The Master and The Slave
"Ok, here are the rule, no weapons, no magic, and no killing. Now, let get this fight on!" Vizrez shout.
Vel throws his bow at Melud, and he catches it. Kinnith unbuckles his belt containing a steel dagger and throws it to his Wolics friend. Kinnith takes a swing first with his knuckle, and Vel back away dodging the blow. The Woodfolk throw a fist toward the elf head, but Kinnith avoids it by leaning to the left.
The elf grabs the Woodfolk hand and pulls him closer to himself then he uses the momentum to throw the boy against the ground. He stops the fall by grabbing the elf hand and place his feet on the ground before his back touch the stone street. Vel pulls the elf with him, so he would fall instead of him and use the momentum to lift himself up.
The elf back brush against the ground while Vel let Kenneth's hand go and let out a satisfying grin. Kinnith glare at the Woodfolk boy and clench his teeth while his foot snuck under Vel. He pulls vel leg causing the boy to lose his footing and fall onto his back.
The crowd gasp, they both stand up again and charge into each other. Kinnith manages to land few punches on the Woodfolk boy, so do Vel on the elf.
"Come on, Vel. Kick his ass!!" Melud shout.
Kinnith blocks the leg that is coming toward his head with his arm. He grabs the leg and begins to pull it with him while rotating himself. Then he throws the boy away from him, Vel drops and roll to control his fall.
"Kinnith, do it for her!!" The Wolics cheers.
More and more people gather around to watch the fight between a human and an elf. Vizrez on other hand collected quite of few coins from the bets that people are taking on the fight.
Vel runs and kicks Kinnith on the chest causing him to back away until his back touch the crowds. The crowd pushes Kinnith forward so he can recover his stance, and then he dashes toward Vel with a fist ready on his right hand. Vel took the challenge, and dash toward him with his own fist ready. The two boy lands a punch of each other face, and just like that. They both knock themselves up, and the fight end with a draw.
People let out a sigh of disappointment while Vizrez announces, "The fight is a draw, so nobody wins."
The crowd disperses while one of the Wolics and Melud help both of the unconscious boys up. Melud turns his head to look at the Wolics.
"Do you know where we can get a good drink?"
"Yeah, just down that path, there is a good tavern over there. You know what, let me show you the way, I'm aching for a drink myself," the Wolics said.
There a look of unwilling on Nesto faces as he walks behind Neya beside Venhana. He let out a sigh and a smile as he reminisces the days that he spent living in this castle. The extravagant hallway made out almost entirely of white marble and decorated with shiny armors, decorative plants, long almost never-ending red carpet, and occasionally paintings that made from different artist all over Arorona.
"I heard from the princess that you once live here, I wish I had known. You never did tell us anything about your past," Venhana said.
"Yes, I did once live here. Truth be told, I prefer living outside the castle, and I'm sorry for not telling you," Nesto said.
Nesto's words catch a few glances from the princess and Neya.
"Don't worry, I don't mind, but I wish I knew a lot more about your past. You are like a brother to me," Venhana said.
"I still am. By the way, how are Zelstine, and the rest of Amberdall family?" Nesto ask.
"You know Zelstine, always burying her face into thick books. Mom on the other hand, after you left, she opens up more about her feeling and believe it or not, we grew closer. Dad is stressful about the war. He has been managing the armada and the men; non-stop recently. That's why I offer my hand in hope to lift a bit of his burden," Venhana said.
"Come here," Nesto pull her closer with his arm so he can give her a nice hug.
"You did good, Captain Venhana," Nesto said with a playful tone.
"Thank you," Venhana said, as she back away from Nesto.
"So I heard you have a new master?" Venhana asks.
"Indeed, I did. I have the nicest, caring, and the cutest master in the world," Nesto said proudly.
Neya cheeks slowly rosy up, as she hears the compliments that are coming from her butler's mouth. Princess Caretena notices the rosy cheeks causing her to rolls her eyes to the side in jealousy. They continue walking until they arrive in front of a double wooden door with beautiful engraving on it.
"Neya, my advice for you, when we enter this room, we are going to meet the sneakiest, trickiest, and cunning people in the kingdom. So whatever you do, watch what you say, and do not trust a single person in there because everyone in there has their own agenda. Heed my warning or don't, It's up to you," Princess Caretena warns.
