A Marriage For The Best...


Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread
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  2. Female
  3. Primarily Prefer Female
I enjoy Fantasy, Scifi, Romance, Magical, Modern and much more. I probably can't list them all! If there is something you want to try and it isn't listed here, just ask. I rarely say no!

Lesald glaned out the window of her carriage quietly, looking over the royal guard that was currently escorting her. She could see that all of them were quiet and thoughtful like her, which was understandable considering the situation. It had only been a week ago when the letter from the neighboring kingdom arrived by messenger bird, addressed to her father. She had not seen the words but as soon as she saw the look on his face she knew that it was not good. It seemed that the king of the neighboring country, a man said to be harsh but efficient, wanted her hand in marriage and if her father refused he would regret it. Being that the kingdom was small and did not have the military power that its neighbor had it seemed that the only way to keep a war from beginning was to accept his demand.

She had left willingly though, she dared not put up a fight against it when so many innocent lives were at risk. With her many trunks of clothing and jewels she left, only the guard to accompany her on her way. She knew they would be arriving to the capital soon, or where ever the king stayed. She in truth was horribly nervous, she had never been outside of her kingdom save for the wedding of a dear cousin to a duke of a southern country. She would be out of her comfort zone and wasn't evne sure if the man she was to marry would be kind to her. She could only believe that his intentions where to expand his empire, for there was not other reason to marry her since her kingdom was so small. Honestly she questions why he even offered them the choice, with the military power that he commanded her kingdom would have been no match. Lesald didn't question it much further though, she would not allow herself to bring a worse fate upon herself and her people when they were lucky enough to be given this situation and nothin worse. A small knock came to her window, startling her out of her train of thought.

"Pardon me Princess...but the castle is in view." A guard said, riding away from her on his horse to allow her to see past him and toward her new home.

Castle Illisid was a product of it's times, before Trageyra began its expansion seven years ago under its current king. In those days, the kingdom was drained and on the defensive, and an invasion always felt imminent. Illisid reflects that perfectly. The castle is built to withstand attacks, and architectural considerations always valued function over form, resulting in the thick, wide outer wall and stout keep. If it's meant to display the power and wealth of its ruler, then it can only do so through the power and strength that it projects, not through projecting wealth, grandeur, or nobility.

Which is why Sikander liked it. Functional and straight to the point, how he viewed his rule. Seven years ago he wouldn't have been able to be standing here in the courtyard, waiting for his bride-to-be to arrive. Seven years ago he was still planning his first campaign, striking back at the nations pushing his around. It was a luxury, in a way. But while he enjoyed having the luxury, he didn't enjoy the luxury itself.

He stood in the courtyard of the castle, flanked by officials and servants, barely noticing the sun shining on his formal attire, cut in a military fashion, a signal to all who saw it that he knew exactly where his power lied.

As her carriage rolled into the courtyard, he ran a hand through his short black hair and began walking towards the carriage, reaching it as the driver opened the door. He gave the princess a polite bow, his brown eyes still dark even in the sunlight. "Princess Lesald, may I, Sikander Tragev II be the first to welcome you to Castle Illisid, your new home."
Lesald felt her heart jump up into her throat as they pulled up to the castle, it was built as a stonghold, unlike the noble structure that had been her home before. She did her best to keep a calm air about her, it would make a bad first impression if she seemed frightened or worse. She caught a glimps of her husband-to-be and felt her nerves jump a bit, he really did live up the what people said about him, tall and powerful with stare that could freeze people into ice. She could see him approaching as the carriage stopped and she took a deep breath before making a move to stand, the driver opening the door and holding out his hand to allow her to step down.

The first thing she truely noticed was the difference in style, it was all for power adn defense, nothing truely surprising for a kingdom of such military power. The clothing on the other hand was a bit different, so formal and it was obvious that it played along the style of a military uniform, so different from the long ariy dresses and robes that her people wore on a regular bases, even the maids seemed to be standing stright and prideful in their billowing skirts and bright while aprons. She looked at the king as he bowed, noting that he was at least being polite and was quick to do the same. She curtsied to him in return and looked up at him, her light green eyes standing out on her pale face.

