The Castle Captive by Tamasha Toko
Hidden in the Attic
Hidden in the Attic
Kagome got up by instinct as usual when she heard the sound of floor boards sliding. She had already been given food after she woke up so this must have meant it was lunch time. Quietly she walked barefooted across the cold wooden dusty floor. It wasn't even a walk, it was more of a tip toe. That was one of the major rules in her life, tip toe never run. Once she was done sneaking across the floor she arrived at the old and slowly rotting away door. She wasn't going to open it of course. It was not only locked but she had heard there were many boards nailed across the top of it so no one could ever come in or go out easily. She didn't even know if it was possible because the only time she had ever seen anything go in and out was not through the door but from under the loose floor board which was where Kagome had to kneel down to in order to get her lunch.
She carefully and silently removed the glass plate from the hole in the floor that was made from the floor board being pulled away on the other side of the door. Before taking the board and sliding it back over she put the plate from breakfast in place of where the lunch had been. After doing so she took her fist and tapped on the door. Whoever was on the other side got the message and moved the board so it was covering the hole which was under both sides of the door.
Lunch was a cold roast beef sandwich. She didn't have any arguments with that she liked it. After all that is what Kagome had been eating every since she could remember. She didn't bother getting up and walking back to her desk to eat as she normally did. Instead she stayed on the ground. By the way she was eating her single sandwich, having to be silent, and sitting on the dusty floor it was hard to tell that she was Kagome Higurashi the princess of the Eastern Lands.
Nobody was suppose to tell though. That was the whole idea. She wasn't suppose to exist. Everyone in the kingdom of the Eastern Land claimed to know the Higurashi family by heart, but all of them were wrong. They knew about King Bulka, Queen Alexandra, and the princess Kikyo. No one knew about the second princess, and they never would know. If anyone were to know there would be chaos and the whole family would be in great danger.
Kagome only knew of this because not only did she receive food through the loose floor board, but sometimes she got letters from her family and she wrote back. Her father always apologized for the way she would have to live out her life, her mother always talked about weddings and parties that were happening in the family, but when her sister Kikyo wrote to her she got all the information she needed.
Kikyo was the first one who told her everything in the letters. She was the one who told Kagome that long ago when their father had taken control of the Eastern Lands there were too many citizens and he made a law that no family could have more then one child. Of course that was a hard law to obey since there was no way to control births. Everyday thousands of second or even third children were found out about and they were killed. Many families were destroyed because of the new law. So citizens could only look at their king with hate in their eyes. The king didn't realize it, but when he created the law his own wife was expecting a child. The child was Kagome. He refused to kill his own daughter, but he could never let anyone know about it. It wasn't fair to say no one else but him could have more then one child. So she was hidden and forced to live out her life in this dusty palace attic.
Kikyo's letters always revealed the horrible truth behind everything. She didn't even know until she read Kikyo's last letter that their country was engaged with a war against the western lands. According to Kikyo this battle has been going on for five years now and not once in any letters from her parents' had she seen any clue at all that something this horrible was happening. There was no point in her knowing though. It wasn't her country she wasn't suppose to exist. And she didn't exist. Never once in her life and Kagome every remembered stepping foot outside of the creaky wooden door. Everything was always brought to her. Clothes, food, or anything she ever asked for. She had never even seen the faces of her parents before or sister. The only other human being she ever remembered seeing was a nanny that visited the attic until Kagome was six. It was that woman who taught her everything she ever knew that she didn't learn from a book.
"Is anyone there?" Kagome asked herself.
There was no answer and she was expecting any. She asked herself that all the time just so she could hear her voice. There was no one to talk too but yet another major rule was always whisper never yell. She only knew yelling was where she made her voice louder, but never once had she actually done it.
Kagome got up once she finished every crumb of her lunch. At this time her parents expected her too get the study books they sent to her so she could become educated, but she only read those books when she felt there was something she needed to know. She was forever doomed to this attic so what would she possibly need to know? There was one thing she did find joy in reading though. When she first started to walk she explored every part of attic as though she was trying to find something. She only found one thing that she guessed was forgotten about when the attic was cleaned out after her birth. It was a box of books. Books she later found out were suppose to teach her magic used by skilled women named mikos. It was her secret though. Once when she told Kikyo about the books Kikyo told her to never tell anyone else because father outlawed all the practice of magic. Kagome didn't want to defy the father she never saw after he put his career at risk to hide her, but she couldn't help but read the books. She was no reading the last one for about the fourth time. Then maybe the day would finally come when the law was gone and she could be free and she could try out all the stuff she learned for real. There had been many times where she made pink light appear out of the palm of her hand, but she quickly stopped in fear that somebody would find out.
