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Kingston the Gentle..Kougra


by rkbear

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”And so the bird said to the trees, you shelter me, and I’ll care for you,” Kingston listened to his sister sing as he packed his bags for his next trip. He wanted to find more wild vegetables to add to their new garden.

      They’d had a much larger garden in Meridell, but Anne didn’t have the heart to dig them all up. She brought as many seeds and cuttings as she could when they moved. His younger sister loved all living things, even more than she loved to sing. So every time Kingston left home, he’d bring back as many new plants as he could for their garden. Of course, he had to sneak in anything he dug up. She’d still know, of course, but they both pretended like she didn’t.

      “Any requests?” He asked, leaning out the cottage window. Anne’s voice had faded into a gentle tone on the guitar.

      “Mushrooms,” she answered in a singsong voice. “Mom said she’ll make mushroom and onion soup if you find some.” She smiled as her Cirrus floated past her guitar, strumming it softly.

      “No problem,” He laughed and leaned back to return to his packing. Smiling, he looked over at their mother, who was washing their breakfast dishes.

      She had high hopes for her two children, hoping they both would become noble pets in the Meridellian court. In truth, she thought that Kingston should have taken the throne of Meridel. Old King Skarl was nothing more than a “Gluttonous, pompous, dull, uneducated, tasteless old slob”, at least that is how she put it. Either of her children would have been a much better ruler, though Anne was quite a gentle soul, much too gentle to be the sole ruler of a kingdom.

      These opinions had worried Kingston and Anne. They worried her lofty ambitions might get their small family in trouble. It came from a good place, she wanted them to always be taken care of. Since they’d moved to Miniglen, their mother had calmed down, or at least didn’t push her children to mingle amongst the royal pets as much as she had before.

      In Miniglen, the royal family were much less seen. Most of Miniglen was unseen, they specialise in camouflage. The craftsmen made items that were made to look like plants, dresses made to look like flowers, tool handles that looked like twisted vines and tree branches, and paintings so realistic you felt like they were windows.Villages were small and tucked into forest clearings. Anne and their mother had been enchanted by the quaint kingdom.

      Kingston was just happy to be away from the pressures of their old home. The little cottage was perfect for them and their few possessions. It was the fresh start he’d felt they all deserved. Everything in their old home reminded them of their father. He’d been gone for many years.

      Kingston was the head of the family now. He felt responsible for taking care of his mother and sister. After all, his parents had raised him to be a gentleman. While he wouldn’t be king, he would always be kind, chivalrous, and dependable, at least he would try his best to be. So he took care of them the best he could and always helped their neighbours. It was because of this that the trouble started.

     ***

      “Xander, I think we’re lost,” Violet sighed, sitting down on a log. She dusted off her skirts and fluffed them out around her. She stopped in the middle of fixing her skirts, realising she hadn’t heard the Lupe respond. They’d lost Nessie ages ago, but now Xander was gone too, she was alone. “Well, this is just lovely. Nyx will never let me hear the end of it.”

      She went back to fussing with her skirts. Her father had always told her when she was little to wait where she was, and they’d find her. They’d been terrified when she was little that she would get lost. Violet was adopted as a child, after getting lost in the Haunted Forest, although her family weren’t the first ones to find her. Getting lost didn’t scare the lavender-coloured Xweetok.

      She might have been more concerned if the thought had occurred to her that Grym wouldn’t be able to help her find her way home. The dark grey Uni who’d found her all those years ago. He was cursed to stay in the Haunted Woods, and couldn’t leave even if he’d wanted to. Lucky for Violet there was another in the woods, who knew it better than the Shoyru and Lupe who were desperately looking for her.

     ***

      “You’re not a mushroom,” Kingston said, surprised when he looked up and found the giant petals didn’t belong to a giant flower of some sort.

      “I certainly am not,” Violet laughed, rising to her feet, to greet the sunset colored Kougra. “I’m Violet.”

