Chapter 1: Trouble in Paradise
That Slick Devil!
Chapter 1: Trouble in Paradise
There once was a beautiful land. It knew no sadness, this was because even though many had little, they were content with the joy they found in their family, friends and of course their king and queen. The queen was beautiful, kind, wise and just. The king was handsome, brave, wise and just. The kings name was Melakia and the queens name was Angelina. Together they had a beautiful daughter whom they had decided to name, Raf. All of the kingdom celebrated.
All except for the queens younger sister who hated the queen, her own sister, deeply. This was because not only was she beautiful but had a child, got the throne and Malakia who she was in love with. Her name was Reina. But she was smart and bid her time wisely, knowing that soon the opportunity to grab the throne would present itself, all she had to do was bide her time carefully.
And after 15 years that opportunity did come in the form of war. In a far away country there was a war brewing. The king and queen knew that if the did not stop them there then the enemy would have the chance to take over. So they bid their daughter goodbye and set off leaving Reina to do whatever she pleased. And she did, what little the people of the land had she took away with taxes and if they refused her she would give them the worst punishments imaginable.
While Raf stayed in the castle at all times and knew nothing of her aunts cruelty. She became very beautiful just like her mother and everyone in the land knew it. The people lived in fear until one day a man stood up and went against her orders. He was the son of a duke and was, just like, Raf, 15 years old. He became a hero to the people and they called him the hooded devil ,since he always had a cloak to cover his face. He resided in Zollfenello forest and only his good friends and allies knew his real name. Sulfus.
Chapter 2: :A Dead Deer and a Plan
That Slick Devil!
Chapter 2:A Dead Deer and a Plan
"C'mon Gas hurry up! At this rate I'm going to have my horse start trotting for you to keep up!" Cried a young man in a red hood and cloak. He turned to look back at his friend who was trying to get his horse to go faster.
"Hey man I can't help it my horse has a lot more weight to carry than yours!" Gas was a heavy set young man, with red hair and love for anything edible.
"That's true! I really feel bad for that poor animal". Sulfus laughed. He stopped to wait for his friend and saw a stream nearby.
"Hey Gas I see a stream up ahead! Lets let the horses rest for a while!"
"Sure, sounds good!"
Once they reached the stream they got off their horses and let them drink some water and rest in the shade. The two boys then decided to lay in the shade and started talking. They talked about a variety of topics, from horses to archery. But like always they got to one point where they talked about the royal family.
"I still cant believe how they treat people so cruelly. It's a good thing my father raised me right!"
Sulfus himself was from a noble family. His father had been in high noble standing but had passed away some years ago. He didn't even remember his mother. Since he spent so much time in the forest and with the common townsfolk he was considered one of them and wanted nothing to do with the royal family. Oh he was loyal to the king and queen but ever since they had left the townspeople whom he had all grown to love were suffering, so he helped them in any way he could.
"I know man they're unreal. But hey have you heard about the princess? The rumor is that she's as beautiful as her mom. Maybe even more beautiful! That and her aunts trying to set her up with that lapdog of hers Gabriel. But she won't go along with it. Oh and something else! Her aunt hasn't let her out of the castle ever since she came to power! She probably has no idea what's going on out here!" Gas explained.
"What? So she's basically kept her own niece locked away for three years! That's insane! But still I find it hard to believe that she could be more beautiful than the queen."
Their conversation was cut short however when they heard two screams. They quickly leapt on to their horses and rode towards where the screams had come from. When they arrived they saw two girls being surrounded by a bunch of Reina's soldiers, a dead deer lying by them. One had had long black hair with two purple streaks in the front. The other had short dark purple hair with one big red streak on the side.
"Let us go!" Yelled the one with the red streak.
"We've done nothing wrong!" Yelled the other.
The leader marched forward on his horse .
"Done nothing wrong! Ha! You've killed one of Reina's royal deer! That is a severe crime! And I as the sheriff must enforce the law!"
"Oh please you pompous windbag! That jerk owns everything nowadays! What right do you have to tell us what to do!" Yelled one of the girls.
"Yeah you old goat!" The other chimed in.
The leaders face grew red and he prepared to strike them when an arrow whizzed by catching some of his hair. He turned slowly to see the two young men. One of which had an arrow pointed right at him.
"I suggest you leave now sheriff. Before this gets ugly."
The sheriff grew pale and quickly turned around and ran away. All of his men following him. Gas and Sulfus jumped off their horses and went to help the two ladies.
"Are you guys alright?" Asked Sulfus.
The one with the purple answered first.
"Yeah thanks to you guys! My names Calbiria and this is my sister Kabale."
"Nice to meet you!" Kabale replied.
"Were glad that you two are okay. I guess we'll be leaving now." Said Gas as he and Sulfus mounted their horses.
"Wait!" Kabale yelled.