She didn't like the last the book that much, but still it was something to read. It was unlike the other ones. The other ones were about healing and using miko energy to defend yourself and others from monsters; while the last one was about casting curses and horrible spells. It was something that she never planned to do to anyone. If she was to become a miko it wouldn't be the type of dark miko she read about. She was still reading up on the serpent called shiki-kami when she heard something. It was a giant crash, but it seemed far off.
Kagome just shrugged it off at first, but then it got louder and louder. Soon she could hear screams. What was going on? She never heard sounds from below that were that loud before. It just got worse though and she found herself covering up her ears. Something was wrong. She sniffed the air. She smelled something she couldn't recognize, but it definitely was not normal. It smelled bad whatever it was and it made her cough.
"What is going on?" she asked herself just trying to her voice once again.
"Kagome!" yelled another voice.
Kagome thought she was just imagining it at first. Did someone yell her name? She didn't believe it until she heard it again and it was louder. The only two voices she had ever heard in her life was her own, the one of her nanny, and the voice of an old seamstress that she could hear from below. This voice was female just like the others. She never heard a male voice before, but she heard they were often loud and had a certain different pitch in them. She didn't know if she was suppose to respond to the voice or not. It could be a trap. She was told never to talk to anyone outside of the door.
Instead she tip toed over to the door and just stared at it hearing the voice call her name over and over again. She was about to place her ear on to the door so she could hear more clearly, but soon the door started to get banged with great force. That was when she heard another voice. It sounded the total opposite of her own and the others she had heard before. It must have been the voice of a man.
"That's enough woman!" yelled the opposite voice, "tricking us into coming up here will not buy you anytime."
Was the woman the man was talking about the one who kept yelling her name? And why would the woman trick someone into coming up to the attic? Not to mention the biggest question on her mind, how did the woman know her name? She wasn't suppose to exist.
"I am not lying," the woman voice simply said not making her voice as high as the man's before redirecting her attention to the door, "Kagome say something. Its me your sister Kikyo. You need to come out before this place is burned to the ground?"
Kagome only found out one answer from that reply and that was it had to be Kikyo because only she and the king and queen knew about the attic's secret. It still didn't answer the other questions. And what did 'burned to the ground mean'? Burn meant fire so were they going to burn the castle? If they did there would be no escape for her and she would die, but could she actually raise her voice to where it reached outside of the door. It was something she never did before.
"What do you want?" Kagome asked raising her voice for the very first time in her life not sure if she did it loud enough or not.
Right when she spoke she could see the door shaking. Next thing she knew it was pulled right out from the wall and she was right it did have boards over it which were pulled along with the door. She looked to where the door once was. The small little door that was as big as a normal sized window was in the hands of a huge muscle bound hairy guy, at least she assumed he was a guy since she had never seen one before. There was another man standing next to him who also looked very strong, but he was busy holding on to a woman. A woman who didn't look much different then Kagome. This had to be Kikyo.
"So Kikyo you weren't lying," said a voice that Kagome recognized as the opposite voice she heard after Kikyo's when the door was in it's place.
She looked at the strong men. None of their lips were moving. Were males able to talk without using their mouths? That didn't seem right, but then she seen the source of the sound. Behind the men was someone else. She noticed him right away because of the silver hair and bright red houri he had. On top of his head was something strange. It was something she seen in her big book of animals. They were the ears of a dog. The other two men didn't have anything like that so it probably wasn't normal. The two strong men moved to opposite ends of the hallway as the dog man came closer to her. She couldn't help but shake and get nervous. This was all happening too fast all at once. It had been years since she had last had contact with anyone and all of a sudden there was a group of people that just knocked down her door. What were everyone's intentions? And why did Kikyo come up here with other people? Kagome had been told in a note once from someone that no one was to ever say anything about the attic.
"Not much of a talker are you?" the dog man asked as she got nose to nose with Kagome.
Kagome didn't say anything. Her shaking just got worse. The man right away noticed the shaking and a smile came on to his face. Kagome didn't know what was going on, but she didn't like it at all.
