Chapter 4: Lots of Letters to People, Lots of Letters to One

Chapter 4: Lots of Letters to People, Lots of Letters to One

A Chapter by Sairek Ceareste
"

Isolated. Alone. It was something he wished for much of the time. But he was too alone. He needed to find a balance. Surely, there was a balance to be met somewhere. And he would find it; somehow.

"


 


 

The sound of light gentle waves crashed on the shore of the beach. Sairek sat away enough from the water so that the waves didn’t splash onto him and wet his clothes, despite the fact he was dirty anyways, as he hadn't cleaned up like he had told his father he would afterall. His staff lay on the soft sand next to him, as he lay seated with his knees bent up, where his forearms rested on them, which he used his forearms to seat his head as he stared blankly at the ocean horizon. By now the sun was beginning to set and the moon beginning to rise. The sun was behind the castle but the moon was above the ocean waters, which gave the beach sand a sort of purple-like hue, and the water almost like a strange blue that seemed like it would start glowing when it became dark enough.

 

 

He’s going to think I’m just being a rebellious, spoiled brat. But he has no idea how I feel…” Sairek thought to himself bitterly with a sigh escaping his lips. “I would gladly trade the mountain of riches that I own to be in poverty, but be rid of this ridiculous title that is 'Prince' so I could claim ownership of my freedom... hah... how ironic of a thought this is, yet so true.

 

 

He closed his eyes for several minutes, almost beginning to doze off, until he heard a soft sound beside him to his right. His eyes slowly fluttered open as he slowly gazed and was surprised to see a girl around his age, perhaps a little bit older sitting beside him. She had long but bright blonde hair, that was tied up into a ponytail that spread out down the back collar of her neck a few inches past shoulder length. She wore a black bandana on her head, and under the bangs of her hair. Her clothes were a little bit worn, wearing mostly leather via gloves, boots, and pants, and a belt around her waist, but her upper body was covered in a white short-sleeveless shirt. In a way, despite being young, her bare arms looked actually a bit muscular in a way. Like a blacksmith's daughter, or perhaps the daughter of a butcher who was following the line of work after her father.

Sairek wasn’t startled by her sudden appearance. He was feeling too gloomy to even have room for the emotion. The Prince just rolled his head back to look at the ocean.


“Aren’t you the son of the King?” The girl soon asked him realizing Sairek didn't seem to care that she was there. It was a question that was not too surprising to be asked.

“Yes, I am.” Sairek answered without looking.

 

“I thought you weren't allowed out of the castle?" He heard her ask.

 

“That would be because I barged out of the castle without permission. Even if I did ask in the most polite, sincere way that I could, I wouldn't have been granted the permission to do so anyways.”

 

“You sneaked out?”

 

“I wouldn’t really say that I was hidden or did it in a stealthy manner..." Sairek mumbled. "Chances are once I get back, well, I won't have to worry about trying to go outside, much less I would have to worry about just getting outside my room I bet." Sairek sighed again. "Usually prisoners who escape the first time are watched much harder than before, after all..."

 

“You broke out of the castle just so you can mope out on the beach? Why don’t you actually do something?” She lectured with a wagging finger in front of him. Sairek still was staring at the ocean horizon as he spoke again, ignoring her waggling finger next to his face without even so much as giving it a glance.

 

“Playing with the son of the King who escaped his castle when he wasn’t supposed to even go outside doesn’t sound like a smart idea, if you ask me. None of the local kids like me because they are afraid if something happens while a game is going on, then it will be automatically determined their fault. After all, a lot of the games the local boys play requires a lot of physical activity and can be quite rough. I can't say I blame them. I mean after all, who would want to play a game of physical activity of someone who is supposed to be better than them in all traits possible? If the Prince gets angry, something bad may happen to them too." Not that Sairek would do such a thing to the village kids at all no matter what it came to, but they couldn't know that for sure.

Sairek let out a short laugh, although it wasn’t one of humor, rather it was a laugh one might let out when they become too frustrated. It was a laugh of sarcasm. Sairek buried his face into his arms. His mouth not covered by them, but his eyes were.

