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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

[INNOCENT PAGE] 1 -- The Little Visitor

At home. Injured myself (again) in PE so took the rest of the day off.

Okay nya, I thought that I would post chapter by chapter of Innocent Page (my NaNoWriMO novel) onto here so people can read it nya.

Here goes nothing nya~!!

1     The Little Visitor
Dizmond of Feyvally, the fourteen-year-old nephew of Razkav’s Queen Aylis, stormed the third-level rooms of Alfador Palace in his search for the ducal fief’s missing young heiress. “Enough playing around! Come out from where you’re hiding!”
No answer.
After some more minutes of fruitless searching, the teenager (a duke in his own right) spotted a misshaped lump behind a curtain. Smiling ironically, he folded his arms and tapped his foot. “Oh, and I was looking forward to a ride with her…”
The curtain was flung aside and Mauvienne raced out.
“…when she has finished her all of her schoolwork.”
Dizmond watched in victory as Mauvienne returned to the schoolroom at top speed, where her tutor was waiting.
~ * ~
“You said you would!”
“I never promised.”
Mauvy, the ten-year-old heiress of Alfador, glared at her friend in silent rage. “You lying dolt!” she screamed. “You said we’ll go riding after I’ve completed my schoolwork!”
“And I just said, I never promised.”
Mauvy gasped in outrage, her fieriness rising. 
Dizmond grinned. “Calm yourself, Mauvy. I was pulling your tail.”
That only infuriated Mauvy even more.
Half an hour later Mauvy and Dizmond rode out of the palace; both of them were bundled in thick clothing as protection against the cold weather. Dizmond was still wincing from the beating Mauvy had given him. For a girl born into a family where her father’s brother was the King of Razkav (and Aylis’s husband) himself, Mauvy sure was not ladylike. The King’s niece would rather be engaged in a swordfight than be forced to embroider, practice archery than practice her hap-harp, and wear tunics and breeches than a noblewoman’s gowns.
Mauvy should’ve been a boy, thought Dizmond. It would’ve been normal for a lad to be out in the yards all day long. Of course, it was not his first time thinking such thoughts. Or last.
Upon returning to Alfador Palace Mauvy and Dizmond found an elegant white carriage drawn by four white horses at a standstill in the courtyard. The occupants of the carriage were not inside, and so the two young nobles assumed they were in the castle already. There was an insignia on the door of the carriage: a gold sceptre crossed with a gold hilted and diamond capped silver sword, set on a royal blue background.
Royal blue.
Royal blue.
The monarchs of Razkav had come to visit.
~ * ~
Mauvy sprinted into the palace with Dizmond close behind. The latter was yelling at the former to walk inside, not run. The former was not caring at all. It was not like she was dripping with mud or something similarly dirty.
Familiar voices to both Mauvy and Dizmond grew louder as they drew closer to the study, where a maid had said the royals were. Mauvy knocked on the door and, without waiting for her father’s ‘Enter’, barged straight in, much to Dizmond’s dismay.
The study was well furnished and cozy, although fairly plain. A large marble desk was placed in the middle of the room, and a cushioned high-backed chair was put behind the desk, currently seating the Lord of Alfador and Prince of Razkav. Parchment, quills, and other bits of stationary were strewn across the desk. In front of it, with the backs to the door, were three chairs similar to the Prince’s, except there were no cushions. The King and the Queen sat in two of them. The hearth cackled merrily with a warm fire.
King Leonare rose, partly to greet his nephew and his niece, and also partly to brace himself for her hug. Mauvy had made it a rule to run to her uncle in a charge and ram into his stomach headfirst. It was quite an impact, considering she was only four foot eleven. Mauvy’s sour point was her height; she was constantly complaining about it.
While uncle and niece had a mock mini wrestle, Dizmond bowed respectively to Queen Aylis. She was as beautiful as ever, her straight blond hair held back from her face using a simple green headband. Her eyes, slightly lighter than her headband, sparkled in delight at seeing her nephew again. “Good afternoon, Dizmond. How have you been?”
“Being stuck with her for two months?” Dizmond jerked his thumb toward Mauvy. “Not too well, Aunt.”
Leonare and Mauvy had finished their tussle and Mauvy came to poke Dizmond. “Who are you insulting here?” she demanded. Poke. “Who’s ‘her’?” Poke. “I do have a name.” Poke. “And you fully know what it is.” Poke.
