A/N: Thank-you all for keeping up with me so far and I'm glad you're still enjoying it!
Sweety Chapter 14
"Would you like to accompany us to garden, my dear Kailia?"
"First Child! You've come!"
Pinks, reds and whites accompany dark greenery and white marble. The fountain gushes, always sparkling as if it was pleased to do so for them. The archway is covered in blooming wines, twisting and winding in the most enjoyable way. He always said that the archway was the perfect place to give their first kiss. He was a romantic but he did move a little hastily. His time was going to be short… did he understand that?
"Little one," I say, "take care."
"I will be very careful," he says, and for the briefest moment his eyes blacken.
He takes them all away into that dazzling space. It is moments such as these that I realize that for now, we have taken a long rest from each other's presence. I miss him, and I know that the sentiment is equal however, this is not the life for us to finally be together. So, the sake of my next of kin, and that man, we will suffer another separation in the hope that it will bring us one step closer to completion.
"Is she to go with him once more?"
To my side is the child with the bright amethyst eyes. His suffering is child-like and innocent, a heart broken but unseen. I place my hand upon his head. The sent of flowers caressing his hair and soft cheek.
"You are but a shadow and she is the light."
"We can never be together."
"But you can never be without each other. For what light does not create a shadow to accompany it? The light would surely be lonely without such a friend."
"She has him. She needs friends not."
His pain is pure and wholesome. It consumes him often as love can and it does not leave room to see more than one moment at a time.
"Do not dwell on your sadness. There will be a time when she will smile only for you."
My body shakes and I breathe as if I have held my breath for ages. Checking the previous kailia for my own satisfaction is nice, but it burdens my body and mind. Even with my commune being complete, I have the knowledge of one-thousand lifetimes but they're about as accessible as the library. Just 'cause I have it doesn't mean I still don't have to search.
"First Princess," Kale's voice at my side makes me turn.
"Kale," I say with a smile. My cheeks are wet with tears and I wipe them away. A few more leak out and I let them.
"You attempt search too deeply at once," he tells me, wiping my forehead with a wet cloth.
"How many hours has it been?" I question, noticing that Altier and Althier are behind my knight looking equally worried.
"Thirteen, my lady," Althier answers.
"If it were not for the First Prince's request we would've tried to wake you up sooner!" Altier says. At this I remember Rohen telling everyone to "let her look in her own time." Had he known that I spend more time searching than sleeping he probably wouldn't have said something such as that.
"The entire household is in an uproar, my lady," Althier continues.
"If you do this everyday your body will not be able to handle it!" Altier says.
"The First Prince did warn you, my lady, about trying too much!" Althier goes on. "What will we do if you do not wake up?"
Kale holds up hand to keep the twins from speaking more.
"The First Princess requires a bath and change of clothes," he says.
"Yes, sir," they say before bowing. I smile at them before the leaving, knowing they mean well but I'm too tired to defend myself. It takes too long.
"Thanks," I say.
Kale nod and sits with his back towards me, giving me a moment to compose myself.
"I went to my mother's memory this time," I say.
"She understood many things," Kale says. "She was very, very observant."
I wipe my eyes once more and laugh lightly.
"I don't think I will tire of entering my pasts' memories," I say. "I feel like it all comes together when I'm there. Like there's nothing I don't know… especially with my mother."
Kale shifts in his place.
"Your mother had a special gift of reading the consequences of one's feelings," Kale starts and I nod. "So, she took the task of compiling all of the previous kailia into her own consciousness."
My knight's aura seems muddled. I can see, feel it more clearly now.
"Because she saw Rohae and knew that he was in conflict with Esjerion," I sigh, the torrid of emotions rising inside of me once more.
"Her actions were wise," Kale tells me. "The First Child was not going to share his soul and Esjerion was not going to live half-heartedly."
"It's not fair..."
I close my eyes feeling them burn once more. I reach my hand down place it on my knight's shoulder. Kale's fingers grip my own. It eases me almost.
"…If it would mean anything to you, please accept my most humble apologies," he says. I hate worrying Kale the most. He understands this more than an outsider would and no matter how much my mother knew, she wasn't the one who felt the pain of the First Child's actions. Though…how sad it was for her to stand by and be able to do nothing!
