Dawning Skye Chapter 103
Chapter 103: The Capital
Update 2 weeks ago
"What did ye say? About his brother?" Skye asked as she stepped away from the guards she'd been chatting with.
Tidas tensed upon hearing her voice. He knew she would insist on going with him. They didn't have the time to argue, if they wanted to make it to the city at the time Ralph had specified. To avoid the situation, the prince said; "We'll discuss it with my father once we reach the palace.. You know how he is about tardiness."
Sighing with irritation, Skye replied; "And yer father knows that Ima never on time; please speak, Ralph."
Ralph squirmed were he stood. He didn't want to get caught up in an argument between the couple. Tidas noticed his hesitation and asked Skye; "Do you really intend to make your new father in law and King wait, because you wanted to talk about something that he should be a part of from the start?"
Skye gave her husband a hard stare, but then turned away in a huff. She knew he was right, and that the conversation needed to take place with Magnus present. He was the highest authority, and would hear Skye out fairly. Plus, she didn't want to antagonize her husband just yet. She wanted him to be on her side when they broached the subject to the king, not be her opposition.
Skye left to bath and dress before their arrival at the capital. Peggy had kept all her essential items out for easy access. Tidas had told her that their final stop would be the longest, for generally that purpose. His guards also needed time to freshen up before they saw their families again. They'd all been away for months up in the Highlands, before going to Moonstone Castle. So they were quite grateful to their prince for the consideration.
They would cross the enormous city to it's center; where the Royal Palace stood. Ralph warned that the streets were already crowded. Tidas worried of one particular person ruining his wife's debut. He gave strict instructions for the daughter of Lord Bibalow to be detained, should she attempt to approach them. Angela was the type to make a scene, so Tidas wouldn't even give her a chance.
As Peggy rinsed her hair, Skye looked at her hand as she held it in the air. Her muscles kept tensing without her doing anything, and a sharp pain occasionally shot through her wrist. It wasn't anything but an annoyance now, but it could wind up causing her issues later in life, if she didn't get it checked out. Seeing the palace physician was already on her to-do list; adding a checkup to it wasn't a big deal to her.
"Are ye even listening to me?! Skye!" Peggy practically yelled in her ear.
She literally jumped at the old woman's words; "Ack! What?! Sorry! I was thinkin about what I need to do once we reach the palace."
Peggy sighed with irritation; "I said I was done with yer hair! Wasn't so bad since ye slept for well over a day straight. But don't ever do that again! I thought ye were sick or somethin.. Yer lucky Maevis assured me that ye just needed sleep, due to yer magic deprivation."
"Is that what it was? Huh.." was all Skye said on the matter; inciting a light smack to the back of her head from her servant.
"Ye bloody idiot! Ye didn't even know why ye ate and slept so much?! Mae said that if ye would've gone any further, ye would've tapped into yer life essence! Ye could've died, Skye!"
"Aye; that's what I was avoiding by using me powers! I didn't ask Jacob to do what he did, now did I?!" Skye actually yelled at her faithful servant; shocking them both.
"No, but that's-" Peggy tried to argue, but Skye cut her off.
"No buts! Ima tired of everyone tellin me what I can or cannot do. Ima grown woman, with me own magic! I know that this all comes from a place of love, but I must do what I have to, Peg.. If that means I need to sleep for three days after, so be it.. I know you'll be there when I wake, so Ima not scared."
Peggy smiled at her bairn for her sentiment, but didn't agree with her. The fact that her dominant hand was hurting was proof enough of her lack of knowledge, when it came to her own powers. Peggy didn't know much about Shamans, or about magic in general.. But she'd never heard of a person being healed by a Shaman, and needing more medical help afterwards..
After finishing dressing and talking with Peggy; Skye came out in a beautiful dark green dress with silver trim, and long fitted sleeves. Her cloak would cover her as they went down the streets, so she would still be presentable once they'd reached the palace. Tidas had proposed that they ride on horses; to deter people from trying to look in the stagecoaches.
Maevis and Nicolas needed to remain hidden until Magnus declared them safe. They hadn't been happy to stay in the coach the entire time, but there was nothing to be done about it. If anyone saw them, it could blow their whole plan. The people from the wedding would most definitely be spreading rumors by now, regardless of their promises not to speak on it. But that was just another thing that couldn't be helped.
To pass the hour before they would reach the capital, Tidas answered a few random questions Skye had about the capital.
