As a special treat for staying with me all month, you get the chance to read the current opening of Unwise. Like the promotions at the beginning of the month, you’ll only get about 2000 words. Let me know what you think. Hope you like it!
All rights reserved.
Copyright (c) 2019 Cat Hartliebe
Leagende is not a country to be considered weak. David Gillette knows that better than anyone. He looks up at the massive castle the king calls home. That is the type of place never considered weak. Sure in the past Leagende was broken into four countries: Compast, Cardenil, Dereksean, and Leagende. Then Leagende lost land to the humans of Germania. All of that is in the past. Now under King Zeus, the country of Leagende is back to its former glory.
The Forest Elf spins fluttering his wings to stay up right in the busy street. A few grumble at his use of the street. David understands why. The flight less elves would give anything to gain wings. The non mages would gain anything for magic. David was lucky enough to have both. His ancestors were well received by Nature. And considering the current king granted his family land in the old Compast, he has rights and title even now.
Down the street in colorful and bright clothes is his little sister. Her brown eyes have already found him. Her brown hair bounces with every movement she makes running. She looks half out of place as a tanned skinned individual mixed among the green. She managed to get lost in the mess. David frowns at the little Johni. They were supposed to move together through the town. She does not have her flight down well enough to stay above the crowd. Not with so many flyers crowding the sky. “What were you side tracked by?”
Johni grins up at David looking much the young teen she is. She holds up a stick of sticky puffed balls. “Look! I got them for free!”
“The nice man thought I needed something to keep my spirits up.” She grins.
David removes the food from her hands and tosses them in a trash can. “Never accept gifts from strangers.”
Johni pouts staring at the trash can. “He bought them right in front of me. I did not see any magic either. It was safe.”
“You have no idea what is safe. You are the future Governor of Compast. You cannot just readily…” David sighs throwing his hands up and moving forward. “Stay close.”
The reason he does not have the title of future governor is because he looks like a Forest Elf. His green eyes are nearly those of the king. His sister, on the other hand, is a beautiful and perfect looking Savannah Elf. Golden skin and brown eyes are the expected looks of Compast. They need her on the seat of power. He will just marry well. Actually, he is here to see about marriage with her highness Princess Noami. The demon princess as she is called looks more like her father than many are willing to admit.
“I am tired of walking,” Johni whines.
“Then we can fly.”
“I suck at flying.”
“Then we walk,” David states moving quickly through the crowd.
“Carry me.” It’s a whine.
David rolls his eyes. It was fine to carry his little sister when she was single digits. Now she is a gangly fourteen year old. She is heir to the title of governor. She cannot be carried around by her brother. She is not a kid anymore. “You need practice flying. I will not suggest here. It is crazy here. I might struggle.”
“You never struggled at anything.” Another whine and huff.
David sighs taking up his sister’s hand. This is taking forever. The trip from the guest house to the main castle is taking forever. He is going to ask for a room at the castle if possible. They should be able to receive one. He is a governor’s son.
“How about we practice flying?” David lifts off taking her with him into the sky. He stares at the castle in the distance. It would take a few minutes flying properly. If Johni can keep up.
“Fine. My legs are tired.”
David nods tugging her along slowly. Until she proves she can handle a faster speed, he will go slow. The required dodging of faster flyers has David frustrated. This is not his ideal travel speed. He glances at Johni. She is not flying fast. She looks like a tourist even. “Johni!”
“Sorry.” She picks up speed just enough so David does not feel like he is hovering.
“I want to reach the castle so we can enter without relying on our position.” He spins a little noting the sun’s position in the sky. They left with plenty of time to spare. Now it is under an hour before they close Orphan Annie Group.
“Excuse me!” Someone slams into David. The quick movement has the adult flutter and hover while grabbing hold of the flyer in question. He notes the female adult, eyes the dark green of the royals. That is not an uncommon eye color in these parts though. The royal dark green eyes would be called uncommon everywhere but the captial city of Kee.
“Thank you.” A man in leathers catches up huffing while David holds the squirming female in place. “Princess, I love flying at full throttle, but we are in the middle of the capital. People get in the way.” Considering this man is in leathers, he has to be a well received guard. Leathers are only given to the top of the top.
“Let us go to the country.” She releases herself from David’s hands and spins on her guard. Her hands reach her hips as her ability to fly has the hover almost perfect.
“You cannot leave the castle until your name day.”
The female grumbles turning back to David. “I apologize for running into you. Please be more careful travelling the city proper.”
“Do not let her go,” the guard says.
David reaches out and grabs the princess before she can dash away. “We were headed to the castle. Would you mind guiding us?”
The princess looks at David then at Johni struggling to hover in place. She flits about to stay airborne. “She is new? At that age?”
“Always struggled with flight. She is quite amazing in other ways. You will consider her worthwhile as she grows into her title.” David motions to his sister. Johni offers an in flight bow.
The princess huffs and grabs the hands of both David and Johni. “Let us go Rick. Back to the castle.”
David hears the exhausted thank you from the guard as the princess drags the group through the air to the castle. The fact she had no issues forcing Johni on speed and in the proper direction says how much strength this little fireball has. A teen still since she has not had her name day. There are three princesses under age: Naomi, Elsa, and Tanya. Tanya is the daughter of Natalia and Sven. A princess, but far from the title of crown. She is not exactly expected to achieve much. David has concern over her mistreatment. Elsa is the younger of the king. The information says she is not as old as this princess though.
