A/N Sorry for taking so long to update, but seeing as nobody is reading this it doesn't really matter apologizing I guess. On with the story.
Reace sat in his room shivering a little from the cold. His right arm hurt horribly and the days training outside had been very tiring. It had now been two weeks since his arrival at the place where he would receive his training to become a knight. He was soaked to the skin as he stared down at his legs that were swinging to and fro barely touching the floor as he sat on his bed. A loud boom echoed outside and Reace looked at his window, which was a little open. A cold wind, along with a few stray drops of rain, blew into his room. He attempted to suppress a shudder and failed. Letting out a sigh he watched a small white vapor form and then disappear into the air.
A few days ago his window had jammed and Reace was now unable to fully close his window. Because of this he could not stop the cold winds from blowing into his room or the rain, which was pouring outside. He felt truly miserable. Outside the air was dark with clouds, which were dropping their contents to fall down to mother earth. A streak of lightning would flash across every now and again followed by the thunder that always accompanied it. The darkness outside reflected his current mood as he sat now with his thoughts drifting to the reason why his right arm hurt just so much.
Two weeks ago Reace had decided that he would not allow himself to be intimidated by the other boys who were also under training at the academy as well. Somebody had left a rotting corpse of some small animal inside of his trunk as well as a large spider. Reace detested spiders and it had taken a great deal of courage for him to deal with the grotesque beast. But he had controlled his fear and taken care of his problem. Upon further inspection of his room he discovered some broken pieces of wood lying under his bed (it had come from parts of bed itself).
Reace, with a broken piece of wood in hand, had tentatively opened his trunk while trying his best to focus on the task at hand. He needed to make sure that he would remain in control of the situation and ignore the stench inside of the trunk for as long as he could and deal with the spider. As expected the spider hurried out of the trunk and scuttled right towards him. Reace fought against every urge to run away and panic at the approaching spider and drove his weapon (the broken piece of wood) down at the spider. The wood hit home going right through the large spider and pinning it to his trunk.
The spider did not immediately die however and spasms racked its body as it slowly died. Reace had quickly backed away and was rubbing his arms as if his very skin was crawling. His mouth started watering from a wave of nausea that swept over him. The stress from killing the spider and the stench of the corpse in the trunk was too much for the young boy to handle. He lurched forward and retched. He emptied the contents of his stomach in the trunk and fell back onto the floor feeling truly ill. Beads of sweat had formed on his forehead and it took a few moments before he could regain control of himself.
When he did he moved the trunk over to where his window was located. Reace was not sure how he had managed it, but somehow he had managed to lift the trunk up against the wall and tip all of its vile contents out of the window. When the trunk was back at its original place Reace saw that the spider was still pinned down on it staring at him with black sightless eyes. He shuddered and then half a grin crept over his face. This spider was meant to unnerve him, which it very nearly did, but he had managed to overcome it. Now it was time for him to show them that he was not a coward.
His actions had been costly because the following day he had pinned the dead spider on the door of the other child that had hit him. The squire had a huge fright and then paid Reace back with interest. Reace was now standing in front of his mirror his right arm clutched against his chest. Raising his left hand he touched just under his left eye where only recently a black eye had disappeared. He had been attacked and had it not been for the intervention of Versivan he shuddered to think just how bad his beating would have been. He was sure that the other squire was responsible but he had not been able to see any of his attackers faces.
After the beating Reace had had a bloody nose, a blackened left eye and his right arm had hung feebly at his side. Now, however, he was nearly healed and had withdrawn even more from those around him. The beating had however helped boost Versivan's opinion of Reace, because Reace had not flinched at all from the beating and had dearly fought to not cry.
"Maybe I'm getting a friend?" Reace wondered still looking at the stern face staring back at him in the mirror.
"Do you really believe that?" the image asked him.
"Truly, I don't know. If it were anybody else I would have believed they just wanted to get something from me, but Versivan seems different from the others." Reace answered his face thoughtful.
"He has been the only person to show you any kind of decency here. But remember your life lessons you have learnt while you have been here."
"You are right. I just feel so, well, very…."
"Alone?" his mirror image finished his sentece.
Reace nodded and sighed feeling despair nearly overwhelm him. A knock at his door brought him back to reality. Turning his attention towards the door he saw something slide under the door and recognized a paper. Walking over he stood over the paper for a few moments before bending down to pick it up. Walking over to his dilapidated bed he sat down and scanned the paper reading what was written on it.Squire
This weekend is when visitors will be allowed to come and see you. Normal chores will need to be done earlier in the morning to allow this concession to take place.
