Masters Of The Heart | Sailor Moon & Voice

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY GRAVEYARD' started by Sailor Moon, May 2, 2016.

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    Ophelia stood out on the balcony overlooking the castle gardens, basking in the sun light as droplets of rain fell onto her skin, reinvigorating her senses and bringing a slight smile to her lips. An image of The King popped into her mind, the usual stabbing pain in her heart that accompanied thoughts of her late father now a dull ache that subsided after a few seconds of deep breathing. After only a month Ophelia didn't expect to be fully over her father's sudden death, but she was slowly making progress. Up until a week ago she had been locked in her chambers, barely eating a thing and doing the bare minimum around the castle - not that she had many duties to fulfill. Still, as the sole heir to the throne, Ophelia knew her time to mourn was limited. Galanus, the Court Mage, had made it clear that many would be after Ophelia's hand in marriage following the King's death. Oppissia was the most prosperous Kingdom in all of the lands, with the nicest castle, seemingly happy peasants, deep alliances, and a long history of trade with Elves. What Prince wouldn't want to be King of all that?

    The Princes and their eagerness played a major role in why Ophelia was reluctant to ever go through with the courting process, though. She was only a half a year passed eighteen, but the offers were rolling in long before that. It was at the King's digression that she be kept sheltered from the opposite sex, and he seemed fine with allowing her to remain single for as long as he was alive. The King was young and radiated strength and health. Their physician had always boasted about how The King would live a long life, and how he should remarry and bear more children. He never got the chance, however, and Ophelia was left with a gaping hole in her life where siblings and a mother and father should have been.

    A lump began to form in Ophelia's throat as the realization that her father was gone hit her all over again. Her shoulders slumped forward just slightly as she felt herself giving into the heartbreak. The pain was crippling. She leaned forward clumsily, hands finding the guard rail and steadying herself on it. As she took deep breaths to recuperate and calm herself, a voice spoke her name hesitantly from behind her. Ophelia stood upright and wiped her eyes, just as a precaution, before turning around to face the maid who had called her.

    "Lady Ophelia. Oh, I'm sorry to interrupt you. Galanus has requested you in his chambers right away. Says it is urgent and that you must come immediately," The maid said, hands crossed in her lap and her head lowering as she relayed the message. She hoped she hadn't upset the Princess.

    Ophelia sighed softly and wondered what on Earth Galanus could possibly want now. Ever since her father had died Galanus was making himself more vocal and made sure to be seen by everyone. He was the royal adviser of the king, and now, Ophelia, but all he brought with him was bad news or orders on how she should conduct herself. His favorite thing to do as of late was to obsess over Ophelia's unwed state and how without proper rulers Oppissia would be in jeopardy. He enjoyed making it seem like it was all Ophelia's fault, and Ophelia was having no part in it. He at least was on her side in that she should remain single, until an ideal match had been made, but it was only a matter of time before hostile forces tried to take over. Ophelia was in the worst position of her life.

    "I'll be there shortly. Thank you," Ophelia replied. She was sure that anything Galanus had to say could wait. Most of his lines were recycled, anyway. Smiling at the thought of keeping Galanus waiting, Ophelia turned around and walked through the balcony doors leading back into the castle. She spared a glance down the hall leading into the Mages quarters and took a left, up the stairwell leading up to her own private chambers. Oh, how she missed her bed. She wanted to take a nap, and then maybe Galanus could speak with her.

    "Court mage," Ophelia scoffed, pushing open the door to her bedroom. "Rather a court jester." She laughed loudly to herself as she stepped into her bedroom. Her laughter was cut short, however, when she saw Galanus seated at her breakfast table with a plus one. Galanus was dining on her breakfast pastries, making himself at home in her room. Her face flashed red with anger and embarrassment, but she was at a loss for words. She looked to the man accompanying the Court Mage, offended.

    "Princess, glad to see you made it here in a timely manner. I knew you would be repelled by my message to the maid, so I decided to stop by instead," Galanus said as he spread a bit of jam on a pastry. He looked up at Ophelia as he took a bite of his food. The Princess looked unruly - hair a mess, clothes damp. "I'm sorry for entering your room without permission, but we have some very important matters to attend to." Galanus set his food back down on the plate, waiting for Ophelia to give her his attention before he would continue. "I've found a way to stave off any courtships from hostile territories, giving you time to grieve, and when you're ready, to accept a suitable husband to take your Father's place."

    Instead of voicing her disapproval at Galanus for breaking into her room, Ophelia took a seat at the foot of the bed and half listened to what he was saying. She could always get away with being rude to him, but Galanus was also dealing with the loss of the King, so she tried not to be too horrible all of the time. She combed her fingers through her curls idly, pausing and glancing up at Galanus as he had revealed the reasons for his visit. "You've gone mad..." Ophelia whispered, in a state of disbelief before she had even heard him out.

    "I have not, Princess. I'm simply a genius, but my genius may have little to do with this as I've found the ideal person to stand in as your suitor while we handle things in the background." Galanus smirked, motioned towards the handsome woman in the room. "This, is Beau Rosencratz. Your soon to be fiancé, as far as the public will know. It must have been fate itself that she was sent here to be a knight, but had the looks that rivals that of any Prince. I didn't even have to use any magic." Galanus chuckled quietly, truly proud of himself. "You'll be perfectly safe with her, as she is just a woman and can do you no harm. I suspect it will be a long while before you've made up your mind about a suitor, so this is a necessary step to maintain your control at all times."

    Ophelia felt as if her head was spinning and she had walked into some horrible nightmare. But this was truly happening. Galanus had thought of his worst idea yet and was so convinced of his genius that he didn't see the many holes in his plot. "You really have gone mad, Galanus," Ophelia said, a horrified expression on her face. She looked at this 'Beau' character, trying to figure out how this woman was actually a woman. She really was handsome like a Prince. . "Well, I will admit he...she is very handsome but, what does she say about all of this?" Ophelia looked back to Galanus, before asking. Clearly, she wasn't ready to talk to this strange woman.

