66“Da tell us a story ”, began my elder son as I walked into the room he shared with his younger brother.
He was sitting in his bed in his night clothes. The boy had inherited his mother’s looks, red hair and green eyes. His hair glowed from the light in the room that was lighted by the glow lamps placed in the pedestal along the wall to the right.
The room was richly furnished in the latest art of woodcraft from Panthes, tapestries and paintings covered the walls decorating them. The windows were shut by sky blue curtains, the floor covered by ivory colored carpet from the southern state of Igawar. A little too frivolous by the Panthian standards but that doesn’t matter as no one is going to go against showering a little adoration for one’s own children.
The room was on the third floor of the castle and the large windows of the room opened to the balcony outside watched by a guard.
“A story … A story… A story ”, yelled the little one running around his bed that was placed near his brother’s bed. The maid was running after him, a girl in her teens trying to get him dressed for sleep.
She turned around as she heard the door open and curtsied when I entered.
“ I am sorry my lord they are feeling a bit rowdy today, they are usually sweet little obedient things…. My lord… They will be in their bed soon my lord ”, she stammered.
I looked at the fray. My younger son had thrown the clothes out of his wardrobe and was now holding a travelling cloak, seldom used around him like the heroes shown in the dramas in the fair. He looked from behind the coat hiding his face hoping to escape my scrutiny. He was shorter than his brother and short even for his age and he reminded me of my little brother, I have been told a lot that he looks like me. His dark eyes looked big from beneath folds of the cloak.
I turned to look at the girl; she was an unfamiliar one, maybe a new one. She was modestly dressed in Panthian fashion had a round face with round eyes, a little bit too big but maybe it must be because she was in the presence of the house’s lord.
“You are new aren’t you? What is your name?”
“Yes My lord…. A week since I have started… My lord, my name is Ahea, daughter of Admia and Ganthar. Yeva got married last week my lord and I was given her place my lord”
“ Aah ”, I feigned remembering. Someone had told me once that it was always good to act as if you knew the things going on one’s household. And always be cryptic… Lords have the right to be cryptic towards their servants.
I nodded at her and looked back at the boys and walked towards the younger one. I took the cloak from him and shuffled his black shock of hair. Ahea came forward to gather the cloak from me and began going around the room picking up the clothes strewn all over the floor.
“It’s over nighttime boys and I don’t want to get your mother angry ”, I said patting the little boy’s head.“ Your mother want both of you tucked in and asleep ”.
“ Yulan thinks he is the hero from the tales of Markereth Father, from the moment since we had returned home after the fair father he has been boasting about going to fight monsters”, said the elder one shaking his head with a grin in his face.
“Please father please, tell us one story…. how about the story of Fritson’s Cradle or maybe the Grims hollow”, pleaded Yulan as I directed him to the bed.
“Have you been listening to Volin’s tall tales….”
“Volin tells wonderful tales father, he is really good at it ”, replied the elder one.
“Well he told us the stories of Julin’s Quest and Lagin’s Adventures, and he promised that he would tell the stories of Grimglow’s castle and Maverick Adventures too… ”, interjected the younger one. as I got him into bed “one day soon he promised”.
“Volin can’t tell the tale of Maverick Yu he was just boasting. He should earn the seven knots of Talik to tell the Maverick’s Tale”, Toshi said. “ is in’t it so Father ”
“Quiet true … Toshi…. One must be a true bard to say the tale but Grimglow’s castle … Now that’s a tale said so as not to say another tale.”
“What do you mean by that father?”, asked the younger one. I smiled.
“What have you heard from Volin till now?”
“He said he would tell us about the adventures in Grimglow’s castle, he said it was the story of Yulan. Was I named after him? ”, blabbered on the younger one.
“Hmm do you wish me to tell that story ”, I asked as I sat myself in the nearby furnished chair.
“Yes yes…” chimed both of them.
“Well then where should I start…… from the beginning I guess….. The tale of Yulan’s adventure in Grimglow’s castle started one werenight ”