Royal Order of Knights Academy
Reace sighed again and shook his head slowly from side to side. He felt very alone, that was true, but he did not want to see his family. They would be the only people to visit him, of this fact he was sure. To see them would remind him what he left behind and just enforce his knowledge of how much he was suffering here. His parents would want to see how happy their child was. It meant that he had to put on a charade and lead them to believe that he is happy.
But then again, maybe it wouldn't be so bad. He was feeling lonely and did miss his family. Seeing friendly faces might be just what he needed.
'After all, who knows when the next time would come to see his family, or a face that was happy to see him for that matter?' Reace thought to himself deciding that the weekend might not be a disaster after all.
The day for when Reace's family would visit him finally came. Reace had been up since before sunrise doing his allotted chores and making sure that everything was in order. Many of the other young boys that were in training had had the same idea and were also doing their chores early in the day. By the time the sun was touching the horizon, making the hills and surrounding land appear as if they were on fire, most of the squire's were done with their chores and heading indoors to get breakfast.
Reace hardly ate any food, even though his stomach grumbled in complaint, because of his excitement of being able to see his mother and father. He had not realized that he was so excited and his longing to see his parents only grew with every passing minute. Finally he gave up on attempting to force food into his mouth and went back to his room to get cleaned up and prepare for the meeting with his family.
The time for families to arrive and see their children had come and gone. Reace now sat on his bed feeling lonely once more. Seeing his mother and father had been great, but it only emphasized the fact that he was on his own once more. He let out a slow and audible sigh as he stared at the floor. Reace did not want to look into his mirror for fear of what the image what might say to him.
'It's so good to see you Reace!' the voice of his mother, Catherine Myrn, echoed in his head.
Reace smiled a little to himself as he remembered seeing his parents and the long embrace that they as a unified family had shared. He had done his best to appear cheerful and happy in front of his parents because he dearly did not want them to know just how unhappy he truly was. The smiles of his parents lingered in his mind, as did the parting words of his father.
'You'll show them Reace and make us both proud, I know you will!'
Once more he sighed. But his mind was made up, for he had no intention of disappointing his parents and he was also going to show all the other squires here that he was not a quitter. Many thoughts along this line flooded his mind so much so that he was startled when he saw that somebody was standing in the doorway of his room.
"Earth to Reace! Hey man!" came the voice of Versivan.
"Excuse me?" Reace said.
"Ah, good to see that you're back with us. What I was saying is that you'd better hurry because you have another visitor. They're waiting for you in the courtyard." Versivan said grinning from ear to ear with a mischievous look in his eye.
"More visitors? For me? Are you sure?" Reace asked puzzled.
"Of course I'm sure! Get off your rear and go see them man!" Versivan startled Reace into action.
Reace ran off towards the courtyard with his mind totally confused. Who on earth would be visiting him? His parents had already come to see him, had they forgotten to tell him something? No, Versivan would have told him if it were his parents. And what was with that strange look on Versivan's face and that gleam in his eye? Nothing seemed to add up. Reace was still trying to sort his thoughts out and make sense of the situation when he arrived in the courtyard and his face broke out into a wide smile at seeing who was there.
"Celest?!" Reace said his eyes wide open and the smile still plastered on his face.
"Hi Reace! How have you been?" Celest said smiling at him and walking towards him.
Reace saw that her parents were a little way away and he waved at them. They waved back, but they did not come closer.
"Doing well! Couldn't be better!" Reace lied smiling at his friend.
"That's great! I knew this would be just the thing you would want to do Reace, I mean you could not get enough about knights. I think you'll make a great knight Reace." Celest said her eyes twinkling.
Reace felt his cheeks grow hot as they went red at her praise and felt a strange stirring within his heart. It was an unusual feeling but he rather liked it.
"What brings you here Celest? I did not expect to see you. I mean I'm very happy that you came, it's just a rather big surprise." Reace said his large smile still stuck on his face.
"Well, the thing is something has happened to me Reace and I wanted to tell you." Celest said with a tone of mystery in her voice.
"What's happened? Are you alright?" Reace asked his smile fading and a look of concern on his face.
"Everything's fine Reace! Things couldn't be better!"
"Phew! Okay, that's good to hear. So, what happened to you?"
"I've got a boyfriend Reace!" Celest said excitedly.