"Please let us go with you! Were orphans and have nothing! Please let us come with you!"
Gas and Sulfus looked at each other and smiled.
"Ok, throw in the deer and you can come with." Sulfus said smirking.
"Hooray" The girls yelled.
After they had gotten the deer and girls on the horses they made the way to their campsite. On the way they talked. Mostly about how someone had to make Reina see that they weren't going to be pushed around anymore. After they had discussed this for a while Sulfus had an idea.
"Hey isn't there supposed to be a feast tonight?"
"Yeah what about it?" Calbiria asked.
"I'm still a noble and I think I have the perfect way to make Reina realize that we're not going to be pushed around anymore." Sulfus smirked.
The companions all smiled. They liked where this was going.
Chapter 3: Getting Ready and Great Friends
That Slick Devil!
Chapter 3: Getting Ready and Great Friends
Raf sighed as she put on her necklace, the only thing that she had from her mother. Her aunt had made all the servants put her parents possessions in a room that was never to be opened and her aunt was the only one who held the key. She said that it was so that they wouldn't mourn them to much, if you couldn't see their belongings then you wouldn't be reminded of them. She didn't really get it but she decided to listen to her aunt. It was foolish to get her angry after all.
"Wow Raf you look amazing!"
"You're going to knock them dead!"
Raf gasped and turned around to see her Lady in waiting, along with her two other best friends.
"Urie, Sweet and Miki! When did you guys get here?"
"Right after you started sighing!" Said Sweet.
" Why were you sighing anyway? This is a great day! Your going to a nice party, eat great food and maybe you'll get to dance with that cutie Gabe." Miki said all this with a smirk on her face adding a saucy wink when she finished.
Raf got a disgusted look on her face.
"Ewwww Miki your not serious are you! Don't get me wrong he's cute and all but he's so obnoxious!"
Everyone laughed at the look on Raf's face. It wasn't a secret that Raf had absolutely no interest in Gabe. Well it was a secret to Gabe, that or the boy just wouldn't take a hint.
"Hey Raf what kind of guy are you interested in anyway?" Sweet asked. "I mean you've never taken an interest to the boys in the castle." Everyone looked to her for her response.
Raf thought about it long and hard. She didn't like any boys in the castle so she didn't really know what kind of boy she would go for.
"I guess that he would have to be interesting, brave and he would have to be kind. Oh and he can't be a pompous jerk."
Urie was about to reply when the trumpets sounded. She smiled and started to push Raf out the door.
"Can't be late or your aunt will have your head."
" Isn't that the truth." They al laughed and shared one final hug before they went their own separate ways.
Urie was only a chambermaid so she would be with the other maids helping serve food to the guests. Both Miki and Sweet however were nobles daughters so they would have to stay by their parents sides and make themselves respectable ladies. And as always since Raf was the princess she would have to sit by here aunts side hardly say a word and try not to puke while that idiot Gabe flirted with her.
She finally made her way down to the ball room and greeted her aunt.
"Hello auntie Reina." She curtsied.
"My dear niece lovely as ever I see. Come sit beside me." She patted the chair next to her with a sickly sweet smile on her face. Raf nodded politely and made her way to the chair. Just as she was about to sit down however
"Here Raf let me help you. Ladies should never have to do things for themselves." Gabe said with a smile that was intended to be charming but instead came off as repulsive. Raf suppressed a grimace and smiled pleasantly.
"Thank you Gabe."
"Isn't he simply charming Raf?" Her aunt asked. Raf just smiled and nodded. After that she simply sat back and listened while her aunt and Gabe started talking about unimportant things like nobility and lineage. Raf didn't understand why a person wealth or family were judged instead of the actual person. She played with the peasants in the castle many times before her aunt had taken over.
"Raf they are commoners which means that they are below you. Do not play with them anymore"
At least she still had Urie since her aunt couldn't fire her chambermaid.
Raf was so caught up in her thoughts that she didn't notice the guards going towards the doors until…
"I hope that I'm not intruding or anything." Said the young man that had just kicked open the double doors into the ballroom. He was carrying what appeared to be a deer on his back.
"Who in the world do you think you are?" Yelled Gabe quickly standing up.
"My name is Sulfus and me and the queen have to have a little talk."
At this point the only thought in Raf's head was
WHAT IS GOING ON!
Chapter 4: Respect, Affection and Chaos
Chapter 4: Respect, Affection and Chaos
"How dare you speak to the queen in such and insolent tone!" Gabe roared.
"Now now Gabe." Queen Reina said. " Lets hear this young man out. It might prove, amusing."
