Page name: The Land of De'gal [Logged in view]
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The Land of De'gal
It was a moring that would go in history, the sky was bule as the ocean, people were rushing to finsh everything that had to done. There was the crowning at noon the ball later that evening. Where very one of all coruts were to atten. The place was full of aroumas, of coffees, foods, falowers...Children were running around laughing...
Eden grumbled into her pillow with a filmer voice. "Eden! Get up!! The high preitess is waiting...oh you lazy girl!" Emma was her only other friend in the temple. She was only 14 years of age, with black hair and pink eyes she was always fallowing Eden. "I'm up..." Eden said sittinf up. Emma told her to dress and to come to hall.
A couple of srevent girls walked into the Astrid room, noting there were two others there, they thought nothing of it. "Good moring M'lady!" they said sweetly, placing afew trays of food down on the table, opening the curtains to let the light in of the moring sun.
Astrid opened her eyes to the sun and groaned a bit in the back of her throat. She lifted herself from the pillows and glanced at the servants. "What time is it?" She questioned them.
The one girl bowed. "About 8...but you should get up and eat! The dress maker will be here to fit you soon!" She said smiling, pulling out a robe for her.
Eden got dress in the gown, the lower layer was pure white slik, and a shorter layer on top was a blue slik dress with moons and stars, it exposed her shoulders and such. she tied the macthing neck peace on, and fixed her hair up, with the blue jade sticks.
Rubbing her eyes, Astrid looked at the food, and then at Jin. She reached over to him and pushed on his shoulder lightly. "Wake up, Dearest." She cuddled his shoulder, looking at him and whispering to him. "The sun is shining."
Having heard the women approaching, Jin did not have quite enough time to bring up an illusion to hide everyone, but he still pretended he was sleeping until they left. He then shifted into a more alert pose, half-lidded eyes gazing at Astrid through the filtered morning light. “Good morning, did you rest well, Astrid?” He asked, his voice as polite as ever.
Karin had also realized when others came in, but was less serene in the morning. She moaned and buried her face into Sheba’s side, waking the lazy panther, who gave a low snarl of protest, but did not respond further, except to stretch and resume a more comfortable resting position. Jin rolled his eyes. Those two were so lazy, and quite a lot more alike than one would at first suspect, since Sheba was his pet. Dol continued with his low snore, not having noticed anything out of the ordinary- he was a horrible watchdog, Jin thought, his eyes crinkling with laughter. He was only dressed in ivory silk sleeping bottoms and a linen shirt, his formal robes laid out neatly on the back of a chair. “Are we to get ready now as well?”
"You are to do as you wish." Astrid replied, stretching her arms above her head and reaching for the food the servants had left. She nibbled on some bread and cheese for a minute, sipping tea with a coy smile. She looked back over at Jin. "I am to be fitted for my dress soon, they said." She almost pouted. "It's going to be torturous."
Eden had been up for awhile and was to help around with parys and such. She was able to snaek away to Astrid room, knocking on the door. In hopes she could hide there. Not wanting to be incharge of the younger children.
He smiled despite himself. “And what is so bad, I ask, in standing and having swaths of the finest cloth draped around you while moronic underlings fawn over your sensational style and overwhelming beauty?” Jin smirked a bit, then covered his face by lifting his own cup of tea to drink. He hoped to keep her in a light and cheerful mood, and she seemed cooperative. “Oh,” he said, hearing the knocking at the door, and looking to the beautiful princess (soon to be queen) before him in question, “Are you here?”
"Might as well be," Astrid said, quickly shoving another piece of cheese into her mouth. "I don't exactly have anywhere to be." Volt was more interested in the door than his master. He cocked his head and sniffed at the door, pawing as if he were a dog, almost.
He returned his cup to the tray with a flourish, "As you wish," he said and after gently picking up Volt so that the door would not bump his nose, he opened it a crack and then saw it was Eden. "Why, good morning Eden. What brings you here so early this morning?" He raised a silvered brow in question.
Astrid peaked around the door at the sound of Eden's name, and she smiled. "Good morrow to you. Come inside." She smiled and moved back to the tray for her food and tea. She scooped Volt from Jin and began to feed him hunks of meat.
Eden walked in the room quickly shuting the door. "If you love me, you'll hide me from the crazy nuns..." She said meaning the preistess of the Temple who were to do the crowning later on. Eden was already ready, the blue white and sliver robes of her temple, she was to handle crown which made her stomach turn. She hadn't told Astrid that just yet. "Good moring Jin, and little queen to be." She said joking.
Jin nodded his head to her, then folded his small frame on the floor in a formal kneeling position, his back perfectly straight in posture. He reclaimed his teacup and sipped at it, waiting for Karin to finally stir.
Finally, the smell of the warm tea and food in combination with hearing Eden's entrance, Karin grumbled again, her eyes squinting as she rolled to the floor in a clumsy imitation of the warrior's ability to go from deep sleep to wakefulness and ready to fight before their eyes were even open. She swayed where she stood, mumbling a hello to everyone in the room, one hand rubbing the bruised part of her head while the other reached out blindly.
Dol gave a squawk of annoyance at being disturbed, trying to curl up against Sheba, having lost Karin's warmth, but the large feline moved liquidly from the bed as well- having only remained in place to avoid waking Karin- who could be very frightening in the morning. She slinked gracefully towards the bed, scrubbing her shoulder against Jin and then curling herself up against the bed where Astrid still was, resting her head on her leg in a friendly way, eyes watching the meat go from her hand to the small dragon, Volt.
Jin smiled at the females of the room, laughing lightly as he said, "Good morning, sister mine. How do you fare?" As he reached forward for another cup and placed it in his sister's waiting hand, which she took gratefully and gulped at before answering in a rusty voice. "I feel like a man fell on me and cracked my head on the damned floor." She groused, though her facial expression held no aggression.
Astrid glanced down at Sheba and petted her softly, laying a piece of the dried meat on her leg for the panther. She smiled and moved her arm to let Volt rest in her lap. She looked at Eden and smiled. 'You look lovely. I assume they forced you to wear something special, as well?"
Eden gurmbled sitting next to Astrid, stealing a piace of cheese. "Yes...Evil old women...You know how they are!...Always going about how you have to presnet yourself a lady of gods blah blah...You think they get the idea, I don't want to be there..." She said smiling sweetly at Astrid. Noting the animals in the room. "I feel like I'm in a zoo of mystic creatures of some sort..." She said with a sigh, she loved Jin and Karin's beast, they were so funny at times. "...so um you know...uuuh I'm going to be putting that crown on your head?" She said looking at her with that kinda of look don't let them make me do it.
Astrid glanced at Eden. "Why the sad face? It should be a good thing that you are crowning me, no?" She stood and stretched her arms above her head, looking at Jin. "What do you think? Don't you think it is a good thing?"
Aeryn was woken by a young serving man who held a plate of food for him. The man was all smiles and pushed the curtains open. "Smile, lord. It is the grandest day of them all." He hurried Aeryn out of bed and toward the wash basin. "Tidy yourself up. You are to be present while The New Queen is fitted. Your opinion is of most importance."
Aeryn growled in the back of his throat at the cold water in the basin and touched his hand to it to quickly make it warm. No one was around, so no one would notice. He quickly dunked his head into the water to drown out the sound of the man's constant blabbering.
Eden giggled. "Of coruse it it is..." she said sighing. She looked up and smiled at Astrid. "I take it your brother is sleeping in?" The thought made her giggle. She shook her head.
"Oh. He should be up by now." Astrid rose her eyebrows at Eden's sudden interest in Aeryn, but shook it off. She did, however, get a sly smile and looked at Eden through thin eyes. "Maybe you should go check to make sure he has awaken." Her honey eyelashes nearly touched her cheekbones, and she began to pull her hair over her shoulder for her 100 strokes brushing.
Eden rose an eyebrow at Astrid. "Why? so we can have a repete of ehat happened the last time you two visted? Cold water, getting chased around the place, Volt going insane going the chase?" She said grining, reamber the prank she and Astrid had Pulled on Aeryn, when Eden wanted to show Astrid how she was able to use magic. good times..."But if you want me too; fine..." She had that cheeky grin of her's on her face.
"I am sure we have grown up since then." Was Astrid's only reply from the mirror. She turned and rose her eyes to Eden. "Well? You like him, do you not?" She watched her friend intently. "If you do, go wake him."
Jin nodded, a considering look on his face, “I do not see it as a bad thing, after all, Eden, you would be one of Astrid’s friends able to be near her and support her during such an important, and thus stressful, situation. In fact, I even envy you that position.” Sheba very carefully flicked out her tongue and dragged the meat into her mouth, making sure not to get any drool or crumbs on Astrid’s sleep clothes. She purred deeply, voicing her appreciation.
“Ah, Jin you talk like a woman. Beautiful ladies, how are you so eager in this earliest of mornings?” Karin continued, finishing her cup and Jin’s as well, he having only finished half of his, knowing his sister’s habit. She plopped down near the others and gnawed on some bread and meat hungrily, smiling at Astrid hazily, “Though it is a great day for you, my friend. How are you feeling about all of this?”
Eden felt her cheeks go red as Astrid speak, she felt something for Aeryn yes, but wasn't allowed too. She sighed. "Yes Jin...it is, would like to do it...I get clusmy when people watch me...Ask Astrid, she seen me dump water and I mean ice cold water royal corut members...I don't want to drop the crown and knock out Astrid...Have you seen the size of the thing...!" She starting to jinx her self. She took a deep breath, "I'll be back..." She said going to see if Aeryn was awake.
Astrid smirked slightly and petted Sheba for a few more minutes. "I am.. Nervous as well. Strange for me." She flexed her hands and frowned. "I can feel it in my bones already." She cocked her head toward her friend and smiled. "How about you, dearest one? How is your head favoring you this morning?"
Eden waved bye to the others before sliping out side walkin to the door next to Astrid, knocking on the door. The words Astrid said made her stomach turn. What if he was still asleep?
Aeryn was out of the water by then, still grumbling at the servant who was trying to dress him. "I can tie my own pants.." He promised, blinking and looking up when there was a knock. He shooed the servant away from him and opened the door, albiet shirtless. "Oh, hello, Eden."
Eden herd the nose from behind the door, she looked up at Aeryn trying not to laugh seeing the servent sneaking away. "having problems dressing?" She said between giggles. Her cheeks still a little pink form before.
Jin’s smooth face now held concern, after seeing that Eden had left, “She would not truly drop it on you, do you think? It would not do for you to be harmed, especially today of all days.” he admonished, then calmed himself, “Nevertheless, Karin and I shall be as near as we are able, and our thoughts will be with you the entire time.” He added.
Karin laughed brazenly, finding the priestess’s shyness amusing and on that note, the way Jin tiptoed around Astrid as if she were a being of glass. Love, how ridiculous. She thought and then rubbed her head again sorely. “I thank you for the concern, it is but a bruise and should be fine within another day. I have had worse knocks than this as a fighting woman in Rhoiloroith.” She grinned fiercely, in remembered pleasure at her violent past, then softened her expression as she looked at her friend tenderly, “Really, my skull is like a rock, and fine. So when is this accursed blessing to occur?”
Aeryn had a twisted look on his face, utter unamusement at the servant played through. He held his pants up by the strings around his hips and motioned her in. He walked back infront of the mirror, tying the silk die of his black breeches worked with silver. "I am having problems with a servant." He muttered, glancing over his shoulder. "You may leave now," he motioned toward the door idly with a bored look on his face. "How are you this morrow?"
Astrid smiled to comfort Jin and then smiled at Karin. "As long as you fare well." She nodded and continued her petting of the panther, thoughtfully pushing and pulling her pelt. "Soon, I'm guessing. Though they have yet to dress me." She pulled her shoulders up in a small shrug. "I do think that Eden was over exaggerating at her nervousness."
Eden walked into the room letting the servant leave smiling at him as he rushed out. "I am well ok...how are you?" She asked sitting in one of the chairs trying not look at him while he dressed. "Your sister seems well, she said she wasn't that nervous..."
Karin smiled, “Ah, and I bet they will make you up as pretty as any jewel or flower. I’m glad that I am not expected to ever have to dress so decadently for the sensibilities of others.” She had never been one for bending to other’s expectations, but respected the courage it took for Astrid to do as she would
Sheba contentedly remained, though she was often aloof, she did enjoy a good rub down. Jin was a good owner, but not particularly physical, and every cat likes to be scratched behind the ears every once in awhile. Said owner now blushed in embarrassment. “Ah, then I should go. It is not meet that I be present at your dressing. I could just…” the gentel male looked away for a moment. Though he was noble, it was just barely there and he did not think how to get around in the palace. “Perhaps I would just return home to ready myself as well. Karin, I did bring your court clothing, just in case, so you need not leave with me” he added, after seeing his over-protective sister open her mouth to protest his leaving on his own. He stood to beg his leave, giving a shallow bow to the ladies of his life and Sheba reluctantly pulled herself from Astrid’s delicious ministrations, stalking lazily to Jin’s side.
Astrid smiled watching him go, and rose her hand in a low wave, and then looked at Karin. "Shall you accompany me to my dressing, friend?" She rose slowly, stretching her legs and put out her hand to help Karin up. "It would be nice to have someone around that I like." She grinned.
"I am tired, though nervous enough for the both of us." Aeryn said, pulling a silk shirt of light blue over his head. He began to tie up the front of it, and afterward pulled on a dark blue crushed velvet coat. "She will do well, on the throne. Better than alot of the Queen's." He then realised that he did indeed say that most of the Queen's were terrible, and he squinched his face. "I mean..."
Eden laughed walking up to him, patting his head. "Its alright...this queen was much better then most...She is the most powerful so far, but Astrid should do better, Atlest thats what I think...She specail, like you!" She joked, walking to the window. "but I hope nothing goes wrong..." She meant what they spoke of last night with Tayon.
Jin turned, hiding a small smile and left, Sheba following by his side and a pace behind.
Karin grinned, more a baring of her teeth. “Lovely, I’d like to be around if any of those underlings try to start bossing around their future queen. ‘Excusing us miss, but watch yourself, you wouldn’t want to stick yourself on a pin.’ “ she mocked, rolling her eyes. “Let me get presentable first though, before they kick me out as a farmhand come to woo their precious princess.” She laughed.
Astrid smiled and pulled on a long robe for the walk herself, and waited for her long time friend. She continued to nibble on some of the food and quickly finished the tea.
