”Ill finish my training and come back as fast as possible maybe then I would have gained more power and at least protect you, or even take you away from here, ” he said his beautiful face becoming rounder and his dark eyes twinkling as if the thought made him very happy.
That was six years ago.
He could hear them all around him, constantly reminding him of the fact that he didn belong.
Sitting at the edge of the lake he stared at his reflection, blue eyes, pale skin and pure white hair contrast to his tribes men who had black hair and darker skin coupled with emerald green eyes.
The wind was getting stronger and the touch of it made his body shudder and his sensitive, pale cheeks turn pink. He slowly moved his hand above the water in a bored manner and small waves start forming where his hands passed caressing his fingers adding to the chill causing goosebumps to form on his hands. It was uncomfortable yet comforting for him, staying there was better than going back to the village at least the birds and the beasts won avoid him and the water was always a comfort for him.
He had lived with his people for more than ten years yet they didn get tired of finding fault with me and slowly driving him to choose whether to commit murder or suicide. They made it seem like the fact that his mother made a mistake, he had to take the blame for it. He wasn even born when she did it.
”Circe! Circe! ”
Aloud childish voice sounded across the lake attracting the attention of those around. He turned around and spotted a six-year-old boy waving at him in an exited manner. He was one of his uncles sons, the third one to be more precise, and one of the few who didn hate him but he theorized the cause to be the fact that he either didn understand hate or he hasn learnt why he should hate him. He was sure if he learnt he would be like the rest.
”What is it Teigo? ” he asked while forcing a smile on his face.
”Father is calling for you, he asked you to hurry up, ”
His uncle prefers to avoid him most of the time and technically treats him like a plague which was alright for him cause every time he meets his uncle bad things happen to him. Calling me to see him now must mean one thing- a year had already passed they must have come for him.
”Get up Circe, I saw a noble man with him probably why he wants us to hurry, ”
”A noble man? ”
”Yeah a well-dressed, arrogant-
”I know who a noble man is, do you know what he wants? ”
”No I didn hear, he just arrived and they went to my fathers office they talked for a while then my father sent me to look for you, ”
”Lets go then we don want to keep them waiting, ”
He lifted the child up on his back and ran causing the boy to laugh. He saw the looks of disapproval from the people around but chose to ignore them it wasn new anyway. He ran fast and about five minutes later he spotted the village entrance he placed Teigo on the ground and held his hand, they walked towards his uncles office which was located near the village entrance and knocked, after a few seconds the swang open and a guard at the door lets them in to the room made of enchanted wood and monster hide, it had a scent of nature which was unique to his tribe, another reason he was different from his tribes men, they could control nature and could understand it while he could control water. He could also talk to spiritual beasts but nobody knew that cause it was shameful that he was different, and the only power that could be remotely the same as his clans was that he could understand low level beasts.
He says bowing as a sign of respect to the chief.
His uncle nods then gestured for him to get up, thats when he looked beside him and spotted a golden haired man dressed in imperial clothing. He must be a member of the royal family, different to the one that was here the last time.
”You may leave now Teiga, ”
”Yes father, ” he says, his childish voice carrying a touch of grievances. He obviously wanted to know what was happening.
”Circe, this is the duke of Rafion, Casius Lukreon, ”
”Your highness, ” he bows and the duke nods with a smile which was obviously fake smile, one used to please.
He looked at his uncle with inquiring eyes but he avoids my gaze as usual.
”There was a decree from the emperor a year ago, I know you remember, ” not only does he remember, it gave him nightmares, it was one of the bad lucks brought by visiting his uncle.
The crown princess to be was assainated a year a go and this shook the kingdom, the emporer had to choose another person to govern beside the crown prince but since the one who assinated the crown princess was not found they need to find a way to protect the new person so the empores advisors made a plan, they needed a shadow empress so they chose candidates from diffrent tribes across the empire.
It was obviously a way to sacrifise the shadow for the sake of the real. For my tribe my older cousin, Yadril had been choosen but. That is where Circe came in. He had accidentaly appeared infront of the imperial representative and he was deemed more more noble than his uncouth cousin and was chosen in her place.
”You had been chosen to be the queens shadow. The emperor wants to hand over power to the prince and his chosen consort is required to move to court in order to receive official training for their duties. You and your partners will accompany them and be the distactions as they learn. ”
He had previously thought of many ways his uncle would get rid of him but this hadn been one of them.
