Good Morning! Or possibly afternoon. Evening? Maybe even night!
Hi! I'm Firebird29, low-grade member of the Nakama. This here is my very first-ever roleplay! (Co-written with our lovely leader Firegirl210) So, like most stories we will post, this is in roleplay format; the POV's switch with every reply, as do the authors. This one is pretty low-key; barely any violence at all. Also, for those of you wondering because you've seen/read Monster Tattoo, this is not M/M. If you don't know what I'm talking about, just skip it :-)
So enjoy~….Oh? You want to know who wrote what? Trust me, once you've read our stuff it'll become pretty apparent. See if you can guess!
INSTALLMENT #1: The Beginning
I leaned in the window of the Southeast tower, looking out over the bustling city outside the palace walls. Here in Nyria, the sun shone brightly on the thatch rooftops and the ocean beat at the shore in the distance. I leaned my hand on my chin, the rays warming my skin. Such a beautiful city in my beautiful country.
Suddenly I heard something rustle and a shout rang out, and I whirled around just in the nick of time as someone came tumbling down the stairs. I caught the person instinctively, and we both fell back hard on the stone steps that circled down to the main halls below.
"Ooh...I must have lost my balance..." The person in my arms blinked and opened bright green eyes, and then looked surprised as she found herself nose-to-nose with me.
"Oh, Luce! I'm sorry, are you hurt?" She asked, sitting up on my lap, and I smiled tightly, not showing that I was in pain.
"Don't worry about me, Princess-are you injured?" I asked, helping her to her feet, and she flipped her chestnut waves over her shoulder.
"No, I'm alright. But where's my book..." She looked around and then smiled as she found the book she had been immersed in, and I sighed, shaking my head.
"Princess Terania, what am I going to do with you? You're going to kill yourself one day reading while you walk down stairs." I chided, and she smiled at me, flipping the end of my nose.
"Well it's a good thing I have you here to save me then, isn't it?" She asked, and I sighed inwardly. Every day was an interesting one in the palace-especially when you were in charge of protecting and tending to the needs of the princess.
"You must try to be more careful." I said, and she smiled with a deceivingly innocent expression.
"Anything for you Luce." She teased, and I smiled despite myself at her infectious laughter.
"Anything for my princess."
INSTALLMENT #2: Surprise
I smiled broadly at Luce as he tossed the old quip back at me-it was something from when I was little, and it was always a comfort to hear. I tucked my book back under my arm, determined to not read a word of it on the way back to my rooms; a promise I had made to myself many times before.
"Walk me back, Luce?" I asked, turning down the hall. He fell in step at my right side, offering me his arm. I tucked my hand into the crook of his elbow, smiling at him. We walked to my rooms surrounded by a comfortable silence, one I had grown up and reveled in.
Suddenly, Luce pulled away and moved forward, stepping in front of me. I stopped short with the ease of long practice; whenever Luce did that, it was because something had caught his attention and might be a danger. But before I could say anything, his shoulders relaxed just a touch and he stepped against the wall, clearing my field of vision down the hallway. I froze as I saw Prince Henri striding down the hallway towards me. He was visiting with his father from a few kingdoms over, and he was one of the most handsome princes I had ever seen. I drew myself up slightly, sternly reminding myself to watch what I said and not say anything stupid. Maybe I was bad at talking to new people, but I would have to get over that eventually. Might as well start now.
"Good afternoon, Prince Henri," I said pleasantly, my 'this is an official occasion' smile placed sweetly on my face. I frowned inwardly as he started, pretending to be surprised at my presence.
"Why, hello, Princess Terania." A gorgeous smile full of blindingly white teeth split his face, and I quivered a little bit. I dropped a slight curtsy to buy a little time, and he bowed in return. "I hope I will see you at tonight's banquet," he said. I nodded a bit, struggling to breathe normally.
"I-I'm sure you will, your highness," I managed to murmur.
"Yes, indeed...May I ask that you save me a dance?" He asked, his eyes glinting mischievously.
"Of course," I replied calmly, although my legs were trying to shake. He smiled slightly, and offered me his hand. I placed my own in it, and he raised it to brush against his lips.
"Then I shall await your pleasure," He murmured against my hand. I blushed at the contact, ducking my head to hide it. He released my hand and continued on his way, disappearing around the corner in moments. I have no idea how long I stood there when a hand dropped onto my shoulder. I started violently, almost dropping my book, before I realized it was just Luce.
"Come, you must begin preparing for tonight's banquet," He said. I thought I noticed a slight glint in his eyes as he spoke...No, it must have been my imagination. Luce was never anything but professional. I nodded to him and smiled slightly, a small part of the special smile the public never saw; one only my family and best friends ever did.
