Alia sat in a gown covered in pearls that shone like dew drops on the green and golden fabric. She smoothed it out as she sat down infront of two chamber maidens who had been waiting patiently for her when she arrived to her room. They had dressed her and were now brushing her hair. One stood gracefully tall with small shoulders and a fat round face. Her soft plump body was covered in a soft light blue dress covered with an apron. The other stopped exactly where Alia did. Her pointed ears stood out from bushy hair that covered her shoulders to her bottom. Her light brown skin paled in comparison to her kind dark eyes.
“Faira wished that we would accompany you through your stay and ensure your comfort.” Said the girl with pointed ears. “I am Aedil and this is Jasper, please welcome us.” They bowed and began to attended to Alia.
Once they were done Alia stood infront of a clear mirror and looked at her self. Her hair was brushed back behind her ears, she covered her left eye. She never like seeing the scar that sat above it. She turned and took a deep breath, she never liked getting dressed up. She always felt stiff in her tight corset that lifted her breast and squeezed her belly. She tried to breath with her squeezed lungs but a knock at the door made her hold her breath.
“May I enter?” Asked Lucian popping his head in while covering his eyes.
“I request an audience-” started Lucian but was stopped in awe of the queen. He thought she looked more beautiful than he ever thought anyone could be. He stood staring at her until Alia had cleared her throat and the maidens had started giggling.
“Um… forgive me it seems I have lost my voice.” He said mesmerized. Alia blushed hiding her face with her hair. Her eyes followed her hand as she stroked the ends of her hair. She cleared her throat and straightened herself. “Lets go.” She said and walked out the door. Her maidens looked at him as he gathered himself and then followed her out. She walked down the hall as her maids directed her towards the conference hall. They led her to a grand door, gold, with heat radiating from the cracks Alia breathed in nervously.
“Open the doors.” She said. Heat rolled into the hallway as the gaurds opened that large door.
“It is good to feel warmth again, I almost feared hypothermia.” He looked at Alia and laughed.
“I wonder why she wants you to be shirtless, it is the middle of winter.” She said not looking at him. They walked through the doors and stood on a balcony that hovered over a grand space. Their jaws dropped, a beast so great and huge that the entire space buckled at its weight. She wasn’t what Alia had imagined, not ugly– but beautiful and mighty. Her eyes where calm and strange, they held no single color but an entire frame of sky that slowly descended into night. Instead of scales she had a soft leather surface that folded on her back to form spikes. She was a dragon, fair and majestic, made of reds and greens and purples like brusies. She opened her large mouth slightly showing sharp pearl colored teeth.
“Would you prefer my human form? I see that my beauty has taken your voice.” She said without moving her mouth. Her voice was loud like thunder but soft as if she were a mother soothing her child.
“Y-yes” mumbled Alia.
“Very well.” She closed her mouth and whistled as if releasing hot air from a tea pot. She strunk into a rosy cloud covering a small child wrapped in robes tied together with a neat bow that sat above her hips. Her eyes a radiant blue with thick eye lashes and even thicker horns. They sat atop her hair, a deep sparkling midnight, behind her pointed ears and flawed her pale skin. Her robes, a shimering silk, the color of her dragon leather.
“You are a child?” Asked Alia astonished.
“No, but I believe children match what I see in myself.” she said, “Come we have much to discuss.” She walked under the veiw of the balcony. Alia rushed to descend down steps that hid near the large doors, along with Lucian. They reached the bottom only to realize that the grand space was even larger than they could have imagined. A dinning room sat at one end and a bed room and library in another. Alia surveyed the large area up and down, it was half the height of the mountains ceiling. “Gaurds please excourt the prisoners here and have them seated.” She said as she sat at a wide round table. Food filled every inch, every plate something different and steaming. The aroma brought water to Alias mouth, she had hardly eaten since she left the castle. “Come sit and eat your Majesty Alia and Sir Lucian.”
“I assume Captian Hill has introduced us to you.” Alia said as she walked up and sat opposite of her.
“Yes he was amused by your intrest in the humans.” She said sipping whine.
“Its not an amussment, the child is my knights daughter and the Sir is–”
“Your lover, I assume.” Her eyes sparkled with intrest.
“My lover!” Alia blushed.
“Your shy, having came here to my castle to save him without knowing the dangers you would face means you love him deeply.” Faira said smiling.
“Yes…,” Alia hesitated, ” and I would do anything to gain him back.” Alia choked.
“Yes well I will judge them and if they seem fit I will release them to you and your knights care.” She said and turned her head to Lucian, “You are very interesting looking.” She said examining his markings. She twirled her finger, “Stand and turn I want to see how you are from behind.” Lucian cocked his eyebrow and sighed. Faira squealed when he turned his back to her. “Those muscles are devine, flex! Flex!” She cheered. He strained his muscles and relaxed and stretched. He was mortified, he begged god to make it stop and he would swear off bullying Alia for a week.
The doors behind the dining area open and two centaurs pushed along a weeping Xion and Dahlon who sported a black eye. Lucian turned to see the gaurds man handling his daughte. “Your being a bit too much, dont you think, shes a child.” He hissed at an uncaring gaurd. Xion weeped with all her might until she looked up and saw Lucian walking toward to the guard pushing her forward. He took out his sword and launched forth to attack the gaurd. Swiftly the gaurd moved to the side dodging the attack. Lucian jerked and slashed at him cutting his arm.