"…You never meant for this to happen," I start softly. "No one meant for it to happen but it did."
I feel Kale grip my fingers, his own emotions ebbing through his fingertips. I can feel his anguish and torment… his continuing conflict. I cannot feel sad for him because I feel sad with him. I squeeze his fingers in return.
"Curse him! This is that stupid brat's fault!" my sudden outburst makes Kale turn my way once more.
"He was young, First Princess," he reminds me like I didn't already know.
"Che," I cross my arms over my chest. "Please! He was just a hormonal, spoiled, little brat! And let me tell you that letting him do as he pleased did nothing to help the situation!"
"A knight is much like a dog, my Lady. His duty is to obey his Master's wishes," Kale replies, looking to left.
I can't help grin. Feeling better, I punch Kale in the shoulder (which hurts me more than does him).
"You're awful! I have in mind that you actually did not mind your master's tortures!" I laugh and push Kale away with my foot. "You know they have a word for that sort of behavior."
"Such speech is unbefitting for royalty," Kale says before I have a chance to continue. My grin widens. I have every intention of asking him why he chose to change the subject when Oppar Telre comes into the room.
"May I say it then?" he questions with a smile on his lips.
"Absolutely not," Kale says. "Because it is false, the accusation you have against me."
"Is that so?" I ask.
"It is fine Kale," Oppar says, placing a hand on Kale's shoulder. "I don't mind at all."
Kale removes Oppar's hand and bows stiffly to me.
"Excuse me, my Lady," he says before leaving.
"Aw, we were only joking Kale," I pout.
"Speak for yourself," Oppar says.
"Whatever did you do?" I question, putting on my princess voice.
Oppar flicks some of his white hair behind his green-blue clad shoulders. It is amazing how well this man can clothe himself.
"Nothing he hasn't experienced before," he replies neatly.
I shake my head with a bit of laughter in my throat.
"I see you've recovered nicely," I stand up, wobbling a little.
"I see you haven't," Oppar remarks lightly. "How does the First Prince do it?"
My cheeks turn slightly pink before I compose myself.
"He isn't you," I quip. "He doesn't lose himself in a moment like that so quickly."
Oppar chuckles brining his fingers to his mouth in that gesture I'm used to seeing from him. But his eyes narrow and the air around him turns dark and sweet.
"I was hardly lost," he says. "Would you like a taste... a small drink of what I felt?"
He was good. I could feel the pull of my attention focus solely on him. The anticipation welling slowly, more and more and he took one step closer.
"I have always wondered what it would be like to feel as you do," my voice whispers. Oppar's eyes smile.
"I know," his voice is soft but not tender. "Let me give it to you."
His finger reaches to touch the back of my hand. I hold my breath, eyes lowering in excitement.
The moment is ripped away with Oppar's wrist being snatched from behind. I inhale sharply, mind waking back up. My knight looks stoic, but his aura is a little pissed off. A lot pissed off.
"I've come to inform you that your bath is ready, First Princess," he says, still holding onto Oppar's wrist. Telre looks disappointed and I just shake my head feeling disappointed too.
"You're hardly any fun," Oppar says with a frown.
"Her body is weak from her communing and you dare to bombard it further?" Kale rounds on Oppar as I leave. His voice is soft but fierce.
"She desired to understand my nature more deeply," Oppar defends. "Who am I to say no to the Lady Kailia?"
"No one should have to feel such a state!"
"By which you mean, "no one else" yes?"
"Your behavior is out of line Master Telre," Kale says firmly. "And the First Princess's presence is requested elsewhere."
I smile before laughter spills from my lips.
"I'm going, I'm going!" I say, making my way to the female bathing quarters.
Although many Ivalican citizens do not know about the existences beyond the two seas, leaders of Ivalica have passed down the knowledge of what lies beyond the waters throughout the generations. Past the Lands to the South is the Asrean seaflow; a vast ocean with very few islands. Beyond that is Terras; or so I've read. To the North are the mountain pass and then the ocean of Coren; which leads to the Domes. Wealthy Ivalicans tend to spend their vacations there because one can spend years inside a specific Dome and not have more than a week pass in Ivalican time.
