Strength in Differences

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Kaisaan, Dec 8, 2013.

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  1. Niklomaus liked the heat.

    Yes, it was an odd thing for one of his kind to say, but he didn't exactly say it out loud either. His people were dwellers of the earth, large stone cities underground where they rarely saw the sun. Mounds they called their homes and Sidhe they called themselves. What the outside world called them...well, that was far less polite for Sidhe were an arrogant race, thinking themselves high above everyone around them. They looked down on the other races and only tolerated some. They had been at war with many.

    They never mixed their bloodlines with another species, hating halfbreeds above all else and so this new union between the Chaktawe and their own kind was astounding to anyone who had heard about it. The Sidhe usually made 'peace' with money, land negotiations or with some other valuable means, but never with marriage. This war, though, had been going on for far too long and rumor had it that a greater enemy was on the rise against all lands. They couldn't afford to be at odds with each other anymore.

    Still, that didn't quite explain why King Donn would choose his oldest grandson and the next heir following his own son, the Crown Prince Finnbheara to be the one to marry. Niklomaus was High Prince after his father and he had two brothers after him and a sister, two of whom were not promised nor married to anyone. They would have been well-suited to be used in an alliance....but King Donn had chosen his first grandson.

    Such a thing was baffling to all but the Sidhe and Nik himself.

    But Niklomaus wasn't much like the rest of his kin as it was. He loved the sun for starters and while the rest of his family was either riding with some kind of covering or like the Crown Princess and his sister, taking the carriage, the white-haired Sidhe was far more inclined to enjoy the warmth. He was sure it was the only thing he'd be enjoying for a while. He was to marry a stranger, an enemy until recently and the thought didn't sit well with Nik at all.

    The horse under him shifted at his tight grip on the reigns and he released them slowly with a sigh, patting the damp neck of the beast with a mumbled apology that made the horse bob her head a bit, he looked back up at their destination. It was a city, in a way, he guessed, with most structures being made from clay, baked hard and durable by the sun. There were some buildings made out of bricks or stones, but they looked to belong to the wealthier and such would make sense. Bricks and stones would have to be carried into the desert, rare and expensive. More practical seemed to be the large tents scattered about that waved and rustled in the wind but stayed firmly nailed down where they belonged. Nik had to wonder if they were moved from time to time for any reason...

    The reason for the city being here, in this location with its hard-packed streets and little market-places was the great oasis at its center, providing the much needed and life-giving water that the desert was so hard to come by. It seemed to act as a gather place if the structures near the water were anything to go by. That was all Niklomaus could see from the distance and as they grew closer, the full picture was lost.

    His pale blue eyes flickered to his father, but the Crown Prince didn't acknowledge him as they rode into the the city and it was Taraghlan - his brother - who gave him a look and Nik sighed, knowing what it meant. He didn't like it, but he fipped his own hood up, effectively hiding his white hair and identity for the time being.
    #1 Kaisaan, Dec 8, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2013
  2. Chaktawe were a reserved people and quite honestly, a bit more secretive than most. Outsiders were greeted with caution and solemnness, though a lot of the time there was also distrust. Being people of the desert, they were nomadic for a very long time with the three tribes broken up, and because of their unique water-storing organ, other desert dwellers were not above killing the wild bird-like race to quench their life-threatening thirst.

    The separation of the tribes changed about a thousand years ago when the Great Wayhali united the three tribes and created a single nation with a large oasis as its center. There were a few groups that formed and preferred the nomadic life, but they were still treated as equals and were welcomed in the city whatever the purpose. Buildings formed from clay were created, along with a few formed from stone and bricks though those were usually reserved for the wealthier families. There were also large tents scattered throughout the city serving for homes, shops, or whatever else. Everybody treated everybody equally, and rarely anybody didn't have a home to live in.

