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Neiru's Dream
A little journal that takes place in my dreams, or so I to like think. I'll be writing about anything interesting that happened in my life or just random stuff/doodles. I might often post my art here too.
Fantasy; Parts 1-4
Condensing everything. =3


"Mom! I'm off to work." Spring time. Year of Rebirth. And another year at my job as a palace maid. Quickly, I ran downstairs and snagged a warm roll from the breadbox.

"Shh! Be quiet Jane. You know your brother is still sleeping; it's not even dawn yet. Now hurry and go; don't forget to take this with you." My mom met me at the door, her long black hair curling at her shoulders. The fragrance of flowers clung to her apron. She held out a brown, wide-brim hat. A green ribbon hugged the fabric.

"Ma...I don't--" I don't want to be reminded, is what I would have said, had I not seen the look in my mother's hazel eyes. It has been seven years since my father's death. Stabbed by an opposing knight in the battlefield on his birthday. And my birthday. This cursed day marks me as 15 years old. "Alright. I'll take it--good bye mom." I gave her a quick peck on the cheek, grabbed the hat, and tumbled into the busy market streets.

"Wish I had a day off to myself." I trotted quickly through the stalls. Fruit vendors, meat sellers, bakers, and all sorts of people were setting up their stalls with colorful paper and wares. "I could go for some sweetbread right now." Thankful that my stomach was slightly full, or I would have attacked the stalls, I climbed uphill the rocky streets and made my way into the back-garden of the inner palace. Sentries were posted at every meter; the turret towers held up flags. The front of the palace was covered in shrubbery and a main fountain adorned with a knight on horseback was the center of attention. Other servants already scurried about. Joining them, I lowered my eyes, let my shoulders sag a little, and slowed my pace. A servant who looked confident would be reprimanded here.

Just as I was about to enter the back door, a small kitten jumped at me--taking my hat in his mouth. The little creature pranced around me, creamy milk fur glinting in the sunlight.

"Syre! Give that back! You know how much it means to me!" I pleaded, trying to whistle to the kitten. "Please?"

The small feline mewed and turned his dainty back on me as if to taunt me. Suddenly, he was scooped up into the air.

"Trying to answer to the orders of a cat, now, Jane?" The voice I despised to hear rang loud and clear now. A boy, 17 years of age, took the hat from the kitten and extended it to me. The wind blew slightly, his short black hair getting ruffled. His mahogany eyes smiled with utmost innocence as he stood a straight five feet and 10 inches.

I stiffened and curtsied. "I am sorry, Prince Tarren. Please excuse my behavior; I must go now. If you'll excuse me." Taking the hat slowly, I turned toward the door, hoping he wouldn't mention anything about what today is.

"Jane. I told you not to call me 'Prince Tarren' anymore. Tarren suits just fine," the boy gave me an imploring look. "We've been friends for years...I don't want social status to get the best of us."

I turned to him, my gaze level and unmoved. "I'm sorry. But a maid cannot interfere with those of royal blood." I took one deep breath and went inside the palace. We were friends before, alright. Memories from the past returned and flooded my head, but I pushed them all away.

"Really...I can't understand her at all." Tarren sighed. He bent down to pick up the cat, who was lazing on the ground, until he jumped up. A hand lay on his shoulder.

"Hey, Tar!" Another boy with slightly curly brown hair popped out from behind.

"Holy cow! Dan, never sneak up on me like that. And don't call me 'Tar'. I'm not some sticky black liquid. If I were, I would make any effort to sink you."

"Alright. Take it easy--why the glum atmosphere?" Dan asked, his hands behind his back as he circled his friend as if inspecting something. "Don't tell me--girl problems? Did a girl reject you? Punched you in the gut?"

"Be quiet, you dolt," Tarren ignored the question and picked up the cat. "Training starts in a ten minutes. Hurry up, or I'll leave you behind." Walking away, he waved at his friend.

"Sorry! Jeez, can't take a joke?" the curly-haired boy shouted, as he ran to catch up to the prince. "As if a girl would reject you anyway..." he muttered. "You're as handsome as handsome can get. If you were to dress as a girl, you would pass with flying colors."

"Thanks. And when I pass for a girl, I'll tell all my lady friends to keep clear of you."


