Chapter Four

Chapter Four

A Chapter by Aianarie (INACTIVE)

Chapter Four

 


          Words couldn’t possibly describe what I thought of Epsilia upon my arrival, but I shall attempt a sufficient description.

          We entered through the Eastern entrance.  It was so beautiful that I very much wanted to see the Southern entrance, which was the main entrance.  The city was surrounded by a perfectly constructed brick wall.  The archway that made up the entrance was composed of a different sort of bricks than the common blue and gray ones that made up the rest of the wall.  These bricks were a dull purple color, embedded with tiny sparkling gems.  I assumed that they were also miagra jewels, to protect the city from any attacks of the paranormal kind.  With such a beautiful, pristine city, one can also assume that its people have taken every possible measure to ensure that everything within the wall is safe.

          I looked down at the pathway under Talia’s hooves.  The stones were polished, with Ancanthian characters inscribed into each one.  I noticed a few of the words�"peace, good tidings, power, and hope.  I thought of my littlest sister, and wondered what she was doing at that moment, back in Araelia.  The thought made me stupidly, foolishly sad.  I looked up and focused my attention at the town square not too far up ahead.

          “We will leave our horses here,”  said Father, dismounting.  He greeted a stableman and handed him a small bag of bronze.  He then led Kasha by the reins into the stable.  Isaiah and Sean dismounted and did the same.  It took me a second too many to gather my bearings and follow suit.

          “He paid for you.”  said the stableman, jerking his thumb in my father’s direction.  I nodded at the man, who was much younger than I expected.  I didn’t feel very sociable at all.  I made myself busy taking things out of Talia’s saddle bags and putting them in my knapsack.

          “An Araelian warrioress,”  continued the young man, nodding cockily.  “I’ve always wanted to see one up close.”

          Was he really trying to flirt with me?  I certainly hoped not.  Because if he was, he was doing an absolutely terrible job.  I swung my bag on, tightened my wrist guards, and looked at him.  He had a big mouth, thick brows, and plenty of dark golden-brown curls.  His eyes were pretty enough, but…no.  I raised my chin and gave him a look that must have screamed back off (exactly what I wanted), because his expression sank a little and he walked away, towards Isaiah.  He said something to my brother, but I couldn’t make out what he said.  I guess I had expected him to take Talia in for me, but alas…I was an Araelian warrioress, after all.  Slightly annoyed, I grabbed Talia’s reins and guided her into a stall myself.

          “Skylar!”  exclaimed Isaiah.  “What the hell did you do with your hair?”

          The stableman--Skylar--laughed and tossed his curls.  “Figured I’d try something different.  Does it look good?”

          “Damn, I didn’t even recognize you!  I would have never imagined you with curls.  You were practically bald the last time I saw you.”  said Isaiah.

          Skylar crossed his arms and raised a brow.  “You didn’t answer my question.”  Those two were perfect for each other.  I smiled as I tied Talia’s reins to the rings on the wall.

          Isaiah approached Skylar and examined him.  “No.  It makes you look weird and unorganized.”  Skylar made a face as Sean and Father laughed.  I almost laughed too.  “Maybe if you pull it back in a ponytail?  I dunno.”

          “Whatever, man.”

          “Look, sorry, just being honest here.”

          “It’s all good.”  said Skylar, uncrossing his arms.  “So, how about a local bar?  They got specials tonight.” 

          “Sounds good to me.”  said Isaiah.  He turned to Sean and Father.  Sean shrugged.

          “Fine with me.”  said Father.  For some reason, I had thought that he would have said no.   Silly me.  I didn’t really want to go to a pub.  Actually, I didn’t want to go to a pub at all.  I hoped that they would see it on my face.

          “Felicity?” said Isaiah.  Skylar grinned sideways at me, and I felt my insides turn over.  I swallowed something unpleasant that had risen into my throat.  Oh, how I wished Father had been standing behind me, so that he could’ve seen that.

          “Okay.”  I said, unconsciously. 

          I had a very bad feeling about what I had just agreed to.


~*~


Skylar emphatically gave us--or rather, me--a tour of eastern Epsilia, pointing out various places, such as the café Ametheia, the Theatre, and Gizelle’s, a clothing boutique that was “very popular with the missies”.  It all reminded me of Turleín.  Despite Skylar’s awkwardness, I was impressed with and deeply interested in all that he had to show and tell me.  I noticed about fifteen minutes in that Father, my brother, and Sean had fallen behind (on purpose? I very much wanted to know), leaving me walking by Skylar’s side.  We entered the town square, which was still quite active despite the rather late hour.

