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Dawn of the Arcana

Dawn of the Arcana

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This rp is based of the manga "Reimei no Arcana" in a world where discrimination, racism and bigotry thrives. It's a 1x1 between FamishedPants and Myself.

1,341 readers have visited Dawn of the Arcana since SugarPlum22 created it.

Copyright: The creator of this roleplay has attributed some or all of its content to the following sources:

http://www.mangahere.co/manga/reimei_no_arcana

Introduction

Our story begins in a medieval-like era, on the beautiful planet of Yanerth; a world where discrimination, racism and bigotry thrives. In this world, there are creatures that are half-human and half-animal—known as "sub-humans"—who have animal characteristics. Some look more like humans with animal ears and a tail, while others are more animal-like with a human posture. Either way, they are looked down upon, shunned by society and considered worse than second-class citizens. Most sub-human males (some females) are used as war slaves since all their senses are enhanced and they are much stronger than the average human (why they are basically dirt, I don't know, they just are). While most sub-human females and children (very few males) are servants to almost anyone who has money, especially the royals.

Speaking of royals, those with royal blood take pride in having long black hair. Only commoners have brown, blonde, or red hair. Anybody of royal blood who has 'commoner'-colored hair is seen as a disgrace to the royal family. Not only is it scandalous for a royal to have a hair color other than black, it is also nearly unheard of. Why would anyone of the nobility want to sully their name by reproducing with someone of a different hair color, after all? It’s even worse when you throw a sub-human into the mix. In fact, it's a taboo for any human who has a child with a sub-human and will be executed.

Now, onto our real story. For 200 years on the small continent of Blihela, two neighboring countries—the northern country of Honian and the southern country of Naista—have suffered through a constant waging war and strife. It is in this crazy world of discrimination and hatred that we meet Thea Rycroft, the only daughter of the royal family in Honian. To maintain peace between these two countries, a political marriage is arranged between Honian's Princess Thea and Naista's second-in-line Prince. So Thea becomes a sacrificial lamb for her country, married off for convenience to keep the peace.

We begin our tale at a wedding ceremony, the participants a red-haired girl and a black-haired boy. The girl notes dispassionately that her new husband has crushed her hair in his hand, unbeknownst to the onlookers. This is a marriage for the purpose of upholding a treaty to keep the peace between two warring countries, Honian and Naista. Not only is she of a different nationality to the prince she has married, which automatically makes her unlikable, but she also has filthy, red hair. Why is red hair so bad? Only commoners have red hair, of course.

The prince basically treats Thea like crap, what's worse, she's forced to live in Naista for the rest of her life. Thea attempts to hold a strong front and remain strong among the public eyes as she is discriminated by the people of Naista for her poor Honian background and her inferior red hair. The only solace that she finds in her new and unfamiliar environment is her attendant and longtime friend, a sub-person, who has the ears and tail of a wolf.

However, when Thea begins receiving premonitions involving the prince's impending death, will she use this information to save him, or will she let her husband die and exact her vengeance against Naista and the people who despise her? But as Thea gradually develops feelings for the prince, a war between humans and sub-people is beginning to take its first steps and Thea soon learns that her visions are more than mere premonitions and stem from her mysterious and rare power called "The Arcana of Time"—a power that can bring miracles at a cost—and is both sought after to be harnessed for ulterior motives or to be ultimately destroyed for its strange ability. Thea struggles to find a way to use her power of "The Arcana of Time" to save people's lives and prevent bloodshed as the prince, the sub-human, and she try to create a new world free from corrupt royal families and discrimination against appearances, bloodlines, and races.


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Toggle Rules

I. Posting. Be at least SEMI-LITERATE! Correct spelling and punctuation. Also as LEAST two paragraph (that's TEN sentences) per post! I'll let you off with seven. However, if you intend to give me only seven sentences, at least give me good ones. I refuse to accept "Blank did this. He danced everywhere. He did that. Meh. Double meh." Please add your character's name and a picture (maybe a quote too?) to the top of all your post, if you don't want to/know how to (for the picture), at least add your character's name (again maybe a quote too). Choose a legible font for your post. For one, I like to have a different font for my character's name at top (and a quote) than the font I'd use in the actual Roleplay. I also like to have a different colors for Talking, Thoughts, and Others Talking; Thoughts being italicize and Others Talking being bold print. You, of course, don't have to do all this work. But if you decide to, then also pick a legible color to read in.

II. Going to be Gone? If you are going to be gone for a long while (more then 2 weeks) then please PM me OR post in the OOC thread that you are. I have a tendency to post then take a week to reply to a post. For that, I will apologize in advance! But the reason being is that I am a human being. I have a life outside of this website that I have a responsibility to care for. I attend college and work, so I don't have time to go on here everyday all day long. I know that you, too, have a life. So, if you'll bare with me and my week long wait for a reply, then I to will bare with you and await for your post.



This isn't a rule, but I want to put this here anyways:

* I live in the time zone PST (Pacific Standard Time). If you don't have the same time zone, then I would like to know yours. So I can understand how much further ahead or behind you are on time.

** My work schedule varies every week. It's a Monday-Sunday chart, in which I will know when I work the next week on Friday or Saturday. If you would like to know my weekly work schedule, to get a better idea of my own availability, I would not mind to send it you via PM.

*** On the other hand, my college schedule is much easier to tell. Starting Tuesday, January 20th; I will attend school every Tuesday morning from 8:00am to 12:00pm and all day every Thursday from 8:00am to 10:00pm. So most likely I will not go on at all Thursdays.

**** I was wondering if it would be alright for you to send me this information as well via PM, so no one else will see it. Time zone, work and/or school schedule. That way I can have a better idea of your availability. Of course, you don't have to if you don't want to.

The Story So Far... Write a Post » as written by 2 authors

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Character Portrait: Slaine Archibald
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Slaine Archibald
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"You've been acting eccentric, as of late."

So said Slaine's closest friend and servant, Salia, when he asked about what was on her mind and her reason for dragging him all the way out into the garden. Needless to say, he was both confused and shocked that she would ever say that. He wasn't acting any different from usual, was he? Just the same old unfriendly prince that he had always been his entire life.

"Please elaborate, Salia. I don't believe I understand exactly what you mean by that." Slaine questioned, tilting his head to the side a little bit to express his confusion.

Salia responded with a sigh, obviously a bit frustrated at something. It was because she didn't like how in denial about himself he seemed to be, so she would have to take a more blunt approach, so it would seem. She took a deep breath in, inhaling the fresh, clean air outside. It made things so much easier to explain when she didn't have to choke on the stench of spoiled nobles all the time. If she knew Slaine (Which she certainly did) then she knew his reaction might not be a pleasant one. Even the very implication she was about to give him would probably upset him. Especially him. He was a proud prince, and she knew that more than anybody else. He wasn't proud of his family, or his name, it was just him. Nobody else was the cause for this pride, not his father, not his brother, and certainly not anybody else.

So, she steeled herself for this moment, and spoke clearly, perhaps a bit too loud as well. It was good that nobody else was around to eavesdrop though, right? "Lately... You have not been yourself, Slaine." she began, her gaze unfaultering. "Ever since her arrival, you have acted odd around the princess. You've been angrier, more aggressive, for sure, but not just that."

Slaine immediately saw where this was going and, as you would expect, had no desire to hear any more of it. He tried to interject. "Hey! There's a reas-"

"You stole a glance at the princess earlier and the Queen even caught that, did she not?"

A single sentence caught him in his tracks. If this was anybody else, he could play it off cooly, but this was the person closest to him at the moment and she knew how he thought. "Err...." He forced himself to think of a proper response to that. While his original excuse worked on his mother, well, Salia was brighter than that old hoot anyway. Simply bringing this up meant Salia did not believe a single word he said at the table. But still, he was a bit stubborn...

"Last I recall, there is nothing wrong with that. What is the problem with looking at her? She is mine. I can do with her what I want..."

"Yes, I'm aware. You have said similar things like that for the past day." Salia shook her head and Slaine could tell she was the one getting mad here. "I'm not saying or suggest that doing that is bad. It is just simply out of character for you." she continued. "For what reason do you look at her, with such odd eyes. They are not the eyes of absolute hatred, like you wish for others to believe. Are they pitiful eyes, longing eyes, wishful eyes? All I know is that they don't fit you, and I'm worried."

"They're... I'm just.... Okay, listen. I don't need to explain anything to you. What I do is my own damned business and I don't care about anything you think you perceive nor do I want to hear about it." As Slaine was a genius when it came to escaping things that did not bode well for him, he used the single most effective escape method possibly known to man, which is of course getting angry like Salia figured he would and denying any further talk about it.

Yes, tactical genius.

"I won't press further," Salia sighed, for who knows which time this was. "Please realize that you aren't exactly doing your best at hiding your emotions recently. If you let the King and Queen see this, I'm sure they'll make use of it."

And with that simple but frightening warning, Salia departed from Slaine's presence, leaving him alone to ponder what he was even just scolded/warned/told about, and in even a worse mood than he typically was.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Thea Rycroft
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Princess
Thea
Rycroft





Thea and Aryn had not spoken much since they arrived at the garden. Only a few comments here and there about the weather outside and the plants that surrounded them were spoken, but nothing of real interest. Aryn had wanted to ask about how Thea was doing, adjusting to the new environment, but he already could guess what her answer would be. "I hate it here! It's no better than the last place!"

He looked over to her now. She was beginning to doze off, her head tilting slightly forward and her eyes starting to close. Aryn chuckled to himself. He reached over, taking Thea by the shoulders and made her rest her head on his lap. She glanced up at him, a questioning look on her face. "Are you tired? Have you been getting enough sleep?" He knew the answer even before she shook her head. "Ah, alright. Rest here for now. I'll wake you up after a while." With a little smile, she closed her eyes and drifted off.

Not long after, Thea had fallen asleep. Aryn then heard two voices in the distance. He didn't know if the voices were getting closer or not, but he could tell that one of the voices belonged to Prince Slaine. Though he did not move, continuing un-braid and run his fingers through his master's hair. He was not so much eavesdropping on their conversation, until he heard something, or well someone of interest, mentioned. The princess? Are they talking about Thea? He gazed down at her, feeling a bit unsteady.

Aryn gently moved Thea off his lap, so he would not wake her, and placed her head down on the grass. He got up, looking around. No one was there. Had his enhanced hearing picked up their voices from someplace else? Although, they must be in the garden somewhere. Not really liking the idea, he left Thea asleep on the grass to search the garden for the two voices. But not a moment later did they stop, he still tried to look for at least Slaine.

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Character Portrait: Thea Rycroft Character Portrait: Slaine Archibald
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Slaine Archibald
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"Well, whatever."

Salia seemed to be genuinely upset, at least that is what she came off as. He did not see the woman grow angry over just any little thing, and it was most certainly rare that she got mad at Slaine himself. But he did not understand why. So what if he perhaps did not hate the princess as much as he let on? She did cause him the loss of most of the public's opinion just by existing, but he couldn't forget the fact that it wasn't her fault in the first place....

