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The Journey of Princess Sanguis
In the land of snow, beyond the turquoise seas and the tropical lands was the lowly country Gwarsta. At that time, the eldest child of War King Rivette ran through the swirling whiteness of forever. The Eldest Princess Sanguis Estell wore her snow seal skin leggings and overcoat. She glided and slid over ice and sleet. Her overcoat streaming behind her as she jumped and shimmied over snow mounds and drifts. Sanguis stopped at the top of a solid ice block. She looked down over the shimmering blue ice carved buildings she stayed in as home. All before her: snow, ice, wind, and the people of this land was home. Sanguis took off her overcoat and placed it on a bone hook near the entrance door of their palace. As she removed her over coat the long tresses of her silken silver hair swished around her. Sanguis turned and ran quietly down the hallway. She looks down each corridor as she runs by, seeming almost nervous. Riotous laughter hits her ears as she travels deeper into her home. Sanguis wrinkles her nose. Uuuuuughh! My freaking family is so undiplomatic, thought Sanguis stalking toward a giant door. Flinging it open with a flick of her arm she finds her family. War King Rivette sat upon a low stool his checks rosy red as he slapped his leg laughing at something or other someone had said. Four young boys sat around the War King eyes wide and sparkling with love. Two older boys sat on chairs, a little distant yet still hanging off of every word that the War King said. In a nearby corner sat three girls of varying ages they sat sewing and embroidering, casting timid yet intrigued eyes toward the War King and the boys around him. The War King glanced at the doorway. “Ahhh! Sanguis my dear. Haharr. How was your run today? Are you frozen up yet? HaHaharr. Come on in! I was just tellin’ the boys here about how we finally brought you home. Join us! Pull up a chair!” said the War King grinning wildly. Sanguis glanced over at her sisters. Their eyes burned with envy and jealousy. Were there slivers of brewing hate there? “Ahhhhh. Well I thought that I’d go and check on the hospital patients and staff. If it’s okay with you War King, sire.” said Sanguis respectfully. The War King looked gravely at his eldest child. “Why can’t you call me … “father” for once?” his voice sounded hurt. “Truthfully, I mean no disrespect by this but, I don’t know you all that well. You know your other daughters and sons better then me. I was just recently thrust back into your family after 15 years. Good bye, sire.” replied Sanguis as respectfully as she could slowly backing up to the door. “Siiiiighh. Very well child. Have a good time.” he said quietly and demurely.
*********************** Sanguis stood at the doorway of the sickbay watching the movements of the ladies and men in white. One of the older men looked towards the doorway. He did a retake and smiled. “Hello Princess Sanguis!” he called cheerfully. “Hello Dr. Denettso. How is everyone?” Sanguis asked, gliding down the stairs and smiling at the patients who looked upon her. Dr. Denettso shook his head in admiration. “You are a rare one, Your Majesty.” he said with a bow. “I am here to lend you my skills. What do you need me to do, Dr. D?” Sanguis said looking over the scene. Dr. D gave Sanguis a long look. “Hmmmm… yes, ummm I do need help with the Fever cases… does your experience reach that far, I don’t mean to offend.” he said trailing off. Sanguis smiled a sad smile. “Yes, I have experience with the Fever.” she replied rolling up her sleeves. “I’m ready.” she said a determined look in her eyes. Well past sunset Sanguis stood in Dr. D’s office. “Thank you so much for your help. Ummm Princess Sanguis, I don’t mean to pry but … well I remember you as a young child of three before you were … taken. But, I am curious about how you learned your skill with healing and …..” Dr. D trailed off scrunching up his face trying to think of the right words. “Heh heh. No, it’s alright. I don’t mind. Well, … where should I begin. Oh… well, I was taken away by the Baka tribe from the south islands when I was four. They were kind. I was only taken because the Chief Fier’s eldest son had been killed. I lived with them for seven years they trained me as they would have their eldest son to be a leader and a warrior. Also, an old healer woman taught me to heal. I learned their language and that of a few other countries from traders. Then, … I was taken by the General Musani of the country Izawa. The country of Izawa is controlled by the Arsema Empire. He was very good and treated me like a daughter. I was able to travel around Izawa and neighboring countries. I learned more languages, healing ways, and different weaponry fighting styles. Then one day the general said he had decided to send me back here. He said that he was decreasing in favor to the Blood Emperor and in wealth. He wanted me to learn the ways of a Gwarstan Princess. So, I have been here for a year, and have done my best to adjust. I … am still distant though. I just can’t seem to get any closer to them. Ha hah.” said Sanguis tiredly. Dr. D stood slowly and deliberately walked over to Sanguis. “You will be fine. You are not destined to merely be the kind of princess your sisters are. You will most likely not stay here in this land much longer. Just remember this, remember the people you have known, the experiences you have had, and what you have learned.
Now! You better go home. Good Night Your Majesty.” said Dr. D leaving the room. Sanguis smiled sadly and left. ***************************** In a tavern near the palace sat a man in a black cloak. He sat alone, apart from the rest of the people who were laughing and having a good time. “Hey! Look guys it’s the Dr. D! Welcome!” called the owner of the tavern. Dr. D smiled and greeted everyone. “I’ll have the usual Mr. Regeas.” said Dr. D sitting two stools from the cloaked man. Dr. D looked at the stranger. “Hello there. Are you a trader?” asked Dr. D. The cloaked head turned toward Dr. D. “Yes. I am.” said the cloaked figure in a melodious deep tenor voice. Dr. D slightly raised an eyebrow at the quality of the man’s voice. He disregarded it though. “Good! Have you heard of the Princess Sanguis Estell? She would be glad to meet you and if she knows your language. She would be glad to talk to you. Or if she doesn’t then she would like to learn it.” he said with a kind smile. “Yes. I would like to meet the Princess.” replied the stranger his mind distant. Sanguis tossed and turned in her bed. She could hear her younger sisters soft and delicate breathing sounds, like a gentle choir. Sanguis was half awake. She often had restless nights. She heard movements but disregarded them, to her surprise. She opened her eyes fully awake. There in the doorway stood a cloaked figure. “Who are you?” Sanguis said quietly. The figure stopped. “Hmmmm so you are awake.” said a melodious deep tenor voice. The figure dissolved into the shadows of the room. Sanguis remained in her bed. “Sir. You are an assassin or something, correct. Don’t hurt … my family. Take me or whatever but let them live. I know better then to try to go against you. This is your area of expertise… I swear upon my honor as a warrior to not escape.” said Sanguis her eyes closed. She felt the cold touch of a hand upon her shoulder. She opened her eyes. “Very well I won’t hurt your family. Come. You are going with me.” the voice whispered in her ear. Sanguis moved slowly from her bed, so as not to wake her sisters. She stood and looked around in the darkness for the figure. Strangely, she couldn’t find him. She softly stepped to her vanity mirror and table. She grabbed her healing kit and the necklace and earrings that her two adopted fathers had given her. She walked to the doorway. Stopping before the open doorway she waited. She heard the swift movement of fabric and then the touch of a hand on her elbow. “Sorry… I can’t take any chances.” he whispered. Swiftly his other hand came up to her face. He covered her nose and mouth with a cloth. She didn’t struggle she stood there patiently and coolly as if she had expected this. Then she went limp and fell into his
arms. “She’s a strange one.” he said to himself and faded into the darkness with his parcel. I The sting of salt upon the air greeted Sanguis as she awoke. She was in a foul mood with a terrible headache. She groggily looked around her surroundings. She was in what seemed to be a ships cabin. She was on an enormous hammock in a corner of the room. There was a map on the wall of what seemed to be the entire world. There were a few weapons on the wall and a large desk and cushioned chair were near her hammock. Humph!! How ironic, weapons near at hand to the prisoner, she thought. Sanguis stood. The floor swayed underfoot as she attempted to walk. She was only slightly clumsy, and that was mostly because of the drug that had been on the cloth that guy had held. She stalked over to the door and with an agitated flick of her wrist she opened the door. Bright sunlight blinded her as she walked onto the deck. She suddenly became annoyed without reason. She would have scowled but she knew better then to show her expressions. But, she couldn’t hide the anger and fire burning in her indigo eyes. Her eyes adjusted but kept their fire as she looked around. She saw at least eight men moving about the masts and rigging. The wind was still cold so she was still near her home. But there was no snow, so they were far enough away. She walked away from the door a few steps then turned and looked up. At the helm was three men, the oldest had silver waves in his black hair and lines of many years out at sea and of laughter around his eyes and mouth. He appeared to be the captain with his captains’ hat under his arm. The man to his right seemed a little older then she and he had dark brown hair with a few blonde highlights; he wore slightly baggy pants and a long over shirt. He was wearing black. . But, it was the last man who was what caught her eye. He stood a few feet from the others, distant but very much a part of whatever was happening. He had red hair and wore a strange outfit that looked like a robe, it was green. She continued to stare at him. Why can’t I see his eye color?, she thought confused and even more annoyed. She couldn’t contain the disgusted annoyance in her eyes as she continued to stare at him. Suddenly his eyes snapped down to face hers. They stayed like that staring at each other. “Sire? What’s wrong?” asked the older man as he followed the other man’s gaze. The older man’s face turned to surprise and confusion as he looked at the eyes of the young woman below. The strangely clothed man walked to the stair nearby and walked decisively down. Sanguis left the
confused gaze of the silvered hair man and turned it full force against the strange one. His gaze was decisive and yet subtly kind. He stopped five feet in front of her. “Hello.” he said in the Remain tongue. “Hello…” Sanguis replied in the same language. The young one took a step towards her. Sanguis moved one of her feet slightly behind her in a defensive position. He stopped moving and raised a hand toward her. “I am Giashi. May I help you?” he said continuing to extend his hand to her. “I am Sanguis Estell …. Heh heh, but you know that already… don’t you?” she said casting her eye over his hand. “You have just came out of a drugged sleep … I don’t know how your reactions would be. I am a healer.” he said continuing to extend his hand toward her. “I know… it was Night’s Shade that he used, correct. Well, I personally will need to take a tonic of Golsheen Leaves and Witch Hazel within the hour given the drug or, whenever I awaken I first have an excruciating headache and secondly become very violent and snappy. However, I’m afraid that has already occurred.” she said hesitantly touching his hand lightly and then drawing away. Giashi looked at her thoughtfully. “I … I’m sorry. Is there anything to ease the affects?” he asked genuinely concerned. Sanguis smiled a dark smile. “No. I have tried many things. I have had the experience of many times.” she said walking past Giashi. As she passed him she smelled a sweet scent that she instantly recognized. She stopped a few inches away from him. “That scent… is it Vissarri Flower Cologne!?” Sanguis asked her head turned toward him. He slowly turned his head to gaze at her. He smiled. “Why… yes it is. It is so faint though I haven’t put it on in a few months.” he said his eyes intent upon her. “Hehheh… I’d know that smell if it was drenched in blood.” she said moving past him and to the stairs. She placed one foot in front of the other focusing on each step until she reached the top. The white nightgown she still wore swirled around her as she stared down at the planks of wood. “Ummm… Hello Your Highness. Are you okay?” asked the older man. Sanguis turned her head toward the two men. Her face void of emotion except for the flashing flames of indigo. “Why am I here?” she asked her voice gravelly. The older man’s grip upon the wheel tightened until his knuckles turned white. The other stayed silent still not talking watching her calmly. She stepped towards the two men. The older man shivered. “Are you alright sir?” asked Sanguis retorting back his own question. The older man did not respond he looked very white. “You are suffering from a lack of a heart beat. You seem to have a weak heart. Right now it missed a beat. You should drink a medicinal tea of Orange and Perrisel Seed.” said Sanguis automatically thinking like a healer. “I have told him so many times… but he is very stubborn.” said Giashi appearing behind Sanguis. “Humph…
stubborn men die before their time.” commented Sanguis her mind distant. “You have been trained as a warrior, right.” said the brown haired man finally speaking. His voice was a wonderful deep tenor. Sanguis hesitantly looked at his eyes. She hesitated because she remembered that his eyes were amber like a tiger’s eye. “Yes. I have. Ahhh…” she said slightly swaying and grasping the railing tightly. “Are you alright!” cried Giashi grabbing Sanguis’s arm. “Ahhh… No… I… oh.” mumbled Sanguis rubbing her head. “Sorrrry. About that.” said Sanguis a little bit normally. “Humph! You may let go of me.” Giashi drew away his hand quickly. “What are the both of you’s names?” asked Sanguis leaning against the railing. “I am Captain Verissan and this is Ferrin.” said the older man at the wheel (with a little more color in his face.) “I see. Why am I here?” Sanguis asked directly. “Ummmm… truthfully we are not allowed to say. You will find out when you meet the Blood Emperor.” said Verissan wiping sweat from his brow. “I see. Who was the assassin who kidnapped me?” said Sanguis moving away from the railing. She paused mid-step suddenly remembering something important, ’Giashi’s eyes are silver and purple. A chill wind blew across the helm’s deck, greeting Sanguis with the promise of a terrible storm. The wind encircled her running through her hair and across her body under her thin nightgown. Sanguis turned to face the eastern wind with closed eyes. “Mmm, that feels good.” She murmured forgetting the others for a second. She opened her eyes and reality faced her. The men were watching her each thoughtful in their own way. “You are a strange one.” said the captain with a shake of his head. “Humph!” replied Sanguis walking to the back of the boat. She looked out over the churned water to where they had come from. The creak of a wood plank told her someone had decided to walk over to her. She turned slowly to see Ferrin coming up behind her. “Oh. Hello there.” she said in Arsemaian. “Hi.” he responded in Gwarstan. Sanguis looked at him and then turned her gaze back to the water. “I was the one who “kidnapped” you.” said Ferrin standing beside her (continuing in Gwarstan). “Siiiiighh. I figured that much when you spoke.” she said leaning against the railing. “Really? I guess so … my voice is very distinct.” he said turning to lean his elbows and back against the railing. “I am … so annoyed. I don’t know why. But, I am.” said Sanguis turning to face Ferrin hostilely. “Did you know you have a distinct accent? Yet, you are a Gwarstan.” said Ferrin changing the subject tactfully. “Yeah, I know. I have just recently relearned this language. I’ve only been speaking it for a month. I haven’t become fluent yet.” said Sanguis turning her attention to the sky in the east, which caused her back to be towards Ferrin. “But, aren’t you a Gwarstan?’ he asked moving to the side Sanguis was facing.
