Chapter two of Eternal Awakening. In the last chapter, Richard had just spent an unusual night with his friend May when he suddenly fell unconscious in his room.
Magic and Servitude
Richard's night couldn't get any worse. It had all started out well enough, a nice home cooked meal prepared by his best friend and some good television before a nice long hot shower. If you could believe it, which he really couldn't still, the night had actually gotten a little better than he could have ever expected it to. Through a set of events he couldn't actually remember now, he had found himself at the mercy of his friend May and ended up being straddled by her on his bed. It wasn't everything he had been thinking it would be, but his first time was still pretty damn great. The feelings of having her impaled on the end of his dick would probably be with him for as long as he lived.
If it could have ended like that then he would have died happy; but it didn't. Right at the peak of their passion the worst possible thing happened: May had moaned another person's name directly into his ear. In a matter of seconds it was all over. After all the pain and tormenting he had lived through up until that point paled in comparison to the hurt he felt from that moment, and it was all the worse coming from the only friend he had ever had. Sadly, things didn't end there either.
He didn't know what had happened, or even why it had happened, but one moment he was standing in his room arguing with May about what she had done, and the next he was falling unconscious. When he finally came to he suddenly found himself in a tiny and very dark cold stone room with nothing but straw to lay on and a small bucket in the corner to do his business in. There was only a single door and it was made from heavy metal and bolted shut from the other side, and no matter how many times Richard banged on it no one would come and open it. It was like he was in jail or something.
There was no clock and no window so he had no idea just how long he had been in there, but judging from how sore and tired his body was he guessed it must have been a while. All he could do was lie in the hay and try to warm up his naked body as best he could as he waited for someone to come and find him. If he really was in some kind of third world jail then shouldn't someone have come around to make sure he was still alive by now? It had been quite a few hours since he had woken up and he hadn't even so much as heard someone walking around on the other side of his door. It was like he was the only person in the entire world.
Richard knew he was cursed with extraordinarily bad luck, but things had gone to a whole new level. With the way his life had gone it was a very real possibility that he would end up dying in that little cell from dehydration and no one would ever know about it. That thought made him cry for a few hours but his tears quickly ran out and he was forced to sit there in silence as time moved around him. He forced himself to focus on the scratching sounds coming from the wall and he searched for a mouse hole, not really sure why it even mattered if he found it.
Close to eight hours after he had come to, at Richard's best guess, there was suddenly a sound coming from the other side of the door and he recognized it as the sound of metal grinding against metal. A moment later the door swung open on noisy hinges and blinding light from what appeared to be a torch splashed across his face and he had to shield his eyes from the pain.
'Wait outside, Coni,' a soft and elegant voice spoke and Richard peered out between a crack in his fingers to spy a tall and beautiful woman with chestnut brown hair and pale skin standing in the open door. She wore a heavy yet gorgeous dress that looked like it belonged in some historical movie rather than on an actual person.
'Your Majesty, it's not safe for you to speak with the criminal alone,' another soft voice spoke but the words felt hard. Standing just behind the first woman was another, a little shorter with blonde hair that hung over her shoulders and a hard look on her pretty face. She wore a similar dress to the first person but it was easy to see that she didn't feel comfortable in it at all, as she kept fidgeting with it while holding firmly onto a blazing torch.
'He is unarmed, cousin,' the first woman spoke without looking back at the other woman, 'and he poses no threat to me. Do as I say, please.'
The second woman scowled deeply but nodded stiffly a second later and closed the door, locking Richard in with this regal and powerful looking woman alone. Figuring that at any minute he was about to get abused, like he always did when meeting a new person, he scampered backwards as far as he could go, his naked back pressing up against the cold stone wall and sending a shiver through his body.
'You are quite the enigma,' the woman spoke softly and took a step towards him, the torch in her hand wavering in the darkness, 'Do you fear me?'
'I... it's illegal to lock me up like t...this,' he stuttered and tried to talk his way out of his situation. He wasn't even sure why he was being held in the first place.
'Oh, is it? I'm not aware of that law. Do you by any chance know who I am?' the woman asked and her face remained neutral in the flickering light. Richard shook his head slowly, not sure where this was going. 'My, how interesting. Let me educate you a little then. I am Queen Lystia, Monarch of Alysia and mother to Reiea, Crown Princess of Alysia. You are currently being held in the jail hidden beneath the Eternal Palace as my prisoner. We can change that title though, if you were to answer some questions as honestly as you can.'
Queen's? Princess's? Talk of lands he had never heard of before and sure didn't even really exist? What was going on here? Was Richard on some kind of crappy prank show or something? None of this made any sense and it made him almost laugh. This woman couldn't honestly be serious, could she? Maybe she was had a few screws loose or something because she seemed pretty damn crazy.
'What's going on here?' he asked, a little more confidence in his voice. 'Is this some kind of bad joke or something?'
'What's your name and where are you from?' the woman who called herself a Queen asked and her face was serious. She seemed to believe everything she had just told him completely.
'Ugh,' Richard groaned and decided to just get this over with. Who knows, it might actually get him out of there. 'My name is Richard Dawson and I live in Washington, D.C..'
'That is the name of your country?'
'What? No! Washington is the city, D.C. is the state, and the United States is the country! You know, the center of power in the modern world?' he asked but the Queen looked at him with a curious tone. 'The President of the United States lives in that city! Why are you looking at me like I am crazy?!'
Queen Lystia gazed thoughtfully at Richard for a few moments, her eyes never leaving his face; which he was thankful for considering he was currently cupping his naked genitals with his hands. The woman took another step towards him and knelt down, their eyes level and the torch slightly warming his skin. He almost felt like a moth for a moment as the desire to get closer to the flame entered his mind, but he really didn't want to get any closer to this crazy woman than he already was.
'How did you get into the palace, and more importantly, how did you get into the east wing? And why were you naked when the guards found you?' she asked and Richard blinked at her.
'I... I don't know,' he admitted. After everything went dark in his room he had no recollection of anything else until he woke up in the cell. 'I... I was in my apartment, with... a girl, and the next thing I know this bracer was on my arm and I fell unconscious...'
Richard's cheeks flushed red as he openly admitted to being naked with a woman and he couldn't help but notice the small smile play on the beautiful woman's lips. She reached out her free hand and moved it towards his left arm where the bracer was. Fearing that she was actually about to hit him, Richard pulled back and stood up, trying to find a hole in the wall so he could just disappear.
'I won't hurt you,' she said softly and retracted her hand a few inches, 'I just want to see this bracer you speak of. May I?'
Richard really didn't want her to, but he didn't see any other choice. He was stuck in a small cell only a foot and a half away from some strange woman who continued to get closer to him. If, in the almost infinitesimal chance, what she was telling him was true about her being a Queen then it wouldn't be good to deny her request. He was already locked up, but that wasn't even the worst thing that could possibly happen to him. So, against his better judgment, he held his left arm out and let her grab hold of his hand and bring it closer to her face.
