Chapter 8


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Chapter 8

  1. 1. The Lords of the Isle: A New Age Riseth
  2. 2. Hey, hey! Welcome ( back , I assume) to the Lords of the Isle , the Legacy story that thinks it is way cool to parody Tolkien and Lewis. Oh, and one that aims to produce ten generations of strong male heirs to fight the final battle between Good and Evil. Now, I haven't really written that much yet, so I don't quite think that a recap is in order. However, if you do not recognize this idiot, and if you have no idea at all who those peepz in the front cover are, then may I suggest that you read my earlier chapters? Increase my readership, fan mail, and all. (Wait a minute. Bel-bel is jumping on puddles. Princesses do not jump on puddles!)
  3. 3. Everything changed with the defeat of the Enemy at the Black Castle. After long years of fear and repression, the people were able to set aside their pitchforks and partisans, locking these in their dusty storerooms, and live in peace. The good men and their wives were finally free to sit quietly on their benches (preferably by the fireplace) and enjoy the luxurious leisure of reading.
  4. 4. The youth found themselves free to go about at night, provided only that they ask for their parents' permission. Moreover, with the road cleared of highway robbers and other such dark portents, they began adorning themselves with expensive jewelry even while abroad. The parents allowed this, too, as long as the necklaces and rings were not their own.
  5. 5. Indeed people began to believe that Evil was forever defeated, and that the Isla was come to a New Age far brighter than what the Old promised, an age of peace and prosperity unending. If only that were the case.
  6. 6. For even though he could no longer assume the fair form of living men and sally forth in broad daylight, Alfonso, who had styled himself as Count of the Isla after the manner of his noble father, was still alive. And he was biding his time.
  7. 7. But more imminent still was the Xianxi threat. The aging Shogun, seeing an opportunity present itself in Alfonso's defeat, decided that his time had, at last, come. He believed that he only had to stretch his hands to establish his supremacy over the whole Isla. And in time, he would seize the chance with both hands.
  8. 8. <ul><li>But for the moment we may leave Alfonso and the Xianxi and let them be. Our concern now lies with two boys playing with each other on the last day of their childhood. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Whooosh!” Arthur exclaimed happily as he detached the carriage from Roland's toy horse and lifted it high up into the air. </li></ul><ul><li>Naturally Roland objected. “Hey! You cannot do that, Artie!” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Why not?” Arthur casually asked as he continued to flip the carriage in mid-air. “It is fun, brother! Try it!” </li></ul>
  9. 9. “ But it is impossible. Horseless carriages cannot go anywhere, for one,” Roland remarked. Then, he took his horse and did an imitation of Arthur's flying carriage before, with a crashing sound, he plunged it headfirst into the ground. He then added, “And there are no flying horses. And if carriages cannot move without horses, then how much more possible is a flying horseless carriage?” Arthur found an easy refutation, however. “Hmmm... but this is the Elf-King's chariot,” he replied. “Have you not read the ancient legends? Elves are masters of craft and lore. They can do anything .”
  10. 10. But Roland had a last point. “Yea, but are Elves not exactly that? Legends? And even if they were not, they have gone away a long, long time ago. They sailed out to Sea just before the men Beyond-the-Sea came. Face it, Artie. Flying carriages are not within the circles of this world. They cannot exist, unless perhaps in dreams.”
  11. 11. “ Then something must be wrong with this world, Roland,” Arthur sighed as he abandoned the Elf-King's chariot and began playing with his toy castle, lifting up the old King and the young Prince. “ Why should not horseless carriages fly? Why should dreams remain unreal?”
  12. 12. “ And so... as Heir,” Arthur continued slowly...
  13. 13. “ Why should I not... you know... change things? “ Why should we all not... well... build a better world?”
  14. 14. Humbler though his dreams and wishes were, Roland never did find an answer to his brother's last question. “ Aye. That... that would be nice,” he agreed.
  15. 15. (Don't their growing-up poses crack you up? No? Oh, well.)
