giddy. Her carriage pulled up in front of the glamourous stone steps, and before the driver even had a chance to open the door, Guin had burst from captivity and now stood, breathing it all in deeply. This place… this world… it was magical.
She could sense it.
“Princess Guinevere! For heaven’s sake, your highness, please don’t jump out like that! Who knows what could have been waiting for you… Why do you think your father ordered me to escort you?!”
She groaned as Sir Barriton began his usual rant on reckless behaviour and safety. Really, what point was there in winning a war if people never got off your back about being cautious? She was about to snap back at him on the capabilities of her knife throwing skills, when a certain flag caught her eye and made her stop in her tracks. Her blood freezing as every sense of pride and confidence became lost to the wind.
“Your highness, please, let us get you inside and settled. I will ensure that you are well protected and…” Sir Barriton’s voice tailed off as he noticed Guin’s attention was clearly not on him. Following her gaze, he picked up on the raw fear that now flooded every inch of her body, turning her pale and silent as the grave. Placing a hand to her back, he nodded to the carriage man to take the luggage elsewhere for the footmen to deal with, and began to usher the young princess away. Though she was no longer looking at it, she could still feel the cold glare as if the Wolf King himself were watching her from the beyond. She could still recall that face. Harsh, brutal, bloodthirsty. A cold blooded killer, in every sense of the word. Sir Berritan had to leave her by the entrance as he went to ensure that her safety would be protected. All Guin could do was sit down on one of the rich velvet couches and stare at the floor. In her mind, the war still raged. In her eyes, the cries of her family still rang out, echoing into an endless abyss.
Breathe, Guinnie, just take some deep breaths…
She frowned as the carriage bumped and jostled down the road. Elina tried not to think about sitting alone, confined, in the carriage. She hadn’t the whole ride, she could last a little longer. Still, carriages made her uncomfortable, not that she’d tell anyone, especially her aunt and uncle who seemed to know this and offered an alternative ride. It wasn’t lady-like, and utterly weak, to not be able to ride in a carriage, a common mean of transportation. Plus, she would never admit carriages scared her, even as it seemed harder to breath.
Alas, the academy case into view, and Elina released a breath. A footman rushed to open her door, one she gladly stepped out of. It took effort to not straight out run. But she walked, not even looking back to nod a thanks to the footman or ensure they were taking her bags. This place, she tipped her head to stare at it, the towering building that chanted her on. A challenge, that’s what it was. She suppressed a shudder, it was almost as if the Academy knew her secrets, desires, faults. But that would be silly. She shook her head, ridding herself of the thought, and strolled into the Academy.
Right away she saw people with pamphlets in hand telling them where to go. She looked around but couldn’t see much through clusters of people. One girl hugged herself, a paper in hand. An odd thing to do in public, Elina thought. The girl looked worried, or bothered. Something about her face seemed similar, she noticed as she approached closer. Probably a high-noble she concluded, still skeptical. Just as the girl was about to leave she cleared her throat, “Excuse me, do you know where we get those pamphlets?” She threw in a sweet smile, her voice light and tentative.
Turning to the sound of a voice behind her, Guin wondered if the girl had been talking to her or if she was mistaken, but then again she wasn’t looking at anyone else. Guin had looked around to check.
“Oh, um… I don’t know. Sorry. Some lady just gave me mine… Maybe I can help you find her?” She returned the smile, before seeing if she could find the woman from before in the crowds. She must have been a receptionist or something… Guin looked down at her own papers, and quickly spotted that the information was likely the same for everyone. At least the rooming was. “Oh! Well, if you like I can just give you mine? I mean, it’s got the same information on it… were you looking for your roommate? I can tell you which room you’re in if you like, what’s your name?” She grinned, thrusting out her had again before remembering her manners and that she wasn’t supposed to shake hands with just anyone. She dropped into a wonky curtsey, an awkward look on her face. “Sorry… Princess Guinevere Nochellisum, third heir of Cynaria, and it is very nice to make your acquaintance.” it sounded forced even as she said it. “I’m still practicing that, sorry. You can just call me Guin though. So, yeah! What’s your name?”
“Oh, um… I don’t know. Sorry. Some lady just gave me mine… Maybe I can help you find her?”
“Yes, that would be wonderful,” Elina said, slightly surprised at the girl’s open kindness. One that seemed genuine, she gathered as the girl continued. She spoke a lot, and fast enough that Elina didn’t get much in except nods and smiles. From the way she rambled, Elina didn’t think she was of any importance. Definitely not a commoner, she dressed to nice for that, but a less important Lady seemed more like it. Then the girl went to shake her hand and Elina’s eyebrows shot up. She didn’t move to shake her hand, and instead cocked her head, confused. Who is this girl? Unfortunately she got her answer.
“third heir of Cynaria”
The words repeated in her head, the only words she heard from the girl. Her sweet, nice face fell. An old rage welled in her as she processed the princess’s words.
Her smile turned into something animal like. Despite the irrational urge to lash out, she kept her expression neutral, well, as neutral as she could make it. She’d be kind, that’s what she would do. Befriending the enemy, this was her chance. She tried to smile.
“Lady Elina Blackwood,” The words came out shakier then she expected, “so, Princess of Cynaria, how does it feel to be an heir of the country who started a war and killed thousand of people?” The words rushed out, and her plan flushed down the drain. Elina’s eyes widened slightly as she realized what came out of her mouth.
Guin felt her stomach drop at the same time that the girl’s smile did. Did I say something? What’s wrong… what did I do? Much as the smile quickly returned it was clear there was a much darker meaning behind it, and the almost feral look she was giving made Guin regret saying anything. She had just wanted to make a friend, but now this was two people she must have said or done something to cause the complete opposite effect.
“Lady Elina Blackwood,”
Well, she certainly wasn’t from Cynaria, but even so Guin was kicking herself for not paying attention in all the lectures her father gave on the importance of remembering people’s names. She was a lady… was she one of higher rank, or just honorary? She didn’t look too formal, but then again Guin would have done anything to have arrived in a shirt and slacks, so that wasn’t much help. Maybe if you made an effort to know about people, they wouldn’t wind up hating you so much, Guin! her own voice scalded her.
“so, Princess of Cynaria, how does it feel to be an heir of the country who started a war and killed thousand of people?”
