|The Merentith Triolgy: Radiant Shadows
Author: Gamista PM
Bailey Ross is alone. When a car accident puts her into a coma, she finds herself in a world where an evil duchess is searching for an heir.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Fantasy/Romance - Chapters: 37 - Words: 59,231 - Reviews: 38 - Favs: 6 - Follows: 9 - Updated: 05-09-13 - Published: 05-24-12 - id: 3025491
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The man was wearing black trousers, a white shirt and a red jacket. Bailey stared at her escort in disbelief.
"What on Earth are you doing in my dream?" she demanded, standing up.
"Your dream?" the stranger repeated, in confusion.
"Yeah. After I quit and left I was in a car accident and now I'm asleep and this is all a dream. Meaning I can do anything I want. You'd better be feeling lucky I don't have a weapon," Bailey said, looking around the room.
"Miss Ross. Please, calm yourself. Whomever you think I am, you're terribly mistaken. I've never set foot in your wretched world. It's far too disturbing," he added with a smirk.
"Yeah, right. Sure. W-w-wait! If you claim you have never set foot in my 'wretched world', how do you know my name?" she questioned.
The man merely shrugged. "We have ways of knowing such things in the kingdom," he said, simply.
"Whatever you say, George. I'll just have my chambermaid show me the way," Bailey said, motioning to the silent girl by the vanity.
The stranger just laughed. "The Duchess wants nothing to do with the likes of her. Chambermaids are not allowed in the dining area. They have their own chambers and their own dining area. I would advise you not to associate yourself with them as well. Filthy they are. The only reason this one is cleaned up is because the Duchess wanted to give you a good first impression. And now that you understand the chain of command, we can get to dinner. I am famished," he said, holding out his hand.
Bailey looked at her chambermaid who had shrunken into a corner. "What's my chambermaid's name?" she asked.
The stranger sighed but smiled. "My name is Urgl. I am the Duchess' right hand man, if you will," he said.
"I didn't ask for your name. I asked for hers," Bailey said, rolling her eyes.
"And why would a devastatingly beautiful woman such as yourself be interested in a lowly creatures name like her?" Urgl replied, motioning to the girl.
"Because of the two people I've met since waking up in this dream, she's the only one I like," Bailey said, crossing her arms across her chest.
Urgl looked at her up and down and smiled. "If you really want to know, her name is Marahute. The Duchess found her nosing through the garbage one day and proceeded to train her," he replied, lazily.
Bailey turned to the girl. "Marahute?" she said.
The girl smiled and nodded. Bailey returned the smile before turning back to Urgl.
"Are we ready to dine with the Duchess? She's very anxious to meet you," he said, bowing slightly.
Bailey felt Marahute pushing her towards the door. She looked back at the girl who smiled encouragingly. Bailey sighed and shrugged.
"Well, since it seems I have no alternative, I suppose so," she said, as she walked out the door.
She walked into a hallway lit by candles every few feet. Urgl pointed down the hall and she started walking. Every once in awhile he would point in a direction. Every hallway was the same, until they entered a large spacious room with a fire burning in the fireplace. There were several plush couches and chairs spread out around the fire. There were shelves upon shelves of books along all four walls.
"Wow," Bailey breathed.
"Haven't seen this many books have you? I'm not surprised," Urgl sniffed.
Bailey rolled her eyes and turned on him.
"Now where do we go?" she asked, placing her hands on her hips.
Urgl pointed to a door on their left. Bailey grimaced as she started walking towards it, Urgl shadowing her footsteps. Bailey pushed the door open and entered the dining room. There was a long table covered in a red tablecloth. The dishes along the table were silver. There was a lone figure sitting at the far end of the table. Urgl swept forward and bent on one knee in front of the figure. Bailey followed him up to the table but hang back.
"Urgl! Offer our guest a seat. After all, she is a lady," the figure, a young looking female said, gesturing to the chair at her right.
