The apologies were given and received and the king and his sister left Lady Celi's chambers and ran into a demon who should really be in bed asleep or resting at least.
"Gwendal, you should be in bed. That fall wasn't easy on you."
"I will rest later for now I have to get going." Like a crack of lightning he was gone leaving a confused Jena and veteran Yuuri who knew what was after him.
"What do you think that was about Yuuri?"
"Oh I have a feeling we will know in a few minutes." And in a few minutes passed, in came running Lady Anissina.
"Your highness have you seen Gwendal?" This woman with red hair and bright blue eyes had come running in and right now was looking at Yuuri but her attention went to me quite soon.
"Hello there. We haven't been introduced yet. I am Lady Anissina. A woman of science. Currently she was trying to get Gwendal to try my new invention for his head injury. Have you seen him?"
"I saw him earlier today."
"Of course you did." She didn't ask for how long ago. Lucky break.
"I guess I could find him later then. I would like to talk to you. Jena for a little while. I hope you do not mind."
"I don't really have anything to do right now. I would like to get to know some more people if I am going to stay within these walls."
"Excellent. Please follow me so that I may show you some of my masterful inventions once you see them you two will be enthralled with the wonders of modern science."
"You know you kind of remind me of my mother. When it comes to her work she can get almost poetic in speaking about."
"Is she a scientist? Or an inventor perhaps?"
"No she isn't." Lady Anissina's face fell a little at the fact that I just gave her, but perked up when she remembered she still hadn't showed me her lab.
"Now come along the science exploration begins." And that was the beginning of a long rambling conversation courtesy of Lady Anissina.
Gunter POV (Library where a poem is being written)
To say that one has never seen the loveliness of seasons
Brought forth by one living being
Was unfortunate to never see the one named Princess Jena.
Truly a woman who has all the elements of the four times called the seasons.
With her skin so pale and white as if crafted from the snow, is the sign of Winter.
Her hair so dark is the very essence of the Fall.
Eyes that shine like the stars are part of the nights of Summer.
To describe her lips a perfect shade of pink that flowers poorly try to imitate in the Spring.
How sad one feels for the flowers that enviously look upon her beauty.
The skin so flawless and lips softer than petals.
Sweeter than honeysuckle and mint that long the feeling of lips upon such silken flesh….
At this point I realized my poem was going into the proverbial no man's land. How can I continue like this? Forbidden from being at the royals's side and thrown out like a common dog. Oh Yuuri and Jena why must I be the fool in this clichéd nightmarish dream? Stuck in limbo for such confusion that disrupts our lives. A simple accident that stirred the plot into action. A forbidden unintended kiss shared between a lowly lord of the king and his most precious sister. A kiss that brought forth a certain emotion that must be clouded for things to be alright with the world. Yet each time we are near each other the emotion bubbles like a cauldron trying to flow forth. Oh what can lowly Gunter do! Please forces of all that is good in this world and the next please allow me refuge back into his highness's graces and those of which his sister could perhaps find some room in her large wondrous heart for me!
"Gunter?" It was Yuuri; perhaps my cries have been answered? Does this mean that he seeks to amend his poor humble servant Gunter?
"Can I talk to you about something?"
"Of course Yuuri. I am still your mentor and advisor." Unless he feels that I am no longer worthy of the job. Please let it not be so.
"I am not sure what to do about Conrart."
"Oh yes. I had heard about what happened between him and Jena." The surprising scoundrel that he has now become. How dare he go after a pure angel in such a vulgar way. The proper way would have been to chat with her, compliment her and get to know her. You lean in closer and if she leans in the two of you meet and rapture in the feeling of each other's lips…..DISTANCE!
"I need to know how I can look at him again. I felt trust around this man he is my godfather and yet he went and tried to kiss my sister against her will! At least when you had done it, it was an accident." My body turned to stone at his comment. Why did he have to bring the incident up?
"Perhaps if he were to have a better distance away from her for a short while, such as him going on a mission of sorts then he will have a better grip on his emotions."
"I suppose that could work. But I have another problem to deal with."
"If it is Jena related may I ask if it is about King Sara?"
"It is and yes."
"I see. He has said something about furthering his advances on her?"
"I wouldn't say it that way but it does sound about there." This gives me the feeling of lead in my stomach. The fear of attraction was something that we had been trying to drive away, but perhaps the attraction is one of friendship? He had said in the garden that he had wanted to be friends with the stunning Jena.
