Wildrose-Prologue Part 6
Here is the final part of the prologue. If it feels rushed, that’s because it’s August, and we’re still not on the main story. Constructive criticism welcome, and if you want me to tag, just ask:
The young prince fidgeted with boredom as the important grown-ups around him talked about things he had no interest. Now, as a six-year old prince, his duties were supposed to be limited to paying attention in lessons and appearing at royal functions, so he couldn’t understand why on earth his father had dragged him to this highly important meeting.
“So, after thoroughly discussing the matter with Princess Cateline, I have decided to adopt the girl.” King Chase said. “I want her written into the royal inheritance as second in line to the Maidenvale throne, after Elio, and all the standard preparations for the celebration of a new royal to begin, as quickly as possible. Lady Adelaide, you will be in charge of this.”
Prince Elio did not like Lady Adelaide all that much. A great personal friend of his mother’s, he did not enjoy her traditionalism and commitment to the rules.
“It is an incredible honor, my king, to serve as a royal governess.” she replied with a deep curtsy and a smile that didn’t exactly reach her cold blue eyes. “I have the baby princess’ best interests at heart.”
“Excellent. Get to work immediately on planning the ball, readying the chambers and selecting nursemaids.” King Chase said. “As for you, son, it’s time to meet your new little sister.”
“She’s so cute.” Elio murmured, several minutes later in the sunlit royal nursery. “What’s her name?”
“Savvorada. Or, as she is soon to become, Princess Savvorada of Maidenvale.” his father answered.
“Can I hold her?”
His dad looked hesitant. “Do you promise to be very, very careful?” he asked his child.
“All right then.” The nurse handed the baby to the young prince. With her rich caramel skin, glossy black hair, and violet eyes, the little girl in his arms looked so beautiful and delicate. He had always begged for siblings, and now he had at last gotten his heart’s deepest wish. As he reluctantly handed the child back to his father, the young boy made a decision.
No matter what, he would always protect his baby sister.
By now, all of the highest ranking royal medical staff had been made aware of her condition. Unfortunately, none of them knew how to counteract the berries’ poison. Cateline took cold comfort in the fact that at least her affairs would be in order. The swirls were now just inches away from her heart, and she had only a few hours left. Cateline took another sip of the potion. Earlier, she and Sir Alexander had discussed how she wanted to spend her next hours. Apparently, she had to pick between minimizing her pain until the end or maximizing her time on earth while suffering the headaches, cramps, and constant burning sensations. It was a difficult decision, but after ten minutes of writhing and convulsing on her bed in agony during one of the periodic surges that nearly drove her insane, she chose the former. Now, thanks to the several dozen potions she had been given, she felt only a warmth and relaxation that she hadn’t known for a while. Her head finally felt clear, and the indigo swirls on her body were more annoying then excruciating. Best of all, she could walk, although the doctors told her to do it only when necessary.
There was a knock on the door, and she opened it to find King Chase waiting. “So, how did it go?” she asked him.
“Perfectly. Elio was delighted.”
“Excellent.” she said in relief. She had long given up despair. It was easier to just accept her choices and learn to live with it for the remainder of her time.
“So, what else did you want to tell me?” King Chase asked.
“Let’s see…Mirella, Wyrna, the Sisterhood, magic…I think I’ve covered most of it. I actually wanted to ask you about something. The prophecy you mentioned. Could you explain that a little more?”
“The Wildrose Queen is some kind of prophesied savior to the Endless Woods. According to my research, along with her come four other people, who each embody an element. Together, they will work together to save us from an existential threat from the Queen’s native world. That’s as much as I understand. Hold on.” The strapping young king fished around in his pocket and pulled out a piece of slightly crumpled parchment. “Here’s the first verse, the only verse anyone could find.”
A Queen from another world, shall come to the King of Chase.
And together, bound by love and trust, they shall find a place
Past the Woods, across the Sea, yet still within the Storian’s domain
Two worlds, once divided, by the ancestors of the Queen
Shall be reunited, centuries of separation shall cease.
For though both King and Queen hail from worlds of thorns.
Even in a sea of nettles, a Wildrose can be born.
For the birthright and mark of the Wildrose Queen
Is a Pen’s silver ruler’s ring.
Beware the hateful anger of Fire.
Beware the lofty ambitions of Air.
Beware the drowning masses of Water.
Beware the false sturdiness of Earth.
For though we’ve become a land of peace.
The fight isn’t over just yet.
Hail the Wildrose Queen, but beware of her as well.