"What is wrong with this one? Is she scared of everything just like this whole coward family?"
"Just as I explained to you," started Kikyo, "father broke the law so he hid his second daughter here. She has never been out of that room before. She doesn't know what is going on, and don't you dare insult this family Inuyasha."
Kikyo had just called the dog man Inuyasha? Was that his name? And why was he insulting the family?
"Feh," Inuyasha grunted, "Kikyo incase you haven't noticed you are in no place to argue with anyone especially me. You know I could have let Sesshoumaru handle you and then you wouldn't be standing here right now. I might even consider sparing you unlike my older brother would."
So there was another dog man in their home? Wait nothing was making since. Why was Inuyasha saying he was going to spare Kikyo? Was Kikyo's life in danger? Was her life in danger right now? She all of a sudden wished she hadn't said anything when she was locked away in the attic.
"So Kagome is it?" Inuyasha asked in a very irrating tone, "according to your sister your probably in shock right now, well let me explain everything to you right now. Your father has pissed my father off one too many times so he sent me and my brother Sesshoumaru to raid this place and kill your sister and your parents."
"What!?" Kagome asked shocked.
She didn't want to talk to this guy, but now she knew her life was in danger and her parents too. She didn't know any of them, but they fought for her to be able to live. She couldn't just forget about them.
"Your parents are already dead," Inuyasha said with a smirk, "I am sparing Kikyo for the moment because she has been great help to me in the past. We were about too just burn this place until Kikyo started to tell us that there was another filthy Higurashi that was locked in the attic."
So they were going to burn it down, but what was up with Kikyo. She wasn't suppose to tell anyone about her no matter what, but she did anyways. Kagome was trying to figure that out while trying to grief over the thought that the people who once protected her were dead. Kikyo noticed Kagome's confused look.
"Kagome I am sorry. I have never sugar coated anything for you before and I won't start now. You are going to be killed by the Western Lands. I thought this would be better then burning to death in the prison you spent your whole life in. This way you will die free."
Kagome nodded. So that was how it was going to be? She was going to die. She was happy with Kikyo's choice actually. It was like Kikyo understood what it was like being a captive of the attic. It would be better to die free and exist rather then to burn after never existing at all.
"Hold on," Inuyasha said in a different tone of voice that wasn't so loud and obnoxious, "I didn't say we were going to kill her. We were ordered to kill the family of Higurashi. Under the law of this country and ours she is not a Higurashi. She was never legally registered."
Kagome was a little happy to hear that there was maybe a chance she would live, but still she was overwhelmed with fear and sadness. She didn't get the one thing she wanted, and that was too be a legal Higurashi. She wanted everyone to know who she truly was.
"Inuyasha just shut up!" Kikyo snapped, "don't even think of giving her false hope. She was born from my mother and she is the daughter of my father so she is a Higurashi whether the papers say so or not. I know you will just turn around and kill her."
"Jeez Kikyo do you really think I am that cruel? Your right though she is a Higurashi whether she has been locked away her whole life or not. As much as I know it won't help out her life any I have no choice but to ask Sesshoumaru about it."
"See she doesn't have a chance."
Kagome was getting confused. The said the name Sesshoumaru a lot. Before Inuyasha claimed it was his older brother also he said that if it wasn't for him not being here at this moment Kikyo's life would be doomed. Sesshoumaru was probably the one who killed her parents. Sesshoumaru would be told about her and she would be killed, but that was good. At least she would be killed as Kagome Higurashi and everyone would have known she existed.
"Come along girl," growled the man that took off her door as he came closer to her.
She found her small skinny arm trapped by his muscular hand. She was going to be taken somewhere. Was she going to die right now. She was forced out of the room so fast she didn't even notice she took her very first step out of the place she spent her whole life. Soon she found herself being lead down the stairs. She was going to find out what the castle looked like before it was burned down. Before she knew it she was already totally off the top floor of the castle. She looked ahead and seen a huge light fixture hanging over head. This was too much for her. She had never seen this much before. It was all happening too fast. Suddenly everything went black.
Kagome opened her eyes and seen there were no lights wherever she was. She felt a soft surface under her. She was laying in a bed. Had it all been a dream? It had to have been. There was no way her parents were dead and Kikyo revealed her location so she could die in freedom. It had all just been a bad dream. At least that was what she thought until she heard a female voice yell something sounded like 'the girl is awake!'.