"How can I deal with that? It's not like I can keep him away from her."
"Is it possible that he was truly jesting over Jena as a lover? He had said in the garden that he had wanted to become friends and gave no further indication that he had wanted to further advances with her."
"It is possible, but I have doubts." He said leaning forward with that thousand mile away stare. He was thinking now and it was showing with his worry. A thought came to my head and it was one that didn't make me happy.
"Yuuri perhaps you could have her return home for a little while. Enough so that King Sara will have to leave before she can return?"
"That could work if I could control the gateways between our worlds. But it is a good idea. I may have to keep it in reserves. Can you think of anything else?" I thought for a moment and nearly laughed when I remembered something important.
"Isn't King Sara leaving tomorrow in order to return home?" Realization brings a smile to the young king's face.
"That's right. The treaty has been done and he has to return to the kingdom! Brilliant Gunter! He will be gone for a while and he can't pursue her so much. Thank you."
"You are welcome your highness. I mean Yuuri." I bowed to him as all do and then he leaves as if a tiny weight were taken from his shoulders. It warms my heart to see that he is not in distress. Now to finish that poem. Maybe I should start from the beginning?
POV Jena (outside Gwendal's room with a fruit basket, tapping gently on the door)
"You may enter." I open the door to find him still rubbing his head, but he was standing up instead of sitting.
"Hi Gwendal. Are you feeling any better?" He turned his head at the sound of my voice and peeked out of his eyelids. He straightens up and becomes alert.
"What is it your highness?"
"Please Gwendal you don't have to call me that. There really isn't a need to until its official that I am a princess or whatever position it is that I have. Even then I would prefer you to just call me by my name. And I brought you a fruit basket. I wanted to thank you for going after that hat. It's also a way of apology."
"An apology for what?"
"You were hurt for going after the hat. I feel in a way responsible for that."
"It wasn't your fault." That was all he said as he started to do that twitching thing with his hands. I place the fruit basket on his table and just feel the awkwardness of the whole situation. Unsure of what to say or if I should just get out of there.
"Thank you for the gift. It was thoughtful of you."
"You are welcome Gwendal." I swear I see the hint of a smile before leaving. I guess he may have started to warm up to me. I walk down the hall and into Greta the little girl was happy to see me.
"Wow Jena you look really pretty today."
"Thank you Greta. Where are you heading?"
"I was heading over to the library to get a book. Will you come with me?"
"I don't see why not. Let's go." She led the way since well I still couldn't find my way around the place. Yeah I know poor sense of direction I know I get. But at least I can find the way to my room from the dining room now. Anyway we arrive at the library to find that the doors are already open and inside writing with a passion was Gunter. I wonder what it is that he is writing about? I walk over behind his shoulder and peer at his work. He was writing about someone. Someone that he greatly admired or held great affection for. Does this mean he has a secret sweetheart?
"What are you writing Lord Gunter?" Oh yeah forgot that there were two of us in here with him. He does a double take with both Greta and me.
"When did the two of you arrive here?"
"Not too long ago. What are you writing about? It must be something interesting since Jena has been reading it for a sometime." Great it was more likely personal and now he knows I have read it. But he doesn't make any attempt to hide the papers or act like there wasn't a paper there. He actually started to smile a little before answering the little girl.
"I am actually glad that her highness has read a bit of my work." He turns his full attention to me and I know that I am sweating still a bit nervous about him finding out I was reading something of his over his shoulder.
"I was going to ask your opinion about the poem later we it was finished, but I suppose midway might work out better. The poem is for you." Wait, pause and rewind here Gunter. He wrote a poem for me? Oh man this feels awkward again.
"Well I should clarify the poem is more for the people, but it is about you."
"I think you should clarify some more. I'm still a little in the dark over here."
"Of course my lady. You see since you will be our new princess we want the whole kingdom to get to know you. Or feel more welcoming of you to your new position. The poem is meant to paint an image of you to the people. Hoping that it will allow them to understand you and see the you that we see here."
"I have only been here a few days. I don't think that has been enough time to pass for an evaluation of someone."
"I think it gives us a clue at least. And if you add your own input to it I'm sure that it will paint a very vivid and beautiful portrait of who you are. What thoughts do you have on the poem thus far?"
