The Harmony Mountains ran down the center of Angeland Kingdom. It was believed that the first Angs settled on Harmony Mountains some four hundred years before the Red Water War. High speed winds were known to create a harmonious whistling sound around and between the mountains. One of the earlier Ang explorers referred to the mountain range as Harmony Mountains in his travel notes. The name had stuck since.
The city of Kightsight was situated on top of Rock Mount. A cobble stone road paved the path up to Kingsight. The road had been named Snake Path after the winding path it traced up to the city. Every spot on Snake Path offered breath taking views of cities down below. Deer ran free on this side of Harmony Mountains. Laborers could also be spotted working to slow down the erosion of Rock Mount.
There was a time when Kightsight was not very different from the other smaller cities down below in terms of the number of armed guards that were present. This changed after the Red Water War. Ten fortresses had been built along Snake Path. Each one of these fortresses held fifty guards. Although gun powder had been formulated a hundred years ago, swords were still displayed on the gates of these fortresses, crossed one over the other on top of the Havvitar sigil of a roaring lion.
Rock Mount turned green at the start of spring. There were yellow flowers that bloomed along the path. The ten fortresses built from black boulders stood in strong contrast with the bright greens and yellows of nature. After a long journey of one week I was at the gates of Kingsight. The gates were as high as five floors and opened up an area of fifty feet. There was a complex system of gears and wheels that had been designed so that the gates could be opened and closed using a team of ten horses. The gates were opened and closed as part of a monthly military exercise. Outside of that, the gates of Kightsight were always open. This was in accordance with a royal order that was implemented during the rule of King Raygor Havvitar.
I found the gates open as they always were. However, over the last hundred years Kingsight had changed. The most recent chapter of this change was the banishment of Professor Lintek from University of Karaymoore. The open gates were now closed for anyone that spoke against King Carez Havvitar or any of the past rules of Angeland.
An hour ride from the gates of Kingsight lead me to ‘The End of Circle Theater’. The theater was located on the edge of the city. There were numerous signs along Majestic Road that lead up to the theater. The signs promoted plays that were scheduled to take place on future dates. Close to the theater the crowd turned dense. The horse cart parking was full and more were parked along Majestic Road. There was no doubt Tupila would soon be a household name in Angeland.
The End of Circle Theater was situated at the edge of the mountain. There were fifty rows of seating that had been carved down into the mountain in a semi circle. The stage was on the other side with the backdrop of the open sky. An arch around the stage had been carved out of rock that glowed a bright red in the light of the sun that was setting on the opposite side behind the seating. Multiple lanterns burned along the edges of the stage.
A cool breeze was blowing that evening disbursing the scent of spring. Birds could be seen gliding softly in the distant sky through the arc on the stage. Desiring the setting sun, that evening the sky turned into glowing shades of fire that resembled those on the fragile face of a fair maiden after intense moments of passion.
Hope and I stepped out of the theater after watching Havvitar Heart. We got on our horses and made our way down Majestic road. The area around the theater was lit by lanterns but the road back to the core of Kingsight was dark.
The play was still running though my head. “That was good,” I said.
“I have seen a number of Renoseani’s plays,” said Hope. “They all seem the same.” Hope wasn’t impressed. In fact, she seemed upset.
“She wrote them all. And directed them as well. They are bound to have similarities.”
Hope shook her head. “No,” she said.
“Have you ever been to a Kazax Feathard show?”
“Yes,” I said.
“He has been around for a long time. I doubt he himself knows how many songs he has composed. Yet, each song stands on its own. There are only so many music notes that are available to him, yet he puts them together in a way that gives each song its own life.”
“You can’t compare a musician to a writer,” I said.
“Art is all the same. The rhyme, rhythm, inflections and the empty space created by a musician isn’t any different from one created by a writer,” said Hope.
