It was two days before the wedding day and the kingdom was filled with excitement. No one, except for the servants and soldiers in the castle had seen the future queen and most imagined her to be the most beautiful in the kingdom. Shuyu knew that the reveal of Yanira would be quite a shock and some would be against it, but he only wanted Yanira and currently his bride to be refused to be seen by him. He had visited her room a couple of times, but Yanira refused his presence, so since her confinement, he had not seen her and that made him grow impatient and made him even consider moving the date of the marriage earlier, just so he could see her.
Shuyu wanted to see Yanira, but he respected her privacy and decided to kill time by helping with the organization of the wedding, which he planned to be a spectacular display and he also had to make Yanira’s parents and older siblings feel welcomed. He became so busy with preparations that he momentarily forgot his worries.
While Shuyu made preparations, Leveret explored the castle grounds watching the preparations take place. Leveret had to admit that Shuyu’s sense of style was quite extravagant, but considering that Azseldo Kingdom was about to gain a queen, it was expected. Queen? Shuyu’s queen was going to be Yanira Castleheart, his soon to be sister-in-law. Leveret couldn’t explain it, but the thought of Yanira marrying his older brother made his heart hurt.
Leveret shook his head and then pulled out the key from around his neck. This key led to the garden that Shuyu made for Yanira, but Yanira gave this key to Leveret. Just the thought made his heart race. That was when an idea dawned on him. Just like Shuyu, Leveret hadn’t seen Yanira since she first arrived, but unlike Shuyu, Leveret wasn’t the groom, so there was no excuse for Yanira not to at least see him.
Leveret stuffed the key down his shirt and began to head toward Yanira’s room.
Yanira on the other hand was once again changing into her peasant attire in her chambers. Yanira nodded in approval as she gazed into the mirror, but frowned when she noticed that her hair had grown a few inches. She pulled out her dagger that she hid in her bags and prepared to trim her hair back to its original length, but paused when she realized that Shuyu would never allow it and he would indeed question if her hair still remained short even after not seeing him for so long. Yanira lowered her dagger with puffed cheeks and instead tied her hair into two small pigtails. With this hair style she hoped to at least keep the strands of hair out of her face.
Yanira nodded in approval once again and then grabbed her book filled bag and a rope. It was time for her to once again make a small visit to her personal bookstore: Nigam’s chambers. Yanira tied one end of the rope on the balcony and tossed the other end over the edge. She thought of using her wind spells, but realized that it might attract unwanted attention, especially when she was supposed to be confined in her room. With another nod, making sure that the rope was a lot stronger compared to her last attempt, she began to climb down the rope.
When she was half way down, she heard footsteps above coming from her chambers and flinched. She thought maybe Shuyu walked into the room or a soldier, but either way she was half panicked.
Yanira paused after hearing the voice calling her name and sighed in relief.
“I’m down here, Leveret!” she called up. She heard rushing steps and then saw Leveret looking down at her with wide eyes.
“Why are you down there?” asked Leveret in a panicked tone. Yanira giggled saying, “Long time no see Leveret. Did you come to play?”
“Well yeah, BUT THIS ISN’T THE TIME! Why are you dangling from a rope?” demanded Leveret.
“I was just going to visit my friend to get some books.”
Leveret raised an eyebrow at Yanira.
Yanira nodded and stated, “Do you want to meet him?”
“Him? Your friend is a boy?”
Yanira nodded and asked, “So do you want to meet him?” Leveret narrowed his eyes. Yanira had been confined in her room for a long time and he couldn’t understand when Yanira managed to make a MALE friend.
“I’ll come,” stated Leveret. Yanira giggled and then urged Leveret to climb down. Leveret did as told, but he wondered exactly where this friend was that Yanira had to climb from her balcony.
Yanira soon stopped in front of Nigam’s chamber window and knocked on the window calling for Nigam. As she called, Leveret heard the name and his eyes widened in shock.
