Chapter Twelve, Season One - Voyage (a)
It was morning, I believe. The rays of the sun entered the windows, giving light to the halls of this castle. I looked at myself from my feet. I was in my usual day clothes: a loose shirt, black pants, and boots.
But as I was walking through the halls, I noticed that it was different. It looked like our castle but I never remembered the halls having this kind of design and decor. The curtains were still a shade darker than red but it has golden lines embroidered on the edges. Paintings were still hung on the walls but I didn’t know who they were. And the carpet wasn’t red, it was blue.
And I could hear a faint sound of a piano, somewhere inside the castle.
I don’t know where I currently am but I just followed the music in hopes that I could somehow figure it out.
A few moments later, the music was louder, it’s as if I’m in the same room as the piano. Ahead of me was like a balcony. Far below, I saw two chairs.
I must be in the throne room.
I walked closer to the balcony and there it is: a grand piano being played by a man. He doesn’t look old but he doesn’t look young either. He was wearing a red coat over a white shirt, white pants, and boots. He seemed to be immersed in the song that he’s playing.
It’s like nobody can bother him.
“My love?” a woman’s voice echoed.
The man looked forward, smiling as he said, “Sweetheart.” He continued to play and stopped when the woman reached him. She was wearing a white flowing dress. Her long, black hair gently moved as she walked with grace.
“Having too much fun with the piano again, I see?” she remarked as she stood behind him, putting her hands on his shoulders.
He smiled as he continued to play, “Is there something wrong with immersing myself in music every once in a while?”
“I didn’t say that,” she massaged his shoulders.
He stopped playing, holding onto her hands as he stared down at the keys.
“All I’m saying is that you might forget your royal duties because I got you a brand new piano,” she giggled. Royal duties?
He gently pulled her from behind, making her sit on his lap. “Are you sure you’re concerned about my royal duties?” he asked. “Or you’re just feeling neglected by me?” he smirked, teasing her.
As their foreheads touched, the woman let out a giggle, blushing as she looked right through the man’s eyes.
“Your Majesties?” another woman’s voice was heard, causing them to look in the same direction the woman entered.
“Apologies, Your Majesties,” a younger lady entered, carrying a crying infant. “I didn’t want to be of any bother but the young prince has been crying for a while now. I’ve done all I can to stop him from crying but he won’t,” her voice was in a panic as she approached them.
“Let me carry him,” the man stood up, helping the woman stand up first. He walked over to the lady and the child was transferred into his arms. However, that didn’t stop the child from crying.
“He seems to be… in a very bad mood today,” the man remarked as he tried to soothe the baby.
“Has he been fed?” the woman asked.
“The wet nurses tried but he won’t latch on,” the younger lady replied.
Everyone was quiet for a bit, trying to think of something that could help the baby stop crying and immediately.
The man looked at the piano and sat down. He started to play a lullaby, making the music gentle enough for the baby.
After a few seconds into the lullaby, the child began to stop crying. He didn’t fall asleep, he was just staring at the man.
The man smiled and looked up to the woman, “I guess our son loves music as well.”
Realization finally hits me: this was a family, a royal family. The younger lady could be one of the maids that are keeping an eye on the child. And she did mention the baby was a young prince which means the man and woman are king and queen.
I don’t know what it is but I stayed here where I’m currently sitting as I watched them. The queen sat beside them and the younger lady stood right beside the piano. They watched as the young prince was being soothed by the lullaby.
I can’t help but feel something pinching my heart. Watching them made me cry for reasons I can’t define. I don’t know if it’s because I crave to have this kind of affection from James or because of something else.
Watching them made me feel like I have this somewhat connection with them.
And the lullaby was just… familiar to my ears.
As I slowly opened my eyes, the sun wasn’t awake yet. I could still see the moon outside my window, through a little space uncovered by the large curtains. I don’t know what time it is but for some reason, I sat up and stretched.
Listening to my surroundings, it sounded… so peaceful.
I could never have this kind of silence when everyone’s awake. Everybody always has something to do and even though we’re scattered all around the castle, it also means that everywhere you go, there will be people talking.
Then Laura came into my mind again. And the fact that I’ll be going to Middle Earth today, staying there for a good few months to know how the kingdom functions and to meet people from their kingdom.
I know that we just met and I’m certain she could handle herself without me being around. But I have this feeling that I can’t stand to be away from her and not let her know how I currently am while I’m away.
I got out of my bed and hurried to my desk by the window. I turned on the lamp, grabbed a paper and pen, and began to write:
If you already received this, if you’re already reading this, I’m already on my way to another kingdom. I’ll be staying there for a while to study how their economy is, how they run their everyday lives, and to meet new people for the sake of my kingdom.