"To be truthful when I was reading it over your shoulder earlier I thought that you were writing to your sweetheart or something along those lines." I said scratching the back of my head. He in turn grew pale then started to flush bright pink. He grew fidgety as he spoke.
"Oh dear. Well I guess the poem needs revision most indefinitely then. I apologize for the way that it had you leading. I guess I use a little too much romanticism in my writing. I became over passionate about making you look good to our people that I took it too far."
"It's not that bad of a problem that you need to apologize for it. I really think that what you wrote is beautiful and if you ever did have a sweetheart, who you wrote a poem like that for, they would certainly feel loved by you."
"Thank you. Your highness." His blush was receding, but it was still there.
"You can call me by my name. I'm still not comfortable with the whole royal titles yet."
"As you wish. Jena. Is there anything that I can help the two of you with?"
"We were just looking for some books. Daddy said that there were some books from his world that he brought for me. Which ones are they?"
"Those ones are over here on this shelf allow me to get them for you." He got out of his seat with the grace of a gentleman and went to the book shelf looking for his target. He picked one up and then came forward to us.
"Here is one of them, but forgive me for not knowing the title of the book. I cannot read this language. It is one from his highness's world, but it is different from his usual writings." He said while giving the book to Greta something about that book clicked an image in the back of my mind.
"Can I take a look at that book for a second?' She nodded and then gave me the book. I looked at the cover and read the title. Inside a warm feeling of a memory seeps throughout my body.
"I know this book. In fact this was one of my old books that I use to read to Yuuri when we were little."
"It's one of your books."
"Yes it is. Even as a child I always loved reading and reading out loud stories to my brothers. It is one of my favorite memories as a child."
"What is this language written in the book?" Gunter asked taking a closer look at the scripture.
"The language is English. It was the first language I learned to speak. I would teach Yuuri how to read this language by using these books."
"How very kind of you." Gunter said with admiration clearly written on his face and in his voice.
"What is the title of the book?"
"This one is called The Secret Garden."
"Can you read it to me?"
"I would love to Greta. It would be nice to relive a fond old memory with a new generation." Greta takes my hand and we walk out to the garden. We find a nice shady spot in the soft grass and settle down for the story. Greta was hooked the moment I finished the first page. Even though some things were confusing to her, such as where and what was India and other things that dealt with Yuuri's and my world, she was enjoying it. The time went by and soon it became dusk and we were late for dinner. We hurried on back into the castle and ran to the dining room to our luck dinner hadn't started yet after all since Yuuri and Sara were still busy with trade reports.
"Do you always keep people waiting?" snidely remarked the infuriating Wolfram.
"Do you always have to act like I listen to you?" I steer Greta and myself towards Lady Celi so that we could talk. She was enthusiastic about me getting to know my niece better and that I was still wearing the dress she picked out for me to wear. She even had to mention that she had another cute outfit for me to wear tomorrow. Boy the woman thinks I'm a literal doll doesn't she? Even Greta is encouraging her.
"Pardon my intrusion." The room got stilled quiet when the voice entered. I turned around to see who it was that caused such silence and when I saw who it was I wasn't surprised at the owner. I was even getting a little mad. Conrart had entered the room and he was progressing this way. But he didn't stop at me; he went right past me to his mother.
"An urgent letter arrived for you and the carrier is insistent on giving a reply immediately." He said handing over a scroll to her. Lady Celi read a few lines and then put a smile back on her face.
"Oh that, Selene. She always makes such a big deal out of her private functions." She wrote a response on the paper and then rolled it back up and gave it to her son. With precise quickness he left the room with the letter not even looking at me. Truth be told that gave me some level of comfort and as soon as he had left the room started to buzz again with conversation. Lady Celi began to tell us about the letter. Turns out a good friend of hers was throwing a party soon and wanted Lady Celi to help with the planning. She takes throwing a party as seriously as an emergency. Sounds like the type who would be asked to plan all the celebrity functions back home.
"Sorry about the delay on dinner, everyone. Please take your seats." Greta pulled me over to a seat next to her and Yuuri. When everyone was seated I noticed that someone was missing. Gwendal.
"Excuse me Yuuri. Is Gwendal not feeling up to joining us?"
"He wanted to get some more rest for his head."
"I do hope that he is alright?" Sara asked.
