I woke up to knocking on the door.
“Princess Amelia, the Queen requires your presence in the throne room,” said an unrecognizable voice. It was probably a guard.
I got dressed in a simple T-shirt and pants. Thankfully I didn’t have to wear a dress. I decided to let Lainie sleep a bit longer and snuck out of my room.
Caelum, Cassiopeia, John and Lynx were waiting in the throne room.
“Lynx!” I shouted when I saw him. He ran over and hugged me, lifting me off the floor and spinning me around. He was shorter than me so I was sure it was a funny sight.
“Amelia. Good to see you. I am sorry I wasn’t here to welcome you yesterday.”
“That’s okay. Where were you?”
“With his boyfriend.” Cal snorted disapprovingly.
“Boyfriend? I thought you didn’t know the meaning of the word,” I teased Lynx.
Lynx’s face became red with embarrassment. “His name is Alexander.” His white hair in his face strategically.
“I’m impressed.” I was going to ask him more questions but Cass cleared her throat.
“I called you here because I want you all by my side when I tell the people about Tethys.”
Just when I wondered where Delphinus was, she burst through the doors. “Sorry I’m late,” she huffed.
Cass ignored her. “I want Delphinus to help Caelum train the people. Amelia, I want you to be there in case anyone steps out of line. They’re afraid of you.”
I shifted uncomfortably. I didn’t like the idea of people being so terrified of me that they would behave. But to Cass I just nodded.
“Amelia, could you put on something that is more princess appropriate?”
I looked at all of my siblings. They were dressed royally. I was about to respond, to disobey her but Lynx interrupted me. “I’ll put her in something.”
Lynx dragged me out of the room and upstairs to mine.
I opened the door and told him to be quiet so he didn’t wake Lainie up. But when I looked to my bed, she was gone. I checked in the bathroom and my closet. She was nowhere to be found. I started to panic.
Lynx stepped outside. “Alexander!”
A man came jogging up the stairs to Lynx. “Yes, Your Highness?”
As soon as he spoke, I knew he was the guard who had woken me up this morning. Lynx’s boyfriend was a guard.
“It seems Miss Lainie has wondered off. Can you go look for her, please?”
Alexander nodded and winked at Lynx. He then went straight for the library.
“She’ll be fine. She wouldn’t leave the palace,” Lynx said. “Now let’s get you in something more appropriate.”
We went inside my closet and I sighed. “I don’t want to wear a dress. Delphinus wasn’t.” Del was wearing fighting leathers; a dark leather suit with intricate grooved designs.
“You don’t have to. We’ll be outside so it’ll be too cold.” Lynx found a dark blue leather suit, nearly black just like Del’s. Only this one was less for fighting and more for looks. The engraved designs on it were swirls of all sizes.
I shed my pants and slipped on the suit and it fit snugly. Almost too snug. Lynx zipped up the back. “There. It’s on. Why are you wearing armor?” Lynx was wearing almost full battle armor like the war was in an hour.
He shrugged. “Always be prepared. And don’t I look amazing in it?”
I chuckled. He did. I was sure he wanted to look good for his boyfriend.
“So your boyfriend. The guard. Is it serious?”
“Oh, Amy. Silly, silly Amy. You know me better than that. Serious? No, we’re just fooling around.”
Something in his voice said he was lying. I was pretty sure he cared more about this guy than he let on. “And how long have you been fooling around?”
He hesitated. “Few months.”
I glared at him.
“Okay, several months. Since before Vela and Orion died.”
So it was serious. He was just lying to himself. When I was on the planet last, he never mentioned Alexander.
Just then Lainie walked into my room.
“Lainie! Where have you been?”
“I just went exploring.” Her brown eyes sparkled. Probably at my crazed facial expression.
“I was worried.”
“Nothing to worry about.” She put her hand on my face and kissed my cheek. “And what are you wearing?” She tried to distract me.
“Um, just something to be presentable to the people. More princess-like.”
“Lain, hello.” Lynx greeted her in a hug that made my heart warm.
