85 BC, The First Century in Britain,
Two Days Earlier
Emery's focus was at its peak as he intricately attached the last carved wooden figure on top of the box he had made. He had been spending months studying and working with their family's scholar to give it to someone very special for him.
The box clicked and Emery's eyes widened. Should it have clicked or not he didn't know. He lifted the small box and looked around. Nothing though seemed to have fallen. He then slightly tilted the box with his other hand ready to catch the wooden figure in case it dropped but it didn't fall. Slowly, he pulled down the lip of the box and the figurine descended into the box until it was closed; he opened it again and the figure ascended from the inside.
"Phew, it worked!" said Emery, wiping the sweat from his forehead. He blew the lit candle beside him, which had dropped a lot of wax on the table. He didn't realize it was so late in the night when he had finished carving the small figurine. As he thought of the person receiving this gift, he fell asleep with a big grin on his face.
Emery only had a few hours of sleep but still woke up just the right time next morning. He stood up, stretched. His body and mind was still urging him to sleep more, but when he saw the small box he had made last night on top of the table, he smiled because today was a special day. Her coming of age ceremony.
On the hallway, he stumbled onto his father, Geoffrey, the Head of the Ambrose Nobility.
"Are you well, my boy? You look like you're still sleepy," Geoffrey asked.
"I… Uhh, yes," said Emery, scratching his head.
"I know you're excited about the princess' coming of age ceremony, but I need you to think about your body. You also need to practice later, and we'll have to leave by noon," said Geoffrey as he tried to rub Emery's head.
Emery shook off his father's calloused hands and pouted, "I'm not a kid anymore, father. Don't worry, I'll practice."
"Haha, whatever you say, you'll still be my little boy," said Geoffrey, grabbing Emery.
Emery struggled but didn't have the strength to break free from his father's hug; he had no other choice then but to glare at his father's wrinkled face.
"Off you go now, my child," said Geoffrey when he let go of Emery.
Every morning Emery spent a few hours practicing the sword with one of the family knights even though he had inherited the weak constitution of his late mother. Nevertheless, that didn't stop Emery from wanting to train. He wanted to be a knight and make his father proud.
Emery slashed on the empty air with his thin arms. After a few strikes, however, he was already catching his breath and fell to the ground exhausted. He really couldn't fight against what destiny had given him, years he had been doing this but there was little to no improvement.
A familiar voice called him and Emery shifted his head. The voice belonged to his family's scholar, his teacher since he was a child.
"It's time for your lesson," said the scholar.
The student and teacher made their way to the estate's library. The room was filled with scrolls, parchments, even some herbs for the cauldron nearby. Here, Emery continued his studies by browsing the scrolls with the scholar explaining them. He actually found studying these scrolls much easier than sword fighting.
He had been studying scrolls about crafting and architectural construction, which he found to be interesting lately. But the scroll on herbs and potion-making from his late mother was his favorite topic of all.
During his childhood, other than practicing and studying, he loved spending time in the woods. He often liked to find the plants and herbs his mother had written and experiment with it afterward. Emery also found the forest to be his safe space. Maybe it was because of how his father had told the stories of his late mother and how similar they were that he found the woods relaxing.
He also never had been afraid of wild beasts, he felt the creatures of the forest were more like a friend unlike those other noble kids who loved bullying him for some reason. His father, however, had once seen him petting a wolf and chased it away. What transpired after were days of scolding on how dangerous the woods were from his father. Still, Emery snuck to the woods from time to time to make himself relaxed and enjoy nature.
When the noon had arrived, Emery rose up with excitement in his heart, he took a quick lunch and after washing himself, wore the best attire he had. It was a leather jerkin made from a cow's hide with a white linen garment on the inside. He didn't want to wear it because it smelled a little but what choice did he have? It was the nicest looking clothes he had, all the other garments he had were tattered. He didn't have anything like those other higher-ranking nobles with their fancy, good-smelling clothes.
Although the Ambrose family was the lowest ranking nobles, ranking 5th among their peers. Emery never complained since he had a good family, good home, and food on the table.
With fast steps, he grabbed the wooden box, put it in a pouch before going outside to the stables. The stable boy had already prepared the brown horses which he and his father would ride together.
"This is it. All is prepared," said Emery, double-checking his pouch.
Emery couldn't wait to arrive in the estate of the Lioness family, the highest-ranking noble in the kingdom and see Princess Gwen once more.