    "Why don't you two get to know each other instead of talking around poor Sir Beau. After all, I've planned for you two to make your first public appearance at the Harvest Festival. In the meantime, I have some matters to attend to in the castle." Galanus rose from the small table, his dark blue mages robes flowing as he walked out of the bedroom.

    Ophelia twirled a long curl around her index finger, her gaze going anywhere but on the stranger in her room. She was still wrapping her head around the fact that Galanus had planned a fake engagement to a woman. There must be have been some law against that? Or, maybe it had yet to be in place since no one had ever done something so foolish. She huffed and looked at Beau, lips pursing in disapproval. "Hello, I'm Princess Ophelia of Oppissia. I don't think we've been formally introduced. Are you new in Oppissia? I can't recall ever hearing about a female knight." Ophelia said, trying to be somewhat communicative with her fake fiancé.


    @Voice
     
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  2. Beau
    What had Galanus been thinking, shoving his hands into the Princess’s breakfast? Beau resisted the temptation to reach out and slap his hands. As a knight, she was well respected. As the court mage, he was better respected. She settled for a glare. It went either unnoticed or ignored as the mage greedily sucked the jam from his fingers.
    Princess Ophelia walked in through the ornate double doors to her room and made a comment about Galanus which, were she being open with her thoughts, Beau would have completely agreed with. The man needed to learn some self respect.

    Ever chivalrous, Beau stood from her seat and bowed deeply to the Princess. She took in Ophelia’s untamed hair and damp clothes. Hm. She schooled her expression into an unreadable mask. The King’s recent death had been effecting them all in different ways. Ophelia, naturally, had been suffering to a greater extent than most. Beau stood guard outside of Galanus’s quarters during the evenings. In the last few weeks the light under his door had been staying on later and later. Maybe with this new solution the mage would allow himself some rest. Now it was to be Beau who wrestled with sleepless nights and a Princess’s whims.

    As Galanus explained his idea Beau kept her eyes trained on the Princess. Her disapproval was plainly seen on her face. Beau raised her eyebrows by the smallest of fractions. Ophelia hadn’t even heard Galanus through. Impatient. Hm.

    When Beau was formerly introduced she bowed deeply once more. She returned to her attentive stance immediately after, her eyes never wavering from the Princess. Galanus’s comment about Beau’s looks did make her close her eyes for several heartbeats. It was as much exasperation as she allowed herself to display.

    It seemed as though the Princess’s disapproval of this whole affair hadn’t been alleviated in the slightest. She looked to the Court Mage for an explanation. Beau couldn’t fault her for it. The knight was more accustomed than most to being treated like a doormat. Momentarily Galanus excused himself to attend to his work. For the first time since the Princess had entered the room Beau’s eyes tore away from her. She watched as the man crossed the room and exited.

    With no others in the room Beau finally allowed herself to sink into one of the chairs at the breakfast table. Her posture remained stiff. Habit.
    “It is a pleasure to finally meet you, Princess Ophelia.” Beau kept her eyes trained on Ophelia’s. She knew the girl. Who in the Castle didn’t? For that matter, who in the Kingdom didn’t? Beau had seen her in passing more times than she could count. But a simple knight does not demand the same sort of attention that a Princess does.

    “I am not new.” Beau turns her head towards one of the open windows and inhales deeply. “I came down from the North 13 summers ago. You have not heard of me because I do not want to be heard of.” She lets her shoulders drop and relaxes marginally. “A woman amongst the knight’s ranks would be… frowned upon.” She doesn’t deem it necessary to elaborate on the gory details. “Few among the castle are aware of my true sex. For your safety, it will remain as such.” She sighs slowly. “The story will be that I am the eldest Rost son, returned from my voyage to the Cold Sea.” Beowulf Rost had left with his uncle from the shores of Opissia many summers ago. Neither of the two had ever returned. Stories of pieces of their ship washing up on the shore have been passed through many tongues. Bjorn, the second born, had not been happy when Galanus said that he would have to concede his heritage to a Rosencrantz, however temporarily. From what Beau understood it had taken more than a few promises before he conceded. “At the time that you should find yourself a proper husband my death will be staged. I will spend my remaining days as a guard in the nation of Moira.”

     
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  3. Princess Ophelia

    Princess Ophelia softened somewhat as Beau introduced herself and expressed why she hadn't revealed herself as a woman to many of the people in the castle. Even as royalty, Ophelia was able to empathize with what Beau had told her. Being a Princess only meant that you were better than most people in the Kingdom, but Princes and Kings and even some men of the court and church held more authority and respect than she did. It was horrible not to be seen as equals, but Ophelia knew that Beau must have had it much harder than she did.

    It wasn't like Ophelia to offer her sympathies, but she did give a somewhat genuine smile to the Knight before her. She relaxed and moved to lie down on her side, sighing softly as her head rests against the pillow. Ophelia continued listening to Beau's story, somewhat tired, but interested enough to hear what the other woman had to say. "Including noble family names? Staged deaths?" Her eyes widened in astonishment when she learned just how elaborate of a plan Galanus had cooked up. "Well, I have to give it to that Jester. He really has outdone himself this time, but is it really worth it, Sir Beau?" Ophelia asked, her expression now a curious one.

    Ophelia sat up a bit, her elbow propped up and her hand supporting her head now. "Princesses are wed everyday to less than...ideal partners. Why risk it all for a stranger? What riches could Galanus offer you that are worth more than your own life?" The Princess pauses for several seconds, though it was clear she was not done. "This extends far past chivalry. Sacrificing your life to play my fake fiance - Your heart must surely be made of gold. Or all the gold and jewels in the world was enough to tempt you?" She said with a smirk. "Either way, I'm sure to make good of use of you. Now there is no rush to marry, if at all."​
     
    #3 Sailor Moon, May 6, 2016
    Last edited: May 6, 2016
  4. Beau
    It was a small victory to see the Princess relax in her presence. It was important for them to be comfortable around one another if they were to be seen in public.