 

“How ironic it is… People envy me because they think I have it all. Lots of riches… extremely smart… 'cute and handsome', apparently as some other people say. Yet I’m the one who is envious of them for not having all of that… Freedom outweighs nobility. I have an entire kingdom at my disposal, and eventually will have an entire kingdom in my command; yet freedom is worth more than it all. Freedom is priceless.”


“Well. You could always run away.” He heard her say.


Sairek lifted his head and looked at the girl curiously with his emerald eyes. He raised an eyebrow as if she was insane. “Run away? I’m desperate but I'm not crazy. I just want some away time from the castle. How far away isn’t a factor, as long as I cannot see it.” He answered, shifting in his seat as he spread his legs out more. "And, besides. It's not a matter of me wanting to go anywhere necessarily... I just want to be... 'normal'... I want to do what I want, when I want, the way I want."

 

“Well, you’re interested about the world, right?” She inquired. Sairek was silent for a moment, just gazing at her before he spoke in a low voice. “How did you know that? Was it just a lucky guess?” He asked her with mild caution, although he doubted that he need be alarmed that this girl nearly his age seemed to know about him, he found it to still be somewhat unsettling.

 

“Your height is 4’1. You weigh 84 pounds. You are eight years old. But really though, you do talk about the world a lot in your speeches. It isn't that hard to figure out.

 

Sairek soon stood up now, gripping his staff, and turned around away from her, he began to walk off.

 

“Where are you going?” The girl asked, standing up herself too.

 

Sairek stopped, and turned his body around a bit so his head could look at her. “…Actually. You are wrong. My height is actually 3’11, I actually weigh 81 pounds on average, and well, you got my age right, but than again you could just guess that by looking at me. Your numbers are off a bit…” He soon turned around and began to walk again, although he continued speaking. "I suppose though, that not every book you read about me is going to be accurate, since I am still growing. My weight can change a bit every day after all."

Sairek soon turned his head around to look at her. "But as much as you can study about a topic in a book, even a person, you can never truly know about someone or even something by just reading about it. I don't know why you've decided to try and study about me extensively, but know this: Every book about me lies about who I really am. Not even my most trusted friend inside the castle fully understands me. Not even my father fully understands me. Nobody could, nobody can and as far as I understand, nobody will, for I don't even fully understand myself yet."

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * *

 

 

 

Sairek hiked his way back up the hill. He had only been gone for probably two hours judging by the fact the sun now had set behind the horizon. He wasn’t surprised to see the party of guards waiting for him at the entrance, who began to approach him. These were not just normal guards assigned to the castle, but rather his fathers' elite guards, which were generally sent to 'baby-sit' him. Sairek stopped walking, as he waited for them to approach him.

 

“Sairek Ceareste,” One of the guards started; he used his actual name. That was usually a sign that he was in deep trouble. The guard hesitated for a moment, before speaking in a softer tone. “Sairek Ceareste, I’m more than sure you know what happens next after disobeying your father again.”

 

Sairek resisted the urge to roll his eyes. But instead he just stared at the guards, waiting for the man to continue.

 

"You are to report to the tower, where you will be handling the messages of the kingdom all night until dawn. You will come with us and--"

 

“No." Sairek simply stated.

 

The man stared at Sairek coldly for a long moment.

 

"I said no." Sairek stated flatly as if saying it again would help the man sink in the simple response into his head a little bit faster.

 

"You can't refuse your fathers' orders." The man stated back in a colder tone.

 

"I am not going to be escorted in my own home where I am supposed to be safe like I am an animal bound to a leash, or a prisoner. I didn't do anything wrong. Therefore my answer is no." He said through gritted teeth. Trying to hold his emotions in but he soon failed and began hissing out more words. "Are you too trivial to see how wrong father is just because he's the King? He has no right to bind me to the castle like this just because he's the King, none at all!"

 

"His orders are absolute. Sairek Ceareste you will comply. Cease your actions of being a brat."

 

"A brat!? How is me wishing to just leave the castle now and then to just visit the village me being a brat!?" Sairek hissed out angrily. "You do it to visit family and friends, how is it just because I'm the Prince it's wrong!?"

 

Despite the sterness and obvious rage in his voice and eyes, the man walked up to Sairek and grabbed him by the wrist and began to pull him along. The man didn't even get to take a step before Sairek yanked his hand away.