Neya nods her head to show her understanding of the warning that Caretena just gave. The door opens, and reveals the most well-dress elf in the kingdom with a radiant smile on their face; they all turn their gaze onto the ginger-haired elf girl.
Nesto let out an internal groan while holding his face stiff with a smile, he hated being here the most. Everyone here always wears a fake smile that can disarm people guard if they are not careful.
The group enters the room and the door close behind them. Neya and Caretena approach the large table with a large map of Arorona on it. There are also a few wooden pieces on top of the map along with a small flag of Targia. Nesto and Venhana step away until the back of their body touches the wall because they are only an audience in this room, and they cannot speak a word unless spoken too.
Caretena curtsy toward the elf that is facing away from them, "My king."
Neya follows after Caretena by curtsy toward the elf with a golden crown resting on top of his head.
"Nimmith, Neya..." The elf said.
"Yes, that is my name, my king," Neya said with a soft-spoken voice.
"I heard a lot about you, but we have never met before. Let me introduce myself," the elf turn around revealing a similar face to Caretena, but a more chiseled, and handsome face rather than a beautiful, feminine one.
"My name is Orpheus, you may know me as King of Targia," the elf introduce himself with a prideful, but gentle tone.
"Before we start the meeting, I would like to thank you for taking care of my son," King Orpheus said while slightly nodding his head.
Neya's heart is pounding fast when the king said his thanks toward her, it felt like a huge honor to receive such a humble gratitude from him. Her face certainly flusters from the charming aura that he gave off. If she is not careful around him, she might fall in love with the king.
"It's a huge honor to receive such a humble gratitude from you, my king," Neya said.
"Nesto, I'm glad to able to see you again," King Orpheus said as he rests his gaze on the man.
"So do I, my king," Nesto said as he drops to one knee and lowers his head.
"Well with all the small talk are away, let's talk about the plan. Lord Alogtin, you may proceed," King Orpheus said.
"Thank you, My king. From our Intel, this war will be fighting on two frontlines. The first one will be fought with warships, using the strait that connects us with Weyshers, and the second one will engage with soldiers on foot at the main mountain route near Tinevic." Algotin explain.
"We need to win both frontlines, if we lost one of them, the kingdom will have no chance to defend against an attack, but we have properly planned and positions our soldier to make sure we win both frontlines," Algotin continues.
"If you already have a plan then why did you call me here?" Neya ask.
"We call you here because the new machine that you brought might be an advantage for us, and we wish to use it in the war," Alogtin said.
"You may use it, but with conditions," Neya said.
"What kinds of conditions?" Algotin ask.
"First conditions, the ship must be pilot by my men. Second, the technologies for such a machine cannot be stolen by anyone, unless we sold the blueprint to you. That is all," Neya said.
"My King?" Algotin ask.
"I accept the conditions with you all as my witness," King Orpheus said.
"I don't mean any disrespect, my king, but I would like it to be official in writing rather than words," Neya said, this causes a murmur between the lords in the rooms.
King Orpheus let out a smile, and said: "Of course, a document will be provided by my assistant to you and I will make sure the conditions are satisfactory for you."
"Thank you, my King." Neya curtsy.
"Then the details will be explained further by Lord Algotin, Captain Venhana, and my daughter," King Orpheus said as he gestured toward the three of the people he spoke off.
"Anyone wishes to say anything?" King Orpheus ask, and the room stays silent.
"Then the meeting is adjourned, you all may leave," King Orpheus said.
The lords leave the room first, then Neya follows Caretena alongside Venhana and Lord Algotin toward a room that they can use to discuss the detail of the plan. While they were walking, Nesto spot a familiar garden on his left side.
He stops on his track while he gazes at the garden, and said: "Miss Neya, can you go ahead without me, I will be waiting for you here."
Neya stops one steps, so do others, "are you sure?"
"Yes," Nesto said with a gentle smile on his face.
"Okay then, I will be back shortly," Neya said then she and the others start walking again, leaving Nesto behind.
After they left, Nesto walks up to the garden and took a seat at one of the stone benches near the patch of beautiful, blue, Claryfair flowers. He picks one of the flowers and gazes on it.
Memories play out the scene of the first time he met Eilna. He sees a child version of Eilna wearing boy's clothes, and she was practicing her sword skill after feeling angry at her father. She let out gruff as she swings her saber.
