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LoaMR: Ch.VIII: Kapellen Castle 3

by MailicedeNamedy


The first day of the new year, of a new decade, gave people a change of weather.

The sky was free of any clouds and of any birds. People saw only the blue, free sky. Even in the morning, there was reason to talk about the warmth. Those who could not afford to go out for a fancy meal tried to dine outside the house and accompany the novena to a glorious conclusion. The birth of the Goddess, creator of the world, was the holiest holiday for the Sagauvelian Empire.

The bright sunlight did not make it easy to locate the sandstone castle. A hallucination would have been easier to find, Stephan said in the car. Léonard managed to get the whole group there in one piece, although he was convinced it was further away.

***

The turnout of guests was sensational.

They arrived at the castle from all walks of important life. Owner Otto Ludwig von Karolsfelde and his wife, Auguste Charlotte von Löwenburg invited to the annual gala. Money was not an issue. The day was, to begin with, many excursions, talks and fun, while the actual celebration was to begin in the evening, where Otto Ludwig was to give a speech.

Laughter and clinking glasses were heard by the five after Léonard parked his car not far from the main entrance. They were right on the bank of a stream.

What little water there was, shimmered seductively in the slate-grey colours and lured the fish closer to the surface. Claire drearily surveyed her own reflection. It reminded her of Weymouth. It blurred in the waves. Gently they lapped against the shore. The low grass in the shade received its refreshment.

What was I thinking about right now? About later?

The gloomy eyes, black dots on the water could not reflect anything of the sucking emptiness.

"Claire? Claire!" cried Emma.

She stumbled over to her friend, "Are you admiring your great dress? It's really wonderful. Mine too, isn't it?"

"Yes, Emma. Wonderful. Shall we go?"

"Of course."

The background was lined with noise. Some did not miss the opportunity to drive their cars right up to the entrance to let their companions get out.

A staircase past the gate brought one into the gravelly courtyard. Gates made of larch wood were wide open. Claire watched the wide hallway sink into darkness. A fountain with strange figures spewed water incessantly.

Through the people talking in the courtyard, the five reached the castle. One could literally feel the division. Karoline had not spoken a word to Léonard since yesterday. Her brother was just as silent. He seemed to be thinking about something. Emma noticed this because Stephan was actually the one who yapped the most at the breakfast table.

The entrance area was pretty and old-fashioned.

It was more reminiscent of an old manor house than a castle. Nevertheless, the entire complex was small-scale. The gardens took up most of it.

Besides the actual residence with a round tower separately, there were two houses near the entrances ready for the servants. A barn, a mill and some greenhouses were the remaining buildings in the valley.

At an unspectacular table, one had to show one's invitation. Léonard strutted there with feigned friendliness and an unusually open smile. In the process, he almost pushed the guests aside. Emma followed him.

While he was talking to the man in the tailcoat, the siblings were discussing mysteriously away from their friends. When he returned, he pushed them all outside.

The sound of the birds was sadly drowned out by the cars. Through the lattice gate, one could see into the Great Garden. Some aristocratic people were wandering around. Surprised and perplexed by the natural world here, they later treated themselves to a few glasses of wine.

The gigantic grounds were worked and tended by sixteen or seventeen court gardeners, as Claire found out later. All their heart and soul went into the roots. One not only saw it, but the man of the world also smelled it.

Away from the entrance, Léonard lit a cigarette. The siblings avoided his gaze and showed interest in the many vehicles and carriages.

"Can I have one?" asked Claire humbly.

"Sure."

Emma no longer thought about the fact that she was now smoking and shook her head. Something else came out of her mouth.

"Who is this Murrhardt? The man called you that. “

"A friend," he stated confidently, "He got the invitation for us."

"Didn't he want to come?"

"Something came up," he muttered. Passing Emma, he bellowed to the du Murnaux: "Are you done admiring cars?"

The siblings were reluctant to come to him and avoided eye contact.

"Garden, stalls or straight to the banquet?"

"I didn't expect that from him at all. This behaviour..." Emma whispered to her friend. She glanced at the cigarette. Claire made no reply. She found it fascinating how Emma's clothes had changed her. With her fancy, sparkly, dark dress, and a sequined hairband, she almost looked grown-up.

Léonard dug out his pocket watch.

"We still have time."

Silently they followed him.

***

The tour guide was one of the court gardeners. Obviously infatuated with his creations, he couldn't resist stopping to tell the visitors the whole story of each tiny flower.

As the largest of the palace's grounds, it was blessed with all kinds of genera. Rose arches and small fountains, between elegantly trimmed hedges, sunflowers, and other plants. Surrounded by a lattice, one could break one's neck if one had the idea of climbing over without permission.

