Chapter 1- The Kings’ Calling
Rhea did not like this place; not one bit.
Fiddler’s Island was her home, the place she lived and was safe from others. What separated Fiddler’s Island from the mainland was the Periphery Sea- a nice blue expanse of water holding reefs, fish, sharks and other wonders- and protection from the grasp of the Biotians.
Rhea was just minding her own business, as usual, relaxing in the shade of a tree outside of her home; only this time she was not accompanied by an animal. Suddenly, a dark, square shadow floated above her, dappling her head and spot she sat barefoot in. She had gingerly lifted her head to see what it was. Marked out in the trees, a white letter with a gold-laced seal that was ripped open floated down to her feet.It was white and speckled with spots where water had dried. The top was ripped open like a bear had torn it off eagerly to read. However, a cream letter peeked out. Rhea had curiously picked it up and flipped it in her fingers, drawing her fingertips over every texture and detail, embracing the feel. Inscribed in a beautiful and expensive-looking cursive font, was an invitation to a hearing of the King In the Biotyn Capitol, Royen, in the Capitol of Royen, Royendale.
Rhea didn’t know how a letter addressed to someone in Lunenviewtown, Lunenview's letter wound up here. Or of course, after the letter must’ve been read, the wind picked it up and flew it a few miles to Fiddler’s Island, which others might find terribly mysterious.
Rhea knew her risks of going and if she did not, but however, she went. The king was to expect everyone, after all. It was easy going across the sea to the land outcasted between Royen and the North Periphery Sea. Although where the meeting was held was about one mile away, Rhea got there with inhuman speed.
The sky was fair, dotted with wisps of clouds- big and large across the sky. The sun peeked out, lighting the scene ahead.
People, when she got there, were mobbing a wooden stage draped over in a red velvet cloth. An unnatural touch to nature. She definitely did not like this place, but not only that, but there were ten thousand people all from the Seven Regions all gathered around one large stage. Rhea approached from the back where people that came later and reaching up to see. She pushed to the front by weaving through the hordes of people until she had a clear view of the stage, although many, many people were ahead of her. Birds.They were like a flock of birds around something interesting.
Some looked tired like they didn't sleep. However, some must have been citizens from the very southern Southmight would have had to cross the whole Biotyn island to reach this destination. However, how? What if the person wasn’t from a capitol but lived in the outskirts were few lived, how would the outsiders have transportation? Mostly the people in the capitol, where everyone pretty much lived had horses and wagons and transportation. Walking would have been the most popular way of the outskirts folks. That would be grueling.
Rhea was now just waiting for something to happen, a king to appear, a speech, or someone to chase after her screaming something. Then, music like no other played. It was practiced and mastered…it was royal and graceful, like the finest threads of silk were harmonizing with trumpets of some sort.
As the loud blast of the music quieted, four men in red and blue uniforms with pinned bronze crowns appeared and went to the four corners of the velvet-draped stage.Rhea glanced around her surroundings, many speckled the crowd. The king wanted to get the order in a wild reunion like this. On stage, four more men appeared, only on the uniforms were pinned with a silver crown.
Rhea registered. Bronze probably meant works for royalty, but unimportant. Silver, more important. And gold must've been the most important, the king, a queen and a princess or prince were probably the only ones wearing this pin.
The four silver-crowed men carried two gold beams, two men for each. On top of that was a gold-framed throne studded with sapphires and rubies and emerald and diamond and other sparkling gems. Red velvet cushions were sewn into the parts a human would be on.
Rhea doubted he thanked Shiva, Rhalla, Mina or Mesallic; the four rock, gem, mineral and metal mistresses of Biotyn.
It was tradition to thank one of the Mistresses- who held spheres of influences - if you were given something in their sphere of influence, and a hunch told her that the King didn't give a single word to Shiva or Mesallic for the gems and gold in the throne.
Rhea’s attention turned sharper as the crowd stifled a gasp and cheers and as the guards looked as best as they could. There was no real big deal of the king of the capitol, the king of the capitol’s capitol was more of a bigger deal. But there was plenty other royalty out there to fan over. It was almost like a betrayal- the people that lived in a region ruled by someone else automatically followed the capitol’s capitols king.