    Like the Sidhe, mixed bloodlines were rare, but unlike the Sidhe, they weren't discriminated against. They usually even kept their unions within their respective tribes. However, difficult times called for drastic measures and Kauluwehi, the eldest child of the Suli monarch, was to be married to Niklomaus, the Crown Prince of the Tuatha Dé Danaan, which was the nation - the Sidhe - that the Chaktawe had been at war with for a very long time. Their marriage was to be the concrete for the peace treaty between the two differing nations, since rumor had it that a much larger enemy was threatening both their races along with the rest of the world.

    So here Kaulu was: waiting for a stranger outside the pale mixed clay and stone palace in the center of the courtyard with her family. There was an indented, small in width but long in height pond in the center, with a few small steps leading down to it and various desert bushes and flora surrounding the outside. There were two small benches on either side of the pond between bushes, and that is where the Suli family waited for the arrival of the Tuatha De Danaan family. A small group of guards were sent to wait for the Sidhe, and then escort them to the palace upon their arrival.

    While they were being escorted, the Sidhe family were stared at. Not with dangerous gazes, but more wary ones. Children were more curious than the adults, but most still acted shyly and kept close to their guardians. Once the Sidhe were nearing the courtyard, the guards entered first and sprouted out, allowing the earth-dwelling beings to make their appearance. Kaulu's family stood from there spots and exited the indent, walking a few feet before stopping. A single guard, seemingly the leader in all of this, announced the arrival and Kaulu's father and mother stepped forward to greet first, Kaulu and her sister waiting behind.

    (( Hopefully this is a good enough reference for the courtyard and palace, just imagine the courtyard with a larger radius. [: ))
  3. Nik's eyes darted everywhere under his hood as he took in the people they were passing. He was curious about them. He'd fought them before, but those had been warriors, not people like this, children and those who appeared to have never lifted a blade or a bow in their life. Perhaps their looks were deceiving but they certainly did not appear as warriors. He had to wonder what they'd think of him. He'd be he only Sidhe staying here after the wedding. Would they warm to him or would he be shunned? It was hard to tell by their stares, hard to tell anything yet and he tried not to let his mind dwell on it yet.

    Meeting the woman he was going to be marrying weighed a bit more heavily on his mind right now.

    The guards that escorted them told Nik that they were nearing their destination and he tried to make himself take a deep breath as the horses stopped, stamping and he and his family dismounted. His eyes flickered over them as they removed their hoods, some wincing at the brightness of the sun, but baring it. His father, Finnbheara, was black of hair and brown of eyes. He was a fierce warrior, merciless and cold. Very few things impressed him and he cowed to no one but his own father, King Donn. Right now, he was in charge now as the King was home. Finnbheara's wife and Nik's step-mother, Cliodna came after him, resting her hand in her husband's. Their's was an arranged marriage as well and there was only a shallow kind of love between them. She was no great beauty with brown hair and green eyes, but she was smart, tactical and came from an impeccable bloodline.

    Closely following her was Niklomaus' youngest half-sibling, Finnine. She was a spoiled child, delicate and pampered and she'd hated this trip the most. She turned her nose up at this place and Cliodna gave her a stern look that made her grudgingly straighten her face out. She was a great beauty with gleaming black hair and blue eyes as pure as a lake. Her heart was hard, though, even for one so young and not even the swirling marks on her skin could make her heart prettier. Her brother, Cuchulainn, and Niklomaus' second brother, was not much better. He was far worse. With dark brown hair and the same blue eyes as his sister, he was attractive, but his lack of mercy and rather cruel ways and humor made him a person even Sidhe themselves were wary of crossing. In battle he was terrifying, liking to maim over outright killing and Nik avoided him even as he followed the others.

    The last person pale blue eyes lingered on was Taraghlan. Black-haired and blue-eyed, he looked much like his father and held the same bearing and very similar markings on his skin. He was rather aloof, but incredibly temperamental when he wanted to be. He was the second-son and he was entirely displeased with it, but mostly remained quiet on such displeasure. He took his frustration out in subtle ways and he had a great mind for politics, a silver-tongue in his mouth, able to get out of all kinds of troubles and promises with but some well-placed and crafted words. He would make a good King by the Sidhe's way of looking at things.