“Enough! Lucian, it will do us no good if you are imprisoned as well.” Alia shouted. Lucian stopped mid-strike, ready to behead the centaur.
“Yes, your queen is right, settle yourselves.” Faria said as she sipped her wine. Lucian huffed and waved his sword to his side splashing the gaurds blood on the ground. He glared at the gaurd, he would kill him if he had the chance. Xion clung to him after he sleathed his sword and weeped into his chest. “I will begin the ruling of their trespassing after diner.” said Faira. Lucian and Dahlon sat on either side of Alia who now looked at the food with ravenous eyes. She slowly popped a grape in her mouth and her eyes widened at its explosion of unusual flavor. Xion sniffled and looked at her with sad eyes. Alia rubbed her wet cheeks and whispered to her that all would be well.
After eating they sat in the area that acted as a library. Faira sat down in a large chair behind a even larger desk. Alia sat at the end of the desk next to Lucian who eyed the gaurd on the opposite end. Xion and Dahlon stood infront of everyone shackled to a post just below Dahlon knees. “The matter before us are these trespassers, they will be able to go freely if they can make their case and prove to be of no harm. There companions may interject and act as council.” She looked at Xion and Dahlon, “Begin.”
Dahlon cleared his throat, “We came here to pass through but–”
“We wanted to travel through Faira springs to reach the sea of Syburin. But was stopped by your captain and was imprisoned.” Xion interrupted.
“Yes, we meant no harm we only wanted safe passage.” Dahlon said.
“Where are you traveling to, and why?” Faira asked.
“We are traveling to the island of Ark. We don’t really know what we are looking for but we will, when we find it.” Xion said.
“I see, however you seem to be hiding something from me.”
“Yes you are avioding a critical aspect of your travels.” she said and turned to Alia, “Would your Majesty like to explain?” She asked. Alia clenched her fist and hesitated. She hated her hesitation and wanted nothing more of it.
“We travel to find a means to break a curse put on my country by the Saint of War.” She said.
“A means? What exaclty are you looking for?” Faira looked at her with intrest.
“The Ninth” Alia said.
“The Ninth, but it hasn’t been around for ages I, myself, have only seen it once.” Faira said and slowly drifted away from the sentence. She folded her small hands and sighed. “Fair enough, if you can tell me your usefulness to your queens endeavors then I will release you.” She said.
“I hold the map to finding the Ninth in my head. I am also friend and advisor of the queen during this journey.” Xion said in a timid but soldier like voice. Faira snorted under her breath amussed by the childs confidence.
“So be it, you are free to go.” She smiled. “Now Sir, tell me how you are useful.” Dahlon glanced at Alia and sighed. The way she dotted on him during diner made him cautious of a two things; he thought she was very beautiful and she had somehow put in Fairas head that they were lovers. He sighed and looked at Lucian. ‘Lets see how mad you get’ Dahlon thought.
“Well, I am shy to inform you that I am in love with Alia. I am but a man trying protect the woman I love while she saves her country. I would do any and everything to insure her safety, even if it ment fighting my way out of your prison.” He said and finished with a sad look towards Alia. Faira stood with tears in her eyes. She looked at Alia who was amazed and Lucian who seemed confused.
“Let them go, who could keep away such a love? I deem you friends of Faira springs.” She said wipping away fallen tears. “Gaurd please release them and send them to their rooms. You may set up a bed for two in Queen Alias suite” She waved at him and sniffled. Once the guard had escorted Xion and Dahlon out Faira calmed downed. “I believe I might have something to help you find the Ninth.” Faira said seating herself. “In the main library there are books upon book that mention the Ninth. I will warn you, it is a dangerous creature if you do not have a reason to seek it.” She said. Her voice was serious and low as if remembering something grim. Alia looked at her feeling self conciouses and wondering whether her reason was good enough. What if her country was doom from the moment she was given the throne? She quickly put the thought behind her and stood and bowed and bid Faira good night.
Alia walked away with a swirl of emotions that filled her stomach and head. Anger, fear, sadness, determinations, and doubt ate away at her. She looked at the ground and up at the sky, praying that what she traveled for was not in vain. She felt pain in her head that throbbed with worry, self doubt, and hesitation. She leaned against the door of her suite and glared at the floor. Underneath all her heated emotions layed something she didn’t want to acknowledge. She faced the door and banged her head againt it. Lucian, who stood watching her with dejected eyes, jumped. “Lady Alia,” He said concerned. “is there something wrong?” He asked. She looked at him without removing her head from the door.
“Yes, why is it that even if my world could be ending right this moment, I would be only filled with love and sadness. I found a hopeless love with a fool who can undo me with a simple look, yet I can not say how I feel. I fear being undone so much that I have miss the chance to say it.” She said with tears welling in her eyes. Lucian looked at her, and looked away and bowed.
“Good night.” He said. He walked away confused and hurt. Alia sniffed hard hard and took a deep breath and went in to her room. She knew deep in her heart Lucian would never love her back.