Vaas Plains Castle (5) – The Blood of Kings
Once she was outside the castle it wouldn’t take long for her to spot out Syrio from the rest of the other knights that stood along and watched. Instantly after finding him, she quickly walked over to where he stood.
“You did great dear. I’m very proud.”
She would say softly as she flashed a smile toward him. Lady Dana was just tempted to give him a hug and a kiss on the lips. She missed him dearly, but she knew that she had to keep all those things behind doors so her annoying husband and his little spies that he had out to watch her wouldn’t see.
*Though he and the other knight were not the BEST of friends or allies, and competition broke out between the two in friendly banter and duels, he knew all too well of the love the man held for his human wife. Arthur lifted his sight, and from his corner in the shadows, he watched Sir Ahory walk towards the outer wooden railing of the training ground’s arena. The look upon his face was far from recognizeable as all the once obvious joy and love of life was gone. Arthur patted his hand on the boy’s head, and spoke.* “Thank you Lad, now run along. My squire within my tent shall pay you for you service.”
*Sir Arthur watched, then, as the king made his way down, and standing in the shadows, Arthur was unseen but preferred it to be as much. He watched as the royaly dressed and garbed man came to the recently returned knight, and embraced him. Everyone knew of the long standing friendship between the two men, and it brought Arthur a bit joy to watch as his brother in arms had received such a warming welcome back.*
*That’s when the voice rang from behind him. It’s soft, silky sound flooded into his ears and made it’s way directly to his heart, wrapping it in it’s warm and tingly embrace. A soft, genuine smile formed over his lips as he turned to take view of the being whom had spoken. Once he had, it was as though he was hammered by a fist of absolute beauty. This was how he felt each and every time he saw her for the first time of the day, heard her voice after a well night’s rest. All he wanted to do was wrap her within his arms and bring his lips to hers in a never ending fountain of embrace. He hated that her husband had cracked down so heavily on her, and down right hated the fact that she had a husband to begin with.*
*He bowed his head softly, keeping his watermelon Green eyes on hers as he did so.* “You honor me with your words and presence, M’Lady. As always, you have taken me by surprise at the level of beauty you seem to embrace upon skin and increase of level within every passing rise of the moon.” *He rose his head again, but halted any urges to advance upon her.* “If not for you, I’d be far from where I am now, and thus to hear you break word of skill with such good tidings, it fills heart with gratitude.”
Calypso made no outward notation that the knight was there aside from a quick glance of her eyes, which immediately returned to the king. “Then I hope he wins, m’lord. I look forward to the event.” She bowed her head slightly, gears churning in her head. This knight, if the king had so much faith in him, could turn out to be a force to be reckoned with. She would have to be careful and try to stay as far from him as possible.
Chances were he would always be around the king, who was constantly going out of his way to be around the queen. And then her realization hit her and she found the perfect (temporary) solution. however, she remained silent, her plan cranking out as she looked once more to the knight.
The King found joy in seeing his Knight show some humor, and patted his arm again before saying warmly. “It’s indeed good to have you back.” Agreeing with Calypso that she hoped he won, in his event, and gestured towards the royal box, that was on the far side of the arena pit. “Feel free to join with me later, and we shall enjoy the festivity together, so you can report all back to my darling wife. The King Harry slapped his hands together, and twirled around, leaving Calypso and the Knight standing together just near the timber barricades.
Sir Wayne noticed the young angelic creature still standing close by, and he gave her a side ways glance, as she was not quick to follow after the King. He even took a look behind him, if she was waiting for someone else to address. The woman remained silent, dressed head to toe in white, and with the hood covering her winter white tresses. There was something about her, that didn’t seem quite as angelic as she appeared. Sir Wayne knitted his brow, then went back to take in the events going on out in the main arena, and then spotted across the way the tent of Sir Arthur Redmoore. He was rubbing the top of some small child’s head, possibly a messenger, as they were a lot cheaper to pay and quite speedy on their feet. Though Sir Wayne and Sir Arthur were not exactly the best of friends, they had fought before, and there was a mutual respect between the two men. His expression didn’t change, and then he noticed Lady Dana come up behind Sir Arhur, and the two appeared locked in a delicate discussion.