“Ĉêv, Lynx. Bôm-æ rï zü.” She had said “nice to see you”. It was a little rocky but sweet.
Lynx leaned back, impressed. He looked at me, then back to Lainie. “I see Amy has been teaching you our language. Good job.”
Lainie grinned and threw her hair over her shoulder.
“Amy and I should probably get back to Cass,” Lynx said. “We’ll catch up later,” he said to Lainie.
“Lainie, don’t leave the palace,” I told her.
“I won’t. Promise. Now go.” She kissed me.
Lynx and I hurried downstairs to the throne room. Cassiopeia and John and Caelum and Delphinus were just leaving.
“There you two are,” Cass had a glare in her voice but a neutral expression on her face. We left the throne room and headed towards the doors. “We have to walk because my wings barely come out through my robe.” Then why wear the robe? I would never understand royal fashion.
As we passed the guards and staff of the palace, they all bowed towards us, their eyes to the floor. I had forgotten about what it felt like to have people act this way toward me. Some of the staff though glanced at me with frightened expressions before they cast their eyes down.
We walked out the double doors and the darkness was suffocating. The cold wind hit us like a brick. Mine and Del’s hair went wild but Cass’ white hair stayed in her perfectly wound bun.
A few guards flanked us close by, as if the royal family couldn’t take care of themselves.
We arrived at Planet Hall and the citizens had already gathered inside. Of course some had to stand outside because the building wasn’t big enough for our population. Cass stood at the podium with John at her side.
The rest of us stood behind her and to the right. People were mumbling and pointing at me with scared eyes. Heat rose to my cheeks.
“My dear people of Enceladus, some troubling news has arisen.” She spoke in Enceladian. Everyone quieted down. “The people of Tethys have not been able to be reached by myself or Space Enforcement. I checked our records and it says we have repealed the treaty between Enceladus and Tethys. I did not do this. I assume it was King Orion.” Wrong. “We think the people of Tethys are going to wage war. Against us.”
The crowd erupted.
“They will destroy us!” a man shouted.
“We are all going to die!” another one yelled.
“Silence!” the Queen roared. “They will not destroy us. Prince Caelum is going to train you all starting today. Even the children. Princess Amelia, Princess Delphinus and Constable Asger will be assisting.”
Our Constable barely had a job. A constable was usually the commander of an army but we barely had guards, let alone an entire army. Asger was a huge man with wings almost as big as Vela’s and Orion’s. He was just as old as they were but much wiser.
“We don’t have to worry. We have the ëtt ĉô on our side,” a little girl exclaimed.
At first I was puzzled at why she chose to speak English and then I realized she was talking about me. She called me the chosen one. “Me?”
She nodded, her black curls bouncing.
“The chosen one? Why would you call me that?”
An old woman inched forward. “You are our savior. You’re from the legends, Princess. The prophecy.”
I was going to ask what legends, what prophecy, but Cass spoke. “Enough of that. We need to be ready for Tethys. We will be strong, Enceladians. Don’t forget it!” With that, she walked out of the building with some guards and Lynx.
Caelum squared his shoulders. “Let’s all go outside.”
Once we were all out in the square, he spread his wings and hovered above the ground. “First we will train in hand-to-hand combat. Princess Amelia and Delphinus, will you take the children and show them some basics?”
Enceladians aged far slower than humans. Children were around ages one to fifty. And fifty year olds still looked like children. They were even short and annoying like children. Teenagers were around sixty to two hundred years of age. So if I wanted to get technical, I was a teenager and would be for eighty-one more years. Adults ranged anywhere from two hundred to a millennium.
I started to say that I didn’t know how to train anyone to Caelum but he gave me a warning glance.
Caelum split the population in two, sending half home since there were too many to train all at once.
Delphinus and I led the kids away from the adults. They made up about twenty-five percent of our population so there was a lot of them even with half leaving. “Okay,” Del began, “First we will start with how to throw a punch.”
The next few hours were painful. Some of the children were young, barely over the age of twenty. They hardly knew how to use their wings let alone their fists. Each sectors educators were also there trying to help the younger kids.