    And Nik wasn't much like any of them and he certainly didn't look like them as was shown as his hood came back. With white hair and pale blue eyes, he appeared more like a creature of winter than earth. His demeanor was quieter and his judgement reserved until he knew more about his surroundings. He let his gaze flicker over the two monarchs of the Chaktawe, but knew he would not be speaking to them until later. His father and step-mother were already speaking with them and so Nik let his eyes wander to the two girls standing behind the elders.

    The younger one, he knew could not be Princess Kauluwehi, but the elder. He took in her appearance; glossy black hair, three braids to one side and feathers in her hair, adding brilliant color to the ebony mane. There were white bands across her eyes, mirror-black eyes very bird-like in his opinion, but not unattractive. Her bronzed skin spoke of a life in the sun and her slim appearance spoke of a warrior's tendencies. Her stance said that much, too and while she was a great deal shorter than him, he didn't doubt she'd be a formidable enemy.

    She was beautiful...but Nik didn't know her and that was the whole problem.
  4. The ruling Chaktawe family were all similar in looks. All had jet black eyes with white bands protecting them from the sun, bronze skin though the King had the darkest tone out of everybody, and black hair except for Japi's who had a brownish tint. Kaulu's father, Ha'upu, was traditional and stern but had his own ways of showing a warmness and caring. His wavy hair was long (reaching lower back), free, and was decorated with polished bones, beads, and feathers. Her mother, Chenoa, was similar to her husband but with a less stern heart. Her hair reached a bit past her shoulders, had bangs, and rarely was decorated since she found the process to be irritating if not boring. Japikoa had more of a free spirit than anybody else in her family. Her hair was braided with a couple of feathers tied into it.

    Kaulu was a bit more reserved than anybody in her family, but completely loyal. Thus the reason for agreeing to marriage; Japi was about half the age of Kaulu, so she was too young for her father to consider her as the chosen one.

    As their parents greeted and spoke, Kaulu also took this time to scan her eyes across the Sidhe family. The king, second eldest prince, and princess all had black hair. The queen and the youngest prince had brown hair. But Niklomaous... was completely different from the others, with white hair and pale blue eyes. It was strange, but regardless, he was handsome... well, actually, beautiful was a better word to describe him. And though it sounded shallow, at least he was attractive. She just hoped he wasn't as unpleasant as the rest of his family looked.

    With introductions by the Wayhali and the Apayla, the two girls bowed their head respectively to the other monarch. They would all have more time to talk over dinner and then a true gathering afterwords, just to get more comfortable with each other since the wedding was happening tomorrow.
    #4 catalyst, Dec 8, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2013
  5. His own father made the introductions of the Sidhe and then everyone moved inside. It seemed the two betrothed were kept as far apart as possible at the moment, as if both parties feared something going wrong if they left them to their own words and devices for more than a few minutes. They were soon seated at dinner and it was tense conversation that passed between the two parties, mostly about the negotiations and news of the ongoing war outside both their borders between the four monarchs and much more sporadic and meaningless conversation between the younger royals.

    They were soon moving to the gathering, though, and Nik, who'd been silent the whole time, felt like a vice had fallen away from him just a little as he was given space to move and to get away from his family. He didn't make that obvious, though, or at least he didn't try to as he moved to the edge of the pond in the middle of the dome-covered courtyard. It was still inside, but the arches along the wall let in the desert breeze, lightly woven screens keeping out majority of the sand. Nik's eyes took all of it even as he crouched and touched the water, trying to find some tranquility in the midst of the chaos he felt.

    He was going to be married tomorrow. He wasn't leaving this place for a long time yet. He wasn't going to know anyone here. All three thoughts made him nervous, but it was the thought of the weight his family was putting on his shoulders and what they'd do if he failed that scared him.

    He sighed and then looked around again, nearly jumping when his eyes came into contact with Kaulu's. He hadn't really heard her come up and now the male stood, swallowing down his nerves and merely spoke politely, not sure what else to do, especially with so many eyes watching them. "Your home is beautiful."
  6. Dinner... wow, if only it could go by faster. Not that Kauluwehi didn't want to be there and learn more about the other family, it was just that... it was whelmed with incredibly tense and meaningless conversation. And Kaulu had paid enough to attention to know that Niklomaus had said very few words, if any. She was short with her words, too, but it was hard not to speak when your younger sister told stories and hinted for your support.

