The Solune Prince: Lilllith I

The Solune Prince

Novella 1

Chapter 13: Lilllith I

Author’s Note: >:3

They arrived at the castle as the guard were lighting the lamps for nightfall. Chloe tried to see if she could spy Alice, but she didn’t even see any guards that she recognised.

They met not in the throne room, but in the awkwardly-placed banquet hall. When they entered the castle, Astore led Chloe through the foyer and to the left. There were two sets of doors on the left wall. Chloe knew that the first one led to the armoury and also to the Royal archives, and the other one opened on a long corridor that led south, in between the throne room and the armoury. That was the door they went through.

Chloe opened the door, and Astore slipped past. They went down the hallway to the large room inconveniently placed in the back corner of the first floor.

“When did she get here?” Chloe called ahead.

Astore slowed. “Maybe an hour now.”

They reached the door. Chloe asked, “Has supper started?”

“It should have. The king told me that he would start shortly after dark, so…”

“So we will not be…too late.”

“Allow me.” Astore stepped ahead and opened the door for her.

Lilllith watched as Chloe strode into the hall. Astore entered behind, dressed formally in his grey, modestly decorated guard’s uniform. The blue pinwheel of the Solune kingdom was displayed on his right shoulder.

Chloe, however, was dressed in her day clothes; a loose-fitting white chlamys with a knee-length tunic underneath. She was the only one other than her mother who was wearing anything so loose fitting. She scanned the room as she walked to the seat across from her mother.

The seating arrangement seemed to amuse the King, though he did his best to hide it. Gwenhime had been placed between the King on her right, and the woman Chloe knew to be Lilllith on her left. Gwenhime, much unlike her husband, did nothing to hide her emotions. It was clear that she did not enjoy the company of her guest.

So I am to sit…with Kent on my left, and then Natasha on the end; and Senica on my right—oh no…And, ah, I guess Astore is on the far end?

Chloe did not sit yet. She first drank in all the presences around her. She almost had to; to mentally map out the people in the room in order to calm her anxieties.

And on the other side is…Alice on the end, across from Kent? Then my father, then mom right here across from me, and, ah, Lilllith, and… Is this a child? Who is this youth? Did Lilllith bring him? She must have.

Finally, Chloe moved and sat down. Astore sat after her, a curiosity on his part. He’s being very formal. Chloe and Lilllith examined each other. Lilllith looked very much like what Chloe had come to expect from a Lussa; that is, essentially a tall Riley. Black hair, pale skin, and sickly features to go along with it all. Lilllith lived up to the expectation except for her bright platinum-blonde hair. Apart from that, she was quite old, forty perhaps, and at the zenith of her beauty.

As Chloe sat, the King stood and exited the room, returning shortly after with the waiters and the food. He himself carried only a bottle of red syrups. She filled everyone’s glasses as the food was passed around.

When Chloe saw what was served, she began to squirm. Senica, being Senica, noticed. She said quietly, “What’s wrong?”

Chloe continued to fidget, organizing an explanation as she did so. “Ah, this is, it’s ah…this is a very traditional dish.”

They stopped talking as they were served, as not to be overheard. When everything was set, thanks was given to the Past and for the Future, and then the room began eating.

Senica turned her head and said, “Your mother looks far less grumpy than usual.”

Kent, who, sensitive to his fiancée’s voice, had heard, laughed. He said, “Oh, that isn’t about the food per say, Niccy—I mean Senica.” He blushed and lowered his voice, craning in. “Rather, she’s waiting for Lilllith to taste it.”

“Why?”

Chloe began, “Traditional Solune food consists of fairy bitter meat and…” she trailed off, as she had lost the attention of everyone—including herself. They had all turned their attention to Lilllith to see how she was going to react. Chloe became pensive, but Gwenhime nearly overflowed with supressed anticipatory laughter.

Lilllith took the utensils; the spoon and fingerspear (called a knife in other regions), and ate some of the meat. Her face froze in an ambivalent expression. She proceeded to chew, and swallow. Gwenhime sighed, and she, as well as the rest of the room also began eating (except for the King, who was far too polite to gawk).

She proceeded to eat about half of the main course very quickly, and then moved on to the side dishes for the rest of the meal.

The King, surprised and also unwilling to let his wife have the first word, said, “What do you think of the meat?”

Lilllith made a subtle movement that only Chloe and Senica recognised as a reflex gag. She rather smoothly said, “You are a bold man, King Rhye. We do not serve foreigners such alkaline dishes before they have acquired the taste where I come from. It is very fortunate that the Lussa use this sort of seasoning as well. Tell me, what is your motive?”

“It was a diplomatic decision.” He said flatly. Gwenhime, finding this to be extremely hilarious, let out a pitched giggle. The King continued, “Every second you are here doing official matters, you will be tested by me. You are the ambassador of another realm. You can expect to be treated as such.”