“That’s what I don’t understand.” he said in frustration. “Everything happened just like it was supposed to, except for the fact that you’re about to die! We’re supposed to fall in love, we’re supposed to get married, and unite the Woods. That’s what I was always told.”
However, Cateline had gone quite silent. As she gazed at the ring on her finger, she felt that unpleasant sensation of missing something important. Wyrna. Mirella. This prophecy. The history of Pure and Twisted magic. They were all related somehow. The ring. It all came back to the ring.
There was a knock on the door. “Yes?” the king asked impatiently. A young, cherubic boy of about five or six dressed in a silk shirt and grey trousers entered the room.
“Daddy, can you play with me?” the young prince said. “Please?”
“Later, Elio, later.” the king replied gently.
“What’s this?” Prince Elio asked, picking up the parchment from the nightstand.
“None of your concern.” King Chase said, with an apologetic smile at Cateline. “Shouldn’t you be learning history right now?”
“Madame Safyre said I could have a small break. Dad, can you tell me what the Wildrose Queen is?”
King Chase glanced at Cateline, who shrugged and nodded. What was the harm in telling the boy?
“The Wildrose Queen is a heroine.” the king explained to his son. “The one mentioned in the prophecy in your hand. Princess Cateline over here is the Wildrose Queen according to all of the evidence, except that nothing is happening like it’s supposed to.”
“Father, what does ‘birthright’ mean?” the little prince inquired, scanning the paper again.
“A birthright is something you are born to inherit. For example, being King of Maidenvale is your birthright.” King Chase replied.
“Then why can’t my little sister be the Wildrose Queen?” Prince Elio said.
The two adults stared at him in shock. “Well…” King Chase started , trying to figure out a hole in the child’s argument.
“If Princess Cateline is going to die, then the ring will be passed on to Savvie, right?”
“Savvie?” Princess Cateline asked with mild amusement, momentarily distracted from the shock of the boy’s revelation.
“That’s my new nickname for her.” Prince Elio explained, slightly defensive, cheeks reddening. “The big fancy name you gave her is way too hard to remember!”
Cateline laughed. “I suppose it is.” she admitted, as a flustered woman in all mauve rushed into the room.
“I am so, so sorry, Your Majesties. He shouldn’t have been in this wing of the castle at all.”
“It’s all right.” Cateline said. “Just give us some privacy.” After the governess exited the bedchamber, Cateline looked at Elio. “What were you saying?”
“That when you die, your ring will be passed down to Savvie, marking her as the Queen.”
“That-that actually makes sense.” King Chase said slowly. “Except for the part about me marrying a little girl.”
“Who said you had to marry her?” Cateline asked. “Don’t daughters and fathers love and trust each other?”
“Besides,” Elio added, clearly not wanting to lose the attention, “My middle name is Chase. So it doesn’t even have to be you Dad.”
“But wait, you saw me as the Wildrose Queen in those crystals of yours.” Cateline said.
“It could have just been wishful thinking, corrupted by everybody else’s assumptions of marriage.” King Chase argued. “Cateline, it makes perfect sense.”
Suddenly she remembered how she had gotten the ring in the first place. Mirella had given it to her. And since Savvorada was Mirella’s daughter…
Her heart sank. What had she done? Having Savvie, it had been an act of love. But dooming a child to some great awful destiny?
Ezran is right. she thought. I really am a selfish witch.
Don’t tell yourself that. Mirella’s voice chided. You know it isn’t true.
“So what do we do now?” she asked, trying to project calm.
“Well,” said the king, shooing Elio out of the room, “It would be unwise to tell her before she’s ready to know. However…there’s another thing I should mention.”
“What is it?” said Cateline, not liking the expression on his face.
“You see, in one of the crystals…there’s a wedding. Involving the Wildrose Queen somehow. And in that wedding…there’s a massacre.”
“What?” Cateline said in shock. Her daughter, her precious baby girl, would one day witness a wedding massacre?
“This prophecy is far too dangerous.” she said decisively. “Savvie will not get involved with it.”
“I’m afraid that that’s not how prophecies work.” Chase replied grimly. “She doesn’t have a choice. Neither is anything set in stone; as every fairy godmother and godfather I’ve spoken to has stressed, the wedding massacre can be avoided. After all, it didn’t even belong to the original prophecy. And it’s usually by trying to resist destiny that people suffer the most.”
Cateline exhaled, taking her ring off her finger and placing it on the nightstand. The inscription carved into it glittered in the evening light with an odd, mystical look. She hated this feeling, of knowing nothing and going in blind. She was no stranger to being powerless. But even the future of her own daughter was out of her control!
