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Hidden Royalty (Now on Radish)

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Emelia has no recollection of her past. As an outsider, her true identity remained hidden for years, growing up in a foreign kingdom. With only one small clue of her heritage, she doesn't remember that she is the missing princess the kingdoms started a war over. During her adventures, Emelia meets several companions who shape her into the woman she will become, helping her learn more about the world and all that it entails. As she learns more about herself and how to survive in a dangerous new world, Emelia also realizes that all is not what it seems. With war looming close on the horizon, will Emelia remember who she is to bring an end to it and unite the kingdoms once and for all?

Fantasy / Romance
Ebony Kent
5.0 2 reviews
Age Rating:


It was a hot summer day, and the cicadas were buzzing in the air with a “zzzzzz” soundtrack. My mother had stuck her head out the window of our manor, calling to me not to wander too far. The smell of her signature lamb stew wafted through the open window, that delicious aroma of carrots and celery mixing with the sweetness of lamb, my favorite. Without further hesitation, I took off into the nearby meadow. The sun-warmed flowers brushed against my skin as I ran and twirled around, my feet barely touching the ground as I leaped through the air. I eventually tumbled back down onto the soft blades of grass beneath me, where I watched in amazement at the beautiful puffy white clouds slowly passing above me from my nest among the tall grass blades. The soft crunch of grass drew my attention, and I looked up to see a tan-furred body weaving through the blades. It came closer, inching along with its nose almost touching the ground and skilfully collecting morsels of food until it finally hopped out right in front of me. Eyes wide, I watched as it snatched a nut and bolted away. I shot to my feet and followed, barely able to keep up as the squirrel darted around massive tree roots and over twigs until it suddenly stopped at the side of the road. With a tiny chirp, it dashed to the other side and disappeared into the dense forest beyond.

I looked down at my mother, who was fastening white bedsheets to the line with wooden clothespins. The sheets fluttered in the wind. Then the sound of hooves echoed in the distance, growing louder and closer. Two horseback riders appeared in view, their leather saddles glinting in the sun. My mother’s voice was faint but determined, “Sarah!” I swiveled to see what had happened; one of our guards was slumped against a tree, an arrow protruding from his chest and blood trickling from his lips. The other guard had my mother by the arm, dragging her into the house as she frantically waved at me. “RUNNNNNN!” she shouted. My legs pumped as I stumbled away. I knew there was no hope of outrunning them. The thundering of the horses’ hooves behind me grew louder until I felt a grip around my waist. I was lifted and swung around to dangle across a saddle. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Mom standing in the middle of the dirt path, her gaze on me and the tiara that had fallen from my head during my desperate escape. Her arms stretched out as if to reach me, but it was too late – we’d already begun to move away. “Sarah!” Her voice echoed faintly in my ears as I disappeared into the horizon.

* * *

Faint flashes of torchlight flickered across my half-lidded eyes as I was hauled over a pair of strong shoulders. The heat of the orange flames prickled my skin, and the pungent aroma of sweat and fear thickened the air. As we passed other cells, I glimpsed a few frightened children huddled in the shadowed corners, afraid the mammoth of a man would enter into the already confined space. We cautiously stepped towards the door illuminated by a single, dying torch. Its weak beam of light barely illuminated the enormous figure of the man. He swung the door open with a groan and flung me inside with force, sending me flying through the air. I was stopped mid-flight by two hands that gently grabbed onto me and kept my head from slapping against the cold, damp ground.

As I opened my eyes, I was awestruck by the angelic presence standing over me. A woman with fair skin looked down on me. Her rich mahogany hair flowed like a river down her back, “It’s okay, child.” Her blue eyes held a look of compassion, which I had missed very much. In my wounded and dazed state, I attempted to sit up slowly, unsure where I was or what had happened. At once, the woman reached for a fragment of silk around the shoulder of her once beautiful dress and tore it off. She drew an involuntary hiss as she placed the fabric on my head. “Do you remember what happened?” she asked with a cautious tenderness. She inspected my hands and noticed a mark on my wrist, “A tattoo?” she asked, shocked as she ran her finger over it. She leaned in closer, and I felt her cool breath on my skin as she studied the delicate embroidery on my sleeve. Her finger grazed the material softly, and her gaze traveled up to meet mine. “What fine clothes,” she said, admiring the stitching, “Are you of royalty? What kingdom are you from?” she asked.

My eyes darted around the room as I racked my brain for an answer, but nothing surfaced. I finally sighed and said, “I don’t know.”

“You have a nasty head wound,” she said, peering at the side of my head. She lifted the cloth, only to realize the bleeding hadn’t stopped. “You probably hit your head; you’ll remember. Just give it time.” She unraveled the fabric, winding it around my head and knotting it in the back. “Do you remember how old you are?” I shook my head no. She grabbed my face and tilted it to the side, eyes sweeping over me like an auctioneer assessing a painting. “Oh, I’d say around twelve—my son James is that age.”

With a regal gesture, she extended her hand, “I’m Queen Lily of Kingdom Cornea,” she said with poise and authority, “What’s your name?”

In my mind, I heard my name ringing like a bell, lingering in the air. I searched for an answer, but I couldn’t find one. All I could do was shake my head, “no.”

Gently, she pushed away a few strands of loose hair from my forehead and tucked them behind my ear. She seemed lost in thought for a moment, her brows furrowed and her lips pursed. Then, suddenly, her face brightened. She uttered the words slowly, almost tenderly. “That’s okay. How about we call you…. Emelia, for the time being. Just until you remember.”

I gave a weak, reassuring smile and nodded, feeling a slight glimmer of hope. I could see in Queen Lily’s eyes that the name she had given me meant something, and having a name was the first sign that this world wasn’t completely foreign to me. Even if the name wasn’t my own, it gave me a sense of identity.

The sound of heavy boots stomping against the stone floor slowly filled the chamber. My heart raced, and my breathing became shallow as I felt Lily tense up before me. The smell of stale beer, sweat, and desperation penetrated the air as two men entered the space. Lily stepped forward, her voice low and determined, “Get behind me.” Without hesitation, I moved swiftly to stand behind her.

The leader’s cracked, leathery lips parted as he spoke her name. “Queen Lily.” He leaned down, pushing his face forward to peek around her dress. “Hello, there,” he said as he shifted his eyes towards me, standing in the shadows behind Queen Lily. Fear pulsed through my veins as I felt the room close in around me.

Lily pushed me further behind her and out of view, “We need bandages. You savages hurt this poor girl.” I felt her stiffen as if steeling herself against the men before her. Her voice echoed in the night air, ringing with determination and pride. I peeked from behind her, my hands clenching her dress, and I saw the strength of a queen in her eyes, the strength of a ruler who would never bow down or give up. She stood tall and unafraid of the very men that snatched her from her kingdom.

“Yes. I heard about that, and I assure you he was dealt with.” The man looked down at the blood dripping from his hand and proceeded to wipe it onto his navy blue shirt. His face had a cold, cruel look about it as if he were accustomed to having his orders followed without question. His black eyes then flicked up to meet ours, and he introduced himself curtly. “My name is Hayes, and I’ll be your host for the rest of your lives.” He then flashed a half-smile that revealed his teeth, which were as white as pearls but sharp as daggers. With that, Hayes turned on his heel, his long black coat swishing around him and his men scurrying after him like obedient dogs. His haunting laughter echoed in our ears as the heavy iron door slammed shut, trapping us in our tiny concrete prison cell once again.

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