She was wearing a deep red dress that looked rather tight. Her black hair was piled on top her head, similar to Bailey's hairstyle. There was a large gold crown encrusted with rubies perched on top of her hair. Each of her hands were laden with gold rings with more rubies. Bailey started to notice the color red was a theme. Urgl bowed and pulled the chair out. Bailey hesitated.
"Who are you?" she asked, bluntly.
"Oh dear. I suppose you are a little curious aren't you? I was strolling my garden yesterday and I noticed you were floating in my fountain! I called upon my servants to pull you out and gave you a room in my castle. I assigned that dreadful mute to look after you. I hope she didn't muddle up things too terribly," the girl said.
"She's a very lovely girl. I enjoyed her company. But who are you?" Bailey repeated.
"Please have a seat, child, and I'll explain," the girl said, motioning to the chair.
Bailey growled quietly buts sat down.
"That dress looks beautiful on you," the girl said, smiling sweetly.
There was something about that smile that made the hair on the back of Bailey's neck stand up.
"It's good to know the mute girl knows a thing or two about beauty," the girl said, giggling.
Urgl joined her in a laugh while three young men in red approached with trays. Bailey was starting to get impatient.
"You were just dreadfully ugly when they pulled you from the fountain. Your hair was matted with grime and filth, your nails were a terrible mess," the girl said.
Bailey took this moment to look down at her fingers. Each nail was painted red and a tiny diamond was placed in the middle of each nail.
"I was afraid after you were all cleaned up, your beauty wouldn't be enough. So I'd made arrangements for an alternative. But since you're a very beautiful lady, we don't have to worry about that other possibility!" the girl said, happily.
Bailey thought about this for a moment. "Is that what happened to Marahute?" she asked.
"Who is Marahute?" the girl asked, sneering.
"My chambermaid. Did you stumble upon her and when she was cleaned up, she was deemed 'ugly', so you made her your slave?" Bailey pressed on.
"You say it like it's a bad thing! I take pride in my kingdom's beauty. And the people I associate with must meet the criteria," the girl said, smiling.
"Who are you?" she demanded, glaring at the girl.
The young men were starting to dish foods onto the plates and filling the goblets in front of the three diners. The girl glared at Bailey for a long moment.
"I'm Medalia, Duchess of the Shadows. And you're in my kingdom," the girl said, rather crossly.
"And where is your kingdom, exactly?" Bailey pressed.
"In Merentith of course. Don't you know where you are?" Medalia asked, laughing.
"It's good to finally be able to put a name to my dreamland," Bailey said, looking around her.
There was a large painting of the Duchess on the wall, staring down at her.
"'Dreamland'? What do you mean, 'dreamland'?" Medalia asked, narrowing her eyes at Bailey.
"I was going to the store when I was in a car accident. And I must be laying in a coma in the hospital..." she trailed off.
For a split second, she thought she saw Urgl and Medalia exchange a glance, before turning their attention to their plates.
"And what makes you say that?" Urgl said, laughing.
Bailey looked at him, but otherwise ignored him and picked up her silver goblet. She sighed as she tipped it to her mouth. It was sweet and cold. She set it back down and shrugged.
"Because I remember hitting my head and before everything went dark, I saw something," she replied.
There was no mistaking the look the two shared at this.
"What's going on?" Bailey demanded.
"What makes you think somethings going on, child?" Medalia said, airily.
"You keep looking at each other. I demand to know why I've been brought here," Bailey responded, smacking her hand on the table.
"Patience, child. Patience. All in due time," Medalia said, condescendingly.
Bailey stood up and glared at her. "Don't tell me about patience! I'm the one here who deserves the respect of being told what's going on! I'm the one from a 'different world'," she snapped.
Medalia just smiled the same sweet smile and snapped her fingers. At that moment, two middle-aged men wearing black pants, a black shirt and long black capes walked into the room and stood at both sides of Medalia's chair.
"Take Miss Ross to the Keep. She needs to learn a thing or two about respect," she said, sneering at Bailey.
"Yes, your excellency," the two men said in unison.
They walked to the two sides of Bailey, picked her up between them and carried her out the door.