As Rhea thought more into depth, she looked around to find the five other kings- which were possibly accompanied by children, advisors, and queens. After searching with eyes like a hawk, she spotted six silver chairs- which Rhea recognized the silver as in the second-importance pins- atop of them were five royal kings. More chairs- a bronze-silver tinted this time- were put out around them.
In the first silver chair was King Peter of Lunenview, accompanied by a woman in a yellow gown and a small child- which Rhea recalled as Queen Kyla and son William. They appeared quite quaint in their condition.
In the second chair was King Arson of Southmight. With a woman adorned in a juniper-green gown with the strict looking girl with an inky and dark purple dress that looked like poison- Queen Shira and the heir Hecana, like Hecana- they looked quite warlike and strict, just like the Southmight reputation.
In the third chair was King Shane of The Kingdom of the Coast with Queen Opal in a coral colored garment with two girl twins in matching floral outfits. Those were the two twin princess, Rose, and Ari. King Shane looked incredibly stressed, Queen Opal looked like for weeks she had been comforting him, and the girls looked as carefree as ever.
The fourth held King Marshall of Raphen and his Queen Kina in a silk red dress with son Dexton. Al looking very plain and patient with their situation currently.
The fifth chair was King Tylen of Middlefint, only with his Queen Daiya looking very bored sitting and standing, hardly unimpressed and proud of themselves- just like Middlefint.
The sixth chair held King Sander of Piperton with Queen Allia and one younger son, Prince Troyen. The all looked fine and hard to read. But one single man that looked her age stood quietly below them. Of course, he was royalty given ho he had a chair of his own- but his identity a mystery with herself. Rhea immediately felt uncomfortable not knowing the name of a royal.
The man sat down and Rhea attention was pulled away to look at the stage, where someone started playing an instrument to get each person’s attention. Sure enough, it did. The whole crowd turned their heads to look as the event started.
First, there were footsteps, many thumping against the velvet stage, then, a form appeared. The man called King Fredrick of Royen, who was draped with fur capes and sparkling crowns filled with jewels. King Fredrick wasn’t the fittest, yet he was brisk, with cropped blonde hair. Behind him, a woman in a flowing and lavender dress waited silently, and suspiciously to Rhea’s eyes.
Fredrick of Royen cleared his throat and everything went silent, not a sound echoed out for the king's words were important-important to everyone else but herself.
“I have called you here today.” He said dramatically as Rhea readied herself for the worst to come, “To introduce you to someone. As well as to discuss other news, of course.”
She almost scoffed. He required the gathering of every single person to introduce someone- by the day after tomorrow's sundown the news would have covered it and the word would have been spread far and wide like the winds. But of course like Middlefint, the king had to be obnoxious and proud.
“First, I would like to greet our fellow royalty.” Fredrick extended his hand to the six chairs and other fellow royalty. They all waved and bowed silently, the crowd did not scream, but clapped- which was like a roaring thunder with thousands of hands making noises, “and then discuss our recent news- that is far worthy to be discussed.”
“First off, I would like a moment of silence for King Shane of the Kingdom of the Coast’s, Queen Opal’s and Princesses Rose’s and Ari’s loving mother, mother-in-law and grandmother former Queen the Fair Trinity.”
The king went silent and the crowd didn't even breathe. In respect, Rhea bowed her head to the Fair Trinity- the last person to ever see the Great Mistress Biota herself. No one else had ever seen Biota in fifty-two years after that. Not only that, but Fair Trinity was one of the only Biotin to defend and protect Fiddler's Island, and she could only hope she passed her qualities of protecting her home-not mysterious island- from harm onto her son King Shane, and granddaughters Rose and Ari. But she had died weeks ago, at the age of 82.
The king lifted his head and cleared his throat. “Thank you” He continued, “Now, a list of ones that could be potentially harming to us.”
“Ye Fiddler’s Island folk they be!” suddenly a shout drifted through the air like winds. Rhea whirled to find the source and found someone. It was shouted by an old man in the crowd who looked encrusted in barnacles and had grimy clothes and one shut eye, “No one can trust someone from Fiddler’s Island, they are trouble in our towns, terror in our cities, dangers to the sea and horrifying to our eyes!”.
