In the land of Alister, there are two warring countries. When Princess Ashelia's brother dies, she takes his identity as to make his dream come true. But what happens when she get's caught into the enemy's army, and falls in love with Lucas, who is the general, and Prince, of the country she is supposed to hate?


Find more Mica songs at Myspace Music

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Chapter Nine

Lucas stepped out of the carriage, a warm feeling flooding over him. The sun around him felt livelier than ever, knowing he was home.
            “I spent more time here than the capital city Mica itself,” Lucas said.
            “Was it your choice to?” Ashelia asked, her eyes scouting around. They were only at the edge of the camp and already buildings and moving soldiers surrounded her.
            “Back then it felt like I had no choice but to do this, considering all the things that were happening at the time…but at the end of it all, it was my choice. And I’m glad I made this decision,” he said.
            Soldiers passed by him, eyes widening. Every single one they passed, they all bowed.
            “They all admire and respect you,” Ashelia murmured.
            Lucas shrugged. “I guess. It’s different if the one leading them is the one risking his life the most, after all.”
            “Why do you that?” Ashelia asked as they got to a wagon with all of Lucas’ things. They both grabbed a box and started heading towards the middle of the base camp, where the commanding officers’ tents were always located. “Risk your life I mean,” she continued. “You’re one of the most important people of Amicah. Why do you just risk yourself like that when you know you could die so easily?”
            Lucas looked down at her and smiled. “If I didn’t risk my life to protect my country, then I wouldn’t deserve to be this important person that everyone thinks I am.”
            Ashelia nodded, understanding. Every day she knows what a great king Lucas could be.
            “…King Lucas…” she mused, testing out the name.
            Lucas looked over at her. “What? Did you say something?”
            Ashelia laughed. “Nope. Nothing at all.”

            Lucas stepped out of the conference building that was set in the very middle of the camp. It was the place where every single important strategy and meetings were held.
            Dominick stepped out behind him, sighing with relief. “That was horrible,” he muttered.
            “You’re not the one who had to answer all those questions,” Lucas pointed out.
            “You’re the one that decided to be all high and mighty and be the General.” Dominick smiled and they started walking away from that building that Lucas was really starting to hate.
            Lucas scoffed and looked around. “So where had Ash been?”
            “I think he’s with Stephen again. I heard them talk about training.”
            “Stephen?” Lucas asked, an unknown feeling coming over him.
            “Don’t worry, we’ve got six soldiers on guard for him,” Dominick reassured. “He’s not going anywhere.”
            Lucas shook his head, trying to clear it. “Okay,” he murmured, though he had this feeling that Stephen attempting to escape wasn’t what was causing this uncomfortable feeling in his stomach.
            “Prince Spiridon,” said a voice.
            Spiridon looked up to see a Tyrus come in. The Royal Guard saw the bags under Spiridon’s eyes, knowing he’s been overworking himself lately. They have set up tents around the ruined campsite, thinking of plans and strategies.
            “We’ve found someone about a mile south of here. He is badly injured, but he will live after some rest. He’s in the healing tents right now, along with the two other soldiers that we have already gotten.”
            Spiridon nodded. The two other soldiers was a blessing, knowing they’ve saved some lives, but they were both unconscious, and still near the edge of death.
            “Who’s the survivor?” he asked.
            “Captain Linus. He’s conscious for now,” Tyrus said.
            Spiridon looked up at him, and quickly he headed out the tent. They both headed towards the healing tents. Spiridon went straight towards the injured captain, his whole torso, along with an arm and a leg, were already bandaged.
            “Captain Linus,” Spiridon said, looking at him. The captain wearily looked up at him from the cot he lay in.
            He already looked dead.
            “Your Highness,” he said, his voice strained.
            “What happened?” Spiridon asked.
            “It was horrible, your Highness,” said Linus, though it was apparent it was difficult for him to speak. “They just suddenly arrived, and started burning down everything. I saw the Second Spear go and take Aeson, towards the—” Linus suddenly revolted in cough, blood spurting out. A medic quickly ran over, holding out a cloth towards his mouth. After he finished, she left and went back, letting them have their privacy.
            “—towards the tent,” Linus said, his breathing heavy.
            “The tent?” Spiridon asked. Tyrus and him exchanged glances.
            “We had put up a careful plan, even though it wasn’t any good. It was a plan where Aeson would wear a wig, posing as another.”
            “A wig?” Spiridon asked. “Would that even work?”
            Linus managed a small shrug. “I heard you never found him,” he said, “and that the enemies aren’t showing any signs that they have him.”
            Spiridon shook his head. “I heard that the ones who attacked this Admes campsite had Prince Lucas with them. Their goal was to get Aeson. Would a wig really fool someone like him?”
            “Who knows?” Linus murmured, his gaze becoming hazy.
            The medic came back and looked worriedly at Spiridon and Tyrus. She bowed. “I’m sorry, but he needs to rest.”
            They both nodded, and then headed out of the tent.
            “You really think that could fool them?” Spiridon asked.
            “Aeson is a very capable man,” Tyrus said. “One of the most cunning boys I have ever encountered.”
            “Aeson, huh?” Spiridon mused.
            Tyrus nodded. “What do you want us to do, Prince?”
            Spiridon looked around at the camp they were in, already knowing he had one goal in mind.
            “We are going to find Aeson,” he said. “After the searchers come back from the three mile travel radius around this campsite, we are to form. Get a General here, along with at least two Lieutenants and some captains. Get more soldiers here. After we have strategized, we are going to attack. No matter what, we’re getting Aeson back.”