    Ophelia made a comment about the complexity of the plan and Galanus’s intelligence. After Beau had initially heard of his idea she had made a few comments here or there and let him believe the ideas he had subsequently generated were his own. In one or two instances she practically had to spoon feed him. But she didn’t tell the Princess that.

    Oh now this was interesting. Her motives were being brought into question. Beau made sure to keep her face expressionless as she watched the girl prop herself up on her bed.

    “Princess Ophelia.” Her voice was firm. “While we are alone or with Ganalus it is acceptable for you to speak to me in this manner. Once we are in public, however, I will not tolerate it.” She rolled her shoulders back ever so slightly. She took comfort in the snug fit of the leather vest around her torso, the weight of her sword at her hip, the way her boots were laced so tightly.

    “I am a dutiful vassal, Princess. And I am grateful that Galanus saw fit to use my secret rather than expose it.” If there was any other explanation it did not appear to be forthcoming. Beau kept her mouth shut.

    Good use of you. Beau shut down the butterflies in her stomach so quickly she almost wasn’t sure that she had felt them at all.

    “Is there anything that you need of me, Princess? Or shall I leave you to rest?” They would need to practice in order to sell the idea of a young couple in love, but that could come later. Beau thought it was only fair to give Ophelia a few days to adjust to this new turn of events. Then the lessons would come. Likely under the tutelage of septa Maybelle. She was aware of Beau’s… situation, and knew a good deal about proper etiquette and social politics.

     

  5. Princess Ophelia

    The knight's firmness certainly caught The Princess off guard, as made obvious by the light pink that flashed against Ophelia's cheeks. She was not used to anyone speaking to her in that tone, and she truly did not know how to respond. No one spoke to her that way, no one but the King. Even Galanus knew that trying to use authority against Ophelia usually worked against his favor, and often times had an embarrassing effect. Ophelia did not feel the urge to snap at Beau, however. Something about the female knight said that she was not one to be trifled with, at least not in the traditional sense. Ophelia would have to learn other ways to get under the woman's skin, find out what makes her tick and bend to Ophelia's will. She smiled faintly. "A dutiful vassal indeed," she said, waving a section of her hair over her shoulder gracefully, eyes locking with Beau's.

    At Sir Beau's question, Ophelia couldn't help but to widen her smile. She tilted her head to the side just slightly, chuckling almost inaudibly as her gaze traveled over the knight's body curiously. "A Princess always has need for her vassals - A fiancée always had need for her fiancé," she answered, amused. Ophelia was clearly getting way too much enjoyment out of this. What was better than being fake engaged? She couldn't think of anything. No obligation. No marriage. Sir Beau would have her hands full with not only being her fiancé, but all of the attention that follows. She would be under everyone's scrutiny, have women flinging themselves at her with hopes of being noticed by the new handsome face in Oppissia. It was how these things worked.

    Ophelia placed her hand against her mouth, before a light yawn escaped her lips. She was tired, and at least Sir Beau had enough sense to notice it. She put her head back down on the pillow and sighed, her body relaxing as the mattress and pillow contoured to the curves of her body. "I am quite sleepy. This is a lady's nap time." Ophelia closed her eyes for a moment, and then opened them sleepily. "You're welcome to join me, Sir Beau. Just this once, as I'm sure nothing in the knight's quarters is this nice and you're still only just a woman," Ophelia offered. She missed having her girlfriends over and sharing a bed, laughing and telling stories. "You can play in my hair while I sleep, dutiful vassal." She smirked, and then turned onto her side facing the wall, inhaling deeply. Sir Beau didn't look like the type for girlish sleep overs, or fun, so any response rejecting her would not have surprised her.​
     
  6. Beau
    If Beau could sense how flustered Ophelia was by her tone she made no comment about it. Indeed, it felt strange to speak to the princess in such a manner. Beau swallowed the feeling and assured herself that it was necessary. It was vital that they be able to sell the idea of her nobility and masculinity.
    Beau’s face betrayed nothing as Ophelia swept her hair over her shoulder. The girl was going to be trouble; that much she already knew. This was going to be a test of patience. Beau had a pretty good idea of who would win.

    ‘A fiancée always has need of her fiance’. The knight’s jaw tightened ever so slightly and she leaned back a fraction to rest against the chair she was seated in. Nothing but a barely perceptible shift in posture to anyone without a trained eye. Beau could see the mischief swirling in the Princess’s eyes. She returned her stare, refusing to yield.
    The girl relaxed against her bed. Was that remark intended to be a dig at her class? Beau’s jaw tightened further with the comment of ‘just a woman’. Galanus wasn’t kidding. Ophelia went straight for the throat. But was it out of ignorance or an intentional jab? It was too early to tell.

    The knight stood, picked up her chair, and set it down at Ophelia’s bed side. After she had washed and dried her hands with a nearby basin, she sat. Unfortunately there was little she could do about her calluses. With a gentleness reserved for only the finest porcelain and holy artifacts Beau began to comb her long fingers through Ophelia's hair. Whenever she came across a knot the knight gently urged it free. She never tugged or pulled. With the same clarity that told her the ground was beneath her feet and that the sun would rise the next day Beau knew that Ophelia's hair was the softest thing she had ever felt.
    Softer even than the pink mewling kits she from the old hayloft. Softer than the strip of velvet she had stroked behind the traveling merchant’s back. Surely, Beau thought, this is what clouds feel like.