Gabe bowed to her and shut up. Raf watched as if in a trance as the young man walked up to the dining table and placed the deer on top of the other food. He was handsome without a doubt. He carried himself regally and looked extremely proud. He was lean but well muscled, with dark blue hair and pale skin. He wore a red cloak with a hood and there appeared to be a bow and arrows on his back. But what she found most odd and enchanting were his eyes. They were like molten gold and held many emotions. Some of which she couldn't place, but she caught the most apparent ones. Anger, disgust and resistance his eyes made him seem much older than he actually was. And what was most peculiar was that covering his left eye was a mark that took on the shape of a star. She was brought out of her musings by her aunts voice.
"So who are you and why have you come here?" The young man smirked and proceeded to do a overdramatic bow.
"I am Sulfus Zollfenello your highness. Born of noble birth and raised accordingly."
"Well now Sulfus why have you burst into my dining hall and rudely disrupted my party with your…deer?" The queen finished her sentence awkwardly as she didn't quite know how to best phrase the question.
" To issue a warning my dear queen. If you do not stop taxing the peasants to the point of starvation, arresting them for petty crimes or chain in your guards me and the peasants will have no choice but to rise up against you. With me leading the charge of course. And as for the deer, well I thought it would make my complaint a little stronger since the two girls that rightfully killed it were almost arrested for their action." He finished his statement with a smirk.
At this time Gabe stood up and slammed a hand against the table.
"How dare you act in such a fashion! Treason against your ruler in spite of your noble lineage! What do the peasants matter?! They are no concern of ours! And you illegally poached a deer in the queens forest! You should be arrested for your crimes!" Gabe was about to continue when Raf's voice stopped him.
"You're the man aren't you? The one whose been helping the sick and injured and provided shelter to the homeless. The Hooded Devil, that's you isn't it?"
For the first time since entering the palace Sulfus laid his eyes upon the princess. She was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. She had bright blonde hair with a red streak that was swept to the side. Her cheeks were a rosy pink as were her lips. But what made Sulfus's heart stop was her eyes. The were an indescribable color of blue and were now looking upon him with kindness, respect and admiration.
Ignoring everyone else he went right in front of the princess and sat on the table never once breaking eye contact.
"And if I was your highness?" He said in a whisper.
"Then you would be very brave and very kind." Raf responded in kind. Sulfus slowly took her hand in his.
"Rumors of your beauty have spread for and wide, but I see that they hardly do you justice." He smiled at her rosy blush and brought the hand that he was holding to his lips and kissed it, never breaking eye contact. He managed to kiss it one more time before Gabe, his face bright red yelled.
" Get away from princess Raf! Guards seize this man!"
Guards from every side surrounded him. Raf looked around panicked. But Sulfus was the very picture of calm.
"What's wrong pretty boy? Can't win a fight on your own? Wait stupid question of course you cant. You don't even know how to fight!" Sulfus mocked. With that he snapped his fingers and Gas, Kabale and Cabiria burst through the door brandishing their weapons. Gas was using a wooden staff, Kabale was using darts laced with a sleeping potion that she had concocted and Cabiria had decided to go old school using daggers.
"Seize them!" Gabe and Reina yelled. And that was the beginning of the chaos.
Chapter 5: A Battle and A Talk
Chapter 5: A Battle and a Talk
The feast was surrounded by chaos. Nobles who had come were screaming and running around like chickens with their heads cut off. The guards were busy fighting the two girls and the red haired boy. The rest of the servants were trying to go into the castle so the could find a safe place to hide.
Raf watched in surprise and with a hint of amusement as the two girls and the red haired boy beet their guards without breaking a sweat. Sulfus in the meantime was managing to evade the guards. Which lead to many of them falling over, smacking themselves or smacking into each other. Raf turned when she heard the scream of a guard to her left. She chuckled quietly to herself, although that laughter came to an abrupt halt as one of the guards stray arrows came flying at her, narrowly missing her head. She sat there in shock for a moment before quickly ducking under the table. She didn't expect to see another person with her however. A pair of amber eyes locked on hers and a smile flitted over the handsome devils face.
"Well my lady we meet again. Though what made you decide to hide under the table?"
"Oh you know, a stray arrow right by my head, no big deal. And yourself?"
"Oh castle guards trying to kidnap me. No sweat." They looked at each other before bursting out laughing. A few tears even escaped their eyes. When they got control of themselves they smiled at each other.
"Your highness doesn't seem troubled by the fact that four traitors are currently ruining her feast, why is that?"
"Do you still serve my father and my mother?" When she asked this Sulfus's expression turned serious. He nodded once sharply.
"I serve them with my life."
"Then to me you are not a traitor." He smiled at her.
"Your highness…" He started but was cut off.
"Raf, my name is Raf and I would like it if you used it instead of your highness. Highness is my mother and father."
"Raf then, do you really know nothing about what is going on outside these wall?"
"No I don't. I'm not allowed out, but if I had known what my aunt was doing I most certainly would have tried." A warm look passed over his face.
"I believe you."
For a while they stayed there simply smiling at each other. Slowly without them even noticing their hands came together and were used to slowly pull them closer to each other. Sulfus swallowed before talking.
