The Nonpareil of Resh (Act 1)
In Quenth, Prince Donn stood in a lower room within the castle. The place was one of his private quarters and had been converted into what was best described as a gym. Rows of machines were laid out which offered the ability to lift weights or work on strength. There were no options for cardio, as the prince found it a waste of energy.
Four of the machines were occupied by the Fiona Fan Club members as Donn watched over them.
“Come on, Simeon, that’s not that much weight. Siegfried, you’ll never be a knight if you don’t pick it up. Sinatra… you’re doing alright… but you should struggle if you want to improve! Colton, I expect those treads to be moving faster!” Donn barked at the others.
“Yes, sir!” they all grunted through their pain.
The trio, upon meeting Prince Donn, had expressed to him they wanted to be better warriors, and he offered to train them personally—something he hoped they hadn’t come to regret; the faces of the trio made the prince worry sometimes.
Upon hearing Donn was taking disciples, Colton begged to join; he expressed his disappointment and regret for failing to stop Dia, which had resulted in the murder of King Whitlock. Donn felt sympathy for Colton and happily agreed. Little did the green guard know that the fan club was looking for recruits and quickly made him vice president of their group, even though he protested profusely.
The blue prince had found the whole thing worthy of granting a belly laugh—the others in the castle often were too serious for his liking. He sat down and smiled while watching his four disciples lift.
“Donn,” Hermina said as her floating chair came into view through the door. She motioned for him to come alone.
“All right, everyone, take a break. I have some business to attend to, then we’ll practice swordplay again. Aster will continue teaching you.”
The group groaned at the name but didn’t offer any complaints. Donn had made sure they were aware of the honor of having Donn’s top guard, Queen of the Blade as she was known, teach them, no matter how many bruises they ended up with after.
Donn and Hermina went to a private meeting room and shut the door. His sister The princess handed him a tablet with the report from Nun, which Fiona sent. Though the younger princess had apparently tried her best to write an official report, the note still came across as an informal letter.
Hey everyone, it started out harmlessly enough; things could be better here, to be honest. We arrived in Nun sometime in the morning a couple days ago and…
The letter detailed their search through the city as best as Fiona could remember; the tone remained lighthearted until she described Dia getting shot and Gwyn ending up in the hospital. She did her best to repeat everything Tancred had confided in her while she rested at his office with the others before describing how everyone was still recovering in the hospital.
The crown prince turned a pale shade of blue as he read through.
“I know,” Hermina said before he could reply to the contents.
“Has anyone else seen this yet?”
“Just us and mother for now. We plan to destroy the file now that you have seen it.”
Donn nodded and turned back to the letter.
“Send a reply; we will send out a ship immediately to pick her up.”
“I have a scribe drafting it up now.”
Donn nodded and crossed his arms. He stared blankly at the wall while thinking. The crown prince was happy Fiona made it through okay, but he was still adamant she never should have gone. He cursed himself for not disobeying his mother and running to Nun. The opponents his littlest sister described would have been nothing to him, by his estimation. He took a deep breath and stood up.
“I’m going to go lift for a little while.”
“Don’t you have to take the others to sword training?” Hermina replied she looked like she was about to say more, but Donn interrupted.
“Would you be able to take them? Tell Aster something came up; she’ll understand.”
Hermina nodded, and Donn left to his private room. Once the others cleared out, he loaded a bar with almost every weight available and lifted it over his head in silence.