The Adventures of Var and Ruby – 01

((Real, real, author’s note, you’ll understand why soon enough. In The Lupine Prince I have a break of 3 years in between part 1 and part 2. Now, a few bits and pieces of what happened in those years is alluded to in TLP, and a couple more tidbits will be in another book, but the events themselves aren’t full book material, even though some of them are integral to the series. Though, probably none are as important as the casual conversations and adventures that happen with Var and Ruby, so far as I’ve currently planned. Of course, book two of the series has another time lapse or two, with another couple years where although things happen, they don’t really move the current major plots forward. Well, parts of book two should, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Anyways, I’ll be writing additional bits and short stories and such, and putting them in The Adventures of Var and Ruby. There will probably be other character stories, but I haven’t planned those that much. And Var and Ruby only have a couple that are actually integral to the plot in the Together with Silver series, so the rest is just fun and fluff. Though there is one thing of importance to notice. And that’s who is writing, a soon-revealed surprise! The plot thickens! Oh, and a # is a scene break.))

*In between the events of when we first met Va’il, and the second real time, several events happened. There was a three-year gap between those times, and it’d be a foolish mistake to think nothing had happened. In fact, without several things happening in those years, things of utmost importance, the rest of the story wouldn’t have gone the way they did! Of course, not every event need be spoken about, and it appears my colleague has left that out of his musings. Then again, I don’t think he knows all of the stories, considering not all of them were shared, or at least they weren’t shared with him. But I know. My precious Ruby and her silliness must not be underestimated! Though the Mistress may become annoyed at my revelations of her past, she’ll just laugh about them. Maybe I’m just writing them for my own benefit. But thinking back, it’d be a shame to lose these memories. I may be a sentimental bird, but oh well.*Shiroi, vivid proclaimer, writer, and grandest fan of The Adventures of Var and Ruby. And I may just throw in some other things I’ve found out as well! Oh, to avoid interfering with the story, I’ll be referring to myself in the third person from now on.

Ruby meets the Massive One wherein, the miss, Ruby Melonscone, the golden-haired human daughter of Jane Lucrene Melonscone, a high-noble, and her new guard meet. A day of many surprises.

“I’m bored!”

But Var just stood silently instead of replying to the young miss. She tried pouting, but the bearan just stood silently this day, just as he had the previous day. Her lessons were done for the day, but her newly appointed bodyguard was doing his job far too well, in her opinion.

#

Some days beforehand, Ruby had arrived home after an act of defiance against her mother. Previously, annoyed by all her restrictions, she decided to run away for a short while. In the midst of one night she left her room, left the mansion, and escaped the walls. She probably just slipped past the guards somehow, though she still just gives a smile when asked how she escaped that day. Shiroi was the first to notice the escape, as she had just brought some dishes to Ruby’s room for a midnight snack, knowing the miss liked to read late into the night.

When Shiroi didn’t get a response after a few knocks, she entered the room. It wasn’t all that unusual for the miss to be outside her room, but she had been in quite a depressed mood lately. It didn’t seem all that right to Shiroi. She placed a silver platter on the study table in the room, and then walked to the window, which was all the way open. Thinking the worst, she stuck her head out the window and looked around.

Then she spotted in the dim light a figure just outside the walls, moving northward. It was obvious from her direction she was headed towards the north gate. Shiroi rushed out of the room and into the study where the master of the manor, Jane Melonscone, was biding her time. Shiroi made her entrance, and politely notified Jane of what she spotted, never raising an eye to meet the woman. A moment later Jane commanded her to follow as fast as possible to bring Ruby back.

Shiroi did as she was commanded, and was soon rushing through the streets. She arrived at the north gate, waved at the city guards as she left, and continued her pursuit. It should also be mentioned that guards in Rising kept the wrong people out, rather than anyone in. Of course, Ruby’s status meant nothing she asked of was to be questioned by anyone below her, so leaving the city by casually strolling through the gates wasn’t much of a problem.

After a bit Shiroi caught up to Ruby, who smiled at her servant, piled her with two bags to carry, and continued trudging forward, her servant in tow with a constant string of protests. The next few days concern the events surrounding Lake Tershi and the first encounter with Va’il, so continuing on to when Ruby returned we have another development.

#

When Ruby returned a while later, Darius himself escorted her home. He had been around several times before, and he was always a pleasant man to be around. Jane had always been dragging Ruby to various get-togethers, or dragging Darius to their home to make various demands of him and the guard. His wife was also quite pretty and nice, and the two of them had made a large impression on Ruby from early on. Of course, more events with him will have to wait till later on.

Waiting for Ruby was her mother, who spared no time in reprimanding Ruby. Before she did too much, however, she imposed on Darius, who had yet to leave, demanding he make arrangements so Ruby’s safety would no longer come into question. Darius, despite his personal yet unvoiced objections, knew he had to give in to Jane immediately on this one. He promised he’d assign one of, no, he struck that, the best, guard he had. Jane agreed and asked Darius to have the guard start in a week. The look on Jane’s face made it obvious that a guard in a week from now was just the right time for Jane, and a week too long for Ruby.

