By the way, I'm writing this on a phone, so I can't indent. Sorry.
1. Dresses, Frills, and Unladylike Behavior.
I stood in front of the congregation, struggling for breath against the rediculously tight corset. Just stand up strait and act like a lady. Easy for them to say. They weren't the ones standing up here trying not to pass out while being picked over by suitors who had not been detered by my demonic pranks. Various potbellied lords had ended up with everything from frogs in their tea to the girthstrap on their saddle loosened before they go riding. (The girthstrap is what holds the saddle in place. If it is loosened the saddle will slip and you will fall from it sideways.) Shakey breaths. I made my way to the door as gracefully as I could under the present circumstances, but found my way blocked. Standing there, smelling of ale and sweat was the ever vile Count James Tyron. Jerk. \"Where do you think you're going?\" His breath reeked of alcohol and his words were slurred. Instead of wasting my time with his almighty drunkness, I quickly turned on my heel and walked towards the small door on the opposite side of the room. \"Oh you're no fun!\", he jeered. Judging by the corrosponding thump he tried to follow me. I quickly made my way up a tightly wound stone staircase. When I finally got to the top I promptly marched strait down the hall towards the door to my rooms. As I walked through the door I could almost feel the disaproving eyes of my ancestors, who's portraits lined the walls of the hall I had just exited. As soon as the door closed with a sparp snap I began yanking at the ribbons which gave the corset its vicelike grip. After finally getting the bloody thing off I collapsed on my bed. When I had finally regained my breath I pushed myself up and walked towards the commically large dresser. Yanking open the bottom drawer and shoving aside all of the revoltingly frilly dresses that lay in my way, I pulled up the false bottom of the drawer. Under it lay two pairs of men's pants, two rough, shapeless shirts, and a long strip of plain cotton fabric. I pulled everything out and set it behind me. I then went back to my bed, under which a plain, inconspicuous satchel was hidden. I stuffed the clothes and fabric into it then shoved it back to its original position. I then stood up and climbed under the blankets where I would lay for the next few hours.
When I deemed it was safe to venture out I slowly stood and pulled on the plainest dress I owned, grabbed the satchel, and began making my way out of the palace as quietly as possible. I slowly tiptoed down the spiral stairs, stopping one flight before the feast hall. I slipped through two grand oak doors as quietly as possible into my favorite room in the world. It was the ballroom. Beautiful paintings covered the perfect walls between each of the intracatly carved beams covered in hammered gold. Tiptoeing across the dark glossy floor, I walked towards a large balcony. Carefully I tiptoed out to the edge of it, whereupon I grabbed a length of rope from behind a nearby planter. I tied the rope to one of the battlements and cautiously rappelled down the wall. As soon as my feet touched the moss-covered ground I began running towards the stables. When I reached them, I took a moment to inhale the wonderful smell of wood, hay, leather, and sweat. The smell of freedom. I shook myself from the brief moment of bliss and pulled out the large horse that awaited me. He was a sixteen hand bay stallion, half South Islander and half mustang. Four years old. His name was Randcom, which meant independence and strength. In this aspect he was a lot like me. As silently as I could I fastened his halter, put on his saddle, grabbed reigns, and led him to the forest. After walking about a quarter of a mile I tied him to a low hanging tree branch and began pulling off my dress. I pulled out the long strip of fabric and tied it as tightly as possible around my chest, to try to cover up what little I had. Once that was done I threw on the shirt and leggings and climbed up into the saddle. We started off towards the town at an easy trot, and slowly working up to a canter. The sun was just beging to show itself when we finally got to the town. No one was awake yet, save the bakery owners. Randcom amd I walked slowly across the freezing cobblestones towards a small alley where we could wait until they got here. You see, I didn't go to Silfin (the town) just to window shop. Starting today the owners pf army would be looking for recruits to fight in the impending war, and I wanted to be first in line. The reason for this was that the