The Creepy prince and a Countess to be

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Summary

Faery is a young girl that came to the palace as a temporary lady-in-waiting to princess Hestia. Her palace life is miserable and her only friend is the princess, but that changes in an unexpected way with the sudden appearance of Hestia's older brother, Prince Lucius. Faery is forced to solve some of her own issues and soon she finds herself in a position of fulfilling Lucius' requests. He is a strange, creepy prince that can be one's greatest foe or a good ally if you're willing to listen to all of his demands. All that Faery wishes is to go home but her life will be impacted by a series of events in the palace.

Genre:
Fantasy / Thriller
Author:
_LadyBex_
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
2
Rating:
4.8 4 reviews
Age Rating:
16+

Chapter 1

Prince Lucius grabbed the eye patch I was wearing and tore it apart. The princess and I were sitting in the palace garden far away from my room when he approached us. I couldn’t go get another one unnoticed now.

“Beautiful! Your red eye is a truly beautiful sight to behold Faery.” He was smiling while looking closely at my eyes.

His long black hair was the color of the darkest nights and I felt like I was going to be swallowed by the darkness of his aura. His formal clothes were black with some red strings.

“It’s not beautiful. It’s odd. I always get disapproving looks from everyone when they see my mismatched eyes,” I say while averting my gaze from him.

“Brother, you’ve crossed the line,” princess Hestia said.

Unlike her brother, Princess Hestia had long red hair and a cheerful, upbeat personality.

“Faery, I forbid you to wear eye patches again. From now on you must walk proudly with both of your eyes uncovered,” Lucius said in an authoritative voice.

“My green eye is a human eye, while the red-eye represents... demons,” I mutter, holding back my tears.

“Both me and Hestia have red eyes!“Lucius shot me a strange glare.

“I-I didn’t mean to say anything bad...” Lucius pressed his index finger against my mouth and I stopped talking.

“Let’s not destroy this beautiful moment with talking.” Lucius smiled again. “Red eyes are beautiful. They are perfect! Too bad your other eye is green, but I love how your blonde hair is naturally dyed with crimson red at its ends.”

“Brother, at this rate you’ll cross too many lines,” Hestia protested.

“Faery needs to appreciate herself. We’re going for a walk around the castle garden,” Lucius grabbed my arms and propped me to stand up.

“I’ll go too,” Hestia suggested while she stood up.

“No, stay here and do whatever you planned on doing,” Lucius said.

“I came to the garden with Faery to pick flowers and gather new floral idea arrangements for my room, but since she needs to escort you I’m at a loss,” Hestia explained.

“Don’t worry! Stay here and as soon as we encounter a servant we’ll send him or her to help you,” Lucius said while he lead me away.

He grabbed my right hand and slowly led me around the garden. I looked back to Hestia but she gave me an apologetic look. There wasn’t anything she could do to help me now. She was my dear, distant cousin and although our social ranks weren’t close, she treated me like a true friend. I was only a future countess to be and was invited to stay as Hestia’s lady-in waiting in the palace for a short while, until our side makes more progress, recaptures a strategic point in the ongoing war that could help end the war.

The palace garden was normally a beautiful and peaceful place, but right now, while being forced to take a walk against my will, it wasn’t peaceful at all . A lot of colorful flowers with a wonderful scent decorated it and I loved spending my free time here.

I hoped we wouldn’t meet anyone, but that was just wishful thinking. There was no way servants and guards would leave the side of royals. I thought the servants at my home castle were annoying when they watched my movements, but the royal security and service were on a whole different level. They were always somewhere close and would often conceal their presence in order to show up immediately when they were needed.

“Look at that.” I heard whispers from a court lady in the corner.“Prince Lucius is walking around the garden with a lady.”

“Is that Faery? The strange newcomer girl the princess fancies.” The other court lady said.

“Yes, it’s that uncivilized lady from that distant muddy province. Who does she think she is? Someone with such a low ranking, a mere future countess as she should only gaze at the royals from the distance.” The third court lady remarked.

Prince Lucius started to walk real slow, it was like he wanted to be seen with me.

“Just look at her... wait she isn’t wearing her eye patch?” Another court lady jeered, shocked from my unusual appearance.

“Her right eye is red, how creepy.” Another court lady quietly noted.

This is exactly why I wore an eye patch. The court ladies already slandered me every chance they got, but my eye is my weakest point. I couldn’t take it.

“That’s obviously a sign of a demonic ancestor. She must have used her demonic powers to get the royals to fancy someone like her.” The court ladies agreed.

Demons in my world were just a rumor. I’ve never encountered a demon and I didn’t have any special inhuman abilities. I am a normal girl with a strange eye. Demons in stories were always creatures of darkness up to no good, ready to make everyone around miserable and they often tortured or killed their victims. I don’t want to have any kind of connection with such type of creatures.

