Chapter 1: First Impressions
Cordelia Calodonensis was the only daughter of the King and Queen of Powys Wenwynwyn, making her the Princess. Since her mother died a year before, the King had become protective of her. She was already sixteen, and had yet to find a suitor perfect for her. It was because of another stuck up prince that the Princess stormed out of the throne room of the palace.
Adara, Cordelia’s handmaiden, had dressed the Princess in one of her favorite red dresses, contrasting with her mocha colored skin perfectly, holding her long curly brown hair back with a golden clasp. Adara now found that the makeup was used for a worthless cause.
“Princess, wait!” Adara said, rushing to catch up to the princess, her blonde hair flying out behind her. Adara was twenty years old, with sunshine blonde hair and dark blue eyes. She had known Cordelia since she was born, and was Cordelia’s most trusted friend and confidant. It was because of this that Cordelia slowed down, allowing Adara to catch up with her.
“You know, I didn’t think he was all that bad.” Adara said as she finally caught up with Cordelia.
“He doesn’t love me nor will he. He sees me as a prize. As a thing not a person.”
“Good luck finding that in a prince.”
“Well, then I’ll marry a Knight. Someone like Otton.”
“I have a feeling the King will be a bit hesitant on that.”
Cordelia was about to respond as they turned the corner when the Princess ran right into someone. She would have fallen had the person not caught her by wrapping their arms around Cordelia’s waist.
“My apologies, milady. I didn’t see where I was going.” The stranger said as they helped Cordelia upright.
Cordelia found herself incapable of responding, struck speechless by this stranger. It was a girl, about 6’ (Cordelia being 5’5”), with short white hair partially held back by a small ponytail, pale skin, and icy blue eyes. She was wearing a white shirt with the sleeves partially rolled up, a leather sheath slung across her shoulders, sword against her back. She was also wearing brown leather gloves, boots, and thin leather brown pants.
When Cordelia didn’t respond, the woman smirked a bit, raising an amused and questioning eyebrow.
“It’s alright, Ma’am. If you don’t mind me asking, who are you?” Adara asked, answering for Cordelia.
The woman turned her gaze to Adara. She smiled fully now as she gently grabbed hold of the handmaiden’s hand.
“My name is Calian, and it’s a pleasure to meet your ladies acquaintances.” Calian said, bowing down to kiss the top of Adara’s hand. At this, Adara’s eyes widened before she blushed.
“It’s a pleasure for me as well, but I’m afraid you’re addressing the wrong person.” Adara said.
Calian stood up and looked at Adara, smiling. “If the King allows me to stay, you’ll learn that I’m far different than my other knightly peers.”
At this, Cordelia and Adara both looked surprised. “You’re a knight?” Cordelia exclaimed.
Calian smiled a bit as she nodded. “Yes, I am. I’m currently the only female knight. My grandmother was the first female knight. She fought in the Great Imagicia War.”
“Princess, there you are.” An older man appeared wearing a red and silver suit, medals on his yellow sash proving that he had been a knight.
His hair had turned grey, and his face was wrinkled, his blue eyes tired, but they were still familiar to Calian. At the sight of him, her lips spread up into a smile.
“Otton, it’s been a long time, my old friend.” Calian said, drawing his attention.
When Otton saw her, his eyes widened drastically. “Calian?”
“You know each other?” Cordelia asked, looking confused.
“A long time ago. He fought alongside my grandmother, Calian, of who I was named after.” Calian answered.
Cordelia looked from Calian and back at Otton. While the girls weren’t looking at her, Calian held a finger to her lips and winked at Otton. He hid his surprise under a smirk, though Calian saw that his eyes began to tear up.
“Yes, I did.” Otton held out his arm and Calian grasped his forearm in the knights’ form of greeting. “Oh, Princess, your father is wanting to talk to you.” Otton said, getting over his shock and looking over at Cordelia.
Cordelia sighed. “I am not marrying that pompous Prince!”
“I was wondering why the Guild wanted a knight sent to train troops but now it makes a bit more sense.” Calian said with an amused look on her face.
“And I see they decided to send the best.” Otton replied.
“I was the only one who volunteered.” Calian responded.
Otton and Calian began heading back towards the throne room. Cordelia followed after them, forgetting about her anger, now intrigued by the female Knight.
“I have never heard of a female knight before.” Cordelia said, drawing Calian’s attention back to her.
“Well, of course not. Most men don’t like being outdone by a girl.” Calian explained.
“It is a bit embarrassing at first.” Otton replied, a glint in his eyes hinting at the fact that there was more to that sentence but that he didn’t share.
“Cordelia!” The king, a large man with a mustache and goatee that looked a lot like his daughter roared at the sight of her.
Cordelia flinched slightly. She hated facing her father when he was angry.
“Your majesty, it is an honor to meet you.” Calian said, clasping her fist against her chest as she bowed to the king, drawing his attention to her to which Cordelia was grateful.
The King’s anger transformed into confusion. “Who are you?”
“Calian, my lord. I was sent by the Knights’ Guild to train your troops.” Calian answered.
“A female knight? That’s preposterous.” The King said, showing disdain at the very thought.
Calian glanced at Cordelia, smirking a bit at the Princess before looking back at the King. Before she could speak, Otton jumped in.
“Your Majesty, Calian is one of the best knights’ I know. The Guild could not have sent us a better person.” Otton explained.
At this, the King seemed to think about it for a moment. Otton had served the King for thirty years now. He was one of the closest people to the King.
“Fine. Show her to her quarters while I talk with my daughter.” The King said, dismissing them.
“Forgive me for speaking my mind but don’t be too harsh on her, your majesty. From what I understand, the Princess is your only child. She knows that you will not always be around for you to protect her. She simply wants to find someone that will take care of the kingdom, to protect her and love her like you do. I hate to say this, but it’s hard to find that in a prince these days.” Calian said before she turned and left, Otton walking beside her, leaving both the King and Princess speechless.