"Thank you for the warm welcome. I am truely honored to be joining you here, King Sikander." She said softly.
Truly honored. Right. Sikander never believed in standing on ceremony, and he could see the nervousness that Lisald was masking so well. For a moment he watched her, studying her features, this woman who would soon be his queen. Queen... Not his first choice, but if it had to be done...

He stepped to the side, motioning towards the entrance to the castle. "If you'll follow me, I'll show you to your quarters." He said, in a tone that communicated well that this was not a suggestion as he began to turn to lead the way to the tall doors. The arm that had gestured towards them lowered to his side after a short, sharp gesture to the servants, who moved in to start their work bringing the Princess's luggage inside with characteristic efficiency.

As he took the first step, the governor of the central territories, a thin, hawklike man name Velrom moved in close to Sikander, his voice at a low, personal level. "Sir, the plans for the new towers are still waiting-"

A look cut him off, a stern look that had cut many nobles off over the past seven years. But Velrom knew his king well, and stepped back, satisfied that the king had not forgotten the issue. As he walked, Sikander cast a short backwards glance over his shoulder to check up on the Princess.
Lesald felt like he was looking right through her, that he could see how she really felt. That alone only made her more nervous and uncomfortable. She pushed it away however, she had to focus on following the king to her new quarters. She walked behind him quietly, her hands in front of her as she glanced at the servants who were gathering her things. They worked so quickly and efficiently that she couldn't help but be impressed.

As they entered the castle so glanced around quietly, her eyes looking over everything in silent questioning. She had never been inside such a fortress, only the noble halls of her castle, though she could see some similarities in them. They both had strong design, meant to keep them standingfor generations to come. They also had stone walls, thick and heavy to her fight off attack. She looked forward just in time to see the king looking over his shoulder at her, she herself looking away quickly from being surprised.

She looked down at the ground for the rest of the walk, not wanting to make the mistake of looking up into the kings dark eyes once again.
Sikander decided to slow by half a step, until almost walking besides Lesald, those his gaze was still ahead. If formalities still had to be observed, then he needed to say a few words. "I'm sorry for pulling you out here so suddenly, part of an old Tregeyran tradition, bride and groom must share a home as a sign of unity of their two families."

His tone did not match his apology, and until he reached the sign of unity it was clear that he didn't think much of the tradition.

The interior was made to be slightly less military than the exterior, and so the first room was only subtly laid out for defense, it was still defensive. Across from the entrance was a large painting done at the height of his grandfather's rule, the stern face of Sikander Travev I watching over the doors to the castle. A sight that had always been a comfort to Siaknder, knowing the spirit of his namesake hadn't left the castle yet.
Lesald glanced at him out of hte corner of her eye before looking straight again, keeping her expressino calm and quiet. She kept her hands folded in front of herself and continued to walk in step with him as she responded.

"It's alright, I understand that there are traditons that need to be followed." She said softly as they made there way though the door of the castle. She looked around once more but only with her eyes, just observing the inside of the castle lazily. She noted the picture of one of the former kings over the door and found that to be interesting, if not lovely for how it had stayed intact.
"Yes, they must." Sikander nodded as he began to walk up the main stairway up to the second floor, in many ways the nerve center of the castle. It was also the floor that Sikander spent the most time on, as the library, war room, and private studies were located there. When he wasn't drawn by other matters, he often retreated to those private rooms to think and plan, and discuss those plans with his officers. It was where he wanted to be now, except for guiding this princess around.

To reach the main stairwell to the third floor took him past these rooms, and he mentioned the Library to her. He didn't know if she was an avid reader or not, but it felt proper to show that it existed. "The third floor is divided into two halves, essentially, the Queen and King wings with the Royal Bedroom meeting in the middle. You won't be staying there yet, of course, but we have prepared chambers for you in the Queen's Wing."
Lesald followed him up the stairs quietly, taking noted of the library as they passed it on their way to the steps. She would certainly have to remember that it was there, she was a reader and she also had a few things to learn about her new home. She wouldn't be much of a queen if she didn't know at least a little of her new kingdoms history. When she mentioned the Queen and King wings she felt a bit of relief run over her, at least she would have time to adjust before she was to lay with him, she feared that she would be forced into it that evening.

"I see...If I may ask, am I allowed free reign of the castle? I would not want to wonder off somewhere only to learn later on that I was not suppose to." She asked softly, her tone polite and airy as she looked at him out of the corner of her eye.

