True Beauty

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by PhoenixXeno, May 16, 2014.

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  1. Axel struck at the burning metal against the anvil as beads of sweat formed around his brow. He wiped the sweat off with his sleeve before he pushed the metal into the water, creating steam from it.

    Glancing up, Axel looked for his younger cousins. Two of them would be at the stables and his youngest cousin should be coming by soon to help.

    And Rupert was arriving at any moment to collect money. He had been working so hard to just get by and Rupert was never a help to them. Always demanding for money for the land and always making sure that he got every last penny that he asked for.

    Axel sighed, ruffled his short brown hair, and continued to work.
  2. April was running from the stables where she had spoken to her older brother for a bit too long, almost forgetting that she was supposed to help her cousin Axel with work. It was lucky her brother Olof had reminded her or else he would have had to wait for even longer.

    "Axel, I'm here." She said almost out of breath as she was close enough to him to be heard. Slowing down her pace she walked the last few steps up to him. "Sorry, I got a bit carried away when speaking with Olof." She apologized as she pulled out a strand of hay from her dark brown hair. How might that have gotten there?

    "So what do you want me to do today?" She asked smiling while putting up her hair in a pony tail so it wouldn't get in the way.
  3. Axel looked up as April ran breathlessly towards him. "It's all right. I figured you were with someone. I need you to help with heating the forge and making sure that the weapons are coming out right after I pull them out of the water."

    He cleared his throat. "Rupert is supposed to be here today to collect some money. I hope we get enough when I go to Berlin to try to get some commissions from the noblemen or anyone who has the coin. It'd be a nice change if we get some business."
  4. "Leave it to me." She said cheerfully as she began her duties. Though once she heard about Rupert being on his way she did slow her excited pacing a little bit. "That man is always leaving us with just enough for food. One day we might not even have that when he's done." She sighed.

    "Maybe I should try to find some other job in town. We could need the extra money." She proposed, though at the moment there might not be much for her there. Most businesses already seemed to be fully staffed, at least in the areas she was familiar in. Few liked to hire someone without experience. And a woman had very few options when it came to work.
  5. "You know that not many people would hire a woman,: said Axel. "They'd probably rather hire Olof."

    He sighed quietly. He knew that going to Berlin was a bit of a risk, but at least it was worth a try. And with Rupert coming in unannounced and taking money, they scarcely have enough for food. If only he would get a few commissions in.

    A horse neighed softly as it approached the forge. "Good morning," grinned a middle aged, graying man. he hopped off his horse and bowed. "Good morning April."

    "Good morning, m'lord," replied Axel.
  6. It was true, but that didn't make it less unfair. Women needed to help the family out sometimes too, but few let them do it. "I know." She mumbled. It was just to hope that Olof would have some luck in finding something more to do, so far it hadn't gone his way at all though.

    Suddenly April heard a horse neigh behind them. Please don't let it be... She thought as she turned around, but of course it was. "Good morning m'lord." April said almost in unison with her cousin, though maybe starting half a second after him. She made a curtsy, not so much because she thought he deserved one as an upper-class citizen, but because she knew it was better to at least pretend to not be hostile towards the man that could force them out of their home.
  7. "Now then, where is Olof and the stable woman?" he asked.

    "In-" Axel was cut off by Rupert.

    The older man took April's hand and gave it a small kiss. "So how much money do you have me , Axel?"

    "Please, m'lord!" begged Axel. "We barely have enough to survive and we're afraid that we might not have enough for food."

    "Do you have some money ready or not?"

    "Yes, sir. It's just inside. W-Would you like to come in?"

    "Oh, I would love that." Rupert offered his arm to April.
  8. It was very tempting to simply pull her hand back, but April knew she shouldn't irritate the man for her family's sake. reluctantly, April took the arm offered to her and let Rupert lead her inside.

    "Please m'lord, my cousin is going to Berlin in a few days, and once he's back we should have more than enough money. If you could just wait until then." She proposed, though she was fairly certain it would be in vain. Of course she couldn't be completely certain if they would have more than enough, but at least they would have more of a chance to get it that way.
  9. "He's going to Berlin?" asked Rupert. "Whatever for?"

    "I hope to get a few nobles to want to have some commissions done," said Axel.