My fingers trace of the lines of ink drawn on the maps, engraving each one further into my mind. As far as my knowledge goes, I remember any of the previous kailia leaving Ivalica North, though the desire to do so has been there. Of course the little matters pertaining to my betrothed-in-theory have been hindering any vacation plans. First and foremost, of course, is the small matter of my kicking Elisi Telre out of place on the throne!
"How dare she," I grit as my fingers crunch the map underneath them. "Trying to win my man over with those…disgusting tactics!"
With their last breaths before falling asleep, I have been informed by the trees that that no good Elisi Telre has been hitting relentlessly on Rohen! Relentlessly! Of course the trees said it much more gently; "…forwarding her affections onto…" but still! If the humans weren't so keen on hunting fairies down I would have shown myself already. But I must protect my people by being silent and patient. One day we will be able to wear out wings out proudly again.
"Ah, making such strange faces again, are we?" Oppar Telre floats into the room, robes, this time a silky dark blue, still gaping open in the front. It has snowed and this man still insists on exposing himself. Does he not feel the cold? Hm, I suppose not. His wonderful talents lend him unable to be affected by the changes in weather. I wonder if he even knows what "cold" feels like.
"I have in mind to send you back early," I say, rolling up the maps and placing them in a large porcelain jar.
"Because I'm tired of your sister hitting on the First Prince," I reply.
"What do you expect me to do about it?" he questions. "I am not my sister's keeper."
"But are you not the first son in your household? Reign her in!"
Oppar laughs. I pout.
"Be that as it may, my family's history, and that of the First Prince's is much like yours and the First Child's," Oppar replies.
I wanted to say "so what?" but didn't allow myself to. When my mother was the kailia, she noticed that Rohen, Oppar and Elisi were a lot like how Rohae, Kale and I were. However Rohen was a lot more shy back then, and quite adorable really. I never really used to speak to Rohen, not when Rohae was around because the First Child was everything I needed, wanted, knew I was going to have. There was no reason to look left or right, or at Rohen in this case, because I wasn't going to be married to Rohen. I was betrothed to Rohae, First Child and Prince of Kaites. It's funny how things change…ironic and sad.
"Even so," Kale walks into the library and I wave him towards me, "it is rude to be holding so deeply to something that will never belong to you again."
"My sentiments exactly," I say.
Oppar frowns but does not say anything so I take it as leave to continue.
"Elisi Telre may have had a friendship with the First Prince, in the past, but that is no longer relevant," I say. "I won't feel bad about kicking her out."
"How unsympathetic," Oppar flicks his hair over his shoulder. "Have you forgotten that we are kin?"
I roll my eyes.
"What should I care? I don't like you much either," I say.
"You are a liar, Lady Kailia. You are very fond of me," Oppar smiles in that super annoying way.
"Stop putting your dreams onto other people," I snap lightly. "You do this a lot don't you?"
Oppar actually looks offended.
"I can feel things that stir within you even before you realize them yourself," he says. "You do not hate me and that is a fact."
"Well until I acknowledge that I do not not like you, I don't like you. Got it?" I say simply. "Kale did you need something?"
Oppar mutters something akin to "how rude!" before Kale steps forward.
"The date for the Choosing Time is drawing near," he starts. "As such, I would advise you go over the rules and consequences."
"By near you mean four months away?" I laugh.
"Even so, my Lady…" Kale says.
"Thank-you Kale, but I already have," I say. The Choosing Time is a North Ivalican tradition that deals with the First Prince picking a future companion. However since the induction of Esjerion into the Vaneyllia line, the Choosing Time has turned into merely a ball…with everyone in Ivalica invited. This time around though, the Choosing will be how it was in the past. A judgment for those selected to be the candidates for bride. I have no memory of the Choosing Time as Esjerion has been connected with me forever. But I've read that it is a series of tests ending with a one-on-one between the final two. Shoot, if I get to punch Elisi Telre in the face, and not get yelled at I'm totally going for it. And then after is the ball.
I'm kinda upset at Rohen. The only reason we're going through with this is because Rohen is still technically "human." Like me, Rohen has to commune with Esjerion; fully connect body and soul with him. But unlike me, Esjerion isn't just a crap load of knowledge. Esjerion is a "demon." An entity sworn by an unbreakable blood covenant to the Vaneyllia family until their line runs out. Something with its own desires and wishes separate from Rohen. However in order for the covenant to be fully realized, the host and Esjerion have to merge souls. And Rohen, bless is beautiful reluctant soul, does not want to commune. I understand (kind of). Who would really trust the thing that killed your precious older brother? Lucky for me though. If Esjerion hadn't I would still be marrying Rohae. I wouldn't young and naïve forever. And I think… I may have been very sad.
