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There was a tiny little kingdom in a far off land called Tascia. Tascia was a beautiful place full of love, peace, and serenity. All the people of Tascia were happy all the time and always making beautiful things happen. The Tascians were very simple people and most of them made their living by keeping their own shop. Bakers, lawyers, tailors, and other shopkeepers filled the marketplace in the middle of the kingdom and every day the marketplace filled with townspeople looking to buy this or that for their little homes. All the little children of Tascia went to school at the Education Academy and after their schooling went to learn the trade of their choice by apprenticing.
That was the way of life for the average Tasican. However, the people did not rule the land of Tascia. The wonderful Queen Eirabelle ruled the little kingdom. She was a magnificent ruler and was highly respected, mostly because of the late King Piotr’s influence on her judgment. The late King had been a descendant of the original King Gabriel of Archasia, First Order of the Wyse, who had beaten the Dark Witch Desirah in the year of the Dragon Saber. The late King Piotr had the good seed in his blood but the Queen did not so when the Queen took her reign, there was much dispute in the kingdom. Nevertheless, when the people had settled down, they decided that Queen Eirabelle would be a good decision instead of trying to find another person with the good seed in his blood.
“But wait!” the Duke of Lyte pointed out, “the Queen is barren. The child, the child will be the ruler of the land when he comes of age.” Therefore, this was the decision of the kingdom.
But a great darkness fell upon the land when the Queen fell ill. She has contracted a fatal impairment and nearly lost the child. The nursemaids decided to deliver the baby early in case that the Queen may pass. In addition, an even larger distress came to the townspeople when the baby delivered was a darling baby girl, but she was not just any ordinary baby girl. Girls were not possible to bare the good seed, but even worse, the child had the mark of the bad seed on her back. There was great pain in the country as they tried to decide what to do with the child.
“We shall raise her, like she is of the good seed, and tell of this to know one, for the people do not know about the seedings. Then, when she is old enough, we will find one capable of ruling the land and make him her suitor,” the Duke of Airye decided. And so it was.
The baby girl was called Princess Evelyn and was very beautiful just like her mother. She had beautiful blonde hair and piercing green eyes. The Princess was brought up in the castle and was never allowed to leave it. She learned all her studies in history, writing, and arithmetic. She was taught decision-making skills as well as combat and defense. Despite her general good behavior, Princess Evelyn was always under extreme supervision. The only communication she had was with the court persons in the castle.
But Princess Evelyn was spoiled. In attempts to show her daughter kindness and generosity through gifts and surprises, Princess Evelyn soon became greedy and self-centered. She took everything she received for granted and was always looking for more. Evelyn was always well dressed in beautiful gowns and jewelry, but even in the summer, Evelyn never had a bare back. Nobody ever looked at her back and nobody ever explained to her what the sign on her back meant. It was just the way it was and nobody ever made it to be anything different.
Then the time came for her to find a suitor and in came the men. The court people searched throughout the whole land to find a suitor for her but every time an option appeared, he disappeared right after seeing the princess. And to some great mystery, the Princess acquired a collection of glass figurines. But the Queen thought nothing of it; she figured she might have found it in one of the back rooms of the castle. Sadly, in the end, nobody was capable of being the next king.
So they took the prince from each of the surrounding kingdoms: the Prince of Quirinius, the Prince of Damen, and the Prince of Lamour. The princes traveled very far to get to the castle, but understood that if they were chosen to be the one to marry Evelyn, his native kingdom and his new one would merge into a far greater and larger kingdom for him to rule. So each of the Princes rode at as fast as they could, trying to get to the Princess first.
The Prince of Lamour was the first to arrive. He was a large, bristly man with no hair, but always wore a hat. He was very kind and very gentle despite his aggressive appearance and often wrote poetry in his spare time.
“M’lady, it is a pleasure to meet you,” the Prince said, “please, call me Jean.” Evelyn was disgusted by him. He was very obviously several years older.
“How old are you?” she asked in a high pitchy voice. She looked him up and down. His body looked ragged and rough. If she married him, he would be a warrior king- always looking for trouble. He would be away all the time, leaving her alone in the castle.
“Thirty- eight, and you, m’lady?” he sneered back at her. She gasped, being only a mere fifteen, herself. She was immediately, utterly repulsed, but kept her feelings internal, for she had a scheme in plan.
“That is something will get to later. I am not important, now; I am supposed to be learning about you. Tell me everything!” she played on. He babbled on about being the strongest man in Lamour, how he had defeated all sorts of animals, and especially the wild beast that lived in the Blak forest.
“But really, what I love most to do is writing. Secretly, I have wanted to be a writer all of my days. But the King never allowed it. He said the writing did not make a man rich and that a King needed to do something of power and wealth so the nation would prosper. He made me a warrior instead,” Jean added. Evelyn did her best to hide behind her snickers while he made himself in even a more compromising position.
“Then, I think I will have a test for you,” Evelyn handed him some parchment, pen, and ink, “you will write me a sonnet, and if it is much to my liking, you can marry me.”
