The Whore, the Knights & the Librarian

Marie Haine is thirteen summers and the youngest daugther of the Duke and Duchess of Pretonia. She is newly betrothed to the King of The Moonlight Isles and will be his 9th wife. Rumours are that King Francis XVIII has killed and devoured Marie's predecessors but her parents insist that she must go through with the marriage. They have gone so far as to lock her in her room - guarded day and night - because the last time they tried to wed off a daugther, she fled and vanished. Now Marie's three brothers Nikolaii, Cesare and Peter travel to her missing sister - who is now Captain of one of the most infamous pirate ship in The Five Seas - to get her help and free Marie from her nearly sealed destiny. NB! I am writing this for ma'self, and there currently isn't anyone else who reads this so as the lazy person I am I haven't editted any of it. Should there at some point be someone out there who actually reads this and actually cares about whether it's editted... then please do tell me!

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2. Forcible Wedlock

Peter Haine's POV - Eight years after the Prologue

Marie Haine was my beautiful big sister and though she was only thirteen summers old, she was to be married before summer ends. Most young women would rejoice to get married this fast and to a King nonetheless. King Francis of The Moonlight Isles. Still non of us least of all Marie found any comfort in the prospect... King Francis was twenty-nine summers old and had already lived far longer than her. Hearsay had it that he was quite fond of women and that his pleasures sometimes could be considered heinous or violent. Marie was to be his 9th wife. He's married a new young woman each year, since his wives never lasted longer than a year after the wedding. They all died in freak accidents. Since it was highly unlikely that every bride he took died from a freak accident in the primetime of their lives, many people suspected that the King was behind it. It was rumored that he needed virgin hearts to survive... that he was some freak creature never seen before.

"You shouldn't worry so much, Marie. I'm sure he's sweet and loving. These accidents... it is possible that they're just that... freakishly unlucky accidents" I took her hand and tried to smile reassuringly - it didn't work.

"I know. Of course. You're right" I loved my sister so much and seeing her like this broke my heart. I had always looked up to her as my savior to imagine that she could look so fragile and affraid was scary.

"I will save you, Marie. I promise you. I will find some way to get you out. I promise... with all my heart" I squeezed her hand and hugged her.

"Don't get yourself into trouble because of me, Speedy. I'll survive"

"I told to stop worrying so much" I smiled and she kissed my forehead.

"You better go, you have latin now with our good Maester"

"I love you, sister"

"I love you more, little brother"

"I love you the most" one last time I gave her a wide smile and left.

That morning I spend many walking the hallways of Alcátay. I wanted to save my sister but our parents had had her locked away - guarded day and night -, to make sure she did not act as my other sister Anne did, and I was mere twelve summers, I would never have been able to break down her door and carry her away... not without assistance anyway. I had thought about ever since the wedlock was announced. Such a matrimony had been expected ever since Anne's escape. The king had already married daughters of the highest ranked noble families in the five seas all except one from the Haine House of Pretonia. Stil it came as a shock for us all. Summers end and the beginning of a marriage was but four fullmoons left. Time was short and that was why I now found myself knocking on the door to the room of my brother Cesare.

"Come in" saith my brother crouched over a big map studying the ways of the various noble families. He was studying to become a knight like our eldest brother and twin to Anne, Nikolaii Haine - count of Jabarre and heir to Alcátay.

"Goodmorning dear brother" I said meakly scared of what must follow.

"Oh, goodmorning Peter. What brings you here at this time, I thought you had latin with the Maester?" he looked at me smiling for a moment before returning his gaze to the maps spread out on his desk. I hesitantly stepped closer.

"I... I thought we might discuss the matter of Marie" you might assume that I am a very polite and wellspoken twelve summers old boy but I only spoke in this way to my brothers when I was very nervous and Cesare knew this. He detached himself from his study and looked me deep in the eyes.

"What about her?"

"I... well I have been thinking... I... Cesare?"

"Go on"

"We need to save her" the words came falling out of my mouth before I even had the time to think properly.