"Most Shamans study biology, human physiology, and medicine in general. We have an entire school dedicated to training Shamans, doctors, and nurses in the capital. I've tried several times to have one established in each large city, like Dragonhorn; but Marco has always shot it down due to costs."
"There are various types of training facilities in other cities, but the capital has all the best resources in Alcon. From training equipment, to even everyday conveniences; very few kingdoms rival us.. But only when compared to our capital. The rest of the kingdom isn't nearly as advanced.. Which makes the Republic of Sai the only kingdom on the Star continent that beats Alcon.. Well, except in military might," Tidas took a drink from a pouch of water after he'd finished speaking.
Skye remembered the fireless lanterns that lined the streets of Sai's capital whenever she would visit Mei. She'd marveled at the tiny lights that lit their home; without burning or stinking. Her father was supposed to receive an item called a 'generator', to hook up to his water mill. It would give him light inside their castle without candles. It was extremely expensive, but he'd sworn by it's value when he'd explained the purchase to his wife.
Skye described to Tidas how her mother's face had twitched and contorted; causing them both to laugh. Many of the guards around them smiled at how their prince reacted to his wife. They'd never seen him so happy before; it was surreal to them. Their commander was strong and slightly stoic; hardly ever allowing anything to faze him. But here he be; laughing and joking like the young adult that he was. His age made them smile; making most believe that their prince will be around for a long time.
As the walls to the Capital came into view, Skye felt her stomach begin to twist. She hadn't seen them in years, but even now; they seemed incredibly intimidating to her. While they weren't as strong as Dragonhorn's, the colossal walls were much taller and thicker. The battlements curved outward in points to create drop zones for artillery, and other various means of defense. The layout reminded the princess of a wilting daisy.
Shouts and cheers could be heard as they came closer to the gates. The people that were either leaving or entering the capital parted to allow the royal couple through. Skye and Tidas kept their hoods down; waving, nodding, and smiling as they rode through the massive gates..
It was around ten o'clock or so when the third prince and his new wife entered the Capital of Alcon. People from all classes lined the streets, shoulder to shoulder, to see the couple. From children to adults; all gathered along the sides of the roads to glimpse the Hero Prince, and his commoner wife.
Some had tried to badmouth the princess' lineage, but changed their tunes when they laid eyes upon her. Skye's hair practically shimmered like real gold in the sun. Her heart-shaped face, golden eyes, and gentle smile put almost all arguments to rest. The only ones that still griped were the truly bitter women in the crowd, but Skye paid them no mind.
As their small parade progressed, some of the families of the guards came up to greet them. Ralph was literally knocked over by his three children and wife. He hugged them tightly, then released them to rejoin the procession until he was officially off duty for the night. It warmed the princess' heart to see the two girls and a wee boy tackle the gruff guard captain .
Skye had grinned broadly when she'd heard him call the little lad Tidas. When she looked to her husband for conformation on what she'd heard, he smiled and winked at her. Skye imagined Tidas as a father for a moment and beamed. She could see a little doppelgnger following him around, or a red-haired little lass that would wrap her daddy around her tiny finger the moment she was born. It would still be several years before they wanted to have children, but Skye still looked forward to having their little family.
As their procession hit the halfway mark, Skye realized that some of the soldiers she was seeing were Magnus' personal guards. They moved within the crowds; bobbing and weaving around people as they kept to the royal couple's pace. Tidas' guards were the obvious safety precaution.
The king's personal guards were not only coordinating their route, but also providing extra protection from anyone lurking in the crowds. The notice of arrival had been far too short for any of his enemies to plot something. But it was still best to be safe than sorry. Lord Fowler was sent ahead the day before his son died. He had no idea that Jacob was dead yet, and might've paid someone to try and free him. It was highly unlikely, but Tidas wasn't taking any chances with his wife's safety.
As Skye watched the people, she also paid attention to the streets and buildings. All the newer houses and businesses were similar to pictures she'd seen in tomes. Instead of bricks, the streets were paved with a smooth grayish-black material she'd never seen before. Tidas had been surprised by some of the changes, like the road. It looked like it was a massive project, and the prince had a hard time keeping a smile on his face as he guessed at the cost. As well as who must've done the labor.
Peering into the distance, Skye could easily spot the Royal Palace of Alcon. The enormous castle was made of light grey stones, similar to the walls that surround the capital. Skye's gut twisted further as she looked towards the familiar building with both excitement, and trepidation.
Her trials and adventures were truly about to begin...