Author's Note: I really have a lot of different ideas for where I want this story to go. I have had a lot of fun writing this story and would love to hear more suggestions on characters, relationships and such from you all! So, that being said, please let me know what you think by either a) reviewing or b) PM'ing me. All comments/critiques/advice are GREATLY desired and welcomed! I'd love to hear from you guys; it encourages me to continue with the story.
On a different note, as you know, I own nothing. :)
Chapter Four: Leaving
I awoke the morning after he left, curled up on the back balcony. I didn't even realize that I had cried myself to sleep. I guess no one even noticed that I was still outside. I sighed and pulled myself up off the hard ground and tried to let reality sink in.
My best friend was gone because his own people were out to murder him. All because of greed.
That sounded so wrong. I walked into the sitting room and saw that it was still dark in there. The sun had only just risen, so most of my family were probably still asleep.
I let out a huge yawn and made my way back to my large, comfortable bed. Hoping that maybe a proper sleeping place would help to ease my mind. I laid there for a long while before I realized that sleep was not coming to me and that I might as well dress myself and make use of the new day.
I did know one thing. I didn't want to stay there for much longer.
I also knew something else.
When I left there, I had no idea where I was going. I had never left the Telmarine castle or village my entire life. I figured that I could defend myself easily enough and hunt for my food and all, but my sense of direction outside of these walls was scary. I could make my way throughout the boundaries of the castle grounds and even a little on the outside, but not much more. I could only fend for myself for so long.
There was only one person who I knew could possibly help me.
I grabbed a pair of dark brown trousers from my closet and threw off my sleep gown. I buttoned them up and grabbed a light green tunic to wear with sleeves that went down to my elbows, roughly. It was a little shorter than it was last year on me, but oh well it was clothing. My sister would never be seen in an article that was outdated. After I was sloppily dressed I found the mirror in my closet and tied my hair back.
I made my steps extra quiet and I grabbed my casual boots and slipped them onto my feet. When I was ready, I opened the door and crossed the hallway to Doctor Cornelius' room. I knocked softly, hoping that he was an early riser.
Footsteps were coming to the door, I could hear them and soon enough he opened the door for me.
"Why, good morning, Miss Rosalie! Up early aren't we?" the old fellow whispered to me and then invited me into his home.
"Doctor Cornelius," I embraced him when he closed the door," I miss him incredibly. It is like piece of my heart has ridden away on a jet black horse."
The old man sighed as he patted my back," Yes, my dear, but I am afraid there is nothing we can do now. Prunaprismia has already given birth to her child and Miraz is going to get what he wants now that the heir is gone."
Prunaprismia! I had forgotten about her. She was the wife of Lord Miraz and had gone through a very difficult pregnancy. The main reason I never thought much of her was because when she had become pregnant, mother and I offered to come and help take care of their quarters during the day. Instead of politely turning down the offer, she scoffed at us and found it offensive that we would even so much as think that she was weak enough not to be able to clean her own house.
"She gave birth to a son?" I asked Doctor Cornelius, who nodded his head to confirm my question.
This meant that Miraz, if approved by the other lords, could step up to the role of King and instead of Caspian blood keeping the throne…Miraz blood would overtake it since he know had an heir. A male heir.
My father was not going to like this.
The thought of Miraz as King sent shivers up and down my spine.
"This is horrible," I whispered as we went into the study and he took a seat behind his desk and I across from the desk. The sun was just now poking through the windows bright enough to light up the room.
He nodded his head in agreement," Yes, Miss Rosalie, why did you come to see me this morning? Surely not just to talk about Miraz." he bluntly asked.
I knew I didn't want to talk about Miraz. I would have rather jumped from the top of the castle than sit through a conversation about him.
The wise man must have been able to tell that I was beating around the bush.
"Doctor, I want you to tell me something," I told him, leaning onto his desk," Where did you send Caspian?"
He looked at me for a long moment before answering," I do not know."
That was not the answer I needed him to tell me.
"Sir, what do you mean? You mean to tell me that you just sent him off on a horse with Queen Susan's horn?" I asked, trying to figure out what was going on.
