Escapade

[after strong consideration, Escapade is 'under construction' and will be resumed at the end of this semester.]
[[description being revised]]

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2. Two

I  lifted  my  head  up,  the  scraping  of  the  metal  coming  to  an  abrupt  stop  as  I  noticed  the  king  and  his  daughters  standing  in  the  doorway.  They  were  pretty  enough,  nothing  like  my  parents  had  made  them  out  to  be  though.  The  one  girl  stood  taller  than  her  sister-  Mai,  I  believe.  Her  bright  pink  dress  threw  me  off,  it  made  her  look  like  a  cream  puff  that  had  a  little  too  much  frosting  on  it,  and  the  middle  had  caused  skin  to  practically  explode  out  of  her  dress  (I  prayed  that  when  she  sat,  her  chest  wouldn’t  bulge  out  anymore).  I  looked  over  her  body,  noting  every  curve.  Yes,  she  was  pretty,  but  she  had  no  meat on her bones.  She  was  too  skinny.  Her  long  golden  hair  fell  lazily  over  her  shoulders,  with  most  of  it  pulled  up  in  the  back.  It  was  obvious  that  she  had  worn  too  much  makeup,  with  smudge  marks  of  black  liner  under  her  eyes.  I  smiled  at  her,  and  she  smiled  back.  Her  lips  curled  at  the  end,making  her  face  tighten  into  a  large  smile.  Her  eyelashes  fluttered,  annoying  me.  I  hated  when  women  did  that  just  to  get  attention.  I  continued  to  run  my  eyes  up  and  down  her  body  when  my  mother  tried  to  get  my  attention  by  coughing.  

“Daven,  stand  up!”  My  mother  whispered  harshly  as  she  pinched  my  leg  under  the  table.  I  dropped  my  sword  and  stood,  bowing  low  towards  the  two  princesses,  my  back  cracking  as  I  stood  .  The  king  lowered  his  gaze  to  my  sword  and  dagger  that  had  scratched  the  floor.  I  watched  as  his  chest  expanded  as  he  inhaled  deeply,  and  exhaled,  rolling  his  eyes.

“Good  afternoon,  your  highnesses.”  I  said.  They  curtsied.  Mai  was  graceful  about  it,  but  the  girl  next  to  her  looked  as  if  her  legs  had  been  cut  off  mid  bow.  She  was  funny  looking,  not  as  pretty  as  her  sister  but  definitely  stronger,  and  it  looked  as  if  she  had  a  real  personality.  She  glared  at  me,  and  stood  up  with  her  arms  crossed.  Mai  lowered  her  gaze  to  my  mother  and  smiled.

“It’s  a  pleasure  to  meet  you,  your  majesty.”  She  spoke  softly.  My  mother  smiled  and  extended  her  hand.  

“The  pleasure  is  mine.  Please,  come  sit.”  Mother  pointed  to  one  of  the  oak  chairs  across  from  me,  where  the  princess  walked  quickly  over  to.  The  king  waited  patiently  by  the  door,  the  younger  princess  still  next  to  him.

“Abverlen,  my  friend.”  He  spoke  loudly,  his  voice  echoing  in  the  room.  “It’s  a  great  honor  to  have  you  seated  in  my  palace”

Father  laughed.  “It  is,  my  friend,  a  true  honor.  Please,  introduce  me  to  your  youngest  daughter.  I  have  not  had  the  pleasure  of  meeting  her.”

I  rolled  my  eyes.  The  letter  had  come  just  three  months  ago,  announcing  that  the  princesses  were  of  age.  My  mother,  of  course,  requested  everything  about  them  at  once.  More  letters  were  sent  from  the  king  describing  each  girl,  but  almost  nothing  was  said  about  the  younger  one.  We  didn’t  even  know  her  name.  

“Ah,  yes,  my  apologies.”  The  king  stepped  aside  and  smiled  at  the  girl.  Her  long  brown,  curly  hair  was  a  frizzing  mess,  although  it  suited  her  face.  She  had  deep  green  eyes  and  long  eyelashes.  She,  to  my  surprise,  was  actually  quite  pretty.  She  had  meat  on  her  bones,  for  sure,  and  I  could  see  every  curve  in  her  body.  Her  dress,  however,  made  everything  more  pronounced.  The  teal  color  went  well  with  her  eyes,  and  the  intricate  design  on  the  train  of  the  dress  just  pressed  her  features  out  even  more.  

The  king  spoke  again,  this  time  more  softly,  “This  is  my  youngest  daughter,  Keira  Grace,  princess  of  Feyden.”  

