The news spread like a wild fire on the whole Empire that the Crowned Prince had taken a like and doted on the third Princess of the neighboring Empire and I was chased away in my position as the Crown Princess.
“Always remember Milady, you will be the next Empress of this Empire.” was what everyone told me since I was a kid. I lived my life studying to become a proper and suitable lady for the Empire who would stand beside the Emperor someday.
As I was walking inside the Palace, everyone turned their heads to me with their malicious eyes boldly staring at my way before murmuring something to the person beside them. Instead of worrying the murmurs I had been hearing from their filthy mouths, I walked in the middle of the hallway with my head held high.
Everyone was wearing their most expensive dresses, coats, shoes and jewelries. The whole place was grandiose, from the marble gold floor up to the diamond-made ceiling where chandeliers made from mixed expensive stones were hanging elegantly.
I should have been in the East right now, together with
one of my brothers but the Emperor and Empress wanted me to have an audience with them. I did not know what was the matter but the only thing that was obvious was because they feel comfortable with me around.
“She is really straight face.”
“She looks arrogant.”
“I heard, the Prince refused the tea she brewed herself.”
“Shhh. Tone down your voice ladies, she is just meters away from us.”
I sighed. I could hear you very well people.
I stopped in front of the door with two Palace guards guarding the entrance. They were wearing gold armor with a gold lining cape with the Empire’s crest at the back.
My Lady-in-Waiting, Pristine Gerald standing behind me a while ago stepped forward and looked directly at one of the Palace guards.
“Lady Maxineirah Shinoe Alde Levyne Zachrono is here to have an audience with His Majesty.” She said before she went back on her place behind me with her head, bowed.
The guard nodded at his co-guard. They pushed the gigantic doors in chorus that made a reverberating deep sound in the whole place. The moment the speaker saw me behind the doors, he announced my arrival to the room.
“Maxineirah Shinoe Alde Levyne Zachrono of Grand Ducal House of Zachrono is now entering!”
I walked in the middle of the throne room. A red soft carpet lies beneath my feat was a heavenly feeling like I am walking in a cloud nine.
I stopped my pace when I was already near the stairs of the throne and clasped my dress with my fingers royally. My 10 ladies-in-waiting behind me did the same and bowed in front of the Majesties as soon as I bowed.
“We greet the greatest Fire of the Empire, His Majesty, the Emperor and the greatest Water of the Empire, Her Majesty, the Empress. May the Gods bless you with great and longer health.” My ladies-in-waiting and I chanted in unison.
“Lift your head Lady Maxineirah.” The Emperor said happily.
I glanced on the side where Brother Maxilliary was.
He was keeping an eye on us as his profession, an Advisor of the Empire. He was looking at me coldly with his bored eyes. I immediately looked away when our eyes met for a second and focused my attention to the Majesties.
“Oh my, my. I thought we already told you not to be formal to us, Lady Maxineirah.” The Empress said as she chuckled.
“I do not dare to do that to Your Majesties.” I said with a straight face. I could see disappointment on their face as I said it bluntly and that proves their sigh.
“I am happy to see Your Majesties in a healthy state. This humble person respects your presence.” I greeted after such silence on the throne room.
“How is your stay in the Palace, Ija?” Her Majesty asked formally.
“My stay is very comfortable, thanks to Your Majesties’ sincerest concerns.”
“We are glad to hear that. We are sorry if you could not be with your brother going in Prague because we called for you to be here.” The Emperor said sincerely.
“I do not find anything wrong not being with my brother. The truth is, I just want to tag along with him. I believe that your calling for me right now is more important than my personal reasons.”
Come to think of it. Looks like I already know why they called me.
“Our Maxineirah, are you alright?” Her Majesty first asked with a troubled expression on her face and I could not help but be touched on the warmth I only feel when I am with them.
Just a week ago, the Crowned Prince already found the woman he want to spend the rest of his life with.
And it was not me.
Princess Charminia Apastria Vanessa Adelaide Strangford, the third Princess of Strangford Kingdom. The Empire’s Prisoner.
The woman with yellow hair and jeweled green eyes.
Jeweled eyes were known to be a part of Royal families.
“…Thank you, Your Majesty but I am quite alright. You need not to worry. I understand His Highness for choosing the Princess. I understand that he fell for her kindness and beauty. His Highness loves her dearly.”
…the same as I loved him so…
My fate was to have an unrequited love with the Prince. I already gave up the position to be the Crown Princess and be his because he obviously did not want me, moreover, he already found the girl he was meant to be, the one who made his stone heart soft.
I may have already given up but the feelings I had for him, it was still here. The effect was strong. Painful. It was making me weak.
He also did not want to have a Queen nor Concubines and clearly refused to be married other than her Princess. They were still not married but he clearly announced that he would not take anyone other than her.
Even me. If I would not be the Empress then, I should be the Queen at the least. The role of the Queen was to aide the Empress on her works but the Crowned Prince deeply stated his refusal. He just want me to be the Empress’ Solia
Empress’ right hand woman from a noble family
“As I expected to our candidate.” Her Majesty said in a joyous tone and glanced at His Majesty.
In their eyes, I was not hurt. That I am stoic, stiff and arrogant. That was what I showed them but deep inside, I could not even breath properly when talking about the Crowned Prince and Princess.
I love him. It might not be noticeable in everyone’s eyes but I did everything just to be loved by him. I even limited myself so they no one would think that I was chasing him that would only lead him to be annoyed towards me.
I did not know why but just by seeing me, my presence alone irritates the hell out of him. I could sense his anger that could to burst out any moment.
I could not seem to find the reason why, he also tried avoiding me but we always crossed our paths. Even I, myself tried to avoid him so he would not have a hard time avoiding me.
I think, we could not really avoid each other just like what he always wanted when we were on the same place, under the same big roof. And same goes for the pain it causes.
The anger of the Prince towards me even before the Princess came to be a Prisoner of the Empire was already hurting me, what was more if the Princess he love was here?
I got the permit to go home at our Estate so the next day, I took my breakfast and left even before the dawn comes out.
I rested well in the carriage and we were caught by darkness in the road before we could even get in the Zachrono’s Estate.
The place was undoubtedly bright even the sun completely sat. Was it full moon now? The air breezes cooly and quietly, maybe because it was summer.
I was about to go upstairs when I stopped midway.