"Do you believe in love at first sight?"
"If you had asked me that this morning I would have said that it was ridiculous and impossible. I still do somewhat believe that. Except that I now believe in affection at first sight."
His smile threatened to tear his face. They came steadily closer until
The sound of a falling chandelier was heard. And Raf heard one of the girls yelling.
"Sulfus c'mon we got to get outta here!" Raf quickly looked at him and pulled him towards her.
"Do you promise to see me again?" As before he brought her hand up to his lips and kissed it without breaking eye contact. The words he whispered softly were like music to her.
"As you wish."
He then ran out from under the table and through the huge double doors that his friends were holding for him. But before he left he turned to her as she got out from beneath the table and blew her a kiss, which she then proceeded to catch in her hand. And then he vanished. She dimly heard her aunt and Gabe telling the guards to go after them but she was still spellbound by her talk with Sulfus. She was only snapped out of it as Mikki, Urie and Sweet yelled her name and embraced her tightly. It was Urie who asked the first question.
"Raf are you okay? Your not hurt are you?" Raf looked at them dreamily before replying.
"Girls this has been one of the most amazing moments of my entire life!"
Chapter 6: Longing
Chapter 6: Longing
"And then he blew me a kiss! I don't know how to explain it girls but I feel lighter than air!" Raf punctuated the statement by jumping on her bed with a giggle followed by a dreamy sigh.
"But Raf even if he isn't a bad guy your still the princess and this Sulfus guy is going against the queen. He's an outlaw." Sweet pointed out.
"Yes but it's for the right reasons. I'm sure that once the King and Queen return Sulfus will be pardoned. And when he is he'll be elevated to noble status." Urie said optimistically.
"Still Raf out of all the guys that you could fall for you choose the one who your aunt would happily behead." Mikki said.
"Oh don't worry, I'm sure that Sulfus can overcome any obstacle that my aunt and that idiot Gabe send his way." Raf said this in an assured tone. "Besides he promised to see me again. Oh I can't wait!"
"Well as long as your happy that's all that matters." Said Sweet. Both Mikki and Urie nodded their heads in agreement.
"Thank you girls. You're the best!." They all joined in a huge group hug. When they broke apart Urie reminded Raf of something she had forgotten.
"Don't forget Raf tomorrow you ride with Gabe to protect the tax money while they move it to the treasury. Raf moaned as she remembered. Tomorrow would be horrible. The friends bid each other goodbye and left to their own homes leaving Raf alone. The last thing she thought of before she went to sleep were Sulfus's eyes.
"I promised that I would meet her again and I will!" Sulfus's voice rang throughout their little hideaway deep in the forest. He was currently listening to his friends objections to him seeing Raf again.
"Dude are you crazy! You could get caught!" Gas yelled.
"There is no way were letting you sneak into the castle!" Cabiria shouted.
"Yeah and what do you want with that stupid brat anyway!" Kabale's objection was laced with jealousy.
"Fine I won't sneak into the castle! But I promised that I would see her again!"
"How can you do it when she almost never leaves the castle!" Gas demanded.
"I'll just have to- wait did you just say almost never?" Sulfus looked at his friends expectantly.
"Well sometimes her aunt makes her go with that lapdog of hers to move the taxes to the treasury. I think there doing that tomorrow actually." Kabale stepped in.
"And the route that leads from the castle to the treasury goes through the forest." Sulfus smirked as a plan entered his head. "Kabale, Gas, Cabiria send a message to all the able peasants to come here tomorrow! If all goes well we'll have feast and a really pissed off queen!"
His friends cheered and quickly got on their horses to tell the nearby villagers the good news and their instructions. Sulfus watched them go and a smile worked itself onto his face.
"I'll see you soon Raf." He then laid down. His last thought before he went to sleep was of Raf's eyes.
Chapter 7: Promised Meeting
Chapter 7: Promised Meeting
"Raf are you sure that your alright?" Gabe asked for what was perhaps the 20th time.
"Yes Gabe I'm fine." Raf huffed out in annoyance. Raf was riding on her horse, a beautiful red brown mare. Since girls were apparently delicate and shouldn't ride horses for anything other than grand appearances Gabe kept asking if she was okay in order for her to get back to the carriage that was used for such occasions.
"Alright but just tell me and we'll get you right off that creature."
"Her name is Cox."
"Yes whatever you say." If Raf didn't have her aunt to worry about she probably would've kicked Gabe right off his saddle. She sighed, it had only been a day but she wanted to see Sulfus again so badly. She didn't understand how a boy, an outlaw, could make her feel this way but, she just couldn't help herself. Sulfus was brave and handsome and kind. And he made her laugh. Something she hadn't done much of since her parents left her at the castle. She wondered when he would come see her.
"Raf you should know that their have been bandits attacking nobles on this road, but don't worry, I'll protect you."