No.

He could not think like that. That would mean he thought she deserved thought in the first place, which she did not. Regardless of what actually happened, the fact is, she is the reason he was not as popular with his own people recently. And that hurt him. It hurt his pride, his elegance, and his reputation. That was unacceptable.

Looking up, Slaine noticed a familiar dog. She was asleep on the grass, all by herself. For what purpose? Had she just collapsed? No, from what he could tell by gazing at her sleeping features, this sleep was a sound one. As sound as laying down on a bed and closing your eyes. Her sleeping face was gentle, unexpectedly. Slaine had not actually thought about what the woman looked like when sleeping, but if he had to guess, he would figure there would be that same, emotionless face she always wore. That, or maybe some form of scowl. Either way, to see her sleeping like this.... well, he could not say she did not look beautiful. Gorgeous.

Pure.

But he knew that wasn't the case. She was a foreigner to this land. One who had cost him his popularity, which is what he had held dearest for some time now. He wasn't sure what to do with her, though. He thought about leaving her, but he couldn't. And, as much as he'd love to snap her out of her nap in his garden, he couldn't do that either. So, perhaps unaware of his surroundings, he kept a soft expression as he looked at her.

What was he doing?

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Princess
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Aryn had searched almost the whole garden. He had spotted no one while walking around. Maybe he was just being paranoid and imagined that he heard Slaine's voice. Sighing, he decided to head back to where he left Thea. "I could've sworn I had heard his voice..." Aryn muttered to himself. He looked around, the garden was like a maze, so many different stone pathways that lead somewhere else. Which way was the right one? Making an educated guess, he walked down one of the paths.

Not long after, did Aryn stumble upon the prince. Slaine seemed to be looking down at something with a very odd expression. He stayed in the shadows of the trees, as to not be noticed by the prince. What was he looking so softly at? Getting closer, he noticed a very familiar silhouette. Thea. "Wh-" Aryn began to speak, but quickly shut his mouth.

Thea, peaceful in her sleep, had sensed something to cause her to stir and wake up. She tried to open her eyes, but the sunlight was too bright for her. In the mist of waking up, she had noticed that she was no longer laying on Aryn's lap, but the cool grass. She slowly pushed herself up, eyes still closed. The first words out of her mouth were, "Aryn...?" Her voice was a bit dry, like one's is when they first wake. There was also a questioning tone, as if not knowing he was there.

"Yes, I'm here, Princess Thea." A voice came from behind Slaine. Aryn stepped out of the shadows completely now and walked past the prince, giving him a not to friendly glare. He took a seat next to the princess and ran his fingers through her tangles hair, getting all the loose grass out. Once that was down, he began re-braiding the long red hair of his master.

Thea rubbed her eyes and smiled. Aryn's voice and touch were always comforting to her. She tried opening her eyes again, and though the sun was still a bit bright for her, she kept them opened. Her expression quickly turned from comfort to shock, she wasn't expecting Slaine to be standing before her. "Prince...?"

This gave Aryn a perfect opportunity to be a little mischievous. "It seems as though Your Royal Highness was watching you while you slept." He smirked, as Thea looked to Aryn and back to Slaine, very confused.

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Slaine Archibald
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Though he would not admit it, even to himself, he was almost a bit disappointed that the princess had begun to stir awake. The delicate features of her face, usually hardened by her own external shell, had disappeared briefly behind the confusion of her awakening as she call out for her dog with closed eyelids. He had stayed too long, so he should leave before she actually manages to open her eyes and spot him. That would not be in Slaine's best interest.

"Yes, I'm here, Princess Thea."

But of course that was now impossible. The very same mutt whose name she had just uttered appeared as if from nowhere, pacing past Slaine and giving him a glare. Slaine was spooked by the mutt's presence, but never jumped, nor showed indication of it. That being said, he should have expected the dog to be in the immediate area. These two seemed like they hadn't been separated in quite some time. An error on Slaine's part. One he would not make anytime in the future, he would ensure this. But now that he was found out, he needed an excuse for his doings. Perhaps a bit of the truth would suffice. That he just simply stumbled upon a princess in the green grass, sleeping the day away without an apparent care in the world? Leaving a certain part of the story after he discovered her out would be best though, but it still wasn't technically a lie, was it? Yes....

Happy with his choice in alibi, Slaine Archibald watched as the princess, still with sleep blocking her eyes, smiled upon knowing Aryn's presence. The prince still had yet to say a word, make a sound, or even move yet, so to the princess who hadn't yet opened her eyes, he was invisible. Actually, was this not the first time he had seen her smile, too? This young, crimson-headed woman seemed to make so many more expressions when she was not with Slaine. Happy and peaceful faces he knew he would not see anywhere else. The prince was almost envious of Aryn.

"Prince...?" her soft voice called out in confusion, as it seemed she still wasn't entirely awake, perhaps. Now that she had noticed him, he could return to his usual, cold self and find an excuse to leave. Slaine began to open his mouth to speak when......

"It seems as though Your Royal Highness was watching you while you slept."

Crueler words have never been spoken to Slaine by someone's servant. The absolute hatred this dog must have felt for Slaine was felt right then at that moment, for even more so than the knife at his throat, this was a display that informed Slaine of his feelings towards Slaine. That he despised Slaine. For who would do such a thing? Such an unthinkable thing to the prince of this nation? To throw him under a carriage! To embarrass him like that? Even Slaine, master of manipulating the crowd with his words and his expressions, was unable to remain entirely calm after the mutt stated that so smugly.

"I-I-I was not..!" Slaine blurted out in obvious embarrassment and out of his normal character, a crimson shade very similar to the princess' hair filling his cheeks. He immediately coughed into his hand a couple of times before saying anything else, and returned to a calmer expression, though his cheeks did not seem any less on fire than they did a second ago. "Do not say such misleading things. I simply stumbled upon a princess not being grateful for expensive and comfy bed we have provided her in her own room, is all." Slaine cleared his throat with a couple of more coughs. Why anybody would sleep on the uncomfortable grass rather than the luxurious bed was behind most of noble birth. Even still, Slaine was being a hypocrite in calling her out on that as if it were something bad, because there was more than one occasion he had done the same.

"Anyway, I just came out here to enjoy my garden when I noticed it was tainted by an unclean presence." he restated for their benefit. They had to know that he wasn't just staring at her or anything. He was just err... appalled by the unclean mutts that ruined his garden's beauty. Y-yeah, that was it!

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Character Portrait: Thea Rycroft Character Portrait: Slaine Archibald
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Princess
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"I-I-I was not..!" Slaine had sputtered out, turning scarlet red, completely embarrassed.

Aryn couldn't help but enjoy the scene in front of him. The prince was obviously trying to hide his embarrassment by coughing into his hand. Although, it might have worked with his composure, it didn't work on the fact that his cheeks were still very much red and flushed.

"Do not say such misleading things. I simply stumbled upon a princess not being grateful for expensive and comfy bed we have provided her in her own room, is all."

During all this time, Thea had reverted back to her expressionless attitude. She simply looked at Slaine like he was bored with the world. "I am grateful." She began, but her tone didn't sound like she was, "It's just a nice day out and I simply fell asleep." She stated, then quietly added, "You should try it out sometime. It might help that big head of yours (his ego)." With that, Thea stood up, Aryn shortly after.

It seemed Slaine hadn't heard her remark. "Anyway, I just came out here to enjoy my garden when I noticed it was tainted by an unclean presence." He scoffed.

Aryn took a step forward, a low growl that could barely be heard. But before he could do anything, Thea's arm went up to stop him. "We were just leaving." And that was it before they started to walk away. When the two were a few feet away from Slaine, Thea stop and turn around. "Oh. I won't be joining you or your family for lunch this afternoon." She stated, turning back around to face forward again. "But I will join you for dinner." She said, as an afterthought, before leaving the garden.

When the two entered the castle and the doors closed behind them, Thea sighed heavily. "I felt so refreshed when I first woke up from that nap...Now I just feel tired again." She followed Aryn through the castle, supposedly back to her room. "Now what are we to do?" She asked.

Aryn crossed one of the corridors and ceased walking to lean against the wall. He watch Thea, as shed paced in a small circle back and forth. A moment later, she stopped. "We've only been here for three days and haven't seen much of the castle." She said, really to herself. Then started listing places she knows of. "Let's see...There's the garden, The annoying Prince's room, my room, the dining hall...And that's about it for me. You know where the kitchen is and your own room, but I do not." She looked at Aryn, smiling. "Let's go explore!"

Thea headed off down the hall with Aryn trailing behind get. "Princess Thea, we don't know what rooms we are allowed in are not. We shouldn't go exploring without proper guidance for someone in the castle." He told get, looking around for a guard to show them around.

"You know as well as I do, no guard or anyone in this castle will want to show us around. So we might as well just go exploring ourselves and if we end up in the room we're not allowed to be in, then we'll get in trouble. So what, it's no big deal." With that being said, Thea continued off down the corridors, checking each door she passed to see if it was locked or not.

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Slaine Archibald
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Slaine watched patiently as Thea and Aryn departed from the garden and further away from him without so much as moving an inch as they did so. It was not like he had intended to join his family for lunch either, though unlike her he could not afford to disappear around lunchtime or they would go out of their way to punish him for it. Something about 'respect' or the sort would likely be what they told him he lacked by dodging such a meeting. And that would certainly be quite ironic considering they had never shown him an inkling of respect for the majority of his entire life.

"I can't win in this family, can I?" he sighed quietly to himself. There was nothing to gain by sitting around in his garden as he was no longer in the mood to try to decipher what Salia had told him, so he decided to head back into the castle and get ready for lunch with the 'family'.

Oh boy, he could not wait.

As Slaine found one way or another to idly pass his time until he was called in for lunch, he began to feel a sharp pain in his chest. As if his body warning him something evil was afoot, or that he should be cautious. But there was no need as he never let his guard down near his family. Still though, the feeling did not disappear even as the table was set and everybody excluding (once more) the King sat down at the dining room table in preparation to feast. It was like his body was really trying to get a message across, but Slaine could not translate it at all. He was already on edge just by being in proximity to his family. All he could do is hope that this pain went away eventually, and that he could at least ignore his family in peace, with no pains or worries.

But it did not. Not even as he ate the expensive, filling food while remaining quiet at the table. Not even as a family threw a subtle jab his direction, which he also ignored. And not even when, after remaining quiet the entirety of lunchtime besides a few, quick 'Mhmms' and 'Nos', did it cease to be a presence within him. Granted, the pain dropped in feeling quiet a bit from when it first began. What felt like a small jab to the gut constantly had dropped down to a barely-noticeable pressure-like feeling but it was just prominent enough to let him know it was still there. Somehow Slaine knew he was not ill, call it instinct. This was an odd sensation he had never really felt before and did not think it sounded like any sickness he had ever heard of anyways. And since it began before he ate, he did not think that his family had decided to suddenly poison him (besides they were more likely to simply have a guard execute him outright under false accusations).

