I can see Arcotos running alongside me with his pink sticking tongue out and flipping through the wind, he's a canis.
He looks like us wolfmen in our wolf forms, his fur is also white, and he runs on four legs, has beady black eyes that are cute in my opinion.
He also has paws and sharp claws for hunting. He growls, whines, huffs, howls, and he's such a sweetheart.
I found him when I was five years of age, his left paw was stuck between a fallen tree trunk.
Only Boreas would know how he got there in the first place.
To make matters worse he was only a pup!
If I left him other creatures would feed on his flesh whether he's alive or dead. I just had to help him out of there.
When I broke the tree trunk more to make the crack where his front left paw was stuck wider, he broke free.
Tried to run away from me out of fear I think.
But he couldn't get far, it took a while to calm him down, and then he let me carry him to the castle.
Father and mother were not around, so I hid him in my room but that was foolish of me because the next morning grandmother threatened me to send the animal outside because my parents won't be pleased.
It took a lot of begging on my part and Arcotos is so cute believe me you can't say no to him when he has his two ears back and making all those whiny noises for you to take pity on him.
You'd have to be a cold-hearted beast to say no to him.
He never left my side since then and I've never wanted him to leave either.
We both keep running through the forest taking different turns around corners of some bushes.
"Princess Aadya please I beg you in the name of Boreas and Khione our holy god and goddess stop so you may sit amongst the royal elders to learn!"
I reply to her with nothing but my laughter bubbling from the depth of my throat and I hear Arcotos make a similar sound.
We're such a team!
"Please! We've been running for so long I am sure the sun will soon get tired of staying out and would soon retire for the night."
Oh, sweet Felicity, you seem to never learn, do you?
"Ready to go back home Arcotos?" I whisper so that only he could hear me.
We both know Felicity is trying to track us down with our scents and this is not the first time we're pulling off something like this.
We take a sharp right and increase our speed till we step out of the trees into a clearing where a lake lies dormant.
We see an ursus or white bear as some of our people who live near the mountains call it.
It pays us no mind and keeps drinking water from the steady lake and its tongue causes ripples on the surface of the clear water.
I and Arcotos dive into the water. I swim for a bit underwater with my eyes closed. Opening my eyes under the water is very hard for me, so I always keep my eyes closed.
We make our way out of the water and quietly walk away from the lake and the ursus staring at us.
"Sorry, we disturbed you." It only made a grunting sound and walked away from us.
I feel Arcotos brush his white furry body on my legs as we walked.
He leads us back to the castle, we made our way through the bushes at the back of the castle.
Careful not to make a sound that would draw the attention of anyone nearby to us.
When I feel the coast is clear we crouch and tiptoe to the wall facing the forest and has green vines intertwined around it.
I use my hands to feel for the door handle and I push it inward opening a door to the secret passage I found when I was wandering around the castle many moons ago.
Our footsteps echoed in the dark cold passage.
We take a few turns as I remember them leading me to my room.
I quietly push the door disguised as a wall open, I make way for Arcotos to step in first and then me.
I push the wall shut and rest my head on it taking in breaths.
"You are much too old for such nonsense."
My heart jumps up and almost made its way out of my mouth but I swallow it back down.
With a sheepish smile on my face, I turn around to meet the blue eyes of Dion.
"I'm not that old." My palms begin to sweat and my heart beats faster for a totally different reason other than fear.
"Yes you are Aadya, you're fourteen years of age and twelve more suns and you would be fifteen years of age, you would pick up a royal responsibility."
His oh so perfect dark thick brows were scrunched together and above them were lines formed on his forehead.
His blue eyes are like the sky on a cold winter day with the sun shining in the sky but doing little to cause heat.
A straight button nose that has freckles dusted over them and some on his cheeks.
Black hair is dusted over his chin and some above his lips and under it.
His golden pink lips look so soft and kissable.
I've never kissed anyone before but I think he has.
"Say something Aadya, I'm surprised Felicity hasn't caught on to your antics," oh right Felicity is probably still in the forest looking for me and to that thought, laughter bubbles out of my mouth without meaning to.
My hands fly up to cover my mouth to stop myself from releasing more sounds of laughter.
Dion's lips are set in a weird position like he's trying to fight back his smile.
Soon we both double over laughing together.
We keep laughing for a while, and then we both clean the tears from our eyes as we recalled every time I sneaked out of the castle with Arcotos.
"But you have to admit it, it is pretty funny."
"Yes it is funny, but I am serious Aadya..." I've always loved the way he calls my name.
It sounds like Boreas himself is singing it.
My eyes roam his body from his strong bare feet to his waist covered with cloth made from the cotton plant.
My gaze climbs up his cloth-covered waist to the 6 protruding muscle on his stomachs. The older girls call them abs.
His chest has few hairs scattered on it.
"Are you even listening to me?" I only smile at his glare and walked past him to pick up the white cloth Felicity had left for me on my resting place since the break of dawn.
"Could you give me a few breaths? Let me change out of my wet clothes."
"And leave you here to sneak off again? Princess, we both know that's not happening."
My heart beats louder at the thought of him being in my room while I change.
OK, I should really calm down he's like eighteen years of age. I'm not up to the age of marriage.
"OK at least turn around," my fingers made a circle in the air.
He got the message with a roll of his eyes he turns around.
I quickly slip off the clothes wrapped around my flat chest and the one wrapped around my waist covering my nudity.
By the time I wore the clothes completely I was breathing hard.
He turns around and his eyes don't leave my face.
"Are you alright? You look weird."