          “…And that.  That, my lady, is Epsilia’s finest, most exquisite and most important statue.”  said Skylar, gesturing at the marble statue that graced the peak of a monstrous fountain in the middle of the square.  “May I present His Highness Lord Rautor, Great King of Ancantha.”

          I looked up at this likeness of the Great King.  It was larger-than-life, with nothing less-than-perfect details.  The artist must have taken years to complete the meticulous carving.

          “There will be plenty of time for sight-seeing come tomorrow.”  said Isaiah, before I had a chance to observe the statue any further.  “Let’s keep going, Skylar.”

          “Alrighty.”  he said, offering his hand to help me down from the steps.  Really, now?  What kind of spoiled city twat needs help down a few steps?  Despite myself, I rolled my eyes and walked past him, following my brother.  Honestly though, some people can’t take hints.

          We arrived, unfortunately, at the bar.  I would have much enjoyed doing some more sight-seeing instead, but alas…here we were.  I felt so awkward in this atmosphere.  I sat down in between Sean and Skylar (Isaiah was about to sit in Skylar’s place, but he decided to play matchmaker, I suppose--much to my annoyance) at a table.  A woman approached within a minute and the men ordered drinks.

          “And what would you like, miss?”  Skylar asked me after the woman had left.  “Order anything.  Yours is on me.”

          “I don’t drink.  I don’t really know what’s good.”  I said.  I felt my cheeks warm.  This was ridiculous, and I ever so much wanted to run away and explore the city.

          Hmm, not a bad idea, actually.

          “How about a half-pint?  A safe choice.”  continued Skylar, leaning his elbow on the corner of my chair.  Everything about his face was as if he had just cracked some hilarious joke.

          “Sure.”  I almost added ‘whatever’, but I stopped myself.  I was forgetting my manners.

          “Waitress!  Half-pint!”  Skylar called out.  I leaned my elbows on the table and hid my face behind my balled up fists.  I wished everything would disappear.   I cleared my mind and let everything wash over me, like I had done so many times before during training practices.  It is essential for one’s mind to be completely clear before engaging in combat.

          I couldn’t see my surroundings.  I couldn’t hear the noisy, drunken conversation around me.   I couldn’t smell the intoxicating odor of liquor that wafted lazily through the air.  And after a few minutes, I couldn’t even feel the chair underneath me or the table under my elbows--

          Bump.  A cup was placed on the table in front of me, cruelly breaking me from my thoughts.  I looked down at the cup and its amber contents.

          “That, my dear, is the finest Ancanthian ale.  Only the finest for the finest, after all.”  said Skylar.  He had already had too much to drink, as far as I was concerned.  Or else he wouldn’t have used the word finest three times in such close proximity to one another…

          “Drink up, Lissy.”  said my brother, winking at me from across the table.  He had three empty cups to his left and one in his hand.  I glanced at Father.  He was sunken in his chair, a content look to his eyes that I hadn’t seen since he kissed Mother goodbye yesterday morning.  He also had three empty cups before him.  Beside me, Sean had one empty cup and one in his hand, untouched.  Well, it was somewhat comforting to know that someone at the table had a bit of restraint, if any at all.

          I picked up the cup and waved it in front of my nose.  I almost dry heaved.  It smelt horrible.  Totally unlike anything I would ever want to drink.  I sat it down and frowned.  I didn’t want to be rude, but I was not going to drink that.

          “It’s okay if you don’t want to drink it.  I won’t force you.”  said Skylar, putting his arm over the back of my chair.  He grinned at me, sideways, before returning to his conversation with Isaiah about politics in the city.  I took that moment to observe him.  He had thick, golden-brown eyelashes that I hadn’t noticed before.  Because of how narrow and sneering he kept his expression, those eyelashes seem to veil his dark brown eyes in a somewhat alluring manner.  My eyes followed the curve of his Romanesque nose, his relatively thin cheeks, and handsome chin.  He was fairly built, only a little less than my brother, but not quite as well as Sean. 

          I smiled as I watched him laugh.  An oddly warm, sincere laugh.  His Adam’s apple bobbed as he swallowed; trying to stop laughing so he could take another drink.

          I returned my hands to my face and registered all this new information.  All-in-all, no.  He still wasn’t working for me.

          Definitely not my type, I suppose.  I wondered if maybe I was being too picky.  Despite his cockiness, Skylar seemed to be a nice young man.  He was a friend of my brother and father and he had been gracious enough to give me a tour of Eastern Epsilia, even if it had been only to have more opportunities to flirt with me.