Ever since his brother Eliphas left him to his when he was ten years old his uncle seen him as an extra load hes carrying. Although hes getting rid of him, it was not bad at least hell leave this retched place.
”When do I need to leave? ”
”Well leave at dusk, and no need to worry about your luggage youll be assigned new clothes at the palace, ” this time its the duke who said it.
”You may go prepare yourself now Circe, youll find some servants outside your room theyll help you dress properly, ” he bowed without a word then turned to leave.
He was immediately get ambushed by a small body when he got out.
”What did they tell you tell me! Tell me, ”
He rubbed Teigos head softly, the sound of the assembly horn blowing cut through the air. His uncle was probably going to tell the village that he was leaving.
”Its a surprise youll find out at the assembly, ”
”Ah ah be patient, ”
He leaves him there and walked to his room and true to the dukes words there were people outside his room. They requested him to stay still as they removed his clothing and started to clean him then they dressed him one clothe at a time, he was sure that he had worn over ten layers of clothing and they still placed a red cloak above it all. He picked up the only object that he owned personally,a head piece given by Eliphas, and tied it on his hand. They then lead him to the assembly. On his way he saw two carriages packed one after the other, only then did he realize that although the duke made it sound far, it had only been an hour till dusk and the hour was used to dress him up.
As he walked towards the assembly point, everybody was looking at him some with jelousy some with awe probably not expecting him to get that position. They had already been told.
He turned to face the duke who gestured for to one of the guards near carriage and the door was opened, he walked to where his uncle and his family was and gave a bow, Yadril was looking at him and hatred couldn be hidden from her eyes and her twin Yakil wasn any better, he ignored them and looked at Teiga he was looking at him with red eyes not saying a word, probably threatened by his father not to do anything stupid. Circe rubbed his head with a smile.
”You are sixteen and nearly an adult Circe this will be good for you, ” yeah and also very prosperous for the tribe he thought, it was his aunt speaking and he could hear the underlying warning that stated not to mess up.
”Yes you are right Auntie, ” he said shivering with disgust as she gave him a hug seeming like the nice mother figure she wasn , standing beside her praiseworthingly stupid, husband who was also smiling. A bunch of hypocrites
He walked to the open carriage and sat down and it was immediately closed. He noticed that together with him were some two other people. Who were staring at him intensely.
The carriage started moving after a while but he didn pay attention to it still wondering why the two were staring at him like that.
”Uhm wont the duke join us? ” he knew it was a stupid question but needed something to stop them from staring at him. It was uncomfortable.
”You expect a duke to sit with a commoner like you? Where is your logic? Are all savages from the forest this stupid? ”
”Ananke behave. Im sorry for her rudeness shes just irritated lately. Im Ruda, shes Ananke we were assigned as your personal servants, ”
So one was hostile while the other was pretending to be nice to him.
Years of being in the village had taught him to differentiate between good and bad people and he wouldn be surprised if one of the people in front him pulled a knife and stabbed him. But why do they hate him? He didn even know them.
”Nice to know you I hope we work well together, ” he said with a smile secretly hoping they would die along the way so that he could order servants who hate him after knowing him. He was sensitive to emotions, living in a place where he could die if he breathed wrongly was not easy.
”Troublesome, ” Ananke states then looks outside the carriage which made his smile drop.
”Ananke, ” Ruda says with a warning tone.
”What its true, ”
Well if you didn want the job of being my servant why did you accept it? He thought silently.
”Don mind her, have you been told about who will be your escort? ” Ruda asks
”What escort? ” he asked and Ananke snorted.
”Each of the eight shadows will stay with a younger royal and learn the etiquette of the palace, you were the only consort who will be escorted by a duke and not a prince, ” he finished while looking at Circe with a fleeting annoyance. And Circe started to understand why they hated him, the two were obviously not from the kings castles with their manners so they were probably from the duke who was going to be his escort. And considering the fact that they knew about shadows they must either be highly ranked or very trusted.
The king had probably given the younger royals work as escorts in order to humble them and warn them not to disturb the succession of the crown prince but chose the younger duke in order to shame him. From that deduction he understood that the other shadows must have good backgrounds which was why the king didn want to offend so that was the reson their wasn any complain from the emporer when he was choosen as a shadow. His mother was a traitor and his family wouldn retaliate if he was harmed as long as he didn die. They chose him who had no power and gave him to the duke, which shame full for any young prince or princess with no title let alone a duke who manages a whole land.
With that thought he turned to look outside at the trees that are seemingly moving.
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