'Hmm, very interesting,' she said almost under her breath and continued to gaze at every inch of it. She held onto his hand for what seemed like five minutes before she finally released her grasp and took a step back, turning back to the door.
'For helping to save my daughter's life I would like to extend the invitation for you to stay here as my guest.'
'I... I really just want to go home,' Richard said but didn't move from where he stood against the far wall.
'We will speak later on that subject,' the woman said and the tone in her voice made it clear that it was final. She knocked gently on the door and a second later it opened as the woman who had been standing on the other side of it quickly took in what she saw before her. 'Coni, take my guest to the east wing and give him a room. He'll need a good meal and a hot bath.'
'The east wing, Your Highness?' the younger looking woman said loudly and her face was once again angry looking. 'It's forbidden for a man to step foot there! What will people say when they hear of this?'
'They will not know! And if they do then I will know who spread the word, won't I?' the Queen said sternly and the other woman's face dropped a bit at the sudden seriousness. 'After you have shown him to his room go and notify your older sister that I wish to speak to her before this night is over. Is that understood?'
The woman nodded slowly and the Queen brushed past her, the heavy material of her elegant white and red dress rustling with each step. She disappeared from sight and Richard could hear the heels of her shoes rattling against the stone floor and take her further away until the sound vanished. Coni still stood in the doorway, staring Richard down like she would attack him at any moment. Thankfully she didn't. Instead she tossed him a heavy black wool blanket that he hadn't seen her carrying and moved aside so he could leave the smelly cell.
'Cover yourself up,' she breathed, 'We don't need you startling the staff!'
Richard quickly wrapped the large blanket around his naked form, sighing in relief as he was both protected from the chilly air and the strange glances people were sure to throw him if he walked around naked. Coni walked away and he followed, keeping a few feet of distance between them just in case. She didn't seem to be the friendliest of people to begin with, and if she was anything like every other person he had ever met she would end up coming to loathe him in no time as well.
He was directed through long winding halls, up stone steps barely lit by torches, and past more than three dozen identical jail cells. When they emerged at the top of the staircase he found that the entire style of the place had suddenly changed. It no longer looked old and dark. Every hall they walked down now was well lit with many torches, the stone walls and floor no longer cracked or rough. Large and very expensive paintings hung from the walls and a plush red carpet lay at his feet, the soft fibers soothing his sore arches. It really did look like a palace, something you would see in a movie or read about in a book. He had never seen something so awesome and amazing in his entire life.
Coni led him through a few wide halls and then up another staircase, one that spiraled around a massive pillar and seemed to reach up to the heavens. When they finally reached the landing of the next floor he was a little out of breath and his already sore legs were screaming at him to rest for a while. He didn't get the chance as once again Coni began to lead him through more stone hallways that seemed to go on forever. Before he even realized it the grey stones that had made up everything around him suddenly shifted and were quickly replaced by perfectly hewn blocks of white marble, the torch light sparkling off them and dazzling him.
'This is the east wing,' Coni grunted in an unbecoming way as she continued to walk, passing a rather old looking painting of a noble looking man and woman. 'This is where you will be staying for the night. If you breathe a word to anyone outside these walls that you were here, I will kill you myself.'
Richard could only nod at the threat as his attention kept wandering. The weariness that had crept into his brain was making it hard to concentrate on any one thing so his eyes kept shifting back and forth, taking in everything almost at once. As soon as his eyes left one sparkling object and moved to the next he didn't even remember what he had seen before. Right now he was in dire need of a warm and comfortable bed so he could sleep the next week away in peace. He doubted he would be that lucky though.
The finally came up to a large wooden door built into the tall massive wall on the left side and Coni swung it open, the hinges not so much as squeaking. She lifted one arm and motioned for him to enter, an almost disgusted look on her face as she looked him up and down. What was this woman's problem, seriously?
'This will be your room. I will have a meal brought up to you and a clean pair of clothes will be prepared once you have bathed. Don't break anything and do not, under any circumstances, leave this room unless you are accompanied.'
Thinking he was just trading one prison cell for another, Richard entered the room and heard the heavy door shut tight behind him. The sound of a key fitting into the lock and securing it rang through the room a moment later and he realized he had just been locked in. Looking around at where he found himself though, he couldn't really complain. Even if he was just trading one cell for another, it had been a massive upgrade and he had never seen anything as immaculate and prestigious as this. Only the richest people in the world could ever hope to afford to stay in a room this awe inspiring.
The entire room was constructed from the same white marble the halls had been in, but it seemed to sparkle and shine more brightly than it had out there. A massive four poster bed with a heavy looking red duvet sat up against the wall in the middle of the room and large purple curtains hung around it. A large enough table to seat ten people was near the door and it looked to be made from some kind of very expensive wood that had been polished to an almost mirror like surface. At the far end of the room he saw a massive bank of bay windows that looked out into the dark night, a few stars twinkling in the sky. There was a small wood and glass door near the windows and Richard figured it probably led to some kind of terrace or balcony.
There were suits of archaic looking armor placed in each corner of the room, the yellowish light from the torches on the walls glinting off the metallic surfaces and it almost seemed like they were moving. Many large paintings hung high on the walls, all of them done in oil paints and depicting scenery or was a portrait of some old looking men and women. Hanging high over a rather large looking mirror was a painting that quickly caught Richards attention and he walked closer to get a better view, the blanket still wrapped around his body.
The painting depicted a rather large four legged dragon, it's massive wings spread wide and its mouth open in a ferocious roar. There was so much detail in this painting that Richard could actually count the amount of teeth that lined the beasts mouth and make out individual scales on its body. It almost felt like he was looking at the Mona Lisa, as both paintings seemed to have the same feeling of gravity around them.
The depiction of the dragon didn't hold his attention long though, as Richard's eyes slowly fell down to the mirror that he was now standing in front of. He couldn't stifle the gasp that erupted past his lips at what he saw being reflected back at him; he barely even recognized himself. His hair stood out at odd angles and bits of straw were stuck in it, giving him the worst bed head he had ever had before. His face, or more to the point his entire body, was covered in a grimy layer of black dust giving him an almost tanned look. 'Almost' because it looked like he had spent too much time out in the sun or a tanning booth and would probably get skin cancer. He even had a small layer of hair growing above his lip and on his chin and he realized he must have been unconscious for a few days, as his facial hair took forever to grow out.
As Richard stood there and studied himself intensely in the mirror he didn't hear the lock on the door suddenly being undone and it opening a moment later. It was when he heard something metal being placed on the hard surface of the table near the door that he was drawn back to reality and he turned to face the sound, assuming it would be Coni bringing him his food. It wasn't however.
Standing by the table was a young looking girl, probably around fifteen or sixteen, dressed in a similar dress to the ones the Queen and Coni had been wearing. She had long brown hair tied into a tight bun at the top of her head and a small smile was playing at the edges of her lips. Her big brown eyes sparkled in the light of the room and she seemed really pleased to see him for some reason.
