Legend of Larterra: Chapter 1
Chapter 1: Asmara
I honestly can’t believe I am finding it difficult to find something to read. In a library that has over one hundred bookshelves filled with thousands and thousands of books, ranging from romantic poetry to our theories about the stars, you would think I could find something that piques my interest. Unfortunately, I am in a rather picky mood today and cannot seem to find one topic that inflames a spark of excitement in the brain. I think I have actually circled the library twice now. I’m honestly thinking about getting a ladder to reach the books on the higher shelves, which I honestly don’t think has ever been touched.
I make my way to the east side of the library where I knew I would find the ladder, I saw the bookkeeper using it moments ago to file some of my returns. I’m pretty sure I’m the only person who uses the library anyways. I roll the ladder down the aisle looking for a section of interest. I come across the romantic fiction, something I’ve always preferred over anything else. I always enjoyed the idea of falling in love, hardly something someone like me would find anywhere in Larterra. I may be the apple of the kingdoms eye, but I am the most socially awkward being that has come into existence. I usually embarrass myself at social gatherings, and my mother makes me get dressed up and puts me out there for all the men to drool over me. I hate it. I know she just doesn’t want to see me lonely, but I think her efforts have surpassed her abilities.
I finally find a colorful book that catches my attention, but even on the ladder it’s just a bit out of reach. I place my right foot on the shelf to get a little closer, just barely touching the top of the book. I got my fingers around it and brought myself back fully on the ladder to read the title. “An Finscéal de na sé”, The Legend of the Six? That doesn’t exactly sound like romance. The bookkeeper must have misplaced it. I go to put the put the book back the same way I achieved it, setting my right foot on the shelf slowly to get a better reach. It’s a bit harder putting it back than it was getting it out, I inch my foot out a little more.
The next thing I know, all I can see are books flying past me as my foot slips and I reach out to the shelf to stop myself from falling, but my efforts failed as I continue to go down. I close my eyes waiting for harsh blow to my entire body, preparing myself for the pain ahead, but it doesn’t come. I’m not falling anymore, I feel someone holding me. I open my eyes slowly to see a pair of radiant sea blue eyes staring back. That’s all I can see for a few moments, those eyes keep me entranced, I pull myself away before I lose all coherent thought, reminding myself I’m probably making him feel awkward. I take in the rest of his face and I almost wish I would’ve just looked away entirely, until his lips part into a huge smile and he speaks to me.
“Are you alright madam?” He says his smile reassuring. I just gape at him, admiring the rest of his features, his sandy brown hair, stern jaw. I notice my arms are wrapped around his broad shoulders, and the pair of muscular arms he’s cradling me with. His smile turns into a smirk as he sets me down when I don’t say anything. He speaks to me again but I just stare at his mouth. I didn’t hear a word he said and I almost slap myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. This is supposed to be what all those brave and handsome men are like from my romance books. Stunning in every way, and I didn’t believe they existed, that’s why it’s called “Fiction”. He speaks again and this time I try to listen, “Do I need to take you to a caretaker?” I shake my head, why can’t you take care of me?
“That was quite a fall you know. What were you doing so far up there? It’s dangerous for a lady like you to be up that high, especially if you’re not going to use this ladder properly. Are you sure you’re ok?” I stare at him for just one more second before I finally find the courage to speak to him.
“I’m, ah…fine. Thank-you, you are very kind.” My voice is a bit shaky, I try to clear my throat a little, but just look at the floor out of embarrassment.
“The pleasure was mine madam. I’m glad I was here in time; I would’ve hated to see the poor princess fall such a terrible height. That wouldn’t have gone so well for someone as small as you.” He knows who I am? Well of course he does, I’m not sure there’s a being in Larterra that hasn’t seen my face before. I don’t go in public much, but when I do people don’t seem to forget it. I blush a little though when he points out my size. I’ve always been smaller than everyone in the royal family. My father’s royal line has always been made of large men, warriors as it may be, even though Larterra hasn’t needed them in centuries. Even my mother, who is not of royal blood, is rather tall for a woman, it all adds to her majestic beauty. My mother is the most compassionate and beautiful Queen Larterra has ever had. I look nothing like her. Being adopted, I’m from neither line; mine must have been made of short, small women because that’s all I’ve grown to be.
