In The Wyvern's Nest
, on FlickrArchibald led the way through what seemed like endless corridors of stone. The castle of Lindford was not particularly decorated, yet it was not bare either. The furnishings were just so that it found itself in the uncomfortable medium of being not quite extravagant and not quite drab.
Cordelia’s nervousness had returned once more. While her spirits were lifted in the garden, the consistent stonewalls left her with nothing but her own thoughts. She ran the scenario of meeting her betrothed over and over in her mind, although she had nothing to picture him.
Eleven years old, she pondered. Granted, I’m a mere four years older, but much happens in those four years that would create a rift between us. Although Archibald assures me he is a fair natured boy, which does work in my favor.
A long staircase led to a set of wide doors. The air was unusually cold, almost supernaturally. Robert felt alarmed, Cordelia noticed, as he adjusted the sword in his clammy hands.
“Be polite, Your Radiance.” Archibald said as a final warning before throwing open the doors to the room beyond.
The chamber before them was not any more decorated than the other rooms, save for the thrones at its head. A long set of tables and high backed chairs lined each side of the room, divided by a carpet that draped up to the King and Prince’s feet. It was red, outlined in a black trim, much like the sigil of the Wyvern Kingdom.
Archibald shuffled over to the chair at the left side of the room, closest to Prince Martin. A small, frail looking man sat opposite him, in the chair next to King Martin. He wore a black cowl over his maroon tunic. He smiled faintly at Robert and Cordelia as they walked up the rows. A red priest sat with quill and paper in the corner, near Archibald.
The two royals were both imposing and laughable. Their thrones were similar, wood and iron decorated in ice sapphires. The king’s chair was more impressive than the prince’s, but both were royal in their own right.
Prince Martin VI was a small boy with blonde hair and freckles. He wore a decorated red doublet over a black mantle. A large ruff was tied around his neck. While ruffs were never seen in the middle or southern kingdoms, it was a symbol of status among northerners. The boy wore a tense look on his face, as if he'd rather be anywhere else but there at that specific moment.
King Martin was to his son’s left, and starkly different in all but appearance. Similar facial structure marked the two as relatives, but King Martin’s style of dress and posture suggested a much more experienced character. The crown he wore lay low on his head and concealed all of his hair as well as most of his eyes. He wore a split red and black doublet with a short cloak.
In his hand, he grasped a transparent blade of a light bluish hue. It shimmered with icy frost and particles that glittered and floated about the room. Cordelia was taken aback at first before she realized what she was witnessing.
The Sankta Glavo! She thought. Cordelia had often thought the Sankta Glavo to be nothing more than myth, but here it was before her. It seemed impossible, and all the stories told that those who held the blade would eventually be consumed and perish by it’s cold. She did not know the legitimacy of such claims.
“I am Robert, advisor to the Lion royal family,” Robert began. “And this, my Lord King, is Her Radiance, the first of her name, Princess Cordelia.”
Cordelia snapped to an attentive pose at the mention of her name. She knelt before the king briefly before standing again. She could feel her face blushing a dark hue of scarlet. The last thing she needed to do was offend this King.
“I see. I ask for a worthy betrothal, and you send me this petty princess?” The King’s voice was harsh. His accent, too, was difficult to Cordelia to adjust to. It was much thicker and less cohesive than Archibald’s. “This cannot be all you have to offer me, Robert. My kingdom would have to break off relations with our long time allies, to commit to this.”
“The Crown Kingdom exists no more, my Lord King. It was abolished, and the Crowned Lion Kingdom stands in its place, part of the Lion Empire. To seal our alliance, we give you our most beautiful princes-" Robert began to say, before being cut off by none other than Cordelia.
“Petty princess? I am worth more than your desolate kingdom in its entirety. I will not stand to be treated so harshly by a man who claimed to accept me as his guest. Until you treat me with respect, you are no Lord King of mine.” Cordelia finished. Her face was no longer red with embarrassment, but with rage. Inside, though, she was screaming. What am I doing?! This is bound to get me killed!
The King seemed as if he were to behead her with the long sword and be done with it. The red priest in the corner looked shocked, and the meek man to her right looked worried. Prince Martin’s face remained apprehensive, and Archibald sat deep in thought, one eyebrow raised. Although she could not see Robert, Cordelia assumed he was fraught with despair.
“The lion dares to bare its claws, and shows little fear in using them.” King Martin said quietly. A smile crept on the hardened face, and soon enough he was chuckling. “A strong woman is always welcome to be married into my kingdom. You did not let on to your princess’ strong traits, Robert. Perhaps that is a failing on your part.”
Cordelia was shocked, yet relieved. She had nearly blasphemed the apparently harsh king of the foreign land by which she was to be married into, and yet he sat there chuckling. Was this a test? She wondered. Did I pass? If so, what is next?
The red priest began scribbling once more as Robert and King Martin spoke to one another. Cordelia stood tall, pride running through her veins. She glanced over at Prince Martin, who managed a tiny smile.
He is kind of cute. Cordelia admitted to herself.Brickshelf, with more photos
. Another chapter in my story A Lion In The Wyvern's Nest
, this chapter featuring the title in it's... well, title.
C&C welcome as always.