"As do I." Aeryn muttered and turned to her. "Well, are we ready to follow Astrid to her fitting?" He offered his arm.
Eden nodded, taking ahold of his arm. "Are you ready to be bored out of your mind?" She asked him smilling sweetly.
Karin went into the other room, rinsing herself quickly in the water, and pulling her clothes that Jin had left for her. She scowled at his tastes, but had no other choice. She was wearing heavy white silk next to her skin, with pale blue scroll work beneath the purple and red thistles that she had often spoken of near her home. It did bring out her coloring fairly well, though. She then slipped on the heavy red and purple stone bangles and the ornate diamond-studded chandelier earrings and her highest-heeled black riding boots beneath the length of her dress. Over that she wore a long, sleeveless scarlet that was slit up the side to show the fineness of the silk beneath and the designs were not hidden. She even applied red eyepowder, which gave her eyes an attractive glow, like embers against her pale skin. She stepped out, looking beautiful, though her face was thunderous, "That boy! Dressing me up as if to give me away to a man..." She grumbled, though took Astrid's arm in a friendly enough way.
Jin moved swiftly through the halls and doorways, trying to appear as if he had a real purpose in the hope that he would not be stopped. Thankfully he made it out with no problem, and he and the panther both trotted along and made it to his home in record time. He wished a proper bath and his best set of clothing, to show his support of Astrid and her coming reign, and did not wish to be late, even fashionably so, as he so often put it. He started a fire quickly and set the water to heat, taking out his more elaborated robes and first-best boots as well. As soon as the water seemed right, he bathed and washed his hair, using a light honey and hyacinth scented soap, quickly but thoroughly and then pointed Sheba to go in as well. The panther growled but acquiesced easily, and he washed her as well, letting the air dry him as he freshened his pet, so that she would be presentable as well.
He also had removed her harness and had ready her court-wear, a heavy jeweled collar with diamonds and opals and a silvered mesh armor for her chest and along her back and flanks, the links finely done and appearing as leopard spots with small diamonds hanging in the center of each one so that she chimed and glittered with each smooth movement. Her claws he did up with silver-leaf and tied a thin silver thread near the tip of her tail, so that a small diamond dangled, held above the ground by her pride.
He himself dressed in his usual black robe beneath with the bone buttons and the designs worked with jewels as was the one he had made for Astrid, heavy sapphire and silver jewelry adorning him at ears, throat and wrists and tied into his hair, which he had the top done in a smooth knot. A short vest that shimmered blue-violet to match his eyes and held a symbol on the back done in silver thread, his family’s coat of arms. He cleaned and polished his pendulum scythe carefully but quickly and then swung it diagonally across his back, held by a thin black leather strap. He stepped into blue velvet trousers and his black boots, freshly polished as well. Now he was ready to go, as was Sheba, though she growled in annoyance at the added weight and how now she had to hold her tail higher despite the weight. “We all bear pain for our pride and vanity, mon chat.” he said, before slowly and sedately, they returned to the palace, to await Astrid’s crowning.
"Albiet stunning, friend." Astrid said, walking with Karin through the hallways toward the fitting room. At their arrival she was pushed into a smaller room - with the obvious question to Karin "will you accompany?" Which was only dismissed when Astrid explained no and left Karin in charge- The bath was porcelain filled with steaming water, in which lavendar and vanila bean soaked. She was washed quickly by the servants, which she did not care for, but was out in a jiffy and into the front room once more.
She noticed that the rooms fire was stoaked to keep the room at a higher than pleasant temperature. Astrid, who was covered in a silk slip and an added corset by now, glowered at her friend through slanted eyes, waiting for the servant to finish tying the back of her corset. "Oh the joys." She muttered.
Eden walked with Aeryn to the royal fitting rooms. "I think you should knock..." She said to him. Seeing people rushing falowers through the palce, as they were running with foods as well. She liked how alive things were, she couldn't wait for the evening.
Aeryn smirked. He had seen his baby sister in down to her silk linings, which wasn't pleasant, but wouldn't bother him now if he'd seen it. If his calculations were correct, she should be out of the bath by now and decently dressed for the arival of the two. He pushed the door open with his fingers after slowly turning the knob and lead Eden inside. "Sister, may the leaves fall for you in winter and grow strong to keep you breathing." He bowed deep to her, looking up at her with his darker honey eyes. "May you have cool grass to relax on, blue skies to play in, and shade to cool you on the hottest days. Sister, May you live a thousand lives." He rose, and smiled at her.
It had been so long since she had heard a greeting from her family beside Aeryn, so long that it seemed to make her homesick now when said by the two whenever they met. She batted away the hands of the servant who had just finished tying her corset and moved to her brother, grasping his hand in hers. "Brother, may you also live a thousand lives by my side to not only bring me protection but love into mine heart. May you lounge with me in shadow on the cool grass with nothing but blue skies for future. May you always have a heart to beat and a mind to think. Brother, may you always be mine kin." She too, lifted and smiled, laughing slightly. "I miss our greetings, Aeryn."
Aeryn pushed his hand out. "As have I. We will be seeing our parents, today, as well. It will be nice." He smiled. "Now, get you dressed, sister, on the finest day of your life."
Eden bowed towards Astrid, not waiting to inturupe their greeting, it was cute. She evnyed the two, they had each other and their family, it made a little jelouse at times, but she was much to happy for Astrid to let that bring her down. Eden walked over Karin sighing.
Karin glanced at Eden sideways, shaking her head that they were making Astrid wear a corset, And with her beautiful form too! she seethed. "Problem, priestess?" she asked, bluntly as ever.
He stood at Astrid’s door, not having taken as much time as he had assumed he would, he thought he had time to speak to her once more beforehand, but it seemed no one was there. “Astrid, Karin?” He called softly, not wanting to interrupt any others. When no one answered, he slowly pushed open the door, and was surprised to see that though the girls had left, Dol was still snoring away on the divan and Jin awakened him, saying his name curtly, as Sheba cuffed him in the side, waking him with a yowl. “You are a mess, creature, and must accompany Karin. How could you let her and Astrid leave without you as an escort? What kind of male are you, dragon or not?” He complained, reaching into the bag he had left there and taking out the metal scraper that would clean Dol’s scales, and then using a special textured polishing cloth, to bring them to mirror-shine, the almost translucent color gleaming prettily, the color of blood just underneath it’s surface. He did truly have clear scales, though Dol often allowed himself to get so filthy that it would end up a cloudy reddish-grey, and the blood and fire ability within him showed a dull ruby beneath, his eyes catching that red and surrounding a mercury starburst at the center. He quickly ran his fingers through the plumage at Dol’s points, preening them expertly and bringing them to a smooth shine.
Dol’s court dress was an armour of red-gold leather embellished with golden studs and mirrors, a special plate with an over-large mirror clasped against his chest and gold plates along his tail. Ruby and topaz cabochons adorned his forehead strap and a golden teardrop pendant dangled between his eyes, bringing attention to their natural brilliance. Like Sheba before him, Jin painted Dol’s claws with gold-leaf, and fitted his mouth with the over-sharp golden caps for his upper and lower fangs, leaving the rest- which he also brushed free of any food- their natural clear as glass appearance. “It will suffice.” Jin decided, and stood, snapping his fingers so that Dol and Sheba would follow him immediately, flanking him and Dol walked carefully imitating the panther’s movements. When he bore the armor and leaf, he knew that he was to be on his best behavior. Jin was a gentle soul, but proud, and if humiliated, his anger could get the best of him… They went in search of Karin and Astrid, hoping to see them before the ceremony.
Astrid allowed the servants to bring the crushed forest green velvet dress over her shoulders, which was cut in an oval neckline to show just below her collarbones and hug nicely to her shoulders and rest of her body, till her hips, where it then layed out in folds of the same crushed velvet played up with pannels of silver. Emeralds hung from silver in her hair and on nearly every appendage, including her neck, where a twisted silver necklace hugged the base. When the servants were done, she had black liner on her eyes which winged out passed the tip of her eyes, and dark charcoal cream coating her usually light lashes. She turned, stepping down and looking at them. "Is it... too much?"
Eden smiled at Karin. "No..." When Astrid was finshed she smiled. "You look like a queen ready to lead her country..." She said smiling at Astrid. She knew she was going to do fine, if not better then most. Green was a nice color on her as well.
Karin smiled, her harsh face softened as she gazed upon her friend. "Oh, Astrid, you honestly look like summer. When the hives are dripping with their fullness of honesy and the green of the leaves are coated with it and soaking up the sunlight, how lovely you look. Jin would be so pleased to see you like this." She smiled, and then coughed, scrubbing her hand across her face in embarrassment. Damn, that brother of mine is rubbing off on me. She coughed again, "You look damn beautiful and the kingdom is lucky to have you." She finished roughly, though her eyes remained a bit misty.
"Friend-mine, you are quite the character." Astrid said, smiling. "I wish to see him, before the crowning." Before I am betrothed to someone else. "Do you think he is back in the-" She started, but was cut off by her sly little pet who came crashing into the room from servants. He curled at his owners feet and hissed toward them, curling his tail up her leg and clutching to her. Astrid picked him up and looked at him. "Why, little one, you're clean. What a beautiful sight you are, yellow and all." He chittered at her and nipped at her bracelets.
Eden laughed at Volt he was such a funny fire lizard. She had a good feeling that Astrid has a thing for the silk weaver Jin. But didn't say anything. "Well the crowning is at noon, so you have some time before then..." She spoke.
Karin came out of her emotions with a start, "Oi, what did they do to the little one?" She asked, concern and rage both in her voice. He looked upset, and he was important to both Astrid and Dol, and thus important to her. "Is he hurt?" She lifted her hand, looking as if she were to play with her hair (if it were long enough that is) and fingering the handle of her sword readily.
Finally, Jin noticed a large prominent door that many serving girls were flowing in and out of. He stopped one such female, with a touch to her elbow and at first the rough-haired girl, with a frazzled expression looked ready to scold him, but upon seeing his finery and his face, she immediately blushed and put up a hand to smooth her hair as she looked up at him through the corners of her eyes, coquettishly. "And what be you looking for, lord?" She asked, in a pretty voice.
Jin moued his lips, trying not to laugh, and giving himself a moment. "I was looking for Princess Astrid, your soon to be queen. I would have a word with her. Is she in there?"
Looking crestfallen, she then looked to the ground, "Oh no! Sir, she be in there, but you canna go! She be getting dressed, dontcha know?" Her coarse country language now more free as she realized he was interested in a higher lady.
"Ah, well and would you do me this favor, of giving the lady this and telling her that I shall await her in the hall?" He pressed a heavy silver coin and also a thin ring from his own finger- a diamond and gold thing of curliques. "The ring is for her," He said simply, not mentioning the money. She took it with a blush and a clumsy attempt at a curtsy, "Thankee kind sir, I shall get it to her." She then turned right back into the room, approaching AStrid and pressing her hands, red and chapped against Astrid's own fine ones, leaving the ring in her palm. "He will be waiting in the hall." And then she hurried back out, looking for Jin and disappointed not to. She disappeared in the directions of the laundry rooms. Jin sighed and released the illusion of a broomstick easily. Women and a pretty face.
"Oh, no, he has not been hurt. He's just a pissy little dragon, just like his beloved Aeryn, is he not? Loves to get dirty and play, but not one for such cleaning." Astrid said and let the yellow critter down to the ground, although he skittered under her skirts for further hiding. "He does not need jewels and such, kind ones." She said, but it sounded more like "Don't touch my dragon again".
When the scruffy girl placed the ring in her hand and said "he", Astrids heart jumped to her throat and threatened to make her vomit. She pressed her lips together and fingered the ring lightly. "I will return in a moment." She walked away from her companions, lifting her skirts and heading out into the hall. When she found Jin she wrapped her arms around him quickly, nearly collapsing into his body. "Thank the gods I am able to see you before the ceremony."
Aeryn smirked. "Was that a ring in her fingers?" He questioned, glancing down at the small dragon who had tried to keep up with Astrid under her skirts but failed, since she made an almost beeline to the man who clearly was her... lover. Aeryn almost choked thinking the thought, and he covered his mouth, coughing into his palm. When servants began to scurry to him he waved them off with his other hand, but grimaced nonetheless.
Eden looked at Aeryn worried, going to his side. "Are you alright?" She asked. Was it because of the ring? Was there something deeper going on here? More questions filled her head. A cold feeling began creep up her spine, the way things were, could Aeryn really let go of Astrid to anothre man she loved?
Jin held her close for a moment, allowing himself only a moment to bury his face in her hair, smelling the lavender and vanilla, soothing his harried nerves and he laid a softer than breath kiss against the silky locks, then pulled away, flushing hotly. "I had worried for you, how are you, with the people bustling about you like that? I am sure none have thought of your feelings while they put pins and cloth upon you as if you are not a person." His expression was fiercely protective, and his hands still lingered upon her forearms.
Karin barely kept from a full-out grin. Well, her brother's polite facade may be torn down before the fiery princess. She looked to Aeryn and Eden, eyebrow quirked in questioning. "Is there a problem?" She asked the man, her tone a bit firm, not having noticed the ring herself, but his reaction to the thought that it was, concerned her. Was he a danger to Jin or Astrid?
Dol and Sheba both nestled up against Astrid's legs, sensing her distress.
"Just.." Aeryn coughed again, his eyes watering at this point. "Something lodged itsself in my throat. Excuse me." He stopped coughing and laughed lightly. "Excuse my terrible display of... coughing." He blinked a few times, almost confused.
"I am more worried for you than I am for myself. How are you faring in this situation? Are your nerves feeling well..?" Astrid wondered at him, holding one hand at the base of his neck and on his chest. "They have, of course, not asked how I feel or wondered how tight this corset is - enough to make me want to vomit, mind you - but they are not trained to care, just to do. I, however..." She paused, looking up at him. "I am accustomed to caring about you rather than the other option."
Eden looked up at him, her hand on his neck, a soft cool blue light glowed, healing the bothered muscels in his throat. "You can't be coughing through the crowning..." she said smiling at him. What brought that on? she thought, looking back at Karin smiling.
Karin now released her light hold on her weapon, stepping up to Aeryn, slight concern on her face. “Are you alright? Your expression says you either do not know what was happening or you do, and you do not like it. Which is it?” Her voice was almost forceful, not wanting a harm to come to Astrid’s brother.
