Once there was a beautiful, smart, and kind boy named Fox. He lived with his seven sisters, a stubborn father, and no mother. His father treated him as a girl because they live in a country that women are of more value than men. Due to their higher fertility rate than men, women are more respected and so his father saw him as a girl, treated him like a girl, and bought him female apparel. He wants his son to be treated with respect as well. Father only wants daughters to wed them, including Fox, to a prince to become of royalty and live a prosperous life. Every day since their birth, he taught them about household chores, health, beauty, and knowledge of the world. Each passing day Fox knew that he is a boy and grew to dislike his father’s way of parenting.
Then one day, the King from the Velstand Kingdom, announces that he wants to wed his only son, Prince Eli Velstadt. His pride and joy.
"My boy, it is that time of your life for you to find love. I shall find you the one of your life."
He wants him to find the perfect and destined bride for him, a proper and a respectful bride for the kingdom and for his son.
"Hear me now and spread the word, you are to hand out every single invitation to the females in my kingdom."
King Roman sent his royal guards out to distribute invitations throughout his kingdom and other kingdoms besides his. From poor to rich, he is allowing every girl to have an opportunity to meet the Prince and have the once in a lifetime chance to become a bride.
What Fox doesn't know is that he too will receive an invitation by one of the royal guards. As the royal guards hand out the invitations, one of them notices fox and the father running errands and approaches them to tell them the news the King is announcing.
"Good evening, sir, I am one of the royal guards of Velstand kingdom. I am here to inform you that we are handing out invitations for every girl in this kingdom, to have a chance to meet Prince Eli Velstadt and potentially be wedded. If you have any female offspring, they will receive an invitation."
Fox wasn't pleased by hearing this knowing that he would be forced to attend such event. He thought to himself that if he told his father to tell his other sisters, he could be off the hook.
"Good evening to you too sir. May I ask one question? Asked fox while looking at the guard with a beautiful, glimmering smile.
"Y-you may." Shocked by his beauty and delicate manner of speaking, he stuttered a bit for he is a boy.
"Is it one invitation per household or is it more than one per household?"
"It is more than one invitation per household because the invitation contains an invitation number. It is required to know your number. Do you by any chance have any sisters?"
"Why yes mister, I have s-"
"Seven, he has eight sisters." Fox was interrupted by his father, lying that he has eight sisters. He knew right away that he too will have to pretend to be a girl yet again.
Not sure if the father was telling the truth, he asked Fox if he indeed really has eight sisters as the father really claims.
"Is that true young man?"
"Yes, it is true. I have eight sisters." Fox nodded with a fake smile.
The royal guard handed the father eight invitations and left to search for more girls in the kingdom.
"Father, must I really do this? I have seven sisters, isn't that enough?"
"Fox, seven is never enough, we need a higher chance to live a better life." He chuckled after hearing his son asking such a silly question.
"Only you and my sisters think that way, not me. And besides, it is a crime to fake your gender." He quietly whispered so that his father didn't hear him.
After receiving the invitation, the father immediately informed the announcement the King made, to his seven daughters.
"My dear children, I have brought upon great news! You could become a bride to a Prince." Cried father.
His daughters all got up and entered the small rundown living room.
"Let me read you what it says."
King and Queen Velstadt
announce a ceremonial trial for females in the kingdom
wed their son
Prince Eli Velsadt
chosen by the Elders of Mage
on the second full moon
held in the Velstand Castle
After reading the invitation to his daughters, he handed the first one to his second child, Fox. Then handed out the rest and the girls headed upstairs besides Julia.
"Fox, Cecille, Eleanora, Vera, Irina, Salma, and Camila, now listen up and listen well. I want you to pack up your bags tonight. We leave tomorrow by sundown. We will have two carriages in front of our dwelling to take us to your maternal sister, Ann."
Like always, Fox does not want to be part of his father's plan. He thinks it is wrong to hide his true gender. He wants to be free from this burden and be who he truly is.
"Father, I don't think it is a really good idea to do this. It is not necessary, I don't want to pretend to be something I really am not. I refuse to partake in such event." Fox protested.
"Nonsense! Why would you think that when you could live a better life? You are to dress and act like a respectable female. Remember, you are my daughter. I have no son, never have, never will. Now go along, pack what you need for tomorrow."
Sadden by his remark, Fox finally complied with his orders and walked out of the room and headed upstairs. Meanwhile, Julia had a small chat with her father.
"Father, please don't be harsh on him. I know you mean no harm but please don't be hard on him." Julia asked him politely with a soft lovely voice.
"I know, I know. It's just, ever since your mother, Victoria left-"
"Yes I know, he resembles her the most out of my seven siblings. You care for him and worry for his future. But please, next time, don't tell him he is your daughter. That hurts his pride, he is a boy after all. Promise?" She interrupted him in a polite way.
".... All right, I promise." He said.
"Okay now, I'll go and check up on Fox." Said Julia, while giving her father a light peck on his wrinkly forehead.
"Are you sure you don't want to try out this event? I have one more invitation." Ask father.
"I'm sure father, thank you for asking."
After having a chat with him, Julia headed upstairs and knocked on his bedroom door.
"Who is it?" Shouted Fox from the other end of the room.
"It's me, Julia. May I come in?"
"Yes, you may come in." He rolled his eyes.
Julia opened the door and entered quietly.
"You know, you don't have to be so formal with me. You're my sister." Chuckled fox while packing his bags.
She giggles as well. Then she walked diagonally from the entrance to the right and sat on the worn out and squeaky bed.
"I didn't expect it to go that fast." Said Julia.
"Yeah, a bit too fast and I thought I was able to avoid this path." Fox sighed heavily looking down at his wooden floor. "Your prophets have never failed but I wish it had."
"Sometimes it can be inconvenient and cannot be avoidable. It's great to foresee but even I can't see my own future."
"At least they aren't bad ones like death."
"Let's end this chat about this gift I was given and have a talk about, father."
Fox flinched hearing the fact that they will have a conversation about the man he does not want to hear at the moment.
"I know that you were emotionally hurt by his words but please don't despise him. He is only oblivious to see what you really want. And besides, this might turn out to be a happy ending for you." After saying that, she immediately got up and kneeled down to give him a good night kiss on his left cheek and walked out of the room with a smile plastered on her face.
"Wait, what?!" Fox cried and let out another heavy sigh. He was confused what she meant by a happy ending but brushed it off for she can be confusing at times. Once he was finished packing his bags, he pointed at one of them and named it.
"Ok bag, you are plan B, you will be very useful. So don't disappoint me."
When sundown finally came he entered in the first carriage with Julia and his other two sisters, Camila and Eleanora. The horses strolled off and crossed a small bridge. As they were headed towards Ann's house, he looked out the window and stared at his own dwelling. Looking at a hill where his V-shaped house resides with a crooked chimney.
"Well destiny, here I come." Said Fox with a gloomy face and no light brimming his emerald eyes. He laid his chin on his arms and started to nod off.
"I hope I did the right choice." Whispered Julia softly while cradling her youngest sister, Camila in her arms.