The Fae Prince of Ivory ~Part One | Teen Ink

The Fae Prince of Ivory ~Part One

November 6, 2020
By dinooo BRONZE, Raleigh, North Carolina
dinooo BRONZE, Raleigh, North Carolina
3 articles 0 photos 27 comments

Favorite Quote:
All that glisters is not gold;
Often have you heard that told.
Many a man his life hath sold
But my outside to behold.
Gilded tombs do worms enfold.

“Ell,” I coughed. “It smells like we’re inside a human perfume bottle.” The entire palace stank of rotten sweetness. I watched Ellsi laugh and crinkle her nose.

“Ew, it does!” She agreed. “Must be the couple million extra flowers we have hung everywhere, courtesy of her Royal Shininess, Princess Caia.” She spun around me, dipping in a mock curtsy. “This is what her palace smelled like when I went to meet her.”

I bit my lip. “Really? You think it’ll be like this...all the time? After, you know-”

“You worry too much, Robin,” Ell said, fluttering her tattered blue wings dismissively. “I’ll make sure they don’t keep these around for long.”

We walked through the hall to the Banquet Room, and I couldn’t help but notice Ell’s eyes trailing over the glittering gemstones and vines of wisteria on the walls. “They’ve really outdone themselves,” I said, following her gaze. “The maids must have worked for hours on the decorations.”

“They did,” Ell replied. “They work really hard, you know. And Caia doesn’t seem like the kind of ruler to thank people for their hard labor.”

“She can’t be that bad...can she?” I asked as Ell’s cheerful face turned serious.

“You’re about to find out,” she replied as we stopped in front of the doors to the banquet hall. I could hear chattering inside. “They’re waiting for you,” Ell said, brushing invisible dirt off of my white tunic and straightening the silver circlet resting on my head. “Remember the rules,”

“Hold your head high,” I said, giving her a soft smile.

“Speak with pride,” she added.

“Don’t let them see through you,”

“And live with confidence in your eyes.”

We locked eyes, and I took a moment to just breathe. 

“You ready?” she asked me, reaching out to grab the door handle.

I faced the door, planting a regal smile to my face and straightening my wings. “Ready as I’ll ever be. Let’s go, Ell.”

Then she pushes the door open and we step into the banquet room.  The glass wall on the opposite side of the room greeted me with a sunset, bathing the people in the room with golden light. Three dozen people sat at the single long table, lords and ladies and advisors, from both my kingdom and Caia’s. Three dozen people stopped talking and turned to look at me. I stood there, taking in the scene, as Ellsi raised her voice and addressed the room.

“Announcing Prince Robin, heir to the throne of the Fae kingdom of Ivory!” she said, my name on her lips like the crack of powerful thunder. 

There is a silence as everyone dips their heads in respect, then I felt a soft hand on my shoulder as Ell guided me to my seat. I sat on the moss-cushioned chair at the head of the table as the conversation in the room began to pick up again.

“Good luck,” Ell whispered to me before leaving, winking at me with one river-blue eye.

I watched her go, still staring at the door until I heard a warm voice beside me. 

“You look great, Robin,” my mother said, smiling as I turn to look at her. “How do you feel?”

“Happy to serve my kingdom,” I answered dutifully. “Where’s the princess?”

And, right on cue, the doors opened and someone spoke up. “Announcing Princess Caia, heir to the throne of the great Fae kingdom of Onyx!”

Then, there she was. Dressed in a flowing, midnight-blue gown and a golden headdress, Princess Caia stepped into the room. She was like a goddess, with her raven locks, gold-painted lips, striking green eyes, and delicate wings like those of a blue swallowtail. She crossed to her seat in quiet grace, and every eye in the room followed her. I couldn’t help but be struck by her beauty, but then I remembered what Ell had said to me only minutes before, and then I could make out the coldness in her expression.

The attendants brought out our food, and we dined on the finest foods my kingdom had to offer. The princess and I both ate in silence. I sat up straight, listening to the conversations around the table, which mostly revolved around alliance and trade. Necessary topics for a prince, but boring nonetheless. Every couple of minutes, I glanced across the table to see the princess staring at me.