 

"Keep your hands off me..." Sairek growled through as tense as a voice an eight-year-old could muster. Despite that, the guards around this man all stepped forwards as if preparing to apprehend Sairek like a criminal.

 

 

"Stop." The man who tried to snatch him said before the guards got too close to Sairek who had taken a step back in response to the other soldiers. "There is no need for us to do this the hard way."

 

"The hard way...!?" Sairek hissed. "I will go to my punishment. But I will not be dragged through the castle like a prisoner... Just let me pass so I can go to my punishment alre-- Auunggh...!"

 

He felt like something just wrapped around his body and squeezed tight. He suddenly felt it difficult to breathe. He rolled the pupils of his eyes around frantically in sudden panic.

 

He couldn't move.

 

He tensed his muscles as hard as he could. He couldn't move. He couldn't even lessen the grip he had onto his staff. He couldn't even move his lips to talk. He felt his feet leaving the floor, floating just a couple of inches above the stone floor, before feeling his staff pried away from his fingers, leaving his right hand gripping something that wasn't there. His eyes darted from the soldier who took his staff to the man, before he felt both of his arms grabbed. Panic rushed through him, as he tried to kick his legs, but they were glued in place. It was a magical hold; they weren’t his father’s elite guards for no reason. This man was obviously something more 

 

“…Stop… Stop it!” Sairek demanded in his mind as he pulled and tugged, he couldn’t even get an arm to even twitch.

 

STOP IT!” Sairek screamed inside his mind. It was the only thing he could possible do.

 

"You may not follow orders Prince," the man said with a small smirk as he stared at the paralyzed child. "However, we do. You must learn to stop being the naughty boy you are and do as you are told. I will be sure to tell his Majesty about your inability to co-operate. Hopefully this will teach you a lesson.

 

The elite guards began walking, and Sairek floated along with them. Sairek went on screaming in his mind in panic. Out of the corner of his vision, he saw Laure step out of a doorway to see her master in dismay. He knew deep down inside there was nothing she could do to help him despite his conscious fighting to scream out for her -- not that he could even if he wanted to.

LET ME GO! LET ME GO!!!”



Sairek in frustration and despair finally giving up his struggling as his muscles were too exhausted from the attempt to break free of the spell. He was leashed; Wwhat a sorry state he must have looked in.

 

Like a dog on a leash, that's what I am... Only walking back into this hellish doghouse because there is nowhere else for me to go or run to… I gave myself the chance to run, but in the end, I still chose to stay against better judgement because I'm tame... Had I a good reason to leave the castle to go somewhere, even if I didn’t know exactly where, I would gladly take it. By the flaming lands I would damn well take it...!

 

 

 

 

 * * * * * * * * *

 

 

 

 

“I'm sorry Master... I thought I would be able to get through to him this time..."

 

Laure was there in the tower with him. His father had come earlier to place Sairek there but had to leave to do something else that needed his attention. By the time he had come back, Laure had tracked Sairek's location it seemed and had intercepted his father and than the two had begun arguing. Laure argued more or less Sairek's own arguments. He was still playing through the memory in his head.

 

"I'm telling you," Laure began. "He didn't resist. He simply didn't want to be carried like a prisoner on his own home. Is that so wrong for him to ask?"

 

"Are you saying I was lied to?" His father had asked Laure in a heated tone.

 

"Are you saying I am?" Laure had responded back. The response seemed to have inflicted some sense across his father because next he had heard was: "Regardless, Sairek has disobeyed me again... He still has to be punished..."

 

"You really don't get it, do you?" He had heard Laure say as her voice became increasingly aggitated. "Do you know why he acts this way? It's because he's a child and you keep treating him like an adult!"

 

"He is going to become King soon." His father had responded back in a heated tone. "He isn't a normal child, he has to learn all of these responsibilities in case something happens!"

 

"So that excludes his right to life while you got to have yours? Do you think that's best for your son? Sweet lands, he feels like he has lost both you and Melina the day she died! With the way you're acting and keep treating him, he isn't very far off! You've been a terrible father to him and have been nothing but a demanding King!"

 

"He's spoiled in the fact that because he's a Prince but a child he should get to do what he wants--"

 

It was by that time Sairek had already gotten up from the table in the room he was seated at, and sho ved open the door where Laure and his Father had been arguing outside. Sairek knew Laure wasn't going to win this argument, and if she proceeded only she would get punished as well.

