Flowers of the past
“Come on, hurry up!” Exclaimed the young girl as she got impatient and started r
unning faster before gracefully jumping over the wall. “Why are you always so impossibly slow Thrista?! You’re slower than a snail, you know that?!”
“Wait for me Silena!” Begged the young boy as he tried his best to follow the young princess, but she was much more agile than him and had got so far away that she had to regularly stop and wait for him which really exasperated her.
“Come on, faster! They’re going to catch us if you don’t move!” Simply replied the young girl.
She was particularly excited and nervous that day as her father had posted even more guards than usual around the palace to prevent her from sneaking away, they had almost gotten caught as they were jumping over the wall of the gardens. And all that because of Thrista’s inefficiency to move quickly. They were supposed to meet the others I the park of the eastern district but they would never get there in time with such a snail. Silena hated his crybaby attitude and the fear he had that she would leave without him. He already knew how to use the basics of the art of emporium but the simple act of screaming at him was enough to completely paralyze him in fear. That said he was one of the rare persons of her age, even if he was three years younger, with whom she enjoyed playing so she always wanted to make the most of their time together. Even if that meant she would be punished afterward. This was the third time they left the palace together and without any authorization whatsoever from her parents, well, officially, it was the second as the king and queen had no idea about the first time they had sneaked out. Her father was furious enough about the second one, as she put her and Thrista’s lives in danger by going out unsupervised, even more so that the king was supposed to keep an eye on the young boy while his father was away, so she wasn’t about to tell him that she had done it before…
They finally reached the familiar gate of the park which was surrounded by a metallic arch, despite being called the park gate it didn’t provide any way to prevent people from entering it as there were no doors and no walls around it to close it off. It was here as a symbol more than anything and had slowly started to be covered by vines over the years, making it difficult to read the name that was engraved on it. Despite that, rare were the people who did not walk through it to enter or leave the park as it represented and homage to the centuries of peace that the city had lived since the last great invasion. The young blonde girl ran through the gate, Thrista catching up to her a few seconds later, and as they caught their breaths they walked towards the center of the park where they were supposed to meet with their friends. Excited cries and shouts could already be heard coming from their destination as they got closer, finally they could see the children running around, yelling and laughing as they played passionately. The two of them quickly joined the others, also running around and shouting. They played like that for almost two hours, barely stopping to catch their breaths as they ran after each other, threw balls at each other and accepted acrobatic challenges each harder than the other. The sun was reaching maxima when they decided to finally part, most of the other children too scared to miss lunch and the others following the movement as they had too few comrades left to keep playing. Thrista and Silena also decided to go back to the palace. They took the long way around, by the northern road, to try to sneak in the palace without being seen by the king or his guards but without much success as they were called out by a deep voice behind them as they were entering through one of the kitchen window.
“Well well my young lads, you are right on time for lunch!” Exclaimed Oscius, one of the four captains of the royal guard, as he spotted them. The man, even though of regular height and of relatively ordinary appearance, an aura of power that intimidated many people emanated from him, even the princess herself couldn’t help but shiver when his steel grey eyes focused on her.
“Your father has been looking for you everywhere young lady.” He simply said, motioning for them to start moving towards the corridor behind him.
He was smiling slightly, amused by their determination to sneak out despite the king’s warnings, but his presence cut short any protestation that the two children could have had. They both walked beside him in silence, looking down to the floor as they felt a bit of shame, and followed his directions as he took them directly to the royal chambers. He opened the door and told them to enter the room before announcing their presence. Then he simply nodded and left after closing the door behind him, leaving them there, waiting in silence for the king to come reprimand them. However, to their surprise, it wasn’t king Marco that waited for them but a dark-haired woman dressed in a simple but elegant dress. She walked into the room and walked towards them before sitting down on the sofa in front of them. Silena’s eyes almost popped out and a large smile spread on her face as she ran towards the woman and hugged her.
“Mom!” She exclaimed happily as she did so.
