Chapter 4: Ruby

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 172

We blended in perfectly, no one suspected a thing! All we had to do was walk, talk, and act like everyone around us.

It was sickening when we had to approach the infested castle, I wanted to start crying. I also wanted to get it back more than anything in the world. I was determined to get back Cragbury and all of it’s citizens as soon as possible.

Everyone around us gasped in awe and shock, it was a lovely castle, of course, the four of us feigned surprise and awe. I could tell that we were all torn inside, Celeste leaned farther into Aidan, Brock looked away, none of us could bring ourselves to rest our eyes on it.

The gray walls seemed to mope along with us, and Belkin soldiers waved from the fortifications. I couldn’t wait to punch a soldier off of one, my hand formed a fist and I took heavier steps. Brock moved his hand over mine, I looked at him and he shook his head.

“Welcome everyone!” King Ronan called. We clapped loudly, and he continued. “The women have arrived!

“As many of you have heard,” he chuckled. “We will be throwing a ball!”

Many of the people of Belkin stood up and cheered. So what if they all already knew, it was still a ball, a grand party, a grand party at my home.

I clapped quietly, trying to seem excited like all the others, but I just didn’t seem that glad. Celeste was fake clapping too, same with Aidan and Brock. Our fake smiles seemed good enough to fool the Belkish people.

The gates were opened, the crowd rushed in, feet were stepped on, mostly mine. We had to go with the flow so to speak.

“Celeste…?” I whispered urgently, a thought had just come to mind.

“Yes?” she said, slowing down.

“Do you think they’ll know our names? Like, if I call you Celeste, they will know it’s you?”

“Oh dear…” she turned to Aidan and whispered into his ear. He nodded back, then turned to Brock, who was at the head of our little group of four.

Brock turned to us and led us to the edge of the castle. I took his hand so I wouldn’t lose him in the rush of the crowd.

“Okay, so they probably know our names, that’s okay… we’ll just have to think of different ones, everyone think of a different name for yourself,” we were all quiet for a minute.

“I’ll be Alyssa,” I said, raising my hand a little.

“Joseph,” Brock said quickly.

“I’ll be Aidar the Magician!” we all smirked at Aidan’s joke, it was a moment of happiness in all of the doom and gloom. The smiles faded quickly.

“I’m kidding,” he looked down. “Colby.”

“And I guess Jade,” Celeste said quietly. Aidan reached for her hand stealthily and squeezed. I smiled a little, they were so cute together.

“We should probably go back with the Belkish people,” I said, Brock nodded and led us back. “Meet as soon as you can in the outer-fields.”

“Cel-" I started, then paused. “Jade? Are you okay?” Celeste’s shoulders were shaking a little.

“Oh, R-Alyssa, yeah, I just bumped into a wall…”

“Oh, okay…” I looked away awkwardly.

“Alyssa,” Celeste took my hand and squeezed it a little. I squeezed back. “We’ll win and be home in no time at all, I promise.”

“But what if we fail?” I asked her shakily, she took my other hand and looked me directly in the eyes,

“If we fail, we will, at least, have taken two-hundred guards with us.”

I nodded solemnly, we hugged and continued walking. I moved closer to Brock, he seemed like a beacon of Cragbury’s hope in this world of Belkish excitement.

“Brock,” I moved closer, touching shoulders with him.

“Ruby, I want to tell, before anything uncontrollable happens, that I lo-” he was cut off by the booming voice of the king,

“Welcome, welcome! I have great news, maybe not so for those hybrids, but our sorcerer, Ahulan, has protected this castle with magic that will prevent any hybrid from becoming their creature!  

“In other news, in one month, only one! There will be a ball! For now, make yourselves comfortable and start making and fixing your ballroom dress!” he laughed jollily, “And don’t forget to find a beautiful maiden to marry!

“But not yet boys, tonight we feast!” he clapped his hands, our maids and butlers ran in with dishes.

They were enslaved now… I sat down in a seat and hardly ate. Celeste sat next to me, with Aidan and Brock on either side of us.

“Eat, just pretend to at least,” Celeste whispered into my ear. I lifted a spoon to my mouth and pretended to sip at it, she was doing the same.


We were put in a room in the ladies’ servants quarters. The boys were in the men’s. As soon as we were inside, we learned we had to share with four other girls.

“Who are you?” a short, fat one asked rudely.

“We’re from… Dallan.” Celeste answered a little nervously, she said the kingdom next to Belkin, it’s closest allies. They couldn’t hate us as much now, could they?

“Why’d you join us then?” a tall, yet still fat, one sneered. I answered this one.

“We were bored in Dallan, we moved to Belkin, but only a few days after we arrived, we learned of this journey and left,” I paused and took a deep breath. “Leading us to this day and time.”

“So, you don’t know much about our culture, do you?” the short one asked wickedly.

“I do, but Alyssa doesn’t,” Celeste said, she stuck out her hand to shake it. “I’m Jade.”

The other girl reached out to shake her hand, but Celeste pulled away at the same time as her.

“Greetings,” they said in unison. I tilted my head, but let them continue.

“Oh, so you can, at least, greet people,” the taller girl said grumpily. A thin girl spoke up from behind,

“Leave them alone Darla,” the thin girl said,

“Stay out of this,” Darla snapped. The thin girl moved toward Celeste and me, pushing Darla out of the way.

“I’m Chloe, it’s nice to meet you.” Celeste shook her hand differently, she says it meant she saw Chloe as someone she could trust.

They reached out to what looked like they might shake hands, but instead they grabbed each other's elbows and smiled brightly.

I was utterly confused. But Celeste had a month to teach me culture.

“Them, back there, that’s Darla and Marta. I’m Chloe, you know that, and my friend isn’t here yet, but she’s Katy.

“I’m meeting Katy in the forest now, do you guys want to come?” Chloe asked. Celeste shook her head.

“I’m sorry, we can’t. We promised to meet up with some people we know.” I said, wanting to be part of this conversation.

“Ooh! Are they boys?” Chloe batted her eyelashes. Celeste nodded and smiled. I grinned and looked away.

Pretty soon we were running down the stairs and out to the outer-fields. There were a few groups sitting around on the grass-and-daisy field. We chose an open spot. The boys came a few minutes later.

Celeste stood up, we looked at her curiously.

“It’s time you learn a little culture, Belkish culture.”

Submitted: January 24, 2016

© Copyright 2021 S.M.T.. All rights reserved.


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