Extended Story

'Vledamir...'
'Vledamir...'

General Vledamir had been following the voice that was calling for him. Hand over hand, he had been climbing the side of a mountain in pursuit of the one whose voice filled his thoughts. He had long since passed through the realm of the King and into the caressing hands of the gods. Clouds lay under him, masking the land beyond as much as it hid the path ahead. Still the voice called to him and he continued on to find who owned it.

Hours passed. Days passed. Vledamir was almost completely drained but was more determined to reach the summit. He reached into the clouds and pulled himself up as he had done again and again. As he lifted himself up an open plain filled his view. A dreamland, a world not even the Kings below had seen before sat before him. In the center of the field sat a castle and off in the distance was a small farming village. This place was familiar to him, but he could not recall where it was that he had seen it before. Before he had realized it, he was just outside the castle gates and had begun walking inside.

'Vledamir...'
'Oh, sweet Vledamir.'

The voice called out to him again and again. He followed the winding passageways in the labyrinth like structure all the while trying to find the source of the voice that called out to him. He passed by tapestries that looked dull and worn from age as well as paintings with what appeared to have been warped from exposure to the elements. At the end of one hallway he found himself walking towards a light that opened up to a balcony that over looked the field below. As he grew closer to the exit the voice became louder and louder as it called for him.

'Oh, Vledamir...'
'My love, Vledamir. You have come.'

There was a young maiden who stared off into the distance. Her beauty was unmatched by far. The General could do nothing more but stare in awe at her as the princess turned towards him. She smiled at him and reached for his hand. She seemed to glide to Vledamir who was frozen in place in awe of such a beautiful creature. He felt the silky smooth grasp of her hand around his. As his fingers slowly touched the edges of her hand, the Maiden let out an angelic laugh before disappearing in a veil of white rose petals that drifted away in the wind.

'Vledamir...' her voice called to him from the heavens. 'You will find me, Vledamir...'
'Vledamir...'
'Vledamir...'

'Damn it, man! How much did you drink last night?' the deeper, masculine voice ripped him from his slumber. Vledamir woke to find another general shaking him awake. He had to all but fight him off in order for Kaine to be sure that he was awake. General Kaine quickly rummaged through his fellow officer's wardrobe as he prepared Vledamir's ceremonial armour plates.

"You're going to be late to the wedding!" Kaine shouted at him.

General Vledamir was wide awake at the mention of the wedding and joined his brother in arms in rushing to get ready for the Prince's wedding. He was still trying to fix a shoulder piece as the two ran out of the door and into the hall. Vledamir cursed himself under his breath again and again for sleeping so long. Kaine and him arrived in the main hall just in time to see the bride being walked down the isle by King Lysander I, father of Rerian and Vledamir. Everyone's eyes were on the two walking towards the Prince. Vledamir easily made it to where he was supposed to have been without anyone noticing, still cursing under his breath. Just as he arrived the Prince leaned twards him, eyes still locked on to his bride.

"I'm glad you could make it brother. I hope you are feeling better, for today is a great day and I wish you to be apart of it."

Vledamir sighed to himself and responded accordingly. The emptiness he felt like a weight in his chest. He ignored the feeling and looked down the isle at his coming sister and watched as she preceeded down the aisle. He smiled a genuine smile for the Prince and his bride. Just as she made it to the alter the sun rose to look into the large hall, filling the entrance with a blinding light. Vledamir looked away and towards the Priest conducting the ceremony. Just as the Priest caught his attention, he heard the same angelic voice he heard last night.

'Vledamir. My sweet, loving Vledamir.'

It was then that he knew exactly what he needed to do. Something he should have done a long time ago and something his brother had recently done himself. General Vledamir of the Holy Demrial Empire needed to find his own damsel in distress.