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The WeatherMaker Hearts Desire By Lady Lilium Characters: 10313

Updated: 2018-07-10 12:04


Prologue

'The petals wither and fall from their flower. The leaves from the trees, once beautifully they danced in the wind, now fall to the earth as only dead waste. The grass once green and lush now fades away, covered by a blanket of frost. Another year has passed' the king said turning from the window in the study, 'and another year I am forced to endure life without her. You have a chance to do a good thing. Why not make it so?'

'There is nothing I can do' the woman repeated for the hundredth time. 'I think it's time to face reality. Come out of your grieving. You have to face the fact that she may never wake.'

'No' the king repeated. 'I will never stop trying to save her.'

'Then many will continue to suffer because of your unwillingness to face the truth.'

'If you will not help me' the king said. 'Perhaps there are others who can.'

'So what are you going to do? Continue to kidnap until you are so old and tired you've lost your mind?'

'I will do whatever is necessary' the king answered.

'This meaningless quest will drive you mad' the woman answered, 'if it hasn't already done so.'

'I will never be mad' the king answered simply, 'if I have her.'

'Then make the most of your sanity' the woman stared coolly. 'And I say for the last time. There is nothing I can do.'

The king glared, controlling his anger well despite his rage and despair.

'Then I have no need for you.'

The king approached the woman sitting in the chair, lifting his hands to grab her.

Instead of showing fear, the woman turned her head to look behind her, speaking to the figure that only she could see.

'This is my last chance isn't it? I won't ever come back again.'

'If there was anything I could do to save you...' the figure answered, not even trying to hold back his grief, 'then I would do it. But I can't help you this time……I'm sorry…'

The woman looked forwards to face the king again, but continued to speak to the figure behind her.

'Please' she said to the figure. 'Do not be sad for me. I've lived my life. Find someone younger and protect them. This is my final wish.'

She bowed her head with a smile, closing her eyes as if content. When she opened them again, she stared calmly at the king, and waited for his hands to close around her neck.

Many days later

The woman stood on the edge of the balcony. The wind this high up was cold and sharp, though not unpleasant on her skin. She had become flushed, exhausted from her trek running up the spiral stairs of the tower behind her. She had thought that she might escape this way, but her path had led only to this dead end.

But she did not despair. She could still escape.

'Mother…' she breathed. 'I will see you again.'

She took a step forward, standing at the very the edge of the wall-less balcony. She tilted, just as she did so, a male figure appeared behind her. He cried out, running forwards to try to stop her. But he was far too late.

She plummeted, head first towards the ground. The last thing she saw was the wall of the tower she had climbed shooting past.

She hit the ground, and was killed instantly.

Her body was found shortly after, fallen in a bush. The leaves had concealed her as the twisting green vines wrapped themselves around her body, entangling her.

The soldiers had found her. One of them fought through the thick thorns, lifting her lifeless form in his arms and resting her upon the stone ground nearby.

'I'm sorry' the soldier that had carried her said. 'She jumped. We could not reach her in time.'

The man he spoke to raised his head to the tower, seeing above him a row of soldiers standing at the edge, looking down to the scene below.

'My lord!' the soldier who had carried the women gasped. 'Her body. It's gone!'

'No' the man he spoke to said slowly, lifting his eyes to the darkening sky, watching as the thick black clouds rolled above the lands. 'She is still out there somewhere. I will find her.'

Part 1

Chapter One

Ambition

Arlen flicked back the fishing rod. The thin string attached sailed through the air as it was cast back into the water, this time a little further away than before. He leant forwards, holding the simple fishing rod with one hand and resting with his chin upon his knee. His other leg dangled above the water on the short wooden platform he sat on.

The fish were teasing him. Already he had thrown bread crumbs into the water, which they had snapped up in an instant, but they would not chase the lure. Arlen became ever more frustrated as he watched the small thin fish move in a shoal around the wriggling worm on the hook. Arlen moved the rod, trying to coax the fish. One came closer, looking as if it were about to bite.

But then came a noise. His brothers swung above the water of the pond on the rope swing they had made, letting go of the rope in mid swing and flying through the air. Their hollering was abruptly cut short as they hit the water, one after the other. Arlen alarmed looked back at the shoal of fish, they had scattered.

Losing his patience he threw the rod down into the water below him.

'

You idiots' he shouted to his brothers when they surfaced. 'You scared the fish away!'