The middle-aged man, as well dressed as he rarely was, told about some of the rose families they grew here. The crowd listened intently, even though they had never thought so much about botany.

"They have no maiden roses..." whispered Léonard, a little apart from the group, "No matter how beautiful all these delicate little flowers are, the maiden rose is missing from this place..."

He was slightly worried. There were more guests than expected. At the same time, it allowed him to be even more inconspicuous in the castle. Full of anticipation for the coming meeting with his fiancée, he already thought he had everything behind him.

The almost two dozen people of the group became smaller before his eyes. He had been forgotten.

Digressing from the actual main topic, the gardener had to be brought back to the local world for a short time. The botanical names did not bring very many contented minds to the group. How, when no one knew anything about the flora?

Léonard's cigarette was literally destroyed shortly after the gardener saw him coming back to the group. He didn't just get upset, he accused everyone present of complicity. The madman, as some of his colleagues called him, was a doting shrub lover. Anything that appeared to hurt them had to be kept as far away from the plants as possible. Truly a madman. Not only his colleagues have been calling him that since New Year.

Emma could add a lot when he hadn't told her enough about something. Her grandfather had taught her a lot, which made her tell Claire more about them after each new species. They continued to follow the group, literally forgetting the time. Claire was preoccupied with the siblings, she noticed, as they seemed to absent themselves.

When they were finally allowed to leave the Great Garden, the onlookers dispersed.

"The tour took quite a while."

Emma sat on a unique bench. Her left foot was being massaged by her. It was the first time she wore shoes with (small) heels. She felt more comfortable in her ankle boots.

"There will be food soon," Karoline comforted her sympathetically.

It was the first time she had communicated. A troop of servants with two horses passed them. A young couple treated themselves to a ride.

"That's what I want to do! Riding! "Emma said euphorically and forgot all about the pain in her foot.

"Maybe later," Claire said, "I'm done too. The garden is interesting, but I would have preferred to explore it on my own."

"The rest is open to everyone," Léonard explained, "The Topiary mill is open to visitors all year round."

Around two in the afternoon, a trumpet sounded. Literally like a horse race, the first people hurried into the hall. Claire and the others benefited in this way to get to the stalls at the Topiary Mill.

They offered homemade jam, baskets they had woven themselves, curious things like taxidermy (who wouldn't want to have a stuffed fox above the fireplace, said Léonard jokingly). There were also gifts to buy for your loved ones, soaps, brandy, embroidery... Most of the proceeds were used to maintain the gardens.

Claire and Emma felt transported back to Theophilus' shop. The goods on offer were similar and their disappointment was all the greater when he was nowhere to be found. Unfortunately, they saw the unfriendly woman called Wenteslaugen instead. She was talking to the mayor of Kapellengarten, a plump character in an incongruous black lounge suit.

Emma's exhaustion and hunger pangs were comforted by a short ride that took her past the many cars and carriages. Claire accompanied her on a white horse, as her friend did not want to be alone. Léonard showed stubbornness when he didn't want to get on a horse and accompanied them on foot. He will just ride when it´s necessary, he added. Léonard preferred walking or using the bicycle. Only Karoline and Stephan remained a little grouchy, Claire noted.

Their minds must be like that through Léonard... but why?

***

With the next trumpets, they too finally joined the lunch.

Crowds of guests streamed through the banquet hall to get something from the buffet. Music and dancing were incidental. Tobacco smoke hid the chandeliers as the five entered the room.

There was a monstrous table with delicacies from all over the world. Although Otto Ludwig had never left the country, he was an advocate of appetising food from different cultures. People jostled to get to the front to try some of everything. Even now, in wartime, he procured everything his heart desired.

The overpowering windows gave wonderful views off the balcony and the pleasure garden. Portraits of the von Karolsfelde family hung between them. An oversized painting was dedicated to Viktoria Luise von Karolsfelde. The chandeliers, tiny in comparison, were rarely used. The magnificent fireplace was used all the more often.

The ballroom resembled a cosy, large living room. There were scattered tables and sofas, fine carpets, servants, and musical entertainment.

"Let's serve ourselves," Léonard spoke solemnly, "New Year's only comes once a year, after all."

Only Stephan chuckled at his statement. He was the first to indulge. The cooks stood in front of their creations and wished that everyone enjoyed it.

To VIII.4.


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Mon Oct 25, 2021 6:26 am
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HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!

