The people in this era lived a simple life. There was no electricity, electronic devices, nor were there showers with hot water. During the day, windows are open with curtains to shade the shining sun. At night, the fire kept everybody warm and lit the way home. People traveled by foot or by horses or carriages.
Weaponry wasn’t advanced. There were no guns, grenades, or bombs. The military were filled with strong fighters and swordsmen.
The lands were vast. In The Hierripia era, there were a total of four kings who ruled and owned these vast land and body of waters that surrounds their land. All situated in different part of lands and separated by vast amount of water. There was King Brennan who ruled the North land, King Charles who ruled the East land. King Henry who ruled the West land. Lastly, King George who ruled the South land.
All kings have well established treaty amongst their neighbors, but that didn’t mean they were all friends. The four Kings still hold a strong awareness to their land and the people they protect.
King Charles is very good friend with King Brennan. At the age of eighteen, they were caught in a very bad situation in which King Brennan saved King Charles life. It was then the two became fast friends and their alliance held strong to this day.
As they grew older and found their Queens, King Brennan’s wife gave birth to a very handsome baby boy. As if fate was playing in their favors, a year later King Charles’s wife gave birth to two twins-a girl and a boy. Immediately, King Brennan insisted that King Charles allow his daughter to become his son’s betrothed.
A promise was made.
The two kings did it to keep their alliance and friendship strong.
Who knew that twenty years later after their children’s twenty first birthday that one life changing decision from one of them could change their destiny forever.
Quinn shifted in her seat for the hundredth time. Through the small shaded curtain inside the carriage she could see that it was getting darker. She remembered what King Charles have told her about when they will be arriving. They should be arriving any minute now . She could almost feel the anxiety that was eating at her skin.
The reminder of her skin made her glance down at the beautiful soft jasmine gown she was wearing. King Charles and Queen Elizabeth has spent a week asking the seamstress to stitch up many gowns for her to wear. During that time, she was scrubbed raw with a rough sponge and her skin was then lightly cleaned with a special body scrub made of natural ingredients. She could still smell the rose petals on her skin. The maids practically scrubbed it into her pores.
The curtain to the front of the carriage opened and her dear old friend, Larry peeked inside. “We have arrived, Quinn. Do you see the tall gates and fortress wall ahead of you?”
She shifted over to the window and opened the curtains to peek outside. Indeed, they have arrived. The walls that protect the castle stood high. She was a tiny little ant compared to this way. Her hands began to sweat as they rounded the corner and approached the entrance.
She saw Larry lifted the royal emblem that allowed him entrance from the gatekeepers. Suddenly, she was finding it a little unbearable to breathe. She couldn’t pass as a princess. They will know right away that she was an imposter.
King Charles and Queen Elizabeth spent a week teaching her what she needed to know but it wasn’t enough. In order to become Queen, you had to have spent years learning about manners, lineage, mathematics, and learning to read. She could barely read a sentence.
The carriage came to a startling halt.
Was it time already?
It was only a second ago they were by the gates.
Larry hopped up and a minute later the door to the carriage swung open. He waited for her to step out. Quinn was frozen her spot. Minutes passed and finally Larry’s head peeked inside.
“Quinn, what are you doing? Come out, child.” He scolded.
“I-I can’t do this, Larry. They will know and what if they kill me. What would I do then? I don’t want to die, Larry.” She could feel tears threatening to spill.
“It’s too late to go back. Now get your arse out here before they start suspecting.” He spoke rapidly in an undertone. She could see the panic clear in his eyes as well as the sympathy.
She nodded and began to scoot off the carriage.
“What is taking so long?” A low deep voice asked.
Her heart skipped a beat and her eyes flickered up to find Larry outside talking to the man. Quickly, she got out of the carriage. Careful not to trip over her gown. When both of her feet were firmly set on the ground she let go of her gown and looked up.
The voices had gone quiet and she wondered what the cause of the silence was. She looked from her left to her right before finding Larry bowing down in front of a very handsome man. She knew immediately this was the prince. The way he was dress and even the way his posture stood. He held his hand behind his back and his eyes found hers the minute she found him.
His eyes...they were unbelievably brown like brownies that just warmly came of the oven. She thanked his thick jet black hair that was slicked back. It allowed her to see how beautiful his eyes were in the sun. Her eyes dipped lower and followed his strong defined straight nose to his evenly shaped lips. She could stare at him all day but when Larry cleared his throat she realized she was ogling him with no shame.
Her eyes fell to the ground immediately and she did a small curtsied as she was taught a few days ago.
“I apologize for my late arrival, Prince Miles. I hope you did not have to wait too long.” She spoke so quietly she wondered if he even heard her.
Before Prince Miles could answer, another voice came from behind him. She peeked from underneath her eyelashes to see King Brennan walking down the steps with his Queen. Queen Scarlett was as beautiful as the people of the land have rumored. Even with age, the woman looked younger than her years.
“I am so happy you arrived safely, Cora.” He smiled brightly at me.
He looked much friendlier than his son who apparently was scowling now at Quinn after his initial piercing evaluation of her earlier. King Brennan pulled her into a hug.
“How is your old man? I hope he is doing well?” He asked when he pulled back.
“Brennan, we should let Cora rest. She must be exhausted from the extraneous travel.” Queen Scarlett chided her husband before smiling at Quinn.