Right behind the young girl was an elderly looking woman with short salt and pepper hair, creases and wrinkles ruining what was once a beautiful face. Her eyes were a brilliant blue and trained right on Richard as he stood there in nothing but a blanket. This woman wore a dress as well, but instantly he could tell it was made from a cheaper material and was black and white, almost like what maids used to wear a hundred years ago.
'Umm, thanks for the grub,' Richard said slowly. The young girl lit up at his words while the older woman scowled deeply and clicked her tongue loud enough for him to hear it fifteen feet away.
'I hope you like it,' the girl said brightly and pulled out a chair at the table, nodding for him to come and sit in it. 'I wasn't sure what kinds of foods you liked so I got the kitchen to prepare my favorites instead. Come, eat.'
Richard nodded and slowly walked over to the chair the girl had pulled out from him, feeling a little awkward as he was still naked under the heavy black blanket. It felt like he had been nude for a very long time and he couldn't wait to get into a pair of jeans and a shirt again. He sat down in the chair and the girl pulled a silver tray towards him, an ornate plate with interesting looking food on it.
'Thanks,' he said once more and picked up a silver fork inlaid with gold in his grimy hand. He tentatively picked at a piece of strangely cut meat and held it to his nose, sniffing it once before plopping it into his mouth. The meat instantly melted on his tongue and his taste buds were overcome with a delicious taste. It almost tasted like pork but was a little sweeter.
'How is it?' the girl asked.
The elderly woman behind them clicked her tongue once more and both Richard and the girl looked back to find her standing by the now open door, a single hand raised to beckon the young girl away. 'Let's let the man eat in peace, Princess.'
'You go ahead, Agatha,' the girl said with some authority in her words and Agatha stared at her like she had just been smacked. 'I want to get to know him, so would you please go and get his bath ready?'
Agatha looked like she wanted to argue about something but she quickly shut her mouth, bowed slightly, and then left the room as she closed the door behind her. The girl turned back to Richard and smiled sweetly, her eyes dancing, and nodded back to his plate of food. Richard's stomach gave a mighty growl and he dove back into the food, not sure why the girl had stayed behind.
'What's your name?' she asked and her sweet voice lingered in the air for a few seconds.
'Richard,' he answered after swallowing some strange vegetables hard. 'You?'
'It's a pleasure to meet you, noble Richard. I am Princess Reiea.'
'So your mother is...'
'Yes, the Queen. It's so troublesome, don't you agree?'
Richard shrugged his shoulders, not sure how to answer or even what the question was. This girl seemed to be just as strange as her mother and he began to wonder what he had gotten himself into. Sure, the food and digs were good, but right about now he was missing his own little apartment in the bad side of Washington. He began to wonder if May was even looking for him or if their fight the night he disappeared had made her come to hate him as well. Should he even care though? Especially after what she did in the heat of the moment.
The Princess let Richard finish the rest of his meal in quiet, watching with interest at every piece of food he put in his mouth with a hopeful smile. She acted more like a small child than a teenager and it was apparent that she was hoping that he would praise her for the good choice on food, which really didn't make sense to him at all. It's not like she had cooked it, she had just brought it to him. Which was another strange thing; why was a member of a royal family bringing a half naked man food? He was sure she had more important things to do instead of watching him eat.
'So? How was it?' she asked after he placed his expensive looking fork on the ornate plate and pushed the tray away from the edge.
'It was good. Thank you, Princess.'
'Please don't call me that. You are one person who doesn't have to use my title! Call me Reiea.'
'Uh... why? You are a princess, aren't you?'
'Do you not remember?' she asked and took a step back, her face turning sad as Richard shook his head. He honestly had no clue what she was talking about. 'You saved me from a killer,' she breathed and he couldn't keep the confused look from his face, 'If you hadn't appeared in my room three nights ago I would have been taken from the palace and killed!'
'I'm sorry, I don't remember anything after I passed out in my apartment. I'm glad you're okay though.'
Reiea's sad smile lifted a little and her eyes began to sparkle once more. She took another few steps back from the table and motioned for him to stand up, which he did. 'I have a favor to ask,' she spoke.
'Hold your arms out like this,' she asked and showed him how she wanted him to do it by holding both of her arms straight out at her sides to form a cross. Not sure why, but feeling grateful that this girl had brought him some food, he wrapped the blanket around his neck more firmly and did as she asked, hoping it didn't come open at any time. That was more trouble than he needed right now.
Reiea took a small step forward, fear painting her features. She took a deep breath and forced herself to move another inch forward, her eyes staring a hole through his chest. Richard felt a little awkward with this strange reaction, but he was curious as to what she was up to so he planted his feet and did his best not to move or blink. She moved to take another step closer but instead rushed at him, diving into his chest and placing her small hands on his shoulders.
'Princess... I mean Reiea, wha... what are you doing?' he asked in surprise and stepped back with his right leg to stop himself from tipping over.
'Don't move,' came the girls response and she nestled more into his chest. 'This is strange.'
'I... I can touch you. I don't understand...'
'That makes two of us,' he whispered under his breath and he heard Reiea giggle softly as she gripped his shoulders more tightly.
It didn't seem like she was going to let go any time soon and just as Richard was trying to think of something to say the large wooden door suddenly opened and Agatha, the old maid like woman walked in. Her eyes immediately narrowed at the sight of the princess snuggling into his chest and for a brief moment Richard feared for his life. The angry look suddenly softened and it almost looked like she smiled for the briefest of moments.
'Your bath is ready,' she spoke directly to Richard and then turned her attention to Reiea who was still holding onto him, 'Princess, your cousin Coni asked me to find you. She wishes to speak with you for a moment. I'll take this gentleman down to the bath and get his clothes ready.'
Reiea groaned as she was forced to let go of her grip on him and with a sweet smile she excused herself from the room, promising that she would see him again soon. That was a prospect that Richard wasn't sure if he wanted or not. Wherever he was at was full of strange people and he couldn't wait to get home and back to his normal life. He couldn't help but snort at that thought. Never in his life did he ever think he would miss the way things used to be.
Agatha took him through almost identical looking halls to the ones he had seen before and pointed him to a set of large wooden double doors near the end of the one they were currently at, telling him he would find a prepared bath with oils and soaps and that she would find him some clothes that would fit once he was done. He walked the rest of the way on his own and pushed the heavy doors open, a wave of steamy hot hair blasting him in the face.
He was stunned by what he saw. He had been expecting a medium sized white porcelain tub or a stand up shower, but what he found was the polar opposite. The bath was something that was more common in Japan, at their indoor hot springs. The room was just as large as his bedroom was, probably close to thirty feet wide and just as much long. More than half of the space was dedicated to a bath that resembled a pool more and was sunken into the ground, a line of smooth looking rocks lining it to provide a small ledge. There was even a small fountain bubbling at the very far end in the shape of a lion's head and looked to be made completely from marble.
