|Falling For A Stranger
Author: hummmingbird PM
Princess Sybille has to marry. Two princes arrive, but she hates both of them. Instead she loves someone else. The princes will have a jousting tournament over her. But the princess has a plan... And in the end, everything is unexpected. Please R&R. Tell me if you cried. :Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Tragedy - Words: 2,598 - Reviews: 1 - Published: 08-23-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3052614
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
From the outside the castle looked big. From inside it seemed bigger still.
In the dining room a big table stood- it was expensive and skillfully carved out of cypress wood. Around it were wooden stools. Soft pillows filled with down had been placed on top of them, so the guests would be comfortable while dining. At the end of the table stood the kings chair; the most comfortable and with a back.
A golden candle holder had been set on the table. A plate and a goblet were placed in front of each stool. The table was stacked with food.
The dining room also included a huge fireplace, in which the fire crackled quietly. The flames created a soft but eerie orange light, casting shadows on the carpet and the walls covered with the shields of the king and his fellow knights. The floor was also covered with carpets. These had beautiful images of animals and birds.
There were only four people dining that night- the king, princess Sybille and the two princes.
The king spoke, "My dear Sybille," he said to the princess, his daughter, "These two princes have come from faraway lands. You will have to marry one of them, for you are sixteen and time for marriage has come,"
One of the young men stood, "I shall introduce myself to you, my princess," he announced and began, "I am known as prince Meridon. The people of my father's land describe me as wise and strong. And I won't deny this. Marry me, I will become king and with my intelligence- a good one too. I will ride into battle with my troops- and with strength like mine I will never be defeated.
He sat down again.
Princess Sybille studied prince Meridon. He had cold blue eyes and well kept, blond hair. His arms were muscled- the princess believed he was not lying when he spoke of his strength.
The other prince stood, "I am prince Geoffry. I am the richest prince on the whole continent. At home, in my father's castle, my bedroom is full of gold. The whole castle is. If you married me, all my riches would become yours. At my castle I have the best weavers, blacksmiths, carpenters. Become my queen, princess Sybille. Once I am king, I will be the best anyone has ever known,"
Prince Geoffry sat. Princess Sybille stared at him in disgust- the prince had brown eyes and dark brown hair. His thin arms hung by his sides like strings- the prince looked very weak. Counting all the gold coins he has, he had probably never bothered to do anything else, like train to fight. Princess Sybille doubted he could even hold a sword.
Could a man like this ever become king?
No, princess Sybille decided. She knew instantly that she hated both princes. They didn't care about her. They cared about ruling. They would not love her if she married either of them, and thought only of themselves.
Dinner ended late. Both princes took turns in telling the king and princess about their kingdoms. The king listened closely, trying to decide which prince would make a better husband for his daughter. Princess Sybille didnt listen at all. Instead she thought of ways to convince her father into not making her marry. She knew it was hopeless, but she had to do everything she could.
That night the king sat on his daughter's bed. The princes had been escorted to their bedrooms. For the first time that night, the king and his daughter were alone.
"Who do you want to marry?" the king asked, almost sure the princess would choose prince Meridon.
"No one," princess Sybille said simply, without hesitation.
The king jumped to his feet and slammed his fist on the stool next to the princess' bed.
"What do you mean- no one?" he bellowed loudly. His face began turning red from anger.
"I hate prince Meridon and I can't stand prince Geoffry," princess Sybille said calmly.
The king looked at his daughter and sighed. Why did she have to be so stubborn? He couldn't bear arguing with her. So he tried to control his anger. He sat down again and put his arm around the princess.
"You must marry one of the princes. If you cant decide who, I will... I will... I know!" the king exclaimed, "I will organise a jousting contest. Whoever wins will marry you."
Princess Sybille stayed silent. There was a frown on her pretty face.
"Goodnight," the king said as he stood up and left the room.
The princess didn't reply.
Princess Sybille took a stroll through the village. Everyone greeted her happily, "Good morning, princess!"
She smiled at the villagers.
Some offered her flowers and fresh baked bread.
Then a man walked up to her. He was about twenty years old. A blacksmith, with strong but gentle arms, black hair and a kind, smiling face
He placed in the princess' hands a iron rose. It was delicate and light, made carefully, obviously by an excellent blacksmith.
"A rose for the most beautiful," he said, grinning.
The princess took the rose from him.