"He is. No concussion. He will just have a bad headache for a little while and then be back to himself." Lady Celi said while taking a sip of wine. Sara nodded indicating that he had heard her and understood. The rest of the meal was more or less pleasant in a quiet way. No one seemed to feel like talking about anything at all due today's incidents. It was an awkward feeling all around. The only one who lay unaffected was Greta, but she was a child and didn't need such a distraction in her life and I am not quite sure that she would understand it fully.
"What is it Greta?"
"Can you read some more of the Secret Garden to me before bed?" Her eyes grew sparkly. Oh how could I resist?
"I can't see why not."
"I'm full then." She said pulling my arm practically out of my socket as we ran out of the dining room. Yuuri called after us.
"Greta it's not polite to leave dinner without excusing yourself!"
"Excuse me." Cheerily she shouted behind us.
"Greta!" his call was in vain since Greta had no intention of going back to do a proper excuse me. We reached her room and in a flash she was ready for bed and awaiting the story to read to her. I took a seat on one of the plush chairs and began where we had left off. We didn't get to finish the story when she nodded off to sleep. I placed the book on her nightstand and tucked her in with her knitted animal before shutting off the lights and leaving the room.
When I arrive at my room I find something there that wasn't there before. A note that was signed from Yuuri. It said that he wanted to talk to me at the stable early tomorrow morning before his work had to begin. He would have talked to me today if things hadn't gotten so busy. He hoped that he wasn't being a bad brother by having to see less of me than he had thought. Yep that was Yuuri whose name I believe really means worry, instead of July.
I went to bed shut off the lights and then went to a peaceful sleep.
I got up in time to see the sun began to rise as I walked down the hallways. Miraculously I was able to find the stables without trouble. I know amazing shocker! I actually had a no map needing moment. Yippee.
The stables were empty, save the horses of course. Some turned their heads towards me in curiosity others just paid no mind. I went up to one that was white for he had the friendliest face. I placed my hand out for him to sniff. He gave a quick whiff and then nudged my hand. I gently ran my hand along its forehead. The horse made no urgent sign of movement so I took that as a sign that the horse didn't feel threatened by me. I kept stroking the horse waiting for Yuuri.
"Funny that horse belongs to Wolfram." Oh carp. "I think he likes you."
"Where is Yuuri?" Conrart shifted slightly uncomfortable before taking one step forward that I responded with the same question again.
"Where is Yuuri?"
"He is not coming."
"Then I am lead to believe that you sent the letter under his name in order to lure me into a trap so that you may finish the plan you had in motion yesterday? Quite pathetic Conrart." I turn my attention back to the horse for a second and then head out of the stable. I am stopped by two arms enclosing me on two sides.
"My lady you wound me with your words. I did not arrange this meeting so that I could force you into a kiss. No matter how much I wish to do so. I arranged this meeting for the sole purpose to keep a contest made between us. We still have a match to accomplish."
"That's right. A friendly match to see if one is better than the other in a fight. We shall do it without weapons. It will make things more interesting."
"That sits well with me. I am glad to see that you are wearing the appropriate attire for such an event."
"Let us not get ahead of ourselves. This is just a match between two individuals. Not a championship."
"I understand your highness." He so did that to cause a reaction in me. Well the reaction is going to be indifferent and then I'll kick your butt.
We walk out to the clearing near the stable and take our stances, a distance from the other. We count down till it's time. Conrart doesn't dare to make the first move. It is smart move to use in a fight. However it is not always the right move to make for the first choice. I come at him and give him a kick to the head. To which he dodges and grabs my leg to turn me around. Only I foresaw this. Using one of my arms for balance I placed my hand on the ground and kicked him with my other leg. It knocked him back and allowed me to flip away. Then come in with another attack. This one was a punch to the face. He however found another counter to it or e would have if I hadn't hit him in the face.
"Had enough yet?"
"What makes you think that your highness? This is still child's play."
"Good. Because I still haven't used my best abilities in our fight yet."
"Neither have I." There it was again the little spark that made him more infuriating than he was yesterday. Still this was going to be a fun challenge.
He moved first this time. I couldn't tell yet if he was going to strike with hand or foot. I took precautions to act quickly. But I did not expect him to dive into me. Both of us were on the ground in no time flat. I found that my breath had left me and that I needed to start breathing normally again if I were to get this guy off of me. He stood over me proud in a way of the position the two of us were in.