A circle of startled people had cleared in a large circumference around the man, forcing Rhea, clearly offended to the bone, back. However, she wedged herself forward to the tide of people before the was in the second or third row closest to the man. Already, bronze-pinned guards were pushing their way through an ocean of people to get to him.
“Aye, I lost me eyes looking at it!” He shouted outward into the air and echoing it off the hills and trees. “The waves came alive and I was pulled under, I washed up horrified, I tell ye, horrified! I was blind in a single eye, and it was Fiddler’s fault.” he spat and looked up bitterly, his bloodshot gaze scorching the crowd with absolute loathing and malice. “I want an eye.” He pointed crookedly at his sealed shut eye, and pointed to the southwest direction, the way towards Fiddler’s Island before shouting “for an eye!”.
He turned in a circle swiftly and sharply and so suddenly that the crowd gasped and stuttered backward. “Ye hear my words? Never to be trusted!”
Then like a riptide or a sudden wave, the guards were there picking him up off his feet. He protested loudly and cursed as he was lifted against his will to go somewhere, somewhere unknown.
The only way this man was alive was that he washed up onshore, and Rhea knew very well there were no alive-waves on the border of Fiddler’s Island, a rather large one with no life must’ve hit his boat hard, and he floated away and washed up on the shore of Biotyn.
“Folly.” was all Rhea whispered to herself her voice growing louder and louder as she spoke on, “complete folly!” she caught herself briskly shouting at the man as the parting crowd moved as the bronzepin guards struggled to carry a squirming pirate. The people disapproved the man who was struggling against the grip of the guards as he was carried. Her voice harmonizing negatively with the chorus of other harsh tones and words.
Fredrick of Royen held his hand up for silence- it was in the air for many moments before he held the attention of the crowd.
“Thank you, old man, for your unwanted opinion,” he stated, his tone not gracious but incredible disapproving that scratched Rhea on the inside. “Although these people may be from Fiddler's Island, they may be not, now let me continue onwards.” his voice was blunt, he stared wrathfully with disappointment at the crowd before unfurling a scroll loudly and beginning to read bitterly. His expression was extremely obvious, it was credulity. In a disgruntled tone, he began:
“Lemming Haggarrd of Raphen for potential thievery, Dreverd Yousown of Middlefint for potential thievery, Lione Treesop of Middlefint for trespassing, Rerodo Gretlemit of the Kingdom of the Coast for attempted thievery of crown and attempted murder, Juni Prew for attempted murder, and Rhea of Unknown for trickery and attempted harm and Berbon of Royen for witchcraft.”
The crowds' reaction was to whisper and talk and gasp about the names that were stated. Rhea, however, stayed motionless in her spot, pondering over other things.
Then a citizen called out, “were they not they invited to your gathering?”
The King regarded the man, a sturdy and stocky one, from his stage before taking a breath to reply. “Of course not.” he said, “I would not invite harm right into the the heart of Biotyn, and the heart or Royen.”
The king by now was rather annoyed of all his interruptions and glaring looks from the crown and guards. He was rampaging his mind to find out how to keep the gathering rather alive.
He clapped his hands together, “I must introduce someone special to you!” he called out.
Rhea watched with narrowed eyes as the woman in the gown stepped forward with grace and pride. The king gestured her forward as he watched the faces of the crowd.
“As you know, the ex-queen Grace is now an ‘ex’, this is Queen Laura, the new ruler with myself of Biotyn and Royen!”
The crowd exploded in cheer, and Rhea felt like her ears were burning away with the noise, while the king was basking in the love and the claps and whoops of the crowd present to him now. Did he say ruler of Biotyn? He was the ruler of the capitol of Biotyn, the people were stewards of Biotyn (More or less)- it wasn’t ruled, not by this man especially.
“Thank you; thank you!” he called out, waving.
Rhea found it so ironic how he was taking in the applause for his queen. He was just like a cloud, absorbing up every bit of praise, even if it was not directed towards him
As the king was standing and waving with a plastered and golden smile on his face, Lauren bowed to her new subjects, she was bent down with her lavender gown baffling in the breezes. As she was lifting back up, her eyes drew over the crowd. Right until they met Rhea’s sturdy and emotionless hazel-colored gaze, staring right back at her. They locked. Rhea glimpsed on comfort in her expression, and she tilted her head while the queen was still staring back at her; startled.