She got up and looked around. This wasn't her room. The floor was carpet and everything was neat and organized. Also there was a window. She seen pictures of windows in books, but she had never had one in fear that someone would see her. It was a long window too, one with long drapes. There was also a nice polished wooden desk next to a dresser. Kagome looked at the one who screamed. It was a tall girl with orange hair. She had sheets or some kind of cloth in her arms meaning she was a servant of some kind. Soon another woman entered the room. This one had long brown hair that was in a pony tail. She was also wearing a cheap looking kimono.
"Cali," the brown haired woman said to the servant, "you know how our lord's oldest is. He won't want someone looking like that in his office. Get her cleaned up."
The servant nodded as the brown haired woman left the room. Cali was her name Kagome assumed. Who was the other woman? And how did Kagome get here? She remembered being lead down the stair case with Kikyo, a dog eared man named Inuyasha, and two other men and now she was here where so far she had seen two woman. She never imagined she would ever see this many people.
"Well you heard her," said Cali as she put down the cloth and came up to the bed Kagome was laying on, "we need to get you washed up and do something with your hair. After a spill like you had yesterday a warm bath might do you good. Kagome was it?"
Kagome couldn't talk. Every since she demanded yesterday to know what Inuyasha was talking about her voice was totally lost to her. Her voice was always something she was afraid of losing. She couldn't even remember what it sounded like now. She wanted to reply though when she heard she could take a warm bath. In her dingy attic room all she had was a small tub that was installed just for her and most of the time when the hot water was actually working little water came out of the faucet all at once that by the time it was all full it was freezing. Her hair probably did need work too. See never thought she would be seen by anyone so she found herself only brushing her hair when it got too tangled up.
"Kagome," she responded, "my name is Kagome."
"I thought so," replied Cali, "anyways come on I will take you to the hot springs."
Kagome leaned up out of the bed. She couldn't do anything just yet. There were a lot more questions swirling around in her mind.
"Hold," said Kagome, "um where is this place?"
"Oh yeah you don't know what happened do you? Well your home was burnt down, but this place is another former castle of your father's. The oldest son of Lord Inutasha has just taken it over that's all."
Kagome didn't like this at all. Her parents were dead and she never even got a chance to see them or the home she lived her whole life in. It was as though she was never there. As though she was never alive before the castle was attacked.
"What happened to my sister Kikyo? Was she killed?"
"Of course she wasn't. Lord Inutasha wanted everyone dead, but he couldn't deny his youngest son's wishes. Back when the eastern and western lands were alleys Kikyo and Inuyasha helped each other out more then once and they became sort of attached if you know what I mean."
Kagome didn't know what she meant. When she last seen Inuyasha and Kikyo they didn't seem attached to her. Their skin didn't seem to be connected. There was still many things Kagome didn't understand about life outside of her attic.
"Your sister is in another castle not far from here don't worry."
"Am I going to die?"
"Well its hard to tell for sure. I will can tell you that you will not have the same chance as Kikyo had. Inuyasha looks pretty tough, but he has a soft heart unlike his older brother. Your life is in Sesshoumaru's hands...and well like I said he has no soft heart, but he does have common sense. I mean what's the point in killing you if there was no way you were involved with any of the things your family did. You never stepped foot outside that attic right? Anymore questions? Because we really need to get you ready."
"Who was that brown haired woman."
"Oh that was just Sango. She is in charge of the war department. Listen to me Kagome do not trust her at all while in this castle. We think she is planning something. She use to be a youkai slayer until Sesshoumaru slaughtered her village and now all of a sudden she wants to help out this kingdom."
"That's right she kills youkai."
"So youkai are real?"
Kagome had read about youkai in the miko books, but she had been told by her nanny that monsters did not exist and she assumed they were the same thing.
"What? You are telling me you didn't know this? Youkai is what mostly populates the Western Lands. Inutasha and all of his sons are dog youkai."
Well that explained Inuyasha's dog ears, but Kagome still couldn't believe it. She was never told that youkai existed. She felt as though it was time for her to quit asking questions. She probably blacked out last time because everything was just too much for her. Quickly she got out of bed and stood on her feet in front of Cali. Then she noticed something she didn't see before. On Cali's head there were years that looked similar to Inuyasha's but they were tan. Cali noticed Kagome's puzzled and had to think for a few seconds before figuring it out.