  16. 16. Carefree little Arthur was very exhilarated about growing up. For one thing, he was taller now, and taller people could do so much taller things. Moreover, now that he was at the height of his youth, Arthur realized he could deal with other people in a wider range than before. And lastly, he could finally work on his dream. “ Now let us go forth and build that better world!” Arthur dreamt of becoming the Isla's Mayor.
  17. 17. <ul><li>Roland, on the other hand... </li></ul><ul><li>“ Hah! Go forth and be Popular, brother. But I think I would do well with the damsels, myself.” </li></ul><ul><li>Much to Damian's quiet delight, his second son was on his chivalrous way to win many hearts. </li></ul><ul><li>“ The best of luck to you Roland,” Arthur yawned in a mocking fashion. “I am really envious. Now, really, I think I must change my attire.” </li></ul>
  18. 18. Arthur and Roland were not the only ones growing up that day, however. At the same time Robert successfully managed to transition into a fair-faced toddler.
  19. 19. But to spite his winsome appearance, Robert was... well, he was not truly difficult, no, but... “ The Queen told the Princess to remove her slippers before-- Robert? Are you even listening?” For Robert had just seen Arthur and Roland's old toys. “Bunny! Play now?” “ Oh, what must we do with you, honey?”
  20. 20. “ Sometimes I suspect your Papa is spoiling you overmuch whenever I am not looking.”
  21. 21. And indeed Damian spent much time with his youngest. He insisted that he himself would teach the young one how to walk and talk, among others. Why Damian took to Robert so well could perhaps be inferred on that time he set the toddler upon the privy. “ Quite the learner, eh?” Damian approvingly commented as Robert obligingly sat and used the toilet. “Why, you were just as quick on the uptake as Jeannie back then! Hah, you two even look so much alike--”
  22. 22. Damian stopped. Thinking about his lost daughter hurt. Sensing that he was, perhaps, partly to blame was a stake driven into his heart.
  23. 23. “ I just do not understand why everyone is acting peculiar of late.” “ Peculiar?” It was all Arthur could do to prevent his eyebrows from rising. “Do say on, brother.”
  24. 24. “ There I was minding my own business-- pray not snort, brother; the fairer gender IS my business –- Anyway, there I was minding my own business, charming sister Bel-Bel's sweet little friend, when I saw Papa stop by the family portraits.”
  25. 25. “ Oh, you know, those portraits Papa and Mama painted for each other ages ago. Well, the natural thing to do would be to look and then discuss their aesthetics, and then laugh or something to that effect. But Papa merely stared blankly for an hour or two.”
  26. 26. “ It was no wonder Robert was able to sneak out on his own and... well... explore a bit, take in the view. That kind of thing.” “ Sure you are not doing anything... peculiar, yourself?” “ Roland's reply was as airy as it was dignified. Not really.”
  27. 27. “ And come to think of it,” Roland went on at length, “Even you are acting strange these days. Yea, they say the stars provide good counsel, but really, Artie, by the looks of it you consult the stars even on simple matters. You gaze at the stars overmuch, and I doubt you are asking for guidance on whether to choose salmon over turkey.”
  28. 28. “ At least I am not strange enough to drive away sister Bel-bel's friends,” Arthur countered. “ Those were male friends, brother. It is our manifest duty as men and brethren to drive away sister's suitors.”
  29. 29. “ But I digress. (By the way, good effort distracting me, Artie, but not quite.) My point still stands: you are all acting strange ever since sister Jeannie left.”
  30. 30. “ Maybe it is because Jeannie is missing,” Arthur supplied. And in a more serious, less assured tone, “She hasn't been seen for quite some time now. Papa is especially worried. I am worried.” “ Oi, I am worried too, as you must know,” Roland said. “But let us be pragmatic, Artie. We have to go on. If anything, I at least can tell that Jeannie is all right by herself, wherever she is.”
