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 Lost in the Castle (Nick x Azreth)

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PostSubject: Lost in the Castle (Nick x Azreth)   Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:45 pm

A young boy peeked around a corner of a hallway, bright blue eyes wary and somewhat frightened of all that surrounded him. His clothing was that of a gypsy, somewhat simple but functional and with little embellishments here and there that made a little tinkling sound when he moved. His skin was tanned from constantly being in the sun, and his dark hark was a bit shaggy and hastily pulled back with a bit of ribbon, with long bangs framing his face. All of this gave stark contrast to his eyes, which were full of mischief, pain and sadness. He was scared, and alone, in a world that was as foreign to him as if he'd arrived in another planet. These walls, they pressed around him - crowding him, fencing him in. In a way he was trapped, and he wondered if he'd ever get used to this. He fought the urge to curl up in a corner and cry out for his Mama to come...she was gone. So was Father. Tears welled in his eyes as he fought to suppress the memories flooding his mind. No. No, he wouldn't cry. He would make his parent's proud.

He wandered around for a few more minutes, ever becoming hopelessly lost. Finding a small bench in a corner near a window, he curled up on it to look out at the town spread out around the hill below. He had to admit, it was rather wondrous and overwhelming, as he studied the different colored roofs below. What was it his escort had said? Oh that's right, at the colors were important, to show status and such, or something close to that. He didn't care about such nor understand it well, he was only six after all, and all his education had come from traveling on the road. He did think it was pretty, though. For awhile he simply watched the view, letting his mind go blank.

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PostSubject: Re: Lost in the Castle (Nick x Azreth)   Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:03 pm



The Crowned Prince had escaped his nagging tutor, losing them in the West wing of the castle. He walked slowly, his eyes downcast. His dad was busy greeting a band of gypsies or something, and didn't have time to play with him. Perhaps he would go to the Barracks and see if any of the guards wanted to fight him. Unlikely, really, since he was faster than them and always aggravated them. He laughed to himself. Stupid idiots. Couldn't even beat a kid; what use were they, anyway?

He frowned as he kicked the stone of the wall, blowing out a sigh through his nose. Something had happened to make him so keyed-up; normally he wasn't like this. He had a vague recollection of a week past, with his mother laying on a table of some sort and of men in cloaks. But that was all he remembered; one of his dad's Healers had come to see him and put his cool fingers on his temples, washing away whatever else he knew.

And now everyone was telling him Mom had died giving birth to him, but he knew that wasn't right. The boy shrugged to himself as he continued prowling the halls. Dad was hiding something from him, but it was probably to protect him. He was the same age as a lot of the kids here, but he was very, very different. His blood had forced him to grow up quicker, forced him to understand that sacrifices were necessary, even at a young age. Azreth chewed on the inside of his cheek as he rounded a corner, blinking when he saw a boy his age sitting on the bench under the window. No one stayed in the West wing except for guests, and this boy dressed kind of funny.

"Hello." Azreth plopped down beside him, offering a smile.
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PostSubject: Re: Lost in the Castle (Nick x Azreth)   Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:25 pm

Nick was smiling wistfully as he watched a young couple walking with child, laughing as they picked them up and swung them in the air before setting them back down on his feet, only to do it again. He was lost in a happier time, listening to the laughter of his own mother's voice, clear as a bell within the memories of his mind. He jumped, causing his clothes to tinkle harshly, when he heard a voice say hi. Turning, he looked at the boy who'd sat beside him with the most confused stare, at first unsure of how this other child had come to be there, or even where he himself was.

As things came crashing back to reality, he turned his face back towards the town below to hide the tears that threatened to fall. Sniffing, he rubbed his nose a little with his sleeve, causing yet a little more tinkling like rain drops. "H-hi," he finally managed to say, turning back to the other. "I...I didn't hear you, I'm sorry, I...wanted to look outside...and..." He stammered at a loss of words. The blonde haired boy was certainly dressed much better than he was, the cloth expensive and he was sure fairly soft. He had to be the son of a noble, and for a moment, Nick panicked. Should he bow out and leave? Should he stay? Was he going to be in trouble? He had no idea of the rules of this place, and wondered if he'd wandered into some forbidden section he was never supposed to be for one of his kind. He knew his people were usually considered the lowest of the low, though his family had always been honorable, and that of his foster family as well. They'd been kind, and taught him well, but...nothing had ever prepared him for this.