          But I just couldn’t imagine myself married.  Not yet, anyway.  I was only fifteen, and I had just been armored according to Araelian tradition.  I was a warrioress, ready for missions in far-off lands.  There was no way that I was going to throw that all away for a less-than-perfect suitor.

          I was giving this whole Skylar thing way to much thought, and I knew it.  I was just so incredibly bored that I had nothing else to do.

          I looked up at my group.  My brother’s head was leaning against Sean’s shoulder.  I think he was asleep.  Sean looked utterly miserable, but it wasn’t because of Isaiah.  He had stopped drinking.  He was staring blank-faced at the table, twirling the rings on his fingers absentmindedly.  I felt so sorry for him.  I knew that he was thinking about Arica…

          Oh, I really hated being here.

          Then it hit me.  I got up, excusing myself for a restroom break.  The guys hardly acknowledged me leaving.  

I did go to the restroom, but afterwards, I left the building through a back exit. 

Too easy.


~*~


I felt so happy and ridiculous frivolous after my ‘escape’.  I meandered through the streets of Epsilia, soaking in the night life; the travelling musicians, the beautifully crafted lanterns, and the young men serenading maidens on their balconies from below.  It all was like something out of a storybook or a play.  A smudge-faced boy came up to me and handed me a small bouquet of wildflowers.  What a little gentleman.  I wondered to myself why he would be up so late.  An orphan he was, most likely.

          Ironically enough, I felt like a princess in a fairy tale, with all this liveliness around me.  It was almost superficial; silly, even.  Still, I felt as if all this was somehow meant for me.

          As much as I knew that certainly wasn’t the case, I decided to go along with it.  I bought a long, flowy dress and a pair of slippers from a nearby Boutique (they were both on sale, so I didn’t feel bad about paying so much money) and continued my own personal tour of the city.

          After a while, though, all the lights and noise and tall buildings got to me.  I was just a country girl, after all; this much Epsilia at once was bound to overwhelm me sooner or later.  I wandered away out the west gate, into the wood that surrounded three sides of the city.  I followed the wall, not wanting to get lost.  I finally realized that I was now outside the castle.

          I looked up at the enormous tower that stood before me.  I couldn’t even see the top from where I stood.  The castle was quite a sight to behold.  Majestic.  I couldn’t quite think of another word to describe it.

          Then I heard a terrible, angry noise. The sound of a wooden chair splintering as it crashed into a stone wall.

          “No!!!” shouted a furious voice. It was masculine, young, and nasal. “I’m not so dishonorable! Those fools won’t be able to use me just because I’m young and rash and inexperienced--“

          “Calm down, your majesty.” said a much older voice, “Calm down.”  The young man took a few deep breaths before slumping into a chair. A long moment of utter silence passed, save a heavy sigh here and there.

          “Yes, yes. Thank you, Basque. I’m sorry for my little display.” said the young man afterwards.  “Please, if you will, I need a moment to myself.”

          “Of course, your majesty.  I shall take my leave.  Shall I tell the court that you will not be returning tonight?” 

Your majesty.  Those words resounded in my head.  Your majesty? Oh goodness, could the young man be the prince?  A vine-covered wall was all that hindered me from seeing his face.

          “I hardly think so.” answered the Prince.

          “Very well.  We will postpone the final decision until tomorrow evening.  Good night, your majesty.”

          “Good night, Lord Basque.”

I heard sweeping footsteps, followed by a door closing, and then silence once again.

“You out there.  Eavesdropper.”  said the Prince, though there was no anger or disdain in his voice.  “Show yourself, if you will.”

He was talking to me.  My heart pounded in my chest.  Was I going to get in trouble for this?  I certainly hoped not.

“Hello?”

I took a deep breath, pinched my eyes shut for a second or two, and rounded the corner.  The light from a window somewhere above seemed to shine right in my face.  When I could finally see, I saw the Prince sitting there, on a wooden chair.  He was bent over with his elbows on his knees, jeweled fingers locked together.

He had a very warm look to him.  Tanned skin, dark brown hair, soft yet determined brown eyes.  He looked quite tall and was very nicely built.  I subconsciously thought of Skylar.  Perhaps comparing, which was ridiculous.

I curtsied, suddenly remembering my manners.  “Good evening, your majesty.”

“Well…good evening.  Who are you?”

