Story for the Day: The Leader of Lucentia
In honour of the new art Twisk is finishing for book 8, here is a small piece from the book and the portrait of Prince Lamir she just finished. Enjoy.
He stood out from the basin and dried himself by baking in the rays of the morning sun. He was given a dry cloth in which he might continue his ceremonious desiccation but there was no need. He only wished to be dressed and be gone from his chambers as soon as was possible. He ordered his attendant to bring him the clothes on his stand beside the bed, and as he placed his numerous, thick-banned rings on his fingers, she assisted him in donning the remainder of his garments. His waist sash was tied, his surcoat adjusted, and he turned to regard her work in the mirror opposing the bed as she stood to the side aspiring to have done everything with the correctness he should have liked.
While Lamir was assessing himself, the attendant gathered the previous evening’s clothing from the edge of the bed to place them aside for the palace servants to wash when she could not help but notice that they were the very same garments the prince was currently wearing: matching colours, identical fabrics, every stitch made in the very same place. This could not be the means of frugality on his part, for the garments were expertly made, but she must wonder why a man so prosperous would not vary his gamut to display his affluence to his inferiors. She was aware of his having little time for any deviation in the routines of his day, but surely a few more seconds of choosing what to wear would grant him some self-liberality.
Lamir observed her apparent confusion and neared her to explain. “It is important for my people to see me a certain way. When they see my clothing, they know who I am. It is the same with any uniform.”
“Does My Lord have no other clothing?” she said in with demure wariness.
“No. There is no need for more. It serves its purpose. I leave wasteful pursuits to my cousins. They are happy to exhibit themselves in my place.”
He had chosen well for the consistency of such a uniform, she believed. A long and open surcoat paired with his silken shirt had only enhanced his impressive frame, and though the loose sleeves concealed the molded perfection of his arms, it made his shoulders seem larger than they already were, giving him a more prominent air, one to equal his confident person.
They left the bed chamber and went into the main room upon the prince’s suggestion, but when they were about to quit Lamir’s quarters, the attendant hastened to the silver tea pot and serving items.
“Will you not eat before the assembly, My Lord?” she said.
He would not, usually, and he ought not to save time, but as he had a new attendant to serve him and the pleasure of her companionship to endure, he would take something if only pass a few more minutes with her before being made to suffer the buzzing whispers of the palace halls and the bustling murmurs of the royal congress. It was not every day that he must meet with Lucentia’s congress of elders, but when he did it was a trial to his composure. They were not insipid elderly men who claimed themselves as scholars; these were men of sagacity, all of whom retained their own opinions, and attempting to persuade them away from their staunch resolve was not a feat simply done.
Lamir made a hesitant step toward the door but remarked her hopeful aspect and resigned to stay for a few moments. He would eat nothing beyond a small slice of bread, but his morning comforts resided in the scent of the tea being poured into his cup and the sight of the woman who came to sit at his feet while he drank. The silence and smiles of a woman so doting had pleased him more than Lucentian fare ever could do, and he grazed her cheek with the back of his hand while sipping the last of his bergamot in blissful stillness, beholden to the woman beside him for all the ministration she provided.