When the sky turned dark outside, the attendants lit the lanterns hanging from the ceiling and the candles on the table. The dinner lasted longer than I had expected, extending past midnight.  Conversation died down not long after then, and everyone began to excuse themselves to their rooms. I waited until everyone else had left before I made my way up to my chambers. It was proper etiquette for my kingdom, and gods knew I had to show proper etiquette.

Ell was waiting for me in my room when I got there, sitting on one of the lounges and reading a book. “You’re back late! How did it go?” she asked, closing the book.

“Help,” I responded simply, flopping on my stomach onto my bed. She laughed, walking over and taking the circlet off of my head, then sitting next to me.

“That bad, huh?” she asked. She began to unwind the braid in her black hair.

I sighed, propping my head up with my hands and stretching out the yellow butterfly-like wing on my back. “It wasn’t terrible, I guess, but you know how I am about diplomatic banquets…”

She patted my head, looking sympathetic. “Well, it’s over now.” she said, a warm smile on her face. She gazed out of the glass doors leading to my balcony, and tilted her head like she always does when she’s thinking.

“What is it?” I asked.

“The princess, what did you think about her?” Ell said, shaking out her hair, which now fell to her shoulder blades.

“She’s pretty,” I said without thinking, then felt my face warm up. Ell looked down at me, hurt in her eyes. 

“Ell, I didn’t mean it- I…” 

She shook her head. “It’s fine, Robin...She is pretty.” she said.

“She did look cold, though. Like Ira.” I said, trying to put that beautiful smile back on Ell’s face. The room was darker without it.

“Goddess of Wrath? Nice one, Robin!” Ell said, a grin spreading across her puckish features. “Bet you feel way better about meeting her tomorrow,”

“Gods, Ell, I’m terrified about that!” I laughed, sitting up so I could play with her hair.

“It’s okay, you’re only getting married. No pressure,” She joked. She was smiling, but  I could see something sad hidden in the crevices of her expression.


Ell had been with me for our whole lives. I was only two years old when the guards had found her out in a blizzard, freezing, abandoned, and wailing miserably. Her wings had been ruined in the snow. She was raised in the palace, and we quickly became best friends. She’d always had a knack for combat, and started training with the guards when she was around twelve. When she became old enough, she was appointed as my bodyguard, as my mother had seen our friendship and figured she would be very motivated to protect me. She’s done a wonderful job, and I have to say, now that she’s with me almost all the time, I’ve never been happier.

“Your Majesty?” came a voice from the door. Ell stood up in a flash, grabbing her spear.

“Oh, hello, Azure,” I said to my maid as Ell slowly slid her spear back into its sheath.

“Um, I figured, um,” Azure stammered, glancing between Ell and I. “That you were tired...I brought your bedclothes…”

“Thanks, Azure,” I said, taking the clothes from my flustered maid. She gave a hurried bow, leaving the room as quickly as she could.

“Who is she?” Ell asked.

“New maid,” I replied. 

Ell breathed a sigh of relief. “I didn’t recognize her! I kind of panicked. What kind of bodyguard would I be if I let an assassin into the prince’s room?”

“You’re fine! You’re the best bodyguard I could ask for!” I said as her face brightened.

“And your best friend?” 

“The greatest,” I wrapped my arms around her in a hug. “You should probably get to your post, huh?

  Her face lit up. “Right,” she said. She stood up and gave me a dramatic bow before winking and stepping out of the room.

When the door was closed, I stood up and dimmed the firefly lanterns around the room to a comfortable glow and quickly changed into my bedclothes. Climbing into bed and smothering myself in the thick blankets, I tried to rest- but it was pointless. My thoughts were bouncing around everywhere, from Ell, to the princess, to the fact that-gods bless us- I was getting married.

I knew it had to be done. Our kingdom had been rivals with the Onyx kingdom for centuries. There had been trade wars, even violent outbreaks, resulting in far too many casualties. This marriage would create a much-needed alliance between the two kingdoms, but that didn’t stop me from hating it.

I’d always dreamed of finding love on my own, like the rest of the kingdom does. Stumbling upon someone who would be there for me, someone who didn’t see me as the prince...just Robin.

But it was never going to happen. It was my duty as heir to make sacrifices for my kingdom. And there I was, sacrificing my freedom to find true love.

It was hours later when I finally fell asleep.

The next morning it was raining, the sky reflecting my mood with its tears.