    Words were not required, so Beau used none. The gentle rhythm of her fingers continued until the young woman on the bed had succumbed to sleep. Then, with the practiced silence of a warrior, Beau returned the chair to its home and exited the room. There were many chores that needed tending to.


     
    #6 Voice, May 9, 2016
    Last edited: May 9, 2016
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  7. Princess Ophelia

    Ophelia was a little more than surprised that Beau had actually agreed to play in her hair, but kept quiet about it as Beau's calming presence put her at ease, and gave her a sense of security. The female knight was surprisingly gentle with her touch, at least Ophelia thought so. She winded up dozing off shortly after, taken to place where the King was still alive and she wasn't fake engaged to a woman. It had turned out to be one of the best sleeps she had ever had since her father's passing, but she was eventually woken by a light knock at the door.

    The Princess lifted her head from the pillow and looked over her shoulder, seeing that Beau was gone. She wondered where Beau had run off too, but refused to linger on the knight's whereabouts for more than a few seconds. "Yes?" Ophelia calls. Not to her surprise, Galanus enters the room with a smile. "Oh. It's you." The Princess rolls her eyes playfully. "Come to help yourself to more of my breakfast pastries, Galanus?"

    Galanus gave an unimpressed look, then inhaled deeply before beginning. "I've planned for you to meet with septa Maybelle. She'll tutor you, so to speak, on how to properly conduct yourself in public with Sir Beau. You'll need to be able to convince everyone that you two are deeply in love, which means you'll have to play nice for a change." He says, smirking. "I've also arranged to have Sir Beau moved into the castle, so you'll most likely be seeing a lot more of her. Plenty of time to get acquainted with each other." Galanus said, watching The Princess for any adverse reactions to the news. Ophelia seemed... unaffected, which worried the mage.

    "Excellent. I'm looking forward to seeing dearest Maybelle, and my good friend Beau," Ophelia says, smiling as she rises from the bed. "Now, I have lots to prepare for and I should go and pick out a welcoming gift for Sir Beau before her official move in date." She heads over to Galanus and ushers him back out the way he came in, before closing the door on the mage without another word. Inside, Ophelia was reeling from the news. She thought that just being fake engaged would be enough, but apparently they had to act the part too. She had never been seriously romantically involved with anyone, so pretending would be difficult. And then knowing that Sir Beau would be living in her space as well. It was all too much to take in at once, so she threw herself back onto the bed and stared up at the ceiling.

    @---->--->

    Ophelia had been careful to avoid running into Sir Beau over the next few days, though the female knight could have easily stopped by her chambers at any moment. Thankfully, Beau seemed busy with Galanus and other things in and around the castle. Galanus had been more secretive than usual, and Ophelia just knew the two of them were up to something. It reminded Ophelia of how Galanus would cling to her father's side. Wherever the King went, Galanus followed. The few times she had been unfortunate enough to see Sir Beau, Ophelia noted that there was a certain air about the female knight. She seemed different than when they had been first introduced, but Ophelia couldn't quite put her finger on what had changed. Her mind had been so consumed with thoughts of marriage, Beau, and Galanus that she forgot to breathe in when her handmaiden, Marigold, tightened her corset so tight that it nearly knocked the wind out of her.
    "Princess, you're so tense today," Marigold pointed out as she finished lacing up Ophelia's corset. "Are you unwell? I can deliver a message to Maybelle - ask her to reschedule today's meeting if you wish."

    "No, Marigold. That won't be necessary," Ophelia exhaled, her voice coming out as a whisper. "I do have a lot on my mind, but it wouldn't be appropriate if I was absent today. We're already running late," she said, stepping forward into the opening of the dress Marigold had selected for her. She watched her reflection in the mirror as the light blue and gold dress came to hug her form. It was a more casual style, with a plunging v-neckline, long flowing skirt, and open sleeves that showed her arms. Marigold finished the final touches by placing a golden flower crown onto Ophelia's head, which complimented her outfit perfectly. It had been a long time since Ophelia could say that she even looked decent, but she did. She looked like herself before everything had happened.

    More than satisfied with her appearance, Ophelia exited her chambers and slowly began the journey to the other end of the castle, where the meeting with Maybelle was being held. She arrived at her destination and knocked gently on the door to alert Maybelle of her arrival. Upon entering, she saw the kind face of her tutor and...Sir Beau? The Princess's surprise was clear as day, and by the time she realized how she was staring at the lady knight it was too late to hide it. With hopes of somewhat redeeming herself, Ophelia gave a very subtle nod to at least acknowledge the other woman.

    Ophelia couldn't help but notice the difference a few days in the castle had made on Sir Beau, and it was then that she realized what it was that had changed about the female knight. Sir Beau had been receiving the royal treatment, and looked very much like a King. That revelation caused a gentle scowl to appear on the Princess's face. She turned her attention over to Maybelle, who was waiting patiently for the Princess to explain herself. "Maybelle, I must apologize for my tardiness. Galanus stopped me in the halls to complain about a servant, and I must have gotten sidetracked," Ophelia lied. "Thank the heavens Sir Beau was here to fill in for me, or you would have surely died of boredom."

    Maybelle gave a tight lipped, uncertain smile as Ophelia obviously lied to her face. Due to circumstances, Maybelle decided not to cause a stir over the Princess's tardiness, and instead chuckled. "It's quite alright, Princess. May I ask you to take a seat beside Beau before we begin?"

    Ophelia bit the corner of her lip and glanced over at Sir Beau, who was looking like a much better version of the woman she had met before. She truly could not believe how handsome Beau looked, or that it was even possible for Beau to look any better than she already had. "Yes. Of course, Maybelle." The Princess went to take her seat beside Beau, pausing before she sat down. "Sir Beau," she acknowledged, and then sat down beside the woman on the love seat couch. "You're looking well today," Ophelia said softly, glancing up at the shorter haired woman.