Finally, Queen Lauren looked away while Rhea remained perfectly calm. The king raised his hand for silence, and the crowd quieted as is a giant hand clamped their mouths shut in an instant.
“Thank you. Now, friends, you have many people to mingle with!” he called. Rhea caught a note of strain and disappointment in his tone. However, he needed something interesting to happen to carry on the party, but preferably something to give him praise.
Out of the corner of her eyes, she saw King Shane and Queen Opal leave their chairs in a rush and disperse in the crowd with tense shoulders. Briskly, Rhea strode over to them. Her mind was not grasping a plan at the moment. Nonetheless, she approached the rulers with determination,
She stopped abruptly in front of them and bowed curtly, with her white summer dress waving behind her with the gentle breezes.
Up close, Queen Opal had feathery blonde hair and wrinkles of age, but she was beautiful with a natural perplexion and dull but gorgeous green eyes. King Shane had close-cropped black hair and sea blue eyes filled with a thousand troubles.
“King Shane, Queen Opal. Such a pleasure to be in your presence today.” she lifted out of her bow gingerly, looking for their expressions while keeping a pleased one on her face.
“Please.” Queen Opal regarded sweetly. She spread her arms out open in a welcome, “It is our pleasure to meet a fine Biotian like you on this fine day.” Rhea nodded, and by looking at Queen Opal could distinguish a little strain but gratitude in her expression.
“Thank you, Queen Opal.” Rhea started again, lacing her hands. She was not nervous to talk to such royalty. Kings and Queens and heirs of all kinds had always wanted to keep in touch with the people, that’s what she had heard. “But you must say that to everyone.”
The Queen of the Kingdom of the Coast gave her a sideways smile, “only the ones who I like the most.”
Rhea returned the smile matching on her face as a thank you, ignoring the bustling people shifting around her like she was in the center of a beehive, even if they were pushing her around. “You are too kind, my Queen.”
This made Opal blush.
Rhea turned to address King Shane, but the smile melted from her face and replenished with a supple but concerned face he seemed to be distant from her in front of him. He was looking solemnly at the ground, with furrows in his brow. Rhea was trying to reach out and grasp something to say to the King. She could not act like he was her friend, they had just met and she needed to have a polite manner. But it seemed challenging to comfort someone that was practically a stranger and be so polite.
She curtseyed shakily, “King Shane, I see you are distressed. Is there anything I can do to help?” she finished as she stood again, feeling there should’ve been more to her sentence.
King Shane lifted his head and looked at her with a weak expression as Queen Opal looked rather interested in her actions.
“I’m sorry my condition has made you speak out to me for it.” he apologized hastily, “with the Fair Trinity passing I'm mourning her loss.”
Rhea swallowed, “we all are, my King. It must be especially hard for you.”
Shane only nodded solemnly. Rhea felt so distant yet so close to him and the tears forming in his eyes. King Shane had shed too many tears for more to fall, particularly in public.
“What region are you from?” Queen Opal implied, changing the subject like she had done many times before for Shane.
Rhea froze internally, the consequences of telling them the truth would be tremendously dangerous and humiliating for someone like her. If they were to find out she was from Fiddler’s Island she would be betrayed by strangers and avoided with incredible skill. If anyone on the royal line, such as the King and Queen of the Kingdom of the Coast, they would connect the dots and banish her… somewhere horrendous.
The only answer was to lie, and if such further if circumstances evolved to be as incredible as so.
“South southwest Lunenview.” Rhea stated calmly, making sure her white fib was not breaking through into her voice or expression.
“Ah, so not in Lunenviewtown.” King Shane observed, (quite obviously) with a forced smile.
“Yes. I live in the outskirts. One home, small, small home.”
A look of grief and concern passed over the Queen’s Face like a passing cloud on a windy day. “That does not sound very… pleasurable.” Rhea tilted her head in confusion. “Such a small cottage alone in the outskirts-”
“I assure you, Your Majesty, my life is just fine. Thank you, though.”
The Queen curtly nodded and glanced away for moments before her attention refocused on her. “What is your name?”
There was no suspicion in her voice. Good. but Rhea had to lie. Had to lie. However, she had never lied about her name before. This name had to stick with her in case this happened again.
