Chapter 23: Sleuthing through these closed walls.
Arthur snuck out of his room and into the library. The corridors where empty, guards absent in the late ungodly hours. The thumps of his black boots echoed through the walls, the organized stone bricks called walls seemed to be closer than usual, the shadows swaying with the dancing orange flame of his candle. Quiet and chilly atmosphere was held through his long trip to the library that was a few hallways away from his stairway to seclusion.
"Some information has to be there" He murmured to himself. He walked towards the large double doors, and opened the room. The smell of ink and old papers perfumed the enclosed area.
He looked around, crouching down and letting the candle light his way. He looked at the map that he pulled out of his long red jacket. Unrolled it with one hand, and examined it. He didn't understand much other than what Lovino translated. He was also told once entering the area where the fountain resided that a certain choice words would let the ship enter the space. An invisible boundary was made to keep unfortunate being to stumble across it.
"There had to be something about it in here, the map is written in Latin that's my only hint." He huffed, "Somewhere among these bloody documents. All those feuds amongst the Protestants and Catholics left a lot of scrolls in our library, out of all those there must be something."
He kept on looking around, and stuffed the scroll back in his jacket, inside a pocket over his chest. "So if the world would jump off my dick, we'd have a jolly good time." His eyes crossed with annoyance.
He stepped around books he's dropped and piles he left stacked high. He left the candle close and flipped through book after book, "If I find it here I could finally cut this journey shorter and we would have less casualties." His eyebrows furrowed together accompanied with a small frown.
Arthur kept all the books he looked through in piles; he didn't care for the mess at the moment. Regularly he would have a fit for having such books in unkempt places but he didn't have time for this right now, there was no time. He was fighting against time at the moment to be exact.
"Maybe…"he dropped the book in his hand, an odd thought slipped into his mind. There was a back room in the library that held information closed to the public. His heart jumped with small hope.
He walked over to the door and took out a hairpin that was in his pocket and started to pick the lock. He had lost the key to the room a long time ago, and asking for a new one was definitely out of the question. A while after tinkering with the lock he finally hear a loud click and opened the door. "That wasn't a challenge at all." he smirked.
He held his candle high and the sight of piles and mountains of scrolls made his sigh and roll his eyes. "This is going to be one long bloody night."
"Elizabeta, when we hit land we're going to be leaving this… "ship" and head back home." Roderich turned to look at his wife that sat on the bed. Her old clothes were thrown away much to
Roderich's disdain and given peasantry clothing consisting of brown pants and light green shirt.
He wore the same ensemble with white pants and violet shirt with an extra dark blue vest.
"Roderich, … I " she looked away from him for a moment to breathe then made eye contact with him. "I think we should help ____ and get Arthur back."
"What?! You want to be part of this crazy plan!" He shouted with astonishment, "A-and why are you using his name in our private discussions" he pointed at her.
She stood up and held her arms up horizontally with open palms, "Because I thought about what he said about being a country meaning nothing to him, and I believe it. I don't want to be one either. I want to be Elizabetha to everybody. Not just to you and citizens but to everyone."
"But doing this might cause wars to arise in our own countries." He sighed, slightly tipping his head and gave and gave a worried face to her.
"No Roderich, I'm not going as Hungary. I am going as Elizabeta Héderváry , a powerful soldier who will help two lovers find each other!" she raised a proud fist.
Roderich face palmed, and grunted. "Alright. I'll go along." He looked up at her and smiled, "but not as Austria, but as Roderich Edelstein, Husband of Elizabeta and as an masterful composer and
pianist." He gloated.
"Oh this is so romantic," Elizabeta thought in her head, squealing and jumping in her own mind.
"So Bella, how's it going," Lovino walked into the captain's quarters. Walking into the room without a care in the world; not that he minded seeing her half dressed. "Mala chicka" would repeat over and over in his head, reminding him of his hidden perverse nature that was open when he was a child. He blushed and pouted, obviously bothered by his own mind.
"It's going that's it." She shrugged, sitting on the edge of the desk. She was wearing one of the night gowns that she packed for the trip. It was tinted with one of her favorite colors and lacy on the ends.
"Really, with that whole speech a from a few days –a ago, that you'd be all-a riled up" he flicked his hand towards her.
"So any news from Kirkland?" he asked, walking over to her and sitting on the chair for the desk.
"Nope none at all. " A male voice added its bit of information. They both turned to the source. Alfred threw the blanket that covered his body whole off himself.