“Silly lady,” he whispered lovingly, laughing lightly, “I am fine, as ever. Seeing you has eased my heart’s pain. You must take care for yourself. Without you, I and your other subjects… We would fall.” He looked down, then said, “I know this is a small comfort, but I have a little ability at women’s clothing. After all, how else would Karin dress herself for any occasion? She would go in her sleep clothes, if I allowed it. I could at least loosen the corset,” He said, almost angry, “Though I cannot see why they would think you need it. You have the most beautiful…” He stopped himself, placing his hand on her hip as if in the first move of a waltz.
"It's just that she is my baby sister." Aeryn accomplished, waving them both off. "I'm fine, honestly." He quickly moved away from the two of them.
"Would you please help me with this wretched garmet? I honestly just..." Astrid started and then began laughing. "Common." She grabbed his hand and lifted her skirts with her other hand and began running down the hallway toward her rooms. They caught the eyes of some servants, but she didn't care. When they reached her rooms she pushed open the door and pulled him inside, shutting it quickly and flipping the lock. "Get this cursed thing off of me. I can't breathe."
Karin glared at him, as if they did not care for her just as much? Nevertheless, she moved away from him and leaned against the wall, though she was petite and dressed elegantly, her stormy face kept others from approaching.
"..." Jin swallowed, slightly unnerved, but he had offered and she was in pain, so he reached and unfastened the intricate fastening at the back of her dress and then slid his fingers down the length of her spine, lingering in a cruel torment to himself, his nimble fingers easily finding the tiny tight lacework of the knots and slowly tugged and undid the mass, eventually loosening the corset and soon he began unlacing it entirely, so that she was free to move and breathe. "You did not need this, as any would know, having seen you stand and breathe, and the way you walk as if you are simply gliding and you never waver nor slouch. They are all fools, who do not know even that much of you." He reached around a bit, grasping her around the middle to steady her as his other hand firmly pulled the edge of the material, sliding it from underneath her dress, keeping her covered.
Astrid pulled in a deep breath and helped hold the dress up. "Thank.. Thank you." She said, breathing in a few heavy breathes. When he was finished doing up her dress again, she turned and hugged him once more. "I do not remember if I told you about my brothers plan to save me, or not. But..." She stopped herself from saying I will be yours. "Everything will be fine. Of that I am sure."
Jin let out a surprised breath, "There is a plan? I... Is there any way in that I can help, please?" He asked, his voice fervent. If there were any way to help her, to keep her from such unhappiness and maybe... He did not finish his own thought.
She pouted lightly, but was strong nontheless. "I have to act as if I do want this, but together we will all fight against it, and what ever else." Astrid pulled in a deep breath, shaking. Her nervousness made her mouth full of cotton, her viens full of energy, her heart flutter quickly. "I.. I will kill him if he touches me, you know. I..I.. I am yours.."
His eyes opened wide in shock. She, she felt the same way? She was so strong for his sake? So she knew how he felt, and he tried to speak, his mouth open, useless. “I had thought I would have to suffer the knowledge of another man’s hand upon your flesh,” he moved his own so that it rested on the crux of her neck and shoulders, his thumb moving lightly and soothingly over the line of her jaw, “I had thought there was nothing to do, and that you would go, for there was no other choice.” His eyes were bright with emotion, and his voice trembled, “I had thought I would lose all of you to another, and now you announce to me that you would be mine?”
He pulled her close, almost roughly in his extremity, his hand now caressing the back of her neck and then he brought his face towards hers, “But no matter for what or for who’s sake, please, do not let yourself come to harm, be it in escape, in defying that wretched creature. I could not bear it. My life is fed by my love for you, by your mere existence. If you care for my life, care for yourself above all else. Please.” He asked, speaking so quickly and passionately as their faces were so near, that his breath, smelling sweetly of the spiced tea he so favored, touched upon her face as lightly as the kiss he had placed amidst her hair earlier.
"I will be safe for both of us, My dearest." Astrid replied, pushing her hands up to his jaw and resting her head under his chin to be held close. "We will make it though this and I will be yours. You will sit beside me on the throne and we will dance together and laugh as we feed each other only the best bread and grapes." She twisted her arm around his shoulders and held on tightly to him.
Eden back away sighing, "I should be going...They need me anyways..." she said quickly and walked off, out of the room before anyone could say anything. Eden walked down the halls towards the grand hall where their was fisnhing preapering her people for the crowning. Eden wasnted to get this over with, it was ner-racking when she thought about how she was to place an crown as ols as the land she walked on her friends head, not only, she knew the other preistess wanted to use it as a way from them to keep her bound here, this cage. When the a thought came up, wouldn't she be doing the same to Astrid? She would be froces to the live life the law command her too. Thsi had dampen her sprit.
Jin sighed contentedly, nestling his chin into her soft golden hair as he whispered, “I could only be the happiest to be by your side, to support, comfort and nourish you as you grow with the land and the trees, ever more, ever beautiful.” After a few moments of savoring their embrace, he sighed once more, less restfully, as he said, “Now, and before they all think I have kidnapped you and are clamoring for my head, I fear we must return you. Luckily, darling, they shall not be able to tell the loss of that stiff contraption, with your posture and form, so you shall at least be able to breathe in comfort. Have you any more concerns about the ceremony to come?” He cupped her cheek gently, wanting to see truth in her eyes. She tried too often to be strong for others, and he did not want her brave face. He wanted her, fears and all.
"Aside from the obvious, I have none, love." Astrid replied, closing her eyes and pressing her head toward his hand. "I, as well, fear that I must be back. But I will dance with you first at the ball tonight, and with you only. They cannot change that." She swirled her fingers along his arm and smiled lightly. "Thank you for your help."
Eden was in the grand hall, unsure of what to do, They were going over with her what was to happen. The High Presitess will speak the words of the crowning and all she had to was place the crown upon Astrid head. But her heart and mind was some where eles as she sat on the bench looking out the window. The words he friend spoke to her about her brother. Tsam Had return to her, he was sent to run an erin for the temple, the good little dragon he was. Tsam cooed to get her attion, nipping at her fingers. "I'm....fine Tsam..." She sighed closing her eyes.
Jin smiled gently, and before turning to open the door, he placed a soft, lingering kiss on the center of her forehead. “It would be my pleasure to partner you on the dance floor, I will try my hardest not to step on your delicate feet.” He murmured, with light laughter, knowing that he was very practiced at most dances and had not taken an awkward step since his first as a toddler. Then as he tried to keep the pleased smile from his lips, he opened the door, taking Astrid’s hand and placing it at his elbow, curling his own fingers over hers as they walked through the door together. Not many couples would be able to do that, but with Astrid’s willowy figure and Jin’s smaller stature, they glided as if under an arch, perfectly collected and moving together easily. He led her back to the room, and then stopped outside, “I believe I must remain out here, for propriety’s sake.” Looking regretful to be separated from her for even a moment.
Dol and Sheba, having waited patiently by the door in wait for Karin now rose from their haunches at Jin and Astrid's return. Both of the animals flicked their tongues out, rasping against the two's hands in greeting. As Jin half-opened the door for Astrid to re-enter the room, Dol slipped in, ecstatically greeting Karin. Sheba once again crouched near the doorway, in guarding.
Astrid caught Jin's hand as she began through the door, and held her fingers to his for as long as she could before he shut the door behind her and she was cut off from him. She glanced around the room and smiled at them all, blushing lightly. "Excuse my absence." There was no time for anyone to react to her words, however, for the servants began to push all of them out the door toward the gardens.
Aeryn caught his sisters arm and pulled it into his own, much like how Jin had, only void of romantacism. He held her hand firmly on his, firm enough that the ring she wore on her fingers from Jin pushed between his own. "What is it, baby sister, that you have in mind for that man?" He inquired.
Astrid kept her stern back, glancing down the corridor in search for a sight of Jin. Her back was straight with whispy hair cascading down to the small, her delicate skin soft as usual. She would make a good queen, mostly because she kept her cool. "I am of age now, Aeryn, and that is no business of yours," she replied, but finished. "He is of no threat. That I promise you, brother."
Eden sat there watching the children run around with ribbon laughing. Tayon had walked in, his black and white robes with leather armor. He saw Eden he walk up to her looking down at her. "You seem upset? Shouldn't you be happy?" He asked. Eden looked up at him and smiled. "Of coruse I'm happy...I'm happy that Astrid is going to become, I'm that She and J- another had found love with one another, I'm that I'll never see the outside of these bloody walls..." she said looking down at Tsam. "Tayon, you have wings to Fly away from this cage..." Her eyes were on a pair of children playing a game. Tayon sighed. "...Way haven't you tried leaving?" He asked watching Tsam. "they'll just bring me back...I'm 25 with no say as to how my life can be lived, its been planned out since brith...I can't even love some one..." Eden held Tsam close. Tayon looked at his old friend with sad eyes. "Couldn't...couldn't Astrid do something about it?" He asked.
Karin followed loosely behind the brother and sister, finding Jin quickly as if by some magnetism and her own brother easily caught up with her and began walking, tucking her hand into his arm as well. He did not wish her wandering about unattached, to have some poor man come up to her and for Karin to cause a fuss or a fight, depending on her mood. So he kept a firm hold of her, and both their animals followed at their sides, and the two lower nobles appeared as if they belonged among the highest of court. “Jin, maybe next time you should be more discreet. There seemed upset at Astrid’s greeting of you.” He looked straight ahead, unconsciously concentrating on the girl in question as he declined to answer. Silently, his heart beat wildly beneath his fine clothing, anxious of what was to come.
Eden walked with a few other presitess to the crowning. The out door chamber hall where a golden throwen sat was surrounded by falowers and people. Astrid was to come from one side, as the queen would come from the other side. Eden was with the High Preistess waiting fot the two to began walking to the thrown. Edens stomach did a back flip. Her heart was still heavy from eailier but she didn't let it show on her face.
The silver-haired twins took their place amidst the audience, though they took a forefront position by virtue of their fine clothing and haughty demeanor, their pets doing the same, baring and snapping their teeth at any people or animals who got too close. Jin smiled softly, giving his gentle presence as support while Karin raised her arm slightly in a strong fist, her face determined, trying to show a definite front so that Astrid would draw no fear from her.
Astrid smiled at her dear friends, more-so at Karin now, for how strongly she portrayed herself. She walked like a ghost, as she usually did. She swiftly glided toward the throne, keeping time with the Queen. She could feel her heartbeat in her throat, she could feel her legs move but they felt like they weren't hers. She glanced at Jin and gave a small thumbs up.
Whenthe two made itthe thrown they face each other, the high preistess speaking a few word then looked to Eden to take the corn form the Queen to place it on Astrid. Eden took the golden crown, it was shaped as sun. Eden held the crown, and Astrid kneeled down, Eden was about to place the crown on her head when a jolt of pain struck through her body, Eden went from seeing the garden to death, and pain, it was De'gal, but no longer full of life and happiness. She saw everyone she loved dead or sieing, and as soon as vision came it left she was staring down at Astrid almost as if she didn't know what to do. People looking worried as if something had happen, the cresent moon on her should glowing a sliver color.
Jin returned the small gesture, watching Astrid closely for any signs of regret or wanting to escape. Karin, on the other hand, was keeping more of an eye on the surroundings and saw the shocked look on Eden's face. She took a step forward, a question on her lips. Sheba caught onto the tension and rose to all fours, already showing her teeth as she perceived Karin reaching for her sword. Jin, noticing this as well, his eyes flashed quickly to his sister and where she was looking and then watched Eden. Immediately he was watching the surrounding area, keeping a close eye on Astrid, was there danger? He also fingered his weapon.
Astrid was looking up at Eden with wonder in her eyes, a question playing on them. "Crown me." She whispered, tired of being on her one knee for two long. "I know your nervous but just do it.." She coaxed, trying to get it all over with. She could feel her stomach turning. If the people saw her hesitation, they would decide against her...
Aeryn, however, was much less calm. He was walking toward his sister, his hand on his whip. He kneeled next to her, holding onto her shoulder. "Let's get this done and over with, shall we?"
Eden snapped out of her trance and placed the crown on Astrid's head. She was so embrassed and scared. She wanted to run away. The old queen walked up to Astrid Helped her to the thrown where she sat. Everyone in the crowd cheered happily, Eden on the other hand just watched the ground. people cheered and focused on Astrid, Allowinf eden to escape from her embrassing momnet, she ran through the halls untill she couldn't hearing the cheering. What did she see! And WHY? Fire, chaos, hate, and Death. She felt cold, what she didn't relize was that there were tears running down her face.
Aeryn grabbed Eden by the arm and pulled her with him down the stairs and away from the crowd. "What was that about?" He asked her, watching her intently. "Astrid has worked so hard for the place she's been given, you can't scare her like that, you understand?"
Astrid held onto the sides and smiled at the people, her people. She breathed in a deep breath of air and found Jin in the crowd. She smiled fondly and put her hands together, lacing her fingers, hoping he would understand the message. Amongst all of the clatter and clapping and voices, all she saw was Jin and the way he was smiling.
Karin and Jin looked at each other, now confused. “What was that all of a sudden?” Jin whispered hastily, though his hands had left the long handle of this scythe and were now politely clapping. Karin did not accede to such expectations and made a noise of distaste at her twin. “Who knows. We’ll ask her afterwards. If there was immediate danger she would not have left Astrid, and on no account are we to leave her to anything as well. We stay.” She decided, not liking the way Jin watched Eden leave, worry on his face. He saw danger around every corner. Not danger to fight, danger to fear. She then shook her head and gave a great yell of support. “Yea! Queen Astrid!” She cried along with the others.
“She will surprise us all.” Jin thought, a greatly pleased expression on his face. He was happy for her, that she had reached the position she so wanted. He clapped and then laced his fingers together as well, imitating Astrid and imagining their hands intertwined instead. Perfect. he mouthed, smiling more than was he was wont to do, but unable to keep from matching her ecstatic expression.
Astrid kept her smile, and at this point she regrettably rose to wave at her people. She began to walk away from the throne and back into the palace, catching Jin's eye as she walked. She wanted, more needed, to talk and lay and breathe with him. She kept her hands laced and chatted silently with the x-queen.
Eden stood there in tears, she felt worse for making Astrid worried, but after what she saw, with good reason. "I...I'm sorry..." She said covering her face enbrassed and still scared senseless, her shoulders shanking. She had never felt such a feeling before, not light or warmth. What was happening? or was going to happen, should tell what she saw to Astrid and the others or stay quite. Now she had not only made Aeryn upset, but probly everyone eles she knew. But her mind was foucesed on the vison...