First Impression: Okayyy....soo, I feel like this whole thing was a nice little setup chapter at first glance. There were some nice moments of mystery but they were all very hidden and completely overshadowed by some neat descriptions of the other more generic gala stuff. This is maybe the one chapter where all these little details while occasionally dipping into the slightly too much category were for the most part actually good and helpful to the flow of things. This is the sort of events where good amounts of description actually makes things better. :D

Anyway let's get right to it,

The first day of the new year, of a new decade, gave people a change of weather.

The sky was free of any clouds and of any birds. People saw only the blue, free sky. Even in the morning, there was reason to talk about the warmth. Those who could not afford to go out for a fancy meal tried to dine outside the house and accompany the novena to a glorious conclusion. The birth of the Goddess, creator of the world, was the holiest holiday for the Sagauvelian Empire.

The bright sunlight did not make it easy to locate the sandstone castle. A hallucination would have been easier to find, Stephan said in the car. Léonard managed to get the whole group there in one piece, although he was convinced it was further away.


Okay....well, this is getting off to a start with a description of the weather. That's an interesting choice...but at any rate, it looks like the main reason these folks all came to this castle is about to take place in this part finally, so I have a feeling this is perhaps going to be the most interesting part of this entire chapter here.

The turnout of guests was sensational.

They arrived at the castle from all walks of important life. Owner Otto Ludwig von Karolsfelde and his wife, Auguste Charlotte von Löwenburg invited to the annual gala. Money was not an issue. The day was, to begin with, many excursions, talks and fun, while the actual celebration was to begin in the evening, where Otto Ludwig was to give a speech.

Laughter and clinking glasses were heard by the five after Léonard parked his car not far from the main entrance. They were right on the bank of a stream.

What little water there was, shimmered seductively in the slate-grey colours and lured the fish closer to the surface. Claire drearily surveyed her own reflection. It reminded her of Weymouth. It blurred in the waves. Gently they lapped against the shore. The low grass in the shade received its refreshment.

What was I thinking about right now? About later?

The gloomy eyes, black dots on the water could not reflect anything of the sucking emptiness.

"Claire? Claire!" cried Emma.


Okayy....here we go, it definitely is that gala situation and I do like how your make sure that we know right away that some of the most powerful people in the area are going to be in attendance and we're going to meet some important folks in the minutes to come here.

She stumbled over to her friend, "Are you admiring your great dress? It's really wonderful. Mine too, isn't it?"

"Yes, Emma. Wonderful. Shall we go?"

"Of course."

The background was lined with noise. Some did not miss the opportunity to drive their cars right up to the entrance to let their companions get out.

A staircase past the gate brought one into the gravelly courtyard. Gates made of larch wood were wide open. Claire watched the wide hallway sink into darkness. A fountain with strange figures spewed water incessantly.

Through the people talking in the courtyard, the five reached the castle. One could literally feel the division. Karoline had not spoken a word to Léonard since yesterday. Her brother was just as silent. He seemed to be thinking about something. Emma noticed this because Stephan was actually the one who yapped the most at the breakfast table.

The entrance area was pretty and old-fashioned.


Alright, the rapid influx of descriptions has me slightly reconsidering my earlier statement though, considering your general writing style, I have a feeling you're going to use up this whole chunk to simply set up the scene before the actually interesting parts happen next, this is only the third of five parts after all.

It was more reminiscent of an old manor house than a castle. Nevertheless, the entire complex was small-scale. The gardens took up most of it.

Besides the actual residence with a round tower separately, there were two houses near the entrances ready for the servants. A barn, a mill and some greenhouses were the remaining buildings in the valley.

At an unspectacular table, one had to show one's invitation. Léonard strutted there with feigned friendliness and an unusually open smile. In the process, he almost pushed the guests aside. Emma followed him.

While he was talking to the man in the tailcoat, the siblings were discussing mysteriously away from their friends. When he returned, he pushed them all outside.

The sound of the birds was sadly drowned out by the cars. Through the lattice gate, one could see into the Great Garden. Some aristocratic people were wandering around. Surprised and perplexed by the natural world here, they later treated themselves to a few glasses of wine.


OOooh, nevermind we have our first slightly suspicious sounding moment, that is nice to see, it looks like amidst the description us readers should be paying careful attention to the movements of our characters here, especially the siblings and of course MR. Two face himself, Léonard.

"Can I have one?" asked Claire humbly.

"Sure."

Emma no longer thought about the fact that she was now smoking and shook her head. Something else came out of her mouth.

"Who is this Murrhardt? The man called you that. “

"A friend," he stated confidently, "He got the invitation for us."

"Didn't he want to come?"

"Something came up," he muttered. Passing Emma, he bellowed to the du Murnaux: "Are you done admiring cars?"