I’d been miserable from the moment I woke up, picking at my breakfast and moping through my morning lessons. Ell’s attempts to cheer me up failed, but it made me feel a little better to see at least someone cared.

I went to the library while Ell was on her lunch break. Usually I sat with her while she ate, but I just wasn’t feeling up to any more interaction.

I flew to my secret reading nook, tucked in a hollow in the wall of bookshelves. It was about as long as my bed, and just tall enough for me to sit on my knees. My mother ordered it to be built when  I was little, and I still used it. It was stuffed with cushions and pillows and blankets made of the finest furs. My favorite books were stacked on a shelf built into the wall, along with a human jar that the Librarian liked to fill with fresh flowers, and a firefly lantern.

I curled up and picked out my favorite book, a story by a human writer named Sheakspere, called A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It always cheered me up to see the funny assumptions that humans made about us Fae, but that wasn’t the only reason I loved the book. The main characters all found true love in the end, and at least I could watch their journey, even if I could never have my own.

I had just opened to the first page when the curtain at the entrance of my hiding spot rustled and someone pushed it to the side.

I didn’t look up. “Lunch break’s over already, Ell?” I sighed.

“Who’s Ell?”

I jolted as my gaze shot up to meet two emerald eyes. “Princess!” I gasped. “I’m so sorry, I thought you were my bodyguard.”

“Well, I am definitely not.” she said, flashing a smile and sitting across from me, closing the curtains as she did so. She was wearing a loose tunic and leggings, much simpler than the elegant gown from last night. If it weren’t for the crown, she could just be any normal villager.

“I thought we were going to meet over dinner,” I said, trying to hide my surprise.

She shrugged. “I wanted to tell you something and I didn’t want to wait.” she replied flatly, as if impatience was a normal thing for a princess. I glanced down at her outfit again, still trying to figure out what happened to the elegant, poised Caia from last night.

“You're wondering about my dress.” the princess observed.

“Uh, I-” I started, my face flushing.

“It’s okay.” she said. “The makeup and the elegant gowns are just for show. Tradition. I actually prefer simpler outfits like this. I’m not as proper as I may seem. That’s just a persona I use to assure my kingdom. How do you think they would feel if their princess dressed like a villager and went out hunting?”

My eyes widened in shock So the princess was nothing like I’d first thought?

“You hunt?” I asked.

She narrowed her eyes coldly. “Yes...Do you have a problem with that?”

“No, not at all!” I said, which was true. Ell enjoyed hunting, too. Maybe she would warm up to the princess once she learned about this secret side to her.

“Was this what you wanted to tell me about?” I asked Caia.

She shook her head in return. “No, it’s much more important than that.”

“Oh?” I said. What on earth was it?

Caia leaned closer, lowering her voice. “The truth is, I didn’t come here to marry you.”

“What?” I said, my stomach twisting in confusion.

“I came because it’s my duty to marry you, but I only agreed to come because my twin sister is here.” 

I sat there in silence, staring at her like an owl. Sister?

“My sister was lost many years ago. My mother gave birth to us while she was visiting a forgein kingdom. There was a blizzard while we were on our way home, and the wind claimed my sister. For years I believed she was dead. Until I was given news of our marriage.”

“What happened?” I asked her, feeling my heart race.

“My best friend is a stable boy, but he’s also a Skywatcher. He reads the stars and they speak to him.” She explained. “When I told him I was traveling here to get married, he said the stars told him that my sister was still alive. And that she was here.”

She leaned back against the wall, looking at me like she expected me to have any idea how to reply. It was a lot to take in at once.

“How will you find her?” I asked.

She pointed to her shoulder, pulling down her tunic just slightly to show me a star-shaped birthmark. “My sister will have this mark. It appears in all members of the Onyxian royal family.”

I studied the birthmark carefully. “I-I’ll keep an eye out.” I said, still trying to digest the information. 

“Thank you,” Caia said, smiling brightly. “And remember, it’s a secret, Robin.” She hugged me quickly before clambering out of the nook, leaving me alone with my confusion and swirling thoughts.

The author's comments:

This peice was a bit out of my comfort zone, but I loved writing it! Part two coming soon!

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This article has 1 comment.

on Jun. 6 2021 at 5:33 am
drejerrejer SILVER, Århus V, Other
7 articles 0 photos 4 comments
Ooooooh! I see where this is going! I can't wait for part 2! excellent writing!!