The Blue Rose
[This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Copyright © 2017 by Seoran Worg
[All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof
may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever
without the express written permission of the publisher
except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
First Edition: May, 2017
606 V.Y. (Varrian Year)
I walk briskly, up to the winding stair to his room. After all of my life waiting, I have enough of it. I am done being ignored.
I am his fiancé, aren’t I?
I get that at thirteen years old; I am too young to his nineteen years. Surely, now at eighteen, I am not a child anymore. He should take a notice on me, but he isn’t. Well, if he isn’t going to, then he should break our betrothal formally. That’s it. I am done waiting.
The day is young still, but my servant told me that he just arrived. It is better to strike the enemy when he is unaware, like Master Sain often told us, the disciples.
Finally, I stop just outside his room, staring at the oaken door, steeling myself. I hope Prince Rhys, the heir of the Varr Empire, is not inside with my fiancé, Lord Sean Worg. I know that my fiancé is an important man, the prince’s right hand man and the leader of Worg clan.
I bring my hand to the door, and knock it softly. I pause and wait for a while, but no answer. I knock the door again, louder this time.
“Come in,” he shouts offhandedly with deep, clear voice.
I open the door; it squeaks softly, and rattled my nerve once again. I straighten my back and I keep my resolve. I enter the room with confident that I don’t really feel.
The room is the same size as my room in Blue Tower. But here, the furniture is sparse, only a bed, a book shelf, a table, and four chairs.
I know he rarely use this room. He is always busy doing the prince or emperor errand. He only come back here to attend the Blessed’s tournament and select an apprentice, and then off again to only Gods know where.
I walk with sure steps, further inside. I see his broad back and his shoulder length black hair. He stands unmoving, facing the window, looking the brightening sky outside. I wonder, what is he thinking now? His new lover? I quell back my annoyance at that thought.
“My lord,” I say with fake sweetness, trying my hardest to mask my anger and hurt. It is not done for a lady to be graceless.
He turns his back swiftly. He seems taken aback seeing me here instead of a servant.
But he quickly composes himself, and then he gives me a customary bow.
He looks more rugged and tired than two months ago, before he went outside the city to chase outlaws in main land.
My fiancé is not as handsome as the prince, I know that for sure. His features are too strong and bold. And it is not as flawless as the royal, but I do find him handsome and charming in his own way.
“My lady, to what do I owe the pleasure?” he says after straightened his tall frame.
I smile briefly at him. Many men admire my smile, and I feel the need to charm him, make him see what he is going to lose.
“I heard tales of your valor, my lord. It’s all disciples are talking about these days,” I say sweetly, locking his gaze. “Well, I compelled to see you. I am still your fiancé, am I not?”
He narrows his pale brown eyes, “Yes, of course, my lady. You’re fiancé of Worg’s chief. And he is I, as I recall,” he says with mock apology.
I see that I am correct, he loathes this betrothal. But his honor forces him to keep it.
I feel a tug in my heart. I shouldn’t feel hurt by it. It is just a great disappointment that makes me sad. He is the constant presence of my life as far as I remember. All lessons and graces I learnt these years is for him so I won’t be an embarrassment when I finally become his wife. That was what my parent said. And stupidly, I always want to please them and him.
“You like this farce no more than I then?” I hold his gaze, and I see a flicker of something I cannot name in his eyes.
After a long silent, he says, “What do you want, my lady?”
I keep my back rigid. “What is Lady Raina Koell to you?” I pause, looking at his expression, but I can see nothing there. “I heard she will be your apprentice,” I say nonchalantly. And I hope my face won’t betray me.
“She’s one of the many that catch my eyes. I’ll be honored to be her master. But it not settled yet.”
Master? I want to laugh. I know the two of you want more than that. I see the way Raina looks at him. She is not even trying to be subtle about it.
Every disciple in Varran Castle has to be an apprentice in order to be fully recognized as a Blessed Warrior. But it is uncommon for a master to take apprentice from the opposite sex.
