|Whistle Against the Wind
Author: Kaze-no-Tenshi89 PM
Suggestions of marriage have Nausicaä on edge. While her betrothed prince seems perfect, Asbel and Lord Yupa's return makes her question his kindness. A past betrothal is brought into the light as as her own destiny seems to be slipping away.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Adventure - Chapters: 5 - Words: 12,006 - Reviews: 28 - Favs: 19 - Follows: 27 - Updated: 06-17-09 - Published: 09-03-08 - id: 4517305
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
So after a 5-month break… I'm back! School was kind of kicking the crap out of me so I had virtually no time to write… and I'm really sorry about that! However, it's summer now!! Yay! And here's your next chapter!
Disclaimer: I do not own Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. It belongs to the wonderful Hayao Miyazaki and to Studio Ghibli.
Whistle Against the Wind
Chapter 5 - Plans and Deceit
He didn't need all the light in the world to know that he was deep in the castle. It was damp and cold and Asbel knew he was completely alone down there. He guessed from the state of his dungeon chamber that these hadn't been used for many, many years. Maybe even a hundred years. Cobwebs littered the ceilings, rats scurried in and out of the tiny light set off by the lone candle on the wall. The bars were rusty, but not rusty enough to break free from.
From where he was, he had no idea where even the stairs out of this place would be, so he couldn't even hopelessly stare in that direction, waiting for someone to come rescue him.
It was only him, his thoughts, and the rats in his cold, damp hell.
Nausicaä sat in front of her mirror, slowly combing her long auburn hair. It was early, as the sun had just risen, but she found that lately she couldn't sleep well. Getting up early and finding things around the castle to busy herself with seemed like the only remedy these days. She certainly didn't want to go talk with Prince Cáel; he had proven himself to not be the conversationalist she thought he was. As for Asbel, she'd love nothing more than to go talk to him right now. However, she was certain that Prince Cáel would be angry if he found out she spoke with Asbel. "Where is Asbel, anyway? I haven't seen him since Prince Cáel spoke with him in the garden…"
Praying that the prince had nothing to do with why Asbel had been unseen lately, Nausicaä returned to getting ready. She was to meet the prince soon in the dining hall to start going over the wedding arrangements.
Of all the things she had to do in her life, even compared to saving her entire valley from the raging ohmu, this was the most difficult. Marrying a man she had no desire to was one of the toughest things she felt she could ever go through. The thing was, she knew she had to do it. It would be selfish not to go through with it. A betrothal is promise, a promise one should not break for the sake of one's people.
Nausicaä took one last look in the mirror at herself before heading down to the dining hall. Her hair was pulled back slightly, revealing her face better. It was her eyes, though, that were the problem. The ones that were once so full of life were beginning to fade from a rich brown to a dull gray.
"Perhaps this is what happens to all who rule? To all who must put aside their own wishes and instead follow the needs of their people?"
Perhaps… but she could honestly not recall one day where she saw such lifelessness in the eyes of her father… even as he lay on his deathbed.
The dining hall was filled with more people than Nausicaä had been expecting. The long table was filled with cooks, seamstresses, florists, and many others from the valley. A wedding, of course, is a very complex thing.
"Ah, good morning princess." Prince Cáel stood up from the table to greet Nausicaä as she entered the room. He had his usual smile on his face and his arrogant charm seemed to be turned up another notch to impress the valley people even more. Nausicaä kept her distasteful thoughts to herself and smiled at the prince and everyone else.
"Good morning everyone! I'm so glad all of you could make it! We are so excited to start planning our wedding." Nausicaä gave Prince Cáel the best smile she possibly could as she took her seat next to him at the end of the table. "And to think I'm going to have to sleep with this guy after we're married… and I'll be expected to have children!" Oh, the unpleasant thoughts just didn't seem to ever stop in her mind lately. But she kept her façade well; no one would even suspect such thoughts were constantly going on her head.
"Now, Nausicaä, I thought we should first pick a location. I was thinking… oh, down by the sea! It's so lovely down there, especially this time of the year." Nausicaä was only half-listening, but she had to admit that she agreed. A wedding down there would truly be wonderful… "Just not to this guy…"
"Oh, well I agree!" Nausicaä truthfully replied. "I think that it's a wonderful idea to have the wedding down there." Prince Cáel's smile grew even more.
"Fantastic! Now, as for the decorations…"
This was going to be a long day…
After several hours of deciding which flowers would be best for the ceremony and what side dishes to have at the banquet, Nausicaä was finally relieved to be done with that for the day. Prince Cáel, too, seemed to be a little tired of the planning.
"Prince Cáel, do you by chance happen to know where Asbel is? I haven't seen him since you spoke with him in the garden the other day… What were you talking to him about, anyway?"
Prince Cáel may have froze for a second or two, but Nausicaä didn't notice. "Oh, the Prince of Pejite?" he asked rather casually, not even bothering to look into the princess's eyes. "One of my men, Grafton, wanted to see more of the valley. I asked him if he would be kind enough to show my friend around."
Nausicaä clearly had not expected that. "O-Oh! I… had no idea. I'm sorry for troubling you." She quickly got up to leave the table, only to have wrist grabbed by the prince.
"It's not a problem, princess. I would feel the same way if you wanted to talk to my best friend in private." He gave her a smile and she felt herself instantly believing whatever he had to say.
"Thank you…" For some reason she could not explain, Nausicaä felt herself liking this man again… She knew it was probably wrong, but he had this strange power over her…
The loud bang of the hall door bursting open shook Nausicaä from her dazed state. A large man was rushing towards them with what looked like very important news.
"Grafton?" Prince Cáel immediately stood up from the table in concern. "Is everything alright? I thought Asbel was showing you around the valley today?"
"Y-Your highness! I have some very troubling news!" Grafton said between gasps for air. Nausicaä was immediately on her feet, her hands already beginning to shake. "Prince Asbel was showing me around when somehow we had wandered up to the edge of the Toxic Jungle. I knew it was dangerous but he felt confident that nothing would happen. The all of a sudden…"
Grafton stopped speaking for a few moments, making Nausicaä even more nervous.
"All of a sudden… a giant bug leapt out of the jungle and grabbed the prince and dragged him into the jungle." Nausicaä's eyes grew wide as her hands began to sweat profusely. "He… He had dropped his mask in the struggle… and by the time I found him…"
Nausicaä did not want to hear the next few words, but knew they were coming…
"…he was already gone."
Nausicaä had turned to complete stone. It seemed that the only animate part of her were the tears that began to trickle slowly down her cheeks.
I'm sorry for the short chapter! But it's summer so you'll be getting updates more often =]
Please read & review! I appreciate it!
Until nex time,
-brigette (aka: Kaze-no-Tenshi89)