~ Prologue ~
Charles is now 21 and needs to go on his coming of age journey to prove himself a man to the village. Charles has been trained hard up until this past week where Arch has had mercy since Charles wont see Sophie for a long time. They’ve spent every second of the day together. This begins on the morning of Charles departure out into the wild to collect an emerald from the dragon. Charles hates having to leave feeling as though he’s proved how much of a man he is many times over the years but this is a custom in their village he must follow.
~ Chapter 1 ~
“are you sure you don’t want to take anybody with you Charles? You’re allowed one companion.”
“I’m not allowed to take you so no. I can only take a person who’s already considered an adult” Honestly his biggest reason for not taking someone was to impress Sophie more. He felt she’d think more of him if he completed this alone. He hoped he’d be brave enough to tell Sophie how much he loved her after this too. He wanted to say it so badly but he never could. It would always come out as something else due to his fear of her not wanting to be around him any longer. Sophie walked by his side as he prepared for his journey. Charles was doing everything as slowly as he could because he didn’t want to leave Sophie.
Every stand he went to to purchase what he needed the villagers would give him words of encouragement or say how proud they were of him. A couple of girls Sophie knew were crushing on him hard were extra flirtatious today “I bet you’re going to get that emerald faster than anybody has before.” one said as she tried to rub up his arm. Charles practically threw her hand off of him. “What did I tell you about rubbing me?”
“You’re no fun, you are far too sexy to be so funny when girls touch you” The other girl jealously said “well Sophie touches him all she wants.” Sophie blushed. Charles just grabbed Sophies hand and rushed past the two girls. “God those girls get on my damn nerves” He said angrily. “Don’t let them” she said smiling and he melted. All anger gone in an instant. It was amazing to him how she did that. It was impossible to stay angry around Sophie.
A few men started talking to Charles about everything that happened and how much they enjoyed each day of their long trip. The conversation which would have been exciting for most young men was doleful for Charles. He didn’t want to think about the many days and nights away from his beautiful Sophie. Days and nights he wouldn’t hear her laugh or joke with him. Days and nights he couldn’t hug her or dance to unheard music. Days and nights he couldn’t be watchful of lurking young men waiting for their opportunity to try and get Sophie attention. He would beat the life out of any man if Sophie told him about anybody bothering her while he was gone. They flocked around her like vultures even if he was away for a day and now he could possibly be gone for months.
Charles was determined to make this trip as swift as he could make it. If monsters were scarce he knew he could do this quickly but Charles knew he was not that lucky. The men finished their stories and Charles gathered the last few things needed. Only thing left to do was leave. Sophie laced her finger in Charlies “I’m really going to miss you. Please be careful and don’t rush too much. You don’t want to be exhausted if an animal attacks you.”
“I’ll be careful I promise, you make sure you tell me if any of the men here harrass you while I’m gone” Sophie laughed, that gorgeous laugh that normally filled him with bliss only increased his dejection. When they had to part ways Charles gave her a long and very tight hug. He breathed in Sophies sweet scent one last time and gave her a soft kiss on the cheek before letting go. “Bye Charles”
“Bye Soph” Sophie stood there as he walked away. Charles fought with everything he had the urge to look back. He wasn’t sure if he’d leave if he had to look at her face again. Sophie kept standing there with the happy face she plastered on that morning. She knew if she allowed herself to be sad in front of Charles he wouldn’t go. Once she couldn’t see him any more she began to cry. She had to sit down she cried so hard. She’d miss him so much. The worry she felt overwhelmed her. So many men and women died on this trip. She didn’t understand why he needed to go. Charles had saved her from so much and could easily beat up anybody in their village. He was a strong man and should be seen as such without leaving and facing the dragon.
Rowne knew she would end up doing this so he was following the two all morning. Her father lifted Sophie into his arms and carried her home where he had her favorite lunch waiting. He knew the meal would do little but he was going to do all he could to keep his little girl happy until Charles got home. Even if somthing would make the slightest smile appear on her face he’d do it. Rowne was not willing to let Sophie be miserable while Charles was out facing the perils of becoming an adult.
~ Chapter 2 ~
Charles walked through the dense and very dark woods. He walked carefully and slowly as he listened to his surroundings. He heard a growl and leaves being moved. Charles wasn’t able to see well but made out a large silver pelt wolf standing before him. It was by far the biggest one he had ever seen. He wondered if it was a mix between a demon hound and wolf. The wolf lunged at him and Charles reluctantly killed it. He hated killing wolves because it made Sophie the saddest. He only killed things around her if he had to. Charles was very glad Sophie wasn’t here to see him kill this wolf. It’s fur was beautiful. He was impressed by it’s power. Charles had to land quite a few strikes with his blade to kill it.
The fairies grew angry. Charles had just killed a very strong protector of their forest. It was a blessed wolf that had been in those woods for hundreds of years. They hated the man that walked into their home and killed their beloved pet. They would make him very sorry he dared raise his sword at such a beloved animal. Charles walked even more cautiously now. He worried about encountering somthing even stronger than that. He hoped that was the strongest he’d see in these woods.
Charles started to relax with the cooling of the day. He could tell mid day was falling into night as he walked slowly but deliberately through the woods. He could just make out the exit when a Vine Reaper wrapped around his legs and tried pulling him off. He sliced it’s arms quickly then ran the rest of the way out before another thing could get him. He told Sophie he’d be steady and careful but he wasn’t willing to stay in those woods any longer. When he was out he saw that he was correct and the moon was about to come out. It seemed like it would be extra chilly tonight. The thought only making him miss Sophie more. It would be nice to be able to hold her close out here to keep warm.
Charles walked until he found somwhere he wanted to sleep. He gathered some twigs and leaves to make a small fire to warm himself a bit before resting. As he tried he felt pain grip his heart again. Sophie could easily start fires for them when they were out. He grunted frustratedly and then finally the fire was lit. He sat down beside it just staring into the dancing flames until it was out. Charles laid down and quickly fell asleep so he could get an early start in the morning.
