The Coming Days of Blood

I left the table and I was on my way to my room after the King dismissed his constituents and ended the morning banquet. My father laughed at how I forgot to take a bath before I joined them at the feast. He bid farewell as he has a lot of work to do in regards to the preparation for any possible thing that might happen tomorrow.

“Are you sure this is the right thing to do, father?” I asked him before he could leave. There was a moment of silence between us as we both stared at the large painting of our family which hung on the castle wall.

“I see no other way, Victoria,” he replied and he released a heavy sigh, it showed how troubled he was with what was coming.

“But it would be dangerous for us,” I countered, “for the kingdom, for our family,” I added.

“For you,” I said in a pointed voice, I made sure he would understand the risks that he took by his decision. He stared at the face of my mother on the painting as if he begged her to come back and help him during these trying times.

“I’m taking the risk to ensure that we will win and our kingdom will not fall to ashes,” he answered as he locked his gaze with mine and I could see the fear in his eyes shined through.

“I would take my shot for a peace talk,” he continued as he held both of my hands. I averted my gaze and returned my eyes to our family painting plastered on the wall.

“And if all else fails,” he paused before he took a deep breath, “I will put my life at stake just to make sure we will rise from their blood.”

I looked at him as I fought the tears from my eyes, tried to prevent them to flow like a river down my cheeks. My father was the only one left in my family, to lose him will mean that I have lost everything and it will surely create bloodshed as people from our lineage will fight for the crown.

“We are facing something bigger than us, Victoria,” he stated as he let go of my hands, “something not like us,” he almost whispered.

“I just want what’s best for you, for us,” I retorted, “I want you to be safe.”

He smiled and placed his right hand on top of my head and softly patted it.

“You silly girl,” he said with a smile on his face, “Of course, I will be.”

He hugged me tight and I saw all the things we have experienced for the last 3 years came back to me like a thousand snapshots that collided and burst in front of me. We have been through a lot since the death of my Mother and we have yet to accept her passing and finally move on from it.

“I must go now,” he said as he looked at me with his hands on the sides of my shoulders.

I nodded in response.

“Now go, the royal seamstress is waiting for you down the hall to finalize your dress for tomorrow night,” he continued.

“I will meet you tonight at the table.” He walked away and proceeded to march towards the right-wing of the castle. I am left in the hall as I stared at our perfect-looking painting of a royal family before death changed everything.

I sauntered my way down the hall of the left-wing, I looked for the room where the royal seamstress might be waiting for me. Princess Veronica came out of the room at the far end of the hall and I swiftly walked my way towards her.

“Seems like you have been playing around too early,” I said as she brushed past me. She halted in her steps as she turned around to come to my face.

“I’m not done yet with the games that I want to play, Princess,” she said with venom in her voice like a snake disguised under a corset and a floor-length gown.

I stared at her face as I allowed the silence to be my response and the quiet do its talking.

“You don’t know how powerful it makes me feel to toy with these men and use them based on what I want,” she said as she stepped forward and erased the space between us.

“A royalty often overlooked, always compared to you, but powerful enough to make them do what I want,” she looked at me pointedly from head to toe, “and they begged me to do it…they want me”

“I have been good with playing these games, Victoria,” she added and I felt her breath on my face, “I have been playing with fire and swords, making sure I have them wrapped around my finger.” She smiled, made that to make me feel things that would lead me to bite back on her words but I stayed quiet.

“You have to watch your back, Victoria,” she said, “I wouldn’t mind killing for the crown.”

“We’ll see,” I replied as a smile crept on my face.

She backed away and eventually turned her back to walk towards the stairs.

There is a possibility for a war tomorrow but there will surely be a war when my father dies. This royal lineage will split apart fighting against each other just to seize the throne. They can’t wait to kill me, the only child and the only heir.