As she walked away, Karin let out a final whoop and then noticed Jin let out a small sigh of discontent. She looked at him, but he did not seem affected, other than a tightening of his jaw and a certain gleam to his eyes. She shook her head. Those two. She grumbled to herself, amused. “Come brother, let us go and enjoy the celebrations. Soon, we shall be able to properly congratulate our good friend. Maybe we will even look after that crazed priestess.” She took his arm, folding his hand over her arm as if she were the male.
Jin made a sound of protest, then desisted. She hated being reminded she was female, and was supposed to go along with the males, and so he allowed her this small act of rebellion. They walked through the crowds, disdaining the coarser peoples who did not even know Astrid, quickly making their way as near to Astrid as they could without making a scene. Jin seemed relieved to have her within sight again and then Karin gave him a quick peck on the cheek before sliding from his grasp. “I am to go after the priestess. Look after our prin- Forgive me, our new queen.” She said, knowing that was where he truly wished to be, “You are a good sister. Take care of yourself and keep Dol in line!”
He said, then turned quickly, stepping up near Astrid, almost casually as if he did not know he stood next to her. Sheba kept behind him, expertly dodging the boots and skirts of the ladies and gentlemen who crowded around without looking where they stepped. “I wish to congratulate you, and express my gratitude on the behalf of the kingdom of the Eastern Golden Sun.” He said, bowing deeply and trying to appear as a mere admirer, so as not to bring undue attention to himself. “Our past Queen, I would like to also express absolute admiration in your choice of successor. She has a great tradition to follow.” He gave an almost flirtatious smile, flattering the older lady who no longer wielded the power she had only the day before.
Astrid watched him with a sly smile, holding his eyes for as long as he could. "Ah. We'll, Our passed queen and I both thank you," She replied, dipping her head slowly in appreciation as if she too was unaware of his presence in life. She grinned. "Tell us, sir, what did you think of the ceremony?"
Aeryn shook his head. "Don't scare her, please." He put his hand up to his neck and leaned toward her. "I... I love her too much and she's worked too hard and she will be damn good for these people." He breathed in deep and tucked his thumb under her eye to stop her tears.
Eden looked up at him. She didn't mean to scare Astrid, nor make her worry. "...I never ment to scare her...I promise..." She said, blushing as he wiped her tears away. "...Aeryn...I..." She stayed quite for a few seconds taking a deep breath. "...I'm sorry my nerves got in the way, and caused for you and Asrtid to worry...Astrid will do very well..." She said, her eyes filled was soarrow.
Karin wandered around for a bit, trying to discern the young priestess's robes among the rest of the high court finery. Finally she thought she recognized her, with Aeryn standing by her protectively and she seemed to be crying. She stepped up close, standing by Astrid's brother as she faced Eden, "What ails you woman?" She asked, maybe a bit more harshly than intended. She was like any common man and did not know what to do when a woman cried.
Catching onto the game, he continued with a solicitous offer to take the ladies’ arms, “Is there anywhere you wish to go, lovely women of the crown, while we speak?” A genuine smile now graced his lips in response to their little joke. “Now I shall blather on and on about the smallest intricacies like the work of the priestess’s robes, and the way the crown caught the light on exactly the moment it reached the lovely new Queen’s silken locks and I would swear upon my honor that I heard a flock of birds break into chorus at the same time.” He continued in this style for a while, becoming more and more ridiculous in his exclamations, hoping to bore the older woman with the inane conversation.
Aeryn looked at the wirey Karin and grinned despite himself. "She got nervous, is all." He answered, pulling her up to stand on her feet strong and patting her shoulder. "She'll be fine, yes?" The last word was directed at Eden herself.
Astrid curled her arm into his, walking with him as if she didn't know him. She did, however, grip his forearm tightly and slightly move her thumb back and forth. "You are too kind, sir. I am sure it was nothing so extravagant." She touched hands with a few people as they walked through the crowd, and accepted small pieces of jewelery and flowers till her hands couldn't any longer. "I am glad you enjoyed the ceremony."
Eden looked up at him. "...Yes..." she said looking to side avoiding eyecontact. It wasn't the truth, she had seen something, a warning. Was something horrible to fallow this crowning. She looked at Aeryn and thought about the phropceys. The same cold chill that climbed her spine began to rise her sense. "...Do...Do you to believe in the Phropceys?" She asked quitely as afew ladis of Crout walked by eyeing Aeryn as they went.
The Queen smiled at Jin. "Your name is Jin, is it not...I'm told your quite the weaver...Would you be so kind as to weave Astrid wedding gown?" She asked, knowing more then they thought. "You would of coruse need to go with her to the Western Kingdom..." The old queen smiled at the two.
Aeryn caught the eyes of the court girls walking by and grinned at them. "I do, although I haven't had time to busy myself with them lately." Then he had the sudden idea of what Eden was talking about. "No, Eden. No. There is nothing wrong with Astrid's reign. She is and will be the best queen for De'gal."
Astrid smiled at Jin and at the queen. "Oh wouldn't that be wonderful?" She questioned. She rose a slender eyebrow but could feel the tension on the back of her shoulders. The queen had to have known something, or she wouldn't offer. "I would very much enjoy an intricate wedding dress..."
Eden tuged Aeryn's arm. "I know, but...I saw something... would you pay attion...your can be such a flirt!...." She said getting red in the face. "...Befor I put the crown on her head, I saw something...Aeryn it's been 2000 years since the last war, why now, why would Eastern Knigdom be on the brink of war with the Westren?...And Dyanita..." She said bitng her lip. Eden watched through the open windows with people passing by. Eden didn't know how to explain what had happened, or what she saw.
The queen nodded. "I think it will be a grand gown if Jin here was to make, I may not be able to see, but I've herd so much. I don't think the Duke would mind, which reminds me...He will be here tonight." She said sighing with a look of unhappiness. "So please dress to impress my dear, you don't have to wear that silly crowning gown...I reamber when I wore the that thing..." She sighed grummbling. "Is it still that drak shade of green?" She smiled kindly at Astrid.
“Kind Queen of yesterday, how you honor me with such a proposition. It would be my absolute pleasure and crowning achievement to be allowed to create the silken masterpiece that any such dress would be.” He bowed deeply, willing to create Astrid’s gown for the dreaded wedding, in that he could make sure she would be comfortable and that the style would represent her accurately- not least was the added bonus in that he would be able to spend such time with her.” He took the chance to lightly touch the older woman upon the hand, so that she would realize his true gratitude for the opportunity she presented. “I thank you.” He said lowly, so that many would not hear, and even if they would, would not read too much into it. Jin looked at Astrid, a small smile on his lips, but his elation was that much more evident in the brighter blue of his eyes.
Karin gave a curt nod in Aeryn’s direction in thanks, then turned to Eden, “What speak you of prophecies and wars, Eden? Do you believe our friend to bring ruin upon us all?" She hissed quietly, "This is neither the time nor place for such dangerous talk, priestess. Maybe in close quarters and solely among friends, this could be discussed thoroughly and without any chance of things being misheard or mistaken.” She looked around, clenching her fists idly- her spiked rings catching the light as she had freshly sharpened and polished them just for this occasion, as if expecting someone to shout ‘Blasphemy!’ or call some other death and destruction down upon them all.
'It's just because of the betrothal to the duke's son. That's all you're worried about," Aeryn reassured her, trying to keep his eyes off of the wondering girls around him. He smiled at her and waved his hand. "It's nothing, really." He glanced at karin. "I agree with her, besides. Not only have I known her almost my whole life, but she speaks since."
Astrid smiled up at Jin. "Yes, It is still the horrible shade of green and still tight at ever." She tried to keep her smile despite the fact that the man was supposed to be there tonight. She tightened her grip on Jin as if making sure she wouldn't get pulled away. She walked closer to him, holding onto him moreso than she had before. "I would... be very.. honored if you made my.. wedding dress.." She managed out.
Eden sighed, he wasn't going to listen. She felt her heart wheep inside, for once she knew what was to come and no would listen. Is this how things were going to end? or was this the beganing of the end. "Very well..." She said looking at the ground. She couldn't get that image out of her head, every time she closed her eyes she was it, death...there was something eles, someone she saw but who? Eden grabbed her shoulder, her mark was burning, and it was becoming painful. Why did that silly little mark burn?
The queen nodded, she sighed. "Jin, May I steal Astrid for a momnet? I must speak with our new queen of some matter of tonight galla. I promise to bring her back." She said kindly to Jin, the old queen could see his bright aroura.
Karin finally just glared at all of the twittering ladies around and gave a rude shoo-ing motion, urging them along and away from their private conversation. “Really, must you encourage the brainless idiots?” She muttered. What senseless people filled the courts. She shook her head in a condescending matter, noticing Eden clutching her shoulder. “Well and what pains you now? Are you tired… poisoned?” She added the last incredulously, Putting her arm around the other girl and looking around suspiciously. “Let us get you to a room to rest. We could speak there, and sooner if that would ease your discomfort, Eden.” She may be harsh, but there was no reason for this girl to be in unnecessary pain- she was not among enemies, after all. She started to lead the young priestess away, glancing at Aeryn to see if he would escort them.
Jin blinked, “Of course, lady, it is your prerogative to do what you see fit, though the new queen seems a bit out of sorts. I would gladly escort the both of you to a place of more intimacy and even guard the doors from unwanted visitors should you wish. I would mislike for her to go unsupported.” He offered, although seeming to accede to the older woman’s wishes, he still tried to edge his way in, not liking the hesitant manner of Astrid’s speech. She was such a brave girl that she was either very discomfited or in some type of pain. He placed his hand over Astrid’s on his arm, feeling her tightened hold and worrying. He matched his eyes to her, trying to convey his concern.
Aeryn was busy eyeing one of the last serving girls, as she looked over her shoulder at him. He winked at her before noticing that Karin was glowering at him and gave her a silent wave before sighing in the back of his throat and following the two women. He curled his arm around Eden's waist and leading her down the hallway. He began to tiptoe his fingers across Karin's shoulders in a form of a joke to lighten the mood.
Astrid blinked a few times, and, for the first time since she was told about her postion, she opened her mouth. "I agree with your idea, Jin. You will escort us to a room and stay with us, in the room even." She held her back straight. She was, after all, queen and the older woman walking with them was no longer in power.
Eden couldn't help but smile at Eden. "Your very much like a dragon Karin...But in a good way. Filled with pride, but with just as much love." She rubbed her shoulder. She felt at ease Aeryn place her arm around her waist, she didn't as much alone, and Karin remind way to much of dragon. But she felt bad still for all most ruining Astrids crowning. I really am Jinxed.... She thought to herself as the three walked down the hall. She looked at Aeryn and his jokeful manner with the two. "And this is why you aren't merried, isn't it?" She said giving a small smile toward Aeryn.
The queen sighed. "He'll have to wait out side Astrid, this matter I need to speak to you is on of a private matter. I do not wish to spearte you two, but it'll be for a short momnet." She spoke softly to Astrid, but had a frim tone.
Dol, following at Karin's heels made his odd little moan-growl at Aeryn. “Gah! Infernal male!” Karin exclaimed, giving him a severe look over Eden’s shoulder. She shook her head, a light pink flushing at the tips of her ears, but nothing too noticeable. Fool She scorned in her mind, though she did fight a bit of laughter, her arm shaking a bit where she touched the other two. They quickly reached a room, it was not one of the finest, but she did not know the origin of Eden’s discomfort and did not want to force her farther than she could go. If they found it necessary to leave later, either Karin or Aeryn could carry her, but that lacked a certain sense of dignity in her mind and so she left it only as a third or fourth plan of action. She set the girl on a narrow cot, and then leaned against the nearest wall. “Now, Eden, what is going on? Are you in any sort of pain?" She seemed a bit irritated, she did not like to seem unknowing, nor to be at a loss of what to do. Karin was the type of person to do better with mindless action. She paused and then added oddly, "And how am I like a dragon?"
“Ah, then that is easily done.” He took the blind one on his other arm and was ready to take them into the gardens, but saw they were too crowded as well with feasting and festivity. At a loss for a moment, he then guided his lovely charges down a few hallways, nothing too exerting, and opened a medium-sized library, a personal one no doubt. The lovely bound books lined the walls and he led both women to the plush velveted couch before taking the initiative to pull the curtains. “We should not like to advertise your whereabouts, lest your over-attentive people trample the doors to be near you yet again.” He smiled and then seeing only one other small door (presumably that led to the bedroom of a royal relative) and judging it safe in that all were to be at the celebrations in the public halls. Nevertheless as he gave a small parting squeeze to Astrid's hand before he begged his leave, he did not lock the door behind him as he stood guard before it. "I shall wait right outside, and as Sheba tells no tales, she will remain for your comfort." Sheba, having followed them all closely, now lay at Astrid’s feet, watching the single door cautiously.
Astrid closed the door behind them and followed the queen inside, leaving Volt behind with Jin. He whined and pawed at the door a few times before cocking his head and looking up at Jin with a look of "Are you my daddy 'cause I'm lost in the woods." He whined more, waiting.
Azhardyn had been watching the newely crowned queen and following the strangely haired male who was escorting the two women. He was in his dragon form, making his way down the hallway after them. He came this far, he couldn't turn back now without chittering at the queen at least once. He noticed her go inside a room and left the strange male outside with a smaller dragon. He shifted his wings to band down and landed, nearly crashing into the other dragon. He began to speak to him, which for human's ears only sounded like chittering. "A-Are you the Queen's dragon? Can I hang out with you till she comes out? What the hell do you eat around here..."
Volt, however, was not very friendly. He worried a bit and pushed himself backwards, crawling up Jin's leg and wrapping his tail around the man's calf. "Who-What-Get away from me or I'll, I'll!"
Aeryn sat with the two women inside the room and glowered a bit on missing the festivities, and even more so about not escorting his sister through them. He idly watched the two women speak. Women could be so strange sometimes, they talked strangely, and he couldn't find it in him to care much, aside from the obvious discomfort. "You fare well, yes?"
