At the heart of the medieval kingdom, Elegand, a large palace rest overlooking a lively town a short road away. King Lyacon, the kingdom's ruler, is at the moment busy visiting other nations to the
east so the kingdom is left in charge to by the king's ten year old son, Prince Ymir.
There is always work to be done around the palace. Throughout it several workers and staff are present. Chambermaids carrying out daily activities of cleaning the palace hallways, dusting vases and statues, washing clothes and changing bed sheets. Servants who tend to the prince's needs and assist the chambermaids by bringing them cleaning material and going into town to purchase supplies. Gardeners who tend to the gardens and floral scattered around the palace's courtyard and fields. Knights and guards who protect the palace and are ready to defend at all times. Chancellors who assist the prince in making tough decisions. There are also other palace workers who are on hand serving as extra help if needed.
One of the workers is Lief. Lief is age twenty, has green eyes and shoulder length blonde hair. His job is lending extra assistance to the other palace personnel when it is needed.
One morning, Lief is getting ready for work. He shares a room with his childhood friend, Gwen. She's straightening her short chestnut brown hair and is wearing a short red dress, which is a trademark of hers.
"Don't be late this time, Lief," says Gwen with a sigh, "and don't goof off either. I know how you are when you aren't working." "I'm not going to goof off." says Lief with a smile. "Sure." says Gwen sarcastically.
Together, Lief and Gwen travel to the gathering area for the workers, where they receive their orders for the day. The person in charge is Lily, the head chambermaid. She's a rather large woman with long brown hair. She can be strict but is always fair. She is also the adoptive mother of Lief.
"Lief," says Lily noticing him come in, "the gardeners could use some help outside. If your not too busy that is they could use a hand." "Sure no problem, I can help." responds Lief. "You better not goof off today either like you usual do, Lief," yells Lily. "I make no promises." responds Lief laughing as he heads off.
Lief travels to the front courtyard where he finds the gardeners he's to assist. He goes over to them "I'm here to help you." he says with a large grin. 'Oh no, it's goofy Lief again.' one of the two gardeners think to themselves, 'probably going to mess something up again.' thinks the other.
A few hours go by with Lief finishing his job trimming the hedges. As Lief's being a little rough on the hedges, the gardeners decide to dismiss him. 'You know, I don't want to go all the way back to see Lily', he thinks to himself, 'I guess I'll just go around to see if anyone else needs help, or at least look like I'm busy'. As Lief prepares to head around the palace, he sees a carriage that's just pulled up.
From the carriage a knight comes out and opens one of the doors in the back. Two people then carefully step out. One is a young woman with really long dark brown hair and a red scarf around her head along with a brown ragged dress. She has really deep dark brown eyes that seem to mesmerize you if you look into them for too long. She also has a pretty serious looking face. The other person is a young man, short brown hair and wearing ragged pants and a battered shirt. Both the girl and boy seem foreign and not from around the area. A second knight appears and together the knights escort the two people into the palace.
"I never seen those two before, I wonder who they are," Lief says quietly to himself, "I wonder if they are just looking for a job. They don't look like they're from around here. That girl sure is pretty though." With nothing else to do, Lief curiously decides to follow the small group, staying at quite a distance to not be noticed. "Well since I don't have anything else better to do at the moment I guess I can find out who they are." says Lief to himself.
Lief quietly follows the two knights and two people unnoticed into the palace. He quickly hides behind a pillar in the main lobby. In the lobby the group is meet by the head chambermaid, Lily.
"So these are the two you said were looking for a job?" ask Lily to one of the knights. "Yes," the knight says, "we brought them here to see if you would give them work." Lily curious says "Before I can give them a job I need to know more of them. Tell me who you two are, why do you want a job?" she asks them.
The girl takes a step forward and speaks to Lily, "Hello, ma'am, my name is Arianna. I'm nineteen years old. Me and my brother here have been living as peasants looking for work, though no one wants to hired us. We traveled to this kingdom hoping we could finally find work. When we came to this kingdom we meet these two knights who said they could help us."