 

"ENOUGH." Sairek shouted out angrily as he strolled up between the two and turned around to face his father.

 

"We've already done this dance a hundred times before and needn't do it another hundred times. We already know what the verdict of your decision will be, so just hurry it up and give me my damn punishment already!"

 

Laure sighed, knowing she was probably going to be punished now as well for her stepping over the line against the King's authority. Sairek figured that too and they had both had been right. Now both were sentenced to Sairek's punishment. Laure was there simply to attend to anything if he required... but nothing that would help make him feel comfortable. Unfortunately, this meant she almost had no reason of being there, other than to babysit him. In other words, she was to more or less stand on her feet all night. Sairek felt guilty for it.


Sairek's emerald eyes had wandered to his father in anger when he had announced that they were both punished; his father didn't know him well enough to see the emotions he sometimes hid from his face, but expressed through his eyes, so he made no effort to hide it. Laure knew very well, but of course didn't say anything. Sairek still couldn't believe he sent his elite guards to pull him -- quite literally -- to the tower where he now sat with Laure standing at his side.

 

He sighed at Laure's response. "It's not your fault he refuses to see nothing more than what his eyes show in front of him... you've tried just like I've tried, maybe even harder than me. I just keep running away..."

 

He felt Laure put a comforting hand on his shoulder. He wanted to say his thanks for her comfort but he didn't think he could try out his voice right then for fear it would break up into a sob. Despite his pain he for some reason needed to show that he was strong; even if it was only for Laure. He felt like giving up but knew that he had the right to his life and needed to show his father that. But at the same time he had failed for nearly six years now and almost all of his childhood at this point was being robbed away from him. Everyday he failed was a day of childhood innocence he seemed to lose forever.

 

Finally able to compose himself as he sat in a chair and Laure stood beside him for a moment of silence, Sairek finally quietly cleared his throat. "We'd best just get right to it. We'll be stuck here like prisoners if I don't get to those letters. After all, there can't be that many letters, right?"

 

Laure seemed to give her a distant look, as she reached under her dress and pulled out a violet box trimmed with gold.

 

"I was given this box, and..." she began, soon dropping the box only a few inches. It made a loud sound coming into contact with the table that made Sairek jump.

 

"It's quite heavy, I'm afraid." Laure finished.

 

"Wonderful..." Sairek muttered in a sarcastic tone. He felt a bit afraid to open the box, for fear of seeing the potential sight that was inside. Regardless of that though, he felt his arms move and lift the top of the box off.

 

"Wonderful..." Sairek drawled even more sarcastically when he saw the large box was chalk full of folded papers and envelopes. Sairek had done this chore several times before, almost all of them for him being sentenced to punishment, This was easily by far the worst the letters had stock-piled up to by now.


"That.... that b*****d..." he whispered out quietly, holding back bottled fury. He felt a firm hand squeeze his right shoulder and knew it was Laure trying to reassure him. With a sigh, Sairek looked at the box full of all the letters he would have to read... there seemed to be so many... it would take all night to read and respond to them. Having to start somewhere, he dug his hand inside a box, and pulled out an envelope, tore it open, and unfolded the letter inside. His emerald eyes examined the letter a little bit.

 

Sairek cleared his throat so he could speak as clearly to Laure as possible, his voice coming out a little bit scratchy. “There’s a G with the number 3 in the top left corner of the paper, but there is no address... I can't respond to it if I don't have an address..."

"What does it say?" Laure asked.

Sairek cleared his throat again as he quoted the letter. "It says, 'Dear your majesty, I have been having trouble with a particular someone from your castle harassing me. Just the other day, I saw someone peeking through my bedroom window during the night! I will sue for this intrusion! I am rather sure it is that little son of yours, doesn’t surprise--' what in the flaming lands is this...!?"

 

Sairek stared at the letter in disbelief. “I did not do such a thing!” He soon exclaimed out loud as his cheeks on his face burned red, both in a bit of anger, but mostly flushed with embarrassment. “Just what am I being accused of?!”

 

Light laughter coming from Laure reached his ears as he let out a bit of a groan that she found it funny instead of being angered like he was. “Never mind it, Master. It must just be some sort of poor prank. I'd just ignore it."


