Once Emily and I got to the castle and got unpacked, we had the rest of the day to ourselves. So for the most part I showed Emily around her new home. When we passed the maid she dropped whatever it was she was holding, turned very red, apologized and embarrassedly cleaned up the mess as we went on. Once we were out of sight and earshot of the maid Emily gave me a very suspicious look and I shrugged then laughed, “I suppose she thought I wasn’t taken!” I said, still laughing.
“And you did nothing to discourage the thought?” Emily said, unwilling to let it go.
“I didn’t think to do so, I thought she was just being flirtatious! I didn’t think she had a crush on me! I’ve never even talked to her!” I exclaimed somewhat defensively.
“Huh,” was all that Emily had to say to that remark.
“Really, I mean it, it’s true!”
“Oh, all right you win!” She laughed and as she gave me a hug. It’s going to be really nice having Emily here with me.
The next day there I woke to the now-familiar pounding on the door, I rolled off my hastily assembled bed on the ground, “I’m up Mathias! I’ll be out in a second!” The pounding stopped, he actually trusts me to get up now I thought with a smile as I trundled over to the wash basin to wake myself up with the cold water therein. After drying my hands on my pants then ran them through my hair a couple times. I was about to leave when I remembered that Emily was here. I walked up to her bed and in a quiet voice I said “you need to get up if you want to come with me to the breakfast hall.” When she didn’t wake up I ran a hand softly across her cheek the repeated myself slightly louder, “It’s time to get up Em.” Her eyes opened slowly and for a moment she was lost. I watched recognition slowly creep into her eyes, then, suddenly, she lunged at me and had me enfolded in a hug before I knew what was happening, “Good morning to you too!” I laughed, “I have weapons lessons in about an hour, so we need to go get something to eat from the kitchen.”
Emily reluctantly got out of bed and went over to the wash basin to splash some cold water on her face. “Alright,” she sighed, “let’s go then.” I opened the door and we followed Mathias down to the kitchen for a light breakfast. After breakfast came weapon’s practice. This time though, the weapons master looked Emily up and down with the same calculating look as when he first examined me.
“Hmmm, a light saber I think.” He said after a little thought, “you will of course, need to work out, and for the first few weeks you will be very sore, young Luke here can tell you as much.”
Emily was very surprised, “are you saying you have just initiated me into weapon’s practice?” she asked incredulously.
“I do believe that is what I have just done!” said the instructor with a twinkle in his eye, “though after a couple of days I doubt you will be thanking me for it.”
“Well, I’ll just have to thank you now then. Thank you for accepting me as a student in your weapons class.” Said Emily; so the weapons instructor/master gave me the longbow and had me exercise with it, and went to work with Emily.
After the class was over Emily trudged exhaustedly up to me. “Hard day eh?” I asked smiling.
“Sword fighting is harder than it looks.” She said, “harder than archery is, so you wouldn’t know.”
“Oh, so that’s what you think eh? If you’re so great why don’t you try to pull this long bow back again? Or do you remember how hard it was last time?” I said the smile in my eyes and voice belying the competitiveness of my words.
“Oh, I’m to tired right now, maybe later.” She said, not wanting to embarrass herself right now.
I almost asked whether she wanted me to hold her to that, but thought better of it. “Well, it’s time for lunch, then I have class with Ian, if you want to come you are welcome, but even I have trouble not falling asleep sometimes, so I don’t know how fun it will be for you.”
“I think I’ll do some more sword practice, can you believe the weapons master is making me learn moves outside of class? It’s as if I don’t have other things to do! I have to learn the series of moves he taught me by tomorrow!” She complained.
“Oh yeah, you have sooooo much else to do, stuff like, watch me have class, watch me have class, and…wait for it…watch me have more class! It really isn’t that bad after you get past the first week or so though; and the weapons master really is nice, once you get to know him. Just don’t let him catch you with a dirty weapon, one time I showed up to class with my bowstring un-waxed, and he had me cleaning and waxing bows for the rest of the class!”
Emily laughed and I gave her a little shove then ran off. She chased me into the kitchen where Sarah saw us and promptly had us sat down at a table loaded with all kinds of kitchen leftovers, a half a pie here, some ever-so-slightly-over-browned-cookies there, some roast pork and small cheese wheels. After lunch we had a little time before my next class, so we walked down to the cook’s garden and spent the time talking about how Emily’s first weapon’s practice was, and how well she liked the saber. But of course, all too soon, the time came for me to go to my next class.
Emily went to practice with her saber and I went up to the class with Ian to learn about anatomy. After a long and boring class I was finally free to spend some more time with Emily. When I found her, her hair was plastered to her face, and she was breathing very hard. As a matter of fact, when she saw me, she collapsed. I went over to her, “just a little tired eh?”
“Just a little!” she panted. I picked her up and carried her to our rooms, where she gratefully splashed some water from the washbasin onto her face, “ahh that’s much better!” she sighed, still breathing heavily. She collapsed on the bed and just lay there until her breathing had evened out. Then, with a huge sigh, she heaved herself up, “Ok, I think I can walk now.” As she got up her feet wobbled a little from exhaustion.
“Here, let me help you, you still don’t have much in the way of energy.” I said as I walked up to her and put a supporting arm around her waist. She leaned on me as we went down stairs for dinner.
After dinner we went to my next class, language, neither of us enjoyed it much, but Emily was too tired to do much of anything else. Finally, once the class was done, Emily and I had some time to be together and just talk. However, poor Emily was not in very good shape to talk, so we just sat together on our favorite, Cook’s Garden bench. After a while Emily actually fell asleep on my shoulder, so I gently picked her up and brought her to our room, where I promptly tucked her into bed. She really did look beautiful while her face was relaxed in sleep.
After tucking Emily in I lay down on my own hastily made bed and proceeded to fall asleep.
The next day when I woke Emily up to go for an early breakfast she groaned in pain. “Oh! It really hurts!”
“Where?” I asked her.
“All over!” she said; pain evident in every line of her face. Was it because her father? Or was there something else. I just wish I could heal it! Oh, wait! She just had a huge work out yesterday! That must be it! She is majorly stiff. So I took her hand and found the source of her pain. I was right; her muscles were very badly cramped up and still had high build ups of lactose acids from the work out she had had with her sword practice. So I drained away the lactose and relaxed the stiff muscles. When I came back to myself Joy was hugging me. “Thank you so much!” she was almost crying in relief. Wow, that was the most tiring job I’ve done yet! Good thing archery doesn’t require as much energy as, say, sword fighting.