The Big Announcement
I felt like not letting go. Less than thirty six hours spent with me and here I was feeling the effect of his absence. Was I beginning to have feelings for the prince?
I was yet to dismiss what he said about is being in love from my head and now this. I knew something strong pulled us toward each other but what I lack, is the understanding of what it was.
After walking me to the door of my room that night, he vehemently refused to go back. Yea, I know we were a bit tipsy from too much alcohol,so maybe he was acting under its influence but then neither of us wanted to let the other go as I also stood by the door leaning on the door frame with my back. We just stared at each other intensely without any atom of shyness and without any words.
Thinking about it now, I feel somewhat embarrassed assuming what would have been going through the minds of the guards who were just standing there although not looking at us, Probably they would have thought we were two crazy human beings.
Then again, I felt scared when his words "please be mine" replayed in my head. I knew the entanglements I would be getting myself into if I accepted. So many persons were already praying his decision be nullified by the crown, hence the reason for the stupid rumour going through town.
Those thoughts were the only thing that brought me back from my fantasies causing me on insisting to going into my room and that was how we parted with the hope of being in each others company again the next day.
Apparently, as I lay down on bed, I couldnt sleep. I kept swerving from one end of the bed to the other till it was day break. For once I didnt close my eyes. Whenever I tried, I always saw my self seated on the throne by Troy's side and that scared the hell out of me. It was like a daydream.
By the next morning, having recovered from the wine intoxication but with a slight hangover, I joined them at the dining table to have breakfast. As we ate, I felt the prince's piercing stare toward my direction and much more caught in his eye contact whenever I lifted my head up from my plate. I would stare back at him but break our contact when I notice the duchess shuffling her feet, an act she did more than three times on purpose.
Immediately after breakfast, Troy asked for permission to have me in his company throughout the day as he was going to visit the main reason for his coming. Ofcourse the duke consented even though I knew the prince had the right to ask me directly, he was trying to be a sweet gentleman .
We spent all morning and afternoon together visiting the orchards and most importantly the sites and areas where his project will be taken place. I volunteered to help him on his project if he would let me and fortunately he did but added it would only be possible after the announcement has been made and I probably have moved into court. I felt a big lump caught in my throat when he said that and I just remained silent.
Also, speaking with him on state affairs and national issues was a part of our conversation I loved so much.
Unlike my father, who will hardly discuss any of those things with you. He told me a lot of pending issues, our nation was facing without the knowledge of her citizens.
One of such was the constant demand from the Orlian nation to possess the land that shared boundaries with them. The land which rightly belongs to Doxa. Discussions has been ongoing to reach a compromise since they are also insisting that the land belongs to them but has yielded no result. So now they're threatening to wage war on Doxa giving us an ultimatum of six months.
I wanted to help so badly. I loved leadership no wonder I've studied alot about them but then I wanted to start leaving my calling. So many persons say leadership is hard but to me it's one of the most easiest thing to do.
Time passed quickly and before we finished touring and greeting the many people who had come out to see and welcome the prince, it was pretty late and we were damn tired. But if Troy had asked me to his room that night, I obviously wouldn't say no because I was beginning to feel attached and too comfortable.
We weren't relating like persons who just met but like we've been friends for years. But yet again, he never asked causing me to go through another long sleepless night of emotional torture.
And here I was the next morning still in bed soaking my pillows in tears after learning of his departure and reading the letter he left without a chance of even saying goodbye or one last look at his face. Why didnt he tell me the previous day of his plans? I felt both sad and angry at him glancing at the letter over again.
My dear lady Aris,
I am sorry I have to leave abruptly without saying a proper farewell to you. The decision of the king to summon me at a time like this is beyond questioning but demands immediate compliance.
This few days spent with you will be cherished forever, Your great humility, care, warmth and hospitality also. I must confess you were my only reason for citing my project this year in Rythfork. I feel so attracted to you in every way right from the night at the banquet.
As I await your response, I must inform you that there are strong powers and forces fighting and opposing your choice as my bride to be. I must get your sincere response first before I do anything. Still be rest assured that your place in my heart will be protected at all cost even if I have to die.
I have never felt the way I feel for you toward any woman before. You are my first and last as I dont plan on any other.
Please stay beautiful as you are and in good health. I await your answer to my proposal with all my heart.
Three hours had passed and I was still in bed sobbing profusely missing him so much.
"Unbelievable!" The duchess voice rang out as she walked in taking a seat by the bed facing me.
"Aris, what are you doing? What is wrong with you?" She asked me in a semi harsh tone which I ignored.
"Did you have a blood oath with the prince or what was written in that letter he gave to you?" She demanded to know but I hid the letter under my pillow.
"You're acting differently. I mean just the other day you were objecting to being his bride, so what has changed? Even though he's changing his about you - not like this" She cried out shaking her head slowly.
Still crying, I sniffled wiping my tears with back of my palms. "I'm scared mom" I whispered between hiccups.
"The battle is much"
"The battle for the position of the prince's bride"
"What are you talking about? She asked confused."The selection ceremony has already been done and you were the chosen one. What other battle is there?"
"Do you know the reason Troy left even without seeing me?"
"He said he was summoned by the king"
"Yea" I nodded affirmatively "but it's more about nullifying the selection ceremony" I sobbed heavily once the words were out of my mouth.
My mother just sat there dumbfounded and surprised. The rumours were beginning to become real. Then after some minutes reflection she hit me with a really hard question.
"Are you falling for the prince, Aris?"
"I dont know mother but I know I have some strong feelings for him that I've tried to deny because of the pains and hurt that came with love?"
