are you sure you want to go through with this?" Eliane asked.
"Yes mother. It's my duty."
Eliane smiled at her daughter and said "I raised a
Mireille, her only daughter and heir to the land was 23
and able to make her own choices. She had been raised to do so. To
know that she had to be responsible. Eliane felt pride of the great destiny
that lay ahead of her daughter, but also some sadness.
Of course she would still be able to see her daughter
in the Temple, but the feeling of motherly care would be gone
forever. High priestesses of the Phoenix were wise women, not girls who
needed advice. Eliane was going to miss that feeling of
secrecy between her and Mireille.
"Is daddy ok with me leaving?" Mireille asked.
Mireille loved her father above all people. He had learned her all she knew
about taking care of a mansion and it's surrounding land. He had never
looked down upon her because she was a girl. Not like so many other fathers
did on Gremyne. Most men would've just found a suitable man to run the
business and hope for male grandchildren. But not Trevore.
"He is hurt, but too proud to show it. You know he
won't dawdle long. In fact, I heard he's already attracted some promising
nephews to take your place."
"That's daddy." Mireille said with a lump in her throat.
Her leaving hurt her too. But she had no choice. Turning down the offer of
the Temple was pure sacrilege. Mireille didn't want to get her parents in
trouble just because she wanted to stay home. The Phoenix Temple wasn't so
bad. She would have food and clothes aplenty, she'd be important and sought
for advice... a lot of the things she had really wanted to do. But one thing
the Temple wouldn't have were her parents. Or the freedom she enjoyed in her
Eliane didn't know how to act when she so clearly heard the tension in her
daughter's voice. She twitched her hands and folded some of her dress' fine
silk. She opened her mouth to say something -anything- to break through the
silence when a door opened.
"Lady Mireille is asked to attend a meeting with Lord
Trevore at the watch tower." the servant spoke and then gracefully
"Better not keep your father waiting." Eliane
said and smiled at her daughter.
"Yes Mother." Mireille said and left. Her mother had wanted to say
something, but what?
Mireille was still pondering that question when she heard her father shout
down from the tower.
"Mireille!" her father said,
"Just the person I was looking for."
Mireille watched as Trevore ran down the stairs, a habit he had always had
and one that made both his wife and daughter fear to find him at the bottom
of stairs someday with a broken leg or worse. Mireille laughed as she saw
him jump down the last three steps. A game they had both enjoyed in earlier
"You asked for me, daddy?" she said.
"Yes I wanted to introduce your escort."
"An escort?" Mireille said startled, "Can't I
just ride on Iver alone?"
"We can't risk you getting hurt on the way. I wouldn't
be able to live with myself if something happened to you."
Mireille knew he was still speaking as a father though some ignorant people
might think he was already protecting what was rightfully the property of
the Temple. She sighed and followed her father to the inner court. All her
pondering had made her oblivious of the extra horses and the two men
"Ehem." Trevore coughed and the two
men stopped sparring.
"Mireille, I'd like to introduce Ikron and Evron
to you." Her father said pointing to first the dark haired and
then the light haired man. They wore the official guard guild's uniform.
Grey and blue or purple designating their rank. Mireille was surprised to see
the dark-haired one named Ikron wore a blue shirt. Blue shirts were normally
only issued out to royalty. Though she was touched by her father's concern
she was also thinking of the money he'd squandered on them.
"Dad..." she started.
"Don't worry dear," guessing what she
what she was thinking, "I am still sane enough to
handle my money. Evron," he pointed at the blond one again, "is
here to take his exam to promote. I was lucky enough to be able to pull a
Mireille smiled. Just like her father to see this opportunity.
"Thank you Father." she said and
stepped toward the men to shake their hands.
Ikron watched as
the young woman came toward him and his brother extending her hand. For a
moment he was baffled. Handshakes weren't commonly used by women as they
preferred bows... or did they prefer them because they were taught to like
them? It only took him 2 seconds to also extend his hand and shake hers. She
had a firm shake, not hard, but one that showed confidence.
"Pleasure." he said and took a step
back so she could shake his brother's hand. Doing so he quickly glanced up
at his brother's face. Evron saw the quizzical look and nodded unnoticeable.
He had gotten the hint. He also took her hand and shook it.
"So, you will get me to Derpell."
"It is our duty to get you there safe and sound
miss." Evron said.
"Good. I want to leave tomorrow at sunrise."
"We will be ready." Ikron said and gestured his brother to
follow him outside so father and daughter would have their privacy again.
They were barely outside when Evron whispered:
"That was unusual."
"Very." Ikron said, "How
do you think she'll act?"
"Like a real man I'd bet."
Ikron nodded, but in his mind a voice yelled: 'But she isn't a man, is
she? No she's the woman you've been looking for since you were old enough to
dream.' Ikron shook his head. Any relationship between them could never
be. Besides, he'd never see her after this trip. The Virgins of Phoenix
weren't exactly flaunted in front of the men. It was a women's
"Ikron?" his brother said.
"Nothing, you were just about to step into a ditch. I thought I'd
better keep you out of it." Evron said.
What Evron didn't say was that he had been talking non stop to his brother
and that Ikron hadn't answered one question. He had that look on his face...
The look that had always gotten them in trouble. Evron sometimes wondered
how his brother had been promoted before him. He was older yes, but Evron
himself was much more dependable. Maybe it really was because he didn't take
"Where are you going?" Ikron asked
"I'm going for a walk in the forest. I'll be back
"Ok. I'll see you tomorrow before dawn."
"Good master." Evron said, jumping in the salute-position.
At least they left each other laughing. Evron knew his brother had a problem
with the girl. What problem Evron didn't know. Maybe she was the sort that
got herself into trouble though she hadn't seemed that way to him. Evron
stopped his thinking about Ikron, he had things to work out for himself too.
Like this promotion.
Was this really what he wanted? And if this wasn't what he wanted, what did
he want then? No, he would have become a guard any way he turned it. Every
man in his family had been a guard and all of them had died young too. All
except his father. Evron spat on the ground at the thought of his father.
The man had left them alone when they were young, children still. He had
deserted and was never seen again. It had almost killed her mother.
They had had it hard to prove they were nothing like their father. No-one
had wanted anything to do with them at first. Thinking they'd be
untrustworthy. Ikron didn't have as much problems as Evron since he didn't
look at all like his father.
Evron sat down on a hill and watched the skies until the sun started to set.
He still hadn't found an answer to all his questions, maybe he had found
more questions. Exhausted he climbed in his tent and wondered what his
brother was doing since his bed was still empty.
All images made by me
Font used is called First Order and can be downloaded