“Your Highness. It’s time to wake up.”
Heaven could hear her handmaiden pleading with her to wake up, but she didn’t feel like getting out of bed today. Waking up would mean dealing with her thoughts and emotions, and she didn’t have the energy to do that.
“Your Highness. If you tell me to leave, I will.” Kate spoke.
She was such a gentle soul, and Heaven didn’t want to be rude to her.
“Why don’t you come back later.” She told her.
“How much later, Your Highness?”
“Later.” Heaven groaned, still half asleep.
Heaven could hear Kate’s footsteps and then the opening and closing of the door. Finally, she was alone.
She closed her eyes, but the silver-eyed stranger was still haunting her even while awake. Those sad eyes. There was so much pain and hatred in them.
Why did the witches kill his family? Was it because of the animosity between the races or was there something else?
How was it to be locked inside for so long?
She was curious about so many things, and all she had been thinking of the entire night was him. If she wanted to stop this madness, she would have to distract herself. Lying in bed wasn’t doing much good.
After getting ready for the day, Lincoln informed her that a suitor was coming to meet her. She had almost forgotten that she told herself to take responsibility. Thanking Lincoln, she went to meet the suitor. On her way, she prayed that this man would catch her attention. She didn’t feel like meeting a dozen more men.
When she arrived at the parlor, the man was sitting on the sofa holding a cup of tea in his hand. When he took notice of her, he put the cup on the table and stood up quickly.
“Your Highness.” He bowed deeply.
Heaven knew him. He was a very respected General. A young one and her father was very fond of him. She was curious because of what she had heard about him. Despite his young age, he was spectacular at leading the royal army, protecting the kingdom and planning for war.
“General Kian, please be seated.”
He sat down, and she sat opposite him. He seemed nervous, unlike most Generals who radiated arrogance. Especially when they saw her. She knew exactly what most of them were thinking. Probably that they were more influential than a Princess and therefore superior.
Maybe they were, and it gave her a sudden urge to prove them wrong.
Speaking to General Kian wasn’t bad. He didn’t annoy her at least, and he had good manners. He also seemed too wise for his age, being only a few years older than her. He made her realize how childish she was, and she still had a lot to learn and a long way to grow.
But she couldn’t see him as a man. Or more correctly, her man. She was already taken. It would be very confusing to marry someone before the mark faded. Would that even be right to do? It felt like she was betraying him.
No! She couldn’t do this anymore. She refused. Now, she had only one option left. To try the impossible.
“General Kian. Have a woman joined the royal army before?”
He was surprised by her question.
“Why is that?” She asked.
“I am not sure, but no woman has ever expressed that she wants to join.”
“I am sure you know the warrior Princess Klara. She is also a General of the royal army in Gatrish.”
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“Yes. Everyone knows her. I am sorry to ask Princess, but are you considering joining the royal army?”
He nodded thoughtfully, but she could see that he was trying to hide his emotions on the matter.
“I am sure you can discuss it with His Majesty.” He finally said.
Heaven could tell he was being careful with his words.
“I will, but can I count on you if I join the army?” She asked, knowing she would meet a lot of resistance. Having a General on her side would help a lot.
“I am at your service, Your Highness.”
She observed him for a short moment, then decided to trust his words. He seemed genuine.
At least the meeting wasn’t a total waste. Heaven had taken a step toward her goal, but she still had a long way to go.
After the meeting, she went to meet her father. When she came to the garden, her parents were sitting in her mother’s favorite swing. Her father had one arm wrapped around her mother’s shoulder, holding her close while they spoke of something that made them both happy.
Heave stood and watched them from a distance. Even after so many years, she could see the love and affection they had for each other. It made her smile without realizing.
Unexpectedly, they looked her way as if sensing her presence. Her mother motioned for her to come.
Heaven walked up to them.
“I am sure our daughter is here to speak to you.” Her mother said, looking at her father.
“She is jealous.” Her father joked.
“I love you, mother.” Heaven said, knowing very well her mother always felt that Heaven was closer to her father.
Maybe she was. But she didn’t love her mother any less. If her father was her sky, then her mother was the earth beneath her feet. Without her, she wouldn’t be standing.
“But yes. I do need to speak to father.” She continued.
Her father listened carefully, nodding for her to proceed.
“Father, I have changed my mind. I don’t want to get married. I want to rule.”
Eyes wide with surprise, her parents looked at each other before her father laughed, amused.
“That was unexpected.” He said.
But her mother didn’t think it was funny or entertaining. “Heaven,” She stood up from her seat and came up to her, putting her hands gently on her arms. “Is everything alright?”
“Yes, mother. Everything is perfect.”
“If you don’t want to get married, you don’t have to. We will find a way.” Her mother assured.
“I know. But I still want to do this.”
Her mother frowned. “Is there something you are not telling me? To be a ruler is not easy, especially to be the first female ruler you are going to go through a lot of hardsh.i.p.s.”
Heaven knew her mother wanted to protect her, but someday Heaven wanted to be able to do the same for her parents. Protect them.
“Mother, I know the road is difficult, but I have made a decision. I would be very glad if you could support me. I am going to need all the support I can get. You can also teach me and lend me your wisdom.”
Her mother looked back at her father as if asking for help.
“Heaven,” Her father stood up from his seat as well. “You can’t know what you want before you have tried it. I’ll let you rule under my watch. If you still want to rule after that I’ll support you. Just know that being a ruler will change you and not always for the better.”
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