Disclaimer : Nothing belongs to me which is a damn shame really.
Chapter Two : The Arrow is Shot.
Luke would only admit later on that the carriage ride to Kimlasca-Lanvaldear was an amusing one. As promised he and Guy along with Colonel Jade Curtiss were on their way to meet with His Majesty King Ingobert VI and his heir Asch fon Fabre.
"The Emperor sends his eternal thanks for you doing this Lord Gardios." Jade drawled to break the comfortable silence that had descended upon them.
Luke flushed at the amused look that he getting from the Colonel. Emperor Peony had personally picked their small squad of guards to escort he and Guy to Kimlasca. Luke was grateful of course. If only the Emperor Peony hadn't picked one of the people who was currently courting Guy.
When Jade had shown up in their foyer this morning with five guards behind him. Guy had blushed to the very roots of his hair at the sight of Jade, while Luke had to restrain his laughter in after quickly getting introductions and good-byes over with they had packed their bags and were out of the capital city in record time.
Which brought them to their current situation.
Luke could feel the tension rolling off Guy's body in waves but remained silent about it. His brother currently had two military men pinning for his attention.
The first one Colonel Jade Curtiss of the Third Division Imperial Malkuth Forces also known as Jade the Necromancer and the Father of Fomicry, with lightly tan skin and muscled frame. Jade was epitome of beauty and sensuality. In Luke's opinion any women or men would trip over themselves to be courted by such an intelligent and high-ranked man.
The second one was General Aslan Frings who was quite passionate and prideful about his pursuit of Guy's heart. The man was quite the look with beige skin and pale blonde hair.
"Thank you for passing that message along Colonel, please tell him that it was no problem at all." he firmly ignored the quiet snort that Guy let out beside him when he finished speaking.
Jade turned his attention to Guy and Luke knew that he was most likely going to be ignored for the rest of the journey.
Oh well. At least he was going to get some entertainment.
"We have not seen each other in long awhile Gailardia. How are you faring?"
Guy shifted uncomfortably in his seat. "I'm fine Colonel thank you for asking -please call me Guy-"
Jade removed his glasses and pinned Guy with his crimson eyes and it was Luke's turn to shift in his seat. Once again he thought that Guy was blessed to have such a handsome man pursuing him.
"You'll have to excuse me then." Jade teased softly. "I'll have to keep calling you Gailardia. I like that name better."
Luke watched in fascination and amusement as the Guy's face slowly grew to a deeper red.
"U-um alright Colonel-"
"Call me Jade please."
Luke looked between Jade and Guy for a brief second before turning his attention to the slow passing plains outside the carriage.
It was best if he stayed out that little conversation.
It was nightfall by the time they reached Baticul. Luke could only see the twinkling of the stars and few lights that were still on throughout the city.
"Where is the castle?" Luke asked quietly still staring out of the small window. They were half-way across the bridge by now.
"It's on the top-level." Jade replied. "Baticul has five-levels all based by class. The lowest has shops, inns and the arena."
"We'll stop by an inn tonight and go up to the castle tomorrow."
A nice warm bed sounded wonderful to Luke at this point. It didn't matter if was at a inn or not so he didn't have an problem with it.
"That sounds good." he turned his direction to Jade was smirking at him. "What? Did I say something wrong?"
"No not all. It's just most nobles I've met would demand that they go up to the castle and introduce themselves and settle down in the guest rooms."
Luke shrugged before yawning. "We've been traveling non-stop and I'm sure the driver is tuckered out to so I'm not going to push ourselves any further His Majesty surely wouldn't mind us showing up in the morning."
"Of course not." Guy soothed. "King Ingobert is a kind and generous man from what I've heard. He's probably not expecting us so late anyways."
The carriage pulled to a stop in front of the inn and Luke quickly unlatched the door and pulled it open before stepping down. He turned to the driver and smiled.
"Thank you for taking us here Travis! We appreciate it."
Travis bowed his head, grey eyes gleaming with warmth. "No problem Master Luke. See you in three days hmm."
Luke grabbed his bags and patiently waited for Jade and Guy to do the same before walking to the well-lit inn just a few feet away.
Warm soft bed. Here I come!
The next morning was a flurry of activity for Luke, who woke up and quickly bathed and dressed in warm blue and silver tunic that showed a sliver of skin at his shoulders added with black trousers and boots. He quickly braded his hair and left his bangs untouched before sliding on a pair of white gloves.
"Luke!" Guy's muffled voice came through the wooden door of his temporary room. "Are you ready we have to go."
"Yes I'm ready!" he called back quickly walking over and pulling the door open to see Guy dressed in black and gold.
