An Enchanting Dancer
Again, all were talking and now the musicians were playing.
The room was being filled with soothing yet joyful music. “Ah yes, very nicely
done!” said the Meerca as he let his paw slide on the blade of Merogan’s sword.
“Yet, I can’t read these inscriptions. Do you know what they mean?” he asked.
“I’m not sure, it was my father’s
sword. I was told it is written in an ancient faerie tongue, but I never got
to know what the exact meaning of it was, “ said Merogan in a sad voice.
“Well, it is a very nice sword.
You can be proud of it, just be sure to take good care of it.” He smiled and
walked towards the stairs, going to his bedroom. Merogan looked at the sword
for a moment and sheathed it. Merrhyna was coming towards him carrying a plate
stowed with food. She said enjoy and ran of again. Merogan rubbed his paws and
contemplated the plate. Smooshed tomato’s, Raisin Twist Loaf’s, baked potato’s,
turnips, berries and much more: what a feast indeed. And some regular bread
too. He took some bread and crumbled it.
Suddenly the music changed, it was
a more rhythmic melody and now a Zafara with a tambourine had joined in too.
Merogan saw the whole crowd had turned towards an open spot next to the curtain.
On a specific tone Merrhyna jumped from behind the curtain her right arm stretched
high above her head. She made a rhythmic waving movement on the music, and then
she started turning and twirling. She had undone her ponytail, her long blue
hair spun around her body, as a spider spins her web around her pray. Suddenly
she stopped twirling; she made walking movements towards the crowd, bent through
her knees and jumped on a table. In the middle of the room there was a beam
supporting the ceiling. She jumped from table to table, grabbed the beam with
one hand and turned around it. As she sank lower and lower the music stopped.
The crowd burst into cheers and clapping. Exhausted, Merrhyna got up and bowed,
she then jumped of the table and put her apron back on.
Whatever had been hot of Merogan’s meal was
now definitely cold. He pushed the plate away and asked Merrhyna if she could
show him his room. She lightly hopped on the steps and he followed heavily.
In the long corridor she pushed a door and stepped into the darkness, quickly
she had lit the candle that was standing on the table facing the window with
the view. She whispered a goodnight and gently closed the door. Merogan dropped
onto the bed and sank into a deep, peaceful sleep.
Illiana hopped through the halls and as she reached the throne room she started
running and leaped onto the throne. She let a sigh of relief escape her coloured
lips and took the allure of a queen. “As far as I know, that throne still belongs
to me!” said Kreneh.
“Oh father, you know I only practice for later!”
said the dark brown Ixi in a little voice. Kreneh laughed and sat on his throne
as Illiana slipped of it. “Oh father,” she sang, “do you know what day it is
today?” The big black Ixi nodded distantly. “It is my eighteenth birthday, what
did you get me?”
“Oh really, I was under the impression that
it was our birthday!” said Illyne as she made her entrance in the room. Illiana
shot a dark look at her sister and continued her pleading.
Feeling somewhat awkward by the rivalry between
his daughters, Kreneh sighed and got up from his throne. He walked over to Illiana
and outstretched his arm towards Illyne. Reluctant she joined them. He put an
arm around each one of them. “Now girls, this is a very important day. I don’t
want it ruined by silly fighting over nonsense!” He looked firmly at the both
of them. “Now, as a first little surprise, the tailor is coming over later today
and you can both choose the dress you wish to wear for tonight’s banquet!”
“Oh, thank you father,” said Illyne and she
kissed the black furry cheek.
“I hope that’s not all we get!” sneered Illiana.
“Of course not!” said the king in a not very
convincing voice. Illiana smiled and ran of again.
“Probably gone of to make herself even more
prettier!” muttered Illyne. “Father! Why do you put up with all her whims? She’s
so eliteous and stuck up!”
”Watch your language dear!” Illyne raised her
brow at him. “Look, I know you’re right, but she’s 18 now, someday she will
leave the castle and she’ll be of my hands! Now if you will excuse me, I have
to come up with another birthday gift!” he said firmly.
“Don’t bother looking for me, I can live with
just the dress!” she said ironically. Kreneh turned and looked sad, but Illyne
had already disappeared. He stayed behind in the large, cold, empty hall, his
arms crossed behind his back, his head hanging down.
Illyne entered her room and moved towards the
window. She sat on the stone bench near the window and curiously looked outside.
