"What?" Karla shouted, making the walls and the glass windows shake with her fury. Her Master of the Guard and her Steward taking one step back as their Queen stood up from her throne. Both males knew that she would not harm them. After all, both of them were hers as she was theirs, but they could not stop themselves from feeling fear as those icy-blue eyes held a feral look and the throne room's temperature decreased.
Noticing their fear, she closed her eyes and counted to ten, leashing her anger. Opening her eyes again, she watch them visibly relax and that made her even more annoyed. Their eyes look down to her hands and when she look down as well, she let go of the cane and put it back down on the floor, resting on it for support. Stupid males.
Touching her forehead with her free hand, she felt a headache beginning to form. A week, she had gone away from her court a week, deciding that she needed a break from her court duties and now that she was back, that same morning she discovered she had a lady-in-waiting.
Oh, she should have known that the servants cheery greetings and her First Circle's cheery attitudes were warning signs, but she had been received with a big box of her favorite fudge and a notice from Cook, who informed that all of her favorite meals would be served that day. Right then, she was very happy and agreeable, she did not think twice on what private matters her Steward and her Master of the Guard wanted to discussed on the throne room so early.
So, she let them ushered her into the room and even let them escort her to the throne, before she took her seat and watched them take a few steps backs. The distance between them and her, beginning to make her suspicious. It did not take long before they told her about a new member that had joined the court, while she was away. She listened quietly as they explained to her that this new member was a witch, who wore the Sapphire as her Offering and came from a very prestigious aristo bloodline. That the witch had been accepted into her second circle and help the position of lady in waiting. Right there, she exploded, but she kept her power confined to the room not wanting to upset Della or KaeAskavi.
Rubbing her forehead softly and closing her eyes for a moment, she heard them take a step toward her. She opened her eyes and glared at them, making them stop from taking another step. She tried not to feel betrayed, after all both males had her trust, but she could not understand why they had gone behind her back and accepted the witch. Letting out a sigh, she turned and went back to the throne chair to take a seat, trying to be reasonable and to hear them out.
"Why her?" She asked, not caring who would answer her question. Prince Hagen, her Master of the Guard, took a step forward. His eyes met hers and never wavered.
"I owed a debt, my Lady. A blood debt that was too important for me. Her father, distressed at the thought of his daughter never achieving her dreams decided to call in that debt. I would not have agreed to this decision if I were not sure of the witch's character and her good nature. Prince Armin, was the second test and after he met her, he too agreed that the witch was a good choice. I vouch on my jewels and life for her." She lifted her hand, a silent command for the Prince to stop talking and pointed to her Steward.
"Is this true, Prince? Do you vouch on your jewels and life for this woman, just like Prince Hagen?" She asked Prince Armin. The Warlord Prince took a step forward and placed his hand on his chest, right where his heart was.
"Yes, my Queen." He responded and continued. "The lady is of good nature and the whole week she has been here, she has done all she can to learn the names of the staff and the court members. She has become friends with all of them and all talk of her in good light." That made her raised an eyebrow at the man, who instantly got silent.
Tapping her fingers against the throne chair, listening to the noise the wood made, she silently considered all of that information. If all of her court approved of the witch, then that spoke volumes of what type of female she was, but to Karla that was not enough.
She had seen many ladies in waiting come and go, the fact that she had not taken in another one, was proof enough of how tired she was of dealing with women who were too foolish for their own good. She was tired of having to look into different eyes and see fear. She was tired of having to deal with women who just did not want to spent time with her. The thought of having to do it all over again with this new lady, made her feel tired and that feeling of hurt was still there, but both men were very sure of this one. They both liked her and were willing to risk their lives for her, just as they were willing to die for their Queen.
Her Steward cleared his throat, a simple action that brought her back from her thoughts. He smiled at her softly, his eyes gentle, making him look younger.
"We are just asking you to meet her, my Lady. At the end, it is your decision to let her stay and fulfill that contract or to let her go." He said, as if reassuring her that the decision was yet of being made. Looking at Prince Hagen and back at her Steward, she made her decision. Standing up, she took the cane and pointed at them with her free hand. The Gray jewel ring she wore shimmering with power.