I gazed at the ground but prince Lucius held my head up. He didn’t let me gaze down. I had to keep looking straight. The direction in which prince Lucius led me was the palace where everybody would see my eye. I stopped walking.

“And did you see her dress? It’s completely red to reinforce her demonic side.”

No. That was wrong. Everything they said was wrong. I wish they’d stop. I simply liked the dress and that’s why I’m wearing it. I didn’t have any deep meaning.

“Faery? Are those court ladies bothering you?” Prince Lucius’s red eyes pierced mine.

“I- no, it’s okay.” I just wanted to get out of this situation quickly and ran back to my room in the palace.

“You’re better than them, Faery. You should go and laugh at their faces.” Lucius advised me.

Lucius dragged me to the garden corner where the court ladies were standing. They bowed down politely as soon as they saw prince Lucius and exchange common courtesy words.

“It is such a beautiful day, yet the three of you are here alone,” Lucius said.

They quickly made excuses for why their husbands or fiances weren’t with them.

“Prince Lucius, is the newcomer, lady Faery treating you well?” One of them mustered the courage to talk about me in front of him.

“Yes, Faery is a very kind lady, but I wish she’d have more confidence,” Lucius said.

“Don’t blame her, she came far away from our capital, it’s a shame, but it’ll take a while for her to learn everything.”

Her words pierced me. I knew they didn’t like me, but it was very low that they’d attack me in regards to my birthplace in front of such high authority, a prince. There was nothing wrong with living in a province, far away from the capital. We also educated ourselves and I didn’t lack any knowledge they hatefully insisted I didn’t have.

“And it’s an even greater shame when someone from a fine upbringing doesn’t know their place or how to speak,” Lucius said with an evil smile.“Lady Margaret, is it? Your husband is currently serving in the army?”

Lady Margret’s face got pale for a second but she quickly regained her calm.“Yes, prince Lucius. My husband is doing his best to help our country win the war.”

“That’s a good answer. He is a fine man and it would be such a terrible shame if something were to happen to him,” Lucius said.

The court ladies remained silent and Lucius excused ourselves. He lead me through the most crowded places in his palace and almost everybody saw my red-eye. There was no point in hiding it anymore. My life in the palace was already miserable. I had rare fun moments with princess Hestia, but now that a big reason for rumors was in the open, I dreaded the worst. Could my life in the palace become even more miserable that it already is?

I heard whispers as we walked but Lucius didn’t let me walk any slower or show any emotion. To walk straight, at a fast pace with an upward gaze is what he insisted on. In order to accomplish that I had to ignore the whispers and I focused just on walking.

After a while, we were in front of my room and Lucius let go of me.

“Faery, duty calls, but let’s see each other tomorrow.”

He kissed my left hand as a goodbye greeting. I had nothing more to do so I returned to my room.

My bedchamber in the palace was a safe, relaxing zone. It wasn’t a big room, but it had everything I needed: a big bed, a fireplace, a desk and all of my art supplies. I arranged it according to my taste. It was a simple, yet elegant room.

The first thing I’d do whenever I entered my room was to remove my eye patch. Both of my eyes were perfectly healthy and I wore it only to hide my mismatched eye colors. It was always refreshing to see with both of my eyes after hiding it outside. As a habit I reached out to the drawer where I stored eye patches but I immediately pulled back my hand.

I took a deep calming breath and laid down on the bed. There was still plenty of daylight remaining but I didn’t feel like leaving my room or doing anything. Today was mentally exhausting. Everyone saw my true eye colors. I couldn’t hide them anymore. I don’t know why prince Lucius did that. Was he secretly aiming to shame me like the rest of the nobles here?

Prince Lucius’ appearance in the palace was sudden and I never thought I’d have an encounter with him like the one that I had. In my childhood, there were some rare occasions when I’d play together with Hestia and Lucius, although he was ten years older. My memories of that time were blurry and today I saw the prince after a very long time, but I immediately recognized his husky voice.

“Why are you wearing an eye patch? Let me see.”

His words before he had removed my eye patch resonated in my head. I didn’t predict he’d do that and I defenselessly let myself be dragged by his whim.

“Beautiful!”

That’s the first time someone ever said something like that about my eyes. The only time I heard something similar was in a dream. A strange blue-haired guy who’d always wear blue clothes, Astrifer found a cat with mismatched eyes and fell in love with it. He said that the cat’s eyes were truly fascinating. The blue guy wanted to pet it and give it a home, but the cat ran away. I wasn’t a cat, but it was still nice to hear that somebody liked mismatched eyes, even if it was on an animal. I never thought I’d hear a compliment in reality.

Drowsiness came over me and I fell asleep. In my dream, I saw a strange world of fog and machines and I dreamt about the blue guy, Astrifer, again. He was usually a fun guy to dream about. He was always focused on inventing new things, but it often didn’t go as planned and there were a lot of comical situations. This time it was a very sad dream. Astrifer’s family abandoned him and left him all alone on the street.