The siblings were reluctant to come to him and avoided eye contact.

"Garden, stalls or straight to the banquet?"


Oooh, yes....there we go, I feel like this is perhaps the main move where Léonard needed these two to be here. The siblings are clearly showcasing their displeasure with that plan and reluctance to go along with it..or so I think. Also I don't think that invitation was obtained...nicely.

The tour guide was one of the court gardeners. Obviously infatuated with his creations, he couldn't resist stopping to tell the visitors the whole story of each tiny flower.

As the largest of the palace's grounds, it was blessed with all kinds of genera. Rose arches and small fountains, between elegantly trimmed hedges, sunflowers, and other plants. Surrounded by a lattice, one could break one's neck if one had the idea of climbing over without permission.

The middle-aged man, as well dressed as he rarely was, told about some of the rose families they grew here. The crowd listened intently, even though they had never thought so much about botany.


Okay....well that's the first time I've read about a person that goes on and on about flowers, but considering the kind of situation that we are in, that actually is a very appropriate thing for that gardner to be going on and on about...soo...love that little detail...as much as I say that some details are just too much and need to be cut, I do love every little detail that you put in...you're worldbuilding is amazing, its just that sometimes it can break the flow of a scene

He was slightly worried. There were more guests than expected. At the same time, it allowed him to be even more inconspicuous in the castle. Full of anticipation for the coming meeting with his fiancée, he already thought he had everything behind him.

The almost two dozen people of the group became smaller before his eyes. He had been forgotten.

Digressing from the actual main topic, the gardener had to be brought back to the local world for a short time. The botanical names did not bring very many contented minds to the group. How, when no one knew anything about the flora?

Léonard's cigarette was literally destroyed shortly after the gardener saw him coming back to the group. He didn't just get upset, he accused everyone present of complicity. The madman, as some of his colleagues called him, was a doting shrub lover. Anything that appeared to hurt them had to be kept as far away from the plants as possible. Truly a madman. Not only his colleagues have been calling him that since New Year.


Okayy...well we know something is potentially wrong here. Definitely some excitement happening in here at the moment with how Léonard is behaving there...and I get the feeling perhaps his plan hasn't quite gone the way he'd hoped which makes me wonder if he'll run off at some point here, he's become very good at that recently.

Emma sat on a unique bench. Her left foot was being massaged by her. It was the first time she wore shoes with (small) heels. She felt more comfortable in her ankle boots.

"There will be food soon," Karoline comforted her sympathetically.

It was the first time she had communicated. A troop of servants with two horses passed them. A young couple treated themselves to a ride.

"That's what I want to do! Riding! "Emma said euphorically and forgot all about the pain in her foot.

"Maybe later," Claire said, "I'm done too. The garden is interesting, but I would have preferred to explore it on my own."

"The rest is open to everyone," Léonard explained, "The Topiary mill is open to visitors all year round."


Alright, things are sort of winding down a tiny bit almost, it looks like most of the first part of this passed with only a couple of mildly suspicious events but for the most part, this little gala situation is proceeding rather normally so far.

Claire and Emma felt transported back to Theophilus' shop. The goods on offer were similar and their disappointment was all the greater when he was nowhere to be found. Unfortunately, they saw the unfriendly woman called Wenteslaugen instead. She was talking to the mayor of Kapellengarten, a plump character in an incongruous black lounge suit.

Emma's exhaustion and hunger pangs were comforted by a short ride that took her past the many cars and carriages. Claire accompanied her on a white horse, as her friend did not want to be alone. Léonard showed stubbornness when he didn't want to get on a horse and accompanied them on foot. He will just ride when it´s necessary, he added. Léonard preferred walking or using the bicycle. Only Karoline and Stephan remained a little grouchy, Claire noted.

Their minds must be like that through Léonard... but why?


Oh yes....that suggests something is definitely up. Perhaps we won't quite see the actual plan in action in this chapter, but rather we'll see these little moments and then in the next part, Léonard will maybe have a flashback to this. Ahh, well, let's see where it takes us.

There was a monstrous table with delicacies from all over the world. Although Otto Ludwig had never left the country, he was an advocate of appetising food from different cultures. People jostled to get to the front to try some of everything. Even now, in wartime, he procured everything his heart desired.

The overpowering windows gave wonderful views off the balcony and the pleasure garden. Portraits of the von Karolsfelde family hung between them. An oversized painting was dedicated to Viktoria Luise von Karolsfelde. The chandeliers, tiny in comparison, were rarely used. The magnificent fireplace was used all the more often.

The ballroom resembled a cosy, large living room. There were scattered tables and sofas, fine carpets, servants, and musical entertainment.