Sitting back on the bench with his back against the wall, he cringed like a dog about to be slapped and scolded. Pulling his knees to his chest, he buried his face between them. Never had he felt more alien or alone than at this moment. This world was not his, it was a nightmare he prayed to wake up from.
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PostSubject: Re: Lost in the Castle (Nick x Azreth)   Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:37 pm



Azreth blinked at the tears in the boy's eyes. "Are you okay? If there's anything I can do to help, let me know, alright?" Azreth smiled with the arrogance only a boy prince could have. "I own all of this. Or at least I will in the future. But I can get you whatever you want. I'm Azreth De'servian." The prince stuck his hand out, waving it in the boy's half-buried face.

"I can think of a lot better things to do than sit here and cry. We could go raid the kitchens or take the horses or dogs out. Or we could go explore the town or something. Or we could even go play tricks on the guards!" The Prince laughed, a clear, bright sound. "They get all flustered and mad and stuff, but all they can do is smile and tell us 'Good work.'" The boy grabbed Nick's wrists and tugged, pulling him up off of the bench. "You don't have anything better to do, and I'm trying to avoid my tutor, so let's go outside, okay? It's pretty stuffy in here anyway, and if we don't get out soon, all the noble ladies will come pinch our cheeks!" He sounded absolutely horrified at the prospect, green eyes wide. "I heard that if they pinch your cheeks, they'll turn into boogeymen! And Miss Ferryvale is really nice and always gives me toys and candy, so we can't let that happen!"

Azreth took two steps forward and felt resistance from the boy. He looked back at the confusion on his face and frowned. "Come on! It'll be really fun! They sell hot chestnuts a few streets away, so let's start there. And today's a Market Day, so I'll buy you a present, okay?" Azreth jingled the coinpurse at his hip for emphasis. He dug out three crowns -- more than most grown men would see in five years, and pressed them into the boy's hand. "Everyone always scrapes and bows when you give them one of these before they give you back some silver Marks, so if nothing else, we can see how many bows we get!" Green eyes shone. "I know what I'll get you! I'm gunna buy you this really cool necklace I saw last week! So come on!"

Finally, the prince was able to drag the other boy off, and the two began the long walk out of the castle.
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PostSubject: Re: Lost in the Castle (Nick x Azreth)   Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:27 pm

The black-haired boy lifted a tear-stained face with almost a horrified look when Azreth introduced himself. The Boy Prince...him. Here. Telling him if there was anything HE could do...all that the Prince said went over his head in a complete blur. Something about if you got your cheeks pinched you'd become a noble boogey monster that gave out candy and toys, which didn't sound too bad. Except for the monster bit, after all who'd wanna be a monster? Maybe noble boogey monsters were cuddly and soft...this thought made him wanna hug one.

So lost in this thought, he didn't notice the Prince take his hand try to start dragging him off someplace, and his confusion was more about wasn't the Prince just sitting down? than where he was being dragged off to. Eventually he submitted, his brain was pretty much mush at this point, he had no idea what was going on or to expect. He did, however, manage to get out that his name was Nicolaus, but the Prince could just call him Nick for short.

The next few hours were a blur, but it was the happiest he'd ever felt in a long time. They did so many things, ate so many hot chestnuts he felt he was about to burst. He did get some odd looks when he handed the vendor a gold crown, after all it's not like gyspy boy would ever be in possession of one in his life unless he'd stolen it. However, the man had been more than willing to take the money and did bow, which made Nick giggle. No one had EVER bowed to him before. Maybe it helped he was with the Prince, but still, it made him feel great and important.