Charles was up again before the sun was highlighting the sky. He could tell it was coming though so he gathered his things and walked on. He was happy to start before the heat of the day blanketed the land. This way Charles could make more progress with less wear on his body. Charles decided to jog knowing Sophie wouldn’t be upset as long as he quit when it got hot. Charles found himself on a path lined with gorgeous cherry blossom trees. It stopped him in his tracks. He had to gather a few of the flowers for Sophie. He couldn’t wait to see her face when he gave them to her.
When Charles had a few he walked along smiling as he pictured her lit up face and the warm hug he’d recieve for those. Charles couldn’t believe what the air was like here. It was so pleasant and relaxing. He found his pace slowed quite a bit. When lunch rolled around Charles began looking for food. He finally found a small berry bush and began to eat. As he sat there a large circle of purple flowers caught his eyes. Another thing he felt he had to bring home for Sophie.
When Charles had his fill he stored some in a small container then ran over to the purple flowers. The second he touched one the fairies went into a full rage. Not only did this man kill a sacred wolf, he was daring to disturb a fairy circle. They called upon their friend the ice dragon to bring justice for them against this intruder. Charles suddenly heard the roar of a dragon as he was collecting flowers for Sophie. He turned around expecting to see the huge red one that was guarding what he needed to bring home but instead it was baby blue with dark red eyes.
Charles drew his blade as it came swooping down at him. He just barely managed to evade it’s claws. It turned around and shot snow and ice from its mouth. Charles was almost too tired to keep fighting and dodging when he finally got the opportunity to get on the great beasts back. He remembered where his mentor told him they were vulnerable and fought to stay on top of the creature as it flew in circles trying to make Charles fall. Finally he made it to the dragons weak point in its tough armor and drove his sword in with all the strength he had. Charles and the dragon fell from the sky creating a small crater with the impact. Charles was glad the dragons body absorbed it all.
~ Chapter 3 ~
Once Charles was on the ground he felt wetness on his back. He hadn’t noticed because of the adrenaline the dragons claws had ripped into him very badly. Charles quickly pulled out some healing potion and drank it quickly. He laid down on his stomach so it would bleed as little as possible as the potion took effect. Another time it would be amazing to have Sophie here. She could’ve closed this quickly and probably without a scar. This way it was going to leave a nasty one and he wouldn’t be able to continue his journey until tomorrow after he rested. Lunch time was far too early to end a day of his trip. He knew this was the only thing he could do. If he attempted to walk he’d bleed out and never see her again.
In the village, Sophie was in Charles room hemming the pairs of pants that were torn. He was always ripping his pants. Sophie decided to keep her mind occupied by doing this for him while he was away. There was one pair that was so bad she just decided to get rid of it and make one to replace it. Making a new one seemed like less work. When she was done and walking out to go home Drea stopped her. “I saved some lunch for you”
“Its past lunch?”
“Yes, I set some to the side to eat before you left.” Sophie hugged Drea “thank you”
“Thank you for fixing my sons pants.”
“I needed somthing to do anyways. I cant believe I killed so much time.”
“His pants were all pretty bad.”
“Yeah, one pair I just threw out. I’ll make him a new one.” Drea smiled and sat with Sophie while she ate. Sophie hugged Drea again before walking to her home to start Charles new pair of pants. She hoped it would take her until dinner so she could get this day over with. Her father went hunting for the village while her mother was with her friends, most likely gossiping Sophie thought. Sophie loved her mother but they were very little alike. It was the reason she connected so much with Drea. Drea and Sophie made quite the pair. She always had fun with Charlies mom and was glad his mom liked her so much.
Sophie got to work and just as she hoped, Sophie could smell dinner cooking a little while later. She kept on until the pants were done. Sophie folded the pants setting them with her pants in the chest of drawers. She ran down the stairs to see her Father kissing all over her mother “guys, thats what your room is for” They both laughed “sorry Sophie” the two of them said grinning. Sophie sat down and chatted with her parents until dinner was on the table. “I’m glad to see you looking better Sophie.”
“I kept myself very busy today”
“Good, Charles will be back. That man is strong and has a good head on his shoulders” Sophie half smiled “I know”
“How’d you busy yourself today dear?”
“I fixed all of Charlies pants and made him one new pair. I had to throw one out because they were so bad.” Rowne smiled “already being an attentive little wife when you’re not even married.” Sophie went blood red as Rowne felt a sharp slap on the back of his head from his wife. “Dad, that man hasn’t even asked me out.”
“Yes but I have a feeling once he gets around to it the big question will swiftly follow. He wants you forever so wont settle for just dating you.” Sophie stood as her whole body blushed. “I’m going to bed” Sophie said briskly then ran up the stairs. Sophie could hear her mother chastising her father as she dove into her bed for the night. That talk always really embarrassed her. She wanted to be with Charles but he was never going to ask her out. One of these days she knew she was just going to lose all control and kiss him. She’d probably have to do it.
The sun rose and Charles was confident his back was ok. For safe measure he drank just a little more of his potion and walked on. He had to go at a slow pace to not risk anything with his back. Charles was glad if he was going to have to go slow it was in such a beautiful place. When lunch time rolled around he ate the fruit he gathered. Soon he found himself in the woods again. They weren’t as dense as the wood before so there was plenty of light to guide his way. Charles felt much more comfortable being able to clearly see his surroundings.
Charles saw many trees he thought would be fun for Sophie to climb in. He could almost hear her laughter and excitement. His heart felt both sad and happy at the same time. It wasn’t fair he couldn’t bring her but atleast in the village she was out of danger. Sophie had a tendency to find danger herself but Rowne wouldn’t go too far knowing he wasn’t there so Charles felt comfort knowing if Sophie was in danger Rowne would be near enough to help her.