Her mouth dropped open and closed like a guppy fish, her mind racing but words not making the escape. She wanted to run. That was her first instinct, but her legs were frozen and her blood ran so cold she didn’t know what to do. She couldn’t move. All she could do was see that blasted flag flash before her eyes, the one that haunted her every waking moment, and then again woke her up screaming in the night. No wonder the girl looked like she was fighting the urge not to kill her. Without a doubt, she probably was.
“I…I-I d-don’t know…” she felt sick. “I’m… I was… I didn’t mean… y-you…” She shouldn’t have come to this place. Her brother was right, it was like sending her to a death trap, one last act of revenge in spite for their victory in a conflict they themselves had declared.
“I didn’t… I-I didn’t s-start it. I-I mean, we didn’t start it, we… we just made it official!” Even as she said the same words her family had used, time and time again, she still regretted them. That didn’t stop the same jargon from pouring its way out of her as a last minute defense.
“W-we just put pen to paper, and made things official! We didn’t start anything, Daegarimn was at war with us long before the war actually started. I-I mean… You killed our duchess! That’s how the whole thing began! I-I… We… I didn’t…”
She watched as the girl stumbled for words, her composure clearly lost. She should have felt bad. This girl was kind, and the war wasn’t her fault. Yet, Elina’s anger prevented her from thinking straight. She blamed anyone associated with Cynaria, especially its princess.
“we didn’t start it, we… we just made it official“*
Elina’s scowl turned to a scoff. “Because that’s any better,” She said, and let out a small laugh. One without any joy. “Glad all you had to do was sign a paper. Meanwhile people fought. Died.” Her eyes darkened, brows lowered. Their voices were almost yelling. Her heart beat fast, from adrenaline, and maybe fear. She was talking like this in public. To a princess.
”Daegarimn was at war with us long before the war actually started. I-I mean… You killed our duchess! That’s how the whole thing began!”
“I don’t need a history lesson!” She hid her shaking hand behind her back. Deep breath. That didn’t help. Sound of horses neighing, then screaming rang in her ears. She forced the memory away. Not hard enough apparently, because she could still hear screaming, not from the horses this time. She swallowed, and schooled her features into a more neutral expression.
“You Cynarians have probably already twisted it anyways.”
“I… I know that!” How was she letting this girl get to her? She should have been strong, stood up for herself, shown the same strength as her kingdom like her brothers and sisters, but just being reminded of that. That because of that stupid war, she didn’t have all her brothers and sisters. “You don’t think we suffered just as much as you did?!”
“You Cynarians have probably already twisted it anyways.”
There came to be a sharp ringing in her ears, and all Guin could see was the hatred in the girls eyes, as if Guin had started the war on a whim. As if she had been the cause of all the pain and death and suffering. Tears started to blur her vision and she grit her teeth, kicking herself mentaly for not being strong like her brother had told her to be. I never wanted a war…
“Our history isn’t twisted. Just because it’s only ever written by the victors, doesn’t mean you have to take your sore loss out on me!”
There was a silence in the hall, as the other students could ignore the shouting no longer, but the words that escaped Guins mouth made even her regret the decision. She seemed to gag on them, blinking back the tears and wishing she could take back what she said. “I… I’m sorry… I didn’t mean…”
A door creaked open, and the echo it made seemed to set everyone on edge, but not nearly as much as the voice of the man on the other side of it.
The Deputy Headmaster, Sir Edward Clark, approached the two girls with a cold sense of importance that could silence anybody at will. He looked between them, sensing the anguish, and immediately looked around.
“Both of you… come with me, please.”
Though he kept his manners, it was clear the statement wasn’t a request. Guin looked up at Elina. Now they were both in trouble…
“You don’t think we suffered just as much as you did?!”
“Clearly not enough!” She said, her voice loud and thick with emotion. She wished they would suffer more then they had. None of them did. Especially not the royal family. Her anger boiled again, riled by her words.
“Just because it’s only ever written by the victors, doesn’t mean you have to take your sore loss out on me!”
Elina’s eyes widened. What could she say to that? It’s not like the girl lied. A sore loss was right. Just not the loss Guinevere was thinking of. The girl quickly apologized after that, but it only fueled her anger, which now turned cold. Icy. Different from the burning emotions she felt before. She ignored Guinevere’s apologies, and glanced around. People were staring, then looking away uncomfortably.
Embarrassment burned into her face, she knew her aunt and uncle wouldn’t be proud. Especially when the Deputy Headmaster told them both, to come with him. Uh oh. Anger melted away to shame. She shouldn’t act like this. Not in front of everyone. She was almost glad to be walking away, back turned from everyone else looking.
The girl looked at her, but Elina looked away. She was ashamed her emotions got the better of her, but she didn’t regret her words. She just regretted the timing.
The cold shoulder that Lady Elina gave her, only made Guin feel worse about herself, and the words that had slipped out. If her father were there, she wasn’t sure if he would be proud for his daughter standing up for herself, or utterly disgusted by her brash and reckless behaviour. She hadn’t meant them, not really, she just…
“I trust you can both take a seat without killing each other. It is in our policy not to allow such things, after all.” Sir Clark muttered, stepping into the warm mahogany office and sitting himself in the large red leather chair behind his desk. Guin looked to the two satin chairs positioned next to each other. She bit her lip and glanced again at Elina, wondering if it would be worth letting her pick a seat first as a sort of peace gesture, but then again letting someone pick a seat was hardly a grand act worthy of forgiveness.
Sir Edward Clark
Sir Clark picked up his mug of coffee, looking down at the papers on his desk while at the same time keeping an eye on the two as he reached for their respective files. The files had been left on his desk at the same time as Carmel Brandt had stormed in to let him know of the potential fight already about to break out on the first day. Nay, the first hour. Lunch hadn’t even begun, and already the tensions were growing high. While he remained calm, even he couldn’t deny that while the students were understandably nervous, much of the staff were facing their own frustrations. From the complete c-ck up that morning thanks to an error on the roommate pairings, the headmistress herself taking a step out before dawn without so much as a ‘welcome’ to anybody, and now this. He sighed through his nose, rubbing his temple as he flicked through the files to the students names and kingdoms.
Of course, Cynaria and Daegarimn… Would the war between the two of them never truly end?