“Right now? Sonnets are the most difficult!” he rose to his feet, towering over her small body. The front of her dress was open ever so slightly. He, being like any other man, had no restraint in looking down her dress. This obviously made the Princess very angry and she screamed out in fury. She pointed at his face and was about to yell but then suddenly a bright light came out of her finger and he disappeared. He had been turned into a glass figurine.
She nearly screamed, as she always did, when this odd sort of magic inhabited her. But, she kept her mouth quiet, because she was not exactly sure what was going on with her and did not want anybody to find out and banish her or maybe something worse. The giant man had turned into a small glass lion, she giggled to herself thinking that this fit him perfectly. He was big and bold on the outside but just a coward on the inside. She picked up the little figure and placed him on her shelf.
“Perfect!” She straightened her dress and fluffed her curls before prancing down the stairs to tell another tale of an unsuitable mate. Her mother was growing impatient but did not want to displease her little princess so she sent for the next Prince.
The Prince of Quirinius was a little bizarre. He was tall and lanky, but very smart. He was a scholar in his land and knew everything about everything. The Princess did not like him immediately because he was not pretty enough for her. He would think she was shallow and leave her and she could not have that happening. So, she took his hand and led him up to her room to talk.
He told her tons of really boring things about science, math, and history. She started to doodle little frogs in her notebook because he rambled on an on about the starry tree frog.
“Why is the sky blue?” she blurted out while he was talking about the battles leading up to the establishing of Archasia so long ago. He was stunned at first by such a fascinating question. He started to mumble about something in space and the stars but this was not the answer she was looking for.
“The sky is blue because it wouldn’t look right if it were any other color. Ok, next question- why is my hair curly?” she said and smiled as she started to twirl her finger in her golden locks. The Prince was very confused at this one.
“Because it’s in your genetics?” he guessed.
“Wrong again! My hair is curly because it looks prettiest that way. Last question, if you fail this one, well, you will just have to wait and see. Ok- Can you get me out of this castle? I want to go outside but my mother won’t let me,” she frumped. She slumped over on her bed next to the Prince. He frowned at her and tucked a wild curl behind her ear.
“I’m afraid, I can’t, my dear. If the Queen said it, it must be carried out, no matter the circumstances,” he shied away afraid of what she might do to him.
“You don’t care about me and you’re NOT smart!” she yelled and pointed at his face. Another bolt shot out of her hand and he shrunk into a tiny little frog figurine. She smiled and picked him up into her little hand.
“That’s what you get for being a smarty pants!” she shook her finger at him and placed him on her shelf. She came scurrying down the stairs from her room. When the Prince did not follow, the Queen’s face fell to her hands.
“Another one, dear?” the Queen asked, praying that the Prince of Damen would be promising.
“Not today, I’m a little tired. I’m going to bed,” she curtsied at her mother and ran off to bed.
After washing up for bed, she snuggled under her cozy blankets and lay back on her bed. She counted the figurines that sat on her shelf. Seventeen little animals were placed strategically on the little white shelf over her desk. She sighed to herself, just wishing she could have someone who cared about her and not her kingdom. A soft tear ran down her cheek as she drifted off into the land of dreams.
The next morning she awoke to yelling downstairs. It was the Queen, she was yelling at people trying to push off the wedding. Evelyn frowned. The wedding was such a big deal but Evelyn did not want to be apart of it. She needed to pick a suitor fast before her mother just picked one for her.
Evelyn tidied up and went downstairs for breakfast but she was confused to see to man sitting at her table instead of just one. Evelyn sat at the opposite end of the rectangular dining table of her mother and two men sat and ate with them. She gave a puzzled look to her mother but just sat down and ate. She was very particular at what she ate in front of company because she did not want to look like a slob when she was with company.
“Evelyn, this is Alexander, the Prince of Damen,” she motioned to her right, “and this is, I apologize dear, what did you say your name was again?” she asked the man at her left. The man was poised and very beautiful, but not in an obvious sort of way.
“The name is William, the Prince of Sage,” he stated nonchalantly. He kept eating his meal quietly but Evelyn just gawked. Everybody in all existence knew that in the land of Sage, they did not marry. The Sage only had mistresses in order to keep the family line. William was immediately at the top of Evelyn’s radar but he seemed unbothered by her. This was fairly difficult for her to comprehend because she was always the center of attention, and Alexander easily fawned all over her. Alexander had the ’lost boy’ look down with his dark shaggy hair, black cloak, and giant sword at his side.
“Why don’t you take Alexander up to your room and talk with him for a while. I would like to speak with William, here, if you don’t mind,” she bantered on, looking for a response very William. He nodded obligatorily and Alexander got a creepy demonic look in his eye. Evelyn wavered for a minute and slowly left the table.
“Sure, mother. Come along, Alexander.” she led him up to her room trying to decide what animal she needed next in her collection. As soon as he sat down on the bed she slammed door shut.
“How old are you, Prince Alexander?” she curtsied mockingly at him. He sneered but followed.
“Fifteen. What do you do in your spare time?” she looked him up and down.
“None of your business.” his solid face was so easy to read.