“No one in particular.” Rhea started. As she opened her mouth to start again and say the word, the king had decided to make this gathering interesting and benefit his reputation, and a bronze-pin guard blew his horn, making the king and queen say farewell to ‘no one in particular’. Rhea turned her attention to the stage, where the king was standing triumphantly.
“Guards!” He announced, flicking his finger “the ones scattered about this magnificent crowd, I want you to choose one person to give a blessing of new beginnings to Queen Lauren and myself.”
What selfishness! The king added himself in the throng to be blessed, he needed to acquire the compliments of the citizens for his pride and gaining in a hierarchy. Rhea immediately inferred that he meant the guards being called ‘the ones’ were being called ‘the bronzepins’ in King Fredrick’s own little way. She turned her attention to the new queen, Lauren seemed frazzled in her current condition; she did not look like she acquired a blessing.
The movement then channeled her attention elsewhere; already, a bronzepin guard was pushing through masses of people begging him to take them to the king. What annoyed her most was the citizens falling to their knees with tears falling down their cheeks dramatically screaming ‘the king! Please, take me to the king!’.
The guard did not give any spare moments of his time to those who begged him. He moved on instantly from them. As he drew closer, Rhea noticed he had a rugged jawline, dark hair and upright hair, was about six inches taller and had a regal expression. In his hands was a black crossbow, carrying arrows. But what surprised Rhea most was that his eyes were a striking and electrifying light blue, far bluer than any crystal ocean and far bluer than sapphire. It was like shards of azure lightning were trapped inside his eyes. She looked at them for too many heartbeats.
While studying his eye color intently with thousands of different adjectives rushing through her head about the hue of his iris, she noted those same eyes were still and knew they were being watched, the moment she realized this her and the guard's gaze locked for an instant.
When she stopped looking distantly at his eyes and realized he thought she was looking at him, not observing his ocular tint she; noted his face. His facial expression was mildly astonished, with his eyebrows arched to the top, staring back at Rhea who was successfully putting a confident look on her face.
A thought flashed through Rhea’s mind. I hope he didn’t think I was looking at him. I was watching his eyes. Her confident mask faltered for a second, and immediately the guard (who began to observe back at her) noticed.
His arched eyebrows melted into a charming look, complimented by his full-tooth, gleaming white smile that spread across his lips. His sudden change in expression made Rhea’s heart jump; especially when it was the slightest bit engrossing.
He walked closer before coming to a full stop in the newly silenced area of the crowd. Did his eyes just glint? Did he just wink at her? Before she knew it, his hand was on her arm.
“Ma’am.” he stated in the most alluring voice, “I chose you to be the representative for this area.” Rhea’s eyes were widened and her jaw clenched as he said his words, startled, nonetheless.
Citizens around her either clapped, balled their fists, started bawling, or fainted. The mixed results got her even more uncomfortable than she was. She blinked hard, calming herself to her collected and controlled person.
The guard then started to walking her towards the stage. He gently held her arm and started to put a hand around her torso, slowly. In a smooth sidestep, Rhea dodged away from his fingers.
“I can walk myself, thank you very much.” she retorted sharply, making her point clear to the guard. A cheeky smile spread across his face.
“Ah, I see,” he replied pleasantly- it was all he said before he fell into step with her, making her way through semi-parting people. They walked in silence for moments with eyes flickering at them before he leaned in toward her.
“You’re welcome, by the way.”.
Rhea’s breath caught in her lungs for a second before she answered in a sarcastic tone, “why would I have the need to thank you, exactly? Please, explain- I’d like to be amused.”
His smile widened as if seeing her as a challenge. He did not reply at first but waited. After only moments of his stupid unnecessary trick she only used in situations when she was cornered, she realized what he was doing. Right before she was about to mention how she saw his plan of making her speak first and sound flustered and make him entertained, he spoke.
“You probably saw the peasants falling to their knees to plead me to bring them to royalty, sobbing,” he stated confidently, raising his chin proudly and hefting his crossbow. “Others were standing silently, but I knew they were hoping the same thing. I assumed you were one of the citizens who desired to pledge to the King and Queen.”
At once, her thoughts were to tell him off, then expose his plan; but a train of thoughts appeared in her mind. Of course, the six words would catch him in a flaw. It almost made her smile to know that this arrogant guard would make a fool of himself.
