A Tale of Two Kindgoms

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Quirkless Deku
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Re: A Tale of Two Kindgoms

Post by Quirkless Deku » Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:09 am

The main ballroom was large and elaborate. It had a domed ceiling, a second story balcony that wrapped around the room, floor to ceiling glass windows, and dozens of shimmering chandeliers. The floor and walls were marble with ripples of gold throughout. The people now gathering in it were almost as elaborate in their displays of wealth.
And Sildor was tired. The last thing he wanted to see right now were more people, especially the people of the royal court, who were prone to vanity and gossip, all hidden behind a venire of perfect civility. That's what all of this was: a pretty and imposing façade. So he donned his mask, literally and figuratively. He had honed the figurative one over the years so well that at times he almost forgot what was beneath it.
He took up his place on the chess board. He bowed and greeted the guests curtly. He showed no emotion as he took up his place on the throne next to his father.
Then he looked up and saw that the princess had arrived, dressed immaculately. The silk of her dress flowed like water over the curves of her body, her hair held up immaculately. He had to admit she was beautiful. The moment he recognized the thought, he forced it out of his brain. She meant nothing to him, he reminded himself. This was purely a diplomatic arrangement.
He greeted her as she and her family joined the royal family at the far end of the hall. His father rose to announce them, "Our treasured guests, we welcome you all here today to introduce the Princess Solros Elrora Reylar of Evrehon to our kingdom as the betrothed to our Crown Prince Sildor Lucion Aimur al Druin. With their coming union our kingdoms will be united and a new era of security and prosperity will arise. These two youths are the symbols of our bright futures," He said, giving a nod to Sildor.
Sildor gave a small bow. "May I have this dance?" He asked as the orchestra began playing their next piece.

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Re: A Tale of Two Kindgoms

Post by ariagrey » Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:38 am

Solros' nerves began to rise as her family entered the ballroom. Her eyes didn't know where to land in what she felt was chaos. So many people filled the room in nice dress and the decor was stunning, but it was all a bit overwhelming. The princess followed her family, like a school of fish, to the far end of the hall. It felt like all eyes were on her, but she tried to ignore it. Sol hardly recognized Prince Sildor when greeted. He cleans up well. she thought. Sol felt Aurora grow near, her sister's breath on her neck from behind.
"You are lucky indeed." She whispered.
Solros mentally rolled her eyes. Part of her would be glad when her family was gone. She was tired of hearing the criticism and how much her second eldest sister seem to envy her. If she could, she would tell Aurora to marry Sildor, to enjoy her life of solitude with strangers in a foreign land, but alas that would be impossible. Her family had a name to uphold and although all her sisters were beautiful, Solros knew there was a different beauty about her. She also knew she'd be lying if she said she wouldn't miss her family with all her heart.

The princess had hardly noticed the king speaking, lost in thought, until Prince Sildor turned to her and asked for a dance. Her green eyes blinked through the mask for a moment, wishing she could deny his request, but taking his hand anyway with a nod. The pair walked out into the middle of the room, the crowd forming a large circle around them. Sol's heart was racing, but she kept any indication of her fear from her face. Prince Sildor's serious, gold eyes, staring from beyond his mask made her all the more nervous. He was obviously confident and possibly too mature and serious, it was hard to imagine they'd have anything in common.

The Princess had been to many a dance, although different and she was never forced to dance with anyone. Her hand in his felt foriegn and his hand at her waist sent chills up her body, but she tried to grit her teeth and bare it. The orchestra sounded distant as she tried to recall the dance steps in her head to not look a fool in front of the whole kingdom. To her surprise, the two flowed across the dance floor in synch.

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Re: A Tale of Two Kindgoms

Post by Quirkless Deku » Thu Jul 02, 2020 4:00 am

They worked surprisingly well together, each responding to each other's lead as they danced a graceful waltz. Sildor found himself noticing Solros's soft sweet scent. She seemed nervous, but her movements were graceful. Other couples had begun to join the floor and attention was shifting away from them, so he attempted to make small conversation, though it was by no means his strong suit and he feared that his clumsiness showed.

"I take it you are fond of the sea?" He said as they stepped together.

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Re: A Tale of Two Kindgoms

Post by ariagrey » Thu Jul 02, 2020 7:26 pm

Solros finally met his eyes, no longer looking past him. She blinked, surprised that the Prince had said anything at all. "Yes, very much so." Her eyes looked past him again, searching for her Papa. He was mingling, talking with other royals. Probably looking for prospects for her sisters. He'd thrown her to the sharks to save their people and now he was ready to do the same to her sisters. Her gaze returned to Sildor. "What does the raven mean to you?" The hand that had been on his shoulder reached up and gently grazed the outer golden feathers before going back to it's place. She could feign interest for now, but it could only last so long. Anything to make this moment not feel eternally awkward.

