A metalic clang filled through the practice area as my sword clashed against my opponents.
Both of us were sweating buckets, being at it for the past hour and a half with both me and my opponent tallying. This was all good, I needed to keep top form. During these times you can never tell who'll declare war against us.
Running undefeated for an hour and a half, we decided to call it a draw andtake a break. Both of us tired from the work-out.
I heard someone click their tongue behind me and whirled around to see my best friend, Vincent, leaning casually against the wooden fence that seperated the training area. His golden blond hair, tied back on a low ponytail, clear back in the wind and he had girls swooning over him. Not like the guy notices a thing. Even if he did, he'd not give a damn about it. I never understood Vincent's avoidence of the female populace, but whatever it was, he wasn't very willing to share the reason with me.
"I thought you were tougher than that Leo." He commented, pushing away from the fence and making his way over to me. "You won't last in a battlefield with as little stamina as that." He added as he handed me a water bottle.
Vincent wasn't just my best friend. He was also the reason that I was such a good swordsman. In that aspect, he is also my mentor - and one of the very few who were willing to correct me when I was wrong. After all, that was what had pulled me to the guy n the first place. He was - and is - never afraid to correct me when I'm wrong - on anything.
I huffed, taking the water bottle with a look of thankx.
"There is no pleasing you is there?" I asked him shaking my head. "I was actually working out for an hour and half, fifteen miniutes more than the last time." I informed him matter-of-factly.
"If that's the best you can do we'll have to train for longer hours." He merely stated with a shrug of his shoulders. At my indigniant huff, he smirked at me deviously. "Why Leo, we can't have our future King being such a little wimp can we?" He questioned making me scowl at him. He laughed, getting the reaction he had anticipated from me.
This only angered me more - not truely, but Vincent didn't know that. However, before I got a chance to retaliate a maid hurried over to us.
"Your highness!" She bowed to me. "His highness, King Ryszard and Queen Caitlynn demands your presence, your grace." She relayed the message given to her.
I sighed, sheathing my sword on the scabbard I had on my belt. "Lead the way Nelly." I told the servant, then looked at Vincent, silently asking if he was coming. Shrugging his shoulder, he fell in step with me.
"Prince Vasilios, Sir Dwayne, what a pleasure meeting you." Selda Northing, a lady of the court greeted us, falling into a courtesy with the ladies with her. Now this was one lady who is relentless in trying to getting my attention.
"Lady Northing," I stated, not bothering with formalties. She wouldn't get the hint anyway. Vincent didn't even bother answering, the did give a curt nod in acknowledgement for the ladies. I really need to find a girl for him. The best place to do this would be my birthday gala in two days time. It'll last a whole week and this would be the perfect oppoturnity to set the guy up with someone. Especially since he'd not do it himself.
"Maybe I introduce my sister Hellena Northing." Selda said, motioning to the fair, black haired lady standing beside her. "She turned Eighteen just last week. I was showing her around because this will be the first time she's attending your birthday gala."
"Oh, that's wonderful!" I exclaimed, leaning over to the younger lady and taking her hand in mine. "It will be lovely to have you attending, my lady. And such a pleasure it is, meeting such a lovely lady as yourself." I said as I gently placed a sweet, lingering kiss on her knuckles. "But alas, I need to go meet with my father!' I exclaimed dramatically. "I can only hope I'll see you ladies around." Saying so, we didn't stick around for an answer as we hurried away from the two ladies.
Vincent reluctently nodding his head at the ladies as we walked past them. I would've laughed if we weren't still within the hearing range of the two ladies and their maids. It was always entertaining to see Vincent interacting with the ladies of the court. He didn't like it so ,much, that he made the situation awkward for the laides and himself.
Lady Hellena was bluhing furiously and was so flustered that she couldn't utter a word but to nod her head in consent to my words. Lady Selda, who was used to my flirting around only had time to fall into a courtesy, before we walked away. We had just turned the corner when I heard one of the two ladies squealing.