~ Chapter 4 ~
Charles felt his back close all the way and he allowed himself to walk a little faster. He didn’t want to have to sleep in the woods and the end didn’t seem anywhere near yet. Some of the men had apparently taken as much as three days to get through here but he wouldn’t allow for that. Getting wounded had stolen more time than he was willing to give. He walked rapidly but at a steady pace so not to wear himself. He finally made it through the woods as dinner time was rolling around. He was so determined to plow through there that he forgot lunch.
This clearing was gorgeous to Charles. The grass was a vibrant green, like strands of emeralds. The remaining light glinted off a crystal clear pool, causing the light to dance on it. Peeking over the trees beyond he could see the dragons mountain. Charles walked over to get a drink of water before he dehydrated. He knew he hadn’t been drinking like he was supposed to. He pulled out his skin of water and filled it to the top before putting it back in his bag. Charles decided to rinse off in the water before laying down for the night. He took off all his clothes so his skin was bare. He slid in, the water felt perfect against his skin.
He went under and just floated there until he needed air. His eyes met a girls and he covered himself with his hand as he ran for his pants. The woman giggled “You are far too handsome to be shy”
“what the hell are you doing out here?” She grinned haughtily. “I was a rather bad girl in my village and they kicked me out. They spread their stories to a bunch of neighboring villages who did the same and noone will let me live there so I’ve taken to living in the wild. I love this pool of water and was very pleasantly surprised to see you, you hunk of eye-candy. Her tone was getting sexual and flirtatious. “I’m engaged” he blurted out. It was a huge lie but he had always planned to marry Sophie. He hoped with all his heart he’d get that honor someday. Kana sighed “Your future bride doesn’t seem to be here so why does it matter?”
“It matters because I love her with all that I am. I’m lucky to even be in her life and to know her.” Kana laughed “you could just say you don’t want me. In my days I’ve learned no man is faithful when a gorgeous woman is in front of them ready and willing. Maybe you just havent seen enough of me” She quickly took all of her clothes off and Charles closed his eyes “aw come on, look at me sexy.” He refused and she let out a very sad sigh “wow, your manhood didn’t even get hard and I know i was quick enough for your eyes to catch my body before you closed them. A mans never stayed down at the sight of my perfection”
“I can only get such feelings about Sophie” Kana walked over pressing her body against his and he shoved her away ‘stop that damnit!”
“wow still not hard’ she said with genuine shock. “Fine I’ll dress, You’re an odd one. Your wife is lucky” He opened his eyes glad to see Kana with clothes again. “Can I sleep here with you tonight?”
“If you promise not to touch me”
“I swear, my word isn’t good but you obviously have no desire for me. I do have self respect. I simply would sleep better knowing I had a handsome and strong man by my side” Charles pulled his shirt on and laid down. His peaceful evening now ruined by this annoying girl. He couldn’t believe he said he was engaged. He hoped Sophie wouldn’t somehow find out he lied about being engaged to her. Charles slept very lightly to be sure she didn’t try anything funny throughout the night. He remembered Connies antics too well to sleep soundly.
When Charles woke the girl was gone. He took in a deep breath of relief. “God don’t let Sophie find out I lied about being engaged to her” He got up and gathered his things to continue the journey to obtain the emerald he needed. Kana watched Charles walk off. She sat in a tree so she wouldn’t do somthing she’d be ashamed of. She had to meet this girl he was engaged to. She had rummaged through his bag to find the potion bottles she was sure he had. Each village marked their bottles with the symbol of their village when they were created. HIs bottles told her Charles was from Tresnia. When he was out of sight she took off running to meet this Sophie.
~ Chapter 5 ~
The fairies had become close friends with Kana over the years. She had been living in the lands between since she was seventeen and she was now twenty seven. She enjoyed the past ten years very much and had absolutely no desire to ever live in a village again. The fairies teleported Kana right infront of Tresnia. She turned many male heads since she didn’t wear much. She only kept enough clothing on to cover her breats and lady parts. Kaji was looking at her with his mouth threatening to fall to the ground. “excuse me you fine piece of meat” she said running her hands along his body. “If you tell me where a girl named Sophie lives I promise to thank you.” She licked inside his ear giving him goosebumps. “follow me”
Kaji lead her to Sophies. “Go wait by that body of water I see ok?” Kaji nodded and ran to the river. Kana slammed her hand against Sophies door. Rowne answered shirtless since he was sleeping in. “Oh my! This village is jam packed with hotties it seems. Meow”
“I’m a happily married man with a wonderful family. Take your filth off my damn doorstep if your going to talk like that.”
“Touchy, I see this village not only breeds some sexy men but also faithful ones. I just wanted to talk to Sophie about her fiancee.” Rowne looked honestly confused and she began to laugh “That liar! I knew he was lieing! Oh I’m going to get him!”
“who said they were engaged to my daughter?”
“The name Charles Radkey was etched on a box in his bag so I assume Charles is his name. I tried to get him to have sex with me and he pushed me away saying he was engaged to Sophie.” Kana scoffed “I can’t believe he lied. I’ll get him back by telling her what he said”
“You will do no such thing tramp. You are going to turn around and head out of this damn village because I may not hit women but dirty whores I have no problem with” Kana looked shocked “no fun any of the people here. I probably wouldnt like Sophie anyway. I’ll be leaving right now you ass” Rowne heard Kana grumble to herself as she walked away. She didn’t even bother to meet Kaji by the river. Rowne shut the door with a painfully large grin. He was going to be sure to tease Charles when he got back. Rowne was glad that he answered the door and not Sophie. Charles probably wouldn’t be able to live through the embarrassment if she knew.
Kana was still stomping and grumbling as she walked further and further from Tresnia. A man startled her as he jumped down out of a tree “what’s wrong fair maiden?” She sighed and smiled “finally a nice guy. Just jerks pissing me off. I’m Kana, who are you?”
“Josep, pleased to meet you beautiful”
“Pleasures all mine” Charles kept walking through the vast planes. He made sure to look for certain landmarks that told him he was heading in the right direction. After many hours he could smell the stench of the swamp coming at him. It was nearing dinner and he didn’t want to sleep there so he decided to only go until he saw some fruit or nuts to eat and he’d rest. Charles was impressed with the time he was making. Most men wouldn’t have been even this far yet. His father took a month and a half to complete this journey.