 

*

I  faked  a  smile.  Daven  looked  at  me,  running  his  eyes  down  my  body.  I  wanted  to  shove  my  boot  up  his-

“It’s  wonderful  to  finally  meet  you!”  Queen  Reyland  clapped  her  hands  and  stood  up,  rushing  over  to  me.  I  clenched  my  fists  quickly,  prepared  to  strike,  but  loosened  my  expression  and  hands  as  she  took  them  in  hers.  They  were  sticky  with  sweat,  but  something  was  comforting  about  them;  it  was  obvious  that  she  was  nervous,  too.  

Daven  smiled  and  offered  his  hand  to  me  as  he  took  a  spot  at  my  side.  I  returned  a  weak  smile  and  took  his  arm.  The  silk  fabric  of  his  shirt  made  me  want  to  bury  my  face  in  it,  but  I  just  let  him  lead  me  to  a  seat  next  to  Mai.  She  didn’t  acknowledge  me  as  I  sat.  

“So,  tell  me,  princesses,”  King  Abverlen  set  his  wine  glass  down  on  the  table  and  leaned  in  for  another  piece  of  chicken.  His  stomach  hit  the  table,  knocking  down  the  glass.  He  chuckled  and  motioned  for  one  of  the  servants  to  come.  A  girl  walked  up  and  bowed  to  him  before  turning  to  clean  up  the  spill.  He  turned  back  to  me  and  Mai.  

“What  are  you  studying?”  He  asked.  Daven  choked  on  his  wine  in  laughter.  

“I  apologize,  but  don’t  you  think  that  a  more  in-depth  question  should  be  asked?”  The  prince  looked  at  Mai,  who  was  smiling  like  a  bafoon,  and  then  at  me.  I  glared  at  him.  

“No,  no.  It’s  alright.  I  am  currently  studying  the  history  of  the  kingdoms  and  their  rulers.”  Mai  exclaimed,  carefully  taking  a  bite  of  the  salad  that  was  placed  in  front  of  her.  Abverlen  already  seemed  interested.  

“So  you  must  know  of  the  magic,  then?”  Abverlen  said.  Excitement  filled  his  eyes  as  Mai  nodded.

“I  have,  yes.  Do  you  know  of  the  great  sorcerer,  Gallen?  Surely  you  have.”  Mai  said.  

“Indeed,  princess.”  Abverlen  nodded.  “I  am  related  to  him,  unfortunately.”  He  shook  his  head.  “I  fear  it  causes  me  a  great  deal  of  hatred  by  some  of  my  people.”  

I  cut  in,  unaware  that  I  was  being  rude.  “Hatred?  Why,  may  I  ask?  Gallen  was  one  of  the  greatest  men  to  ever  live.”  

That  caught  the  prince’s  attention.  “He  was,  yes,  but  in  the  worst  way.”  He  was  glaring  at  me,  now.  I  raised  an  eyebrow  and  set  my  fork  down,  quickly  swallowing  the  lettuce  that  was  caught  in  my  throat.

“In  what  ‘worst  way’,  your  Highness?”  I  asked.  Daven  looked  down  at  his  plate,  trying  to  figure  out  what  to  say.

“He  killed  innocent  people  out  of  cold  blood.  He  attacked  kingdoms  for  no  reason,  slaughtering  half  of  their  population  with  magic.”

I  squinted  at  him.  I  noticed  the  clinking  of  the  silverware  on  the  plates  had  stopped,  and  eyes  were  on  us.  Mai  had  a  mouthful  of  food  shoved  over  to  the  left  side  of  her  mouth,  making  her  look  like  a  fish.  King  Abverlen  looked  at  me,  one  eyebrow  raised.  The  queen’s  eyes  were  wide,  and  it  looked  like  she  was  about  to  laugh.  

“Do  you  know  why,  Prince  Daven?  Do  you  know  why  he  did  those  things?”  I  asked,  taking  another  bit  of  the  salad.  He  looked  down  at  the  silver  platter  that  was  set  on  the  table  in  front  of  all  of  us,  and  then  back  up  at  me.  

I  thanked  the  man  who  set  the  plate  in  front  of  me.  There  was  an  assortment  of  meats;  fish,  chicken,  beef,  and  many  kinds  of  vegetables.  

Mai  gagged  besides  me.  I  choked  down  laughter,  but  let  it  come  as  Daven  replied.

“Because  he  wanted  to.  He  wanted  power,  nothing  more.”