“So… I don’t suppose one of you has a reasonable explanation for the outburst you both gave not ten minutes into your arrival here at the Academy. I trust you received your letters. The words ‘all politics, rivalries, grudges, or vendettas should be left at home’, as it is strictly forbidden to exact any revenges while in attendance of the Mystveil community… Something along those lines, in any case.” He folded his arms, waiting for them to speak. He looked very much like a heavily disappointed father. Perhaps that was why so many feared making him angry…
She noticed Guinevere’s lowered head and, perhaps, shameful expression. Not one she’d expect from a Cynarian Princess. It didn’t make her feel bad, but her explosive anger had calmed down significantly. Now lay the void of feeling she was used to. Elina also noticed her offer of a seat but interpreted it as hesitation. She blew a breath out and took a seat.
”I trust you received your letters. The words ‘all politics, rivalries, grudges, or vendettas should be left at home’, as it is strictly forbidden to exact any revenges while in attendance of the Mystveil community… “
She refrained from a roll of her eyes, and instead nodded at the words. She remembered reading the letter, and laughing. She understood the need to make it a rule but, they couldn’t actually expect vendettas to be “left at home” simply because they wrote it on paper. If they did think people from all over the world would come together and have no qualms, they’d be stupid. But she kept that from her face. Elina wasn’t only here for personal reasons, she was here to learn from one of the best. She didn’t plan on getting expelled, at least not on the first day.
She assessed the girl next to her. Princess Guinevere Nochellisum, third heir of Cynaria the words replayed in her mind. Yet, she didn’t seem like a princess, or nobility at all. And certainly not an heir of Cynaria. The girl was naive, she could tell. Weak. What was Elina thinking? Starting a fight with this girl. Keep you friends close but enemies closer. But Elina had done the exact opposite. In fact, if she could befriend this girl, that would make her plan a whole lot easier. The revelation grounded her, gave her the confidence to speak first. She knew Guinevere wasn’t going to.
“Yes, Sir I did read my letter. However, as I’m sure you can understand, leaving grudges behind aren’t as easy as one would expect.” Her voice was clear, strong this time, the opposite of what it was minutes ago. “But I do apologize for my outburst, it was unnecessary and untimely.” She hated the words, but she knew she’d hate being on his bad side more. “Perhaps us daegarimns are just sore losers,” she added, partly answering his first question, but mostly because she couldn’t help the petty part of her that referenced what Guinevere said earlier.
Guin took the other seat quickly after Elina took hers, and slid her hands childishly under her legs as she refused to look the deputy head in the eye. She was used to being told off by her dad, even her brother did the same thing from time to time, when their father had yet to notice and the problem was easy to sweep under the rug from him, but Sir Clark had a look that both made her feel guilty and fearful. She didn’t know why, it wasn’t like he had threatened any of them.
She winced as Elina referenced back to her outburst, still wishing she had never said it, but also annoyed that the girl would sell her out like that. What am I thinking, of course she would, she hates me. Five minutes in and she was already making enemies.
“I said I was sorry.” She muttered, scowling at the floor. “Besides, you started it. All I did was say my name, then you jumped on my kingdom like… like…” Like we were at war with yours… She hid her face again. She certainly wasn’t making this easier for either of them.
Sir Clark’s glare made that fact clear enough.
Sir Edward Clark
He sighed, still feeling the tensions in the room and rubbing his temple as he tried to figure the best way to fix things. “Regardless of who started what, or what was ‘written down’ compared to what you think should be expected…” He addressed both girls, looking at each of them while tapping his pen on the files before him. “…You are both here representing your families, your kingdoms, and more importantly now the Academy. As soon as you agreed to make your applications here, you agreed to act in the ways of the Mystveil Academy and display their morals for the rest of the world to see. The reason we ask for rivalries and anger to be left outside of this campus and its facilities is because the Academy needs to show its students are unified. Not that we harbour resentment… or potentially treasonous ideals.”
He leaned forward in his chair, reaching across the table for the booklet filled with blank official statements. “I’m sure you can understand, We took a great risk opening our doors to people from many different countries. Had we held the same bias as, say… Ridakar’s Academy, which only accepts pupils from the regions of Cynaria, or Harrinstal - who have decided to segregate its students following the events of the war, as a means to keep the peace - then perhaps you would both be looking at this very differently. Would you prefer we do such things? Seperate the school depending on alliances? Force students from losing battles in history to live outside of their dorms to protect those who won?”
To his surprise, Guin shook her head first, despite the fact that he was looking at Lady Elina when he spoke. He was glad to see the young princess at least had some shred of reality left in her. Even so, he scribbled down some notes on the statement, addressing it to Madame Katarina before sealing it with his signate. “Unfortunately for you, as this… unfortunate outburst was witnessed at the front of the academy, in perfect view of many rivalling students. I am unable to let this one slide. An example needs to be made to set the record straight for all of out fellow students to ensure they respect the zero tolerance on the subject.” He handed the slips over to each girl respectfully. “As such, you will be expected to attend detention this evening straight after dinner, no later than 9pm. You will also be expected to attend this together, so you will both report to Madame Katarina who is on Night Chaperone duty this evening for the girls dorm. I trust you can both work together to prove your dedication to the academy’s reputation, as much as it dedicates itself to yours?”
It wasn’t a question. if they didn’t show, then they would both be expelled, no doubt about it. Guin looked down at the slip, and across at Elina, hoping like heck she prized her education above her hatred of Cynaria, because if Guin got expelled…
Elina opened her mouth to protest Guinevere’s words, but wisely decided against it after catching Sir Clarke’s glare. She instead looked straight at Sir Clarke while he talked, pressing her lips into a thin line.
“Separate the school depending on alliances? Force students from losing battles in history to live outside of their dorms to protect those who won?”
He looked directly at her, and she couldn’t help feel some resentment. It wasn’t just her fault. I did start the fight, another thought contradicted.
“…Suppose not.” She said, quiet.
As he continued to speak, fear grew in her stomach. Now there seemed to be a real chance of her getting expelled. A thought she hadn’t paid much attention to before. She imagined it, her coming home in a carriage probably worse then what she was in before. Her aunt looking at her, pitiful yet confused. She’s never acted out in public, her aunt would be disappointed. But, she wouldn’t yell wouldn’t scream. Probably wouldn’t punish her much. Even when sometimes she wished they would.
“As such, you will be expected to attend detention this evening straight after dinner, no later than 9pm.”
Relief flooded through her, short lived, as it followed with her having to spend it with Guinevere. She frowned.
