An Unknown Foreign Beauty
Chapter 11- Let down your hair
"How dare you?"
An angry cry jolted the queen, the fork slipped from her hand, scattering the noodles all over the table. Her confused eyes met the maid who was instantly beside her, gathering the spoiled foods. She didn't need to do that because Rapunzel's voice was clear and loud enough to hear from the dining hall.
"You shouldn't talk about something you don't know."
"Rapunzel, darling…" the king's voice crossed her angry cry "Try to understand…"
"Princess, you are over reacting…." The queen could make out Edward's voice too, and then something shuddered inside followed by Edward's painful scream. The queen's anxiety skyrocketed; confused she rose to her feet and made her way to the door which led to the library. But she didn't need to cross the entire path, because she heard the library door swing open followed by Rapunzel's feet stomping the marble floor. And the next moment she came into her view. Her face was red with anger, tears running all over her face and with one look the queen knew something serious had happened.
"What happened, darling?" the queen tried to ask when she got closer, but in the answer she got an angry sob. "Leave me alone- all of you." She fled away through the corridor, leaving the queen both baffled and concerned. "Rapunzel, listen.." soon the king appeared from the library room. His face was wearing the look of both anger and disappointment. With one look at her husband's face the queen understood something was really wrong. In an instant she was beside him, took his hand and asked, "What's wrong, Rupert?"
"Edward is intolerable but Rapunzel…." The king shook his head impatiently. "We're talking about her abduction. Right then Edward cut in and began insulting our army's capability and boosting about his donation; she became angry. And when he began telling how he defeated Rider, she burst out."
"What has she done?" The queen's eyes widened with worry.
'Shme..thrmew…a..frming..pamn…" The royal couple startled with the strange nasal voice coming from behind. It was totally horrible. What got into her? "Frying pans?" the queen's eyes grew wider when she met the guest prince appearing from the library, holding his nose. Blood flew freely from his nose like a human hosepipe, turning the white handkerchief red.
"How on earth she got that?" the queen quickly stepped beside the prince, handing him another fresh handkerchief. "Nomm..imdidam…" Edward replaced the soaked one with the fresh handkerchief from the queen. "Im…ammm..jumstm temmlling.. homwm coward that rimderm wasm andm she threwm thatm on me." Edward winced again, holding his bleeding nose.
"I'm sorry, Edward." The queen reached for the prince's shoulder comfortingly. "The royal physician will fix you up, soon."
Tears were welling up from his eyes. "Shem ruined my handmcekmchiefm. Itm hasm goldm threamds…" he replied disdainfully. The king sighed, eyeing his wife sadly. When on earth this prince would stop talking about money?
"Shem ruinmedmym dressm toom." He continued "Yourm daughter isnmt a proper princemessm."
Now he was complaining about their daughter's etiquettes. The king was getting sick now. Sure it wasn't good throwing frying pans to the guests, but this time the king himself really wanted to repeat his daughter's act. With the pressure on his wrist, he understood that his wife was sick with this pathetic prince too. She rolled her eyes, nodded and sighed. "Edward." He reached for the prince, grabbing his arm into his royal grasp. "Let me take you to the royal physician." As they turned to leave the queen heard Edward's murmur. "Canm youm arrangemm a meetm with the councilm aboutm the princesmmss…"
Now he wanted to complain against the princess in the council? That was too much. The queen really wanted to wrack him with a frying pan right now. Instead, she turned on her heel and decided to head to her daughter's room.
"What's wrong with her?" the queen thought as she stopped at her daughter's bedroom door. The frying pan was still lying at the doorstep, and the door was slightly open. She was about to charge her for the reasons for her weird behavior, but she stopped herself from doing so, when she heard the loud and angry sob coming from inside. She quietly pushed the door slightly to find the princess sprawling on the floor. Her knees were gathered to her chest, her face was hidden behind her hands, the seventy feet long golden hair was cocooned around her in a messy circle. She couldn't see her face from here, but the way her petite body was shaking, the queen knew that she was crying.