"You there, the quiet one," says Lily to the boy, "so who are you?" she asks. He responds, "Ma'am, my name is Aiden. I'm age twenty one and believe it or not I am actually good with taking care of horses, so I can work at the stables if I'm allowed to." "And I'm good with cleaning." says Arianna, "Do you think we could possibly be allowed to work here and perhaps have a place to stay." "Well I don't know," says Lily, "you two don't look like working types. However I'll give you a shot and if I like what I see then you two can stay and work." "Thank you," says Arianna, "we are both really hard workers and you won't regret your decision."
Both Arianna and Aiden are escorted to separate areas, Arianna is taken to a hall to clean as she's appointed as a chambermaid and Aiden to the stables appointed as a stable boy.
Lief sits at the pillar thinking about the two people. 'Arianna and Aiden.' he thinks to himself, 'Hm, that Arianna girl, I haven't seen anyone that beautiful in a while.' Lief heads off searching for work to be done still thinking of the two, especially the girl.
That night, Lief goes back to his room. Finding Gwen inside he decides to take a moment to speak with her.
"Hey, have you seen the two new workers today?"
"What new workers?"
"Well, earlier today a boy and girl came and meet Lily in the main lobby. She gave them jobs and I think they're staying here now. They seem foreign, but they seem special in a way, especially the girl."
"What, you like her or something, you probably do don't you?"
"What! No moron, just curious is all. Never seen two people like that."
"Well maybe you can see them some more later. Listen, I'm tired, I'm going to bed, tell me more tomorrow, if I'm in the mood to listen."
Arianna and Aiden are permitted to stay in a room in the servant living hall. The both bring a bag of their possessions into the room, and fixing the room how it suits them. There's a window in back and a bed lying in front of it with another bed to the left wall of the room. "Everybody is so nice here," says Arianna laying sheets on the bed. "Yes, the horses in the stables are as well," says Aiden, "kind of like the ones back at home."
Aiden goes over to sit on the bed to the left wall. He reaches into one of his pockets and pulls out a golden bracelet with rainbow colored gemstones all over it. "Here, sis, this is for you", Aiden says giving the bracelet to Arianna.
"Aiden, this is...it's my bracelet," exclaims Arianna, "thank you, Aiden. I though I lost it." "I meant to give it to you sooner but I just wanted to hold onto it longer to keep it safe for you." says Aiden. "I thought I lost it...during that night." says Arianna. "I managed to grab it at the last moment." says Aiden. Arianna sits on the bed beside Aiden, resting her head on his shoulder. They both look at the bracelet. "Hey remember when mother gave me this bracelet." Arianna asks. "Yes, I do." Aiden responds. "It was one of my birthday presents." she comments.
Arianna pauses for a moment. "Aiden, do you think we'll ever be able to go back home?" asks Arianna. "I don't know," responds Aiden, "I honestly don't know."
Days have gone by since Arianna and Aiden arrived at the palace. Lief's curiosity continues to watch them from a distance and occasionally asking the palace staff if they know anything of the two new workers, of which they all say only learning that the two tend to stay to themselves.
One day while on break, Lief finds Gwen outside on a rocky fence in the fields and sits with her.
"Have you spoke to those two new workers yet?"
"Well, sort of. I spoke to the boy Aiden recently. I meet him when I went past the stables the other day and briefly spoke to him."
"What did he say?"
"Well not much, I said hi and he said hi back. Then I asked him if he was from around here which he said no."
"So why aren't you speaking with these people your suddenly obsessed with?"
"You know me, I get nervous speaking with new people, I may say something dumb accidentally."
"Like it's a first for you."
"What's that suppose to mean."
Gwen chuckles, "Forget it, listen just speak to them."
"Seriously, do I have to."
"Lief, a close mouth doesn't get feed, if you want something speak up. What, are you scared of them or something?"
