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The Prince and the Empress

 King Leopold Edward Nenufar of the Slopheovaia kingdom is old and in poor health. The time has come for Prince Christian Edward Nenufar to marry. He is the only heir to the throne. Prince Christian desired to have a union like the one his parents’ had. Their marriage was forged out of love, not out of a call to duty.  While growing up in the palace, he witnessed his parent’s admiration for each other. When his mother, Queen Camila Nenufar died while giving birth to a second child, a girl, who also perished, his father almost ceased to live.  After many years, the Kings royal council pleaded with him to take another wife; He refused, the King said, “I had his one true love.”  This is the story of how Prince Christian Nenufar found his one true love.

Part 2

The voyage

Prince Christian was overseeing the preparations for the voyage he chose four of the finest ships from the royal fleet. One of the ships would carry gifts to present to the bride’s father and mother.  Due to his poor health, King Leopold could not travel with the prince. Instead, he choose six of the wisest men from the royal council to accompany Prince Christian to help with the marriage contract. During the activity, Prince Christian remembered Lanceworth telling him that he had information about this mystery woman. He left the shipyard to find Lanceworth to inquire about what he knows. Prince Christian, Lanceworth in his bedchamber packing for the voyage.

“Lanceworth my good man” he called out to him.

“Yes my lord,” answered Lanceworth.

“I see you have been busy,” said the prince looking around the room at the packed trunks.

“Yes my lord there is much to be done. We set sail tomorrow “Lancewoth said moving around the room.

“Sit for a while and talk to me. Share all that you know about the maiden I seek.” asked the prince

Lanceworth “her name is Drusilla she is a lady at the house of Laurelton.

Interrupting him, the prince said aloud, “Laurelton, Laurelton, where have I heard that name?”

Lanceworth replied, “It is one of the lesser known kingdoms west of Penfirden.”

“That’s about a month’s journey we can make good time if the sea is fair to us.” Prince Christian declared.

Lanceworth replied with these words to encourage the prince, “My lord you need not fear Fate is on your side. The king has sealed this union with his blessings. You must believe that all will be well. You will find her.”

Prince Christian. Smiled at him and said, “You have always been a trusted friend and brother, and I will put my worries aside.”

“You must take your rest because you will need your strength for this journey.” Said Lanceworth, “I will be back first light to gather the rest of your belongings.” When Lanceworth left the room, Prince Christian wondered if he could sleep; he feared that if they did not find her he would be doomed to select another bride.

It was noon the next day when King Leopold walked with Prince Christian to the ship. The sun shined brightly and the wind blew at a steady pace.

The prince spoke in a somber voice, “Father I wished that you were able to make this journey with me.”

“My son, it’s a heavy burden seeing you take this journey, but you are wise you will make it to your destination. When you do stay but a week, to rest your crew and replenish your ships, remember to leave the negations of the marriage contract to the men who sit on my council, soon they will be serving you. Lastly, if your mother were here she would advise you not to allow your emotions to take hold of you. Remember you are of royal blood.” With these last words, the king embraced him, and watched the prince disappear below deck.

As the ships drifted deeper into the sea, the king looked up at the sky and whispered, “Bring him back to me.”

Prince Christian stood on the deck of the ship looking out over the horizon. It has been six days since he left home they traveled a great distance. The weather and sea had been kind. If they continued at the current pace, they will arrive at Laurelton in twenty days. In the meantime, the prince made himself busy. He met with the council and they prepared him for the marriage negotiation.

On the twelfth night of the journey, the sea remained calm. As a reward for the crews’ hard work Prince Christian announced that, the men could enjoy an evening of music and a few rounds of ale. During the night the helmsman, fell asleep at the steer causing the ship to drift of course and away from the other vessels. By sunrise, panic sieged the ship. Prince Christian was awaken and told of the mishap. The ship’s captain ordered the crew on deck. It had to be decided what punishment the helmsman should face.

Prince Christian was the last to arrive on deck this would be his first decision made on his own. He had no desire to punish the Helmsman’s mistake. After all, it was because of his order they indulged themselves in ale. Prince Christian was more concerned about getting back on course then disciplining the helmsman. In the meantime, the captain went below deck to study the maps to get them back on course.

After being asked to step forward by the Prince, the helmsman immediately began to beg the Prince’s pardon, by saying “this is all my fault whatever my end I will except it”

As the Prince stood still and speechless, all eyes were fixed on him. He knew that he had to make the right choice or these men would not respect him when he becomes king. The Prince decided to include the entire crew in this mishap and this is what he said.