“Yes, I was. But, I have not lived in Gwarsta since I was four.” said Sanguis finishing the conversation. “I see.” he said twiddling his fingers in the blowing breeze. Sanguis’s silver hair fluttered around like a fairy caught on a spider’s web. Ferrin reached a hand out and caught a strand of her hair. He twirled it between his finger’s watching as it tried to escape and join its other members. He dropped the strand and watched it entwine into the rest of her hair. Sanguis continued to ignore him although it was hard when he was meddling with her hair. “I also added a little bit of another drug to the Night Shade, it isn’t known to the general public, and even many assassins and spies don’t know of it. It’s called Maiden’s Dream. Usually, it causes the one affected to sleep for a month or so. And, after awakening they are usually very annoyed and tend to vomit and become extremely hot. But, your reaction to the drug … is very similar to mine. You are in a state of weakness and may loose energy and fall to the ground at any point. However, the effects on me lasted two days. I’m not sure about you.” he said staring at Sanguis’s neck. Sanguis turned to Ferrin. She opened her mouth to say something but was stopped. Sanguis felt something suck the energy from her; she struggled against it refusing to lose to it. However, she felt herself slipping away. She could feel her knees give in and the rush of air as her body tumbled toward the deck. Her mind was still very conscious and active but her body had deserted her. “Princess Sanguis!” exclaimed Ferrin, to Sanguis’s satisfaction with some surprise evident in his voice. But, to Sanguis’s surprise Ferrin caught her and kept her from hitting the splintered hard planked floor. Giashi rushed to the two with a rustle of his robe. “So the Maiden’s Dream does affect her.” Sanguis heard Giashi distantly. “Oh, Dear! It seems she is in a comma!” cried Giashi surprised and horrified at once. Ah! I know where I’ve seen a robe like Giashi’s! It’s a Sweria tribal robe. They are the ones who swore loyalty to me and my Father Musani at the Battle of Asel Wae Valley! Thought Sanguis. “You’re a Sweria tribesman!” shouted Sanguis snapping herself out of a comma. Giashi’s eyes widened at the double shock he received. Sanguis got on her knees and grabbed Giashi’s shoulders. “Me and my adopted father General Musani went to your people before the Battle of Asel Wae Valley to get your assistance. After the battle and freeing your people the entirety of the Sweria tribesmen swore loyalty to the family line of me and my Father Musani. It’s so great to be near a Sweria tribesman! I’ve missed them and their ways.” said Sanguis speaking in the Sweria tongue. Giashi still looked surprised but he smiled. He grasped her by the shoulders and bowed his head to her. “We had wondered where the Night Princess had gone. Unfortunately I have
sad news. Your father my lord Musani has died. He died three months ago from kidney failure.” Giashi said sadly looking Sanguis in the eyes and continuing to grasp her shoulders. Sanguis’ former happiness dashed away like a frightened animal replaced with a stricken sorrowful angry beast ravishing over all it saw. Thus, her eyes ravished through Giashi’s kind eyes causing him to wince. Sanguis stood quickly breaking Giashi’s firm grasp. She grabbed his arm to help him stand. Sanguis’ newly awoken beast-like eyes grazed over Ferrin and the captain who were standing nearby. A sailor had taken the wheel. Sanguis looked to the masts. The sailors had deserted the billowing white masses for the sturdy deck below. “Captain Verissan, permission to climb to the Crows’ Nest?” asked Sanguis focusing her eyes upon her new prey. The captain squirmed under her gaze, he looked over at Giashi. Sanguis could see him nod out of the corner of her eye. “Permission granted.” said the captain with a salute. Sanguis stood below the helm taking in the mast before her. She stalked over to where the rope ladder/rigging was connected to the wooden railing. In one jump she was standing on the railing looking down at the choppy grey waters. Turning, she faced the rigging. Grabbing hold she made her way up the salt encrusted ropes. As she climbed higher and higher and faster and faster she could hear the hum of male voices down below. She reached the first level of the mast. The first part of rope rigging ended. She grabbed onto the wooden pole of the mast and swung her legs where she could stand on the pole that made the mast look like a “t.” She stood and looked to the northern horizon. The wind was violent up here. It was in a bad temper ripping her nightgown around. “You are so badly behaved!” growled Sanguis at the wind. At that comment the wind softened by a little bit. Sanguis looked down. She was around forty feet in the air looking down at the small people. A movement on the opposite side of the “t” caused her to look. It was Ferrin. Sanguis’ angry annoyance bubbled within her. “What are you doing up here!” snapped Sanguis darting daggers at Ferrin. Ferrin grinned, taking Sanguis back. “I thought I’d come and see what you can do.” said Ferrin turning his attention to the Crows’ Nest above. Sanguis’ eyes flared with the gust of wind that brought an icy rain. Ferrin shimmied out across the edge of the “t.” He grabbed the next rope ladder. He looked over at Sanguis and gave her a dark smile. “I’ll race you.” he said in a foreboding voice. Sanguis’ face stayed blank for a moment then a strange wicked grin spread across her face. She never saw his surprised face because she had quickly ran to the ladder and started climbing furiously. The rain thickened drenching the aged ropes with water. The climbing was tough but they furiously went to it. The Crows’ Nest was
near, the wind and rain was everywhere, making it hard to see. Sanguis’ silver hair lay plastered to her face and back as she grasped the wooden railing of the Crows’ Nest. She was about to swing herself over the railing but her foot wouldn’t budge. She angrily looked down and saw that the ropes had entangled itself around her foot very snuggly. She tugged and pulled viciously. A gust of wind brought a even stronger blast of rain. “Aaaah!” yelped Sanguis as she let go of the railing and fell backward. A sharp pain shot through her leg as she stared down at the darkness below. Pop! Sanguis bit her lip as her foot and ankle detached from each other. “What a predicament.” said Ferrin from above. Sanguis strained her head upwards. Ferrin leaned over the railing with a cocked eyebrow, he was thoroughly drenched. He had massive rips in his shirt and pants, which were plastered to his body. “Heh heh heh! Congratulations! You won!” she shouted laughingly over the howl of the storm. “Humph! That wasn’t very fun.” he said continuing to stare down at her. “I guess you need help. That… harrumph… is a very … errrm, nice position.” he said with a sort of embarrassed grin. Sanguis’ nightgown had got between her legs and was caught on a hook behind her back, making it skin tight . But, the rain had made it see-through so it looked kind of erotic. “Humph! Well yes… Please.” Sanguis asked looking up at him. From somewhere Ferrin twirled a knife in his hand. He vaulted himself over the railing and caught a piece of rope. Swinging down beside her he looked her in the eyes. “This is kinda sad.” he said a little disappointed. In a flash of cold steel he sliced Sanguis free of her bonds. He caught her in his arms and vaulted up into the Crows’ Nest. “Well. Here we are. I guess you can take it from here.” he said setting her down on the railing. She sat there and attempted to stand. “Shitfire!” she cussed as she collapsed from the weight on her ankle. Ferrin turned from looking down at the darkness below. “Did you actually hurt yourself? I didn’t know that. You seemed okay.” he said crouching down beside her. “Heh heh. Yeah, I cover up my feelings and weaknesses. Ummm are we in a hurricane?” Sanguis asked looking around at the continuous rain and wind. “Something like that. Now, let’s get you back down to deck.” he said trying to pick her up. “No!! I’m safer up here. You are too. All the others are safe down there but not me. You neither I don’t think. Fwaaa! This storm will last until morning. Don’t worry I’ll be fine if you want to go back down.” Sanguis said leaning against the siding of the Crows’ Nest. “Damnit! Are you crazy woman!” shouted Ferrin jumping up. A blast of wind knocked Ferrin down beside Sanguis. “The wind is very characteristic tonight.” said Ferrin grumbling. “Hee hee.” giggled Sanguis slightly out of her mind. “Are you alright? You are so
strange.” said Ferrin eyeing Sanguis. “No, I’m not alright… erm …. Heh heh, everything’s just rushing at me, that Maiden’s Dream crap is reawakening all those damned memories, that I ..haha… have had put away.” Sanguis laughed burying her head in her lap. Ferrin stared at her blankly. “Humph!” he said. “Brrrrr! The rain is so cold!” shivered Sanguis. She rubbed her left leg (which was the one with the broken ankle). “It is not that cold! Do you have a fever?” he said moving towards her. He placed a cool hand on Sanguis’ forehead. “Damn! You’re burning up!” shouted Ferrin snatching his hand away. Sanguis reached a hand out. Her feverish hand touched Ferrin’s bare shoulder. “Mmmm. You feel cool.” she said leaning towards him. “Hey! What’re you doing!!?” he shouted as Sanguis slumped onto his chest. Ferrin could feel her hot body shivering against him. “Princess?” he said. “She’s passed out… probably from the pain.” he said watching her with her closed eyes and wet hair. “Siiiiighh. I’m going to regret ever meeting her.” he said enfolding his arms around her. II Sanguis opened her eyes. They were burning from salt and fever. She shook her head groggily. “Mmmmph.” something grunted. Sanguis opened her eyes wide. What’s he doing here! thought Sanguis wildly. She gazed at Ferrin, his hair was still wet from the night before. He had taken off what remained of his shirt. Oh! He put it over me like a blanket. she thought taking off the black remnants of a shirt from her shoulders. “I guess I’ll get up and leave him. He he.” she whispered attempting to stand. Piercing pain shot through her body causing her to fall back to the floor. “Shit! I forgot about the ankle.” she said under her breathe. “Hmm. So you’re awake.” mumbled Ferrin opening his eyes. He just stared at her groggily for a little while. “Ah! It’s morning!” shouted Ferrin jumping up. He looked down over the railing. “Hmmm. The ship looks a bit messed up. I think some of the people are missing. I gotta get down there!” he exclaimed as he vaulted over the railing. “Hey! What about….me?” Sanguis said trailing off. Damn him! I’ll do it myself. She thought gripping the railing and standing. “Heheh. I’ll just jump and grab onto that “t” top. Then I’ll just jump and grab some rope. And continue until I can fall safely to the deck without killing my ankle even more.” she said. “Here goes nothing.” Over the railing she went, falling fast, coming nearer and nearer to the “t.” She slashed out her arms grabbing firmly onto the wood. “Agghh!” she shouted. The speed and impact of her grabbing the wood caused splinters to imbed into Sanguis’ hands. Sanguis let go and grabbed for some rope. She looked down. She was about thirty feet up now. Looking down she could see
busted planks, barrels, sail cloth, and rigging all over the deck below. Sanguis let go again and waited until she thought she was ten feet up before she grabbed the rope ladder again. She could see about five men including Giashi and Ferrin at the helm. She let go again. After grabbing the rope again she was about four feet above the ground. I can stretch down from here. She thought. After a minute she had reached the deck. She grabbed a nearby piece of railing and used it as a cane. She hobbled toward the helm. “Princess Sanguis?!” shouted Giashi leaning over the railing at the helm. “Heh heh. Hello!” shouted Sanguis grinning strangely and waving her “cane.” “Oh. Okay. You seem all right. We lost five of the crew and … we can’t find Captain Verissan.” he shouted to her. “Who’s in charge while the captain is M.I.A?” shouted Sanguis running now, forgetting her ankle. She ran up the steps. “Ferrin! Do you have experience with running a ship.” she said reaching the helm. “Ummm. No, this is sadly my first voyage. I can do about everything else. But, I’ve been having to really work to adjust to this life.” he said honestly. “What about you Giashi?” she said. “Sorry don’t ask me.” he said putting his hands up in defense. “Okay. First of all we need to take in the damage. And check the supplies. Giashi you and two others go and do that. Okay. Ferrin you and the remaining guy should look around for the missing people.” said Sanguis waving a hand. “What about you?” asked Ferrin suspiciously. “I’ll be here at the helm keeping us on course.” she said dismissively. Why…am I doing this? Keeping the ship on course to who knows where. she thought grumpily as she stood on one foot. Out in the horizon floated creamy white wisps of clouds tainted with gold from the rising sun. Little grey blobs appeared to be circling around a little bit in front of the clouds. Are those gulls? thought Sanguis as she steadied the wheel. A gentle breeze blew through the sails, billowing them slightly. “Princess Sanguis! All our supplies is intact. The deck is pretty busted up. There’s a little too much water down below. But, that’s from the waves splashing onto the deck. We are going to pump it out.” said Giashi popping up from below deck. “Okay!” replied Sanguis. After a little while of subconsciously looking around Sanguis’ stomach started to feel weird. Sanguis twisted her face in confusion and discomfort. Her stomach felt jumpy and unsettled. I’m gonna throw up! thought Sanguis despicably. Her stomach heaved. Swiftly she used a hand to hold back her hair as she doubled over and threw up. She threw up five more times before she stopped. Sanguis stood up straight again drained of energy and any remainder of emotion. She had paled noticeably and struggled with the wheel to keep the ship in the direction it was going.
