Thursday, September 5, 2013

Royale Guard, Orb's Year 933-936


Orb's Year 933
"Come here, darling!" Princess Kea said to her lovely daughter, Francine.  Francine giggled and hurried towards her mother and threw her arms around her. 

"Aw, aren't you a lovely little girl!  Time for bed!"
To pass the time while Francine napped, Kea invited a few ladies over for tea.  There were two young ladies in particular that she had heard much about, but had never had the opportunity to chat. 

"Your majesty," Crystal said as she greeted the Princess.  "It is a pleasure to meet you!" 

Princess Kea smiled and offered her cheek to Crystal for a kiss.  "It is lovely to meet you, as well.  Your beauty has been widely discussed!"

Crystal blushed. 
"Thank you for coming to visit with me.  I have heard much about both of you.  Danica, Hyun has nothing but flowery things to say about you! Why, I feel as though we're already friends!"

Kea loved it when she was able to have ladies over for tea.  It was so nice to get to know everyone!

***

Camelot Knightley worked directly under Prince Benedict's supervision.  "Your majesty," Camelot said as they walked up to the house.  "I was curious how the Prince of Thieves came to turn himself in."

Prince Benedict shook his head in wonder.  "It's the damnedest story, Camelot..."
"I was enjoying breakfast with my wife when there was a knock at the door.  And there stood Diebin, bold as you please.  He announced that he'd like to turn himself in for the theft of the King's taxes.

I grabbed him and brought him before the King."
"He just stood there with a grin on his face, as though he thought the whole thing amusing. 

I almost didn't believe him, but then he produced a trinket crusted with sapphires and said he'd always had an eye for lovely things."
"King Barron was irate and demanded to know why he'd done it. 

The fool just shrugged and said he'd had nothing better to do.

At that point, King Barron suggested a stay in the tower cell might make the thief more humble."
"I took him and locked him up, telling him that he could expect to be our guest for quite some time. 

He just tested out the mattress and said that the accommodations were quite pleasant."
"I'd never seen the like!" Benedict finished, telling Camelot how Diebin had spread out on the cot on begun to hum a merry tune.

Camelot shook his head.  "You have to wonder what a man like that was thinking."

***

Camelot patted his full belly.  "Well, Princess Kea, your dinner has well and truly spoiled me.  It is high time I head home to the wife."

Kea beamed at Camelot.  "Be sure to tell your new wife hello.  Bring her by some time.  It would be lovely to get to know her."

Danica Hyun slowly rose, as well.  "I should probably return home, as well.  Hyun will wonder where I've been all day!"

Camelot looped his arm around his sister's shoulder.  "I'll walk you home," he said.

As Kea began to gather the dirty dishes, Prince Benedict called out to his son, Earnest.  "Almost time for bed, son!"
Earnest turned the page and continued reading.  "Let me just finish this page," he called back out.  Kea and Benedict met each other's eyes and smiled.  Who would have thought their son would have been such an avid reader! 
Benedict called out, "5 more minutes!" before heading to tuck his sweet daughter into her crib.  "Sleep well darling," he told her as he stroked her soft hair.

Orb's Year 934
"But, Mother, you know I hate parties!" Earnest complained. 

"Not another word, Earnest!" Kea argued.  "You'll never learn how to meet new people if you don't try.  Please," she added, "Try for me!"
Earnest sighed.  "Alright," he grumbled.  His mom and dad just didn't understand that he wasn't as social as they were!  He hated meeting new people and was always worried about saying the wrong thing!
Heading outside, he saw his cousin and his friends that his mother had invited over.  "Hullo Earl," Earnest nodded in greeting.

"That's Prince Earl, to you," Berjes Province joked. 

"Sod off," Earnest said his cousin's outspoken friend.  Berjes always had some smart aleck remark to everything.

As Prince Earl and Berjes begun to laugh about something silly, Earnest turned to Suzanne.
"Hullo Suzanne, you look pretty tonight. I mean, well, you always look pretty, but you do look pretty... right.. now..." Earnest rubbed the back of his neck and felt his face flush.

Berjes laughed and elbowed Earl.  "He's trying to flirt with your intended!"

Earl glanced over and Earnest felt ill.  "No! I don't think she's pretty!" he said to his cousin.  Then, realizing how that sounded, he turned back to Suzanne, "I mean..."