'What in the world,' he muttered and took a step in, closing the door behind him. Feeling more at home being naked in here, he tossed the heavy blanket off and quickly walked to the edge of the water. He didn't even bother dipping his toe in to see what the temperature was like. He needed to be clean and he needed it right now. All the grime and dust and straw that covered his body felt like it was suffocating him. So he just jumped in and created a small tidal wave that splashed out on the floor.
The water was immensely satisfying and he submerged himself for as long as he could hold his breath. He did this over and over again, rubbing his hands roughly over his body to get everything off of him as much as he could. He was having so much fun that he should have realized something was going to come and ruin his mood, but he was so happy with this amazing bath that he didn't stop to think about it. Normally Richard wouldn't make himself so vulnerable while using a bath in someone else's home, and it was his habit of being fully submerged that he had to fight against the most. This time was no different and he was reminded of that fact when he surfaced for air once more and noticed he was no longer alone.
He hadn't heard the door open behind him with his head under the water, but he definitely felt the height of the water shift as someone else entered in his blind spot. One thing kept him from turning around, and that was the knowledge that this wing of the palace was off-limits to men. That meant whoever had just climbed in with him had to be female. He was suddenly reminded of the time he thought May was going to climb into the shower with him, but he quickly shook that thought away before it could have any lasting effects on his body.
There was a lot of steam built up in the bathroom so it was possible that the other person didn't see him sitting in there, near the far edge. He didn't know if he should speak up and say something, but considering that it could be some guard who wouldn't take being seen naked by a man they didn't know lightly, he thought against it. He really didn't want to get shot or stabbed in a fit of anger.
'Are you here, Richard?' a familiar voice asked and Richard spun around when he recognized it was the princess who had entered the bath. Big mistake. He could barely make her out through all the steam rising to the roof but he could definitely tell that it was her, and she was alone.
'Princess!' he yelled and immediately turned around so he couldn't see her anymore. 'What are you doing in here?!'
'I thought you would need some help washing your back,' she answered and there was no hint of embarrassment in her voice. 'And call me Reiea.'
'I... I can handle my own back, Reiea. Thanks for the offer though.'
He figured she would get out after that but was surprised to feel the water shift again as she drew closer, pushing through the steam until he could feel her standing right behind him. Her small hands were on his back in the next moment, lapping water up onto it and then scrubbing it gently. To say that it didn't feel good would be a blatant lie, but he knew this was bad. There was no doubt that he was currently in some very classy palace in some distant country, which meant that the woman he had met earlier was the Queen and her daughter was currently washing his naked body. If someone found them like this he would probably lose his head. He had to think of something to say to get her to leave before that happened, but nothing was coming to mind.
His mind was rendered completely useless when he suddenly felt her press her body into the back of his, two very pronounced little bumps pressing into his flesh. It seemed that she was naked, from the waist up at the very least. Her breasts, which he hadn't really noticed earlier, were next to nonexistent; just two little mounds that did nothing to prevent her stomach from touching his back with no problems or bending involved.
'R... Reiea...' he said hoarsely, willing his voice to work, 'this is wrong. You shouldn't be doing that.'
'Doing what?' she asked softly and her mouth was a few inches from his ear. 'I'm just washing your back and I dropped the towel I was going to use on it.'
He didn't sense anything but innocence in her words but he still couldn't get over the fact that this pretty girls smooth and soft body was pressing into his. This was the second time he had ever felt this sensation before and he was surprised just how powerful it was. Even though he knew it was wrong, and that he had just said those very words himself a moment ago, his brain was still being clouded with lust and he had to sit on his hands so he didn't reach out and grab a hold of the girl.
A moment later Reiea moved her body away from his and her hands were once again on his back, a soft and wet towel with them. She continued to scrub him, little groans of exertion hissing through the quiet bath. She rinsed the cloth out and gave his back one more good scrub before tapping him on the shoulder to let him know she was finished. He could feel the smile on her face as she looked on him but he didn't have the confidence to look back at her. He did have a raging hard on in that moment so just getting up and leaving wasn't the best idea either.
'Uh... th... thank you.'
'My pleasure. It's the least I can do. You have a really broad back by the way.'
'Umm, that's... that's good, I think.'
'I suppose I should probably get out, before anyone catches me in here. I'm supposed to be in my room changing right now,' Reiea spoke but it was already too late. A moment later the door to the bath opened and a strangled gasp echoed through the spacious room, bouncing off the walls and going around once more in an eerie, hollow sort of way.
'WHAT IS GOING ON IN HERE?' Agatha's angry voice blasted and Richard turned around to see a very nasty looking woman staring him dead in the eyes. 'HOW DARE YOU DEFILE THE PRINCESS!'
'I... I didn't! I swear!' he cried out but it was Reiea who straightened things out.
'I was just washing his back, in return for him saving my life, Agatha,' she said and even though her voice was soft there was no mistaking the power behind it. 'Shame on you for jumping to conclusions! Richard didn't even so much as turn to see me and his hand never once touched me!'
'Your Highness...' Agatha breathed heavily, her words trembling as her line of thought suddenly left her under her masters words.
'I trust that you have brought him some clothes?' she asked and Agatha nodded, her face a little pale. 'Good, then I shall take my leave now. Send one of my personal maids to take Richard back to his room. I want you to help dress me tonight, Agatha.'
The woman nodded once more and Reiea walked out of the water. Richard turned back around, seeing as how the princess was nude, and busied himself with counting the tiles on the wall by the lion's head fountain. He heard Agatha whisper something to Reiea but he wasn't able to make it out. A moment later she bid him farewell once more and the door closed behind her and her maid, leaving him alone once again. Which is exactly what he needed then. If things kept happening like this he was sure to end up back in that cell again before the night was over.
A few minutes after Reiea left, Richard pulled himself from the bath and grabbed a towel off a bench by the door. A set of clothes had been laid out for him, and after drying off enough he put them on only to find that it wasn't a pair of jeans and a soft shirt like he had expected. Instead he found a loose fitting green cotton tunic with strings instead of buttons. The underwear he had been given looked like a pair of granny panties rather than boxers, which he preferred, and they clung to his legs tightly. The pants seemed to have been made from some kind of soft animal hide and also had strings instead of a button and zipper. Wearing them he felt like an extra on the set of some knight movie. Whatever country he was in seemed to be in the dark ages still.
Opening the door he found an attractive and young looking maid, dressed in the same black and white clothing Agatha wore, and her hair in a tight bun that was probably giving her a headache. She greeted him cordially and then told him that the Queen wished to speak with him. He was led deeper into the east wing and brought to a small waiting room outside the Queen's private residence. The small room turned out to be five times larger than his entire apartment and had all the amenities it seemed.
Once inside the room the maid left, closing the door behind her. Richard was just going to sit down on the plush antique looking couch but he heard voices coming from a door on the opposite side of the room that was cracked slightly. He slowly and quietly made his way closer to the door and peered in, unable to see anything besides a roaring fire burning in a massive fireplace. He could hear what was being said crystal clear though.