“What do you intend to do with your future?”
“None of your business.” he bantered again,
“How many years have you been in school?”
“None of your business.” Now, Evelyn grew agitated.
“What are you thinking about?”
“None of your business.” She stared him down.
“Well, sir,” she snapped, “you are going to have to tell me something if you intend to marry me.” She smirked and he did as well, which was not a good sign. He stood up and towered over her. He wrapped his big, brawny arms around her tiny little figure.
“All you need to do is follow my orders,” he pulled a small knife out and pointed it at her abdomen. She gasped and pointed directly at his face.
ZAP! The once highly respected Prince had been turned into a small glass horse. She neighed at him tauntingly and placed him atop her shelf and scurried downstairs to speak with her next victim.
“Not even worth my time.” she mumbled but the Queen ignored her. Eirabelle and William were deep in conversation and completely ignoring Evelyn. She was not sure how to respond to this because all the attention was usually on her. She stomps and she waved and she whined but the two just kept talking about things.
“Will you PLEASE be PATIENT!” the Queen finally let out. William just slightly turned his head towards the girl and nodded his head. Evelyn was shocked and her face went ghostly. Her mother had never yelled at her before. Evelyn’s numb body carefully sat down in her seat at the table and waited blankly. Queen Eirabelle and Prince William continued to talk about things of the kingdom, of life, and of the outer realms but Evelyn’s mind just pondered why she was not getting the attention. She thought and thought and thought but could not figure it out.
“Evelyn! Evelyn, do you hear me!?” the Queen yelled and the Princess snapped out of her trance. Her head whipped towards her mother making a loud snapping noise.
“Yes, ma’am?” she asked politely. Her mother smiled warmly.
“William and I have finished speaking, would you like to take him up to your room, now?” the Queen said calmly. But just as Evelyn was about to make her comment Prince William interjected.
“Actually, I was wondering if I could take a look at the castle? I have heard that it has the best library in the world,” he went on. The Queen blushed.
“Why, yes, we do,” she smiled, “Evelyn, you can talk with William later.” And Eirabelle took William by the arm and personally escorted William around the castle. Eirabelle grew very fond of William but William was smitten on Evelyn, unbeknownst to her of course. Eirabelle almost decided to take William as her own, except that Eirabelle was ill and both Evelyn and William would be alone soon.
For three days William avoided Evelyn, purposefully, testing her to see how she would react. She followed him everywhere he went asking questions and telling him things about herself like what she had studied, her favorite colors, and random odd facts about the kingdom. But no matter how persistent Evelyn would be, Prince William would not give her a very large response.
Finally, on the fourth day, when Evelyn came down to breakfast, she had decided to give up on getting an answer from him. After eating their meal, Evelyn excused herself and slowly slumped her way over to the stairs to spend the day in her room.
“Princess,” William called. Evelyn’s head flipped around so hard that a loud crack came from her neck and she fell back. Howling in pain, the Prince hurried over to her, picked her up, and took her to her room. He laid her small body down on her bed and knelt next to it.
“How old are you, Evelyn?” he asked quietly. She was confused for she had told him before and did not understand why he would not know.
“Fifteen. And you?” she returned. She decided she would play someone else’s game for once.
“Twenty-eight. Is that all right with you?” he was almost timid in his voice.
“Yes, I think you are very pretty.” She blurted out. Her eyes bolted as her skull for she was mortified for acclaiming to that.
“Well thank you. I think you are very pretty, too. Evelyn, dear, I would like to marry you. Is that ok with you?” he asked staring deep into her big eyes. Her face went serious and she pointed at his face.
“A snake! You are a snake! How could you come into my house and make me wait for you! You are a SNAKE!” she cursed and tried to transform him but nothing happened. Repeatedly she tried but nothing would work. All of a sudden she gasped loudly. Her bed slowly seeped full of her blood.
“Turn over, dear,” he said calmly. He unzipped her dress carefully and the sign of the bad seed was gone. It had changed into a serpent, the one animal she could not have.
“It is gone,” he whispered. The Queen had told him and he had been the only soul to know how to reverse the curse. She looked into his eyes and saw his heart beating for her. Not for her kingdom, not for her money, not for her throne, but for her. He truly loved her and she loved him back. Her love for someone other than herself had broken the spell.
“What’s happening?” she cried into her pillow. He held out his arms to her and she crawled into them. He caressed her back carefully and she burrowed her face into his chest.
“Evelyn, dear, I love you. Will you marry me?” he looked at her stately and with great ease. It did not take her long to realize she was in love. She was scared and afraid of what it may do to her but she was willing to risk it for him, even though she did not understand why.
“Yes,” she was confused at the words that came out of her mouth next, “I love you, too,” but it was the truth. He leaned in slowly and kissed her sweet lips.
And so it was. She changed her name to Eden because she lost the bad seed. They were wed weeks later. The coronation ceremony was the following day and the lands combined and were called Malonia. William and Eden were two of the greatest rulers Malonia had ever seen. And, as cliché as this ending actually is, they lived happily ever after.