“I don’t think that one man must shoulder the blame I hold my entire crew at fault. We are a team are we not? If one man falls then we all share in this failure. The task now is to push forward; there will be no further talk about this. We need to keep our wits and work together to get back on course.

The Prince did not notice when Captain Bartholomew arrived back on deck, He addressed Prince Christian, “Permission to speak” Asked the captain.

“Permission granted, “Replied the prince.

“There is a way to get back on course and shorten the travel time to Laurelton but it will take us through enemy territory.”

Prince Christian asked the Captain “And what about the other ships do you think that they will turn about looking for us? “

Captain Bartholomew responded, “I am sorry my prince I did not think of this,”

The Prince continued, “I am not a navigator of the sea, however, if we turn around and go back towards Laurelton, we could run into the other ships, if not pray that they will continue on and find us there.”

Captain Bartholomew bowed to Prince Christian and said, “As you command my prince.” He turned to the crew and gave the order to turn the shop around. The men scattered to their stations.  The captain asked Prince Christian, “What is to become of the helmsman?”

Prince Christian replied, “Let him be, I have a feeling that after today he will never fall asleep at the steer again.” And with that, Prince Christian returned to his cabin. He wanted to be alone. As soon as he entered the room, there was a knock at the door.

“Who’s there?” asked the prince in an irritated tone.

“Lanceworth my lord, you haven’t had your tea.”

“Enter” the prince called out.

Lanceworth entered the room with a tray he busied himself setting up tea for the prince.

Prince Christian let out a sigh “This situation is my fault. I thought I was doing right by these men. I ordered them to enjoy a night of fun because they are far from home and their families.”

Lanceworth answered, “You’re wrong, the helmsmen is to blame he should have exercised better judgement.”

“Was I wrong not to make an example of him in front of the others?” asked the prince.

“No, what good would punishing him do, these men need to see that their future king can show mercy, they don’t need a king they fear, in this way they will be loyal to you.”

“lanceworth, you are wise beyond your station maybe when I become King I will give you a position on my counsel.”

“Much thanks my lord, “replied Lanceworth, but “I must prefer the position I have now.”

“Good “uttered the prince “I like having you serving close to me. I feel a kinship between us that I don’t feel with the others.”

“Thank you my lord I am honored.”

“You need not be so serious or formal when we are alone. What is there to eat?”

After Prince Christian had his meal, he dismissed Lanceworth, and told him to inform the captain that he is not to be disturbed unless it is of uttermost importance. He wanted to rest and join him after a few hours.

“As you wish” Lanceworth said, as he closed the door.

Prince Christian lay across the bed, feeling weary.  He drafted off to sleep…

He allowed himself to get into a deep sleep that was sweet and colorful. He entered a garden where the scent of the flowers was strong and intoxicating.  When the prince looked down at his feet, he discovered that he was floating on a rainbow colored path that lead him into a mystical forest where there are hundreds of butterflies that looked like fairies. He came upon a bluish green waterfall that reminded him of Drusilla’s eyes. At the end of the waterfall was a pond. He kneeled to touch the water; it felt cold on his hands. While he was looking across the pond, he heard someone singing.  It was a women’s voice and she was calling his name. He listened to hear the direction the voice was coming from.

He noticed that the butterflies started to fly in the direction of the voice as; he followed them deeper into the forest. The singing became louder. He kept going until he came to what seemed to be the end of the forest. There was a bright blinding light, the voice continued calling to him. As he walked into the light, he felt a hand, touching his shoulder. The voice kept calling, “Wake up, wake up.”

Prince Christian opens his eyes, and sees Drusilla. For a moment, he does not know where he is. Looking around the room, nothing is familiar to him except his Mahoney writing table. The walls are a deep purple with Gold flowers. The bed is draped in a canopy with the royal   signea for the king.

He remembers seeing Drusilla in the palace garden. Their eyes met and there was no need for words. Something stirred within their souls at that moment. Prince Christian know he had found his one true love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Story-time

The Prince and the Empress

King Leopold Edward Nenufar of the Slopheovaia kingdom is old and in poor health. The time has come for Prince Christian Edward Nenufar to marry. He is the only heir to the throne. Prince Christian desired to have a union like the one his parents’ had. Their marriage was forged out of love, not out of a call to duty.  While growing up in the palace, he witnessed his parent’s admiration for each other. When his mother, Queen Camila Nenufar died while giving birth to a second child, a girl, who also perished, his father almost ceased to live.  After many years, the Kings royal council pleaded with him to take another wife; He refused, the King said, “I had his one true love.”  This is the story of how Prince Christian Nenufar found his one true love.