At dinner Rowne could barely eat he was still smiling so much. Sophie had been gone all day helping some of the woman in the village to pass time. “What are you smiling about daddy?”
“I just got some good news today. It’s private though.”
“well I’m glad something good happened then.” Normally Sophie would have pressed her father but she was only making conversation. These past few days had been terrible and she just wanted Charles to come back. After supper she went straight to bed to make dawn come again.
~ Chapter 6 ~
Charles dreamed of Sophie that night. They were naked and she was kissing all over his chest. He brought her shoulder to his mouth to bite it. Sophie let out a gentle moan and he flipped her under him. He began to lick and bite at Sophies neck. Sophie let out a soft moan again and he smiled against her skin. Sophies hands were gripped in his hair until he began giving her feather light kisses in a trail down her body. When he got to her hips he bit the left side then licked down and over before biting the other side. He came back up to play with her nipples in his mouth while he rubbed her. She moaned his name over and over until he was so hard it hurt. He gently pushed himself inside of her as he kissed her.
Charles tounge danced in Sophies mouth against hers until she asked him in a whispered tone to thrust into her harder. Charles picked up the pace whispering sweet things into Sophies ear until they both orgasmd. Charles kissed her again when he was finished “was that good?” She nodded and and he held her tightly. “You will never be able to know what you mean to me Sophie. I have too much love in my heart to describe it to you.”
“I love you too, so much. Are you going to marry me?”
“If you’ll let me” Charles said crying. Sophie hugged him back “lets get married as soon as possible” Charles woke with a jump. HIs heart was pounding and he felt that he was hard. He laid back down with his hands on his face. He wouldn’t fix it, he was too afraid Kana was lurking. Charles wondered if any of his dreams would ever be reality. Charles laid on the ground deep in thought then studied the sky. He estimated it was about three hours until the sun was up. He decided to start walking. The night was more pleasant travel anyway.
He daydreamed about Sophie which lead him off course. He panicked when he realized he let himself wander in the wrong direction. He hoped he hadn’t been wondering the wrong way too long but the sky told him he had been doing this for about three hours. He grunted in frustration. He now added more time to his trip. He cursed himself ut then just let that horrible smell guide him to the swamp he needed to go through.
When Charles reached the swamp the smell hit him like a brick wall. He had been told how horrible the smell was but there wasn’t enough adjectives in the world to tell him about this. Charles just powered through it as best he could. A hivid larger than that wolf he saw came running at him. Charles wasn’t quick enough to dodge it and it sank it’s fangs around his side pushing him into the disgusting water. Charles kept stabbing the creature trying not to pierce himself in the process. Charles breathed deeply and clutched his side in pain. He was bleeding very badly.
Charles ran to a semi dry area and drank two healing potions. He was glad that his mother and Sophie insisted he bring so many. It stung badly so he decided to actually use some of his herbs for pain. He was grateful when they took affect. As much as he hated it he laid on the side that wasn’t hurt. He’d have to stay right there until tomorrow to let the holes in his skin from the teeth close fully. Charles just laid there cursing so much a sailor would have blushed
At this point Sophie was just finishing the dress she was going to wear for Charles at his celebration of becoming an adult. Sophie took her clothes off and slipped it on. It formed to her body but didn’t cling. It was white with blue trimmings since Charles seemed to adore her in white dresses. She didn’t wear dresses very often like most the other woman but she wanted to be very pretty when Charles got back. She decided to get her fathers opinion then Dreas.
Her father wasn’t anywhere in sight so she walked to the normal places where he hungout. Hunter walked out in front of Sophie to hault her “well don’t you look gorgeous. It’s a rare treat to see you in a dress. It really suits you Sophie”
“Thank you but I’m looking for my father. I have to go”
“I knwo where he is if you’ll allow me to walk and talk with you.”
“alright, thank you”
“what occasion has you wearing that?”
“I made it to where for Charlies celebration when he gets back from becoming a man.”
“Oh, I should’ve known it was somthing for him.” Sophie didn’t respond and Hunter didn’t say anything more. He had only just healed from the beating he recieved from Charles a few weeks ago. They made it to Rowne and she saw a very pleased smile stretch across his face “Sophie, you look beautiful.”
“Thank you, I made this for the celebration when Charles comes back. You think he’ll like it then?”
“I know he will. You almost look too beautiful in it.” Rownes friend Thompson agreed “absolutely breath taking Sophie but you always are.”
“Good! Now I want to show Drea. Bye! See you at dinner dad!”
“See you baby!” Sophie excitedly ran to Dreas. Hunter didn’t follow because he knew he wasn’t welcome. Sophie knocked on Dreas door eagerly. Drea put her hand over her mouth when she saw Sophie. “Sophie, you couldn’t look more stunning. Why are you wearing that?” She asked as Sophie walked in “I made it to where at Charles celebration when he comes back. From yours and my fathers reaction I can now feel secure in the fact he’ll like it.”
“Him liking that on you would be an understatement honey. You are positivly radiant.” Sophie felt an intense amount of happiness rush through her. “I’m going to go change so nothing happens to this before the party.” Drea hugged Sophie “will you come back and go on a walk with me after your changed?”
“sure, I wont be long”
“see you soon” Sophie ran out the door and into her home. She took the dress off then hung it up. She pulled on the clothes she was wearing before and her best boots for walking then went back to Drea. Now she especially couldn’t wait for Charles to get back.
~ Chapter 7 ~
After their walk Sophie ran to see the shoe maker. She knew you could dye the color of shoes too because she had seen other village women have it done. She was hoping he’d teach her how to make and dye shoes so she could have a pair to match her dress. She wanted to look as good as possible for him at his party. The shoemaker Ernest greeted Sophie with a hug “Hi there, I’ve never seen you in here before.”