"Very well. I will meet her, if she proves to be worthy to serve in my court, she will stay and serve. If she does not… Well, I will think of something to get back at the both of you." She gave them a sweet smile that had them blanched in fear. "Kiss, kiss. Now, where is this new witch?" She asked, already wanting to get over with the introductions.
Anastasia felt the little hairs on the back of her nape prickle. Opening her eyes slowly she looked at the terrace. Her room was bright with morning light and she couldn't shake off the feeling that she was being watched. Rolling on to her other side, she blinked many times before she stopped breathing and stayed still, staring back at blue eyes and ice-blue eyes. The blue eyes belonged to a fair hair girl, who was very beautiful and young that was observing her with curiosity. The ice-blue eyes belonged to a cat. A big, white cat, that also happened to be a Warlord Prince. Those ice-blue eyes, unlike the girl's, studied her with keen interest.
She gulped softly, looking back at the girl who smiled at her. She gave the girl a wavering smile, before the cat got closer to her face. Her eyes widened, never leaving the girl's face, as her body began to tremble. She noticed then that the cat was sitting down. Mother Night, if the cat was sitting down and he was big, she wondered how big he was not sitting down. As the cat got closer and closer to her face, she kept pressing down on her pillow, silently wishing for the bed to eat her and save her from those big teeth, strong jaws and wet muzzle.
The girl just giggled as if nothing was wrong and that worried Ana, it made her wonder if this was how she was going to die. Being mauled by a white cat in her own bed, while a young witchling watched seemed like a perfect story for the Glacia Herald. She felt the cat's fur rubbing slightly against her cheek, sniffing slowly down her neck and back up to her ear, that made her giggle. The noise startled the cat, making it take a few steps back and turned his head in curiosity, before looking at the girl.
Ana silently watched, as both girl and cat seem to be talking to each other. She was awed by it. It all seemed to unreal, lifting herself slowly to get a better look at them, she clasped the sapphire sheets to her body. The satin material reminding her of where she was and her state of undress, covering more of her body with it she kept quiet. The silent conversation stopped the moment both cat and girl noticed that she was looking at them.
The girl stood up, from where she was kneeling and extended her right hand in greeting. Ana extended her own and clasped the girls hand, shaking it slowly, taking in the girl's clothes. For a woman who had grown up wearing dresses, she was not close-minded to the thought of other women wearing pants and blouses. In fact, she envied them, wanting to dress just like that and avoid the tight corset dresses that most court ladies wore. The girl's clothes were of expensive fabrics, but yet had that relax appealed to them for being at home, the cream white blouse-jacket and the dark brown pants accenting the girls blue eyes, fair skin and her golden hair.
Ana smiled as the girl finally let go of her hand and placed both of her hands behind her body; a twinkle of mischief shining in those blue eyes. "Good morning! You are new here, right? We have never seen you at court before! From where in Glacia are you from? Will you be staying with us long? How old are you? What is your name? I am Della!" The girl said as the cat let out a rumbling noise, that Ana did not know if to consider it a growl or a purr. The young witch then jump on the cat and press her face into its fur, rubbing it slowly, hugging the cat's neck.
"This is KaeAskavi. He is like my brother and closest friend. He is arcerian! He says you smell nice. He also says that he likes you. He wonders why you made that noise when he smelled you. He says it sounded like a small animal noise for a hum-." The girl continued on and by then, Ana did not know what to do. The cat was big, really big and the young witch hugging it, look very small next to it. Della's fast-talking had her confused and trying to grab her wits as fast as she could, she could only take in so much.
Lifting her right hand up, she interrupted the young girl, smiling in an apologetic manner to her. Her heart ached when those blue eyes, became somber and had a hint of sadness. Not wanting to give the young witch the wrong impression, she cleared her throat and chuckled.
"Good morning, Lady Della. Good morning, Prince. Please forgive me for interrupting you, but I am not that alert during the mornings, Lady. I am very delighted to be of your acquaintance, but I was not expecting to meet you-I mean the both of you, in this way." She said in a soothing tone. Both girl and cat taking a few steps forward, that action made her bite her lip to keep from giggling again. She was shocked and awed, maybe even still scared by the big cat, but she decided to put those feelings aside and try to be as normal as she could.
