It took us another hour to get through the city. The closer we got to the castle the smaller the streets became. There was a wall separating the inner city from the rest, once we passed through there were no more crowds trying to catch a glimpse of us. The streets had been cleared.
The van that was filled with the journalists had left us a while ago, probably to take a less crowded route into the city. When we did finally reach the castle's entrance gate both me and Tessa were at a complete loss for words.
The gate was gigantic and had golden flowers painted on it. It reflected the light of the sun beautifully. The walls were made out of bright white stone as well, though we were now close enough to see the little dents and dirty spots. Still, it looked absolutely magical.
The cars pulled up to the entrance one by one. Gwen and the red-headed girl exited the first vehicle. Immediately camera's started flashing, trying to take photos of the girl from every unflattering corner. I also vaguely could hear them shouting questions.
"It's like we arrived at the Oscars or something." Tessa breathed out, her voice filled with tension. It was exactly what I had been thinking. This was the kind of treatment Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp would get when they arrive somewhere. Not us.
"Who goes first?" I asked her. All the girls exited the vehicles one by one, so the photographers would be able to photograph them individually. I guess it was just starting to sink in that the entire world would have a say in this.
"I'll go." Tessa offered up. She was nervously twisting one of her braids between her fingers, as our car slowly made it's way over to the exit point.
"Good luck." I said, flashing what was supposed to be a comforting grin, but it ended up looking more worried.
"You too." She said.
She managed to gracefully exit the car and even gave a little wave towards the 'paparazzi'. She looked almost professional while doing it too. Like the others, she posed for a few seconds, while I heard some journalists shouting some questions, before heading up the stairs and through the massive door.
I climbed out of the car, making sure not to accidentally flash my underwear to them, and went to the same spot Tessa posed. I tried to do my pretty smile, but I don't really know if it worked. If I smile too much my eyes just disappear behind my puffy cheeks, if I smile too little you only see a little bit of teeth, which also looks weird.
Or maybe I was just overthinking everything.
I was pretty much blinded by the camera flashes. I didn't remember how long Tessa posed for, but in my head, I did a countdown from ten to one, before giving one last wave and attempting to ignore the questions.
The inside of the castle was heavily decorated. Every inch was either covered by paintings or embellished with gold. The carpet was red and surprisingly stainless. And this was just the entrance hall.
Gwen was waiting for me, flanked by two of her massive bodyguards. There was also a smaller girl standing next to her, which Gwen pushed forward a bit.
"Ms Rozen." Gwen smiled at me. "This will be your servant, Luna."
Luna was still pretty young, she looked like she was around fourteen. She had bright blonde hair and big blue eyes. She kind of looked malnourished and her brown clothes definitely did not fit in around all these riches.
"It's nice to meet you, Luna." I said to her and shook her hand. I could feel her bones poking through her skin.
"Luna will show you to your room now," Gwen said. Luna gave me a half-smile and started to walk ahead. Gwen nodded at me one last time before I set off after the young girl.
"So how old are you?" I asked, catching up to her.
"No, no." Luna quickly said, making sure to fasten her pace. "Servant walks ahead of the lady."
I slowed down a bit, realizing how little I knew of court and royalty and everything. I thought servants were supposed to walk behind them? Besides, I'm not a 'lady'. I don't have a title or anything.
Jesus, what has my life become.
My room was in the east wing of the castle, very far away from the entrance. It almost felt like they were trying to hide me away in the corner somewhere. I did get a nice view though. My room was in a corner, near the top of the castle. When I looked out I could see the cliffs behind the mountain, as well as the ocean.
My room itself was gigantic compared to the one I had at home. I had a king-sized bed, my own bathroom and also a little sitting area. My suitcase had already been brought in, and my clothes were neatly hanging in a closet.
"So, what is your role in all of this?" I asked Luna and sat down on my bed. She nervously hopped from one leg onto the other.
"I help you with whatever I can." She answered.
I looked outside of the window for a second. The sky was grey, but I could see the blue sky peeking through every now and then.
"That's good," I said to myself. "Tell me everything about Medora."
The girls all had to go in one by one to be interviewed by the media. They did this so that the journalists would have ample time to interview everyone, instead of it being a clutter of nervous girls. They decided that it would be in the order of being picked, which caused Tessa to go first, but me to go in as the very last.
Most girls went in and came out as nervous messes. One of the blondes looked like she was ready to cry after her interview. All and all, I was getting pretty damn nervous.
I was still wearing the same dress I arrived in, they had advised us to keep wearing the same clothes. I did put my hair in a braid and added a light layer of makeup. At least I did as light of a layer I could manage, somehow it always became a little more than I intended.
Some girls were inside for much longer than others. The redhead seemed to only be inside for ten minutes tops, before coming out looking more energetic than ever. Finally, I was the last one waiting to go in.
I tried pacing back and forward to keep my nerves calm, but it only made them worse. I tried thinking of my family, but it only made me homesick. In the end, I just sat down on one of the benches and tried counting the roses that were in a bouquet right before me. I only reached twenty when the door swung open.
"We're ready for you."
"We're ready for you." It was a young guy that said it, with blue eyes and messy brown hair. He looked like he was around my age, or maybe just a little bit older. I nodded and followed him in.The ballroom was grand, with white marble and gold everywhere. The ceilings were painted in a way the Sistine Chapel would have been jealous of. It was clearly used for parties, but
Free vacation, free vacation, free vacation.I had to keep repeating it for myself. I was standing in front of a large mirror in my room, wearing Medoran clothes for the first time. I had expected to have to dress a bit fancier, I was expecting a full Kate Middleton moment, but nothing like this.
Outside the sky was already pitch black, but there were no clouds tonight. The stars almost shone as brightly as the dress I was wearing. It was way too much of a showstopper, I truly did not have the outlandish personality to back it up.I was envious of Tessa. Her mentor had decided on a black dress. She looked great in it because Tessa had a body any girl would be
"Oh." My vocabulary seemed to be limited now that I was suddenly faced with royalty. "My apologies. I did not know.""Do they have a royal house where you are from?" He asked me in return, probably to try and keep the conversation from drying out. I never got to dance with the prince, which was only slightly disappointing. I meant what I had said to his brother. If I did not feel a connection I would not go through with it. Gwen, however, reassured me and the other girls who did not get to dance with him that there would be more balls, and more times to dance.The following morning we got another shocking announceme
Contest of Crowns Chapter 10
I never got to dance with the prince, which was only slightly disappointing. I meant what I had said to his brother. If I did not feel a connection I would not go through with it. Gwen, however, reassured me and the other girls who did not get to dance with him that there would be more balls, and more times to dance.The following morning we got another shocking announceme
It was late at night when a knock landed on my door. I had been texting with my brother, who was interested in all the info I had gathered in this place, so I at least wasn't asleep yet, but I definitely hadn't been expecting any visitors."Tessa?" I said after opening the door. "What the hell are you doing? It's like 3 am."
I hate thisI should have never entered the competition.
We did not win the sporting event, but we did come in second place. The older players did not seem pleased by this, but the girls definitely were. We had done enough to stand out, but not too little to lose.My head and back definitely hurt from when I hit the ground, but I wasn't complaining. The doctors had looked me over and concluded that I was fine. Only if I started