"I hadn't much time to plan anything else," he explained to me," I knew that Prunaprismia was giving birth, now I did not know the gender of the baby, but I had a chance that it would be a boy. If it was a boy, I knew that they would send a troop down here and kill your beloved friend in his sleep.
"I fetched the old horn from my closet and then heard them banging on the door. I knew it was a boy then. I immediately ran in to retrieve the Prince and exited him down to the stables through a secret passageway I found just after I first moved in. I had not much time to tell him anything else. He knows what to do if he is in trouble, just blow that horn."
"He knows that he must take over the throne and in order to do that he must find the Old Narnian's support. He is off searching for them, convincing him to join his army to take over the Kingship," the old man explained to me and as he talked I rested my head on my hands.
We sat in silence for a few moments as I pondered a few things.
An army? With creatures that have been extinct for who knows how long? Impossible. There was to be a war over this?
"Doctor Cornelius, aren't those creatures long extinct?" I asked him, confused by what he meant.
He shook his head," Rosalie, they are very much still alive today…for I am one of them…I am partially dwarf. My mother is a full-blooded dwarf."
I looked at him in shock. He looked nothing like the ones mother told me about.
He saw the confusion painted on my face.
"I don't have time to tell the whole story, for it would be a waste of my breath and painful for your ears, but please just believe that they are real and they are somewhere waiting for you and Caspian to find them," he tried to convince me and I guess that I would have to settle with that for the time being," Now are you sure this is what you desire? You have a nice life here, you know. Any other girl would be envious to be the daughter of a father as powerful as your own. He is right under Kingship."
I knew that I was angry with my father. More than angry, actually, outraged was a more appropriate word for the feeling I held in my heart towards him. The feelings of love and joy that I felt when I was just a young girl, were gone. They were long gone now. He would have to rebuild my heart and do something drastic in order to regain those old gleeful feelings.
Doctor Cornelius did make a good point. Many girls would love to be in my place. Many girls would go along with my father's sick plan just to get more pretty dresses and boys to look at them. They would allow their father to kill people just to have a pretty dress…sickening. But I was not one of those girls. I hated my father's plans and couldn't stand him anymore. I had to escape from him.
What could I do though? There was no way I could survive on my own…I depended too much on survival from those around me. I was pampered heavily by servants, maids…everything was given to me on a silver platter. Plus, could I send my other family members through the torture of not knowing where I was?
"What's going on in your head Miss Rosalie?" he asked me very softly as he leaned back in his chair.
I had no idea. Part of me was begging to get out of these walls even if it meant stealing my father's horse and riding off into the unknown and hurting anyone, but another part of me was attached to home. That part of me didn't like the thought of leaving my mother, Jacob and Penelope and mother.
I had a flashback of us jumping around in mother's room after learning about the newest tale in Narnia. We would get so excited about them and couldn't wait when we could transform into those characters. The three of us loved to do this, but then I remembered how Caspian would always join in on the fun as well and then my other side would step in and say that I had to find him.
"I want to find him, Doctor," I told him quietly, running my fingers through my knotted, black hair.
He chuckled at me," Rosalie, you realize that finding the Prince is like…let's just say you would have a better chance of finding Aslan himself. I haven't the slightest where he would be."
" I know, but something in my heart is telling me that I must find him. Surely, you can assist me in some way. Surely, you must have a clue as to where the Old Narnians are."
He put a hand on his chin and stroked his beard. He looked out the window at the landscape surrounding the castle for a brief moment before his eyes met mine," You are sure this is what you want to do?"
I nodded my head.
He took a breath in," Well then, you will first need a horse. Do you know how you can retrieve one?"
Kingslee. That would not be an easy task, but I had to steal her.
"Yes, Kingslee sir," I told him.
"You are really going to steal your father's horse, dear? You are sure you can live with that, morally?" he asked me. The tone in his voice was very doubting. He didn't think I could actually do this. He was testing to see just how determined I was.
"Doctor, my father has done many things, that are, as you say, morally wrong. I believe that stealing his horse can only be returning the favor on my part," I explained to him, my mother would have slapped me for the disrespect intended.
"Very well then," he replied, satisfied with my answer," If that is how you feel, then I would say that you are making the right decision. I will be able to provide a sword and dagger for your protection, along with a lantern for you to see your way at night time. I would suggest getting out of here as soon as possible if you wish to have any chance of tracking down the Prince."
