Scene Teaser

Scene Teaser

As voted on Twitter, here is a scene teaser! When King Aalam first arrives at the castle he poses as the ambassador of Andromeda.

There are two choices in this scene, can you spot them? I've chosen "Gentle" and "Impulsive" for this go, as well as a female Terra.

Scene 14

"Sahi is waiting for me. He's removed his sword and bulky armor in favor of a simple tunic."

Sahi "Ready for warm-ups?"

Terra "I'm feeling rather anxious to get started."

"Sahi gives me a disapproving look."

Sahi "Your Highness, you know that a well-lubricated body is an uninjured body."

Terra "Yes, yes, all right."

"I knew Sahi wouldn't allow me to skip procedure, but it was worth a shot. He guides me through some stretches and light exercises. It's not enough to bring my mind to that pleasant blank state the same way the actual lessons do, and I find my eyes wandering around the grounds. I see a few of the recruits standing near the stables huddled close. They speak quietly rather than the usual boisterous voices I hear drifting in through the castle windows in the mornings, and their eyes glance over at me every few seconds. I've been taking blade lessons since I was thirteen, and each fresh wave of recruits takes some time to adjust to being so close to a Royal. Sahi and I started at the same time, and he was the only person brave enough to actually speak with me in our free time."

Sahi "Watch your knees."

"I straighten my legs, breathing through the stretch as my fingers brush my toes."

Sahi "Good."

Sahi "Up now, let's do a few lunges."

Terra "Come now, General, haven't we've done enough?"

Sahi "Just a few."

"I sigh and indulge him. In this arena, I am technically supposed to follow Sahi's orders. He's the teacher, I'm the pupil. It's sort of funny, considering we both grew up training under General Blanchet. Sahi was always better than me, try as I might. I wonder how the old General is doing these days…"

Sahi "Your Highness?"

Terra "Hmm?"

"Sahi regards me with a tilted head and hands on his hips."

Sahi "I said, ready to start?"

Terra "Yes!"

"Sahi fetches our usual practice swords. They're wooden, but still pack a punch when you're jabbed. Or thwacked, as Sahi is fond of. To his credit, I never make the same mistakes after he does that. We bow to each other and then begin. Sahi comes at me quickly, clearly trying to catch me off guard. I block, deciding to stay on the defensive for a time. I let my thoughts empty, nothing but the heat of battle and the whir of reflex in my brain as Sahi and I dance. He's such a gentle man, times like these are the only time I see him with any sort of aggression on his face. I love that he doesn't hold back when we practice. During group drills, whenever I'm paired off with a soldier, they always treat me so delicately, clearly afraid to injure me. Even after all this time, Sahi is the only person who ever truly gives me a challenge. He slashes, and I sidestep to avoid it. As I do, something in my peripheral vision catches my attention." "Ambassador Rift is watching from the edge of the training arena near the castle wall."

Terra "Ow!"

"In my distraction, Sahi takes the opportunity to smack my wrist with the flat side of the blade."

Sahi "Focus, Terra."

"I return my attention to the battle, eager to get him back for that hit. By the time we finish, the score is three to four in his favor. Even still, I can feel the tension that had piled atop my shoulders the past few days completely sloughed away. These lessons always have a cathartic effect. I push my bangs out of my face, grimacing at the sweat plastered across my forehead. While I do enjoy it, the baths afterward are also nice."

Terra "Your game this round, General."

"We bow again, and then Sahi walks closer."

Sahi "You all right? I didn't hurt ya, did I?"

"I nod, rubbing my side where he'd landed an impressive hit."

Terra "I'll be fine. I'm not nearly so delicate."

Sahi "Aw, I know that [title]."

"Sahi walks to put his sword away. Before I can follow, movement draws my eye over Sahi's shoulder, and my lips twitch down."

'Ambassador' "I see you are quite skilled as well. Perhaps we could have a go sometime."

Terra "With any luck, you won't be around long enough."

"The ambassador twists his lips, peering down his nose at me."

'Ambassador' "Very funny. I will remain as long as it takes for you to reach a decision."

"I hum, turning and taking my sword back to the practice rack. To my displeasure, the ambassador follows."

Terra "I don't believe I invited you to gawk at my lesson."