I rushed into the kitchen with an exasperated look, not knowing Dawn was sitting nonchalantly on a chair nearby. Her hand was occupied with a ball of yarn and some fabric. Looking up to see who slammed the door, the girl smiled. "Good morning Jane."

"Good morning, Dawn," I replied, my eyes resting on the girl's flowing straight onyx hair. A few strands framed her face and accompanied the delicate jaw frame. "You look as lovely and neat as ever."

"Thank you," she laughed at me. "You're doing good yourself. Try spending more time with a brush though. Your training clothes are in the changing room. Hurry up; Seyra promised to meet you in her quarters."

"Oh!" I smacked by forehead. Seyra was going to help me train today! I ran to the dressing room, put on a pair of airy breeches and a tunic, and tied up my hair to a bun, with which I concealed using a puffy brown cap. "I'll talk to you later, Dawn!" I cried out, rushing out of the door and into the garden.

"Stay hidden!" were the last words I heard before jogging to the training courts.


Walking briskly, I pulled down my cap more as soon as I arrived at the courts, where a few pages trained before the trainer came. I hope I'm not seen... my mind raced, wiping my clammy hands on my pants. C'mon Jane, you've done this a dozen times, get used--

"Hey, you there!" a voice called out. A short, pudgy boy came running to me. "Have you seen an arrow fly by here?"

"Uh, no I haven't..." I replied, trying to making my voice sound deeper.

"Hm...could've sworn it went this direction. Oh wells," the boy muttered, turning around, but then stopping. He leaned in a bit closer until I could see the sweat on his forehead. "Have I seen you around before?"

"N-n-no! Just a new stable boy," stuttering, I backing away slowly. "Gotta run, see you!" Making a break for it, I ran across the courts with as much speed as my legs could muster. I went even faster when I saw a glimpse of Tarren practicing swordplay. Finally, I arrived to my destination: a long quadrilateral building, two stories high. As soon as I caught my breath, I entered the place and knocked on the nearest door on the right hallway.

"Who is it?" a singsong voice asked.

"It's me." I knocked on the door once more, but this time, I did it by the tune of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat."

"Oh! Come in, come in," the door flew open from under my hands. A strong scent of flowers greeted me. Walking in, I felt instantly calm and refreshed. I took of my cap and hung it at a nearby coat rack.

"You're early, Jane. We've an hour and a half of practice time now." A woman with light brown hair tied into a ponytail came out. Her lips pulled back into a grin to reveal pearly white teeth. Measuring around five feet and eight inches, she was taller than Jane by three more. "Pick up your sword."

"Yes, I woke up early today just for this." Excitement bubbled in my voice as I took a sheathed sword nearby. Drawing it out of its humble abode, the weapon gleamed ferociously.


"So are you re--" I was about to ask, but seeing a sword rushing at me broke my question. Nimbly, I jumped out in the nick of time as the weapon passed a foot away from my head.

"A warrior does not stand around and ask questions," Seyra smiled as she withdrew her blade. She got into her stance, her sword in her left hand and her whole body facing diagonally. Her right hand was placed just above her hip. Holding my sword in both hands, I lunged at her and swept diagonally. She caught my blade with hers, and moved her arm forcefully into a full circle, almost making me lose my grip. She winked at me as I smiled ruefully. Blow after blow, parry after parry--a whole hour flew by just with the clang of metal against metal.

"I think it's time to call it a wrap." Seyra nodded to me, I gave her my sword and put my cap back on. "Tomorrow, come here at the same time?"

"Naturally; wouldn't miss it for the world," I grinned at her and waved a brief goodbye. Once outside, I stretched my arms and walked back toward the training courts, humming a tune.

"The training master sure is loud..." I mumbled, trying to plug out his shouts and orders with my hands over my ears.

"--Missing one person....dang flu going 'round....we are we gonna find another practice partner....can't do anything if my leg's in a cast...." the words still floated within my hearing, so I walked faster. But not before being stopped by a booming voice. I halted, turning slowly around.

"Lad!" the training master waved to me."C'mere!"

Oh, crud. With a small grimace, I walked silently to the man. His red hair was like the sun itself, and his black eyes a deep abyss. He wobbled to me on his crude wooden crutches.