“No, I will be glad to write a reply back to this one.” He said, before pausing. "D****t! I can't because there's no address on it! 'G 3' doesn't mean anything to me! Arghh!" Sairek let out sourly. Could this day get any worse? First he got beat up, muddied, and dirtied. Then he had been stalked by some girl that tried to scrounge up very personal information about him. Then he had been handcuffed like a slave and dragged to his father; now he was being accused of being a stalking perv?

 

"Master, I know this must be a frustrating day for you, but I'd advice you watch your tongue under such stress." Laure cautioned.

"Laure, you know I only swear when I'm positive that either nobody can hear me, or when the situation calls for it. Besides, since I'm apparently an adult according to everyone's expectations of me, I should be allowed to curse if I need to." Sairek answered back, his voice a quiet growl. He knew Laure's intentions were all well and good in nature, but he really was not in the mood.

"...As you wish." Laure answered back, probably sensing how he felt.

Letting out a breath, Sairek reached into the box pulling out another one at random. Opening the envelope, he put it next to the previously opened one. He unfolded the letter and began to read.

 

'You b*****d,' Sairek glanced at Laure with a raised eyebrow at Laure. He quickly resumed. 'I hate you for what you have done. I am but a single widow and I will not take anymore abuse from you." Sairek's other eyebrow rose in interest as he continued. "You are nothing more then a cowardly mutt, harassing me and vandalizing my home, just how you had previously tortured my deceased pet rat Skibbles (may he rest in peace) you now torture me with your lies." Sairek's eyes lifted from the letter, glancing for a split second towards Laure once again before he continued reading. "If you keep this up I will personally blackmail the fact how I saw you make out with your wife’s sister, and I demand 300 gold pieces or else I will spill it out to everyone’s ears, Cloony! I will--“

 

 

“….Errr… Cloony... right...” Sairek let out in a mutter. He positioned himself to check the rest of the letter in silence. He blinked several times at the contents of the letter.


“…I think they gave it to the wrong address…” Sairek soon stated flatly.


"Seems like an interesting letter to read." Laure stated with her own flat tone.


"Tell me about it... it even goes on to the backside of the paper." Sairek noted, flipping the letter around to show her. "This one too doesn't have an address, although I am not surprised because I guess this... Cloony... would have known who it was from." He said, before tossing the letter as if it was trash on top of the other one on the table and pushed both letters aside. With no address again, there was nothing Sairek could have responded to it with even if he wanted to. The Prince pulled out a third letter, he unsealed the envelope and began to read, at first it was in silence, but then he blinked a few times and then checked the letter again.


"Sweet lands... this is from the King of Marid!" Sairek gasped.


"The King of Marid? Are you sure?" Laure asked stepping closer.


"This is what his signature looks like, right?" Sairek asked, holding the letter out for her to see. She took it as she examined the signature at the bottom of the letter.


"...Yes... without a doubt, I am sure." She said as she passed the letter back to Sairek who quickly glanced at the letter cautiously as he read its contents in silence. A simple maid like her wasn't technically allowed to read of even hear the contents of such a letter. Even Sairek really wasn't supposed to, but since he was the one who was supposed to answer and validate them all, this technically was an exception to the rule.


"It seems like Koar is up to causing trouble again in Marid's borders." Sairek soon said as he continued reading the letter.

"Again?" Laure asked. "Was it another border intrusion? If so, that will have made the eighth one. There is no way it could just be a mistake by now if so..."


"I'm afraid so." Sairek confirmed to his maid. "If they keep violating Marid's borders, they are going to spark the first war in over 300 years. I think they're up to something personally, but nobody but them seems to really know what and I don't understand what the border passing seems to be for... I can't think of a reason. Marid is an island by itself, if there was anyone they should be border crossing for land preparing for attack, it would be us since we're neighboring right next to them. But it really doesn't make sense why Kaor is doing these border crossings After all..." Sairek sighed, sinking back into the chair for a moment as he pressed two fingers against the middle of his forehead in thought before resuming what he was going to say. "...After all, it is not like they are sending giant groups of soldiers in... They're like small task forces, or skeleton crews... but they are for sure not scouting parties, at least that's what I get from the letter. And it wasn't scouting parties the first time..."