“Princess Sanguis we have searched the entire ship and looked out into the water and we haven’t seen any sign of the Captain and the missing crewmen.” said Ferrin bounding up the stairs. He halted in his steps. “Damn! I mean… harrumph… well so you do throw up as an after affect.” commented Ferrin as he made his way over to Sanguis. Sanguis looked at Ferrin with listless eyes as she stood slumped up against the wheel. Her head drooped to one side easily resting against the wheel since she was hunched so much. “You look pitiful.” said Ferrin coldly as he held her around the waist and grabbed the wheel. “Thanks.” whispered Sanguis softly, her head downcast. Ferrin looked at her thoughtfully and a little surprised that she had actually thanked him. “Princess! Everything seems to be all right now! Should we get some breakfast ma…..are you okay?” exclaimed Giashi as he appeared at the stair top. Ferrin looked over at Giashi. “She seems at the worst. This entire acquaintance has been an ordeal.” said Ferrin with an air of disdain. “Poor Princess. She is going through so much.” said Giashi kindly. “Humph! You are so soft Giashi.” said Ferrin handing the “parcel” over to Giashi. Giashi easily held Sanguis in his arms. He smiled. “I’ll take her to the cabin.” he said with a gentle smile . “Hey, Giashi. You might want to look at her ankle. She broke it.” said Ferrin as he looked out over the horizon. Giashi gently lay Sanguis down on the captains bed. “Giashi…. You were really the one who took me from my home.” mumbled Sanguis half way conscious. Giashi’s gentle face kind of froze. “Princess Sanguis why do you say that? You yourself have noticed that the voices of the people were different. And Ferrin’s the only one with that kind of voice.” said Giashi a bit hurt that she had suggested the idea. “Hehe. I like you even though you’re lying to me. You see, I can tell that both you and Ferrin are both imitating each others voices. So, you now are using Ferrin’s voice. Don’t deny it. Though, Ferrin is not as good at it as you are. I am not certain why you would both change voices. Also, the Sweria tribesmen usually have their own distinct voice and your current voice is one that doesn’t really stand out.” Giashi leaned over her so he could look at her face clearly. He got close to her right ear. “You are very sharp. All right I admit it. I did take you from your home. But, you can’t be that good. There must have been something else. Did Ferrin hint that I did it?” whispered Giashi with a cold smile. Sanguis halfway asleep smiled warmly. Shocking Giashi yet again. “True, your scent. I knew it because of the very faint cologne smell. No one else would have noticed it only me.” she murmured falling asleep. Giashi sighed and straightened up to his full height. He took a couple strides
to the half-open doorway and stopped. He turned his head to look at her. His red hair swirling at the movement. He smiled subconsciously and then left. Sanguis dreamed feverishly as she was unconscious. She dreamt of when she was fifteen and on a campaign with her adopted father General M. She had just returned to their camp from leading a skirmish against some remaining Northern barbarians who hadn't decided to return home yet. This was after the Battle of the Valley of Asel Wae, Sanguis was sore and had some bruises and scratches from the fight. She was heading for her tent when she saw her "dad" walking toward her. "Sanguis! How was the battle?" called General M. with his husky voice. "All went well none from our side died. Though, some have been severely wounded." she replied. "The Blood Prince had been here. He left thirty minutes ago." said Gen. M. absent mindedly. "What is wrong father?" asked Sanguis touching his arm. "Siiiiighh! The Sweria are breaking up as soon as the war ends. The only reason they wanted to stay together was because we were with them. But, I have fallen out of favor with the Blood Emperor. He wants me back at court to reaffirm his belief in me." said Gen. M. rubbing his forehead with his calloused hands. Sanguis stared at her "father" disbelievingly. "Father. Why would the Blood Emperor have doubts in you. You did bring about the turning back of the North barbarians." she said a little annoyed. "Sanguis. You were the one who did that. You got the Swerians to pledge alliance to us. Without the Swerians and your ability in getting their alliance the barbarians would have been at the border of our country. Plus, your skills on the battlefield and being able to take charge when I was injured by the arrow saved all of us." said Gen. M. seriously. "Truthfully, I have become incompetent as a general lately. I must be getting old. The Blood emperor is probably upset at the fact that the adopted daughter of his head general of the military was able to change the history of the world." said Gen. M. rather irritated. Sanguis stood still as Gen. M. stalked away upset. A tear dribbled down her cheek. It was the first and only time she had ever cried in all her life. Sanguis jolted up in her bed. She hadn't thought of the past since the day she had been put on a boat headed for Gwarsta. Sanguis hid her face in her hands as she sat there. All was quiet. The wood of the ship wasn't even creaking. Are we docked at a port? wondered Sanguis. She slid her legs over the side of the bed. Her hurt ankle tingled with pain. The pain wasn't so overwhelming though. Sanguis tried to stand. She was successful. Hmmm. I guess my ankle isn't as injured as I thought. Sanguis looked around at the cabin. Her
eyes caught on a large sea chest. Maybe I can get some clothes from there. She walked nimbly to the chest making sure not to walk too hard on her hurt ankle. She knelt down stiffly in front of the weather battered old chest. She lifted the creaky lid and gazed down upon the contents of the chest. There were various knick-knacks in the chest. Sanguis was surprised at all she found. There were various silk garments that Sanguis expected a pirate would wear. There were multitudes of velvet bags with many different things inside. "Wow! The old man had a treasure trove in here!" Sanguis mumbled under her breath. She took out a pair of royal blue silken pants with a matching belt and a silken cream shirt. She also found some shoes that were made out of a light material that was durable yet could easily be used in water, they were black. She also took a few other things from the chest. She moved swiftly to get dressed and stow her new found treasures under her clothes. "Sorry, captain. I hope you'll understand me taking some of these things." whispered Sanguis as she turned the door knob. Sanguis opened the door. The sounds of a bustling sea town hit her. The shouting of fishermen, the hum of human voices in the air as they go about their business. The tinkling and clanking of wares in the busy street of the town bounced off the creamy orange stone buildings with their dark brown rooftops and window shutters. Sanguis smiled subtly at the normal activities of a busy market day. Sanguis tugged at her new shirt. The shirt had turned into a tunic and was tied down with her new royal blue belt. She had rolled up the sleeves of the shirt until they were a little bit below her elbows. Sanguis looked about the ship as she fidgeted with her outfit. The ship appeared abandoned. There was no movement or noise anywhere. Did they forget about me? Sanguis went to her old room where she had first been placed. She retrieved her medicine bag and her necklace and earrings. She put on her jewelry as she returned to the deck. She went to the gangplank that reached down to the dock. There was no one nearby accept for a few kids fishing off the end of the dock. Sanguis strolled down the gangplank and onto the dock. What should I do? Should I try to go back to Gwarsta? Why would they just leave me on board? Did something happen to them? Sanguis was thinking this as she looked up at the hull of the ship. The name of the ship was the Carmela Blue. Sanguis continued walking down the deck. A few fishermen looked up at her and smiled. What is wrong with these people? thought Sanguis as she reached the beginning of the busy
street. People bustled about with all sorts of items. The people were speaking Tereniam (the language of the island Tereni). Sanguis walked over to a orange seller. "Hello beautiful lady how may I help you?" the man asked with a charming smile. The man was young and had eyes the color of the sea and hair the color of sunshine on the shore. "Hi. Where is the best place to stay?" Sanguis asked the man. "Oh that would be the Golden Compass Inn. It is far away from here though. I'll take you there." he said with a warm smile. "Uncle! I'm leaving now! I'll come back later." said the man. "Bye!" called the uncle. Sanguis looked the man over. He suddenly looked at her as she was looking him over. "My name is Daemon. Who are you?" he said with a friendly smile. "Oh. I'm Sanguis." Sanguis replied looking ahead. "How did you learn Tereniam? Not many outsiders if any know it." asked Daemon curious. "Well. There was this old trader who came to the town I lived in and he taught me in exchange for me selling some of his goods for him." Sanguis said with a polite smile. "Wow. Why are you here? There isn't really much this island has to offer. Except for the natural beauty." said Daemon studying Sanguis' face. "Well. I decided to get on a ship and go somewhere. So I did." replied Sanguis as she dodged a woman with a cart filled with bananas. Sanguis grabbed two bananas as she passed. The woman didn't notice as she struggled to keep the cart steady. "Here Daemon. Do you want one?" asked Sanguis offering him a banana. "Sure! Did you steal it? Haha! You are lucky Mrs. Calahaan didn't notice." he said gingerly taking the banana. "Hahaha. Yeah I am." Sanguis laughed. They remained silent as they strolled past little restaurants and other types of stores. "Ummm ....Daemon. That ship at the dock. I believe it is the Carmela Blue, what happened to the crew?" asked Sanguis between bites of her banana. "Oh. That foreign ship. Well, they were probably taken to the prison up in the old palace on the hill. They weren't one of our ships. Tereni doesn't allow foreign ships in her ports. They were in bad shape though. They had gone through that hurricane that had passed by here a day or so ago." said Daemon nonchalantly. "We're here Sanguis." said Daemon guiding Sanguis to the door. He swung open the gold painted door leading her into the cool darkness of the inn. "Morning Daemon!" called a plump middle aged woman. "That's my aunt se owns the place." whispered Daemon into Sanguis' ear. "Oh! A customer! Welcome my dear!" exclaimed the plump woman happily. "How do you do." replied Sanguis. "Do you need a room?" asked the lady. "Yes I do thanks." said Sanguis walking to the
counter. "Sanguis I think I'll hang out with you a little bit. If that's okay with you." said Daemon leaning against the counter. Sanguis looked at Daemon without emotion for a bit. Then she smiled. "Okay. Sure." said Sanguis patting Daemon's shoulder. "Beautiful Lady. The fee for the room is 20 shiels a night. That includes food too." the inn lady said." Oh. Okay." said Sanguis pulling a velvet pouch from her medicine bag. She opened the pouch and pulled out three golden coins. "This should pay for four nights, right?" said Sanguis handing the lady the gold. The lady's eyes widened. "Oh yes! This also buys a visit to the women's spa bath." said the lady trying to hide her joy. "Good. Is my room ready?" said Sanguis with a tired sigh. "Yes, yes! Daemon will you take the Lady up to room seven? Thank you. If you need anything please tell me my lady." she said with a curtsy. Sanguis smiled and nodded her head. Daemon led Sanguis up the stairs. "Damn Sanguis. I didn't know you were rich." said Daemon a bit intrigued. "I'm not really. I won't be able to last more then a year off of this. If I only buy the necessities." Sanguis said matter-offactly. "Here's your room." said Daemon opening the door. The room was homey and well decorated. There was two beds, a window, a nightstand, a closet, and a bathroom. "I like this room.” said Sanguis sitting down on a bed. “Yeah.” said Daemon subconsciously as he walked over to the window. Sanguis’ ankle was swollen and it hurt her some. She took off her shoe and rubbed her ankle. Daemon turned to see what she was doing. “Oh! Miss Sanguis! Your ankle looks pretty bad. What did you do?” cried Daemon sitting on the bed by her. “It’s all right. You sure are concerned about me.” said Sanguis a little suspicious. Daemon looked at her a little hurt. “That’s because I like you.” said Daemon with a brilliant smile. “You are so strange. Everyone here is kinda strange.” muttered Sanguis darkly. “Well, that’s because we are so sheltered from the rest of the world.” said Daemon with a shrug. “Daemon would there be anyway I could get into the prison.” said Sanguis. Daemon’s mouth fell open as he stared at her in surprise. “Why the hell would you want to go there!” shouted Daemon in shocked surprise. “Shhhh! Big mouth. You see. Some of my friends are in there and I want to see them.” said Sanguis massaging her ankle. “Wait. So you came on that foreign ship! What kind of person are you!” hissed Daemon. “Truthfully, I am actually a noble who is traveling to the mainland. Is there anyway I can talk to my friends?” asked Sanguis smiling up at the slowly recovering Daemon. “Well. You’d have to be friends with our king or one of the princes.” said Daemon thoughtfully. “Siiiiigggghhh. Well, I have no other choice. I
either become good friends with one of the royalty or I break into the prison to see them. I really don’t want to have to break in. So, I’ll just get acquainted to one of the royalty.” sighed Sanguis rubbing her forehead. “How are you going to do that?” asked Daemon. Sanguis looked at Daemon thoughtfully. “Well, you are going to help me.” said Sanguis with a charming smile. “First, what are the names of the king, his wife, and all his children. Then I need to know anything they are well known for, ok?” said Sanguis turning to face Daemon. “Okay. There is King Desmoine, Queen Chelsea, Crown Prince Drean, Prince Darious, Princess Carmell, and the young Prince Chesel Daesmoinel. The king is very superstitious. The queen loves going to spas and various fashionable things. The crown prince is very studious and likes to study the plants and animals of this country. Prince Darious is very aggressive, he really likes snakes . The princess is very active, she likes sports and dancing. And lastly the young prince …. Well he has always been known as a playboy. But, he hasn’t been seen around lately… if you know what I mean.” finished Daemon laying on the bed. Sanguis leaned her head against the bed board. “Well, I guess in one way or the other I could somehow become acquainted with all of them. Wait. Where do they live?” asked Sanguis sitting up straight. “Oh they live here in Mehlek in the new castle it is on the eastern cliff above this town.” replied Daemon turning his head toward Sanguis. “Do you know where the queen’s favorite spa is?” asked Sanguis leaning over Daemon. Daemon stared hard at Sanguis. “Well. I have heard her favorite is the Spring Breeze Spa. But, it is very pricey.” Sanguis remained passive for a moment. Then her eyes lit up and her face brightened. "Sanguis?" said Daemon concerned. Sanguis jumped up off the bed and laughed. "Hahaha! Daemon get up quickly I need you to do something! Go to the best clothing store here and buy five yards of ...oh, at least ten different colors or prints etcetera of silk. Do not worry about expense. Ask for thread and needles and the necessary equipment to sew outfits with, oh also get some tishan cloth ... also five yards. Make sure everything is fine colored. And tell the owner that when you are done getting everything and when they have the time I would like to meet them today preferably. I will pay them when they come to meet me. Tell them that too." said Sanguis excited. Daemon shook his head. "Okay I shall. I will be back as soon as I can." he said with a sweeping bow. Sanguis went downstairs shortly after Daemon left. The Landlady was downstairs humming as she swept. She looked up. "Ah! Beautiful Lady! I heard that you have asked my nephew to go
on a errand." said the lady with a wonderful smile. "Yes ma'am. I hope that is alright?" said Sanguis with a kind smile. "Oh! Of course the more he can do the more he can keep his mind occupied." said the lady continuing to sweep. "Ma'am. Where could I find a servant I could hire?" asked Sanguis following the lady as she went. "Oh! Well, it is very rare to find a servant. We have mostly slaves around here. I have two. They help me with cleaning, cooking, and serving meals. You can go to the Slave Emporium, as it is called, they will get you whatever you need." she said gaily. "The Emporium is to the west about a mile out of town. You could rent or buy a horse at the Regal Stable(they have the best horses). It is at the end of this street. Tell them Aunt Cherry sent you." said Aunt Cherry guiding Sanguis out the door. Sanguis slid open the maple wood stable door of the Regal Stable. She hadn't seen anyone outside so she thought there may be someone inside. Smells of a stable swirled up to greet her as she closed the door behind her. The soft neighs of horses greeted her as her eyes grew accustomed to the dim light. Horse heads appeared over stall gates as Sanguis walked down the aisle way. The horses were all of fine quality and breeding. They were all distinctly unique. Sanguis comforted each horse as she went down the aisle. When she reached the end she noticed a side passage. Hmmm. I'll explore some, she thought heading down the passage way. It was very dark down this passage. There was just enough to make out the outline of an item. The passage ended at a stall door. Sanguis looked into the dark stall. She sensed some movement toward her. She stepped back slowly. The massive head of a horse lunged out at her. The horse had a fowl temper and stamped it's hooves hard down upon the wooden planked floor. "Shhhh! Shialle missah fweeraaa!" cooed Sanguis to the crazed horse as it reared and whinnied. She continuously repeated the phrase until the horse had calmed down and stood staring at her panting. "Tsk,tsk,tsk. You are a wild one my dear one. I like you very much though. Why are you down in here? Have you been a bad boy?" purred Sanguis sweetly as she held her hand to the horse allowing him to sniff her. "Well. I'll be. He didn't kill you." said a deep voice from the darkness behind Sanguis. The calmed horse went wild, rearing and pounding down upon the stall door. Neighing shrilly and angrily. "Shialle Srieea Praette!" said Sanguis loudly and firmly. The horse stopped his fit and shied away, a little ashamed. ".... Come with me miss." said the shadow of a man as it turned and went back to the main aisle. "Good by my dear one. I will come back." said Sanguis following the shadow.