            “I’m just telling you to be careful,” said Stephen, putting his sword back in its sheathed.
            “You always tell me that,” said Ashelia, sheathing hers also. She reached up and scratched her wig. It was getting really uncomfortable sword fighting in the hot sun with a wig on.  “You don’t even have anything to be worried about. Lucas is a good guy.”
            Stephen tensed, his eyes becoming watchful.
            Ashelia sighed, frustrated. “I meant he’s a good person! The one and only reason to hate him is because he’s part of Amicah. If he had been on our side, you’d love him.”
            “Doubtful,” Stephen muttered. “But that’s the point. Maybe in another world, I really would befriend him, but in this world, this reality we were placed in, he is the enemy. No matter how nice he is to us, he is still the enemy. Look at us, we’re sparring in Amicah!”
            “Better to be sparring in Amicah than to be dead in it,” Ashelia said, making a point as to how Lucas saved their lives.
            Stephen shook his head, and then stood in attention as he looked behind Ashelia. She turned around and saw Lucas and Dominick walking towards them.
            “Prince Lucas,” Ashelia said, knowing how Dominick would start lecturing her if she didn’t use the right honorific.
            Though you call him just Lucas too, she thought dully.
            “Ash,” Lucas grinned, his blue eyes gleaming. “It’s getting late, let’s go eat dinner.”
            “Okay,” she said, suddenly realizing how hungry she was. She stopped for a moment and looked over at Stephen. Lucas caught the hesitation.
            “Why don’t you come too, Stephen,” Lucas smiled.
            Stephen shook his head. “It’s alright, Prince Lucas. I’d rather not intrude.”
            “Don’t be silly,” said Lucas. “You’re not intruding.”
            “Yeah, Stephen,” Ashelia said, smiling and pulling on his arm. “Come on!”