"If it does come to war, you know which side your father will choose..." Laure seemed to remind him which caused Sairek to sigh again as he sat up straighter in his seat.

"Yes... My Father has been great friends with the King of Marid... it's been very great for both kingdoms... we're not allied for really beneficial reasons other than the fact that both people from both kingdoms truly trust each other. Kaor already know this, it's not like our tight alliance is a secret to the world. But why only harass Marid? They know that provoking Marid in turn will provoke us."


Sairek soon shook his head in annoyance at the situation. He didn't like not knowing the answer to something; especially a topic of Kaor beginning to provoke war. War would effect so many peoples' lives, and most likely in a negative way. He didn't want it to come to that just because Kaor's King was being a fool, testing both his fathers' and Marid's patience. It was beginning to run very thin. His father will not like to hear the contents of this letter.


"Well, nonetheless, Father will want to respond to this letter and therefore I can't. I'll just keep it on me for now." Sairek said as he folded the letter and soon stashed it away inside a small pocket inside the first layer of his royal clothing. He then again reached inside the box to pull out his fourth letter.


Dear your majesty, I have been having trouble with a particular someone from your cas…”

 

Sairek soon dropped the letter and cupped his face in his hands.“…I don’t believe this..." he groaned. "It’s the same blasted letter as the first one!” Sairek let out in disbelief.

He saw Laure move her way over, taking the letter from the table. She picked up the other one and looked at them side by side.

"One has 'G 3'. This one has 'A 5'." She stated. "It seems all of them were written manually by hand as well. It was not reproduced by magic." Laure stated. "So whoever did this certainly doesn't know magic. A replication spell is pretty basic magic."


She looked at Sairek who was shooting her a dull stare, her face flustered quickly.


"I mean... it's pretty basic after you..." she cleared her throat. "M-My apologies Master... I didn't mean to..."

 

Sairek waved a hand dismissively at her as he looked over towards the letters. “G3… A5… What do those mean…?” Sairek pondered out loud.

 

“I don't know, but what do you plan to do, Master?” Laure asked him curiously.

 

Sairek thought for a moment. “Do what father ordered me to do.” He answered. "Sort all the rubbish ones out, answer any real ones. I'll keep these, maybe burn them all with my Balinzer spell as a filter through the letters one by one and if I ever find the person who written these, I am going to hit them hard on the head on my staff that they will see stars." He did not make a movement to the letter to pull it away, or go for the box. He sat there for a few seconds before speaking out again. “I’m... I'm so very sorry, Laure...”

 

She blinked in sudden surprise at the apology“...For what, Master...?” She said in a confused tone.

 

“You are stuck in here all night with me again. Once more it was because of my actions against my fathers' wishes that I am punished because of my beliefs go against his; but you suffer on my behalf because of these quarrels that I have with him...” Sairek let out a sigh. Closing his eyes. He struggled to control the tears that wanted to flush out. He spoke but his voice croaked a bit more than normal. "I... I just wanted to be alone for a while... But I got dragged around the castle like I had done something treasonous!"

 

“Do not hate yourself, Master. I personally enjoy keeping you company. I would spend the night here with you regardless if I had a choice not to. For as long as you so wished for my company that I offered.”

 

Sairek couldn’t help but give a small comforted smile at her response. It seemed to cheer him up a little, knowing he had at least one true friend in the castle. Nodding in thanks, he soon moved for the next letter in the box, tore the envelope and tossed it aside.

 

“This one has an address... probably a real letter..." Sairek mumbled. "I guess I'll have to actually answer this... oh wow... It's from the King of Masir!"

"Masir?" Laure repeated. Tonight was turning into an interesting night certainly.

Sairek briefly skimmed through the contents of the letter.


"Kaor is breaching Masir's borders too...?" He soon uttered out loud.


This was new. And while their kingdom neighbored Kaor, Kaor was sandwiched between Masir and them. Kaor was now provoking all three other kingdoms, even thought their borders have not been breached yet.


All the four Kingdoms had called peace with each other over 300 years ago, although Masir was more neutral as Kaor had been compared to the stronger alliance and partnership Marid granted them exclusively. If it had just been them and Marid against Kaor, Masir would have most likely remained neutral, unless there was the off chance both Kingdoms had been plotting something. But now...


