A/N: Hey everyone! Sorry for the long update... Gosh do you have any idea how hard it is to write two stories at the same time? (and don't answer that DarkPhoenixRising, it was a rhetorical question) It's hard to choose which one to update first since I'm both on fanfiction and fictionpress.
Anyways, to answer the question from Icecat and fire fox, there is a Takashi and a Takeshi. One has an 'a' between the k and the s and the other has an 'e'. Their names go together, which is why I won't change one of their names. Takeshi means warrior in Japanese and I'll let you know what Takashi means later otherwise I'll give too much away :-)
Thanks to all of you that are reviewing! I love getting feedback, and hopefully I do publish this. That is, if I ever get it finished... I'm up to Chapter 10 of this story, handwritten, I just haven't had the time to type it up (16+ pages per chapter is a lot to type up!)
Now I give you Chapter 6! Which I will tell you is in Nevaeh/Diana's point of view, but it's obvious that it's her point of view. This is one of the less action filled chapters (Takashi gets to do all the fighting since Nevaeh is, literally, mentally lost, as in she has amnesia), this is more of relationship issues arising, but it is necessary because I need to introduce the antagonist on Nevaeh's side. (Takashi's will be revealed later). It's not as exciting, but these next four chapters are, what I would call, turning points in the hero and heroine's story.
Please review! :-) I hope you enjoy this chapter. (also, I don't know if you all noticed, but I use a lot of symbolism in my stories... *hint hint*)
Chapter 6: Engagements
A loud knock resounded throughout the vastness of the bedroom; followed by a masculine voice,
"Diana! Are you ready yet? We're leaving soon!" it was Dimitri that knocked.
"Yes, hold on!" I finished brushing my waist length copper hair, that Althea had braided near the top so part of the hair looked like it was cascading out of the braid. I ran to the bedroom door, nearly tripping in the high-heeled shoes I was wearing, and opened it. I came face to face with Dimitri, who looked even more regal than normal, wearing what Althea had said was a 'tuxedo'.
"Wow. You look nice. Althea did a good job," Dimitri said. I looked down at the emerald green dress I was wearing, which had a darker green stripe around my waist with a garnet stone brooch in the center. I could barely breathe in the dress but I put up with it for the sake of fitting in.
"Thank you. You look nice as well," I gave him a small smile, "Although it did take me awhile to walk in these 'heels' Althea had me walk twice around the palace with it on and I still occasionally trip."
"Don't worry. You seem fine now. I doubt anyone will notice what your feet are doing since they won't be able to take their eyes of your beautiful face," I blushed at his compliment. Dimitri then offered his arm, which I took, and led me to the front of the castle. Lance was waiting for us when we got there. He stood in front of a, what I thought was, a nice covered wagon, pulled by four white horses. I walked up to one of the horses and began petting him.
"What is this?"
"Its a horse."
"I know what horses are. I meant this thing their pulling."
"Oh. That's a carriage," Dimitri answered, "You really don't know what a carriage is?"
"Nope. Never seen one since now. Well, at least I think,"
"Well, it's a faster way to travel than going on foot, and going on horseback ruins our clothes. Come on, we have to go now. Our dad already left," Dimitri helped me get into the carriage before he and Lance got on. I looked out the small window and at the passing scenery. We passed a few small cities, some forests, a lake and about three rivers. The road we traveled on was very uneven; the carriage shook as we traveled across the road. It was night by the time we arrived at the Count's home. There was a large gate in the front and the stone mansion was behind it. It wasn't as large as the palace, but it was still impressive.
"You will be entering with me," Lance spoke up as the carriage pulled to a stop, "Dimitri is required to go with Aphrodite."
"Wait, I thought we were just having dinner here. Right?" I looked at the two brothers.
"We are, along with a couple hundred people. It's a dinner and a dance to celebrate the wonderful engagement of Dimitri and Aphrodite," Lance answered as we got out of the carriage and stepped into the cool night air. Dimitri paid the carriage driver and then waved goodbye to Lance and I.
"Don't worry. You'll be fine, just relax. If you tense up, the rest of the nobles will know something is up," Lance whispered quietly into my ear. A man holding a piece of parchment came up to us and asked us for our names. I was grateful that Lance was by my side, because I was so nervous to the point where I couldn't speak. I took a deep breath and made myself calm down. The man left and the double doors were opened for us. The man who asked for our names, now yelled them out for all the guests to hear.