"Odo, where are you?" came a call from the blacksmith's hut.
"Coming!" Odo, the blacksmith answered. Before leaving, he said, "Have a good day, princess,"
The pincess whispered, "thank-you," and walked away, smiling.
The afternoon was hot. The princess and her ladies sat, weaving, in one working rooms in the castle.
"You are very quiet today, princess," stated lady Amaria, "and one only becomes quiet when they are thinking deep thoughts. Is there anything troubling you, princess?"
The princess replied to this with a question, "How many men do you know in the village called Odo?"
Lady Amaria looked startled, "Why do you ask, princess?" she questioned, then replied, "Now that I think about it, I know three. One works in the stables. He is old and loves horses. People say he's crazy. He talks to them, the horses, I mean. The second Odo I know is a blacksmith-"
"Yes, tell me about him," the princess interrupted. She dropped her work and listened closely.
"Well, he is a very skilled blacksmith, Odo. He was taught by his father, the best blacksmith this village has ever known. He is very young, and caring and kind,"
The third person in the room, lady Eleonor, added, "Whenever Odo makes something, he always carves his symbol on it- a circle, or the letter O, for Odo, and the tiny, simple outline of a hammer inside it,"
Suddenly princess Sybille remembered the iron rose Odo had given her. She fetched it from her room and showed it to lady Amaria and lady Eleonor.
The ladies gasped.
"Never have I seen so delicate made out of iron..."
"This is the most beautiful thing..."
Princess Sybille looked at the rose. She turned it in her fingers, admiring it's beauty. Suddenly she noticed something engraved on one of the rose's petals.
"You were right," the princess told lady Eleonor, "He does carve his symbol everywhere,"
Engraved on the flower's petal was a circle with a tiny hammer inside it.
"Odo gave you this?" lady Eleonor exclaimed.
"Wait," lady Amaria said suspiciously, "The way you look at this rose dreamily makes me think you... you... " she sighed, "Don't tell me you love Odo,"
"I don't know," princess Sybille replied and smiled sadly.
"You don't even know him! Besides, you're a princess!"
"Falling for a stranger you are," remarked lady Amaria, "falling for a stranger."
That night princess Sybille couldn't sleep.
Why couldn't Odo the blacksmith be a prince? He could take the place of prince Geoffry.
Princess Sybille wished she could marry him instead of one of the princes. He would make a great king. And princess Sybille would love to be his queen.
The iron rose stood on the stool next to the princess' bed.
Then princess Sybille thought of a plan...
Odo lay in his bed that night, thinking of princess Sybille. He had liked her since he first saw her. That was years ago.
The rose he gave her- she probably threw it away, Odo thought, she probably didn't even see me. She doesn't even know my name.
Odo sighed and fell asleep.
The jousting was going to be held the next day. Soon everyone had heard the news. The whole village couldn't wait. The prince who won- married the princess.
Princess Sybille hurried through a dark hallway in the castle, followed by lady Amaria and lady Eleonor.
"You haven't thought this through!" lady Eleonor shouted after the princess.
"This is stupid! I won't let you do this!" lady Amaria said, panting from running after princess Sybille.
"You can't stop me!" the princess cried, "But you will have to help me. Here is what you will have to do..."
Prince Meridon strode through the village. Everyone was working hard- they had to finish their work before the jousting began. Prince Meridon searched for a man- any man- who could take his place in the jousting. Prince Geoffry was so weak, any man could defeat him in this contest. Meanwhile, as the jousting would go on, prince Meridon would go to prince Geoffry's room and destroy all his riches. This contest was pointless. The princess could still decide which prince she wants to marry after it. And she would almost certainly choose prince Geoffry, the richest prince on the continent. Prince Meridon thought, if prince Geoffry can't prove that he is rich, for all his wealth has dissappeared, princess Sybille would have to choose to marry me.
A man with black hair was sitting outside, hitting some iron on an anvil with a hammer. Next to him on the ground were a pair of tongs.
"Good day, prince Meridon," the working man said as the prince approached him.
The prince didn't greet the man. Instead, he said, "Listen," his voice was very low and quiet, "I will give you gold, as much as you can fit in your shoe, if you take my place in the jousting contest tomorrow,"
The villager was confused. Was prince Meridon scared?
The prince explained, "Prince Geoffry is very weak, even you could win the jousting contest. Meanwhile, I will go to do something... something that will make the princess want to marry me,"
"What would that be?" the blacksmith asked.