They weren't listening, instead continued to wrestle with each other in the water. Farrell, the youngest being eleven years old, broke free, swimming as fast as he could towards the platform Arlen sat on. He was swiftly being followed by Brice the eldest, who was sixteen.

'Did you hear what I said?' Arlen huffed when they reached him.

'Relax Mr Serious Face' the youngest, Farrell sang happily. 'Why are you so up-tight all the time?

'Stupid shrimp' Arlen glowered at Farrell.

'Don't call me that!'

'Guys, will you give it a rest?' Brice the oldest shot back.

He hauled himself up onto the platform, sitting beside Arlen. He reached down into the water, helping Farrell out of the pond. The three brothers sat side by side

'You never answered our question' Brice said to Arlen. 'What do you want to be when you grow up?'

Farrell peered around the eldest brother to get a better look at Arlen, waiting eagerly for a response.

'I don't want to say' Arlen replied.

'Why not?' Farrell chirped.

'You'll laugh.'

Farrell and Brice shared a glance.

'We've already told you what we want to be' Brice told him. 'You have to tell us now.'

'I don't have to tell you anything if I don't want to' Arlen answered stubbornly. 'And anyway, everyone wants to be a soldier, though I don't understand why. Look at what happened to father.'

'But think of the honour' Brice pressed. 'Think of the women.'

'Women aren't objects' Arlen glared sullenly.

'I didn't say they were' Brice answered defensively. 'I'm just saying…think of the women.' 'Women love a man who can fight, they find them more attractive' Farrell added.

'How do you know?' Arlen asked.

'Think about it' the eldest brother replied. 'A man who can fight can protect his family. Not many people would mess with a well trained soldier holding a sword. And women need a strong man to defend the family and home.'

'I want to have a wife to protect' Farrell told Arlen. 'And a son I can raise to fight.'

Arlen went silent in thought.

'I'm going to be the best soldier I can be' Farrell said folding his arms, looking smug and nodding to himself. 'I'm going to be a General and have my own army, and fight by day and by evening I will count my gold in my keep. And when my son is old enough, he can do the same.'

'You see' Brice said speaking to Arlen again. 'Even shrimpy here thinks he can win a fight.'

'Stop calling me that!'

'So?' Brice persisted, ignoring his youngest brother's protests. 'What do you want to be, a soldier?'

'I don't want to be a soldier.'

'Oh? Are we one step closer to getting an answer from you?' Brice teased.

The youngest brother Farrell had now fallen silent, listening again as he waited patiently for his brother's answer.

'Tell us.'

'Promise you won't laugh' Arlen told them.

'I promise by the seven gods that I won't laugh' Farrell called out, speaking louder than was necessary and putting his hand on his heart.

'And I will try my best' Brice added.

'Ok.' Arlen took a deep breath. 'I want to be…a husband.'

His palms began to sweat as he waited nervously for his brother's reaction.

For the longest time neither of them spoke, or even moved.

Then suddenly, Farrell burst out in gales of laughter, and Brice soon followed.

'You promised!' Arlen protested.

'I'm sorry' Brice gasped, wiping away tears from his eyes. 'I can't help it.'

Arlen lifted his foot and shoved Brice back into the water. Brice fell off the platform, hitting the water in an undignified manner. Farrell tried in vain to flee, before he too was grabbed and thrown into the pond.

Once the two were in the water together, they turned on Arlen, each grabbing a leg and pulling him off the platform and into the water with them. Arlen fell in; fighting for air he broke the surface, coughing and spluttering, having swallowed a mouthful of water. He soon recovered, turning on his brothers in the water and going after them, swearing vengeance. The two guilty culprits turned and swam away in a panicked manner, making as much noise and splashes as possible. They tried to escape their brother, pretending to be terrified of his wrath, and all the while teasing him as they made their slow way across the pond and to the other side.

Fifteen years later

The black stallion reared up high, neighing and pawing the air, full of energy, full of life. The rider held on tightly, sat upon a finely crafted saddle, and pulling back on the reins hard.

The stallion's front feet landed back on the ground and the rider kicked the horse's flank, urging the creature onwards.

The two raced through the fields and woodlands, as fast as the stallion could go. The wind wiped the hair of the rider, making his eyes water as they travelled at such speeds. They raced across the countryside, moving as one. The stallion obeying every command from his rider, every jump, every pull of the reins, no matter how light, they soared onwards towards the town before them, drawing ever closer with every breath.

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