Pawn In Their Game
Alison Nicole Grace Elizabeth Leeon, is heir to the throne. What throne? That of the kingdom, Potentia. The single largest and most powerful kingdom in the world. Because of it's size and diversity it has been split into four sub-kingdoms. The Ice kingdom, the Earth kingdom, the Fire kingdom, and the Air kingdom. Each of these kingdoms is ruled by one of four princes. These princes rule over their kingdom (under The King), and hope to have a chance at the crown. Now they have one.
Plan To Woo
And he's dying.
None of our doctors can figure out why. Nor can our spies get any info on a possible assignation. No one can find a reason.
No one knows why my Daddy is dying.
The room stinks of a hospital. I pick at a loose thread in the comfiture, pulling it till it gets longer and longer. A hand clasps around mine.
"Sweet heart, if you keep pulling at it, it will only get longer."
I stare into my father's loving eyes. His voice is deep and familiar, I couldn't imagine a day with out it.
A knock at the door.
"Who is it?" My father's voices booms with authority.
"Leonard, your Majesty."
"Come in, then." my father says. The door opens and my dad's high advisor enters.
He's a tall and lanky man, with dark gray hair that went white at the ends. He wears it in a low pony tail, the end of it brushing against his lower back. His bangs end just above his eyes, which are coal black. He always seem to have a bundle of stuff in his hands. When I was young I used to try to knock it out of his hands (I never did it to be mean, just to see what would happen), I always failed.
"Sir, I know this isn't the time, but.....the council is begging for an answer to the...um," He throws a nervous glance my direction, "The question we had talked about..."
"Now, now. It involves my daughter, so she should know." My father says.
"What involves me?" I ask.
My father rubs a finger over his chin, and I know I'm about to get a story.
"Back when this kingdom was still very young, the king, King Otman, had a child. Before that the other kings had no children, so when it was the end of their reign , one of the Princes of the sub-kingdoms would be chosen to be king. But when Otman had his son, he of course wanted to name him heir. And he did. That started a riot with the four sub-kingdoms. They were all outraged that their chance at King had been taken away. They had proposed a war, but were immediately squashed in the effort, and forced to sign a treaty. It basically said this, The four lesser kingdoms, that of Ice, Fire, Earth, and Air, will hereby end their protest against Potentia's rule. They will give full knowledge and acceptance that the right to name heir, whether Prince or Child, belongs solely to the King. In giving the four lesser kingdoms a compromise, if there ever be a daughter to the King, then one of the Princes shall partner her in Rule. The King shall pick the Prince.......and well it's goes into a lot more detail.."
I stare at my father letting it all sink in, "You're marrying me off to one of the Princes?" Even though I love my father to ends of the earth, rage at him boils up.
He looks at me with sad eyes and I feel some of my anger ebb away, some.
"Sweet heart," He says, "If there was anything I could do about it, I would. But you and I both know, we have to honor our commitments. Even those of our ancestors."
"Can't you appeal it?" I whine.
"I could but that would just star an uproar. The second you were born each Prince was told he could be King. They grew up doing every thing they thought would impress me, anything to make each other look bad......but none of them will expect my decision. "
I scowl at him again, "Who did you pick?"
"None of them." My father says grinning.
"What?" I ask confused, "I thought you just said-"
My father holds a finger to my mouth, and I cease talking, "I'm going to let you have a choice. Shh!" I stifle my comment, and he continues, "Tomorrow I'm going to announce that whoever can woo your heart shall rule beside you."
"But what if they don't? Then I can rule by myself, right?" I ask giddily, hopeing to have found a loop hole in his plan.
"If that happens, I'll chose the one you have grown most close to." He father answers to my disappointment.
"But how am I even going to get close to them? They live in their sub-kingdoms, and I live here with you."
My fathers looks hesitant before he answers, "For the duration of the year, they will come live here."
"WHAT?!" I shout, outraged, "They can't live here Daddy! This is your and my castle! Nobody else but the servants and the guard can live here! You promised!"
I think back to the day. I had heard about how previous kings had let other royals live with them. It often turned out horrible. The children of the castle were often neglected with all the other residents around, and there was always so much fighting. One king had even been killed.
I had run to my father crying begging him to never let another royal live here besides us. I wouldn't stop crying till he promised it.
"I know Sweet heart," He says, "But they won't be here permanently, and there will be extra guard." I was about to protest about there being even more people when he hushed me, "And the extra guard will be just for you and me. They'll rotate with others, so they won't sleep here. They'll bring there own food, so no one has to worry about that. And I made sure everything else is taken care of so there be as little bustle as possible."
"And don't worry sweet heart," He continues, "The Princes won't be taking up time with me, it'll be you they want to impress. So if they want any chance, they'll leave you be when you want to see your Daddy."
"Ok." I say dejectedly, not able to find a flaw in his plan.
"So um, sir? Would you like me to tell the council, you've made a decision?" Its Leonard, I forgot he was even in the room.
"Yes, yes, by all means! Go, man!" My father says laughing.
I tug at the sash around my waist, earning a sigh from the seamstress. She tightens it again, then tries to find any flaw in her work. Which there isn't. She is the most talented dressmaker one can find. I look at the mirror across from me and admire her handy work.
My dress is a floor length, snow white, ball gown. The skirt is ruffled and encrusted with diamonds. The top is as smooth as silk and unadorned, with shoulder-less trumpet sleeves. She also made my shoes, which are white two inch heels with straps going half-way up to my knee. They, as well, are diamond encrusted.
"Emily, " I say to her, "You truly can't find any more invisible imperfections."
She smiles at me and reties the white sash around my waist before bowing and exiting.