“I made a dress for Charlies party when he gets home. I was hoping you’d teach me how to make shoes and how to dye them. I want white sandals with blue straps. I can pay you.”
“I will teach you for free. Your father has helped my family out quite a bit.”
“Thank you sir, I have to be at dinner now but can I come here in the morning?”
“I look forward to it Sophie. Enjoy your dinner and I’ll make sure I have the proper colors.” Sophie hugged Ernest again “Thank you” She ran home excited about tomorrow. The next day Charles wounds were closed and he ran to get out of that disgusting swamp. He hoped this smell would be off of him by the time he got home. Sophie never cared when he was dirty but this she might even be repulsed by. Even when he was out he kept running until the sight of countless skeltons and even one decaying corpse stopped him in his tracks.
Charles felt sick to his stomach. He took a deep breath and made ready to scale the mountain. Charles was glad he was so accustomed to push ups. The men in his village complained how horribel it was to do this but to Charles, climbing the mountain was almost effortless. He found flat ground and began to walk when a beast he hadn’t heard of our seen before appeared in front of him.
Charles didn’t know how to fight it or what it was weak against but he drew his sword ready to go at it. They ran towords eachother and with one quick swipe sent Charles sliding down the side of the mountain. Charles dug his sword into the side to slow his fall. When the ground made him come to a very abrupt stop Charles groaned in anger. He’d have to climb up again. At this point he was very hungry so he decided to find some food. He walked and walked until a fruit tree came into view. With one bite he wished it would still be good when he got home so he could bring some to Sophie. Charles knew she’d love it. He decided a long while back he’d go with Sophie on her journey so he decided to bring her to this tree when they went together.
He walked back to try again. This time up was harder since he was doing it a second time and he hurt his arms trying to slow the fall so he wouldn’t kill himself or break anything with the impact. Charles got back up to where he was by ignoring the pain. That same creature was still there. Charles guessed it waited on him. Charles sighed and gripped his swords tightly. Once again the beast sent him flying down the side. Charles was beyond pissed now. He could barely slow the fall with how badly his arms hurt so he hit much harder this time.
He knew he was going to bruise. Everything about him hurt now. He decided it best to go back to the fruit tree and rest. He’d climb up again tomorrow and take the longer path. He obviously wasn’t going to be able to get around that beast. Charles actually had to sit for a minuet before he reached the tree. He ached that badly. When he finally made it back he collapsed on the ground. He fell asleep even though dinner was only just arriving. He was in a lot of pain and was exhausted.
~ Chapter 8 ~
As soon as Sophie woke she rushed down the stairs and was about out the door when Rowne stopped her “woah Sophie, where you going thats so important you cant eat breakfast?”
“The shoe maker is going to teach me how to make shoes so I can have sandals to match my dress.” Sophies mom came out of the kitchen looking like she just heard the most preposterous thing in her life “is MY daughter? Is Sophie Wilkinson really getting shoes colored to match…a dress?”
“I um’ Sophie felt embarrassed now. “I just wanted to be really pretty for Charles when he got home.”
“Calm down honey” Rowne said to Sophies mom. “Thats sweet. I can’t believe he’s got my little tom boy thinking like a girl atall.” Her mom said smiling. Sophie looked at the floor and Rowne lifted her chin. “It’s wonderful you’re doing this for Charles just for one occasion. He’ll be thrilled now you go. I hope your mom didn’t detour you.” Sophie hugged Rowne “Bye daddy, love you” When Sophie was out the door he turned to his wife “Honey, you’ve always wanted her to be a girl and when she does you embarrass the life out of her. She’ll never do this again now.”
“I’m sorry, I was just so shocked.”
“You should see your little girl in that dress. She’s gorgeous honey.”
“Well you don’t see her in them because you raised her like a boy”
“I love everything about who Sophies become. She’s a woman I’m very proud to have raised.”
“I know, I’m proud of her too. I just wish she was a little more like a girl” Sophies raising was the only thing her parents ever fought about but Rowne always won. He wanted Sophie to be strong and independent. He wanted his girl to think for herself instead of being raised like other girls were. Girls were taught to need a man and to paint their face and to not want any sort of real adventure. It was a sad thing he hoped one day would change about the world. Drea and himself were good friends when they were younger. Rowne always admired her adventurous spirit which was even more frowned upon when he was a child. It didn’t surprise him one bit Sophie liked Charlies mom so much. He sighed thinking of the past then finished helping his wife make breakfast.
Sophie knocked at the shoe makers door filled with anticipation. He answered and she about floated inside. He laughed “I’ve never seen a girl so happy to make shoes.”
“I’m just excited because everybody liked my dress so much. I really think Charles is going to think I’m very beautiful. I’m never pretty so this will be a treat I hope.” He laughed “Sophie you are always pretty, just in a different way from the other girls. I see young men flirt with you.”
“I guess, can we get started on the shoes please?”
“Of course, everything is ready. Follow me to the back.” Charles was scaling the mountain again. He veered off to take the longer path not wanting to chance the monster pushing him off again. Charles walked at a slow steady pace so no monsters would catch him unaware. His eyes were always scanning. He kept every sense he had heightened to its fullest potential. By the end of the day he reached a point he’d have to scale again so he decided to rest. Charles laid on the ground just looking at the sky. He wondered how Sophie was doing. His heart was feeling the strain of not seeing her. He missed Sophie tremendously. Charles closed his eyes and hoped he’d dream of her. Those moments may not be real but it was all he had out here.
Just as Charles wished, his dream started with Sophie between his legs laying against him. He was kissing her neck then turned her head to kiss her lips. They just sat there kissing as he kept his arms wrapped tightly around her waist. Only breaking apart to express how much they loved one another. That was his dream until he felt somthing breathing on his face. Charles opened his eyes to see a spider woman.