'Ambassador' "I wasn't aware I needed an invitation. Your advisor assured me I was welcomed anywhere in the castle."

"I shoot a glare at the window to what I know is Lune's room."

Terra "Oh did he."

'Ambassador' "Yes."

"The recruits are now staring at both the ambassador and me, and I wrangle back a sigh as I wonder what rumors will start to float through the barracks tonight. With no more excuses, I turn to face Ambassador Rift, standing as tall as I can to counteract our drastic differences in height."

Terra "What is it you want from me?"

'Ambassador' "I am here to—"

Terra "No, I mean at this very moment. Why were you watching me?" 'Ambassador' "Ah."

"He considers the question, folding his arms across his chest in his usual pose. On most people, it looks defensive, but it makes this man look angry."

'Ambassador' "It was…a request from my king."

Terra "Excuse me?"

'Ambassador' "He wants to know the [man] he's going to marry."

"This makes a streak of anger run through me."

Terra "Well, I'm glad he's made up his mind. If he wanted to know me then he should have come himself. Leave me be."

"As I walk away, Ambassador Rift calls out to me."

'Ambassador' "I did not mean to offend. Do you not wish to know more about the King as a potential match?"

"My steps slow. I want to say no, and continue moving, but it is something to consider. As much as I loathe to admit it, I cannot completely write off marrying King Aalam as an option."

'Ambassador' "The King and I are quite close. I assure you I can answer any questions you might have."

"I turn to the ambassador with an unimpressed look."

Terra "And this is why he sent you?"

'Ambassador' "Yes."

Terra "You do not seem like any ambassador I've ever met."

'Ambassador' "Is there a question?"

"I wet my lips and look away. Of course, there is much I would want to know about a man I'm considering calling my husband, but how to ask all of that in a few questions?"

"Part of me is even hesitant to ask because I know I am likely to be disappointed. "It might be better to go in with no expectations at all. Even so, I return my eyes to Ambassador Rift."

Terra "What is the King like?"

"Despite this being a perfectly normal, perhaps mundane question, the ambassador looks a bit confused, like he expected something else."

'Ambassador' "How do you mean?"

Terra "His…personality."

'Ambassador' "He is…a difficult man to describe."

Sahi "I've heard the King of Andromeda is very stern."

"I startle at the sound of Sahi's voice, seeing he looks far more invested in the conversation than I had been."

'Ambassador' "I suppose. He does not tolerate failure or incompetence."

Terra "Most Royals would not."

"Sahi steps a bit closer like he's about to ask a secret."

Sahi "Is it true that he once had someone executed for bumping into him?"

'Ambassador' "Ah…no."

Sahi "Is it true that he has glowing red eyes and can breathe fire?"

"I lift a hand to cover half of my face."

Terra "General, please."

"I clear my throat and lean in to whisper in his ear."

Terra "You are embarrassing me."

"Sahi startles."

Sahi "Oh, sorry Your Highness."

"Ambassador Rift looks at me expectantly, and I realize there is one more thing I'm curious about."

Terra "…What does the King look like?"

'Ambassador' "Average, I suppose."

Sahi "I've never heard of an average Royal."

'Ambassador' "Is that so?"

Sahi "Aren't they supposed to be stunningly beautiful? Like…" "He looks at me and then backtracks."

Sahi "I-I mean, that's the stereotype. Not that you're {i}not{/i} st—I…"

"Sahi clears his throat rather violently and then aggressively punches his fists into his hips."

Sahi "Average, you said?"

'Ambassador' "He is tall."

Terra "Very enlightening, thank you. Did you need something, General?"

"Sahi looks between the ambassador and me, then bows."

Sahi "Uh, sorry. I'll wash out my hair now."

"As he walks off, the ambassador frowns."

'Ambassador' "…Does he normally announce such things?"

Terra "The general just ah, has a few interesting turns of phrases. Pay him no mind. I am still in the midst of drafting the proposal for a new trade agreement, but do not assume that any decisions have been made."

'Ambassador' "I would not dare."

Terra "I do need to be getting to my room. If you'll excuse me…"

'Ambassador' "Seek me out should you have any more questions about the King."

Get Celestial Crowns

Download NowName your own price

Leave a comment

Log in with to leave a comment.