I nodded my head. I was now beginning to be grateful for all of the swordsmanship lessons father had given me on dueling and fighting with a sword.
"Thank you," I told him as I stood up.
"Rosalie, I will meet you at midnight tonight at the horse stables. That gives you the rest of today to do the proper preparations. Try to be as stealthy as you can about your leaving. Make sure to gather plenty of food and pack a spare set of clothing. You will not be able to keep much with you.
"Life on the run is not for the faint of heart. You must realize that from the moment your mother and father wake up in the morning to see you are missing, you will become the country's second most wanted person. They will hunt you down," he warned me as I walked to the door.
I knew they would, but the words my father said last night rung clear,
"I want to be King. More than anything."
When would he draw the line to stop? Things would become worse with him and if I already could not stand him now…I would never be able to stand him later. Hunt me down, they would, but it would not bother me because I knew that I was taking a stand for something that the Telmarines have needed for a long time now.
"Then let the hunt begin."
I went through the rest of the day as any other day in the castle. Jacob challenged me to a duel and I accepted, something I normally did not do. His style of fighting was a bore to me. He was more of a skilled archer, not swordsman and I typically could pen him rather quickly.
I could tell he had been practicing, though, for his feet moved much quicker and he was much more balanced. I was impressed, but that didn't stop me from giving my all into the duel. Jacob was very bad at predicting what the opponent was going to do next and that lead to my pinning him soon.
Penelope wanted me to give her my thoughts on the new formal dresses that had been made for her. The seamstresses were standing all around her as she spun around in her pretty dress. She loved the perks of being in a Lord's family. The dresses, the lace, the silk, the maids waiting on her hands and feet. She thrived on all of these things which made her prone to drama and wanting everything her way.
I even managed to sneak down to the kitchen after they had finished cleaning up from dinner. I tried to be as sly as possibly as I threw two loaves of bread, butter, and some spare scraps of the roast into my small pack. They wouldn't stay good for long, but I hoped that my hunting with Caspian and my father from my earlier years would help me. I wrapped my food packet up tight and grabbed a canteen of fresh water as well and put them into my satchel I planned on taking with me.
I also made sure to put a spare set of trousers and a tunic in my satchel and that was almost everything that I could fit. I grabbed my velvet cape and put it on top of my two layers of clothing that I already wore. I stopped into the powder room one last time to tied back my hair and memories of my mother braiding my hair on the same stool flooded back to me. I couldn't think of that or else I would never leave, so I forced those thoughts away.
After all of my tasks that I needed to do were completed, it was almost time. I checked the hallway to be sure that all of my family was fast asleep. The house was silent and I looked to see that no one appeared to be awake. I ran as slowly as I could to the door to the main hallway.
This was it.
When I opened this door, I left my old life behind; I opened the door to a new life. A life was self-independent and adventurous. A life that wanted justice and was too stubborn to allow injustice to happen. I then thought to myself, hasn't this been the life I have dreamt of for years?
I threw the door open and without another word or goodbye, I was gone. I put my hood on my head and sprinted down the hallway and down one of the back stair ways. When I reached the main floor, I saw that there was a patrol out. I must have gotten lucky on the top floor.
I held tightly to the wall and slid myself along, looking down the corner that led to the stables.
Right around the corner was the entrance to the stables and there were two patrollers standing right in front of the stable entrance as if they knew I was coming. They were so close to me that I was afraid to breathe too loud for I thought they might hear me and my whole plot would be destroyed.
I looked around and noticed that there was a candlestick burning on the stairway wall. I quickly turned back around and blew out the candle burning aglow on the top. I took the metal contraption and snuck back down and peeked my head around the corner. They were still talking.
They continued their conversation for a good five minutes before finally one of them decided to check the other side of the corridor. Thankfully, he was the bigger of the two. I wouldn't have to attempt to knock him with a candlestick. The one guarding the door now looked rather scrawny. I could probably knock him out with my bare hands, but I didn't want to chance it.
"Eric, tell me if you see anything!" the other one hollered from down the hall.
"Will do!" he yelled back.
"Doubt it," Eric mumbled to himself," I never do."
