the runaways - 4/10 night - Cedrik, Aymee, Sylva, NPCs [SOLO]
With the deaths of Cousin Claudia and Lady Horatia, and their new Aunt Sommara disappearing the royal guards had shadowed Cedrik and his sisters to the point he’d forgotten what it felt like to be in a room by himself. There had been no opportunity to get out from under their watchful gazes for the rest of their days in Svavel and Cedrik had felt the crushing fear of what must surely be coming next.
Yet they had gotten back to Solbra now and the king had left, taking many of the soldiers and guards along with him. He’d left behind six of the the King’s Own, in their silver and blue armor to guard the queen. Auron too remained and most of the family but that was no comfort to Cedrik. They’d all made their feelings regarding their half-Mar-Stellar nephew and nieces all too clear, and now their father wasn’ even here to pretend to protect them. He was off at battles, and might die. Then Auron would be king, and Auron wouldn’t want his nephew and nieces around to be used against him.
Cedrik had bided his time, because patience was something you had to have the books all said, especially when you didn’t have numerical superiority. Or you were still half the size of a man grown. He was tall he knew, and probably would have his father’s height, which was good because he could maybe pass for a boy of eleven or twelve rather than nine if he had to. Which, as it happened, he did.
It had taken a whole month and more but they’d found their method. They went to bed and then Cedrik slipped out of his bed and headed next door to the girls’ nursery. He had to help them get dressed in the dark, with only the dying firelight from the hearth to help them see. They couldn’t risk a candle yet. He’d put torches and things they’d need inside the secret passage already- it was the private escape for the royal family if there was a siege and no one knew it was there except his father, and Cedrik, and now Auron. The girls knew too of course because Cedrik had shown it to them, and they’d all decided to begin playing in the disused rooms around it to help hide what they were doing.
Dead of night, and safe in Solbra there weren’t guards by their chamber doors like there had been in Orqua, but there were still plenty of guards. Only they weren’t going to mind a pair of soot-girls and a kitchen boy. They had all taken one toy, and their plainest play clothes and then something nicer because they would need something and each of them had a piece of gold jewelry. Cedrik had known they needed money but he didn’t know how much or what sorts so he’d stolen a purse from his tutor after they had returned from an excursion to the market. He’d stuffed in some gold rings and things as well, and thought they should have enough for what they were meant to do. They also had food, because Sylva was impossibly whiny when she was hungry and Cedrik didn’t know what he’d do if she started in while they were doing something important.
Outside the girls’ room, the three of them skittered along the hallway, moving from shadow to flickering shadow, Aymee taking some delight in pretending to sweep along the side, and Cedrik had to pull her along. Her broom was abandoned halfway there and soon enough they were to the statue that hid the entrance. Cedrik pushed the hidden lever and it swung outward, almost banging Sylva across the middle with its outstretched paw.
Danger averted, they piled into the passageway and the statue closed behind them. The next little while took some time mostly because torches were harder to light than he thought they should be.
It was a long time later, and Aymee was sniffling quietly in the chill and Sylva kept wiping at her cheeks and Cedrik was sure it was just dew getting in his eyes. They were clambering aboard the ship they’d been told about. A man loomed out of the near-dawn dark to greet them and while their heads were still spinning with what was happening, they were ushered into a cabin and heard the door shut behind them.
There was food next, and an older captain with the accent of the southern lands who told them they were to stay here, out of sight and silent for the next hour while the ship left port. They could come out and into the air when they were out of sight of land. Til then they could share the big bed in the cabin and get some rest, for it would be a long, long voyage.
Cedrik laid down next to the twins and they all curled together against the suddenly cold air. He looked up through the windows to the moon above and whispered a prayer to Mhare. Just let us escape...
Mother, mother, make my bed
Make for me a winding sheet
Wrap me up in a cloak of gold
See if I can sleep
She set him in a golden chair
She gave him sugar sweet
She laid him on a dressing board
And stabbed him like a sheep
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