    Maybelle watched Ophelia walk and noted the small distance between Ophelia and Beau on the couch. Then, as Ophelia began to speak to Beau, a smile lit up Maybelle's face. "Very good, Ophelia. Playing it safe and humble is more believable than throwing yourself at your lover. Showing the kingdom that you have nothing to prove, but that you are very much in love with Beau through small gestures and shared glances will be your secret weapon," Maybelle said. She was far more impressed than she had hoped to be. "Now, Beau? What do you do? Everyone is watching you."
     
    #7 Sailor Moon, May 10, 2016
    Last edited: May 10, 2016
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  8. Beau


    The next couple of days had Beau constantly on her feet. One day she was at the tailor’s to be fitted for new clothes. The next she was consulting the blacksmith about a new sword and armor. Then she was moving her meager belongings from the garrison at the edge of town and into one of the royal suites in the castle. It was difficult not to feel overwhelmed by this sudden shift in her life. Most mornings she woke before dawn and practiced in the training grounds until the sun had risen. It felt like one of the few things she could still hold onto as the rest of her identity was being washed away.

    Lessons regarding etiquette took more out of Beau than she was comfortable admitting. She knew a few things from being a knight of course, but the finer points of which dinner fork was appropriate to use were often beyond her comprehending. She spent hours learning the names of different houses, their histories, the names of their leaders and children and distant cousins. Learning law wasn't particularly easy, either. How such rules came to be and why and what was allowed under these conditions but not those.

    She didn't see Ophelia for the next five days.

    On the sixth Galanus informed her that her etiquette lesson was going to be having a visitor. Ophelia. Beau bathed and had her hair neatly trimmed. She was helped into newly fitted trousers and a beautiful doublet the perfect shade of virgin snow decorated with gold trim. There was no mud on her shining black boots. She noted how her shirt was cut in such a way so as to emphasize her broad shoulders. What little she had in way of feminine curves was hidden by the way her trousers were fitted around her hips. The simple gold circlet placed on her brow felt far heavier than it should have.

    And then she was in an elegant little study with septa Maybelle. The floor was a beautiful polished wood. Sunlight filtered in through the floor to ceiling windows on the far side of the room. The gardens could be seen below. Part of Beau ached to be out in the open air. Instead she sat on a couch near the edge of the room and folded her hands in her lap. She had a sword strapped to her side, but it was more ceremonial than functional. Too elegant and pretty to deliver the sort of blow needed to rend a man's arm from his chest. Beau grimaced at the mental image and told herself not to be so morose.
    She and Maybelle went through a few simple exercises before they decided it best to wait for Ophelia before continuing. The septa sat down. She grew gradually more frustrated the later that Ophelia became. She did her best to contain the feeling, but Beau could see it in the way that she pursed her lips and clutched her hands in her lap. Her barely perceptible fidgeting made Beau want to fidget. Instead she grabbed a book from one of the nearby shelves before she returned to her seat.

    Sometime later the double doors opened and the Princess appeared in a wash of afternoon light. Beau's heart fluttered at the sight. She kept it from her face. The princess didn't seem to share the sentiment, at least if the scowl on her brow was any indication.

    The doors closed behind her and Ophelia came over and sat down beside Beau. The faux prince closed her book. She left one hand resting on the cover as she turned slightly.

    "As are you, Princess Ophelia." Beau replied with a gentle smile.

    "Well done, Beau. Now...?" Septa Maybelle urged. Beau slipped seamlessly into her role.

    "Would you care to join me for a meal?" The knight asked smoothly.

    (assuming Ophelia responds in the affirmative)

    They stood and Beau gently rested one hand on the small of Ophelia's back. She led her towards a round table that had been set up near the garden windows. Ever chivalrous, Beau pulled out a chair for Ophelia to sit in. She made sure that the princess was comfortable before moving to take her own seat.

    Beau had never been one for idle chit chat. She sat comfortably as food was brought to them.

    "Good posture, Beau." Maybelle complimented gently. "You want to seem confident; relaxed. You are at ease in your environment and assured in your position as Ophelia's fiance." She was reprimanded every so often for using the improper utensil or trying to serve herself. "That's what the servants are for, Beau." Maybelle would say. "Mind you don't get pork sauce all over the cuff of your jacket." The richness of the food never ceased to amaze the knight. She remembered the first night Galanus had allowed her such a meal. She had spent the witching hours returning the food to the chamber pot kept in her quarters.

    "Do not eat too quickly. If you want to maintain any sort of hold on the people you must first win their hearts and minds." Beau nodded curtly. She was equally receptive to compliments and criticisms. She never tried to defend herself when Maybelle tore her down for her behavior. She listened to the septa but she only had eyes for the young woman sitting across from her.

     
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  9. Princess Ophelia

    Maybelle's sudden praise caused Ophelia to feel butterflies in her stomach. She had no idea that their class had already started, but then it was probably best if Beau didn't actually know that Ophelia actually meant her compliment. Giving a subtle nod, Ophelia stood and suppressed a jolt as Beau's hand rested on the small of her back as she was led over to a small table. In Oppissia it was not considered appropriate to touch royalty, but Ophelia had to remember that Beau was now on the same level as her, and the touch wasn't completely unwelcome.

    Ophelia sat down at Beau's cue, coolly unfolding her napkin and placing it across her lap as Beau took her place at the table. It was hard not to notice how Beau seemed to have transformed in more than just the looks department. While not perfect, Beau was more polished in her actions and when she spoke her voice was smooth, and confident. Ophelia already knew the ins and outs of being graceful and elegant at all times. It was who she was, so naturally Maybelle's focus was on Beau. She smirked softly to herself, lowering her gaze as the food was set down in front of her. Her fingers instinctively went to the correct utensil for her soup, and took a silent sip of the light broth.