Two more girls enter the room. Vanessa does my make up; Fiona my hair.
Vanessa takes a big brush and powders my face, making it shimmer and glow. She stays with the theme of white when she puts eye-shadow on me, but then she puts red lip stick on my lips. She the precedes to lace my eyebrows with more diamonds.
Fiona does this fancy up-do, that looks like an elegant bun with strands purposely left out to hang. And then, wouldn't you know it, she hands diamonds in my hair.
White and diamonds. Oh, I wonder what my crown looks like.
"Princess Alison!" Leonard whispers sternly at me. He fixes the tiara (the white and diamond one) on my head. For the last ten minutes I've been nodding my head so it falls in front of my eyes. And Leonard has been putting it back.
I'm sitting on my throne, which sets next to my father's. His is bigger than mine, not to say that my own is small. Both of them sit on a platform raised high above the floor. On a lower platform sit four other thrones, smaller than mine. These face our seats, and will soon be occupied by the Princes. The floor of the ball room has no seats. There will be standing room only.
My father walks in from a side door, and makes his way to his throne. He is dress in royal blue with a large cape of white hanging on his back. He makes a motion at the guard at the door, and they open them to the public.
People flood in and push towards the front, they squash against the sides of the room leaving a space in the middle just wide enough for five men to walk shoulder to shoulder.
When the flood of people stops, a few moments of silence. My father and I stand.
Through the door walks a man dressed in browns and greens, holding a banner bearing a cut of earth, The Earth kingdom. Following him are guards and the Earth Prince.
His hair Is short and spiked. It is carefully styled so it stays up and clear of his grass green eyes. He has a masked look to his face, as if he was hiding something, yet he has an air about him that couldn't hide something from a wall. His shoulders aren't wide, nor are they narrow. He is lean and long legged, with steady walk. He stands about 5 foot 9, and wears his kingdoms colors. His leggings are light green, the same color as his under shirt. His jerkin is light brown, and his trousers a dark brown. His feet are covered by leather boots.
He walks to the first throne and stands behind it, facing the door.
The next person through the door wears yellow and gray. His banner shows two lines curling at the ends. The top line curls up, the bottom line curls down. Air Kingdom.
The guards follow them followed by the Air Prince. His hair is black and his eyes a stern gray. His hair is gelled back and looks like if it were to be let loose, it would almost reach his chin. He's tall at about 5 foot 11. His body is slim and long, he doesn't look weak, but nor does he look particularly strong. He wears a long sleeved light yellow shirt, with dark gray fitted pants. He wears black shoes, with a slight lift in the heel. He takes his position at the second throne, standing the same way as the Earth Prince.
The next banner bearing man wears light blue, purple, and light grays. The banner has an icicle on it. Ice Kingdom.
The guards precede the Prince as usual. His hair is long enough to reach is lower back, he leaves it loose and lets it flows. It is very light blue in color. His eyes are purple, and sparkle in joy, reflected by his smile. He looks as if nothing could kill his joy. His height is about 6 foot. His body is sculpted but slim. He wears a light blue long sleeved under shirt, with a purple and gray vest over it. His pants are light blue and fit to his legs. He wears dark purple shoes.
He takes his stand by the third throne as the last banner man enters.
He wears, reds, oranges, yellows, and a few blues. His banner holds a flame. Fire kingdom.
The guard follows with the Prince. His hair is coal black, and goes just about to his shoulders. He wears it down. His eyes are the kind of blue you see at the tips of fire. He stands at 5 foot 11, and is made of muscle, yet he's not bulky with it. He doesn't wear an undershirt beneath his high collared red vest, his pants are dark blue, and he wears ash black boots.
He takes his stand in front of the final throne. The other four walk around their thrones, and all face us.
"Be seated." My father's voice booms loud and clear. The four Princes bow then take a seat.
My father speaks again, "The time has come, my life near its end." I barely hold back a whimper, and the crowd moans and wails. They're miserable that their king is dying.
My father holds up and hand for silence, and immediately receives it, "My heir is my precious daughter, but I honor the treaty. So, I shall choose a Prince to rule by her side."
I watch as the Princes lean forward slightly in their thrones, eyes trained on my father.
"The prince I choose....." He pauses, and the Princes lean farther forward, sitting at the edges of their seats ready to leap up, if they are called.
Thirty seconds later, and I don't think the Princes can take it much longer, or lean forward much farther.
I put my hand on my father's shoulder, "Father, quit toying with them. They'll fall on their faces if they wait much longer."
The four of them immediately sit all the way back in their seats, watching my dad, to see his reaction on them being caught.
My father smiles at me then looks back to the Princes,
"The Prince I choose is.....the prince who wins my daughter's heart."
If someone's eyes could possibly bug out of their head, that would be happening to the Princes now. They tear their eyes from my father for the first time and gawk at me.
My father snaps his fingers and they look back at him.
"For one year, you will live at this castle. The prince who woos my dearest daughter shall rule by her side," His tone get stricter, threatening almost, and a cold enters the room, "You will of course, mind your manners. Should I ever find any of you four to be overstepping your boundaries, you will find I can be a very unmerciful king when I need to be."
I bite my lip to hold back my smile, as he continues in a warm voice,
"So, now that that is covered, Potentia! Let us celebrate!"
The second the last syllable leaves my father's mouth the princes jump from their thrones and race to the stairs at my end of the platform. Air almost got there first, but Fire beat him to it. Earth and Ice were second behind. The four of them push and jostle each other to be first in line.
My father chuckles behind me.
"Good luck." He says, looking down at the Princes. He kisses my forehead and goes down the other set of stairs.
I follow him down his side of the platform.