I clench my fist and say, “If that so, you should break our betrothal first. Otherwise, I’ll be a laughing stock. When you traipse across the country with your lover, I don’t want people pity.” I do try, but I can’t help the bitterness in my voice.
“Be careful, my lady. I won’t have it if you slander the lady name,” he says in chilling voice.
I feel another stab of pain in my heart, and keep my gaze unflinching under his hard stare. It seems he really loves her.
It is no use to fight a losing war so it is time to give up.
I nod. “My apologize,” I say, and our gaze still locked, “You should tell my father, my lord. And please be gentle with him. Tell him sweet lie if you will… He does hope to be your father in law in truth,” I add softly, and then, I bow slightly and taking my leave. I turn my back, without waiting his answer.
“What about you, my lady?” he asks me in his oddly soft voice.
I stop in my track, turning my back and look at him in the eyes. “It doesn’t matter what I want, isn’t it?”
My pride won’t let me marry a man who in love with another. Even it means disgrace to be a jilted fiancé so be it.
For a moment, we stay silent, and then I turn my back again and walking away.
It’s truly over now. I try my best to ward off the tightness in my chest.
I feel soft pull in my hair when Leni, my maid, braiding my long, thick hair. I glance down and read his letter once more. He says we will go to my father after the apprentice tournament finish. It is mean tomorrow. I want it to be over soon, yet I don’t want it to be real too.
Gingerly, I touch a thumb sized stone that come with the letter. It is a brown smeared with grey color.
Why he still doing this?
I remember the stones he sent me all over the years since my sixteen name day. It always came with a short letter that said from where the stone came. I thought he started to see me as a woman back then, but apparently not.
I should throw those stone away. But those stones are dear to me. They are my constant companion. And I was happy whenever I received one, and always curious what the place where it came from looks like. I imagine I am there with him. I even dared to write him, asking more about the place. But his answers are always so short and matter of fact, yet it makes me oddly pleased and happy for short while. His letters are just like him, and I am afraid that I like both of them.
I shake my head. I shouldn’t thinking of him.
“My lady,” Leni scolds me.
For a moment, I forget that she still doing my hair.
I should focus on the tournament. It will start in less than an hour. And it is more important now.
I exhale loudly. This tournament and him are vexing, draining my energy.
I know this tournament is hopeless case too, for my power, the ice within me is a weak one. It can’t hurt even a fly. The only one who impressed with my meager power is John Worg, Sean’s cousin. And it is because John is Unblessed, unlike us, disciples in Varan Castle, my soon-to-be opponents.
The pretender, the disciples call people with weak gift. Maybe we are, for our power is useless in real war. The most I can do is cooling my room in summer time. And the real Ice Blessed warrior should able to freeze or cut the enemies with their power.
“Finish, my lady,” Leni says in soft sigh, “Even dressed simple like this, you still look ravishing.”
I know that. This is the beauty I get from my great-grandmother. She was one of those royals. Come along with it is her gift, her pale changeable brown eyes that will turn blue when we are angry.
I stand up, and pat Leni’s back, “Thank you,” I say before I march to the yard below.
The tournament is held in the yard. They make a raised dais in the south of the tournament ground; there the masters and the Blessed warrior sit. My gaze is drawn to Sean immediately. It seems I can spot him effortlessly, much to my dismay.
I sit with other disciples in wooden benches that especially build for us; it is circling the sand field where the match will take place.
The tournament’s rule is simple. Each disciple has to have three matches, either as challenger or defender. Two loses mean they will eliminated from the tournament, while the rest will continue to second round. But this is just formality; I and most of the disciples know that. Few of us have greater gift than the other. Besides those people are more experienced than the rest, for they are often being sent to real fight outside the city. And Lady Raina is one of those few.
I wonder. Is it where they meet? Outside the city? I hate to admit but Raina is a good catch. She comes from good family and her gift is greater than most. And she is pretty too I suppose.
Stop think about them, about her and him, I scold myself sternly.
I glance back to the fighting ground. And soon, the tournament is started.