"...This is rather irritating," he whispered to himself as he left the room, unsure what he was going to do with himself right now. "Maybe I should go see what my 'wife' is up to? She should be glad that I give her the time of day, after all." he pondered with bad intentions, though as he did the feeling in his chest almost disappeared. "Ah yes, this feeling.... must be my body telling me I need to punish her more."

And so Slaine had decided that he would look for the red-headed vixen whose very presence cost him public favor, and perhaps annoy her for his own self-satisfaction and to ease this pesky pain in his chest, because that's why it was there.

Or so he told himself.

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Thea
Rycroft





Most of the rooms Thea checked were unlocked. Aryn had disappeared at some point to go collect some paper and quill, so that he could map out the castle for them as they walked. Thea had stopped to wait for him where they started, the back door to the gardens. A few minutes later, Aryn came back, already jotting down rooms of the ground floor, which they had just explored.

Almost all the rooms on the ground floor were servant quarters and storage rooms. The rooms in the front of the castle were the guard's and soldier's sleeping quarters. The right side of the castle were the servant's sleeping quarters. The back half of the left side was where the small amount of sub-human servants slept. The front half were Bathrooms, for baths taken in wooden tubs. Lavatories, which contained the toilets. And Garderobes, that were small rooms often used for storing valuables. All for the use of soldiers, guards, servants, and sub-humans.

In the back of the castle, the rooms were mainly storage spaces. There was the Bottlery (wine cellar), used for storing and dispensing wines and other expensive provisions. The Buttery (beer cellar), intended for storing and dispensing beverages, especially ale. The Bake-house, which had cooking ovens for baking breads and such. The kitchen was also on the ground floor, which included huge fireplaces for smoking and roasting food, cooking utensils and supplies, also a water supply complete with a sink and drainage. The Larder, a cool area for storing foods such as meat, prior to use. An ice-house, a special insulated house to keep ice, storage of perishable foods, but it could also be used simply to cool drinks, or allow ice-cream and sorbet desserts to be prepared. There were a few Pantries, each stored different types of food and provisions. Then there were Undercrofts, storage rooms for cleaning supplies and dishes.

The last thing to note on the ground floor was the two courtyards inside the castle walls. There was a "corridor" that went down the middle and between the two courtyards, which was completely opened. As well as the hallways facing around the courtyards. No walls, just arches to hold up the floors above.

Once the ground floor was all mapped out, the two started to moved up to the first floor. Then Aryn spoke up, "Princess Thea, I believe we should go all the way to the third floor and make our way back down."

Thea slowed her steps up the stairs. "Why?" She questioned. "Why not just go bottom to top, so when we are done, we can just retire in my room?"

He smiled at her, slowing his steps so she could catch up. "Well, there was a room I found yesterday that I think you will enjoy quite much. So, I feel it is best we end our little tour there."

"Alright then, to the third floor it is."

Reaching the third floor, the back right side were the Royal family's sleeping quarters. Each room came attached to a Boudoir, or dressing rooms, as well as Bathrooms, Lavatories, and Garderobes.

The back left side, across the indoor balcony of the ballroom, were the studies. There was individual private study rooms for each of the Royal family members, in which Thea surprisingly also had her own private study room. Then the rest of the rooms were for lessons (such as politics, language, music, etc.).

((Okay, I don't really know what to put on the left and right half sides of the 3rd floor. So if there's any room you want to input that I don't have, it'll go there))

Going down to the second floor, the front half were sleeping quarters for royal and rich guests. The left and right sides of the second floor were the regular guest sleeping quarters. The rooms were attached with what the Royal family's rooms had.

((The back half the second floor is mentioned below, due to being attached to rooms on the first floor))

For the most part, the first floor was nothing but Galleries, Smoking rooms, Saloons, Drawing rooms, and Colored rooms (The Gold Room, The Blue Room, The Rose Room, and so forth, based on how they were decorated). There was also a Solar, a private sitting room favored by the Royal family. ((message me if you don't know what these rooms are and want to know what they are, I just don't feel like typing out basically how useless all these rooms are))

Now having the castle map almost complete, Thea and Aryn went down to the first floor to finish mapping out their self-made map of the castle.

The back right side was where the Great Hall ((super crappy paint skills)) was located, it took up most of the right side. At the end of the Great Hall was the Dais, which was a raised platform for the high table where the Royal family and highest ranking Lord and Nobles were seated. The Dais was a long horizontal table that had the seats faced out, overlooking the rest of the hall. The tables down below were vertical with seats on both sides. Then there was the Minstrel's Gallery, which was where the King's musicians were situated on the second floor, overlooking the Great Hall.

The between the Great Hall and Ballroom was Throne room. This was where the Royal family was seated on another Dais like raised platform, under a canopy. They would have official ceremonies, to hold councils, to grant audiences, to receive homage, to award high honors and offices, and to perform other official functions.

The middle part to the back of the castle was the Ballroom ((crappy paint)). All three stories. The first story was the large dance floor, at the end of the room was a staircase that lead up to the second floor. Which only has an outdoor balcony with nothing inside, but another set of the staircases going up to the third floor from the sides. The third floor was an indoor balcony which over looked the ballroom's dance floor.

And finally, the back left side of the castle was the Library. It was two stories high filled with all kinds of books. Children's stories, history, some in different languages, some from different countries.

Thea ran her fingers across the bindings of the books. She hated to admit, but she wasn't very good at reading. She loved books, it's just a shame she could hardly read on her own. Aryn would always read to her, or at least try and teach her how to read.

She picked up a small, short child's book. Something easy for her to read without any help. Aryn went off on his own to find something much more complicated to read, or well, it would be complicated for her. She finished the book with ease and decided to try and find something a little more challenging.

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Where the hell did she run off to?

If one was observing him with a keen eye and was excellent at deducing a person's feeling from the most subtle of hints, they would have not had to look hard to see that Slaine was not in a happy mood, though he didn't seem to have anything but a sour face on as of recent anyways. He looked around the castle's first floor, poking his head into room after room, looking for his so-called wife or at least her servant, but found her to be nowhere he'd ever consider looking. Of course, that one place was the library, so when he finally called out to a guard, despite wishing to find her on his own originally, he could only clench his fists in irritation when it was said that she should have been in said library.

Do dogs even read? Why would she even be there? Figures it's the one place on this floor I don't bother to look in!

However, Slaine noted that the feeling in his chest, the pain, dampened a bit when he was finally sure of her location. That definitely meant that he was feeling upset that he had not done anything to punish her for essentially ruining his life for being born, of course! As Slaine approached the door to the library, he noticed someone standing just outside of it.

"Salia." he acknowledge her presence. He hadn't spoke to her since her odd bout in the garden, though he had noticed her silently following him, likely doing her job to make sure nothing happened to him, just with more distance than usual. Slaine figured that was because she was feeling bad about how she spoke to him earlier, and forgave her.

"Slaine." replied, looking at him with dull eyes. She didn't seem to have any particular feeling in her facial expression. She was just standing there as if she were a guard. "The princess is inside." she told him, as if she knew what he was going to ask. She did not continue nor say anything else, despite Slaine having a feeling she wanted to.

But he ignored that. She was acting weird, claiming that he was acting strange was strange itself. Of course he would act different around the person who robbed him of the one thing he could enjoy. And to say it wasn't pure hatred for this princess was a lie, probably. "Good." he said, wordlessly waiting for her to open the door for him. She did, and waited for him to enter before closing the door behind them. Salia waited near the door as Slaine entered the library, not initially seeing the princess because a large bookshelf hid her from his perspective.

This library is rather excessive, isn't it?

Slaine did not see the need for such a big room full of books. In truth, nobody in his family seem to read enough to warrant it, save his elder brother, but even then, such a big room was way too much in Slaine's opinion. But here the mutt was, a book in her hands with the obvious intention on reading it. He was genuinely curious as to if she could even read or not. Slaine could, of course, but that did not mean he cared much to read. But how entertaining would it be if she wanted to read but could not? Yet another contrast between them.

"I do hope you are being careful with those, Princess." Slaine noticed that as he began to approach her, the feeling in his chest was disappearing. He must really like teasing more than he thought. "Some of the books aren't replaceable, so were you to tear or otherwise harm them.... well, even your status as a princess would do you little good." he warned with a grin on his face. "But I guess I should not be expecting you to have your paws on those books. They're fairly advanced, after all."

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After a few minutes into the book, Thea had to call Aryn over to help her read it. "Aryn come help me read this book! I would get a different one, but this book's cover seems interesting, so I want to read it!" She had thought she choose only a slightly harder book, then the children's book she read prior. Though it seemed that she picked out a much more difficult one to read on her own.

"Princess Thea, I have taught you well enough to be able to read most books on your own." Aryn said, coming down from the second floor to help her out. When he got closer, she was pouting. "I know there are some words that are difficult, but you should be able to sound them out and figure out how to read them by now." Even though he had said that, in the end, he ended up just reading the book to her.

Once the book was done, Aryn got up. "Alright, next book you have to read on your own. Only call me over if you need to know the meaning of a word." He told her, heading back to now look around the third floor of the library. Halfway through the third floor, he had noticed a lot of the much older and very advance books were mostly on this floor of the library. As well as books, or something, that were locked away in the back. "Now I wonder what is in those..." He asked himself.

Sighing, Thea got up and searched for another book. She ran her had along the bookshelf and stopped when she felt the spine of a leather book. She pulled it out and looked at the cover. It seemed to be fairly old, a dark red color, embossed with two dragons facing each other on the front and a large tree bare of its leaves embossed on the back. She went back to the table she was sitting at, hidden behind a bookshelf, and started to read it.

The book was surprisingly easy to read, but hard to understand. She thought about calling Aryn back over. That is, before she heard the doors to the library open. She did not look up from the book, until she heard Slaine's voice. Great...

"I do hope you are being careful with those, Princess. Some of the books aren't replaceable, so were you to tear or otherwise harm them.... well, even your status as a princess would do you little good." He warned with a grin on his face. "But I guess I should not be expecting you to have your paws on those books. They're fairly advanced, after all."

At Slaine's last comment, made the princess's cheeks a light shade of pink. Does he know? Oh God, he knows. That's just great...Another thing he can harass and ridicule me with. She thought, burying her face back into the book, hoping to hide the slight embarrassment that showed.

"Advanced, huh? Well, I'll keep that in mid when I get to them." She said, having no hit in her voice of anything but annoyance. After she felt the slight warmth in her cheeks disappear, she looked back at Slaine. "Is there something you want? Since lunch had just passed, dinner isn't until much later. I had already said I would e joining you and your family for that."