“No,” Mauvy giggled, and poked him once more.
Dizmond chased Mauvy around the room while Prince Farryn cracked a smile, Aylis laughed, and Leonare became an obstacle of all sorts to Dizmond, preventing his nephew from catching his niece.
“Uncle Leonare! Would you please stop getting in my way?” Dizmond requested politely, but a thread of his irritation slipped through his forced politeness. Mauvy giggled harder, earning a glare from her friend and an indulgent pat on the back from her loving uncle.
~ * ~
Mauvy sat between her uncle and her aunt in a private family dinner. Prince Farryn and Dizmond were there too, and all of them sat at an oval table. Aylis was entertaining Mauvy with stories of court life, from a countess’s latest affair to a duel between two knights for a lady’s hand in marriage, and the three males present were discussing about the year’s crops. Everything was running smoothly until Leonare asked Dizmond to be his squire when Dizmond returned to the royal palace after the winter vacation.
Mauvy dropped her spoon full of soup onto her lap. “Uncle! Do you mean—do you mean you want to—to take a squire again? After so long?” A servant rushed over to attempt to clean the mess on her dress, having no luck whatsoever.
“It’s only been sixteen years,” the King said, miffed. “You make me feel old, Mauvy. That is not nice. And yes, I would like to have a squire again. How about it, lad? I’ll treat you well—but then, I always do.”
Aylis put a hand on Dizmond’s shoulder reassuringly, Farryn raised an eyebrow, Mauvy bit her lip and Leonare looked at Dizmond with a hopeful expression on his tanned face.
Dizmond frowned slightly. “Very well, Uncle,” he said finally. “I will be your squire.”
Leonare whooped in an un-kingly manner, reached over the table for Dizmond’s hand, and shook it heartily. “Good decision, lad,” he said. “Excellent!”
When everything was settled again Mauvy asked Farryn the question that she had rephrased several times in her head.
“Father, may I go to Rosevine Palace too and become a page? Then I’ll go on to be a squire, then —”
Farryn slammed his glass down so hard it cracked and broke. His daughter stared at him with wide amber eyes as he clenched his jaw. “No.”
“But, Father —”
“I said NO!”
“Get out of here!” he bellowed. “I don’t want to see your face!” and to emphasise his point the Prince threw his eating knife, point first, at Mauvy’s face.
“ENOUGH!” the King roared, getting to his feet. Silver light—the color of Cavell’s magic—zipped from his fingers to pluck the knife out of the air, which was an inch away from Mauvy’s face. Leonare only used his magic in dire situations; such as then. The girl felt tears stinging her eyes, a rare thing itself, and ran out before she could cry. Aylis followed her, and although Dizmond wanted to go too he forced himself to stay seated. It would not do to put Feyvally in disgrace, simply from a rash reaction. Mauvy can cope, he thought. She was fine when her mother—Duchess Arainella—died. Dizmond conveniently forgot about the fact Mauvy had only been two years of age, and had not yet even mastered the ability to talk or run.
Meanwhile, Mauvy tore through the empty corridors of Alfador Palace, her red hair (having been styled into a popular fashionable look the ladies preferred recently) tumbling down around her elbows. She was crying, and silently berated herself over and over again for being so weak. The Alfador residents, both in the palace and at other parts of the fiefdom, looked up at Mauvy as their beacon, their treasure. They would be horrified if they found her crying so pitifully.
He hasn’t attempted to be fatherly to me ever since Mother died, according to Dizmond, and his memory is the longest of anyone I know. Why do I still hope he’ll be nice all of a sudden? How I wish Naver’s here with me right now! Mauvy thought as she finally reached her cold chambers and flung herself onto her bed. “I am such an idiot.”
"No! You are not!"
Mauvy sat up. “Who speaks?”
"Me! Right here!"
Mauvy frowned. “I don’t see you.”
The little voice sounded exasperated. "Lady Mauvienne! I’m next to your head! Turn to the right!"
Mauvy did.
And let out a small scream.
Sitting on her drawer (which was at the same level as her head) was a small female figure, no longer than Mauvy’s forearm and looking like the Alfador heiress's age. Her hair, coiled at the base of her neck, resembled sunlight and she wore manly clothing; a tunic and breeches. Mauvy had never seen anything like her. To add to that, a pair of butterfly-like wings sprouted from her back.
 “Who are you?” Mauvy whispered, slightly spooked. “What are you?”

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