Hours have passed. The sun is shining high in the late spring sky. Few disciples already have their match, and now is my turn to defend.
I stand on the ground, waiting for my challenger. I dearly hope I get an easy opponent.
Beads of sweet are starting to dampen my skin. The spring sun is hot, scalding. But still no one steps forward.
Then, I see a young lanky young man step down to the sand with and hand in his back. I know him. His gift is not strong as I recall. It is good. I might win this fight.
He stops just in front of me, smile tugging in his lips. But instead of draw a sword as formal challenge, he draw a flower from behind his back, red rose. And it draws mocking cheer from others.
Oh, this is so stupid. I should know what he is about.
I take his rose, and smile. I do hope it resemble a smile instead of scowl.
“I do thank you,” I pause and add, “But as you can see I am fighting now. I am sorry.” I give the rose back to him.
He really is hopeless.
With all the prospective Blessed Warrior as master here, looking, how can he do that? He must be given up all hope to find a master. Maybe I should too, resigned in my fate, and go back to my father house.
I glace around, most of disciples still talking with each other, in buzzing voice, and few that not, they are staring at me, and annoyance is clear in their face. One of the pissed flock come forward. Of course, it is Lady Raina.
Oh, great. I will be beaten up by my ex-fiancé lover.
She draws her sword in salute, and then, I bow to her. And soon, we will start.
But as I know, the Wind Blessed is not that good with sword; they prefer their bow and arrow. I really hope she is terrible at sword dance.
I draw my sword and take my stance. My master at arm told me before that I am not that bad in sword fight. He said I have the grace and fluid movement, but lack of motivation and strength. Of course I have grace, for I always think of dance and music whenever I do sword fight. Because that is the only way, I can endure the core. For me, sword fight is not art of killing and hurting. I am just thinking it as another form of dancing.
I wonder, what will Lady Raina think of me if she knows.
I see her blunted sword gleaming in white glow as her eyes change to silver. She is deep in her energy word now. I try to summon my energy too, the ice within me. I feel the rush of energy to the center of my body. But the slash of Raina’s sword breaks my concentration. I duck hastily, bouncing around avoiding her sword.
Graceful like a dancer, I try to remember.
I feel a hard blow to my thigh before I successfully scramble away. Even with blunted sword, it still hurt because of the wind in her sword. And for the first time in my life, I want to hurt someone. I feel my anger is raising. My eyes must be turned blue now. I take a hold of the ice within me. I raise my sword, meeting hers. It clanks loudly. My sword is turning blue now; it is gleaming in cold fire.
I roll, skidding, parrying. I feel out of breath, and I fall to my knee.
From the corner of my eyes, I see Raina coming fast, with raised sword above her head; she is ready to give me a killing blow. In reflect, I raise my sword, stopping hers. In a flash, I see her sword freeze, and then it is cracking, crumbling and turns into dust.
Swiftly, I stand on my feet, and put my sword in her throat.
Her eyes widened briefly. I can see hatred in her eyes, mirroring mine. Reluctantly, she bows to me, admitting her defeat. I can help the smile that creeping in the corner of my lips. Finally, I bow to her to. Then, it is end.
I am looking for Sean. I find him, our gaze meet and locked. And I smile smugly at him.
Oh, the victory tastes so sweet. But instead of annoyance, I see Sean’s full lips twitching as if he tries not to smile.
The tournament is over an hour ago. And now, I stroke the mane of my mare, waiting for Sean to come down to the stable. Soon, we will depart to my house.
It’ll be over. But still I don’t feel happy or content. There is niggling voice in my head that tell me I miss something.
What is it?
Thinking back, I still remember the first time I met him. I was thirteen and he was nineteen. His face was taut, hard and scowling that time. And he was silent most of the time, letting his late father carrying the conversation. I thought he hated me back then. But my mother said that he had to give up something dear in order to follow his father wish. Silly of me, I didn’t understand what that meant. But years later, I know that he must be had someone he loved back then, and his father force him to be affianced with a child instead.