"You look like you're going to a funeral with all that black on." Luke teased handing his older brother one of his bags and grabbing the other.
"Jade likes it." was the only response Guy gave before they hurried down the stairs, paid the receptionist and raced out the door.
They met Jade and his squad near the lift, thanking the Colonel for waiting patiently they quietly waited as the lift took them to the top level.
"We're not too late are we?" he asked Jade as the lift finally rumbled to a stop and the castle with a large manor to the left side appeared.
"No were just on time." Jade replied calmly stepping to side to let Luke and Guy off first. As expected two White Knights were standing mere feet away.
"Lord Luke Gardios and Gailardia Galan Gardios traveling with Colonel Jade Curtiss of the Third Division Imperial Malkuth Forces?" one of the white knight asked once they were within earshot.
"Yes." Jade spoke up. "I will be both Master Gardios' personal bodyguard along with my squad for the duration of our stay in Baticul."
"Very well. If you would please come this way and keep your weapons within sight."
Luke couldn't keep his eyes from straying around curiously as they walked into the castle. Several quest quarters were discreetly hidden behind marble columns and the eye catcher was a large stairway leading to what Luke guessed was the audience room.
"How does it look?" Guy questioned quietly to him as the climbed the stairs to the audience room. "You'll be living in here in a few weeks."
Luke shrugged his shoulders looking around again as they finally reached the second floor, he spotted a few ordinary designed doors and couldn't tell if any of them were the King's Chambers or not.
"You're used to the elaborate designs of Grand Chokmah." Jade comment from behind. "I'm guessing the royal family designed it this way because it would most likely confuse intruders if that situation ever arose."
Or they just have a less than imaginative designer. Luke thought.
The White Knight turned. "Please wait here while we announce your presence." with that the Knights disappeared behind the doors leaving them in a comfortable silence.
"Ready to meet your husband-to-be Luke?" Guy asked clapping him on the shoulder. Luke smiled and hid his slightly shaking fingers behind his back.
"Ready as I'll ever be Guy."
Luke took a deep breath when all of their names were announced within the audience room. He felt Guy's hand squeeze shoulder before pulling away when the large double door slowly creaked open.
With Guy and Jade's comforting presence behind him. Luke slowly walked into the audience room with his head raised high.
The first person Luke spotted once he reached the two thrones was a young man not much older than he with tan skin and slightly heavy muscled framed hidden underneath a red and black tunic and deep black trousers boots. The most distinguishing feature the man had was his blood red hair and piercing deep forest green eyes.
Could that be. Asch fon Fabre? My fiancé?
"Sweet Lorelei." Guy muttered lowly from behind him. "Luke he's-"
Before Guy could finished his words. An older man which Luke guessed was Ingobert rose slowly and spread his hands and greeted them with a smile.
"Welcome to Baticul, capital of Kimlasca-Lanvaldear."
Luke bowed his head slightly. "Thank you for having us Your Majesty."
Ingobert chuckled deeply. "It would seem we have to get that formality out of the way soon. You are going to my nephew-in-law in merely weeks."
Luke rose and graced the old King with a smile of his own, he was relieved to find Ingobert was kind and warm-hearted just as Guy mentioned.
"Just by those words alone Your Majesty. I would have no trouble with calling you Uncle in the near future."
Eyes gleaming with satisfaction. Ingobert turned to the man next to him. "Well then Lord Gardios, may I introduce you to your fiancé then? My nephew, Asch fon Fabre. Asch this is Luke Gardios adopted son of Archduke Gardios of Malkuth."
Luke watched enthralled as Asch stepped down from beside Ingobert and approached him, when he was close enough. Asch bowed at the waist his blood red hair fanning out across his back.
"It's a pleasure to finally meet you Luke." Asch murmured softly. Luke felt a violent shiver run down his spine at how deep and sensual Asch's voice was.
Taking a quick step backwards. Luke placed his shaking his hands in front of him and bowed deeply to hide the blush that had quickly rose to his face.
"It's a pleasure to meet you as well Asch." he hoped to Lorelei that no one noticed how shaky his voice had seemed. When he straightened back up Asch had stepped away and resumed his spot next to King Ingobert.
"Now that introductions are done why don't you show Luke around the castle Asch and introduce him to your father and mother?"
Asch approached him again and silently held out his arm. Luke quickly reached over and took the older man's arm, he glanced back at Guy and Jade to find them watching him with wariness and amusement.
"You need not worry about your companions." Asch spoke as they walked out of the audience room. "Colonel Jade had been here many a time and knows his way around here."
- End Chapter Two -