Slowly she moved forward toward me that her hands were now gently patting my back as she comforted me." Its alright dear. I understand the feelings you're having and because you've admitted it to yourself, that's why you're feeling this hurt" She smiled sadly. "But dont worry, nothing of such will ever happen not this time, not ever" she nodded at me reassuringly.
"Father, Mother " I bowed respectfully at both of them once I got into the room. They were seated in one of the kings living room. After greeting them, I took a seat.
After receiving the summon by the king, it took me a days journey to arrive back at Urvinum the capital.
"Eridian you're back?" The king affirmed. "I'm very sorry for cutting short your business trip" he apologised. "But you see your presence was much needed back here at the palace that was why I summoned you" and suddenly the queen's voice broke through.
"I knew the reason you went to Rythfork was not just for your project but to see that girl!" She roared loudly with a scowl on her face taking us all by surprise.
Staring at her with my lips slightly parted, the king just shook his head sadly and spoke. "Eridian, I'm sorry but I will have to nullify your choice at the selection ceremony"
"What?" I flared up almost immediately raising my voice. "You cant do that father! It's not done anywhere and it's going to be unfair to her, to me and the entire nation" I shouted throwing my hands in the air angrily.
"Its the council's decision. I'm sorry" he shook his head again.
Unbelievable! I cant believe this. How would my father let this happen even after I have pleaded with him to see reasons with him. I felt so angry and helpless that I could act in an unruly manner damning the consequences but I kept trying to control my anger and subdue my emotions.
I didnt want my parents to see through me especially the queen.
"So what happens now?" I asked calmly breathing in and out slowly to lock in the anger.
"You're going to marry Gemma straight ahead without any stupid ceremony" The queen said so confident like she had it all planned.
I turned to my father who just nodded his head but his facial expressions were that of 'Just let it go'.
As I returned back to my chamber, processing the whole thing, I wondered what they were going to tell the people. The thoughts brought back all of my anger that I unleashed it on every valuable piece of furniture I came across from my living room to my bedroom breaking and destroying.
The emotions kept fuelling my actions that even when Gauis and Theon rushed in, they couldn't stop me.
Three days after the whole charade, the nullification announcement was still yet to be made. I was sitted in my living room with Charles and Cleo talking over the whole drama. I told them how I've started to gradually dislike Gemma and her entire family for their current actions. I knew Cleo was there but I wanted her to take the message back to her friend.
Charles just kept encouraging me. I was bitter and furious. I felt if Gemma was forced on me, I could hurt her really bad and probably regret my actions.
After much discussion on the whole selection ceremony issue, we switched topics and Charles just had to inform me on what was happening lately in the country; how people are not happy with the crown at all mostly for ignoring the peoples plight and signing into law harsh bills.
Honestly alot of things has been going wrong recently, yet the king and his cabinets has chosen to turn a blind eye and pay deaf ears.
While we were still talking, Gauis came in and delivered a letter for me from Rythfork.
I snatched it from his hand excitedly since I knew the sender and quickly walked into my study to read the heart contents of the one that brightens my life.
My dear Prince Troy,
I hope this letter meets you well. Considering the manner you left, I felt I should appreciate you first for counting Islandes worthy of benefiting from your kind gesture and secondly for being a wonderful guest to the house of Floros. While we all enjoyed your presence, I must admittedly say with all humility that I enjoyed it most and that your absence has been so hard on me.
Nevertheless, you left me with a difficult and sensitive question which you anticipate an answer. Honestly it's been tough trying to get an answer and moreso get it across to you.
I will not keep denying the fact that I am also not attracted to you in every way and find you intelligent and handsome hence my display of vulnerability and emotional instability at your absence and the reason for your leaving.
Therefore having decided to embrace and explore this whole new feeling I feel towards you, I accept your proposal and my answer is Yes I will be yours forever"
Please be careful in whatever you plan to do.
I hope to hear from you soon .
I screamed out so loud in joy after reading the letter. "Yes! Yes! She accepted me!" I kept screaming even when Charles and Cleo rushed in, I was jumping and shouting excitedly.
Charles picked up the letter and read it out to the hearing of Cleo who frowned as she digested the wordings.
Right now, the joy I felt knew no limits even though I would be forced against my will, the singular fact that Aris accepted me made me careless to the crown's decision.
Five days ago, there was an attack on the Bashuri town by the Orthians. Many were feared dead while others injured. Their actions was a great breach of agreement that was signed by the two parties involved in the land boundary issue.
The king had a very important press conference to feature in so he sent me in his stead as an emissary to visit and condolences with the Bashuri people while we strategise on executing a counter attack.
So I was in Bashuri town when words reaching me from the capital was that the king has made the big announcement. To me I felt it was the nullification one but to my greatest shock and surprise in the kings word.
"My dearest people of Doxa nation. We sincerely apologise for taking so long in making this announcement after the selection ceremony which is against our traditions. The reason was we had series of pending issues that needed our urgent attention.
However today, I joyfully and publicly announce to you all that your prince, my son, the crowned Prince Eridian Troy Vernadoz has chosen Lady Aris Floros of Islandes. By the power vested in me I therefore pronounce Lady Aris Floros the bride to be of the crowned prince. As customs demand, she moves into the court with immediate effect.
Again, I want to sincerely condole with the people of Bashuri over the attack which resulted in the death and injury of some persons. I want to assure you all, that the crown is fully aware of this and is doing everything within her power to ensure the perpetrators are brought to book.
Long live the Doxa nation! "