'Are you sure?' an unknown woman's voice said softly.
'I've checked and rechecked the archives and found nothing on it,' the Queen answered and paused for a moment. 'When I looked into the First Kings private journal though, I found the symbol written in it. It's the exact same one.'
'I'm sorry Lystia, I don't believe you're lying to me but I find this very hard to believe. If what you're saying is true then it's been nearly two thousand years, during the Great War. There's just no way it can be true.'
'But what if it is? You yourself have read the sealed records regarding what happened during those times, so you should understand how important this could be.'
There was a soft sigh and silence fell on the room for a few moments. Richard had no idea what he was hearing right then but it sounded extremely important. 'What do you ask of me then?'
'One moment, Aura. Our guest has arrived. You may come in, Richard Dawson,' the Queen spoke a little louder and Richard jumped back from the crack in the door, his heart lodged in his throat. How in the world did she know he was listening to them talk? Their voices seemed to be coming from further back in the room and out of sight from where he stood at the door. There should be no way that she saw or heard him.
He was told once more to enter, and he slowly opened the door fully and took a stiff step in. His instincts were telling him to remain hidden and play it off like he hadn't just been caught sneaking around, but he didn't think that would do any good. She had caught him, but she didn't seem that mad. If anything she almost seemed amused at this turn of events.
Entering fully he found the Queen sitting on a very long and elegant looking couch near the end of the large living room. She was dressed in the same dress he had seen earlier and her hair was layered over her shoulders, making her look a few years younger. Not that she needed that as she already looked pretty good for someone with a teenage daughter. Sitting across from her, on another smaller couch, was a woman with long blonde hair that hung down her slender back in an elegant braid. As Richard moved around the couch he got a better look at her and noticed that she bore a striking resemblance to Coni, the woman who had shown him to his room earlier. In fact they looked like mother and daughter if anything.
'Richard, I would like you to meet Aura, Coni's older sister and a professor at the Majou Academy. Aura, this is Richard Dawson, the man who helped save my daughter's life and the one we were just discussing.'
'It's a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Dawson,' Aura smiled at him and held her hand out. Richard shook it gently and was surprised how much of a difference there was between the two siblings. Coni looked like she wanted to hurt him, while this woman genuinely seemed pleased to meet him. He hoped he got to deal more with her than her younger sister.
'Take a seat next to Aura,' the Queen suggested and Richard did just that. 'We have a lot to discuss and not much time before I must retire for the night. I believe you wanted to speak to me about something earlier, Richard?'
'Uh... yeah. When can I go home?' he asked, hoping for a favorable answer.
'To Washington?' the Queen clarified and he nodded. 'You're not going to like the answer I have for you. Before I give it though, I would like to show you something I think you will find interesting. Aura, if you would.'
Aura nodded her head and stood up from where she was seated. She held her hand in the air, pointing it towards the fire that was still raging, and closed her eyes. She began to mumble something under her breath, but the words didn't make sense to him and he figured they were a foreign language. The large emerald ring on the woman's finger suddenly lit up with a brilliant green glow and in the next moment the fire turned purple, silver sparkles spewing out from the flames and disappearing up the chute.
'What do you think?' Queen Lystia asked but Richard's gaze was still locked onto the fireplace where the fire was slowly turning back to its normal color.
'That's a cool trick and all, but what does that have to do with me going home?' he asked and turned back to her.
The Queen tilted her head, a small smile on her lips and she nodded once more to Aura who sighed slightly. 'Would you stand for a moment, Mr. Dawson,' the woman asked and he did. Once more she held out her hand with the large ring on it, but pointed it towards him this time. Just like the trick with the fire the ring lit up green again and a long tendril of bright purple erupted from it, shooting directly at him and wrapping around his body before he could so much as blink.
'What the hell!' he yelped and the Queen chuckled. 'What is this?'
'Magic, my dear boy. It's arcane magic to be more precise.'
'Magic isn't real!' he shouted, terrified as the purple binds tightened around his body.
'Isn't it though?' Aura smiled sweetly and spoke some more mumbled words under her breath. The next thing Richard knew, he was being lifted into the air, his head brushing the vaulted ceiling twenty feet above him while little purple sparks buzzed by, leaving trails of light in their wake. 'Do you believe now?'
'If I say yes will you put me down?'
'Keep him up there for a minute,' the Queen spoke, and to Richard's horror the woman holding him up nodded. The Queen stood up, her motions fluid, and held out a wooden stick that she pointed directly at his face. 'Zy des, clo ras funin du!' she said loudly and suddenly fire erupted from the end of the stick and shot directly at him.
Richard screamed in terror as he was unable to move a muscle to protect his face from the fireball being hurled at him. Just when it looked like it was about to hit him it suddenly veered off to the left and spiraled around his head before breaking into three separate balls, each one dancing through the air in intricate patterns.
'I see you haven't lost your touch, Lystia,' Aura laughed.
'I'm not done yet!' the Queen said and she waved her stick through the air once more. The three balls of fire suddenly became one and then erupted into a dazzling display of smoke and tendrils of flame, obscuring Richard's view. The next thing he knew a long snake made entirely of flame floated through the air, slithering around his body but not touching him directly. The heat alone was enough to cause him pain though and he cried out. A second later the snake dissolved into smoke and disappeared in the same instant the weird purple light put him gently on the ground and vanished as well.
'Your control could use a little work. It looks like you singed his clothes,' Aura pointed out and both women giggled as they took their seats once more.
'What the hell!' Richard blasted, clenching both fists tightly. 'You could have killed me!'
'Oh, you were never in any danger, Richard. Now have a seat and we can continue our discussion.'
He felt like disobeying the crazy woman's suggestion for a moment, but a ghost of the pain he had just felt flashed through his mind and he begrudgingly did sit down; making sure to stay as far away from Aura as he possibly could on the small couch. This was just one more reason why he wanted to get the hell out of this crazy palace.
'Was that really magic?' he asked angrily.
'Of course,' Lystia smiled, 'What else could it have been? Like I said, Aura is a professor at one of the most prestigious magical schools on the continent, Majou Academy.'
'And what does it have to do with me going home?'
'The Queen is under the assumption that you are not of this world, Richard. She thinks you traveled here against your will and that you are now stuck.'
'What? That's not possible! I'm willing to admit that whatever little tricks you guys just did looked a lot like magic would, but this being a different planet is just absurd!'
'I can see why you would think that, but I believe it to be the truth. You say you are from a place called Washington, in the land of D.C.. I have checked every record of every country that is or at one time had been a part of this world and could find no mention of such a place. You are in the country of Alysia, a large nation that borders the Dark Elf Kingdom of Elothia to the west, and the Empire of Zygog to the north. Do either of those sound familiar to you?'
'Did you just say Dark Elves?' he asked, a sense of confusion rising up in the pit of his stomach. 'Did I fall into a movie or something? This is crazy! If you're telling the truth, which I highly doubt, then just how did I get here?'