"Then my Lady understands that she will have to choose a Chevalier?" Kale questions.
Ah that. I forgot about that small minor detail. To defer damage done to the Lady, she has someone to fight along side her. That man is called a Chevalier.
"Why are you asking me to choose?" I ask, very suspicious that Kale even proposed the question.
Kale's eyes do not meet mine when his mouth opens.
"I was called upon by Lady Telre," he says.
"So what? Say no," I tell him
My grin fades when Kale continues to look away from me.
"Tell her no!" I say grabbing his arm, feeling dread all over me. Kale, look at me! Look at me Kale!
"He cannot," Oppar says smoothly.
My eyes slowly travel to Oppar's form. His face is unusually serious. I hate it. I hate this.
"She has precedence over you because she is the Queen's choice," Oppar continues. "She chose Kale and he cannot decline."
My hands drop from Kale's arm and eyes fall to the marble floor.
"Don't speak!" I snap. My feet take me past the two border citizens and towards the door. My heart feels hot, burning like the black of Esjerion's eyes. I'm shaking, trembling, my fingers curl. My nails pierce the flesh of my palm. I don't even wince. I grab a beautiful vase and throw it against the wall, swearing at the same time.
"First Princess please!" Kale grabs my shoulder and I whip around, pushing his away.
"How dare you touch me so familiarly knight?" I say furiously. My eyes stare into wounded green orbs. I whip around still glaring. The others walk out into the hall to see about the commotion but upon seeing my face, they bow and don't say anything on the matter.
"I won't be down for the remainder of the day," I say walking up the stairs to the second floor. I was hoping that Rohen would come to visit, even Esjerion would be nice, but I doubt it would happen again. I walk into the solace of the master bedroom and flop onto the bed. I scream into the pillows for as long as I can and then do it again and again.
"My dear, that was too harsh," I speak as my mother would. "He really didn't mean it."
"Don't care," I mutter to myself.
"Are you really going to be upset with him for the entire winter months? It will be cold without him."
"It's cold with him! He betrayed my trust!"
"He is not in charge of these flow of events," I say in my mother's wisdom. "He is but a pawn in this mysterious game."
"So what? I'm going to let him suffer for being a pawn this time!" I snap. Sounding stupid even to myself. It was Kale, so of course he was unhappy about it as well. But I never thought that we would be separated in this way. Perhaps Elisi Telre was smarter than I gave her credit for and now I am forced to do something about it. But what? Of course Kale was my natural choice being as he was my knight and my friend. I forgot, however, that he is also the most skilled knight in the kingdom. Curse him for being so well accomplished! I don't care how hard he worked for it! I'm going to suffer because of it! Who will I chose then? It has to be a man, which means Althier and Altier are out. And my other hands are out too. And it's not like they could beat Kale… who can beat that man?
"This is gonna suck," I frown, and scream into my pillows once more.
I'm still mad enough to make Kale piss himself with worry. Not that he would and the thought is gross, but the satisfaction is well worth it. However after one day of no food, my stomach is very unhappy and I make my way down my staircase. Kale is there before I can even reach the bottom completely.
"First Princess!" he says going down on one knee with an arm across his chest. I admire his determination to speak with me, but I don't feel like being friendly.
I walk past him and make my way to the breakfast room. It is bright today, the snowfall making it almost glow. Lady Lace sets the table for me and recites the contents of the menu for this morning. I sit down and before long, tea is set before me. I look ahead of me to the large widow seat and see Oppar Telre soaking up the rays. His eyes turn in my direction before his head does.
"Even my skin is going to suffer from all this horrible tension," he mutters. "This much bad energy is disastrous to your already fair complexion."
My eyebrow twitches lightly.
"I am perfectly content, thank-you," I quip in reply.
After a minute of silence his voice breaks through again.
"He is even less fun to play with. Please settle this matter quickly," he says, voice lacking its usual flippant nature.
"Who are you to order me? And in my own house?" I snap.