I laughed to myself, well he was about to see something. I wasn't for sure how it would work, but I had to do it now or never.
"Eric," I whispered once, as I inched my way back towards the stairs.
The stairs curved as they went up, I planned that if I could lure Eric away from the door by whispering his name, as I hid behind the curve of the stairs. As he turned the curve, I would hit him square in the head with the end of the candlestick.
"Who are you?" he called out as he turned the corner.
I made my way up the stairs until I reached the curve, I held my breath as I spoke his name again.
"Identify yourself!" he demanded and sweat dripped down my forehead.
Then I saw his face. He was young, probably not much older than I, but I couldn't dwell on it for instinct told me to hit and hit I did. I smacked him square in the forehead and a shocked glanced became etched on his face. He fell to the ground, knocked out.
I put the candlestick back on the wall of the staircase and quickly made my way down the corridor right to the, now cleared, entrance to the stables. I went through the door quickly and then the smell of horses filled my nose.
"Rosalie!" A hushed whisper called my name from the other side of the stables, "We haven't much time! Come along!"
The voice was Doctor Cornelius' and before long I saw the short man on the other side of the stables. As I approached, I noticed that he had already put the saddle on the chestnut brown horse.
"Doctor Cornelius!" I said happily and embraced him, but he pushed me off.
"Mount the steed now!" he commanded me and I followed his orders. I pet the massive creature on the nose before climbing onto her back.
"Listen to me child, here is your sword, only yield it when necessary and here is your dagger. Remember, you must find a source of water before you set up camp for the night. Best of luck to you, I fear someone might know of your plans. They have been keeping an extra close eye on me ever since Caspian escaped and I wouldn't be surprised if we had some eavesdroppers. Remember your cause and remember that Aslan is always with you!" he told me, and handed me the weapons which I quickly tied around my waist and secured them. His voice running so quickly that it made my nerves jump up. When he was done I grabbed the reigns. He tied a lantern to the saddle as well.
"Thank you, for everything," I told him finally and as he predicted someone had been watching us. The door to the stables flung open and the doctor hit the horse hard in order to make it run.
I kicked my heels, pushing the horse to go.
"Trust Kingslee! She knows what she is doing," he called one last time and I looked down at the creature sprinting, I could feel a defiant spirit in her," For Aslan!"
I smiled at the last part. I was trusting a horse to take me into a land that was uncharted for me. Doctor Cornelius told me nothing about this earlier, but I felt it was my one and only option.
Kingslee ran quickly through the stables before finally we reached the gate that lead to the outside world. It was not extremely tall, but it was not short either. It was a good four feet tall and a guard shut it closed, blocking our path.
"You're not going anywhere," he yelled as Kingslee got closer.
I didn't know what to do, but the horse below me knew just what she was doing. I tried to slow her up, but she kept running, full force at the gate. I tried yelling at the horse, pulling the reigns back, but the horse seemed to be taking orders from a force larger than myself.
I heard more hooves following us. Deciding that I could not stop the proud horse, I pushed her to go faster, trusting that she knew what she was going to do. Like Cornelius said.
Like a bird, she took flight and bounded over the closed barrier and we were free. I took a deep breath, but had no time to let what happened sink in. The impact back to the ground was rough, but it did not slow her from sprinting away at full speed.
"Catch her! Don't let her out of your sight!" I heard one of the men behind me call to his troop as I looked back.
I had to see if the other horses could repeat the stunt, but laughed when the men's black, intimidating, strong war horses could not even make the jump. One of the men began yelling at the guard nearby," Open the gate! Now!" he screamed.
It was completely dark out and I was riding off only on moonlight. I looked back at the castle one last time and saw something that shocked me. As the other soldiers struggled with their horses, I was staring at the sight of my crying sister on the balcony of our home while Kingslee ran full speed towards the tree line.
"ROSALIE!" she screamed from the balcony, in the distance.
I flashbacked to when I saw Caspian leaving in the night, could I do that to them what he had done to me? I could not stand to see her balling like she was.
There was always time to turn back...
As her scream echoed in my ear, so did the sound of a horn far off in the night. Queen Susan's horn.
Author's Note: Please, don't forget about those lovely reviews or else I might not update as often. Thanks guys! I appreciate it.