"Oh, do be quiet!" Suzanne said, scowling at Earnest.  Glaring at Berjes, she stormed away.
"I'm so sorry, Earl," Earnest said.  "Honest, I wasn't trying to flirt with her."

Earl tapped his cousin's shoulder.  "No worries, cousin.  She's actually mad at me because she found out I told Berjes she let me kiss her."

Berjes laughed and clapped his hand on his knee.  "The look on her face was priceless!"

Earl scowled at Berjes, as well.  "Why I stay friends with you, I'll never know," he said darkly.

***

"Sleep well, darling," Benedict said, kissing his daughter on her head and tucking her into bed.

Orb's Year 935
Princess Kea helped Francine do her hair.  "There! Perfect!" she announced and pointing Francine towards a mirror.
"Oh, Mommy! It's lovely!" Francine said as she turned her head from side to side.  "It's just like yours!"

Kea hurried Francine to the waiting carriage.  "Look after her, Earnest!" she called out as the carriage pulled away. 

She waved until the carriage was far down the road and then she turned to wipe a tear from her eye.  Her babies were growing up.

***

King Barron stewed at Benedict's table.  "I know that weasel is involved somehow," he said with outrage.  "Did you see the look on his face when I described the girl we found.  He recognized her.  I'm sure of it."

Benedict mulled it over.  "So what do we do?  Should we arrest him and put him in a cell as well?"

Barron scowled.  "No.  He's our brother by marriage.  We need firm evidence."

Benedict nodded thoughtfully.  "Until then, I'll have Camelot shadow him.  Perhaps he'll lead us somewhere useful."

"Excellent idea," King Barron said, standing up wearily.  "I swear, this has aged me considerably!  When I think of what could have happened to Earl when he chased after the intruder, I shudder.  What if it had been a mercenary? He's lucky to have escaped with a bloody nose!"
"Father, I heard you and Uncle Barron.  I want to help!  I want to join you!"

Benedict put his hand on his young son's shoulder and felt a wave of sadness.  "The best thing you can do for me right now is watch out for your sister and exercise your mind."

Earnest scowled, "But I can help, Father!"

Benedict nodded, "I know, Earnest.  But, first we learn to think... then we learn to fight..."

Orb's Year 936
Earnest sat outside with his cousin, still annoyed that his father had dismissed him so readily.  "It's not fair! I can swing a sword!" Earnest said grumpily.

Earl rolled his eyes.  "I know.  Since I chased that girl and got elbowed in the nose, Father keeps me far from the action!"

Earnest glanced at his cousin, "How did you know it was a girl, anyways?"

Earl blushed again.  "When I grabbed her shirt, I grabbed a handful of... well... you know..."

Earnest gasped, "You didn't!"

Earl nodded miserably.  Berjes had made a big deal about how he'd grabbed the girl's breast and had suggested he grab Suzanne in the same manner to compare.  Earl had stupidly agreed and Suzanne had slapped him and hadn't spoken to him in weeks.

"Berjes is such an idiot," Earl said miserably.

"Yeah," Earnest agreed whole-heartedly.

 ***

Benedict swung his daughter around on his toes, laughing.  In the distance, he heard horse hooves.  "Go on inside and find your mother," Benedict told Francine before turning to greet his guest.

It was Barron and he was irate.
Barron immediately walked in and headed towards Benedict's solar.  Benedict trailed behind him.

"What is it, Barron?" he asked, concerned.

"It seems we have a snake in our family," Barron said with thinly veiled rage.  
"Well, we already knew that.  What did the rogue do?" Benedict replied, on edge.

King Barron told his brother about his conversation with Celeste and then the subsequent conversation with the prisoner, Diebin.

Benedict's eyes narrowed as his brother brought him up to speed.  "So it's time to arrest him?"

King Barron nodded tersely.  "Gather your men."

***

Prince Benedict stood before the men he'd chosen:  Bradshaw Knightley, head of the military; Hyun Knowles, 2nd in command of the military; and Camelot Knightley, 2nd in command of the King's Guard.

"This might turn ugly," Benedict said.  "Our best hope is to surprise him.  Celeste and the girls are at the king's castle, being protected.  It's up to us to bring this slime in!"
Benedict lead the way through the night...

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