Eden sighed. "I'm fine, Just that my sy-...brith mark hurt...muscle pains..." She couldn't help but sigh. Eden looked up at the two what did they want to her to say? Yeah so just before the crown was set on Astrids head I saw the end of the world..."Aeryn, Karin, I think Astrid is going to face a much more worse hardship then marrige during her rigen..." Eden rubbed her temples Aeryn could be so unreasonable when it came to being away from his sister and partting. Eden stood up, she had to find Astrid. It was coming to the ponit of not carinf about the festivities. She had to know, she needed to tell her. What if it had something to do with the Duke's son. It was tied to Astrid, or why would that vision come up then, at the very momnet when a new queen was to be crowned.
The old queen looked down at her. "Astrid, becareful...the Duke will not be plaesed to see you with another man all night...I know you spoke with Tayon and select few others...Another thing, after tonight you will be departing to the Western Kingdoms...That is where the wedding will take place in one weeks time. Astrid, I'm hoping Tayon will find away to get you out of there before you are tied to that man's son...I know fro a fact the reason they are forcing this apone you is because he wants to rule..." she siad holding a white falower. "So untill we find the truth between this trick of theres...you must use all your talnets to please the duke's son. Astrid, youare queen now...Put those talnets to good use."
Karin looked at Eden skeptically. “Your… birthmark hurts?” Nevertheless, she still stood up and offered the girl assistance as she took the door as well. Aeryn was free to return to the festivities if he wished, but she was sure he would follow them if they were to go and speak with Astrid. He was a very protective brother, quite the way she was with Jin, the soft thing. She smiled, thinking fondly of her barely younger brother. “Let us find our new queen then, and pay our respects.”
Eden pouted. She wished she had family, seeing these too made her eveny. But she had a more important matter to attend to. She looked kindly at Karin, then at Aeryn with fond eyes, then walked back into the hall. "...Its a mark, we'll put it that way..." She said looking out into the bright light, people all around talking.
Karin kept the skeptical expression, but ignored it. Eden was a priestess. Maybe it was a thing of the gods. She shrugged and scouted a few steps ahead, her petite frame letting her easily dodge the tightly-grouped cliques of giggling ladies and laughing men. Dol loped along even further before her, and caught sight of Jin and then scuttled back to his mistress, bumping her in the thigh with his snout to get her attention. “You wretched- oh, it is you, Dol, you silly beast, what is it? Have you found Astrid.” The simple-minded dragon’s eyes dimmed for a moment in confusion. But he found Jin. And wasn’t Jin always with Astrid or Karin? Now he was worried. “Never mind, show me what you found, my darling.” She smiled at him, knowing that he was not nearly as clever as Sheba and she gave him a light pat against his mirrored haunches and he leapt off giddily. “Come along now,” She called quietly to the ones behind her as she went. She followed as best she could, taking high steps to try and see above the shoulders of those around her, cursing her short height. She hoped it was Astrid, and not someone simply willing to feed him. She shook her head once more in slight irritation. No matter. She could fight. There was nothing to worry about.
Astrid growled in the back of her throat despite the fact that she was indeed queen. She was still standing straight and the stern look came over her face. "If you fear so much happening from such a marriage than why do you push me over the edge." It wasn't a question. Astrid no longer had room to question or wonder, she had to think and act. "You fear him reining and you fear the war. What is worth more to you? Will you put me up for marriage just to watch the man come to power or will you use your power to fight against it? He is but a dukes son; I am Queen now. Queen's hold much higher power than any duke."
Aeryn followed behind the two women, eager now to see his sister. He, being taller than both Karin and Eden, saw Jin first. "Ah, there he is." He also noticed Volt hissing at another dragon, from Jin's leg. "Having some problem's there, bud?"
Eden saw Jin but no Astrid, it brought her sprites down more.
The queen nodded. "I understand...But You can not assuce him as I have..." She said sighing. "We have no idea what he is planning and that we are tied to the argeement of your hand in merrige, that much is knowen." The queen sat in a chair, she held her chest for some discomfort.
"Then I wage against him." Astrid said, watching her. "I refuse his hand in marriage if that is what it means. I was a fool girl under your pressure when asked, and none of which is much appealing to me. I shall not declare war, but by the gods we will be ready if he does so. We have mean who are willing to fight for their freedom, and my closest companions, all of which are warriors within themselves." She looked at the older woman and pursed her lips. "You may think I am but a child but I assure you I was risen in the hand of politics and war. My father is a great man and has taught me a many." She paused. "I will not back down when I have the power against it."
The queen smiled. "Such a firey sprit you have. But you don't have the power to fight back...You'd be taking on not only Eastern, but Southern and Norhten...Its an old contact, if one conutry out lashed or broke a contract between knigdoms, others would come to aid the country. Its a confussing and stupid law. Astrid, the word has already gone out about your engament. Please try to undrestand...Yes he wants power, but for what reason, I do not knoe, and that is why I've asked some one to look into it. To see if the contract could be broke with out war." She said clamly.
Eden looked at Aeryn and volt. She thought about Tsam and where he was hidding. She had an uneasy look on her face, if not an unhappy one. She looked out towards all the people going by.
"Aeryn will poisen him." Was the only thing Astrid said before "Excuse me." She turned and opened the door, suprised to see all of her friends standing infront of it together. She grabbed Volt from Jin's leg and held onto him tight. "Let us go to my rooms, yes?"
"Astrid? Are you alright?" Jin asked immediately, taking her arm gently. She seemed upset. "Listen to the woman, foolish brother mine." Karin scoffed and then leaned forward to give Astrid a quick kiss on the cheek. "Let us go to a place of comfort to you where you can speak to us freely. You look upset." She said bluntly.
Sheba came strolling out of the room, and was quick upon everyone's heels, nudging Dol along so that he would not fall behind.
Eden nodded. She didn't say anythign still embrassed about the crowning. She wasn't sure if Astrid was mad with her.
"We will talk once in my rooms," Astrid said, but she touched Jin's arm with her hand as they began to walk. She pushed Volt onto her shoulders and he moved around, nipping at her ears and at Jins, unaware of the problem at hand. She reached out to Karin, also, feeling her near her. "I am strong so long as you are around."
The twins looked at her at the same time, "You will never be weak," They looked to eachother for a moment confused, then Jin smiled and finished for the both of them, "For we will never leave your side so long as you wish us there." Karin continued, "We are yours to command, as friends and soldiers, Queen Astrid." They smiled at her, and Jin squeezed her hand slightly.
It was odd that the two had done that creepy simultaneous twin, but when it came to things like friends and family, they both thought similarly, so it was not too much of a surprise. Both Sheba and Dol came up alongside their respective owner's sides, and Astrid had a very firm support on every side. As if there was a question of that in the first place. Then Karin ruined the solemn moment by joking, "This would be the moment Jin gets on one knee and I curtsy like a lady, but we know I shall not." Jin laughed, at least that last bit was accurate.
Astrid laughed at how alike the twins were, and how much they differed otherwise. She held them both very close and tightened her grip on Jin. She moved her way through the hallways and toward her room, and ushered everyone in quickly. "I.." She paused. "Apparently, if I do not marry him even my family will wage war against me."
Aeryn blinked a few times and pressed his hand to his lips. "Did I just hear you right?" He spluttered, looking at her. "Our own parents?"
Eden looked at twins, then Astrid and Aeryn. Were they talking the contract of De'gal? "Well the loop hole in that is, if the Temple of Onalth finds that damege will come to De'gal, on contracks are canceled...But I could be worng..." She said looking out the window. Her mind stuck on that Vision.
"Then we need to prove that it will bring damage." Astrid said, sitting lightly on the edge of her bed, careful to not damage her dress. "It obviously is going to ruin things completely. We need to fix it." She allowed Volt to curl around her arm and she nussled him lightly while she said so.
“What say you?” Karin burst out with, while Jin wordlessly stood next to her, seething with consternation. “Why would your own family do such a thing? They would not… would they?” Karin had not grown up with a full family, and neither had Jin, but they both felt a fierce kinship to each other, and Karin had towards her mother, until her death. Jin, the softer of the two, could not imagine, given a choice, that a family would turn on its own. Mirroring the twins’ reactions, Sheba snarled, laying her ears back and Dol growled his mumble-growl, lashing his tail back and forth until Karin recovered enough to rub along his eye ridges, calming the juvenile dragon easily. “Of course it would cause damage! Damage to your freedom and your right to it as a living, breathing creature.” Karin broke in, Jin feeling it inappropriate to voice his feelings on the subject and Karin being an absolute believer in the right of the woman to survive on her own without a man to drag her down. He had actually heard her say the exact same thing before, when some doting swain had begged her to become his wife. ...She had challenged him to a fight for the right, and she had won. He went away with two broken arms and a face full of bruises. And no wife.
Eden looked at the floor, she felt small. "and how do we prove that he'll bring damage to the contury?...And how do we get a Hight Perist of the Temple of Onalth down here?" She said crossing her leg. She had a gloomy cloud above her head. Her heart broke with ever word, There was still so much hope, where did it go in that vision? Her mind was some where eles completely and it showed.
“Onalth…” Karin muttered, “Is not he the one worshipped in the land of our birth?” She asked her brother and after a moment he nodded. “Yes, why, do you know anyone who could help?” He asked eagerly. She clenched her fist, thinking hard. “Well, and I had many friends among the riders, and they are well-respected.” She added proudly, flexing the lean muscles of her scarred arms, “I fought a good many of them, and won many more than they expected.” She grinned, a baring of her teeth, looking a lot like Sheba, who though she had not moved, still had her fangs out, sensing the tension in the room and not knowing what to do about it. Jin put a hand on both his sister’s arm and the panther’s shoulder, easing them both.
“If you could call on your friendships with those people, maybe someone has a relation to a priestess and could convince her to come. Might you write a letter, Karin?” He asked. “I can do that, let us hope it yields a useful result.” She smiled comfortingly at Astrid. “There is half of the trouble. How is it a danger besides the problem it poses to our dear friend? We suspect him of evil intentions, but have no proof. Maybe we should go to his kingdom in the guise of Astrid’s preparations, her dress even, and learn more before any such rash action.” Jin concluded, this being as far as he could go in a ‘war counsel’ of sorts. He was, at heart, a non-violent sort.
"It will have to do." Astrid finished, looking up at her two strong friends. "We will do what we must, seeing as I wage no marriage nor war. You may all follow me to his kingdom, as body guards if they ask, and watch the tretchery unfold so I do not have to relay a long message that may get twisted." She sucked in a deep breath. "For now, it will have to do. I will act as I must, not how I want." She looked up at Jin, who had to have known what she meant by the statement.
Eden smiled at the threee. "Well not thats figuered out, hwo do you expect the message would get there with in less of week-" Tsam had finaly come out of hidding, nippng at her fingers. Her little green dragon looked up her. "Oh you are heaven sent Tsam. Karin write you letter now, We'll sean Tsam, he fly in The Between; you know, the pace between this world and the sprits. He get it there faster so hopefuly the day before wedding he'll show up." She said. Tsam jumping up land on Karin should, cuddling hr cheek. sam wasn't a fan of huge crowds most of the time.
“Alright then, Tsam you must fly swiftly. But I thank you for the offer, Dol does not do well so far from me.” She nodded her head to Astrid and then stepped to the other side of the room, scuffling through the writing desk and scrawling a short letter. “Drop this before the strongest man you see, at the height of the heat of day, in the training grounds of the temple of Onalth. Trust me,” she added. “He will be there.” She rolled it up tightly and tied it with a silk string and a dab of wax, impressing the side of her knuckle rings before it dried. She handed it to Tsam, giving him a light stroke with her finger. Dol hissed lightly, not liking the smaller dragon near his mistress.
“Now we need to make the preparations for this journey.” Jin proposed, standing up, his face solemn. He looked at everyone else, wondering how they would fare. “Eden… would you even be allowed to accompany us for such a short time?”
Astrid smiled as Dol took a quick love to his master and pushed Volt up onto her shoulders so she could move freely without having to hold the little bugger. "My heart is lighter because of you, my friend." She said, touching Karin on the shoulder. It was indeed lighter. She felt as if something terrible had been lifted from her shoulders. She then reached for Jin's hand, catching his eyes with hers, taking a deep breath. Calm, love. All will work in the end.
Aeryn twisted his mouth at the sight of Astrid and Jin. He bit at the inside of his lips and looked at Karin, catching eyes with someone who was as strong and hard as he was. He looked rather disgusted at the thought of Astrid with any man, but he definitely would rather her be with Jin than the other. His dark magic began to flow through his viens again, and he clentched his fists. He needed to get away from them. He was still frowning and stood. "I will go inform the kitchens to prepare for our journey." He moved out of the room without another word and began to walk up the hallway, his boots clicking as they hit the nicely painted tiles. He walked with dignity, as always, but inside of his mask he was in complete panic. He could feel the burn of the tainted magic in his bloodline, he blinked his eyes to keep the fire away from them, too.
Eden watched Aeryn leave with a heavy heart. It made her sad, when she thougth how he was proctive of his sister. But then again I guess thats how a family worked, or so she thought. She was quite sure she would never know the feeling. Eden looked at Jin with a sad face. "I can not..." She said looking out the window, the bars of her caging coming down around her. "I wish I could..." She got up and hugged Astrid. "I'm glad things are going to work out for you...I'll be around..." She said, not wanting to speak of her Vision now. She knew she wanted be alone with Jin and Karin. She was able to slip out and walk around freely...
Tayon saw Aeryn and felt his drak magic, call out to his demon blood. "Is it calling out to you?" Tayon asked as Aeryon walked passed him, he spoke of his drak magic.
Karin snorted. “What is it with all of the people around here? One challenge and they all panic. My dear,” she said to Astrid a little kindlier, “I love you as much as my own brother, as a sister, but this challenge I find a bit exhilarating. “ She threw her head back and laughed throatily. “How long my brother has kept me within our home, trying to keep me from fighting all of the men and shaming them before their women.” She scowled at him, but her eyes held laughter.
“Karin, you are such a tough one.” he acknowledged, ducking his head to her before turning to Astrid. “I should not like to leave you alone, and though when I packed last night, I packed enough for more than a day, it is not enough for a journey. Would you be alright with Karin and Dol as company until my return? You know she cannot pack even for herself, much less myself, so it falls upon me to do so.” He smiled at her, joking a little to lighten her mood. Such seriousness surrounded them now, it would be a heavy burden if it were not for whom they did bear it. Now, what shall we need? A few changes of clothing, our armor, I assume since we are to appear as bodyguards, bed rolls and extra blankets… He sighed, there was so much to pack! And what if he forgot something?