The loud chirping of birds brought me back to reality. I woke up with tears in my eyes. Even the fun dreams I used to have become sad now. Was it the influence of my life in the palace? I wish I could go home. My parents were good to me, they wouldn’t abandon me. I came to the palace as a temporary court lady to princess Hestia until the war calms down, but I don’t know when that’ll happen.

It was dusk already and once again I had nothing to do. I liked to spend my free time painting, but the dying light wouldn’t let me see the canvas colors clearly. Daylight was the best time to paint, nothing could replace it well. Candlelight was a pale comparison. I decided on tidying up my room a bit before going back to sleep.

The next morning a servant’s knock woke me up which surprised me because I never slept in late, but there’s a first time for everything. I quickly readied myself and opened the door.

“Prince Lucius instructed me to take all of your eye patches and burn them in the fire,” the servant said.

“Prince Lucius? I thought princess Hestia was calling for me?” I was shocked.

“It’s still two hours before you two usually meet,” the servant answered.

I gave the servant what he asked for and he burnt them in my fireplace. Refusing the orders of the crown prince was something I couldn’t do, nobody in the palace except for the King and Queen could say no to Lucius. Hestia had her way around him, but sometimes she failed in getting what she wanted.

I wanted to ask the servant how long prince Lucius would stay in the palace, but I doubt he knew it. Prince Lucius was taking part in the war until now, but he suddenly came back to the palace. Nobody ever explained anything to me, but prince Lucius must have had some strong, valid reasons.

The servant bowed down to me when he finished his business and left immediately. There was another knock on my door after he left, which was odd, it was before my promised time with Hestia and nobody ever bothered me early in the morning.

I opened the door to see prince Lucius. He invited me to take a walk around the palace with him again. Just like yesterday he dragged me all around the palace and made sure I had a straight, proud pose while I walked. People whispered again, but it was less than yesterday. Lady Margaret was nowhere to be seen. I overheard the noblewoman she associated with the most how her husband died on the battlefield. I didn’t like her and she didn’t like me, but it was sad to hear it. War was like that, it was obvious that people would die, but it was still sad to hear it. When I get back to my room I’ll pray for my father who’s also serving in the war.

Prince Lucius didn’t seem worried about the death of lady Margaret’s husband, although yesterday he said that he was a fine man. Lucius was actually smiling as though he were happy. He had the same creepy smile I remembered from my childhood.

After the morning walk I repeated the same routine I developed since coming to the palace. My relatively peaceful life in the palace continued the same, but prince Lucius changed the mornings a bit.

For the last few days, every morning prince Lucius dragged me out of my room for walks around the palace. I stopped wearing eye patches and walked proudly as he requested. The whispers didn’t bother as much as they did before. I realized that I was treated the same with or without an eye patch and that meant that I should make myself comfortable if I’ll have the same treatment.

Once I stopped thinking about pleasing everyone my palace life became easier, but dealing with prince Lucius was mentally exhausting. Sometimes I felt like he treated me like a doll and not like a person. He didn’t make any odd request, we were just walking around, but I had no freedom in those walks. I had match my walking pace with his, walk only down the paths he wanted and I couldn’t stop, slow down or walk faster. One morning I tried to excuse myself from the walk, but he still dragged me outside ignoring my protests.

After the morning walks, I’d go visit princess Hestia and help her with her daily duties. My early afternoons were usually free and I went back to my room to rest. Passing the inner palace garden was the quickest way from Hestia’s room to mine and that’s the path I took. I quickly passed by the garden as always but I was stopped by a lovely sound.

A friendly, young dog jumped and barked at me to get my attention. It was wagging its tail and jumping all around me. The dog had soft, straight, long, brown fur and blue eyes. I crouched down to pet it and it licked my left cheek. We immediately became friends. It was a lovely feeling to gain another friend, besides princess Hestia in this place. Animals weren’t allowed in the garden and I led him outside the palace in a playful manner. The dog happily followed me and we accidentally bumped into someone because I was paying more attention to the dog than the path ahead of me.

“I am sorry,” I apologized and bowed.

Prince Lucius was standing in front of me with a creepy smile. His long, dark hair was in a mess, but his clothes were tidy. He was carrying some heavy documents in his right hand.

“Oh Faery, why were you running?” Prince Lucius asked.

I immediately noticed how the dog took a distance from prince Lucius and was in a nervous state. It stopped wagging its tail and held it low. The dog’s back was leaning and it pushed back its ears. It also trembled a bit.

“I hope you didn’t touch that source of infection!” Lucius glared at me.

“I was just taking it outside,” I said while avoiding his gaze.

