The Sorcerer's Bride Chapter 23: Away from Home


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They had been traveling for a day and a half to reach Carendlus. Thankfully there had been no trouble. Hazel had spent most of the journey talking to her twin maids and poking fun at her knight. Asrar took her teasing in stride as he was highly used to it. She had, after all, been doing it since they were children.

Hazel had come to a conclusion after traveling for the first few hours. There was one good thing about leaving home - she didn't have to watch a bunch of girls fawn over Asrar. It was highly annoying when trying to talk to her best friend for those girls to keep popping up and giving him stuff. It annoyed her and completely bewildered him, he never seemed to expect it. But it also gave her more ammunition for teasing her poor knight.

The journey itself had been rather pleasant, but now they had arrived and she started to shake in terror. She really wished she didn't have to come here. Valendruil would have been better. At least they regulated the arcane arts.

"Easy, my princess," Asrar's voice was soft as he helped her out of her carriage. It was rather comforting to her for him to be here. He seemed so sure of himself that it half convinced her he would be able to protect her from anything.

Some servants from the castle came and took their things to take them to where they would be staying. Lily and Rose went with them. The carriage and horses where taken by some stableboys. So far everything seemed fairly normal.

Another serving girl approached them. As she was approaching, Hazel noticed the appreciative look she was giving Asrar. Oh dear, not again. She shook her head helplessly.

"Princess Hazel, this way please." She took a breath and glanced at Asrar before following her. She could hear Asrar following her, and was glad of it. It reminded her that she wasn't totally alone.

"Where are we going?" Hazel narrowed her eyes at the maid. She didn't look like a magic user, but she might be in cahoots with one.

"It is proper that you be introduced to your host, right?" The maid smiled kindly at her, and Hazel thought that maybe she was alright. But then she snuck a glance at Asrar and blushed. Nope, not alright, just another idiot over a pretty face. Hazel managed to not roll her eyes. Barely.

"I suppose so, yes." She decided to be polite. After all, if she annoyed them too much it could make trouble for her father.

She could hear two voices as the maid brought her to what she assumed was the throne room's doors. She couldn't make out what they were saying but they were definetely male. One of them was strong and deep, while the other was fluid and more soft.

The maid knocked on the great oak door. When the deeper voice told her to come in, she opened it, "Princess Hazel of Amriel has arrived."

"Welcome, Princess Hazel, I hope you will enjoy your stay in my kingdom," It was the guy with the deeper voice, he was tall with black hair and warm brown eyes. She presumed this was King Jayesh as he had called it his kingdom.

"Thank you, your Majesty," She dropped a polite curtsy. Then she gestured at her companion. "This is Sir Asrar, a knight in the employ of my father. He is tasked with my safety."

"A knight?" This was from the other man. His jagged ears twitched as he spoke and a look of amusement crossed his face. This man was a little taller than the king was, also had black hair, though his was rather messy, and grey eyes.

"Yes. A knight." She had no idea why that seemed to amuse this guy, Asrar looked every inch a knight even if he refused to wear fullplate.

The king chuckled, "This is Lord Kaldrek, one of my advisors. Forgive his rudeness, he spends most of his time with a nose in a book and has little to none people skills." He gave the man a pointed look.

"I think I will go do what you asked me to do now, my lord." With that the man, Lord Kaldrek, left. She heard him chuckle softly, though, as he shut the door.

"What did your advisor find so amusing?" Hazel crossed her arms and tilted her head. She felt highly annoyed that the man had chuckled.

"How would I know?" King Jayesh smiled helplessly, "He may be my best friend but that doesn't mean I always understand him."

She relaxed her defences, telling herself it wasn't worth it. She was after all a guest here, "Well, I am sure he meant no harm."

After the social niceties were finished the king asked the serving maid to take her so she could get acquainted with the queen. The serving maid was more than happy to oblige and sneaked occasional glances at Asrar, who was following his princess like a loyal dog.

As the maid knocked on a door a sweet "come in," was heard. Hazel's eyes widened when she went in. There were two woman sitting in the room, both of them were sowing. One of the woman was shorter than she was, and had glossy black hair and beautiful blue eyes. She was also wearing a simple circlet on her head.

It was however the other one who made Hazel's eyes widen. She had red hair. As far as Hazel had known no Carendlian had red hair, in fact she couldn't think of a single country where it was normal. She was also rather tall, being just a little shorter than Asrar.

The black haired woman stood up, "You must be Princess Hazel. I am Queen Fayre and this is Lady Zylvia. May I enquire about your companion?"

"My companion is Sir Asrar, a knight of my father's assigned to protect me." Neither of these two woman seemed amused by that, which improved her opinion of them.

The queen motioned her to sit with them, "Do you mind if we just call you Hazel? You can just call me Fayre and her Zylvia, or even Zylv if you like."

"Of course," Hazel smiled, maybe she would get along with this lady after all. She had always complained about the whole having to always call people by their titles thing.
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