“Despite having come to the castle a few times and having already spent two weeks in the castle this time, this was only the third time Thrista saw the queen of Tebor in person. While her husband took care of the international affairs of the country she was often gone on trips throughout the whole kingdom to evaluate and find solutions to the different problems that could arise. She was always trying to improve the life of the people of Tebor. She was tall and thin, her long hair fell down on her back and the deep brown color of her eyes reminded of the color of her skin. Silena had inherited her mother’s silhouette and her dark complexion but her eyes and her golden hair were her father’s. This gave her an exotic appearance that, as her father often said, would attract many young men as she would grow up. Her personality came without a doubt from her mother. Despite seeming sweet and inoffensive, the beautiful dark-haired woman hid a fierce will and determination that had bent far more than one. She knew how to act as soft as the breeze or as strong as a hurricane when it was necessary, and her daughter had inherited most of that.
The first time the young boy had met the queen he would have never thought she was Silena’s mother if one of the guards hadn’t announced her arrival in the room. It was the third day after his arrival to the palace with his father on their first visit together to Eneleïa. The king and his father were talking to the ministers around the long table in the throne room. Not far from there, on another smaller table that had been set for the occasion, Thrista and Silena had been playing a game of chess under the care of the princess’s governess. The young boy had proved to be a more worthy opponent than the young woman to the princess and was now revealing his talent as a strategist. His father had taught him how to play several years ago and they had kept their bouts as a tradition. Despite having greatly improved since the first time he had played the young boy had never been able to defeat his father more than twice.
“You should move your knight to the white square on the diagonal you know.” He had told her after having sat at the table and watched the match for a few minutes on the day he had arrived to the castle. The princess hadn’t even replied but had shot him a curious look before looking away. He had remained silent after that and watched Silena as she had played out her own strategy. However, after the fourth unsuccessful move, she attempted to follow his instruction and managed to beat the young woman in only two moves after that. She had looked at him again curiously, seemingly seeing him in a new light. Thrista had started feeling nervous as she kept looking at him after that, she had appeared to be in deep thoughts, and he was about to ask her what was wrong when she finally motioned for him to take her governess’s place. He slowly got up and switched places with the young woman on the side of the black pieces, he was hesitant at first but he was reassured by the gentle smile the young woman gave him as she sat back down.
“You seem to know chess a bit. Let’s see what you’re worth!” Had exclaimed the princess with a smile as she had moved the first pawn. To her great displeasure he would’ve won the game, fact that she would never admit after that, if her mother hadn’t arrived at that moment. The young girl had gotten up so quickly that she had toppled the whole board, making it impossible to continue the game. Thrista had always had his doubts about her actual intention to do that, he was sure she had used that opportunity to deny him a victory.
“Come on, hurry up!” Exclaimed the young girl as she got impatient and started
The tall dark-haired had woman walked in the throne room, silencing the minister who was speaking at the time and walking towards her husband who opened his arms to embrace her. Her daughter was the faster one though, she jumped in her mother’s arms and pulled her into a tight hug, nestling her head in her long black hair.
“Mom!” She had exclaimed.
“Hello darling!” The queen replied as she kissed her daughter on the forehead, a large smile spreading on her lips. “My, how tall you have gotten!”
“Mom!” Exclaimed the princess, pouting at the remark. “You tell me that each time!”
“So? Does that mean it’s not true?”
“No, but you know I’m not a little girl anymore!”
“That’s true, you are almost an adult now.” Conceded the queen with another smile. “Allow me then, young lady, to simply compliment your ever blossoming beauty in that case.”
The princess’s face reddened at that comment and her expression turned sulky once more but she still let her mother give her a kiss on the cheek. The queen then turned towards her husband. The king, who had been happily observing the scene play out in front of him, then gently took her hand and planted a short but loving kiss on it, welcoming her back home. They remained like this for a few seconds, simply staring in each other’s eyes without saying a word. The king was the first to recover and asked how her trip had been.
“Relatively calm, I must admit Marco. Everything happened without any trouble, but I will tell it to you in details later because I see we have company.” She replied as she turned towards the large table and the four men that stood up to salute her.