Oppar, who would've said something annoying in reply, merely gives me a look that I can describe only between anger and pain.
"I said please," he replies softly. "You may hold distain for me for as long as you desire, but that man does not deserve this."
At this, I am surprised for this is the equivalent to Oppar Telre petitioning me for something.
"My desire is to distain you both and so I will continue to do so," I reply, taking a sip of my tea.
"Reconsider out of your friendship with him," Oppar requests.
"I have no friend in him," I say simply. The sweetness of the tea tastes oddly bitter in my mouth.
Oppar's face turns a little more hurt-filled and he covers his eyes with his hand.
"It is out of his desire that I am telling you these things, for he cannot say them himself," he says. I knew that. The words coming out of my mouth are not all of my real feelings but I cannot stop them from spilling from my lips. I feel someone at my side and take a sip of my tea. Kale is standing by the doorway still; his eyes are bleeding anguish.
"You may leave," I say to him. "I don't require your services."
I think I may have broken his heart, because I see it shattering against the floor.
"My Lady please," Kale's voice wavers, lowers. "Please don't release me from your service."
My eyes find his and I cannot stop but feel worse. Ugh. Idiot child! Did he really think I would do something like that? Besides the fact that he would never ever recover from such an act, I would have to confront Rohae about why Kale wasn't with me, why he was so testy, why he was about to kill himself. And the last thing I need at the moment is an angry dead prince trying to break the barrier more.
"Oh my goodness Kale relax!" I sigh, rubbing my head. "It's been two days and you can't live without me. What are you going to do when I get married?"
"I request to take your place," Oppar says.
"No thank-you!" Kale and I say at the same time. My knight looks at me with weary eyes, unsure about how to continue.
"Come, eat," I say with a smile. "I'm sure you haven't touched a thing since we've last spoken."
A smile breaks out on his face. A real one, with teeth and everything.
"The First Princess speaks the truth," Kale says bowing, "but I do not deserve to even speak to you."
I sigh and pick at a cinnamon roll, oozing with icing.
"It's not your fault yada yada," I say. "I'm still upset, don't get me wrong. But what kind of leader would I be if I took it out on my friends?"
"She said you can eat with us so come and eat," Oppar snaps, helping himself to a chair and cinnamon roll. He is relieved, I can see it in his face, posture. Oppar knows Kale, perhaps better than I ever will…sucks for Kale though.
"You have my gratitude, my Lady Kailia," he says.
I nod and bite into the most wonderful tasting breakfast ever.
"But you know, since I'm still mad and everything, you can sit next to Telre," I say.
"Why am I the punishment?" Oppar demands.
I shrug and continue to eat. For now, I should just enjoy and prepare for the future. I am the last of the Renlenay House. I am the kailia. I am the leader of the fairies. I have to be stronger than anyone else but I can't be too blind to see my own faults. Fortunately for me, Kale would hate to be apologized to, so I don't have to! Thank-you Kale!
I stare in the mirror and concentrate with all of my might; my own marbled eyes looking deeper, further. What with the Choosing looming closer and my choice for a Chevalier close to none, I haven't put much effort into making myself more...fairy for lack of a better word. I forget that even with all the knowledge in the world, without a single application it is put to waste. I mentally know so many things and my heart understands my circumstance fully, however my actions are hardly working to push myself harder. I aim to ammend that immediately.
A vein in my head is throbbing quite nicely albeit a bit painfully as well but I cannot stop. I can feel my heartbeat, each thump vibrates through my body like waves. I can hear the air whispering around me. Kai. Kai. Kai. And soon there is nothing left in my eyesight except a blurry haze. But it happens then. From beyond my own vision I see a golden light. I blink, then sigh, releasing my calmness through my body. I feel it break through, stretching like an unused muscle. What would a fairy be without its wings? Human.
They are damp still, strings of translucent fluid still hanging from the top layer to the bottom, but they shimmer and flex. It feels as if my own arm is moving, but not at the same time. My wings flap once, each layer like paper but firm like metal. I admire them in the morning light. They are like several dragonflies coordinated by size. Each ring descending in size along my back bones. I fold them against my body and outward again several time, stretching them further with each exercise.