It couldn’t be that bad, right? Worst comes to worst we sit in silence the whole time
Sir Edward Clark
“Very good. In that case, you are both excused. Hand your slips to Madame Katarina when you are finished with dinner. She will be taking the watch as your Night Chaperone for the girls dorm this evening, so you will find her in the living area of the South Wing.” He folded his hands on the desk as he looked them both in the eye in turn. “Perhaps, Lady Elina, you could show Princess Guinevere to her room in the Tower. Help her to settle in, and put aside your differences to instead find out what you both have in common.” He flipped through the young lady’s file, noting her fondness for horse riding and some of the achievements listed down on the papers, he smiled. “Perhaps the Princess can even tell you about her young thoroughbred that is being brought to our stables later this year. Once her father believes she had put enough effort towards her studies, of course.” He gave Guin a cold look as he finished that statement.
Being reminded of the deal she had made with her dad did cheer her up just a little, but those thoughts were then squandered as she realized her being sent to detention on the first day was not exactly going to help her case. Ugh, this means I’m gonna need to get stupidly high grades, or join a nunnery or something, just to prove it was a mistake.
Sliding out of her chair, and taking her slip with her, Guin stepped out of the office and tried to calm her nerves from all of the tension that had followed. She was just glad to be free of Sir Clark’s crazy cold gaze, but he was partially right. She would need to make it back up to Elina if she wanted to help her case.
“So, um… Have you seen the dorms yet? I haven’t had the chance to visit them myself… I hear they’re, uh… pretty cool…” You sound like an idiot. Guin did an internal facepalm, while trying not to look so awkward as she smiled indeed very awkwardly. “Want to check them out?”
Elina itched at Sir Clarke’s words. She wasn’t going to argue, but she despised being told what to do. She wanted to do the exact opposite but knew it wasn’t an option.
“Perhaps, Lady Elina, you could show Princess Guinevere to her room in the Tower.”
Her eyebrows flicked up. No. No way. No way was she going to show the cynarian to her room. She didn’t want to spend any more time with her then she had to. But a look at Sir Clarke told her she didn’t have a choice. She made her sigh noticeable, “Wonderful. I’d love to,” she mumbled with a frown. She took her time getting out of her seat, dreading the walk together.
“So, um… Have you seen the dorms yet? I haven’t had the chance to visit them myself… I hear they’re, uh… pretty cool…”
“I haven’t had the chance to visit them either, I’ve been a little busy." She said meaningfuly. Watching Guienevere stumble on her words, she thought, If this girl can’t keep a composure around me, what is she going to do in the real world? Elina knew there were people far more ferocious then her who would gladly see a Princess of Cynaria dead. She didn’t feel bad. How was she a Cynarian princess? Or even Cynarian?
At Guinevere’s invitation she spread a tight-lipped smile, “Do I really have a choice, princess?” She nodded her head in a direction and began walking, having a feeing the girl would follow. “Besides,” she continued down a hall, “You have the dorm information, and I haven’t a clue where we’re going.”
Guin flinched at the bite in Elina’s words. She wanted to be angry, and tell her that not everything was about her and her stupid kingdom, but she new that would only serve her a one way trip to expulsion and being sent home to her father who wouldn’t know what to do with here from there. She wrung her hands around her skirts, unable to stop scowling at the floor. Even as Elina strode past her, starting her way down the hall, Guin could feel her emotions writhing about inside her and making her sick. It was no wonder her kingdom despised the Daegrish. They were stubborn, coldhearted, mean, prideful,
“Do I really have a choice, princess?”
Guin felt herself snap, unable to hold back her anger despite standing right outside the deputy head’s office. “I’m trying to be nice, alright! The least you could do is stop being such a b-tch for five seconds, and give me a chance!”
She bit down her words, practically feeling the glare from inside the office as she ducked her head and preyed the door wouldn’t open. Keeping her head down, she hurried up to Elina and continued at a fast walk down the corridor, ears pricked for any sign of an angry teacher coming after her.
She didn’t even care if Elina followed after her, or if Sir Clark would check that they went to the dorms together as per his suggestion. All she knew was that she needed to get as far away from that office as possible before her shouting caught up to her and things ended super fast. She was practically jogging at this point. She didn’t even know where she was going.
Elina’s eyes flashed open and she took a step back. That was more of what she expected. From a princess, but not Guinevere. She paused, almost admiring the girl’s actions. There an idea tickled her mind. One she hadn’t given any thought to before. It seemed, she gathered from Sir Clarke’s words, that Guinevere was close to her father. She at the least had contact with him. The ruler of Cynaria. No passionate, hot rage boiled. Only a calm, hatred for the King.
She walked, fast-paced not interested in another detention slip. Or another conversation with Sir Clarke
“Wait.” Her voice was softer now, resigned, though a certain sharpness to her voice could never be erased. “Look…I…I’m sorry. I can…be a ” She admitted with a wince, the words not coming out smooth. She shifted, and brushed a strand of hair back, uncomfortable. Apologies didn’t mix well with her, real and fake. To fill in the awkward silence that took hold, she asked, “Do you know where we are?” She didn’t notice anything around her, not that she’d notice much about the school anyways.
Countess Elise Ponsonbye
“Late! Again Elise!” The Earl scolded the young dark-haired lady who sat across from him in the carriage. “I have told you day and day again, punctual! Tell me, do you know what that means? Punctual?”
“It means to be on time, I know this. You mustn’t need to remind me.” She responded lightly, staring across at the brooding man who continued to mumble and lecture her as she spoke.
“You know why I have sent you here, don’t you? For that exact reason. You can’t act like a proper reason to save your life. What would possibly happen if you met someone important and acted like that? Hmm? Why you’d tarnish our name.” The Earl huffed and sat back in his seat. “I know you’re not used to this, being of common blood, but you can’t use that as an excuse. You can learn to be proper. And an easy start is being on time!”
“Oh come on now!” The girl countered, “how was I supposed to possibly control how quickly the laundry was done? Or that road-block? I couldn’t have.”
“You could’ve had your bags packed.”
“With what? I merely thought we were visiting the Baron. I didn’t know we were leaving for you to send me to some school!” she huffed, crossing her arms over her chest with a very unladylike slump to her posture and scowl etched on her face.
“well…nevermind that now, Elise. We have arrived. You will be home with me soon enough, once you’ve improved,” the Earl sighed, a complete mood change from the previous shouting. He stood and got out himself, a footman assisting the Countess as she stared in awe at the building before her. She gulped, stepping back only to bump into the Earl who placed a hand on her should, causing her to jump.
