Folding the jeans, Lyla placed them in the suitcase, eyeing her friend who lay sprawled on her bed.
“Do you have to go all the way to Kryos? I mean you can get a better job in Brighbrook.” Alice sat up straighter, switching her phone off.
“This is the seventh time you’ve asked me. I am going and nothing you say will change my mind.” she smiled sarcastically, tucking her bra in the suitcase.
“You are mean.”
“And clever. Imagine the opportunity I am getting. Going to work in Kryos kingdom; just try and imagine that.” she sighed and fell on the bed beside her friend, already imagining all the amazing things, the great scenery she would enjoy in Kryos…it felt like a dream come true.
A few weeks ago, the education board had called Lyla, surprising her with news of a lifetime. She had scored a teaching job in Kryos Kingdom; said to be one of the most diverse, heterogeneous kingdoms- formidable and utterly beautiful and led by a real-life Ice king!
“You better call me every second of the day,” Alice warned, her pout too cute.
“Every second. I promise.” she hugged her friend, enjoying her familiar warmth.
“And if you don’t, I will come there personally and strangle you.” Alice hugged her back, Lyla already missing her.
“You’ll have to go through so much paperwork and then after all that- the number of tests needed by the health department- it’s not worth it,” she replied, breaking the hug.
The process of traveling to a kingdom was frustrating and extremely hectic to deal with. Loads and loads of paperwork and then tests to see if the person has any diseases; all personal questions that followed after had made her blush in response.
She had lost her mind just filling the paperwork and she didn’t want to go through it again- it was hell.
“Maybe you’re right. I don’t want to waste my time only to strangle you. You’re not worth it.” Lyla gasped, hitting her friend with a pillow, barely missing her laughing face.
The luggage was hauled in the boot of the car, her face sweating with exertion as she wiped her forehead.
Glancing at her childhood home where she had spent twenty-two years of her life, which had so many memories in her mother’s house, her father, all of them- she felt the nostalgic feeling of going back in time when her mother was still alive and well.
“Got everything sorted out?” her dad’s voice boomed, as she turned to face him. He was dressed in his usual t-shirt and the signature cargo pants that she would miss. The man had been there for her as a father and a mother.
“Yeah, I got everything.”
“Brighbrook won’t be the same without you Lyla.” he hugged her softly, planting a kiss on her head. He would always show his affection through actions; she could tell that the hug and kiss meant he would miss her terribly, then he let on.
“I’ll come to visit if I can. Kryos is just around the corner.” she smiled up at him, fingering her mother’s necklace- the last material thing that she had adamantly kept.
“Let’s get in. You have a flight to catch.” they both nodded and entered the SUV, Lyla’s heart pounding as they took off.
The airport was crowded with people from all walks of life, and the excited screams from the children were deafening. She dragged the trolley behind her, watching everyone depart to their respective kingdoms and some headed to the human towns.
The excitement buzz rubbed on Lyla, making her feel like she was about to start a new chapter in her life; as a motivational boost that she needed at this point in life.
The regulations were printed in big, block letters for every passenger to carefully read and understand and how to act in a specific Kingdom, regarding their cultures and all.
The world was made up of the four kingdoms; earth, fire, air, and water Kingdoms- well everyone knew the water as the ice Kingdom. It was quite confusing.
When chaos intervened centuries ago, the four kingdoms were made to put each and everyone in their place and given a sense of belonging- kind of like a home for every single being.
That way there was no more war between the kingdoms, no more fighting to gain more power; and a council was erected to help those in need and guide the kingdoms.
There was a hierarchy in every kingdom, the most powerful one, also known as the ruler or king of the Kingdom, had the power to control the elements in the way they wanted, to establish rules, and make sure the rules were applied.
Then came the civilians that had no power whatsoever, which was why they depended heavily on the King to guide them; and a council was erected as a backbone for the four Kingdoms and as a support system to the residents of the Kingdoms.
Humans like her were scattered everywhere, living in similar human towns or others would live in Kingdoms, asking permission from the King himself.
But as a human, living in a Kingdom was no easy task; they were treated as a minority group since they didn’t have a superior figure on their heads and everyone thought humans were responsible for corruption and violence.
“OK honey, make sure to call me once you reach” she saw her dad haul the second bag near her feet, “There is always a place for you, here in Brighbrook.” her dad hugged her, silently supporting her through his gesture.
“Love you, honey.”
“Love you, dad.”
Lyla’s nerves were all over the place as she sat on her designated seat, trying to maintain her composure. The pregnant lady beside her seemed nonchalant as ever, flicking through the pregnancy book with ease.
She was taking, probably the biggest step of her life, settling in an unknown Kingdom all by herself- it was terrifying for a mere human like herself.
“Where are you traveling to?” the pregnant woman smiled at her.
“Kryos Kingdom. You?” her eyes widened at Lyla’s answer, completely disregarding her questions as she leaned forward, the book completely forgotten.
“Did you know that it’s the first Kingdom to have an illegitimate king?” The statement was so absurd and random that Lyla had to refocus on the topic.
“The king- he wasn’t supposed to take the seat; instead he snatched it from the rightful heir.” The lady continued talking.