"Nothing but my duty and your voice calls to me," Aeryn replied, only it sounded more like "stick your nose into your own business". He kept his hands nimbly in his crushed velvet coat pockets and glanced at the man. "What have you to speak your mind anyway?"
Astrid smiled. "Yes, I might find it within myself to manage with just Karin." She winked and looked at Karin. "How about you? Will you fare well with a lonely prin-queen in a dire situation?" She, too, tried to lighten the mood with a bit of humor, but nothing could mistake what was heading her way.
Tayon just shook his. "I speak my mind to warn you...You walk a fine line with such tanted magic, that it calls out to others...Becareful Aeryn...You may end up hurting the ones you love and care for." With his final words he left to conutine his rounds.
Eden was walking down the hall and saw the two. When Tayon walked by her, he gave her was face that said becareful. Eden glanced at the two confussed. She walked up at Aeryn. "What was that about?" She asked, pushing all emtion to the side.
"Who do you think you are to call such tretchery apon me?" Aeryn asked him, standing still now with a look of doubt on his face. "You do not know me nor will you ever, and you have no right to say such a threatful comment to a noble." Aeryn could feel his stomach turn. Aeryn looked at Eden and scowled. "Apparently someone doesn't know how to handle their tongue."
Jin bent over her hand and brushed his lips over it lightly. “I will return as quickly as I am able. Sheba, come!” And he turned, sweeping out of the room and shutting the door behind him securely but without making any unnecessary noise- practicality and politeness in action. He made his way quickly out of the palace, for the second time that day.
Karin grinned at her friend and sat down next to her primly, like a proper lady, before replying, “I think I could handle this, after all, I do not consider your company a hardship. In fact you are quite the pleasant one. How do you think your highness shall fare on the journey?” She now reclined, resting her head against the wall and folding her hands over her stomach. Dol hopped up as well, resting his head next to her hand and licking her knuckles with his long raspy tongue, flipping the tip of his tail around like a kitten.
At home at last, Jin gathered up all that he had mentally listed before, plus a few cut and dried foods that were favorites- chunks of dried honey for Dol, specially spiced meats for Karin- and Sheba had developed a taste for them as well, and a few different packets of his favored teas. Also did he pack a few rolls of parchment and writing sticks and a few baubles that they might use for trade or gift along the way. Bedrolls for the both of them and extra blankets, along with changes of travel clothes, their armor, and a very few pieces of finery- in case any situation came up. He looked with regret upon his sewing materials at first, and then with a sigh of embarrassment, he grabbed that small bundle as well. Also, he grabbed Dol and Sheba’s regular travel harnesses and their fighting armor and while he fastened quite a few bundles to the now grumbling panther, he put most of the weight upon his own back.
“My cat, the burden shall later be spread more fairly among us four, it is only a short way to the palace.” Upon which she ceased her noises and straightened her demeanor before they both left the home. Outside, Jin fastened a few locks and a note of warning while also slicing his finger, flicking the few drops at the door and strengthening the image of a neglected hovel. He would mislike to return to his home only to find everything gone. “I guess that is the end of it.” He said, a bit sadly, struggling a bit more under his weight now that he left a bit of his power behind him. They both turned back, again for the second time that day to return to Astrid’s rooms.
Eden looked at Aeryn a little taken back. "Um sorry?" She said unsure of what else to say. "...It seems he hit a nerve...What did he say?" She asked him, unsure he wanted to talk about it. Eden was playing with the hem of her long sleve. People passed talking of what the night was to hold, and who this duke was?
Astrid eyed Volt while she petted him, intent on his bright yellow scales. He was curled in her lap, sleeping soundly. "I'll be fine for the journey," She said, extra emphasis on the last word. It was true, she would be fine on the journey, just not when they got there. She looked at Karin. "What do you make of all of this?"
Aeryn was still scowling. "He says nonsense is what he says, and he best becareful opening his mouth to the wrong person." It was directed more down the hallway toward Tayon than at Eden, but it was harsh nonetheless.
Jin was just coming up the hallway, and saw Aeryn, Tayon and Eden. "Hello there, is there a problem, friends?" He asked, Sheba coming up behind him, walking a bit more slowly, but just as gracefully.
She raised a brow at her long-time friend. "Of what, this sham of a marriage they are trying to force upon you? The ridiculous claims of a war if you refuse? Or what else? I begin to lose track of all of these things, none of which make sense." She gestured lazily with her hands, causing Dol to pull his head back in annoyance. He whimpered and nudged her arm for attention and her expression softened as she dropped her hands and started ruffling the feathers at his ears, scratching behind them til he snorted in pleasure.
Eden stood there, a bit hurt by Aeryn's harsh words. But she knew he didn't aim them at her, but she wasn't sure what to do or say. Tayon had already tooken off down the hall talking to some othere guards. Eden smiled at Jin as he came down the hall. He was always nice, and friendly.
Aeryn glanced over at Jin, slightly suprized at his arrival and twisted his lips, his mood soured for the rest of the tiem being. "Nothing is wrong." He bit off each word as if it hurt him to think of them. "Excuse me." He continued up the hall, away from the other two and toward the kitches, where he instructed the cooks on what to prepare for the journey. "Haste, now."
Astrid just staired at her tiny dragon, watching him breathe in and out. She couldn't find it in her to reply to the other woman, nor to speak at all. She bit at the inside of her lips and pulled the crown off of her head. She also began to pull the emeralds out of her hair and all of the jewelry off of her arms. Maybe I am not made to be this person, She thought. Maybe everyone was right. I am not made to be Queen.
Karin noticed, “Astrid, are you alright? I meant nothing ill by my words, are you truly upset? We set out on this journey just so that it may not occur as what I said.” She put her hand gently upon Astrid’s own, where she was removing her jewels, in an attempt to calm her.
Jin looked after Aeryn, his face screwed up uncomfortably. “Did I say something to upset him? I meant no offense.” He then looked to Eden, shifting his feet uncomfortably, taking one of the bags from his shoulders and placing it to the floor at his feet, “I guess I will speak to him later. On other matters, Eden, how are you? I have upon my back now the bits I think we shall need most for our travel. It is such a shame you cannot go, Eden, are you sure you could not make up some excuse that would allow you to accompany us, maybe in the way of providing us religious services?” His face was a bit quizzical, as if he did not think the high priestess would believe it, but he felt bad that she would not be allowed to come along with the rest of them. How much would he hate himself, if he were the one left behind
Eden stood there smiling at Jin. "I might be able to come up with something, but I'm not sure that I could be of any use. Astrid seem quite comfortible with you and Karin going, I might just get in the way..." She rubbed the back of her neck. "I still feel pretty embrassed about what happened at the crowning..." She said sighing.
"I am not fit to be queen." Astrid said, placing all of the precious jewels on her bedside table. "I am not worthy of these jewels or this dress or that dreadfully heavy crown." She had awoken Volt by this time, who stood which an odd look on his face and nipped at her fingers as she moved them. "T-The people deserve a queen who has not already given her heart away, so that she can marry the Duke without any wrong comming from it. They deserve someone who the old queen wont push around and sigh around like I'm some stupid girl. They deserve a queen that Eden wont be hesitant to crown." Astrid had taken all of the jewelery off now, all except for the ring Jin had given her. "Let's face it. I'm terrible for this spot, and even Eden know's it."
He took the liberty of touching her arm lightly, bringing her attention to him fully. “Eden, you are a priestess. Almost everyone holds a bit of magic and power from the gods nowadays. Strange things happen, it is nothing to be ashamed of, especially amongst friends. Calm, my friend. Astrid is a good and kind woman and will not hold any strangeness in your actions against you.” He gave her a reassuring smile, then lifted the bag again with a bit of a huff. “Now, for myself, I would like to get these things to a room and not be cluttering up these noble halls.” He smiled again, lightening the mood.
Karin’s face went from soft to almost angry. “Astrid, you know I love you, but I cannot allow anyone to speak of my friend in this manner, even if that person be yourself!” She stood up, Dol rolling away from her, sensing her righteous anger. “You were already a wonderful person, a great princess and now you are a queen and can only grow in your strengths with time. It would be a weak queen who would allow herself sold to an untrustworthy man for the promise of safety, and worse a promise that is very likely to be broken. A truly strong leader would fight for her country, for her man- if she did wish one," she added, "and most of all, for herself. If she sacrifices herself, in the end, all else is sacrificed. After all, did they not want you for queen before this lie of a marriage was proposed? It is not you who is flawed, this I promise you." She finished strongly, having had a firm voice, but not raising it much above speaking tone, not wanting to bring hundreds of guards down upon her own head. "Now, do you believe me or must I beat the sense into your lovely, blessed head, my friend?" She asked, chest heaving from this excess of emotion and her red-violet eyes looking clearly into Astrid's.
Eden smiled up at Jin. "...Yeah I guess your right. I just hope Astrid didn't put to much thought of me holding off with her corwning as I blacked out in away...She'll be a good queen and over come all challgens." She said smiling kindly at Jin for his comforting words. "I think ther is a spare room you may place those." She said leading him down the hall.
"Thank you, I was not particularly comfortable with the notion of crowding Astrid's personal rooms with my baggage." he followed her to the room, one that did not seem too ostentatious, he was glad to notice. Not too many people were likely to notice it's loss. He stowed the majority of their things and also the baggage across Sheba's shoulders before shutting the door and casting an illusion of a blank wall over it. "That was a clever place, I would have worried otherwise. Thank you again Eden. Will you accompany back to Astrid's rooms, or do you have other business to attend to?" Jin asked politely.
Eden smiled at him. "Sure...I just hope she wasn't upset about eariler. You know?" She asked as the two walked back to Astrids room. She wonder how Tsam was doing since he left with Karin important Letter.
Jin thought while they walked, holding the door but speaking before opening it. "I believe she may be and may still be upset about earlier, in how she may have interpreted your hesitation, but I am quite sure she holds no real anger towards you yourself. You are a friend, Eden. We do not toss them so lightly aside." He smiled at her and patted her shoulder a bit companionably.
Eden smiled at him smiling. "For someone younger then I, your much more wiser then I." She said sighing, a little nervous about facing dear Astrid. She felt better that Jin, understood, which ment Astrid might not be to upset, or so she hoped.
Astrid just watched Karin with a flat look on her face, barely blinking. "Did I say I was giving up? I did not." She frowned and shook her head, finding a tiny crack in the wall rather interesting. "I never said I was resigning or anything of that matter, and I have been the one to step up to try and fight it- not only for my own sake, but for Jin's." She couldn't bear the thought of losing him, nor being with him out of the limelight. "Forgive me, friend, for making you think I was feeble but I am not. I do believe that I hold some place, but apparently I hold none good in the view of Eden, who is a priestess, who see's those types of things. What if she saw something, what if she viewed?" She paused to look at her dear old friend and shook her head. "Whether it was a massive matter or of none I have nothing to do with it now other than wait. Wait to see if my reign kills the people I adore or keeps them safe." She looked at the crown, which caught the light simply. "Let us hope it is the latter."
Karin finally sat down again, though her expression was guarded. “I care not what a priestess saw, for I have never been one for the gods or their worship, besides what it benefited me to do.” She admitted, “And so I find the words of a priestess no more important than my own or a butcher’s, if it does not make sense. And your strength will see you and all of the people through, that is sense, and that I believe.” She shrugged heavily. It was not in her to question matters that she saw as black and white, clearly. There were no mysterious workings around her, this very strong-minded woman.
Jin kept his hand on her shoulder as he now opened the door, ushering Eden in before him. “And our long awaited return,” He laughed with a flourish of gesture towards himself and company. “Did you two get along well enough while I was away?” His expression faltered a bit as he glanced between the two women. “Did… I by any chance miss something?” He asked, concerned.
Eden looked at Astird with worried eyes. "Is everything ok?" She asked looking at her and Karin, she felt as if something wasn't right. Eden glanced at Jin.
Astrid kept her look firm, yet smiled. It was quite awkward, but she hoped she could pull it off. "We were just talking about girlish matters, all that is awkward, you know." She covered, and glanced at Karin as if asking if she would agree. There was no need to let Jin know she was near to panic and Eden to know she was feeling a very strong wall between the other woman and herself now. I have to be strong. "Everything is just fine."
Karin gave merely a nod, her face cool and composed, fluttering her fingers in a nonchalant manner. "It was just a bit of idle chatter. My brother, do you wish to know all of our secrets? Therein lies our appeal, so I dread losing my feminine advantage." She teased, trying to distract him. In which she succeeded, Jin bowed lightly with a matching smile of light humor- taking her exactly at her word as was his wont, "Then forgive my untimely intrusion. I so missed your company, I could not stay away for too long." He looked to Astrid as he spoke thus, "I have prepared that which I think we shall need upon our travels in comfort and safety."
Eden smiled at the two. "How does it feel to be queen?" She asked. She hadn't really spoke to Astrid, unsure of what she would say. Eden hoped Tsam was doing alright as well. She thought of maybe speaking with Astrid later alone, about what had happened. After the ball or when she wanted too...
"Just how my father said it would be." Astrid replied, "Tragic honor held with your power while you cry." That was what he said, wasn't it? Astrid did, however, smile at Jin with a warm look, admiration for the man sprouting deep in her heart and clutching her every fiber. "As I think Aeryn was doing not too long ago. Sure has taken him a while to return," She added, as a side thought.
Jin smiled back, “As I was returning, I glimpsed him in the hallway. He seemed a bit upset, but maybe he was just preoccupied, what with making other arrangements himself.” He said, walking to stand by Astrid and placing his hand on hers lightly, “Now, if I may be so bold, why would your father say such a thing? Though your reign has not had the smoothest of starts, I see yet no reason to cry, my heart. We are, after all, on our way so that such a thing shall not have to pass.” He gave a light pressure with his hand, as if to say, I am here. I am going with you on this journey. You need not cry, I am here.
“Priestess, come, relax.” Karin said amiably, waving her towards a chair. “You make me uneasy standing as if you were so prim and proper as my ridiculous baby brother.” She winked at said brother, who flushed and gave a stern look in her direction. “There is nothing wrong with a sense of propriety, you may be so blessed as to learn.” He said, in an irritated tone. Baby brother. Pish!
Astrid held his hand tightly and smiled reassuringly. "I am sure you agree with me when I say that he was being quite the sarcastic man at that point in my life, mine heart." She twirled her fingers on his hand and leaned against him lightly.
