Of Kings and Queens

A pitch have yet to be written, as the plot-planning is not 100% finished, but I couldn't stay away from writing the actual story itself.
This story is about war. And with war comes hate and love, blood and tears, passion and fear.

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9. Dande

Dande, Ala'dok

dies Mercurii, IV Iulias, 06:07 AM

 

It was such a strange thing to wake up to. Silence.

Home was often noisy any time of day and night, and when he went to bed last night, too late if he might say so, the inn was still loud and bustling. But now it was completely quiet.

He sat up in the hard bed and yawned; it had been like a rock to sleep on, and he could barely keep his eyes open as he stood up, put on his cape, and pulled the hood of it up. A sour taste filled his mouth, but luckily he didn't suffer a headache from last nights drinking.

Outside the window, the sun was rising over a dead-silent town. No cats nor dogs was running around and causing disturbance, no kids was playing around and no adults was going about their usual routines. Everything was quiet and beautiful.

His feet felt heavy as he walked from his room and to the one lying right next to it, where Owen and Katarina was sleeping.

“Owen? Katarina? We should get going before--” he said as he lifted up the cloth that functioned as a door, but froze as he saw them both naked in the same bed. With wide eyes, he stood still in the door frame and stared.

They seemingly hadn't heard him, since they didn't move nor answer him. He stumbled backwards and closed his mouth, as he leaned against a wall, shocked and no longer tired.

By the Goddess Ustrina, I know I've been asking this a lot, forgive me, but this task I've been sent on, given by you and God Somniis, makes me come to this question often... what have I gotten myself into?

Dande took deep breaths to calm his beating heart and closed his eyes to try and think of something else, but the image of Katarina on her back with her bosom uncovered, and Owen on his stomach with the buttocks in the air, had been burnt into his mind.

He ran downstairs of the inn they slept at, and went straight outside, to where camels and horses had been tied to a hitching rail, by a full water trough, which he quickly dipped his head into.

Blasted Pirates, must the flames take them all! He thought as he held his breath and felt his coal hair float about. I swear, in the name of Ustrina, after this I am never to socialize with their kind ever again. Goddess guide me.

He then pulled his head up again and took in a deep breath of air in a loud gasp. He hated water, but it helped him clear his head, since fire wasn't attainable at the moment. His camel let out a snort and nudged him gently.

“Good girl, we'll leave soon, I pray,” he said as he petted her, before putting the hood on again and wiped the water off his face.

He walks inside again and takes a seat at the bar. He pulls out his leather pouch with coins in and throws it at the desk. He could really use something to drink, since desert nights was dry and he wasn't going to drink water. But no one is around, still only him.

The sound of someone walking down a creaky stairway is then heard, as the first other noise of the day, and Dande turns to see who it is.

She's wearing tight pants, a scarf around her waist, a revealing top that shows both stomach and almost all of her bust, that are decorated with various necklaces, and a pair of fingerless gloves. Her hair is tied up with a piece of cloth, and reveals her thin neck. Katarina have an impressively slim body, and on bare feet, she elegantly walks down the noisy stairs and heads towards Dande by the bar.

“Morning, handsome,” she says and winks at him, before jumping up on the desk and crossing her legs. “Slept well?”

Although he's turned towards her, his gaze still hits the wooden desk. “No, the beds here are like stones,” is his answer.

“Aw you poor thing. A bed is always nice when shared,” she speaks with the usual seductive tone, and her hand crawls closer to him, slowly pulling herself along.

I know you think so...

He puts his pouch of coins back into the pocket of his pants, and keeps both his arms underneath the cape.

“Is something wrong?” she asks as she scoots closer again.

“No, everything is fine,” he says and leans away from her, as she leans closer. “Is your brother awake yet? We should get going before the town awakes.”

“I could go up and wake him... or we could just relax for a while, alone. You know, before the long trip we're about to make,” her voice is low as she leans in to whisper to him.

Dande is quick to stand up and take a few steps away from her.

“I think we'd better get going,” he says and fights to keep his voice steady and calm.

“Fine,” she huffs. “We'll be right there, then.” She jumps off the desk and walks away with swaying hips, that hypnotizes Dande's careful gaze.

 

It had felt like forever, and even the townspeople had begun to awaken, as he stood outside by the hitching rail and awaited the two pirates.

“We're all set to go,” he heard Owen's voice say, and he turned around to find them both smiling at him.

Dande decided not to comment on how long it took them to get ready, and mounted his camel. Whilst he watched Owen walk to his horse, he pulled in the hood so that the shadow would cover his face better, since the sun was already bright.