previous week I was officially engaged to some Duke who's name I didn't bother to learn. I leaned back against the wall and closed my eyes. Randcom stiffened his legs and began to take a nap. I allowed myself a small smile. Normally, I smile all the time, but when I was about to do something completely and entirely illeagal in every aspect... As the enticing smell of fresh bread meandered its way down the alley, I slowly stood, stretching the stiffness from my legs. It was even harder to stand since about two years ago I had broken my tailbone. I could barely walk for weeks, but I managed to hide it. No doctor was summoned to set it properly since the injury was obtained racing on Randcom when I was suppssed to be inside practicing ettiquette and whatnot. I lead Randcom around the corner and tied him to a small post before walking into a small bakery. The smell of bread and sweets filled me with warmth, and it took the baler talking to uank me from my trance. \"Can I help you young sir?\", said a plump little baker with bits of grey flyaway hair peepin out from under the square of fabric that held most of it in place. I deepened my voice into what I thought was passably male. \"Three scones please.\" she smiled as she reached for them. I pulled out a small sack and put it on the counter. She placed each of the scones in it as I handes her six bronze thops (coin worth about $0.50 in your money) which she accepted with gusto. \"Also, could I get a small bag of oats?\" I asked, holding out another three thops and a small burlap bag. \"Alright, I'll just be a minute.\" came the reply as she bustled into the back room to fetch them. I looked around at all the other baked goods, taking in the smell and warmth of the air around me. She cam hustled back with the bag, then I walked outside and began feeding a handful of it to Randcom. After he had finished devouring what I had given him, I tired him securely to a post and began wandering around the town. It was very pretty and enjoyable, and as I walked down the street it slowly opened up and came to life. Stalls opened, peddlers paraded up and down the street, stores displeyed their wares in their windows... Finally I spotted what I was looking for. A growing line of boys about my own age trailed out into the road, leading from a wooden table. It was on the pavement across the road from me, so I jogged over to join the menagerie. After a few uncomfortable minutes I made it to the front of the line. A rather harrassed looking man around 45 sat in front of me and gruffly asked, \"Name?\" \"Charles Blackwell.\", I lied. It was a common enough name, not at all one to attract suspicion. My real name is Catherine Elizabeth DeVaux, but there was no way I would be sharing that with anyone. \"Age?\" \"Sixteen.\", I lied for a second time. I was barely fifteen, but fairly tall. He looked up at me skeptically, one eyebrow raised. I met his undermining gaze with a determined glare of my own. He looked down and scribbled something. \"Any prior expierience with weapons?\" \"Hunting. With a longbow.\" \"Can you ride?\" \"Since I was four.\" He uncerimoniously handed me a sheet of paper. A contract. \"Go to Athlin in one months time. We will be there.\" I nodded and walked away. I navigated my way down the now crowded streets, back to Randcom. By the time I returned he looked at me indignantly, obviously irked at being left alone. \"I'm sure you'll survive.\" I muttered. He turned and shot me a rueful look as I climbed into the saddle and nudged him foward. Reluctantly he turned and trotted back towards the forest. After changing back into the plain dress, I sat sidesaddle and we walked back towards the castle. Well, it wasn't exactly a castle, it was a very large and very extravagant mansion that sat on the edge of town. It was where I lived, and what I would inherit if I married. However I would never marry, since everyone wanted my money, and no one wanted me. I combed my hair with my hands, eliminating the tell-tale wave caused by having my hair tied back. Randcom and I marched back to the house as I perfected my already bad excuse for being gone so long. By the time Ramdcom was stabled and I had returned to the house, my mother was in hysterics. \"-could she have gone to?! Have I taught her nothing! Oh, I'm a failiure as a-\", she spotted me and imediatley swooped down on me. \"Where have you been?! You know Iwas worried sick! Do you care at all? Don't interupt!\", she snapped as I opened my mouth to reply. \"I really thought better of you!\", she added in as I slipped out the door.
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