“I see that nothing has changed here..” his thoughts being said out loud, and he started to head off towards his tent, so he could have the right armour and weapons chosen for his turn in the ring.
Ascending the stairs to the royal box, many of the courts Lords and Ladies rose from their seats and benches, and bowed as the King passed them, to find his throne beneath a colorful canopy, that was the colors of the House of Casterly, and carried its standard. To all the commoners, knaves, traders and Knights, he waved his hand regally, then sat down in the large ornate throne. Disappointed the seat beside him on either side were empty, he let out a sigh, as a maiden brought him a chalice of wine. He took up the golden goblet, and sipped the sweet wine, which he rolled around in his mouth before swallowing.
He knew Calypso would be joining him shortly, but she seemed to have had some interest in Sir Wayne Ahorld. Placing down the goblet on the tray again, which was held by a sweet blonde haired maiden, he eased back in his throne, and drummed his fingers upon the velvet arm rests. Many eyes were upon him, and for once he felt rather forlorn, without his son and daughter there to keep him company. Sure, Jimeon would probably come back from the ale tent, smelling like a brewery, but least that was someone, other than the Lord Chamberlain and others that prattled on for hours about household gossip, the likes of which he did not care for.
“Let us see some good sportsmanship….hmm?” he said out loud, as the yes men nodded and the Ladies of the court giggled behind their fans.
She watched the knight walk away before she made her way to the royal box. Jimeon had disappeared to god knows where, but an even younger servant practically tore over his own feet to beat her to the stairs. He carried a chair, which she gently placed her hand on. “Who, may I ask, is this for?” One of her eyebrows rose as she spoke, and gently helped him lower the chair to the ground. “It’s for you, ma’am. Some other servants got word that you were going to be watching and we thought you might like a chair.” She would have liked to show him just how much she’d like a chair by smashing it on his back, but considering the king was just up the stairs they stood at the foot of, she simply smiled and nodded, allowing him to once again pick it up.
The Training Grounds, Royal Box (Arena)
The servant set the chair down and waited for her to be seated before turning to leave. “Stop.” The word was soft and she held out her hand to take his, which he allowed her to. She kissed it and held it to her chest, the movement lingering. “Thank you, and the others, for your considerate actions.” She smiled and he practically swooned his way down the stairs.
Sometimes, she believed men acted like she was seductive or arousing because they just wanted her in their bed to have a woman in their bed. Others, she knew that she had struck the right nerve. It was an easy game to play, and she loved playing. Of course, no matter if they fell for it or not, they never got anything, and that was just about the finest part.
“I would like you to come with me. I have some things to tell you in private.”
She would say softly as she gestured her hand to come follow. Turning her back towards Syrio, she slowly started to walk on the pathway that wrap around the castle. That certain pathway led to areas that surround the castle, and the one area that Lady Dana wanted to go to was the Garden. She knew that no one would be where the garden stayed, and that they could have peace and quiet. It wouldn’t take long for Lady Dana and Syrio to arrive at the Garden. Finding a bench, Dana would take a seat and pat her hand lightly on the empty space next to her for the knight. Lady Dana closed her eyes as she let a sigh escape from between her lips. Reopening her eyes a smile appeared back on her face as she looked at Syrio.
“As you can see are love for each other is strong. I hate the fact that I can’t be with you as much as I want to.”
A few seconds of silence would happen before Dana continued what she was about to say.
“That’s why I’m planning a divorce with Axel, so I can be with you.”
She would say softly as she placed a hand along the knights cheek and used her thumb to caress it slowly. Lady Dana loved Syrio. She felt as if he was her soul mate, lover, everything. The urge of kissing him was starting to become hard for her to control. Lady Dana bit down softly on her lower lip before leaning in and planting a kiss upon his lips. The kiss only lasted a few seconds before she had pulled away to look at him. Her eyes would soften before she started to speak again.