The question chased her since her return, but the queen hardly found any answer to satisfy her. Her life in the past few weeks had been anything but easy: she was engaged, then abducted, gone through some experiences God knew what, returned…only to have the pathetic prince to marry. The Queen felt the pain of her child, and she wanted nothing more than to take her in her arms and protect her, from the conflict and political tactics that were ruining her life…
"Rapunzel" she knocked the door "May I come in?"
But she got no answer. When she walked inside, Rapunzel didn't move, not even noticed her. At her side, Pascal had curled up next to her, in a sad blue color. When he saw the Queen's approach, he got to his little feet and gave her a mournful look before crawling to sit next to Rapunzel's head.
A sigh ripped the fair queen's throat as she looked at the mess of the girl in front of her. How much an event could change someone's life? Or turn a happy princess into a moaning angry girl? She had no idea. And it pained her more to see her only daughter suffering like this. Gently she reached for her and stroked her hair.
"Darling." She whispered. To her touch, Rapunzel stirred and opened her bright green eyes. "I'm sorry, mother." she whispered. Her eyes were full of tears, almost threatened to fall, her look were so hollow as if there was no life in them. Chills ran through the queen's spine. What did change her daughter so much? Rapunzel wrapped her arms around her and rested her head upon her shoulder. She stroked her golden hair, allowed her tear to soak her shoulder. What could happen? She guessed many possible answers in her mind but she didn't want to ask her right now, not when she was searching for a shoulder to cry.
"It's alright, darling." The queen pressed soft kisses on her hair "It's alright."
"No mother." Rapunzel whimpered "It's not right. I've disgraced our guest. I've ruined your reputation."
"I think you've reasons for that. He is really intolerable." The queen smiled and cupped her chin so that her daughter was looking at her. "I trust you, darling."
'But it doesn't matter, mother." Rapunzel sniffed. "Whatever happens I've to marry him, don't I?"
The queen held her tightly, letting her sob in her arms. She couldn't tell that Edward was going to complain against her in the council, or how they were bound to that prince's desires just to keep the kingdom away from the attack. As much as she wanted, she couldn't stop this marriage. Sure she didn't like that pathetic prince as her son in law.
"Someday everything will be alright." She cooed. "Your father is taking him to the royal physician. He'll be ok, you see."
"Still I've to marry him." Rapunzel raised her face and looked straight into her eyes "As long as the war continues."
How much she wanted to avoid this question, but she couldn't. Rapunzel was a sensible girl and she knew the whole marriage was nothing but a political treaty. All of a sudden, she began to feel like a very bad mother who used her daughter just for her own reasons. Her head hung to her chest; she couldn't speak.
"Isn't it the cause, mother?" Rapunzel spoke again, her voice turned harsh.
"Yes, darling." The queen could barely speak. "I'm so sorry."
"You may be sorry, mother." Rapunzel shook her head impatiently. "But can't you do anything to stop this war? You are the royalty, the highest people of Corona. You can fix it."
"Darling, try to understand." The queen walked near her and gently embraced her. "This war continued for two decades, we can't stop it suddenly. That Naldora people are so horrible. They will not listen to us."
Tears began welling up from Rapunzel's eyes, everything was going out of her control and she couldn't even do anything. The queen gathered her daughter in her arms, trying to whisper some words of comfort in her ears. But she wasn't listening. She brushed her hands away from her shoulder.
"But mother, fourteen years ago you made a treaty with Naldora." She took a deep breath and began "If Prince Eugene and I were married…."
"No!" All of a sudden the queen's gentle eyes marred with fear. Before she could finish, the queen's hands flew to her mouth, cutting her off in the mid-sentence "Hush, flower. You shouldn't talk about that."
"But mother, if I and Eugene…" Rapunzel took a gulp of air and looked straight into her mother's eyes "Meet?"
"Why mother? What's wrong with Eugene? As far as I remember we used to play here, you liked him…."
"That's past my dear."
"But what if…." Rapunzel couldn't finish the sentence, her emotions overtook her. She took gulps of air, trying to steady herself "But mother we met and we are…we are…." Before she could utter the rest, the queen's finger over her lips stopped her. Looking into her eyes, suddenly it became clear to her. Her life changed so much in the past two weeks- she was engaged, was abducted and fall in love-with the…with the…Enemy. Things couldn't be worse than that.