      “Kingston,” the Kougra replied with a bow, not knowing how appropriate it was. His family was not familiar with Miniglen’s royal family, yet.

      “Nice to meet you,” She replied with a curtsy. “This is terribly impolite, but I must trouble you. I seem to have found myself terribly lost.”

      “Not to worry,” He answered. “A gentleman never leaves a lady lost in the forest. I would be more than happy to escort you back to my village. I’m afraid it is the only one I know the way to so well, but I am sure someone there will know the kingdom better.”

      “So you are new to Miniglen?” She asked with a sparkle in her eye. “I would greatly appreciate it if it isn’t too much trouble, and of course after you’ve found your mushrooms. Please do not let me stop you.”

      “No trouble at all,” Kingston replied. “And I have plenty. I have to leave some for the forest critters. My mother can tend to any injuries you might have, less you need any tended to now?”

      “No, no, I’m fine, thank you, truly,” She answered, giving him a wide genuine smile. Either he was the most sly creature she’d ever met, or he truly was what he claimed to be a gentleman.

      ***

      “Oh dear, that must have been so frightening!” his mother cooed as she handed the Xweetok a cup of tea. She’d seen the fine clothes and was sure she must be noble, though she undoubtedly would have treated any poor creature the same. Violet did have the distinction of being served with her best china.

      “Oh, no, Miniglen is really a very safe kingdom,” Violet replied. “I’ve lived here almost my whole life and never been terribly frightened of the forest. Your son tells me you are new to the area?”

      “Yes, we have recently come here from Meridell, I must say I am very impressed with the tradespets here,” She answered. She looked up as Anne came in with a plate of fresh biscuits. The Faerie Xweetok smiled at their guest. As soon as their mother spotted the fine visitor, she’d sent the younger girl to prepare the treat. “Anne, you must play something for our guest. My daughter is quite the musician. She could have played for the royal court if that old-well if King Skarl has a taste for such things.”

      Anne gave her mother a scolding look, and shook her head. Violet, to her relief, looked amused. She had met the king and been to some of his legendary feasts. It was true he was more interested in culinary arts than musical ones.

      “Yes, I have heard that music is not as appreciated as the art of cuisine,” She answered politely. “I wouldn’t want to trouble you, Anne, but-”

      “Oh, not at all,” Anne replied politely. “I love to play. Would you prefer violin or guitar?”

      “Anne, truely, guitar, you must play your violin,” Her mother protested. Anne would have answered, but Kingston interrupted by entering the humble cottage with a roguish grin.

      “My apologies, princess, for taking so long,” He bowed humbly with a knowing smile. He was followed by a disapproving looking Gelert and nervous Spotted Lupe.

      “Princess?” His mother whispered, alarmed. Anne looked as shocked as her mother.

     ****

      “Thank you all for your hospitality. I apologise for troubling you, and omitting my status,” Violet said, trying to look appropriately shameful. She knew Nyx was watching her every move. The captain of the guard was not entertained by her “cheraude” as he called it.

      “Of course not my dear, we were happy to help,” the harried Cybunny answered. She was both proud of her children and anxious to know what the princess thought of them. “You are welcome in our home any time.”

      “Oh, I have been enough trouble to you,” Violet replied. “My royal father and mother will surely want to thank you for the great service you have done for us.”

     ***

      “Nice going,” Anne teased her brother as he handed her down from the carriage that had been sent for them. Someone at the palace must have enjoyed the same faerie tales Anne did as the carriage was made to look like a great pumpkin.

      “Yes, it would have been much better if I left the princess in the woods,” he replied in the same teasing manner. “Mom would be much mellower then.”

      Their mother, far from their hearing, was already making her way, daintily up the palace steps. Her mind abuzz with the knowledge the king and queen had two daughters and a son, one of whom her son was well acquainted with. Yes, Miniglen was far superior to Meridell. Here they would see how much potential her children had.

     

 
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