Going Against the Sun

Prologue
It was a glorious day in the kingdom of Fama. There was jubilation over the recent birth of Prince Lyken, the son of King Audax and Queen Fidelise. Prince Lyken was poised to become the heir to the throne of Fama after his parents, but not without a queen by his side. The royal decree said that if Prince Lyken did not wed before his twentieth birthday, then he could not rule. It also stated that his queen must be blue-blooded and can’t be a commoner. Before Prince Lyken could even crawl, the king and queen went to different kingdoms looking for a suitable candidate for their son, meeting with nobility who also arrange marriages for their young princesses. King Audax and Queen Fidelise finally settled on the gurgling Princess Cecelia from the kingdom of Perditus. The king and queen of Perditus had requested the least sum of money for Princess Cecelia’s dowry, which especially pleased the frugal King Audax. King Audax and Queen Fidelise hoped that Princess Cecelia would be the perfect potential bride for Prince Lyken and overall, the perfect future queen of Fama.
***
I sometimes wish that I was a commoner, instead of the prince of Fama. I want to see the world behind the palace gates. The farthest I’ve been from home was to go to Perditus, where me and my family would go visit Cecelia. Commoners aren’t forced to marry brats like Cecelia. When we were kids, she would always blow her nose inside the napkins at the banquets her father hosted. She would also throw tantrums whenever she wouldn’t get (another) horse and whenever she lost a game of Parchisi. To top it all off, she had (and still does have) the most obnoxious laugh which sounds like the combination of a donkey and a dying goose. I can’t do anything about the decree stating that I have to marry nobility. The motto in Fama is adversus solem ne loquitor, which means “Don’t speak against the sun”. “The sun” is my father, King Audax. Basically, the people of Fama, including myself must obey the laws and shouldn’t argue what my father thinks is wrong. Anyway, my twentieth birthday is in six months, which means that I have six months to marry Cecelia. I am honestly not looking forward to those six months. But before the six months are up, I want to focus on what’s happening now. Tomorrow, I intend on going into the kingdom without my parents’ supervision. I want to explore all the different areas of Fama. I also want to know the people of this land. If I’m going to be king one day, I have to know what’s really going on with my subjects.
***
I snuck through the palace gates wearing a disguise. I didn’t want a commoner to notice me and give me special attention. I went to the marketplace, a cornucopia of food and a merchant’s paradise. I was fascinated at all of the sights and sounds.
“Chiiiickens! Chiiiickens! Buy one, get one free!”, I heard one merchant yell.
All of a sudden, there was a very strong scent of bread. It was a wonder to be how I could only smell bread in the vast marketplace. My mouth watered instantly, and I was on my way to the source of the bread I so strongly perceived. Crash! Out of nowhere, a merchant girl and her cart of apples collided with me. I fell to the floor and slightly delirious when I thought I heard the girl talking.
“Sir, are you okay sir? I do apologize. Would you like a free apple?”, she asked frantically.
I had returned to normal.
“Here, let me help you up”, she grabbed me by the arm and pulled me up. She then dusted herself off.
“I do apologize sir; I’ll have to be more careful next time. My name is Julie, by the way”, she said more calmly.
“Nice to meet you, Julie. I’m L-Zach.”, I said in a panic.
“Well Zach, what’s a guy like you doing in the marketplace by himself?”, Julie asked.
“I don’t know. Maybe buying an apple.”
I then took one of non-bruised apples, rubbed it against my cloak, and then took a bite out of it, smiling.
“Anyway”, she said, amused from my joke, “I guess you’re okay now”.
Julie and I talked for a while, and then went on to more serious topics like science, and religion, and the arts. We talked about our kingdom and its laws. Ironically enough, while we were talking about the royal decree, Frederick, one of the palace guards who I know very well, recognized me and snatched me from Julie.
“Your parents were worried sick about you!”, he said. “They thought that you wouldn’t return!”
“You’re Prince Lyken?!”, Julie was shocked. “I had no idea.”
“You’re coming back to the palace with me, your Highness”, Frederick said
Frederick took me away so fast, that I wasn’t able to say goodbye to her. I even think that I was starting to develop feelings for her.
***
“Young man, you are not to leave this palace without our permission ever again!”
I was back in the palace, and my father was yelling at me for leaving.
”Dear, you can be easier with the boy. We should let him have some freedom”, my mother was calmer than my father about the whole ordeal.
In the end, my father listened to my mother and let me have my freedom. When I went back into the kingdom, I saw Julie again at the marketplace, and talked for a while again.
“Your highness.”, she did a mock bow. “I’m glad you returned. Do you want to talk?”
“Sure!”, I answered swiftly.
Like the day before, we talked about our family backgrounds. Julie comes from a family of poor peasants, contradicting my royal lineage. We never let that get in the way though. Soon, days turned into weeks, which turned into months. Five months had passed, and I had already known Julie better than I had known Cecelia. I almost forgot who Cecelia was. By then, I knew that I wanted to marry Julie, but I had to let my parents know. However my father was very bent on tradition, but my mother as always, was my voice of reason. I heard the entire conversation through a glass pressed on the wall:
“We need to stick to tradition! They boy can’t get married to a commoner and still expect to be king!”
“Don’t you see that he’s in love? I haven’t heard him talk about that nasty girl, Cecelia!”
“Julie is a peasant. Lyken will not marry a peasant from the kingdom.”
“Says who?”
“The hundred year old decree!”
“We can always make revisions to the decree, even if it is hundreds of years old.”
“Hmm…”
“Please do it. It’s for the benefit of our son and our kingdom”
“My dear queen, you have a point. We shall have the decree revised!”
I almost screamed out of joy out loud. I could finally “dump” Cecelia and marry my love, Julie.
Epilogue
In the end, the decree was revised for the first time in hundreds of years, allowing bluebloods and commoners to marry in the kingdom of Fama. Prince Lyken and Julie eventually got married with the whole kingdom in attendance (and King Audax shedding a tear), with Julie becoming Princess Julie of Fama. Princess Cecelia spent her days selling chickens in the marketplace to make a living, since her father felt she was too spoiled. So everyone (with the exception of Cecelia) lived happily ever after.





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