I  laughed.  “Power?  He  wanted  revenge!  The  kingdoms  he  raided  all  had  something  to  do  with  the  death  of  his  family.”  I  over  exaggerated  the  last  word.  “His  family  was  killed  in  front  of  him.  He  saw  it  with  his  own  eyes,  his  family  being  ripped  apart,  limb  by  limb,  and  felt  their  warm  bodies  turn  cold  when  all  of  the  blood  drained  out  of  them.

“He  couldn’t  control  himself.  He  put  together  an  army,  and  set  out  to  finish  what  his  family  had  wanted  for  years.”  I  was  losing.  I  had  almost  no  way  to  win  this  little  ‘argument.’

“You’re  defending  him.”  

“Of  course  I  am.  Do  you  know  what  he  did  after  he  felt  the  guilt  of  what  he  did?”  I  pushed  my  plate  away  from  me,  sipped  my  wine,  and  looked  over  at  my  father,  who  hadn’t  said  a  word  this  entire  time.

“He  built  their  kingdoms  back  up  with  his  magic,  paving  their  streets  with  silver  and  lining  their  palaces  with  gold  tapestries,  and-”  My  father  started.  Everyone,  including  the  servants  and  the  guards  that  were  stationed  in  the  room,  was  listening  closely.  He  looked  around  the  room  and  finally  set  his  eyes  on  Abverlen.  

“Married  one  of  the  women  whose  family  he  murdered.”  King  Abverlen  finished.  Daven  was  completely  confused  now,  staring  down  at  his  mother,  who  was  intrigued  and  drunk.  She  clapped  her  hands  and  burped  into  her  arm.

“That’s  a  little...  strange...  Tell  us  more!”  She  said.  Daven  gave  her  a  scolding  look.

Mai  sighed.  “And  began  to  start  his  own  family,  and  a  kingdom.”  She  took  one  last  bite  of  her  food  then  pushed  the  plate  away.  “He  created  the  kingdom  of  Oravial,  and  almost  a  hundred  years  later-  here  we  are,  sitting  with  members  of  his  family.”

That  was  the  end  of  the  conversation.  Daven  was  still  glaring  at  me,  squeezing  his  fork  so  hard  that  there  was  a  red  imprint  of  the  forks  lines  on  his  hand.  His  face  was  bright  red,  and  his  eyes  looked  like  they  were  about  to  burst  from  his  skull.  

“I...  I  think  I  need  to  leave.”  I  stood,  brushing  crumbs  from  my  lap.  Daven  stood  as  well,  coming  over  to  offer  his  arm.  I  shook  my  head  and  held  my  hand  out.  

“It  was  a  pleasure  to  meet  you,  your  highness.”  He  told  me,  letting  his  arm  drop  to  his  side.  My  father  stood,  giving  me  a  look  that  I  could  not  describe.  

“Um...  Yes.  Thank  you.”  I  smiled  at  him  and  looked  at  the  King  and  Queen,  whose  mouths  were  slightly  open  in  shock.  

“Please,  let  me  escort  you  out.”  The  prince  insisted.  I  rolled  my  eyes,  but  let  him  have  his  way  and  took  the  arm  he  offered  again.  

I  curtsied,  low,  to  my  father  and  the  King  and  Queen  of  Oravial.  Mai  smiled  weakly  at  me,  and  I  noticed  her  lip  twitch  afterwards.  

The  prince  escorted  me  out  of  the  Great  Room.  

 

*

 

“I’m  sorry,  that  was  not  how  I  wanted  tonight  to  go.”  I  looked  at  Keira,  who  was  intentionally  ignoring  me.  “I  hope  we  can  see  each  other  again,  princess.”  I  bowed  to  her  as  she  escaped  from  my  arm  and  turned  to  face  me.

“Yes,  I’d  like  that,  too...”  She  had  a  sly  smile  plastered  across  her  face.  The  doors  to  the  Great  Room  screeched  shut,  scraping  against  the  floors.  It  was  gloomy  outside  now,  fading  the  colors  of  her  dress.  Her  hair  was  in  loose  strands,  sticking  to  her  neck  from  the  humidity.  “Well,  your  highness,  I  must  leave.”  Keira  turned  and  took  a  few  steps  away  from  me,  her  heels  clicking  on  the  floor.  “I  look  forward  to  the  next  time  we  meet.  Maybe  with  a  bow  and  arrow?”  She  winked  at  me,  and  pranced  off  down  the  hallway.  

I  inhaled  deeply,  and  let  out  a  short  laugh  before  making  my  way  back  into  the  Great  Room.

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