"It looks like I am going to need to keep this one too... I was lucky that both happened to have been on top of the pile..." Sairek muttered, as he too pocketed away the second letter inside his pocket.


Sairek went back to the box of letters, pulling out the next one that the child had to respond and answer for his father. The seventh one was, finally, a legitimate letter that he could actually respond to. It was somebody asking for clarification on the taxes. Sairek had written as best of a response as he could; he didn't really know about the taxes himself, other than that they were what made them money more or less, and that the taxes in the kingdom were actually surprisingly generous, but the entire kingdom was more or less, in peaceful prosperity and the tax inflow was smooth. On the eighth letter, Sairek’s eyes opened up in interest. “Aha! G with a 2…”

 

He looked back at the first letter he had opened, then back to the one he just found. “This first one has G3, yet this one is G2. What does that mean? I don't get it..."

 

“Perhaps you should put the letters in order from lowest number to highest number?” Laure suggested. Sairek shrugged in response.

 

“I suppose it doesn’t hurt to try…” He commented. He got a slip of paper and began the task of arranging the letters from lowest to highest that he had so far. “Assuming there is a letter with the number 1, and a letter with the number '4', this spells out…” He grabbed a nearby sheet of paper, along with a quill with an ink bottle, and began to jot down. "...G... G... and R..."


_ G G _ R

 

 

Sairek soon once more began to dive his hands into the box of letters, pulling out another. Any letters that were not copies, he had to get more paper and respond to them. It took 16 more letters before he found another duplicate.

 

“W 10.” Sairek stated as he looked at the letter. “That should mean there are at least 6 more letters to look for.” Going back to his paper, he wrote once more.



_ G G _ R _ _ _ _ W

 

 

“I’m not getting a very strong vibe of what it could be, Master.” Laure stated to him.


"...Whatever this spells, it's ridiculous. I'm really not in the mood to play this game. Flaming lands, for all I know it could spell absolutely nothing and I could just be wasting my time!"

 

Sairek sighed; he was tired from all the day's activities and the fact it was probably past midnight by now and only had breakfast so far, did not help his mood. Even if he hadn't been stuck here, he would have gone to bed the moment he had came back to the castle instead of hanging around at the Library again.


Laure suddenly spoke up in response to him. “I do not know either unfortunately. I feel like we are playing a jester’s version of hangman. A version that is ridiculously slow.” Sairek chuckled at her. He went back to the box of letters. There were at least a couple hundred of them in there. They could have kept going and going up until lunch the next day if he slacked off. That was pretty much another 10 more hours without a break or even eating.

 

Within 2 letters, Sairek found 'L 9', and the next one was yet another one which Sairek was not toohappy about. 'I 11',

 

Sairek’s paper now looked like this: _ G G _ R _ _ _ L W I



 

After another hour, it soon looked like this: _ G G _R A _ _ I L W I  _ _ S

 

By now, the box was pretty much half empty. Sairek was determined to find out what this message wasand was working at every letter at a fast pace despite his sour mood. He responded to letters with haste despite his exhaustion. It made his writing a little messy but he didn't really care. If it wasn't for finding the message, it was to finally get out of this tower sooner rather than taking it easy and getting out much later.


After many hours, it nearly being day break as the sky was just about to become a dark blue, Sairek had finished, but only had found one more letter. 'T 14.' 


_ G G _R A _ _ I L W I  _ T S

 

 

"Grail...wits..." Sairek sounded out before sighing in frustration. “Oh, yeah... ''Grail wits', that makes sense..." he muttered sarcastically. "Either the rest had not been sent, or we are bloody missing them somehow... It does seem to spell something out though..."

 

“There may be enough letters for us to fill in the blanks, Master.”Laure suggeted.

 

“Maybe, but I’m too tired to sort this out at the moment. It may be quicker for me to go to sleep and start new tomorrow. And I don’t wish to keep you up any longer than you need... hold on…” he suddenly muttered but sat up alert.

 

Laure looked at him curiously.

 

“...I... I know what it says...” Sairek soon answered.

 

“You do?” Laure asked in surprised astonishment. He had figured it out so quickly it seemed.


“There’s one extra letter. There is a spelling error in the word. There’s an extra S.”