"Of course not, I just...I..."
"Then get to it."
"Alright fine, I'll speak though I don't think this will go well."
"You never know till you do something."
Finally deciding he will speak to one of the two new workers, Lief builds up inner courage and acts on impulse. Of the two, Lief decides that he will speak to Arianna. He waits till evening when most of the chambermaids are off duty to speak with her. Spending a few hours looking he gets tired and suspends his search for now thinking to himself 'Oh, don't know where she is. Oh well, I'll look for them tomorrow then.'
The next day is cloudy, having rained earlier. After getting ready, Lief spends the morning with other palace staff bring in supplies brought in a carriage from town earlier. After finishing Lief decides to goof off taking a break for a bit. Noon arrives and the palace staff and workers take short breaks to eat and sit down before continuing work. 'You know, I don't have anything better to do right now', Lief thinks to himself.
Wanting to be in a more quiet area with no one around to continue his break, Lief heads to the laundry pool. The palace laundry pool is really a stream that passes through a back portion of the palace. This is where chambermaids come to do laundry. There are also stone walls around, a little bit of grass and a single medium size tree near the water.
Lief walks down to where the laundry pool area is. As he gets there he is caught off guard.
'Oh my god,' he thinks to himself, feeling a bit nervous and stopping in place, 'it's the girl.' Arianna is at the stream washing clothes hanging them up on a nearby clothes line. 'Well at least I don't have to search anymore for her.'
Pausing and thinking, 'Guess now's a good time to speak to her, may as well being on free time and all.' Glancing at her he thinks to himself, 'we're alone here too, just me and her, what are the odds'.
Lief thinks to himself, 'Hm, you know maybe I can make a special impression on her.' Lief notices the tree near the water. He reaches the tree without her noticing. Feeling nervous, he carefully climbs the tree, Arianna notices the noises coming from the tree but thinks nothing of it, she being focused back on her job.
As Arianna moves next to the water to continue washing clothes, Lief decides to get her attention. "Hey," he calls out to her from above, causing her to look up.
Nervous, Lief says "So...nice weather eh, all cloudy and stuff." Arianna looks up at Lief curiously.
"So...is your name...Arianna?" he asks nervously. "Y-Yes." she replies shyly.
Before Lief can continue speaking, he loses his footing on a branch which causes him to slip and fall from the tree tumbling into the water below. He goes down a little but quickly comes to the surface spitting out water. He glances up seeing Arianna looking down on him smiling and chuckling at him with her hand over her mouth. Embarrassed, Lief turns red and puts his hand on his head while he blushes.
During the night, in his room Lief speaks with Gwen.
"I meet the girl, Arianna, today at the laundry pool."
"How did it go?"
"Well, I made a tail out of myself. I fell out the tree and in the water."
Hearing Lief, Gwen suddenly burst out laughing. "That's what you get for showing off." says Gwen continuing to laugh. "Yeah, that wasn't suppose to happen like that. Back to square one," says Lief, "guess I have to find another way to speak to her."
In their room Arianna and Aiden are about to turn in as well.
"You know, today at the laundry pool I meet this boy. He seemed a little...goofy, but nice though."
"What kinds of boy, you mean he didn't seem bad did he."
"No, he was weird, but he didn't seem like a bad person."
"Be careful with these people Arianna", says Aiden cocking his eyes, "though they seem alright we don't know them good enough to trust them". "Understood, I'll be careful", says Arianna calmly.
Several days have gone by since Lief embarrassed himself in front of Arianna. He's been avoiding her to nervous to speak again. 'This is not what I intended', he thinks to himself still feeling embarrassed, 'she probably thinks I'm a big goofball. Well, I sort of am but, it's not what I wanted her to think of off the bat like this'.
Arianna begins to befriend many of the chambermaids which Lief notices from a distance. One day he over hears her saying to the other chambermaids "Back at my home, both me and my brother use to ride horses together." never mentioning where 'home' is.