  31. 31. Still, tension was etched on Arthur's face, so Roland attempted to turn towards the lighter side of things. “But of course, dear brother mine,” he continued, using now his most roguishly charming knight's-voice, “This has all been a long prelude for an attempt to get you into going out with me. Popularity and Romance people like us were made for the outdoors. And this night feels like a mighty fine one, too.”
  32. 32. “ Erm... do you mean we... er... sneak out?” Arthur stammered s he edged away from his twin. “But I do not think... er... that is to say... well... Papa and Mama would not... Really, Roland, this is an outright violation you are planning and I will in no way condone it.” “ Well then, suit yourself,” Roland shook his shoulders nonchalantly.
  33. 33. Some time later... “ This is... awesome!” Arthur grinned. “ Do not make me say, 'I told you so', brother. Besides, we are only just beginning. I have a place in mind that you may like.”
  34. 34. “ Why not? ”Roland answered Arthur's blank look. “It is just as good a place as any to make best friends.” “ And a good place to meet Naoko, no doubt.” “ That is true, as well.” “ A Xianxi Sake house?”
  35. 35. “ Well, is she here?” Arthur inquired through gritted teeth. It was just as well that Roland could not hide his disappointment. “Er... not really.” “ Can we go, then? I do not mingle with the dead. No offense,” Arthur added to the undead lady beside him.
  36. 36. “ None taken. When you suddenly learn you're the mother of Ugly, nothing affects you anymore,” came the drunken reply. “La di da. Besides, I'm not the one with a juggling idiot of a brother.” That was Arthur's cue to leave. With face covered.
  37. 37. “ The Savage Bear Pub,” Arthur read slowly and clearly. “What is it with you and pubs, Roland?” “ I have no idea. Drawn to it like bees are to honey.”
  38. 38. “ Still, nice bear figure.” The Heir nodded to the pub's wooden bear sentinel. “ Yeah. Quite groovy, huh?” The redheaded girl agreed. It was Roland's turn to speak. “Yea. Nice... waist... umm... that is to say... er... bear. Yea.”
  39. 39. But instead of drowning the rather awkward incident with spirits, Arthur decided instead to distract himself with the dart board. He missed terribly.
  40. 40. Roland decided to pursue his... for want of a better term... quest. He caught up with the red-headed rose-cheeked gypsy at the poker table with a stern-looking woman whose face could just be as crumpled as her bot... Roland would not dare say. Pretty gypsy girl went away soon after, however.
  41. 41. Evil crumpled lady taking away his lifetime savings did not help Roland's case, either.
  42. 42. And a clothes store was only ever a clothes store. “ Find anything?” Arthur called out as he walked his way out of the shop. “ Hmm... peacock statue is nice. ...All right, let us tarry not.”
  43. 43. But just before the twins decided to call it a day, Roland insisted that they ought to go to St. Cecilia's Chapel. “It is the newest place in town, you know,” he informed Arthur just as he scanned the view: flowers, wedding arch, altar, marble columns, grand piano, and all. “Heard the Serena District's mayor had it built with his own money. Wonder who the patron saint is, though.” “ And you are probably wondering whether she was a beauty,” said Arthur.
  44. 44. “ Wow,” he breathed at length. He then, in an oddly serious voice, confided to Arthur, “You know, I... I really do not mind... er... umm... getting married. Not here, anyway.” “ Well, maybe. Maybe not.” And then Roland became still, his eyes transfixed forward.
  45. 45. “ Getting married?” Arthur eyed his own brother incredulously. “Is that not against your Aspiration? You have so far been a very bad Casanova, Roland. Honestly,” he sniggered. “ I know, I know,” Roland admitted sheepishly. “I'm at straits in getting a girl, I stammer, and I overcompensate with nice little smiles. And I have just one short fling, and I have not kissed her yet. If truth be told I think I was not entirely sure of what I wished for. On our birthday, you know.” Arthur was surprised at this revelation. “Why? What was your wish?” he asked.