“Did you say Nigam? As in Nigam Obi?”
“You shouldn’t have contact with him. He’s dangerous.”
Yanira puffed her cheeks and stated, “He’s not dangerous. He’s lots of fun. He always gives me interesting books to read.” In truth, ever since her first meeting with Nigam, she had been visiting him every day to get books and to learn more of his knowledge. It was to the point that Nigam expected her arrival every day.
Leveret groaned and muttered, “It’s like he is bribing you with candy.”
Yanira pouted, but perked up with a smile when the window opened revealing Nigam with a welcoming smile.
“I thought you forgot to visit,” stated Nigam.
“I wouldn’t forget, especially since I am looking forward to more books to read,” chirped Yanira before swinging into the room.
Nigam was ready to shut the window, but Yanira stopped him and stated, “I brought someone with me this time.” Nigam raised an eyebrow in confusion, but gasped when Leveret crawled through the opened window and landed next to Nigam. Leveret gave Nigam a quick glare and then stood next to Yanira, who was smiling brightly.
“Nigam, I want you to meet my other friend, Leveret Sou,” stated Yanira and then looked at Leveret adding, “Leveret, this is Nigam Obi, my friend.”
Nigam narrowed his eyes toward Leveret.
“Leveret Sou. I see, you are the second prince of Azseldo Kingdom.”
Leveret nodded still glaring at Nigam. Nigam glared back. Leveret and Nigam couldn’t quite explain it, but the moment they first met eyes they felt an undeniable hate for each other.
Yanira on the other hand couldn’t quite understand the atmosphere between the two boys and instead decided to go to the bookshelf placing the books from her bag on a wooden table close by.
“So anything I can read for today?” asked Yanira focusing her attention on Nigam. Nigam smiled toward her readjusting the silver collar on his neck.
“I chose some books about cultivation and the Anyions.”
Yanira smiled brightly, but mostly because of the topic of Anyions.
“You have books about Anyions?”
Nigam nodded saying, “I find them quite fascinating, so I made sure to have books about them.”
“I can’t read to read them,” stated Yanira with glittering eyes. Nigam smiled and patted her head, but was surprised when his hand was whacked away by none other than Leveret, who was still glaring at him. This glare seemed to say, “Touch her and you die.” Nigam glared back and felt the urge to throw acid at this spoiled brat.
Yanira suddenly looked at Leveret and asked, with a cheerful smile, “We can play after I bring these books to my room, OK.” Leveret instantly perked up with a smile and stated, “I can help you bring the books to your room and then we can head to the garden.”
“The garden? I haven’t been there in so long. I can hardly wait.”
Nigam frowned as he watched Yanira’s cheerful attitude around Leveret. He felt that he just had to get Yanira away from this boy. Nigam reached toward Yanira, but Yanira suddenly faced him with excitement in her eyes and asked, “Do you want to come to the garden with us?”
“Huh?” Nigam muttered in bewilderment. Leveret seemed ready to yell out an objection, but Yanira immediately stated, “I really want to play in the garden with all my friends.” Nigam and Leveret were both silent and then looked to one another. They both seemed to come to the same conclusion of the situation: As long as Yanira is happy.
They were about to head to the door, until Leveret pointed out, “Nigam is a prisoner, so how are we going to get him to the garden without being seen?” Yanira thought awhile and then smiled as an idea dawned on her.
“Time to head to the window again.”
Leveret and Nigam sighed realizing that the exit was going to be the window. In a matter of moments, they were climbing out the window and Yanira had decided to use her wind spell at a minimum to support their descent, but not enough to be detected. They soon reached the ground and Yanira grabbed Leveret’s left hand and Nigam’s right hand and began to drag them urging them to move faster.
“Slow down Yanira.”
“I don’t think the garden will run away.”
Yanira giggled in response as she dragged them. Leveret and Nigam started at Yanira’s smiling face and then at each other and smirked.
As long as Yanira is happy.