Chapter 4: A Day in the Country
*Disclaimer: I do not own Oban Star Racers and I'm not making any money off of this.*
The sunlight burst through the glass doors, searching the room for life. It found the only life-form and shone it's brilliance upon her face. The light only irritated Eva, evident by the way her eyes twitched to block out as much sunlight as possible. She immediately pulled the blue covers over her head and forced herself back into sleep. It didn't last long though. The doors leading to the hallway opened wide with a large resounding thud. Eva popped out from under the covers to see the taller maid with long, auburn hair greeting her with a bow.
"Good morning, Miss Wei. My name is Soya. I was informed that the prince is waiting for you to join him for breakfast. I suggest that you get ready for the day." Eva gave a tired smile and responded to her request. "Thanks and also, you don't have to call me Miss Wei. Eva is just fine." Soya nodded her head saying "As you wish. Breakfast will be served in the same dining hall you had dinner. When you are ready I will assist you in finding it if necessary." "No, that's okay. I think I can find it on my own," Eva said with confidence. The maid left saying, "Well if you need anything, I will be outside your door." Eva shook her head with agreement and reluctantly shoved her covers off and crawled out of the soft bed.
Eva stumbled over to her suitcases and bags, still suffering from her tiredness. She had no idea what was awaiting her that day so she decided to just wear something comfortable. She slipped on a loose, black t-shirt with a purple cross on it and a pair of baggy jean capris. She went over to the vanity desk and took the silver-handled brush that lay upon the desk. Eva ran the hard bristles of the brush through her tasseled hair. Soon her locks of black and red were shiny and regained their bounce. She put on the finishing touch by strapping her mother's goggles upon her head. Eva paused in front of the mirror to give herself a quick look over, satisfied with how she looked.
Eva made her way over to the dining hall for breakfast, both of her maids trailing behind her. She felt strange how they kept following her, waiting for an order; she had never had this much attention from one person before, it was a bit annoying. Eva arrived at the dining hall door and gave them a wave good-bye, hoping they'd get the message to leave her. They bowed and went on their way. When Eva popped her head into the room, she saw the prince sitting down at the table with lots of fruits and delicious foods waiting to be eaten. Aikka noticed her and beckoned her to join him. "Good morning Eva. I hope you had a good night."
"I did until the sun came up," she commented as she rubbed her eyes, still tearing from her exhaustion. Aikka let out a small laugh and continued, "Well I'm sorry to hear that. But let's begin our breakfast. You will need your energy for what I have planned today." With his statement Eva rushed over to the table, which was different and much smaller than the table from the previous night. Eva began to stuff her face with the delicious food set before her. Aikka held his cup in mid-air, frozen by the ferocity Eva had while eating. After noticing the prince's reaction, Eva immediately slowed her pace and blushed. "Sorry, I'm always really hungry in the morning." Aikka gave her a disregarding smile and said, "No need to worry," while he continued to eat his breakfast. Eva slowed her pace and there was a huge awkward silence between them. She had always talked to the prince, but she never really had any time alone with him that didn't have some sort of tension between them. After a few minutes of nothing but the sound of chewing, she couldn't stand it anymore. "So," catching his attention, "what do we have planned for today?" Aikka placed down the bowl of fruits he held and closed his eyes and put on a sly smirk. "You will see soon enough."
Once they finished breakfast, they headed down to the ground floor. Walking side by side, giving each other quick glances followed by hidden blushes, they made their way to a building on the outskirts of the palace. The building was round and had many small windows along the walls. It reminded Eva of the circus tents, except the building wasn't made of fabric nor covered in clashing colors. She observed her surroundings but only became more confused as she did so. "Hey Aikka." He turned his attention to her, noting the confusion in her voice. "Where are we going?" They stopped at two large, square doors before he began to speak "We will be visiting Nourasia's country side, the Carynthian Fields. It's such a beautiful day and there is much to see in the country."
This only made Eva more confused. "Okay, so if we're going to the country, don't you think we should head out of the palace instead of to the far corners of it?" a bit of sarcasm in the last comment. Aikka just smiled and stared at her, making her feel strange again. "Well yes, we should. But, it takes a good few hours to get to the country side and we want to spend most of the day there, instead of just an hour or two." He began to open the door, causing it to creak slightly. It built anticipation in Eva every second. "So instead I thought we may use another form of transportation. Someone you may remember."