"Sure, Gabe, sure." Raf mumbled. He smiled before he turned to the road once more. All of a sudden he stopped. Raf stopped alongside him and looked at the large group of men and women that were blocking the road. They all looked dirty and hungry. They didn't even have proper clothes. Everything was ripped and stained. She thought that she might cry.
"What are you peasants doing? Get out of the way!" Gabe said peasants as if it was garbage in his mouth. She glared at him and was about to say something before a man stepped forward and started talking.
"We are here to get our money back from you and that disgusting queen of yours. Now hand it over before you get hurt."
"Ha as if I would ever listen to the likes of you, besides the money is in the locked carrige and I'm the only one who knows where the key is." Gabe had such a haughty look on his face that Raf couldn't help herself. She was about a step behind Gabe and since he was still fixated on the mob he wasn't paying her any mind. She looked straight towards the man who had spoken. When his eyes made contact with hers she pointed to her neck and mouthed chain. She then pointed to his neck and mouthed chain again. The man smiled at her and turned back towards Gabe. It was then that Raf noticed the rest of the villagers smiling at her as well. Smiles that she happily returned.
"Why are you all smiling?!" Gabe broke the peace with an incredulous shout. Raf had to stifle a laugh and looked at all of the villagers again pointing at him and mouthing idiot. Now all the villagers were trying to contain their laughter. The man in front of Gabe pulled himself together. Before Gabe could even reach for his sword the man grabbed the collar of his shirt and pulled him off the horse and into the ground. Ripping his collar and the chain around his neck at the same time. Raf smiled as the man unlocked the carriage and distributed the money for people to carry. While they did this two man picked Gabe up and held him so that he couldn't escape. When this was over the man started to talk.
"Okay everyone we are going to carry the money and these two back to the hideout. Men blindfold him." The men did as they were told and a second later Gabe was blindfolded. The man in charge went up to her next.
"Your highness we are all loyal to your mother and father but since you are living with the queen we do need to be cautious."
"Oh no its fine I completely understand. And thank you for holding my parents in such high regard." She took the blindfold that he offered her and tied it around her eyes. He checked quickly to make sure that it was secure and that she couldn't see anything. When that was done he lead her horse through a series of turns. She was so confused that she didn't think she could find this place even if she could see. Soon enough they came to a stop.
"We're here your highness you can take the blindfold off now."
"Oh thank you. And please call me Raf." The man looked shocked but smiled none the less.
"Come now the boss wants to see you."
"Who is your boss?"
"The hooded devil of course." Happiness flooded her entire being.
"Sulfus! Sulfus wants to see me! He kept his promise!" She said joyfully. The man just smiled at her warmly with amusement twinkling in his eyes.
They soon saw Sulfus and many of the peasants looming above Gabe, who was glaring at them.
"Well look at what we have here boys and girls. The queens lapdog." Everyone around me laughed while the idiot just glared at me.
"I demand that you release me and the princess at once and return the queens money!" He said that as though he expected us to do it simply because he ordered us. I was shocked for a second, then when I got over it I tried not to die of laughter. The villagers had the same reactions.
"Are you serious? Wow you really are as stupid as you look! The queens money that's a laugh!" After I got over my Laughing fit I fixed him with a cool and deadly glare.
"Listen buddy that money rightfully belongs to these people and you aren't going to take any more of it. You should be grateful to the princess. If she wasn't with we would have handled you capture more roughly." I put emphasis on the word roughly so he could understand how serious I was. Apparently he understood since he looked like he was about to wet himself.
"Sir!" I heard one of my men call out to me, when I turned to face him and saw Raf. Looking as beautiful as when I first met her. Her eyes locked with mine and we were both smiling so hard I thought our faces would split. I noticed a blush on her cheeks. That had to mean that she was happy to see me. That thought just made me smile harder. I walked up to her and took a bow. And kissed her hand.
"Welcome to Sherwood Forest my lady."
Chapter 8: Getting to Know You
Chapter 8: Getting to Know You
"Welcome to Sherwood my lady." I giggled into my hand. I gabbed both ends of my dress and curtsied.
"Thank you kind sir." He smiled and I smiled back. He bent his arm at the elbow and placed his fist on his hip. I put my arm around his bent one.
"Let give you the grand tour." As we started to walk away I heard Gabe yelling.
"Your highness I implore you not to go with that brute!" I rolled my eyes.
"Gabe I'm the princess I don't think that there going to hurt me. Besides its not me their angry with." I returned to walking with Sulfus.
"Now this is the Kitchen." He said pointing towards a spot with many kettles and pots. People were gathered around them getting food. I was shocked. There were so many skinny people, they looked starved half to death. Had my aunt really been the cause of this. Sulfus steered me in another direction.
"The laundry room." The laundry room was located underneath a few trees. Women were washing the clothes and their children were playing with the bubbles and suds.
