Chapter One – A Fixed Marriage
Ch’ing Shin-li Says?
Every typical girl-next-door always dream of a perfect fairy tale, right? Or simply just a happy ending. Yes, of course. Who else is not? Every girl wants to be a princess like Cinderella, wherein her prince charming help her to put on the glass shoes and boom! The result is happy ever after. It will also be something like Belle, Aurora or Snow White wherein the magic of kiss can make wonders. Absolutely!
Just like most of the populace, I also dream to become one. Wait; definitely, I am one - because I am a real princess, right? However, I am not the typical princess that is living on those fairy tales in Walt Disney because I have a different kind of story. Mine is a whirlwind and it does not have magic. In addition, if you think that this epic tale of my life has its own happily ever after? Well, my prince charming says, on real life, our love story never have a happy ending , but just a series of new beginnings and unending love stories with its next chapters. Wait, let me correct that prince charming part - let us just say, he is not a prince charming for his princess only deserves a knight in shining armor.
Arggh, that part still makes me wonder who is this knight that I really deserves the best. You know who?
Okay, let us just start the story now. . .
Once upon a time, there was a lonely princess named Snowy Shin-li [wait, don’t dare interfere for that is my revision name of Snow white!], who happened to ate a poisonous apple made by her witchy, evil step mother that is very jealous to her ever since. Now, she is lying on her casket, waiting for her prince charming to come and gave her a magic kiss that can give back her life.
Wait? What is this? Why do I have the feeling that mosquitoes out there are already feasting on my nose?
Ha-ha-ha-chooo! Sniff! Sniff!
I stretch my arms as I move a little bit to shift on a sitting position on my casket. Turn around. Left. Right. Left. Right.
Arggh! Huh! Why is that my prince charming takes it too long before he gets here and kiss me?
*Sounds of running horses*
Wait? What is that? Oh-my! It is he. I need to get back to sleep. Therefore, that is it. I lay on my casket again and close my eyes with a big smile.
He is here. I knew it. One-step closer. Two steps. Three steps. Now, he is here in front of me and about to kiss me -------------------- because of too much excitement, I open my eyes, then, it’s not a prince but a. . . . . KNIGHT?
“Hey! Young lady what’s the matter?”
It was then that I realized that I am only gone dreaming after I shouted and throw my textbooks on the face of my master [meaning, private teacher], Mr. Dylan Sy.
“Hahahahah, Laugh trip! Hahahahah,” I laugh as I see his red face. “Hahahahah,” I laugh with matching tapping my fist on the table.
This time, he is the one who shouts.
“Ooops, sorry!” I said with my killer/teasing/sarcastic smile.
I think I made him angry again. Seriously, that is funny, except on that weird dream. So weird. Why is that my tall, dark and handsome prince charming turned out to be a freaky knight? Yuck! Erase. Erase.
Back to reality. I am still here on my very big and cozy and well-ventilated, elegant study room with a very big and elegant study table, surrounded by too many, very big and elegant bookshelves full of elegant books. Exaggerated? Well, not really, because my descriptions are still none compared to the actual place.
Anyway, if our dear author forgot to mention it - I am Ch’ing Shin-li. Shin-li for short. I am 17 years old. The only daughter of Ch’ing monarchy and probably their crown princess. Everyone used to call me young woman, even my parents. Our family are just only one of the few remaining descendants of Manchu dynasty. Know what? Our family is not really that old style for our kingdom is now already turned out to be something modern. Just think of Queen Elizabeth II of UK and her home. That is it. We also used modern gadgets like televisions, computers, cellphones, iPod, cassettes or whatsoever. Only except for clothes. Well, let us just say, we had better stay on the ancestral Chinese fashion. Whatever.
Wait, if you are wondering what I am doing here with Mr. Dylan, oh well, of course I am studying. He is my personal teacher. Exactly thirteen years older than I am. He is like a brother to me - they say. Well, as if I care.
[a/n: Dylan Sy is Shin-li’s teacher/butler/bodyguard]
Anyway, sometimes, I hate it every time they lock us on this room with this man and his unstop lecturing. What I am trying to say is I am still a normal human being. Hello? I need fresh air. New environment, or so it is. I also need friends.
I do not need to be expose on the commoners!
As if, they will swallow me. Or eat me? Or else they are wild beast?