            Spiridon stared, horrified at the sight. The campsite at Admes was burned down to nothing but ashes, the buildings down into dusty rubble, the grass around it were burned into either nothing but dirt or a horrid, crunchy brown.
            “Search for any survivors!” Spiridon yelled down the line of forty men he had taken with him. “Set the tents and get the medics ready in case you find any.”
            “Sir!” the whole platoon yelled in unison. They all split, commanding Spiridon.
            “Prince Spiridon.”
            Spiridon looked back around to see Tyrus, the middle-aged man who was Aeson’s Royal Guard.
            Or well, used to be, if he’s even still alive, Spiridon thought.
            “What is it, Tyrus?” he asked.
            “If you don’t mind my asking,” he said, “what exactly is your plan to go and find him?”
            Spiridon looked back at the ruined camp that was the training grounds of many soldiers, many of which were only eighteen and starting. And yet the despicable Amicah came and killed all of them.
            And now they have my brother.
            “I’m not certain,” he said. “But we’ll find out somehow.”
            “That dinner was horrible,” Ash said. “I’ve had horrible dinners with my whole family before, so it wasn’t the exactly the worse, but it definitely came to a close second.”
            “”It wasn’t that bad,” Lucas said, holding the door for her.
            Ashelia scoffed. “Ha, yeah right. The only person that I could actually have a conversation with was Dominick.”
            Lucas frowned. “Stephen and I talked to you.”
            “Stephen gave me one word replies,” Ashelia pointed out. “And you were too busy asking Stephen about his life, his skills, and so on.”
            “I was trying to get to know him,” he said.
            Ashelia sighed, turning to face him. “I know,” she said softly. “But you have to remember…he still has a lot to think about. He’s barely had any time. And I don’t think he’ll ever lose his cautiousness. He’s in enemy territory, and he’s still pretty loyal to Marcellus. They’re the ones who took him in, after all…”
            He sighed, his blue eyes looking down at her. For some reason, he didn’t like how Ashelia is always with and is talking about Stephen. Lately he has been getting uncomfortable feelings.
He sighed, letting it go, not knowing what it even was.
Right now, he just wanted to end this conversation about him. “Yeah, you’re right. I’ll ease down on the questions for now then.”
            Ashelia nodded, satisfied. It was then she looked around. Lucas had led her to a building near the middle of the base. Upon walking up quite some steps outside, and entering the door, they were at some sort of huge room. As she looked around she saw shelves of books that ranged from small and thin, to gigantic and huge, spanning from the looks of recent, to centuries old. She saw desks arranged together in a U shape, making the worker using them easy to scoot around. To the side were some furniture arranged together in front of a chimney, along with a piano to the side. At the other end of the room was a bed that was even bigger than the standard king-sized. At the wall across it was a regular, smaller bed. In between them was another door, which Ashelia figured was the bathroom and closet.
            “Um…” Ashelia muttered. “Where am I?”
            “At our room, of course,” Lucas said, taking off his General jacket and throwing it onto the couch.
            “…our room?” Ashelia repeated.
            Lucas nodded, kicking off his shoes.
            “We’re sharing a room?!” Her panic started to rise, and she could feel her face get warm.
            Lucas looked over at her, his expression showing as if it was the most normal thing in the world. “Yeah. What’s wrong?”
            “I can’t share a room where it’s just us, Lucas!” Ashelia said, starting to turn around. “It’s okay, I’ll just go find an empty bunk in the soldier’s quarters and—“
            Lucas had gone over and grabbed her hand, turning her around. “What? Why? You don’t need to. You can stay with me.”
“But it’s improper,” Ashelia said, suddenly remembering her years of growing up learning of proper etiquette. Staying alone in a room with a man was definitely improper.
Ashelia pulled her hand away, embarrassed.
“You don’t have much say in the matter,” Lucas said. “You’re my Royal Guard, so you are to stay with me. Besides, everyone thinks you’re a man anyway.”
“That’s not the point,” Ashelia murmured.
Lucas stared at her, watchful. The he lifted his hand, pulling the wig off of her and throwing it over on a couch also. His hand caressed Ashelia’s hair, his fingers running through them.
“I would never do anything to hurt you, Ashelia,” he said softly.
Ashelia looked up at him, catching his eyes with hers. She instantly looked away, embarrassed. “I know…I trust you, Lucas. Sorry…I was just overreacting.”
She moved away, heading towards the smaller bed, all the while taking off her soldier’s jacket, and slipping off her shoes and sword holster. She crawled into the bed, putting the covers over her.
“Goodnight,” she said.
She heard footsteps start walking towards her. “You can have the bigger bed, Ashelia. You are still a Princess, after all.”
Ashelia shook her head. “I’m not a princess, Lucas. You get the bed.”
“Really,” he said. “It doesn’t bother me at all.”
Ashelia just sighed, and again she just repeated. “Goodnight.”
            There was a silence, and then she heard footsteps again, hearing Lucas walk to the bigger bed. There was rustling as she heard Lucas taking off his clothes, and she heard him get into the bed.
            “Goodnight, Ashelia.”
            Lucas woke up, groaning as the sunlight shone through the window that on the ceiling. He kept thinking how they did that on purpose, just so he would wake up at the first sign of daybreak.
            He sat up, rubbing at his eyes.
            Ashelia looked over at him as she started tying her hair back.
            “Oh, Lucas. Good morning,” she greeted.
            Lucas yawned, still tired. “Good morning.”
            They have been at the base for about a week now, and he found himself enjoying seeing Ashelia’s face every morning. It was refreshing to him. The years he has been here, which was most of his life, he had been alone, and it felt good to have someone there with him now.
Ashelia went over and started piling his sword and jacket onto the bed beside him. “Get up. A few minutes ago a captain came with a message to tell you there’s another meeting. It seems that the First and Second sword wish to see you. And General Demetrius is here.”
            “General Demetrius?” Lucas asked, starting to wake up. “But he is supposed to be guarding down south.”
            Ashelia shrugged. “I don’t know. But you should probably get up already.”
            Lucas groaned, but got up anyway, knowing he had no choice.
            Why did I decide to become General again?