“I--“

“You can come a little closer.  No bodyguards.”  he said with a sideways grin.  I felt my cheeks flush a little as I took a few steps closer and folded my hands in front of me.

“I am Felicity Delacourte.  I hail from Araelia.”

“Araelia…I hear it is beautiful there.  I haven’t had a chance to visit.”  he said, somewhat remorsefully.  “My being the Prince, you would think that I would be able to go wherever I want, whenever I want.  But no such things.  You have duties to tend to, a position to hold to.  Tell me, Felicity, are you a noble?”

“Of sorts.  My family is one of the highest.”

“Do you ever feel like you are being restricted?”

“No, not really.  I guess I just never thought of it that way before.  But yes, I suppose I am rather restrained.  Although, I have just had my armoring so--“  But I stopped.  I felt embarrassed sharing so much personal information with someone I didn’t even know.

The prince eyed me.  I wondered what he was thinking.  What he thought of me.

“I’m sorry, Lady Felicity.  This must be so terribly awkward for you.  Here,”  he walked inside and returned with another chair.  “Please, come sit.  I could use the accompaniment.”

          I hesitated.  “I don’t know…”

          “Is somebody waiting for you?”

          “Well, no.”

          He smiled. “Then come sit.”

          I nodded and sat down.

          “I am Sebastian Melrose, Otherkind and Crowned Prince of the Sister Lands.”  he said.  Something about the way he said that sentence made a warm shiver course through my body.

 

          



© 2012 Aianarie (INACTIVE)


Author's Note

Aianarie (INACTIVE)
Here comes the prince. ;-) And don't worry, this romantic stuff goes into chapter 5, and then the action starts again. Hehehe.

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Featured Review

Dear fragmented.dreams,

This sentence,

"With such a beautiful, pristine city, one can also assume that its people have taken every possible measure to ensure that everything within the wall is safe," sounds a bit awkward. It might be the "is" seeing as this story is in past tense or it might be the way that the independent clause reads. Then again, this is my opinion.

And this sentence, "There will be plenty of time for sight-seeing come tomorrow" there should be a semicolon between "seeing" and "come" since these are two different sentences or independent clauses.

This sentence confused me. "I thought of my littlest sister, and wondered what she was doing at that moment, back in Araelia/ The thought made me stupidly, foolishly sad." Why did she become sad for?

As for the plot. The romance came quick, but I am interested in Sebastian Melrose and wonder how the events will come together. Once again, I must compliment you on your detail as I am able to imagine everything well. I truly imagined the bar scene and the prince meeting Felicity.

Thank you for sharing,

Sincerely Livana Lowell (LL)

God bless

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

A very entertaining chapter. Good humor and dialogue, great details, and a little hint of romance there at the end. I have my predictions about the next chapter. Mm-hmm.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Dear fragmented.dreams,

This sentence,

"With such a beautiful, pristine city, one can also assume that its people have taken every possible measure to ensure that everything within the wall is safe," sounds a bit awkward. It might be the "is" seeing as this story is in past tense or it might be the way that the independent clause reads. Then again, this is my opinion.

And this sentence, "There will be plenty of time for sight-seeing come tomorrow" there should be a semicolon between "seeing" and "come" since these are two different sentences or independent clauses.

This sentence confused me. "I thought of my littlest sister, and wondered what she was doing at that moment, back in Araelia/ The thought made me stupidly, foolishly sad." Why did she become sad for?

As for the plot. The romance came quick, but I am interested in Sebastian Melrose and wonder how the events will come together. Once again, I must compliment you on your detail as I am able to imagine everything well. I truly imagined the bar scene and the prince meeting Felicity.

Thank you for sharing,

Sincerely Livana Lowell (LL)

God bless

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

A very good chapter. I like the city and the description of the places and the activities. I like the change in attitudes. No weakness in the excellent chapter.
Coyote

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Skylar and Isaiah....love them. Your characters are awesome. and the prince! I CANT WAIT TO READ THE NEXT CHAPTER!!!

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Put the next chapter up soon!!!! you are an awesome story teller :)

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

So Good!!! Put the next chapter up soon!!!!

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I can still imagine everything perfectly, I love your writing, haha. found this chapter funny, actually. I can't wait for more~

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

nice job on this chapter i liked it great and wonderful work keep up the good work its an awsome chapter i like the romantic stuff ans how it goes into action ,.... in it wonderful job and amazing work on it .... thanks for sharing this with me .......

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on March 20, 2012
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Aianarie (INACTIVE)
Aianarie (INACTIVE)

Eugene, OR



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