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Did I hit the nail on the head? I did, didn't I? Aha! As expected of me, the great Slaine!

Feeling rather proud of himself after catching a glimpse of the embarrassed princess, Slaine mentally patted himself on the back on a job well done. Since even making her eat like a dog didn't seem to faze her - perhaps because she was one, of course - to get any real reaction from her was pleasant. His mood had instantly improved compared to what it was, so he deduced that teasing her was what he truly desired at this time. Nothing else would satisfy him.

"Is there something you want? Since lunch had just passed, dinner isn't until much later. I had already said I would be joining you and your family for that."

Slaine's grin turned into what appeared to be a genuine smile, though by now, Thea likely knew that wasn't actually the case. "Why, none other than to spend some quality time with my wife. Is that a crime nowadays?" he asked, taking a seat across from her and leaning it back. He rested his two feet on the table to emphasize just how nice and polite he actually felt like being right now. "Besides, you look absolutely bored! Look! You're reading! But...you know though, if you can't read at an advanced level, that would look pretty bad for a princess, wouldn't it? What would the public think!" all of this was said with a very genuine tone, but that just made the sarcasm more obvious. He had even thrown a little jab at her at the end. But, continuing his act, he threw up his pointer finger as if he had just discovered something.

"I have an idea! What if... your very generous and caring husband - me - shows you how to read? Maybe we can even make a bet out of it, if you're feeling competitive." he "offered". He likely wasn't actually being generous enough to let her choose what her answer was going to be.

At this point, he had gotten tired of the creepy-feeling smile he was wearing and decided to ditch it. He yawned audibly as he awaited the Princess' response.

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Seeing the look on Slaine's face, Thea knew she hadn't hid her embarrassment well enough and he figured out her little secret. Sighing, she continued to read the book in her hands. She was actually beginning to understand what the book was about. It was an old book with a bunch of short story in it. The story she currently finished was about a women who kills her husband with a lamb leg. The wife calmly cooks the lamb, and invites the investigators to a meal as they try to determine what weapon was used to murder her husband.

Thea rather enjoyed the story, as she tried her hardest to not make a sound, which she didn't and her face was perfectly hidden behind the book that Slanie couldn't see her ever so small smile. Oh how she wished getting away with murder was that possible. But if Slanie was ever found dead, she'd probably be the first one to blame.

Her little smirk quickly went away when he opened his mouth. "Why, none other than to spend some quality time with my wife. Is that a crime nowadays?" He sat down across from her, leaning back in the chair. Then he placed his feet on top on the table.

"It should be...Considering it's you..." The princess muttered, rolling her eyes. She tried to start reading the next story, but counld't concentrate as she felt the annoying prince's eyes upon her.

"Besides, you look absolutely bored! Look! You're reading! But...you know though, if you can't read at an advanced level, that would look pretty bad for a princess, wouldn't it? What would the public think!"

Great, just what she needed, he was taunting her now. Thea closed the book and looked at Slaine with disinterest. "The public probably would not think much of me, anymore than what they do already. In fact, I think they probably assume I cannot read anyways." She stated, placing the now closed book on the table.

The prince ignored her, as he threw up his pointer finger and said, "I have an idea! What if... your very generous and caring husband - me - shows you how to read? Maybe we can even make a bet out of it, if you're feeling competitive."

The princess looked up to the second floor. Where was Aryn? He had disappeared behind the bookshelves just before Slaine entered the library. "No thank you. Aryn is doing a fine job teaching me himself. I do not need you to bother yourself with such a trivial matter." She then thought of something that she'd love to see how Slaine would react. "Now going back to the public. If they were to find out that I cannot read at an advanced level, then they would not bother with me. However, they might make fun of you even more then they already do and hurt the little bit of pride you have left with your people."

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Luckily for Slaine, the only thing he could pick up from Thea was the irritation from having to deal with himself. Ignorance truly was bliss, in this case so he continued as normal when she tried to make a jab at him.

"It should be...Considering it's you..." she muttered to him.

"D-Do you really feel that way...?" he stuttered as he asked. "You must really cherish every moment you spend with me if you're feeling that guilty! But not to worry! It is I who has approached you, so it's alright to be greedy." he smiled brightly, feigning an embarrassed look as though he was flattered she had thought so positively of him.

The moment the princess had closed the book, Slaine realized he had finally gotten to her, and it delighted him. But there was a brief second when he really thought about what he was doing and realized that he was getting his kicks from annoying someone he was supposed to be with for eternity. He even considered that what he was doing was wrong and that he should stop, as when he gazed upon her face he realized that he had actually gone out of his way to stop someone from reading. Truly, it couldn't have been said that Slaine never considered these things as he went on, but what stopped him from ceasing these actions was when he thought about what her presence had cost him. Oh, and it didn't help the very next thing she said reminded him of that, either.

"Now going back to the public. If they were to find out that I cannot read at an advanced level, then they would not bother with me. However, they might make fun of you even more then they already do and hurt the little bit of pride you have left with your people." she stated.

The quiet library was briefly filled with the sound of Slaine's fist hitting the table in a flash of anger. How dare she even imply his people would make fun of him! Whose fault was that, anyways?! She had no right! But this momentary anger was just that -- momentary, and so Slaine moved his hand off the table and closed his eyes for a few seconds, taking a very deep breath in and out. Opening his eyes a second later, he seemed to have succeeded in calming down. He even cleared his throat for good measure.

"Jests like that aren't in good taste." he stated, trying to sound as calm as he could. He was fairly irritated that she had broke his composure with that little comment. "I'm trying to play nice here, but you're really making it difficult. You have a prince wishing to spend time with you, is that not the dream of every woman? I'm even offering to help you learn to read at a proficient level and you turn me down for a mutt that isn't even here. You wound me, you know."

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Oh the sound of Slaine angrily slamming his fist fist on the table, made Thea crack a small smirk. It was only a brief reaction she got, but it was better tan not getting anything. The anger on his face was almost gone within a few seconds, as did her smirk she had disappeared at the same time. Darn. She was hoping his anger would last a little longer, she might have enjoyed Slaine yelling and getting all defensive, denying that he was being mocked by his people. When really, they probably weren't doing that. But alas, that didn't happen.

Instead, Slaine responded, "Jests like that aren't in good taste," as he tried to sound calm. "I'm trying to play nice here, but you're really making it difficult. You have a prince wishing to spend time with you, is that not the dream of every woman? I'm even offering to help you learn to read at a proficient level and you turn me down for a mutt that isn't even here. You wound me, you know."

"Trying to play nice? HA! Don't make me laugh." Thea sarcastically said, a little louder than she intended to, especially on the 'Ha'. Straightening up, she felt a soothing presence near by. There you are. She kept her focus on Slaine, instead of turning around. "How am I making it difficult for you to be nice to me? Why do I have to be kind to you, when you have not been kind to me since the moment I stepped foot in your country." Her voice turned serious now."Some women may dream of spending every waking moment with a prince, but it is my nightmare." It was true, having Slaine around was a constant nightmare for the Princess. No matter where she went, he always found her and ridiculed her for doing whatever it was that she was doing. Pulling her hair was also occasionally added into it.

"You speak as if Aryn has no intelligence to teach me how to read, but he is in fact much smarter than you." She was starting to get aggravated now, squeezing her hand in fists under the table. "Not here you say? Well think again. Look to the second floor by the stairs behind me. He is right there leaning on the railing, watching over me."

This is bad. Thea was having more of a reaction than Slaine did. How does he always get to her, but never her get to him? She just wanted to leave and return to her rooms, now that her peaceful time in the library was ruined. "I wound you? I wound You!? I may have mentally gotten to you and hurt your ego. But you, you have verbally, mentally, and physically hurt me on numerous occasions since I have arrived."

Standing up now, Thea glanced over her shoulder up at Aryn. Her eyes said it all, he slightly nodded and then headed down the stairs. A few seconds later, he was at his master's side. "We're leaving." They headed for the door, but when they were nearly there, Thea stopped and turned around to face Slaine. "I do not think I will be joining you this evening for dinner anymore." With that, the two left the library.

After the doors closed, the Princess let out a loud sigh. "That man..." she half growled, half muttered to herself. Only to notice Slaine's assistant was waiting right outside, standing near the library door. She glared at Salia, before going in the opposite direction of her, following Aryn down the hall.

Aryn knew exactly where Thea wanted to go. Upon reaching her rooms, she went straight for her bed. She took a deep breath before plopping down onto the soft cushions, then let out all out in one scream that was muffled my the pillows. Feeling a bit better, she rolled over onto her back. "What is with that man! Sometimes I feel as if I only have three choices in my life." Thea now sat up, finding Aryn standing by the edge of her bed. "One, stay here and be tormented for the rest of my life. Two; just end it all by killing myself, which..." She paused, seeing the terror in Aryn's face. He voice got softer, quieter. "Don't worry, I'm not going to do that..." She then turned her head to look out the window. "My third option is to just run away from here. From all of this..."

"Princess...I know life here is tough, but try to think of all that good that has happened since coming here." Aryn stepped closer. There was enough room for him to sit next to Thea, but he stayed standing. "You are able to go anywhere in the castle, so why do you choose to stay hidden in your rooms? I thought you hated that, because of the Honian castle." Thea didn't look at him, she just kept staring outside. "You also are able to eat delicious foods now. If you were to run away, you would have nothing and have to make a living for yourself. Which if fairly hard to do now." Her only response was a small sigh, which made him sigh to. He decided to change subjects a bit. "Well if you are not eating with the Royal Family, shall I go get you dinner when you are hungry?"

Thea now turned her attention to Aryn, a little apologetic smile formed. "Yes please...And Aryn?" He gave her a questioning look. "Would you care to join me for dinner? Instead of going off to who-knows-where when you eat?"

Aryn nodded with a smile. "Of course, Princess Thea."

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"I do not think I will be joining you this evening for dinner anymore."

It had seemed as though Slaine won, though there was no reward other than an upset Thea. While he originally wanted just that, it did not feel reward enough. There must have been something wrong with him. But just a little while ago, he would be enjoying getting back at that little mutt for the irritation she had caused, but now he just felt... empty. Like there was no point to it at all. Maybe he was just getting sick? There must be a medicine or something he could take. As he was thinking that, Salia had opened the door to the library and entered. She wore an confused expression and walked up to the prince, who merely sighed at her presence.

"What? What is it?" he asked.

"The princess seems to be upset. You must realize that you are to live with her. It is not my place to tell you what to do, but is living with someone you make miserable really your best interests?" Salia asked.

"Of course. Since she has caused me pain, I will cause her pain. It is only fair, is it not?"

"Princess Thea is only a victim, just like yourself. Shouldn't you show sympathy for her?"

"And what? Go against the King, Queen, and my brother? Are you suggesting treason?"

"No. Of course not. I am simply proposing mercy. She is no happier to be here than you are happy that she is here. Even after you've had your 'fun', you don't look any brighter."