    "Ah, I see." Rupert sat in one of the chairs in the small family room.

    "Can I get you anything, m'lord?"

    "No, thank you, Axel. I'm fine." He took a deep breath. "i was thinking of something on my way here."

    "You have?"

    "I could decide to forget the money you owe for the land."

    "You would...sir?"

    "Oh, why not? You have been struggling for years." Rupert gave both Axel and April a small smile. "But I'm afraid I have to ask for something in return. you are very well aware that I have admired April for some time. If I decide to release you from owing me money, I would ask for April's hand in marriage."

    "I'm sorry?"

    "You heard me. If you want me to forget that you are still paying off for the land, I have to marry April."
  10. April was clearly shocked when she heard that Rupert might consider forgetting the money they still owed him. But she was highly suspicious. Nothing came for free, and he had showed his greedy side far too many times for her to believe he would just give the rest of the money up that easily.

    It took a moment before she could trust her own ears. First when the middle aged man repeated himself April finally realized what he was proposing. Luckily her shocked expression didn't show how much she would love to throw that proposal right through the window into a mud puddle. After having given her brother a look of disbelief she returned her gaze to their landlord and tried her best to speak calmly.

    "M'lord, I am honored. But quite frankly I'm not sure if I'm ready for marriage. That's a big step, I'll need time think about it." Time enough for them to get the money they needed and then say goodbye forever to lord greedy. Sadly enough she might have to say yes, at least if the business in Berlin didn't go as planned. They were living on their last coins, it wouldn't last far if nothing major happened fast in their business.
  11. "I understand," said Rupert pleasantly. "It is a big step. But I don't want you to decide right away. I will be back when Axel has returned from Berlin. If he has enough money to pay, then I will not force you to marry me. However, if you don't get anything soon, you might have to be my bride."

    Axel almost thought that Rupert was joking. But then he remembered that most of the times Rupert has visited he has ogled April at one point or another and more times than Axel would have liked.

    "M'lord, I wouldn't give my youngest cousin away so easily," said Axel. "I believe her when she says that she's not sure if she's ready to do that. I will get you the rest of your money from my trip to Berlin, I swear. I will get enough commissions to pay you back a hundred times over." He knew that he might not get that much from his trip, but he surely didn't want April to marry the landlord.
  12. A chill went down April's spine as Rupert spoke. Apparently he had no problems with her unwillingness to it, nor did he seem very against the idea of having her against her will as long as there was something to justify it.

    She put a comforting hand on her cousin's shoulder. "As I said, I will consider your offer while Axel is gone, and you'll have my answer as he returns. Money or no money." She replied, much more composed than the last time she tried to speak. She knew she might not have a choice depending on how it went for her cousin, but at least she could give an illusion of a choice.
  13. "Very well." Rupert rose from his seat. "I want an answer when I return. Until then, good day."

    He went through the doorway and mounted his steed before riding off.

    "But what if I don't have enough money?" Axel told April with worry lacing his voice. "We might have to give you away or move elsewhere." He rubbed his temples for a moment. "I might have to leave first thing in the morning just to get a head start. We'll have to let the other know about it."
  14. She looked up at her older cousin. "Don't worry, when it comes to making swords you're one of the very best. You'll find new customers easily, especially in a big city like Berlin." April told him and could only hope her words was true.

    "But... If things happens to turn out badly, then I will at least consider the proposal. I don't want you to move, this is our home. If I'm lucky he might just fall off that stupid horse of his and leave me a fortune when he dies." The last part was obviously a joke to ease the tension in the air, but a small part of her kind of wanted it to happen.

    "We can talk to the others about it during lunch time. You should just focus on finishing your excellent swords before you're leaving tomorrow. Right?"
  15. Axel nodded. "You're right," he said with a soft smile.

    He chuckled. "If only he would, then we wouldn't have to worry about you becoming his wife." He sighed again. "It is almost lunch time, after all. I'll go finish the blades if you will get your brother and cousin."
  16. April nodded, "Don't slack off while I'm gone." She told him before running off to get the two. Olof was pretty surprised when he saw his sister coming back so soon. At first it was a happy surprised, but his eyebrows wrinkled a bit when he felt something odd in her behavior. Even though she smiled it wasn't like she could hide her worries from her brother.

