A Sick Princess and Contenders for Her Heart
He gripped his mug of hot malt in the coldness of the morning. The pauper woke up early disturbed by the dream he had. He dreamt of Alythia and the man with her. It has an appearance of a royalty, and he surmised that it is her father. The pauper asked if it is indeed her father. Realizing that she has not introduced the pauper to his father, he readily acquainted the former, Lord Demas, to the latter. It appeared true but it was surreal.
He readied himself and set out for work. Some of his fellow laborers greeted him upon seeing him. They observed that there is something special in him these past weeks that makes his countenance glow. Some inferred that he is in love, and they teased him. He burst in laughter. One of their fellows, Kinsley, a servant commissioned from Shin Manor, was not aware that the pauper is planning to woo Alythia.
He is quite close to the princess and he mentioned that there are young men he knew who are also planning to woo her. Kinsley also said to the pauper that he will have a hard time pursuing the princess because she came from Charisleb. It is well known that their people do not intermarry with citizens from another kingdom.
These things troubled the pauper. Small comfort from a fellow he thought would give him the best encouragement. This caused the pauper to be distressed almost all throughout the day. He tried to focus his thoughts in his work but he often caught himself thinking of Alythia.
It was midday already when he saw the princess. She pointed her fingers to her throat and nose. He did not understand the gesture she made. So she beckoned him to go nearer. The pauper promptly obeyed and went to her direction. “I am sick, sir.” She whispered. “I can’t speak well because my voice had become hoarse.”
She appeared exhausted. “I will just eat in Potsherd Tavern and then I’ll go home to rest.” She told the pauper.
He went to the Chamber of Annals to know the latest reports from the herald. But he was not concentrating on the reports. He is anxious of the princess’ health. He went out of the Chamber of Annals and went to the tavern and asked if he could bring her home because he would pass by their villa on his way to the trade fair. He said that he needs to acquire some tools there. Alythia agreed.
The princess was too weak. The pauper strained his mind because he doesn’t own a carriage. He could have brought the princess speedily to their villa but they would have to walk to the main thoroughfare to get a common carriage. They were walking under the heat of the scorching sun when the Royal Carriage of Shin Manor passed by.
It stopped. A familiar face went out of the carriage’s window. It was Alfric Horus.
“Where are you going, my lady Alythia?” Alfric shouted.
Alythia managed to raise her voice and told him she’s going home.
“I’m sorry but we are going the other way, maybe next time.” Alfric yelled back. And he went inside and the Royal Carriage went its way.
The pauper cannot understand why but he was quite jealous of Alfric. He became suspicious of Alfric. He was reminded of Kinsley’s remark. He dismissed the thought and alerted himself on getting a common carriage. He wanted to ease the discomfort that the princess is feeling by at least giving her a comfortable ride.
A few more minutes and a carriage came their way. He beckoned it.
On their way to the villa, he admonished the princess to rest well. They reached the villa.
“I really appreciate your concern and your willingness to bring me home with a carriage.” Then the princess quickly went down.
The pauper went straight to the trade fair quite happy that he was able to serve the princess.
To be continued…