As soon as the doors were open, a screech crept out of the shadows of the building. It was a distinct sound that resembled screeching tires. Eva strained her eyes to see beyond the shadows. From the dark depths of the building came a long tongue that flicked in the air, followed by two slender, brown antennas and a slim head with familiar eyes. Eva gasped with excitement, "G'dar!" She raced over to the giant beetle that had totally emerged from the back of the building, his white exoskeleton glistening in the sunlight. Eva leaned her body against the smooth exoskeleton of the creature and rubbed him compassionately.
Aikka enjoyed watching his friend reunite with his old companion; G'dar even seemed to remember her as well. He made his way over to the beast and jumped onto its back, placing himself comfortably in the saddle. Aikka looked down at Eva who now had noticed his new location and a smile started to creep its way onto her face. He offered his hand and asked "Shall we head off my princess?" Blushing with a pink hue, Eva gladly took his hand. "Sure thing prince."
G'dar scuffled his way out of the barn with Aikka and Eva balancing on his back. "Now make sure to hang on tight Eva," warned Aikka. Eva just smirked and wrapped her arms around his waist. G'dar unsealed his king blue wings, revealing his slippery brown exoskeleton underneath and his crystal clear wings. Immediately he vibrated his wings, creating a hypnotizing hum, and he began to elevate from the ground. Wind swirled around the two passengers as G'dar prepared himself. Aikka proclaimed "Let's go G'dar" and with a screech, the giant beetle was off racing over the landscape.
Eva watched how everything around her seemed to speed by her, barely leaving her anytime to take in the sights. Below them, the market places were crammed with people and full of life. The buildings around them flashed white as they passed them. Soon they left behind the populated streets and flew over what looked like vast fields of produce. There were bushy shrubs and tall trees covered in colored orbs. Many people were scattered throughout the fields, picking fruit and pulling plants. A few stood and waved in recognition. Eva was surprised when they didn't land.
"I thought you said we were going to the country?" asked Eva. Aikka responded, "We are." Now Eva was really confused. "But aren't we already in the country?" Aikka turned his head to properly address his friend. "This is only the farm lands. This is one of the main places where the produce is grown. The country side is beyond that sea" as he pointed to a deep blue body of water. Eva couldn't believe how wide and long it was. She has never seen a sea let alone a lake of this size before. "Make sure you hold on tight," Aikka warned her.
Aikka placed his hand on the crest of G'dar's white mantle. "Om Sekai G'dar Wookar!" Suddenly, lines of glowing, light blue patterns adorned G'dar's white head. With a burst of speed, G'dar zoomed over the water, leaving behind high wakes upon the water. The sudden thrust and roaring winds caught Eva off guard, nearly causing here to lose her grip. She let out a surprised gasp and clawed at Aikka's robe to regain her balance. Eva wrapped herself even more tightly around Aikka's waist and buried her head into his back, trying to hide from the winds that attempted to pull her from her seat. Aikka was surprised when Eva grabbed him so tightly. He took his hand off of G'dar and the beetle immediately slowed down to his normal speed.
Eva noticed how the winds died down and lifted her face from Aikka's clothes. He shifted his weight to look straight at Eva. "Sorry, I should have warned you about how fast G'dar can go. We can go slower if you would prefer." Eva noticed his concern and shook her head. "No, no, no. That's okay. I was just caught a little off guard. I actually like those high speeds, I am a professional star racer you know." She confidently smiled and Aikka nodded his head with approval.
He rotated himself to face straight ahead and began to chant once more. As soon as the winds picked up again, Eva was forced to cling on to Aikka again. She held on so tightly that Aikka had some difficulty breathing, but he didn't care. Having Eva so close to him made his chest feel heavy with an unfamiliar emotion. Eva felt light by being so close to Aikka. Together they both blushed as the slashing winds cooled their faces, both grateful that the other couldn't see their face.
They arrived at the other side of the sea, slowing down their pace. Beyond the shore line was a tan beach that eventually faded into short grass sprouts, growing taller and lusher as they soared over the hills. Many trees spaced over the grassy knolls, all were stout and had the darkest leaves Eva had ever seen. Every once in a while, slim trees would tower over their counterparts and brush against them with their long vines.
They landed by a lone tall arbor surrounded by soft grass and a small lake. Aikka dismounted first and held out his hand for Eva to use to dismount. Eva took his hand, but as she stepped out of the saddle her foot slid on G'dar's smooth shell. She immediately let go of his hand and fell to the ground, butt first. She expected to hit the ground with a painful thud, but was surprised to find herself in the arms of the prince. He wore a surprised expression when she stared at him. As she gazed into his eyes, she felt a hot flash swell in her face and she quickly jumped out of his arms to cover her blush. Aikka blushed as well and his expression changed from surprised to content.