On break, Lief goes to the dining hall to speak with Gwen.
"Gwen, have you spoken to Arianna yet?"
"No but I did work alongside her in the east hallway once. She only speaks to certain chambermaids but she's real private, not saying much about herself."
"Hey, do you think you could possibly be friends with her so you could at least tell me a little about her?"
"Well...I don't really want to, I don't care if we become friends or not."
Gwen sighs, "Alright, for you Lief I'll speak to her if I can but don't expect much." "Thanks, Gwen." says Lief calmly. Lief then rolls his eyes to the side thinking to himself, 'You know, if Gwen doesn't come through then I may have to come up with something myself so I can finally talk to this girl right. Now that I think of it I'm going to attempt something tomorrow.'
The next day comes and Lief goes to Lily for work instructions for the day.
"Lief, you are to go into town and pick up some groceries for the chef and gardening tools for the gardeners."
"Alright but can I ask something, Lily."
"What is is?"
"Can someone come along with me, hey how about that new girl, Arianna?",
"Why her in particular...wait...oh I see, yeah. You know romance is for after work Lief." says Lily chuckling. "Well, I do want to talk to her, NOT ROMANCE!" exclaims Lief, "I just want to talk to her but I can never find the right moment. Please, just do this one thing for me, Lily, I'm going to work I just want to have one good moment to talk to her."
"Alright, I guess I can. I know you better get that work done though."
"Yes! Thanks Lily."
Lief hugs Lily out of gratitude and runs to the front courtyard where the carriage is to take him to town. Lily sends a chambermaid to find Arianna and give her instructions. Arianna goes to the carriage and gets inside. She sees Lief inside with a big smile on his face. 'This is the boy I saw the other say, the one who fell in the laundry pool,' she thinks to herself, 'doesn't matter, I'll just do what I'm told, have to gather groceries and garden supplies.'
Riding into town, Lief sits across from Arianna feeling nervous and exited. "My name is Lief," he says to her shaking, "I didn't get to tell you earlier." Arianna doesn't respond and stays quiet. Lief decides to do the same, creating an awkward tension. 'Oh boy, another failed attempt,' he thinks, 'hey, that's a pretty bracelet.' looking at the rainbow gemstone bracelet on her wrist.
At town, Lief and Arianna complete the task they are given. As they begin to head back to the carriage a child wearing a cloak literally bumps into Arianna then runs off. Arianna looks at her wrist to see her bracelet's gone.
"My bracelet's gone!" exclaims Arianna. Lief sees this and watches the child run off. "Hey come back here", yells Lief at the child before giving chase. Lief chases the child through the street and into a back alley where he corners and grabs the child. "Hey I know you stole that girls' bracelet," Lief yells, "now give it back!"
Lief takes back the bracelet and sees the child's face, a boy with short blonde hair. His face is dirty and his clothes under his cloak are dirty. "Who are you?" asks Lief. "Lenard," responds the boy, "now give that back. I'm going to use that thing to buy food."
Lief looks into the boy's dark scared eyes, actually feeling a little sorry for him. "Here," says Lief, reaching into his pocket. Lief pulls a few coins out and puts them in the boy's hands, "now get lost." The boy calmly nods at Lief and then runs off into the darkness of the alleyway.
Lief walks out from the back alley and goes back to Arianna. "Here you go." says Lief to Arianna giving her back the bracelet. Her face lights up and she breaths a sigh of relief snuggling the bracelet, rubbing her face into it. They later enter the carriage and travel back to the palace, Arianna looks at her bracelet the entire way back.
Returning back to the palace they exit the carriage. Arianna looks at Lief.
"You said your name's Lief, right."
"Um, yes. Yes it is."
"Thank you, Lief, for bringing my bracelet back."
"Uh...no problem, yeah no problem at all."
"Actually you are kind of interesting."
"Yes, we can talk sometime if you'd like."
"Yes, I'd like that a lot...Arianna, I'll speak to you later."
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