Chapter Thirteen, Season One - Arrival (a)
The birds started singing as I stood in front of my mirror, studying my reflection. The rays of the sun, illuminating the crystals embedded on my white coat. My hair combed back to show the features of my face.
I don’t like this kind of outfit but my mother said I had to be at my best. Being a king doesn’t require your comfort. It requires you to show your majestic flair and it must be incorporated into how you dress.
I let out a sigh as I tugged on my coat one last time and headed to the door, praying in my head that everything goes well for me today and for the rest of our stay here.
Stepping out on the dock, everyone was busy, chatting and walking around with various items. Some are bringing our things down on the dock, and some are occupied with sails and everyone is just walking around. You can hear constant shouts from above, trying to contact those who are down below.
“Your Highness,” a man came up to me, bowing. “Her Majesty is already off the ship. She’s currently waiting for you by the carriage.”
“Thank you,” I smiled.
He bowed and ran off without saying another word. Perhaps he has something else to do.
Taking one final look around me, I began my walk to the carriage. As I approached the steps off the ship, I finally laid my eyes on the beauty of the kingdom. Up in the sky, three rainbows surrounded the kingdom. Birds are singing and flying, showing their freedom.
As I walked down the steps, I took a good look at how people dress in this kingdom. The ones whom I think are of royalty, don’t dress extravagantly. They all have their gowns, coats, and oversized hats that cover almost half of their faces. But the designs are quite simplistic. Not too flashy.
And for those whom I think are peasants - servants - I’m amazed that they don’t wear rags or close to nothing. What they wear were regular clothes, it all seems newly sewn. Everything is just neat and tidy here and I’m amazed at how that is.
“Your Highness,” two guards beside me bowed as I stepped foot on the harbor. “The carriage is right this way.” One of the guards led the way and the other stood behind me. I continued to look around, taking everything in as we headed to the carriage.
Some fishermen were tying their boats onto the dock, some of them carrying multiple buckets that are probably filled with fish. Everyone was smiling and talking to one another. I looked ahead of me and I saw the castle on the peak of the mountain, close enough to touch the sky above it.
Its colors are going with the gentle wind, its white painted walls make it stand out with the help of the sun. Down the mountain, I could see a long wall before disappearing into the woods. The architecture of this place is impeccable.
I should get more inspiration from this kingdom when it comes to making a whole nation aesthetically pleasing to the eyes.
“Your Highness,” the guard in front of me bowed, opening the carriage door as we arrived in front of it. Mother was already in the carriage but she’s currently taking her nap. I nodded and carefully entered the carriage. I don’t want to disturb Mother.
As queen, she would be doing a lot more work than me. She will be representing the kingdom more than I will. She will be representing the crown of the Western Wind more than I will. She will be representing James more than I will.
After the guards climbed behind the carriage, we began our journey up the castle. The maidens and other guards are in a separate carriage behind us and the guards are on their horses in front, beside the carriages, and behind us as well. James made sure that his queen and heir would return to Western Wind in one piece and not in a coffin.
After an hour and a half of traveling, we finally entered the gates of the castle. The gates slowly opened on their own with the guards lined up from the entrance leading up to the castle.
“Mother?” I gently tapped her, trying to wake her up. “Mother?” After a few more attempts to make her wake up, her eyes gently opened.
“Yes, dear?” she asked, stretching her limbs a bit.
“We’ve arrived,” I smiled.
She put her hand on mine and looked out the window. “Ah, we are, indeed,” she remarked.
We started to circle the enormous fountain in the middle. Looking out the window, there are already people waiting for us by the entrance. A red carpet was rolled from the door to the front. An arch, covered with beautiful flowers and leaves, was placed at the very front where the carpet starts. The queen stood at the top of the stairs with her head up high, in her left hand a fan.
The carriage finally came to a halt and the trumpets suddenly played a fanfare. “Presenting, Her Royal Majesty, Queen Amelia and His Royal Highness, Prince Robert, monarchs from the kingdom of Western Wind!” a guard shouted.
As I stepped out of the carriage, I lent my hand out for Mother to hold, carefully helping her down the carriage. As we faced the audience, they all bowed, “Welcome.”
With Mother’s hand in mine, we walked up to the queen of Middle Earth.
“Your Majesty,” we both greeted.
“Greetings, fellow monarchs,” she smiled as she nodded, fluttering the fan in a slow, gentle movement. “Welcome to our lovely kingdom,” she gestured towards their castle. “How was your journey? I do hope there weren’t any nuisance on your way here,” she turned back to us.
“It was, as sailors would say, a smooth sailing for us,” Mother smiled, pulling her hand back from mine. I put my hands behind my back.
“Well, that’s good news,” the queen walked forward and gave Mother kisses on both cheeks.
The queen then looked in my direction. “And could this be… your son?” she walked towards me with a smile on her face. “Is this the one that your husband has been raving about?”
“Yes, Your Majesty,” Mother nodded. “Let me present our son and heir, Prince Robert.”
I bowed in true gentleman fashion. “Your Majesty, I’m honored to be presented to you.”
“Oh,” she fluttered her fan once more after my greeting. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, young prince. I’ve heard so much about you.”
I gently grabbed her empty hand, putting it closer to my lips. “Thank you for your warm welcome,” I kissed her hand with a smile.
I knew that what I just did was a bit flirtatious and interpreted in the wrong way. I hope she doesn’t take it the wrong way. The way she blushed as I laid a gentle peck on her hand could be misconstrued as me, trying to woo Her Majesty.
The queen pulled her hand back as she walked back to my mother, still moving her fan over her face, this time a bit faster. “Your son is quite the gentleman,” she blushed. “I think my daughter will get along with him quite well.”
“We hope for the same, Your Majesty,” Mother replied.
Queen Marta then cleared her throat. “Anyways, shall we?” she offered her hand to Mother.
Mother held onto her hand, nodding as they began to enter the castle, followed closely by my mother’s handmaidens. I followed after them with the guards staying within my area of reach.
As the doors were opened for us, the first thing that caught my attention was the ceiling: it was made of glass, letting the natural light from the sun outside enter the hall. The sun emphasizing an already golden-colored hallway. Magnificent pillars that have beautiful carvings of nature, vines sculptures that were made as if they were growing up to the very top. Everything was almost colored in rich gold, immediately showing off the atmosphere of royalty.
And I thought that this kingdom solely focuses on being simple.
“My deepest apologies if the current design of our castle is a bit too much,” Queen Marta started, still walking with my mother. “It was previously designed by my husband’s ancestors and when he was still alive, he didn’t want to stray away from tradition. We’ve yet to… modernize, at the very least, the overall construction of the castle.”
“There’s no need to apologize, Your Majesty,” Mother smiled as they looked at each other. “Your castle is majestic and you should be proud of it.”
“You’re too kind, my queen,” Queen Marta responded. “Your kingdom is very lucky to have you as their ruler.”
We then stopped in the middle of the hallway, near the foot of the grand staircase.
Queen Marta stood in front of us. “I hope you don’t mind, Queen Amelia, but I did have some tea prepared for your arrival. I will have all the servants deliver your things into your respectful rooms.”