When we last left our protagonist, she was breaking and entering, in a sense.
Subtle differences in the walls’ stones indicated there used to be more paths, leading elsewhere, now sealed off. All that remained were a few branches of the alley that Livia discovered all led the same way. She ended up in front of yet another pair of gates, though these were less likely to disappoint. The silver bars shone as if nothing had ever touched them, playfully curving and curling to the top of the frame. An emblem decorated the center, a short heater shield with a single golden sword crossed over it.
Behind the gates, a large palace filled the frame. Its highest spire Livia recognized, but the rest of the structure took her a while to take in. It appeared to contain endless towers, halls, quarters. Very little room was left within the walls surrounding the grounds for a garden, though the mud didn’t look very fertile anyway.
‘Can I help you?’ a low, gruff voice spoke out from behind the gates. Livia jumped back in surprise, only now noticing the tapping of raindrops onto the knight’s armor, as if he had just suddenly appeared. ‘If you have no business here, I advice you turn back.’ the man spoke, a bitter expression showing through his unrefined beard.
‘You are looking for someone,’ Livia composed herself, moving closer to get the knight in clear view. ‘Is that correct?’
He looked back at the palace doors as if seeking confirmation, then turned back to the gates and slowly pulled them open, just far enough for Livia to pass through. ‘Come in.’
The two took shelter from the rain under the portico. ‘How do you know of our trouble?’ the knight asked. ‘And why do you think—’ He couldn’t finish his question. Livia had taken off her hooded cape, and met eyes with the man. ‘Night-black hair… Fierce brown eyes… Decorated by the reddest rose!’ For a moment, he appeared ready to fall over, teetering on his feet trying to steady himself. ‘Miss, may I have your name?’
She was a bit bewildered by his reaction, but was glad to provide him with an answer. ‘Livia. Redguard.’
Upon hearing her name the knight instantly dropped to his knee. He choked back tears as he spoke, ‘Praise the heavens, the Redgarde name has not met her end!’ He held out his hand and looked up to Livia. ‘It is an honor to meet you, my queen.’
The words took her by surprise, but Livia didn’t hesitate for a moment. If this was how easy it was going to be then she’d gladly accept it. ‘Glad to be here.’ she said, and shook her knight’s hand.
That’s going to be all from this story for now! This is definitely an interesting misunderstanding, and our sneaky “queen” has a whole lot more to get going on, so I may continue this someday. Hope you enjoyed! (Wow look, there’s more!)