"And finally the dining room." The dining room was located in the clearing. Rows and rows of tables. Their were chairs, stools and tree stumps. Anything that could be used as a seat. One table was positioned differently from the others so that if someone was to sit there everyone would see them. I saw people placing the food that Gabe had brought on the table. He had brought enough to feed all of these people! And he wasn't even going to eat all of it that selfish, boorish idiot! My face must have showed my anger as Sulfus looked towards me curiously.
"My lady is something the matter?"
"Yes!" I exploded. A few people who heard what was going on looked towards me. They probably thought that I was angry because of the food. And I was, just not the way they thought. I went on.
"That horrible, disgusting, selfish man! It was just the two of us why would he bring so much food that we didn't even need! And I know him he would have thrown away everything he didn't eat! These people need this food! Him and my horrible aunt are destroying my parents kingdom and ideals! When I get my hands on him hell be lucky if I don't beat him till he's black and blue!" I stopped to breath and saw all the astonished faces around me. I blushed, I had never lost my temper that badly before. Almost everyone in the camp was looking at me now. But they were smiling. The Sulfus turned to me and said
"Couldn't have said it better myself." At this all the people cheered and many came up to hug me. I hugged them back just as tightly. Soon I couldn't keep the tears away anymore.
"I'm so sorry." I sobbed. A kind lady just rubbed my tears away and told me in a stern voice
"Now you listen hear princess, none of this is your fault. Its your aunts fault yes, but never yours. You got me?" I smiled and nodded.
"Good now lets eat."
I was a little bit worried. Raf was a princess, she was used to fine dining and wine and fancy cutlery. We had none of that here. She was seated to my right at the table. I turned to her and saw that my worries were meaningless. I smiled as she gabbed the chicken with her hands and drank the water. She saw me watching her and smirked.
"What just cause I'm a princess I can't eat with my hands?" She said it with so much sarcasm that I couldn't help but laugh. She was seated next to Gas and Cabiria and spoke to them with much enthusiasm. Kabale who was at my side hardly said anything and just picked at her food. Though I did hear her scoff when Raf said certain things.
"The way you handled your knives was amazing! You did it with such ferocity and grace." I swore I saw Cabiria blush a bit at the praise.
"Thanks its not that hard once you get the hang of it."
"Oh so its like archery."
We all stopped at stared at her.
"What?" She asked.
"You know how to handle a bow and arrow?" I asked. She smiled brightly at the question.
"Oh yes I was very good at it to. But when my aunt came she said that it wasn't lady like and so I haven't done it in a long time." She got saddened by the end.
"Well once your aunts out of power I promise to help you with your archery." She looked like she would burst from happiness and before I knew it she leapt up and hugged me tightly.
"Oh thank you, thank you, thank you Sulfus!" I hugged her back just as tightly. But the happiness soon came to an end. If we wanted Raf back to the castle before dark we had to send them off now. I smiled at her sadly.
"Its time for you to go now." She looked saddened but nodded showing that she understood. I jumped up on the table and immediately got the camps attention.
"Listen up! Its time to send the princess and the mongrel back to the palace. Someone go fetch the idiot!" Two of my men went to collect him since we kept him at the very edge of the camp. I turned to Raf.
"Come I'll walk you back."
I was sad to go but I understood that I had to. Sulfus helped me on my horse while the two men who went to fetch Gabe came back. Oh my goodness! I couldn't help the startled laugh that came out but tried to suppress the giggles. The rest of the camp laughed openly as they saw Gabe dressed in a gown and adorned with flowers. He was a deep red color which I couldn't tell was caused by embarrassment or anger. Most likely both. They blindfolded him and threw him onto his horse. I turned to look at Sulfus one more time before we left. I bent down to whisper in his ear.
"Thank you Sulfus." And then I kissed his cheek. I put on the blindfold and was lead away.
Chapter 9: A Horrible, Evil and Devious Idea
Chapter 9: A Horrible, Evil and Devious Idea
"And that's what happened! Your Majesty I have never been so humiliated in my entire life!" Gabe told the queen. Reina sat calmly and listened to Gabe's ranting but inside she was seething.
'How dare those peasants stand against me their queen and ruler!' She stood up abruptly interrupting Gabe's tirade.
"How dare they! They will pay you can be sure of that! But Sulfus is no fool! How can I possibly lure him into a trap!?" Reina paced furiously as she tried to come up with a solution. Gabe was doing the same only he sat still in his chair and simply stared at the floor. He tried to remember everything he knew about the man.
'Lets see he's an outlaw, rude, barbaric, he also seems to have a liking for the princess even though she would never associate herself with the likes of him, c'mon think there must be something we could use! Outlaw, rude, barbaric princess, archer. Wait that's it!'
"I have it!" Gabe yelled jumping up from his seat. He had yelled so loudly that even Reina had started. She turned to him with a curious look on her face.