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Re: A Tale of Two Kindgoms

Post by Quirkless Deku » Fri Jul 03, 2020 4:37 am

What did it mean to him? That was edging toward far to personal a territory.
"It's not particularly interesting. You must have enjoyed the trip here then." he said, hoping that would change the subject. It wasn't exactly true. But, he did not want to go into all of it with her, especially now. Those who understood the reference, understood it. He didn't care to explain it to others. Though at this point the raven had become somewhat associated with the prince, most didn't know of it's true origin, and never would.
He supposed the question was partly his fault. It was why he generally avoided such things. Once you opened the door, there was no telling how much someone could try to pry from you. Yes, that was the purpose of conversation, to get to know the other person, but he preferred to keep things to himself.
He was starting to grow restless with the conversation, the dance, and the ball in general. Perhaps, he would be able to sneak off between their dance and dinner, escape the endless dancing and endless conversation.

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Re: A Tale of Two Kindgoms

Post by ariagrey » Sat Jul 04, 2020 1:14 am

Solros smiled only for a moment in response, any semblance of joy never reaching her eyes. She hadn't actually expected him to answer, there was no reason to. Why would he divulge anything to her? She anticipated their relationship to be strictly for show. Speaking when spoken to, seeing each other when neccessary for the public, even staying in seperate rooms. She imagined she would have to come to his room when it was time to have kids, but that was something she hoped wouldn't happen for some time and something she would rather not think about.

Thankfully the song ended, partners bowin to one another. She was thankful to be spared anymore small talk. "I think I'll grab a refreshment." She bowed again, ready to leave, only to be stopped by hand on her shoulder. Her jaw was set and the annoyance was creeping to her face.
"You two were splendid!" Papa chuckled, pulling her in close for a half hug. "It seems it was a match well made." He beemed at Prince Sildor, his pride oozing.
"Papa, please." Sol felt embarrassed, thankful for the mask.
"Oh sweetie, I'm sure Prince Sildor agrees with me." He gave Solros a squeeze on the shoulder. "You two make a fine pair! The wedding will be a dream!"
Solros could tell Papa had a few glasses of wine already, his cheeks rosey. "I'm getting that drink. Excuse me, if you please."
"Hurry back dear!" Papa waved after her, staying back to talk with the Prince.

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Re: A Tale of Two Kindgoms

Post by Quirkless Deku » Sat Jul 04, 2020 5:32 am

Sildor gave a polite nod to Solros's father. Answering curtly to his conversation and hoping to find an excuse to extract himself from said conversation. The king of Evrehon was far too touchy for Sildor's liking, and he didn't seem to handle his alcohol particularly well. However, he would be an important diplomatic ally, so Sildor tried his best to be polite and affable.
In one of his many discrete scans of the room, his eyes fell on Tyenid, whom he recognized despite his mask. He took it as the excuse he was waiting for.
"I appreciate your time and the wonderful conversation, however I see a friend with whom I must speak," He said. "I look forward to seeing you at dinner."
With that he quickly disengaged from the man and went to talk to Tyenid.
"Prince Sildor," He said. "I must admit, your luck may not be all that bad after all."
"You're right, your arrival was perfect timing."
"I was referring to your fiancé," Tyenid said. "She's quite the beauty."
"Yes, I suppose," Sildor said.
"That is the least enthusiastic yes I've ever heard."
"I'm a bit fatigued at the moment, to be honest."
"Gotten that out of shape since coming back from the front?"
"Courtly conversation can do that to a man," Sildor said. "I'd forgotten just how exhausting these people can be. Listen, do you mind covering me for a bit?"
"How could I refuse?"
"Much appreciated." Sildor said.
He wove through the crowd, grabbing a bottle of Champaign before ducking out of the ballroom. He strode down the halls until he arrived at the main library in the palace. It was one of the places he had intended to show Solros on the tour before it was cut short. Now, he wandered through the seemingly endless shelves, picking up a handful of books as he went, until he found a small secluded alcove, opened the bottle, and settled down to read.

Tyenid knew the prince better than most attending the ball, though he knew enough to know how little he truly knew. Sildor was like that, layers of masks. He was not very forthcoming about anything personal. Though he would tell you every detail of how bad your military plan was, or your sword technique. You could even say he was too blunt in that regard. But when it came to himself, to his emotions, wants, and history, it was like finding water in the desert. Still, if you looked hard enough, you could find it. So, Tyenid knew that the princess would likely find him difficult to get along with at least to begin with.
He found he making her way with drink in hand. She seemed to be trying to put on a brave face, though she did not appear to be overly enthused at her current situation.
"I hope that I won't be disturbing you by introducing myself," he said. "I'm Tyenid Alfindor, a childhood friend of Prince Sildor, it's a pleasure to make your acquaintance."
He gave a deep bow.
"He's not all that bad you know," He said in a slightly more conspiratorial tone. "Once you get to know him. It's just the getting to know him part that most don't make it to, hell I don't know if I've even gotten there. But he's a good person, beneath it all, if a bit cold at times."