“I rather spend the rest of my life with you, then Axel..”
*Once there, she sat on a bench that was surrounded and enclosed by the tallest rose bushes Arthur had seen in his life, which was pretty damned long as is. Hand made streams of water ran through tiny river beds that seemed to wind through the stalks of the bushes and plants like a river through a dense wood. It was a sight to behold, and one that set the mood all too well. Hearing her next set of words, Arthur smiled, sitting beside her and taking one of her hands within his.*
“That’s why I’m planning a divorce with Axel, so I can be with you.” *These words, however, brought him great pause. As he knew all too well the punishment of a Lady divorcing her Lord husband. It was not something a Lady did, and thus, she’d be ridiculed all her life. Even after they’d married, even the fear of losing life to the blade of Sir Arthur Redmoore would hardly calm people’s rapid tongues. It brought him worry, unmeasurable in amount.*
“My love, though-” *He had begun to speak just as her lips pressed against his. His eyes closed, and his hand found the back of her neck, holding her lips against his longer than she had intended. The softness of her lips against his, it was a drug that he always longed for. An addiction he refused to rid himself of and would do anything to get to. When the kiss was broken, he sighed, and placed his forehead against hers.* “Though your words bring joy on levels unknowable, I cannot allow you to condemn yourself to such things, my Love. You are a Lady, to divorce your husband will disgrace your name” *He pulled his head away from hers, and gripped her hands tightly.* “I love you, but I will not allow you to make such a sacrifice.”
Striding back to his tent at the other end of the field, his servant Thomas was waving for his Lord’s attention. “M’lord, we have all your weapons sharper than that of any noble, and I paid a pretty penny too.” It was true, lining up against the tent, an array of swords and battle axes to chose from and all had been sharpened to perfection. But Sir Wayne shook his head, and said. “I will use my most trusted, but I thank you for getting all the others sharpened.” Thomas’s face fell slightly, but then he realized that Sir Wayne would have reason for wishing to use his traditional long sword. The reason was it was a gift from his beloved, who had gone to great lengths to procure it for him. It was a wedding gift, and he hoped that the day that he died, it would be wielding this sword.
Godfrey stopped stirring the stew, as the trumpets sounded for the next competitor, and he quickly dropped the ladle and ran to pick up the flag of Ahorld. “Ready, M’lord?” He asked expectantly, his fingers clenched tight around the flag pole, the standard flying high in the air. Thomas handed Sir Wayne his helm, and together the trio made their way down to the arena proper, where the loser of the last fight, was being carted off on a stretcher, by two large servants. He was moaning loudly and then spotted Sir Wayne approaching and gave a weak thumbs up before passing out cold. Reaching the gate, Thomas looked at the flag that was flying for the challenger. “It’s Sir Reed!” Godfrey drove the flag of Arhold into the keep that showed that Sir Wayne would be the challenger, as Sir Reed was already ripping off his cloak and handing it to a young squire. He was over seven feet talk, with enormous black wings, and dark skinned, probably from the eastern country side. He was using a battle axe as his weapon of choice this day, and was masterly swinging it, much to the delight of the crowd.
Sir Wayne simply unclipped his cloak, and slung it on the rails, as his two servants both nodded to him that it was time to show all, why he was renowned in his province of Vaas Plains. The Herald caught sight of the flag of Ahorld being posted in, and raised his arms to silence the crowd, and up in the royal box, King Henry was now beaming, to see his dearest friend about to enter the arena.