"Presenting Lancelot, Prince of Alesian and his escort, Lady Diana!" I forced myself to smile as I walked down the grand staircase, and silently hoping that I wouldn't accidentally trip. There were at the least, four, maybe five hundred people here, and most of them looked like they belonged to noble families. My ears twitched, hidden behind my thick hair as I picked up a few stray words coming from the people. A few were compliments, but many words were not too kind. I saw Dimitri standing next to thin, blonde woman who was wearing a pale pink ball gown. She was holding onto Dimitri's arm while talking to his father, and from what I could tell, her parents. Lance greeted them first.
"Duke Christopher, Duchess Serena," Lance bowed and I followed his actions, "May I present to you my escort this evening, Diana of Essolia."
"It's a pleasure to meet you sir, m'am," I smiled at them. The Duke was a middle aged man, who was slightly overweight and had a short mop of white-blonde hair. The Duchess was around the same age as her husband but she had waist length dark blonde hair braided down her back. Both of them had ice blue eyes, like the girl that was clinging onto Dimitri's arm.
"And it is very nice to meet you," Serena said, "This is my daughter, Aphrodite."
"Well don't you look... pretty. But obviously not as beautiful as I am. I'm not named after the goddess of beauty for nothing," she sneered at me. Now I understood why Dimitri looked so unhappy. The girl on his arm was his fiance and by the way she was acting, I knew why he didn't like her. We were finally invited inside the large dining room. There were eight rectangular tables arranged vertically and one table on the farthest end situated horizontally. Each of the vertical tables sat around 40 people and the one horizontal table sat about 20. As I was walking in, Dimitri grabbed my arm and pulled me behind the crowd.
"Now you see why I despise her," he whispered quietly to me.
"Yes, she is quite," I paused to think of the right word, "arrogant."
"That she is," Dimitri held my hand before we entered the dining room, "Listen, I want you to meet me in the garden after dinner. I wish to give you something."
After I nodded in agreement, Dimitri let go of my hand and we walked into the dining hall separately. We sat in our designated seats at our assigned table. The king sat at the end of the table, with Dimitri to his right and Lancelot on his left. The duke sat at the other end with the duchess to his right. I sat beside Lance, across from Aphrodite who sat beside Dimitri. I stared at the table in front of me, not knowing exactly what to do with these things placed in front of me. The table was intricately decorated with a white table cloth adorned with a design of leaves along the hem covered in gold leaf. I set of three plates, matching the table cloth, was stacked in front of each person. There were three forks on the left of the plates, and two spoons and a knife on the right; or at least that's what Lance had told me. I was clueless on using them so I felt really uneasy about dinner.
"Just watch how we eat first before you start," Lance whispered into my ear, "I can tell your not used to such fine dining. Don't worry, I'll guide you through as best as I can,"
I was grateful for Lance's guidance, without it, dinner tonight would probably end badly. The first course given to us was like what I had eaten with Dimitri and Lance earlier. Lance instructed me to use the utensils from the outside in. I wasn't a big fan of the salad and soup, plus the utensils were hard to use, but I ate anyways. When everyone was finished, the plates were taken away and we were served a large plate of steak and some sort of vegetable. I looked across me and noticed that Aphrodite was eating a big bowl of salad.
"I don't get how you people eat that," she pointed at the steak that I was currently attempting to devour, using the utensils made that task hard to do, "it's disgusting. Those animals are filthy,"
She sneered at me as I took another bite of my food.
"I'm sure the meat was properly cleaned since it is being fed to your parents and the king," I said while eating my food with much better ease.
"Well at least I know how to use a fork and knife," I glared at her hotly. If looks could kill, Aphrodite would have been dead on the floor.
"Aphrodite!" the Duchess, Serena, shouted at her daughter, "That is not how we treat our guests!"
"It's alright milady. I grew up in a very poor family and we didn't normally have these," I said while motioning to the fork and knife held in my hands.