"What on Earth do you mean?" Cesare was looking very serious at me now and I shrank a little.

"I... We just have to, Ces. You know what they say about the King and if even an inch of it is truth then we are leaving Marie to a terrible  destiny" I felt my confidence growing with every word, "we have to save her!"

Cesare laughed, it was a sad and pityfull laughter, "I am sorry, Speedy," he said and ruffled my hair, "this is not for us to decide. We do not have any choice in the matter. The King himself requested her"

"The King himself requested Anne. She escaped" I scowled and tried to look brave and untouchable. 

Like everyone else in the family Cesare flinched at the mention of his lost sister. Even though Peter and Cesare never had much contact with their sister - her growing up in Alcátay and them growing up in respectively Rosenwood, Crucia and Biér, Havena - they had both been affected by her disappearence.

"We are not to talk about Anne. What she did was wrong. We both know that Marie should be ecstatic with the upcoming wedding. It is an honor"

"No. It is not" I raised my voice and stepped closer to him our faces barely an inch from eachother, "we must save her. It is our duty as her brothers. Our duty"

I knew that Cesare felt the same way as I but he was to stubborn and fed up with the codes of knights to willingly realize it. I had to break through this amor and that I did. Cesare fell back into his chair and rubbed his eye sighing.

"I am sorry, Speedy. There is no way for us to do this. I mean, we can't just break down her door and save her. Where would we go?"

"We need to stop the King. It is easy to see that something's wrong. We need to save and hide Marie and then figure out how to expose the King" I could feel the excitement fluttering like butterflies in my heart.

"What you speak of is treason"

"It is not impossible. We need to get help from Nikolaii. He knows where Anne is and.."

Cesare quickly interrupted my trail of thoughts, "wait, what? Anne? That's not happening. And besides, how would Nikolaii know where Anne is. Noone knows where Anne is"

I smiled knowingly. Nikolaii had a few times let something about Anne slip in my presence. He had said that a few of his so-called "travels" had led him into the arms of our lost sister... that she had made a new life for herself never using her true name but by going under the alias of Captain Dash of The Savage - one of the most infamous pirateships.

"He does. He's crossed her path on a few of his 'travels'"

"That is a lie, Speedy, and you know it"

"In any case we need his help. Are you in or out" I said. Cesare furrowed his brows and sat there silently thinking for a long time before finally saying "I am in" and with those words he began furiously running around his room packing a small bag.

"We must go to Nikolaii now, Speedy. Do you know where he is?"

"Yes, I do"

I led the way down the stairs and into the courtyard, we crossed it until we reached the library.

"I should told myself that this is where he would be" Cesare sighed a tired smile on his lips.

I silently opened the door to the library and we snuck in. This business we were about to discuss was of utmost secrecy. 

"Nikolaii" I called out, "are you there?"

A head emerged from among the many racks of books "Speedy? Ces? What are you doing here" he asked with wonder in his voice - you see, it is not common for neither Cesare nor I to be seen in library.

"We have something important to discuss with you" Cesare said.

"We need to save Marie" once again the words just blurted out and I silently cursed myself.

"What are hinting at, brothers"

"You know what we're hinting at, Nikolaii. You more than anyone knows what's going on!"

"Speedy is right. Something's wrong"

"We need to find Anne"

"No" both of my brother said at once but all they gained was a strengthening of my beliefs.

"Yes, we do"

"Non of us even know where she is" Nikolaii said

"LIAR!" I shouted, "you know where she is, you've told me so yourself!" Nikolaii blushed and Cesare looked at him with a mix of curiousity and anger.

"You know where she is?" he asked amazed never taking his eyes of Nikolaii.

"She would never help us. She has left this life behind her a long time ago"

"I think she would" I said and looked at Ces.

"I don't know about this but it seems to be the only option. Nikolaii?" 

Nikolaii sighed resignedly and nodded.

I smiled, "alright then, we leave tonight at midnight" 

 

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