Lilllith smiled and moved wisps of her hair from her face. “Good. And what of any other time? As I sleep or tour the city, or speak to you and your family informally? When I am not engaged in official matters, how am I to be treated?”

King Rhye was impressed by how quickly she found the gap in his words. “You will be treated as any other foreign guest.”

“Very well. Then you would treat me better than the Emperor of the Djeb!” At this she, laughed, and to everyone’s surprise, so did Senica. The two women cut their mirth short and shared a look for a moment. Senica flushed and frantically looked at her food.

“So,” Lilllith continued, “let us discuss wherefore I have come. Which of you are to return with me to aid the Lussa City?”

Chloe said “—” nothing.

“It is to be my daughter,” said the King.

Lilllith smiled. “Nothing like a diplomatic woman, and a skilled man, as the old saying goes.” Chloe had never heard that saying. “Which is it?”

“Who,” Gwenhime corrected.

Lilllith sneered.

“It is, ah, it is I…” Chloe failed.

Lilllith examined her a fourth time and then emptied her cup. “Interesting. Let us rest. Set up an arena for the morrow. I would test the physical capabilities of the Lussa City’s new guests.”

The King nodded and ordered the servants in waiting to do as the ambassador bid. They nodded formally, almost curtly, and then exited.

“How hospitable,” said Lilllith.

“This is how the Royal workers acknowledge their tasks. It is efficient,” Gwenhime stated.

The King cut them off before anything happened. “They are to be subject to your whim, within limit.”

“Of course. I too am subject to limit.”

Only Gwenhime heard the touch of resentment in the woman’s voice. She sighed. Lilllith reminded her of herself when she was young and stupid.

Daniel Triumph.

Table of Contents

GrindStorm

The darker than black
Shake, giving myself
A heart attack
Accidentally oh and passively I
Shed her, kill all that I love and
Oh how remote, alone, from here I
Stand not a chance oh lone.

Lovely, come back

The greater they are the
Darker the fall my
Scaffolding is just
As deep as it’s tall.

It’s the weak, they bother my kitten,
And it’s me, rarely get let in oh
Call out to me, oh, for you I would bloody my knuckles
“Just tell them your man knows how to kill and get away with it”
I jest of course, I value all lives but
if they make yours worse I will
rain down around you surround you
Don’t come near her unless you want me to rain down
“Like a good old fashioned beating within… Inches of your life.”
Now I’m “alone and left abandoned,
With the sentence I’ve been handed.”
Oh lady, my angel, oh—

Take a step back, boy, don’t worry so much.
Haha, that’s what I’m built for, I worry my love.
And then I take action, on the razor’s edge.
Don’t worry, don’t worry oh

Maybe I should. I do not have nightmares,
Instead I am caught. And sleeping awake love,
My trust
Withers
I’m fading
Awaking
Find me
I’ll… Never leave unless
You break me, break thoughts on you
And I’m shaking and anxious and paining
And blood flows forth
I am depressed, no not ’cause of you, no it’s just that time…
Didn’t I tell you? October would come?

She’s
Grinding away my dead flesh
Bringing me closer to life,
Love, oh I’ll do the same.
Oh my. Oh my. Make me
Yours forever.
Just ask or imply
And I will try
To figure it out.

Further reading:
https://youtu.be/nldfvlOmXWE
https://youtu.be/sONL6QUMR9E

Daniel Triumph.

The Solune Prince: Stained Class; or The Stupid Tower Problem

The Solune Prince

Novella 1

Chapter 12: Stained Class; or The Stupid Tower Problem

Bronze

Bronze

Bronze

Bronze

Bronze

“Brass…”

Bronze

“No, it is bronze.”

Astore looked down from the belltower. “Who—Chloe?”

I should be able to see her. Where—oh man, how can I, as an Agent of the King, not see someone who’s within earshot?

Her soft voice continued. “Brass dents too easily. You cannot make a bell whose wounds deepen at the sound of every toll or knell.”

Astore looked around the tower. He circled the bell and even examine the stone in the floor, and the pillars that held up the bell and its cover. Where… he almost called out for her, but, of course, a young man is fifty-percent pride. Instead, he mumbled to himself.

“Where… is she invisible? Why can I hear her? Is this…some form of ventriloquism?” He scanned the rooftops that surrounded him. Most of them were empty. There was a group of more wealthy noble Riley on a roof to the north, but no Chloe.

Finally, he gave up and called out. “Where are you?”

She said, “I believe I have made a mistake…”

“Why?”

She didn’t answer, but Astore had been paying attention this time. Her voice was coming from below and to the south. She must be downstairs!

Then, he saw a hand grab the ledge, gripping tightly.