I already touched the dog, we already became friends, but that was something prince Lucius wouldn’t like to hear. I was bad at lying so I quickly answered a response hoping he wouldn’t dwell on the topic.

“You should have called a servant,” Lucius said to me in a tone that sounded like an order.

Luckily any further conversation was interrupted. “Price Lucius! Prince Lucius!” Some noblemen shouted from the end of the hallway.

“Those humans are truly a pain. They dare to make me busy with their troublesome affairs.” Prince Lucius said while shaking his head in displeasure.

He patted me on the head before heading towards the noblemen. I sighed with relief when he left and turned my gaze back to the dog. It also relaxed when Lucius left and was back in its happy mood. The fact that the dog reacted badly to Lucius was an alarming sign. Dogs were known to sense things about others us humans need a long time to realize. Usually, I’d take a distance from people animals obviously disliked, but it was different with Lucius. He was a prince and I couldn’t avoid him.

After Lucius left I took the dog outside the palace and bid it farewell. It whimpered as I was leaving and I was also a bit sad, but this was the only way. The palace rules didn’t allow dogs as pets and prince Lucius reacted to the dog in a crazy way. Why did he dislike dogs? Dogs are great: they are good companions, they guard our homes and go on hunts with men, they are simple creatures ready to give pure love without interest.

I went back to the palace and carried out the rest of the day as usual.

Prince Lucius was busy lately and I had some free mornings. I wasn’t sure what he was doing but the rumors said that there were some secretive, long negotiations about the on-going war. As a princess, Hestia didn’t take an official part in any negotiations because the oldest son, prince Lucius would inherit the throne and all the important governing tasks were left to him. I didn’t dwell too much over it and slowly walked the hallways towards Hestia’s room.

There was a life-sized portrait of prince Lucius near Hestia’s bedchambers. All the royal’s portraits were lined up one after another but the prince’s portrait was the first one I’d pass by from the direction of my room. It was a recent portrait and he was drawn very faithfully to his real self, there was no beautification. He was brimming with self-confidence and his creepy smile was ever-present. His red eyes were drawn so realistically that I had the feeling I was looking at the real prince Lucius. The portrait’s realism made me shiver a bit. I sometimes drew portraits too, but my skill was nowhere near this realism in front of me.

“Faery, you’re right on time.” Hestia rushed out of her room to greet me.“Today we’re going out to the town.”

“To the capital town?” I asked with a smile.

“Yes! And what’s best it’ll be just the two of us,” she said with a big smile.“You must have heard the rumors, today is an especially busy day with negotiations, we’ll manage to slip by unnoticed.”

Together we slowly walked through the palace while avoiding servants, noblewomen, and noblemen. Hestia thought of a safe route yesterday and we followed her plan exactly. We managed to pass unnoticed and were already in the royal stables preparing the horses when a servant caught us. We were so close, yet we failed in the very last step of our goal. Now that we were caught Hestia couldn’t go out to the town with just me. A couple of servants and bodyguards were necessary for her every outing. She was in a very foul mood and I let her walk back to the palace alone. During the years of our friendship, I realized it was best to let her cool off on her own in situations like this.

I slowly walked back to the palace when the friendly dog jumped in front of me. I knew I shouldn’t have but in my free time, I’d sometimes go out to feed him, pet him and play with him. It was a lovely way to relieve the stress of palace life. The dog didn’t bore me with pointless rumors and simply liked me for who I was with no questions asked. I even thought out of a name for my friend.

Today we played with a stick. I’d throw it and the dog would fetch it.

“Bring it back Bear,” I called out to him.

He happily picked up the stick and started running towards me when he suddenly froze in one place. Bear dropped the stick from its jaws and froze in place.

“Faery, didn’t I tell you not to touch that filthy creature!” Lucius showed up behind me.

“It isn’t filthy! Bear is my friend!” I reply, defensively.

I openly conflicted with prince Lucius but I didn’t regret it.

“You don’t need to have friends here. Knowing that I’m here should be enough.” Lucius said with a strong determination in his eyes.

“But dogs are-”

“No buts! Go back to your room for the time being. That’s an order,” Lucius interrupted me in an authoritative voice.

I had no other choice but to follow his orders. I didn’t want to, but I had to. Disobeying a direct order from a royal wouldn’t harm just me, but my entire family as well.

“Walk straight and don’t show weakness to others,” Lucius advised me.“I’m doing this for your own good. Who knows how many illnesses this dog carries.”

None. I wanted to say that but I couldn’t talk back. Such a lively, happy dog couldn’t be ill. I could tell that because we had many dogs back at my castle. They were all serious guard dogs, but while growing up with them I could tell the difference between a happy healthy dog and a sick dog at first sight, without a problem. I straightened my pose and walked to my room pretending that nothing happened.

I decided that I’ll check on Bear the next day since our time together forcefully ended today.

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