A/N: So I think that first I should explain a little something about my story, the characters, places and plot are mine, I didn't stole it and neither should you! Second this whole world was created by me, so even if many things correspond to reality others don't and that's the way it's supposed to be. And third the story is rated T and I'm sure that for now it's ok but if later you think I should change it please tell me, thanks!
I'll love to hear what you think about it and I wanted to warn you that even if some things don't make sense, they'll when the time's right, if you have any other questions please e mail me and I'll gladly answer!
The Tale of Bravery – I Chapter
'Bravery: The condition or quality of being brave'
Being back was definitely strange, everything around seemed different and it was not because of the immensity of the trees and the big blue sky, not at all, I liked that, it was actually the fact that I felt completely free that made it seem strange.
When we got on top of the hill and I looked down I was even more appalled with what I was seeing, I didn't remember much about Myrna.
Down the hill was this amazing city with little houses – well they seemed little from there – all with differently shaped black roofs, that really didn't took away any of the light the city eradiated in the middle of the morning because of the white stones. When I looked up my astonishment only grew bigger, farther from the city surrounded by trees, right in front of me, was Myrna's palace, also build with white stone only that it didn't had a black roof, and it was by far much bigger than any of the houses I could see from there.
Since I was four and father and I moved to Byre – also know as the stone city – I had forgotten all about these amazing green fields that surround Myrna and even its palace, only to remember the tiny streets and big grey houses from Byre
It had been quite a shock to know that we would be coming back, father told be about it almost two weeks ago when we where having breakfast together with Lady Nicola – my aunt – and her three sons.
At first I couldn't understand why he wanted to be back, he had a fairly good job as one of the commanders of the Duke of Byre! But, later, when I learn that he had been offered with the post of chief of commanders back at Myrna I couldn't but help to be proud of my father, even if it meant to leave Byre.
The truth is that I really liked my life at Byre I was on of the first girls ever accepted at the Byre Cavalry and I was quite proud of myself not because I was a girl - don't get me wrong, they let girls try out every time - but Byre Cavalry was know as one of the best Cavalry's on the whole kingdom and they didn't settle for less than excellent.
So when father told me we were moving and that I had to quit my new post, at the Byre Cavalry, I really wasn't happy about it, even if I had accepted to go, but truth be told now that I had seen Myra I really couldn't remember any other reason to be mad at my father.
I lightly kicked the horse, eager to see more and started down the hill on a full gallop. I could hear my father horse doing the same, he had always been a man up for a challenge so I took the opportunity.
"Let's see which of us arrives to the gates first."
He was grinning and promptly answered "Do I hear this daughter of mine issuing a challenge, you know I'm not sure I'm going to take on that. This old bones are not what they used to be." I couldn't but help to laugh, he always said something like that and then he would try to catch us of guard and win whatever bet or challenge that had been made with him.
Not letting him fool me I rushed my horse toward the gates and made sure I won.
"Maybe this time you were telling the truth father, you're getting a little to old for this type of challenges"
"Never, you know fully well that the only reason you won was because you had a fairly big advantaged, you where almost three meters away from me, Maddy!" I loved when my dad called me Maddy he – and my cousins – were the only people I knew that called me that, all the others just went around calling me, Madri, Gal or worse Madrigal, that is – unfortunately – my full name.
I liked when he too called me Maddy, even if he was trying to cover the fact that he had me called me a cheater, unaffected to the hole 'bribe' thing I was about to tell him exactly who I thought was the cheater, when I was interrupted by a middle aged man dressed with Myrna's colours and armour.
"Good morning my lord, milady, may I know why are you visiting the city?" He was clearly the gate guard and since he was doing his job and not sniffing around other peoples business – something I may say I resent – I answered truthfully.
"I'm Lady Belmont and this is my father Lord Belmont we're heading to town since we intend to live here, my father came to answer to the Duke offer for him to become the chief of commander, I'm sure you're waiting for us."
The guard seemed a little taken back with what I had just said.
He was waiting for a fancy carriage, and not a tall well build man with thick black hair a greyish eyes and a tall girl also with black hair and greyish eyes completely dressed in ridding clothes, still upon their horses, claiming to be the new chief of commander and his daughter.
Sure we had a fancy carriage, carrying all of or stuff, but it would probably only get there after tomorrow.
We were never ones to appreciate long carriage trips. So half way trough it we had sealed the extra horses we had been taking with us, got two blankets and some food and set our way to Myrna. It had taken us two days less to get here.
The man didn't seem very eager to let us pass and I was growing impatient, when all of the sudden we heard the trumpets and the gates were opening.