"Are you going to give up now your highness?"
"Let me think about that." I flipped him over my head allowing me to move and pin him before he could react.
"I don't think so."
"You know I think that this position I like better than the one before." He did not just say that. The pervert, the guy is a total pervert.
"I believe that we are done with this match."
"Of course if we are to keep it friendly. If we were to use our best moves than it would be a fight to the death instead." Smug answer but he was right. If I had wanted to kill him I would have used more force than what I had just used now. Though the idea is really starting to hit home. Do you think anyone would notice he was gone?
"The match is over."
"Yes, it is Mr. Obvious." Notice I didn't say Captain? He just got down grade! This is so grandpa humor.
"It is also obvious that you are still on top of me. Not that I do not enjoy this in any sense. In fact." He maneuvered an arm in order to pull my face closer to his. "I think that this makes it better." I hit him in the nose. It wasn't that bad. Okay I broke his nose. What do you expect of me?
I leave in a huff after I hit him. Going back to the castle grounds where I will attempt to find my room or someone to lead me to my room. The first person to come around the corner is Wolfram and he of course was nosy about my business.
"What are doing wondering around these halls at this early hour?"
"I had to deal with a pest." I said not stopping to talk, just kept walking. He in turn followed up behind me. He was walking with his hands behind his back that was straight as a ruler. A face that wasn't scowling or snooty towards me like most of the time.
"Oh is that so? Sure you are not just out trying to satisfy some wayward lover of yours?"
"I have no lover here, Wolfram. I barely know anyone long enough to consider one. I think we both have other places to be, so I will leave you now." He decided to keep talking to me.
"You certainly are a dumb girl if you haven't noticed things around here." He said all smug with a smile that spoke in volumes of I know something you should know but don't know. Oh yes he was having his version of a good morning.
"And what is it that I am not noticing Wolfie boy? That Conrart is obviously a pervert when comes to his attention towards me?" In case he forgot that is one of the reasons I don't want that guy around me at all.
"Not that old news. Though it is true that you have caught the attention of Lord Weller, but he is not the only one that you have snared with your homely looks." Insecure much aren't we Wolfie boy?
"The new news is that you have caught the eye of my elder brother Gwendal. He can be found smiling softly at you from time to time." Gwendal? That one isn't that believable. I mean he might see me as less of pest now, hopefully. He is so fishing for a reaction much like his brother was earlier today. Now he is fishing for tissues for his bloody nose.
"And of course the love lost Gunter hasn't been noticed by you either I suppose?" Okay so there was that poem from earlier, but that was for the history books. Even if it is a little more romantic than what you normally read in history class. I still say he is fishing for something.
"Then there are of course the subtle actions of King Sara. He defends them as simple steps towards friendship with both you and the kingdom. Even if that is the true case friends do so often become lovers don't they? Even in your world I have been informed." Okay now he may be getting a reaction.
"Does that make you jealous that I am getting more attention than you are?"
"As if that could ever bother me. I am not that vain in some regards. No what annoys me is that you have the attention of some of our best demons in the entire demon kingdom and you are nothing but a worthless human. You may be Yuuri's sister, but you are only one by his favor. One mistake and he will send you away without a second thought."
"Yuuri's and my status of seeing each other as siblings is stronger than just being in favor and this little conversation has shown me something about you. That thing is that you can't stand that. You can't stand that Yuuri likes me so much, because you fear that he will lose his attention to you. Isn't that right Wolfie Boy?" His face is blank for a second or two and then it shifts into anger. His hand rises and it flies across my face earning a fat whack sound that travels throughout the hall. He just smacked me. He just smacked me.
"Wolfram!" It was his mother and Gunter who came bounding down the halls toward us. "What did you just do to her?"
"Something that needed to be done to her, she has had it coming for some time."
"Wolfram, do you say that you are proud of what you have done?" Gunter asked his voice nearing panic.
"You could say that."
"Wolfie you just slapped her across her left cheek." His mother pointed out. His face fell in and then his mouth grew wide in surprise. I didn't understand what they were talking about. What was the big deal about slapping me across the left cheek? I mean besides the fact that he had just slapped me and all that. They were obsessing over the fact that he had slapped me on the left cheek. Why does that seem important?