“I’m supposed to stay here?” She questioned, eyes darting between him and the building, “It’s…far bigger than what we are used to.”
“Indeed it is. Ensuring it will be much easier once you return home.”
Elise sighed as she looked around at the other nobles who must’ve also been late or come from further kingdoms than some others. “I will see you soon then,” She mumbled quietly to the Earl, receiving a kiss on the forehead in return before he shooed her off. The carriage went within minutes of the interaction.
One nod of the head and she brushed off her red dress 3 that the Earl had picked and fixed her hair which she’d pulled into a high, tight ponytail before starting towards the entrance, her footman Liam behind her. A good friend that she would greatly miss once he left.
Once inside she looked around, bending over in the slightest to look to the side before standing upright and aimlessly walking down the grand hall. Unsure of where to go, hoping, just hoping some student or staff member would spot her and offer direction. As she greatly did not want to have to ask for assistance, interaction like that would come later for her.
Riding in his carriage, Columbus is already getting home sick. This carriage ride had not exactly been helpful. It seemed as though the driver was purposely riding going over every pot hole. No matter, for he could see Mystveil in the distance. I could probably get out and walk from here. But that seems improper. So he decides to sit and wait. Well more like bounce up and down and wait. Seriously! He thought angrily to himself, How many rocks are on this road?
Finay, they arrived. Without waiting for the driver to fully stop he jumps out, luggage in hand, to get a good look at this driver. They seemed to keep extremely attractive men as their drivers. All bronze, no brains. “Do you need glasses?” Columbus spoke, slightly annoyed. “Because, for some reason, you failed to see the extremely large rocks that you rode over!” Turning on his heel, he starts walking into the castle.
As he goes inside, he hears someone yell absolute profanity. I can’t blame him, Columbus thought, Maybe he had an incompetent driver as well. He gives him a slight smile and keeps walking. Noticing that the receptionist seemed tired and angry, he turns and starts to walk in a different direction. Noticing a young lady wandering around in a beautiful red dress, he walks up to her.
“Sorry if I sound rude, but you seem a bit lost.” She seemed a bit more than lost. Maybe she was uncomfortable because of the environment. It was a rather large school. With quite a few people. “Are you looking for something in particular?” Columbus didn’t really know his was around, but he was sure that they’d figure it out somehow. Worst case scenario they ask the seemingly annoyed receptionist.
Countess Elise Ponsonbye
Elise turned around on the back of her heal with a slight gasp as she heard someone speak behind her, supposedly to her. She clutched her bag tightly against her chest before stepping back, her cheeks growing red in embarrassment.
“Oh my goodness. I’m so sorry for that reaction.” She chirped before pausing, thinking about what he’d actually said to her. Originally she was too spooked to consider it, and yet she couldn’t just stare at him. For more reasons that one, that was for sure.
“I…ugh…,” she sighed, shaking her head, “I am lost, actually. More so than I’d thought. It’s not exactly looking for something, rather, unsure what you’re supposed to do once you arrive.” She explained.
“you don’t happen to know they way around or where we’re supposed to go by any chance, do you?” She sheepishly asked, perhaps a habit at this point. Being she’d be gone within seconds if the Earl saw her talking to a man.
Her reaction did startle Columbus a bit. Was he really that scary? I mean, sure he was a bit miffed about the whole carriage thing. But he wasn’t trying to project that vibe to everyone. Just to the incompetent driver. “No, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have sneaked up on you like that.” He says earnestly.
“Well, I’m not too sure.” He was doing a good job at calming himself down. “But I assume that you get your dorm. But between you and me, the receptionist does not look happy. At all.” He looks over at the lady. “It’s a bit scary.” Columbus looks back at the girl. Cracking a smile. “Or you could chat with others.” Well, chat with me. “Oh, uh, Columbus Eisenburg.” He holds out his hand. Proper introductions are important in most establishments.
Countess Elise Ponsonbye
She sighed frowned, leaning over to look past him at the receptionist. A smile slightly surfaced to her face, 'I’ll admit, you’re very right on that. She does not look like she wants to be dealing with the lot of us noble kids." she laughed. And it was true. The permanent scowl and frown on the Lady’s face really spoke to mot bother her unless it’s extremely important. And Elise would not be the one to test out how she’d react.
She was knocked out of her thoughts for what felt like the thousandth time that day as the man introduced himself as Columbus Eisenburg. We she obviously had to introduce herself, right? Right.
She quickly curtsied a decently sloppy one, “C…Countess Elise Ponsonbye” she said, rising and shaking his hand lightly. “Lovely to meet you.” She nodded, “Mind my mouth but, what Kingdom do you come from?”
“I think everyone has a hard time dealing with us noble kids.” Although he wasn’t technically a kid, he still felt like one. Well, technically, none of us were kids. We were all around college age.
I’d mind a thousand mouths if they all looked like that, what was he thinking? Columbus Eisenburg never had thoughts like that! Maybe he has a cold. Hopefully not, colds suck. Always coughing, and sniffling and having a fever. Being sick in general sucks . “Stormholt,” he replies, pulling himself out of his own thoughts. “However, I’m no one important. Just a simple lord.” Giving a gentle smile. Countess. Interesting. She didn’t seem to act like one. “And you? What kingdom has the honour of having a beautiful girl like yourself in their walls?”
Countess Elise Ponsonbye
Once again that sneaky blush crept to her cheeks. And yet, this time it wasn’t from embarrassment of her doing something stupid. No. It was because a man, her age around at the least had complimented her. Unfortunately, she knew it couldn’t be flirting. Even if she’d wished it to be.
“Daegarimn.” She blurted, covering her mouth before calming herself, “i’m from Daegarimn.” She responded, more calmed this time at least. Not nearly as quick and nervous.
“i’m sure there is no way you’re a simple…how did you put it…unimportant lord.”
It was true in her mind. Most lords and such were bland, high egos, flirting, and over all just *sswhole’s.;
“Well Lord Columbus, how old may you be that you attend this school?”
“Daegarimn? Wow, they get all the pretty ones.” He smiles at her. Columbus was never the best at flirting. But he had always wanted to go to Daegarimn. After he’d heard how beautiful it was there. The way travelers had described it. It seemed that this magical haven. Of course they had the little issue of bandits. But that’s what weapons are for. Even though Columbus couldn’t use one to save his life. And if he went to Daegarimn, that could be the case. Besides, he wasn’t sure if he could stand another carriage ride like the one he just had.
