Author: Sotsumi PM
FE9. "One must be of noble birth to serve the goddess." How does a young girl of a noble house rise to become Commander of Begnion's Holy Guard? Sigrun-centric.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Drama - Words: 1,533 - Reviews: 5 - Follows: 1 - Published: 03-14-08 - id: 4131010
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
This is going to be a multi-chaptered fic about a character that really sparked my interest on my most recent playthrough of Path of Radiance: Sigrun. The entire thing is going to be told from her perspective. I hope you enjoy it!
It was my birthday, but this birthday was different than those before. In the past, I would have been the center of attention; a celebration would be held in my honor. Things had changed. It didn't even feel real to me then, as, in mid-afternoon, I sat up in bed, curled in my summer quilt, staring out my window. Usually, I would have been scolded for such sloth, to be abed at this hour…but today my absence seemed to go unnoticed. A strange, strangled cry echoed in the corridor outside my room, seeming to grow in strength as it continued. Scarcely a minute later, the cathedral bell began to ring, the resonation carrying an echo that seemed as if it would never fade.
Seven tolls. I had a new infant brother. My value vanished instantly. I glanced back out the window, trying to decide what my future would now hold. How fitting that it was raining…
I was not allowed to sulk for long. Celia entered quietly, a cheerful -obviously fake- smile plastered on her lovely face.
"A boy. It's going to be quite a celebration, yes?"
I nodded, cheered a bit by her lilting accent, as I always was.
"Come, flowersweet." She urged, coaxing me from my rich cocoon. She always called me that, and only me. I assumed "flowersweet" was an endearment that didn't translate well from the ancient tongue, which Celia, like all herons, had spoken in her youth. Begrudgingly, I slunk to the cushioned stool in front of my vanity and collapsed heavily upon it. As expected, she drew the familiar brush from her pocket, shifting her blue-gray wings guiltily, an impish smirk on her lips.
Celia insisted that nothing brought the shine to my hair like boar bristle, but my father's wife forbade her from using such on my hair, insisting that a brush made from such inferior materials was not fit for a lady's hair. I owned several brushes and combs- beautiful, hard-toothed creations of silver inlaid with mother-of-pearl- that had once been my mother's. I had no love for them, and was actually delighted each time Celia smuggled in the brush she used on her own deep blue hair- a simple thing, made of unpolished wood, but carved smoothly- to use on my own. She would press a finger to her lips and I would revel in our secret rebellion and her trust in me to keep the secret.
When she was finished with my hair, my face would follow. She would paint my eyelids, as she always did, but my lips and cheeks she would leave alone, free of rouge, which Celia insisted that I was too young to wear.
"Beautiful." She declared, stepping back to survey her handiwork. "The young men will all want to dance with my beautiful flowersweet."
"No, they won't." I contradicted bluntly, killing her attempt at creating a light atmosphere. Effectively cut off, she helped me into my gown in somber silence. I immediately felt guilty for my harshness with her. Celia's future was as uncertain as my own; in truth, she was my father's slave, not mine, and now destined to be passed down to his son.
"I'm sorry." I told her, my eyes cast downward in humble apology, a side of me that few but Celia had ever seen. She reached out with a gentle hand and pulled me against her delicate frame.
"Things will work for good." She promised, stroking my hair soothingly. "You will marry a good man, have beautiful nestlings, and be so happy…"
Foolish as I was then, I believed her.
There was a party that night, but it certainly wasn't for me. I made an appearance, dressed in a pale blue gown, matching ribbons skillfully woven into my hair by Celia's deft hands.
My father received many congratulations that night, and he basked in them as a cat might bask in the sun. The woman-who-is-not-my-mother even made a brief appearance, met with almost as many congratulations as my father. As of that day, she had proven her worth, surpassing my own mother by doing what she could not: bear a son.
I passed the night in solitary obscurity, watching the festivities from the outskirts of the hall, sipping uninterestedly at a glass of wine-appropriately diluted for a girl of my age. The environment really wasn't one for a child, and I was bored to tears without my usual companions- the girls from House Damiell, who could not attend due to the illness of their youngest sister, a sweet toddler with wide brown eyes and a mop of soft black hair. With their absence, I expected to go unnoticed that night, but as the hour grew late, I was proven wrong. I finally decided that it was late enough to excuse myself to bed. My father was speaking to an unfamiliar blond man as I approached to request my excusal. I managed to catch a pause in their conversation, or, perhaps I created one…
"Father." I interjected, finally catching his attention. Rather than the stern glare I had expected for my interruption, my father glanced down at me with a pleased expression that seemed rather out of place on him.
"Lekain, I don't believe you've been introduced to my youngest daughter…I suppose she's my only now, with her sister's recent marriage."
"I have not." He confirmed, smoothing the thin, carefully-groomed mustache above his upper lip, and surveying me with some interest.
"Sigrun, this is Duke Gados." I blinked. He certainly was not the Duke Gados I remembered, a friendly, doddering old man that always struck me as lonely. Seeing my incredulity, "Duke Gados" explained.
"My Lord Uncle abdicated the position to me but a month ago." He did not explain this kindly, but with an irritating air of smugness.
"I'm sure you were ecstatic…" He seemed to miss the condescension in my voice, but my father did not, shooting me a warning glare, apparently, he wanted to make a good impression on this man, whom I had already labeled-in my own mind- a power-hungry bore. "Duke Gados." I tacked on as a "respectful" afterthought, dipping into a curtsy, my right hand- still holding the wineglass- catching the hem of my skirt in a practiced motion. It was a mocking gesture, quite lower than he was due from me, but, again, he seemed not to notice. Instead, he caught my left hand and pressed his lips to the back of it. "Naturally."
I was absolutely disgusted. No man had ever been so free with me before, and that was certainly not an appropriate greeting for a child. With great effort, I maintained an empty expression, looking to my father for assistance. There was none to be had; he simply beamed down at me.
"Your daughter is enchanting." The other duke told my father. I cringed.
"I'm glad you found her so." I was growing very irritated with their speaking as if I were not present.
"With time, I imagine she will become attractive…"
Fed up with this discussion, I chose to needle the new duke further. Raising my wineglass, I interjected "And here is to hoping, Goddess willing, one might someday be able to say the same of you." I drank, hiding my smirk against the glass. A moment's pause and I dared risk a glance upward. My father glared sternly down at me, as expected, but the other duke seemed quite amused.
"Sigrun, I think it's past time for you to retire." My father commanded. I was more than willing to comply.
The next morning, after a short meeting with my father, Celia came to wake me. Celia walked a thin line in the household: raising me properly, maintaining a friendship with me, and keeping my father pleased, all without displeasing his wife, who occasionally fancied Celia's appeal to him as more than a valuable, rather attractive, investment. It was true that he treated her far more gently than any of the other
slaves, but I think he pitied her. When I was small child, she used to soothe his nerves with her sweet voice, greet the morning with a light song…but that had been a long time ago. When I was six years old, it had become a simple fact that Celia did not sing.
She roused me from my sleep, songless, as she had been for the past five years.
"Father wants you, flowersweet."
…Don't make me beg.
….'Cause I will….
So, review. Please?