    It wasn't until Ophelia looked back up at Beau that their eyes met, and locked onto each other. Her first instinct was to glance away, but she smiled instead, her face growing hot. Even with Maybelle there it felt too intimate and Ophelia wondered how on earth she was going to be able to maintain this relationship in the public eye, if small dinners were enough to fluster her. How does one act like they're in love? Ophelia was at a loss for words, truly. She parted her lips to say something, but resigned herself to her glass of wine instead and turned her head to gaze out the nearby window.

    Maybelle watched the couple intently, bracing herself as it looked like Ophelia was going to say something. She was disappointed in Ophelia, especially since the the girl was off to such a strong start. Maybelle knew Ophelia as a playful, witty woman, and perhaps she needed some assistance bringing out the charm. "Princess, I'm not convinced of your affections. Beau's eyes haven't left you and your attention is elsewhere," Maybelle pointed, though it only earned a bored glance from Ophelia. The Princess was also stubborn and entitled, something Maybelle also had to keep in mind. "Why don't we start with looking at Beau? You've already paid her a compliment, so... "

    Ophelia inhaled deeply, before slowly looking back to the woman sitting across from her and interrupting Maybelle. "Beau, I don't recall ever thanking you for what you did for me. I slept like a baby that night," she said, taking a short drink from her glass. Ophelia set it back down on the table, her body language more relaxed and fluid. "Those in your ranks are not often known for their ability to be gentle. Tell me, where did you learn such a delicate touch?"

    Maybelle shifted uncomfortably in her chair, lips pursing and her face reddening at the sudden turn the conversation had taken. She was unsure of what Ophelia was hinting at, but trying to decipher the message made her head spin. Poor Maybelle could have fainted right there. Eyes wide, she looked at Beau, though Maybelle was too stunned to say anything immediately. The two of them were at least speaking, and Ophelia had finally relaxed. Her focus was on Beau, which is what Maybelle had asked for.​
     
    • Love Love x 1
  10. Beau

    Naru had once told her that she stared too much. At the end of an exhaustive night in bed together Naru had confessed that she actually loved Beau’s directness.

    Beau could not help but wonder if that particular quality was getting her into trouble now.
    Ophelia was tense. She could not seem to meet her gaze. When she did, she grew anxious and withdrew once more. There was a tinge of red on her cheeks pulled at Beau’s heart strings. The youth on Ophelia’s face was more evident than ever.

    And then it happened.

    The thing that Galanus had warned her about.

    Beau kept the explosion of nerves in her stomach contained. Her face remained impassive and her gaze unwavering, even as the hint of a blush crept up the back of her neck and tips of her ears.

    “If you are very good,” Beau replied in the same smooth tone she used to discuss the weather, “maybe someday I will tell you.” Her eyes flicked down to a plate of meat on the table. “Have you tried the pork leg, my love? It is divine.”

    “Princess,” Maybelle seemed to have finally snapped out of her daze even though the flush on her face remained. “That sort of conversation is grossly inappropriate for a public meal such as this might be. You ought to know better.” She scolded. Beau hid the small smile on her face by taking a sip from her wine glass.

    “We would not want anyone to faint on our account now would we, Ophelia?” Beau mused, only lightly poking fun at the septa’s blatant embarrassment.

     
    • Love Love x 1
  11. Princess Ophelia

    Ophelia tilted her head to the side slightly at Beau's remark, a hesitant smile on her lips. She had not expected Beau to reply the way she did, or else Ophelia would have thought a little harder about speaking in such a 'loaded' way. She glanced between Beau and Maybelle with a quick shift of her eyes, and then sipped from her glass as a valid excuse to not have to immediately acknowledge anything Beau had said. She hardly got to do much else before Maybelle was scolding her, Ophelia's face growing hot in return. She hated to be treated like a child and being told what to do, but septa Maybelle was was no Galanus. Maybelle was there to help, and Ophelia knew that she was in the wrong this time.

    The Princess set down her wine glass on the table, her face suddenly softening and her voiced humbled. "Please forgive me, Maybelle." She smiled a more true smile when Beau poked fun at Maybelle. The septa seemed to crack a smile as well, which Ophelia was grateful for. "Oh, but a handsome prince such as yourself must be used to damsels dropping at your feet," she teases gently, taking her meat fork and bringing a small piece of the pork to her mouth. The rich flavors that the castle was able to achieve never ceased to amaze Ophelia. "This is so delicious, but I'll have to leave room for dessert," Ophelia says, as she discreetly licks a droplet of the pork sauce off of her bottom lip.
     
  12. Beau

    The poor septa’s ruffled feathers quickly settled back into place after Ophelia’s apology. She bowed her head in respectful acceptance of the girl’s words.

    “Usually I catch them before they hit the ground.” Beau says in response to the Princess’s comment, a gentle smile teasing at the corners of her lips. “Indeed, the meal is excellent.” Beau makes a mental note to thank the kitchen staff tomorrow morning when she visits.

    The flicker of Ophelia’s tongue at her lip does not go unnoticed by Beau. Her eyes flicker down for only a fraction of a second before returning to the girl’s own.

    “So, Princess.” Beau is careful about how she pierces the meat on her plate with her fork. “Outside of your lessons, what do you spent your time doing?” Beau knew so much and so little of the young woman in front of her. She knew her name, her title, her birthright, her destiny, her family, her ancestors, her culture…and yet what was Ophelia’s favorite color? What was her favorite drink? Did she prefer to rise in the morning or stay awake late into the evening? Did her nose crinkle when she laughed? Maybe Beau did not need to know these things to sell the idea that the two were engaged, but the information would certainly help. It would be nice to get to know the woman she would be spending the next few years of her life in a relationship, albeit a fake one.
     
  13. Princess Ophelia

    Ophelia takes another bite of the pork leg, and then decides that she is done with the scrumptious meal. She didn't have much of an appetite since her father died, and it showed in how she picked at most of her food, or simply left it untouched. Drinking, however, did just the trick when Ophelia was in need of fuel or nutrients, but couldn't get anything solid down. She washed the meat down with a long drink from her wine glass, the corners of her lips pulling into a small smile from behind the glass as Beau spoke up.