    But he accepted her reply of 'Axel and I will explain once we get back to the house'. Something big must be going on for her not to want to tell him immediately. Something big and most likely bad. It took some minutes for them to leave as June had to finish her work first. She always refused to leave as long as she was only half done. So after the siblings had helped her out, all three of them left together.

    "Axel." The lightbrown haired female exclaimed as she saw her brother and gave him a hug.
    "June, you're still covered in mud you know." Olof reminded her, which made her grin devilish.
    "It's not mud though." She snickered before letting go of her brother.
  17. "Um... I think you should go get cleaned up before we eat," suggested Axel to June. "Which is what I'm about to do."
    While everyone was eating, Axel cleared his throat. "Rupert came by today. He is giving me a week to get some money ready and if that does not happen, then April might have to marry him. So I'm leaving for Berlin tomorrow morning."

    He looked at the three of them around the table. "I want to get you guys something while I'm in Berlin. Is there anything you want in particular?"
  18. After June, Olof and Axel had cleaned themselves up while April took care of the lunch, everyone sat down together. Axel was fast at getting to the point, and the shock was on both her cousin's and brother's face was clear as daylight.

    "That man! If I could I would strangle him." Olof said with his fist in the air, but then he calmed down with a sigh. "We'll just have to hope your journey goes well. I know you can get the money." He then said with a light smile. "I'll check around town if anyone needs some extra help in the meantime, maybe I can get something extra when I'm not in the stable." He then suggested.

    "You shouldn't be thinking about present for us when we have so little already brother. Especially considering the circumstances." Axel's sister complained. "But if you happen to get more than enough, then there's this sweet Berlin bread I've heard a lot about. If they're not too expensive and all goes well, that's what I want." She then continued.

    "First of all you should definitely think about getting enough money. But if there is something over for us, then I would like new working shoes. It would be nice to finally have boots that didn't become water filled every time it rained." Olof said after her.

    April waited for a while with her reply, taking some pieces of food while thinking about it until an answer finally came to her. "I would like a rose. Only one though. One picked specially for me." She told him.

    Her brother immediately teased her for always being so nice and choosing stuff that didn't cost anything if you just searched in the right places, but she ignored him.
  19. Axel nodded slightly. "If I get enough money, then I'll get those things for you all," he answered happily.

    He ate whatever was left on his plate and stood up. "I'm going back to work. I'll be at the forge if anyone needs me."
    By the time the sun rose the following morning, Axel had packed the blades he had finished the night before and have began to make his journey to Berlin. It was only a few hours away and he hoped that he would be there for a few days to get enough money.

    As he walked around the city, a few upper class men stopped him and looked at the blades that he made. One of them commented that they were the most beautiful he had ever seen of its kind. So he bought some daggers from Axel and some other noblemen asked for a few small commissions that weren't a whole lot of coin. Others just kindly or rudely turned him down. Nonetheless, he had some money to buy presents for his sister and cousins.

    Sadly, when he wanted to buy a rose for April, all of the florists told him that roses just went out of season.

    "But I promised April," he whispered gloomily. It's not fair that I have enough to pay Rupert and get presents for June and Olof but not her.

    When he was halfway home, he noticed that the air grew colder and the snow was starting to fall. He began squinting when the snow fell harder and the winds blew ferociously past him. He made his horse stop. I can't make it home in this weather, he thought. But I can't see anything in this weather!
  20. June and Olof went back to work shortly after Axel while April stayed inside to do the dishes. She checked in on her cousin a few time to see if he needed help, and did some house shores when she wasn't doing anything else.


    The next day, the three said goodbye to Axel and wished him a safe trip. The only thing that worried them was that he might not get enough money, and non of them wanted to see April get married away to such a man like Rupert. The days passed and one day it started to snow.

    "I wonder if Axel's alright out there." April mumbled worried as they ate their dinner together. "What if the snow makes it hard for him to get back in time? Or if he gets into an accident on the way."

    "Don't worry, he'll find shelter if it snows too much, and once it stops he'll be on his way home. He'll be back in time. There's no way brother would let you marry a man like Rupert without a fight." June told her and her own brother agreed. But April was still incredibly worried. She could almost feel that something would go terribly wrong very soon. She could just hope that she simply was paranoid.
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