Chloe jumped up off of the beam. She was just tall enough to reach the fingers of her left hand up around the stone guard. She grabbed tight and hauled herself upward, managing to get one elbow safely up onto the ledge. Her muscles shook with the effort.

“Hey!”

Chloe tower

Astore’s voice startled her, and her arm slipped. Chloe lost her strength and fell down the side of the tower.

“Ah!—Ouch.” Chloe’s rear hit the scaffold beam below. “Hmm…maybe these are not that useless after all…” she mumbled.

Anxious, Chloe let her head fall and touch the tower’s outer wall. She leaned on it, breathing.

“Hey!” Astore peeked over, “we have to go back! Come on, I’ll help you.”

Chloe looked up. She didn’t have the energy to reply, so she sort of just waved at him, trembling. She was sure that Astore was still talking, likely saying something important. She heard a name that was familiar too, but she was dazed and her mind would focus only on the issue at hand:

She was dangling on an ancient support beam, level with the ceiling of the third storey. She looked down and the vertigo rush grounded her senses. I…I am dangling here, floors above the ground. Likely a lethal height to fall from, and I do not have the strength left to pull myself up after that. How—there are three and I’m on the third. If I drop down, the trip will be easier on my…arms. Chloe vocally sighed and opened her eyes.

“Hello?”

Astore was waving his arms from the roof like an idiot. “Yes! Prince! Come up, I’ll help you! Didn’t you hear me?”

Chloe stood and then kneeled back down. She grabbed the beam and dropped off of it, hanging by her arms.

“I said that Lilllith is here already! Woah! What are you doing?”

Chloe, a highly neurotic woman by nature, lost her grip when she heard this. She fell; two cubits down; landing on the next beam. Uhhg. …that is beam two…one more and then the ground. I have to get rid of Astore before he gets me injured.

“Meet you on the ground,” Chloe called.

Then, she kneeled, grabbed the second beam, and dropped off again, pushing her body back and away from the tower.

“Are you crazy? Are you sure that’s safe?”

“It is not safe if you do not hold your words!” She shouted back in anger. Her long legs hit the wall and she braced into it.

Astore frowned and then disappeared.

Chloe walked her hands forward, climbing down the wall, digging her toes into the mortar cracks. When she was ready, she let her feet dangle, and then dropped again.

And there is the ground below me…

She considered beam hopping to the support that stood over the doorway and then jumping on Astore. She blushed and changed her mind immediately. Don’t flirt with the servants again Chloe! She kneeled and hopped the eight cubits down to the ground. The instant her feet touched earth, her anxieties caught her by the throat.

Then the prince’s countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.

She cried aloud.

Then came Astore: but his words did not make sense to the prince.

Chloe blinked. She was on the south side of the tower, between it and the city wall where no one could see her. What was that?

It took a full minute for Astore to get down all of the tower’s steps and find her. By then, she had mostly composed herself and was sitting on the ground despondently.

“Er…to the castle then? Miss? I mean, Sir?”

She stood up, caught her balance, and spoke to Astore.

“Are you okay?” They both said in unison.

“No, you don’t get to ask that, you scaled a tower. I just went down some stairs.”

Chloe laughed and wiped her eyes. She tried to stand up and failed, and then stood up again with Astore’s help.

“Y—ah,” she exhaled back, and then continued, “Let us return to my home…and let that I may greet our guest” Lilllith…

Daniel Triumph.

Table of Contents

Sketches of characters from this scene:

Sing me a Lovely Lovers’ Song!

Oh love my love you are peace
Oh love my love I want your peace

I’ll keep you safe!
I’m on my knees.
You see oh lovely love o’ love my love oh can’t you see?
I have to, want to build a home for you and me!

You are my joy
Must keep you safe (yusshhhh :3)
You are my peace
In peace you’ll stay!

But love I must learn!
Oh me oh my love!

Yes lovely, learn!
Fly up like a dove!

And how, when I am safe,
Can I do such a thing?

Where is the ground not firm,
that we build up schools and homes?
Where when the law is stone,
do we build up universities and cities?

The bandits assault the schools.
And learn with sword at throat you won’t!

Your freedom’s yours, oh me oh my love!
Oh! Oh! Can’t you see?
Your freedom is yours, and safe you will be!
Ah! Ah! Oh I can see!

Oh me
oh safe!
Oh me
your face!
Come here let me grab you
Oh come and I’ll squeeze you
I come, oh pleaze take me :3
I’m here, oh please touch me!

Oh how can I ever deserve such a peace, oh my me, oh now?
Why should ever you work oh so hard and for me, oh am I worth(y)?
Oh and I am useless, do nothing, I am little and cute!

