Sneak Peak

Hello there Champions. Today it is Monday and thus an update day, but I really have nothing new to report besides the fact that I am editing up a storm. However I am determined that I shall not let you down, so I’m posting a sneak peak of Red Rope Of Fate. (Which if we’re being honest is probably more interesting then anything I was going to write about anyway.) Without further ado…Your sneak peak!

Red Rope of Fate

Tari sank into the cushions of the couch as Arion stood behind her in a stance of attention. They had been pulled from the Celebration Hall before order was restored, and were placed in this small, stuffy office. Then, after hours of talking to translators, both elf and human,  being pinched and prodded by enchanters and wizards, talked to, read to, questioned, and—oddly enough—sung to, Tari was left alone with her partner.

She exhaled and shut her eyes, reveling in the moment of leisure. “I can’t imagine they have any additional tests to throw at us, unless they mean to test our physical abilities.”

“It is not likely,” Arion acknowledged.

Tari opened her eyes. “They’re probably trying to decide what to do with us. Maybe they have sent for more members of the Royal Families?”

“They already have,” Arion said, still standing behind Tari’s couch.

“What?” Tari asked, twisting to face the captain. “How do you know?”

Arion gestured to the open window behind them. “The flag of King Petyrr and the banner of the elvish King Celrin fly above the Celebration Hall.”

Tari leaned back to get a glance of at the top of the vaulted Celebration Hall. She only caught a glimpse of the elvish banner, a rising sun, before the door to the small office was thrown open

First through the door was King Petyrr, three assistants, two guards, and a translator trailing him. King Celrin glided through the door after this small procession. He studied the already crowded room and spoke softly to his assistant who stood directly behind him, dismissing him before he stepped inside the room with a lone translator.

There was some fumbling before King Petyrr barked, and two of his assistants and guards fled the room.

Tari stood and dipped into an elegant curtsey. Arion was a moment behind her, offering a stiff bow to his monarch. Tari froze momentarily in surprise when she realized she knew Arion’s bow was stiff, not because of his posture, but because of some inner feeling that told her so.

The two Kings stood side by side—a translator standing behind each man—and made a striking picture of differences. King Celrin was tall and slim, clothed in flowing robes. He had long hair that was plaited into a braid, and he studied Arion and Tari with the scrutiny scholars afford to ancient texts. King Petyrr, on the other hand, had a large smile with deep smile lines. He was short, portly, and red faced, but while King Celrin wore dignity like a cloak, King Petyrr’s brisk manner commanded respect.

King Petyrr spoke, his voice booming and distinctly joyful.

Tari looked to Arion, as there was no translator present who seemed intent on helping them. The captain bowed again and did not translated, as Tari hoped he would. “It was certainly a surprise, Your Majesty,” he said.

King Petyrr spoke again, this time with a large gesture and a peal of laughter.

Arion bowed his head. “If you say so, Your Majesty.”

Tari longed to ask Arion what the King said, but it seemed improper when royalty was addressing them.

The translator at King Celrin’s elbow translated for the ruling elf in whispers. The elf king nodded before turning to Tari. “You are Elvaren’s youngest child, Tarinthali?”

“I am, My King,” Tari said, inclining her head before whispering to Arion. “My King Celrin asked if I was the youngest child of my father, Elvaren.”

Arion shifted, and a frown twisted his lips for a moment before he nodded.

“Your sister was bound today as well, was she not? She did not experience this phenomena.” King Celrin said, reflecting on his words more than informing Tari of the day’s events. “Your bonding, Tarinthali, has ignited a light of hope in our people. The enchanters and wizards are discussing your bond among themselves with the aid of the translators. It is to be hoped that they will be able to recreate such a bond, but we are not convinced it is something that can be repeated,” King Celrin said, looking to King Petyrr, who nodded after his being told the translation.

“My King Celrin has expressed the opinion that the wizards and enchanters hope to reproduce our…unusual bond, but My King Celrin and His Majesty King Petyrr doubt they will be successful,” Tari rushed to tell Arion before King Petyrr spoke again in his loud voice.

Arion listened for a moment, his lips tightening, and translated when the human King paused to laugh and let King Celrin’s translator catch up.

“His Majesty King Petyrr has expressed the desire that he and King Celrin wish for us to remain in Haven, although we have other commitments in our home cities,” Arion said, his voice flat.

Tari whirled to face King Celrin. “My King,” she started, hesitating. “If you will pardon my impertinence, I am a Dancer of the Evening Star. I am aware that because of my unusual bond with the honorable Captain Arion and I should stay in Haven for a time, but as an Evening Star is my duty to remain in Gloria,” she said, pleading to the king with her eyes.

Seer Ringali would be furious with her if she stayed at Haven for an extended period of time, and it was very likely this ‘stay’ was going to last at least a season. He would very likely burst a blood vessel when she sent news of this.

Arion nodded at Tari’s words. “If I may, Your Majesty, my squad cannot survive without my leadership for an extended period of time,” Arion said to his king.

King Celrin waited until King Petyrr addressed Arion before he spoke as well. “I do not argue against your point, for I am aware of the responsibility you bear as an Evening Star. However, right now our country has great need of you. You, Tarinthali, and Captain Arion are the only bond we have historical record of, or even dreamed of, that upon bonding are immediately able to understand each other. I know your position is of great importance, but at this moment the change you and the captain symbolize is of a much greater magnitude.”

Tari inclined her head, both happy and torn. The responsibilities of her position as a dancer had been drilled into her as a child. Even though she was happy she could further the friendship between Lessa and Calnor, a part of her felt it was her duty to return her home city, the port of Gloria.

“He told you too that we have to stay?” Arion said, his words so quiet Tari doubted the kings and their translators heard.

Tari nodded at the captain, who exhaled. “I thought as much. I have been reassigned to a squad in Haven. I suspect they mean for us to stay here for quite some time.”

Tari waited until the kings spoke to each other in a combination of sign language and translators before she said to Arion, “It seems we will have to sacrifice our personal lives for a time.”

Arion added, barely above a whisper, “We can only hope it is indeed for a time.”

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