Chapter 19

Page 1 ¦ 2 ¦ 3 ¦ 4 ¦ 5 ¦ 6 ¦ 7 ¦ 8 ¦ 9 ¦ 10 ¦ 11 ¦ 12 ¦ 13 ¦ 14 ¦ 15 ¦ 16 ¦ 17 ¦ 18

Nherycyn emerged from his castle at dusk seated upon a brown Royale with white socks. The horse was as old as the King and typical of its breed which was known for its strength, stamina and temperament. He was greeted by a smattering of cheers as opposed to the tumult his appearance would usually bring. The King was accompanied by Athar, Rhenycyn, Ellycyn and Setryv, who bore the King's standard. They each were mounted on brown Royale horses and wore their stately attire, attempting to issue a subtle reminder that, regardless of popular opinion, this was where the power in the kingdom resided. Even Ellycyn, who usually frowned upon such things, complied by wearing her jewel-studded circlet and an elegant silk gown with matching ribbons. She looked resplendent as she rode beside Setryv. The blonde knight's proximity to the Princess coupled with Mharkhel's absence was noted by most onlookers and rumors quickly abounded.

It was also observed that Fhyndhella was not on the arm of the Prince. Rhenycyn had been seeing much less of her lately, especially in public. Fhyndhella frequented the castle occasionally, but the Prince refused to be accompanied by her during any state affairs. He was trying to be careful by not rubbing any political salt in Dhonlaa's open and still bleeding wound.

The regal party was followed by the Knights of the Flaming Sword, personal guard of the royal family, and led by Vhyqyrd. The group wound its way down from the castle across the middle bridge to the Commoms. As they began to cross the bridge, the Knights broke out in song, a somber rendition of the Khaballean anthem. They followed that with a seasonal ballad and were joined by the spectators who crowded the bridge.

The crowd, charged with the spirit of the event, raised their collective voice to the darkening dusk of the first night of the MidSummer celebration and filed in behind the royal family and Knights. A thousand tiny suns reflected off of the Twisted Horn River from the bridge, a result of the torches the crowd waved. As the torchlight procession reached its destination, Rhenycyn had a fleeting recollection of the last time he formally took this route. It was to Valdhon's party and he hoped he would fare better this evening than he did that last one.

Previous Page    Next Page