Where Do You Go?
Chapter 1: Where Do You Go?
I still felt the surge of victory even as I crept back into my bedroom window. My double-ended taser still felt slightly hot from my final Starlight Kick, and I hoped it wouldn't catch my curtains on fire. That would be very.... interesting to try and explain to my mother. However, I was in luck when I made it inside with no troubles. I set about the weekly task of stowing away my fighting uniform, moving the loose floorboards aside and shoving them into the bag they always rested in. After replacing the boards, I strutted over to my bed and slipped my nightgown back on.
Just as I was getting into bed and resting my head on the pillow, I heard a quiet, frantic knocking begin on my door. With a groan, I rose and went over to it, unlocking the deadbolt and opening the door to peek out. Seeing my maid, I relaxed and smiled a little. "Yes, Isolde?" I asked in a whisper.
She gave me a stern finger wag. "Don't you 'yes, Isolde?' me, young miss!" she hissed, her graying her just as frazzled as she was. "Do you know how hard it was to keep your brother from searching for you when you weren't here to answer his knocking?"
"Liam? What did he want?" I asked, confused and a bit nervous.
"He thought he saw someone coming out of your window when he was strolling out in the gardens!" she said disapprovingly. "You need to be more careful, Miss Cecelia!"
I nodded gravely, knowing she was right. "Yes, Isolde.... may I go to sleep now?" I asked. "I defeated three large and strong farmer women tonight, and I am tired and sore...."
With a sigh, she nodded. "Yes, Miss Cecelia. Sleep well."
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The next morning, I woke to the heavy knocks that I knew too well. Groaning, I got up and staggered to my door, nearly tripping a couple of times over my own two feet. When I undid the deadbolt and opened my door for the second time in nine hours, I came face to face with my younger brother. And one thing was for certain: he was not happy.
"Cecelia," he said, a warning in his voice, "why didn't you answer my knocking last night?! I could have sworn I saw someone come out of your window! Are you.... is there a man?" he asked more quietly.
I gaped, then burst out laughing. "Hahahaha! As if any man could really keep up with me, Liam!" I chuckled. "It's fine, I was just sleeping, and you were probably seeing things. Too much reading has made your eyesight start going, little brother."
His cheeks puffed out a little as they reddened in frustration and embarrassment. "I know I saw something! Are you sure nothing is missing from your room?" he asked, genuinely concerned.
I felt bad for lying to both him and our mother, but I had to. They would be scandalized, and would misunderstand my reasons why I do what I do. With a sigh, I gave him a soft smile. "Liam, I assure you, everything is where I left it. Even my taser."
At the mention of my taser, he seemed to pause. Tilting my head a little, I was worried when his eyes widened suddenly. "Liam?"
".... it was you!" he whispered loudly. "You snuck out! Cecelia, why- MMMPHNG!"
I hurriedly covered his mouth and pulled him into my room, shutting and locking the door with my free hand. I gave him a look, shaking my head. "Liam, you CANNOT tell mother! Please, she wouldn't understand...."
I uncovered his mouth and he looked at me incredulously. "Are you sure it isn't a man, sister?"
I rolled my eyes. "Liam, you are daft if you think I would do something so senile for a man of all things."
Liam ran a hand through his long auburn hair, looking at me in confusion and worry. "Where do you go, then?"
I hesitated for a few moments, then sighed. "If I tell you, you must promise to never stop me from going, never tell mother, and never come to watch me or follow me. Can you promise me those things?" I asked, settling him with a look.
He took a deep breath, then nodded in a resigned manner. "Alright, I promise."
I looked into his eyes to make sure he wasn't lying, and found no sign of deceit. "Okay...." Sitting down on my bed, I bit my lip. "I..... I go down to Geata Dearg and fight in the cage matches."
He sucked in a breath, and I flinched, knowing that I may have just started digging my own grave.