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Re: A Tale of Two Kindgoms

Post by ariagrey » Sat Jul 04, 2020 12:42 pm

Solros made her way to the drinks, weaving through the crowds and fake smiles that she mirrored back at them. She waited for her glass, praying no one would try to speak with her, but it was wishful thinking.
"The Prince is a good dancer."
Sol let out a long sigh. "Yes." Was all she could manage.
"What's wrong baby sister? This is a day of joy!"
Sol turned to Aurora, glaring. "You won't stop this pestering until you leave back home, will you?"
Aurora shrugged, quite pleased with herself. "I just like to remind you how good you have it. How good you've always had it." Her eyes turned dark then and Solros felt like she hardly recognized her sister. "I don't know why Papa has always favored you. There is nothing special about you." She sneared, looking Sol up and down. "Just beauty that will fade with time." And with that Aurora vanished into the crowd.

Although Sol knew it wasn't true, she still felt the pinpricks at the back of her eyes. She thanked the servant for her wine and aimed for the doors, ready to be done. Freedom was close, she could almost taste it, but was stopped by a young man. She cleared her throat.
"Nice to meet you, Sir Alfindor. I'm Solros Reylar, but i'm sure you already knew that." She bowed in return. She stared at the man as he spoke of the Prince unable to hold back a laugh. "I believe the Prince is as enthused to know about me as I am of him." She took a long sip of her wine, feeling as if the night would never end. The wine swirled in the goblet with the motion of her hand, her gaze fixed in the dark red liquid. "Perhaps I'm not a good person." Her statement was soft and rather absentminded, recalling her sisters criticisms, mesmerized by her drink. With a shake of her head she downed the rest of her drink, feeling the warmth slowly spread from her stomach to her limbs. The Princess's eyes met Tyenid's a small smile playing on her lips. "But what does it matter who's good or who's bad? It's all a game of politics, not a congeniality contest. He could be the worst person in the world and I'd still have to marry him." She scoffed, sad her drink was empty. For a moment she thought better of grabbing another, her compliant facade fading already, but it was a night to celebrate her and her family. "Excuse me." Sol turned and left back to the drinks.

After grabbing another glass she managed to slip away, Papa too drunk to notice and Mother trying to make sure he didn't embarrass himself too much. The Princess found a small round alcove, lined with tall windows and a bench. As she drank more wine she slipped off her heels, almost falling over, before sitting on the cushioned bench. The empty goblet was disgarded on the floor and her mask removed. She held it in her hands, finger tracing over the pearls and the shell, the stinging behind her eyes returning. With a sigh she tossed the mask away, turning to face the large window. The faint sounds of the ball could be heard dancing through the halls like whispers beckoning her back, reminding her of her duty. She pushed the call away, staring into the night.

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Re: A Tale of Two Kindgoms

Post by Quirkless Deku » Wed Jul 08, 2020 5:04 am

Sildor knew how to handle his alcohol, he'd built up a bit of a tolerance over the years. Was that particularly healthy? Probably not, but he didn't much care. He'd pretty much finished the bottle he'd brought with him and felt the warmth of it flooding his system. But he knew how to control himself even when intoxicated. In fact, most probably wouldn't notice he'd even been drinking. He sat there for a little longer before dragging himself up to leave. If he didn't get back soon he knew his absence would be noticed. So he left the haven of the library. Taking the long way just to drag out what little time he had.
That's when he noticed her, the princess, staring off into the distance through one of the arched windows, shoes and mask discarded along with an empty goblet on the floor.
"Your highness?" Sildor said.
She had clearly been drinking. And perhaps a little much.

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Re: A Tale of Two Kindgoms

Post by ariagrey » Wed Jul 08, 2020 1:17 pm

Sol stiffened at the sound of someone's voice, but she didn't turn around. "It seems I've been caught." Her voice was laced with humor. After a minute of silence she peeked over her shoulder to see Prince Sildor. Her eyebrows raised. "Were you sent to find me or were you also trying to escape?" Her eyes returned to the window and up into the sky. The moon hung bright, almost full. "I apologize for abondoning you with my Papa earlier. He does like to talk when he's been drinking." The Princess shrugged, shifting sideways on the bench. "Your friend. Sir Alfindor, speaks very highly of you. One should be so lucky to have such friends." Her fingers fiddled with her dress in her lap, the silk fabric gliding like butter. Sol sighed turning back towards the window. "Give me another moment. I'll return shortly."

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