"What do you have Gabe?" At this question Gabe gave a smug smile and walked towards the queen happily
"I have the perfect plan to capture The Hooded Devil!" Reina looked shocked for a moment but then became excited.
"Well what is it then spit it out!" Gabe smiled and pulled out a chair for the queen to sit while he explained his plan.
"Well its actually very simple your highness. As we both know The Hooded Devil is the best archer in the land. We also know that he would risk anything to get your gold. So what I suggest is that we hold a royal archery tournament! The prize being 10 pounds of gold and to top it off a kiss from the fair and beautiful princess!" Gabe finished and left Reina speechless. She the got up and gave a happily little yell.
"Gabe that idea is marvelous. We shall hold the ceremony at once. The day after tomorrow!"
"Why the day after tomorrow your highness? Why not tomorrow?"
"Well we need word to travel a bit first. Now come I'm tired escort me to my chambers." Gabe promptly got up and walked with Reina, excitement coursing through him.
" Hey Sulfus come here and listen to what I heard in the village!" I heard Gas yell. I turned and made my way toward him. I was still thinking about how I could see Raf next.
"What is it Gas?"
"The queen's holding an archery tournament tomorrow!" I almost fell down from shock.
"Are you serious?!"
"Yep all may enter and you'll get a kick out of this."
"What come out with it!" I was starting to get impatient.
"The prize is 10 pounds of gold and a kiss from our most beautiful princess Raf."
I suddenly felt light headed. I was the best archer in the land, I knew that for a fact. If I won I could get the gold and help out the peasants even more. And then their was the other prize. I imagined Raf's soft looking lips on mine.
"Get ready Gas we're going to that tournament tomorrow and I'm going to win!"
"But Sulfus what if it's a trap?" Cabiria asked. Apparently she had heard everything.
"Don't worry, I'll go in disguise."
"Well then I guess it would be okay."
I gave a yell of delight. Tomorrow I was going to get a kiss from Raf!
Chapter 10: The Archery Competition
Chapter 10: The Archery Competition
"Isn't this a fine day for a tournament Raf?" Reina asked her niece who was sitting to her left. Raf who had been daydreaming started at the sound of her aunts voice. However she quickly recovered.
"Yes it most certainly is Aunt Reina." Her aunt gave her a quick smile before continuing to talk to Gabe about something that Raf didn't quite care about. She looked around to take in her surroundings. The three of them, Reina, Gabe and herself, were sitting on high intricate wooden chairs that served as thrones. They were under a canopy that was made up of many sheer layers of beautifully colored fabric woven together and Raf found that she quite liked it.
Although she did wish that she had better company. She sighed and turned to look and the queen and Gabe. Honestly if they got along so well why didn't they just marry each other and leave her out of it.
'And what was with that stupid prize anyway?' She thought angrily. A kiss to whoever wins. She felt like some kind of trinket. She decided not to think about it any more. After all it would happen sooner or later. She drifted off into her land of daydreams once more. But she had one last thought on her mind.
'I wonder what Sulfus is doing right now?'
" I cant believe that were going through all this trouble just for the stupid princess!" Kabale had made her objections quite known since she had heard what Sulfus planned to do. She, Gas and Cabiria were waiting for Sulfus who was changing into his disguise in a nearby tent.
"Why do you have such a problem with her any way Kabale? I mean I thought that she was pretty cool!" Gas replied. At the same time he was stuffing his face with a leg of mutton that he had just bought.
"Yeah I did to. Oh wait, this isn't really about Raf. This is about Sulfus liking her." Cabiria said with a smirk on her face. Kabale turned bright red and started to protest.
"It it's not like that! I mean…" She was saved by Sulfus coming out of the tent looking like a completely different person. He had died his hair blonde and he had gotten ride of his customary hood, instead going with a simple cloak that wrapped around his shoulders. He smiled at their shocked expressions.
"Well, do you think that it will fool em?" He asked. Gas was the first to recover.
"You bet. Even I didn't recognize you!" Kabale and Cabiria nodded their heads vigorously completely agreeing with the statement. Sulfus smiled.
"Good now lets go so that I can win this thing!"
Raf was greeting all the challengers as was custom. They each came up to the stand and bowed before walking away. However the last challenger was different. His hair was a dirty blonde and he wore simple peasant clothes. But that wasn't what made her heart beat faster. It was his eyes. She would know those golden eyes anywhere! It was Sulfus! If he won that would mean, she had to stop thinking about it or she would become much to giddy. Instead of the traditional bow he took her hand and kissed it. They locked eyes and he knew that she had found out that it was him.
"It will be and honor to win such a priceless gift from such a beautiful lady."
"Then I wish you luck." Raf bent down to whisper in his ear. "With all my heart."
Sulfus left the stand smiling like an idiot but not caring in the slightest.