    Setting the empty glass down, Ophelia hummed to herself quietly for a brief moment as she thought of how to answer the question. Ophelia seemed a little confused, as if all the things she used to love had escaped her mind. Napping was certainly not an acceptable answer. "I do enjoy spending my time reading under a nice shaded tree - rain or shine," Ophelia replies, then gestures with a subtle wave of the hand for the servant to remove her plate from the table, before continuing off in list form."Long walks in the gardens and through the neighboring forests." She pauses, chest swelling as she inhales deep and slow. "Before the king's passing, I would attend many balls. They're...a favorite of mine. I love dancing and seeing everyone dressed in their best wear, " Ophelia continues, her face lighting up as she thinks back to her last ball.

    The servant returns to their dining table with several dessert dishes, Ophelia eyes instantly going to a chocolate cake with glazed berries decorating the top. Her appetite seemed to return to her, and she waited for the servant to serve her a piece of cake. Everyone in the castle knew that chocolate cake with berries was the princess's signature dessert. Ophelia plucked a strawberry off of her plate that had fallen off of her slice of cake, and ate it down cleanly to the stem. She discarded the stem in it's appropriate place, and grabbed her dessert fork and took a small bite of the rich chocolate. Her wine glass had been refilled, courtesy of the servant, and Ophelia went to sipping it after her bite of the cake. "Mm. I love this cake. I feel as if I haven't eaten in years," Ophelia states with a slight slurt, before going back to her wine.

    Maybelle smiles, pleasantly surprised at Beau's and Ophelia's interactions. They were doing so well, and Ophelia was opening up a lot sooner to Beau than she had expected to. Maybelle knew that the Princess's friendliness may have been a result of the fine wine being served, and narrowed her eyes at Ophelia. Drinking alcohol was very common in Oppissia, it was served like water with meals, and royalty loved to having the most expensive kinds around. Still, everyone in the castle knew Ophelia couldn't hold her alcohol. "Ah. Excellent work today, ladies. We'll have to wrap things up here," Maybelle chimes in, after Ophelia finishes gushing about the cake. ​
     
    #13 Sailor Moon, May 15, 2016
    Last edited: May 16, 2016
  14. Beau


    At the term ‘lady’ Beau’s head snapped in the direction of the septa. Oh. Yes. The slightest of frowns tugged at Beau’s lips. Her secret was safe. She willed the sudden jack rabbiting of her heart to settle.

    “Thank you for assisting us today, Septa Maybelle.” Beau nods her head in respect.
    “Splendid posture as always, Beau. You were wonderful today as well, Princess Ophelia, excepting your little slip of the tongue. Have a pleasant afternoon.” Beau swallowed the urge to stand up and help the septa out of the room. Prince. Prince. Prince. No matter how many times she tried to beat the word into her head it refused to stick. She still felt like donkey dressed as a thorough bred stallion. She turned her attention back to her food. Her shoulders dropped a hint when she ordered herself to relax. The stiffness that had been collecting in her back, neck, and shoulders, felt now as if it were sinking into the bone.

    “Some time we will have to go for a picnic out in the gardens together.” Beau commented after a few moments of silence. Once she had cleaned her plate of food she crossed her knife and fork over one another as she had been taught. “Now that we are not being monitored, I suppose you may take your leave. Would you like my assistance returning to your rooms?” Beau knew as well as anyone that Ophelia was not particularly adept at holding her drink. Besides; it was only polite to offer. It was what a young lord would do.

    Beau pushed out her seat, folded her napkin, and then walked over to Ophelia’s side of the table. Without preamble she held one arm behind her back and the other out for the Princess to take.
     
  15. Princess Ophelia

    "I quite like that idea," Ophelia said, smirking. She accepted Beau's hand with a delicate touch and rose from the table, giving a small nod of the head in thanks. Ophelia was silent on the way to her chambers. There was nothing more to say and the alcohol had made her feel a little sad about her predicament in life. She said her good byes to the lady knight, before shutting her door and locking it with a deep sigh. She wouldn't be seen by anyone but her handmaiden for the rest of the day.

    Ophelia awoke the next morning with the bright idea to get into the city for a little bit of shopping. With the Harvest festival and the Ambassadors meeting coming up, Ophelia wanted to look her best. This would be her first official public appearance in awhile, and all eyes would be on her and Beau when they showed up together. It might actually be a good idea to invite her, Ophelia thought. Of course she frowned at the prospect of having her fake fiance tag along on what was supposed to be her day out, but getting to know the other woman some more couldn't hurt?

    The Princess bathed and dressed in a simple pink gown, and plopped a matching sunhat on top of her wild curly hair. She made her way down the halls with a glass of orange drink held elegantly between her gloved fingertips, sipping casually as she searched for Beau's chambers. A door opened and two giggling, blushing maids exited one of the rooms with a silver tray in their hands. They were whispering about a handsome prince, and Ophelia stopped in her tracks. She knew that there was only one person in the castle that they could be talking about, so she backed up and caught the door with the tip of her free hand before it shut all the way. Knocking just didn't seem necessary.

    "Sir Beau, are you in here?" Ophelia asked, pushing the door open just slightly. She peeked her head, then searched around for any sign of the woman. ​
     
  16. Beau

    “Thank you for the delicious meal, ladies. As always your company is appreciated.” Beau flashed the duo a smile. When she didn’t eat breakfast with Ophelia and Galanus Beau took her meals in her personal chambers. She had also started to request warm water be brought up every morning after training in the yard. Ethel and Rose were two of the handmaidens who had been charged with the task. They always offered to stay and help Beau into her more formal wear, but naturally that wasn’t something she could let happen. So instead she let them sample treats from her tray, spoke with them about how it was to be living in the servant’s quarters, laughed and smiled as they told stories of idle castle gossip. When it was time to leave she thanked them and ushered them out past disappointed sighs and pouting lips.