"Really? I would not have guessed that you were not of high class. You seem like you are of noble birth,"
"Well I received lessons at the palace, courtesy of the royal family,"
"Wow. What happened to your family?" the rest of the dinner I spent talking with the Duchess. I felt terrible, telling her lies about my 'family' but I couldn't tell her the truth because I, myself, didn't know the truth. Soon, dessert was served and a mint and chocolate ice cream was placed in front of everyone. I enjoyed it, to the point where I almost asked for another one, but decided against it. After dinner, everyone in the dining hall was ushered out and sent to the ballroom. I remembered Dimitri's request, so I stayed back, away from the crowd and walked in another direction. I could smell the fresh, light scent of flowers coming from my left, so I followed the smell until I came upon a small rose garden. Dimitri wasn't in the garden yet so I decided to take a look around.
"Sorry I'm late," I heard Dimitri enter the garden, "I had to beg Lance to distract Aphrodite,"
"Her mother is very kind. I felt terrible telling her such lies..."
"It was very believable though. You did a good job, dealing with dinner I mean, especially with Aphrodite,"
"Thank you. Shouldn't we go back now? Aphrodite will be looking for you soon. Your brother can only distract her for so long,"
"In a minute. I want to give you something first," he stuck his hands into the pocket of his pants and pulled out a silver chain, "Close your eyes and turn around,"
I did as he told; I turned my back to him and closed my eyes. I felt the cold chain touch my neck and chest. Dimitri's hands were pulled back my hair and then he clasped the chain secure around my neck.
"You can open your eyes now," Dimitri turned me back around as I opened my eyes, "I hope you like them. They were my mother's."
I looked down at what was hanging on the two silver chains. On the shorter chain, there were three rubies, shaped like roses, dangling in a line. There was a ring on the longer chain. It was gold with a white diamond in the center and two emeralds on each side.
"This is beautiful Dimitri, but... why?"
"It was supposed to go to Aphrodite but I want to give it to you. She wouldn't understand how special those items are to me."
"So this was supposed to be her engagement ring? Dimitri, I can't accept this. Your marrying Aphrodite. This should go to her,"
"I'd rather you have it. I know you'll take care of it. Besides I don't want to marry her. I've been trying to get out of being engaged with her. Now I have something that will help me get out of my engagement and make me a happier person,"
"And what would that be?"
"You." I was surprised at his answer, "I want you to marry me Diana. I know I've only met you just recently, but I want you to marry me. I know my father will approve and not only will it get me out of my engagement, but I can also provide you with whatever you need. I can help you regain your memories. No one will accuse you as some sort of spy for an opposing group if you are my wife."
"Dimitri, I... I don't know... this isn't right."
"Please Diana... I care about you deeply. I will take care of you as best as I can, so please..." he got down on one knee in front of me, "Will you marry me?"
I hesitated. It felt wrong, and yet so right. I pushed away all the bad thoughts and finally said, "Yes... I will marry you Dimitri."
Dimitri's grin stretched from ear to ear when he heard that I agreed. He stood up and took me into his arms. I wrapped mine around his neck and stared into is bright blue eyes. Next thing I knew, I was locked in a kiss with a my beautiful prince.
"I think we should head back now..." I smiled up at him, "Aphrodite will be looking for you."
"Yes we should. I'll go back first. If we return together, people will know something happened between us,"
"Very well. Thank you Dimitri," and with that Dimitri left the garden. I waited a few minutes, then I headed back into the ballroom. When I entered, I saw Dimitri mildly chatting with Aphrodite and Lancelot engrossed in a conversation with two men, who I presumed to be his friends. I hid the ring beneath my dress so that only the rubies were showing. I didn't want people to notice that Dimitri had given me his mother's ring. Lance noticed my entrance and motioned me to go towards him.
"Diana! Come join us!" Lance grinned at me, "I want you to meet my friends Braelyn and Allan. Guys, this is Diana."
Allan was very similar to Lancelot; he was tall, with short blonde hair and dark blue eyes. I don't know why but Braelyn looked very familiar to me. When I stared into his light brown eyes, images of a battlefield covered in dead bodies, with two groups fighting each other, popped into my mind.
"Are you alright?" Braelyn's deep voice brought me out of my thoughts.
"Uh... yes... sorry. You just look very familiar, but I don't know where I know you from."
"Well you do have amnesia. Maybe you'll know when you get your memories back," Lance reassured me. He then took my arm and pulled me towards the dance floor, "C'mon, let's go dance. I want to see how well Althea taught you."
