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It was early morning, dew was still underfoot upon the grass, last night's fires smouldering with wisps of smoke rising from them. A bright spring morning but, a chill from the southern wind blew across the courtyard. The guard shivered slightly, as he stood guarding the doors to the north wing of the castle. Just then he noticed two palace guards behind a man in old worn out armour and chainmail walking toward him from the east wall. He had long gray hair with a well trimmed beard, he was tall and stocky, his shoulders broad with exceptionally large arms. "Out of my way" Ridus said with a dry and groggy voice. The guard stepped back and stood to attention, then reached to open the door. Ridus and his entourage went through as the door closed behind them.
The old knight trudged down the great corridor heading towards the royal bedchamber. With an annoying rasping and clanking of metal upon metal following him from the two palace guards. This was enough to give anyone a headache this early. Ridus knew that even this was too much, gritting his teeth. Servants scurried along the corridor to and from the different rooms, and stood to one side as the big man passed. Some of the servants seemed somewhat nervous around him, but was that because of his stature? Normally he was a sincere man, no it was because they knew his temperament from when it was too early on a chilly morning.
One of the servants carrying a full chamber pot cowered near a wall to the royal chamber, making the pot rattle, it's contents nearly spilling out. Ridus looked down pitifully and produced a wry smile. The servant stood and looked quizzically, as Ridus. "Why does everyone fear me?" He thought to himself, not realising his thoughts became vocalised, "Humph!" gazing towards the chamber doors. He suddenly stopped and turned to the two guards "Wait here". The guards turned to face away down the hall standing to attention a few feet away from the entrance.
Ridus loomed in the doorway waiting for the King to allow him to enter further. Theodore sat with his legs still under the covers. His long curly hair draped down as he rubbed his eyes. "Your highness" Ridus said in a calm polite voice. King Theodore glanced over smacking his lips together after a yawn and a stretch "Come in man, just because I'm king you don't have to stand there all humbled, that's only when others are present my old friend!" he exclaimed. Ridus took a few steps closer "Anything I can get you sire?" he paused for a moment "Some water maybe?" The King shook his head as to say no, removing his blankets and spinning to the edge of his bed. His feet began tapping on the floor blindly searching for his slippers.
Ridus stood in thought for a moment before letting off a sigh. "You know sire, some of the nobles are heading here sometime today." he said, whilst the king pulled himself up off the bed and started to fumble putting on his dressing gown. Slipping the gown on, he pointed to the fire hearth. Ridus built a fire "Yes, I know. More incessant moaning about taxes, crying over a minor uproar. What a set of old grumps they can be" the King replied, with a touch of sarcasm in his voice.
They stared at each other as if their minds were as one. The king gestured for Ridus to take a seat as the fire started to burn nicely, and he pulled on a rope, moments later there was a tap on the door "Enter" said the King, and a male servant came in through the door, bowed, and in a faint voice said "Yes sire". The King looked at Ridus with a steely gaze. "Have you eaten today?" Ridus stared at the dancing flames replied sluggishly "No sire....I haven't".
Peering over to the servant "We shall both dine in here for breakfast" drawing his attention back to Ridus "Care to join me?". Ridus sat back and pushed his feet out towards the fire "Of course sire" Theodore clicked his fingers at the servant and bowing once more he exited the room.
Varia had gone to wake the princess. She scrambled to light a fire and open one set of the curtains "Good morning your Highness" bowing her head "Ah, Varia how's the day?" Hida asked, "A slight chill in the air, but sunny.... Shall I set your clothes out for you?". A gentle smile came across Hida's face, as she crawled out of bed and headed for the dressing table. She took a brush and waved it towards Varia.
Varia gently brushed princess Hida's hair "You know Varia, I might go for a stroll in the grounds after breakfast is finished. Care to join me?" Hida asked. "You are very kind to me your Highness" she replied. "That'll do Varia, let's get me dressed shall we?". Varia went to open the wardrobe revealing numerous dresses of various colours "Hmmm" Hida hesitated for a moment, "This one today I think" Varia smiled again, "Oh yes your highness the red will certainly emphasize your golden hair." Hida nodded in agreement, and smiled at the comment from her maid.
Once dressed princess Hida left her room and turned down the hall with Varia following close behind, her dress trailed but she didn't care as she glided towards the dinning hall. Her blonde hair shimmered as it caught the rays of sunlight, and her deep blue eyes sparkled. Varia quickly stepped in front of her to open the door, she paused "Varia" she said "It's alright, I'm quite capable of opening doors." Varia still insisted and pushed the door open anyway. "Well at least join me and keep me company whilst I eat" Varia curtseyed and showed a nervous smile. A voice bellowed from within the dinning hall, "I heard that sweet sister, is it me? Am I not good enough company for you, so you ask your maid?" Prince Corvus stood up from his seat as he turned to face Hida.
Varia curtseyed again this time towards Corvus, who stood in front of them in a gleaming white tunic and matching shoulder cape with gold threading. Hida looked at her brother as he stood there smiling at her "Your Highness" Varia squirmed. "Oh please do join us Varia" muttered the Prince. All Varia could do was look at Hida, then glanced with a blush towards the prince. He edged around the table and pulled a chair back and gestured them to sit. "You can sit next to me" Hida said as she tapped on the seat next to hers, Prince Corvus planted himself back down where he was originally sat, awaiting for breakfast to be served. "Begging your pardon, but it's against the rules I'm not allowed to eat with you." Varia had held her ground even against the wishes of the Princess. Although Prince Corvus allowed it "Perhaps your right Varia, you will still walk the grounds with me afterwards though, won't you?". Her smile returned to normal "Of course your Highness" she quickly replied.