Darius left, Jane went back to her work and sometimes her punishments, and the best guard Darius had was escorting Va’il home.

#

“He’s massive,” Ruby couldn’t help but say as she looked at the individual occupying the house’s doorway.

“Greetings Madam Melonscone,” Var said, and then he bent down onto one knee and bowed slightly. He was still taller than Jane.

“You’re the one Darius sent?” Jane asked, a tinge of surprise in her voice. It was one of the very few times in her life she’d ever be surprised and almost at a loss for words.

“Yes Ma’am, commander’s orders. Watch and guard, for a miss,” Var said. The bearan was respectful, but his size was unexpected. Jane had to stop and think for a moment. On one hand, she didn’t care for non-humans. But on the other, the bearan in front of her was an elite, a member of the royal guard. He had the privilege of guarding royalty. Obviously he had shown valor in the past. And Darius wasn’t one to fool with Jane; she knew that Darius would send his best. And considering Var looked like he could even stop a charging rhinos or rampaging bovine, it was doubtful any harm could come to her child if this individual was there. Jane did have issues with trusting Var, being a bearan, but in the end she relaxed, realizing that above all, the strongest was on her side.

“Fine. Show up early, do not leave till late. You will watch after my daughter carefully. You will keep her safe, keep her confined as I see fit, and you will restrain both yourself and others from laying a hand on her in any way. None others may, but you may stop her from proceeding somewhere if it conflicts with my other orders. I’ll meet with you again later on to clarify a few other matters. Understood, guard?” Jane asked.

“Yes, Ma’am, I do as you say,” Var said.

“One more thing. She is more important than you, your family, and anyone else save the king, in this world. Do not tread lightly on that importance.”

“Yes, Ma’am.” Var nodded slightly, still on his knee. Her task done, Jane left the room.

Var got up and looked around the room. As he followed the stairs up he noticed a flash of gold and white hide behind a corner shortly after the stairs. He took a step once and waited for a moment, staring at the corner. For a brief moment a girl stuck her head out slightly, and Var could see a wave of golden hair, one eye going wide, a hand slightly gripping the edge, and the flutter of a white gown that disappeared just as fast. He walked up the stairs and rounded the corner, following the sounds and smell of the girl who ran every so often, eventually stopping at a large closed door.

He turned around to see a white-feathered avian girl behind him, someone he hadn’t noticed till now. She had been silent but swift in her approach.

“I don’t suppose you’re the bodyguard?” Shiroi asked.

“Yes miss. Supposing the miss ran in here?” Var asked.

“That’s her room,” Shiroi said. Var nodded, and then took a step back. He folded his arms and stood silently, slightly leaning against the wall behind him. Shiroi, not entirely sure of what to do, opened the door and walked inside the room. She smiled slightly and left the door all the way open. “Ruby.”

“Shiroi. There’s a bearan,” Ruby said, while sitting in a chair to the left of the door, out of the sight of any onlookers. She was wide-eyed, but her voice was a mix of both curiosity and fear.

“Yes, Madam did get you a personal guard, after all, as she had said before,” Shiroi said.

“Yeah, but he’s huge! Huge! I don’t know. Just, incredible,” Ruby said.

“And just outside the door,” Shiroi said, a smile turning up her lips. Ruby paled a bit, then stood up, and walked up to the door’s entrance. She stood there, without hiding, her arms at her side, as she looked up.

“Yes miss?” Var asked upon seeing the figure in front of him. It wasn’t obvious to most onlookers, but for the first time, of all the ironic things possible, Var was surprised at the sight of the girl in front of him. He felt himself opening his eyes a bit more to try and take in the sight before him. She was a pretty human girl, he knew that much, but she exceeded all his prior experiences with humans. It was more than just admiration for how she looked, as there was something about her specific look that surprised him. She looked at him clearly, without fear, as her curiosity had taken over. And after looking at him for a short while, a small smile came to her face, completing the portrait of the young girl with golden hair and a white gown.

“You seem like fun,” Ruby said. A short sigh was heard from Shiroi in the background. Var could only give the much shorter girl a bearan smile in return. Ruby laughed and then walked back to the table to converse with Shiroi a while.

Var was expecting this job to be straightforward, maybe even simple. Regardless of what threat came about, he had no doubts as to what to do. Every situation and plotter that could come about didn’t worry him in the least, when it came to military matters. But somehow that sweet smile of Ruby’s caused him to feel the slightest bit of trepidation. He disregarded that instinct and resumed his duty, standing stoic yet alert for hours on end. The first day, the first encounter of the bearan and the girl, came to a finish.

Next time: Bear on Ice

About James Ashman

I write books of the fantasy, heroic, and adventure types. So far. I'm an author who loves fantastic stories.
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