“Trust me, anything’s possible.” He gives her a wink. What on earth is wrong with me? Maybe I’m dying. Obviously, this must be the problem. Trying to get away from whatever that was, Columbus quickly says “My parents were never of much importance. Then they both… died. So it was just me and I’m really no one.” ‘My parents died’ sounded a lot better than ‘My father was unrightfully executed for murdering my mom.’ The last thing Columbus wanted to do was go down that road.
“23.” I knew I was older than most of the people here. The school had not opened at a very good time. It would have been better, for him at least, if they opened a few years ago. Then Columbus would be able to gather more knowledge on the law. Beggars can’t be choosers. He reminds himself. Even though that saying doesn’t really apply to him. Seeing as he’s not a beggar. “And how old may you be, Miss Elise Ponsonbye?”
Countess Elise Ponsonbye
She hadn’t smiled so much in at least 2 years. It was nice. Light a load off of her shoulders that she no longer needed to carry for the moment. Perhaps this school the Earl forced her to go to would be good for her after all. Like a relief from all the stress of life. And yet, she was still cut off from so much of it.
The next thing she heard had her smile fall withing a second and her eyes grow wide.
Then they both… died.
“Died?!” SHe asked quickly before covering her mouth with her hands. “I…I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to be insensitive. It was just such a random point. N…not from you of course. I…I shouldn’t have…oh god” She sighed, biting her tongue to stop her rambling. In fact, she was slightly surprised Columbus hadn’t slapped her for it.
“I’m 19.” She responded quietly, her heart pounding, her chest aching in anticipation for something. Anthing bad to happen for her outburst and mumbling. She couldn’t help it. He’d mentioned the death of a parent, the first thing her mind went to was her father, then the Baron, and the Earl and her emotions just fell more and more and got the best of her.
Obviously Columbus mentioning his parents was not a very good idea. “Hey, it’s fine. Death is a natural thing. They would’ve died some way,” trying to calm her down. “It’s my fault, really, I shouldn’t have brought it up.” Laughter’s the best medicine, Columbus thinks to himself. He hits himself on the forehead for even bringing it up. How on earth is rambling insensitive? I do it all the time, he was a bit surprised at how nervous this girl was.
“Ahh, to be 19 again. Actually 19 sucked. Believe it or not,” he leans down and whispers in her ear, “I’m not very good at talking with the ladies.” He then pulls away and says, “Well I’m not very good at talking to anyone for that matter.” He was trying to change the subject seeing as how much she seemed to be freaking out. At least it wasn’t extremely obvious.
Countess Elise Ponsonbye
When he leaned down to whisper to her Elise immediately on instinct and in routine flinched away from him. Looking at him in shock that he only whispered to her and then moved away. “I’d die to be 16 and never grow up again. Just never reach my age.” she muttered to herself .
“I have to say, you’re not the only one bad at talking. In fact, I’m not even supposed to be allowed to speak at anyone.” She responded.
“A man for that matter. If my Husband saw me talking to you, an eligible man around my age, well I’d be punished for at least good two weeks. the rambling would be another few days. Telling you about me is another week. That’s almost a month of continuous punishment. Add on to that not leaving the house, rations cut down.” She sighed.
“Its actually dangerous for either of us to be speaking”
The way she flinched. Something wasn’t right. “Married?” Well now Columbus felt bad. Flirting with a married woman. “How can you be married? You’re 19.” This was probably the most surprising part to him. Of course she was beautiful, but she was still only a teenager.
“Punished?” He barely whispers. There’s no longer a smile on his face. He looks concerned. Columbus had heard of jealous and over protective, but this was a whole other level. “That seems a bit harsh, dont you think?” Columbus could barely keep himself from screaming. What moron let this delicate women marry some abusive ? “I’m so sorry.” In comparison, his parents seemed unimportant. “who… how… Why?” That was his main question. “Why would he treat you like that?” What terrible creature would treat someone like that. I swear to god, if this is some sexist I’ll go and kick his pompous, abusive myself. Columbus had never been strong. But hearing this definitely made the adrenaline start pumping through his veins. He could tackle an elephant right now. At least he felt like he could. He completely ignored her last comment. Right now, he didn’t care about what could happen to him. His only concern was her.
Countess Elise Ponsonbye
She sighed, crossing her arms over her chest in what was almost a self hug as she listened to Columbus, waiting for him to calm down a bit before she could explain the situation. And perhaps it was best they sat down. Nervously she glanced around before leading him to a set of empty chairs in the corner.
“yes, I’m 19. Yes, I’ve been married to the Earl for 2 years.” she bit her lip before continuing, “My father died when I was 17, within weeks my mother had re-married a Baron. It was the only way to support our family, as we were mill workers at the time. The Earls’s first wife had grown ill, and she will die soon. So he was offering a large sum of money…for a wife. For me. He wanted an adult bride, but I was 17, and by the time i was 18 I was allowed to legally refuse his marriage. So they came to a compromise. The Baron got the money and I was wedded to the Earl the day before my 18th birthday. I couldn’t refuse it, and he still got his bride.”
She looked up from her hands to Columbus, just to see his reaction before she continued, which she already knew would probably be anger and disgust.
“The Earl knows I was a mill worker. A poor, weak, unknowing and young girl. He uses that to his advantage. Some days the punishment is cutting out my rations for the week. To, as he says it, 'be treated like the animal I act like '.” She explained, “He has certain things he hates, like if i ramble on or mumble. Those times he’ll slap me. Either to quiet me or if i can cry out that loud I can speak that loud” She shrugged.
“he’s spent two years keeping me away from people, I’ve gone to galas and parties but i never left his side, and if he left mine I was only allowed to go to the corner of the room with one of his bodyguards. I suppose it’s drilled into my mind at this point that I’ll always be doing something wrong. That I can’t speak to people, i’m a freak. That I’m a wife who was sold to him. He gave money for me so I am his property to use and yell at and punish as he pleases…”
“I’ve tried fighting back. But a 19 woman versus a 36 year old man who is skilled in combat is really no even match”
Columbus knew this wasn’t right. At least it shouldn’t be. Was this Earl really so ugly that he had to buy himself a girlfriend. “But. You, you. But.” This was the first time that he had ever been at a loss for words. He usually had something funny or quippy to respond with. But this time, he was completely serious, “That’s terrible. I… don’t know what to say.” Why would her mom let something like that happen? Well, Columbus knew the reason. Money. But that’s still not a good enough reason to do that to your daughter.
