With the dungeon door safely closed behind me, I finally mock my dear father’s voice, “Princess Annabel. Prince Hennel will be arriving tomorrow to propose his hand in marriage. And you will say ‘yes’.”
I think back to my meek response. How I merely nodded my head with a 'Yes, my King.'
I should've screamed, should've yelled, "Fuck Prince Hennel!" It feels good to finally say such a thing in the privacy and sound-proof room of the dungeon, "He has more pimples on his face than an adolescent boy!" I begin to slam the doors closed to the dungeon cells, screaming, "Fuck! He is an ad-"
My voice catches in my throat when I stumble close to a dungeon cell that is not, in fact, empty. Instead a prisoner, arms bound behind his back and chained to the floor, looks up to me with a bloody smirk.
"Don't let me stop you." The deep sound of his voice made my thighs clench. This dark haired man was definitely not an adolescent boy. The well-groomed stumble on his face was proof of that.
With a sigh I grab the key to dungeon cells and unlock his cell, sitting opposite of him, "What are you in for?"
The man chuckles, eyeing my blue dress that is getting both dirtied and rumbled on the floor, "Are you supposed to be in here?"
I shrug, "It's the only place specifically non-mentioned on my 'do-not-go list'." I give him a laugh before raising my eyebrow, "Did you come to our Kingdom without a shirt, or did the guards tear it off you?"
I mainly asked the question so I could stare at his bare chest. Not many in our Kingdom were this built, we depended mostly on our abilities. Or everyone else in the Kingdom relied on their ability to control water to stop intruders. Which meant well-defined abs and pecs were out of the picture.
The man waits until I'm done ogling him before speaking, "Came without one."
I nod, "You probably aren't from the northern Kingdom then. Eastern? Kingdom of Nature. That would explain the tan."
The prisoner doesn't correct me as I guess which Kingdom he ventured from. It would've been much easier to know if his arms weren't chained behind his back. Every person born had green, blue, white, or black hands. Almost as though they had dipped their hands in paint before letting it dry.
In my father's Kingdom, because of my ability, I always have to wear long satin gloves that rose up to my elbows. It irked me as I tug at the fabric even now, while the prisoner props up one leg.
The motion spreads his legs and gives me a nice view of the bulge resting between his legs, "Is this, pimple faced Prince Hennel, your husband?"
My mood sours and I drag my gaze up to this prisoner's face, "Soon to be my King. Our fathers both want control, and our marriage will give them just that."
The prisoner shrugs, "He's quite young for a King, wouldn't you say."
He doesn't even question the fact, everyone knows the Kingdom of Ice is powerful and large. It doesn't matter who the King is, only that their people have power over the Kingdom of Fire.
I nod, "Five years younger than me. I just know that he will humiliate me tomorrow. To show everyone that he is 'worthy' of making me his Queen"
The man scowls, "That is not how a Kingdom should be run."
I sigh, "It could be worse. I heard the Kingdom of Fire loses their King every month. The coward abandons his people."
The prisoner is scowling at me when I return my gaze to his. His jaw is clenched, but then he changes the subject, "So, Princess Anna, will this be the last time I am seeing you?"
"It's Annabel. And no, Prince Hennel comes to ask my hand in marriage tomorrow. Our wedding will be one week after that."
The prisoner hums, "Well then, Annabel-"
I gasp, "Princess."
The prisoner lazily 'hmms' before continuing, using extra emphasis on my untitled name, "Annabel. Will you be bringing me food later?"
I huff, "I am Princess Annabel. And only because I usually eat here." I stand and dust off my dirty dress, "Speaking of which, I need to make an abrupt presence at dinner in about fifteen minutes."
I lock his cell back up before resting my hands on the bars, "What's your name anyways?"
The prisoner chuckles, "Ignis."
I shrug, "Nice to meet you, Sir Ignis."
Ignis snorts when I give him a formal title, but doesn't comment otherwise.
I leave the dungeon toward the highest floor of my father's Kingdom. My three older sisters and three younger sisters are all practicing using their control of water before dinner.
My youngest sister, Princess Dew, stops me at the top of the stairs, "How come you get to marry Prince Hennel? I'm the one who is sixteen."
She glares at me when I simply pass by her, "Someone needs to run the Kingdoms of Ice, and something tells me two sixteen year old kids wouldn't cut it."
Princess Dew conjures and hurls water at my back. Soaking my dress completely and ruining my hair.
Princess Naia steps up beside me, offering silent respect to me. She will be our future Queen of the Kingdom. As the oldest of my sisters she understands the marriage proposal.
They know that I will be married off into the Kingdoms of Ice with Prince Hennel so I can be controlled. Subdued.
My three older sisters and three younger sisters that are all perfect water-controlling daughters of our father.
I am the defective middle child; born with the ability to control fire.
None of the other Kingdoms respect the Kingdom of Fire or anyone who can wield fire for that matter. The ability is too powerful, so their Kingdom was crushed to a small area. Not given a chance to prosper.
Our father believes I am a defective child. Born to eliminate the Kingdom of Fire by luring them our of their Kingdom. Showing them that I can be happy in the Kingdom of Ice, and that their people should spread out further amongst the other Kingdoms.
It is all a ploy. When the Kingdom of Fire is eliminated, their people will slowly die off. Then, only the Kingdoms of Ice, Water, and Nature will remain.
The only problem; I will probably die with them.