“Are you calling me a peasant?” She pointed out, her tone purposely sweet and hurt at the same time, but she knew that it showed that she was trying to get a reaction out of the guard.
His face faltered like a wingbeat of a startled butterfly, his smile remained but his eyes turned flustered. “N-no. No ma’am.” from the sound of his voice, he seemed to be fighting sounding scared with sounding enticing. Then he raised an eyebrow, and his eyes turned fine again, “I’m not calling you a peasant. I didn’t catch your name, by the way.”
Rhea almost felt excited to use her new fake name, but decided against it, for who she was talking to, “why would you care?”.
“Because if I meet someone as extraordinary as you, I’d like to learn their name.” he charmed, then winked at her. Rhea couldn’t help but feel heart-warmed, and she felt her cheeks warm and turn pink. She couldn’t help but blush. Of course, it was a tacky retort, but no one had ever said something as heartfelt as that to her. Then she remembered this was an audacious bronzepin guard working for king Fredrick of Royendale.
“I’d rather not,” Rhea said sharply, shooting a flint-sharp look at him from the small distance below. Only her eyes did not commit. They did not seem to harden, making her affect perfect. She couldn’t help feeling touched, just for a moment. So her irises seemed to be playful and sparkling- like she was trying too hard to hate him, “and I’ve known you for what, two minutes now?”
“But we met.” He said after a few moments with a confident tone.
Rhea turned away from him. Then Rhea just couldn’t help but ponder how they have been walking for two minutes, and the stage was still hoarded by people, and far away. She took a breath, they were drawing closer with every step. Oh, how easy it would be to have it her way and get over there- in seconds. But her way was far too dangerous, especially with the whole Biotyn, masses of guards, and royalty present.
“And don’t think I didn’t notice.” he added.
Rhea pursed her lips and furrowed her brow in confusion. “Notice what?”
She saw a laugh daring to breach through his smiling mouth as she relaxed and tilted her head to the side. Before she could say ‘Fiddler's’ Island’ he started to chuckle, a laugh escaped his mouth.
“How is this funny?” She asked, “tell me-what?”.
He stopped himself quickly, which was the appropriate choice because he didn't really know what Rhea could do, then oddly looked at her. “When I-when I was to choose a representative, I saw you-” a large grin passed his face, “and you were, quite intently, staring at me.”
Rhea closed her eyes and-and took a breath of air. She hesitated before she spoke aloud, and shot him a scathing glare.
“Do you really believe I was staring at you?” she asked, rhetorically.
A hurt emotion flashed in his eyes for less than a second, and Rhea wondered if she came out too harsh- at least not too unbelievable. She winced, she felt like she went too far with a burning sensation.
“Look.” She started again, watching her tone carefully and spreading her hands,“I was looking at you, true, but not you- your, uh, eyes.”
As she finished, he nodded. “Understandable-yes, it’s such a…” he trailed off.
“Electrifying?” She suggested.
He pointed at her for her answer to him, “yes, that’s it. It’s such an electrifying color, but usually people like you, don’t…” again, he trailed off in search for the appropriate word to match the sentence.
“Yes, observe, my eyes.” he finished evenly.
Rhea understood. “Yes.” she started slowly, as the guard gave her inquiring look, “Exactly. Such an electrifying color should attract some attention- to your eyes of course.”
This made him, unexpectedly, smile. He smiled as if pleased that his eyes would shine a spotlight of people looking at him, but in this scenario, Rhea was observing. That was her thing; to observe the world around her. She needed to be aware, with her reputation.
Rhea scoffed, before turning her head away. “And you are?”
“McFaint.” He answered immediately, his voice proud, “Johnathan McFaint.”
She acknowledged this, then turned her full (or almost full) attention to the very close and nearing stage. Already, ahead of the parting crowd to let them through, the closest people were in the line up the velvet steps, but there were at least fifty people in the line. She quickly he pivoted her head and saw that behind her more parting citizens and more people cutting their way difficulty through this mess of a gathering.
In a flash of seconds, she was that the very back of the line. Briskly, she quickly counted the line, and she was in spot number fifty-three in the line. Already she guessed each person would take about thirty seconds, so she would be in this line for a half an hour.