Eva focused her attention on the scenic view in order to get rid of her blush. The lake gave her a sense of serenity and peace. Everything around her seemed untouched and she opened her mouth in amazement, "It's beautiful here." Aikka walked over to her side, "This is where I would come to meditate and train. It is a very peaceful place and it's a nice place to come to when I need a break." "I can see why," agreed Eva.
They walked over to the lake and stopped at the edge of a small cliff near the tree, overlooking the lake. "It's such a nice day." Eva began, "Is the water very good to swim in?" Aikka faced her saying "Of course. Nourasia has very pure water and we try not to use anything that is not organic either." Eva gave him a perplexed glare. "So everything is organic here? No preservatives or anything?" asked Eva "No," replied Aikka, "Everything is natural. And we try not to us more land then we need. Otherwise, we wouldn't have places like this."
Eva just stared out towards the lake. "Did you ever play?" Aikka was perplexed by her comment and stared at her. "What do you mean?" "I mean did you ever just play when you were little. Did you do other stuff besides princely duties?" explained Eva. Aikka looked out towards the lake once more. "Well, yes. When I was younger, my friends and I would come out here or go to the jungles in the West and play in the water or just chase each other around." He squinted his eyes in the bright sun and let a small smile crawl onto his face. "We would play together every day. It was some of the best times of my life. We even had a rope attached to that tree and swing into the lake," pointing to a branch on the tall tree behind them. Eva looked up at the tree and then to Aikka, her face frowning with concern. Aikka sighed and continued, "But when the Crogs invaded, I didn't have much time to play. I had to train and make sure we didn't do anything that would upset our 'friends'. I was so busy that I never had any time to spend with my friends." Eva became very worried and tried to cheer him up. "But now that the war is over, you can hang out with them again, can't you?" Aikka quickly snapped himself out of his depressed trance and focused his thoughts on her. "Well, I suppose I could. But I haven't seen them in so long and now I'm very busy with my royal duties and my upcoming coronation. Though it would be nice to see them again and hang out with them like we used to." He chuckled to himself and Eva noticed, making her smile. "When we were younger and training to be knights, we would try to sneak up on each other and push each other into the lake. My friends did get the best of me a lot of the times and I would go back home soaking wet." He let out a short laugh, "My mom would always hate how I ruined my robes. But those were some fun times."
Aikka starred out towards the lake, reminiscing on his childhood. Eva noticed how he was distracted and then hatched a devilish plan. She smirked evilly and lifted her arms to her chest stealthy. Then with all her force, she rushed towards Aikka, thrusting her arms forward to push Aikka into the water. Aikka spied her from the corner of his eye and gracefully moved out of the way before she made contact. All of Eva's momentum caused her to run past Aikka, racing towards the cliff. She gasped, waving her arms like a madman trying to regain her balance. She turned on her heels, only to fall butt-first into the water, hitting the water with a resounding splash.
Eva broke the surface with a shocked expression across her face, looking up at Aikka who starred down at her with a smug look on his face. "Nice try Eva. But I'm not as inexperienced as when I was younger." Eva pursed her lips in disgust. "I thought a prince was supposed to be humble and chivalrous. How could you let a girl fall into a lake without trying to help her?" she stated in a sarcastic matter. Aikka cocked his eyebrow at her statement and shrugged, finally giving in. "I'm sorry princess, here, let me help you out," offering his hand to her once again, reaching over the tiny cliff. Eva reached up to grab his hand, a soft smile on her face. As soon as she held his hand, her smile turned into a wide grin, "GOTCHA!" His eyes widened as she pulled him into the chilly water.
He too broke the surface and glared at Eva. Eva was frightened at his expression and hoped he wasn't too angry. Aikka kept his stern look until a chuckle from the back of his throat broke through his stiff stare and disrupted his concentration. He finally couldn't keep his glare and broke out in a contagious laughter. Eva couldn't help but join him and they both laughed at each other.
They spent the rest of the day chasing each other in the water, splashing each other in the face, and Eva was even able to dunk Aikka under the water. Eventually, they both got out of the water and walked through the sparse forest, leaves crinkling under their feet and the sun burning the water off of their skin. They climbed trees and played hide and go seek amongst the trees. They laughed so much that by the time the sun was setting, their lungs ached. As the sun was setting, they sat under the tree overlooking the lake and munched on a bowl of pasta drenched in a creamy sauce that Aikka had brought with them. They both ate the noodles together, but both made sure not to sit too closely, fearing how the other may react. The sun slowly slipped behind the grassy hills, coloring the sky with shades of yellow and orange. The hues steadily became darker and darker as the sun grew smaller and smaller. Eva looked over to Aikka, "Aikka." He turned to here with a calm face. "I had a great time with you today. It's been a long time since I've just done useless, fun things like this." Aikka smiled and returned his gaze to the sunset and leaned against the tree. "I had a good time too. I haven't had this much fun in years. And I'm glad that you are enjoying yourself." Eva blushed and leaned against the tree as well. "Well I have to say, I am liking Nourasia so far." They finished their meal as stars flickered into view in the dark obis of the sky.