My guess is on Lady Hellena. Not to mention, the voice sounded young enough that it couldn't have been Lady Selda.
"And that, my friend, is how you woo ladies." I stated smugly, smirking up at Vincent.
"Like I care Leo," he told me blankly. "I'm not interested in such trivial things Vince. You know that as well as me." He added with a sigh.
Scowling a him again, I playfully shoved him to the side. It wasn't that he lacked the attention of girls. In fact, the court ladies and the village girls alike swooned over him, he was just indifferent to their flirting.
Since we had just arrived in front of the library doors, which was lucky for me as Vincent didn't have a chance to retaliate. Grinning at him, I quickly threw open the library door. Composing myself, I stepped into the library like I had just not been goofing around with Vincent. That wouldn't look very dignified to my parents.
My mother, the Queen Of Vensilvaina, was sitting on a soft armchair by the fireplace in the library. A tea set on the table by her, two cups already poured. My father, King Of Vensilvania, was sitting in the armchair opposite her, his cup of tea drained.
I bowed to my parents respectfully as I stepped up.
"You called for me father?" I questioned as I stepped up, standing ramrod straight as I stood before the King. I didn't know whether this meeting was between father, mother and son or King, Queen and the heir. Until then I was treating this meeting as the latter. King,Queen and heir. It's always better to be safe than sorry.
"Yes, son, I requested your presence." My fathers tone was grave and this told me whatever he was about to say wasn't going to be good news. "I'm getting old son and it is about time that you took the responsibility of this kingdom off the shoulders of your old man. There will be many fine ladies attending the gala your mother is throwning for your birthday, I want you to hurry up and find your future Queen or my hand will be forced into taking drastic matters."
"But father-" I started to say before he cut me off, shaking his head.
"No but fathers, Leo. We can't keep ruling this kingdom forever. We want to take a break from all of this problems and retire at our old age, can't you give your folks some rest before we are driven to our grave." M mother cut in, a meaningful look in her eyes.
"If you are really in need of grandchildren to coodle over, why don't marry away Imara, she's love that and you'd still be your wish for grandchildren." I told my mother as I slid up to her and sat on the arm of the chair she was sitting on. A pleasent smile slipped on my lips as I tried to charm my mother out of this horrible idea.
She wacked my arm with the fan she had on her hand. "That is your sister you are speaking about young man." She told me in a stern voice, but the smile on her lips told me that she was only teasing me.
"This isn't about your mother wanting to coodle her grandchildren Vasilios. This is much more than that." My father put in before I could charm my way to my mothers heart and get her to change her mind.
I looked at my parents long and hard.
"You have someone you want me to court don't you?" I asked them suspiciously, narrowing my eyes at them.
My mother pursed her lips and nodded her head tersely. "Don't think we are forcing you to this, Vince. But it would be in our best interest, for the kingdom. We only want you to court her, see if you can love the lady. Whether you marry her or not... that choice we will leave completely in your capable hands." My mother explained softly.
I sighed, standing up from where I was sitting sit my mother and paced up and down tyhe library.
"Very well. I'll try, but I cannot promise that I will force myself to love her." I told them, stopping pacing to look at them again.
"That is lovely." My mother cooed, looking excited as she quickly got up her feet. "Don't worry about falling in love with her, Vince. I heard that every man who comes in contact with the lady falls for her. After all she has such an unique beauty." She added as she pulled me to a warm hug.
Then she took my hand and pulled my closer to the table. Than is when I noticed the small portrait that was lying on the table.
in it was a beautiful lady - a rare beauty like my mother had said - with midnight black hair that fell in ringlets down her back and turquoise eyes - that held no emotion, but than could be just the picture. She had procelain, creamy skin, a beautiful figure. A figure that half the ladies in court would kill to have. I was truly taken in by her beauty, captiveated and in awe.
"So, will she be my future daughter-in-law?" My mothers voice questioned softly in my ear, but I was taken in too much by the ladies beauty that I didn't even bother t answer.