    But the dinner had finally finished and they all moved back to the courtyard for the gathering. People moved together - but not too close - to speak and "try" to get to more comfortable with each other and Kaulu watched as the man she was going to marry walked to the slim pond. Finding him curious, she slowly made her way over and was soon standing a few feet away from him. He didn't seem to notice her until he looked around again and met her eyes, which she stifled a smile from. When he stood, she too could feel all their eyes on them, but what he said made her smile slowly. "You truly think so?" she asked. Sidhe lived underneath the earth where any sunlight was barely visible. To have him say that and really mean it, meant something to her.
  7. Surprised that he seemed to have actually said something right and wondering if she was simply very good at acting or genuine, he nodded. "I do. It's...well, to be honest a bit ethereal to me. It's nothing like what I've grown up around but it holds a different kind of beauty." His pale blue eyes swept around again, lingering on the desert with a hint of a smile at his lips. "It sings out here." he said far more quietly, not even sure he could explain what he meant. It was just so open, so dangerous and beautiful and mysterious all at the same time and it created a song in his ears each time the wind blew.

    Yes, he'd been on the surface before, but there was a forest between the desert and the plains where his people lived, a place both people had wanted for the hunting and wood and fruit it provided. That was where he'd gone most often when above the ground and more often than not it had been for battle purposes against her people.

    A place like this...was completely new for Nik and unlike his kin, he could see the wonder in it.

    His piercing eyes came back to her pure black and the Sidhe wanted to ask her what she really thought of this marriage, but he held his tongue, knowing better. Instead he focused on something less personal because it was expected. At least by his family it was and Niklomaus wasn't in any position to know what her own family expected for her in this situation. "I have heard that the Chaktawe were once great nomads. Do you still travel in such a way?"
    #7 Kaisaan, Dec 8, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2013
  8. It was ethereal to him. Her home was ethereal to him. Usually she'd be cautious, but his voice, his words sounded so genuine that she thought him true. That, or he was just a really good liar and was only saying these things to get on her good side, especially in front of their family. As his eyes traveled to and lingered on the desert, finding its way out of the courtyard and into the red and tan sands, Kaulu's did as well. What he said next, about the desert singing, made her instantly look back to him again. Had she really just heard him right? He... heard the desert? An outsider, especially one whom lived underground and was from a race notorious for hatred from the sun, had heard the great sands' song?

    Chaktawe's names were known for sounding like moving wind or water over stones, and their music mimicked the sounds of the desert, like murmurs. They mainly used drums and rattles, and pipes that sounded like wind over dunes or lonely songs of birds. He heard that...


    It couldn't be true. It wasn't true. Don't believe him.

    She relaxed and met Niklomaus's eyes once more. His question was valid, since they didn't know much about each other. "Some groups still do, but the majority of us stay here in the city. Anybody is free to go back to once was though." She paused as she looked back to the desert. "Sometimes we travel just do so. Like taking a vacation away from the city."
  9. Niklomaus nodded to her answer. Her people seemed to have such freedom and he had to wonder if he might feel the same way living here. His gaze went back out to the desert, to the sun and the marks on his skin shimmered in the light before he looked back to the smaller female. Nik opened his mouth as if to speak and then thought better of it, knowing he couldn't actually say the chaotic thoughts and questions running through his mind.

    He hated this.

    He hated the pressure of something he'd never been prepared for. He was High Prince, yes, but it was Taraghlan his father and grandfather wanted on the throne. He...he was a mistake. He was a shame on his family's head and they saw this as a good way to get rid of him. Nik swallowed the thought down and searched frantically for something more to say, something to ask a complete stranger. He said the first thing that came to mind.

