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Saturday, August 04, 2007 Cristophe's Princely Return Part 04

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The City of Myrcalia, Great City of the West, is also known as the City of Gold by the reflections of the sun by the big, tall, sky-scrapers-like buildings with magnificent architecture only rivaled by the Magical City of Ascension in Valanis. Only this time, the vastness of Myrcalia doubles that of Valanis plus the legendary high, towered walls surrounding it, forming a symmetrical octagon. To go from one side of a wall to another, one must walk about three hundred meters. All in all, the greatness of Myrcalia was far beyond compare with Ascension and even the capital of Lore, Alceste.
A huge crowd is gathering on the main road. Men, women, and children are all standing on both sides of the road in excitement, as though they are about to watch a pomp of a parade. Soldiers stand guard to prevent people from stepping out of the crowd and crossing the road, getting in the way.
‘What are we gathering here for’ says a skinny woman, confused.
‘Well, to welcome our prince, of course, mon ami,’ says the man on her side. ‘He just returned from his studies in Valanis.’
‘What, is that so?’ says an old, long-moustached man standing near them. ‘I thought he returned from some battle in victory.’
‘Argh! What a waste of time! I’m outta here! My kid is waiting for me now!’ says the skinny woman who appears to be in an errand. She tries to get out from the crowd, in vain. So she stands there, scowling.
Another man speaks up, ‘I thing this welcoming ceremony is just a cover-up. I heard from hearsay that Prince Cristophe is a friend of the Pope’s murderer, Robert Charter or whatever his name is. The Emperor bailed him out of trouble and he now returns in shame, not glory.’
‘WHAT? Really?’ the old man responds, twirling his moustache nervously.
A dignified-looking man adds, ‘This is odd. Knowing he must come home silently and secretly. We neither now or care if he ever left the palace – he’s not quite popular – but he returns in a procession. It’s a cover-up, all right. No doubt about it. I’m telling you…’
‘MAKE WAY! Make way for the Prince of Arcadia!’
The procession starts. The crowd looks towards the East Gate where a group of horsemen and a carriage come into view. The criers walk in front, followed by two cavaliers. Then Prince Cristophe comes into view, clad in his princely full-plate armor and rich, crimson robe. His ride, Paeldagrin is clad in grand, full horse armor, making the horse and rider look absolutely impressive.
Marquis Talbot du Bois rides next to the Prince, surveying around him with his usual sly, haughty smile as though it is he who comes back victorious, not anybody else. The carriage moves behind them, with Cristophe’s friends inside it. They don’t show their faces to the public: their carriage windows are all closed.
The prince looks around at the gathering crowd, waving to them with a smile on his face. But truthfully, he is extremely worried.
What are these people gathering here for? Our coming back here is supposed to be secret. I’ve insisted on disguising as a common knight so no one would recognize me, but somehow this snake has disobeyed my direct order to make my entrance secret. But if I try to raise this matter to him, he will say that rumors fly faster than instructions. Here comes the politics again, the thing I hate most.
As he tries to look closer at his subjects, Chris finds that people look at him with mixed feelings and expressions: some cheer him enthusiastically; some others just look at him with doubtful faces, and the rest chat with each other in serious expressions, as though they’ve already knew what happened to him back in Valanis.

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