4.5: Outside The Manor Walls

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Not commissioned.

Dear Diary,

I am a lady with reputation, money, and status. I am a lady of poise, title, and manner. I am a lady of fine language, fine clothing, and fine connections. I am not the sort of lady to be wandering the forest between my providence and the neighboring kingdom without a companion in the middle of the night... or so everyone thinks. Every night since I was a little girl, I'd sneak out of the stuffy mansion I was supposed to call home to go adventuring in the woods in only a cloak, nightgown, and riding boots, no matter the temperature. If my family knew of my late night adventures, I would be a disgrace, written off as a moral-less, little girl sneaking off into the night on a careless whim in search of wiles. I would be ruined... but I have not let the possibility stop me. With my duties, I rarely have time in the day to visit my favorite place in the world: the waterfall directly on the border of Evertalia and Clementro.

The waterfall with a powerful, crystal clear current that fell off a large cliff seemingly made completely out of stones into a small pond buzzing with life. Faint mist drifted around the perimeter, and I have never been able to tell if it stretched more towards Clementro or Evertalia. This waterfall, my secret place, was where I have always gone to think over important decisions, or to sort out the swirling observations and memories of experiences in my mind. This waterfall was a secret place for me to be myself, where no one cares if I am a lady of reputation, title, or fine connections, because no one was around... at least... until a fortnight before Princess Biana dubbed Miss Sophie Dizznee her new handmaid, I saw someone at the waterfall... or, really, someone found me.

He was tall and handsome, naturally, and his eyes were bright blue stars against the velvet night that was his skin. He wore a lavender cape swept over his shoulder with silver leaf brooch and the silver moonlark insignia of Clementro was pinned to the navy vest that matched the navy button-down underneath. He was on the other side of the pond, and I ducked behind a boulder, peeking out shyly, tugging my olive green cloak more tightly around me, hiding my long, white nightgown. I knew who he was, I knew who he knew, and I told myself that if he saw me, he'd tell everyone, ending my freedom and my sacred place for good. I was wrong.

He ventured further and called out to me in a smooth, rich voice when noticed the edge of my cloak from around the corner of the boulder, "Hello? Who are you. I won't hurt you, I promise."

I knew I couldn't keep hiding, so I slowly crept out from my hiding place, holding my breath. "H-hello," I hesitantly answered. "What brings you to the waterfall?"

"Oh, hello. My, it's been a while since I last saw you," he cracked a smile, bright and blinding, perfect and warm like the sun. "I decided to take a nighttime walk, and you?"

"The same."

"Apologies, am I disturbing you? I can walk someplace else, it wouldn't be a problem," he offered, but I shook my head.

"No, it's quite alright, your providence in Clementro neighbors mine in Evertalia, you have every right to walk on your land. I would just appreciate it if you refrain yourself from telling anyone you saw me here, my family is strict, and my reputation among them would be tarnished if they knew I was out in the night alone, without permission."

He nodded thoughtfully, smiling, "Ah, I see. Fear not, I shall not tell. Your secret is safe with me. While we are here together, shall we take a turn about?" He offered me his arm, and against my better conscious, I took it, instantly enchanted by a man I'd seen in various courts from time to time over the years from afar. That one gesture started everything. The next night, we was there again, and he was almost surprised to see me. I admitted that I'd been sneaking out of the house since I was a little girl, and he asked if he could join me. Now, when he's in his providence, he meets me at what we decided to call the crystal falls, and now I believe I'm greatly in danger of falling in love with him.

I'll update you soon on my potential secret romance, I promise, but for now, au revoir!

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