Enter the Snowflake's lair... Circulation: 81,826,882 Issue: 157 | 10th day of Gathering, Y6
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Princess of Erodaire III: Part Two

by christinetran


It has been a few hours since Oldraik has been condemned to the Northern Tower, but my thoughts did not linger on that fact. I was in my room, sitting upon a Luxurious Sofa, and surrounding me were piles and piles of satchel bags. Besides the seat that I sat upon, my entire room was empty, and the many adjoining rooms lay bare as well. All of my furniture and heavy belongings had been sent to the Summer Castle located within the Endless Plains. My other items, clothes, jewelry, dolls, were packed snugly in the satchel bags, patiently waiting to be placed in their new home.

      "New permanent home," I said silently. I knew that although my father said otherwise, the Summer Castle wasn't going to be a 'short vacation'. I knew that, if Princess Vevina played her cards right, that the Summer Castle would soon be my new home. "And all chances of me becoming a Queen shall be just a shadow..."

      I did not want to be sent away; it was not my choice. Instead, it was my father's choice, something that he deemed 'best for both my kingdom and my life.' I shuddered as I thought of his words, and a pang of guilt fell in my heart. I knew that, if I were my father, if I discovered that my daughter had aided someone bent on getting rid of me, I would feel betrayed as well. I would feel...unsafe.

      "But I would never hurt you, father, why do you not see that?" I whispered to myself and started playing with the rings and bracelets upon my left arm. They glinted and glimmered in the light, and although they were incredibly magnificent, I couldn't help but yearn for a single string of silver chain. One that I could drape upon my neck and hold onto when I lose hope...

      A knock upon my door shattered my winding thoughts, and I simply said, "Come in." In seconds, my room was flooded with Meerca's, Techos, Lennys, and Krawks all adorned in purples, whites, and oranges...Erodaire's favored colors. They all grabbed a few of the overstuffed satchels upon the floor and, with small grunts, carried them out the door and down the hallway. They were carrying the satchels into the twenty-five carriages that awaited outside. In my mind, I could already see the Uni's as they huffed and pawed the ground, impatient to be on their way. I could imagine the Draik drivers flick their reins and whisper calming words to the Uni's, and I could see the wheels of the carriage sag as the heavy, satchel bags were thrown in.

      I would soon be off on my way to the Summer Castle.

      "Father, why are you so willing to throw away all these years of trust and loyalty just because of one, simple mistake," I whispered to myself once more, my fingers still playing with the jewelry about my neck. Although his face is always masked by his stony and cold expression, I still remembered him when he was loving, kind, laughable. Back when my mother was alive, he used to tell me stories and play games with me, and he never feared showing his emotions. When he was happy, he laughed, sad, he cried, angry, he shouted. Now, only the darkness of his face showed, and his eyes were deep pits of black that tore at my soul and made me cry inside.

      "Lady Andra," a Gelert said quickly and knocked loudly on the wall. I looked up abruptly, my thoughts and daydreams once again broken. "The carriage awaits you."

      I nodded slowly, still unable to believe that my father was banishing me. His own daughter, the one person whom he used to confide in, was now being sent away just because of one mistake. Everyone makes mistakes I thought silently to myself as I followed the Gelert along the winding passages that led outside. We went through many corridors, and I was able to glimpse the outside occasionally. I caught sight of the gorgeous gardens that lay just outside the castle, and the deep, dark forests that bordered our kingdom's walls. My eyes fell out one of the windows that pointed north, and my eyes lingered sadly on the Northern Tower. My entire body tensed up as I glanced at it, but I eventually turned away from it and focused my attention on the marble corridors.

      We finally turned a corner and entered the balcony that overhung the Western Hall. Long, white steps flecked with purple and orange led down with wooden banisters bordering it's edges. The Gelert gave me a quick bow before he turned and trotted off in another direction. I started walking down the cool stairs, my eyes focused on the large, wooden doors before me. A fancily carved "E" was placed upon both doors, and a pair of heavily clad guards stood before them, their eyes staring off into an unknown distance. My mouth felt parched, and my stomach lurched with each step. I knew that outside was the carriage that would bore me away from Erodaire for good.

      "Some Queen I shall be," I muttered to myself as I jumped the last step of the staircase. I nodded at the two guards before me, and they each grasped one doorknob and slowly pulled the door open. Sunlight slowly seeped in as the crack between the doors grew wider, and I was soon able to see the twenty-five carriages all lined up outside in the courtyard, awaiting my arrival.

      I took a deep breath and stepped out; it was some time after the afternoon, and the sun still hung quite high in the air, so its rays were still strong. I descended the white steps and onto the half-circle made of pure, white stone. Outside the circle's edges were deep, green grass and tall, shady trees that grew taller than the castle's ways. Their branches reached out far and wide until they interlocked themselves with other branches of other trees. Standing in their shade stood many guards, royally adorned in shining armor and capes flecked in Erodaire's colors. They were the royal guards, highly trained in many fighting arts and were the ones who were meant to protect the royal family. Standing near the guards were the honored servants, all bedecked in silky clothing. My eyes lingered on the White Draiks who all wore a golden chain about their heads; they were my maids, and they were not allowed to come with me to the Summer Castle. I tried to glance into their eyes, but they each avoided my gaze. I sighed, silently cursing at myself for even trying; I knew that the royal hands of Erodaire were not allowed to look at the banished.

      My eyes drifted away from my maids and onto the royal petpets that sat obediently by their owners. They all wore their own capes of white, purple, and orange, and they exactly resembled their Neopet counterparts. The only difference was that they dared to stare into my eyes, and I smiled at that fact. With a more lightened heart, I continued to stare at all the royal servants who have come out to give me a last farewell until my eyes finally rested on Princess Vevina. She sat in a royal, gold throne, her eyes filled with mirth as she carefully adjusted her expensive clothes and jewelry that she wore. I glared at her with hatred, but as I continued to stare at the farewell party, my heart fell. My father wasn't there.

      With a heavy sigh, I walked down the steps and towards the open carriage before me. With the help of a gracious Techo who looked upon me with pitiful eyes, I clambered into the carriage and fell into a seat of lovely, purple cushions. A scent of flowers seemed to emanate off the carriage, and gold trimmings laced the inside. I slowly traced one of the golden trimmings, trying desperately to hold back my tears. I felt the carriage lurch as the Uni's started to trot forward, and my eyes started to sting. I quickly dried my dampened eyes before I buried my face in my hands.

      "Father..." I whispered to myself, my heart heavy with the despair of knowing that I cared about someone who seems to hate me. "If mother were here, she would never allow you to do this..."

      I withdrew my face from my hands and stared out the window; I was outside the palace gates now, and all my comforts of home were slowly drifting away behind me. Before me lay vastness, emptiness, and the pain of knowing that life was unfair. I wanted to hate my father so much, I wanted to despise him. With all my heart, I wished that I would hate him like the townspeople hated him because of his ruthlessness, his anger, and his unmerciful hand and rule. My heart stung with the fact that I couldn't hate him despite all that he has done and will do, and my soul tore at the fact that, even if he were to treat me like I was pure dung, I would still love and cherish him as my father. My mind still clung to his past image...the image of his laughing smile, his wrinkly eyes, and his soothing tone as sang me to sleep at night. I cried...not because I loved one unworthy, but because I loved someone out of hope that, someday, his past self would somehow come back.

To be continued...

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