That means the one dragging him around should be Naomi the one he came for. Her naming day is in a few weeks and because of her limited experience and interactions, no wedding has occurred. Given what he has figured out already about the head strong female, David has understood a lot of why she is still unmarried.
“And here we are.” Princess Naomi lets go of the siblings while hovering above the gardens where the Orphan Annie Group plays. “What purpose do you have at the castle? Meeting your beloved?” Her arms cross reviewing the pair.
“My sister and I have come to see the king and visit for the Name Day of Princess Naomi,” David says with a slight bow. “If you wouldn’t mind our visit anyway.”
The princess grunts at David. “Not another one.” She spins facing Rick. “You planned it.”
“I did not Your Highness.” Rick gives a slight bow although his eyes never leave the princess. “You crashed into him.”
“I was coming to find you.” David slides in to his sister. “Let us stand. We can walk into the castle.”
“Thanks,” Johni whispers landing softly. “I met His Majesty when he came through a few years ago.”
“He was interesting.” David scrunches up his face thinking of the odd man. He looked young and happy. He looked completely in love with his wife. He seemed outgoing and fun loving. Then he ended a dispute on grounds between two difficult rivals by killing them both. His words he gave the rest watching were something that stuck in David’s mind, ‘This country is too big to let dangerous people continue to roam. They had six months with Governor Compast. They had four weeks with Ann of Bolin. There was nothing I could do or say that would change their greedy hearts. That means death. Do not make the same mistakes. Give and take properly. Or I will take all.’
David shivers. Johni takes up his hand offering a weak smile.
“Father is annoying more than anything.” Princess Naomi flips her hair back and pulls the braid out to fix. She grumbles until Rick comes in and does it for her. “Ugh. I need to see him, right?”
“Yes, Your Highness.”
“Your Highness.” Rick tugs at her hair. Naomi sighs. “You may walk the siblings there. Then if anyone asks you are guiding not gaining punishment.”
Princess Naomi sighs again sinking a little. Once she finishes her pity, her strength returns full force and she stalks forward into the castle. Before entering, she turns back to the two siblings. “Coming?”
David nods and tugs Johni forward. They came here for this. The king and queen will easily accept an audience with them. “What did you do wrong today, Your Highness?”
Naomi glances at David while guiding them as she should. “Left the castle walls. Father has the rule that no prince or princess may leave without battalion. As if I need a battalion of guards when I can down most of them as is.”
“You are valuable. Your enemies would gladly send far worse than a battalion just to remove you from the throne. Is there not a group who deems you unacceptable because of your bad blood? People who wish for Princess Tanya to be named Crown Princess not you?”
“Do not even start on that.” Naomi growls out glaring at David. The male does not reduce himself to her level. She is his junior, even if her title is higher. She is an Illiene. His name does not even compare. She throws her chest out as she walks onward. “Those who are against my crowning are the same who are against Father being king. No one considers them worthwhile. Father accepts a level of dissatisfaction among his populace. Threatening his death is beyond that allowance.”
“As happy as I am with His Majesty, he does have reason to be mistrusted. He acts on occasion far too much like the demon his grandfather became.”
That has Naomi stop and slam her hand into David’s chest. “You have no right-“
David stares back holding his head high. He saw his king kill people because they were problematic. He held no remorse over their deaths. Those were his people just as much as his own children are. “Your father, King Zeus has murdered people for being dangerous or difficult. He does not hold in or hold back when something may be considered impossible to handle. He does not gain all words of wisdom and if he did, he does not listen as well as some. He is not a pure elf and he acts it.”
Naomi flares, her eyes turn into black orbs, signs of her demon heritage. She thrusts her hands against David’s chest again, but David knew better to not have defensives up when facing off against a dangerous princess. She acts far too much a demon. That is the main reason she is still unmarried. One visit that ends with this has elves running left and right.
“David…” Johni whispers shivering.
“Damnit.” David shifts his shields away from his body and around Naomi and him. He will be hit full force, but those around will not be. He places hands on the princess’s letting fire replace her ice magic. Still her eyes are black orbs. He is countering her, but not making a real difference. David knows how long he can handle such an attack. He has been against top level mages and she is beyond them. Cursing lightly, he pulls her close and wraps his arms around her body. “Naomi, you will freeze the castle.” His whispered words stop the spell.
As her magic returns inside her body, David replaces the shield wrapped around him. No wonder his mother suggested this. He was not considered much in his family because he was a Forest Elf not a Savannah. Still his magic and flight are signs he was well received in his family’s past.
“Better?” David slowly releases the princess. His casual smile does not help her keep from nervously looking around. “We are headed for the king, Princess. Shall I lead the way?”
Naomi shivers in place. Johni takes up her hand patting it gently. That is why she will make a good governor. She is so compassionate for her people. For everyone really. David lacks that level of compassion, but he tries.
David nods holding his hand up to cast the locator spell. Once the king’s position is pinpointed he starts the walk again. This time he stands in lead. Naomi and Johni hold hands behind him. Rick stands on guard behind the pair. David keeps his strength in his step and his back straight. His family would be proud of his skills.
Interested? Say something. I can be kind enough to offer the entire story in its rough form.
This story isn’t going to see the light of day for a while. Let me get Dragon Rider published first. That’s six stories. Then I can switch back.
Unwise is a complete first draft. Unsure is a half completed first draft.