The guard almost let out a shriek when he saw the Duke, but quickly let out a 'Good morning, my lord' before returning - rather quickly - to his post.
Only acknowledging the man with a nod the Duke turned to father.
"Adrian welcome! I thought you would only arrive in a couple of days, we were taking the horses out for exercising." Then looking at me he said.
"And this must be Lady Madrigal, your lovely daughter, the last time I saw you, you're only four, dear Maddy! I see you've grown a few inches since then!" We all laughed at that.
It was great hearing the Duke calling me Maddy, I was afraid I had to treat him differently, since I still remembered him as Uncle Anthony.
"Anthony is good to see you my friend! I'm very sorry for your loss, your father was a great man."
My father had been friend with Uncle Anthony since they're fourteen, when both had entered the Myrna's cavalry school. They started as partners and soon became friends, they were still friend now, almost 30 years later.
"You're right Adrian, he was a great man" He flashed a brilliant smile
"And now that you're here I know we'll have a great time! Welcome home."
As Uncle Anthony – the Duke - turned his horse toward the palace and instructed his guards to continue with his previous orders and we started to slowly pace toward the palace.
"I don't think the city has changed that much, but I do see her everyday, what do you think Adrian?"
"Well I'm not sure, but it is good to see that the tradition as being kept, the houses are still built in white stone." As both, Uncle Anthony and father continued talking I took my time and looked around.
The houses no longer seemed small, and Myrna's city was totally different from Byre's, the streets were larger and there were little gardens between houses.
There were little kids, mothers and guards pacing around, the market was a completely crazy place, people yelled trying to sell their stuff and others yelled, trying to buy them first.
Soon we were at the palace gates and as the gates opened I couldn't help but to let out an amazed 'Oh!' the gardens were truly beautiful.
We were walking on a wide white stone path that led us to the palace, on my right and left white roses were formed a short wall together with every other type of white flowers.
"So Maddy you're father told me you're thinking about joining the Cavalry!"
"Well before we moved back I had just gotten a post on Byre's Cavalry so I think that's what I should do here."
"I see, you know here people aren't that comprehensive, a woman hardly finds a job here, but I assume your father as instructed you well and I'll put in a good word with one of my generals."
I hadn't count on that! I never thought Myrna could be so close minded, but assured with the kind words from Uncle Anthony, I smiled and dismounted my horse since we were already at the palace.
The palace's hall, well with the lack of a better word, was gigantic. The white floor and walls were, covered with paintings and on the floor against the walls were little wooden tables with glass vases filled with white roses.
"I'm sure you're tired, I'll call one of the butlers so that you can be taken to your rooms, take a bath, rest and, please, join my family and I for dinner!"
"It'll be our pleasure Anthony please don't let us take away any more of your time."
"Don't say such things Adrian, you'll make me think that you actually respect me now that I'm the Duke." It was clear that this was some kind of private joke between both because they're still laughing when a butler came to show me my room.
The butler was an old man and he didn't seem very eager to talk so I just kept quiet and looked around as much as I could, the palace was simply amazing. I didn't knew how was I supposed to go back once I was ready, the hallways, even if amazing, looked alike and I had already lost the count of how many turns and stairs we had passed.
The butler stopped in front of one big wooden door and with a bow started to head back from where we had come. Breeding deeply I opened the door, I really didn't knew what to expect.
It was a little room with big windows and a lovely balcony, over one of the many gardens of the palace. This one was different, though, there were lots of colours and a huge fountain on the middle of what it seemed a maze of huge bushes.
I looked inside the room again, a single bed was against the wall and there was also desk and a big wooden drawer. I liked it, I was used to have a little room and I was glad that hadn't changed.
My things would only be there in a day or two and I couldn't go to dinner as I was dressed now, a pair of black trousers and a white shirt were hardly something to take to dinner with the Duke and his family, even if the Duke used to carry me on his shoulders when I was three.
While I was emerged in deep thought about my current situation someone knocked on the door.
"Come in please."
"I'm sorry to bother you milady, I was summoned to help you today, my name is Annabelle and I'm at your service milady."
"Oh thanks, but please call me Maddy when someone calls me milady I always fell like I'm thirty!"
I looked over to her, she was dressed as all the others maids I had seen but there was something about her, something familiar. But at the same time I was almost sure I had never seen her. I just couldn't make my mind about it.
I looked at her again, this time carefully, she had long curly dark brown hair tide up on some sort of ponytail, big green eyes and she could reach, tops, my nose. I really couldn't remember from where I could know her and she hadn't said anything about knowing me either, I was probably over thinking.