They remounted G'dar and began the flight back to the palace. The wind blew the remaining water on their clothes as they flew over the sea again and past the fields. When they arrived, the sun had completing disappeared and the waxing moon lit the path from the barn to the palace. They entered the palace and went upstairs to their rooms. Once they got to the top of the stairs, they hesitated to separate and retire to their rooms. The awkward silence was disturbed by a sweet tone heading their way.
"Well there you two are." Queen Nori strutted over to the two of them, a small, sly smile across her face. "What have you two been up to?" Eva bowed to the queen, hoping not to disrespect her, but Aikka rested his hand on her shoulder, telling her that it was alright. "We went out to the Carynthian Fields and spent the day there mother. Nothing special." Nori eyed the two of them and smirked, "Really? Well I hope you both had a good time." She then left them be and walked off to her bed chamber. The two of them looked at each other and then down to the floor. Eva started to twiddle her fingers, "So…I…um…" Aikka faced her and bowed to her. "Good night Eva, I shall see you tomorrow. I hope you have a good night's sleep." Eva looked away, embarrassed by how he was acting and then replied, "Right. Thanks. Good night to you too." He stood up straight and gave her a dreamy smile before turning around and heading towards his room.
Eva turned around as well and headed to her bedroom, a look of disappointment on her face. Why did the prince act so formal in front of her now? She liked how he acted at the lake better. She shrugged the thought away, deciding that he just had to act that way in front of his parents and in the palace. Nori let out a frustrated sigh at her son's action, sort of blaming herself for "killing the mood." She just disregarded it and convinced herself that he would relax and open up to her as the next few weeks went by.
Eva arrived at her room and opened the door to find a platter of desserts on her vanity desk. Next to the desk was her other maid. She was much shorter than Soya and her hair was shorter and in the style of a bob. Eva guessed that she must only be a teen, maybe even younger than her. The petite girl spoke with a small, child-like voice, "Good evening Miss Wei, my name is Haya." Eva sighed, "I told you that you don't have to call me Miss Wei, I like Eva better." The girl blushed with embarrassment, "Sorry Miss W.., oh I mean Eva. Anyways, these desserts are from Aikka. He thought you may be hungry for something sweet and so he sent these to your room." Eva stared at the plate of delicacies, all of them looked so tasty. "Well if there is anything else you need, I will be outside. Good night Eva." Haya headed towards the door and Eva turned to her, "Thanks Haya and good night to you too." Haya blushed once more and then closed the door behind her. Eva focused her attention back to the dish of desserts and rubbed her hands together, staring at it with an eager smile.
The desserts had been delicious and she savored the taste until the very last one. After polishing of the platter, she prepared herself for bed and headed into the soft comforters that invited her into sleep. As she through off the sheets, she noticed a note fly off the sheets and land on the ground. Eva stared at the piece of paper with curiosity and squatted to pick it up. The note was from Aikka:
I hope you enjoyed your first day on Nourasia, I know that I did. I cannot promise you that everyday will be like today. I am still a prince and have many duties to fulfill. But I do promise to spend as much time with you as possible. I hope to spend as much time with you as possible during your stay here in my home. Until tomorrow.
The note made her blush furiously. It filled her with the same feeling she had the other night when she yelled to him across the courtyard. She went to bed, the note on her lamp table. She couldn't stop staring at it nor stop thinking about the day's events. Feeling these emotions that she had never experienced made her happy, but also confused and scared. What was she felling towards the prince, and was he possibly feeling the same way too? She eventually pushed those thoughts aside and allowed herself to drift into a peaceful sleep.
A/N: My gosh this took a long time to write. It felt like it would never end. But now I have figured the entire story out. Teh-hee . But thank you everyone who reviews my story: M.J. Ethreal, lily21207, LuberianThief, ItachiDream, DBZ angel, xYuna, Vycre, and Tazflyer. It's so great to hear that people like the story and that you like how it is detailed and stuff like that. It makes me want to keep writing and to make sure that I don't let you all down. But now I predict that my schedule is going to get really, really, REALLY hectic, so I don't know how long the next chapter will take to get posted. But prepare yourselves, because the next chapters will have lots of romance and DRAMA. Stay tuned.