Outside the stable Sanguis looked over the man before her. He was an old man he was a little bit shorter than average height and had a long yellow white beard. He also had a bit of a hump on his back. "Well, I could have you arrested for tresspassin' you know. But, I'll hear the reason why you where in there." said the man crossing his arms over his chest. Sanguis looked down upon the man. Her face was void of emotion again that day. "Good sir. I was sent here by Aunt Cherry to rent or buy a horse. Since there was no one here to receive me I thought I would look at the horses. They are all so beautiful and so loving." said Sanguis with a warm smile as she said the last line. "Oh. All right. My name's Red. Me and my sons take care of our horses. We bred and care for every one of them with our own hands." said red with pride. "Mr. Red. That horse that was back there in the dark. Why is he back there?" asked Sanguis concerned. "Siiiiighh. Well that one wasn't raised here. We found him as a colt after a terrible hurricane. A fisherman found him down on the beach and brought him here. He has been a bit crazy ever since. I can't kill him though he is a rare breed. he has killed at least two slaves." said Red sadly. "Will anyone buy him?" asked Sanguis following Red to a side building. "Hell no! They'd as soon spit on him then buy him!" said Red heatedly. "I want to buy him." said Sanguis decisively. Red stopped in his tracks. He spun around. "YOU! Want to buy him!" cried Red eyes a bit wild with surprise. "Yes. How much is he?" asked Sanguis not reacting to Red's facial expression. "He would be at least 10 sirels." said Red decisively. Sanguis looked at Red without emotion. "May I see him in the light? Then I'll buy him." she said turning toward the stable. Red ran to get in front of her. "Now listen you'll get hurt if you get near him." he said blocking her way to the stable door. "He won't hurt me. I won't let him. Now you go and open the gate to the corral. I'll bring him out there. Go on. Don't worry." said Sanguis with a reassuring smile. She pushed him gently towards the coral. Sanguis went into the stable again. She walked straight to the side passage and down to the stall door. The horse stuck his head out to her. "Hello dear one. I'm going to take you outside. But, you have to listen to me okay." she said unlatching the door. The horses ears perked up. Sanguis opened the door The horse stood there considering what it should do. "Come dear one." said Sanguis taking a hold on a lock of his mane. He was extremely tall at least taller then eighteen hands. Sanguis had to reach up to hold onto his mane. Sanguis led the horse slowly toward the bright light coming in through the open door. They reached the door and the horse stopped and looked around. He stamped a hoof. "Tsk,tsk,tsk!
No no dear one you don't try anything bad. Be a good boy." said Sanguis nudging him through the door and into the coral. Red closed the door behind them. "Well I'll be." said Red shaking his head. "At the sound of his voice the horse reared up, his eyes rolling around in his head. He whinnied spittle dripping from his mouth. He took off with a gallop running around the coral. Red ran to him raising his arm up, trying to get him back over to the door. The horse reared up his hooves pawing the air. "Watch out Red!" yelled Sanguis running with surprising speed to Red. As the horses hooves came down at Red's unprotected head Sanguis shoved him out of the way. The hooves hit her square on the back. Then he reared up again and hit her in the ribs." Shialle Srieea Praette!" cried Sanguis in pain and anger. The horse neighed and shimmied away from Sanguis calm again. Red kneeled down to Sanguis' side. "Are..." he started to say. "No! Don't say anything. Your deep rough voice makes him angry. Wow. He is beautiful." said Sanguis in awe as she looked at the horse. He had a golden red colored coat with a brown black mane and tail. In the sunlight he looked like fire and earth. Especially because his eyes were green like plants after a rain. "Wow. Green eyes. He really is worth 10 sirels. I will gladly buy him." said Sanguis moving to stand. She hurt where she had been struck. She felt very stiff and her bones tingled. Red looked at her concerned. The two of them went into the side room. It was a office basically. It had a couple of desks and various overstuffed comfortable chairs. "Please sit. Do you want something to drink? I have some wine. Oh! Forgive me women probably wouldn't want alcohol in a place like this." said Red mumbling and fiddling with cushions and pillows. "No! I’ll have some wine. I don't mind at all. Will you let me buy him?" said Sanguis settling into a chair. Red took out some glasses and a bottle of wine and sat in a chair across from here. "Listen miss..." "Sanguis" "Ah... Listen Miss Sanguis. That damned animal almost killed you. I really think I should kill him." said Red rubbing his head. "No! I will not allow you. I shall buy him. He listens to me. With my care he will be able to tolerate other people. You see... he is a warhorse. I can tell from the look in his eyes and his height. All warhorses are a bit violent if not trained. Besides if I buy him one: you'll get a lot of money and two: you won't have to feed him or worry about killing him." said Sanguis taking the glass of wine offered to her. "Sigh. I trust you all right you bought yourself a horse. You can pay me five sirels. It is the least I can do since you basically saved my life." said Red. "Thank you.” said Sanguis pulling out twenty gold coins from her pocket. Red's eyes widened. "My
Lady! I ... I ... thank you!" he exclaimed without hiding his joy. "Does that also buy me a good bridle and a cloth saddle and blanket?" asked Sanguis finishing her wine and standing. "Oh yes! My dear Lady!" said Red jumping up. "I shall get one of my sons from the field nearby and then I shall get a certificate of ownership signed for you." said Red pocketing the gold and swiftly running out and around the office. Sanguis giggled. Teehee! Oh what the power of money does!, thought Sanguis as she walked back to the coral. The fiery horse stood watching Sanguis come to the fence. He stood his muscles and body posture tense and focused. Sanguis leaned against the fence, watching the horse. He walked slowly toward Sanguis. His head lowered ears flicking. "Siiiiighh. You silly little thing. Acting like a half crazed colt." mumbled Sanguis reaching out a hand to stroke his nose. The horse stepped up to Sanguis and nudged her chest with his head. Sanguis smiled and laughed. She rubbed him behind the ears. "Your name shall be... Khorephes. It means Fire earth." said Sanguis leaning her forehead against Khorephes' head. "That is a nice name." said a man. Sanguis turned to see a man with red hair and brown eyes. He was probably in his mid-twenties. "Hello. Are you one of Mr. Red's sons?" Sanguis asked still rubbing Khorephes behind the ears. "Yes. I am his youngest my name is Addoh, my lady. Oh. I heard that my sister Cherry sent you." he said walking to the fence. "Oh! Cherry is your sister!" Sanguis said a bit surprised. Addoh smiled . "Yes she is the oldest child." he replied. "Well let me get your tack. And get you on your way." "Thank you." called Sanguis as Addoh left. Sanguis turned back to stroking Khorephus. Wait. That means that Addoh is Daemon's uncle, thought Sanguis "My Lady!” cried Red scampering toward Sanguis waving the document above his head. Sanguis raised a hand to her mouth hiding a grin. "Here you go all ready. Ah! Here comes Addoh with your tack." said Red gleefully. Sanguis smiled and took the cloth saddle and the leather strap that would serve as a bridle. Sanguis placed a hand on the railing and used it to vault her over into the corral, Khorephus shied away a few steps due to her sudden movement. "Come here Khorephus." said Sanguis kindly but authoritatively. Khorephus walked to Sanguis and stood still. Sanguis worked quickly strapping on the cloth saddle and tying and cinching the leather strap into the right shape and size for Khorephus' head. Sanguis walked to the front of Khorephus putting each of her hands on either side of his face. "Khorephus. Viese mahr zarrea." she said looking him in the eyes. "Beautiful Lady. What did you say to him?" asked Addoh. Sanguis
turned still holding onto Khorephus. "I told him to trust me." said Sanguis. Sanguis slowly got onto Khorephus. Addoh opened the gate. Sanguis turned Khorephus in the direction to go and nudged him forward. Khorephus trotted eagerly out of the corral and stopped as Sanguis told him to shifting under her, muscles tensed with anticipation. "Mr. Red. Which way is the Emporium?" asked Sanguis looking down upon Red. "Oh! Just follow this road. It will lead you right to it." said Red with a parting smile. Thank you for everything Mr. Red. Your family is a good one. You, your daughter, your son, and your grandson." said Sanguis with a kind smile Red looked a bit confused. "Grandson?" he said. "Oh, of course. Daemon." said Sanguis. Red thought, "Oh! Oh, yes. He has become a good young man." said Red smiling again. "Good bye!" said Sanguis spurring Khorephus down the road. Khorephus flew down the road. The wind spliced through Sanguis cold and hard against her silk clad body. Sanguis grinned and laughed. Thrilled at the speed. The two flew down the twisting path moving past hills on either side. They passed farms and some fields of sheep and cattle. Up ahead loomed a dark and foreboding stone stronghold. Sanguis stopped Khorephus at the edge of it's massive shadow. The walls alone must have been above fifty feet high. "Oh, no. This is just terrible. How...why.." whispered Sanguis trailing off as she looked up at the dark and gloomy structure. "Let's go Khorephus. Sanguis walked along the dark stone path up to a large grey building. She had been let in by a buff looking guard, who she was now following. She looked about there were many stone buildings all with no windows. There wasn't even any type of plant at all to be found. "My lady. Go on into the building and follow the main path until you get to a archway. And then you will be where you need to be." said the guard with a low bow. "Thank you my good sir." replied Sanguis gingerly walking through the opened doorway. Sanguis stood inside the doorway. As she did she heard the click of the door behind her. Inside the room was lushly furbished. The hallway was inlaid with mahogany wood and mirrors framed in gold. There were a porcelain statuette or pot every so many feet as Sanguis walked down the hall. There were no other doorways that she could see as she walked briskly. After a few minutes she finally saw the archway (which was also inlaid with gold) looking down upon her as she passed through. In the room a couple people looked up. Some were sitting in chairs and
others were behind desks. They all looked a bit surprised at the appearance of this young woman. Sanguis stood where she was, looking at the people, waiting expectantly. The people seemed to wake up from whatever they were thinking. A middle aged man stood up quickly and walked up to Sanguis. “Hello, miss. How may we help you?” asked the man. He was a short man who was starting to bald. He smelled strongly of perfumed oils. “How do you do. I have come here to acquire a slave or two.” said Sanguis taking on a authoritative tone. The man’s eyes widened. “Oh! Yes my lady. Please follow me. I shall take you to the superintendent of this place.” said the man scurrying off. Sanguis followed the fidgeting man to a large wooden door. The man knocked upon the door with a brass knocker. “Come in!” boomed a deep voice from within. The man opened the door and poked his head through the crack. “My Honor. A beautiful noble lady has come to acquire for herself some slaves.” said the man in a quavering voice. “Ah! Very good send in the lady.” the voice boomed. The short man turned to Sanguis some traces of fear still in his eyes. “My Honor shall see you my Beautiful Lady.” said the man opening the door wider for Sanguis. Sanguis gave the man a kind smile. “Thank you my good sir.” she whispered to him as she entered the room. Sanguis floated into the room looking straight into the face of a massive grizzly bear like man. His face was stone hard and scared heavily with battle wounds. He smiled a toothy (but kind) smile at Sanguis. He lifted a giant hand to indicate a well cushioned chair before him. “Welcome my dear Lady! Please come sit. I am Lord General Raebyl. How may I service you?” he asked his voice slightly hurting Sanguis’ ears. “I thank you my lord general. I have come here to acquire a few slaves.” said Sanguis smoothly sitting on the edge of the seat. “I see.” mused the man. “Forgive me but, why did you come in person. You could have easily sent one of your followers to take care of this business.” said Raebyl leaning into his over stuffed chair. Sanguis smiled, knowing he would have asked that. “My good sir. As you have probably noticed I am not from this area of this country. I have recently just moved here. And unfortunately I have not been able to get a house of my own. Sanguis floated into the room looking straight into the face of a massive grizzly bear like man. His face was stone hard and scared heavily with battle wounds. He smiled a toothy (but kind) smile at Sanguis. He lifted a giant hand to indicate a well cushioned chair before him. “Welcome my dear Lady! Please come sit. I am Lord General Raebyl. How may I service you?” he asked his voice slightly hurting Sanguis’ ears. “I thank you my lord general. I have come here to acquire