"Yes, I must," I responded. "And you must get ready as well! I must have my personal guard looking his best at such an event!" I finished, patting him on the arm. I turned and entered my room, grinning a bit as I shut the door in his face. My head attendant he might be, but he didn't get to help me today!
I crossed quickly to my vanity, sitting in front of it as I sorted through the containers. "Ralla, are you here?" I called.
"Yes, my lady?" My lady-in-waiting said as she entered the room.
"Help me out of this, then help my choose a dress," I said, pointing to the wardrobe as I pulled my hair out. Ralla quickly unlaced my dress, pulling it over my head once we had it loose enough. Then she scurried over to it in her peculiar way and began showing me dress after dress. I slipped into a robe before examining her picks, but I shook my head at each one, unhappy with them all. I finally plopped onto my bed and sighed. "These will never work. What about my blue one? With the gems?" I asked, looking at Ralla. She blushed a little as she examined her feet.
"It is, ah, I believe it is with the castle tailor. It was supposed to be finished today..." She trailed off.
"Then it should already be here. Fetch it. Now." I said, sighing just a bit. She nodded quickly, scuttling out the door. The door had slipped shut before it hit me. "Oh, noo!" I berated myself, flopping over sideways. I had done it again. What on earth made me say such stupid things? I would just have to apologize when she came back-assuming she would talk to me.
While I was waiting, one of my other waiting-ladies came in, helping me pile my hair onto my head and applying my makeup with a skill I could never hope to match.
Then Ralla returned, bringing with her the proper gown. I stepped into it, and she started lacing the bodice so tight I could barely breathe. A few breathless moments later, she was finished, and I stepped over to the mirror. I smiled as I took in the deep blue fabric as it fell in waves around my waist and legs and the bright, glittering assortment of blue and white sapphires stitched across the bodice. I turned and sat at my vanity, my back towards it so I could look up at Ralla.
"Thank you, Ralla. And I apologize for what I said." I told her sincerely. She blushed a touch and started to say something, but I waved it off. "No, no. It was wrong of me. Thank you." She opened her mouth again, but then she stopped and just smiled.
"May I make a suggestion?" She asked. I nodded, curious about her idea. "Wear this necklace, my lady." She held out a simple chain, with just a single, giant blue sapphire hanging from the end. I took it in my hand, watching the light glitter off the facets of the stone. It was beautiful, but...not mine. I racked my brain, trying to remember where it might have come from.
"Where is this from?" I finally asked. Ralla ducked her head, and my other lady giggled before I glanced at her.
"I-I'm afraid I cannot say, my lady. I promised my silence." I raised an eyebrow at that, but then an idea crossed my mind. Very few people could convince my ladies to lie, but one of them might be...
"Was it Prince Henri?" I asked, confidant in my guess. Still examining the stone, I nearly missed the glance Ralla shared with the other lady.
"O-o-oh, um, yes, it was. But I was not to give it to you today; please, do not mention that you know this, my lady." She finally said. I frowned at the quaver in her voice, but passed it off as her being upset at having to tell me.
"I won't say a word," I whispered conspiratorially, winking at her. She giggled, and I smiled happily as I managed to make her laugh. Now I just had to survive the rest of the night.
I raised my glass with all the others as some Duke or another finished his toast, sipping only lightly of the potent wine. I turned my head slightly as my father rose to make a toast, my mind only half on his words. Dinner had already passed, with only a few incidents.
"I am please to see you all here tonight..." My father started.
I had nearly tripped over my own two feet sitting down when Prince Henri pulled my chair out for me-I hadn't been aware he was to sit next to me!
"Thank you for your support of our country..."
And a few nobles had gotten drunk a little too quickly, but other than that, nothing seemed to have gone amiss. I had even made pleasant small talk with Prince Henri!
"...to prosper and protect..."
Although, now that I thought about it, there was one little weird thing...I hadn't had a moment to speak with Luce, but I had seen him before I sat down. He had seemed a bit...distracted? He had taken one look at me and then managed to avoid meeting my gaze for the entire dinner...I frowned in thought. Now why would he do that?
"...pleased to announce the engagement of Prince Henri to my daughter, Princess Terania!" I started out of my reverie at my name, blinking as I looked around at the cheering hall. Then the rest of the sentence sank in.
"Come, darling, stand up!" My Mother whispered from the other side of Father. I stood in a daze, not really seeing anything and yet everything was crystal clear.
I looked over at Prince Henri, who was grinning hugely. He reached over and wrapped an arm about my waist, and the cheers redoubled. Nothing really seemed to sink in as he drew me close to him.
My eyes swept over the crowd, looking for I don't know what, when they crashed to a halt on Luce. Somehow, seeing him, seeing him watch me and Henri, forced everything to take snap into shape.
I was engaged?