            Lucas walked into the conference building again, enthusiasm seeming to treat him like the plague. When he got into the room, he saw the First sword, Adrian, and Second sword, Matthias, were already there waiting for me. Adrian was in his forties, while Matthias was only about thirty, only a decade older than Lucas himself. He had also known Matthias since he was little, since he came from a high noble family. In a way, Matthias was like another older brother to Lucas.
            They both bowed.
            “Good to see you,” Adrian said.
            “Hey,” Matthias grinned. “You grew again.”
            Lucas grinned back. “Are you two to stay here?”
            “I have to leave soon,” said Adrian. “I’m still under obligation with General Demetrius.”
            “But I get to stay and accompany you,” Matthias smiled.
            “Oh, no…” Lucas groaned, teasing. Matthias smacked him on the arm.
            “Prince Lucas.”
            Lucas looked to see General Demetrius sitting down on one of the seats. He was middle-aged, though age doesn’t really apply to him. He has the strength and endurance of someone far younger. His hair had slight grey, but his face still looked like that of someone in their thirties, other than the battle scars across it that showed years and years of fighting.
            General Demetrius gestured to the seat in front of it and Lucas sat down.
            “Nice to see you again, Prince Lucas,” he said, his voice deep and powerful.
            Lucas nodded. “Nice to see you too, General Demetrius.”
            Lucas watched him as General Demetrius leaned back on his chair, his own eyes careful.
            “So what brings you here up north? Aren’t you supposed to be leading down south?” Lucas asked finally.
            “I have news,” he said. “The geography of the south is quite simple. Up here, only forests are the barricade between our countries, but down south, there is only a river a quarter mile wide. I had some spies manage to get across.”
            Lucas raised a brow. “Spies?”
            “Yes. Some are unheard of, but one managed to get back to us. He has heard that Prince Spiridon is gathering forces to try and find his brother, Prince Aeson.”
            Lucas tensed. “Is that so?”
            General Demetrius nodded, his eyes narrowing, as if he saw through Lucas and knew he was hiding something. Or someone. Even if he didn’t exactly know who.
            “What I’m trying to say,” General Demetrius continued, “is that even Marcellus doesn’t know where Prince Aeson is.”
            “What do you propose?”
            “Well, I had heard that you decided to shift our attention towards Spiridon, instead of Aeson.”
            Lucas nodded.
            “So I propose I lead an offense.”
            Lucas frowned. “What, do you plan to swim across and just attack?”
            The general shook his head. “No. I was thinking more of a mental attack. We find Aeson, get him hostage, and then use him against Marcellus.”
            Lucas watched him. Everything was becoming complicated. He knew what he was supposed to do.
            He was supposed to tell how Ash was actually Aeson, and say that Aeson is actually Ashelia. They are supposed to use her as bait to lure Prince Spiridon out and kill him, immensely damaging Marcellus. That way, they would have the advantage in the war.
            If he does that, the war that has been among Alister will finally end, bringing peace.
            “General Demetrius, I—” Lucas stopped. Ashelia’s face kept popping up in his mind, over and over again. Even if they’ve only known each other for awhile now, they are already close enough to be considered friends.
            He couldn’t do it.
            “What is it, Prince Lucas,” General Demetrius asked.
            “I have reason to believe that Prince Aeson is dead,” Lucas said.
            The general’s mouth dropped a little. “Why would you say that?”
            “Think about it. My men had searched and destroyed every inch of that campsite in Admes. We never found him. They never found him either. What I’m saying is, we had set that place into burning flames, and buildings started falling. There’s a good chance he was under one of them.”
            General Demetrius thought for awhile. “…let’s say your theory is correct. What would you do?”
            “I would continue with trying to get Prince Spiridon. But give up on Prince Aeson. He is probably no more.”
            “So continued with what we’ve been doing?”
            Lucas shook his head. “Soon, Spiridon will attack, so we should raise our defenses. I want you to get all the Lieutenants and post them all across the border with men no less than three hundred each. Divide them equally, and make sure you have messengers posted near each one, as to have early notice if one of them is attacked. I have to leave to see my father, so I leave everything to you. But I want a report sent to me immediately after the enemy’s been engaged.”
            General Demetrius nodded. “Wait until they come to us, eh?” he mused. “I like your thinking, Lucas. It’s no wonder you’ve led great battles over the years.”
            Lucas shrugged, then he stood up, the general standing also.
            “Well it was good to see you, General,” Lucas said, shaking hands with him.
            “You too, Prince,” General Demetrius nodded.
            Lucas walked out of the building, passing the first and second’s swords after they bowed to him again. He looked around wondering where Ashelia was. He needed to talk to her.
            “Lucas!” Dominick called as he walked up to him.
            “Dominick,” Lucas said. “Where’s Ash?”
            Dominick scoffed as they started walking. “Where else? He’s with Stephen.”
            Lucas’ mouth formed a tight line. “Again?”
            Dominick nodded. “Anyways, Lucas. The new recruitments are here, you are to see to them.”
            Lucas groaned. “Right now?”
            Dominick glared at him, started to push him towards the training ground at the side of the base. “Yes. Right now.”
            When they got to the training grounds, the captains and commanders saw him and started yelling orders at the new recruits to have them line up in formation.
            “Go find Ash, and bring him to me,” Lucas said to Dominick before he walked over in front of the formation.
            Lieutenant Faxon, Captains Elias, Kiril, Marcus, and Kristopher went to stand beside Lucas, bowing to him.
            “These are the new recruits?” Lucas asked, eyeing all the new soldiers. There were maybe one hundred, all at the age of eighteen or nineteen. Every time Lucas has had to speak to new recruits, he always wondered if it was alright. They were all so young. But he let it go because he couldn’t say anything since he started training before the age of eleven.
            They’re the same age as Ashelia, he thought, a sudden amused wonder inside of him.
            “At attention!” Lucas called, and they all straightened at the same time, a loud rumbling echoing across the base.
            “You are all here today to begin your training as an Amicah soldier. You will learn strength, agility, dexterity, strategy, and everything you need to know to become strong during battle,” started Lucas, his voice rising out of him, the strength and volume being heard all across the new soldiers, making them shudder. He slowly paced back and forth, watching every soldier and looking them in the eye. “Day and night you will train, and soon you will fight. But for the meanwhile, you will each be assigned a captain, being in sections of twenty five. You will listen to him, obey him, and do everything he says. After the basic training is over, the captain will select one of you in your section to be the commander, and you will listen to him.”
            Lucas paused, letting the soldiers get those words in their heads.
            “But study carefully. Learn the field of battle, and know your places. Listen to your officers. There will be hard times, I promise you. There will be times when you think everything is going to end, but it’s then that your hard work should shine. Show us that you’ve done everything you can, and you will be honored all around. And,” Lucas stopped, grinning at all of them this time, and he could feel the wave of respect and awe through the crowd. “We will be standing there beside you, helping you the whole way. So make us proud.”
            “Yes sir’!” they all echoed in unison, and Lucas could see all of their faces light up in determination.
            Lucas nodded, started to leave.
            “That’s our mighty Prince Lucas,” Captain Kiril grinned. “A few words and he’s got them hooked.”