'The artifact on your wrist,' Aura explained and pointed to the gold bracer that was still locked onto his arm and wrist. 'When Lystia told me about it I didn't believe her, but sitting this close to you and seeing it and the symbol myself I have been proven wrong. That artifact has a powerful magic pulse coming from it. I believe that when you put it on, a spell that had been cast on it activated and it transported you here.'
Richard lifted the bracer up and looked at it, seeing it sparkle gently in the fire light making the symbol on it look like it was moving. 'What does magic feel like?' he asked.
'It's different for everyone, but mostly it's a warm feeling. Like a rush of power surging through your body and warming you up from the inside out. More powerful spells, ones only masters can cast, have been said to change the casters vision of the world around them. There are even rumors that the most powerful and devastating spells can actually cause time to slow down around the person wielding it. It's all speculation though,' Aura answered and Richard could see why she was a professor. Her words held the power of knowledge and experience to them and he was sure she could continue explaining things to him until the sun rose the next morning.
'When I accidentally put this on I had that exact feeling. I had hit my head so I didn't think anything of it, but now that I think back it seems strange. It felt like something was moving through me, from the tips of my toes to my left arm. Something hot and very strong...'
'So you believe now?' the Queen asked and he shrugged his shoulders.
'I... I don't know. It just seems too unreal for it to be true, you know? But let's say for a moment that I do believe, then how do I get back home?'
At this question the Queen sighed sadly and sat forward in her seat, clasping her hands tightly in her lap. 'That's a question even I would like an answer to. The truth is, I don't know. Not even the strongest masters in the world can teleport more than a few dozen feet at most. To go from one world to the other would take an incredible amount of magical power. So much that it is impossible. Your artifact is a very curious device, to have stored up that much power to cast such a spell and not shatter from it.'
'I don't even think the First King could have performed such a spell,' Aura spoke softly. 'He was immensely powerful but this is on a whole other level.'
'I... I don't understand. Are you saying there is no way for me to go back home?'
'At this moment, no. This palace has the largest library of magical tomes on the continent and I will have every scholar under my care comb through them to see if we can discover anything. For now though, you are stuck here.'
'This... this is impossible,' Richard groaned and buried his head in his hands, forcing the tears that were threatening to spill out back to where they came. He felt a gentle hand on his shoulder and looking up he found Aura patting him gently, a look of understanding in her pretty blue eyes.
'I know this is hard for you Richard,' the Queen said gently and edged further off her seat, 'but I promise that I will do everything in my power to get you back to your home. For the meantime though, you have no other choice but to remain in Alysia. This is actually the main reason why I wished to speak with you, to tell you what was going to be done with you while you are here.'
Before she could elaborate there was a soft knock on the door that he had entered through and someone said they were entering. A moment later Princess Reiea walked in, followed closely by Coni who seemed to be surprised at seeing him sitting there next to her older sister, her hand on his shoulder.
'Richard!' Reiea squealed and ran towards him. She gave him a quick hug, one he didn't return, and then imposed herself between him and Aura. They were sitting so close their shoulders were touching and Richard felt a little uncomfortable as the memories of being with her in the bath hit him. 'I told you I would see you again tonight.'
'My, my, isn't this a pleasant surprise,' Aura said happily as she looked back towards the Queen. 'Is she actually touching him?'
'She has been for most of the night,' the Queen smiled. 'Agatha told me that she caught Reiea hugging him in his room. I didn't actually believe it until I saw this with my own eyes though.'
'Umm, am I missing something?' Richard asked and looked back and forth between the two women. Coni had entered the room fully now and closed the door tightly behind her, coming to stand next to her sister a moment later.
'I'm terribly sorry, I thought someone would have told you by now. When my daughter was a small child she was abducted and held for ransom by a nasty group of criminals. When she came back to me she had developed a fear of men, and every time she would get within five feet of one she would freeze up and withdraw into herself. So it's a shock to see her holding on to you so tightly.'
'I'm not sure it's something you should be proud of, Your Highness,' Coni said stiffly and averted her eyes away from Richard.
'I don't see any harm in it. In fact, I find it encouraging. It's so nice to see her coming out of her shell to a man like that. Right, Reiea?'
Reiea lifted her head from his shoulder and beamed at her mother, 'Yes! I don't know why I can with Richard, but it's nice! Are we going to keep him in the palace? Please mother?'
'I'm afraid not, my dear. I've already made arrangements with your Cousin Aura to look after him at the Academy. They leave in the morning.'
'What?' Richard, Coni, and Reiea shouted in unison.
'But why? I want to keep him here!' Reiea whined and sounded like she was six years old. 'If he's at the school then I can't see him whenever I want!'
'The decision has been made, Reiea!'
'Enough Reiea! Richard is not an item you can carry around with you whenever you want. Now say goodnight to everyone and get ready for bed.'
Reiea fumed and groaned something that was incoherent. She hugged him around the shoulders and then stormed off from the room without saying a word to her mother or her cousins. The Queen sighed in frustration and pinched the bridge of her nose before apologizing on her daughters behalf.
'Reiea is a willful child who is having trouble coming to terms with her destiny on the throne. I probably shouldn't have sheltered her so much when she was growing up, but I wanted to be a good mother to her. Now, shall we get back on topic?'
'Why is he coming to the school?' Coni asked and she was visibly angry, even if her words seemed devoid of emotion.
'Calm down Coni. I am sure his presence at the academy will not interfere with your studies or duties on the student council. Besides, it won't be you who is looking after him while he is there.'
'Are you going to do it Aura? You're busy enough with your career as it is!'
'No,' the older sister shook her head and her heavy looking braid swayed back and forth on her slender back, 'it won't be me either.'
'You don't mean Lythia, do you?' Coni asked in disbelief.
'Your sister and I have agreed this is the best option for all parties involved,' the Queen interjected. 'Lythia is currently entering her second year at the school and I that means her course load is also going to double. I'm sure she could use a little help with everything besides her school work.'
Suddenly Coni was overcome by a fit of giggles and she dissolved into them as she struggled to breath, her face red and tears clinging to her long eyelashes. A moment later her older sister, Aura, was also laughing but not as hard.
'He... he's going to be her attendant?' Coni laughed and the Queen nodded with a small chuckle of her own. 'I feel sorry for you! It should be entertaining though.'
'What... what's going on exactly?' he asked and it was the Queen that answered.
'Lythia is their younger sister,' she explained, 'and a student at the academy like Coni. She's nineteen years old and entering her second year at the school tomorrow. Second year students are allowed the use of personal attendants that will take care of their daily needs, if their family can either afford it or spare someone from their staff to do it. You will become her attendant.'
'But why are they laughing so hard?'
'My little sister has a worse attitude than Coni does,' Aura laughed and her sister punched her lightly on the shoulder. 'She can be rash, hotheaded, and very pretentious. It's going to be hard for you to deal with her, but I have faith you can handle it.'
