I reach the giant double doors leading to the boardroom finally, without anymore drama. There are two more guards one either side of the doors, moving at the same time to open them for me, they keep their gazes straight ahead, having been instructed to do so at all times.
My personal escorts wait outside with the other guards, this meeting being one no one else can attend. Usually I’m included with the rest of them, not trustworthy enough to give good advice.
For years I’ve been doing different tasks, and projects, doing different work and studies, and after all that I’ve finally earned their trust. My parent’s trust at least, the other leaders will be harder to impress. Maybe even impossible, but I’m here to do it anyways. It’s what I always do, what I’ve been taught to do, and what I’ve been training to do.
When I enter my parents and their five advisers are at the table, the official meeting with the other rulers is set to take place after this. Everyone turns to look at me when I enter except for my parents, fascinated instead by whatever information the advisers had printed on the paper that is currently under their noses.
The advisers all stand, and the most powerful one comes over to greet me, bowing slightly, “It’s a pleasure to finally meet you, your Highness.”
I force the smile I perfected years ago, “You as well, I’ve heard the most wonderful things about you! And I hear your son has started battling?” I ask the questions that are always asked, the only questions we are told are appropriate to ask.
And he responds back with the appropriate answers, “You flatter me, but yes! He started fighting last month!” He smiles, clearly proud that this son has done better than his last, who died against his first opponent.
I smile and congratulate him, even though chances are this son won’t last much longer either. His power is better, yes, but he doesn’t know how to fight, I know this from studying all the videos. The way he would move was all power and no thinking, he could wipe out people easily if they didn’t know what they were doing, but if he were to go against a skilled fighter, who could dodge his attacks, he wouldn't stand a chance. It’s definitely not something to be proud about.
He goes back to his seat finally, still smiling, and I go sit in my place to the left of my mother, whose only acknowledgment is a little smile after she looks me up and down, confirming that I wore the dress set out for me. I shift my feet slightly under the skirt, making sure they are out of sight.
She nods in approval after a few seconds, and looks back at the paperwork she’s still holding.
My father continues the meeting wherever they left off, paying no mention to me. He asks about several things going on here, then about everywhere else. The advisers answer every question, all good news, nothing too upsetting, only a death here or there, maybe a loss of a kingdom, nothing too serious, nothing that I can try to fix.
The whole time they answer and talk I sit as still as I can, scanning the paper, never speaking once,my face set in a mask of indifference, paying attention to every detail, burning it into my mind for later when I get more information.
Finally my father asks, "And that's it? Nothing more to add?"
They all nod, and then get up to leave without being told to, the doors opening, then closing behind them with a soft, but strangely ominous thud.