I woke up with that annoying buzzing in my head that always seems to be there first thing of a morning. You would think somebody would have found a way to fix it by now, but no. These things happen. It took a few moments - well, five minutes - for me to figure out where I was, and what had woken me. I was in a large, soft bed in a large, elegantly decorated guest room in the castle. And I was being poked with a stick. I could hear an oddly familiar voice asking, "Is he awake yet? Poke him harder, see if that works." Whoever was poking me did poke me harder, and it hurt. "Poke me with that again and I'll shove it up your-" I started, but was cut off.
"Yep, he's awake." a second, male voice said. I rubbed the sleep from my eyes and tried to remember names. I recognised the girl, dark brown pigtails and nice legs, but I couldn't quite put a name too it. And I didn't really care who the man was.
I didn't even have chance to sit up before I was poke with the stick again. "What did I just tell you?" I snarled. I've never been a morning person, or a big fan of being poked, so I think that justifies being a little short tempered. He just tutted at me and said, "Well somebody's a grouchy riser. Get up, it's lunch time already, and Claire wants to speak to you." I'd half a mind to show him just how grouchy I could be, but the mention of food changed my mind. I was starving. I didn't know or care who Claire was, since I was relatively sure that the girl in my room was Tanya, and right now she was the second most interesting thing here, wearing an even shorter skirt than the night before and a very tight leather bodice. She was almost as interesting as food; almost. But I really was hungry, so I dragged myself out of bed and stumbled around looking for my trousers. However, Tanya handed me a pile of clean clothes, smiled at me, and said, "They should fit."
I waited for them to get out so that I could get dressed. The clothes were a bit loose, but they fit well enough and since I'd left the saddlebags with all my stuff in on Misty still, it wasn't as though I had many other options. I stumbled out of the room like I was drunk, though I was actually just still groggy and tired, and followed the others, who'd waited outside for me, downstairs. I almost fell a few times, the stairs were tight and winding, and my balance was bad enough that early in the morning as it was. I did eventually get down the stairs, without any potentially fatal incidents. It made me wonder, just why did they make these stairs so twisty? How are people supposed to flee up or down when they can't even walk up or down them without getting dizzy and falling over? I would definitely have to ask about them, when I found somebody who didn't either hate me or poke me with sticks. I got led into the same fancy throne room as the night before, with the Queen sat in the same seat, and the twins in the two seats on her right. There was no sign of anybody else, beside Tanya and the man, whose name I hadn't bothered to ask.
There was a bit of an awkward silence at first, before the Queen spoke. "I hope you had a good sleep. William And Tanya will show you around today, but Araziel wants you to start training first thing tomorrow. Bertram just sent someone up with the stuff that was in your saddlebags. Oh, and he said the farrier is having some trouble with your horse." She seemed a lot more relaxed than before, and it was becoming obvious that her prior formality had been forced. I had always assumed the 'Dark Lord' had been some noble who'd gotten too big for his boots, not a commoner. Where would some peasant woman learn how to used a sword, anyway? And where did she get a diamond big enough to make a sword out of? How do you even make a sword out of a diamond? I decided to stop thinking before I made my head hurt any more. Instead I just waited while William spoke to the Queen.
The twins, who'd been silent until now, and I was still pretty sure hated me, got out of their seats and walked over to me and Tanya. "When you're done," one of the said to Tanya, though I hadn't a clue which, "Bring him to the armoury. We might as well give him a sword and let him get himself killed." Wonderful, they were even stupider than my family. Even my father had managed to figure out that giving me a sword would result in me hurting them, too. Maybe if I'd liked them, I would have warned them, but then what fun would that be? I was beginning to enjoy just not telling people. William came back over to us, and I got led back out of the room. Nothing really interesting had happened, and I was getting hungry. Then Tanya asked the pointless question of, "Right, where to first?"
"Wherever the food's kept." I answered. Right as my stomach growled to make my point. I hadn't eaten in over a day, and though I wouldn't say I'm a glutton, I do get cranky when I don't eat. Tanya just laughed, an oddly musical sound, and a strangely familiar one. "Of course, the kitchen's this way." she said, begginning to lead me down another hallway. It would only be a matter of time before I managed to get myself lost.