Ten years prior to current events
I have decided to flee the nest earlier than my father expected, though if I am to be honest, “never” would be too early for him. They all see me like some pampered daughter, lucky to be firstborn and heiress to this vast wealth father is so diligently trying to control, when in fact I have been under military rule since I first started to walk. I suspect that Papa wished for his firstborn to be a man and now I am to suffer for his great disappointment, undergoing harsh training and even harsher words, every day. Why does it surprise him, then, that I refuse to obey when everything he ever did was not for me, but for ‘the family’? His only family is his Thrones and mines and silk coats which I found great delight in shredding to pieces the other week. Of course Daran got to watch over me as punishment, good ol’ Daran in whom Papa trusts the most and who has now to play babysitter. Serves him right, I’ll never forgive him for telling father of my books. Yes, Papa forbade them in the country and many died trying to save the knowledge he so stubbornly refuses to gain himself, so why wouldn’t I keep a few for safekeeping?
Well today I get rid of everything. I escape the boring speeches, the rigid trainings, father’s old ideas and Daran’s stubbornness to watch my every move. He’s just like a shadow, only annoying and loud.
Erszebet closed the journal and wrapped it in silk, hiding it behind the tiles depicting the DuVal symbol. It was in the middle of the night that she decided to get out of the manor through the windows of her room helped by a hooking cable and a lot of courage. The building was huge, more than 60% of it acting as a plant for producing alloys. Her father liked to be part of his business, the eccentric old fool.
She wore the worker’s uniform and planned to sneak out acting as part of the night shift. It seemed that Daran however was slyer than she thought. He waited for her to actually go down the manor walls, as dangerous as it was and as long as it took, before placing a hand on her shoulder just as she was looking around the corner. It freaked her out.
“And where might you be heading at this hour, Ms. DuVal?”
She was decided not to let this minor inconvenience stop her.
“None of your business.” Erszebet replied without turning to face him. “I’ll be back by sunrise, don’t worry. Papa won’t know…unless you tell him.” She then turned, eyeing him with a threatening gaze that didn’t seem to do much then. “Lapdog.” she spat.
“There isn’t anything to tell if you go back up right now.” He pointed out casually, looking up the wall. “And it’s a very long climb, might just take you the whole night.”
“Or.” She grabbed his knife and pulled it out of its hold in one swift move, pointing it to her leg, ready to plunge it in her flesh. “I’ll tell father how you failed to stop my escape AND protect me from the mine rebels downtown.” she threatened, lifting the blade high up.
“Alright.” Daran finally said. “You have one night and I’ll come with you. We return by sunrise and none of us will ever speak about it.”