“Never thought about it that way,” I acknowledged. “Kaz is good. Him and I went fishing last week in Soundamore.” Soundamore was located on the eastern shore of Angeland, right above the city of Eastavona. Soundamore was known for its harbors and shipyards. I had moved there from Muddywaterville last summer and at the time worked as a shipyard worker.
“You men caught any fish?”
“We got one,” I said.
Hope raised her eyebrows. “Just one?”
“Just one,” I said. “It was in fact a sad catch.”
Hope laughed. “Sounds like it was,” she said. Her horse also laughed in mocking fashion.
“The fish bit on to the bait and hook but it wasn’t quite dead. It pulled our fishing boat down Prizim River. We let the fish pull the boat forward until it bled to death.”
“You men are horrible,” said Hope. “How can you do that do the fish?”
“There was more than one fish. The one that took the bait was the female. There was a male fish that kept following our boat. He wouldn’t let go of her.”
“He should have helped her,” said Hope.
“He was a fish,” I said. “What was he to do?”
“You men should have let the fish go.”
“Why would we have done that?”
“You broke their bond.”
“They were fish,” I said. “There don’t have bonds. She took the bait.”
“He wouldn’t let go of her,” said Hope. “What would you call that?”
“The fish, are there, to feed us.”
“No, they are not,” said Hope. “What happened after?”
“We pulled the fish up,” I said. “The male kept circling our boat until we reached the shore.”
“Men are barbaric,” said Hope.
“And then he kept jumping up out of the water as if to find out what we were doing with his lady fish.”
“Stop,” said Hope. She let go of the reins and covered her ears. “Kazax sounds like a horrible man but he is still a better artist than Renoseani. He doesn’t exist for King Carez. Renoseani could have done that too.”
“Yes,” I said, “perhaps she could have.”
“Who would have imagined that a little known playwright from Eastavona would attract this much attention and have influence in shaping the Ang perspective concerning the royalty.”
“You’re writer,” I said. “You should put your thoughts down to paper.”
“I haven’t been able to write,” said Hope. “I managed to put down some of my views to paper, however my thoughts were incoherent and I had to drop the pen.” Hope had of way of pronouncing her words that was old worldly. She was from the city of Riverbranch that was located just west of Harmony Mountains.
Hollow Roar, Oakwood and Smokeywater River flowed though Riverbranch and emptied into the Sunkissed Sea on the south of Riverbranch. Riverbranch was one of the oldest cities in Angeland Kingdom. The dwellers of Riverbranch strictly adhered to cultural traditions that had been passed down from one generation to the next. Riverbranch was one of the few cities that were left untouched by the Red Water War. The dwellers of Riverbranch felt passionate about preserving their history and heritage. After the Red Water War, Riverbranch stood to resemble the life and views of prewar Angeland. Hope had moved from Riverbranch to Kingsight three years ago to study journalism at the University of Karaymoore.
“A writer, that can’t write. At least Renoseani didn’t run into that dilemma,” I said.
Hope sighed. “Yea,” she said.
Kightsight had a newspaper called Kingsight Daily. News concerning the rule of Angeland Kingdom came straight from the royal note takers. As a result of this setup, the decisions taken by the Havvitars concerning Angeland and its people were rarely questioned or challenged in the news. This was one of the many points of contention between Professor Lintek and the Havvitars. There were other sections in the newspaper such as the entertainment, review and travel, where the opinions of common Angs were welcomed and valued. Hope had previously written for Kinsight Daily but that night Hope seemed hopeless.
“Do you know there are over a thousand writers in Eastavona alone?”
“I have never heard of them,” said Hope with confidence.
“Most of them are not published.”
“They are not writers then,” said Hope. “Are they?”
“They write, that makes them writers.”
“My five year old sister in Riverbranch writes.”
“I hope she makes it big.”
“Yea,” said Hope with ample sarcasm.
Our horses trotted down Majestic Road. Moon lit up the night.
Categories: Crimes of Passion