The whole of Meridell was preparing itself for the festivities. Tonight, all
that were quick enough could join the banquet. How she was curious to see people,
normal people who lived out there, below her eyes. The Market Square was full
of black shadows, feverishly moving in all possible directions, like ants in
their nest. When she leaned forward she could see the crowd that was entering
the castle, but the wind played with the chestnut coloured Ixi’s long black
hair, and the veil that hat hung over it on a silver tiara was torn away by
the wind and flew to its freedom.
Merogan walked amongst the early crowd, he had
decided to stretch his legs before lunch. As he walked, his head hanging down
pensively a soft fabric brought by the wind flew in his face. He grasped it
with both his paws and looked at it. A pretty thin it was, must belong to a
rich lady, he thought. He dropped it on a merchant’s cart and walked on, ignoring
the thanking merchant. He walked between the renewed stalls but wasn’t quite
able to focus his attention on them. Finally, he sat down near the square’s
fountain and starting thinking why on earth he was here. It all started two
years ago, when Phédry told him the truth on his 18th birthday. About the peaceful
ruler ship of his father, then how Kreneh betrayed him and killed his father,
mother and twin sisters. And how Phédry, his fathers most dedicated friend,
saved him and raised him at the extremity of Meridell. He had listened to the
whole story with a cold, rigid face. But when Phédry gave him his father’s sword
he felt rage devouring him. It took him two years to decide to came and take
his vengeance. When Phédry died a month ago, nothing was keeping him there.
Now he had come here to avenge his family’s death. But how? How would he ever
get in that large, cold castle without being murdered a million times before?
He let his weary head rest in his paws. What was he to do now? Tired he headed
back to the Jolly Gelert inn to get some food.
“You look rather morose!” said Merrhyna as she
placed a jug of water on Merogan’s table. “And on a beautiful day like this!”
“What’s so beautiful about it…” mumbled Merogan.
“Are you joking? It’s the Royal Twin’s 18th
birthday. This evening the whole of Meridell will be feasting and the fastest
of us will be allowed to attend the royal banquet!” she said full of enthusiasm.
“The king h-has daughters?”
“Yes, twin Ixi. They're very beautiful, too;
I bet many fine young male Neopets will be attending the banquet in the hope
to obtain their hand. I’ll try to get in, too! I have a beautiful dress on loan!
It must be beautiful in there…” She pointed at the castle that they could see
when they looked through the window. Then she took one side of her dress bowed
to an imaginary knight and started twirling. But Merogan was too pensive to
notice, hesitating she came to sit next to him.
“Why don’t you go, too? It’s a nice opportunity
for a traveller to see the beautiful castle of Meridell!”
“Hmm, yes. Maybe I should go! You are a genius
Merrhyna!” He got up, pushed aside, so did she. He bowed took both her hands
and started dancing and humming.
“Stop it! You are making me nauseous!” He let
go. “First of all, do you have proper to wear?”
“These are my best clothes!” he said proudly.
But Merrhyna didn’t look convinced at all.
“Oh no! That will not do, certainly not. Oh
“You don’t have to repeat it like that!” Merogan
said, hurt in his pride.
“Oh, I’m sorry!” She untied her apron and threw
it on the counter. “Come on! Let’s go see the tailor.” She grabbed him by the
arm and dragged him out of the inn, across the square, all the way into the
tailor’s shop. As she pushed the door an old bell started clinging.
“Ah, good day little Merrhyna!” said the old
Meerca that Merogan talked to last night. “What brings you here child?”
“Well, this good sir here would need some clothes
to attend the royal banquet!”
“Ah yes. Let’s see…” The Meerca walked up to
the tall Merogan and seemed to be taking his measures with the naked eye. He
muttered to himself, nodded and disappeared out of sight.
“Erm, you know, actually I don’t even know your
name…” said Merrhyna in a shy voice.
“Oh yes. I’m sorry, my name is Merogan.”
“Merogan? That’s strange… oh, I get it! Your
parents must have supported Ghisen, and named you after his son!” At the sound
of his father’s name Merogan shivered. “Well, it’s a lovely name!” she continued.
“It suits you well.”
The tailor had returned with a black pair of
pants and a white linen shirt, decorated with black ancient letters. “That should
suit you! No need to try it on, my boy! I know my business. That’ll just be
800 NP please.” Merogan paid and they both left.
“I’ll try it in my room anyway!” muttered Merogan.
Once again in the inn, Merrhyna resumed her daily tasks and Merogan went to
his room. He carefully laid the clothes on the table and went to lie on the
bed. What am I doing, he thought, I have a way of getting in, but
afterwards…I just can’t jump up and cut his throat with the hilt of my sword!
I must plot my revenge properly… But he didn’t get far on plotting that
revenge, soon he fell asleep again.
To be continued...
To be continued...