“Has no one noticed your absence?” Did no one really care that this girl was being treated this way? Or maybe that’s just how people are in Gigariamn. “Just because he bought you, doesn’t mean that your he’s little doll.” Then the thought of something terrible crept into his mind. “Have you lost your virginity to him?” Although part of him already knew the answer.
But soon after that, he thought of an idea. “What if you ran away? If you escaped. You could come with me to Stormholt. Or you could live on the outskirts.” It wasn’t the best plan. And it would definitely need some tweaking, but it could work. If she’s not strong enough to fight, then flight. Do what all great kingdoms do when they know they’re outnumbered. Retreat.
Countess Elise Ponsonbye
She sighed, looking down at her hands and around. Her eyes landed on a man in armour watching the people walk by, by never looking away from the pair of Elise and Columbus.
“Well, the Earl would notice, he sent me here because he decided, in his words, I was too animalistic for him to tame himself,” she shrugged, “as for my mother, siblings and the Baron…well I doubt they have much of an effect, being they haven’t visited or seen me since the wedding” she explained
“Have you lost your virginity to him?”
Columbus asked the question, she nearly laughed at how obvious it was. “Of course I have, i would be a horrible wife if I haven’t. Though, the Baron, my stepfather, takes pride in claiming I was his before the Earl.” She took a breath to continue before Columbus suggested running away.
“Are you insane?! He has people watching me 24/7. If we even tried to rn to Stormholt hell track me down. In fact he knows the royals where I’m from. You’ll be framed for kindap, face a terrible death, and he’ll have even worse punishments that I’ve ever felt before.”
“I want to, i do, trust me. But it’s not just dangerous for us, but for Srormholt and my family”
Adam Riposte & Belladonna Sinclair
“… so, say there was a monster with three heads; one could breathe fire, the second could spit acid, and the third could read your mind and find the exact words to cut down your self esteem. Which head to you slice first? because if you ask me, a verbally abusive head may sound harmless, but can you imagine the lasting consequences? How much therapy would you need after that fight? And you have to ask yourself, how bad is acid and fire really in comparison to the serious issues here. Physical scars will always heal, but emotional ones-…”
Adonna groaned and whacked her riding companion in the ribs with her elbow, keeping her hands on the reigns as the horse snorted and flicked its ears back to them. “Adam, will you ever shut up?”
As they were riding together, squashed onto the same horse thanks to Adam’s refusal to ‘splash his cash’ on a second one, there wasn’t much else she could do to get any peace and quiet while they slowly made their way towards their destination. She could feel Adam behind her, childishly whining and holding his side with one hand, his other hand also clutching the reigns as he had technically been the one steering until she had decided to hit him in the side.
“You’re cruel, you know that…” He murmured, making a dramatic show of trying to breathe in. “… maybe you should have been one of the heads.”
“Maybe you should have kept your mouth shut after my last warning, back at the tavern.” She growled, not that it would do her much good as showing he was getting on her nerves only egged the idiot on. Smirking, pain forgotten, Adam leaned over her shoulder and took the reins again.
“Oh, was that the last warning? I couldn’t tell. I’d practically lost count after the seventh or eighth one back at the crossroads in Kadin. So, wait, was the tavern also a warning about me not sleeping around then, or was that whole incident just about me keeping my mouth shut. Because you know, there are ways to have without opening my-”
He grunted as another, sharper, hit to the side really did make him take a winded breath in. Belladonna scowled back at him, face as red as a rosebud in June, crossing her arms and surprising the horse in the process. “Both.”
He nodded “Gotcha. Won’t do it again.”
“Don’t lie. We both know you will.” She rolled her eyes. “Just save it until we get to Mystveil, and I no longer have to deal with you.”
“Harsh, Princess. What makes you say you won’t want to deal with me when we get there. For all you know, the place is filled with snubs and snobs. I could be a saint to you compared to them.” He set himself back on the horse, clearly discomforted by the growing ache in his side. After the long ride, and many repeats of the same routine, he had no doubt that a bruise would eventually make its appearance. “Must you insist on wearing that infernal getup? You know those elbow pads only add padding to you, right? You can do some serious damage to me if you continue treating me like a punching bag, you know.”
“No I couldn’t, don’t be ridiculous. The worst they will do is make my reminder actually stick.” She muttered, though she did subconsciously glance back as a thread of doubt wound its way into her mind. If she had actually hurt him, she would never forgive herself, which was why Adam never thought to say anything about it beyond whining. She turned back to the road ahead, noticing the carrages that were slowly making their way past, her hand jumping to the sword at her side.
Adam shook his head, a small smirk back on his lips as he steered their ride over to the far side, giving way. “I know we got roughed up by those bandits on the way here, but not everyone who comes towards us is gonna try to mug us, Princess.”
Adonna scowled. “I know that. I just… want to make sure. Be prepared. I’m not crazy.”
“Never said you were. Not that I said you weren’t, either, but you’re in your armour now so what more can you do. They won’t try again. They’re too far behind us now even if they wanted to.”
She shrugged, the metal sheets protecting her body clinking as she moved, a sound she grew to appreciate following that unfortunate encounter. “That doesn’t mean someone else won’t. Just because I’m not in a dress-”
“Yes, what did happen to that lovely gown you had on before we got here. I mean, one minute you had your carrying case and the next you ditched it for your current… attire. I liked the country girl look! It made you look sweet, innocent…”
“… Sexy.” Adam finished, and again the blush returned to her cheeks. “What happened to that corset as well, because out of all the sharp edges I’m feeling right now, I know that is no longer one of them.”
Adonna suddenly became aware of the distance that had closed between them once again, and more so the arms that were close to her waist, the feel of his breath on her neck as he snuck in for yet another signature grin. She gave him a look, that only made him chuckle, until she could find her words and returned the smirk.
“You do realize that corset was fixed with at least seven different knives, right?”
His smile dropped, remembering it, and how each and every knife was now blood coated and discarded in several highwayman corpses many miles back. He grumbled, leaning back again. “Why do you always have to ruin the fun. What’s your obsession with stitching weapons into perfectly good bits of clothing as well?!”
She chortled. “Keeps idiots like you from overstepping boundaries.”