"Know how to use a sword, boy?" he asked me as I tried to avert my gaze from the tattoo that ran down on his right arm.

"Yessir," my reply was meek.

"Good." Signaling to a boy, the chubby one that stopped me earlier, he commanded, "Erin. Give this lad here a training sword."

"Yes!" Erin responded. He ran to an iron box, got a sword, and carefully walked back. He handed it to me with a look that seemed like pity.

"Alright. Lad, your name?" the man asked me.

"I-I...I'm, er, Nate." I replied, trying to look the man squarely in the eye.

"Hmph. Nate of?"

Of? What does he mean of...? I racked my brain, trying to figure out what he was talking about.

The man sighed. "Nevermind. The name's Pier. Pier of Sypal. Now, Nate, I am short a student and a boy is missing his partner. I can't do it, so you will." His eyes glistened with a mischievous shine. "Tarren! Come here, I found you a sparring partner."

My jaw dropped. Tarren?! Instantly, I backed away, "Sir, Sir Pier. I just forgot that--"

"Tarren, meet Nate. Nate, Tarren."

"But sir--" I tried to squeeze in my excuse, but forgot all about it when the big man's pushed me forward.

"Now go spar. Let's see some skill, boys!" Sir Pier whistled shrilly. Metallic sounds answered back.

"Nice to meet you Nate. Any good with a sword?" Tarren asked me as he lead the way to his designated training spot.

"Sort of." I muttered. Of all people, why him?

"Good. Set yourself then." The boy smiled and pointed his sword at me. With a quick step, his raised his arm and the sword was flying down toward my head. I parried the blow, holding the hilt of my weapon with both my hands. Suddenly, the weight lifted and a flash of silver was already swinging toward my open left. I shifted my sword to my left hand and blocked the blow, my ears ringing from the pain of the force. I wobbled back a bit. Before I had time to react, Tarren's sidestepped to the right and brought the flat side of his sword against my thigh. I fell to the ground.

"Keep your eyes open, lad!" I heard Sir Pier shout from across the court. I looked at the man, slightly annoyed. To my astonishment, I saw a maid rushing toward the courts. Dawn! The maid stared at me with bewildered eyes, and then began talking to Sir Pier. The man motioned for me to come.

"Hey, you okay?" Tarren asked, standing beside me with an extended hand, just like in the morning.

"Fine. Never better. Looks like I need to go though," I stood up, by myself, and gave a nod to the boy. Pulling down my cap, I walked away from the prince.

"Looks like you're needed elsewhere, lad. Come back anytime." The muscled man grinned at me, I gave a weak smile in return. Dawn grabbed my head and speed-walked away.

"What in heaven's name were you doing, Jane?!" she cried out.

"Shush up," I said, trying to make sure we were out of hearing range. "I was about to go back, but the man stopped me! He thought I was boy from around here."

Putting her hand to her forehead, Dawn sighed. "What do you expect? Wearing that around just to have Seyra teach you how to fight. Work is going to start in twenty minutes. Just go and get dressed!" She pushed me inside the kitchen door, where I stumbled into the dressing room. Taking off my clothes and folding them neatly, I fumbled with the black and white maid uniform. Tying my apron around my waist and combing through my hair, I quickly washed my face and went to the kitchen.

"What is that blotch on your leg, Jane?" Dawn asked. She pointed to my knee where a black bruise was taking form.

"Oh, great!" Stupefied at how I didn't feel any ache, I pulled at my stockings to try and cover the spot. "A bruise. It'll heal."

"Well, get to work then. The nobles are waiting for their tea to be served. Move-in starts tomorrow, so you'll have to get all your belongings in early in the morning."

"Really? So soon? Where will we be staying now?"

"Girls have a room to themselves; male servants are in a separate building." Dawn replied as she poured fresh hot water into small porcelain cups. "But...I managed to set us up a room. We'll be bunking with each other."

"Wonderful!" I jumped up with glee and rushed to hug my friend. Last year, all the female servants were to sleep in one room. Truthfully, I could written a dozen books about all their gossip and chit-chattering. "I'll take these!" Smiling up to my ears, I took a silver platter and put the tea cups on them along with a plate of scones. My mouth watered, but I resisted.

"Mhmm." Dawn just nodded and patted me on the back.


