Part 5 of Epic Co-written Story
“Hey what happened?” Arthur asked the shaking girl in front of him.
She smiled back awkwardly, “I was in the Quest Hall, you know, in Raven’s Hollow and a guard surprised me and I attacked and then I panicked and then…” She trailed off, realising that the person in front of her was staring and slightly invading her personal space, he backed off apologetically and she continued “you know it wasn’t even really a problem for me, being there, I mean it’s not as if girls aren’t allowed, anyone can take a quest right?” And she chuckled at the absurdity of it. “I should probably go and apologise tomorrow, I mean it’s not like I can afford not to anyway…”
Nikke started to get up, her hood fell off and Arthur saw the wavy dark hair and the fragile pale skin, but what struck him most was the fire and defiance in the eyes of such a small girl. She was no longer a child but compared to him she wasn’t much. It intimidated him. And it shamed him that she had probably already been on many adventures when he had been cowardly stuck in an inn. It wasn’t a time when there were a lot of customers, just Lazy Bum (who seemed to live in the corner on booze and whatever the others’ charity could get him) but he was snoring peacefully, so Arthur invited Nikke to the counter to ask about her adventures as he offered her a drink. And then she offered to accompany him on his errand. He found out that Nikke had been taking small quests since she was 12 and living on the streets since she was 14. She had been looking for her childhood friend who had mysteriously disappeared (and who she suspected had been kidnapped) since she was 12. She found out that he’d had a pretty ordinary life until his parents moved out to his uncle’s farm outside the citadel and he had stayed, stubbornly insisting that he would become a soldier and go on exciting adventures. He’d discovered later that often it wasn’t the soldiers who went on adventures, it was the rogues, the rich discoverers, the hunters and the questers. He had half a mind to abandon his job, take a quest and discover the world. But the other half of his mind was more sensible and it reminded him that he might not survive long outside alone.
“So you mean you’ve never been outside?” Nikke laughed “How far have you ever been?”
“Hummingbird Bay and back,” he answered, embarrassed “I’ve also been in the districts around here but I haven’t had much time to go further. I have met a lot of interesting people though!”
“And do you buy them all a drink?” She wondered, half knowing the answer.
“That depends on whether they can afford it.” he winked, Nikke blushed and looked down. Arthur continued his answer more seriously, “The lady ones, sometimes. But there aren’t a lot of ladies around here who would go to the tavern alone.” He looked back at her, “And none of them have been on adventures or they don’t stick around the bar to talk about it.”
“Well that’ll all change soon when king dies and the princess becomes queen…” She said, unknowingly staring at a very precise point on the wall.
The king was old and talk was going around about what the princess would or wouldn’t do when she came to power. No-one asked which princess, everyone knew. Meanwhile the other princess was lying on the floor of her huge bedroom, brooding, sketching, thinking about her strong sister with the golden hair, bronze skin, silver or steel eyes. She was everything that a queen should be. Marissa was not. She was weak, crumbling under the weight of her armour, shield and sword so that the armorer had to make her a special light armour and shield and the weapon smith made her a rapier and a set of small daggers. Marissa had tanned skin, but it wasn’t bronze and her brown hair might be pretty, but it wasn’t gold. Her eyes were deep hazel and warm, they weren’t the eyes of the queen of an important military kingdom. She didn’t have the perfect body of her sister and the only thing she was better at was archery. She would be married to a faraway prince to keep relations and power. But she didn’t want that. What she wanted was to go on adventures, without guards, without even being recognised. She wanted to be free, to be renowned for something other than her name. And she wanted to fall in love, and to be able to stay with the person she loved forever; and she knew that this could never properly happen if she stayed royal. So Marissa planned her escape on her bedroom floor. She thought about what her new name would be, people would be looking for her and it would be stupid to keep her name, and besides she didn’t like it much. Malika? It had been what she’d call herself as a child whenever she escaped the castle to find friends before someone eventually found out. Or just Mali? It had been what her best friend had called her. Or maybe Angel? The orphans of Raven’s Hollow were all called Raven (it was their last name), so it would only be fit for her, coming from the castle which was in Angel’s Keep, to be called Angel… Or maybe she’d be better off with something completely different? She was sure of only one thing: she had to find Nikke Raven.
I actually meant to post this yesterday but I forgot
This is the FIFTH part of our Epic Co-written Story which remains unnamed for the moment (if you have any ideas feel free to share them in the comments). The last part is the last post (Encounter) so I won’t bother linking it and if you want the rest there’s a new fancy thing at the top of the page next to “about us” that says “Epic Co-written Story”!!! I’m very proud of that because I had no idea how to do it but I found out by trial and error, that’s the best way I learn things 🙂 (the earliest is at the bottom, I don’t know how to change that so it’s probably just going to stay that way).
Your turn now DragonSpark! (Tell your exams I said sorry 😉 )