“Uh…well good for them. I haven’t researched on the history-”
“I am just saying that it was so bad for a child born out of wedlock. How would he show his face to the rest of the world?”
Okay, the woman was speaking too much for her good, but the sudden announcement saved Lyla from a lecture.
“Please settle down ma’am.” the air hostess smiled at the two, forcing the pregnant woman to move to her seat.
Lyla thanked her stars and pulled the seat belt, heart in her throat as the large aircraft moved
She was never a fan of heights; the thought of being suspended in mid-air inside a large metal contraption was enough to send her praying for her life and everyone on board.
The plane ride went fairly smooth, just a few bumps on the way that had her almost pissing her pants. They had entered the Kryos atmosphere, the change welcoming as she quickly donned the jumper Alice had packed in her carry-on.
The sight was one to behold, and she felt like she had stepped into a fairy-tale-like universe with white snow that blanketed every corner.
Large buildings stood erect, boasting the ice architecture with such intensity, and not to mention the sheer magnanimous size and beautifully decorated designs.
The sky was a brilliant blue, contrasting well with the snow that blanketed the area. Lyla’s mouth was probably touching the floor as she took in the frozen river which stretched out across the whole town that expanded as far as she could see- it was a really large Kingdom.
There was way more to discover than she had initially thought.
Huge statues were stationed randomly, tall and big, telling the breathtaking history of Kryos Kingdom; and not to mention the number of people that lived in the city, all royally dressed and enjoying themselves, wearing the proud colors of Kryos- an aesthetic combination of white and gold.
Walking out of the airport, she spotted the sign that had her name on it, the person holding it, an older man with a certain aura around him.
“Hello? Are you here to pick me up?” she pointed at the sign, rolling the two bags behind her.
“You must be Lyla Wright. Welcome to Kryos Kingdom, I am Devior.” He put the sign down, giving her his hand to shake. “Nice to meet you, Lyla Wright.”
“Nice to meet you to Devior- please call me Lyla.” She requested, watching the two men quickly pick her luggage and run to the car.
“The king himself requested me to pick you up. He was quite busy to drop by.” Devior smiled, holding the car door for her.
She was thoroughly confused as to why the King would pick her up. She didn’t know the old man personally and couldn’t make any understanding of Devior’s statement.
“We have your house prepared like promised in the contract, plus the King has ordered for you to accept some welcoming gifts.”
“That wasn’t in the contract?’ the car paved smoothly across the road her eyes drifting from the scenery to face the man beside her.
“Yes, it was a more personal request.”
The car settled in a comfortable, slightly awkward silence as the driver maneuvered the car further away from the hustle and bustle of the city, to a quieter part.
She looked out the window, the car halting in front of a house that looked big enough for her. It was placed away from the crowded civilization, pine trees scattered behind the house giving it a homey vibe.
It was built with hard ice that looked opaque and the size was more than enough for a single person living in it.
Her boots crunched the snow-filled ground as she took in the house with the utmost appreciation. Lyla was certainly not expecting something this good when they stated that the Kingdom would provide accommodations.
She was thinking of a small apartment, with a roommate, but she got a whole house to herself; it was way better than she thought.
Lyla looked over at Devior, his expectant eyes trained on her, probably waiting for an answer, “It’s not what I was expecting.” She replied honestly, turning to face the house once more.
“I am glad we succeeded your expectations, Miss Wright.”
“But is the inside warm? I possibly cannot survive the immense cold. I am only human.” Devior laughed at her pout, escorting her towards the house.
“We also cannot survive the cold; except the king that is. All our buildings, houses, and shops have underground heating systems, so you don’t have to worry.”
Lyla nodded in thought, entering the house that she would soon call hers. The luggage was already inside and Devior stood on the threshold, not wanting to enter.
“The guide will see you tomorrow, to represent the Kryos kingdom and give you a tour of your working place.” He smiled and waved the driver away.
“Thank you once again for everything.”
“Have a good day Lyla. I hope to see you soon.” He added and walked away, the coat billowing in the windy weather
Waving one more time, she walked in and closed the door, sighing pleasurably at the warm heat that enveloped her- the heating system was working just fine.
Entering the living room, she was greeted with a whole furnished area, including two long sofas that took half of the space, a television mounted on the far end of the wall; and a small coffee table that boasted few artifacts.
It had a simplistic view and gave off an intimate feel.
She gazed at the long walls of empty shelves, promising herself to indulge in bookkeeping that she couldn’t do back in Brighbrook.
The rest of the house consisted of two bedrooms, an en suite bathroom in one of the bedrooms, a kitchenette, a living room, and a small storage facility.
The kitchenette was tiny and enough for a person living alone; equipped with white granite countertops, and appliances. The fridge was already stocked, saving her a trip to the grocery store.
She pulled her luggage back into the main bedroom, deciding on a long, hot shower and a nice nap to follow.
The master bedroom on the other hand was huge, white walls and golden curtains and sheets contrasted well. The ensuite was well deserved with a simple shower and tub and a toilet.
She smiled, gruntled at her new home as she pulled her pajamas and headed to shower, with hopes of meeting her new life tomorrow, head-on.