He rose a brow. “Oh, I’m sorry, am I overstepping my boundary with you? From what I recall, we didn’t have any boundaries, at least, not if I remember that night when-”
Shutting him up by pulling back suddenly on the reigns, the horse gave a small start and Adam had to hold on to the saddle just to keep his balance, going to protest until the same thing that had caught her eye soon caught his. Brows shooting up, Adam made a wolf whistle to the guy driving the carriage made of wicker and painted with the Ujamaan flag. Adonna caught her eyes wandering, and looked away for the sake of decency. Adam did the complete opposite.
“Daaaang, now I wish I had splashed out on our own carriage driver! Where do I sign up to work for them?”
“Do you have no modesty?!”
He looked at her, seriously. “Donny, have you ever known me to show a single shred of modesty? Like… ever?”
No. No she hadn’t.
Taking the reigns back from her, Adam clicked his tongue and nudged the horse into a smooth canter, getting them the last stretch of the way as nerves bit into Adonna like a swarm of mites. He was right, what if everyone there was higher than her? What if there were royals there, and she was the only one to have given up her lands and title, abandoning her people for the sake of her own selfish desires? What would they think? Her, alone in the household of a family known for being deviants and rebels and hated throughout Rhytora?
Oh, gods, what if people from my kingdom are there? A girl, becoming a squire… To them, the very idea was outlandish. Her uncle had proven the opinions of her choices as well as any man, but to hear it from her betters. From other girls, of higher rank… from the princes or princess?
“Hey, calm down, we’re almost there.” Adam’s voice broke through the storm in her mind, as Adonna looked up to see the castle slowly coming into view. Mystveil Academy. It was more beautiful then either one of them could ever have imagined.
Riding in through the tall silver gates, Adam pulled their buckskin 3 stallion into a halt, and sat back as he let Belladonna dismount. He was surprised when a stable boy came rushing forward to help take their horse and any belongings they had with them. Sadly, there was little that he could offer them, considering Adam had planned to have their things sent directly by mail in an attempt to help them leave the kingdom undetected. With Belladonna’s Uncle still on the lookout for his niece, they had to be sneaky, and they had agreed that a carriage load of luggage for the both of them would be too risky.
He instead just handed the reigns over, and murmured his thanks as he watched his companion take in the Academy. To her, it was probably like visiting home all over again. Shoving his hands in his coat pockets 3 Adam let out a small sigh through his nose as he joined her and looked up at the majestic and impressive old building.
“Doesn’t look like the stuffy old castle they made it out to be in the brochures, huh.” He said, offering a small smile as Adonna acknowledged him and returned to her survey of the place.
“No… it really doesn’t.”
He squeezed her shoulder reassuringly, mindful of her armour 5 and those blasted elbow pads hidden beneath her dark tunic. “Come on, then. Lets go and make ourselves comfey.”
She watched as he went up the steps, taking a moment to doubt everything before forcing herself to take a deep breath and square her shoulders. This was the first day. She wouldn’t ruin everything by appearing doubtful or weak, she could do this. Brushing back a few loose strands of hair, she put her hand on the hilt of her blade 4, and readied herself.
With yet another long and bated breath… she slowly started after him.
What a sad, pathetic little man Bronwyn thought as she looked at her driver. He was a small, pale man with barely any muscles. He probably couldn’t even grow a beard if he tried. It was always sad when men couldn’t grow beards. It means that they have little testosterone. Part of her wanted to go out and ride the horse herself. Just leave the man alone with the carriage. No, that wouldn’t work. He’s not strong enough to survive out here himself. Even if he was only out here for a few hours. So instead she looks at the dark brown stallion, trying to decide on a name.
After that adventure, she climbs out of the carriage. Her long elegant dress 3, she wasn’t completely satisfied with the colour. But it would do. For now. However, it was completely perfect in the sense that it wasn’t too informal. But it wasn’t too formal either. She had brought a wide range of clothing for every occasion. “Just drop off my bags in my room,” Bronwyn turned around to look at the driver. Sizing him up she adds, “If you can’t carry all my things let me know. I’ll get someone else to do it.” Turning on her heel she enters the castle.
I do feel bad for that little midget. She thinks to herself, I did bring quite a few suitcases. Not paying attention to her surrounding, she bumps into a man. Looking up at the tall stranger, her mouth drops. “Wow,” she sighs. Now this is a man. Why couldn’t he be the one carrying my bags? “I’m Bronwyn,” I slight smirk forming at the corner of her mouth. “Who are you?” She tries to will herself to take a step back, but her legs seem to have stopped working.
Feeling a light nudge behind him, barely able to knock him forward a pace, Adam turned to find a very sweet - and yet not-so-innocent maybe - looking girl. He cocked his head, smirk playing at his lips at the fact that she made no effort to hide the apparent appeal he clearly had on her, and he chuckled at the demand for his name.
“Me? Why, by the looks of things I’m just your darkest desires made real, but don’t worry I think at least one of them requires me to be a gentleman.” It wasn’t so much a desire, as he knew Donny would wring his neck if he did anything too crazy on the first day. That didn’t mean he couldn’t have fun, of course. Dipping into a low bow, if only to mask the wandering eyes as he checked her out, Adam smiled at met her eyes again. She was quite the pretty little thing.
“Adam. Adam Riposte, if it makes it any easier, but I doubt it would because we don’t get around often.” Oh what a lie that was. Still, he folded his arms across his chest as he smiled innocently. “Did you have a nice trip, then, or was that all a calculated attempt to get better acquainted with me and make it look like an unsuspecting accident, because if that was the case… you could have just said.” he winked.
His comment had threw Bronwyn off a little. Me? Why, by the looks of things I’m just your darkest desires made real, but don’t worry I think at least one of them requires me to be a gentleman. she wanted to scoff at it. But part of it was true. She leans in and whispers in his ear, “Oh, if you only knew how little I care about gentlemen.” She might as well have some fun with this man while she’s here. She pulls back and gives a smirk.
Adam Riposte. He was right, Bronwyn had never heard such a name. Maybe that was for the better. That way no one could tell someone about their little ‘mishap.’ “Well, I must say, I was wondering if my scrawny little driver could carry all my luggage. Bumping into you was just an added bonus.” She crosses her arms to mimic him. She leans in close and whispers in his ear, “Trust me, I would have talked to you eventually. How could I ever not? Someone as attractive as you should never be ignored.” Trying to decide whether to stay close to his ear, or pull away again. Deciding to stay, she moves her foot so that she can get closer.