She was an easy kill but it startled him. He stood there for a moment to steady his heart rate then began to climb up the side. He reached some flat land and took to a jog wanting to make it to the point where he’d have to scale again before dinner so he could go up to the dragon first thing the next morning. He knew getting there without an attack was too good to be true. He felt somthing start to chase him. He looked behind seeing a demon nipping at his heels.
~ Chapter 9 ~
Charles turned quickly getting a good slash at the demon. He managed to cut its arm off. It struck Charles with its other arm but he quickly impaled the demon through his stomach. Charles pulled his blade out quickly then cut off its head. Charles sheathed his blade and took off in a jog again. To him that demon was simply a nuisance. An obstacle in his way to get back to Sophie. He ended up walking when he felt hunger pains for lunch. He looked at the sky and was proud he made it to almost two without being hungry. Charles searched the land until he stumbled on some apples. Charles sat down and enjoyed a few. Once he had his fill he decided he’d walk the rest of the way since he didn’t plan to scale it tonight.
Sophie wanted to show Drea precisely how she’d look the night of Charlies party. Sophie went out to find the flowers the were a mixture of blue and white. She planned on having two just above her ear. She planned on washing her hair with a special mixture of flowers and honey so she’d smell subtly sweet when they got the chance to dance. Her heart raced wondering how Charles would react to her actually looking like a girl. She really hoped he’d find her as stunning as her father, mother and Drea did.
Once she had her flowers she ran home. Sophie showered then pulled her dress on, once it was on she brushed her hair then she made a small braid above her ear wrapping the flowers stems in it so they wouldn’t fall out. She put her new sandals on then looked at herself in the mirror. She actually found herself a little pretty which she normally didn’t feel atall. She smiled and then ran out her room. When Drea answered the door she smiled and hugged Sophie “Sophie, wow.”
“wow good or bad?” She grabbed Sophies hand and lead her in so she could shut the door. “wow as in you look lovely. Like I’d imagine an angel looks like.” Sophie blushed “you dont have to over do it second moma.”
“Sophie I’m not, my son is liable to pass out or atleast lose his speech when he sees you like this. You make a fine girly girl.” Drea winked. “well only for that night. Then its’ back to regular plain looking Sophie” Dreas tone got a serious hint to it. “You are never plain Sophie. You are the most kind, fun, intelligent and gorgeous girl I know. Charles thinks so too. Don’t ever call yourself plain.”
“sorry mom” Sophie said hugging Drea. “while you’re in girl mode I’ve been invited for tea with Morticia and Molly. You know how I hate tea parties. Will you accompany me so I’ll be less miserable.”
“Why do you let your husband make you go to those things?”
“He works with their husband. It makes his life better if their wives dont hate me.”
“I’ll go, I know if I had to go I’d appreciate you coming with me”
“Thank you Sophie. I’ll be ready in a few moments. I’ve got to turn into a girl aswell” Sophie giggled and laid on the couch. When Drea came down Sophie got up “well now we’ve both got our girl desguises on. Lets see if we can play the part” Drea laughed “I love you Sophie.”
“I love you too.” They exited Dreas home and began walking to Mollys. Molly dropped some plates she was holding when she saw Sophie walk in “Is that Rownes daughter!?”
“Yes it is” DRea said smiling. Molly and Morticia ran over to Sophie and started playing in her hair and spinning her around like she was a doll. “You make such a gorgeous girl. Why dont you always dress like this?”
“I dont like it.”
“You need to turn into a proper girl soon. You’re almost an adult. Drea managed to turn into a girl and so will you” Sophie held back her eye roll. Tea was just as boring as Sophie expected it to be. She couldn’t believe Drea had to endure this once a week. All these woman did was gossip. None of it was real or interesting conversation in the slightest. Sophie felt like jumping for joy when Drea told her it was time to leave. The two woman hugged Sophie and Drea before they walked out the door. “You still want to live after doing that once a week?” Drea laughed so hard her sides hurt and they had to quit walking for a second. “Yes, it’s what I need to do for my husband to be happy.”
“He shouldnt make you do things you dont want” Drea sighed “I hope you never have to understand.”
“I wish Paul wasn’t such a jerk to you. Why did you marry him?”
“I love him Sophie and he loves me”
“He yells at you an awful lot.”
“Its just his way love. I feel moved you care.”
“I love you very much. You know that from bonding with me.”
“Yes I do” Drea said smiling cheerfully down at the girl she couldn’t wait to actually be her daughter in law. Sophie didn’t walk all the way back to Charlies. She wanted to change out of her outfit before she ruined it somhow. She walked upstairs not understanding atall how Drea turned out so submissive to a man. Rowne told Sophie stories all the time about his child hood and Drea was way more spirited then and self thinking. Sophie would never let anybody stomp the life out of her. She wasn’t something to be owned and would never allow herself to be.
~ Chapter 10 ~
Night came and Charles settled himself by a small body of water. He took a long drink from his water skin then filled it again before going to sleep. In his dream he was playing with Sophie in the river. They were laughing and joking around until Sophie got tired so they sat beside the water. When they caught their breath Charles said “Sophie, I need to tell you something”
“Yes?” Charles swallowed “I…I love you Sophie. I have since we were small children. I want to spend my life with you. Would you be mine?’ Sophie stood as though startled “what? You love me?” Charles tried to move closer but Sophie backed away “I dont know if I can be friends with you any longer. Is that why you like sleep overs so much and to carry me? I don’t want you like that atall. I thought of you as a brother.”
“Sophie no thats fine, I’ll be your friend if I have to.” He tried to get close to her again but she started to walk away “I dont think i can be around you any longer. It’s going to be awkward now. I’m really pissed off at you that you ruined everything like this. I guess I should’ve thought somthing was up since you never got a girlfriend. Maybe we can talk after you have one.”
“sophie no, please…I’m so sorry” Charles wanted to say more. To plead with her more to be his friend still but he couldn’t speak. His heart shattered and he began to cry uncontrollably. He continued to cry in his dreams until the suns rays woke him. When he sat up his lip quivered and a few real tears slid down his cheeks. He knew that didn’t really happen but it still hurt him deeply. He had to keep in control of his feelings before that did happen in real life. He didn’t know what he’d do if that happened.