She waited for his answer while she looked about the halls of the second floor, noting that they had a bit more art though they were still barren compared to her old castles halls. She hoped that she wouldn't have to just sit there in her room until they were married, she would die of bordom before he would have time to even accounce the date.
"You may go through any door that is not locked." Sikander returned her glance as they reached the third floor, the wide central hall leading directly to the Royal Bedroom. The Queen's Chambers were located on the right-hand side and the King's Chambers the left, dark-paneled doors leading to the rooms and studies.

He stopped at the door to the bedroom nearest the Royal one and opened the door, stepping aside to allow Lesald entry. Her luggage had already been delivered. The placement of rooms was symbolic, but not his real choice. He had no interest in her, and wasn't looking very much forward to the day when he would have to force having an interest.

"If you'll excuse me, there are matters of state I must attend to." He said with a polite bow, hoping to excuse himself.
With a nod of her head she looked back toward the halls and noted that every door seemed to look the same, she hoped that she would not wander into anything she did not want to. She looked into the room as she stepped inside, glancing at the fine furniture and carpets simply before walking over to her pile of luggage, it seemed that they hadn't touched it at all, that would at least give her something to do for the next few hours.

"Ah, I see...Thank you for showing me to my room." She said as she gave a small curtsy.

As soon as he was gone and the door was shut a small sigh slipped past the princess' lips. She then turned back to her luggage and started to empty them quietly, quickly filling the empty wardrobe and dresser with her robes and shoes.
The castle grew quiet in the late evenings, when most had either retired to bed and those who were still awake felt the need to do their work as silently as possible. Sikander spent much of these quiet evenings in one of the private studies, where most knew to leave him be. He sat in front of a map table, with wooden figurines set up to represent new towers and a new castle to be built along the border. He sat with a glass of wine, thinking of the men and gold he'd committed to their construction just that afternoon.

Speed was vital. He needed to secure his border before any potential rival decided to act on it's weakness and try to reclaim that land. There were plans for that possibility, as there were always plans, but he didn't want to have to execute them.

He stood and walked to a side table, covered with maps, glancing over the nearest. The invasion plans that would have gone into motion had princess not come here. He shuffled the maps into a more orderly stack before walking back to the main table, a small but confident smile on his face now.
As day became night, Lesald found that she was running out of things to do. She had packed away all of her items and organized her room to her liking, even taking the time to place all of her makeup on her vanity in a neat manner. She then had cleaned herself up a bit and changed out of her traveling clothing, having worn them for the whole trip. After slipping into her blue silk dress and putting her hair into a bun she decided to try and fine the library again. She could easily spend the rest of the evening reading some books.

She slipped out of her room quietly and started to walk the way Sikander had lead her. She looked about the halls in the evening and found them to be a little unnerving, they felt far to barren and dark to her. Maybe once she was queen and had gotten to speak with Sikander more she could ask him about putting in some more light. As she moved down the hall she noticed that there was a door open with some light leaking out. She wandered closer to it and peaked inside, hoping that she had found what she was looking for.

As she glanced inside she realized that she had found the exact opposite. She had wandered toward Sikander's private study it seemed. She would have slipped away just as quickly if the door had not squeeked loudly and alerted him of her pressence. When he looked upon her she smiled slightly and blushed a bit in embarrassment.

"Um...I was looking for hte library and had gotten lost." She said softly.
Sikander whirled around as he heard the door creak, the sound seemingly deafening in the quiet room. Whatever surprise he felt quickly faded into apathy as he saw her, shoulders dropping from their tense-up position. He set his wine glass down on the table as he crossed the room towards you, leading her back out into the hall. If the woman had no other good qualities beyond her title, she at least filled out the gown well.

"You were one door away from the library, just down the hall." He opened the door to the library, ensuring that it was lit enough for someone to read in before letting her step inside. Had she been any other guest, he would have simply left her to her own concerns and gone back to his, but she was his future bride and the he needed her cooperation for his plans to work. To his own displeasure he forced himself to stay, at least for a little longer.

"Is there any subject I could help you find? I'm rather familiar with the library and its content."
Lesald followed after him, slightly embarrassed that she she had bothered him while he was probably working. When they arrived she looked around the hall and did her best to remember what it looked like so that she would repeat the same mistake twice. She then glanced into the library as she wandered in looking over the shelves curiously before she turned to him.