All day, I attended to the barking of the nobles. Dust this table, help me dress, pin up my hair, fetch my books. Really, it always puzzled as me as to why they can't even do a simple task of brushing their hair. As the day winded down and the sun was beginning to set, I walked back to the dressing room and changed to my normal clothes. My muscles ached; the first day of work was always the worst. I grabbed my training clothes and put on my brim hat. I'll buy a small pie on the way home, I thought. Although it wasn't much, we still had to celebrate with something today.

Opening the back door, I stopped in my tracks. Syre the mischievous cat stood in my path.

"Meow," he purred. Winding himself at my legs, he rubbed his scruffy fur on me.

"Kissing up, eh? Why the sudden change of attitude?" I managed a grin, still cautious. I can never trust this cat too much. Taking out a piece of bread from my pocket, I tossed it to him. He snatched it up and ran to a nearby bush.

"Thank you for feeding my stray." I looked up. Tarren stood with his arms behind his back. He glanced at the cat then back at me.

"Good evening, Prince Tarren." I greeted him and did a proper curtsy.

The boy sighed. "You'll never learn, wi--Hey. Is that a bruise?" He took a step towards me. I took a step back. "And those clothes. Odd, I feel like I've seen them before." He pointed to my arm that cradled my puffy cap and the training gear.

"No. I believe the prince is tired from today. May I suggest he take a rest? Dusk is fast approaching." Trying to be formal while gritting your teeth was a hard job.

"Well, at least let me treat the bruise." He took another step forward and stooped down. "I at least learned some healing magic; Seyra had to teach me in secret."

Seyra? Teaching Tarren? I flinched away as the boy pressed his hand to my bruise. "No, that's enough!" I backed up and stepped to his side. "I'm okay, it'll heal by itself."

"Look, I'm just trying to help," Tarren replied, sounding a little irritated.

"You shouldn't be meddling with my business, now if you'll excuse me!" I started to walk past him, but he only stood in my way once more. My eyes narrowed.

"I just can't understand you. But fine, here," he held out his hand to me. A small green pouch tied with a white ribbon laid on his palm. "Have a merry birthday!" I couldn't tell if he meant it because he stalked away. Dumbfounded, I stuffed the pouch in my pocket and walked home, almost forgetting to buy the pie.

"Mom! I'm home!" I knocked on the door and let myself in. My little brother was sitting on the floor reading a book. He looked up and then went to hug me. "Hey, squirt."

"Janey, I am no squirt." He smiled, some of his upper teeth missing. "I think...I think momma is in the kitchen. Watcha got there Janey?" His five-year old accent was hard to resist.

"A gift for you. Now go take this to mom and help set the table. I'll be downstairs to eat with you all after I'm done dressing." I gave him the box of pie and dragged myself upstairs. The bruise, as I saw when I looked at my knee, got a little bigger. Dumping my training clothes on my bed, I got a new pair of breeches and shirt from my closet and turned the faucet on in the upstairs bathroom. Taking off my dirty clothes, I slipped into the steaming wooden, the pouch sitting on the dry edge. Gingerly, I took the bag. It was made of soft silk. Untying the lace that held it, a necklace with a cross ornament almost tumbled out of the package. A little note was tucked into the small folds of the fabric.

Happy birthday. Will you, just once, call me Tarren? For the sake of old times. Give my regards to your family and your father.

PS. Dan wanted in too.

I folded the note into a small square. "Great..." I sighed. Scrubbing myself with soap, I finished my bath and dressed up. The necklace and the note lay on my bed as I went downstairs to celebrate.

User Comments: [3]
Wander and Wonder
Community Member

Wed Oct 15, 2008 @ 12:13am

truley amazing
i must finish reading it sometime!
you writing skills are impeccable!
im so jealous!

Community Member

Wed Oct 15, 2008 @ 12:28am

Hahaha....my writing kinda stinks right now. sweatdrop

I haven't wrote fiction in a while...so I thought to do this story for some practice. I need to start reading more books.>.<

Wander and Wonder
Community Member

Wed Oct 22, 2008 @ 12:32am

ur writing is awesome!
mine stinks! i have an essay due tommrow....


[can u split it into sections? i have trouble remembering where i left off on..]

User Comments: [3]
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