'There is one thing we need to go over before you leave for the school in the morning,' Queen Lystia said after a few moments of giggles from the women and frustrated sighs from Richard. 'If anyone asks you about where you are from, or why you speak strangely, you are not to tell them that you are actually from a different world. Just tell them you are from across the Silent Sea, from a small island village off the coast of Rindon. If they press you further just change the subject or leave. Is that clear?'
Richard nodded, trying to commit the strange sounding name to memory so he didn't forget it. He wasn't completely sold on this idea about being some prissy girls personal attendant. He would much rather stay at the palace, even with Reiea running around trying to hug him every chance she got. It would probably be a lot safer and he would be close at hand when the Queen found any information on how to send him home. He didn't seem to have much of a choice though as the decision had been made without him. In the presence of the Queen and her nieces he was nothing but a commoner.
Richard spent the night alone in the luxurious room he had been provided, and thankfully Reiea didn't seem to be able to sneak away from her room to visit him. The next morning, before leaving with Coni and Aura, he thanked the Queen for her hospitality and said goodbye to a teary Reiea who refused to release him from her rib cracking hug. Finally Agatha managed to pry her off him and he left the palace with the two woman and got into a large and elegant looking carriage that was waiting for them.
They traveled through the capital city of Alysia, the Eternal City, and for the first time Richard got a good sense of just how far away from home he was. The buildings that lined the cobbled streets were like something from a book, mostly made from wood or stone and had an almost European style to them. There were towering silver and golden statues depicting men and women with swords, wands, and other such equipment fighting some invisible foe and Richard couldn't help but stare in awe at them. What really caught his interest though were the strange cat and dog like animals that roamed the streets, proving beyond a doubt that he was no longer on Earth. He was fairly certain nothing like those strange creatures existed back home.
Just over an hour and a half outside the city walls the carriage slowed and the passed through a towering marble wall, statues of men and women wielding wands holding them straight up in the air. Looking out through the window of the carriage Richard had the breath knocked right out of him as he gazed upon Majou Academy, the top mage school on the continent. Massive towers of pure white marble stretched towards the sky, the sun glinting off the smooth surface in a glorious way. At the very top of each tower, which there were eight of, the roof had been made from what appeared to be gold bricks and they blazed in the sun like beacons to the whole country.
'Wow,' Richard breathed and Aura laughed softly next to him.
'I love watching new people come here,' she said, 'their reactions are always the best.'
A few moments later the carriage came to a halt and the driver walked around and opened the door for them. Aura exited first, followed by Coni, and then Richard. His feet crunched into the pebbled walkway he found himself on and the hot sun shone down on him from high above as strange birds chirped from a nearby tree.
'Aura!' a girlish voice called out and Richard turned to see a young looking girl running up towards them, her blonde hair swinging behind her and a black cloak over her slender and small form. 'Why weren't you at the start of term assembly?'
'How many times do I have to tell you not to call me by my name here, Lythia!' Aura growled and the girl stopped short a few feet away from her older sister. While the eldest two girls of the family were nicely filled out, with large chests and curvaceous hips, the youngster looked more like a ten year old girl. She was short, had no breasts, hips like a boy, and very slender legs that peeked out beneath a short black skirt.
'Sorry, Professor Proud,' the girl pouted but her sister smiled at her. 'Now answer my question.'
'We had important business to attend to at the palace,' Coni said and puffed out her chest in pride to make herself feel more important.
'There's actually someone I would like you to meet,' Aura said and motioned for Richard to come forward, 'This is Richard Dawson, and from this moment on he will be your personal attendant. Richard, this is my youngest sister and brat of the family, Lythia Proud.'
Lythia stepped towards Richard now, his hand extended to shake hers, and sized him up from head to toe. She ignored his hand and walked around him in a circle, sucking on her teeth like she had found something that displeased her. Having dealt with this kind of reaction his entire life, Richard simply ignored the sounds and focused on remaining still.
'He's strange,' she announced and both her sisters laughed. 'His hair is cut weird and the way he wears those clothes makes it seem like he has never worn them before. I don't want him as my servant.'
'Attendant, Lythia!' Aura corrected, 'And this is not up for discussion. The Queen herself decided on this and who are you to go against her decision? For the last three months we have brought you every good attendant we could find and you have turned down each and every one of them. You will not turn down this one!'
Lythia glared at her sister and teacher angrily, her lips in a hard line and both hands balled into tight little fists. A soft breeze rippled through the air and tossed her hair about as she turned her attention to Richard, who stood there rooted on the spot and not quite sure what to make of this situation. He wasn't keen on being this brats errand boy either, even if she was a Lady.
'He has to do everything I tell him to?' Lythia asked and Aura nodded, 'Good. Then go and unpack all my clothes and belongings before washing what I wore yesterday by hand. After you are finished with that I want you to go to the kitchens and bring my lunch directly to me in class. Once that is done you are to thoroughly clean my room and then prepare my bath for when dinner is finished. Before I go to bed I want a glass of milk left on the table in my room and my bed to be warmed beforehand. Understand?'
Richard was furiously trying to memorize everything the girl had just told him and thankfully Aura cut in and said, 'He can get to all that, but first I want to give him a short tour of the academy. And, if I'm not mistaken, both you and Coni are late for the first class of the day. I can understand Lythia being tardy, but not the uptight student council president with perfect marks in every course.'
Coni pulled out a large looking pocket watch from the pocket on her black cloak that was identical to her younger sisters and gasped when she saw the time. She said a rushed goodbye and then ran off, towing her little sister with her who still seemed to be fuming over being stuck with Richard as her personal attendant. Richard realized they might actually agree on the subject, but he was also sure they would never agree on anything else. He had only spent five minutes in her presence and already he didn't like her. She was more of a bitch than willful.
'Walk with me,' Aura said sweetly and began to walk towards the nearest white tower, the large double doors opening on their own as she neared. 'So what do you think of Lythia?'
'I don't like her,' he admitted and Aura chuckled as they entered the main hall of the school. 'I really hope I'm not here long because if she keeps that attitude up I will probably end up running away.'
'We told you last night that she was a handful. That's what happens when you have two talented older sisters who cast their shadows over you your entire life. She just wants to make her own mark on the world and I think in a few years she will become a better person. For now though, you should do as she asks and not cause any trouble. You are here under a false life and it would be best if too many questions weren't asked. Lythia doesn't know anything about you and I want to keep it that way if possible. I don't think she would do anything bad on purpose, but you just never know.'
'So I have to be her slave until the Queen finds a way to send me home? Great.'
'You are not a slave, Richard. Far from it. Do you job, and do it well and you will be paid. You also get your own private room and are off duty after nine at night. You start work at six in the morning and only have to do the everyday things that Lythia asks of you, like doing her personal laundry and bringing her meals if she wishes. As for cleaning her room, well there is a whole staff of maids who handle that so don't let her tell you otherwise.'