    "Do you have a name you preferred to be called, Princess?"
    #9 Kaisaan, Dec 9, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2013
  10. Marriage. It wasn't something completely new. Well, at least the subject or the idea. Kauluwehi was courted once before but in her culture, it was completely up to the woman to choose her husband. And she denied. So, she knew how some of this worked. But marriage... marriage was like a whole other world, and everybody the princess asked would agree.

    She felt Nik's eyes on her and she turned to meet his gaze, but nothing came out of his mouth as it opened. She watched him carefully, wondering if he was nervous or trying to find the right questions to ask. Both, maybe? When he finally spoke, his question seemed typical to Kaulu, but she supposed that she wondered the same of him.

    "Kaulu. And you, Prince?"
  11. "Nik." he stated back with a sigh he didn't much mean to voice and then tensed as he saw who was approaching them. One would have thought he'd have such a reaction to one of the Chaktawe, but it was Cuchulainn who came to stand near him, looking Kaulu over with a smile before he looked to Nik himself. "I trust everything is going well, brother?" Few, very few would catch the warning lilt to the dark-haired Sidhe's tone as it seemed simple enough, curious, perhaps a bit concerned if one wanted to hear it.

    Nik knew the tone, though, and he smiled back, a look that didn't reach his eyes in the least and he didn't relax, though, he seemed to be good at making tension look like a natural part of his form. "As well as can be expected."

    Cuchulainn shot him a glance, but the white-haired Sidhe was already looking away, knowing it was coming and the younger Prince smiled charmingly to Kaulu, as clever as a snake and twice as deadly.

    "Your home is lovely, Princess, and your people are so...gracious. I am sure you will make my brother very happy, a woman of your...talents." His tone was careful to hold no true mocking even as his eyes swept her form again. It set Nik's teeth on edge for he knew what Cuchulainn said about these people and their desert behind closed doors and he'd seen that look far too often and the damage it brought afterward to be all right having it leveled at the woman he was to marry. No, he didn't know her, but that didn't mean she deserved that kind of disrespect. His pale blue eyes snapped with a spark of anger, just a grain of it as he met his half-brother's gaze.

    "I think you have had too much sun, little brother. Perhaps you should go sit down in the shade and clear your head."

    Those blue eyes shot to him with a streak of venom and Nik knew he'd pay for that later, but Cuchulainn kept face and bowed slightly to the Princess before he moved away and Nik released a slow breath but not the tension. "Please, forgive my brother. His tongue sometimes runs away from him."

    Or it cut exactly like he wanted it to, but Nik couldn't say that.
    #11 Kaisaan, Dec 9, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2013
  12. Kaulu nodded. Nik's full name was almost as much as a mouthful as hers, and she believed that maybe calling each other with a common name for the two would maybe... help break the tension.

    She caught her soon-to-be husband's body going rigid and wondered if maybe one of her family members were approaching. But when she turned her head, she found that it was actually one of his own, the younger Prince Cuchulainn. He smiled, looking her over before speaking to his brother, asking if everything was going well. Kaulu and most of her people could recognize subtle hints and tones if they truly listened, but Kaulu was actually rather disinterested in and would rather be alone with one stranger, not two.

    Soon he was speaking to her, so of course she attuned her ears to the sound of his voice. He spoke of how lovely her home was and complimented both herself and her people. But she knew better than to believe him, and as hard as she tried, she couldn't help the way her ears tweaked his voice to such a mocking tone that matched the sweep of his eyes towards her body. A mild cluck of her tongue could be heard if one listened, and a dangerous glint flashed in her eyes as she stared at Cuchulainn. Her loyalty set forth before anything else could appear or be heard and therefore she stayed quiet. Nik had stepped in anyways, and dismissed his younger brother, asking Kaulu to forgive him as he walked away.

    "Maybe he should catch his tongue before someone cuts it from him."

    She couldn't help it. The sentence, the mild threat, was out before she even really thought about it. Though, she didn't exactly regret it either. She wasn't one to sit well with disrespect and had a hard time holding her tongue when such a subject came forth. She wouldn't put up with it, especially if it was persistent.

