I decided to get the next part up a day early, since that would have been going quite a few days without a new post. 😉
“NEAL!!” The king yelled at the top of his lungs from the palace steps. Neal was just walking up.
“Yes, Father?” He asked with a huff. Whenever Neal was out hunting, his father would get furious.
“Have you been hunting again?!” The king shouted.
“Yes, I have.” Neal replied with a sigh.
“You know I don’t want you hunting anymore! You should be in the palace learning how to be a proper ruler. You don’t rule your kingdom by killing animals!” The king yelled furiously.
“Father, you have a good many years ahead of you, and as do I. It’s not time for me to be king yet, so I will continue to hunt.” Neal said decidedly. The king clenched his jaw and lowered his eyebrows.
“Neal, I am your father and your king, and you will do as I say! No more hunting, Neal!” The king said firmly. Neal sighed.
“Father don’t do this. I am so close to finally getting the rare beast I have been after all these months!” Neal said, trying to change his father’s mind.
“Neal, I didn’t want to do this, but you leave me no choice. I forbid you from hunting! I forbid you from even going outside the castle grounds! You will spend the rest of the year learning how to be a good king, and at the end of the year, you will choose someone to be your queen, at which time, I will retire from ruling.” The king commanded.
Neal’s face was completely serious. He had never imagined this would happen to him, and this time he couldn’t do anything but agree.
With a bow of his head, he said, “Yes, father.” And slowly headed back down the palace steps.
“Where do you think you’re going?” The king inquired in a loud voice.
“Just going for a walk in our secluded palace grounds.” Neal replied and walked away.
When he was out of sight, he climbed the palace wall and entered the forest where most of the commoners went to pick berries. As he walked along, he suddenly caught sight of the young girl he had met in the butcher’s shop that day.
“Well, we meet again.” He said to Erebelle, who, rather startled, spun around quickly at the sound of his voice.
“Oh, good afternoon, Your Highness.” Erebelle said with a curtsy.
“Picking berries, Miss Erebelle?” He inquired.
“Yes, I come here most every day. If it isn’t for berry picking, it’s simply to take a walk.” Erebelle stated. She hadn’t had much practice speaking to royalty, so she was a little nervous.
“I come here a lot, too. But unfortunately, today I had to climb the palace wall to get out here.” Neal said with annoyance.
“May I ask why, Sire?” Erebelle asked politely.
“My father has just forbidden me from hunting and from even stepping a foot out of the palace grounds. Although I shouldn’t have told you this. Please promise me you will not tell a soul.” Neal begged of Erebelle, who was smiling broadly.
“Oh, forgive me, Sire, I am not smiling at your troubles. But yes, I promise I will not tell anyone.” Erebelle had to bite her lip to keep from smiling. She was so excited that he wouldn’t be hunting anymore, because perhaps now, Damarias could come out of hiding and live freely.
“Thank you, Miss.” Neal said gratefully.
Erebelle fixed her shawl and said, “I’m sorry I have to rush off like this, but I really must be going now. Good day, Your Highness.” Erebelle curtsied and darted off towards home.
I know the first three parts are kind of slow, but the next part, well…. Hehehehe….. 😀
Are you enjoying this story so far?