|Re: The Beauty of a Song (Updated 8/30)|
Subject: Re: The Beauty of a Song (Updated 8/30)
by Rena on 2009/9/7 22:36:54
Thanks Sana! Monday update time.
“Mother, please tell me you have something different to say tonight,” Matthew said as he walked into his mother’s room. This was the third meeting she had called for him in as many days, and each had been the same. “I will not have the marriage annulled, and I do love Lynia. My love for you, however, is not staying so constant.”
“Do not say such a horrible and untrue thing, my son.” The queen’s voice was rather cold, but it was clear that she was hurt by his words.
“Very well, Mother.” Matthew sighed. “However, my frustration grows. Why do you insist on this, Mother? Why is it that you are not happy that I am finally married to someone I love?”
She sighed as well. “It is just that I do not feel she is worthy of your affection.”
“These opinions are shared by some of the people, Matthew. They wonder how this common girl caught the eye of a great prince. They worry that she has enchanted you.”
“That is ridiculous. I have already told you—”
“But you have not told them. The people of the kingdom will want reassurance of her goodness. You will need to show them who she really is.”
Plans to do just that were put into action over the following week. Criers announced that there would be a public concert in week’s time in the square of Lynia’s hometown. Bad roads were paved, parks marked off, and public education bettered, all in the name of the crown princess.
It was the concert that captured the hearts of its audience. No one who heard Lynia sing could dislike the owner of her voice, and neither did they have any reason to dislike her. She handled a meeting with a nearby kingdom quite diplomatically, despite the visiting prince and princess’s derogatory remarks about her appearance.
“You may take pride in your looks,” she replied calmly, “and perhaps you should, for you are both very attractive. However, there are more important things to do than focus on vanity. I am sure that, you being the royalty you are, you know this already. I apologize for repeating information that is sure already embedded into your memory.”
But according to the queen, there were still some people in the kingdom who worried about their future ruler.
“I have heard rumors, Matthew. The people wonder. ‘How long before she ceases to react so well to the insults?’ they ask. ‘How long before she uses her royal authority to start a war, to shatter the peace that has lasted so long?’”
Matthew chuckled. “Mother, you know that would never happen. Lynia has proved herself to be quite competent in these matters.”
“The cases I gave you were hypothetical, Matthew. You know as well as I it is not as easy to turn the other cheek when someone means to hurt you as it is when you are simply reading a piece of paper.”
“What do you suggest I do, then, Mother? She cannot change her face, and she does not need to change her behavior in the least.”
“There is a way for her to become more beautiful, actually,” the queen said. Matthew frowned. “There is a forest not too far beyond the castle gates. You know of it—you used to play there when you were younger.” He nodded.
“There is a place in the path I am sure you have noticed—it curves sharply to the right, as if the road were forked there, yet there is no left path.” Matthew nodded again, more slowly. He had wondered why it turned so sharply. “Take the left fork anyway,” the queen instructed.
“But, Mother, there is nothing there!” he protested.
“The path will appear after about a hundred paces. Only those who seek help will be able to see it.”
“What lies at the end of the path, Mother?”
“An old enchantress.”
“And how do you know of her existence?” He was curious now. A character as interesting as a witch ought to have come into conversation years before.
She sighed. “It is a long story full of youthful foolishness and insecurity that I would rather not tell. I do know, however, that the sorceress has the power to change people—both their appearance and the behavior. She can make your wife beautiful in a matter of minutes, surely.”
“Very well then. I will go to see her in the morning.”
“Ah! Your Highness!”
“Oh, stop, Brian. You know me—you do not need to call me that.”
“Oh no, Your Highness. You should not allow a mere captain to address you so comfortably. In fact, you ought to have me call you Highness all the time because I know you so well.”
Lynia smiled. “That does not even make sense.”
“It surely does!”
“Well then, I order you to stop calling me ‘Your Highness’ and just call me ‘Lynia.’ All the formalities of castle life are strange enough without my friends using a formal title when they talk to me.”
“Very well then, Lynia.” Brian grinned. “So, any particular reason you came all the way down to these lonely old barracks?”
“It’s not because you missed me already, is it? Oh Lynia, if you can’t take even a day away from me, how will your marriage work?”
She laughed. “That is why I need you, Brian. I need a break from all this seriousness. I could do with a laugh every now and then, you know. And you are great for that.”
“You can always come and see me,” Brian replied. His smile was smaller, softer—he was serious.
“Thank you, Brian. It is nice to have people to depend on.” She smiled again.
“So, was there a reason you came here?”
“Just to get away from the queen for a while. Matthew is… Elsewhere, today, and I do not think his mother likes me very much.”
“Well, she was very protective of him. It might just be something she’s built up over the years. I don’t think it can possibly be anything you’ve done.”
“Really?” Lynia looked up at him hopefully. She hated to have her new family be so disapproving of her.
Brian looked back at her, completely serious now. “Really.”