I put my left arm on his shoulder and put my right hand in his. Althea called it the "closed position". The music started and I waited until Lance took the first step and I followed. I remembered all the steps Althea had taught me and Lance tested each one out on me. I looked over Lance's shoulder and ended up locking eyes with Dimitri, who was also on the dance floor with Aphrodite. She glared at me when she noticed me looking at Dimitri and I returned her glare with one of my own. Once the dance ended, Lancelot brought me to a sitting and grabbed two glasses of a pale bubbling liquid.
"Champagne. Try it, it's good," he handed me one of the glasses and I took a small sip. It tasted like nothing. It was just fizzy. I looked at him confused. Was it supposed to taste like this or was it just me?
"It doesn't taste like anything,"
"Exactly. I hate the taste of many alcoholic drinks so I try to just have the ones that have no taste," he sat down beside me on the couch, "So I see my brother gave you our mother's necklace."
"Yes he did. It was very kind of his to do so,"
"My mother would have rather seen you wear it that Aphrodite."
"That's what your brother said. Uh.. he also gave me your mother's ring," when I said the last part, Lance almost spit out the Champagne he just sipped.
"He did WHAT?" Lance put his glass down on the small table beside where we were sitting.
"Actually... he asked me to marry him..." he gaped like a fish for a moment before shaking his head.
"And you said?"
"YOU SAID YES? Oh Lord... This isn't good..."
"Dimitri said it would be fine! He said that your dad will approve of us getting married."
"He might, but he might not... He was already promised to Aphrodite so that we are on good terms with the Duke here. If we're not then there could be a coup d'etat and we don't want that."
"Then I'll just tell Dimitri I changed my mind,"
"You can't. Unless you want to break his heart. He loves you. Trust me, I know that he does."
"Well, from what Althea told me, I thought royalty can only marry those of higher class. So I don't know how Dimitri is going to convince your father to agree to our marriage."
"True..." he stood up and began pacing back and forth in front of me. Suddenly he stopped, "The necklace!"
"What? How is this," I lifted the rubies around my neck, "going to help?"
"Not that. Another necklace. We found a necklace that fell off of you, or at least that what we think. He's relying on whatever is written on that necklace because you could be of high class. That necklace looked way to nice to belong to a commoner."
"Where is it?"
"It's currently being translated. Don't worry, I promise we'll return it to you."
"Thank you, that is, if it really does belong to me."
"It's gold. Shaped like a heart. Engraved with some strange symbols. Has a pink diamond in the center. Sound familiar?"
"Hmm..." Lance then left and came back with a napkin and a pen. Then he sat down and started scribbling on the napkin. I sipped my champagne while looking over his shoulder at what he was writing. He then stopped and handed me the napkin. I put down my drink and took the napkin from his hand.
"Here. I don't know if I wrote it right but I think that's what was on it," I looked at what he drew; most of it looked like scribbles but a few of them caught my eye.
"Love... Remember me... and sister."
"Is that all?"
"That's all I can read here,"
"Do you know what language this is?"
"No, I -" Pain shot through my head and my vision began to blur. I heard Lance ask if I was okay and then I saw him leave and come back with Dimitri. That was the last thing I saw before I blacked out.
"Happy Birthday sis," a tall man with alabaster skin, ebony hair and piercing, bright red eyes was in front of me. Was this a memory? Or a dream?
"Oh Takashi, this is beautiful!" I heard foreign words come out of my mouth. Takashi? Who was that and why did it sound familiar? I looked at the necklace placed on my hand. It was the necklace that Lance described. I tried to read the engraving but for some reason it was blurred out.
"I thought you would like it. I had the necklace itself forged by an expert craftsman and I mined for the diamond myself. I also had it engraved so that you will always remember me."
"Oh Takashi... Thank you so much," I felt my body move on its own as I hugged the man and he hugged me back.
"Never forget me, okay?"
"I promise. I won't forget you."
"Good. I'm happy to hear that," he laid his head on mine as he held me in his arms.
"I love you."
A/N: Hallelujah! Halleleujah! Im finally DONE with this chapter! So how was it? I changed a few things in there from my original manuscript, but I think it works much better. Review please! :) I'll try to get Chapter 7 up hopefully in under 2 weeks. I hate how I lose all my formatting when I post all of this up... maybe I should just make a website where I can post this and have the original formatting...