  46. 46. “ To love and be loved. Corny, huh?” “ Not at all.” It was as if Roland had lifted a great weight off his shoulder. He went on to exclaim, “And finding love here – if ever I find it, of course – it would not be so bad. I mean, this place is...”
  47. 47. “ ...just...”
  48. 48. “ ...perfect.”
  49. 49. Shy though Roland was, he was never at a loss for words... until now. “ I... uh... I think I... I am... I am... in... wow, ” he lamely concluded, unable to bring up the word that has long been overused. But Arthur merely chuckled as he walked his way out of the chapel. “Let us go, lover boy!” he called out. “Look! Some knave filled the fountains with suds!”
  50. 50. “ You just had to stare and at the bubbles for a quarter of an hour, Artie.” “ Speak for yourself. You were busy gaping at that girl!” “ Hush, man! You might awaken Mama!”
  51. 51. “ Best of brothers though you may be, Roland–“ “ Yea, I know you love me.” “– still I will rip you apart once Papa finds out we have been sneaking out.” “ Much thanks. That is nice to know.”
  52. 52. “ Uh-oh.” Hissed Roland, “Just smile, Artie. Smile and pass the matter off.”
  53. 53. “ What's this?” Ysabel's melodious tone crackled like a whip nonetheless. “What is this I find? Surely not my two younger brothers tiptoeing into their beds like thieves in the night?”
  54. 54. “ Er...” “ Well, Arthur?” “ Umm...” “ Yes, Roland?”
  55. 55. And quick as a bolt thrown into the heart of a forest the twin brothers sank onto their knees and, in one tense breath, pleaded for their young lives. “ Sister please we're sorry we're never going to do this again –“ Arthur began. “ Yea it was my idea I just dragged Artie into this please do not tell Papa and Mama–“ Roland followed suit.
  56. 56. But Bel-Bel's laugh was a sound of tinkling bells. “ Oh, do stop it, you two. A fine picture you both are,” she said between peals of laughter. “And what a waste of effort, too: it is not my wont to tell on others, you know. Besides, Jeannie and I sneaked a lot back then as well.” “ What!?” the two gasped incredulously.
  57. 57. “ This is truth,” Bel-bel confirmed. “While you two were sound asleep Mariette and Lenard – the Labouis children, you see – invite me to a ride around the City every now and then. Jeanne would sometimes hop along, too. “ And you two are lucky. I was caught, once.”
  58. 58. “ It was far from pretty. Mama gave me a sermon for two hours. And if that was not punishment enough, she had me do chores well into the morning. It was school-day, and I almost dozed off in our classes. Oh, Jeannie? She was not with me then. She had a laugh afterward, in fact. 'Told you not to go that night,' she said with a wink. Her intuition always served her right – almost as if some higher power was guiding her, really.”
  59. 59. “ So, see? I understand your... hmm... situation ... very well.” Ysabel's benign smile lifted Arthur's spirits. “So you would not tell?” he tentatively asked, though with a hopeful grin. “ Tell what? That you two were safe and sound in bed?”
  60. 60. “ Bel-Bel! You are an immaculate life-saver!” a grateful Roland exclaimed. ”Here, let me give you my world-renowned back massage. You have earned it!”
  61. 61. “ Mmm. There, there – all those homework. Why, Roland, I could well get used to this!” “ Sure thing, sister mine.” But thoughts were racing across Arthur's mind. “Wait,” he tersely snapped. “Something does not tally well with all this.”
  62. 62. “ You were just about to sneak out, too, Bel-Bel!”
  63. 63. “ It all fits!” Arthur pressed on. “What else are you up to, staying this late at night? Only a few hours more and it is daybreak!” It was Ysabel's turn to stammer. “Hmm. Nice... mmm... point, Artie. See... I... was... fetching myself a glass of water . Yea,” she added unconvincingly. “ Really.”
