The Blood of Peace
First Movement, the First Part: Adagio
Damn. Heero winced at the high pitched voice and crouched deeper into his forest cover. He did not want to be found today. And if he did not want to be found, then he would not be found. After all, he was trained to blend into his surroundings among other things.
"Heero! I know you're hiding and I almost certainly know I can't find you unless you let me! Come out here right now! Your father is commanding your presence!!! Heero!!!!!"
The voice would not let up! If he continued to hide in this spot, he would definitely go crazy from that voice screeching every fifteen seconds. For the love of all things holy, he had just wanted a quiet day. He figured he had only one chance…
"I'm coming out. Damn it, can't you modulate your voice to be at least somewhat pleasant?"
Heero dusted off his wrinkled clothes and bundled up his cape before climbing out of his hiding place. He walked towards the voice (although he really didn't want to) and spotted the annoying-voice person immediately in the middle of a glade.
"I'm here. What does the King want of me today?"
The annoying-voice jumped about a mile high and spun around to face him. Mouth gulping down tremendous amounts air, nose flared to maximum dilation and eyes bugging out of the head, the annoying-voice certainly did look stupid.
"Heero! Why must you give me a heart attack every time I go looking for you? Can't you be a proper prince and just stay in the castle? What is it with royalty anyway?"
Heero stemmed the tide of further words by tapping her on the shoulder.
"Hn… I get your point. Now shut up. And let's go, Sylvia. Can't make my father wait."
With that, Heero turned and began his walk to the castle. Sylvia, Heero's designated playmate and occasional scapegoat trudged behind him mumbling to herself about stupid princes, their stupid fathers, and their stupid habits of running off and getting her into trouble. In general, all Heero heard was "…stupid this… and …stupid that…etc." Lots of stupid. Sometimes, Heero just wished that the girl would get a thesaurus and find some new words to disparage his character and parentage. Stupid got old after thirteen years of constant usage.
Heero walked into his father's study and stood motionless in the middle of the room while Sylvia fidgeted and mumbled some more. His father, the great Odin Lowe, King of Earthian was definitely taking his time. If he had wanted to see Heero so badly, and immediately (at lease that was what Sylvia had hinted), then why was he waiting with a nervous wreck of a girl? Heero's patience was running rather thin when a hidden door to the study slid open and Odin's muscular frame entered the room.
Odin walked to his desk and sat on his chair, not even glancing at his son and heir on his journey to the furniture pieces. When he was settled, he steepled his fingers and finally looked at his successor to be with intent eyes. Cobalt blue clashed fiercely with cobalt blue and Sylvia quailed a little more. Finally, Odin spoke, using his 'I-am-the-king-you-listen' voice.
"Heero. Good to see that my only son didn't lose his way in the wilderness. Sylvia was sick with worry looking for you."
'I'll bet' Heero added silently in his mind.
"As you know, tomorrow is your birthday." Odin paused a second and looked at a space beyond Heero's head.
'Yeah, really. My birthday. Would've never guessed.' Heero's mind voiced that sarcastic retort without betraying it on his face.
"Anyway, since you are turning fifteen, it is time for me to choose your advisors. I can't have you running around without knowing what it is like to run a kingdom, now can I. Tomorrow, before your birthday celebrations, you will be introduced to your new advisors who will become like your brothers. They will be your closest friends until death."
Heero glared at his father. More friends for life. Like Sylvia? That twit of a girl had not brought him anything but aggravation for the last thirteen years! He was not too fond of her but every prince of Earthian since the conception of the kingdom had a childhood companion. So he couldn't dismiss her. Or kill her. All very bad things, according to tradition. Now he would be saddled with four more. And he didn't get a choice this time either. Wonderful. His life was taking turns that he did not want.
"And also, you will be meeting your future queen tomorrow. So be on your best behavior at the party and don't embarrass me or your kingdom."
If Heero's glare had any effect on Odin, it did not show. By now, Heero was seething and raging inside. Still, nothing showed on his stoic face. Even his cobalt blue eyes betrayed none of the rage.
"A queen? My queen? My lord father, I'm fifteen. You married at thirty." Heero's voice dripped ice but no emotions. Odin was silently proud of his son for his unflappable mask. A necessary skill for a prince. And he did have a good point. Unfortunately, good points are not very valid against a king.
"Yes my son, I was thirty. But I was busy fighting a war before then. Peace brought me a good queen and god willing, a decent son. Now stop trying to drill holes in my head with your eyes and get ready for tomorrow. You'll be meeting your wife and best friends tomorrow. Dismissed."
With precise and stiff steps, Heero bowed to his father and left the study. His right hand was clenched in a fist and he failed to notice that it was shaking. He railed against his lack of choice but swallowed the rebellion against his father. For Heero, the prince of Earthian, there was only one concern. His kingdom would prosper under him. If the price he had to pay was in a wife he did not know and friends he did not care for, so be it. Mission: Accepted and paid for.