They went and did so many things, saw so many people, that Nick couldn't remember but snatches by the time they decided to stop and head back towards the castle. The day was starting to darken towards evening, and the vendors were closing up, each calling to the passers by one last warning before the wares were packed away for another day, or to sell in another town. Nick's pockets were full of candies and goodies, things he'd never even dreamt he'd taste, and he was loathe to eat them all at once. Who knew when he'd get the chance to do this again? This thought saddened him, and as they approached the crest of the hill, Nick asked if they could just sit outside a bit longer. "I...don't want to go in quite yet." He was so used to the outdoors, being trapped within walls for so long scared him. Honestly, he had no idea when he'd get to leave again or even get outside. Would he be allowed to? He remember the necklace Azreth had promised to give him as a gift earlier, and felt shy. He'd never been offered a gift before. To think of it, this was the first time he could truly say he felt he'd found a friend. But could it last? A gypsy boy and the Prince. What a combination...

Indicating a tree, he trotted over to settle down with his back against the trunk, one leg pulled to his chest as he looked at the town below. "I...never knew life could be so fun in a town. I've been to many, but, I always thought it an odd way to live. And...you say all this will be yours? Wow..."
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PostSubject: Re: Lost in the Castle (Nick x Azreth)   Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:39 pm



Azreth nodded, withdrawing from his pocket the promised necklace. "Here." He handed it to Nick. He had gone off on his own to buy it, leaving the boy browsing over some candies and was back before he'd been missed. The necklace had cost all but a crown of his allowance for the month, but he didn't even hint at it's cost. It was on a silver chain, it's pendant an emerald the same color as his own eyes in the shape of an elk's antlers. It was pretty delicate, but as a gypsy, Azreth knew that the boy would be careful with it. "If you ever need me, show that to any guard in this town and they'll come find me, Nick." He grinned as he sat down beside the boy, their shoulders touching.

"That's a symbol of our friendship, okay? We'll always be friends forever." The Prince closed his eyes and leaned his head back against the trunk of the tree. "I had a lot of fun today. You can stay here if you want. I'll talk to Dad and we can put you in the empty room right next to mine. There's a huge library between the rooms, and there's all sorts of cool stuff in there. And you can have my mare. I never ride her, and she needs someone to love her more than I can since I have my stallion."

The crickets lulled the two boys into a comfortable silence. "Yeah, eventually it'll be mine, but I don't want it yet. Dad has to die before I get it, and he's going to live forever. I'm just happy to be the Prince for now."
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PostSubject: Re: Lost in the Castle (Nick x Azreth)   Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:09 pm

Nick gently took the necklace and fingered it's delicate craftsmanship, running his thumb over the beautiful pendant that so nearly matched the Prince's eyes. He smiled a little, knowing he'd never forget this day, but he wondered if he'd truly ever call on the Prince once more. He had to be pretty busy after all. This thought was interrupted by the offer of sleeping in the room next door, being able to explore a library full of wonders...and...and...a horse of his own? Excitedly, started to say, "You really mean it?!" but that was short-lived and his body slumped once more.

Leaning a little more against his new friend's shoulder, seeking comfort in his grief, he said, "I...don't know if Minnie would approve. I'm staying with her since it was her clan that found me." For a moment, he let this statement hang as he fought his emotions into submission, all while he kept his eyes glued to the pendant. "My clan was...killed. Mama and Papa...and everyone...I hid under a wagon for three days. Minnie's twin sister found me, she helped me get better, then sent me to live here. Said it was too dangerous for me to stay with them anymore. That'd it'd be safe here, that Minnie would raise me as her own son, and that I'd have a family again."

Minnie was a well-respected servant of the castle, and also served as a liason between her sister's caravan and the King, though Nick didn't know this, and wouldn't find out about much until years down the road. Little Mira had arrived a few years before, barely a year old and an orphan herself of a sorts, though Minnie was biologically her Aunt. Her cousin, Asher, had known no other place but the castle grounds, having been left here shortly after the birth of him and his twin sister, Celeste, a cute little thing who was amazingly tough for being so young. Rubbing his thumb over the pendant again, he couldn't help but feel a twinge of jealousy that at least they were blood relations. He was all that remained of his own.

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