My little brother Noel was born yesterday. His birth brings the tally to six boys and three girls. I think father is making certain that there is an heir and a spare (and a few spares for both the heir and the spare). I remember when I figured out my role in this world, as the future king of the Northern kingdom. My eyes took everything in and out of the white crystal palace. At first I only knew one color, white the royal color. Especially since everyone with royal blood is dressed in white plus, the palace decor was white.
Anyway back to my growing family, my little sister and brother want to join me in my next battle or ambush against the rebels. I do admire their courage, but I feel that they will hasten my demise. The big brother in me will not allow my siblings to go out in the battle field unprotected. They will only serve as a distraction. But even if I die there are eight other royals eligible for the crown.
Tomorrow we are meeting with the royals from the South Kingdom. Their women are coming in to see the new baby, while the men will be planning ways to rid ourselves of the rebel nuisance. I never considered that there was anyone more beautiful than my mother, but I have heard stories of the queen Liora and her awestruck beauty. It is said that their daughter, Adalia, bears her mother’s good looks and her father’s bravery and courage. The whole royal family will be here tomorrow; I will get a chance to dispute or confirm the rumors. Especially since Adalia is to be my bride.
He heard his father call for him from the hallway.
In a rush Archer closed his diary and tucked it under his bed- he was sure his father would think that chronicling his every thought and emotion was feminine -and then in a swift move, he placed his sword in its sheath and ran out into the hallway. Shoulders out, back straight, chin out and his right hand gingerly but firmly placed on the silver jeweled hilt of his sword, he stepped before the king.
“Your highness, you called for me?” He stood before his king. He gazed upon him but not directly in his eyes, careful not to disrespect him.
“There you are. Have you gotten your gift for the King and his Queen?” His eyes were slowly taking in his son’s appearance and posture. With that knowledge, Archer stiffened his spine. “As the heir and future King of the North you must retain the amicable relationship we have with the Kingdom of the South,” Lionell rested his arm on his son’s shoulder, as they walked down the hall towards the throne room. “Remember our plight with the rebels. In order to protect this realm, we have to be strong. We cannot allow an invasion. I think we have learned about strength in numbers, especially from Earth.”
“Yes father,” who could forget the invasion Earth had to fight off, in 2022, when their realm clashed with the Cyclops. It was disastrous, but the humans won in the end due to alliances. “I had the blacksmiths mold a sword for the King and I got a black silk cloth embroidered with gold string for the queen. Will that suffice, or should I get something else?”
He stood aside letting his father go before him into the throne room. He was careful not to mention the princess. Archer wasn’t sure if the marriage would still take place. It was a political, tactical move. But if the rebels withdraw, there would be no need for a marriage. So he didn’t mention her.
“You did well my son. This will be your event to host as the eldest son. You must make sure that the princess is satisfied. She has a very short temper,” he tapped his jaw with his finger, an amused look on his face.
The princess, Archer thought. He still had to please her, amuse her. But from what he had heard about her, no precious embroidered cloth would do. Not even the most precious stones from his mother’s, the queen, own collection would satisfy her. He thought of what he held precious to him, his bow and arrow. What if he forged a weapon for her himself? That would surely please her.
“I have been told. Everything is ready for the King, Queen and their six children. Trust me father, tomorrow will be a good day,” he bowed before the throne as his father sat down.
“Where is Doran? I hope he is aware of tomorrow’s meeting?”
“Yes your majesty,” Archer’s address to his father changed whenever he was on his throne. He was now his king first and his father second.
“You have done well my son. Now let us hope that the South will be willing to join us in our fight against the rebels.” Lionell waved him away.
“You’re Majesty,” Archer bowed down once more, backpedaling, never showing the King his back as he headed out the door.
“Son?” Lionell called out.
“Yes Sire,” Archer lifted his gaze.
“Make sure that you are in good terms with the princess. If we have to make an alliance, it would mean a marriage between the two of you.”
“Of course you’re majesty. I will do my duty to the Northern Kingdom,” with one last bow Archer left his father alone with his thoughts.
Archer headed for the blacksmiths, and then later, he would head to the royal jeweler. If there was the surety of a marriage between him and Adalia, he had better get to work on the sword. Black diamonds and gold on the hilt, silver and platinum on the blade, it would be magnificent.
“Archer?” Novia, his younger sister and second in line to the throne ran up to him.
“Hey Novia what is it?” Archer adored all his siblings; to him they were an extension of who he was. Novia especially, she was witty and a tad bit vain, but dangerous with a blade. Novia as a princess in full silk ball gowns was a huge contradiction to the armor and sword she wielded during mock battle.
“Mother would like to have a word with you,” she wrapped her arm around her brother’s waist and leaned on him as they walked.
“Is Mother alright, where is she?” He was worried; his mother’s health had suffered after the birth of the youngest prince. It took her days to get back on her feet. But even now though she seemed fine, she was still weak.
“She is fine and is out in the garden with the baby. She wants to talk to you about the royal visit tomorrow.”
“Father already spoke to me about that. Everything is ready for their arrival.”
They walked to the garden and found the Queen with her three younger children. Queen Ilana looked well and her once pale skin was burning pink. She was beautiful, her sandy blonde hair gleamed in the sunlight and her delicate body was wrapped in swirling white silk. She was as delicate as a flower.
“Mother, Novia said you wanted to see me,” he kissed the back of her hand in respect and adulation.
“Has your father talked to you about your possible marriage?” She balanced the baby in one arm while the other stroked her son’s hair in adoration.
“Marriage? What marriage?” Novia interrupted.
Archer chocked on the shock clotting in his throat. He always felt like he was suffocating when they spoke of his marriage. His hand rested on his neck, just to make sure the noose wasn’t there already. Of course he wouldn’t leave the palace, but bringing someone new in his little private bubble disturbed him. Although he wanted what Ilana and Lionell had, the companionship and support from a loved one, he wasn’t sure if he would love her as much as his parents loved each other.
“Your brother may be engaged to Princess Adalia by tomorrow evening,” Ilana rocked the sleeping baby in her arms.
“I wouldn’t mind getting married to Prince Randi. I hear his beauty leaves women blinded with love for him,” Novia twirled her blonde hair around her finger a dreamy look on her face. “Besides I don’t think Adalia will marry. She acts more like a gladiator than she does a princess.”
“You wield a sword and carry a dagger in your stockings, does that make you a barbarian,” Archer came in Adalia’s defense even though he hadn’t seen her before. But he would have to get used to defending her, coming to her aid if she was to be his Queen.
“I’m just saying. Mother, if the princess doesn’t want to marry my brother I will marry hers,” she cooed as her mind raveled back into her fantasies.