By the time she was at spot number twenty, with ten minutes to go, no one had joined the line. But still behind her was roughly another fifty people. She spent most of the time thinking of what she was was going to say to the new royal couple.
With only one minute to go in spot number three, she finally paid attention to the blessing of the king and queen, a man walked onto the stage and started.
“I am Durdanish Luxford, a knight at Middleburg castle.” instantly, Rhea found Durdanish Luxford unpleasant, “I grant you, King Fredrick, enjoyable days to come; the sun and friendly breezes.” he bowed deeply, reaching far too down, “And to you, Queen Lauren, a good relationship with this lovely man.”
He stepped off with his nose and chin high in the air. The next person, a woman draped in dirty cloth. She was undoubtedly a peasant and poor, but she came.
“I-I want, I bless you with being fair to all the people on this wonderful island, including the outcast Fiddlers, for you will receive it back.”
King Fredrick stared at her for moments before giving her a wary and curt nod.
Rhea firmed her jaw as she stepped up onto the stage with a devastating creak in the shabby wood below velvet. The king’s mouth spread into a sickening smile.
“King.” She stated firmly, making sure a bitter base was in her words, “I bless you with good luck, and the find it where you need it. Also the ability to treat well, because you need it.”
A doubtful look passed over his face before he furrowed his brows, returned with a smile and gave her a nod. Rhea moved over to the queen.
She made her face fall, implanting an expression to get her think something was wrong, then she lowered her eyes. It was a sly trick, but Rhea did feel pity for Lauren, for she was married to Fredrick.
“ I wish you persistence. Courage, you will need it. Also, relaxation for when life gets you tense.” She told her, really meaning every word. As a new queen, she would be both hated and loved and she deserved some time to her queenly self.
Queen Lauren blinked. “Thank you.” She whispered, only loud enough for Rhea to hear. “You-uh.”
“Saw your uncomfort, true.”
Laurens mouth parted in a small gasp before she forced a very uncomfortable smile and nodded. “Yes. And, uh-”
“My queen.” Rhea said immediately once the ruler recovered, “Let us not make this awkward.” Rhea felt her cheeks redden, probably to the color of dawn roses, even more awkwardly.
Lauren seemed to want to snap at her for interrupting or seemingly being a leader in that situation, but she breathed, seeing it worked.
“ I wish to see you once more.”
Rhea didn’t reply to the Queens attempts at a friendly bond yet walked right off the stage and down the creaking wooden stairs. There was really nothing more to do here than leave why not do it now.
“Ah, nice. Such creativity to a blessing.” An annoyingly familiar voice said beside her. The same electric-blue eyes looked right at her eyes, which were narrowed and sharp like flint.
“Why are you here?”
“I’m a guard, it’s my duty.”
Oblivious. Just oblivious to her. She pivoted and walked Southwest towards her home.
“No. I finished, I’m leaving- why are you now walking with me?” she sped up her pace and shouldered her way quicker through the crowd, making it more difficult for her to walk. She was curious to see what Jonathan had in mind.
Of course, having a royal bronze pendant on his armor and crossbow the crowd parted for him-but not Rhea.
She stopped short and glared at him. “Why what?” she walked even faster staying in the Southwest direction. She seemed to almost like this redundant attention, but not quite.
“Why would you leave such a grand gathering like this?” he pestered onward, catching up to her in quick and confident strides while Rhea was almost jogging away. For a mere second, he seemed to reach out with his hand to stop her, but hesitated and just continued to walk.
“The gathering has come to an end.” She explained simply, trying to make her voice sound as collected as she could when she was striding away at full speed. “Why would a bronzepin like you care?”
His head tilted, and yet his dark hair stayed the same. “I see you figured out the system.”
“It’s not that hard.” she commented quickly.
His symmetrical smile appeared with crinkles at the corners of his eyes. He glanced away quickly before returning back to her gaze- which was deadly serious. “I just care.”
“That's not a legible reason.”
“I'm not so sure, actually. It must just be something about you.” he calmly replied.
“Great,” Rhea said a second later, with a sarcastic tone. She gazed at him for a second, thinking again. He was trying so hard, wasn’t he? But he was a guard, for Fredrick, nonetheless.
She inhaled deeply and walked away slower this time. He did not follow.