"Oh you didn't notice that. I forgot to tell you I am a cat youkai."
"Oh I see. Well I'm ready."
Kagome was rushed towards a huge pool of hot water that was in a few rooms to the left. She savored every moment she was in the hallway as though it wouldn't be long until she couldn't see any of it every again. It was hard for anyone to feel happy when they were about to be killed, but Kagome was just happy to rid herself of her ragged kimono and have a nice warm bath. At least she would die knowing what a true bath felt like. The bath could have lasted forever and still it wouldn't have been enough. After just a few minutes she was rushed again into another room.
This one had too many light fixtures all hung closely together that Kagome had to shield her eyes when they were turned on. Finally when she was able to suck it up enough to see she found herself in shock. She was looking at herself. Around her in the room there were many copies of her all standing by each other. How could this be? Her nanny told her that there were no two people in the world that looked the same. In this case there had to be about twelve. Cali once again noticed the shock of surprise in Kagome's face.
"Don't tell me," said Cali, "you have never seen a mirror before have you?"
"Its just a piece of glass that shows your reflection. We place these pieces of glass on the wall so people can see there selves. Now we are going to have some work too do."
The eldest prince of the western lands could do nothing but crumple up the letter that was just given to him after sending his servant away. Sesshoumaru honored his father, but sometimes he just wanted to kill the man. All the stress was being dumped on him. It was him who killed the head of the Higurashi family, him who made sure Inuyasha was taken care of him, him who had to deal with some girl that the former king of the eastern lands hid, and now he had to investigate a group of soldiers that were still dedicated to the Higurashi cause. While he had to deal with all of this his father was probably just happy that Inuyasha was secretly planning to get married to the Higurashi princess.
His father had become weak. This was a time of war not for love let alone to the daughter of King Bulka. Obviously Inuyasha had inherited that weakness. If it wasn't for the weakness Kikyo would be sitting in a dungeon being tortured until they had all the information they needed about the surviving Higurashi supporters then she would be killed. Now there would forever be a Higurashi that escaped his wrath and that was not a happy thought. Well two Higurashis if he counted the second child that would be brought to him soon, but he would make sure that it would stay only one Higurashi that he let live.
There really was no point to keep the second girl alive. What did it matter anyways? The law of the Eastern lands is that all second children are to be eliminated and if Kikyo was the oldest then she wasn't suppose to exist. Of course she could exist now because he changed all the laws and all families are free to have as much children as they desire, but she was still the spawn of their enemy. It was just too bad that the laws were changed, but the citizens didn't. They still worshiped the ground that their king had walked on. He would take care of this one way or another.
Cali stood in front of Sesshoumaru's door with the new transformed Kagome. Kagome felt too strange after her so called 'make over'. Her hair was totally untangled or damaged, she wore a different kimono that was just plain white with no designs or anything, and her face was covered in powdery or liquid type stuff that Cali called 'make up'. She watched as the cat youkai knocked on the door in front of them. So many questions swam through Kagome's head. Are all doors in this castle the same? Does Sesshoumaru have dog ears? What is make up made out of? If I brake a mirror will I be shattered too? When am I going to die?
"Come in," demanded a cold male voice.
Cali opened the door and just stood there. Kagome waited for Cali to go in, but she didn't. Wait, Kagome wasn't going to have to go in there alone was she?
"Go on," Cali told her as she started to step away from the door.
Kagome gulped. She didn't want to face her death alone. She only knew Cali for not even an hour, but she was willing to be friends with anyone who crossed her path since she only known or seen a few people in her whole life. Gathering up all her courage Kagome opened the door a little more and glanced at Cali once more before she made her way in. Cali just gave her the glare that said 'good luck' and before she knew it the cat youkai was gone.
"Hurry up," commanded the voice once more.
Quickly Kagome got in, shut the door all the way, and turned to face whoever the voice was coming from. The first thing she noticed on the man sitting behind a huge desk was his white mane. At first she thought it was Inuyasha, but then she remembered the coldness in this guy's voice. And besides the light colored hair there really was nothing else in common between the two. They both had golden eyes, but the ones on the older brother seemed to hold no emotion at all. His face quickly gave that away though. There would be no hope of survival with this guy.