Caelum and Asger decided to train everyone at once in the air. Caelum wanted to see how they’d do fighting while flying. They were bad. When Cal lightly bumped into a man his age, he went soaring backward. That was the opposite of what Cal and Asger were trying to teach. The children could barely balance three feet in the air.
We hadn’t even introduced weapons to them and it was almost the end of the day.
I hadn’t seen Lainie at all and I missed her. I was delighted when Caelum called it quits.
Cal, Del and I flew back to the palace in silence with Asger trailing behind us.
When we got back, Aesop notified us that Cassiopeia was waiting in the throne room.
“How did it go, nïx, nïxï?
“Bad,” Cal said.
Cass glared at him.
“The citizens are weak. Both physically and emotionally.”
“Well they need to be ready, Caelum.”
“They will be,” he assured Cass.
“Um, sorry,” a new voice said. I turned around and there was a woman with golden yellow hair and a gorgeous heart-shaped face standing at the door. “I didn’t mean to interrupt. I’ll leave. I’m sorry Your Majesty.”
“No, it’s alright Duchess Golda. We are finished,” Cass said.
When Orion was King, each division had one reigning family, a duke and a duchess. Golda’s family was of the used to be T Division, now named Vela. Her father must have died in the coup last year which was why she was now the Duchess.
“Let’s go to the dining room, ån,” Cal said to Golda.
Ån? That was the equivalent of sweetheart or honey.
Cal must have noticed my confusion. “Amelia, this is my betrothed, Duchess Golda.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Princess.” She bowed to me but wouldn’t meet my eyes. Her long dress was an outer space blue.
“You too. Engaged, huh? Congratulations.” Caelum was once engaged in 1926 but the woman broke it off when she realized he was such a brute. Cal’s pride had been hurt more than his heart.
Caelum seemed happy in her presence. Something I had never really seen him express. “Thank you, Amelia. We will see you in the morning. Have a good night.” They walked out of the room arm-in-arm.
I turned back to Cass. “He’s engaged? She’s Duchess of Vela?”
“I don’t know why she loves him so,” Delphinus snapped.
Cass nodded to my questions. “I’m letting the four families choose if they still want to lead a division. And if not, I’ll pick a new, suitable family. Most of the reigning families died in the coup. They were the only ones who fought against the attackers.”
I took in the information. Cass was doing all the right things as queen. I respected her deeply for that.
“I’ll see you tomorrow, Amelia. Thank you for helping out today.”
I nodded and headed out the room and up the stairs.
I turned around and saw no one. I kept walking up the stairs.
I whipped around and spotted Lynx right before he turned invisible. He was sitting on the banister above me.
“Lynx. Come out.”
He materialized, grinning. “There’s a party tonight. A secret party,” he whispered.
“No,” I said simply.
“Oh, come on. You can bring Lain.”
“Lynx,” I groaned.
“You have to come. Everyone will be there. You’ll get to know my boyfriend.”
I noticed he referred to Alexander as his boyfriend. “Maybe.”
Apparently a maybe was good enough for him. He switched topics. “When’s the last time you had a gourmet Enceladus meal?”
My stomach growled at the question. “Nearly ten years ago.”
“Get Lainie and come to the dining room. I’ll be waiting.” He then went invisible again. But this time, I heard his footsteps echo throughout the palace.
I chuckled and went to get Lainie. As soon as I walked in the door, she threw her arms around me.
“I guess I was missed.”
“Yes you were.” She kissed me, lingering on my lips. “My only company was Alexander. Apparently Lynx has set him as my personal guard. Every time I left the room he was right behind me. He even had the kitchen staff make me lunch. It was very nice.”
“I’m glad you were in safe hands. He seems like a good fit for my brother.” I chewed on my lip. “So there’s this party tonight that-”
“Let’s go!” Lainie exclaimed.
I laughed. She must have been bored from an entire day of nothing. “Alright we’ll go. But right now, let’s eat something.”