"I miss him, mother." Tears overflowed her emerald eyes "Can't I see him again?"
What could she do? The Queen rested her head atop Rapunzel's, listening to her daughter's breathing slowly even out, her sobs turning into gentle hiccups. "I'm so sorry, darling."
He never thought that this journey would end this way. But yes, it ended. It wasn't his fault, he tried to reason himself. But the devilish grin that Maximus was giving him from time to time, he couldn't keep himself out from the blame.
"You bad horse." Eugene growled as Maximus took the familiar path leading to Corona castle. "You know I shouldn't be here." He pulled his rein, with a failed attempt to stop the horse. In the answer he got another devilish grin from Maximus, who seemed to have planned it all along. And when he stopped near the familiar gates of the Corona palace, he couldn't but curse himself. What got into him? It was the enemy palace, a death trap. He shouldn't be here, right?
But he was there, standing behind the castle gate which apparently seemed unguarded right now. The cold wind blew, leaving Goosebumps where ever it touched. Eugene pulled the cloak over his head, making sure that it obscured his face completely. The night was dark and cold, even the moon was sleeping behind the cloud. He narrowed his eyes to take in the single guard humming at a distance.
Clip-clop. The sound sent his senses reeling. It was the captain and the other guards doing the night patrol. He sank deeper into the darkness behind.
Crack! Something broke under his feet. Fortunately none of the guards noticed that.
"Damn." He cursed himself. What was he doing here in the middle of the night? He was Prince Eugene of Naldora, the legendary Flynn Rider. What he was doing like a thief in the woods? His eyes caught the single candle burning in the second floor. There was a balcony, adorned with vines over the gorgeous marble stone. But his eyes were not appreciating any of the beauties of the gorgeous architecture. Instead they were training a single girl there- a girl with seventy feet long magic hair.
It was her. The crazy girl who turned a prince into thief.
At last the time came. All the guards had left. Even the last guard was snoring gently, fast asleep.
Eugene glimpsed one last time around him before he started climbing. It wasn't that hard. He had done it many times whenever he visited here. Tonight it was different. He took a glimpse of her face in the flickering candlelight. Even with the darkness shading her face, he could see the shining tears on her cheek. All he wanted to hold her in his arms and kiss her tears away.
He continued climbing. He could ask her to let her hair down. But no he didn't. He wanted to sneak behind her, like a ghost. The trellis was strongly secured to the wall. The vines were generous footholds. Too generous, in fact. His right leg got stuck in one the thicker clump of vines and he wasn't able to extract his foot without leaving his boot there. Once his right foot was out of the boot, it landed to the bottom of the trellis with a dull thud. Damn! He cursed. But he was getting closer to his destination. He reached the nearest ledge to the balcony and grabbed the edge. He hoisted himself up the ledge and he passed over the balcony.
At last! He sighed as he stepped into the place of his Intended, his heaven. The place looked like the way he had seen many years ago. Nothing changed, the regal purple curtains, the paintings over the wall and the girl in the middle.
She was sitting on the floor with her back at him. She was hiding her face behind her hands; her body was shaking gently with each wave of cry. He took a deep breath, closed his eyes to make sure that it wasn't dream.
No, it wasn't. At last he was here to hold her again, in his arms.
(With gratitude to my friend- Princess Shaharazad who lend me some ideas about this chapter.)
REVIEWS? FAVES? FOLLOWS? The writing quality is terrible, the plot is unplanned. But exams are going on, life turns really hard. I'm sorry to make you to read this terrible thing. Still I love to have feedbacks. Next chapter will ome sometime after February 17th. Press the buttons below for updates.
Btw- if you can't get Edward's words- they are-
"She threw a frying pan."
"No, I did nothing. I was just telling how coward that Rider was and she threw me a frying pan."
"She ruined my handkerchief. It has gold threads…"
"She ruined my shirt too. She isn't a proper princess."
"Can you arrange a meeting with the council about her?"