  64. 64. “ Oh, all right,” she gave in. “I called the carriage. I am heading to the docks – you know, sail to the College. And I was about to succeed going away in secret haste – then you two show up.” “ So you mean you were not being purely philanthropic?” Roland cried out in mock-outrage. “What a waste of effort, indeed!” But Arthur was going far ahead than his twin. “You are not going into College this early for no reason. Come on, sister, into the spare room.”
  65. 65. “ Out with it,” Arthur demanded as he locked the door after him, leaving a clueless Roland outside dreaming of visions of beauty. “This has something to do with Jeannie, has it not?” “ That is correct,” Ysabel answered with a wide smile. “This has everything to do with Jeanne.” “ So you mean you have a guess at where she is?”
  66. 66. “ You forget how Jeanne thinks, Arthur,” Ysabel began explaining. “In her head she still believes she still is in the running for Heirship. That would mean running away is not an option for her. She would not settle away, and she would still call our place home. Nor would she borrow funds from the pawning guild. She would abide by the Laws. “ And indeed, as per the Laws, she has only one legal option.”
  67. 67. “ How do you work these things out?” Arthur breathed in astonishment. No one among them was able to read Jeanne's mind that clearly – no one save unassuming little Bel-bel. “ I have been Jeanne's close friend and confidant, you know,” Ysabel said with a smug quirk of her lips. “ But... you have not told me where...” “ Oh, Artie, Artie. Is that so hard to realize? Come on, think.”
  68. 68. “ I think...” Arthur spoke at length. “I think... Jeannie would be... of course... in College.” “ You think so?” Ysabel said in mock-uncertainty. “ I know so.”
  69. 69. “ And you are off to College, in the dead of the night, to find her,” Arthur concluded. “ Yea. That is correct.” Ysabel smiled fondly at her two siblings, innocent Artie and proud Jeannie. “Jeanne might not want to admit it, but a lone retreat is not what she needs right now. “ She needs a friend. Even I, shy as I am, know that.”
  70. 70. Of course, Ysabel left a letter to her parents explaining her actions. She also promised to inform them once she got wind of where in College Jeanne was. Still, even as the family were preoccupied with Jeanne's absence, life had to go on. Roland and Arthur continued attending to their education.
  71. 71. Arthur continued developing his skills. Roland began wondering whether his brother was truly for Popularity.
  72. 72. Marie aged...
  73. 73. ...catching the whole house unawares.
  74. 74. Robert at least grew up with his Mama watching him.
  75. 75. Far from the toddler who was easily distracted by bunny heads, Robert soon proved to have quite the thirst for proving his capabilities. Damian, of course, obliged to his son's requests to train him in the arts as well as in combat, but the former took care not to dwell overmuch upon the eager young face Robert so mirrored.
  76. 76. (Though, really, with expressions like these, I worry a bit about Robert. He's a little perfectionist. He doesn't take too well with Bs. Then again, most Sim kids don't. Still, if only I can make up to him by learning the secrets of fast skilling...)
  77. 77. The boys may or may not have sneaked out yet again.
  78. 78. And Arthur, much to Roland's perpetual annoyance, kept searching the stars for an answer to a problem that the latter had no clue of.
  79. 79. So things stood when, about a week later, Ysabel went back home for a visit. (Damian was particularly adamant in having Bel-Bel respond to her Mama's letters, as well as having her drop by every week.) “ Really, Papa, I am doing quite well,” Ysabel went on speaking. “We have core subjects this year. Trigonometry is a challenge, but Jea– well, I was well-prepared for it quite some time ago.” She hesitated mentioning that it was Jeanne who taught her basic arithmetic while they were growing up.
  80. 80. “ So you know sister Jeannie well?” a small voice piped in right beside Ysabel. “Cool! What was she like? Brothers Artie and Roland could not say much. Well, Roland does not speak much these days, really...” he trailed away. For a moment Ysabel thought she was seeing Jeanne again – but then she recovered. “Oh, so you are little Robert, I suppose?”she hastily commented, not least to draw the conversation away from their lost eldest sibling.