I and lo, I want nothing
And lo you are nothing, oh no no no no

Wha—

Not something you are, oh, ’cause someONE you are!
My Lady’s no object! To that I object.
And all I want from you is one thing, oh me oh my love
Yes?
And all I want is this thing, my lovely my bug
What!
And that thing is this, oh it’s this oh right here
You’re poking my nose, oh, what is it my dear?
The condition of intimacy is simply, my lovely, oh
All you must do for me is to exist oh me oh my love!

And!
Hmm?
And?
Oh! And be with me and only me oh my love
oh my love
And be oh with me, oh Lady
Be mine!
Ah!
Ah?
Yes?

Oh take me my love!
Oh yes, my lady!
Oh conquer me, my husband.
Oh marry me, my wife.




All together now;
I am yours,
till death do we part.
And forever we’re ours,
And you feel my heart.
Two half souls finally become one
And peace in the home, and peace under sun.

And
Until then I build a house
And Until then I’ll grow and love
And now you make me not alive
No?
No, I am always alive, not needy, my no!
No?
No! You make me alive-er my love
oh love me my love!
Oh love me oh love me oh love me my love!

Obviously drawing inspiration from the Song of Songs, this is something of an engagement song. According to the Jewish tradition, if you so much as fornicate you are betrothed. How this would change the world if it was law! I wonder how many little children would have fathers…

Alas! This is a follow-up poem to “Sing me a song; so that I may Dance!

Tell me a story that you cherish. (v2, standalone)

(v1 of this piece was in the short anthology, Passive Progressions.)

This was written in September, when my life was more stable because she was not talking to me. Now, it’s a little different. Horray, for Chaos has returned to me once again!

A Romantic: A person with beliefs or attitudes of mystery, excitement, and remoteness from everyday life. ‘This is a beautiful record for hopeless romantics and dreamers – don’t let the cynics tell you otherwise.’ Essentially a reverse cynic or an idealist who’s willing to prove the world wrong in order to achieve his or her dreams.

This summer, my romantic self, the self that stayed up late on school nights watching lovely anime, and read ironic fantasies and speculative science fiction, was reawakened by someone. He is raw and unfocused, passionate and transcendental.

We talked a lot, nearly every night by message. The more I learned about her, the more in love I was. I just want to help with all of her problems, for her the romantic “Me” would conquer the earth! Blackmail the Universe! I learned exactly what all those studies meant when they stated that married men work 30% harder—or more! My creative juices flowed, she was my muse, she was the reason for hundreds of lines.

And now she’s gone, I feel left behind. Where is my love? What happened? She is young and weak, and in need of space. Here my love, take your time. She told me to move on twice or thrice. She said goodbye even more, but came back each time; each time and the last.

September cut my knees, like a certain man, I walk with a limp. My time is running out. The Romantic within me just laughs. “Haha! Is she weak? Then make her strong! Make her a man!” (He means, of course, as a warrior. He likes Jung, and believes that each person has a conscious ego that matches their gender, and an unconscious anima/animus that is the opposite gender.)

But real me? I’m seeing in tragedy. When things are too perfect, something vital is always missing. The chain pops off the bike. The lines rust out my brakes. September cut my knees and then I crashed.

So here I am now. She promised she would come back, but oh so cryptic. I pushed my luck. I have my hope. Oh love, come back!

The Romantic is sizing up all the other potential mates in my life. He wants to get married IMMEDIATELY. I say, people don’t do that anymore. It always goes wrong, and everone wants to wait until they’re middle aged and grumpy before they settle down and find out what makes humans happy.

He does not care. He says “people? Oh you mean ‘they’? They are all weak and worthless. They can go to hell. In fact, their single, lonely asses probably already feel like hell! Do not bother what ‘they’ believe. Look at her! Whew, dark hair blue eyes! And look, that one looks like your dream girl! The blonde curls, well endowed!” I have to blush. I make him stop.

The Romantic is sizing up all the other potentials in my life. I see love with virgin eyes, everyone is beautiful to me. But the Romantic? So judgmental! “I guarantee our lover had an IQ of at least 130. All these dumb women.” They are very pretty though, I say, adding, you don’t even know them that well. “Hah! But tell me, which is more beautiful than the girl I love?” I scan my memory. No one. Maybe one. And, maybe she’s also just as smart. But again, between her and I, as between my love and I, there is a barrier, so for now…

I cherish my memories and try not to feel anxious.

I hope she comes back, but I am not as certain as my Romantic side. How certain is he? “For her, I would blackmail the UNIVERSE!” But as for me…perhaps…she was never meant to be.

“But if she was!” …would she come back?

Hold on to me as tightly as I do you.
“Your wife is the closest person to you in your family.”
Why.
“Because she’s the only member that you choose, and she chooses back.”
How romantic!
Tragedy deserves its tragic end!
Hurrah!
Dance with me!