"...I'll be leaving, don't bother me until dinner."

Slade, wishing to end the conversation, got up from his chair and decided to leave the library. He was sure Salia would follow him wherever he went, but at least she would keep her mouth shut. What did she know, anyways? What Slade had to go through because of Thea was unforgivable. To impose on him and to strip him of his public status was horrible and silly. Sure, even Slade knew it was really not her fault, but everybody else he could truly place the blame on was in a much stronger position than him. It was not like he could publically speak out against his father, the king. So, it was Thea's fault, even if she really was nothing more than a victim. That's how it was going to be.

Until dinner was held, there was nothing of remote interest. He simply walked around, being particularly bored and eventually found that he was being called to eat. Despite how he felt about the others, he more or less managed to eat in relative peace, giving simple answers to anything brought up to him personally during dinner, and more or less keeping the most respectful tone he could possible keep around those people.

He found dinner to be... boring.

His dog wasn't there, after all. She had chosen to eat elsewhere, likely her room. There was nobody to tease, and though his family brought it up, they soon forgot and continued about whatever else they had been speaking about. While nothing had truly changed about his routine during dinner, well, it still felt a bit more empty.

Slade still wasn't really sure why. Maybe he was sick after all?

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There wasn't much talking when Aryn brought dinner to Thea's room. They ate their meal in almost complete silence, only briefly talking about what happened in the library. After they were done, the two said their goodbyes for the night, Aryn left, and Thea went straight to bed.



Thea woke up, slowly opening her eyes. Her thick curtains were still closed, although light was peeking through the split between the two curtains. The sun shown in her eyes, so she got out of bed and parted the curtains, letting the morning sunlight into her room. When she turned around there was a rather exquisite dress hanging on the (room divider). She let out a heavy sigh. “I wonder if His Majesty will actually show up this time…” Muttering to herself, she walked into the bathroom and prepared her own bath. Usually a maid would come in and do it for her, but she dismissed all the servants that came in. She was perfectly fine getting ready by herself, as she had always done so back at the other castle. She wondered if any Royals in this castle even knew how to doing anything by themselves without the help of servants. Thea undressed, tying her hair up before getting into the lukewarm water in the tub. She sunk down to where the water was just below her nose, so she could still breathe. It was nice to have an actual bath, being able to fully submerge herself in the water, rather than just having to scrub herself clean. She closed her eyes for a bit, to relax some before the hectic day truly begins.

Once she felt it was time to get out, Thea left the bath and dried herself off. She walked passed the dress that was hung up and entered the dressing room, changing into her usual style of clothing. A long-sleeved shirt and matching pants were pale yellow. A violet tunic over the shirt and a dark purple sash tied around her waist. The same wide silver belt that she always wore, went right below her breasts and her small silver chained necklace, always hidden behind her shirt. She decided to wear her mother's pendant again, a tan and green beaded chain necklace with a silver ring around an emerald. She had also put on her tan beaded anklets and bracelets, not really matching but she didn’t care. She slipped her sandals on then sat down on a chair, just as someone had knocked on her door. “Come in Aryn.”

Aryn came into the room, not spotting the Princess right away. “Good morning Princess Thea.” He saw her long red hair from a mirror, telling him that she was in the dressing room. “Would you like me to do your hair for you again today?” He asked, upon entering the dressing room. He could tell that she just got out of the bath not too long ago, as her hair was still dripping wet a little bit. She nodded her hair, staring at herself in the mirror in front of her. Aryn grabbed a towel and started to wring her hair dry. “You do know you have to have breakfast with the Royal family this morning, right?” Thea pouted her answer and he sighed. “You can’t just keep wearing your own clothes when you are expected to wear the ones provided when seeing the Royal family.” Once he felt her hair was dry enough, he grabbed a brush and began brushing it out. “Sooner or later, there will be consequences for not doing as you are told. Especially with the kind of King that rules this country.” He warned, now braiding the long red hair that feels like silk.

Thea could not ignore that Aryn was right. He always is. However she just couldn’t bring herself to obey like the dog Slaine thinks she is. She has her own mind, her own goals, and her own way of life. She hated how she needed to follow the rules and do what others tell her to do. But this was what life is going to be like, what it has always been like for her. There was no escaping it. Taking a deep breath and letting it out in a sigh, Thea closed her eyes. “Alright, fine. I will try to wear the clothes they give me. But not now, not today. I’m already dressed and do not feel like changing.

With that, Thea was done getting ready for the day. The two left her room and headed down stairs, over to the dining hall for breakfast. Before Aryn opened the doors, they could here loud chattering inside. “Sounds like there is more than just the Royal family joining us for breakfast this morning.” Thea said, as the doors opened up. The chattering quickly quieted down to low whispers. She knew they were talking about her clothes again, especially the Queen. She didn’t like it the first time and she probably doesn’t like the fact that Thea did it again. Keeping her composure, Thea walked to the table and sat down in the vacant spot next to Slaine. She stared emotionlessly down at the empty plate in front of her, as the talking started to pick up some. The food will most likely be served once His Majesty gets here, if he decides to show up that is.

Footsteps were heard and Prince William looked to the Dais, seeing his father. “Your Majesty.” The King paid no mind to him, he was only staring at Thea. “You…Those clothes. Why are you..?” His voice was deep, rough and it terrified Thea for some reason. She stayed calm, her expression unchanging. Aryn stepped out from where he was positioned in the back. “I prepared them. Your Majesty, King Pierce.” He said, bowing his head to the King. Thea looked over her shoulder, “Aryn?” she questioned. He didn’t prepare them, she did, so why say that? In an instant, the King pulled out his sword that was strapped around his waist, and slashed it across Aryn’s stomach up to his chest. He stumbled back, falling onto his knees, gripping his stomach and heart. “Aryn!!” Thea shouted, jumping up from her seat and rushing over to his side. The girls in the room screamed, most covered their eyes, while some covered their mouths. “Your Majesty?!” Prince William exclaimed. “What the hell?” "What’s going on?” Mummers from other guest called out.

“Aryn…” Her attention moved to the King. “Y-Your Majesty…These clothes…I said I wanted to wear them…” Aryn nudged Thea, staring down the King. “That kind of…excitement. Your Majesty, the King.” His voice was heavy, breathing hard. The King narrowed his eyes, “You idiot…Kill that sub-person.” He ordered, turning away. Guards quickly gathered around Thea and Aryn, spears and swords out pointing towards them. Thea placed her hands on Aryn’s shoulders, saying his name again in a whisper. His head was slightly hanging down, but his gaze left the King and went to her. “Princess Thea…Forgive me…I’m going to leave your side for a while.” His hands lowered, crossing over to his sides. He grabbed the two daggers that were strapped to his belt and pulled them out. He lunged at one of the guards in front of him, catching the soldier off-guard. “This guy…” Before he finished, Aryn leaped and flipped over the guard, landing right behind him. He had disabled the guard and now had his two daggers pointed at him. One to the heart, one across the neck. Aryn now started walking backwards, once he was in the shadows, he pushed the guard away and disappeared. The King was watching, “He could move with that kind of wound. He’s a beast.” Then he turned and left the dining hall.

Thea’s hands dropped to her side, staring after Aryn. When he was gone, her gaze fell to the floor, now staring at the small puddle of blood. Aryn’s blood. Her heart skipped a beat. And before, what about…In front of my own eyes. It splashed red. Snow fell from above. Someone’s blood. Thea slowly raised her hands to her ears. At some point, Slaine came over to her side, and glanced at her. “Hey. What’s wrong?” He asked, but she didn’t answer. The images. They are pouring from me. This... Her eyes flashed red, before she fainted. “What happened? Hey!” Slaine’s voice was the last thing she heard before everything went silent.



It was just like last time. A very young Thea is playing in the snow with Aryn and other kids from the village, when she called out to him. “Aryn look. There’s a lot of horses in the village.” Confused, Aryn picks up Thea and stared to head down the mountain, back to the village. Upon arriving, the village huts and tents are wrecked and burnt. The villagers are on the snow covered ground, bloodied with cut marks all over. There are soldiers everywhere, they are attacking all villagers that are running and trying to get away. “What is…What is this..?” Aryn was trembling, taking steps backwards, until he bumped into something. “Oh. There are still some remaining?” It was a voice he’s never heard before, a soldier’s. “My bad, but these are orders from Naista’s King.” The soldier brought down his sword, and before Aryn could move, someone pushed him out of the way. They fell onto the ground, when Aryn noticed it was Thea’s mother. She was on top of them. “Run. Take Thea with you…Take this to the castle…in the capital…” She dropped her pendent into Aryn’s hand. "To father…” The soldier that attacked kicked Thea’s mother to the side. “Aww, we even had to kill this beautiful women. It’s strange for such a beautiful woman to live in a remote village like this.” Aryn spotted a fallen dagger next to him. Gripping Thea tightly, he grabbed the dagger and lunged at the soldier, stabbing him in the stomach. Aryn stood there, frozen, until more soldiers started coming. “There’s another one over there!” One shouted, that’s when Aryn turned and ran. Passing all the kids, friends, everyone in the village. Dead all of them, tears filled his eyes as he continued to run, not stopping until the two of them were far, far away. He ran towards the rocky mountains, spotting a cave deep within. Once in the cave, he gently placed Thea down, before dropping onto his knees, breathing heavily. “Aryn?” Thea crawled over to him, then smiled. “Where’s mommy?” She asked, having no idea what had just happened back at the village. “Your…mother…” His eyes started to blur with tears again, when he noticed some blood on Thea’s cheeks. “…Blood. There’s blood…” He raised his hand and rubbed the blood off her cheeks. “Aryn too.” Thea stood up and rubbed the blood off his cheek too. He looked down at her small hands spotted with blood and his covered in it. Aryn then pulled Thea into a tight hug and cried out loudly.



Thea’s eyes suddenly flew opened, tears rolling down the side of her face. She was on the floor, laying on her back. She started at the high ceiling and raised her hand over her face. My chest hurts. It hurts so bad. Why? She then covered her eyes, crying. Everyone seemed to have left the dining hall. All except Slaine (and probably Salia).

Aryn was somewhere underground, sewage tunneling perhaps? He was sitting on the floor, leaning against the wall. Holding his stomach, he started laughing. ”So that was the Naista’s King. His face…And frightening ‘power’ which compels him to destroy a race once he sees their clothes. He attacks them, with that ‘power’. He evoked in himself.” He raised his hand and stared at the blood on it. Scratching the surface of the Arcana…Crossing over time-space. Both past and future… To seek the truth. A deep remote power.