“One would hope. I find it not amusing.” He said irritably, both at his sister for calling him a baby and also at any who would speak against Astrid. But her touch upon his skin calmed him and he took a breath, fluttering his pale lids shut for a moment before opening them, the slight lines of annoyance gone from his face. "Thank you." He whispered very quietly. Karin feigned not to hear it and though Sheba flicked an ear in their direction, she did not move from where she lay beneath Dol. The silly creature had curled up next to her warm furry flanks and then inched closer and closer until he was halfway covering her. He was missing the warmth of being outside all day in the sunshine. Sheba was used to it though, as most of them were, and allowed it.
Astrid smiled. "Of course, love." She felt the urge to kiss him. For the first time in her existance, she wanted extreme intimacy with a male. she could smell him, and feel him. She smiled and looked at her friends, more at ease now that her hands were in his. "So when does the ball start?" She asked, leaning more toward Jin.
Eden had sat next to Karin, she couldn't help but pet Doll, she found him to cute and goofy. "I think later in the evening, after dinner..." Eden try to think of the time, she knew it was late after noon. "Maybe an hour so..." When Astrid mention her brother, it made her wonder more what Tayon had said, he was always so on edge, like he could never be calm. She hoped Tsam would return with word of the Preist of Onalth.
Karin laughed, "A ball... and I attending? I disbelieve this occasion will come to pass. Consider, I, floating along in the arms of some stuffed noble or dignitary." She rolled her eyes, kicking her feet lightly. "What are you to wear, girls? I've not much finery, and will just wear this same frock, but Astrid, your dress was a bit too ceremonial, as is yours Eden, I do not think those higher ups would smile upon you wearing them to a dance, important though they think it be." She elaborated, eyeing the complicated and stiff lines of Astrid's dress and the priestess robes of the other girl.
Dol mumbled and scrubbed his head against Eden, urging her to keep scratching, while Sheba disdained to beg, in front of a stranger that is. With Jin, Karin and Astrid, she had no more shame than a babe squalling for whatever it wants. Jin smiled, knowing that if it were he fondling Dol, Sheba would be highly jealous and wanting the same attention, but she was not as friendly as the dragon, and did not tolerate the touch of many. He relaxed his stiff bearing and leaned forward, resting the length of his body against the back of Astrid's chair, his arms over the edge to keep in contact with her as he shifted to a more familiar and comfortable position. Now his head was lower and almost next to Astrid's as he brought himself closer, so as to include himself in the goings-on. His breath stirred a few stray pieces of her golden hair.
Astrid twirled a chunk of Jin's long hair around one of her fingers and kept close to him, smiling. "I suppose I should wear something else, although I do not want it to be fancy of any sort," Astrid replied, leaning back into Jin. "It's just... too much sometimes." Her small dragon let out a small burp in her favor, which was followed by plumes of smoke rising out of the side of his mouth.
Aeryn left the kitchens in a hurry, eager to get away from the bustle around the castle. He needed a good walk. A nice, calm, walk. He made his way throughout the castle, feeling better now that the taint wasn't in his veins any longer. He was smiling a bit now at the girls passing him, instead of keeping his mind of Tayon and his fool mouth. What a barnicle. He thought, stopping to chat a bit with a sweet looking girl with dark hair and red lips.
As Azhardyn waddled through the halls admiring the various tapestry's hanging from the walls. As he turned the corner the small dragon saw a young man talking to what seemed like a luring woman, with a small chirp and a cocking of his head Azhardyn walked back around the corer and put his gift to work. Allowing his small reptilian body to stretch as the bones under the tough skin began to grow and contort to a humanoid shape. Finally his scales shrank, smoothing out to his olive skin tone and his hair sprung from his horned cranium, hiding and then replacing the horns. As he turned the corner once more, he headed towards the man with a walk that said 'ya I know,I'm hot'. Nearing him he slide between the two facing the blonde man. " Hi, we're friends now, OK." He ended with a broad smile squinting his long eyes before opening them revealing the maroon orbs caged within.
"Manners little one," Jin chided jokingly, smiling at the little dragon and raising one of his hands to shake his finger at it like an old woman might, before reaching gently to rub along his spine. "Though I admire the majesty of the larger beasts, the littlest ones are so much more precious. Maybe they remind me of children, in their size." He murmured thoughtfully. Though maybe it was not fair of him to feel that way, how wounded would his pride be if some person treated him as a child, just for his smallness of stature. "I apologize if I offend, Volt, but he is so charming." He added. He did not love Dol for his awkward and clumsy ways, but he was a part of Karin, and so a part of him.
Karin looked off to the side, and said, "If I am not much mistaken, my friend, had you not received a recent addition to your splendid wardrobe? It could send a subtle message, if you would will it." After all, both Jin and Karin often wore his creations, but their similarities in appearance made it obvious their relation. If Astrid were to ally herself so visually with another, it could tip that idiotic Duke, yet as a gift of congratulations from a friend, it still stood up to propriety and none could say anything. It depended how bold a statement their friend was willing to make. Karin, obviously, would have worn that. Or gone naked. She smiled, thinking of the shock that would cause.
"Oh! I almost forgot, how stupid of me." Astrid said, suprised almost, that she went stiff. She glanced to Jin and blushed a bit. "Forgive me, love, for I had let it space my mind. I, of course, will be wearing your beautiful gown to the ball, and dancing with you no matter what the x queen has to say about that," She promised, touching his hand fondly. Volt russled on her lap at her sudden jolt and cocked his head up at Jin, wondering at him with a blank stare. He burped again.
Aeryn resisted the urge to push the other man back and kept his straight posture. He pulled in everthing about him, nearly cocking his head in wonder. "Um..." At this point, he was completely at a loss for words. He blinked a few times, working his mouth. This world had him tripping over his feet, that's for sure. He didn't quite know what it was lately, but since comming to these lands things had been very strange. "Okay." Was all he could muster as a reply.
Jin's face remained gentle as he replied. "I will be very pleased, then. Very." He did not break into song and dance, or weep tears of joy, but it was very obvious that the serene young man was extremely happy to hear that. He did not even chastise the small dragon, having actually not noticed it. He looked fully into her eyes, before seeming to straighten, having remembered the others in the room. "You make one truly happy, Astrid." He said, looking away, the intensity almost too much when in such close quarters. Gods! What an effect this woman had on him. Easily could Karin see the blush at the tips of his ears, as she had the same embarrassing tell, she did not mention it, but only gave a satisfied smile of her own. He owes me for this favor... She schemed silently, wondering what promises of treats or deeds she could wring from him in his excess of gratitude she was sure to receive. For once, her over-ready mouth was aiding her.
"So, now my new good friend who will be there to pamper me... you have any food I'm sorta hungry, like for some chicken, wait no! like for some roast, wait ....do you know the queen? I've been dieing to meet her." Azhardyn finished off his words with a inhale and wide eyes grew on his angular face, adding to his already present smile.
Astrid was half leaning in when she realized that he had pulled away and she blinked, forced to pull back and smile lightly. "I suppose I should change then, if dinner is soon, yes?" It was more of a statement, but more reason to get moving before anyone realized the heavy blush tinting her cheeks.
"I do know the Queen, actually... She is my beloved baby-sister..." Aeryn was still a bit skeptical about the man infront of him, and took a step back. "If that doesn't make it quite obvious - I am a noble, and nobles do not carry food on them. If you wait long enough, the feasts will begin and you can eat as much as you like there," he added, completely neglecting the idea of pampering the other male.
"Feast?? yum!" Ignoring the comment about nobility, Azhardyn leaped at the other male instantly his body began it's change. Landing on the man's shoulders, wings flapping to gain his balance careful to not batter his living perch in the face, before wrapping his onyx scaled tail around the man's throat and then whispering in a slurred voice "Ssssso, I'm Azzssshardyyn...And you??." he ended his question with a flick of his pink forked tongue, letting it tickle the mans cheeks.
Aeryn just seemed to shrug off the fact that a stranger just deemed him as his best friend and, to make it even worse, morphed from a human to a black dragon in an instant. It was incredible, and disgusting. Aeryn twisted his lips; Strange things really could happen. Either that or his black magic really was starting to make him insane. "I'm Aeryn."
"Ah, of course, forgive me. I shall wait outside, then." Jin flushed hotter, realizing that now Astrid would be changing, into the dress that he had made for her. He gave a slight bow to the room before walking out, putting out one hand to stay Sheba, so that she would not disturb and excite the young dragon and he allowed his hand to just barely brush the length of Astrid's hair before it fell down against his leg, clenched tightly.
"Yes, now shoo. Let the women alone." Karin said, finally sliding off the edge of the bed, slowly and luxuriously, stretching as she went. Though she had taken no care with her fine clothing, Jin had gifted her with only the highest quality of material and it held not a wrinkle, nor a stray bit of fur or dust. Perfect for a woman who did not care to waste her time on her appearance. She ran her fingers through her hair, only creating more natural whorls, ending to tug lightly at one of the curls framing her elfin face. "I wonder what I should do, while all of you high ladies and gentlemen prance about to the music." She said, before cracking her knuckles, then wiggling her fingers, setting the metal of her rings to clicking smoothly against eachother. She had a few notions of what she would do to the Duke, given the chance.
Eden giggled at Dol and Sheba. "Oh you two are so cute!" She said pattint both there heads. She began to miss Tsam more and more, her little friend who stood by her through anything. She looked up at Jin and Astrid, they were turely sweet for each other. Eden sighed at Karins question, about her robes. "What you see on me, is all I have..." she shrugged, standing up. "That and Karin you should dance with other men...hehe I mean think about it, you could beat them on the dance floor if they got to close to Astrid and Jin." She said smilling.
While Dol maiowed and enjoyed it, while Sheba only flicked her ear in annoyance. She glared at Karin like, How does a stranger pet me before you? Karin remained oblivious, and Jin was already out of the room, and Sheba suffered silently, cleaning her paws diligently. “Eden does have a point,” the girl said, laughing roughly, “I may keep this recommendation in mind later on in the night, and not unman the one that dares ask me. The amusement may be greater in the subtlety of action… Though I am not one for trickery, I just may…” She mused, nibbling at her fingertips before scratching the panther across the shoulders.
Astrid blushed despite herself and moved behind a changing screen, Jin's silks in hand. She reached behind her to undo the buttons on the back of her dress, sliding out of it easily since Jin had taken off the corset. She kept her slip on and pulled the other dress on, sliding it over her hips and up to her arms to reach into the sleeves. Once she was done she walked back around the screen and grabbed her brush, pulling it through her light hair a few times.
Eden looked at Astrid smiling. "Well don't you look like your ready to greet the evening." She said tickling Dol's neck. She wasn't sure what to do. She thought about what evening and what it might hold. When thought of food crossed her mind. She glanced at Karin. "I'm surprised they haven't hired you as the royal guard."
She scoffed, "As if I'd want to, the only ones I protect, I protect by choice. If they gave me that duty, they'd sorely regret it, when their charge lay dying. Well, that is, before Astrid took the throne." She added, giving a reassuring smile to their friend, the new queen. "I would not let harm come to you, my friend. "Also, I do not get along so well with those weaklings, they take my contempt so seriously." She rolled her eyes. "As if they were so important."
Astrid laughed at her friends display of how much she disliked organized protection. She smiled despite herself. "I'm sure I can take care of myself." She vanished just to prove her point and appeared sitting crosslegged on the bed, still smiling. "Yes?"
"Show off." Karin said delightedly, clapping her hands. "What need have you of such pompous protectors when you yourself can dodge every weapon that may be lifted against you?" She nodded in approving, every woman and every man should be able to protect themselves and those important to them. "Now, remember that trick tonight, if any one becomes too much of a nuisance. I shall cover for you."
Eden laughed. "Oh my...Should I warn all the young men of Karin?" She said shanking her head. "Lovely Astrid, so when you get bored of all, you can just 'poof' away." She said smiling at the two.
"You could," she said coldly, "But I find often that most young men think themselves so above such things, that they would not believe you." Karin looked at Eden, eyes half-lidded in contempt and self-satisfaction. "But it will be enjoyable to teach them what they do not yet know."
Astrid smiled, "I am not a show off, dear one." She promised, vanishing again and reappearing as she walked back toward her mirror to check. She turned and smiled after she was sure she was happy with her appearance and cocked her head at Karin.
Eden giggled. "Oh dear..." She said smiling at the two girls. "Well next to the dancing, if not a fight match between Karin and some young buck; there the fireworks...I over herd that its a mix of magic and pyro works." She smiled.
"Hmm," she mused, as she got up, snapping her fingers to get Dol's attention, both the dragon and the panther sliding off the bed and flanking her. "That should be interesting, I do have an interest when things are aflame." Karin said. "So, ladies, are we all ready? I'd hate to make Jin wait outside for even longer."
Outside, standing primly outside the door, was Jin, just as his sister had said. He was not huffing impatiently or checking his non-existent watch as she imagined, he was just waiting quietly, occasionally glancing at the door and down the hall to see if anyone was approaching.
Astrid smerked at the two other women and vanished, appearing on the otherside of the door with a grin. "You come here often?" she questioned Jin.
Eden stood up, patting down her gown. Looking up at Astrid, she smiled kindly. "Shall we?"
Jin laughed softly, having made a small gasp of surprise, but not frightened. "Well, if you must know, there is a beautiful woman that I follow to this door every midnight after countless hours dancing beneath the starlight on a faraway island. When she slips off her slippers and climbs into bed, the morning finds them worn through with holes and no one can make a thing of it." He shrugged, wondering if she would get the reference to the old tale. "I follow her to find who takes her to the island and who she dances with, to win her hand in marriage when I do." Jin touched her hand lightly, the ring he had given to her in message particularly. "I see you wearing this, and it gives me odd pleasure." He whispered, almost hurriedly, hearing Karin's decidedly loud steps as she approached the inner side of the door.
Karin nodded to the priestess, walking forward slowly and loudly, to give the two lovebirds a few moments alone before achingly slowly opening the door. "Brother mine, I am to attend the dance after all, to beat the Duke into submission, as it were." She said laughing. Jin looked at her, confused.
Astrid smiled at Jin softly, hoping to catch his eyes. Yes, yes, yes, A million times yes. She thought, but couldn't say it now. She held his hand tightly and glanced behind her at Karin. "Ah yes. My dear friend who will take over the ball with her stunning steps and great backhand."