    When she was sure that they had exited the room, Beau turned and shucked off the tunic she was wearing. It was acceptable attire in the comfort of her own room, but out in the world Beau had to look the part of a prince. She pulled a little at the wrap that bound her chest with one hand. It was a bit tight. She was trying to figure out how to loosen the thing without completely taking it off when a voice from her door caught her attention. Ophelia. Of course. Beau groaned internally.

    “Princess.” Her back was turned to the door. The thick trails of scars that mapped Beau’s muscles were completely on display for the young royal to see. Swallowing the acidic taste in her mouth, Beau reached down for her shirt. Once it had settled over her shoulder she turned around. Her face remained impassive even as shame burned red at the back of her neck.

    “Is there something that I can assist you with?”

     
    • Love Love x 1
  17. Princess Ophelia

    It wasn't long before Ophelia's eyes landed on the one woman she had been searching for, and her breath hitched in her throat as she got an eyeful of Beau's exposed back. Her face grew hot but she couldn't force herself to look away. The scars were what kept Ophelia's eyes from going elsewhere, and she felt as if she was suddenly an intruder in Beau's room. Ophelia did not fold under pressure, however. Hearing Beau acknowledge her presence was enough for the princess to stand tall, and commit to what she had set out to do. Ophelia parted her lips to speak, but no words came out. Once again she found herself staring at Beau's back, until was covered by cloth and Beau was facing her.

    Ophelia looked up at Beau, forcing a smirk as she tried to push what she had just seen out of her mind. "Come now, Beau. You know I always have use of my vassal, we discussed this." The Princess chuckles briefly, taking a sip from her glass before setting it down on the dresser beside her. "I'm heading into the towns today and hoped you would accompany me," Ophelia said, suddenly feeling nervous. She hadn't considered the possibility that Beau might reject her, and that thought scared her. "I-I'm going to pick up something new for the Harvest Festival and appearing there with you will warm up the public for what's to come. Doesn't that sound like a clever idea?"

     
    • Bucket of Rainbows Bucket of Rainbows x 1
  18. Beau

    Although Beau was usually all too happy to provide the witty banter that Ophelia enjoyed engaging in, she was too busy trying to collect the pieces of her mind. Her face was cold and impassive when the princess reminded her of her need for vassals.

    Ophelia stuttered. The ice encasing Beau cracked. Her jaw relaxed and she blinked, letting warmth seep back into her posture and her expression to soften.

    “It would be my honor, Princess.” She kept her steady gaze locked on the young woman. “I will need some time to change into the appropriate attire. May I meet you in the Great Hall in an hours time?” Beau tried to suppress the part of her that wanted to pick at the lumps of pink scar tissue at her back like she could peel them off. If she could press them down, smooth them over, the sins of her past might stop crawling up through the woodwork and threatening to spoil what she was working so hard to build.

    “You will inform Galanus of this excursion.” The way that Beau’s voice lilted at the end made the command into a question instead. They were alone; Beau would never assume to have power over Ophelia. She knew her place.


     
  19. Ophelia Masters

    Ophelia's face lit up like a child for a brief moment after Beau had agreed to go with her into town. The female knight had no choice, but Ophelia was content shopping alone and she wasn't interested in fighting Beau on it if she really did not want to go.

    "Excellent, Sir Beau." Ophelia smiled a satisfied smile, then turned swiftly to exit the bedroom. She paused midway when Beau brought up Galanus, a smirk on her lips as she glanced at the woman. "Of course Galanus is already aware of our plans for the day. You need not worry over that old mage," Ophelia says, before taking her leave out of Beau's chambers. She went on her way to busy herself in the garden until it was time for the two of them to leave, not thinking once about the lie she had told Beau.

     
    #19 Sailor Moon, Jun 27, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2016
  20. Beau

    There was something on Ophelia’s face that made Beau feel less than confident about the girl’s response. It was probably the smirk. Definitely the smirk.
    Ophelia disappeared out of the door and a fraction of the tension eked out from Beau’s shoulders. Gods. Ophelia brought with her a carpet of eggshells for Beau to walk on where ever she went. The knight held her hands over her face for a moment. She inhaled deeply. Once she felt recomposed, she set about dressing herself for a day out in the city.

    X

    A sword with a ridiculously ornamental hilt at her hip and a royal blue doublet over her bound chest, Beau stepped out of her room.
    “Ah, pardon me, miss?” Beau caught the attention of a passing handmaiden. “Ah, Gwendolyn, was it?” She flashed her a charming smile. “Might you be willing to pass on a message to sir Galanus for me?”
    “Oh, Ser! I would love to,” she batted her eyelashes. Beau plowed on as if the gesture hadn't occurred.
    “Thank you ever so much. Please, let him know that Princess Ophelia and myself have decided to spend the day in town. We will be in the market district. He can send a messenger boy to find us if deemed necessary.”
    “I will go find him immediately, Ser,” Gwendolyn replied with a pleasant smile. She leaned down to pick up a basket of laundry, allowing Beau a view of her generous cleavage. Beau, however, kept her eyes locked firmly on the girl’s face.
    “That is all for now.” Beau nodded her head as a dismissal. The maiden took off, sashaying her hips the entire length of the hall.

    X

    Ten minutes later found Beau standing in the castle’s illustrative gardens, surrounded by thousands of flowers she could never hope to name. Standing amongst them was the princess. Beau’s words were caught on her tongue for the barest of moments. She held her hands behind her back and cleared her throat to let Ophelia know of her presence.
    “Princess. Shall we depart?”


     
    • Bucket of Rainbows Bucket of Rainbows x 1
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