a few slaves.” said Sanguis smoothly sitting on the edge of the seat. “I see.” mused the man. “Forgive me but, why did you come in person. You could have easily sent one of your followers to take care of this business.” said Raebyl leaning into his over stuffed chair. Sanguis smiled, knowing he would have asked that. “My good sir. As you have probably noticed I am not from this area of this country. I have recently just moved here. And unfortunately I have not been able to get a house of my own. So, I am now staying at the [...] inn. Also, I don't like trusting the choice of someone who will work for me to a person other then myself." replied Sanguis matter-of-factly. Raebyl grinned. "Hahhaha! My dear beautiful Lady! I believe I like you. You sound like a military leader." he said smiling widely. "Well. Back to business. What type of slaves do you want?" he asked. "Well. I need a female who can attend to me. Help me with fixing my hair and such. But, she also must know some type of self defense or fighting technique, in case I need her help." said Sanguis. Raebyl looked at Sanguis. "Hmmm. Lady....?" he started. "Sanguis." she said. He raised an eyebrow. "Lady Sanguis. You have a very detailed depiction of a slave that you want. There are a few that should fit your description. How many slaves in total do you need?" said Raebyl propping his elbows upon the desk before him. "Two in total." she replied. "Two? As you wish my Lady. And the other slave?" he said. "I need a male that is very strong and can handle horses and other animals. He needs to also be able to protect himself and me. Also, it would be good if he was in tune with nature." said Sanguis. Raebyl looked confused. "In tune with nature?" he repeated. "Yes, one who likes and is good in and with Nature." replied Sanguis with a benevolent smile. This man is a bit slow. But, then again. If he's a general he must be smart. thought Sanguis. "Oh! Yes of course! There are a few but not too many." he said standing. "Come my dear Lady. I shall have my guards get those who fit the descriptions and put them in a slave compound that has been recently cleaned." Sanguis stood by a chair that a guard had brought for her. Raebyl sat in another chair to the left of hers. "Please, sit." said Raebyl motioning. Sanguis smiled. "If it pleases you I would prefer to stand." said Sanguis. Raebyl smiled comfortingly. "Don't worry my beautiful Lady. My guards shall ensure your safety as will I." said Raebyl misinterpreting Sanguis. "I thank you. But, just the same I would prefer to stand." she said kindly. Raebyl nodded to Sanguis. He raised his giant paws. Clap Clap! "Bring in the slaves!" bellowed Raebyl. Soon after, a bunch of slaves were herded into
the compound through some gates. Prodded forward by guards using the butts of their spears. The slaves were all thin but not under fed. Their clothes were tattered and dirty as was their skin and hair. Sanguis walked toward them. "Ahem! My Lady. There is no need for you to walk to them. My guards will push whichever you want to look at forward." said Raebyl. Sanguis turned her head back toward Raebyl. She smiled. "No need to worry my lord general." said Sanguis with a quiet chuckle. The guards and general didn't hear her chuckle but, the slaves did. Some of the slaves looked up at Sanguis. Some were shocked, one woman looked a bit amused. This woman caught Sanguis' eye. Sanguis walked in front of the woman. Sanguis smiled at her. The woman stared boldly back. "What is your name?" asked Sanguis. The woman opened her mouth. "My Lady, you need not converse with such a slave she is a rebellious trouble maker. She shouldn't even be shown to you. Here guard! Take her back to her compound!" shouted Raebyl jerking the woman to the ground. "My good sir! Mark your actions in front of me! There is no need for you to display such unchecked behavior. You, a general at that. Now. My dear woman. What is your name?" said Sanguis at that point totally ignoring Raebyl and focusing on the woman before her. The woman who had stood up while Sanguis was scolding Raebyl stared glaringly at Sanguis. Taking out her anger at life on Sanguis. The woman's mouth was set in a hard line. "My name is Makra, my Lady." said Makra with contempt dripping from her voice. Raebyl moved swiftly, his massive hand raised behind his head ready to smite the impertinent slave. Sanguis moved faster then Raebyl pushing the woman out of the way. Raebyl had to strain to stop from hitting Sanguis. Coming inches to her face. "My Lady! Why dare you protect such a slave! Do you..."said Raebyl his voice trailing off. He had stopped talking after seeing Sanguis' face. Sanguis' eyes were twin flames of burning stone, anger emitting from them. "Lord Raebyl. I am a patient woman. I have suffered your ways knowing well that you are a general and have your militaristic ways. But, I shall handle my own battles, sir. I need no one to fight for me when it is a personal battle." said Sanguis her voice cold and hard. Raebyl blinked. The guards and slaves all gave a soft collective gasp. "Ahem! My Lady. Never in my life has someone talked to me as you have. I have never been so degraded." he said staring down on Sanguis anger in his eyes. Sanguis didn't back down she stared at Raebyl with the same amount of fire as before. Raebyl's eyes softened. Then he burst out laughing with a great booming laugh. "Hahawhaw. You are something. You must have some fighting background or upbringing. Hoho! You are lucky that I like you." chuckled Raebyl going
back to his chair (still chuckling). Sanguis sighed and turned back to Makra. "Makra. I like you. I would love to have you by my side as a follower." said Sanguis smiling. Makra's mouth dropped open. "Bu..but.." said Makra stammering. "Dammit slave! Answer the good Lady!" shouted Raebyl. Sanguis turned and glared half-heartedly at Raebyl. "Yes, my lady. I will follow you." said Makra with a whisper. Raebyl stretched his massive arms. “Good that’s decided. Now, Corporal Soa, take the slave to the holding compound. Guard’s! Bring in the chosen male slaves!” ordered Raebyl with a nonchalant wave of his hand. Sanguis watched as Makra and the other female slaves were taken away. Sanguis leaned her head back and looked at the sky. Swirling sheets of clouds sped by leaving tails filming the dark blue sky. Black foaming forms loomed in the distance. Sanguis walked back to Lord Raebyl. "Please bring the male slaves out now." said Sanguis. "Yes, my lady." Sanguis sat down with a sigh. She leaned back into the chair provided for her. Another set of gates opened up. In was prodded a group of men, all with a pair of shorts and nothing else. Every man was thin enough to count each rib. There was one man that really caught Sanguis' eye. This one man, was very tall and had dirty blonde hair. He also had hazel green eyes, but if you looked closely enough you would notice that his eyes were slightly veiled in white. Sanguis stood. She stooped over and picked up a rounded rock. She walked over to the men. She stopped walking, "Catch!" she shouted. She hurled the rock at the hazel eyed man. His left hand flashed up in front of his face, catching the rock. Sanguis smiled. The mans face showed some surprise at what had happened. "Hehheh. Good catch. What is your name?" asked Sanguis walking straight up to him. "I am Geyr, my Lady." said the man looking down at the ground. "Would you like to serve me?" asked Sanguis. Geyr stood there silent. "I don't know.” he said quietly. Raebyl stood up out of his chair. Slinging it back. Raebyl stormed over to Geyr, hitting him over the head with his meaty hand. "You dumb animal! You dare show such disrespect to this good lady who has such a heart as to ask a worthless piece of fish food as you if you have an opinion in that empty head of yours!" bellowed Raebyl fuming in rage. Sanguis calmly grasped Raebyl's shoulder. "My Lord. I thank you for your concern but you have no right to belittle and abuse him for politely saying what he felt." said Sanguis with a vice like grip. Raebyl winced at Sanguis' strong hold. "My apologies my lady." said Raebyl a bit strained. Sanguis gave Raebyl a sardonic smile as she turned back to Geyr. "So, you are unsure. Is there anything I can do to help your decision?" asked Sanguis wholeheartedly. Geyr looked at Sanguis. "My
Lady. I will serve you to the best of my abilities. Do with me as you will." he said getting on one knee and bowing to her. "Very well. I shall care for you as well as I can." said Sanguis placing a hand on top of his bowed head. “Hahhaha! Wonderful! You were able to find the ones you wanted! Now, let’s return to my office and write up the necessary papers.” laughed Raebyl happily. Sanguis waited with Khorephus near the gates of the Emporium. She watched as Makra and Geyr were escorted to her by some guards. Sanguis smiled brightly. Makra and Geyr’s eyes lit with more interest and surprise. “Let’s go.” said Sanguis grasping Khorephus’ mane. Sanguis walked out of the gates and down the road a few steps. She turned to watch Makra and Geyr as they were pushed toward her by the guards. “Now, you ‘uns best not hurt My Lady. Behave and maybee shey’ll spare you ‘uns.” said a senior guard with a heavy accent.. Makra glared at the retreating backs of the guards making a vile gesture as they retreated. “Makra!” hissed Sanguis. Makra jerked her head towards her new mistress. “Don’t do such a thing when someone is retreating!” hissed Sanguis shaking her head. Geyr looked intently at Sanguis. “Ah. Geyr, Makra. This is Khorephus. He has a vile temper and is not fond of other people. Geyr, hopefully you can get him to like you. Because, he will be one of your responsibilities, at times. I will want to do some things too. But, I will not always be able to.” said Sanguis rubbing Khorephus behind the ears. “Yes, My Lady.” replied Geyr. Sanguis looked up at Geyr and smiled “Let’s go home, Geyr. Come on Makra!” said Sanguis taking Khorephus by the mane and walking down the road at a very brisk pace. Makra and Geyr stood still for a moment. “Come on! We need to get back before supper!” called Sanguis already far ahead. Makra and Geyr started after her. They looked at each other. Wondering where their lives were going with this eccentric beautiful lady. III They actually did make it back to the inn before supper. Actually they arrived three hours before supper was even served. Sanguis talked to Aunt Cherry about her two newly acquired slaves and accommodations for them. They settled with allowing Geyr to have a pad in the stable near Khorephus and that Makra could have a cot in Sanguis’ room. After settling that, Sanguis went up to her room. “Siiiiighh.” sighed Sanguis as she turned the key to her room. Her room was filled with cloth and sewing materials. Daemon stood talking to a middle-aged woman who was finely
dressed in gold silk. “Ah! Here she is Madame Beaua! My Lady Sanguis. This is Madame Beaua the owner of the exquisite store “Beauty Boutique.” said Daemon with a sweeping bow to Sanguis. Madame Beaua cocked an eyebrow slightly at Daemon. “Oh. How do you do, Madame Beaua.” said Sanguis velvety as she glided towards the two people. Madame Beaua gazed delicately at Sanguis and curtsied deeply. “It is an honor to finally meet you …Daemon… has told me about you and what you have asked for. Personally, I am very intrigued over you.” said Madame Beaua tilting her head. Sanguis smiled and laughed softly. “I am most certainly pleased to meet you. Now, down to business. I need you to help me make me a wardrobe. I need to be properly introduced into society here at the capital. Since, as you have probably heard, I am not from here. I will need formal ball wear, social visit wear, outdoors/exercise wear, shoes, and nightgowns. I will be able to pay you extremely well, so that you will be able to lend all your services to me. Are you willing to take on this challenge?” said Sanguis sitting on the uncovered spot on her bed. Madame Beaua looked down at Sanguis. She held her head high. “My Lady Sanguis. I am more then able to take on your “challenge.” How can I be assured that you will be able to… pay for my supreme services?” purred Madame Beaua with a sweet smile. Daemon shifted positions in the background. Sanguis stood suddenly. Causing Madame Beaua to step a little clumsily back. Sanguis smiled a cool smile and reached behind her. The cold metallic sound of a multitude of gold coins murmured against velvet as Sanguis produced a large purse. She opened the purse and dumped the contents onto a pillow. A chorus of sound filled the room, gold light danced in the wide eyes of Madame Beaua. She looked at Sanguis in awe. “My Beautiful Lady, it would be my honor to serve you!” exclaimed Madame Beaua giving Sanguis a floor level curtsy. “Good. Now let’s get to work.” said Sanguis standing. Knock knock! The sound of a person tapping the wood of the door reached their ears. “Come in!” said Sanguis turning towards the door . The door opened slowly and Makra poked her head in. “Ah! Makra! Just in time! You know how to sew right? We have to sew me some outfits, so I can be presented to society.” said Sanguis picking up a measuring tape. “Yes, my lady. I can sew.” said Makra quietly. She seemed a bit angry though. Sanguis turned. “First, though. You should take a bath and I’ll get you some new clothes and shoes.” said Sanguis shooing her towards the bathroom. Makra looked at Sanguis a little shocked (again) and smiled contently. “Now. Back to business. Madame Beaua here is a
measuring tape. Daemon there is some paper and a pen to write down my measurements. Let’s start.” said Sanguis standing ready. After taking measurements Sanguis went through the materials and had Daemon write down everything they had and how much. “Okay. Let’s start by cutting out the pieces for some social visit wear and a nightgown. We have to finish at least one social outfit tonight.” said Sanguis flipping through the list of supplies. Madame Beaua’s mouth fell open. “Tonight! My beautiful lady! That is not possible for even the best seamstress!” exclaimed Madame Beaua. Sanguis gave Madame Beaua a hard look. “My dear Madame. I am here and so is my servant Makra. Between the three of us. We shall finish it well in time. And then tomorrow we three shall work in the morning but then I will be going to the spa to become acquainted with fellow noblewomen and to rejuvenate after my long and hard journey.” said Sanguis with a look of exhaustion. Madame Beaua gave Sanguis a look of sympathy and pity. “My poor lady. Do not worry everything will work out. Have you had your supper? Since I have I can go ahead and cut out the fabric while you and Daemon go down and eat.” said Madame Beaua guiding Sanguis to the door. Daemon moved in. “Thank you, Madame Beaua! I’ll take her from here.” said Daemon with a grin as he took Sanguis’ arm. “Oh. Madame Beaua. Tell Makra that her clothes are outside her door and that when she’s done I want her to come and find me.” said Sanguis before Daemon closed the door behind them. Daemon guided Sanguis down the stairs. The laughter of other guests filled the air along with warmth coming from a fireplace downstairs. Sanguis loosened Daemon’s hand and walked downstairs. When they reached the dining hall many of the guests were already eating at their chosen tables. Aunt Cherry was bustling by at the time. “Ah! Lady Sanguis! How are you. Oh. Daemon, your Uncle Saylor is out back working with a horse that needs shoeing. He said that your Uncle Farnel is a bit put out that you didn’t come back to help him close down. You better help him tomorrow morning.” said Aunt Cherry with a frown. “Alright Aunt Cherry.” said Daemon with a smile. “Oh. My Lady there are some noble lodgers from the east side of the island.” said A. Cherry before she left. Daemon looked around. His eyes stopped on the table with the nobles. “Ummm. Sanguis if you don’t mind, I’d like to go and talk with my Uncle Saylor. I’ll see you later.” said Daemon patting Sanguis’ shoulder before he left. Sanguis walked over to an empty table in a corner and sat down with her back to the corner. She was brought something to drink and some bread to start out with. One noble man looked over at her briefly. He looked again longer this time. He smiled, his grey eyes warm and bright. The man whispered something to his