Thea had eventually calmed herself down and left the dining hall. On her way back to her room, she stopped in front of a window and started out. “What are you looking at?” Slaine asked, he had been following behind her ever since she left the dining hall. She turned to look at him, emotionless as ever. “Nothing.” She then continued on her way. “Are you waiting for that dog? He can’t return, he drew his sword in front of the King. He’s now being chased for treason.” He told her, following after Thea. “Aryn will return…” She said, her fist slightly clutching together. “How about a wager then?” Thea stopped in her tracks. "A wager?” She questioned. Slaine smirked, “If that dog of yours doesn’t return my tomorrow morning, I’ll kill you.” Shocked, Thea whipped around to face him. “Wha-” But he cut her off. “I told you before how easy it’ll be to kill you. I couldn’t welcome a red-haired bride after all.” He started walking again. “Wa-Wait!” Thea called out, stopping him. “You’re right, killing you wouldn’t go well with the treaty. Oh, I got it! Once we capture your dog, I’ll have you kill him in front of everyone instead.” Slaine chuckled, walking on. “Once night falls, you’re to come to my chambers. We’ll wait in there until dawn, to see if your dog will show up.“ He then left her in the hallway.

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Character Portrait: Thea Rycroft Character Portrait: Slaine Archibald
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Slaine indeed turned out to be sick. Sick of Salia's pestering, which only seemed to increase the next day. What did she see in that mutt? And why did she believe that someone as great as Slaine Archibald should even consider treating a dog more humanely? Was she crazy? It was honestly getting to be worrying. Salia was the person Slaine was closest to and she never got this way unless she was absolutely serious about something. To what benefit was it?

"I told you no!" he snapped. "Didn't you get that yesterday? What don't you understand? She's just a dog, nothing more. Just because she's miserable doesn't mean she gets a free pass! After all, what about my feelings? The Prince of the Public is no longer adored by the public because of her very existence!" Although it was not very common, such a title was occasionally used to refer to Slaine, but mostly as a derogatory term by his siblings. They felt he was only capable of befriending the ignorant masses that did not understand the true him.

Of course, they were correct, but that didn't he would accept it. He tried to take it and make it something positive.

"You are on the same boat, my prince. Please understand that I only wish the best for you." Salia did not seem to want to let up. From Slaine's point of view, this made no sense. Again, how could helping someone who ruined his way of life benefit him? But her next words had proven that, at least for now, she would concede defeat. "Lets depart for breakfast soon, or we'll be late." he Salia told him, standing to the side of his door.

Slaine finished putting on his shirt. Before Salia tried converting him into some fool, he had taken a nice bath and had begun to get dressed. Of course, he may have had some help getting the bath set up and getting dressed, but he always made it a point to ensure his shirt was put on him by himself. After all, even he had some decency. But once that was done, he quickly made it out the door with Salia following behind his lead. Slaine had entered an empty room.

Tch! As if we would be late, you damn fiend!

The Prince took his seat as Salia stood against the wall behind him, though he could swear he heard the women snicker. She put on an air of a serious individual, but often gave off vibes that she enjoyed teasing him. He could have her head for that! Well, she was probably aware that he wouldn't want to deal with a different person beside him at all times. Though he tried to play the part, Slaine wasn't evil or cruel compared to the rest of his family. He attempted to make Thea submit, but was woefully inept at it. The kinds of things his siblings would have made the Princess do or suffer were beyond what he could even manage, as he got all of his ideas from the few stories he had read or been told.

Slaine had the poor dream in life to experience today's breakfast without speaking very much or at all, especially to his siblings. This dream had been crushed just as quickly as it had been dreamt, as William arrived and, without a moment's hesitation, struck up a "conversation" with the young prince.

"Archi." his brother smiled as he sat down. "I was told you visited the library yesterday. What a surprise, huh? I had thought you were not capable of reading, was I wrong?"

Slaine turned his narrowed eyes towards his brother. "Yes, you were. I simply do not enjoy reading, that doesn't mean I can't do so."

"Ah, is that so? I simply became nostalgic upon hearing you visited our old haunt. You don't remember being taught anything by your dear elder brother, do you? I did used to spare some time to read a story when you were younger in the library. Perhaps you recall?"

"I do."

"You became such a 'cumberworld', I had thought you forgot. I'm glad you remember, dear Archi."

Slaine paused for a moment. He didn't immediately recognize that word, but considering what they had just talked about, he figured it had something to do with a book William had read him. Slaine looked up to his brother with his full attention and sighed, a bored expression on his face as he wiped his face, as though something was on it. "Bespawler! I don't care about those old books anymore! Mind your own business, you fustilarian!" Slaine shouted, though it seemed more as though he was rehearsing from a play than genuine anger.

William chuckled and then clapped his hands in applause. "Bravo, bravo! I admit that I had all but forgotten the word "fustilarian". You have me bested."

Slaine leaned back in his seat, wearing the same bored expression. "I would never forget something that rouses irritation from you, William."

...

...

...

Eventually, the rest of the family had begun pouring in and Slaine was left alone for the most part, aside from meaningless "Hellos". Chatter picked up for a bit, until the Princess arrived, yet again forgoing the attire requested of her. How rude and disrespectful, he heard others whisper as she approached the vacant spot next to him and sat. But because this was something she did not seem keen on stopping anytime soon, the chatter once again picked up. Slaine had no real problems with it, mostly because it pissed his family off and that was always welcomed.

William drew Slaine's attention and quickly whispered something to him. "Ah, I forgot to mention. Father is attending the day's breakfast."

Slaine shat brix clenched his fist. That was not good. His father was a terrifying individual who knew how much power he had and was not afraid to use it. What would happen if he noticed the Princess? Well, no matter. If he just forced Thea to leave and feigned a sick stomach or something, nothing bad would come of it. Besides, everybody would be happier without her here, right? Who would complain. So, the Prince turned to face Thea and began to word something. And that's when he heard the King's footsteps.

The situation immediately escalated far quicker than Slaine (and even Prince William) could even comprehend, leaving him with wide eyes and an open mouth. There was no much to say, other than the entire room was surprised at the turn of events and that Slaine was incapable of doing anything to calm the situation, an unfortunate side effect of being both terrified and unfriendly with the rest of his family. Slaine was ready for an outrage, not a slaughter. He couldn't believe what was happening.

Yet, somehow one had escaped. Even with a huge wound on his chest, the beast managed to flee from what had appeared to be an impossible circumstance, leaving everybody wondering how to cope with what just happened. Slaine and Salia were the only ones to stay behind with Thea, who seemed to be in shock. He moved over to her and tried to evoke a response from her, but to no avail. A flash of crimson tainted her eyes which had startled the young prince, but just as soon as it appeared it had gone. Thea fell unconscious.

What the hell am I supposed to do, huh?

Fate had seemed to dump the Princess on him and expect him to understand what his goal was. He was not capable of assessing her condition, but luckily...

"Salia." he called. He did not need to speak another word. The young woman immediately began checking the unconscious princess to see if she was alright, and ultimately decided that she had just fainted from shock. Slaine was not sure if Salia had seen the flash of red that he did, but he didn't want to sound crazy, so he kept himself from mentioning that. "You are dismissed for now, Salia. Please leave." he asked. Salia simply nodded her head and smiled. She seemed happy for some reason. Whatever, it wasn't like he was worried about Thea, just that he didn't want to lose his new pet, is all.

And so, Slaine waited for the young princess to wake, which didn't take long at all. Problem was, was that she started crying. He wasn't good with that kind of thing. This was a side of her he was not able to witness before, and it kinda frightened him. He was used to seeing her as an emotionless, disrespectful intruder in his life. Not some woman who wept. Ironically, he had been trying to push her to such a point, but was now put off by the sight of it. How odd.

Thea had eventually gathered enough emotional strength to stand up. She did not say a single word and instead just left the dining hall, much to Slaine's irritation. That's really rude, you know! Just because she was sobbing like a child did not give her the right to ignore Slaine. So, of course, he followed her. He... actually wasn't sure why, either. But when he saw that she was mindlessly staring out a window, he decided to finally speak up.

"What are you looking at?" he asked her, following her gaze out the window. Nothing of interest existed though. She tried to dismiss his question with a simple "nothing", but he wouldn't be dealt with that easily. It was pretty obvious what she was thinking. “Are you waiting for that dog? He can’t return, he drew his sword in front of the King. He’s now being chased for treason.” he told her. She was an idiot for believing something like that, that he would come back. It made absolutely not sense at all to think like that. The man was literally wanted dead by the King, and his kind wasn't welcome in this nation. Nobody would take him in and be on his side, and that meant it was him against a whole kingdom.

“Aryn will return…”

Slaine saw her hand clenched in determination. She was seriously delusional, wasn't she? Something like that was unhealthy. Was she just grasping at straws? It was definitely true that, if Aryn was killed, she would no longer have someone on her side, wasn't it? Yeah, she would be all alone with nothing to rely on. But so what? It didn't bother him one bit, if anything he was happy that the only obstacle in his way of completely dominating her was gone. Why would he even care then?

“How about a wager then?” Slaine asked. Thea immediately stopped walking and repeated his question, obviously interested. “If that dog of yours doesn’t return my tomorrow morning, I’ll kill you.” Thea panicked, which was very enjoyable to see. This was what he was trying to get out of her the entire time, now that he thought about it. Crying was a bit much. Too pitiful. “I told you before how easy it’ll be to kill you. I couldn’t welcome a red-haired bride after all.” Slaine began to walk off.

"You are on the same boat, my prince." Salia's voice echoed in his head.

Don't you dare compare me to this mutt!

And it repeated.

She's delusional, there's no reason I shouldn't just get rid of her so she can live with the damned dog!

And it repeated.

...Ah! Jeez! Fine, whatever!

Perhaps he could lessen the severity of the penalty for when her friend never comes back. But what? He still needed serious. He continued to walk as Thea chased after him. “You’re right, killing you wouldn’t go well with the treaty. Oh, I got it! Once we capture your dog, I’ll have you kill him in front of everyone instead.” he chuckled. This was probably worse than killing her, honestly. Something like this was about as cruel as he could think of, but at least she wouldn't be dead. Salia should understand that this would be as merciful as he could get. “Once night falls, you’re to come to my chambers. We’ll wait in there until dawn, to see if your dog will show up.“

Slaine did not wait for Thea's reaction. It wouldn't matter since she did not have much of a choice, though he could have probably given her false hope by saying he'd pardon the rabid dog. Truth be told, Aryn would probably be killed on sight, so there wasn't really going to be a chance for Thea to execute him. But, if she thought that way, then maybe she would begin to question that mutt's resilience. Question why she thought he would come back. Believing in people like that was unhealthy. Nobody ever came to rescue Slaine from solitude, why would that change with Thea?

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Character Portrait: Thea Rycroft Character Portrait: Slaine Archibald
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Thea
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Thea clenched her fists once more, watching Slaine as he left. No longer wanting to wait in her room all alone, she pulled out the map Aryn had made of the castle and headed towards the library. "What does he know..." She grumbled to herself, opening the doors of the library. She made her way to the table she was sitting at yesterday, the stack of books still there. She plopped down on one of the chairs and picked up the book she hadn't finished, because Slaine interrupted her reading.