            Ashelia lay back on her bed and sighed. She had just come back from some training with Stephen again, and she couldn’t believe how sore she was. She lifted up her hands, gazing at the scars and blisters that have formed.
            This is necessary, she thought to herself, to complete her goal.
            Ashelia sighed again, knowing her goal was near to impossible anyway. But after everything she’s done, she’s not going to give up. No matter what, Ashelia’s going to complete Aeson’s dream of being known to the world and avenge their mother’s killer.
            Lucas’ father
            Ashelia stood up, not wanting to think about anymore of those thoughts.
            Think happy thoughts, think happy thoughts.
            Ashelia paused at the bookshelf she was now standing in front of. There was a book there, the cover a blank black, and it was worn and torn in some places. Ashelia saw Lucas get this book many times, only looking inside it for a few seconds before putting it back.
            Ashelia took it off the shelf, flipping through it. She started reading a few paragraphs, and she found that it was about some man struggling through life, not making ends meet and so he joins the army, making sure his family gets enough money sent to them and—
            Ashelia froze as something fell out.
            She picked it up and stared at it, her heart pounding.
            It was an older picture, taken maybe about twelve years ago. It had Lucas in it when he was about eight years old, grinning at the picture. His hair was shorter and messier, and he was still one of those fun-loving kids. Beside him was another boy, about the same age. He had dirty blonde hair, cut short. He was grinning to the picture too, and messing with Lucas’ hair. His eyes might have been brown, but Ashelia knew they were exactly like Lucas’. The smile was the same too.
            Ashelia continued to stare, realizing who it was.
            Lucas’ brother, she thought, this is Lucas’ older brother.

No comments:

Post a Comment