Soon he’d be at the dragon but he had to collect himself before he climbed up. He got into the water and swam. He focused on the good part of the dream where he was playing around with Sophie and making her laugh that amazingly beautiful laugh. He could have that forever if he just kept his mouth shut and his love under control. It was only getting harder as the years passed. He was always finding a new reason to love Sophie more. It was always getting harder to be away from her. Charles got out and sat by the water thinking of only happy memories with Sophie until he decided he was of sound enough mind to face the dragon and get the emerald.
He scaled the mountain and then used all his stealth training to sneak over to the cave. Nobody could ever beat him when it came to stealth. When he peered into the dragons lair it was sleeping peacefully. He hoped he could get in and out without disturbing the sleeping dragon. He moved slowly and quietly over to the dragons treasure and quietly picked up an emerald. When it was secure in his bag he started out. When eh was far away from the cave he took a deep breath and got excited. Now all there was to do was get back to Sophie.
Charles really needed a good hug from her after that dream. Charles needed it just to prove to his heart she still would hug him. He almost fell he climbed down so fast then he ran at full speed until it was time to scale down again. He did it and ran as fast as his legs would carry him. They began to cramp as the sun started to set but he was determined to atleast be off the mountain by nightfall. Charles legs gave out on him when he reached the bottom of the mountain. He almost couldn’t breath but he made it to his goal only a few hours after dark.
~ Chapter 11 ~
Sophie got up extra early this morning so she could go ahead and make her shampoo. She got her shoes and clothes on then went into the kitchen to get containers to gather. She was up so early her parents were sleeping so she decided to make French Toast. Her dad woke and followed the smell into the kitchen “thanks Sophie” he said as he picked up one she already made. “Your welcome. I’m up early because I’m excited about going to make my shampoo.”
“Don’t you have any? I’ll go buy you some.”
“I’m making a special one to wash my hair with for Charles party”
“wow you’re going all out. Trying to make him pop the question?” Sophie laughed. “I just figure if I’m going to morph into a girl for one night I better go all out.” Rowne smiled and hugged his daughter when she was done cooking. “You are the most thoughtful girl. I hope you know how proud I am of you.”
“For being a girl?” Rowne laughed “No, just in general. I’m very proud of you”
“Thanks dad” Sophie ate then ran off with her containers to gather what she needed. Charles woke that morning still hurting badly. HIs muscles clenched in pain. He was on the way home so he used some of his herbs for pain to stop the clenching. It was risky because he’d be miserable if he used it all and got hurt but he was determined to run through the swamp today. He wouldn’t stop until he was through there no matter when he got through.
When the herbs began to work Charles got up and stretched to make running less hard on them. When he was fully stretched he resumed his sprint. Hvids attacked Charles again but he didn’t slow down. He fought them still in a full run. He was thankful when he killed them without stopping. Charles was hungry but he’d eat at the fruit tree that would be a few hours after the swamp. Charles knew where that food was and wasn’t going to waste time stopping to look now.
Charles was cringing in pain by the time he got out of the swamp. He walked as best he could to get to the fruit tree. When he made it the night had come many hours ago. He ate a few pieces then fell asleep. He knew he was pushing his body too much so he decided since he already made it this far back to the village he’d only jog the rest of the way so Sophie wouldn’t get upset about him over exerting himself.
When morning came his muscles hurt even worse than the last day. He could barely move to even get some fruit for breakfast out of the tree. He decided to let his body recover for a few hours. He covered a lot more ground than he would’ve walking so he felt he should since his body needed it so much. When his body unclenched enough Charles stood stretching again. Once he was ready he grabbed his bag and jogged. There was only woods, flat land then more woods to go through and he’d be home with Sophie. Charles became annoyed when he was running through the woods and heard the roar of a Gonthnur. Another pest to slow him down.
Charles killed it very quickly then continued to jog. It was only sunset when he made it through the woods so he kept jogging. He should have rested but he needed Sophie. He always needed her company most after a dream like that. He didn’t have that dream often but when he did it was devastating. Charles kept going until his legs refused to move. He collapsed where he stood and went into a deep sleep.
Sophie got up this morning feeling so lachrymose from missing Charles she couldn’t force back her tears. She hoped it wouldn’t be too many more days until he came home. When she could make herself stop Sophie decided to go sit in the meadow of flowers. She had done so well until now and she wasn’t going to let herself get depressed. He was coming back and she knew it wouldn’t be too long. Sophie put on her clothes and brushed her hair then walked out without breakfast. Her sadness pushed away any appetite.
Sophie just sat down when she got to the meadow. The wind felt perfect and wofted the smell of the flowers to her nose. It was enough to make her want to fall asleep all over again. Charles was in a jog again through the final woods. He only slept about five hours that night and ran as soon as he could. He was much too close to Sophie to not go this fast.
~ Chapter 12 ~
When Charles made it to town he was barely standing and breathing heavily. A few people noticed him and started asking him questions. Through his pants of exhaustion he said “later, need rest for now” They nodded and let him pass. He hoped he could get home, cleaned up and breathing normal before he saw Sophie. He stumbled to his home as fast as he could. “Charles!” His mother exclaimed. “wow! That’s the fastest anybodies ever done that! Congratulations!” He hugged his mother. “give me the emerald and I’ll take it to the elders so you can get cleaned up and seeing Sophie.” Charles smiled “I know my boy now get up those stairs because I know she’s all you want to see”
Charles quickly threw his clothes off and got in the shower. It helped relax his muscles. Once he was clean he ate the last bit of pain numbing herb he had so he could enjoy Sophie. He got dressed in an outfit he felt made him most attractive and fixed his messy hair. Now that he could see himself he was very glad Sophie wasn’t there when he came into town.
When he felt presentable enough for Sophie he ran out of his house and to hers. Rowne answered “Charles, I knew you’d do that quickly.”
