Disclaimer: I do not own Daa Daa Daa!
THE SEVENTH PORTRAIT
Genre: Romance, Drama, Fantasy, Christian Fiction
He left with a promise he'll be back for her. Too bad, that when he did, she was no longer there.
"Because a king is in need of a queen…"
She woke up feeling a bit woozy. There was a slight throb in her head but she managed to disregard the pain and took her time to observe her surroundings. Her dirty rugged slave cloth was changed into plain white silk dress, a huge cotton blanket wrapped around her in the queen sized bed. And her wounds of which the memories of her time as a captive seem to ignite the pain wasn't as hurting as before. Lifting up the sheets, she realized that her wounds were either fully healed or covered in clean bandage.
"What happened?" She asked no one in paricular. Just then a soft knock was heard and startled, she forced herself to pretend asleep.
"Her highness?" a soft voice called and a maid came in, carrying a tray of food.
She peeked from behind the sheets and was surprised to see a woman near her age or even younger, smiling politely at her.
"I can see that you're awake now your highness." The maid said and she slowly half sit, feeling alarmed and embarrassed.
"Where is- where is this place?" she hesitantly asked.
"You're in Saionji Kingdom, your highness. You were brought in here unconscious two days ago. The doctors did say you'll be waking up anytime soon." The maid explained, setting up the breakfast table right beside her bed.
The events of how she was saved played in her head. Two men: one blonde and the other mahogany haired, both dressed as soldiers came to her rescue. She recalled of how she thought she's going to die but was miraculously saved by these two strangers.
"Wait a second!" She gasped, the maid's words finally sinking in. "Three days? You said I was asleep for three days?"
The maid looked stunned but recovered and gave her an understanding nod. She also gestured for her to eat, which she, feeling hungry, politely agreed upon.
"Where are the two men who brought me here? Can I see them? My father, does my father know I'm here?" She asked again when she was sat in front of the breakfast table. Before her was a full Hungarian meal with sausages, toasts and egg benedict with a glass of orange juice for her drink.
The maid looked thoughtful for a while, pondering how to respond. She was about to swallow her second bite when the maid spoke again. "His highness, King Saionji, has sent a messenger to your father King Azul the same night when they brought you here. Our King has always been a kind and welcoming host to all foreigners in our kingdom." She explained and she couldn't notice the way she smiled every time the King was mentioned. "As for whether he received a response or not, I'm afraid you'll have to ask him directly. I can accompany you to him after you're dressed, if you'd like."
"King Saionji did huh? That's very kind of him." She said feeling relieved. Her father's probably worrying by now, with all the kidnapping and all.
"So- ahm, when can I see him? I owe him my gratitude, and so my two rescuers."
The maid looked stunned and confused both at once with her comment. "You- forgive my curiosity your highness but you- you don't know who rescued you?"
It was her turn to look confused. "I'm sorry?"
Instead of answering, the maid suddenly looked guilty for letting her tongue slip. Trying her best to avoid her gaze, she attempted to change the topic.
"Nothing, your highness. My apologies your highness but Sir Nozumu will have to be the one to enlighten you on that one. I'll be preparing your hot bath your highness. Would you like lavender or vanilla scent? Or is there any particular scent you'd like?"
She wanted to ask her more questions but chose it better not to. After all, she did say she'll get to meet the King later. "I'm alright with vanilla. Thank you-" She looked in wonder and the maid caught up, looking apologetic.
"Aya, at your service her highness." The maid bowed. "I'm sorry I tend to be forgetful sometimes." She said and hurriedly excused herself to what she assumed was the bathroom.
Meanwhile, King Kanata Saionji sat in his throne, his right hand Nozomu Hikarigaoka standing beside him. Two rows of soldiers facing opposite each other were lined up in front of them, a red carpet reaching the throne dividing them.
One by one, one of the King's royal advisers would call a name of a maiden and the called maiden would model herself to impress the King.
"Next, Lady Marikus from the Shibiki Family!" The youngest royal adviser – a middle aged man in his late forties called, followed by a trumpet call.
"Look at her your highness, isn't she beautiful?" urged another adviser standing beside the King.
The young King tilted his head, letting more weight add on his left hand. Lady Marikus was the 26th lady he was introduced for today. Nevertheless, he chose to remain patient and looked up with a polite nod in acknowledgement of the female.