"Well, I was hoping to find some books on the country...I wouldn't be much of a queen if I knew nothing about the kigdom I was ruling." She said as she looked at him, her tone soft and polite.

She then turned back to the shelves and glanced over them, seeming to be a little more interested in them that she was in Sikander. She moved slowly along the sheelves, looking over the novels that were there, it was an empressive collection. She regognized some of the books and others she did not.

"This is an empressive collection." She said lightly.
Sikander stood at the end of the row of shelves, arms crossed over his chest as he watched her, perhaps for too long. It should have been the subject of a painting, a beautiful princess gliding down the row of books, lit by the warm torch glow. With a sigh he shook his head, clearing his mind as he followed her, curious to see what would draw her attention.

"Thank you. My father was an avid reader, expanded this library beyond the histories and war manuals during his reign. I spent many hours in this room as a child... Probably the second most valuable give that he gave to me." He said reflectively as he looked over the shelves, before crossing over to the next row.

At least she claimed to be interested in being a good queen. That was one of the things that gnawed at him as he contemplated asking for her hand in marriage. He didn't need a spoiled princess getting in his way, he needed a queen who knew how to rule and rule as effectively as he could. "The histories are kept on this aisle. I should give you a fair warning, ignore half of what you read in Krosev's work, the man was a drunk prone to inventing his own events to fill books."
She followed him to the next asile over and smiled a little as she looked over all the book of the history of the kingdom, this would certainly be a great place for her to start. She could read the novels later, right now she needed to do a little learning so that she would make a proper queen. She turned to him and nodded her head a bit as he mentioned the works of Korsev, she would have to clarify what was truth and what was fiction when she could speak with someone about it.

"Thank you for showing me this and I do apologize for bothering you while you were working, I hope I didn't interrupt anything important." She said as she bowed slightly to him so show her thanks before looking back to she shelves for a moment.

She seemed to be rather happy at that moment, the happiest she had been since she had arrived. She loved books, they were a great distraction to the show days at the castle and they would serve the same purpose as they did before.
Sikander didn't know why, but he started to speak as he watched her at the shelves. She was beautiful, he could not help but admit. He had seen enough to disbelieve the notion of beautiful and noble women, but she looked the part. He watched her appreciatively in silence for a while, simply absorbing the scene but mostly just watching her. He finally said, "You wear the look well. Almost as though you belong here. I can think of many women who would not look as half as beautiful here as you do now."

He felt a small heat start to rise into his cheeks, and stepped in closer to her to be able to lower his voice and keep the conversation private. He knew that castle walls had a tendency to grow ears, and could already imagine the annoyance of watching the servant staff trying to hide their grins.

But... he had few people to share the library with, and he wanted to talk further with her on that subject, even moreso from her beauty. "Is there any particular part of our history you would like to read about?"
Lesald could feel his eyes on her as she continued to look at hte book, eventually turning her gaze to him as he began to speak to her. Her cheeks heated to a noticeable red as he complimented her beauty, saying that she was lovier than most women. She smiled shyly at him as he moved in a bit closer, her eyes moving to the ground out of nervousness, she didn't take compliments well.

"Thank you...I must admit that not many men in my kingdom could hold a flame to your apperance, espcially when it comes to height." She said quietly, she felt it only right since they were trading compliments. As he questioned her about what she was looking for she glanced up at the shelves once more. What did she want to read about? She had not thought of that when she had arrived here.

"Well, anything about the history would be nice, I also enjoy nobility history, things on royal family members and such...However, what ever you can help me find will also be welcomed."
Sikander gave a slight nod as he heard her request, and took a few steps down the aisle, scanning the shelves. It kept his eyes from lingering embarrassingly long on her at the least. It was another thing that he had learned from rule, that lingering gazes shouldn't. He mentally kicked himself for the sign of weakness. He was better than that and he knew it.

He pulled two leather-bound tomes from the shelf and wiped some dust off of one of them as he walked back to her, standing close to her as he held them out for her.

"The larger one is a record of what my family considers to be the modern royal line, ending with my grandfather's rule. The thinner is the rule of my father and mine. It's unfinished, mostly in the form of notes and observations, but accurate enough to be in our library. Is there anything else I can provide?"