She did not let their looks fool her, since both were still growing children. Their actions tell-tale signs of how young they still were, but when both understood that behind her kind words was a silent question, they both looked down avoiding her gaze. Della began to make circles on the sapphire bed sheets and that had Ana lifting one of her eyebrows trying to look as the stern adult. The young witch, looked up and catching her expression, pouted before pointing at KaeAskavi.
"It was his fault. We were supposed to go to our room and I was supposed to finish studying, but he caught your scent and he said someone new was here. I told him not to enter your room, but he did so and I went after him. I tried to make him get out, but he would not listen." The girl said with a trembling lower lip, while the cat looked up and then at the girl; Ana felt the annoyed psychic scent coming out from the big cat.
Biting her lip harder, she tried not to laugh by clearing her throat again. She knew that both of them were guilty, their actions spoke louder than words, but she wanted them to like her. Punishing them or giving them a reprimand would not help her; after all she disliked punishments and reprimands just as much as any child did. So, with a smile and a soft pat to both of their heads, she straightened more in her bed.
"Lady, now you know that lying is bad, but I understand that sometimes curiosity gets the best of us. I understand that you were both curious, but what you both did this morning is quite dangerous and I would like for you both to promise me that you will not do it again. If you promise me this then I will never tell a soul what happen." Ana said solemnly. The two youngsters looked at her and then at each other, before nodding in agreement and lifting their right hand and right paw in promise, just like she had.
"Very well. Now, please will you be so kind as to wait for me outside? A lady needs to get properly dress." She informed then, both of them looking down again in sadness; that made her feel bad and she decided to change that.
"You may both escort me to the private dining room to eat breakfast, if you like?" She asked tentatively, both of them surprised by this agreed to the idea and left as fast as they could from her room, vanishing through the door instead of opening it. Letting out a loud breath, she fell back into bed and covered her eyes with her left arm.
She had just met the Queen's adoptive daughter and the young witch seemed to like her. She had also had her first encounter with kindred, not just any kindred but a Warlord Prince from Arceria, whose name in the Old Tongue refer to 'White Mountain' and was big, very big. The same famous person or cat, which so many at the territory court had mention to her with a mixed of awe and fear. That same Warlord Prince liked her also.
One week had gone by and already she had been exposed to so many magical and legendary things that would last her for a lifetime. Of course, there was one other prominent person she needed to finally meet. She secretly hoped that her future Queen would like her just as much as all of the other members at court did. After all, even if she had signed the contract and was part of the Queen's Second Circle, it would be Lady Karla's final decision that would cement her position in the territory court. Closing her eyes tight in fear, a loud knock followed by a loud roar reminded her that she was making her two escorts wait.
Letting out a groan, she pushed the sapphire colored sheets aside and got out of bed. Stretching her naked body, she stopped to look at herself in the mirror. Her strawberry-blonde hair catching the golden rays from the sun, which made it look more gold. Her eyes that were a turquoise color, in that moment looked like the emerald color studs her father had gifted her. Her body was curvier than many of the lithe aristo ladies that served in the glacian courts and she was shorter than the average glacian woman.
She was pretty and she knew this, but she did not put much attention to that. She was more into blending in than sticking out, which she already did with having no caste, but a dark Offering jewel. Her dresses were always done in pale colors and very long sleeved to keep her from getting cold as well as to keep her from standing out. That did not stop her from receiving male suitors, who never took the hint that she was not interested in them.
Looking away from the mirror she continued on toward the big bathroom, too aware that outside two pair of different ears were silently listening to her steps, keeping track of what she was doing. During the time that she was getting ready, she considered what to wear that morning, since soon the Queen's summons would come and she needed to impress her. Deciding on the dress and jewelry, she felt bold and fearless. She would catch the Lady's attention with her good manners, intelligence, character and clothing.
This time she was not going to wear pale and blend in, she was going to stand out.
Hello Fellow Readers!
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