"Stay still please, sire."
"How many bloody times do I have to tell you, I hate that title." A guffaw and an eyeroll as Jefea unfurled a measuring tape once more, tightening it around "sire's" chest and squeezing, motioning for one of the servant girls to jot down the number that had been ascertained before nodding, releasing the tape.
"Your gala wear will be available to you tomorrow morning, sire. We will deliver it to you-" He sighed, partly in disgust, partly in annoyance.
"You know, Jefea, I have legs. I'd be happy to use them and pick up my own clothing from the tailors." The girl quietly giggled before being silenced by a glare from the measurer.
"Sire, while you might still be readjusting to your life of nobility, I humbly implore you to take cues from your younger siblings, both of whom are very grateful for the opportunity to have such luxury bestowed upon them."
"Yes, yes, the good ones, I understand. I'll be awaiting your delivery with baited breath then." He shot a wink at the girl, a rush of pink coming to her cheeks as she turned around and walked out of the room along with Jefea, who closed the solid, wooden door behind him with a massive thud. Jefea, like many of the royal servants who his parents employed (employment implies compensation, however...so, enslaved), had known nothing else other than paying homage to members of the socially elite, but especially to the dynasty of Gladinis, a ten king deep lineage that had ruled the Continent for a thousand years. To be fair, the kings that had come before his father were made out to be saviors, warriors, tacticians, lovers (odd section of the history books, that) and most of all, benevolent rulers who preserved peace within and ensured it abroad; in other words, they were revered demigods that the people looked to with the utmost worship. While that was well and good on the outside, the inner works of the Gladinis dynasty was...well, complex would be an understatement. Backstabbings within the extended family, assassination attempts, negotiations with foreign rulers that would have caused the general public to fall over and affairs, oh the affairs! It was a wonder that his father and mother had managed to stay civil with each other. A chuckle came to his lips as his broad-shouldered, barrel chested figure strolled from the interior of his gilded cage/room to a stone-carved balcony, surveying the parallelogram shaped walls of the capital city, Majorka, with an admiring eye. His disdain for his lineage was only matched by the admiration he had for what his father had accomplished in making Majorka, a barren wilderness just twenty years ago, into the stronghold that it was today. Even the castle that they occupied now had been in ruins, yet King Petre Gladinis had risen it up to it's former glory and Majorka came right along with it.
Breathing in the crisp fall air, he smiled, a warm smile that still felt foreign. His jet black hair, which was cut much shorter than he would have liked, still was able to ruffle in a slight breeze that wafted through. Renso chuckled again, trying to process the sheer amount of...happenings that have...well, happened over the last several months. To think that he would have gone from Renso Mansfield back to Renso Gladinis, heir to the Gladinis throne so relatively quickly was jarring an-
"Brother? Brother are you...oh, there you are." Rafeo, thirteen years younger than the 29 year old eldest, came alongside his brother garbed in flowing ebony and viridian colored robes, the official colors of the Gladinis dynasty (because every royal family MUST have official colors).
"Raf." He nodded to his brother, who smiled widely.
"Nice having you around, you know."
"Tell that to our sister." Rafeo frowned.
"She'll come around eventually, I know it. She's not all bad."
"No, no, but Elia holds grudges. I know she still despises me for leaving you both behind...and I don't blame her for it." He looked back to Majorka.
"I don't think ill of you for it...to be honest, I was sort of jealous you got to go." Renso laughed heartily.
"Well, let's set something straight: no one gave me permission to go. I just sort of...went." He paused.
"But there was much going on during that time, things that I'd like to leave behind." Rafeo opened his mouth slightly, closed it for a few moments, then changed the subject by asking:
"I assume you'll be at the ball tomorrow night?"
"Indeed I must." A twinkle sparkled in Renso's eye as he looked back at his brother.
"Any of the young, courtly maidens catch your eye? You're getting to the age where Father is going to consider arranging a marriage for you." A slight blush from the younger sibling.
"There's someone from the Tillcroft family. Quite beautiful, but...she's much too old for me. Might be a good match for you though." Renso held his hand over his chest in mock hurt.
"Are you saying, my dear brother, that I am indeed, old?" Rafeo smirked.
"Bah! Old I may be, but that qualifies me to try and play matchmaker for you tomorrow."
"Oh please by the gods, no...Father and Mother do that enough already."
"Why don't I try to set you up with the old girl, the one you find 'quite beautiful'?" Rafeo's jaw dropped.
"No, no, no, oh please to the heavens no! I don't need to be embarrassed like that in front of h-" Renso smirked.
"So there IS someone else..."
Afternoon, Castle Drackhaven
As the guests began to arrive and settle in before the ball, Renso had been charged by his father to act as an "emissary" for those who were arriving. In other words, Petre wanted to make sure that EVERYONE in the greater royal circles of the Continent knew that Renso, the prodigal sellsword, had returned to his rightful place by his family's side. He complied with the demand phrased as a request out of respect to his father, but that didn't make the robe, tunic and undergarments he had been given earlier this morning any more comfortable. Shifting uncomfortably underneath the heavy robes, he looked to the attendants next to him before asking the one directly to his right:
"Who's arriving next?" They were standing at the entrance to the castle, directly opposite a massive granite arch that all who came had to go under and then across an expansive stone bridge with thick railings that jutted up at least four feet to give archers a defensive position in case of a breach from the river below. The question was prompted by another sighting of carriages flying flags that Renso couldn't readily identify.
"I believe it's the Tillcrofts, my lord."
"Ah, the TIllcrofts, of course." Rafeo's crush. Let's see if he could pick out the "quite beautiful" lady from the arriving party.