I walked towards the opened door with the sound of my heels against the marble floors that echoed through the hall. Bookshelves lined the walls of this chamber with a fireplace and a set of royal furniture in the middle of the room. A small chandelier hung from the ceiling and the golden curtains danced in the air as the wind kissed them by the open window. She sat in front of the grand piano, the royal seamstress waited for me. I paved my way towards her as she stood up and bowed her head.

“I’m sorry for being late,” I told her as she took her bag and led me towards the big mirror on the other side of the wall.

“It is my pleasure to wait and serve you, your Highness,” she politely replied.

She went to the small room next to the mirror and beckoned the servants to take out the dress she had made for me for my birthday. A gown in the shade of the deepest red with embroidered flowers on the hem and red crystals in varying sizes hugged the bodice. It is the color of roses, violence, and blood— it calls for war.

The royal seamstress ordered the servants to lock the door as it was now time for the fitting. She and the servants helped altogether to strip me down and left me with my thin-clothed white chemise. They began to fit the dress on my body, they adjusted the corset and tied it up, and fitted any place that needed to be tied or buttoned. The floor-length gown hugged my waist with the skirt that bloomed like a flower in the garden. I saw all the details that have been sewn into the gown, from the embroidered red flowers on the hem, which climbed up midway to the skirt, and up to the jewels that embellished the body of my dress which dripped down my waist like droplets of blood that rained on the embroidered flowers. The gown has a neckline that cuts deep and flowing, laced, see-through sleeves.

The seamstress took a couple of glances at the dress and made a few markings on places that she needed to readjust. She took a step back and urged the servants to give me enough space. I saw how the fabric shined under the sunlight and how the crystals glinted like tiny droplets of blood. She asked me to do a turn for her to further assess the gown to be able to fix it to a state that will fit a royalty.

“You look so beautiful, M’Lady,” one of the servants said before she fell into a cacophony of apologies.

“Thank you,” I replied and smiled at her before I returned my gaze at the mirror.

After a couple of rounds which assessed every detail of the dress, the seamstress asked the servants to get me out of the gown and get me back in my former dress. The royal seamstress bid her farewell to start working on the dress and I asked the servants to prepare my bath as an excuse to spend some time alone.

I sat on the velvet couch in the center of the chamber and slumped my back against it, completely lost all the formality that has been taught to me and trained to uphold. My thoughts were all in chaos and all I could think of were the ways that the feast tomorrow night might end. I have never been scared of the King and the kingdom going to war. We have faced a lot of battles in the past and even against strong empires. However, my father’s plan scared me. The risk of inviting these people to our kingdom was like inciting an agreement for blood and violence. It puts us at a disadvantage.

But what scared me the most was the reaction of my father. I have never seen him doubt his army of soldiers nor the capability of the kingdom to come out as victors of war. He said they are not like us, I guess they are stronger than us and completely different from the ones that they have faced. Who are these people? How come my father is scared of them? What lies beyond the Northernmost part of the Dark Forest and the highest peak of the mountains?

I quickly sat up straight as the door of the chamber clicked behind me, indicated that it has been locked. I stood and looked at the door only to see a tall, brown-haired boy, with eyes blue like the sky.

“I’m sorry to startle you,” he said, “I should have knocked”.

I smiled and rushed to him as he welcomed me on his chest with his arms open.

“Where have you been?” I queried as I have not seen him for a week.

“That’s a story to tell, my love,” he replied as he wrapped his hands around my waist, “but for now…let me—” he leaned down and kissed me.

Our lips met and all I could do was to wrap my fingers around the metals of his vest and pulled him closer to me. My lips parted and he took every story I was about to tell him. His hands were on my waist and behind my neck and the only thing I could do was to answer his kisses as I indulged myself at the moment. His touches, his lips, his warmth, and his body— just like that all of my intrusive thoughts seemed to slip away. He had washed away all the fears I have for the coming days of blood.

“I have missed you so much, William,” I whispered in his ear and he brushed his finger along the sides of my face. He smiled.

“I know you do.”

I softly kissed him back as my longing for him started to stir up my core.

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