"What the-" Lovino jumped, clearly startled by the blonde's sudden appearance. "What were you-a doing here!?" he pointed his finger at him, pissed from the scare.
"Helpin' _______." Alfred answered simply with a slight frown.
________ turned to Lovino , "He's been waking me up every time I have one of those nightmares. Arthur used to do it, but circumstances pushed me to having Alfred substitute. " She gave a slight grin, "nothing else, so don't worry. He keeps his hands to himself."
Lovino exhaled, "Alright," he crossed his legs onto the desk, "So what is our plan."
"To just wait, we have four more days to get to England since we are taking the long way through sea, but don't worry Arthur says something is happening at the castle and that it might be an opportunity." She smiled, with hope in her heart.
"Dammit, that's-a it. " Lovino scowled, clicking his tongue. "Well while we're here, we might as well practice on your aim. It's shit." He got up and walked out of the room.
"you have a point" she said sheepishly, embarrassed of the fact.
She quickly got dressed in a few minutes in the large closet that Arthur had. She put on her belt where her two pistols where held, her hands ghosted over them. She quickly walked out of the room with Lovino.
"Hey hey! Wait for me!" Alfred scrambled out of the bed knocking down the blankets and pillows.
"Hurry up then you dork." _______ grinned, giggling at the blonde's antics.
Lovino got the crew to bring out all of the empty bottles of alcohol to use as targets. He even
threw them into the air to increase the difficulty. Alfred gave her some pointers as well. But he
did it while being affectionate. They even had Elizabeta fight with her with a sword to teach her how to block with pistols.
Finally exhausted from her training, she went to the room, where she thought about Arthur. She did miss him with all her heart. Her fingertips craved the touch of his warm skin; to run her hands through his choppy blonde locks. Just to stare at his emerald eyes from a distance made her body shoot up with heat and adoration. But she couldn't, the fact that she took one of his emerald jewels, now that she thought about it.
She walked over to his desk and opened a drawer and took out a mirror. It had many colored jewels encrusted in it handle. She stared at the reflection, examined the foreign retina that her eye socket encased. He was right, the connection didn't take long and it healed quickly. He did that for her, and that hurt. It made her happy, but she didn't want to be the cause for self-harm. But that man can be so stubborn and frustrating. Once he has his mind on something, nothing can change it, nothing. And she wouldn't have it any other way. She smiled at the fond memories she made in this trip with the Englishman.
Like when she argued with him once because of the length of her dress being too short. It was too long for her to walk around with so she was going to make it shorter and he freaked out, thinking it was un-lady like to go around showing her legs to the crew. Or the time when he thought she was spoiling Alfred too much and that it was feeding is hero complex. And the time when he fell asleep and she tied his hair into two pig tails and he want around like that. He kept on wondering why the crew was giggling while he was around. He didn't catch any of the hints until she went around with the same hairstyle. He said that she looked ridiculous with that hairstyle, that's when she responded, "Look who's talking ?" with a sassy attitude. That's when he finally got it, and he stormed to his room, it took while to calm him down. but it was worth it, and he laughed about it later.
She sighed and walked over to her bag, she pulled out the doll Arthur bought her. it was the same porcelain doll that looked like him, she smiled when she remembered asking the artist to make the eyebrows bushier to match her love exactly. Arthur brought her so much joy with the way he acted and the way he cared for her.
She went to sleep with the doll close to her heart and slept. Hopefully it would bring her comfort
till' Alfred was done with his chores.
The last thought that went through her mind was, "I wonder if Arthur is having a hard time with
one eye like I did…."
Arthur stubbed his foot on the desk first thing when he woke up in the morning. "I hate this! F*ck this!" kicked the desk, "Ow!" he screamed again, as he jumped on one foot and held the other with his hand. He got on both feet again, "Why I ought to!" he prepared for another kick but abruptly stopped and stood calmly, "See I learn" he held a finger up, eying the culprit of his morning pain.
He gazed onto his bed where he felt a pang of sadness. He missed his love, and the way she cuddled up to him while sleeping, sometime it was to the point where he couldn't even get up. It was weird not having anybody to wake up at the middle of ungodly hours; though he never really minded. It was his fault anyway and he took that responsibility with pride. He missed comforting her; how she was tough but only showed her vulnerability to him and only him, he was proud that he had such a beautiful and special woman all for himself.
A knock came to his room. "come in." he responded.
A young woman with short brown hair and dark chocolate eyes was at his door.