"Archers take your places!" All the archers did as they were told.
"Aim!" The strings of their bows pulled tight.
"Fire!" The strings grew lose.
The only arrows in the center were the red and white ones. The red one belonged to Sulfus. The white to a man who looked like a nobleman.
"Everyone who is not the holder of the white or red arrow has lost. The remaining archers may now take their places. You will shoot one at a time. The white arrow holder may go first.
Sulfus and everyone in the stands looked with anticipation. They watched as the noble man aimed and fired. Right in the center of the target. Raf looked horrified but Sulfus simply stood there calmly with a smirk on his face. He took position. Aimed and fired. Everyone felt time go by slowly. No one was really sure of what had happened until they heard a loud crack and looked at the target. Sulfus had shot straight in the middle. Cleaving the other arrow into two. The crowd cheered and Raf's smile was so big that it threatened to split her face. Sulfus smiled and bowed to the cheering crowd and then turned to Raf. He had won. Unfortunately Reina and Gabe were thinking the exact same thing.
Chapter 11: Sulfus Caught!
Chapter 11: Sulfus Caught?!
"The archer with the red arrow has won!"
As soon as the announcer spoke those words the crowd erupted into a frenzy of applause. The nobles a little less than the commoners simply because they could not believe that he had triumphed over a noble. That however was precisely the reason that the commoners were so happy. To have one over the nobles felt glorious.
Gas, Cabiria and Kabale were all shouting as well. Sending their friend loud claps and cheers to show how amazing he was.
Sulfus meanwhile was standing with a giant smile on his face, his mind racing a mile a minute.
'I did it! I did it! I won! I get to kiss Raf! I get to kiss Raf!'
' He won! He actually won! I get to kiss Sulfus! I get to kiss Sulfus!'
Raf was ready to burst with happiness. Sulfus had one! That meant that he would be the one to kiss her! Her first kiss would be with Sulfus, she was so happy!
"My it seems as if that archer has won your favor my dear niece.' Reina observed looking at Raf from her thrown. Her eyes shown with amusement and her lip was quirked up in a smirk. This caused Raf to blush. She knew she couldn't tell her aunt the real reason as to why she was so happy with the blond archers victory. She made something up quick.
"Well auntie its just that it was down to him and the nobleman and I would much rather give my first kiss to someone I thought was attractive."
"So you didn't think that the nobleman was attractive?"
"Well I guess he was in a certain way. But the blond is more to my tastes."
At this Reina laughed. Raf smiled pretty sure that she was out of the burner.
"Lighter haired men I see. Well it's a good thing he is then. Guards bring him forward so that he may claim his prize!" The guards hurried to obey the queens command as they escorted Sulfus up to the throne were he bowed to Reina.
"Your highness." He said respectfully even though all he wanted to do was sucker punch the woman in her face.
"Young archer I hope that you realize what a feet you have just accomplished. These were the best archers in all the land. You should be very proud of yourself." She smiled at Sulfus.
"Thank you m'am but I'm sure that it was just simple luck."
"Simple luck that you cleaved an arrow in two? I think not that takes remarkable skill." At this her smile and tone turned cruel and dark. "And there is only one person who posses such skill in my kingdom. Stop pretending Sulfus Zollfenello or should I call you the Hooded Devil?!" At this everyone in the audience gasped while Gas, Kabale and Cabiria got ready to fight. Sulfus merely looked up at the queen and smirked.
"That's right your highness its me. And I have to admit I'm terribly impressed as well as flattered. To think that you'd go to all this trouble just for little old me." He stopped to look at Gabe. "Oh hello doggy still trying to get back in your masters good graces after I stole all your loot the other day?"
Gabe's face turned red with anger. If the situation wasn't so serious she might have laughed. Gabe looked like a radish or a zit that was ready to pop. Considering that it was Gabe she preferred the second image. But this was neither the time or place to be thinking such things. Sulfus was in trouble. She had to distract them somehow. Raf looked around frantically searching for something. It was only when she looked up at the colorful canopy that she saw it. A spider hanging just above her aunts head. When Raf was little she would play with the peasants all the time. They had showed her what spiders were poisonous and which weren't so she could tell the difference. Luckily for her, her aunt couldn't.
Raf carefully moved an inch closer to the pole the was holding the canopy up. Once she was done with that she made sure that no one was watching her and quickly gave the pole a little kick. It had the desired affect as the spider fell…right on her aunts face. She had to cover her ears from how loud the scream was. But it did allow Sulfus to make a run for it. Unfortunately Gabe had seen this and ran straight at Sulfus tackling him into the dirt.
"Who's the dog now criminal?" He said with a cruel smirk. Sulfus merely glared as Gabe lead him toward the prisoners carriage that was to escort him to his cell. At that point Raf, Gas, Cabiria and Kabale were all wondering about what they were going to do now.