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This story is not based on/in any country or culture in particular. I have taken influence from some cultures, but this is NOT a representation on any of those. This isnt historically based, so please don't assume this was a real life place. All names and themes were the work of my imagination, please no hate 😊  If this reminds you of a certain culture/place, that is fine but again this is not accurate to one culture/place.

As my assistant escorts me through the marble palace, the servants working around the palace drop to their knees in my presence. The crimson flames of the wall torches light the dark palace, and the warm desert wind peeps through the open balcony. My heart races as Lilliana rushes me to the library where my advisor and the royal council wait. The council has been itching to meet with me ever since the King and Queen fell ill.

         I finally reach the large wooden doors in the library. A small orange light shines from the bottom of the door and I slowly pull on the handle. As I walk through the door, I catch the gaze of my advisor, Atlas, standing before the members of the royal council. The seven old men dressed in silk linen all sit at a long wooden table. Atlas smiles at me but I see the worry and fear in his eyes.

"Welcome your Highness." The councilmen say in unison.

"Good evening everybody." I say with a light tone, "I'm sorry if I had kept you waiting."

"No, don't worry about it. Thank you for coming, Lilliana please find a seat for the Princess." Atlas orders.

I patiently wait for Lilliana to bring me a seat, and I adjust the veil that shields my face from the council members.

"Princess, both the King and Queen are in poor health." One of the council members break the silence, "All doctors have said they might not have much time."

"I see," I respond firmly as Lilliana brings me a chair with a wool pillow for comfort.

   My heart clenches inside my chest as I try to wrap my mind around the possibility of their death. While I worry about who is next in line for the throne, I keep my eyes expressionless. Of course, it was me, but by law, I'm not able to rule the throne alone.

"The Kingdom of Galeel has already set its sights on overthrowing the Ariti bloodline. So it is of most importance to elect a new King and Queen," One of the council members breaks the silence.

"Atlas and I have already orchestrated a plan. That is why we called this meeting." Niklaus, the oldest council member stands to his feet.

He's been with the council for as long as I can remember. His white hair is so thin and frail, that it looks as if one touch it will disintegrate. I would even say he was a council member when my parents were young.

"How dare you go against the council!" One council member shouts.

It is followed by the other council members arguing and Atlas trying to speak over them.

"Who gave you the authority to go over the council?"

"The Queen." Atlas says as he attempts to keep his composure, "She has given us her full trust to keep the bloodline going."

The room falls silent and some of the council members start whispering among themselves.

"The Kingdom of Galeel will be here soon to create a treaty between the two kingdoms. If they discover the King and Queen are weak, they could plan an assassination. We are all aware of King Octavius' violent nature and thirst for power. He may even demand our Princess as one of his wives to mend the two kingdoms." Niklaus explains. 

"Maybe if we join forces with King Octavius, he would protect our kingdom." A council member suggests.

My body tightens in frustration as my thoughts revolve around the Kingdom of Galeel. Their King, Octavius, is amongst the most wicked of man. He collects wives like trophies and his hunger for power was unsettling. He can surely tear this kingdom apart if he discovers our weakness. I doubt they would negotiate fairly with us being so weak.

"I'm not marrying King Octavius." I say firmly. "I would rather run my kingdom with a husband from Leon. If we let Octavius gain control of Leon we would all be doomed."

I notice Atlas's glare as the members argue back and forth.

"We don't even have the next King chosen, how could we possibly pick one in time?"

Atlas stops the banter with one finger raised.

"The King and Queen have already chosen a husband for Princess Zeporah. While we negotiate with King Octavius, we plan to keep the Princess safely hidden. I will warn you, it is unorthodox but it will be effective."

Niklaus stands from his seat and walks to the front of the room.

"The next King in line will be here to control all negotiations with Octavius' advisors. While they are here, Princess Zeporah will be thrown into hiding until his men return to Galeel. We can't show the slightest weakness while they are here. I'm sure Octavius already has plans to attack, so we need to guarantee Princess Zeporah's safety. She is the last one with the Ariti name."

"Where will Princess Zeporah hide?"

Niklaus clears his throat before speaking. "She will stay with my brother. He is a nobleman who lives out in the country. There she will be closely guarded and taken care of."

More argumentative conversation erupts through the room and I sigh. The frustration with these old men was brewing a head ache in the back of my head, and I try to keep my composer.

I don't see why they worry so much about me. It's not like I'm incapable of using sorcery to protect myself.

"If you have any objections please take this up with the Queen herself." Atlas announces, "I will not hear anymore of your complaints, Princess you will be informed of the details tomorrow. For now, everyone else is dismissed."

The room is silent and Atlas stands lost in thought as the members' exit. Lilliana tries to escort me out, but I ask her to prepare my room for me instead.

"Atlas." I call his name quietly, "What does this mean?"

He sighs and rubs his temples, "Niklaus and I went against the council and spoke to the Queen herself. I thought it was a good plan, but there's something off about Niklaus. He is acting out of character, I can sense some type of deception with my sorcery."

I gasp, "Atlas! You never told me you could use dark sorcery!"

A humble smile appears on his face, "You can't tell anyone else, my ability to sense deception should be kept secret."

"Why not? If I was an S-Class sorcerer with special abilities, I would be showing off any chance I had." I tease.

"When I was younger, I could wield fire and hear everything within a ten mile radius. However, those were only in my younger days." He says and his eyes look up as if he was reliving memories.

"Why are you so humble about it?" I ask. "There are many S-Class sorcerers, but not everyone has the ability to wield elements or have super human senses."

"I only use it for your best interest. If I had told everyone about my ability, we would never have known Niklaus had deeper intentions. Please don't worry much about this, I will handle the situation. Get some sleep, your party is tomorrow."

"Oh yes, of course. Thank you for calming my nerves. You do amazing work for me, and I can't thank you enough."

"Of course, sleep well your highness." Atlas smiles and I hug his side.

He returns the warm hug and I scurry off to my room. Usually, I would be in a panic, but I trust Atlas enough to put my faith in him. I'm not sure what he has planned, but I know he will make sure I am safe.

    *****AUTHOR'S NOTE 📝 *****
      Thank you so much for reading! I am so excited to have my first project released💖  Chapter/Chapters will be released each Friday 12:00 pm CST. I love feedback and hearing your thoughts on my story, so please comment!!!!!
    I have another project releasing October 31st 🖤 so stay tuned for my info!

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