Spending a majority of the morning reading, Thea had immersed herself in different books. They were mainly of the fable and fairy tale genre, but also ventured into humorous ones as well. The book she was currently reading was about a young man who was said to be the defender of a tyrannized town. He runs afoul of the town's authority and is forced to turn into an outlaw. With his band of thieves, he robs from the rich, and gives back to the poor. All the while still having time to woo a lovely Maid, foil the cruel Sheriff's unlawful rules, and keep the wicked Prince off the throne.

Thea got to a passage that had rather difficult words, she could not understand what they meant, even when reading the sentence to make sense of them. "Aryn, what does 'purloined' mean?" She called out, reading the passage over trying to figure it out.

There was no answer.

"Whatever." Thea continued reading, albeit being a little confused, due to not knowing the word. "What about 'trepidation'?" She looked over she shoulder this time, then around the room when she didn't spot Aryn. Closing the book, she stood up. "Aryn, where did you go?"

Again, there was no answer to her questions.

That's when it hit her. Of course Aryn wasn't here. He was gone. The King slashed a giant, deep cut on Aryn's chest. He's in hiding, probably dying from blood loss. And it was all Thea's fault "Stupid...Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! Why did you! Why did you do that! I've told you! I have told you over and over again! So why? Why!" She sounded like a broken record, angrily repeating herself. She looked to the stack of books, then growled, and swept her arms across the table, tossing all the books off. "Ugh!" She was so mad at herself.

Aryn's voice rang through her head. "Sooner or later, there will be consequences for not doing as you are told."

Thea crouched on the floor, raising her hands to cover her ears. "I knew that, so why did I not listen to you...Because of me, you're..." She started to get tears in her eyes again. She needed to pull herself together, lunch was in about an hour and the King will probably show up again. She couldn't skip it. She has already missed two meals when the King attended, missing a third would probably not play out well for her. Taking a few deep breaths, she finally straightened herself up. She wiped the tears away and then exited the library.

The Princess decided it was best to change before going to lunch. She took out the map once again and followed the directions to get back to her room. Once there, she stared at the dress that was left for her to wear in the morning. Sighing, Thea undressed and tried to get the dress on. It was a rather tight fitting dress, a deep blue in color. The back was a corset-like contraction, which she couldn't lace up by herself. The neckline was low, exposing the tops of her breast. Looking at herself in the mirror instantly annoyed her. How could women wear these types of dresses? She took the dress off and went to her closet.

Thea only had very few dresses from her country, if she were to wear a dress, it would be something she's more comfortable in. The dress was still "commoner-like, but it wasn't trousers, so she hoped they wouldn't complain. It seemed much shorter than the dresses of this country, only going a little past the knees, whereas the dresses here were floor length, some with a train that dragged on the floor. She put on the under shirt, a mid-long sleeved maroon top, that went a few inches past her elbows. It had a collar with a tan trim around the neck and four white buttons over the chest. She buttoned up all four buttons, not wanting anything to show. She then put on white stockings that covered up showing the skin of her legs. The actual dress was tan, it had short sleeves and a low neckline. The neckline had a purple and light purple trim, with a plain round golden broach in the middle. Thea fastened a small brown leather belt around her waist and finally put on matching brown boots that went midway up her calves. She looked back in the mirror, contempt with her outfit, but frowned at the sight of her hair. It was a mess. The braid had hair coming undone and some baby hairs were sticking out.

Walking into the washroom, Thea got her hands wet and started to pat down her hair, making it so that it looked somewhat presentable. One last look in the mirror, before sighing. "Good enough..." She muttered to herself, leaving her room and heading down the stairs, back to the dining hall.

Upon entering, the whispers amid the guests were the way things normally are, among a few other inputs. "I'm surprised she showed up." "At least she changed out of those horrid trousers."

As usual, Thea kept quiet. She glanced over to where Aryn was injured, relieved to see the blood was cleaned up. She took Aa seat, and the Kind showed up shortly after. He paid no mind to her, for which she was grateful, though they were only a few seats from each other. She kept her eyes down, solely focusing on her food only. A few more hours and then she will have to spend the night in Slaine's chambers, waiting on Aryn's return. She wished time would just fly-by, so she can get that over with.

Which it seemed like it did. After lunch was over and everyone dispersed, Thea took a stroll around the gardens that Slaine had shown her. She wasn't really bothered by anyone. Here and there, a few soldiers told her she couldn't go somewhere, a maid or two asked if she needed anything, and some rather annoying female guests ridiculed her. But she ignored them all, only listening to the soldiers, not wanting to get into trouble for entering a place she'd wasn't allowed to. Normally, she would even ignore the soldier's warnings because Aryn was by she side. Without him near, she feared that if she didn't try to abide by the rules, something bad would likely happen.

Night fell shortly after. Thea had gone back into the library to read some more. Church bells in the distance chimed, signaling nightfall. Closing the book she was currently reading, the Princess sighed and left the library. She made her way up the stairs and over to Slaine's room, where she knocked on the door. There was no answer at first. So she knocked again, before just entering the room.

Slaine was sitting on across a couch that was next to a window. "Took you long enough..." His attention moved to Thea when she walked inside, but only for a short while.

Thea stepped closer, only being a few feet from Slaine now. "I forgot to ask. What are the conditions to the wager if I manage to win?" She thought for a second before adding, "Do you die?"

Slaine seemed rather bored with this whole situation, as his reply was very dull. "I don't think so...Disappointed?" He went quiet, most likely thinking of something. "Well, if you must really returns, I guess I'll withdraw his charges of treason. I'd grant him pardon and allow his entrance into the castle once again." His response was a bit of a surprise to Thea, she didn't expect him to suggest leniency. "Now that you know, you can relax." For which the Princess did, but only a little. She pulled on the silver chain, that was always around her neck, to reveal a small thin whistle. She raised it to her lips, taking a deep breath, before blowing. That apparently caught Slaine's attention again, as he looked at her and asked, "What are you doing?"

Thea's eyes were closed and she lowered the whistle. A small smile formed upon her lips. "You would not understand." was all she said.

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Character Portrait: Thea Rycroft Character Portrait: Slaine Archibald
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The idea that a mere servant mutt like hers would come back under these circumstances was completely unbelievable, and the Princess was nothing less than delusion to think otherwise. He was injured, he was sought, and they were in a castle. The only way somebody should be able to reach them would be if they were invited, or the kingdom was being overrun. Both possibilities simply weren't possibilities at the moment. That all being said, Slaine was confident that he was going to be the victor in this little bit, so he took quite literally zero seconds of his time preparing in anyway, mentally.

Slaine's day continued as "usual" since her coming her, well, at least how it would if a large part of his means of entertaining wasn't screwing with Thea. Slaine decided to depart from the castle, albeit temporarily. He intended to simply enjoy the company of his people like he had always loved and done. He knew he did not have too long to do this, but he needed even a short breather from all the commotion going on in the castle. A bit of respite, if you would.

Unfortunately, this action served to irritated him more than calm him, as a large part of the people he met only put on a kind face. He did not go alone, of course, as Salia as well as a few of the guard were nearby in case of an incident. That being said, it did not keep harsh whispers going around, even when Slaine was in the immediate area. "Dog-lover" was sadly uninspired, but it did still piss him off. But when everybody around you is gossiping, how do you pick the person out? It simply was not possible, especially when people were putting on kind faces in an effort to please him. They probably figured that because he was a Prince, they should keep all their true opinions to themselves. It became obvious that leaving the castle was a mistake. The people he had been so kind to over the years simply did not respect him anymore, all because of the idiotic stunt his family pulled. Pairing him with that Princess? How could they! This had also managed to renew his rather unjust anger towards the Princess as well.

When Slaine returned to the castle, there was not too much time before lunch would begin, and because of that incident at breakfast, he did not want to give the King any reason to be upset. He hurriedly set out to clean himself and change into a new set of clothes. Luckily, he did not arrive late and simply took his seat at the table.

"I'm surprised she showed up."

"At least she changed out of those horrid trousers."

The Prince had not been required to turn to see whom they were speaking about, as it was fairly obvious from the nearby chatter. Truth be told, Slaine was half-expecting her to simply hide in her room or something, so it was a bit surprising to see Thea eat lunch with them. But perhaps that would have angered the King? She had skipped out on a few meals with him before, so maybe she was simply terrified of giving him reason to seek her out as well? Yeah, that might have been it. Regardless, that did not change the fact Slaine was surprised, nor did it change how awkward this lunch felt. Despite that, though, it continued on as usual. Slaine gave input when asked, but otherwise remained to himself. The Princess had the same idea, but nobody ever bothered to even speak to her directly, likely for the better.

Slaine returned to his own room when lunch had finished. There was still a while before he expected Thea, but the venture outside had put him in a relatively sour mood even for him, so he did not want to bother with anything else at the moment. Besides, he could simply take a nap so that he was prepared for the longer night. He did not believe that the mutt would show up, but that did not mean he could go to sleep, either. He had to stay up with Thea. And so, for a little while at least, Slaine Archibald had fallen asleep in his quarters on the rather comfy couch near the window.

....

....

...

*Knock, knock*

"Hmm? Oh, I guess it is time."

Slaine sat up on the couch just as Thea decided to enter. "Took you long enough..." Contrary to popular belief, it was actually very difficult for him to say that with an unflinching expression, so he pretended to have little interest in Thea herself, and moved his gaze elsewhere as they talked.

"I forgot to ask. What are the conditions to the wager if I manage to win?" Thea asked, now only a short distance from Slaine. "Do you die?"

He hoped that was a joke. But now that he thought of it, he never really... thought of it. What would be a proper reward for her, should she win this bet (not that she would, of course)? "I don't think so...Disappointed?" he replied before going silent. He wanted to say that her reward for winning would be spending the night with him, but somehow he felt she would not accept that, on top of it being a prerequisite for the bet in the first place. "Well, if you mutt really returns, I guess I'll withdraw his charges of treason. I'd grant him pardon and allow his entrance into the castle once again." he bluffed. It was not like he could actually even do that, because he had irked the King himself. Even if Slaine begged and pleaded, he could imagine his father being lenient with that dog.

But, because Slaine was so confident in his victory tonight, it did not matter.

"Now that you know, you can relax."

Because I'm going to win!

His mental assertion was interrupted suddenly by a whistle that they had pulled out. Why did she even have that? "What are you doing?" the Prince asked, confused by her sudden action. Instead of an actual answer, he instead noticed the tiniest of smiles before she replied.

"You would not understand." and that's all she wrote. Well, said.

What a weird dog. Didn't dog whistles hurt their ears? Then again, the Prince had heard that some people derive pleasure from pain, was she one of them? He could see this being a problem, since he that would be counterproductive for him. It was also a bit disturbing.