Nesto sees a young version of himself walking past her without glancing at her while on his way to meet with the queen.
"You!" Eilna calls out.
The young Nesto turns his head to see who is calling him.
"You're not supposed to be here! No human is allowed in the castle," Eilna said.
The young Nesto look around him and start walking again; ignoring Eilna. "Wait, don't you walk away from me!" Eilna said with anger in her voice.
Young Nesto keeps on walking. Frustrated by the boy that is ignoring her, she charges toward him with her saber ready by her side. The young Nesto notices the girl, yelling her rage out while emitting a bloodlust. He steps away, avoiding the pointed part of the blade and grab her wrist. Then he pulls her and throws her onto the grounds with ease while the boy sits on top of the elf girl to pin her down.
Young Nesto throws the girl saber away, Eilna starts crying as she tries to push the small boy off her.
"Why doesn't anyone listen to me! Am I invisible? " She cried out.
She stops wailing her hands and starts to cry while placing both of her hand over her eyes to cover her teary eyes. Young Nesto looks around him and spot a particular blue flower, he picks the flower and places it on her chest.
Eilna stop crying and look at the flowers on her chest, "What this?"
"Madeleine said a flower can make a girl feel better, so here a flower for you. Also, you are not invisible, I always saw you practicing with your sword and picking flower here. You have a talent for swordsmanship," young Nesto said with a dead serious face.
"What?" Eilna said confuse.
"I saw you smile, it suits you," young Nesto said and push the corners of Eilna's lip with his fingers, forcing her to smile.
"What are you doing?!" Eilna slaps Nesto's face and causes him to get off her.
With a blushed face, she stands up from the ground with both of her clench hands by her side while feeling flusters by the boy actions. She saw the blue flower stuck on her shirt, she took it, and take a moment to look at it.
She let out a smile, "I'm sorry for attacking you!"
"And thank you for the flower, it does make me feel better," Eilna said while looking away and trying to hide her red cheeks.
"No problem," young Nesto said with a huge smile on his face.
Eilna glance at the huge smile, annoyed by it and amused by him.
"Stop smiling!" She stuck her tongue out in a childish manner, and rush away from the boy.
The current Nesto let out a chuckle, as he remembers Eilna was such a bratty kid back then, but he was no better than her, he was a weird kid back then too. After that, they met each other here almost every day during their free time.
"I miss that laugh of your," King Orpheus said as he walks toward him while carrying a basket.
"Sir, please take a seat," Nesto gesture at the empty seat beside him.
"Thank you," The elf let out a grunt as he sits beside him.
"I'm getting old..." King Orpheus said aloud.
"So do I," Nesto said.
"I see you have changed a lot after we met," King Orpheus said.
"Indeed I do, I hope it's for the better," Nesto said.
"That Neya girl you are taking care of, she is a good kid even though her father is a little bit crazy in the head," King Orpheus said.
"I'm proud of her, she changes so much after we met," Nesto said.
"You sound like her father," King Orpheus jest.
Nesto let out a chuckle, "Maybe I am, she is like a daughter to me."
"I never thought my first grandchild, to be the daughter of my old enemies. Nevertheless, I'm glad to have her as my grandchild, it's not like I can depend on Ariamnes or Caretena to give me one," King Orpheus sigh.
"Where is Ariamnes?" Nesto ask while laughing at the King remarks.
"Getting the soldiers motivated for the war," King Orpheus said.
There was a moment of silence as both of them look at the beautiful garden in front of them, enjoying the silent and calm atmosphere. King Orpheus break the silence when he said, "Nesto... I'm sorry for dragging you into another war."
"I forgave you if you come and join us for a drink tonight," Nesto said with a smile on his face.
"I'm 100 years old, I can't drink," King Orpheus said.
"Excuses, excuses, besides you look like you are 25 years old," Nesto said.
"All elves look 25 years old on the outside, not inside," King Orpheus said.
"Come on, old man. I know you got some young spirit left in you," Nesto said.
King Orpheus sigh and agree, "Fine..."
"Oh, before I leave, here. A basket full of cupcakes for my only grandchild," King Orpheus pass on the basket to Nesto before he stands up from the bench.
"Meet you tonight, old man!" Nesto said aloud.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," King Orpheus said as he waves his hand while walking away from Nesto.