  81. 81. “ It is alright, my daughter,” Damian reassured her. His tired wheeze was a far cry from the clear and strong voice he had as an adult, even more so than the carefree drawl of his youth. “Your brother needs to know... very great... your sister...” He said no more.
  82. 82. “ Wait, now that we discuss this matter,” Arthur interrupted, “any news?” he inquired Ysabel. “Have you... well... found her?”
  83. 83. “ Yes... and no.”
  84. 84. “ Immediately upon arriving I searched the docks, the shops, the Xianxi quarter, and even the derelict Old Tower, wasting no time.”
  85. 85. “ Oh, all right... I got a little distracted on the way – and I did not tarry in the ruins; they say it is haunted – but my point stands. Jeanne was nowhere to be found.
  86. 86. “ ...until I saw her walking out of the dormitory.”
  87. 87. “ I tired to run after her, but Jeanne – she must have gotten wind of me – acted too fast. Practically gave me the slip. “ She was soon gone.”
  88. 88. “ Oh.” Roland, on the other hand, said nothing, still staring blankly into thin air.
  89. 89. Ysabel turned once more towards little Robert. “Wow,” she began. “You are right – brother Roland is keeping mightily quiet.” “ Oh, yea, he is,” Robert nodded eagerly. “He is quite off these days, you know, ever since...”
  90. 90. “ ...he met that gypsy.” “ They say you are good at what you do,” Roland told the gypsy he had summoned. “They say you are good in helping others find love.” “ Aaah, yes. Another lovesick young man.” The gypsy had an artificially ethereal tone. “Love is not something one simply finds, you know.”
  91. 91. “ I do not understand–” “ Ehem.”
  92. 92. “ Will a two-thousand note help?” “ Hmm...”
  93. 93. Then, with her falsely otherworldly voice, the gypsy began chanting an arcane incantation upon her Orb. “ Interesting,” she hissed with one of her wispier tones. “Why not? I have seen better; I have seen worse. Those who seek Wisdom are not usually of twin hearts with those who yearn for Love. But we shall have to see, shan't we? Now... Appear! ”
  94. 94. “ Where... am I?” And, just like that...
  95. 95. But Roland was equally stunned himself. “H-hello,” he stuttered. “Seems like... er... the gypsy... hmm... summoned you. Eh?” “ Gypsy... summoned... oh!” She is very... charming, Roland thought as she smiled awkwardly. “ I...” he pulled himself together, and with his deepest, courtliest voice, “I am Roland Valois-Mercator, your humble slave, mistress.” He then reached for her hand.
  96. 96. But the girl suddenly withdrew her hand. “ No, this has to be a mistake. It has to be,” she gasped. “I am sorry.” And with that she turned to flee. Yet Roland refused to give up just yet. “Wait!” he called out, all his shyness gone, replaced with bold determination. “May I ask for your name, at least?!”
  97. 97. In passing, she replied:
  98. 101. “ Ah, Cecilia.” “ I am here, Papa.” “ That is well. Gavin here has yet to finish his regular business report. But that is of no great import, really.”
  99. 102. With a bow, Gavin Newson dismissed himself, leaving father and daughter alone in their great big manor. The man stood from his couch, put his book aside, and kissed his daughter on the cheek. “You had a good day, I trust? Did anybody bother you ?”
  100. 103. It was a while before Cecilia answered her father's last question. “No, Papa.”
  101. 104. “ That is well, then. Now, if you please, to page forty and seven of your textbook. I will not have the daughter of Serena's Mayor falter in her brilliant studies.”
  102. 105. Er... dun dun dun? To be continued...
  103. 106. “ This is not groovy.” Featured legacy sims: Samara Uglacy . The Uglacy and The Prettacy by Candi Gypsy Rose Bohemian . The Bohemian Legacy by Jamie. Special thanks to Professorbutters for the generous loan of Cecil and Cecilia Goodytwoshoes .