When the royal advisers didn't see any more reaction from him, they called for the next female in line and Lady Marikus took her leave terribly disappointed.
"Next, Lady Elena from Carilon Family!"
Once in a while the young King would whisper something to his right hand Nozumu and Nozumu would whisper in return. This went on to distract the royal advisers, leaving them under the assumption that the young King just love getting on their nerves. This action continued up to the 41st lady for the day.
The royal advisers gasped, some even crossing their fingers when King Kanata finally rose up from the throne and approached the blushing Lady Lois who was apparently the 41st. Breathes were held and even the ladies in waiting were fighting to get a view of what's happening.
With a polite appreciative smile, the King only stopped when he was close enough to see the color of Lady Lois's eyes.
"Lady Lois." He called like a gentleman. "It's a pleasure to meet a beautiful lady like yourself."
For a second Lady Lois looked hopeful, even more than the royal advisers. "But-" he began and the royal advisers began sighing, already having a clue of what would happen next.
"…I'm afraid I'll have to apologize." He said bowing in respect, leaving Lady Lois lost. He then rose again and turned to face both his royal advisers and his right hand Nozomu.
With all firmness and sincerity the young King could have, he spoke in a tone loud enough for everyone in the room to hear.
"Everyone, I'm sorry for wasting your time. I only agreed to this to please our respected royal advisers. I gave their suggestion a try. However, I have to end this now. As you all might have heard in the rumors, which I don't deny, I'm not looking for a queen." Now, more gasps were heard from the females in waiting and Lady Lois couldn't help but be taken back. The King looked apologetic but Lady Lois knew better and smiled bitterly in understanding.
The King's eyes softened in gratitude but returned impassive when he turned to his royal advisers.
"I already have one specific girl in mind and I believe you already know who that is. With that said, I'd like to bring my own suggestion. If you want a queen, then bring her to me. Bring Miyu Kouzuki to me." He said in an authoritative tone, emphasizing on the familiar name.
No sound was heard from the room but numerous mouths can be seen parting in shock of what they just heard.
The Iryikon Kingdom stood in its glory two mountains away from the Saionji Kingdom. Known as a primary source of bountiful gold and minerals, the kingdom was established to be one of the wealthiest alongside the Saionji Kingdom.
Every year, King Mizuki Yamamura and his sister Princess Mikan Yamamura will hold a tournament giving fair chances to citizens of all status and genders to live their dream of working in the palace for any position in the royal household they prove worthy of.
It was for this reason that Erzin, a lone man in his early thirties stood by the riverbanks right across the Iryikon Forest. He was on a break from practicing his axing skills in hope to be accepted as a royal logger.
Erzin knelt down to get some river water with his bare hands but was alerted by the reflection he saw. Gasping, he immediately turned around to see a helpless maiden in pale white and lavender dress. The girl, barefooted, was panting and looking helpless leaning on the tree trunk, as if she would fall if she didn't.
"Who- who are you?" Erzin asked, unbelieving.
"Help, help me please-" the girl pleaded earnestly, her emerald eyes threatening to close from exhaustion.
The man looked past behind her to see if she was being followed. When he was certain she came alone, he rushed to her side, just in time to catch her as she fainted.
Her blonde hair covered her pale face. The man gasped once again. The girl wears the clothes of a monarch. He touched the shining jewel on her neck and instantly recognized it as diamond.
"A princess?" He gulped, unknowing what to do. He then carefully let the girl lay unconscious beside the tree trunk.
"Should I call for help? But what if she really is being followed?" He hesitated, wiping his sweat.
"I know!" He gasped when an idea hit his mind. "I'll bring her to the King!"
He was about to carry her when he heard the sound of a running horse. He froze, realizing it was already nearing them.
Instinctively, he left the girl and hid himself behind the trunk of another tree.
His conclusion was proven right when he saw a young man dressed like a prince, stepped down his horse to pick her up. He easily carried her unconscious form up his horse and rode off to the deep part of the forest.
When they were gone, Erzin got out of hiding and hurriedly ran to the direction of the Iryikon Palace.
-End of Chapter 3
A/N: So, what do you think? I sure would like to know. It took me an entire day to organize my thoughts. I have scenes waiting to be arranged but it's the organization of how I present it that troubles me. Reviewing is the best way if you want to encourage me to keep going. The more the merrier God bless and thank you for reading!