“I've never ridden a camel before,” Katarina said as she petted it.

“Well I kinda have to,” he said and shrugged, but then quickly realized he shouldn't have said that.

“Why?” she asked and looked up at him.

“Uh, never mind, I, uh... it's nothing,” he couldn't be quick enough with an excuse. He always had been a terrible liar.

“Can I try?” she asked with a smile and this certain glow in her eyes, that made it hard for him to say no.

“Don't you have your own horse?” he asked and looked around.

“No, I usually ride with my brother.” They both looked at him as he approached and then gave a handsome smile, as he tried to catch Dande's gaze, but he was quick to look away.

“Sure, let me just show you how to--” He was about to climb down from the camel, when he felt it move, and somehow Katarina had managed to mount it all by herself, despite claiming this had been her first time.

“Shall we?” she asked and smirked at him.

It took him a few seconds of silence for him to react, before he nodded to both of them, and they rode off in trot.

Although a few citizens was walking around, it was easy to ride between the houses. In the middle of it all, he felt a pair of hands crawl around him, and he flinched when a pair of gloved hands made it past the cape and touched his bare stomach. He pulled his left arm behind himself, so that Katarina wouldn't accidentally touch it.

It took him a while to gather his thoughts. “Could you... not hold me like that... when I'm riding?” He swallowed hard as his heart beat loudly.

“Oh! I'm sorry,” she said and her hands slowly glided off where they had trailed up to his chest.

“Thanks,” he mumbled lowly. Why did he feel disappointed, for some reason?

 

When they finally reached the harbor, Dande was very much relieved that Katarina climbed off the camel.

“Dande, could you hold my horse, whilst we go looking the ship we're going with?” Owen asked him and offered the reigns of his horse.

All he answered with was a nod, and reached out with his right hand, despite Owen standing on his left side, which caused the pirate to send him a wry look, but no words.

Katarina had already walked ahead and Owen ran quickly over to her, leaving Dande alone with a horse and a camel.

Goddess Ustrina, I pray for your guidance and pray to Leith, that the waters be safe and calm as we journey on to unknown land and sea.

He looked at the sun, and a fresh breeze smelling like salt water and fish went by and almost blew his hood off.

Despite how early it was, many ships and sailors were already working for the daily bread, and it was so much louder here, than the rest of the sleepy town.

When his eyes fell upon Owen and Katarina, he saw coins exchange hands.

How have they managed to get so much coin? he asked himself, although the answer was obvious. Right, Pirates.

“Dande!” Katarina shouted his name and waved her hand. “Come! We've found our ship!”

The ship was surprisingly large and a lot of crates was being boarded onto it. When he made is way to them, he handed the reigns to Katarina, whom didn't seem all too pleased with it as she guided it on board.

Dande was hesitant, as he leaned forward to look into the far down waters, and he felt his grip on the reign tighten. The camel seemed to give no sign of hesitation, as it began walking up the wooden plank that served as a bridge between the boat and the harbor. His legs around the camel tightened to a point where it even got painful for him, and his knuckles grew white as he held a tight grip on the reign.

“Something wrong?” Owen asked, where he stood next to Dande and his camel.

Dande quickly turned to look at him and took a few deep breaths.

“No, it's just that...” He swallowed hard and looked down at the water again.

Owen followed his gaze, with his hands in his pockets.

“Oh I think I understand... you can't swim, can you? And you have probably never been out in the open sea before.”

He was surprisingly accurate. It baffled Dande, and with wide eyes and an open mouth, he looked back at Owen, who simply smiled up at him. It was charming and friendly, first time Dande had witnessed such from him.

“No worries, I'm a perfect swimmer and have done this my entire life. You have nothing to fear when out there with me, I'll protect you.”

The smile he gave formed a strange feeling inside of Dande and his heart beat harder and louder.

As the camel made it aboard the boat, it still seemed careless to where it was.

“Dande, you can come down from the camel, you know,” Owen said and scratched the back of his head.

“Oh, yes, of course. I just...” he couldn't find a proper excuse. Everyone on the boat, literally, stared at him like he was the strangest thing they had ever come across.

He hesitated a lot when he crawled off the camel, and his legs quivered beneath him.

With a smirk, Owen walked over and leaned in to whisper. “No worries, it wont break.” He stomped a couple of times on the hard wood of the ship. “It's sturdy.”

His voice was soft and managed to calm Dande's knees, but not his heart.

“How long will the trip take?” Dande asked, and Owen shouted the same question.

“About a week,” some sailor said, whilst they all kept their stares at Dande.

“About a week,” Owen repeated and smiled.

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