Having an alliance with them in the future means that I need to know them from the inside out. And because I’ll be away for a long time, I’m sending you this letter because I have no time to say goodbye. I’m not sure if I can send you a letter for each day of the month that I’ll be gone but I’ll try my best.
Please take good care of yourself while I’m away. I don’t require you to send a reply to this letter but I do want you to remember that this letter is my assurance to you what I will return.
I will deeply miss you and I’ll head straight to the bakery on my return.
Your dear friend,
I enchanted another spell, producing a special box made of the strongest wood we have in this kingdom, and put my letter in it after folding it into three. I finished it off with a simple ribbon, tying down a white rose on top of the box.
I stared at the box and laid a gentle peck on it. I held it in my hands, enchanting a spell as I thought of the bakery and within seconds, the box disappeared. I’m not sure where Laura is but I made a spell that would find her and send the letter there.
I looked out the window and started to prepare myself in all aspects for the months that I’ll be away and for whatever it is I planned to do in Middle Earth.
A knock suddenly came upon my door, causing me to turn.
The door opened and Gonzalo entered, carrying a lamp. “Oh, Your Highness,” he quickly bowed, in shock to see that I’m already up.
“Good morning, Gonzalo,” I greeted as he stood up. “Did my mother send you?”
“Yes, Your Highness,” he nodded. “She thought you were still asleep so she sent me to wake you. She said she knows it’s a bit too early but she said it’s better to be early than late.”
I nodded. “Please have the maids draw me a bath, a rose bath,” I smiled, heading back to my bed.
“As you wish, Your Highness. Would you like to have your breakfast sent up here as well?”
I nodded, my lips in a firm line.
His bow was a quick one as he rushed outside my room.
I let out a sigh and sat on my bed while reading the report I put away last night.
A few hours have passed and I can already see a sign from the horizons that the sun is about to rise. I have finished all of the preparations needed for today. I’ve also sent my things to where the carriage would be so the only thing that needs to come down from my room is me.
I heard the door open behind me as I was waiting for the sunrise. Having a bit of sun before leaving could help me stay away during the whole trip.
“Robert,” a voice spoke, making me turn around.
“Mother,” I smiled as I walked towards her. I gave a kiss on both cheeks, “Good morning.”
“Good morning, dear one,” she smiled, holding my face with her right hand. “How are you this morning?”
“I’m still a bit sleepy but I hope I can stay awake during travel,” I said, holding onto her hand. “As you can see,” I gestured towards the window, “I’m waiting for the sun to rise so I could be fully awake.”
“My child, you do know that you can always have a nap during travel,” she replied, holding my hands. “I’m not forcing you to stay awake if your body can’t take it.”
“What about you, Mother?” I asked. “Aren’t you going to take a quick nap as well?”
“Robert, your father and I have traveled a lot together. I think you’re the one who needs to take quite a lot of naps during this travel,” she giggled.
“Mother, don’t tease me,” I whined, acting like a child.
“I’m not teasing you, dear,” she snickered, squishing my face. “I’m just telling you that between the two of us, you need more rest because you’re not used to traveling distant kingdoms.”
“How long will it take for us to cross the Sea of Gliss?”
“Since we’re heading to Middle Earth, it will only take a month to travel,” she smiled. “If you have spare time in between naps, you should see the Sea of Gliss. You’ll find many wonderful creatures, friendly ones.”
“Of course I will, Mother. I will enjoy this trip as much as I could,” I nodded.
The door opened once more and this time, it was James. I didn’t want to react negatively, especially with my mother here. I don’t want to start this day in a bad, irritating manner but when it comes to James, it seems the words “bad day” are unavoidable.
“Good morning, everyone,” he approached us.
“Good morning, darling,” Mother smiled as James kissed her knuckles.
“Good morning, Robert,” he turned to me, his hands behind him.
“Good morning,” I greeted with a quick bow.
“The carriage is waiting for the two of you, Amelia,” he turned to Mother.
“Is that so?” she smiled. “Well, we must be on our way. Come, Robert,” she started walking ahead of me, holding my hand. Suddenly, James stopped me from going with my mother, grabbing my shoulder.
“You go on ahead, Amelia. I need to have a word with Robert.”
“James, I don’t want to leave our kingdom, knowing that you two argued,” Mother faces us, hands on her waist.
“No, this is not an argument,” James quickly replied. “I’ll make it quick and I promise that we won’t fight.”
Mother shrugged and nodded.
“What is it, Your Majesty,” I started as soon as Mother left the room.