"I am Kailia Lilium Renlenay," I tell myself in the mirror and grin. I'm about ready to kick some major snooty butt now. I can't help the huge smile that runs across my face before I punch the air in triumph. Before long, my feet are taking me down the stairs at an alarmingly fast speed before I haphazardly crash into Oppar Telre.
"Where's Kale?" I eager inquire, never mind the fact that I'm laying on top of him.
Oppar cocks his brow.
"What has gotten you so excited this morning?" he questions. "Beside those lovely pieces on your back?"
I roll my eyes and get up.
"Is everything a piece of art to you?" I question, fixing myself.
Oppar stands as well, wiping some invisible dirt off of his bottom.
"I just find the Lady Kailia to be aesthetically divine," he replies neatly. His eyes roam over my form landing over my shoulders. The golden glint reflects in his eyes. I can feel the pull towards him, with him. His aura is drawing me in, making the whole room fall victim to his wants. This could be dangerous. For kai, the wings are one of the most sensitive parts of the body. They are receptive to touch, and can either harm or please a kai.
"Your wigs…they are stunning," he breathes, swallowing visibly. His eyes are tracing every line of my wigs, every dip and bend and curve. The lids fall to half-mast, pupils dilate. My warning bells have been chiming since he first opened his mouth.
"Thank-you," I say. "But you can't have them sorry."
Oppar chuckles, a low rumbling sound from the back of his throat. It's strange coming from him but natural at the same time.
"My desire is not to keep them," his voice softens.
He lifts his hand slowly. I can feel the heat of his palm on my shoulder. My head shifts lightly in that direction, eyes lowered to watch his hand's work. His fingers reach out to touch them and are pulled back in an instant. My body starts.
Curse him he did it again!
"Master Telre cease at once!" Kale is holding Oppar's wrist away from my body but even Oppar this time looks dazed.
"Kale," I say smiling in half relief half disappointment. Whatever Oppar was doing he was darn good at it!
"My Lady, do not let a fiend such as this act in such an inappropriate manner!" Kale says before giving Oppar a fierce look. "For a few moments I release myself from your company and you are causing distress!"
Oppar takes his hand back, sighing dramatically.
"It would have only been a light caress," he defends. "Hardly worth your harsh behavior…"
If Kale's stoic nature weren't in place, I would have fancied him having a rather murderous expression on his face.
"You are not His Majesty the First Prince and you may under no circumstances touch her Majesty Lady Kailia," Kale growls. "Do I make myself clear?"
Oppar flips his hair behind his shoulder.
"How rude, coming from a man who frequently gives the Lady different forms of caress," he says and I know he's trying to get under Kale's skin. And it's totally working.
"My intentions are of the purest kind!" Kale hisses before his head snaps in my direction. "My Lady please disregard every word this useless braggart speaks!"
I just shake my head.
"Hey Kale I was going to show you my wings but I guess you've already seen them," I say, upset that Oppar ruined my big surprise.
Kale's heated anger turns soft for a moment.
"And they are the most beautiful wings I have ever beheld," he says. "My eyes are not fit to behold them."
When he finishes, his eyes turn sad and he lowers his head slightly.
"Excuse me, First Princess, whist I check on breakfast preparations," Kale bows, twisting his fingers delicately, before leaving. Oppar makes a "che" sound before flipping his hair once more and making his way to the breakfast room. I frown.
Kale is still obscenely regretful that he did not mention the Chevalier bit sooner to me and sulks around the house all day. Well, more like he sulks around me all day. I've decided to take my anger out on Elisi Telre but I cannot do that until I return to the castle. However I technically need a formal invitation to be allowed access into the palace. Technically. But we Renelay's were never much into technicalities. The Queen did formally banish me, but that was before I communed. The me now, leader of the kai, is a different story. It is tradition in all Ivalica North to have the leaders greet royalty upon receiving their rites. I am the kailia and so I have to formally greet the Queen as such. Of course that would mean that I would have to officially come out of hiding as of having fairy blood and that might put everyone I know at danger; but it's a chance they're more than willing to accept.
Kale certainly has been flashing his wings more and more around the house and I've even seen Altier and Althier's wigs. They are hardly ashamed of having fairy blood in them and I want to make them proud. I make my way to the breakfast room, eager to take one step closer to fufilling my role as the one who will marry the First Prince.