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The WeatherMaker - Prince of Light By Lady Lilium Characters: 5417

Updated: 2018-07-11 12:03

One day, Valery stood on the deck, holding the doll to her chest, thinking deeply about her future.

'Is this how my mother came to the kingdom I was born in? Is this what she went through also?'

She saw a strange bird fly over the ship then, though she didn't know what it was. If she had asked one of the soldiers, they would have told her it was an albatross.

'So beautiful' Valery whispered, gazing enviously at it as it soared freely across the world, drifting lazily, as calmly as the clouds above. 'How I wish' Valery uttered, 'how I wish…'

Behind her, the official watched, sitting at the base of the sail mast with his paper and quill. He kept a close eye on Valery much of the time, as did the soldiers that were placed under his command. Everyone treated Valery very tenderly, always speaking gently to her, and offering her anything she asked for on the ship.

The journey was long and uneventful, when at last they reached the shore of the kingdom Valery was now bound to by fate, it was nightfall.

'Valery' her handmaiden spoke softly to her, shaking her gently awake. 'Valery. Open your eyes, we are here now. We've arrived.'

Valery sat up, gazing blearily about her. 'We're here?' she mumbled.

'Yes' Plum replied in a whisper. 'The ship is docked. It is late now, but we're leaving the ship and travelling to the palace by carriage.'

'Now?' Valery asked. 'Why not wait until morning?'

'You are expected to arrive at the palace as soon as possible' Plum said to her.

'My husband to be is in this kingdom' Valery mumbled. 'The time until we meet can be counted in mere hours.'

'Are you nervous?' Plum asked her tentatively.

'I'm terrified' Valery whispered.

Plum embraced her then, holding her firmly to give her comfort. 'I am here for you' the handmaiden whispered. 'Always, no matter what.'

They left the ship then. Valery shivered, hugging her cloak tightly to her, her doll she carried hidden beneath the cloak and clutched tightly in rigid fingers. Beside her Plum let out a sigh, her breath could be seen as a fog before her.

The two young women were escorted off the ship and led towards the carriage that waited at the harbour. The official climbed into the seat at the front beside the driver, and the soldiers took their positions around the carriage, each mounted on white horses. White horses were rare in the kingdoms, and only owned by royalty. Everyone would know who they were as they rode by.

Valery climbed into the carriage, followed by Plum. The mounted, armed and armoured soldiers took formation around the carriage, guarding all points around the princess. The driver of the carriage snapped the reins, and the carriage j

olted into motion. Inside, Plum shuffled close to Valery, holding her arm tightly. Valery rested her hand upon her handmaiden's. The two became still, leaning back and closing their eyes. The two began to drift into an uneasy sleep, woken occasionally by the jolts of the carriage as the wheels ran along the bumpy road.

Valery's eyelids drooped again. She allowed her body to relax, resting her cheek against Plum's head; her handmaiden rested her head on Valery's shoulder.

Outside the carriage, the sun began to rise.

Back at the palace, Cam was confronted by one of the council members.

'She will be here' Castello told him, 'in two days time.'

'Two days?' Cam echoed nervously. 'That's so soon.'

'It is' the right hand of the king nodded. He turned, sweeping his cloak behind him as he sat back against the banister. Tilting his head, he considered the young king. 'You will be married swiftly to her' he continued, 'when she arrives, within the fortnight.' He paused. 'Do you understand?'

'I do' Cam replied sombrely.

'Make yourself presentable' Castello told him. 'You want to look your best, for when she arrives.'

'Of course' Cam nodded, bowing his head to the council member. 'I will do just that.'

Valery had slept for as long as she could. If sleep is what you could call it. The journey had been uneventful. The carriage trundled onwards and with every passing minute, the princess drew closer to her new home.

But that is not what she thought of now. For the time being, her mind was free of anxiety, was free of worry, and she played games with her handmaiden, whom in the short time she had known, had grown very fond of.

'My brother was right' Valery smiled, placing a card down on the little fold out table that was between them. 'You were the right choice in the end.'

'I'm so glad you think so' Plum beamed back at her, placing her own card down on top of Valery's. 'Black stripe' she said with a grin.

'Oh' Valery huffed in annoyance. 'You got me again.'

'It does take some practice' Plum told her, gathering up the cards again and shuffling them. 'I used to play a lot with my parents. My father was excellent at this game. I was only able to beat him once. I used to get so mad. No matter how hard I tried…'

'Tell me about your family' Valery spoke then, leaning forwards in her seat, the doll she carried rested on her lap. 'What are they like?'

'Wonderful' Plum grinned. 'I have long held the thought that I have had the best family in the world. My brother and my little sister too…we all got along so well, and if something was wrong, we would work together and support each other, and try hard to make everything right again.'

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