I cannot imagine.
This place really sucks. Definitely, study time is boring, that is why I always dreamed of a prince to save me.
Oh my Romeo! Where art thou? I am Juliet and I need thine hand to fetch me from this hell. Huh!
A futile idea again. Who is this Romeo anyway?
“Young lady, if your concentration is not on our lesson, mind sharing me your thoughts?”
Oh, car crash! I almost throw myself out there due to shock because of that unexpected statement. Can’t he notice that I am imagining things? Can’t he mind his own? I almost die due to shock. Yeah, right? Shock is fatal if you are bored. Hmp >.<
Mr. Dylan use both his hands as a support on his head, legs cross, and he is looking at me.
I wonder what Gheo’to is doing today?
For sure, he is enjoying while I am here. Poor me :(
“Change topic, please,” I answered effortless.
“Miss Shin-li, can you please act as a woman now? Few months later, you will be eighteen, and yet you still seems like a ten year old.”
“Am I?” Ooops. I move back to my seat. My manners again. Nevertheless, I cannot help it to shout whenever they say that I am that childish. I mean, I only want a freedom. Why is that it is hard for them to understand? What is the problem of these people?
“Young lady, I am still your master,” he said firmly.
Whatever. As if I forgot that, I am still their LITTLE MISS!
“Ooops, sorry, I think I gonna pee! B-bye!” I wave then head off.
I can still here Mr. Dylan shouts for ‘Young Lady’ but I do not care. I run as fast as I can in order to escape my bodyguards.
Wow! Hello freedom! I stretch my both arms. This is what I want. I changes my princess suits for a cowboy suit, hat and leather boots. Of course, my bow and arrow - the love of my life!
I always longed for this life. The life that I really wanted. Because I am smart, I also made it to use Pegasus, my horse and gatecrash the palace. Anyway, I forgot to mention, we are on the farthest corner part of Beijing and it is almost a province, so, it is still convenient to use horses.
I love this.
* * * * *
YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! I made it to catch a rabbit with the used of my archery skill :)
“I thought you are Snow white? That means, you care for animals,” Gheo’to tease me.
How did he know? Did I tell him that I am fond of Snow White? How gross!
“Of course I know. We were friends ever since,” he smiles then winks at me.
I smirks at him. “You just say that because I am the one who catch this.”
He taps my forehead then smile.
“What was that for? Hey!”
Gheo’to only smiles at me then continue on walking.
“Gio!” I shouts as I tried to catch up with him.
“You need to thank me,” he said as he stops on walking.
Thank him? Why? Did he do me a favor?
I gave him an astonish look with matching crossing my both arms.
“Hey stop that, it not suits you,” he laugh.
“Ouch, what’s that?” he ask.
I only gave him a smirk, then head off. Seriously, it is not funny, that is why I gave him a heavy blow on the head.
I am a fighter, remember?
Honestly, I have no idea, whatever he had done for me. Wait a minute! I remember that I deceit him and threatens him that I am still the princess and I should be the one to win. Yeah, right. It is our contest between the two of us - Gio and me. Whoever the first who will catch the rabbit will be the winner and the loser will treat whosoever wins. That is it.
No offense huh? I just only made the rule that only females are the one allowed to use weapons. Haha. Peace ^_^\/
Okay, fine. Seriously, that is unfair>.<
Anyway, who cares? I am still the boss. Hmp!
In addition, he is my best friend. . .
“Okay, young lady, since you won, I’ll treat you,” Gio said while putting his hand around my shoulder. “It’s our deal, remember?”
Did he say treat? Hmmm, I like freebies!
“Sure, deal,” I said with matching thumbs up.
Yuan Gheo’to Says?
“Okay, young lady, I’ll treat you,” I said as I put my arm around her shoulder. I exactly know her, including her flaws, strengths and weaknesses.
Impossible girl! Imagine? She do everything just to defeat me, even setting rules that are only favorable to her. If I know, she only wants treats. Yes, her biggest weakness are freebies.
“Sure, deal,” she answered with that big smile and matching thumbs up. Haha, laugh trip! Told ya!
Wait, did she forgot to tell you guys that I am her best friend?
