Taking every bit of Astral kingdom’s tradition into consideration, the priest conducted the wedding ceremony of the royals.
Amelia did all in her power to remain calm, saying only few words through the whole wedding process when the priest asked her few questions. The priest read the wedding vows to their hearings and the two young royals affirmed the vows.
Minutes after the long boring proceedings, the priest said the words Amelia didn’t want to hear at the moment.
“I proclaim you husband and wife.”
The princess sulked in her breath.
“This isn’t a dream. I’d finally be stuck in a loveless marriage.”
“From now onwards, you shall be known as Amelia Anastasia Harrison Brown.” The priest declared and as per the traditions, Amelia bowed in front of the prince who helped her back to her feet.
Raising her head, Amelia attempted to look into the prince’s eyes to read his emotions but she was unable to.
Her veil made her vision blur and even if it wasn’t there, the prince’s face held no expressions. She watched as Prince Andrew reached out his hands to her face and she instinctively shut her eyes.
The next minute, she felt the swift movement and she knew the veil was off her face. This made her open her eyes, just to see the young prince, in what seemed to be a frozen state.
“What is wrong with him?” she thought.
But before she could dwell on that, the prince silently cleared his throat and looked away, avoiding her gaze. A frown etched on the young princess’ face.
“Did I get something on my face?”
“All hail the prince and princess of Dustrich!”
Amelia flinched, hearing the chant. The loud voice of the chant man broke her line of thoughts.
“All hail the prince and princess of Dustrich!”
“Princess of Dustrich!” she hummed. “I won’t get used to that anytime soon. That is certain.”
“Well, you had better get used to it. That’s what you are now.” The princess heard Andrew say beside her and she turned to see him offer his hand to her.
“We have a ball to attend, remember?”
If Amelia didn’t know better, she would have thought Prince Andrew smiled at her when he said those words. But, a quick bat of the eyes proved her wrong. He never smiled at her. His face was simply void of any emotion.
“Your highness, shall we?” Prince Andrew pressed when he noticed Amelia’s hesitation.
Every other person in the hall had their focus on the new couple and Amelia knew she cannot reject the prince’s approach. She reached out for the prince’s hand and Andrew grabbed it which made her breath hitched as she felt her hair stand on end from the contact.
“Get a grip on yourself, princess.” She chanted in her head.
Prince Andrew made a move and Amelia followed, till they exited the hall.
“I’m sure you need to change your dress.” Andrew said, releasing Amelia’s hand from his grip.
“Your highness!” A familiar voice interrupted Amelia’s response. Turning to see who the intruder was, Amelia couldn’t help but sigh in relief.
A lady walked up to the royals, her brown braided hair, swaying slightly behind her as she moved.
“Greetings, your highness.” Helen bowed in respect to Prince Andrew, who said nothing in response.
Excited to see her handmaid again, Amelia forgot about what she intended to say to the prince.
“You are back!” she exclaimed. “Can we go back to my room? This robe is…”
Helen cleared her throat and Amelia realized she was just about to forget her royal manners right in front of the prince.
“I’ll lead the way, princess.”
Amelia nodded and turned slightly to the prince, who stared at the two ladies in amusement.
“I’ll take my leave now.” She said, bowed slightly and followed her maid back to her chambers.
Tears streamed down Amelia’s face as she failed to keep her emotions at bay. It was her moment to say her farewell to her parents and she felt heartbroken. Her parents, on the other hand, couldn’t show how affected they were by the fact that their daughter would live far from them. They were royals, after all. They are not meant to make their emotions drive them in public.
The royal family of the Dustrich kingdom watched the interaction between Amelia and her parents while the palace maids help them take their belongings outside to the waiting carriages.
“Father!” Amelia held on to her father’s hands.
“I’m sorry, my child.” King Louis smiled at his daughter. He wanted to sound cheerful but his shaky voice betrayed him. It was evident that her daughter’s leaving would affect him but there was nothing he could do about that.