In that first meeting, the only nice thing he said was I played harp beautifully. I believe him of course. And for next few years, I try my hardest to play better. Maybe, he not really meant it, or he merely being polite. But he seemed enjoying listening to my play whenever his father force him to visit.
I sigh heavily. He confuses me. I hope he tells me if he like me or not, like other those young men. But again, I find those young men’s attention annoying at times.
I glance up to sky; the sun is descent rapidly in the west.
Where is he now? Should I drag him down? Yes, maybe I should.
With new determination, I walk back to White Tower. I walk as fast as a lady permitted to. And I throw his door open without knocking.
Immediately, I avert my eyes, and I feel myself blushing. He just finished his bath, and now, he is standing almost naked. He stands barred chested, tall and well-muscled. I think I am lucky that he wears a trouser.
“I don’t hear knocking sound, my lady,” he drawls, “My hearing must be very bad these days.” I can hear amusement in his voice.
I glance back at him, trying to force my gaze to his face instead of to his bared skin, down there.
“We are supposed to go to my father house. Don’t you remember, my lord?” I ask with gritted teeth.
His brows furrowed, “Ah,” he says as if just remember it.
I try to tame my rising anger, and only stare dagger at him.
“You seem so eager to be done with me,” he says softly.
Instead of answering my question, he says, “Who is he? Is it John? Or that boy who gives you red rose?” His voice is raising now.
“I am not like you. I don’t dally while I have fiancé,” I answer haughtily.
I see his eyes narrowed dangerously. Maybe I bit harsh to him. I never heard he dally with anyone before, save Lady Raina. But it might be untrue too.
“Do you think I am?” He walks closer to me. “You’re the one who flirt with my cousin outrageously. And he is not the only one, I hear. I am sure there are scores of them in this very castle. Am I wrong, my lady?”
It seems my fiancé not completely clueless or don’t care about my activity. But scores? My admirers are not that many.
Instead of hurt, I can help but feeling warmth and giddy.
“John is friend, and your cousin beside,” I say, and try my best not to grin. “But I can’t say the same with Lady Raina.”
“Oh Gods, her again.”
“Do you love her?” I ask weakly, afraid of his answer.
He comes near; we are toe to toe now. He tilts my chin, he glances down at me, and our eyes meet.
“I feel flattered that you jealous of her,” he smiles briefly.
“I am n— ”
He puts his finger in my lips. “Yes, you are,” he says softly.
“I just don’t like people takes what is mine.”
He closes his eyes for a moment. “Fine,” he rasps as he open his eyes again. I see a flicker of silver in his pale brown eyes.
“We’ll go to your father,” he adds and walks away, putting his tunic back, covering his naked skin.
Is that all? I don’t know why, but I feel disappointed.
“Why you send me those stones?” I ask him.
He halts his movement, leaving his tunic hanging open and looking back at me. “You stopped sending me a letter,” he says curtly, and then he back fastening his clothes.
“Yes, your silly letters. I happen to love them,” he pauses, “I don’t mean to say silly. It just… you know, entertaining… something like that…” he adds apologetic.
I remember those letters. It started when I was fourteen, the time the Oracles discovered that I had the gift to control element. And my family sent me here, to Varan Castle, to start my training as disciple. I was bored to death so I sent letter to everyone, and he was one of them.
“Why did you stop anyway?” he asks.
I smile weakly. “Because I know it’s silly. My mother told me so.”
He scowls a little. And oddly, I like when he does it. Maybe, I really have an odd taste of men.
“When someone in the thick of war, sometimes we need a bit of silliness,” he says solemnly.
It was war with neighboring kingdoms in the north, war that lasted almost three years.
“I thought I wouldn’t come back alive,” he smiles sadly. “I know many didn’t.”
He draws near me again. “If that so, you will be my brother bride not mine,” he adds.
Do you really prefer death than become my husband?
I feel like an invisible hand squeeze my heart. It is hurt.
“Let’s go, my lady,” he says as he walks to the door.
“Wait,” I stop him. I clutch his arm.
