Soul Cycles ||| NOTES:
Thanks for clicking based on that horrible summary! c:
Like the description says, this is a romance. There are cooties. I'm not a fan of romances, so here's hoping it doesn't show too badly. This chapter is also the shortest chapter there will ever be. I'm sorry-!
Chapter One : Knight from her Window
The castle guard was unusually thick that night. Doubled in many existing posts, and also including the additional guard posts added to the night shift. It was the new guard posts that were the problem. Even though Comyn had checked and rechecked his escape routes over the past few weeks, they were rendered useless now. The unpredictable additions to the castle's protection were just that: unpredictable. He couldn't place any pattern, making it difficult to come up with a new escape plan on the spot.
"He went in that direction! Warn the East guards to be on alert!"
"All exits are covered. This will be the last night that kid makes a fool of us."
From his observation point on a ledge, pressed against the dark shadows cast by the old castle, Comyn could at least hear what was going on. It was enough of a start. If they expected him in the East then he would use the North or South exit. The problem became getting to those parts of the castle grounds, as they weren't places he generally explored.
"Have some of the prison guards double up the new posts. She's not going anywhere tonight anyway."
"Understood. Right away, sir."
The prison was in the North. That would be his best chance for escape. It was easy to hoist himself from one ledge to the next, using windows as foot holds where he could or finding breaks in the smooth stone wall that were intended for sticking guns out of.
As he moved from the East to the North, the sounds of guards plotting ways to get the drop on him began to fade away. Comyn waited until five minutes of silence had passed before beginning his descent. This side of the castle was completely dark. There weren't any shadows for cover on the North side, simply because the darkness had swallowed any shadows and created a dark blanket. It was not surprising. Prisoners were kept in the North and not a spark of electricity, magical or not, was wasted on them.
So when a light flicked on in one of the rooms, just as he was using its open window as his latest foothold, Comyn nearly lost his grip and fell from sheer surprise. A hand reached through the window to grab his leg, with a tight grip for such thin fingers.
"Aha! I caught you!"
The victorious laugh of a girl broke the silence that he had been sneaking through. Comyn had to crane his neck to see the girl who had grabbed him. Her long hair was an unnatural shade of red and her bangs hid her eyes, but her smile was unmistakably excited. The details were hard to make out, but he could tell the green dress she wore was made from some sort of expensive fabric and was decorated with more jewels than he had stolen that night. Her hand had slipped through two of many iron bars that were placed over her window.
"This is great! I wonder what I do next. I've never seen the guards catch someone... I wonder what they planned to do if they were competent?"
She rambled in a carefree tone, but her grip on his leg didn't waver. It was such a strange thing to have happen that he couldn't bring himself to kick his leg free, even if he could have easily done that and more if he wanted. He just stared, unmoving, at as the strange girl continued her own conversation.
"They should really set a better example for me... Oh, hey. Do you know? Any idea?"
The conversation was thrown in his direction. Comyn could finally see her golden eyes when she tilted her head to look at him, but he could not see any reasonable answer.
"You can start by letting me go. I don't think it counts as 'catching' me with those bars between us."
She sounded so honestly disappointed that you'd think he had kicked a puppy.
"But if I scream and yell really loud then a guard will come! And he can climb up and catch you!"
"I highly doubt that."
"Oh... yeah, I do too."
For a moment, her grip on his leg relaxed. He had been about to pull away when she tightened it again with renewed excitement.
"I know! Why don't you come in here? Then no one needs to climb up to get you!"
"Why would I do that?"
"Because it would be very nice of you."
Her lack of logic helped his shock wear off faster. Comyn pulled his leg back, forcing the strange girl to lean closer to the barred window as she struggled to maintain her grip. She was being pretty stubborn and he only decided to stop because she had her head pressed against the bars while desperately trying to keep hold.
"Heyyy that's not fair! I caught you fair and square! No escaping! Eep!"
He stepped off of the ledge and fell to the one below her, forcing her fingers to release him when his leg fell out of reach. Comyn caught the window sill with his hand on reflex, to control his descent, and immediately regretted it. The strange red head was now clutching his wrist.
"Caught ya 'gan! I'm really good at this! They should make me a guard!"
"Just give it up. No one's coming to help."
"Someone will bring me food in the morning, at least! I'll hold you here until then!"
He sighed in annoyance. Hanging from a crazy girl's window sill until morning had not been part of his plans. In an attempt to pry her fingers off he lifted his other hand to pull up her fingers... but of course, she just grabbed that hand too.
"Give it up! Admit defeat!"
"You give it up! None of this counts as capture!"
"Does too! Like I said, I just need you to come in here so I can catch you properly, without the stupid bars!"
"So you admit this isn't how capture actually goes?"
"U-uck... N-no! This is just improper! I want to capture you like a proper lady!"
This was ridiculous. She was ridiculous. There were a million easy ways out of this, but most of them involved hurting the silly girl playing knight from her window. And as inconvenient as she was, Comyn wasn't about to hurt her. Still, he knew he couldn't stay like this. No one was coming now, but sooner or later someone definitely would.
"Fine... How do I get in?"
He grumbled in defeat, pulling himself up so that he wouldn't strain his muscles too much. With his arms folded over the window sill it was much easier to see her face. As expected, she looked delighted by this small compromise.
"There's a door right below you that they always keep unlocked, in case of emergencies! It's behind those bushes! It'll lead you right up to this floor!"
Comyn glanced down again. They were at least three levels up. It seemed strange to have a passageway that by-passed the first and second floor to go straight to the third. There must have been something important on the third floor. This girl, perhaps. She was certainly dressed like royalty, anyway.
"Okay, I'll take that. But you're going to have to let me go."
"Mm! Okay~! Three, two-!"
She released him easily. Comyn didn't allow her even a moment to second guess herself and change her mind. He dropped to the second story window sill, then jumped to the ground. Looking over his shoulder, he could see the strange red haired girl was watching him with bright eyes and a huge smile. So he almost felt guilty when his next move was not to go to the bushes she'd mentioned, which he could see very clearly, but to take off towards the castle's protective outer wall.
"H-hey wait! Where are you going?! That's the wrong way! Come back!"
"I already told you! None of that counted as capture!"
The girl wailed and called until he couldn't hear her anymore. Comyn hoisted himself over the wall and landed on the other side without any further event. He was sure guards would eventually come to her aid, with all of that screaming and all. That would just keep their focus on the other side of the wall, where he no longer was.
Therefore, there was no one to stop him from returning to town. He lowered and removed his dark hood, changing the colour from black to red with the touch of a finger. Comyn's blond hair and bright blue eyes made it unrealistic to compare him to the thief cloaked in darkness that had troubled the castle.
Planning an alternate escape route had eaten a lot of his time and being held on a window sill had not helped that. There was no time to drop off the jewlery that he had stolen from the castle, as uncomfortable as it made him to be taking it to his home. But he had no choice. Comyn took one last look over his shoulder, to the electricity-lit castle that loomed over the smog of town, before taking the main road back to his own estate.