Richard groaned as they walked through a door and he found himself standing in the middle of a rather large circular room filled with desks, stacks of paper, odd looking trinkets, and both young and old women who wore the same outfit that Aura did; dark red cloaks over white shirts and long black skirts that barely touched the floor. If he had to guess, Richard would think this was the teachers office.
'If you ever run into trouble or need to ask a question or get advice, come and find me here. Classes are steady throughout the weak and the only time I won't be here is when I have to teach, which is second period and fourth period. Let's continue.'
Aura, or Professor Proud as she was called by wandering students, continued her tour of the main tower telling Richard that this mostly housed the offices and private living quarters for the teachers. All the outer towers were similar and there were four of them. The front tower was for teachers and staff (where he would be staying as well), and the three others for students. First and second year students were packed into a single tower and Aura showed him where Lithia's room was on the eighth floor of the left most tower. Each tower also had its own facilities for bathing, laundry, meals, and a kitchen. These were places that she assured him he would become familiar with quickly.
The inner most towers were entirely dedicated to classes and each year had their own tower. Between the towers was a nice shaded courtyard that was filled with elegant looking round tables that sat two to four people and it turned out that students could come here and enjoy a cup of tea between their classes. He would also spend a fair amount of time here as it was common for attendants to bring their masters tea and snacks so the staff wasn't stretched too thin.
Throughout the tour Richard noticed two things. The first was that everything was just as gorgeous as it had been in the palace and even the grounds were lush green with large trees scattered every ten or so feet. It looked more like a painting than real life as it felt almost too perfect. The second was that the majority of the students they came across were female. He brought that to the attention of Aura and was a little shocked by her explanation.
'It didn't use to be like this,' she said as they walked through the lush green grass towards some unknown location, 'two hundred years ago there was an even number of male and female students training to become mages. But for some unknown reason, that began to change. Male children being born in the last two hundred years are either not attuned to magic at all or are very weak. It's a real problem and scholars across the world are trying to find out why. This year there are only ten new male students, bringing the number up to eighty in total. Everyone we tested proved to be in the lower echelon in strength.
'Don't get me wrong, there are some powerful men out there but not as many compared to the women. The really strange part of it all is that the males, while not being very strong, still carry the magic trait in their blood and can have children who can also use magic. Most of the male children from the men are just as weak or have no power at all like their fathers, but the females can be some of the strongest out there. It's pretty much guaranteed that if mages from the opposite sex have a female child they will automatically be attuned to the arcane forces that surround the world and be able to cast spells easily. For that reason all the male students here already have fiancé's that their parents picked out for them in hopes of continuing their magical bloodline.'
'That's brutal,' Richard said softly and Aura nodded.
'We hope that it changes in the near future, but there's no guarantee. All the masters had once been male but are now entirely female. But on the bright side of things, there hasn't been a full scale war in nearly three hundred years because of it. With women holding all the power things have mellowed out a little bit.'
Richard couldn't bring himself to point out the flaw in her logic, that women could be just as cruel or even more so than men. He looked around at his surroundings and noticed that they had ventured quite far from the glistening towers of the school and were now standing before a facility that closely resembled the Roman Coliseum. It was made from grey stone and climbed at least eighty feet into the air, it's imposing figure dominating the valley they were in.
'What is this?' he asked with awe and Aura giggled.
'This is the arena. Each year there is a school wide tournament that decides the strongest student. This is where all the matches are held and it is such a big event that even the Queen comes out to watch it. Back in her day she was actually two time champion. I was three time champion though,' she laughed. 'After the first week of school has finished, students are also allowed to openly challenge any other student to a duel to settle disputes or for practice. Even these duels can affect your ranking within the school and there are quite a few of them, which is really annoying considering I over see every single one of them!'
Richard desperately wanted to go inside the arena and look around for a little while, but Aura said something about the next class starting and that she needed to get back. Since Richard also had to begin work, picking up after that bitch, he was forced to leave as well and followed the teacher back onto school grounds where students were milling around. As they came back through the wall, a tall and well tanned woman with chestnut hair and big brown eyes approached them, a serious look on her face. Regardless of the serious look Richard was still struck by her beauty; her large breasts, taut belly and flared hips, and long shapely legs that were the perfect color of light brown.
'Professor,' she spoke and her voice was just as hard as her face, 'two students got into a fight and another was trying to cast a forbidden spell.'
'It's only the first day,' Aura sighed and clicked her tongue in annoyance. 'Did you send them to the headmasters office?'
'Yes, but just the student trying to cast the spell. As for the two who were fighting, I just gave them a week's worth of extra lessons and let them go.'
'Thank you, Daiya. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to get ready for my first class. Can you believe I have to teach history to the first years again?'
'That was my favorite class,' Daiya said stiffly, 'you taught it well. Who is this?'
Aura stopped as she had begun to walk away and turned around to see that the tanned girl was pointing directly Richard who stood there like some sort of statue. 'This is Richard Dawson, my youngest sisters personal attendant. Richard, this is Daiya, a third year student and the head of the disciplinary committee as well as being the Crown Princess of the Dark Elves.'
'N... nice to meet you,' Richard squeaked and his eyes immediately travelled up to the sides of the woman's head. Sure enough he found two little nubs poking out above her hair higher up than a humans ears could reach. He was having trouble keeping his eyes off her ears. To take his mind off it he stuck out his hand and she took it, shaking it gently and gracefully.
'The pleasure is all mine,' the girl whispered and her demeanor changed instantly. Her shoulders relaxed a little and the grip she had on his hand tightened slightly. The most significant change though was her voice. It was no longer hard, rather it was very girly and almost sounded like music. As quickly as her body language had softened it turned hard once more and she tossed his hand away roughly. 'Excuse me.'
She turned on her heel and quickly retreated, disappearing into one of the towers and leaving Richard standing there trying to figure out what he had done to offend her. He had only said that it was nice to meet her and shook her hand, how bad was that? Aura was laughing silently to his side and her face was lit up with a big smile.
'I was right when I thought it would be interesting having you here. I can't wait to see how this progresses. Now, please excuse me,' she waved and took off, slowly walking away as she continued to giggle to herself. A few students passing by her looked at her like she had lost her mind but she seemed to ignore them and then disappeared into the first year tower a few minutes later.
Richard stood there stunned for a few minutes, realizing that he was some kind of entertainment to Aura. He was quickly reminded that he had work to do when he saw a few maids rush past him, their arms full of laundry. Sighing deeply to himself he swallowed his pride, what little he had, and rushed off to the first and second year dorms to do what he had been commanded to do. It hadn't even been a day and he already hated this school.
Thank you for reading this chapter and I hope you enjoyed it. As always rate and comment, it makes us want to write more and quicker. So if you like it let Mishikail and I know.
Sorry for there not being any sex in this scene, we just figured that there would be too much going on for it to feel natural. Plus, a random stranger covered in dirt making love to the Princess, Queen, or one of the sisters wouldn't really work out so well being done so quickly after him being released from prison. These type of people have standards after all... haha. Mishikail didn't want to leave you all with nothing though so she added a small tease by the Princess in there.