Part 1:The encounter

Prince Christian shut himself in his bedchamber. He is weary from the activities at court. Women had come from eight different kingdoms to be presented as his brides. He disliked that these women wanted to marry him for the title and to live a comfortable life at court. Prince Christian sat by the window looks over the room he has lived in since childhood. Overtime the color of the walls changed from a light powered blue to a darker royal blue to reflect the mature status of a Prince. The room contains the Mahoney writing table, a gift from his grandfather. His bed is not the traditional canopy style; instead, he sleeps in an open Juliet four-posted bed. He looks down at the dark blue and gray Persian rug, and memories of rolling around with his playmate Lanceworth flash through his mind. He lets out a heavy sigh because he would be moved to his father’s room, the kings’ chambers, after his marriage, leaving all of these memories behind and creating new ones. Opening the curtains, he looks out over the garden.

He saw her in the palace garden among the rows of roses.  Her long black curly hair enchanted him as it shined in the sunlight like the stars at night.

He watched her moving around bending, placing her nose against the bud of each rose; her hair fell guarding her face. She walked like a goddess, and wore a pale blue gown with a long white train that floated like a cloud behind her.

He scrutinized her slender and delicate hands as she touched each rose with the gentleness of a mother’s love.

His thoughts are interrupted by the call of his manservant Lanceworth.  Prince Christian pointed towards the women in the garden, and asked, “Who is she?”

Lanceworth sighed, “I am sorry my prince, I know not this maiden.”

The moment he turned to leave the window, she raised her face towards the sun, inhaling the fragrance of the garden. Her hair fell in a wave of curls, revealing her pearly smooth skin.

She opened her eyes. He glanced into her teal colored eyes and was lost in the moment.

Deep in thought, he did not notice when she vanished from the garden.  Panic seized him; he turned to Lanceworth and shouted, “Where did she go?”

“Who?” he replied with caution.

“The woman who was in the garden,” Prince Christian demanded.

“My prince, I barely saw her.” Lanceworth responded with alarm in his voice.

“Lanceworth, I need you to summons all of the women who were at court today, she is the one I have found my bride.”

Lanceworth replied, “All of them are packing to leave.”

Prince Christian answered with anger in this voice, “I do not care what they have done and where they go, as long as I find her, my heart is telling me she is the one.”

‘As you wish my prince,” Lanceworth replied as he rushed from the room. “Alert the King,” The prince called out.

In the meantime, Prince Christian called for his royal tailors to change into his formal wear. He wanted to present himself in the proper manner to his future bride. Surely, his father was going to be pleased. He wished his mother lived to see this day. It felt like an eternity before he was  announced into court. Prince Christian stood before his father’s throne with the women crowded around him.

King Leopold spoke, “my son, I am told that you have chosen a bride.”

The prince replied with pride in his voice, “This is true father.” The king raised his hand towards the women and instructed his son to bring forth his bride.

Prince Christian walked slowly up and down, searching for the angelic beauty that he saw in the garden. In the midst of the smiling faces, heavy makeup, and tons of jewelry, he did not find her. He turned to his father and said, “She is not here.”

The King told him to look again.

He did but she was not there. Prince Christian called out to Lancewroth. “Is this all the women?”

“Yes, my prince,” answered Lancworth.

Filled with disappointment he turned towards the king, said, “I am sorry father, I must have been mistaken she is not among these women,”

The king asked him, “Can you describe her?”

“Yes,” said the prince, “she was in the west side of the garden where mother planted the rose bush. She has long black curly hair and bluish green eyes as big as crystal balls. Her skin glowed like satin; in the blue dressing gown,” she was wearing.

The king asked, “Was she in the garden alone?”

The prince answered “yes father I saw no one with her.”

The room is silent.

King Leopold spoke, “might I suggest that the ladies go back to their rooms, and the owner of the gown my son described, come forth.”

While the king and the prince waited in the room, one of the woman came forth and requested to speak with the king.  She claimed to know the identity of the woman the prince was seeking. When she entered the Great Hall, and she told the prince that the women he is looking for is her daughters’ lady -in –waiting. She slipped into the garden today without permission.

Prince Christian asked her to bring the girl to him. She did as the prince requested.  As soon as he laid eyes on her, his heart leaped.

The king spoke, “come forth my child, do not be afraid, He asked her, “were you in the garden today, alone, by the rose bush?”

In a small soft voice, she answered, “Yes your Majesty, pardon me for the trouble I have caused, the roses are beautiful and I desired a closer look.”