"Yo bushy brows, hear you got captured." She waved her hand around. She wore a maids outfit that contrasted her lightly tanned skin.
"Oh it's just you Alex, I was sure they were keep those guards here." He gave an annoyed look.
"Those wankers love to piss me off."
"Let it go iggy man. Alex is here for your service." She smooth talked, relaxed and chilled,
"Haters gonna hate"
"Stop talking like that. I don't understand a bloody word coming from your mouth you twit." He groaned, and face palmed. "And don't call me Iggy."
"Ow, you wound me." she said sarcastically, "But I come here to bear news" she raised her hand upward, posing as if it was a miracle bestowed upon her. "I have news of the queen's gala."
"Gala?!" he jumped off his seat. "What is the occasion?"
"Well you of course. Did the guards beat on you that badly?" she laughed.
"Shut up…" he got annoyed again. "So when is it?"
"In about a few days.. three to be exact. You thinking what I'm thinking iggy?" she smirked.
"Yes, this is brilliant!" He cheered, "I can tell _______ about it and the crew can get me out of here!"
"Arthur, who's________?" she looked at him, tilting her head.
"A wonderful woman who has captured my heart." He smiled genuinely.
"Finally, you got a girl. Is she cool? They have to be Alex approved ya know." She thumbed up.
"Not necessary, because she's captain approved. " he played along.
"You sly bastard, I love ya." She punched his arm while wearing a large grin.
"I'll have a look around to see if there are any openings" she walked down to the door. "And
ummm…" she hesitated to grab the door handle, her shoulders tensed up.
"yes alex." He looked at her.
"Can I go with you now? I don't want to be here anymore. Is it safe to go back home?" she looked straight down.
"I'm not sure, the Spanish armada is everywhere now. They've become such a nuisance, " he huffed. His hands rested on his hip as he stared towards the sky out of his window. "But I can take you with me. you've grown old enough."
"Thank you iggy." She whispered, and left. He only took a glimpse to see a smile and single tear slip down her sun kissed cheek.
"She's gown into a good woman since the last time I saw her years ago. much different since I had her on my ship after that whole conquistador incident with Antonio and the Aztecs. I wonder if she still speaks Nahuatl while nobody is looking." He wondered.
Arthur was summoned to the throne room where Elizabeth I was waiting for him. He was ushered in quickly, armed guards examining his every move.
"'Ello queeny. Talk through the grape vine say that you will be having a gala in my name." he smirked.
"Who gave you permission to speak England." She frowned.
"I believe I did" His eyes widened with insult, "I am the country after all."
One guard started to unsheathe his swords and Arthur saw it at the corner of his eye. " what are you going to do, kill me? haha!" he laughed , "I'm immortal remember you git."
"England I am your ruler, I demand silence."
"Whatever makes you happy, but why me?" he question looking dead center to her majesty. "Aren't you ashamed of me?"
"You need to clean your reputation, so I will hold the gala to welcome your return and show how you have finished with piracy and haven't lost your decency."
His emerald eyes glared at her, "That's a lot of lies to tell your subjects Elizabeth…"
"True, but what they don't know will benefit us." She scowled.
Arthur was going to interrupt but thought against it was a great opportunity to exploit.
Escapes, breaking into things, exploitation, he's felt more like a pirate now that he has in a long time.
"You're absolutely right queeny. I look forward to the festivities ahead." He chuckled.
The queen eyed him curiously. "Don't patronize me england. I know you're up to something" she raised a brow.
"How could I ? I'm so far from the sea, away from my crew, it's impossible to scheme with these conditions."
"Nonsense england. I know you will find a way. But I will have this castle heavily guarded so escape will be impossible."
"Impossible? That is not even a challenge." He thought.
"If you excuse me I have to get ready for the gala." He about faced, and walked out.
When he reached the stair case to the top of the tower he was stopped by a hand on his shoulder.
"Hand off or I will remove them from both our bodies." He said coldly.
"Hold it there big man. It's me alex." She held her hands up and swung them in defense as he turned.
"You should know better than that" he frowned.
"Yeah yeah, my bad." She grinned. "So I wanted to inform you that all of your preparations for the gala are done"
"Even my outfit." His eyes widened in surprise.
"Yes, with all of your specifications." She eyebrowed.
"Good job alex, well done!" he patted her back "and yours it done to right, I presume."
"Yup" she smiled.
He was excited to tell the news to _________ and giddy with anticipation for his grand escape.