"Whatever, then. Feel free to whistle until he doesn't come back" Slaine did not bother to press the reasoning for her whistle, and instead let a small yawn escape his mouth as he boredly looked out the window.

There was no way that mutt would return, he was certain of that.

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It had only been a few minutes since Thea blew the whistle. She had been carefully watching Slaine, making sure he wouldn't try to do anything. At some point amidst the silent in the room, Slaine must have started to get aggravated. He turned from the window to look at her. Thea noticed his usual bored looking face, frowned ever so slightly, but irritation reflected in his eyes. She was still holding onto the the small silver whistle around her neck, which seemed to anger Slaine in some way. She could have swore his right eye twitched. With a barely audible sign, he stood up from the couch and started to make his way over towards Thea. Against her will, her conscious told her to take a step back as he got closer, which only seemed to irk him more. A few more steps and he was finally right in front of her, glancing down and towering over her. He grabbed her braid and yanked her hair. "Ow!" Thea flinched, her eyes only closing for a second.

"It's rather infuriating," Slaine pulled her hair down, so that she was looking up at him. "for you to rely on another man, when I am your husband." He leaned forward, his face ever so close to her's. "Are you making fun of me, mutt?" For some reason, a small sly grin appeared on his face. "Aren't you annoying. Before she knew what was happening, Slaine moved his hand from her hair to the back of her head, pushing it towards him and forcibly kissing her.

Thea pushed Slaine back, just far enough so that she could breath. "What..." She was in a bit of a daze. Why, why did he kiss me? What the hell! She thought, trying to get away from him. She then realized his other hand was now around her waist, but also gripping her hair again.

"Did you believe we'd only be waiting for you dog? Tonight is the first night our two countries will be tied together." He kissed her again, but she was able to pull away once more.

"Stop it..!" The princess's voice was small and she hated it. Slaine lightly chuckled, moving in for yet another kiss. But just before their lips touched together, Thea had reached into a barely noticeable pocket in her dress and pulled out a small dagger. One quick flick of her arm and she had cut Slaine along his left cheek bone. He seemed to be momentarily stunned, so she took the opportunity to get herself out of the his grasp and distance herself from him.

Thea got into a self-defense stance, holding both arms in front of her. "You may be a Prince, but no matter how hard you try. Some things are beyond your reach. One of which is me!" She growled, watching Slaine's every move. He had reached up to wipe a small stream of blood from his cheek.

The prince and her exchanged cold glares, neither of them moving. It wasn't until Slaine seemed to notice Thea's hand, that held the dagger, was shaking. His glare disappeared, as he leaned forward to have a closer look. Before making his remark about how she wasn't cute and that she was shaking.

Maybe it was intentional, maybe not, either way it annoyed Thea. Causing a light pink flush of embarrassment across her cheeks. She pounced forward, with quick reflexes, Slaine had jumped back towards him bed. She went for another swing at him, but he had grabbed his sheathed sword from on top of his bed and blocked her. She took a step back and tried again, only to be blocked once more. She kept swinging and trying to attack him, but he kept evading her advances with his sheathed sword.

At some point, Slaine laughed and made a joke about her being weak, but she ignored him. It was only until she stepped wrong, losing her balance, that he grabbed her wrist with the dagger. Once again, he placed his other hand on the back of Thea's head and forced her to kiss him. He gripped her wrist tighter, causing her to drop the dagger. Thea's legs gave out and she dropped to the floor. Though it seemed like something had come over Slaine, as he let go of his sheathed sword and crouched down to kiss her again, before letting her go.

Thea's mind was completely blank, she was overwhelmed and shocked form all that has happened. Her cheeks burned red, her eyes in a slight daze blurring her vision. She was panting, trying to catch her breath.

Slaine seemed to have smirked, a victorious glint in his eyes. He was beginning to lean forward again, but in an instant, there was a blade at his neck and a hand on his back. "Princess Thea." A familiar voice sounded. Thea blinked her eyes, clearing her eyesight. Aryn was knelt behind Slaine, pure hatred in his eyes. "Give me the order to kill him." as blood lust filled the air.

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Just a little bit of time had passed, but it began to drag on like an eternity. Slaine never claimed to be the most patient man, especially since he would have to wait here in his own room with this mutt until she had realized that the other dog was not going to be coming back. But the thing that began to frustrate the Prince the most was the fact that, despite Slaine knowing he was going to win this bet, the Princess did not seem to be worried in the slightest. He glanced her way a couple of times and noticed that, aside from watching him constantly, she was still holding that stupid whistle and it pissed him off. He kept his composure for the most part, but he was irrationally mad at the idiotic notion that she had this blind faith in some dog who offended the King. It still confused him too. She had every reason to believe the exact opposite -- that he would flee from the castle, not return to it. So where this idea that he was some knight in shining armor that would save her despite the fact he would be killed were he to step foot back here came from, he had no clue whatsoever. All he knew is that it was not something he liked.

Did she not remember who owned her? Perhaps he needed to remind her, then. The Prince did not appreciate it when he wasn't respected, especially by her. Taking personal offense to her behavior, Slaine's eye twitched as he got off the couch and made his way over to her. She took a step back, which was justifiable by the fact she had no reason to believe he was going to do anything pleasant to her, but act of disobedience only further irritated him. With a grip that suggested that Slaine knew not what the word "gentle" meant, he pulled the Princess by her braid once merely to cause her harm, and then a second time so she could do naught but look directly at him.

"It's rather infuriating... for you to rely on another man, when I am your husband." he leaned in as close as physically possible so that she had nowhere to look but him. "Are you making fun of me, mutt?" Slaine did seem very irritated as he asked that, but a rather wicked idea came into his head as he noticed just how close the two of them were and he couldn't help but grin. His hand moved from the braid to the back of her head. "Aren't you annoying." Slaine forced their lips together, an act that visibly shocked the young princess. He had to admit, it was the most entertaining reaction she had given him yet, though he was almost sad to see her recover so quickly.

Having predicted she would most certainly try to get away, Slaine had already wrapped his free arm around her waist and took a grip of her hair once more. Although she SHOULD be glad she could kiss a prince like him. "Did you believe we'd only be waiting for your dog? Tonight is the first night our two countries will be tied together." he informed her, stealing another kiss. He simply did not believe she was worthy of him, but it would be nice to tease and scare her a bit. At least, that was Slaine's motivation for all of this. He wanted something to occupy the time while also getting back at her for her stupid blind faith in that other mutt. Because Thea's protest to this was uncharacteristically weak, he found himself enjoying this quite a bit. With a small chuckle, the Prince leaned in to attempt another kiss...

"...!"

Slaine felt a small burning sensation on his cheek and it took a few seconds before he realized she had just cut him with something. "You may be a Prince, but no matter how hard you try. Some things are beyond your reach. One of which is me!" she stated, having taken a stance and prepared herself for him. A rather unhappy Slaine wiped the blood from his cheek before locking glares with the princess who had cut him.

Did she really believe she was out of his reach? Some mutt who was sold away and that nobody cared for? He couldn't tell if she was arrogant or if she thought he was of a much lower league. Either way, she would be proven completely wrong, just like this case with her dumb friend!

But...

What was with her? Slaine was no "Master of fighting" or the like, but he was trained enough to defend himself if need be. And anybody with experience could see that this dog of his was trembling with a blade in her hand. As if she had no courage to face him in a battle whatsoever. How weak. He couldn't even stay mad at her because to do so would imply she was worth the effort to be angry.

He could not see her as a threat with how frightened she probably was at the prospect of fighting, and it almost seemed like she had the chills or something with how severe her hand had begun to shake. "I simply do not find people who can only talk to be very cute. You're shaking and all we have been doing is standing still. Do you need to be saved?". Thea's declaration had been very serious, as the situation would dictate. But Slaine's... simply did not fit, and it was clear he was not taking her seriously after seeing her shake. He was certainly arrogantly looking down on her and did not feel that she was worth the extra amount of caution one would normally take. Perhaps this had angered Thea, because mere moments later, she had decided to attack him. Expecting this, Slaine had little problem hopping back to avoid the first swing, and by the time she was able to follow up, he had retrieved his own sword from the top of his bed. He did not bother to unsheathe it, of course. He did not feel that his life was in any immediate danger, so he focused instead on blocking and evading whatever wild swings she took at him.

Slaine gave a hollow laugh at her attempts. "Well, I guess I now understand why you cling so closely to him. You couldn't hurt a fly if your life depended on it!" he tried spurring her on so she would make a mistake. It was bound to come sooner or later anyway, and that's when he would retaliate. That's when he would show her how weak she was compared to him, and that she was certainly not out of his reach at all.

Thea's mistake came in the form of being unable to keep a proper stance and losing her footing. That gave Slaine all the time he needed to apprehend her armed hand and force their lips together once more. During this time, he squeezed her arm until she could no longer hold her dagger, and she fell down as if she were a puppet with his strings cut. He claimed yet another kiss, and his victory had been assured. With no need for his sword anymore, he parted with it rather abruptly and was content to feel proud of himself. It was no contest, after all. And since he was the winner here, it was only his right to be able to do what he wants! Another kiss should be no problem. It wasn't like she appeared to be in a state where she would resist anyways.

Slaine found his approach cut off by a blade to his throat and a hand on his back. His expression was, of course, surprise as he hadn't been expecting this in the least. However, when he heard who it was, he immediately became quite visibly shocked to the Princess, assuming she was even paying attention at this point. "Princess Thea." his voice came from behind. "Give me the order to kill him."

Many things were running through Slaine's mind at this moment. Fear was one of them, but that had actually taken a backseat to anger and disbelief. He was so completely sure that Aryn would never return that he wasn't able to immediately comprehend that it was him holding a knife up to his throat, but when that realization set in, he was angered, too. Why did this man sneak back into this castle, even knowing that he would be in great danger? Was he fucking nuts? Or maybe he was just completely naive! Slaine could not understand, and because of that, he hated this situation. It was dumb. It made no sense. It shouldn't be happening!

"Y-you... you shouldn't be here...!" There was venom in Slaine's voice. One might consider it just as potent if not moreso than Aryn's, though it probably wasn't very clear why.

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Character Portrait: Thea Rycroft
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Character Portrait: Slaine Archibald
Slaine Archibald

"She has no right to complain. I've married her, after all. I can do what I please."

Character Portrait: Thea Rycroft
Thea Rycroft

"On that day, I became the enemy's possession."

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Character Portrait: Slaine Archibald
Slaine Archibald

"She has no right to complain. I've married her, after all. I can do what I please."

Character Portrait: Thea Rycroft
Thea Rycroft

"On that day, I became the enemy's possession."

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Character Portrait: Slaine Archibald
Slaine Archibald

"She has no right to complain. I've married her, after all. I can do what I please."

Character Portrait: Thea Rycroft
Thea Rycroft

"On that day, I became the enemy's possession."


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