Chapter Twelve, Season One - Voyage (c)
I continued to stare at him in confusion. He never gave this kind of instruction when it comes to me. For the entirety of my life, it’s always been duty and work. It’s not that I was forbidden to have a bit of pleasure but my time for leisure is always limited. For him to tell me these things is unlike him. Probably, it was Mother’s doing. James would never allow me to do other things outside my duties.
“I don’t want you to promise me to do that because I know you don’t like doing anything for me,” he added. “But at the very least, do it for your mother and yourself. Perhaps, that could motivate you to enjoy your life before getting married.”
I took a deep breath and nodded, just going along with whatever it is he’s telling me.
“Well,” Mother spoke, getting the attention of James and me. “Shall we?” she gestured at the carriage, looking at me.
I nodded and bowed in front of James, “Your Majesty.” I walked over to Mother and offered her a hand, walking down the steps carefully in front of her as I assisted her down the stairs.
As Mother began to board the carriage, I called out to one of t he guards.
He ran towards me, bowing, “Your Highness.”
“Kindly tell His Majesty to set a date for a fishing trip when we return,” I instructed, quickly climbing aboard the carriage.
“As you wish, Your Highness,” he closed the door and walked up the steps.
As I took one last look at the castle, Elizabeth and James, the carriage began to move and in every second, we began to move farther and farther away from the entrance. In a few moments, we’re already out the gate, taking the king’s road to the harbor.
The ship had set sail and everyone on deck was preoccupied, doing their duties on the ship. I watched the sails as the wind continued to blow for us to keep moving. The water was calm and the sun was shining bright but it wasn’t harsh on the skin. Colorful birds were flying around us, soaring through the wind.
“Your Highness?” someone called from behind me, causing me to turn around. “Her Majesty went and took her rest. Would you like for me to prepare your quarters for you?”
“No, thank you,” I smiled. “I’ll do that by myself. Just have all of my things brought there and I’ll sort everything myself.”
The guard bowed and went back inside.
I walked to the front of the ship, staring out into the horizon. Then suddenly, Mallory’s letter entered my mind. I quickly grabbed it from my pocket, carefully opening it as the wind might blow it away. Her letter reads:
My dearest Robert,
I won’t write anything to annoy you for the rest of your trip. Here are just a few reminders from me and I hope that you respect them.
Eat well and always have your rest.
Enjoy what the kingdom can give you.
Spend time with Her Majesty.
And most of all, don’t fall in love with anybody else. You may not be truly mine but in my heart, you are and I don’t want to lose you to anyone else.
I sighed as I folded the letter, putting it back in my pocket. I understand where she’s coming from when she wrote this letter but she doesn’t understand that our relationship isn’t real and she has no right to demand of me to be loyal. However, I would respect her requests as a friend.
As I put the letter back inside my pocket, Laura’s face entered my mind. Her gentle eyes, her beautiful smile… and it’s as if I could hear her speaking through the wind. As the wind continued to touch my skin, I closed my eyes, imagining that her words were flowing through it.
Taking a deep breath, I opened my eyes and looked beyond the horizons. The sun has shown itself, greeting me like any other day that it does. And all I could hope for is that this trip to Middle Earth would be worth it.
Night has fallen and I’ve just finished eating dinner when someone knocked on my door. “Yes?” I answered, removing my attention from the report I’m currently reading.
The door opened and it was one of my mother’s maidens. “Your Highness,” she bowed. “Her Majesty would like to come and visit you.”
“Of course,” I settled the report on the desk as I stood, preparing myself for my mother.
She bowed and walked out of the room, her place only to be replaced by Mother after a few seconds.
“Hello, dear,” she smiled as the maid closed the door behind her.
“Mother,” I walked towards her, hugging her.
“I see you brought a piece of home with you,” she smirked as she saw a few reports on my desk.
“Well,” I replied with a sigh, leading her to the bed. “As you said, we’ll be taking a long time to travel so why not get some things done while we’re waiting to arrive in Middle Earth?” I assisted her in sitting down on the bed.
“I was thinking you would’ve brought a book or something,” she said as I returned to my chair.
“Mother, you know very well that I never liked books.”
“I know you don’t but you never gave reading a try,” she giggled. “You used to read books every day when you were a child.”
“Well, ever since James stopped caring for me, I think I lost my taste in reading fairy tales,” I retorted, setting all the reports aside.
She sighed. “I don’t want you to carry any hidden anger against your father during this trip, Robert,” she started with a stern voice. “If your father is going to be mentioned in court, please be on your best behavior.”
“Of course I will be, Mother,” I nodded. “My relationship with James should stay within our castle walls. I’m not that inconsiderate to do something to embarrass him.”
“Good,” she smiled.
Another knock on the door arrived. “Who is it?” I answered.
The door opened and it was one of the guards. “Your Majesty. Your Highness,” he greeted both of us, bowing to each one. “The captain said we’re halfway through the sea. He said it would be best if you stayed in your room, Your Majesty,” he turned to Mother.
“Did the captain say why?” I asked.
“There are times where bandits would raid ships that cross this part of the Sea of Gliss,” Mother began, making me turn to her. “In every room in this ship is a quick escape route for passengers. I have to stay in mine because the route is only good for one person.”
“I didn’t know that ships have that,” I said, confused but amused at the same time. Curiosity filled my mind as I imagined the different escape routes in this vessel.
“Most royal ships do,” she smiled as she stood. “I best be on my way, son. I do have a book to read.”
“Walk Her Majesty back to her room and place as many guards as you can by her door,” I instructed the guard, walking towards my mother.
“As you wish, Your Highness,” he bowed.
Mother and I hugged for a while. Her hugs have always been comforting for me. The way she makes me feel safe within her arms is just unbeatable. I don’t think there’s anyone in this world who can replace her embrace.
“Rest early,” she smiled, rubbing my arm after we stopped hugging. “We’ll be in Middle Earth in no time. During our travel, you must gather all the strength you need for our visit.”
I nodded, holding her hands. “Sleep well, Mother.” I bowed, greeting her as a queen.
She did her curtsy as well and walked out of the room.