Punishment is more than she can handle.
She may find you today. Do not forget my warnings. Above all, remember your oaths."
With these last words, she quickly turned and the princess was again alone in her chambers, content, but more than a bit confused by the maid's hurry.
The time ticked slowly, and the princess decided to busy herself about the castle. Softly she crept through the darkened chamber of delights, before heading up the long winding stair, and once again into the bright sunlight. She strolled through the courtyard garden, taking note of each flower, and each bloom.
The air was filled with delicious fragrances, and she drank them all in. She once again regarded the golden tower, and its strange
markings, but could make no more sense of them than before. She even stole a quick glance towards it's dark opposite, but did not linger long.
Again, she wound her way through passages, up grand staircases, and into new rooms. All at once she found herself in a grand room, lined with great books from floor to ceiling. Up high ran a catwalk round the upper shelves, with a gilded ladder on wheels, running along a track at its base.
She strolled along the shelves, her fingers running along the volumes' spines, stopping every so often to read a title or two. Though the library was filled with books of all description, she found not one like the books in her own chambers. These books held forgotten lore, drawings of strange animals, histories and
legends. She even came across ancient scrolls and books filled with spells and incantations, some filled with light, yet others coursing with dark magick.
It was among these she books she received quite a shock. Rounding a large stack of volumes placed on a low table, she nearly crashed headlong into a dark figure.
"Oh!" she exclaimed, nearly falling over. Quick as shot, the stranger's hand grasped her waist, and steadied her.
"Ah." he said. "A thousand apologies, m'lady. I did not mean to startle you so."
Regaining her footing, she stood back to regard the stranger. He was a young man, perhaps even younger than herself. He was tall and strongly built. He had a very handsome face, and bore jumbled wavy yellow locks. He wore a soft turquoise tunic,
and a thick leather belt. From it hung a jeweled dagger and scabbard, and round his neck he wore a strange golden amulet, hung from a chain of gold links.
Though he seemed friendly and kind, a small alarm sounded within her, but just as quickly vanished. He flashed a brilliant smile, and gave a small bow. She returned a small curtsy as he replaced a small book to the shelf.
"Good morrow, my lord." she said, heart still beating a bit fast from her surprise. "I did not know anyone was in here. I am sorry to have disturbed you."
"Oh, quite the contrary my dear!" he intoned. "It was dreadfully morose in these rooms, and you have brought a great light in with you."
Something about his face struck familiar, but she could not catch it, and it too faded immediately. He had pale blue eyes that gaily reflected the soft color of his tunic. He had a voice of silk, and moved with a quiet elegance. The princess at once spotted him for noble blood.
Bowing again, he introduced himself. :"I am Tarquinne." he said. Remembering her instructions, she expressed pleasure at their meeting. Most intriguing he had not asked for her name, but the moment escaped. She could tell by his garb and clothes he was no mere guard, nor even a courtier, but she did not press for information, as she was reticent to divulge any of her own.
"I have just arrived last night from another realm." he continued. "I rode nearly the entire night, to warn of an approaching force." To this news, the princess let out a tiny gasp. Though she had only been here a short time, the thought of a siege on the castle chilled her very marrow.
Seeing her distress, he soothed, "Fear not m'lady.