Can’t you at least try to love me? I want to ask.
“Kiss me,” I blurt. And seeing his shocked face, I add, “I never have been kissed before.
With long stride, he comes to me, and a grin playing in his sensual lips.
“And it seems not right as affianced la—”
He pulls me and cuts me with a kiss. It is gentle at first. He nibbles my lower lips, coaxing my lips to open. Then, he pulls me closer to his embrace.
Without I realize, he back me to the wall, and I feel his wandering hand everywhere.
“Is this what you want, my lady?” he asks with ragged breath.
“Yes…” I say amid the mad thud of my heart. “Will you marry me, my lord?”
He chuckles. “I should the one doing the asking,” he says while kissing my cheek, my jaw and down to my neck.
“It’s a yes, then,” I say breathless.
“I am doing a poor job if you’re still asking,” he says while raining kisses below my neck, and down still.
I catch my breath.
I can feel he is doing his best to convince me now.
Oh, definitely, we should do this sooner.
Summer has come. Even as I lay down below the shade of a big oak tree, I still feel the scalding heat of the sun.
“I hate summer,” I mutter.
“Really?” asks Sean who lie down beside me. “If you feel hot, why don’t you take off your clothes?”
I turn to look at his grinning face. But his smile dies as fast as it comes.
“What is it?” I ask.
“Prince Rhys,” he says softly.
“It’ll be fine,” I say, I take his hand in mine.
“I hope so. But I am afraid war will break soon.”
I turn my body, and stay on my elbow, hovering over him.
“Let’s get married,” I say. I trace his lips with my finger.
He leans up, takes my cheek in his large hand, and brings my lips down to his.
“As your command, my lady,” he says between kisses.
Another Books by Seoran Worg:
The Shadow’s Heart (upcoming)
For hundreds years, Varr Empire is led by The Varr family. People believe they are half a God. And they are blessed with beauty and gift to control elements: Wind, Ice and Fire.
The faceless Prince Lex, is the last pure blood and the heir of the throne, but many want him dead. The danger is lurking in the shadows, ready to catch him unaware.
In desperate attempt to protect her son, Empress Sera creates the Shadows. They are young men, with uncanny resemblance with her son. They should die and live for him, or so they supposed to be.
In the midst of political feud and imminent war, emerge a Hallowed, the powerful Blessed Warrior, and the first in two hundred years. She is Ava Worg, the seventeen years old daughter of a traitor. And she wants the empress pardon desperately.
Will she become the empire’s savior? Or its downfall instead?
A prince, a shadow and a rebel, they are thrown together by fate…
This is story of palace intrigues, royalty, power, and the struggle between duty and love. It is a journey of lost, a journey to find one place in the world, and what the meaning of sacrifice for the greater good is.
In a land far away, in a land so different with our own, it is in a land where magic exist and alive.
For hundreds years, Varr Empire is led by The Varr family. People believe they are half a God. And they are blessed with beauty and gift to control elements: Wind, Ice and Fire.
They are in decades of war with neighboring nation, and now they are in peril, for their empress is in the brink of dead.
The Rebel – She is fierce Blessed Warrior, but she runs off with her rebel lover, eluding the empress army, and shirking her duty for love.
The child – She is child who comes from far away land. Driven by her gift of sight she comes, bringing her little brother, and crossing the west sea to the land of Gods.
The Princess – Now is a turbulent time. With the empress under the spell, the heavy burden of the empire is fallen to her shoulder.
One of them will wake up the empress.
This is journey of love and loss, a journey unraveling the past.
In a land far away, in a land so different with our own, it is in a land where magic exist and alive. It is a land where a Blessed can control: Wind, Ice and Fire. Lady Carla Koell is betrothed to a man who loves another. What a warrior lady should do? Of course, she should break it off. But it is not as easy as it should be. Between the Blessed tournament and errant fiancé, the lady is caught between a rock and a hard place… ** This is short story, the prequel of The Blessed Series. It can be read as standalone and no cliffhanger.