His heart clenched as he watched tears fall from Amelia’s eyes. He knew this was his opportunity to apologize for the past days but Amelia shook her head negatively. She didn’t want him to apologize to her. She understood the fact that as the only heir to the throne, her sole responsibility was to secure the line of succession.
Raising his hands to her cheeks, King Louis wiped away his daughter’s tears and lowered his head to kiss her forehead.
“Stay healthy and happy, my dear,” He whispered and Amelia nodded. “Always remember I love you, huh?”
She freed herself from her father’s hold and moved closer to her mother, who was doing all she could not to break down.
Apart from the fact that Amelia was her only child, the mother-child bond was having an effect on her.
She stared at her daughter, her eyes glassy from the pool of tears that threatened to fall. Queen Alyssa raised her hand to her daughter’s cheek and rubbed it soothingly with care and love, all words unspoken.
“She’s not going forever. She can come for visits.” King Arthur, Andrew’s father, mentioned. He saw how bad the princess’ parents felt to release their daughter.
“Also, nothing is going to happen to her. She’s safe with us.” Queen Marjorie smiled. “Dustrich is now her home too.”
“Just like Astral is to me.”
Amelia turned back when she heard Andrew talk. She desperately wanted to shoot death glares at him.
“How dare he try to act all caring in front of our parents when he refused me at our first meeting?”
“Child,” Queen Alyssa whispered and Amelia turned to her mother. The queen pulled her into her embrace and tilted her face towards Amelia’s ear.
“You’ll be fine, dear. Just make him love you.”
Pulling away from her mother, Amelia almost cursed under her breath.
“Are you serious right now?” She wanted to scream but decided to keep her cool.
She was married already and there was nothing she could do to change that. Her mother simply wanted to help.
“Alright,” King Arthur breathed out. “We need to leave now to avoid staying the night on the way.”
“Good bye, Your Highness.”
They all said their goodbyes and Amelia’s parents watched as her daughter followed her new parents to the waiting carriages.
“I didn’t think the princess was such a crybaby.” Amelia heard Andrew say beside her. She glanced at him and then looked away.
She had joined Andrew in his carriage while his parents sat together in another carriage. She felt no need to refuse when she was asked to join him because it was evident they only had two royal carriages. The third one was for their belongings.
She had thought her heart would thump wildly against her ribcage, from either fear or nervousness when she joined Andrew in his carriage. But nothing had happened. She literally felt nothing from how close he was to her. Her thoughts were all messed up as she kept thinking about her parents. Amelia never knew she could be so affected by leaving the kingdom of Astral.
She was always excited whenever it’s time to leave the palace with her family but that moment, the feeling of excitement was far from what she felt.
She knew she wasn’t leaving the palace this time but the kingdom and that it wasn’t with her family but with her husband’s family.
“Husband!” she thought and almost scoffed. “That sounds foreign.”
“Does your childishness humor you?”
Amelia tilted her head to look at Andrew, giving him a confused look. She had no idea what he meant.
Seeing the smug look on his face, she instantly remembered he said something about her tears earlier.
“Prince Andrew,” she said, forcing a smile. “Can you not talk to me, please?”
“Please! The last thing I want right now is you tea…” She paused.
She wanted to say “tease” but she knew Andrew wasn’t capable of teasing her. He hated her.
“The last thing I want is you insulting me so don’t talk to me, please.”
Amelia watched Andrew arch his brows for a moment before he nodded.
“Thank you.” She muttered and rested her head sideways, against carriage frame.
Different things ran through her mind as she stared into nothing. She knew her mother wanted her to make Andrew love her and trying to get to know him was the least she could do.
But Amelia didn’t feel like trying. If possible, she wanted to have a whole carriage to herself and her thoughts.
“I’m not going to act needy.” She shut her eyes. “If he wouldn’t accept me, then I have no job doing things that please him just to make him love me.”
Left to her thoughts, Amelia slept off, waking up at intervals until she finally felt the need to be fully awake when the carriage stopped.