Ch. 1 - REGAL
“Maya Adelaide Windsor, I now crown you as the next official ruler of the Verendus Kingdom. This kingdom and its people are now your responsibility, and its future is in your hands.”
Anyone in my position would be elated to hear those words, to get all of that power handed to them without even having to ask. But me?
It felt like the heaviest burden of this entire world was getting placed onto my shoulders, and it’s something I knew I wouldn’t be able to opt my way out of.
“Any words for your people as their new Queen?“, my grandmother, Lucinda, asked me.
I sighed and then walked up to the front of the castle’s balcony, preparing myself to speak.
“I, Maya Adelaide Windsor, swear on my life to always protect the people of this kingdom as its Queen. I will always look after your wellbeing and won’t let us accept defeat ever again, and I will take revenge on whoever attacked us and killed my parents. Let the Verendus Kingdom become an even stronger kingdom who will never back down and will rise to the top among other nations!”
“Long live Queen Maya! Long live Queen Maya!“, they all started chanting, causing me to smile at them for the first time in probably years before going back inside.
The moment I reached a more private area with no outsiders around, I yanked the greatly envied ruby and diamond crown off of my head, lightly tossing it to a nearby sofa.
Sitting down on a chair in the center at the back of the room, I made a noise of exasperation and looked out the window behind me.
“Maya!“, Mabel, my younger sister gasped after she walked in and saw the crown carelessly laying there. “How dare you treat the royal crown like it’s just a mere object?!”
“Maybe because that’s exactly what it is.“, I muttered, not bothering to turn and look at her.
“See grandma? Do you really think Maya is competent enough to rule this kingdom, when she can’t take anything seriously? I would’ve never been behaving the same way if I was in her place.”
“The crown is simply a symbol of power belonging to someone, it’s nothing more, my dear.“, my grandmother responded to her. “Competency comes from within, and you know very well that your sister has all the qualities to be a Queen.”
“Mhm, she’s so capable that she couldn’t even protect her so-called beloved Stephen.“, she said, rolling her eyes.
“Enough is enough, Mabel!!“, grandma shouted. It was rare to hear her raising her voice at either one of us since she pampered us a lot starting from our childhood. “Don’t put your nose where it doesn’t belong. And besides, Maya is twenty-four, meaning she’s four years older than you. She is rightfully the next ruler and quite frankly, she has maturity, something you’re still lacking because you’re both young and hotheaded.”
“Yeah? Then why has she just been lazily sitting here for the past multiple weeks and not doing anything huh? Is that what mom and dad used to expect her to be like when she becomes the next ruler? And you’re calling me hotheaded? At least I have a personality unlike her and want to actually do things.”
“Get out.“, I fumed quietly, my hands shaking with the need to break something.
“I said to get out!”
“Hmph fine, but kicking me out of here won’t change the truth Maya, and the truth is that what happened to Stephen is all your fault only and no one else’s. You’re not good enough to be the ruler of this place.“, Mabel said, not knowing just how much it hurt to hear those words.
I know it’s my fault, you don’t need to constantly remind me of it. I’m already hurting more than anyone else.
“Grans, can you also please leave me alone for a little while?“, I asked, but this time much more softly.
“Sure honey, but how long are you going to continue blaming yourself for something that wasn’t your fault? You know Mabel, she’s still young and is just acting like that because she’s jealous and because your parents are gone. No one blames you for what happened to Stephen, it was inevitable.”
“But I do. I could’ve stopped him.”
She just sighed, knowing it was pointless to try convincing me of anything else at this point.
“I’ll go check in on some things, make sure you eat later and get enough rest, Maya.”
“Okay, I’ll try.”
Later that day, I went to one of the private chambers and called a specific group of people from the castle’s security chamber to gather there too.
“Why have you called us here today, your majesty?“, one of the men up front asked.
“Two months...it’s been two entire months and none of you have found any clues as to what happened to Stephen Pierce, or where that sudden attack came from and why.“, I seethed, my eyes cold as I looked at all of them. “Is this what’s expected from the security team of the Verendus Kingdom? Is this all you’re capable of doing?”
“B-But ma’am, we’re truly trying our best. We’ve been working non-stop ever since you ordered us to.”
“Exactly. You’ve been working like crazy, day and night, for the last two months and you still have nothing. Everyone in the kingdom thinks that he’s already dead, and if that’s the case, then why haven’t you guys found his body yet? The people are all asking for details and I still haven’t been able to give a proper answer yet. Must I remind you that Stephen was meant to be the next King of this kingdom?”
Looking down at the table in shame, none of them said anything in response.
Sharon, my secretary who’s also pretty much my only friend, put her hand on my shoulder and gave it a comforting squeeze, whispering something in my ear as she did.
“I think that’s enough for today, Maya. Go easy on them, you know how hard they’ve been working for you these days.”
“I want Stephen present in front of me within the next two weeks, whether dead or alive, and that's an order. Otherwise say goodbye to your jobs. “, I commanded, shivers running through my body and the thought of him being dead. “And find out who attacked us and why they did it. You may all leave now.”
After they all bowed and then emptied the room, I plopped down onto the corner of the table, rubbing my temples in sheer frustration.
“Sharon, can you please go get me some pain meds? I feel a horrible headache coming on.”
“Yes, of course. Hold on I’ll be right back.”
I took the pills from her after she came back and then told her to take her leave for the day, wanting to just be away from everyone.
“Just where are you Stephen? Why is something telling me that you actually did die that day?“, I whispered, feeling a lone tear slide down my cheek. "Please don't abandon me like this."
Was I looking for someone that was long gone, or is he still out there somewhere?
Hiiii, I'm officially back! I'm going to write a few more chapters in advance before I start to regularly upload, but I didn't want to leave it completely hanging so here's the first chapter. I'll probably start uploading regularly by the end of this week. Let me know your thoughts for this chapter. How do you think this book will play out? - Venus <3