The king laughed, “No harm my child, those roses were planted by wife, I am happy they brought you pleasure.” She bowed and left the room.

“Father she is the one,” the Prince said,

“My son, she is a lady- in- waiting.” The king replied. “No one in our blood line has ever married outside of the royal court.”

The prince pleaded with the King, “Father as soon as I saw her, I knew she was the one.”

“I am sorry but I cannot give my blessing to such a union.” Replied the king.

Prince Christian spoke in a sincere voice.  “Father, I have never asked much of you. Please, allow me to be with a woman that I can love and seek comfort with as you did with my mother.”

The king remained silent, as his son’s words penetrated his heart. The king wanted his son to be blissful in his married life. Nevertheless, he cannot overlook the fact that the former queen was of royal blood.

King Leopold looked into his sons pleading eyes; suggesting they call upon her mistress to inquire of the young woman’s heritage. This request from the King excited the prince and gave him hope. He sent for Lanceworth to bring the girl and her mistress forward.

“Forgive me my prince,” said Lanceworth,” all of the guest have set sail for home.”  The prince did not stay to hear another word. He rushed from the room, towards the sea running past the palace guards; they called out after him “my lord is there trouble?”

Prince Christian continued towards the sea where the fleet of ships were departing. He hoped he was not too late.

When he reached the shore, he dived into the sea swimming to catch the last ship. The guards rushed to pull him back on shore, but the prince in desperation, struggled against them yelling,

“Let me be! I must stop them.” As hard as he fought, they over powered him and brought him back on dry land.

Prince Christian sat on the shore watching the ships disappear one by one into the horizon. The guards pleaded with him to go back to the palace. The prince refused to move.  Only when Lanceworth kneeled at his side and whispered in his ear,

“My prince I have information concerning the royal house the maiden serves,” these words gave the prince the strength to stand and he allowed the guards to guide him back to the palace.

After the prince refreshed himself, the king called him to his chambers. He walked towards his father’s quarters with a heavy heart, feeling defeated.

When he entered the room, king Leopold sat up in bed, he looked fragile. Prince Christian felt a pain in his heart. He approached the bed and sat next to his father. He wondered how many more moments like these would they share before death took him.

The king broke the silence.

“Son, all future kings faced this same moment when they are presented with a bride not of their choosing.” The Prince looked at his father with an expression of confusion.

The king rose from the bed and began to pace the floor; the king asked his son, “Have I ever told you the story of how I meet your mother?”

“No father. You have not,” replied the prince.

“Your grandfather went in search of my bride, and when he found her, he came back with a portrait. Her name was Lady Pricilla Heathcott; you know her father, King Fredrick Heathcott’s of the Penfirden realm. She was young and beautiful; and I had to do what was required of me. At the time of my proposed marriage, our kingdom was threatened with war; my marriage to Lady Heathcott promised to form an alliance between the two smaller kingdoms in order to build a strong army.

While preparations were being made to receive my bride, we received the news that Lady Heathcott ships was caught in a violent storm, only two out of the four ships made it to safety, my bride was not so lucky. The lost was great. Her mother, brothers along with other family members, perished. Her father and eldest sister were unable to make the voyage.  Because of this tragedy, a period of mourning was declared. There was an agreement of peace out of respect for King Heathcott.

Months later, your grandfather and I made the trip to visit King Heathcott to pay our respects and that is when I met your mother, Lady Camila Heathcott. She was the eldest sister of my intended. She could not make the trip, due to illness.  I was comforting her over the loss of her sister we fall in love. We dared not allow anyone to know because we did not want to offend her father.

By some means your grandfather found out, and fearing the word would get back to her father, he forbade me to see her. I begged him to approach King Heathcott to ask for lady

Camila’s hand in marriage. Your grandfather did not think it was a good idea, but I would not give up, hence, your clever grandfather derived a plan. He suggested to her father that I marry Lady Heathcott in case their enemies changed their mind and declared war on them again.

At first, King Heathcott feared losing another daughter to the sea; she was his only remaining child. Your grandfather continued to press the issue about the protection of our two countries, and it worked. We were married in secret, not to alert the other kingdoms. We left immediately following the ceremony.  The day we departed for home, I promised her father that I would protect his daughter with my life. Your mother brought me many years of happiness, even in death “I still feel her presence.”  Finishing his story, the king sighed.

Prince Christian asked his father, “What am I to do?”

The king said, “Go my son and find your bride, as your mother’s father willingly departed with his only child, so to must I.”

Stay Tune for part 2…………