companions and stood up. His black hair seemed to shimmer as he walked towards Sanguis with a friendly smile. The man walked to Sanguis' table and stood there. "Hello. I couldn't help but notice you walking up to the inn with your fine animal." said the man. "My name is Carme."said the man sitting across the table. How do you do?" replied Sanguis coolly. The man smiled. "What is your name?" he asked. "My name is Sanguis." she replied. In the background Sanguis saw Makra walk into the room. She looked around and then spotted Sanguis. She started to walk toward Sanguis when a bulky looking man stood up and blocked her way. Sanguis was distracted from the man. "Miss Sanguis... Did you hear me?" asked the man. "I'm sorry. Please excuse me. I need to help someone." said Sanguis standing and walking away. Sanguis walked toward Makra and the man. "Well well well little missy. What is a slave like you coming in here all alone. Your master better watch out or someone will ruin you for him." slurred the drunk man. "Sir. I have no desire to talk to you. I need to go to my owner. So, if you would please move aside." said Makra moving to leave. The man blocked her way again. "Oh. No you don’t.” he said drawing his hand back to slap her. Sanguis grabbed the man's hand. "Sir. Is there a problem?" said Sanguis squeezing his hand with vicious strength. "OwwOwwoww! This here slave was walking around without her master. She even talked back and I got angry." whimpered the man. "I am her owner don't worry about her.... anymore." said Sanguis with a hard tone. "Come, Makra. I am going to sit at my table." she said turning to leave. As Sanguis walked away with Makra in tow, she heard the man moving quickly and then the ring of metal. Sanguis turned. The man held a dagger five inches from where her heart had been. But, Carme had drawn a sword and had stopped the other man's attempt. Carme moved quickly and grabbed the man by his collar. "You dare do such a thing to a woman! With her back turned too!" growled Carme Leave this room now and you shall not be placed under arrest!" he growled shoving the man away from him. The man fled from the room. Carme shook his head and walked to Sanguis. "Are you all right?" asked Carme. "I am, thank you." said Sanguis with a smile. Sanguis went back to her table with Makra and Carme. When they got there. Food and silverware was set out for them. Sanguis sat down with a sigh. Carme sat where he had been. Makra remained standing. "Makra sit beside me." said Sanguis indicating a open seat. "My lady. It is not seemly to do so." said Makra with downcast eyes. "Nonsense. Sit." said Sanguis authoritatively. Carme watched all this. "Are
you from the west part of the island?" he asked. Sanguis looked at him. "I am." she replied. "I see. I thought so. Usually people from the west are not as into owning slaves as people from other parts of the island." said Carme filling his plate with food. "So. You are a noble ." he said focusing on his plate. "Yes. My family was one of the minor nobles. Unfortunately, I have fallen very far and have come here to try and find my way into favor at court." said Sanguis leaning back into her chair. Carme looked at Sanguis for a few moments. "I'm sorry. I will try to do something for you. Please excuse me. I shall see you again, Lady Sanguis." said Carme as he stood. He gave Sanguis a bow and walked away. Sanguis watched him leave and then started to eat. She looked over at Makra. "Do you want some food?" asked Sanguis. "I do but, I dare not eat here." whispered Makra looking at the table. Sanguis grabbed a couple rolls and slipped them quickly into a napkin. Then she passed it to Makra. "Eat this in the room then. Should I get some for Geyr?" said Sanguis while she continued to eat. "Thank you, my lady. If you wish." replied Makra "I will it." said Sanguis taking some more food in a napkin Pray for newsstand. After dinner Sanguis went upstairs to her room and had Makra go and give Geyr his food. Sanguis' bed had been cleared off for her. Sanguis flipped through a couple patterns before she turned off the lights and went to bed. NEXT CH Sanguis woke from the first rays of light coming in from the rising sun. Sanguis stood up and stretched. Makra lay on her pallet deep in sleep. Sanguis smiled. She grabbed a pattern and quickly spread it out on the floor. Sanguis walked over to a pile of fabrics and looked them over. Sanguis chose a brilliant deep blue. Sanguis was very skilled and easily cut out the pattern for a dress. She worked quickly sewing and snipping here and there. Three hours later she had finished a beautiful gown. She then chose silver embroidery thread and began to embroider on the bodice of her dress. Makra woke up thirty minutes later. She stretched and yawned. Then she saw Sanguis sitting on the bed sewing. "Oh! My Lady! You should have woke me. It is not right that I slept longer then you." said Makra jumping up from her pallet. Sanguis smiled as she finished one part of the dress. "It is fine Makra. You looked so tired yesterday. Believe me. You aren't going to be sleeping in that late often." said Sanguis with a kind smile. Makra sat on the bed next to Sanguis. "Wow! Where did you get that beautiful dress." whispered Makra. "I made it this morning." replied Sanguis moving quickly with the needle. "You made
it. It is so rare that a noble can do their own anything. Oh! No offense My Lady." said Makra quickly. Sanguis stopped. She looked at Makra. Makra flinched. "I am sorry, My Lady. I have offended you." whispered Makra head bowed. "No. It isn't that. I ... I need to tell you something." said Sanguis hesitating "What my Lady?" asked Makra puzzled. "You mustn't tell anyone this. I entrust all my life in your hands. Makra, I am not from this country. Two days ago I arrived in this country on a outside ship. My crew and friends have all been taken and imprisoned. In truth I am Princess Sanguis of G. I am now trying to find favor with the royalty of this country to save my friends from the prison. I will need your help to get through all this." said Sanguis grasping Makra's hand. Makra sat shocked. She remained quiet. "Makra?" whispered Sanguis concerned. "So... you are royalty? ... Oh Dear! I am horrible! I haven't been up to standards to serve a noble let alone royalty! What am I to do!" gasped Makra bursting into tears. "Makra snap out of it! I will need your help this day. I am going to the spa. I will need you to teach me the way I am supposed to act at these spas. Here is the dress I shall wear. And I suppose these shoes shall do. Now. What are the spas like? What is the proper etiquette?" asked Sanguis. Makra hesitated. "I don't know very much. Only. Well, all the noble women go to the spa. Which is like a big pool, but it is alone depth. Ummm... I have heard that the women wear no clothes in all parts of the spa. They go about ... naked. But, the slaves wear a simple white tunic with nothing else. That is all I know." said Makra with a apologetic smile. “Hmmmm. That is a start." said Sanguis twirling a strand of her hair. Sanguis jumped up. "Makra! Help me put this dress on. Then I need you to tell Geyr to saddle Khorephus. And Finally I need you to find Daemon. That man who was in here yesterday. Okay?" said Sanguis starting to strip off her simple nightgown. Makra stared at Sanguis' body. "What?" asked Sanguis puzzled. Makra shook her head. "Uhh... Nothing." said Makra turning away. "Please tell me." begged Sanguis anxiously. "Well. It is just. You have such a perfect body. ...It is almost unearthly. But, then you have terrible bruises on your body and up close you can see faint scars." whispered Makra blushing deeply. "Oh. Are there bruises?" asked Sanguis trying to see her back. " Umm. On your back there is a massive hoof shaped print. And then your poor ankle is blue." said Makra. "Hmmm. Maybe this will work to my advantage. Well. Makra go do what I told you while I finish changing." said Sanguis putting on all her clothes. When Makra finally returned Sanguis was fully dressed and brushing her long silver hair. "Ummm.... My Lady. Master Daemon is here. Shall I let him in?" asked Makra leaning in from behind the
door. Sanguis turned. "Oh Yes! Let him in! Let him in!” exclaimed Sanguis floating toward the door. Daemon bounded in with a brilliant smile. He stopped dead in his tracks as he saw Sanguis. Sanguis was beautiful. She had beautiful exotic silver hair and brilliant violet eyes. She had full red lips and pale ivory skin. Her skin was always pale, even when she was in the sun all the time. She never burned or tanned. It always annoyed her. But, now with her beautiful blue flowing dress she was an unearthly beauty. "Daemon?" said Sanguis. Daemon shook his head, returning to reality. "Wonderful! You are a Heavenly Breath of Inspiration!" exclaimed Daemon with a deep bow. Sanguis actually giggled. "Well! You would be a perfect poet." said Sanguis. Then she became serious. "Daemon do you know anything about what a person is supposed to do at a spa?" asked Sanguis indicating a seat for Daemon. "Well I know enough from my aunt telling me what noble customers have said. They don't do anything much. They have their slave wash them and fetch them things. There are many different levels of the spa the richest and royals really love to go through each level. Though it is expensive. I have heard that First the noble goes and gets ... undressed and does little things. During that time the slave is briefed on what needs to be done for each level. After each one is completed there is enough time for the slave to be briefed on what comes next." concluded Daemon. Sanguis nodded.” Thank you Daemon. Makra, is Geyr ready. If so let's go as quickly as possible." said Sanguis standing. "Oh! Wait! Daemon. What are slaves of nobles supposed to wear." said Sanguis worried. "Oh. Well if the owner wants to look good they dress their slaves well." said Daemon. "Oh. Good. Then Makra and Geyr are all right. How do you get to that spa you mentioned yesterday?" asked Sanguis leaving the room. The others followed. "I'll take you." said Daemon following Sanguis down the stairs. Sanguis floated down stairs and into the corridor of the ground level. There were a few people lounging around. They quickly straightened up and acknowledged Sanguis. Sanguis smiled and nodded to each person. Aunt Cherry was at the front door that led into the court yard. Aunt Cherry's eyes widened. She curtsied deeply. "My Beautiful Lady! How are you today?" she asked bubbling. "I am fine. I am going to the spa today. I am afraid I am stealing your nephew from you again. He is being so kind as to lead me to the spa I wish to go to." said Sanguis with a charming smile. "Oh! That is fine. Have a good time." said Aunt Cherry opening the door. Sanguis went out into the blazing sunlight. She took in a deep breath of fresh air. Geyr stood over to the side with Khorephus. Sanguis smiled brightly and glided toward Geyr and Khorephus. "Good Morning G. Good Morning Khorephus. How was taking care of him Geyr?"
asked Sanguis rubbing Khorephus. "Fine. My Lady." replied Geyr simply. Sanguis smiled. Khorephus stomped his hooves and threw his head in annoyance. "Khorephus! Behave you silly goose. I will not ride you today if you don't behave." snapped Sanguis firmly grasping Khorephus' mane. He calmed down and hung his head ashamed. "Good boy. G, Makra, Daemon. Let's go." said Sanguis swiftly vaulting herself up to sit on Khorephus' saddle. The four people left the court yard. They drew many eyes as they walked/rode down the road. “Ummm. There is something I want to tell all of you. First, I am sorry that this has to happen, but I want word to get out about a new noble woman in town. I am also sorry that you three are being so badly degraded. I beg your forgiveness now. I will be doing things that I personally despise but, please don’t take to heart anything I say or do. I will personally tell you, in private, if I am angry or anything. Okay?” said Sanguis. Makra looked up at Sanguis and smiled. “I understand, My Lady.” whispered Geyr. Daemon turned and grinned. Daemon started to get wary and look around as if watching for someone. Then he stopped in front of a massive walled place. “Here you go. This is it. The Spring Breeze Spa. I’ll leave you now. Haha…. Have fun.” said Daemon with a bow. Sanguis rode through the open gate and toward the front door. A stable hand ran to meet her. Khorephus snorted and whinnied at the approaching young boy. “Khorephus! Stop it!” growled Sanguis. Khorephus calmed down but flared his nostrils at the boy. Sanguis smiled at the scared boy. “It is all right, son. My man, Geyr, will handle Khorephus. You can show them to the stables, please.” said Sanguis. Geyr moved to help Sanguis down. “Geyr. Just hold Khorephus please. I can get down by myself, thank you!” said Sanguis calmly. Sanguis seemed to delicately float to the ground. She rubbed Khorephus’ nose and turned to Makra. “Come Makra. Let us face the world of Noble women.” she said with a kind smile. Makra followed behind as Sanguis walked up the steps to the door. Sanguis stopped in front of the door and waited. Makra quickly stepped forward to open the doors. Sanguis smiled and entered the building. Inside was luxuriously furnished with stylish décor. Sanguis spied a desk with a plump pretty woman behind the counter. Sanguis glided toward the woman. The woman looked up, her eyes widened. It was rare that the spa had such a beautiful woman. She smiled. The woman appeared to be very wealthy, based on her gorgeous clothing. “Hello. I am afraid I am not familiar with you. How may I help you.” said the woman pleasantly enough.