“I am glad as well, sir. May I ask your name?” I thought I knew everyone in the palace, and it’s not often we have visitors; I almost find it odd meeting a new person in the library of all places.
“My apologies for not introducing myself properly, I am Niklaus. I’m here to visit your father actually.”
“You know my father?” He knows who I am?
“We’ve met once before, when he was traveling through the land before he was king.” He looks rather young to know my father so long ago. Maybe he’s one of the immortal beings. He doesn’t look like a vampire, but I’ve heard they’re tricksters. It’s easy to believe their lies if you’re not strong willed enough. He doesn’t appear to be an elf either. I would know, I can usually sense the presence of other wood elves. We all have a special connection with nature that enabled us to feed off each other’s emotions in ways other races cannot. It’s not often I come into contact with one lately though. However, he looks completely human, nothing immortal about him.
“May I ask what you were doing in the library?” I ask curiously, it’s not often I find anyone other than the bookkeeper in here. No one else in the palace loves to read as much as I do.
“I was looking for a good read of course, what else are libraries for?” He smiles as he replies. I smile a little too, I guess it would make sense he’s in a library to read a book. That’s what I came here for. “Is there anything you can suggest?” Of course there’s something good I can suggest. I practically live here, I’m sure I’ve read at least half of the fiction novels, not to forget any informational texts I’ve read for learning over the years.
“I believe I have many suggestions. However you were probably looking in the wrong aisle, seeing as I’m sure a man like you wouldn’t be interested in silly love fantasies.” His smile curves to the side as I say this.
“And why am I not a man worthy of silly love fantasies, as you call them?” I’m stunned silent, with no reply to come across my mind. I just shake my head and remember to close my mouth as to not look like the bumbling idiot I am. He begins to chuckle and shake his head after waiting only so long for a reply. “Would like to show me an aisle you believe would be more suitable to the tastes of a man like me, as you put it.” I just nod as I turn and slowly start heading towards another part of the library, which part of the library I’m not quite sure. Before I get very far I notice he hasn’t started following me yet. I turn around to see him pick up the book I was trying to put back.
“Oh it must have fallen with me; I’ll let the bookkeeper put it up this time.” I say as I walk back to him to retrieve the book.
“Actually I think I found a book worth looking at, it appears you had the right book in mind beforehand.” He smiles as he begins to slowly flip through the book.
“Honestly, I had meant to put it back, it was categorized wrong. I was looking for something a bit different, but that cover just caught my eye.” He nods continuing to flip through the pages. I wonder what it’s about. I have no idea what “The Six” is, but he seems to have some grasp on the subject. “I’m not exactly sure what it is, how do you know, if you don’t mind my asking?”
He looks up from the book, “Your father never told you the story of The Six?” I shake my head “Well, it’s said to be an old legend, it was so long ago. Maybe if you ask he’ll tell you sometime, it’s quite an interesting story.” I nod my head, maybe I’ll ask later.
“Well I’m glad I helped you find something you can read.” I stand there for a moment as he closes the book and just stares at me.
“I appreciate the help, thank you.” We stand there for another quiet moment before he speaks again. “I guess I’ll be on my way to see Rian then. I’ll be sure to tell him he raised a kind daughter, once again thank you.” He bows slightly then walks away. I just gape at him as he walks past me. I turn to see him leave, the fantasies in the romances I read never talk about what the back of the brave handsome male protagonist looks like, though I’m pretty sure it looks like his. Never have I been so awed by another being. And in the land of Larterra, that’s saying a lot.
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