Honestly, sleep sounds really good at the moment. She hadn’t had good sleep for over a week. It was constantly teaching and waking up earlier to teach her proper etiquette of a princess. Carriage rides are no fun too. It was bumpy and her back ached.
“That sounds extremely good at the moment.” She replied honestly.
King Brennan chuckled. “Alright, I guess we can question you later. Miles, why don’t you show Cora her to her room? I’ll have the servants bring up her luggage.”
Prince Miles nodded before moving to offer Quinn his hand. She stared at blankly before remembering that it was only proper that he led her inside by holding her hand. Slowly, she inched her small hand into his overly sized one. She felt his fingers tightened around her hand to keep her firmly locked in his grasp before gesturing for them to walk.
They walked up the steps quietly and alone. When she saw that he wasn’t going to start any kind of conversation she decided to take the opportunity to appreciate their castle. It was big and beautiful just like King Charles and Queen Elizabeth. Expensive marble flooring and walls. The castle had a few tapestries hanging from the walls and expensive rugs.
She noticed that the servants were already beginning to light the home with small dimly lit candles that lined the walls. Many of them stopped to look their way shyly but with curious gaze.
Prince Miles strides were a lot bigger than hers. So, she found herself almost running to catch up when they hit the second floor of the castle. She was use to running because as a lady’s maid she had to wait on Princess Cora often. However, Quinn has never run in heels before.
“Prince Miles...” She whispered softly.
He kept walking ahead as if he didn’t hear her. So, she cleared her throat and spoke a little louder.
“Prince Miles...” She raised her voice slightly.
His footsteps stopped instantly, and he turned to look at her. She felt heat crawling on her cheeks giving evidence of her shyness.
“Yes?” He raised an eyebrow at her.
“C-can we slow down a little?” She asked.
His eyebrows wrinkled in confusion. “And why?”
How does she tell him that her feet hurt from all the running?
The heels were digging into the back of her heels. When she didn’t speak he took another step forward which resulted in pulling her along with him. She let out a small pained sound which halted his footsteps again.
His eyes narrowed suspiciously. “What’s wrong? Is something ailing you?”
She shook her head. “I am ill. It’s just that the carriage ride was very tense. My body aches and it will help if you slow down a little.”
He didn’t seem convinced but nodded his agreement. “I apologize, I wasn’t thinking. I have forgotten your long travel.”
Their pace slowed completely, and Prince Miles hold on her hand slackened a little but he kept a close eye on her. When they finally arrived at her door, he stopped and cleared his throat. She looked up at him and watched how his adams apple bobbed up and down before he spoke.
“This is your bedroom,” He pointed to the door behind her before pointing to the one next to her. “That one is mine.”
She must’ve sent him a confused look because he answered her question shortly after, “You are my betrothed. Sleeping next to me seemed to be the most logical thing according to my parents. If you feel uncomfortable I can ask to have your room changed.”
She shook her head. The amount of time finding her a new room will be too long. She was exhausted and needed sleep. Plus, she didn’t want to bother anyone this late when the sun was already setting down.
“I am fine.” She replied. “Thank you for considering my feelings.”
He nodded before turning to open her door. He waited for her to enter but remained outside her door. It was only proper. He couldn’t enter without an invitation from her. However, she could see how his eyes seemed to look over her room. The sound of footsteps behind him told her that the servants were coming up with her luggage.
Three maid servants walked in with her leather luggage. She thanked them for carrying her stuff and they all smiled softly at her before bowing their heads and walking out.
“I will be in the next room if you need anything. Otherwise, if you need a servant you can just pull the rope by the bed over there and it will wake up a servant to assist you if needed.” He pointed to behind her. She turned and did indeed see the rope hanging from the wall beside her bed.
“Thank you, Prince Miles. You have been very kind.” She answered him.
“You can call me Miles.” He said from the doorway.
Should she invite him in? It will be completely improper to do so. Only her wedded husband had that permission at least that was what she remembered from what Queen Elizabeth told her. She felt bad though.
She cleared her throat and gave him a sincere smile. “Then you can call me Q-Cora.”
He stared at her for a very long time. She the earlier anxiety prickle her skin again. His eyes were almost too observing as if he was trying to figure her out.
He nodded after a long minute passed. “Good night, Cora.”
He shut her bedroom door leaving her alone. She sighed and popped her heels off before collapsing in bed in a very unladylike manner. A knock on her door splashed her tired body with cold water.
“Cora?” Miles voice came from the other side of the door again.
She scrambled to her feet before padding over to open the door.
Was it her or was he at least an inch or two taller now?
He glanced down at her seeing what she was seeing. She had taken off her heels. She gave him an embarrassed smile.
“I apologize, I do not have my shoes on. I had wanted to answer the door too quickly.” She explained.
His lips twitched a little before it disappeared. “I just wanted to tell you that breakfast tomorrow is when the sun is just over the horizon.”
She nodded. “Thank you for telling me. I’ll see you tomorrow at breakfast then. Good night, Miles.”
Again the door closed between them. She sighed and her shoulder slumped. Being a princess was too much work. She sighed again and walked back to her bed where she collapsed onto it again. She should really take off her dress. It will wrinkle but she was too exhausted.