    And even if that gained Kaulu a look from Nik, she wouldn't take it back. She just simply stared out at the desert some more before turning towards him with a small smile. "How do you think our families are doing?"
  13. Nik's reaction was not what it should have been as a grin swept his features, outright amusement in his gaze as he finally relaxed at her statement. He'd known she was a warrior, but that only confirmed it and told him she had a brave heart besides, and a tongue for politics too even if she'd let an edge come to it now. The white-haired Sidhe didn't mind and when she focused on him again, the smile still pulled at his mouth. His pale blue eyes swept out over the others gathered and Nik grew quiet, thoughtful.

    He looked back to Kaulu, debating how to answer that one. He could give a polite reply, a proper one or...or he could speak his mind and risk something going wrong. Or perhaps winning at least the trust of the woman standing near him. They were going to be married tomorrow. Complete strangers and he didn't know about the Chaktawe, but Sidhe married for life. They might have lovers before that, but once they were married, the vows were forever and that was his fate tomorrow. The least he could start doing was showing her that he wasn't fake like his kin, that when he said something, he meant it.

    So Nik took a chance, keeping his voice low and his eyes flickering over his own family, face neutral but his words anything but. "I think yours are being very hospitable and such is a credit to your people. I think my own are counting the minutes until they can leave. I think their smiles are cold and their hearts harder than the stones under our feet, and I think your people would be wise not to trust my own completely as the Sidhe are prone to change even as the wind and they care naught for any outside their own kin."

    A major, huge chance.
  14. A major, huge chance indeed. But a major, huge chance that flickered genuine interest in Niklomaus. There was always the possibility of him lying. Well, no - he wasn't lying about his family, about how they were restless and wanting only to go back to their superior comfort zone. Kaulu knew that was true; she guessed her own family was probably counting down the minutes as well since they could sniff the tension, the forged politeness... though, they weren't all that polite. Prince Cuchulainn was a prime example for that.

    He could be stating the dangerous obvious just to score some points, earn her trust and then just shatter it completely when least expected.

    But there could also be the possibility of him genuinely stating the dangerous obvious to earn trust or at least mild respect for the greater good. Whatever that was.

    As far as Kaulu was concerned for now, she thought that they would just have to test one another until something significant enough happened and would allow judgment. She looked to him, stance just slightly more relaxed now.

    "Thank you, for saying that about my people. But why do you speak of your people as such? Like you are not one of them?" Could be that he truly is different. Or not.
  15. He should have seen that coming, that question and Nik felt a flash of panic. He'd been given one order above all; one order he was to obey no matter what: do not let it be known he was a halfbreed. That had been a rule for the outside world since he was a child and now that this was happening, this alliance, this marriage, his family had stressed it to him even more-so than before. If they found out he'd breathed a word....

    Nik swallowed, pushing the thought away with great practice and he thought over her actual question carefully. Kaula hadn't actually asked if he WAS not one of them. She'd simply stated an observation as a question in the hopes that he might confirm. That wasn't actually a direct question. No, the question itself had been why he spoke of his people the way he did and he could answer that without revealing what he was.

    The white-haired Sidhe felt the panic die down, leaving him slightly shaky but able to hide that well as he looked from the woman and back to those in the courtyard. "Because it is the truth. I have grown up in this culture, I know how ruthless my family is and I know that those who trust them wind up hurt. I would not see that happen to your people. I have fought the Chaktawe when we were at war and even in battle, your people are honorable. Mine are not. That does not change in peaceful times, though, such peace might last long enough for them to move on to another interest."

    His pale blue eyes met her obsidian gaze. "It is simply the truth, Kaula."
  16. Kaulu asserted her observant gaze away from Nik and to their family. She met eyes with her mother and then the youngest prince of the Sidhe before either of them looked away. Small talk had probably grew boring and unnecessary because the eldest daughter of the Wayhali and Apayla felt like she, or rather both her and Niklomaus were being spoken of. She even caught proof of that as she read their lips and were able to catch their names being pronounced. That was to be expected though, and she slowly looked around the rest of the courtyard so she wouldn't be so obviously staring at the two families.

