During a rest from my travels, I asked my two companions, “I thank the two of you for your assistance against the soldiers, but must I remind the two of you that I am no ordinary wallflower of a lady? I can handle a sword just as well as politics. I may seem to be a damsel in distress, but I will have you know that I am more than that. Tomorrow, we shall reach our destination and then we will be able to take back the throne.”
One of my companions, my servant and more importantly, my closest friend Lizia responded, “Lady Meloria, even though you may be able to defend yourself. I will always protect you and stay loyal to you no matter what. I am sure we can succeed in avenging your family’s slaughter.” As it was getting late, we continued to warm themselves by the campfire because of our journey.
A few hours into the night, I checked around our tent. Lizia was fast asleep with her bow and quiver nearby. However my other companion, a wanderer from another land named Romulo was missing. I put my clothes back on and stepped outside of the tent to look for my missing traveling partner. I noticed his distinctive footsteps on the snowy grounds of our campsite going deep into the evergreen woods. I followed his tracks until I stood at a windy opening within the snowy woods. Romulo was resting against a log, wounded from a dagger in his thigh. He looked over at me and weakly moaned, “Meloria, heal me please with your medicine.” I removed the blade he was impaled with used some of my medicine on him to treat his injuries as well. I also made sure to treat whatever poisons he received from his assailant.
Out of concern, I asked, “Sir Romulo, what are you doing here at this late hour? We will arrive at the city tomorrow so don’t do anything reckless.”
“Thanks for the healing. I’m just surveying the area for both danger and art. I was sketching some flowers and then my assassin friend tried to kill me again,” Romulo answered in a sardonic tone. Usually, Ladies of high-class such as myself can not tolerate sarcasm, but as I am not really your ideal Lady. In fact despite my upbringing, I appreciated his humor.
I slightly giggled and anxiously replied, “So you really are a fool. You still should not travel in the wilderness at night, or leaving us behind.” Even though I may not be your average fairy tale lady, I showed concern for him even though we would not tolerate that sort of behavior.
He told me, “Forgive me for abandoning you. I just did not feel comfortable in the tent with you and your friend. Anyway, I wanted some alone time. Let’s go back before the bears eat Lizia and our rations, Also, stop mistaking me for a fool.” We headed back for the campsite.
I asked Romulo, “May I see your work?” He felt confident and smiled slightly as he gave his notebook to read.” As I looked through his work, I was impressed by his own art.
“Yeah, I love the woods. I don’t even think I want to leave this place because it’s so tranquil,” he told me. I noticed that drew a girl whose appearance is of a fair lady but deep inside, her own person just as I see myself as no ordinary lady of high-class. He referred to this girl as an eccentric in her village that could fall in love with a beast who was in fact a prince. I realized that I am much like this maiden in his art. As I looked over to give him back his notebook, he came back out of the tent with a sleeping bag and told me, “Get some rest. If you’re cold during the night, take this,” he told me as he gave me his fur-lined cloak He set up his sleeping bag outside of the tent.
Before I went back in to the tent, I contemplated giving Romulo a slight kiss, but I knew where my manners were. I left his drawing and his cloak next to him and whispered, “Good night, Sir Romulo. You and Lizia have given me one of the things that I desired the most; freedom from my duties as a lady.”