The High Sorceress. It all came back to her. If it hadn’t been for that vile woman, then none of this would have happened! Yet because of her, Cateline was now dying, her daughter stranded on an island a million miles from her birthplace with no hope of ever meeting her other mother. She hated the High Sorceress, she hated the Sisterhood, she hated King Ezran. And Mirella! Mirella had known, hadn’t she? For the first time in several years, Cateline could not help but question their bond. Why couldn’t her lover have trusted her with information as important as this? Why couldn’t she have mentioned their daughter’s fate when they discussed the option of journeying to the Endless Woods.
Why had Mirella confessed love for Cateline? Was it for her, or for the Wildrose Queen? While Cateline had always liked hearing Mirella declare that they were destined for one another, the idea that that could have been the only reason Mirella had said she loved her, that it had all been a lie…
Did it matter? It wasn’t as if she would be able to find out. Though Mirella’s unwavering commitment to the greater good, her sense of duty, and burning desire for a better Wyrna were all reasons she had fallen in love with Mirella, it would be horrible if that was what got them together in the first place.
What was she even doing, fretting about things she had no control over? “Fine.” she said to Ezran. “Let her carry out her destiny.”
“Really?” Ezran said in surprise. “Are you sure?”
“I remember something Mirella, my lover and girlfriend who in an alternate universe not as flawed as ours would be my bride, once said about Savvorada. It was during one of her periodic prophetic fits, where she seemed to have little to no control over her words and actions and no recollection of it later. Savvie is a girl with a thousand paths, each more painful than the next. Try to keep her on the one that leads to a happy ending.”
“I’ll never tell you.” the old woman spat at the High Sorceress. “You have already silenced my tradition, killed off my people, forced me through a thousand indignities no human should ever suffer-what more could you take?”
“Well, for one thing, your life.” a Sorceress quipped. A cruel, vapid laughter erupted amongst the red-robed woman, quickly silenced by a look from the High Sorceress.
“Life.” the High Sorceress wisped, in that cold, silky voice of hers. “Do you not see, my Daughters, that this vile old hag has already lost her life. All she has to hold on to is the idea that she could have saved a sinful, immoral, and heathen young couple, along with a so-called knight. But we will find them, and we will kill them. Just as we killed your younger sister Berengaria.”
Destiny. What an interesting concept. She’d seen it all. Cateline. Oh, she knew it had been a mistake not to tell her. Still, that was how Seeing worked. The more powerful your foresight, the blinder you were. At least, that’s what it seemed like sometimes.
Ravenna would die too. Her guide, her mentor, her aunt would perish, unable to escape the fate that awaited all who defied the Sisterhood. Gestapo had a little bit of hope. He could wed a pretty peasant girl, settle down in a cozy home, live the simple life of a farmer, maybe even start a family, and be a warm, loving, wonderful dad and husband. The boy had seen too much suffering. A quiet, simple, happy life, of hard work and happiness, was something he had every right to. She wouldn’t stop him.
When the light of her life had gone out, extinguished by the cruel rains of time, it had been like a punch to the gut. As her whole world dimmed, the Blade of Kapathrya shone a dazzling pearl white, with hints of red, she felt it call to her, in a language deeper than the stars. It taunted her, mocked her, demanded that she end all of this right now. And for a second she had felt compelled to. Until a new vision had sprung from the poisonous sea that was her soul. Of a ravishing young woman, the spitting image of Cateline, stepping onto the shores of Wyrna. A smile came through the woman’s tears, as Mirella gazed at the ocean, a vast expanse of inky black that stretched beyond the limits of her vision.
One day, Savvorada would come. And when she did, her mother would be waiting.
wow, this is amazing! I love the cliffhanger ending.
Woah, this was awesome! This is my favorite chapter yet so far and I can’t wait to see how it all plays out! It flowed really well and whoa…… You’re really an amazing writer. I love the ending from Mirella’s pov, and is that a future reunion I see? I can’t wait how Savvie and Elio will be when they’re older, awesome one!
YESS, THIS IS SO EXCITING!! Your writing is fabulous as always! It’s going to be so sad when Cateline dies, and Savvie would have to grow up without her… While King Chase and Elio are really nice, I’d really want her to see Mirella too. (Luckily the ending gave me a lot of hope for this!) I can tell Wildrose is going to be a thrilling story, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the characters!! 🙂
YOU ARE SOO GOOD! You write with such great detail, and i love the name savvodora! I thought about the wild rose queen last chapter, and came to the same as Elio. I can’t wait until the next chapter!
This was amazing! So sorry I read it late!
I love how you write! It just paints a clear image in your head and makes you feel like you are in the story! I can’t wait for more!
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