Yes, we are childhood buddies, and until now, we still are. Do you know what makes me stay clinging on her? I think, it is because she cannot live without my presence. Anyway, honestly, in spite of that strong front of her, hides a weary lonely soul. I used to protect her ever since from emotional pain, though she never realize it. Know what? That girl, though it is not obvious, is a loner. She never been a friend to anybody else, because her strict parents never give her a chance.
Or maybe they did once? I do not remember much of it, neither she. Fun facts about her, SHE IS SHORT TERM MEMORY. That is the only explanation I know. And wait, she hates TARGET SHOOTING or every topic that do anything about guns or pistols. Do not ask me why, because it really is a long story that even she, already forgets about it a very long time ago. Short term memory, remember?
Anyway, before I forgot to introduce myself, I am Yuan Gheo’to. Just Gio for short. I am 18 years old. I am the son of Yuan Yu Tze, the king’s secretary of state. Unlike Shin-li, I went to a normal international school in Beijing. I also stays on a boarding house and only goes home on our village every Saturday. Therefore, we have only a little time for each other :(
Just to share you a little secret, this girl is the one who truly captures my heart, but since she is slow, she have no idea about it. Gets?
“Gio, look at those lanterns, that’s cute.” she said while eating ice cream in popsicles sticks. She is really so cute.
Ch’ing Shin-li Says?
What is the matter with Gio? I just notice that after he buy me an ice cream pop, he just only keep silent. Moreover, why do I have the feeling that he just always keeps on staring at me? Never mind, it is just my imagination.
“Gio, look at those lanterns, that’s cute,” I said as I look at him. Just like what I had expected, his mind is on somewhere else I do not really know.
Wait; did I forgot to mention that today is the lantern festival? This is one of those reasons why I really love this place.
Gio and I just spent the afternoon on horseback riding, archery, eating ice cream, watching fireworks, and lifting of colorful lanterns. That is why I love my best friend! He really knows how to make me happy.
Wait, do not get me wrong. It is just only a friendly love, okay.
Back to the palace.
I guess, I should prepare my legs now? Let us just say, mama already had her meter stick again for my disciplinary action. You know what I mean. Who cares? I am already numb of it.
Okay, I already know it. Huh!
“For sure, mama will give me a disciplinary action again, right? Alright, tell her I’m coming,” I said sarcastically.
“Young lady.” this time he repeat those words with a much louder tone and with a little PANIC?
“Mr. Dylan, what?”
He grab my wrist then throw me a sincere look.
“Not now of your tantrums young lady, “Dylan said as he shook his head. “the King Xander Waldorf wants to see you Miss Shin-li.”
The King? What?
What is the matter with him again? He usually do not want to see me.Even he is my father, he is very busy that is why I am always with Gio or with the maids and my bodyguards. My mother? The same. They always cared for their money and their sovereign territories.
I guess, they even care more on their feud among the prime minister’s party compared to their only daughter. Take note, ONLY DAUGHTER!
Wait, before I forgot to mention, my father, King Xander Waldorf is not Chinese or came from Ch’ing’s clan. He is a British English. Son of Steve Marfori Waldorf, the CEO and president of EL FRONTIER, the biggest and greatest ship line company in the world. He married Shin-di Ch’ing, which was the crowned princess that time, but never had a child on her until her death on a car crash 20 years ago. Three years later, my Papa married Mama Anne Denver, a Bulgarian. Therefore, as the story goes, I am not a real Chinese. I am a 50% Bulgarian, 25% British and 25% English. In China, I decided to use Ch’ing Shin-li in honor for Princess Shin-di, the Great. I guess, it is just more of an honorific title just like that of a pope. For example, John Paul II or Benedict XVI. However, my English name is Shantal Denver Waldorf.
Being not of a Chinese blood is obvious on my physical appearance, because, I look like my mother. Anyway, I never see my mom because she died in an eye cancer when I was five years old. I cannot even remember my memories spent with her.
Last year, Papa married Ch’ing Xiao Fan, Shin-di’s third degree cousin, and they say that she always completes the mother figure to which I lacked of.
As if? Even I call her mama, I never like her. She is a great pretender. If I know, she also hates me and not want me to be her daughter. Such a whirlwind, right?
“Young lady, as you can see . . . ,” Papa, stated,” few months later, you are now 18 years old. Isn’t that the right age to be getting married?”
I getting married?
“What marriage are you talking about, papa?” I asked.
“After your 18th birthday, you will be getting married sooner later.”