I focused back on the conversation and realised that none of us had said anything for a long time, she didn't seem too happy with my suggestion, actually it was obvious she was nervous, like I was going to start screaming with her anytime now.
"Look, I'm serious, you can call me Maddy and I'm not saying to do it in front of other people, but please! I know it's kind of strange to be saying this to you, but I just got here and you seem to be the only person with my age and I really could need a friend."
She raised her head at that looking at me – amazed? – and then, really slowly, smiled.
"Very well then it's only proper that you call me Ann." Her voice was much softer now and she had stopped blushing.
"Well, Ann, I've been invited to dinner with the Duke and his family but my clothes will only arrive in a couple of days so I was wondering if you could find me a dress somewhere." I really didn't know where she was going to find one, but it was worth the shot.
"Oh! You don't need to worry about that milady, I mean Maddy"
What? How can I not worry about this? I mean I've a dinner with the Duke!
"Wha-"She didn't let me finish because grabbing my arm she pulled me to a door next to one of the corners and opening she threw me inside a… CLOSET FULL OF DRESSES?!
Ann appeared by my side on the closet. "The Duke, kindly, prepared this surprise for you and you'll see that every dress will fit in perfection, he had Myrna's best sewer making those for you, it's said around that the Duke send the sewer himself to your sewer back in Byre, so that your gowns fitted perfectly."
Now I could understand why the girl was so nervous around me at first, she must have thought that the Duke – hell, Uncle Anthony – would only have that much trouble with someone terribly important. Ha! That was kind of funny. And totally sweet that Uncle Anthony had that much trouble only because of me, but he had indeed kept his promise hadn't he?
"But Uncle Anth -sob- ny I don't want t -sob- go!"
"Don't worry princess, you'll see that you'll like Byre."
"But you had promise to go with me and buy -sob- a dress!"
"Oh honey, you'll see when you get back you'll have a room full of dresses just for you!"
"You promise -sob-?"
"Oh honey of course I promise, you'll have the most beautiful gowns."
"No, Uncle Anthony you promise never to forget me?" At this point the little girl that was hugging the man smiled "You can promise me the room full of dresses too!"
"You little devil. I will never forget you I'm your uncle right? And remember take care of your health, Byre's air is going to do you good."
"Yeah…Thank you Uncle"
"So? Do you like them? Maddy, is everything ok?"
I grinned "Of course!" I continued grinning and opened my arms swirling "What am I going to do now?"
Ann didn't seem to understand what I was talking about so I just kept explaining.
"Well, now that this problem is solved I need your help, again!"
"Ok… I'll help you, but don't put the both of us in trouble! Please!"
It was amazing how I only knew her for half an hour now and we still connected like we knew each other for a very long time.
"The problem is that now that I have all this." I swirled, my arms open again "I don't know which one to choose!"
For a moment no one said anything, Ann looked at me like she couldn't believe what I had said and then she just started laughing, just like that, laughing, and then we were both laughing, on the floor our hands on our stomachs and tears were coming down my cheeks.
It took us a while to stop laughing because every time one of us was almost stopping the other started laughing and it started again and again. Then the moment came when we both stopped at the same time.
"Ok, ok now can you please tell somebody to prepare me a bath? I would do it myself but I think I might get lost."
"Sure, I'll help you find your dress too." For a moment there I thought we were both start to laugh again, but then Ann continued "The bathroom is the other door next to this closet I'll be right back."
After Ann left I looked trough the dresses, some where sophisticated other simple, there were too many different colours to describe but then one caught my attention.
It was a pale grey silk dress with an acceptable cleavage and I grabbed one of the long sleeves and took a closer look, then I could see the little blue flowers sewed on the silk, something that when in different lights would probably make the dress change its colour. It was a really pretty dress. And perfect for the dinner with Uncle Anthony!
I spun around the fastest I could, Ann really knew how to not draw attention on herself when she wanted to!
"Ann! You scared me! I didn't know you had come back!"
She was looking pass me, to the dress actually, – to the dress? – while she smiled.
"I see you've already choose, that's one of my favourite too!" Then like she feared I misinterpret her words she added "I was the one that unpacked your dresses and that one was definitely one of the best."
I shrugged "Yeah I think it's pretty too, so do you think the bath is ready?"
"Yeah, everything's ready."
"Thanks Ann, I'm heading to the bathroom then."
"Of course milady" She was clearly doing that on purpose "I will be back to escort you to the dinner hall."
"Alright Annabelle, please do." We just smiled at each other and as Ann went away as I hurried myself into the bathtub and peacefully lay there.
Who would have thought I would make a friend so easily? Myrna sure is a nice place to live, I'm glad we're back.