Make Belief Studios ~

February 16, 2008

chapter 03

Filed under: 02, Gilded Providence, Story, WIP — Tags: , , , — Saturday @ 12:56 pm

I was beginning to feel bubbles rise in my chest and a smile was spreading across my face. It was as if I had won some kind of lottery! I hadn’t been in the city for much more than an hour or two and I had already found my way into the castle and was on my way to meet the king! When I first left home, I didn’t know what to expect, but I certainly didn’t think things would have turned out so well! Well, at least not so quickly! I must have had some kind of good luck sprite with me! Or maybe one of my parents had a dark secret and I was actually the illegitimate child of one of them and some god or goddess of fortune. Unlikely. Impossible. But either way, I couldn’t help but feel an air of invincibility around me!

I wonder what kind of person this kid-king is. He’s probably some spoiled brat. Then again, he is the king. He can’t be so bad, right? Kings are supposed to be handsome! So, he’s probably pretty cute! If he likes me, maybe I can get some gold, or a place to stay in the castle. Kids are easy to manipulate after all, hee hee!

Maraulen and I continued to jog down the hallway then back down the staircase. Laying atop my extended forearms was a neatly folded bundle of black clothes. Maraulen and her unfaltering energy had took the lead again, which was a good thing since I didn’t know where we were going.

We went down the stairs until we hit the ground floor, then we turned and ran in the opposite direction of the courtyard door, which we originally entered the castle by. We made a turn deeper into the castle then another right turn down a half flight of stairs. A little while later, after the gap between Maraulen and I had tripled, we entered through a door which brought us onto somewhat of a narrow stage.

A highly decorated curtain separated us from the whole room but through the gap in the curtains I could see a long row of royal guards at attention along the far wall. Directly in the middle of the curtain gap was two exquisite golden chairs. Each chair was cushioned with velvet and embroidered in silver. The one closest to us had a higher back which made it difficult to see the other. Behind the chairs stood one elegant figure of a man in black and sitting in the chair nearest too us was the smaller, hunched figure of a boy.

He had to have been the boy-king. He had a rather small frame but his cheeks were surprisingly full with baby fat which made his head seem quite large, even for a child. Atop his messy black hair rested an elegant crown. Golden crosses jutted up from the base of the grown, studded in jewels, and a few silver hoops strung over the velvet inlay which covered the boy’s hair. Judging by the boy’s posture, it was giving him quite a cramp in the neck. Maraulen beckoned with her hand impatiently and I cautiously stepped forward. Peering between the curtains I noticed that the boy had an audience.

Isolated in the middle of the room was a grubby old man with a thick beard and string glasses wrapped around his head.
“…and that’s why we can’t grow only sugar cane. Even if you want more sweets in the markets, the chefs need more ingredients than just sugar! You understand, right? My Majesty?” With a nervous chuckle the man bowed graciously. The king seemed to ponder his words for a minute.

“Execute him.” The young boy’s girly voice rang out across the room. A shiver jumped up my back. Maraulen quickly approached and with a softly closed fist, whopped the boy in the back of the head while the guards along the walls seemed to look back and forth nervously.
“Is this how you run a kingdom when I’m not looking?,” the boy obviously hadn’t notice us come in and gave a surprised, horrified look. As if he had gotten caught with his hand in the cookie jar right before dinner. “It’s bad enough you’ve got the merchants trading with gum drops and marzipan! Don’t curse the rest of the townspeople with rotten teeth by making strange demands of the farmers.” She took a step out in front of the throne and addressed the farmer, “the crops will remain unchanged. There is no need for extra sugar. Thank you.” The farmer sighed a breath of relief, placed a straw hat lightly on the top of his head and exited the room through a set of tall wooden doors which structured the far wall. The boy with the crown let out an annoyed click of his tongue. Maraulen turned and shot him a dirty look. “And the rest of you,” she waved her finger at the wall of soldiers. “The livelihood of the kingdom is at stake if you let him pull this kind of stunt again!” There was a clapping of metal slaps as the guards dropped their attentive stands, rubbed the backs of their helmets and chuckled nervously.
They’re just brimming with competence, aren’t they?
“You!” Maraulen continued as she stomped toward the man who was standing behind the two thrones. “You have a head to know what kind of disaster this could have spelled! Yet you didn’t raise a lip against the boy’s madness!”

The man who was dressed in a sophisticated black suit with a long black cape lifted his eyes from the small book he held in his left hand and looked towards Maraulen. I hadn’t noticed, but once I looked at him, I could see that this man wasn’t quite human. His ears were long and thin, reaching high above his shoulder length grayish white hair. His eyes were large and glowed slightly with a green-tainted yellow. His nose was also thin and was pinched ever so slightly at the end. With his cape he definitely resembled a bat more than a man.
“It is not in my work order to judge the decisions of the young master. As far as I can see, he is doing a fine job at being a leader.”
“Leader of a community of humming birds, most certainly, but not the leader of a kingdom of people!” Maraulen retorted.

Maraulen exhaled loudly then gave herself some breathing room from the man.
“This way, please dear,” she waved at me. I stepped out from behind the king and walked over to her side. The young king seemed to become attentive once he noticed me emerge. I suddenly felt nervous.
Don’t get shy just because you’ve got the attention of royalty! He’s still just some dumb brat!
“This young maiden helped me adjust the suit for your upcoming birthday party. Well, go on! Introduce yourself, dear.” The boy seemed to get excited as he fidgeted in his chair. The man behind him simply returned his gaze to his book.
“My name is Emily Farrel!” I suddenly exclaimed and shot the folded fabric out in front of me.
Oh, lordy, this is a bad habbit!
“T-these are for you.” I handed him the suite and lowered my head, blushing.

The brat grinned widely, thinking I was blushing at him, but I was just embarrassed by how terribly stupid I had been to suddenly change my name in front of Maraulen! Obviously she was surprised and looked confused but she didn’t say anything about it. Maybe she just thought that she had misheard me the first time.
“Err, yes,” Maraulen said. “E-Emily… This is our king, Prince and his mentor, Dragged.” I nodded to each of them. Prince continued to grin while Dragged ignored me.
His name is Prince? Were the king and queen that unoriginal? Or maybe ‘King’ and ‘Queen’ were their names as well?
Maraulen turned to Prince, “now I expect you to wear the suit without any complaints and behave yourself! Otherwise we won’t be having a birthday party!”
“Yes ma’am!” Came a coy reply. Judging by Maraulen’s tone, such obedience was probably uncharacteristic of this child. Then again, maybe Maraulen is just harsh. No birthday party? That’s a pretty big threat to a child! Prince looked me in the eye and grinned greedily.
Ugh. I haven’t even done any thing and I’m already getting too much attention from him.
“We’ll talk more on this later! Right now, you need to continue addressing the concerns of the people! Send in the next in line!” Maraulen called to anybody who might be listening as she took me by the wrist and pulled me back behind the two thrones.

Maraulen dropped my hand and I found a comfortable stance behind the king where I could still see the floor but my presence wouldn’t have been a bother to anyone.
“Hey,” Prince’s high pitched sneer came from over his shoulder. “You wanna make a bet?”

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