    The white-haired male before her also had given her an answer to her previous question as their eyes met. She stared into them for a few long seconds as if she was searching for something, though cautiously as she didn't know what she would find. Eyes were hazards in themselves, and it was wise to be afraid of the unknown just as much as it was beautiful to be so engrossed by it.

    At the end of the set of seconds, the woman simply nodded. Not a firm assent, but definitely an acknowledgement. There was nothing much more to be said except for what was just at the tips of their noses.

    "The wedding tomorrow..." she trailed off as she tried to recollect her sentence. "Is your family staying for the whole ceremony?"
  17. Her eyes were piercing, but far different than the way he was used to being studied by someone and Nik simply looked back at her, wondering, waiting for what she might find. He wasn't certain what she was looking for. Truthfulness? She'd find it. Guardedness. Yes. Curiosity, wariness, some fear, they were all there, some in greater quantities than others. He felt like she was trying to look into his soul, but he wasn't sure she succeeded as she nodded slightly. He took it for what it was and then looked back out at everyone else before his attention came snapping back to her at the mention of the subject they'd been dancing around since they started talking.

    The wedding.

    He was actually somewhat surprised she'd brought it up, but Nik would soon learn that this woman would probably surprise him a great deal. Now he looked at her thoughtfully, as if trying to figure out why she'd brought it up, what her goal was, but he didn't ask. He just answered the question. "They will stay long enough to make sure the contracts are drawn up correctly, but then they shall go back. They don't like the upper world."

    Nik looked back at her, his pale blue eyes taking on a sheen of curiosity. "When were you told of his alliance? That you would be married?"
  18. Kaulu nodded again. Nik's answer made sense. She supposed their most common ground was how their differing parents felt about each other. She guessed her parents would do the same if they had to change scenery, though they might spare a little more time just for the sake of their daughter. They had sort of forced her into this considering Chaktawe women usually chose their suitors and then husband freely.

    "My parents told me a few days after it had been decided..." her tone was a indescribable, not really having any one feeling to it. "What about you?" she asked, looking back at him.
  19. That answer alone told him how much the Wayhali and Apayla loved their daughter. Yes, they were putting their people and land before everything else, but such was the way of ruling monarchs. They had to think more about the good of everyone rather than the happiness of one and she obviously understood that, had been raised understanding it, but they'd told her, immediately, even when it hadn't been definitively decided. The actual decision had been nearly two months ago.

    It made Nik smile just a little, but though he felt her eyes on him, he didn't look down at her. His eyes didn't hide as much as hers did and so his greatest defense was not looking at her at all, though, that wasn't a foolproof plan.

    "I found out two days ago." he replied evenly, but any response Kaula might have given was lost as Niklomaus saw his father beckon. The conversations were coming to an end even as the day did and it was time for them all to retire. Pale blue eyes, strangely gentle looked down to Kaula then and he gave her truly respectful bow. "It has been an honor speaking with you, Princess Kauluwehi. I will see you on the morrow."

    He was pulled away then, going along with his family as they were led to their quarters for the night.
  20. Kaulu's eyes snapped and she looked to Niklomaus with a shocked look. Two days ago? How... she could hardly believe it! If her parents had hid that from her for so long, she had no idea what she would do. Ultimately, she'd go through with it, but not without a grudge held against her parents. Before she could even think of a decent reply, Nik's father had beckoned him and he looked down to her - he was quite tall - with pale eyes... gentle? Then he gave her a respectful bow and bid her a farewell. She smiled a bit, bowing her head towards him before saying goodbye as well and joining her family.

    The Sidhe were shown to their quarters. They were given three rooms and all were suited as best be to the differing specie's preferences; as little as light as possible. The temperatures they didn't really worry about though, since the desert could get awfully cold at night.

    In the spare private time Kaulu's family had, most of it was spent up asking the princess how it went, if she thought they would get along, how everything was. She could answer with this, "If he is not putting an act up before the wedding, I don't believe the years to come will be all that bad." A small smile even crossed her face.
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