It felt like a bucket of ice cold water had been poured into Reace's stomach as he heard this. He felt unsteady on his feet and his head ached as if somebody had just delivered him a tremendous blow.
"B-boyfriend?" Reace stammered attempting to keep the shock out of his voice.
"Well, I call him a boyfriend, but actually I'm betrothed to him. So I guess in a way he is my boyfriend." Celest started explaining.
"Betrothed? What?" Reace asked puzzled his mind still reeling.
"My parents spoke to his parents and I have to marry him when I get older."
"Oh. Do you want to marry him?" Reace asked in a soft voice still battling to keep his emotions under control.
"I don't know. I'm still young to really decide. But he's really cute and good looking! So that's definitely good." Celest said oblivious to the impact that these words were having on Reace.
"Ok. Well, so long as you're happy, then I'm happy Celest." Reace said trying his best to really sound happy for his friend.
"I just wanted to come and tell you Reace, because my parents are going away for some time. I don't know for how long but I just wanted to tell you what's going on with me and say goodbye to you." Celest went on.
"You're going? Oh, that's a shame. I'm going to miss you." Reace feebly replied.
"Well, I've got to go now Reace. You must take care of yourself and enjoy being trained to be a knight. You will be great! I know it!" Celest said and hugged Reace.
He hugged her back but much softer than she had hugged him.
"Take care of yourself Celest. If you're ever in trouble I'll do my best to help you. I hope you're going to be happy with your future husband." Reace said and even managed to force a smile.
"Bye bye Reace!" Celest said as she ran to meet up with her parents that were waiting for her.
Reace stood and waved at their retreating backs. He felt lower than he had felt since he had first arrived. He could not explain the sadness that sat in his heart like a heavy anchor. Why had this news about Celest being betrothed to somebody else affected him so? Many young girls had their hands promised in marriage to young boys. The children often had no say in the matter because it was an arrangement made between the parents of both children.
Yet he had not expected it to happen to Celest. He turned his back on the exit of the courtyard to the outside of the city and made his way back inside towards his room. Why did he feel like this? He walked into his room and mentally scolded himself for not closing the door having left in such a rush earlier.
"What's going on with me?" Reace whispered to himself and looked up.
He found himself staring at his image in the mirror and sighed.
"You know perfectly well what's going on with you." The mirror said to Reace.
"What do you mean?"
"Oh come on, surely you must know. You've just never admitted it to yourself." The mirror replied.
"Never admitted what? I don't understand." Reace replied wanting to take his gaze away from the mirror.
"You have feelings for Celest. You always have."
"I have feelings for her?" Reace answered dumbly.
"Of course you do. Why do you think you felt so happy when you saw her? You heart started beating a mile a minute. Then you felt utterly wretched when you heard that her hand had been given in marriage to somebody." The mirror calmly said.
"You're right." Reace his voice etched in sadness.
"Naturally, who knows you better than I do?"
"But, I don't understand, why did I feel like that?" Reace asked the mirror.
"A small part of you was hoping that the person that would have her hand in marriage would be you Reace. How many times did the two of you pretend to be married over the years? True it was always her idea to do that, but you both enjoyed it. Without realizing it you have grown more fond of her than you realize." The image of Reace said.
"Figures. It's just my luck for something like this to happen. When I'm feeling low something else goes wrong making the situation wrong."
"You'll get over it. You've survived this place so far haven't you?"
"That is different. Oh well, so long as she's happy then I'll be content. Even if it means me having to be unhappy for her to stay happy, I'll do it." Reace said in a soft voice his mind made up.
"Well, you just have to persevere." The mirror image replied.
"It would best to bury such foolish emotions deep within myself and forget all about them. They only cause pain and will bring me trouble." Reace said looking the mirror image of himself in the eye without wavering.
"That's a little extreme don't you think?" The image asked.
"No, it's exactly what I need to do. I must remained focused on the task at hand here and survive through this trial of training." Reace said nodding his head slowly.
"So be it, but I still think you shouldn't bury such feelings."
"I know you do, but it is ultimately my decision." Reace said and with that turned his back on the image and headed for his bed.
His heart still felt heavy his feelings of being alone threatened to overwhelm him.
"I'm stronger than this. I can make it on my own." Reace said to himself before falling into an uneasy sleep.
A/N That's the end of this chapter. Hope it made sense. I've not written anything about this story for a while and hope this chapter made sense. At any rate it doesn't matter I guess. I'll try and update more regularly even if it is just being updated just for the sake of updating the story.
Lost in A World of Pain