"Sit down," the older brother told her.
Sit down? Did that mean sit on the floor? She wouldn't be able to see him if she did that, but when it was her life on the line she was going to listen even though she didn't have a chance. Slowly she got on her knees and placed her hands on her lap while looking at him. All Sesshoumaru did was get up from his chair and walk towards her. She looked up at his face one more time. There was some emotion there she could see, but it didn't look happy.
"Are you purposely trying to be stupid?" asked Sesshoumaru.
Kagome didn't answer. What did stupid mean again? She was told about it before by her nanny and she was told she shouldn't call people that. Her mind was on the meaning of the word until she found herself being picked off the ground. Sesshoumaru had picked her up by the collar of her kimono. He brought her close enough that she could feel his breath on her.
"You will answer me when I ask you a question wench," he growled, "now why are you trying to be stupid? You sitting on the floor does not humor me at all."
He was able to lift her off the ground with one hand while with the other he was pointing at something. In front of his desk was a small wooden chair. Did he possibly mean that he wanted her to sit in the chair?
"Sorry," responded Kagome, "I didn't know you wanted me to sit there. I just thought-".
"You thought wrong," he interrupted, "understand this now while your still breathing. You were in the Higurashi castle, but now your in my castle meaning that you belong to me and you will not make a single move in my presence or in the presence of others without my permission."
Kagome just nodded like her nanny told her that was done when answering a question. Sesshoumaru just dropped her and she landed with a hard thud on the ground. She guessed that was where she was to stay.
"My brother has told me you were found in the attic. Since your a third child is that where they hid you when there is company?"
"I have always been hiding in there."
"He says that door was nailed shut. Getting in and out must have been hard."
"When I was captured that was the first time in thirteen years it was opened. I have never left that attic."
Sesshoumaru looked at her a bit shocked. He thought she just lived a life exactly like Kikyo and only hid when there was company. He didn't suspect she had always been hiding. A whole life with no real contact wouldn't have been possible though, she knew how to reply to questions, but yet her answer would explain things like her not knowing where to sit.
"How were you fed and educated?"
"A nanny visited until I was six and taught me to read and now I just take lessons from books and I was given food through the loose floorboards."
"So this is why you have given yourself up? You wanted to die outside of the attic?"
"Kikyo made that decision, but yes. I realize I will die and I didn't want to die there."
"Then I shall have you killed in the court yard. You may die outside."
Was she suppose to by happy? That's how Sesshoumaru was making it sound. She didn't care though. Kikyo was right. She was going to die and if she was going to die it would be not in the castle where she had been hiding for too long.
Sesshoumaru returned to his desk and prepared to fill out a note. He would have Kagome killed this very afternoon as soon as possible. As he shuffled through his papers trying to find the right forum he found the wedding invite that Inuyasha probably snuck on his desk.
You are cordially invited to attend the wedding of Inuyasha Sagia and Kikyo Higurashi. The wedding will take place on third Sunday of this month. You are to arrive at this wedding and get a good wedding gift or me Inuyasha will cordially kick your ass.
-Your loving younger half brother
It was hard to tell that it was a wedding invite. It seemed like another one of Inuyasha's stupid notes. Starting today the wedding would take place in two weeks. He stared at the invite one more time. At the bottom was a picture of a bride and groom. They were both smiling. He hated seeing the bride smiling. She was suppose to by crying as he killed her along with Kagome. Kikyo would have been a fun one to kill off. Unlike Kagome she had lived her life and understood how precious it was instead of not caring. Then he came up with an idea. A way to make sure Kikyo wore no smile on her face the day of her wedding.
"Do you know what a wedding is?"
"I was told by my nanny that it was when a man and woman want to live together they get married and then they kiss to close the deal."
"Well your sister is marrying my brother in two weeks. I am going to cause your death you might as well be witness to something that will cause my suffering."
"I will watch it."
"Good and since everything is canceled that day because of the wedding I can schedule you in to be killed right after."
"Do as you wish."
Oh Sesshoumaru was ready too. This was part of his plan. Kikyo would not enjoy having her sister's death the same day as her wedding and Kagome would die a horrible death. Kagome would have two weeks to experience life and how it was suppose to be. Meaning she would realize how valuable it was and not want to let go of it so easily. This was a great way to pass the time until the country was on the brink of war again.
(End of Chapter 1)