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   Chapter 108 No.108

The WeatherMaker - Prince of Light By Lady Lilium Characters: 4876

Updated: 2018-07-11 12:02


'It sounds lovely' Valery sighed, feeling a little envious. She felt a twinge in her heart then. 'I just thought of something. How long will you be my handmaiden for?'

'Well' Plum replied thoughtfully, putting the cards away and folding up the table, 'I'm not really sure, for as long as you want me I suppose.'

'Then perhaps I should release you from my service' Valery thought aloud, 'so that you can see your family again. They must live in the kingdom we've just come from. It's a long journey; I would feel terrible if I knew I was taking you away from them.'

'Oh no princess' Plum waved her hands at her. 'It's not like that. Your brother bought me for a very handsome price. My being here means my family will be very well off for a very long time. And besides' she added, 'I am bound to a contract for at least ten years.'

'Ten years?!'

'Yes' Plum nodded happily. 'And as long as you are kind to me, which I'm sure you will be, I see no problem with this.'

'But what about your family?'

'Well…of course I will miss them…but…it was my choice to come here. We were always happy, but we often struggled for money. I chose to come here…for them. They didn't want to let me go when your brother started to show an interest in me, but I insisted. The money would help each of them live better lives…would help them chase their dreams…'

'But I heard money can ruin lives' Valery said. 'People without money get jealous, and people with the money get greedy.'

'I am fully aware of that' Plum smiled. 'But my family are careful. I have every confidence that they will be discreet about it. No one will know.'

'I do hope you're right' Valery sighed. 'Money…especially gaining such a vast amount so suddenly, can do terrible things………I've heard stories…'

'It's alright' Plum reassured. 'My family will be accepting payments in modest amounts each month. They will be fine. I promise.'

'And what about you?' Valery asked. 'You will see none of this wealth.'

'Wealth is not what interests me' Plum grinned slyly.

'Then what?'

Her handmaiden raised her head. 'I want to see the world' she breathed. 'I lived in a small village, in a happy life, but boring, in a place where nothing ever changed.'

'Well' Valery sighed. 'Change is only good if it makes things better.'

'Of course' Plum bowed her head. 'But…I want to travel. I want to see other kingdoms, visit the palaces and see their magnifi

cence for myself. I've…only heard about them, these fabulous buildings the kings and queens live in, they are like legends in my village.'

'They're not that great' Valery sighed. 'A jewel is pretty, but it can't feed you, it can't keep you warm or give you shelter.'

'That is certainly true' Plum sighed, 'but they are beautiful…'

A silence passed between them as Plum turned to gaze out of the window. Valery leant back in her seat, holding the doll with both hands now. She stared down at it, with its mop of black hair and its pretty red and white dress. It was a simple toy, but she loved it.

She stared at it for several minutes, her mind beginning to drift away.

Not long now she realised, perhaps just a few more hours.

She thought then how much she wanted to get out of the carriage. The space felt cramped now, and she had long since grown tired of the interior. She wanted to stand up, to walk around outside a bit and stretch her legs.

Not long now she thought. Not long now.

Her handmaiden suddenly gasped, staring out of the window. Valery raised her head, seeing Plum's eyes were wide open.

'What is it?' Valery asked tentatively. 'What's wrong?'

Plum didn't reply, she only continued to stare outside. From where she sat in the carriage, the handmaiden was able to see from an angle that Valery could not. She sat there, frozen and unresponsive.

'Plum?' Valery's voice wavered as she spoke.

Plum suddenly turned to her, grabbing the short red curtains and drawing them shut over the window. 'Don't look!' she hissed.

Valery's heart stopped in her chest, and she suddenly felt very afraid. A feeling she had never experienced before.

And then she heard the noises.

There was a commotion outside.

Valery couldn't identify the sounds at first, but then she slowly began to recognise them.

Cries of men, the scream of a horse, the sing of metal as a sword was drawn from its sheath, the sound of falling bodies, shouts of confusion as orders were thrown about.

It was chaos outside.

Plum moved quickly over to sit beside Valery, holding her in her arms and putting herself between the princess and the carriage door.

'Stay calm' the handmaiden said to her. 'Stay calm.'

'What's happening?' Valery pleaded.

'Just start praying!' Plum shouted back, holding her tight.

Her tone frightened Valery even more, and she suddenly realised that Plum was terrified.

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