“Is Sophie here?” Rowne laughed “cutting to the chase I see. No she went to lay in the meadow that has all the flowers. She should still be there” Charles ran off without another word. Sophie was just sitting among the flowers humming to herself. Charles snuck up behind her then quickly lifted her into a spinning hug. Sophie was scared only for a moment. She knew that embrace anywhere. He cradled her then continued to hug Sophie tightly. “welcome home! You’ve got to tell me about your trip.” Sophie said excitedly then teased “You’re awfully clean for going on your coming of age journey. How dare you wash before seeing me”
Charles laughed happy to have Sophie in his arms. He sat down with her hoping she wouldn’t ask to be let go. “believe me, you’re grateful I did. I looked and smelled dreadful” Sophie wrapped her arms around his neck in a loving hug “I missed you so much”
“I missed you too” Charles said as he ran his hand down her hair. He finally didn’t feel on the verge of tears. Charles sat there holding Sophie telling her every detail about his trip except for Kana. Drea was getting everything organized for tomorrows celebration at lunch for Charles. As they talked to eachother excitedly Charles frowned when he noticed it getting late. “stop that” Sophie said noticing his frown the second it appeared “you know we’re having a sleepover after you’ve been gone so long. I honestly can’t even remember the last time we had one so we’re due.” Charles smiled and lost himself looking at Sophie.
Her heart stammered and she wanted to kiss him for such a look of adoration and love. Sophie was getting a little better at being able to handle it. Charles was looking at her like that more and more frequently. Charles stood and put Sophie on her feet not wanting to push his luck. They walked home and to Sophies amazement Paul hugged Charles. Paul never hugged Charles so it was all she could do to keep her jaw from falling open.
“You don’t know how proud I am of you. I now get to boast that my son finished his coming of age journey faster than anybody else!”
“are you staying the night Sophie?” Drea asked noticing her behind Charles. “Yes mam” Drea just smiled and they all sat down to eat dinner. “will you need me to wake you up in the morning? Charles celebration is at twelve.”
“Why does she have to go before?”
“None of your business. I’ll meet you there.” Charles just ate not asking any more. He was happy she was spending the night and wouldn’t push her. After dinner Charles and Sophie went upstairs and got in his bed together. He tenderly wrapped his arms around Sophie and almost instantly fell asleep. He had such a long, hard trip that the comfort of Sophie just knocked him out. Sophie smiled and got a little closer to him before falling asleep. Charles woke to his mother about to touch Sophie “Dont wake her up. What does she have to do?” He said sadly. Drea pulled her hand back and kissed her sons cheek “Charles you’ll see her in a few hours. You’ll love what she’s going to do. It’s for you. She’s worked hard on something special for you” Charles smiled “what is it?”
“You’ll have to be surprised, now wake her up please.”
“alright” Charles gently shook Sophie. “morning came terribly fast.”
“You gotta go”
“In a hurry to kick me out huh?” She said almost laughing “please hurry”
“I wont be late I promise.” Sophie leaned down and kissed his head giving Charles goosebumps he hoped she didn’t noticed. Sophie got up pulling her shoes on then running home. She went straight to her shower and grabbed her new shampoo. She washed her hair slowly to make sure the scent really stuck in it. Once she was out she dried then went into her room. She nervously put on her bra and panties then slid her dress on. She critiqued it much more than before since Charles was here to see it. She sighed not feeling quite so good looking.
Sophie slid on her shoes anyway. They fit perfectly and matched the dress very well. She made sure to tell her father the shoe maker did this for her for free. She spent a very long time with her hair. Probably longer than she spent on it in the rest of her life combined. She looked nervously in her mirror again. Everything was the same but now she was wracked with nerves. Her expectations were so high. What if he didn’t even like her as a girl. He’d seen her in plenty of dresses but this time she went all out. Rowne called through her door “sophie hurry up, you need to go soon.”
“I’m trying daddy” Rowne could hear the nervousness in his daughters voice “Sophie you’re gorgeous” Rowne said opening the door. “You’re my dad. It’s your job to say I’m awesome” Rowne laughed and turned his daughter to face him “He’s going to think you’re absolutely breathtaking. Make suree he’s not eating or drinking when he sees you or you might kill the man.”
“realy?” she said with a smile forming. “really now get going”
~ Chapter 13 ~
Sophie walked holding her dads hand. Her mother was already there. She hid behind Rowne when they got to the field they held celebrations at “Sophie, you haven’t done that since you were five. Stop it. You’re beautiful” Sophie began to walk through the crowd. She turned almost every head. Drea saw her coming and grabbed her sons shoulders “whatre you doing?”
“Just keep eyes on me until Sophie taps on you” Charles felt excitement knowing Sophie was here. the morning had been crawling by waiting on her. He’d come early and been telling everyone about his trip but it bored him without Sophie by his side. ‘Charles” she said nervously behind him and Drea let him go. Charles couldn’t believe his eyes. He wanted to compliment her but his brain didn’t seem to be functioning any longer. “Charles?” Sophie saying his name brought back a little function “You look so beautiful Sophie, like an angel” Charles could’ve slapped himself at the corny end to his compliment. It was all that could come out. Sophie smiled and hugged him.
When it came time to dance Sophie said ‘I was worried when you didn’t speak. You’ve never seen me dress like a girl before.”
“You’re stunning Sophie. You’re always beautiful, the stars can never match how pretty you are but tonight you are extra eye catching” Sophie blushed and Charles smiled then kissed her cheek. Charles begged the night to slow down as it flew past. It ended to spite his pleas. Charles walked Sophie home. He stood in front of her a few moments taking in how beautiful she looked and how amazing she smelled. He gently brushed her cheek with his thumb before he realized he was doing it. Sophie just smiled and he hugged her when he came back to reality.
“Goodnight Charles, I start my lessons again in the morning. She plans to keep me very busy until my birthday”
“Night Sophie, can I come watch?”
“Of course” She said giving him her knee collapsing smile.
~ The End