Sanguis smiled. “Hello. I am Lady Sanguis. I have been informed that this spa is the best in the area. I would like to pay for the use of it.” said Sanguis smoothly. The lady stood and curtsied from behind her desk. “My Lady. I will gladly assist you. Who is your companion, may I ask?” said the woman. “She is Makra, my slave.” said Sanguis not looking at Makra. “Ah. I see. Well, how would you like your services. Do you want the reduced package or the full service?” asked the woman. She automatically reached for the reduced package. Sanguis smiled. “I would like the full services.” said Sanguis. “Do you wish to pay for it now or the next time you come?” asked the woman covering her surprised delight. “Now. Is perfect.” said Sanguis pulling out her purse. “Oh! That will be 1000 shiels.” said the woman pleasantly. Sanguis pulled out one gold piece. “This should pay for my next visit as well.” said Sanguis pleasantly. The woman led Sanguis to a door. "My Lady. Please enter in here and remove your clothes and choose a slot to leave them. I will take your servant to where she needs to go." said the woman opening the door. "Oh, my good woman. She is new and has not attended at a spa before. If she could be informed of what to do that would be much appreciated." said Sanguis with a smile. Sanguis looked about the lavish surroundings. She quickly stripped off her clothes and placed them in a vacant slot. Sanguis looked about again and saw a mirror. She walked over to the mirror and looked at herself. Her skin was a ivory white. Sanguis thought of all the many wounds she had received over the years. If she hadn't known where every wound had been inflicted then she would never have thought they were there. Sanguis silver hair was very long and reached her lower back. Her hair covered the terrible hoof bruise on her upper back. But, when she walked her hair swished and moved showing some glimpses of the bruise sometimes. Sanguis walked towards the next door. As she approached the door, it opened. Makra popped in dressed in a see-through white knee length gown. "my Lady, follow me." she said blushing bright red in embarrassment. Sanguis giggled softly. "Makra. What's wrong? Don't you like your outfit." Sanguis whispered quietly. "No, my lady. I do not. Oh, and just wait until you find out all the different things that are going to happen. We are going to be here for hours!" growled Makra unhappily. "Poor Makra." said Sanguis shaking her head. Makra led Sanguis to a room filled with a large pool. Some other
women and their servants were in the pool. Makra indicated that Sanguis was to get in the pool. Sanguis glided over to the pool and reached a foot in to check the temperature. The water was freezing! If Sanguis didn't have complete control she would have yelped. Sanguis quickly stepped into the bath. The water came up to her knees. Sanguis moved closer to where the other women sat. She then took her hair and held it as she sat in the cold water. Makra then took Sanguis' hair and twirled it up into a hairdo. Sanguis relaxed and looked around. There were seven other women and ten slaves. By the time Sanguis had sat down all the women were staring at her. All the women were overweight. They all sat there staring and Sanguis relaxing. Then one of the younger women who was further away then the others stood and walked toward Sanguis. She sat by Sanguis and smiled warmly. "Hello there! I am Lady Shieala. Who are you?" "How do you do, I am Lady Sanguis." replied Sanguis stretching her arms. Makra sat a few feet away behind Sanguis. Shieala's slave sat near Makra and spoke to her. "Oh. Are you from the west? I don't know anyone from the west. Except for the Lord Admiral Darmen and his new wife Lady Reisha. The west people are so strange, no offense, they don't like social things. I am shocked that you didn't yelp. Once one of the lady's came in and just plopped into the water. She screamed for bloody murder. I got so scared. I couldn't relax at all. I was appalled that they don't have spa's in the west. Don't you deal with agriculture and peasants out west?" said Shieala brushing her hand through her blonde bangs. Yes. Sadly so. Each noble has certain crops that their land specializes in. Although living out there was primitive I still wish I hadn't had to leave my home." sighed Sanguis sadly. "Oh! Poor dear! Please do tell why you had to leave." said Shieala Sanguis sadly looked at the interested woman. "Well... I don't want to say too much. But, my family fell on hard times. And I had to take all the fortune I had acquired and make my way here to the capital. Now, I am staying at the NN Inn. I am trying to find a place at court. It will be hard." said Sanguis moving her legs around in the water. Shieala looked at Sanguis with a horrified and sympathetic look. "Oh! My Poor dear! You and I are going to be best of friends. I demand it! I thought I was lost when my family died with debts leaving me poor. I thought no one would marry me! Then my sweet Raebyl asked me to marry him. Yes, he is a lot older then me but, he seems to love me very much. Plus, he cares for me dearly." Oh. I have met your husband Really? He is very gruff at times. Siiiiigggghhh. Isn't it just wonderful to be able to talk with someone of a like mind." said Shieala. Sanguis smiled. "True." she replied.
All of the women were still muttering to themselves in their groups. "Lady Shieala. Do you know all these women?" asked Sanguis. "I do. All of these are ladies from court. There is Lady Wisteria, she is a spinster, that is Lady Ellenna, Lady Tiana, Lady Ileen, Lady Haida, and Lady Gerria." "Are these all the people here in the spa?" asked Sanguis casually. "Oh. No. Some are farther along. Some take longer in certain areas. Oh! I almost forgot the Queen and Princess ??? are here. Maybe I can try to introduce you to them. But, I am not at liberty to do so. If one of them acknowledges me then I can." After that the two women went silent and sat relaxing. Some time had passed and then Makra scurried up to Sanguis' ear. "My Lady... it is time to move on to the next area." she whispered. Sanguis looked over to Shieala. "Lady Shieala. It is time for me to move on.” said Sanguis with a smile. "Oh! I shall come too!" said Shieala standing. Sanguis stood gracefully, turning she stepped out of the pool. Makra with downcast eyes and a blush handed Sanguis a towel to dry off with. After drying Sanguis followed Makra through a set of doors. Shieala followed chattering away. As they entered the next room a massive amount of noise greeted them. Sanguis looked down from the top of a staircase on a large multitude of women each in a steaming hot bath. "Well!" said Sanguis turning to Shieala. "There are a lot of women today. They brought a lot of their slaves with them." said Shieala heading down the stairs. Sanguis walked delicately past each tub. Many eyes were on her. Makra followed behind her quietly. Sanguis looked for an open tub and for one near someone who seemed of a high status. Sanguis finally decided to just choose a tub. Sanguis slowly got into the steaming tub. The water was almost boiling hot. Sanguis blinked away the pain and quickly sat. Her hair had shifted as she sat. Her bruise was visible for a little bit before she skillfully recovered it. "That looked excruciatingly painful." said a imperious voice from behind. Sanguis looked for an open tub and for one near someone who seemed of a high status. Sanguis finally decided to just choose a tub. Sanguis slowly got into the steaming tub. The water was almost boiling hot. Sanguis blinked away the pain and quickly sat. Her hair had shifted as she sat. Her bruise was visible for a little bit before she skillfully recovered it. "That looked excruciatingly painful." said a imperious voice from behind. Sanguis turned to the voice. Behind her was a woman who was a bit past middle age with brown hair that was starting to grey and bright brown eyes. She carried and sat herself with an air of authority and grace. He is a war stallion. I haven't had him properly measured though.
"A war stallion? Well! My daughter would love to meet you. She absolutely loves horses." "Really? Who is your daughter?" asked Sanguis signaling for Makra to begin whatever all the other slaves were doing. "Oh! She is Princess Carmell." said the Queen nonchalantly. Sanguis' eyes widened slightly. "Oh... Your Highness. I am sorry. I had no idea. I have never seen you before." said Sanguis in barely a whisper. Although she really had known she was the queen. The Queen smiled. "It is alright. I thought you didn't know who I was. Siiiiighh. I enjoyed it for a few minutes. Anyhow. Who are you, my dear? Where are you from?" asked the Queen. "My name is Lady Sanguis. I am from the western province. To my shame my family has fallen on hard times but, with some money that I had acquired I was able to come here. I am now living in the NN Inn." "Oh! Poor dear! You must be the noble my daughter had told me of. said the Queen with a surprised look. They remained quiet for a moment. Laughter filled the room. Makra was rubbing oils into Sanguis' skin. "Hmmm. Lady Sanguis I would like to see you tomorrow. I'll send an escort to your inn for you." "Oh! I am so honored Your Majesty! But, may I ask that I ride my stallion Khorephus instead of a carriage." said Sanguis happily. "Why yes you may." replied the Queen. Makra tapped Sanguis' shoulder. "My Lady. It is time to go." she whispered. "Your Majesty I must go now. It was wonderful to meet you." said Sanguis standing. The Queen stood as well. I shall go as well. Thank you for the delightful chat." said the Queen. A few hours later Sanguis returned to the well furnished room that she had undressed in. Entering she saw the Queen once again. The Queen sat on a cushioned chair, still naked, looking into a mirror. She looked at Sanguis. "Ah! Hello Lady Sanguis. I have been thinking. I believe I will take you with me to the palace. I do not want you to be alone again. I have already sent a messenger to get you rooms ready. I will send your slave girl and a group of men to the inn to retrieve your belongings. So, come now and get dressed!" exclaimed the Queen clapping for her servants to dress her. Sanguis turned to Makra and smiled. "Makra will you retrieve my clothes for me?" asked Sanguis. Makra quickly got Sanguis' beautiful garments and began to assist her in
dressing. After dressing, Makra quickly swirled the top of Sanguis' hair into a beautiful hairstyle. Sanguis turned to the Queen who had also just finished dressing. The Queen wore a beautiful red dress with plenty of gold embroidery. She also wore plenty of rings and a necklaces of high quality gold and precious stones. The Queen gazed at the beautiful woman before her. She marveled at how someone like her hadn't been found out about and taken from the country bumpkin of a town she probably lived in. "Well. You are very attractive, Lady Sanguis. I simply love your outfit. Come Let us go." said the Queen reaching out for Sanguis' hand. Sanguis gently grasped the Queen's lotioned hand and as they left the room, she looked back at Makra and gave her a reassuring smile. Sanguis gave a musical laugh at something the Queen had said. The Queen and Sanguis waited for their slaves to bring their transportation. GG brought Khorephus over to where Sanguis stood. Sanguis smiled and reached out to touch Khorephus. "Thank you, GG. Hello my beautiful Khorephus." murmured Sanguis rubbing Khorephus' nose. The Queen watched Sanguis' loving look and smiled. "He is very beautiful, Lady Sanguis." said the Queen watching Khorephus with wise brown eyes. Sanguis smiled at the Queen. The Queen's carriage came soon after. "Lady Sanguis. Let your slave follow with mine and I want you to ride on my right. So that I can see you." said the Queen settling into her carriage. Sanguis mounted Khorephus easily and looked down upon GG. "GG. Thanks for caring for Khorephus. I really do appreciate it. Will you please take care of him at the Royal Stable as well?" asked Sanguis thoughtfully. GG stood impassive. Then he smiled brightly. "Of course my Beautiful Lady." said GG with a bow. Sanguis smiled and prodded Khorephus forward to fall in line with the Queen's entourage. Sanguis trotted alongside the Queen's carriage through the city. People stopped and stared. Many threw little gifts to the Queen and some even threw gifts to the Beautiful lady escorting the Queen. As they left town Sanguis looked up at the top of the cliff at the magnificent palace. Sanguis shook with excitement. As they approached the Palace walls. They stopped at the front gate. After a few minutes of confirmation the gates opened and they entered in. Sanguis rode with the carriage up to the steps of the palace. Many people bolted through the large oak front door. Slaves and nobles alike ran forward to greet the Queen. The Queen politely smiled and greeted everyone. Then, to the shock of everyone, she ignored all the others and turned to the beautiful silver haired lady upon the war stallion. "Lady Sanguis come I will take you inside." said the Queen looking up at Sanguis. "Yes, Your Majesty." said Sanguis gracefully dismounting unassisted to the
surprise of all. The Queen shockingly then grasped the beautiful lady's arm. The Queen then guided the lady through the parting crowd and into the palace. Inside Sanguis looked down at the Queen. "Majesty. That was a very... expressive welcoming you received." said Sanguis interested. "Yes. ...Those at court seek favor in mine and my king's sight. Since, our children are ...rather different and at times difficult to find favor in others." replied the Queen honestly. The Queen guided Sanguis through elaborately decorated halls. "Highness. Where do we go?" Sanguis asked. "I am taking you to meet my husband. And after I shall take you to meet my children." replied the Queen leading Sanguis towards a large brass gilded door flanked on either side by soldiers. The soldiers bowed and quickly opened the door for the Queen and her exquisite guest. The doors opened into a library filled to the top with books, scrolls, maps, and documents. Sitting behind a massive desk sat a little man, who sat staring with beady eyes at them. "Hello, my king." said the Queen with a submissive curtsy. Sanguis gave a warriors bow unthinkingly. The Queen didn't see what Sanguis did but the King did. His little eyebrows shot up in surprise. Sanguis felt like kicking herself for her stupidity. "Sire, this is Lady Sanguis from the west. Her family fell on hard times and so she came to the capital in hopes of a better life. I found her at the spa and have decided to take her under my wing." said the Queen with a warm smile to her husband. "I see. Yes, a good and brilliant aura is coming from her. She has many great things ahead of her. She has a warriors spirit within her." said the King standing and walking toward Sanguis. "Hmmm. Sanguis. That is Aerianic for "blood." Correct?" said the King eyeing Sanguis up and down. "Yes, majesty. It is also Tiananese for "flower." My mother was Aerianic, though." said Sanguis with a pleasant smile. "Hmmm. Blood Flower. You are very beautiful...like a rose. Blood Rose! That is what you are form now on.! Oh and why would your mother name you "blood?" asked the King a bit troubled as he walked back to his desk. "My mother was ... I suppose what some would call a witch. And she thought of me as a devil when I was born. She said that I would be the cause of many deaths." said Sanguis simply. "Oh. I see. That is rather odd. Ummm... how is your mother lately?" asked the King very unsettled. "Oh. She died when I was one, because giving birth to me had strained her heart. So she died." said Sanguis simply. "Hmmm. I'm sorry for you. But, in truth I am glad because I don't do well with witches. I have some work to attend to.