I only smile as a response.
"In here grandmother!"
Arcotose lay on his tummy on my bed asleep and that sleep is cut short as grandmother badges in with one of the elders that were supposed to teach me today how to find caves that have kia.
"How many times child do you want me to say this? Stop running off for Boreas' sake! You are fifteen years of..."
"I'm fourteen years of age grandmother."
"Did you just interrupt me?! The eldest of the wolfmen?! Do you no longer have respect child? You keep skipping classes! Your sister Aria doesn't give us this much head pain."
My heart breaks as tears gather my eyes, grandmother only realizes what she had said to me when she sees the distraught on my face.
Her aged face that was twisted in anger has changed to display the emotions of one who regrets an action.
"I'm sorry child, I didn't mean to say it."
It's as though I didn't just hear her apology.
"I cause you head pain grandmother?"
"No child my tongue only lashed out of anger."
The tears began to flow freely as my grandmother makes her way to me.
"Oh no child, please don't you shed a tear you know how I am when I feel anger within me." I sniff as my tears slowly stopped as she kept rubbing my head.
To give an elder head pain is like purposely doing things to make them feel pain in their heads to send them to an early grave.
It is believed that one who gives their elders head pain is heartless and doesn't care about the repercussions of their actions.
And even if you die they won't care.
"Dion and the rest of you please leave us and shut the door behind you."
Dion, I forgot he was even here.
I hear quiet footsteps and then the door shut.
My face is still buried in grandmother's shoulder. She lifts off her shoulders and I stare into her purple eyes that hold so much wisdom.
She really does look sorry but I can't help the resentment I feel towards her for making me feel like a horrible human being.
"Child a time is coming when you would have to take the crown and this means that you would be made to make decisions that could either make or destroy the easy life of our people. You are not just a young child you are her Royal Highness Princess Aadya of the house of the Northern Wolfmen in the land of Pohjola in the country of Louhi. You are the heiress to the throne child, you will soon have a wolfman come to rule by your side as king and you queen, you must learn to lead.
You must learn to find more kia for our people, you must prove that you are worthy of the throne, you must show Boreas and Khione that you are grateful for the life they have given you.
Child, you must understand that a day may come when you would need to make tough decisions and while it's good to listen and follow your heart, remember to use your head."
The more the words came out of her mouth the more I knew I had to be serious, it was then I knew that I may have to leave the way of a child of being free and wild to become more stable and confined like the adults.
"Do you understand me, child?"
I nod my head to signal a yes to her question.
"How many times child? Always use your mouth and voice, they were given to you for that purpose."
"Sorry, I understand grandmother."
"That's enough of all that sniffing, let's go down to the table of food to have our night meal with the rest of the family."
Only then did I look out the hole carved in my wall to see the sun has long kissed its goodbyes to the face of our lands and has gone to retire for the stars and moon to take over.
"They must be waiting for us," I adjust my clothes to look more presentable after all that crying I did.
We make our way to the door and just as grandmother is about to grab the door handle the door flies open to reveal a very wet and angry Felicity.
"Oh my Boreas! Grandmother, please have you seen Aadya? I couldn't find her throughout the forest grounds I could cover and no one at the front said they had seen her, she..."
"Breath Felicity, she's right behind me dear, she has been within the castle walls since the sun was up in the sky."
Only then did her eyes leave grandmother's figure to land on my face, she breathes a sigh of relief and then her face squeezes and the anger is unmistakably obvious on her face.
"You made me search half of Pohjola for you! I thought something bad must have happened to you, why do you keep doing this?!"
She storms off and I and my grandmother give each other odd looks, and we both know what will happen next.
We hear her footsteps storm right back, and she bows her head to symbolize her loyalty to us and stormed off again.
Grandmother and I burst out laughing once we were sure she is out of ear shots.
We laugh for a while as we recall how many times I've made her angry, and she'd screech about my habit of running off, or she's knowing she will die early because of me.
She's not even half my grandmother's age, and she's already complaining of old age.
"His Majesty told me to come to get you grandmother and Aadya," we didn't hear Dion walk up to us standing in front of the door to my room.
"We are on our way dear," he bows his head and leaves.
My eyes longingly watch him walk away from us down the passage till he took a left turn at a corner which leads to the food table room for the castle workers.
The right side leads to the food table room for the royals.
I release a breath I didn't know I was holding.
Grandmother begins to chuckle in a manner you would just know this old wolfwoman is mocking you.
I look at her to see her shaking her head while her chuckles irked me.
Just a bit.
"What is it now grandmother?" I ask out of impatience curious to know what she is thinking.
"You have had your heart beating like our drums when we dance under the clear night sky since you were ten years of age child, will you ever stop feeling that way? Or looking at him like you want him to be your kia? You do know you are too young to kiss right?"
When I didn't say anything, she gasps.
"Have your lips locked with his in a dance of kia and ice?"
Grandmother can be over the top sometimes, she means kissing.
I just sigh because it would be of no use to try to convince her since she caught me staring at Dion practising some moves for our dance of the night with my cousin Marcus teaching him.
He didn't know how to do the dance of the night to celebrate his entrance into the year of the fifteen when we have to choose a field and stick with it for the rest of our lives.
I was watching them through the hole in my wall, and I was so concentrated on watching Dion try and fail or try and succeed in learning some steps.
I admired how he didn't give up and kept trying.
Grandmother sneaked up to me and caught me peeping since then she always mocked me every chance she got.
"Let's just go eat our night meal grandmother."
"Well lead the way child."
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