"I only see one 'S', master..." She replied.

"That's because we only found one S, Laure. There's a total of three S's missing in this message, but the person spelled the missing word wrong. The word they tried to spell only has one S in it, not two...! If it wasn't for that, I would have easily been able to figure it out by now! I seen the word so many times before!"

 

Sairek scratched out one of the spots in front of the A, then begin to print down letters. Soon Sairek spelled out the message for Laure.



 

Y G G D R A S I L W I L T S





© 2013 Sairek Ceareste


Author's Note

Sairek Ceareste
Chapter last edited on December 20th, 2012

Changelog:

- Nearly this entire chapter has been completely rewritten. If you've read it before, I highly suggest re-reading it again as there A LOT more important plot points in it now that will play part in the future. Parts that HAVE not been changed have been thoroughly proofread and should hopefully be fixed.

Changelog [December 30th, 2011]:

This entire chapter has quite literally been completely rewritten. It still starts the same, and ends the same; so it still follows along the story completely fine. So instead of making a list of changes, this will be it right here.

My Review

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@Chris

Actually, there is supposed to be some narration. Very odd that it's missing...

I hope nothing like that is missing in later chapters. I'm a bit worried now. The narration I had in this chapter was simple; not a major loss nor hard to type up, but I hope it isn't a bigger problem if it has somehow occurred somewhere else.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 9 Years Ago


Don't really have anything different to add to my previous review. Just one thing I was a little confused on:

“LET ME GO! LET ME GOOO!!!”

“As tame as a dog on a leash, I am... Only walking back into this hellish doghouse because there is nowhere else to go… I gave myself the chance to run, but in the end, I still chose to stay against better judgement... Had I had a good reason to leave the castle to go somewhere, even if I didn’t know exactly where, I would gladly take it.”

I understand that the paragraph is thought. When I first read it, though, I was thrown off because I thought he was thinking this right after he was yelling, which wouldn't make much sense. When I actually took the time to notice the increased amount of spacing, I did see that these thoughts might have occurred some time later. Still, if that is the case, it seems kind of weird to have them stand alone. Maybe put some narration before it? Or you could have him think this in the same scene where he gets started on the letters.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 9 Years Ago


Oh snack! Yggdrasil is wilting. The ending was good. It creates a nice sense of suspense. The descriptions were pretty good, too, and the letters were funny. I don't really have anything negative to say, but I do have some technical stuff I want to point out.

...a girl around his age sitting beside him, having long but bright blond hair. He wasn’t startled however, and just rolled his head back to look at the ocean.
I think "but" should be changed to "and." "But" pretty much means a contradiction. Her hair being long doesn't contradict her having bright blond hair. "And" would be more suitable in that context. Also, there should be a comma after "startled." When in the middle of a sentence, "however" usually has commas surrounding it.

“….Errr… Cloony?” Sairek let out uncomfortable.
I'm assuming uncomfortable is supposed to describe the verb. If that's the case, then "uncomfortable" is wrong because it's an adjective. Adjectives don't describe verbs, but adverbs do, so you want "uncomfortably," the adverb form of "uncomfortable." If uncomfortable was supposed to describe how Sairek was feeling, then you'll need to edit this a little. I think you could probably just put a comma after "out" to fix it. Finally, "let out" is kind of an awkward phrase for saying that someone is saying something. Just use "said" instead.

“Hmm… I guess it can’t be helped with.
Personally, I think "with" should be omitted. This is dialogue, so I won't emphasize it too much, but since Sairek's dad seems to speak rather intelligibly, or at least that's the notion I get from reading his dialogue, omitting "with" would probably be better.

He didn’t make a movement to the letters though before speaking out again.
Get rid of "out." It'll make the sentence crisper. Also, commas should surround "though."

L 9, and I 11, which they originally mistaken as either three I’s, or three 1’s, or the number, One hundred-eleven.
"Mistaken" is wrong. You need a past tense verb since the story is told in past tense. Should be "mistook." Also, "one" should be lowercase.

The 16th was actually a period. Which Sairek took as there 16 of these duplications in the box, assuming they were sent all at the same time.
I think you forgot a verb between "there" and 16. Also, the second sentence isn't a sentence; it's a fragment. Change the period to a comma to fix this.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 9 Years Ago



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