I will see you both at dinner. Good bye love. Good bye Blood Rose" said the King with a dismissive wave. The Queen yet again led Sanguis through the maze like castle. Many people were in the halls this time though. The Queen guided Sanguis outside into the brilliant sunlight. Sanguis blinked at the brightness of the sun. They were outside in a magnificent jungle. "Wow! Is this the gardens! It is just magnificent!" exclaimed Sanguis walking briskly past the Queen and down the steps. As she stepped onto the first stepping stone on the ground she heard the soft twang of an arrow. Sanguis jumped to the side quick enough to feel the air of the arrow brush by her arm. More arrows started to fly. Sanguis skillfully dogged them all and turned to look to the Queen. "Majesty! Get out of here and save yourself!" shouted Sanguis. The Queen had a worried look on her face as she quickly fled to the inside. Sanguis turned and ran toward the jungle dogging arrows as they flew toward her. Sanguis reached the trees and listened. The faint rustle of leaves revealed the position of her attacker. She quickly jumped up and grabbed an overhead branch. Then, swinging herself she launched into the nearby tree toward her attacker. She jumped through the leaves and hit the attacker full on with her whole body. They both tumbled to the ground with the attacker underneath. Sanguis fell on the attacker as the attacker hit the hard ground. Sanguis quickly jumped up to see who the attacker was. The attacker was a man with dark brown hair. He was well built and a little bit taller then Sanguis. "Ouch." mumbled the man attempting to get up. "Listen here! I don't know who you think you are but, you have no right to shoot arrows at people. I don't know what your intentions were but, the Queen was in my presence so I could only think the worst. Now! Explain yourself before I lose my temper!" growled Sanguis fiercely. The man looked up at Sanguis with indignant shock. "How dare you jump me and tackle me to the ground!" shouted the man fuming with rage. Sanguis growled in anger. The man was deeply shocked "You haven't answered me." said Sanguis with a chilling cold voice. "Well. I didn't want you disturbing the kiwi birds that are nesting near here." said the man with a shrug. "So... you would willingly have shot us with arrows then have us bother some birds?" said Sanguis shaking with wrath. "I guess." he said with a shrug. Sanguis looked at the man with death in her eyes. The man was afraid for once in his life. "I am sorry. I am a little different from other people. Me and the birds are all I have come to care for." said the man. Sanguis took pity on the
sad looking man. "What's your name?" asked Sanguis. "My name is Prince Drean. I wasn't shooting at my mother, Her Highness. I was shooting at you." said Drean standing up. "Oh! Your Highness! I had no idea! ... I am not taking back what I have said. Even if you are a prince." said Sanguis turning and walking away deeper into the jungle. "Hey! Wait up! Who are you? I have never met a noble like you. I like you. Where are you from? Do you like birds? I have a aviary in another part of the castle. The birds are wonderful." chattered Drean. "Whoa! Sire. Let me answer your first few questions. I am Lady Sanguis. I am from the west. I recently moved here. Your mother, the Queen has decided to take me under her wing as she likes to say. And I do like some birds. I especially like birds of prey and the exotic rare birds." said Sanguis continuing to walk. "Wow! I really believe you. The court people usually say that but they don't really mean it. How old are you Lady Sanguis?" asked Drean interested. Sanguis stopped walking. "I am eighteen." said Sanguis listening. "Really? You seem so much older. Maybe it's your silver hair. I'm actually twenty-two." said Drean studying Sanguis' reactions and actions. "Ummm. Prince Drean. I hear horses and shouts. Is the stable yards near here?" asked Sanguis. Drean looked around listening. "Well, yes, the stable yards and training grounds are over to the northeast over there. Why?" asked Drean. "I think I will head over there." commented Sanguis. "Do you wish to come with me?" asked Sanguis being courteous. Drean's face lit up. "Why yes! I would love to." said Drean happily bounding away. Sanguis smiled and shook her head. She ran quickly after him. Drean stood on top of a hill looking down. Sanguis walked up behind him. "What is it?" she whispered. Drean turned his grey eyes to Sanguis. "Oh.... it's just the soldiers and horses and such." said Drean nonchalantly. Sanguis walked past him and started down the hill. Drean looked at Sanguis walking down the hill. His eyes changed colors slightly. He shook his head and started to walk slowly after her. Sanguis took a deep breath and opened her eyes. The musty warm smell of the stable greeted her as she walked forward into the stable. Drean followed as Sanguius softly walked over the straw and dirt flooring. Horses acknowledged Sanguis by sticking their heads out of the stalls toward her and neighing softly. Sanguis smiled and murmured sweet nothings to each of them as she passed. A familiar neigh caught Sanguis' attention. Khorephus nibbled at Sanguis' fingers as she reached out to stroke him. "Hey Khorephus. How are you?" asked Sanguis opening the stall door and bringing him out. "Drean. This is my Khorephus. He is my precious." said
Sanguis taking Drean's hand and showing it to Khorephus. "He is.... very big." said Drean backing up. "Yes he is. Do you want to ride him?" asked Sanguis guiding Khorephus out toward the outside. "Ummm. Sure." said Drean being nice. Sanguis giggled at Drean sitting on top of Khorephus. Drean had a hard time getting on Khorephus without a saddle. He now sat a bit stiffly on top of Khorephus grasping his mane like a vice. "You are doing great Prince Drean. Khorephus must like you. Usually he would buck people off,... or bite them, ....or kick them." said Sanguis with a reassuring smile. "Go on. Go for a canter." said Sanguis urging Drean. Drean unsurely gave Khorephus a stern kick. Khorephus gave a piercing cry and galloped away. Sanguis smiled and shook her head. "Hey! Lady! Come here!" shouted someone behind Sanguis. Sanguis turned, a bit disturbed at their rude call. A man waved Sanguis over to where the training grounds were. Sanguis sighed and walked briskly over to where the man stood. This man had medium length brown hair and deep dark grey eyes. He smiled triumphantly at Sanguis. "Okay. Good. Now... would you please judge whether me or my companion here is the best javelin thrower? All you have to do is see who looks the most at ease and who throws highest and farthest." said the man. "Okay. But, where is your companion?" asked Sanguis looking around behind him. "I'm here." said a familiar voice. Sanguis turned. Sanguis turned and saw the man who had talked to her that night at the inn. "Oh! Hello miss. How are you?" said Carme. "Sanguis smiled. "I'm fine." she replied simply. "I got the javelins, Darious." said CCC. "OH, good. This lady here is judging for us." said Darious then ignoring Sanguis. Sanguis climbed nimbly over the fence and gracefully jumped into the training ground. Carme gave Sanguis an interested and approving look. "Nice. Usually women would climb awkwardly under or sit on the fence then swing their legs over" Carme said vaulting over the fence slightly awkward. Sanguis stood to the side trying not to laugh at the antics of the two men. "Are you all ready?" asked Sanguis with a grin. The two men looked at Sanguis then each other and nodded. "Okay. Ready, set, ....throw!" shouted Sanguis watching the javelins plummet through the air. The two landed a little way away. Sanguis ran to where the javelins landed, lifting her dress off the ground. Sanguis noticed that they both landed the same distance away. Sanguis then walked back with the javelins in hand. "Well?" asked Darious a bit impatient. Sanguis smiled. "Well. You both threw the same distance. Plus, you both must have learned from the same teacher or disciples of the same teacher, because your form was exact. But, Carme
threw highest.” said Sanguis with a bright smile. Darious looked like he was about to explode. His face turned a brilliant red. “What the Hell!! No Way! I will not settle for it! You beating me1 It is absurd! You, girl, you must be mistaken!” boiled Darious. Sanguis looked at Darious levelly. “My good sir.” began Sanguis calmly but with blazing eyes. “There is no possible way I could have made a mistake. I assure you.” said Sanguis with a reassuring smile. Darious sniffed a bit smugly. “Please! You… a female… could have no idea of even how to use such a thing.” scoffed Darious rolling his eyes. Sanguis was boiling over mad. “Well then I’ll just damned well prove that I do too know what I say I know.” growled Sanguis grabbing a javelined back from Darious. “Ummm… Miss Sanguis can you honestly throw a javeline well in that dress.” said Carme a little doubtful. “I sure can.” snapped Sanguis spinning around to face down the field. Sanguis took a deep breath and in one fluid graceful motion, she hefted the javeline high up into the air. The javeline sliced through the air and continued to go even farther as it started to come back down to earth farther away. A dull thud followed the javeline hitting the ground. Darious and Carme said nothing. They merely stared in shocked awe. “W…W…. w.w..w…w….” stuttered Darious unable to finish a sentence. “Wow. You have warrior training.” said Carme softly in awe. Sanguis turned and started to walk away. Her face slightly pink with shame. “Miss! What is wrong? We are sorry. Don’t leave.” called Carme running after Sanguis. Sanguis stopped. Carme ran around to face her. “I’m so ashamed. I let my temper use my skill to show off. Please forgive me.” mumbled Sanguis very sad. Carme put his hand under Sanguis’ chin and pushed her face up to look at him. He smiled. “Don’t worry about the past. Focus on what you can do in the future.” he said dropping his hand. Sanguis nodded. Drean and Khorephus galloped back over a hill toward the training ground. Khorephus easily jumped the fence and pranced toward Sanguis. Sanguis smiled and reached for Khorephus. Drean looked bad. He seemed on the verge of motion sickness and shock. Carme laughed. “Drean! Look at you up on a horse! This is a treat!” he laughed. “Hi… Carme. Hey Darious.” wheezed Drean falling off of Khorephus. Khorephus whinnied and stomped his fore hoof. “Khorephus, behave.” said Sanguis tapping his nose. Khorephus threw his head up and down. Sanguis grinned and ran toward the fence. Everyone was taken by surprise when the dainty looking Sanguis sprinted away in her lovely dress. Her gown swirled and rustled. She jumped up in one movement and stood upon the top of a fence post.
“Come on!” called Sanguis to the guys and Khorephus. They looked at each other and started after Sanguis. Sanguis leaped down from her perch and ran toward the barn. Khorephus easily jumped the fence again and galloped at full speed toward Sanguis. The other fellows had a little more trouble but they did very well. Sanguis ran into the barn and to Khorephus’ stall. Khorephus followed. “Go on in. I’ll come and see you tomorrow.” said Sanguis closing the door behind him. Sanguis then ran out of the barn just as Carme and Drean reached the edge of the barn. Sanguis smiled and ran up the hill. Darious was lagging a bit behind. Sanguis reached the top and started toward the castle. She turned and ran backwards so that she could see how the fellows were doing. Carme was blazing toward her with Drean a foot behind. Darious was move faster but he was still pretty far back. Sanguis turned back around and pulled her skirting up a bit more. She took longer strides and regulated her breathing. Sanguis ran up the stairs to the castle. She stopped and smoothed her dress and hair. The fellows were pretty far back now. She could see Carme and Drean competing for second place and Darious moving in to try not to lose. Sanguis walked into the castle. A few nobles were loitering about. Sanguis walked up to one of them. “Sir. Do you happen to know where Her Highness the queen is?” asked Sanguis. The man turned to the beautiful woman standing by him. “Ah… ummm… she is most likely in the Royal Salon.” said the man blinking. Sanguis smiled brightly. “Thank you!” Sanguis replied as she turned and went back outside. Carme and Drean ran up the steps with Darious on their heels. They reached the top and nearly collided with Sanguis. They stood gasping and laughing. Sanguis smiled. “Prince Drean do you know where the Royal Salon is? I need to reassure the Queen.” said Sanguis turning back toward the door. “Oh. Yeah. I’ll lead you.” said Drean following. “Hey! We know where it is too!” grumbled Darious as he followed a long with Carme. Sanguis entered and this time everyone turned and watched silently. They all stood against the wall. They seemed to be trying to stay as far away as possible from the enterers. Sanguis slowed down to walk between Carme and Drean. “Ummm. What is wrong with everyone?” whispered Sanguis. Drean and Carme looked at each other over Sanguis’ head. “Can’t you tell? Don’t you feel it?” asked Drean interested. “Feel what? It looks like they are all scared stiff.” said Sanguis matter-of-factly. Carme sighed. “Yes they are. It’s because they can feel our aura’s so strongly. The aura’s aren’t really controlled. How can you not tell? Doesn’t it hurt your ears, and other senses to be near us?” asked Carme a bit sad. Sanguis looked at Carme and then
Drean and then back to Carme. “Oh. That? Is that all?” said Sanguis a bit nonchalant. Carme and Drean stopped walking. Sanguis continued a little and then turned back puzzled. Drean and Carme looked at Sanguis. “What?” asked Sanguis walking back. “You knew but, it doesn’t affect you?” asked Carme. “Oh, no. It couldn’t. Sure it is rather strong but I am accustomed to much stronger aura’s. I don’t know if you can tell. I have a rather strong aura but, I can control it and hide it.” said Sanguis turning to continue down the hall. They continue in silence for a little while. “Ummm… Sanguis do you think you could help us out. All four of us cause people pain. Although it’s nice that people don’t bother us like mother and father. Still...” said Drean trailing off. “Sure. No problem.” said Sanguis simply. Drean took the lead again and guided them. Finally they got to the Royal Salon and entered. The queen was having her hair done elaborately by a hairdresser. The queen spotted them in the mirror. “Ah! Lady Sanguis! I am glad you are all right my son is very… eccentric. Oh! I see you’ve met most of my children!” exclaimed the queen, thoroughly distressing the hairdresser with her movements. “Your Children? I haven’t met them formally.” I replied figuring out which prince was which. “You shall tonight at the ball. Carme, sweet one. Take Sanguis to her room, the Ruby Room, and help her get ready for the ball. You get ready there too.” said the queen. Carme smiled at his brothers and took Sanguis to another part of the magnificent castle. Carme and Sanguis didn’t talk for awhile. “I’d like to thank you again for your help at the Inn that night. …But, if you are a royal child why would you go out like that?” I asked. “Well, I had to meet someone.” Carme responded. “Oh.” Sanguis replied. Carme opened a red door for Sanguis. Sanguis entered and gasped. The room was very beautiful. It was mostly red. Inlaid in the wall were various rubies of varying styles and cuts. The wood was all red tinted and glossy. The fabrics of the room were sheer and silky. Sanguis walked around looking at everything. She had never seen such a magnificent room in all her travels. “Nice isn’t it.” said Carme walking toward a closet. “Let’s get you a beautiful outfit for the ball.” said Carme opening the door and going into the closet. Sanguis felt a little uneasy. “Ummm.” she started to say. “Hey Sanguis what color dress do you like? I think you would look good in a red. Okay?” asked Carme brows raised in question. “Ummm. Sure!” Sanguis said brow furrowing slightly. “I like blue on myself.” Carme said with a grin. “Here! Put this on!” said Carme pulling out a dress that would be tight in all the right places. “Ummm. Okay.” Sanguis said eyeing Carme. Sanguis took the dress and went behind a silk screen dressing
curtain. She was very nervous about having a man in the room too. But, he had helped her and she didn’t want to … offend him. It was easy to put on the dress. Sanguis went back into the room. “It is a lovely dress.” Sanguis said looking up. She stopped moving and stood frozen. Carme had started taking off his clothes. But, he wasn’t a man. He was a woman! Carme looked at Sanguis suddenly. “Oh, wow. You look good in that. What should I wear? I think I look good in blue. Sanguis? Are you well?" Carme asked dropping her shirt on a chair and coming over to Sanguis concern on her face. "You... are a woman?" I asked staggering a bit. Carme looked confused then her face turned to amusement. "Yes. I don't have much of a chest and go about in men's clothes most of the time. You aren't the first to think I'm a man. I am formally, Princess Carmella." she said with a kind smile. “Oh! I beg your pardon, Your Majesty. I didn’t know.” Sanguis said kneeling. “Stop that! There is no need for that! Get up and help me pick clothes.” Carme said chuckling. Sanguis and Carme laughed as they walked down a hall corridor. Drean appeared suddenly in front of Carme and Sanguis. “Lady Sanguis, will you do me the honor of being my escort tonight?” Drean asked with a flourishing bow. Sanguis blinked in shock at Drean. Carme laughed and nudged Sanguis in the ribs. “Looks like Drean has a thing for you.” Carme said in a stage whisper. Sanguis blushed faintly. “Yes, I would be honored.” Sanguis said handing her hand to Drean. Drean kissed her hand with relish and led her down the hall.