“My King….Lords…Ladies….WELCOME…and to all of you, you are here blessed to bear witness to the return of a Knight, who needs no introduction, for you have all seen the flag that flies high as our God does show favour this day. I give you…Sir ARHOLD!!” the crowd went wild, as Sir Wayne started to walk out to the middle of the ground, not yet having unsheathed his sword, while Sir Reed was now already flapping his great black wings, and swinging his battle axe. He swooped up and the crowd gasped as the white flag had not been dropped to start the match. Godfrey and Thomas’s jaws dropped at the audacity of Sir Reed, to start before introductions had concluded. The herald tossed his parchment and fled the arena, as Sir Reed flew directly for Sir Wayne, who was standing still, watching him come at him.
“Move….M’LORD…MOVE!” Thomas sang out, as Sir Reed roared loudly, and swung his battle axe up and behind him, ready to decapitate Sir Wayne. But as Sir Reed started to make his approach closer, Sir Wayne reached behind him and the screech of the metal of his blade rang out, with the embossed letters of his dead wife’s name etched into the blade. The blade’s name…”Ambrosia.” with all the strength in him, he swung the sword with his right hand and there was a mighty clang of the two metals as they hit each other. It sent Sir Reed barreling off course and he flew straight into the barricade, smashing his head against the wooden railings, as Sir Wayne spun on his heel to face him, Ambrosia held tightly within the grasp of his hand.
With a shake of his shoulders, the purest of white wings emerged in a full display, as he rose up off the ground, a fierce look of determination in his eyes, as Thomas and Godfrey were cheering wildly, holding on to each other and jumping up and down.
Sir Reed ripped off his helm and tossed it away, since it had a huge dent in the side of it. Blood was running down the corner of his mouth and he snarled as he flapped his black wings, showing the darkness of what he was. Pushing off hard from the ground, he made a second attack run, with Sir Wayne remaining stoic as he held the sword of Ambrosia tight. The two angels flew at each other, weapons raised and again the battle axe struck the sword, with a loud clang, as the two were brought into close proximity. Sir Reed snarled under his breath and then said loud enough for Sir Wayne to hear. “Your wife died a whore.” Fire suddenly filled the eyes of Sir Wayne, and he drew back his head, wearing the helmet and brought his head back to smash it right to Sir Reed’s forehead, before kicking back off him with his boot. This caused Sir Reed to falter, and as his wings started to droop, Sir Wayne seized the moment, and swung his sword in a diagonal, to slash through Sir Reed’s right arm that held the battle axe. The attack held true, slicing open the knight’s wrist, causing him to drop his battle axe upon the ground below. Sir Wayne was getting ready to drive his sword right through the neck of Sir Reed as they reached the ground, when the crowd gasped, and a loud trumpet sounded.
“WINNER….SIR ARHOLD!” The crowd cheered, as it was clear the Sir Wayne had acquired enough points to declare him the winner without ending Sir Reed’s life, though if Sir Wayne had his way, he would have driven the blade right through to the other side. Sir Reed knew he had been beat, and gripping his blooded arm, he bowed low, his wings falling in behind him. His servants ran out to help him with his arm and weapons, as Thomas and Godfrey ran out and raised the left arm of Sir Wayne in victory. <3>
“What a brave man.” The words slipped from her lips quietly and she stood before she could stop herself. That had been one of the most intense fights she had seen in a long time, granted that she hadn’t seen many fights. For a moment, her only thoughts were that Sir Ahorld was indeed very brave, and very strong. And then the thoughts of a sane Astheroshe began to slip in: he was even more dangerous than she had first anticipated. She hurried to sit back down, knowing her movement would be noticed, but hoping the king would elect to ignore it or simply laugh rather than address her about it. She also hoped that Sir Ahorld did not look at her before the next match.
She would need to be exceedingly careful with her plan. Under no circumstances could his majesty be around when she asked her queen for the leave of absence. And she would need to be careful to tell the lady why she needed it. It was simply an information rendezvous, her annual one, as a matter of fact. For the past few years, she had been lucky though – either the royal family had gone on holiday without her long enough for her to be gone without them ever knowing or the queen would be too far into her sickness to notice who was serving her. Of course, now she not only had the problem of having to explain her absence, but she had to be careful about who she explained it to.