Chapter One ~
I was pacing around in the living room of my house. My little sisters concerned gaze following me with her aqua colored eyes. She was dressed in the breeches she usually wore while practicing sword-fighting with father and his men.
I sighed, my heels going click-clack aganist the wooden floorboards. I was at my word end, worried about my very sick and I'll mother.
She had been getting worser and worser each day and there was very little the physicians could do to save her at this point. The worser she got each day was a day closer to her slipping away from us. My father had barely left her bedside, barely eating anything. Luckily Fernando - my fathers most trusted hand had state matters dealt with. My father didn't need the trouble of put dukedom added to his shoulders at this desperate times.
I don't know how much my little sister Harriette understood, about the condition our mother was in, but she knew something was troubling me and father. At the age of Five she was a pretty perspective girl.
"My Lady, Lord Ragnvard and Lady Ragnvard have arrived." Mr. Cognan stepped into the living room to inform me.
I heaved out a great sigh of reliefe, already feeling like a great weight lifted off my shoulder.
"Thankyou Mr. Cognan, we'll be right there." I told our elderly butler as I motioned for my little sister to follow me.
She didn't need tone told twice as she was out of the couch and out the door even before me. Racing outside in all her excitement.
I straightened my peach dress as best I could as I hurried outside to greet our grandparents. There was only so much I could do to get the creases off of a gown I've been wearing for two days - don't judge, but I had a lot of work to be done in my mothers absence, besides, I've been spending all the free time I could work into my work-load in spending with my mother.
I reached the entrance of Leonava Castle, to be met with a bustling site. By the long line of carriages that accompanied my grandparents I'd say they were here to stay for a long time. Not that I minded, we could really use the support in these trying and hard times.
My grandfather, Earl Of Segelmant Hall Iason Ragnvard, was up front on horseback. My grandmother, Countess Of Segelment Hall Clarissa Ragnvard, was standing with her handmaid, Tiffany, by her carriage.
My sister was already hugging the living daylights out of my grandmother when I got to the entrance of the Castle.
Upon seeing my arrival, my grandfather got down his horse, but even by then I was already rushing down the stairs and into the awaiting arms of my beloved grandmother. "Grandmama!" I cried as I buried my face in her familiar smelling, sweet, roses aroma - the same sweet smell that followed my mother.
"Zigra." She said softly, folding her arms around me and hugging me fiercely. Her old hands still strong, but gentle and soft to the touch. "My beautiful little Lady." She muttered into my hair.
"Zigra." The deep voice of my Lord grandfather said and I stepped away from my grandmother, turning to my grandfather as Harriette once again, hugged our grandmother.
"Grandpapa," I said more softly, my voice breaking as tears filled my turquoise eyes. He smiled at me sadly, opening his powerful arms, inviting me for a hug. My grandfather wasn't the hugging type, so any hug from him was very rare. That is why I hurried into his arms, wrapping my own ones around his waist.
"Don't worry my little Lady Of Mangandaall, you're not alone in this world." My grandfather reassuered me, patting my head and kissing the crown of my head.
That was the only reassurance anybody could give. Nobody can tell that my mother will be healthy and her usual lively self again. No one could assure anyone of that. We all knew she was slowly, but surely slipping away from us. We didn't even know how long she will remain with us.
Taking a deep breath to compose myself, I stepped away from my grandfather, forcing a smile to my lips.
"I'm sure you had had a tiring journey my Lord, please let me show you to your chambers in my fathers place." I said with a graceful bow, making up for my lost manners.
"Always the Honourable host." My grandmother chuckled wryly from behind me. She had her arm wrapped around a grinning Harriette." And always the perfect Lady."
I blinked at my grandmother, knowing she didn't like me being so formal with them. But I was brought up by my parents to be a proper Lady and to always greet my guests honorably.
My grandmother sighed, as my grandfather praised my Lady-like qualities. "I'd love to retire for the evening, but first I wish to visit my daughter." My grandfather curtly imformed me.
"As you wish my Lord." I said, keeping the forced smile on my lips and led my grandparents to my parents room. I held Harriette back from following them inside, whispering to her that they needed some time alone with their daughter. I was proven right when my father came out of the room a few miniutes later.
"Zigra! Harriette!" My father cried when he saw me and my sister still standing in front of our parents room.
"Daddy!" Harriette exclaimed, running over and hugging his legs - the highest of him she reached.
"Hey little princess, how had you day been?" He asked as he took her tiny hands in his big ones and led her away from his room. He surely didn't want her to overhear anything that was being said inside the room. Not that he had to worry, the room was soundproofed.
As he reached me, he gently spun me around and led me also away from my position a few feet away from the door. Harriette was already going off about how she had practiced her sword-fighting with Sir Fransis Ledwigde.
Half-way down the hall, we were met with a hurried Fernando.
"My Lord, my apologise, but your presence is urgently requested at the throne room." He said bowing the my father. The last part was said with a glance at me and my sister which made e belve he was being upfront about where my father had to be.
"Indeed Fernando, I'll be right there." My father said with a resigned sigh. He took his leave from me and my sister, requesting us to get ready for dinner.
By this I took that dinner will be a big affair this evening. We hadn't had a proper family dinner since the day mom had been bedridden almost a month ago. Surely mom would be very sad about this, but we kept such things from her ears. We didn't want her to worry about any of us. Even Harriette knew better than to go complainting to mother when she doesn't get her way.
Bowing to my father as he left us, I hurried Harriette to her room. I knew I'd have to force her to be dressed like a proper Lady and this could take time. Not to mention I needed to get dress as well. I couldn't go to dinner in the same dress u had been wearing to the last two days. It wouldn't be very gracious of me, in the presenc of hears none-the-less.