"Let's serve ourselves," Léonard spoke solemnly, "New Year's only comes once a year, after all."

Only Stephan chuckled at his statement. He was the first to indulge. The cooks stood in front of their creations and wished that everyone enjoyed it.


Okayy....alright, ending on a very neutral note that really tells us next to nothing...hmm, I wonder where this is headed. Well, I'll be finding out soon enough in the next part I suppose. This gala here is far from over. :D

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall, an interesting part for sure, but a bit more relaxed than some of the others were which makes me think that the next bit is potentially going to get very interesting. Anyways that's all I have to say on this one. :D

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry






Thank you for your review! :D



HarryHardy says...


You're Welcome!! :D



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Sat Sep 25, 2021 1:19 pm
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RandomTalks wrote a review...



Hey Mailice!

RandomTalks here with a short review!

Finally we have arrived at the ball. I feel that this chapter was mostly dedicated to introducing and familiarizing us with the new setting in the story. Your descriptions were really vivid and painted a clear picture in front of our eyes. I liked how you did not show us the sights directly and instead proceeded to play around with the words, exploring and describing each element of the ball with care and precision. Each description felt like they were carefully thought out and placed at the exact right moment. I also appreciated the way you have formatted this chapter into short paragraphs, so that the descriptions did not feel like they were clumped together or became tiresome to read for us.

I do think that you included a lot of details than was necessary. It was important for setting the scene and familiarizing us with it, but I feel you could have balanced it out a little.

"They have no maiden roses..." whispered Léonard, a little apart from the group,

The transition in narrations were not very clear in this part. Especially, after the first brake in the chapter, I was not very sure of whose eyes we were following. This line made me feel that it was Leonard's, but then we moved on to Claire, which made it a little confusing for me. It is mostly because, you have always given your characters different voices that can be separated easily from one another. I did not find Leonard's biting, sarcastic observations or Claire's careful and reflective one to differentiate between who we are following and when. I feel that you can make this a little more clearer.

He was slightly worried. There were more guests than expected.

Now this thought made me a little awry and wonder what he is up to this time. I know he has a secret agenda that needs to happen at the gala, but I don't like the others being tangled up in it.

Only Karoline and Stephan remained a little grouchy, Claire noted.

Their minds must be like that through Léonard... but why?

I am not very sure what you meant by Claire's thought here. I think that you tried to imply that Leonard must have some hand behind the siblings' dark mood. If that is it, then I don't think 'mind' really reflects that thought very clearly. You might want to rephrase it.

The gloomy eyes, black dots on the water could not reflect anything of the sucking emptiness.

That was a really dark line, and I am not surprised that it came from Claire!

Unfortunately, they saw the unfriendly woman called Wenteslaugen instead.

This makes me certain that the woman is going to play some role in the story. And her being at the gala makes even more suspicious.

Overall, this was a really great part. It served as a filler and a great introduction to the gala. I am sure something is going to happen very soon, and the siblings' have some idea about it which is why they are sulking. I am curios to see what happens now!

Have a great day!






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ForeverYoung299 wrote a review...



Hey! Forever here with a review!!

Not much happening in this part. This was a relaxing part and provided some insights to the gala. I wonder why many characters seem to be as new as the new year. Like it feels like I re-discovered the characters here. Maybe this is because we see a new sort of emotion and feeling here.

I wonder why Leonard refused travelling on a horse. Maybe this has something to do with being inconspicuous. Maybe he will be a bit more noticeable if he gets up on a horse. I do guess that he can ride horse in a decent manner. Also, he is back to his own self. I really don't think his inside is full of humors like he appeared sometimes. He seems to be very concerned about the maiden rose.

Now with Emma and Claire. Not only physically but also emotionally, Emma feels to be grown-up here and also a bit more observative and not at all like the childish Emma. Like earlier, we had seen Emma admire her dress and being exceedinly nit-picky on choosing but here we saw Emma not really caring about the dress. She just said one word "wonderful." Claire doesn't seem to notice this, perhaps she was abdorbed in her thoughts about the future as we saw. However, later she seems to come out of all the thoughts and focus on the world where she noticed the siblings' behaviour.

Now the siblings' behaviour. I can't tell much about it except that it was related to Leonard. Leonard told something to Karoline. I guess Karoline was telling it to Stephan and after a good discussion, they concluded it was something not very dangerous. That can be a thing or maybe it can't be the case.

This Wenteslaugen is suspicious. I really wonder what this woman has to do in this gala and also we have got this person who gave Leonard the invitation or maybe it's his pseudoname. Quite interesting.

Keep Writing!!

~Forever






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