“Hello my dear Alix, how are things?” Said the queen as she acknowledged the presence of the man on the right.
He was of average height, thin and seemed as calm as ever. But one shouldn’t trust appearances as, under his rather puny appearance, Alix Emberblade was the minister of war and was known to be as excellent a warrior as he was a strategist. The man with short graying brown hair and pale eyes was alike Oscius in the impressive aura of power and control that emanated of him. He had managed to foil a plot to assassinate the king a dozen of years before and had done so without suffering any casualties on either side, this had made him one of the most trusted man in the kingdom in the eyes of the royal couple and the guards.
“Hello my lady. Yes, everything is in order at the moment, nothing to report.” He replied with a slight bow of the head.
“Excellent, and what about you, Lucas and Fenrir?” She asked as she turned to the two men in the middle.
Fenrir Mornac and Lucas Pandé, respectively mister of culture and minister of external relations, saluted the queen in turn. The first, tall and with fiery red hair, possessed a short beard and always had an amused gleam in his eyes which made him easy to approach and to talk to. The other appeared more reserved, smaller than his colleague, he had slightly messy dark hair and bushy eyebrows which made him seem more sly and short-tempered than he actually was. This, however, was known only to people who knew him well as his actions tended to lead his interlocutors to think the contrary, which gave him the upper hand when treaties had to be signed with other countries.
“Everything is fine on my side my Lady, the preparations are almost over for the spring festival.” Replied the red-haired man.
“The same goes for me my Lady, I am set to leave in two days to negotiate a secondary commercial treaty with the barony of Silve in the north.” Added Lucas Pandé.
“Perfect then!” Exclaimed the queen with a smile. “But I am failing my duty as a host by not greeting you earlier my dear Ellias, I hope you won’t hold it against me.” Added the queen as she finally turned towards Thrista’s father.
“Not at all lady Lena.” Replied Ellias. “It is a great pleasure to see you again.”
“Thank you Ellias, it is a great pleasure to me too, it has been far too long since our last meeting. And now, tell me, how might be that young boy who looks so much like you?” She asked after thanking him.
“That would be my son.” Said Ellias with a smile as he motioned to Thrista to come closer to introduce himself.
The boy was so captivated by the presence of this dark-skinned woman who radiated an aura of elegance and grace that he had not been aware of anything else since she had walked in. Only when he received a well placed kick from the blonde princess, as the queen was turning towards him, did he realize that his father and the queen were waiting for him to introduce himself.
“Greetings your majesty, I am honored to meet you today.” He started, stumbling a bit over his words at first and his cheeks taking on a pink color. “My name is Thrista Daener, I am the son of Elllias Daener and I came here with him.” Was all that he managed to say before his voice died in his throat.
“I am as honored as you are to meet you my dear Thrista, your father I as old friend of mine and it is with great pleasure that I finally meet his son.” Replied the queen with a large friendly smile.
Thrista opened and closed his mouth a few times before finally managing a small “Thank you” and hastily looking at his shoes, his face no as red as a tomato. This was due to the fact that not only had he been fascinated by this woman that he had lost all his ability to communicate but also because he had seen his father’s large smile in the corner of his eye and he knew that he was openly making fun of him for being so nervous.
“There’s no need to be so nervous Thrista, she isn’t going to eat you…” He could almost hear his father telling him telepathically.
To the princess’s greatest pleasure he lost the two games of chess they played afterward, under the attentive eye of the queen, who had insisted on watching them play after having greeted the other people who were present in the room that day, letting the governess go for the afternoon. Though the blonde girl insisted that he had just been lucky the first time and that she would definitely have won, he knew his loss had a totally different explanation…
“Come on, it’s not so dramatic! That’s life!’ Exclaimed the princess, displaying a proud wide triumphant smile. This did not seem to lift the young boy’s spirits and she took the matter in her own hands as she dragged him away by the wrist. “Come, I’ll show you a magic place!”