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   Chapter 15 No.15

The WeatherMaker Hearts Desire By Lady Lilium Characters: 5520

Updated: 2018-07-10 12:04

'We were wondering' Farrell went on, ignoring this behaviour, 'if you wanted to come and practice with us.'

'I'm afraid I'm busy' Arlen replied shortly. 'Just go back and return to playing your games with Brice.'

'War is not a game' Farrell replied sternly. 'And weapons are not toys.'

Arlen gave no response to this, so enveloped was he in his drawing.

Farrell sighed shaking his head, moving away from him and shrugging at Brice who waited nearby. The two returned to their sparring, as Arlen added the finishing touches to his work.

'There' he said with satisfaction when it was complete. 'It is done.'

He tore the page out of the book, glancing back at his brothers who were completely distracted with their fighting. Rolling the page up, and leaving the book and pencils where they were, he slipped away.

Sometime later, his brothers noticed he had gone, seeing the empty page in the book and the pencils left behind.

'Where did he go?' Farrell asked curiously.

'I think I know' Brice replied, his attention drifting towards the Duke's manor.

Arlen tip-toed along the boundaries of the Duke's home, holding in one hand the drawing he had rolled up. He tied a weight to the paper with a piece of red cloth, backing away he threw the rock, aiming as high as he could. The red fabric trailed through the air as it flew over the wall.

Within the garden behind the high walls, Ramana sat waiting. She saw as the thing fell into the garden, landing with a thud on the grass. Ramana stood, sauntering over towards the item.

She bent down and untied the beautiful red fabric, unrolling the paper. She held the large drawing in both her hands, smiling down at it.

She recognised the glowing pink blossoms of the trees that were drawn in the background of the picture, as the ones that grew near her home. In the foreground, growing amongst the tall sweeping grass were lilies, coloured pure white and lightning blue. And scattered throughout the picture, beneath the trees and wading through the grasses, were mother horses with their foals. In the centre of the picture, rearing up dramatically with mane tossed back was a mighty black stallion. The picture was beautifully drawn and intricately detailed.

Ramana smiled widely, putting a hand over her mouth. The edges of her eyes crinkled. She lifted her head up towards the wall, thinking of the one on the other side.

Her heart beat heavy in her chest, and she longed to see the man on the other side of the wall, longed to know who he was. She rolled the picture up again, holding it to her, her eyes shimmering.

She left the garden, creeping through the corridors of her home quietly and returning to her bedroom. Ramana unrolled the picture again, placing it

upon the wall. She took a step back, admiring the drawing in all its splendour.

Ramana was happy.

It was the next day that Arlen was in the forest, having risen early that morning, as he had so many mornings before that. As had become habit. He slept little nowadays, and when he did, his dreams were dominated night after night, by that voice.

Today, Arlen found his wandering feet had taken him to a small pond deep within the woods. A beautiful place it was, much like the rest of the forest. But the pond made him stop, so tranquil was the sound of the trickling water of the little river that ran into it.

Arlen rested on his knees, placing the things he had brought with him on the ground beside him. Pots of paint, paper of different colours, some thick card, and some paper thin enough to see through, ribbons and cloth of several different materials and string also. Arlen poured gleefully over the items he had brought with him, thinking about what he should do with them.

Sometime later he had created a large butterfly. With a painted twig body, its wings were made of many different colours of the thin paper, held together at the edges with thin twigs bent around.

Arlen smiled at it. He had finished, and it looked beautiful.

Arlen turned it over in his hands, examining it closely, wondering if there was anything else he could add to it, when he noticed a ripple on the water of the pond.

Arlen raised his head and gasped as he saw a figure.

It was Ramana. She had followed him into the woods earlier that morning, and watched from a distance as he worked.

She stood there, peering at Arlen closely as he sat there in shock and awe of her beauty.

And then she smiled.

Sometime later, the soldiers were gathering once again in the centre of the town for battle. Farrell wheeled his black stallion around, the feisty beast tossed its head as it moved, excited by the commotion. Farrell surveyed the bustling scene. As always Brice was by his side, mounted on his own chestnut stallion. But this time, much to the surprise of both Farrell and Brice, Arlen was present also.

'Arlen' Brice said. 'You're here.'

Arlen answered his brother only with a flash of teeth. He was smiling. Farrell hummed thoughtfully to himself at this, but said nothing. He signalled to the men around him, commanding them, and sending them out of the town and onwards.

Chapter Four

Plans for the Future

Arlen sat on the wall of the fountain in the town, feeling better now than he had done in years. He had had no trouble from his landlord for quite some time now, and both his brothers seemed to be in better moods with him. But above all, Arlen thought with a silent smile to himself, he had gotten her attention.

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