"Don't ask questions!" the prince barked, "Now, if you tell anyone about this, you will be killed,"
The princeleft the working man. Suddenly he turned around, "What is your name?" he asked.
"My name is Odo, prince Meridon," came the reply.
The princess lowered her voice to a whisper, "What you will have to do is get rid of prince Geoffry. See, I will participate in the jousting myself, against prince Meridon, taking Geoffry's place. Prince Geoffry is so weak, prince Meridon will win the contest in the first round. But I can't marry prince Meridon. See, what I will do is try and kill prince Meridon in the jousting. I have seen many men die in this contest. And if I kill prince Meridon and you two get rid of prince Geoffry, then I won't have to marry either.
"Princess, you haven't thought this through!" lady Eleonor said again.
"No, you haven't," lady Amaria agreed, "If you kill prince Meridon and prince Geoffry is found dead too, then who was the man in armour doing the jousting against prince Meridon? They will see it's you, princess. Besides, how can you ever kill prince Meridon? He is much stronger than you!"
"I do not care- I won't marry either of them," the princess said, tears forming in her eyes.
"But princess..." lady Eleonor began.
"I said, you can't stop me. Now go, kill prince Geoffry- just make it look like an accident... I don't know, think of something!" Princess Sybille cried.
The two ladies rushed off, not doubting that the princess had gone mad.
Prince Meridon walked through the castle. Suddenly he stopped. The jousting tournament was about to begin now. What was he doing away from it? Why did he ever hire that Blacksmith Odo to fight weak prince Geoffry? That was wrong. Prince Meridon should win the game himself.
He decided to run to the tournament. It isn't too late yet, he could still make it and participate in it himself. The princess hated both princes, he knew this. So if he, prince Meridon, won the jousting tournament, the princess would marry him. The prince ran as fast as his legs could carry him.
Lady Eleonor was crying. Lady Amaria was worried. After locking prince Geoffry in one of the castle's many bedrooms, the ladies made their way to the jousting tournament.
"Princess Sybille will get killed," lady Eleonor sobbed.
"Don't worry, she won't" lady Amaria calmed her friend.
"This is all our fault!" lady Eleonor cried.
"Hurry up," lady Amaria said, pulling her by the hand.
"Let the jousting begin!" the king announced loudly. The people cheered. The two princes, prince Meridon and prince Geoffry, were sitting on their horses in their heavy, iron armours. Once the king had said this, the two horses charged along the fence.
Both princes were holding long lances. The aim of the game was two knock the opponent off his horse, using only your lance.
The crowd cheered as prince Meridon's lance broke on prince Geoffry's helmet.
"Two points for prince Meridon!" the king shouted.
Prince Meridon was given a new lance from his squire.
There was another round. Again, the horses with the two princes charged towards eachother. Prince Geoffry held out his lance.
From inside the armour, princess Sybille thought to herself, Good, the people think I'm prince Geoffry. My ladies must have gotten rid of him succesfully. All I have to do is throw prince Meridon off his horse.
Prince Meridon, or should I say, Odo, held his new, unbroken lance in his strong hands. Prince Geoffry was going to be easy to unhorse. But why was Odo doing this? Because he wanted the best for the princess. He thought she would be better off with the strong, clever prince Meridon.
What happened next happened very suddenly. Prince Meridon hit prince Geoffry on the chest. Prince Geoffry couldn't hold on. He fell on the hard ground, right on his head, with a loud thud and the crack of breaking bone.
"The jousting is over!" the king announced. The crowd went wild. "Prince Meridon has won!"
Prince Geoffry's squire rushed up to the unmoving prince. He took of his helmet.
Everyone in the crowd gasped.
For it was not prince Geoffry under the suit of armour- it was the princess.
"Princess Sybille!" Odo screamed. Had he known it was her, he would have never fought her! Had he killed her?
Then a man ran to prince Sybille. It was the real prince Meridon.
There was only one thought in every watching person's head; if this was prince Meridon, then who was under the suit of armour pretending to be him?
Odo took of his helmet. He didn't care if everyone saw it was him. He rushed up to the princess.
"She's dead," said the squire.
Odo let out a moan. He crouched by his love and held her hand. He did not object when some men took him away. They said, "You have killed the princess. You must be hanged."
Odo just muttered, "Hang me, hang me, for then I can be with her, forever!"