I stand before two large familiar doors taking deep breaths, trying to prepare myself for what could happen. Fixing any stray hairs, I unwrinkle my clothes as quickly as I can before having to walk inside.
The doors open, a large dark red throne sits in the middle of the room. Small steps surround it as I slowly walk inside, my mother staring at me from my seat.
She stares at me from top to bottom as I slowly work my way before her, stopping short so she can see me clearly without me being too close.
I kneel down, looking at the ground. "Mother,"
"You needed me?"
“Lift your head.” She says, her voice filled with annoyance
Silence fills the room for only a moment as the air becomes dense.
"Lucille, as you know," she pauses. "We are the main kingdom in Fiametta."
"Meaning that you are held to very high standards.”
A tense silence fills the room yet again before she speaks. Her voice is sharp and violent.
"It is time for you to understand your stance in all of this."
"So, I have decided to give you a… less important role."
"Your sister has already started her studies to become the next Queen of Fiametta and is, of course, excelling." She looks down, before sighing and closing her eyes in frustration and exhaustion.
"You, on the other hand, have been sneaking out the palace walls and visiting those commoners."
She looks down upon me filled with anger and disappointment.
"I- I'm sorry Mother."
She quickly stands and walks towards me, her face covered with disappointment and rage. In an instant, her sharp red nails pierce my cheeks as small lines of blood flow down each side of my face.
"Did you think I wouldn't know?" She says, her other hand slapping me across the face.
"Did you think I wouldn't have eyes on you at all times?" She reels her hand back further, slapping harder than the last.
She forcefully shoves my head back before walking back to her throne. She sighs loudly as if I had somehow exhausted her.
"I have decided that since you cannot live to my standards," she says, rubbing her temple.
“The time has come for you to prepare for marriage.”
Before I can say anything else, she immediately stares down at me again, rage filling her eyes.
"From now on," She says, "You will be trained in all studies, including fighting and divine magic."
"You will wake up and immediately go to your study chamber to learn how to become the perfect wife."
"Am I understood?"
I stand up, and look at her, trying to hide any signs of hatred and fear.
Before I turn to leave the room, she calls out to me.
"And if I ever find out that you've snuck out again. There will be consequences." She says.
"Yes, Mother." I say, turning back to look at her before bowing and leaving the room shaking.
* * *
I open my bedroom door and grab the nearest towel, still holding in tears as I slouch over the sink.
Looking into the mirror I see red streaks of blood run down both sides of my face, one on my left, four on my right. My tears mix with my own blood, leaving light red puddles on my counter.
I wish I could've done more but, when it comes to Mother it's as if I'm talking to a brick wall. A large, horrid, brick wall that apparently hates when people sneak out.
Who would've thought? If only the maids hadn't seen me run towards my room. I was so close to making it out unseen.
It's still around sundown, even after the whole ordeal with my mother, this day is feeling longer to me than it actually is.
I finish cleaning off my face, running my finger over the hopefully unnoticeable small dots on my jawline. Studies with our royal trainer start tomorrow, so I might as well enjoy as much of today as I have left.
Opening my wardrobe to change out of the dress I'm wearing , I put on something a bit more comfortable.
A roomy dress seems the most appropriate after an experience like that, so I grab the loosest yet elegant dress I can find and change.
Before I leave, I go into my drawer next to my wardrobe and grab my knife holster, and put it underneath my dress.
I walk out of my room, fixing my hair back into its original bun before seeing one of the maids.
She's on the shorter side, a half-elf with large bundles of blonde hair. I look at her while walking to my sister's chamber and stop short in front of her.
She's folding laundry, mine specifically. She almost looks tired, as if she's going on break soon and this is her last task.
"Hello there," I say to her.
She turns around and looks up at me, shocked. Her gray eyes almost seem to be shaking.
"M-Miss Lucille!" She fumbles, dropping my shirts onto the ground. Her head suddenly hits the table as she grabs the clothes off of the ground.
"Oh my, are you alright?" I say to her.
"Y- yes, Princess. I'm so sorry about that." She says, quickly standing straight again.
"It's alright, I just have a question for you."
"Yes?" Her hands start to slightly shake as they fold behind her back. It feels almost as if she knows something she’s not supposed to
"You wouldn't have happened to see something last night," I start to walk close to her, leaning in to match her height.
She starts to shiver, looking around at everything but me.
"See," I say, "I swear I saw someone leaving the palace last night."
"And ya know, word gets around."
"I-" She stutters.
"You would tell me, right?" I say, looking directly into her eyes.
"Y- Yes, Princess"
"Then did you see someone?" I ask, standing up straight again.
"Lucille." I look over at my older sister Farryn. She looks at me with annoyance on her face as well.
"Ah, there you are, I was just on my way to meet you." I say, walking around the maid.
"Stop terrorizing the maids Lucille. They work hard enough."
"I am not terrorizing them!" I say to her, looking shocked and sarcastic. "I was just asking some friendly questions! Right?"
I turn around to see no maid, only the folded laundry
“Great, now she’s gone.” I look back at Farryn, “Thanks sis.”
“Do not blame me for your mistakes sister, it is not my fault that you got caught.” She says.
I look her up and down.
Her hair has always been a little better than mine. A little longer, a little wavy-er (if that’s even a word). Her dress is usually always of a higher quality than mine, and usually on the lighter side of the spectrum.
Basically the complete opposite of me, the better version of me according to Mother.
“Why are you even here Farryn?” I say to her, moving my hand in the direction of my bedroom. “I thought you were still studying military tactics?”
“I was. Thirty minutes ago. I always end at sundown, remember?”
“Why were you walking towards my bedroom anyways?” She asks.
“What? I can’t see my favorite older sister?” I say in a mocking tone.
“I’m your only sister.”
“Which is why you’re my favorite!”
We both chuckle and walk down the hall. The sun is completely down now, just in time for dinner. Farryns' room is before mine, so I say my goodbyes and rush to my room.
I don’t remember the last time all of us had eaten together, but I wouldn’t wish that type of experience on anyone. Especially myself.