The lone male chortled, believing the two girls to be pulling a joke on him, ...right? He smiled at the two, happily, but a bit worried. "Karin, is not planning on taking out the opposition, so brazenly is she?" He asked, eyeing his sister suspiciously.
She feigned disinterest, touching her thumb to each of her fingertips in turn, repeatedly, bringing attention to the flashing metal on her hands. Seeing his eyes, a cool version of her own, she then said, "What?" very simply, and with an overly innocent face, that no one who knew her would believe.
Jin looked pleadingly at Astrid, "Surely, you two jest?"
"I do believe she is telling the truth." Astrid complied, looking at Karin. "You do plan to castraite him, no?" She laughed despite herself. Usually such a dirt of a joke didn't get her to laugh so much, but this one had caught her. Mostly because the image in her head of the Duke's head pinned down to the floor by Karin's boot.
Jin groaned, clasping his one hand to his forehead in an expression of suffering. "How you two try me." He said, though you could hear the barely restrained laughter in his shaking voice. He dropped his hand, revealing a bright smile as he shook his head and offered his arm. "I guess we are off, though I claim no knowledge of your plans if they should go through." He continued with the joke a bit, still laughing as he considered that she might actually do it.
Karin just smiled, batting her silvered lashes, "My queen, I do nothing that I must not. It is only if he forces my hand..." As she spoke, her falsetto lowered almost menacingly, though her angelic expression disturbingly remained throughout, as she made a violent slashing motion with her one hand. Then she curtsied very prettily, "May his people hope he has manners... Lest he return as their new queen." She muttered, then came up along her brother's other side, stroking her finger along the staff of his weapon before tapping at his shoulder, and he felt it. Though they seemed mostly of a joking nature, he knew underneath lay a sense of seriousness. This Duke had better watch his limbs, lest he find himself coming up short. He nodded his head to her in what appeared polite greeting as he allowed her to take his elbow, but they both understood everything that had and hd not been said.
Astrid had not noticed a thing as they strolled through the hallway, her hand in Jin's. She cared not what her people thought, if they supported her they would support her love as well. She kept her mind, however, on how fast Tsam could make it to his delivery.
Eden smiled sotfly at the three. She sighed fallowing behind them. her mind drifting in and out of though. "I hope there's pudding...." She said radomly, relizing she spoke out load. Taking a deep breath she thought of her dear little fire lizard. Wondering if he was alright, and flying as fast as his green wings could take him. Eden undid the upper layer of the silken gown, it was a two in one dress, the upper layer full of the temples runes and she wore only now the icey bule silk that hung off her curves. Eden wasn't as small as Astrid, she had the curvey hour glass figur. It was becoming very warm out, and wearing the bulky upper layer was making her bake a pie. "Am I the only one who thinks this heat is becoming horrible warm?" She asked, beganing to shake off all her concerns from before.
Karin laughed, "This heat is nothing compared to where I was raised, Eden. I think it feels lovely." She shuddered, "I do despise the cold, though."
Jin made an smooth shrug of indifference. "It may be warm, but I am so used to my second robe, that I actually feel quite comfortable at the moment." He said, referencing his lighter first robe and the thin vest over top. "My clothes are made for comfort and practicality, along with style." Jin added proudly, since both he and his sister, and Astrid as well, were wearing clothing of his make.
"It does seem warm, yes." Astrid said, then smiled cheekily. "Although, I am from the frozen kingdom," She added with laughter. "I think it feels quite nice on my skin. The breeze is beautifully warming."
Eden smiled tossing her upper layer of her robe on Astrid's head in a playful manner. "Ice princess..." She joked, knowing that Eden herself used Ice magic. "it might rain that its so warm...a warning not to get your hair wet I tell you."
At that Jin scowled while Sheba gave a small snarl of disgust. Neither of the two liked getting wet. Though his hair was quite fine, the length held the water and got so damned heavy... "I dislike the rain," He pouted, unaware that he actually was.
Karin, glancing at him sideways, spluttered into laughter, when seeing her utterly proper brother complaining like a child about a situation such as the weather. "Hahahahahaaa! Now who of the noble courts would believe such of you, brother?" He looked at her, puzzled.
Astrid smiled up at him and shook her head. "You should not be. It is what keeps our world green, you know." Her mothers wisdom was beginning to spill out of her in tiny droplets. She spoke fluidly and walked like a ghost like her mother had. Astrid only hoped that she could be as great as the woman.
Eden laughed at Jin's comment on the weather, but Asrtid was right the rain made the earth green. She looked at three, as everyone was heading to the geart hall. Eden let down her hair from the bun it was in. "That is very ture Astrid."
"Wisdom is another wonderful trait you possess, Astrid." Jin nodded his head, agreeing with her, his gaze fond. How proud was he to simply know her. "But I shall still do my best to remain inside when it rains." He smiled teasingly.
Karin added thoughtfully, "It is true, Dol may like the rain, but only in the humid summer. Otherwise, he dislikes the cool waters. I myself, enjoy a nice cool rainfall. It was such a rare treat at home." She thought of Tsam now, Eden's dragon, wondering if his message had yet reached its destination. Speaking of her home kingdom reminded her of the few but strong bonds she had formed during her years there, and a fondness for the dry heat brought a sense of longing to the usually reserved young woman.
Astrid smiled at up at Jin. "I will not ever force you to be in the rain, love." She held him closer, seeing the doors to the Grand Hall come into view. She realized then that she'd have to let him go. Her heart began to ache.
Eden placed her hands on Astrid shoulders. "Don't worry, poeple love you and for a good reason too" she spoke softly. "I know you'll rule great, and make the right choices for yourself and kingdom..."
Jin felt the sudden tension in Astrid's touch and raised her hand to his lips, speaking softly, his words touching her like a kiss across the knuckles. "I will be watching. I am with you, no matter where your feet take you." He dropped a very light kiss on her hand before straightening up again.
"They are both right Astrid. There is nothing to fear, you are wonderful on your own, and all of your friends and will be watching out for you tonight. Do not worry." Karin's brash voice cut in. Sheba and Dol both stepped up a bit to nuzzle Astrid's free hand and the small of her back, offering their own support as well.
Astrid mulled over what she wanted to say to the twins and to Eden, but only "Thank you" fell out. She patted both of the animals on the head, as well, appreciating their support. She twisted her lips a bit and pushed open the doors...
Beside her, the twins, Sheba and Dol, stepped forward as well. Music was already playing, loudly, but still elegant, the murmurs of idly gossip barely audible above it. Already, many people were there, wearing their finest and brightest clothing, mostly standing or sitting off to the side, waiting for the more important guests to arrive. Jin kept a bland polite expression, when the attention shifted to them, while Karin gave a haughty face to those who would stare.
As they walked in, the room was lite with the fire falowers from the dragon's baths. Jade pillars stood high, with golden skil drapped around them. The music was sotf, and people all stared at Astrid and comany. The room had fallen quite, but filled with clapping and bright smiles, She was greeted by nobles, and finaly the conicel members. The old queen was sitting with what looked like a younger verison of her. The younger girl had just as long black hair, but jade green eyes, the same soft pale skin, met with cherry lips. She had to have been the old queens daughter. Eden tilled her head to the side bitting her lip when she saw the young girl, but even more surprised by how the head peritess hadn't gone over there. One the cities old gossip coloums. Eden whispered to Astrid. "the girl sitting next to the queen, her name Lotus...it's her daughter."
"It is noted." Astrid said, nodding. Her composture took over a cold feeling as she held her back straight and eyed all of the people. She was more worried than nervous. Worried about the duke.
The queen came up and greeted, Astrid taking over to a couple old men introdcing her to them, the one man was extremly old fashion looking, Deep green robes, glasses, with the matching long white breed, he was hunched over a long maple staff, his name was Turott, the other man he stood with looked a little younger still eldery loonking, but a clean cut gray breed, with the matching gray hair, his eyes were like steel that looked like he held more then anyone in the room, but his robes were almost black with gold triming, he was tall and strong and smiled kindly towards Astrid. Algoole is what the queen said he name was. "Well I have herd many things about you little queen." Turott, patted Astrid arm, he came of kind and warm, like a grandfather. "All good too! I promise you! I look very fordward to your wedding day, I beleive that you'll just look as stunning as you do now, if not more!" The silly old man spoke with joy. His old eyes falling on to her male esscort. "I have seen in court before...hmmm but where where..." He mubbled. Algoole sighed. "He's a fame skil weyver Turott, the one we were told who is to make Her ladyship's wedding gowne...Parndon Turott, his age sometimes gets the better of him, but don't let trick you, he a sliver tongue that could cut throats..." The queen grummbled. "If you would please not use such bloodly trems tonight Algoole; it's a night of joy and dancing, not your poltics and rules..." She spoke almost as if she would end up killing the old man. "My dear, MayLing..." Algoole said smriking at the queen. "You have no right to use her name..." Turott said, allowing his cane to hit Algooles foot. "Please pardon, him...He was well..."Turott had shifty eyes. "Its a story for another time, we are but two out of the seven councile members here, who will help you rule and such...Please understand your word will always be final, and I very much trust you'll make the best one!" Turott and Algoole bid her fairwell and wished her all the fun she could have, and too hopefully see later on this evening. "Jeez...and I thought the preistess were scary..." Eden said trying not to laugh at the old men.
"Exactly. My word being last means I shouldn't have to marry that idiot of a man they're setting me up with." Astrid muttered under her breath, blinking a few times. "That was grand. Who else am I to meet?"
The queen smiled at her. "Well I haven't seen other concile members yet, young queen, but just feel her to go around and speak with the lady and lords or the corut. The Duke will arrive shortly." She said patting Astrid shoulder. Eden sighed looking around the alreay half full half, people had started to dance, servents walking around with food. Many young men watch Astrid, some had come up to introdce them selves to her, many women came up to Jin, knowing his talent, as word had gotten around, one begged him to dance with her. Eden had to step back fron the swell of people. "...I would hate to be short..." She said to herself thinking she ight have stomped.
Jin, surprised, managed a belated bow towards the elderly gentlemen. He had not known word of his skill had traveled so far. He was not sure if he was pleased, or embarrassed at all of the attention, and politely begged the pardon of the women, ‘I am sorry, I am taken.’ ‘I have no skill at this dance.’ ‘I cannot leave my sister, I fear she would never forgive me’ while shamelessly keeping a hand on Karin and remaining within the general area around Astrid. His bright eyes searched carefully, wondering when the Duke would come, and hoping he would be able to intercept the not so gentleman before he encountered either of the two fiery women of his life.
Karin, on the other hand, just continued to glare at all approaching men, flickering her fingers to make her rings gleam in a threatening manner. Dol and Sheba stayed circling around the group, alternately showing their teeth to people who seemed too forward or rubbing against the legs and hands of the higher ups in a friendly way- depending on past experiences and their sense of intent.
Jin took a moment from his watching to touch Astrid’s hand discreetly and comfortingly as he said to Eden, smiling. “It is not such a hardship. If you walked more often in Karin’s company, you would be sure that no one would dare get in your way.” He smiled at his sister, who only snarled and then laughed, feeling more at ease as she took a heavy glass of a dark liquor from the hand of an older gentleman who just seemed surprised.
Before he could approach her for any more intimate an exchange, Dol scrambled up and snorted a tiny flame at the man’s hem, causing him to humph in indignation and hurry away. “Good dragon.” Karin laughed, scritching him along his jaw in reward.
Astrid touched Jin's hand discreetly before moving off through the crowd. She let other people come up to her. She didn't want all of her people thinking that she was eager to be known. They had to work for her attention. She smiled, though, when lords and ladies came up to her, and shook their hands, offering pleasent greetings. "It is fare to see you, as well," she said to one woman, who courtsied deeply at her words.
Eden smiled putting an arm around Karins Shoulders. "Yes, but still, your sister here is still prefect expmale of the prefcet woman. Strong hott headed, willfull and down right dangours, with a hint of sweetness." She said talking more about Karins way towards most men, other then brother and select few. "No but really Karin, your are a very good friend to have around." Eden had found a glass of white whine that had been offered to her. She would speak to afew people, some knew her from either a healing or a beast summoning, Which was only once, and Eden had blacked out for a week afterwards.
Karin made a series of snaps to get Dol's attention and he settled down on the ground and she perched on his back, comfortably as if he were some scaled and jeweled throne, drinking from the glass appreciatively. "I thank you, Eden, you seem to have a high opinion of me, as those people seem to have of you." She said, nodding her head to the people who had just come up to the priestess.
Jin smiled at the exchange and then turned to an older woman who seemed a bit tired with the festivities already- she seemed weighed down by her heavy silks and jewels, and he saw the high quality of her raiment. He offered his arm politely, "Madam, your finery does not outshine your beauty, but it seems a burden upon your light frame. Would you like assistance?" She smiled up at him, taking his arm and pointed with a gently shaking beringed finger, a cluster of couches across the hall, where a few of the more elderly were congregated for the occasion.
Jin made a slight face of dismay. He had not meant to be even that far apart from Astrid and the others for even a moment, but he had already offered, and he could honestly feel the fine tremble of age within her and so he nodded his head, "I will be back in but a moment, my friends." He said, and tucking the lady's hand under his own, he very carefully steered her across the room.
Astrid turned to place where her friends were and noticed that Jin was missing. She quickly searched the crowd till she found him, helping an old woman. She smiled fondly and glanced back to the woman talking to her, and she nodded, bending a bit to the smaller woman, who was clutching her arm.
Eden smiled at KAron. "WEll of coruse I have a high opinion of you, I have herd thing from when you lived in the south, and well I just know you preiod. So there for as my studies have forced me to become a judge of others characters...I think thats why I was asked to put the crown on Astrid crown..." She joked lightly, trying to forget the very untimely vision. "I must say though Dol, is much smaller then most dragons, but still to big to be a fire lizard like T'sam.Speaking my little friend he should be there by now..." She spoke lightly, sipping her drink, her eyes scanning the crowd.
Tayon walked into the hall, waering black and red robes of the southern dragon knights, he was with to others, they were speaking as if something had come up. The way he looked made some poeple question, yes he was handsome but the look on his face said other wise; his eyes were hard, there was no real emtion on his face. A younger looking man came bursting in, wearing amazing, bule and silver robes, his sandy blonde hair framed his long powerful jawline, with eyes the color of ocean. He was tall, almost as tall as Tayon. The man spoke to Tayon, his face not changing as the man spoke, inseted Tayon looked very displeased.
chronicles of de’gal
history mainframe of De'gal
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