Prologue: The Beautiful Prince
"Prepare yourselves. Emperor Leonhart will be here soon and he will take one of you as his queen." My father, King Leviticus Lightborne of Parzelin Kingdom, said while we were eating our breakfast in silence.
I just watched my six sisters who seemed horrified because of the news that my father brought. Emperor Leonhart Dandelion is notorious for his bad reputation as a merciless and ruthless monarch. His reign is covered with bloodshed and never-ending war because since he sat to power, all he did was wage war and conquer. He has already forced four kingdoms to submission and turned these domains into his assets. He was going after our agrarian kingdom next and we have no military power to boast.
If a war brews between Emperor Leonhart's empire and my kingdom—we will surely lose. We were a diplomatic kingdom and my father hated war. Well, who loves war? No one except Emperor Leonhart, of course.
"Bakit malungkot ang inyong mga mukha? We should be thankful that the Emperor was kind enough to settle the dispute with marriage, rather than senseless war. We all know the four kingdoms he has subjugated so far were taken with unnecessary bloodshed and the royal families were either killed or imprisoned. The case for our kingdom will be different and we will be under his protection, so it is going to be a win-win situation. The marriage will serve as a proof of truce and camaraderie."
It was a good thing that I am a man which is why I have nothing to worry of about being picked by the Emperor but as I looked at the faces of my six sisters, I couldn't help but feel down towards them as one of them will be chosen by the heartless Emperor as his queen. I was the fourth child of the royal family, and I am the heir to the throne. Soon, when my father retires, I will be crowned as the next king.
I looked at my four-years-old brother, Larni, who just messily ate his food in silence. He didn't understand a thing that was going on, "mum, dad, is someone dead? Everyone looks sad." He pouted.
My mother, Queen Latifah, smiled at our youngest sibling and shook her head. "No. No, Larni. No one is dead." Aniya at saka siya hinaplos sa kaniyang ulo dahil magkatabi lang sila. "Do you want more potato?"
Kumislap ang mata ng aking batang kapatid at saka siya tumango. Agad namang naglagay ng patatas si Mama sa kaniyang plato.
After that, my mother looked at my sisters. "My dears, I know you are all sad... But this is for the kingdom and as the princesses, it is your obligation. We all knew this day would come. We cannot afford to go to war and have our people die before us."
Tumango lang ang aking mga kapatid kahit na alam kong ayaw nila ito. Sino kaya sa kanilang anim ang pipiliin ng emperor?
I excluded Lea and Canaria from the list since Lea is six and Canaria is thirteen.
The most probably candidate for me would be Lenny, she is seventeen already and she is the fifth child. She is at the right age for marriage.
Another suitable candidate perhaps would be Lafea, who is twenty years old. Or perhaps if the Emperor would have preferred someone older, he might pick Leda who is twenty-one or Lorraine, my eldest sister, who is already twenty-two.
All of my sisters who are princesses of the kingdom were equally beautiful and my eldest sisters Lafea, Leda, and Lorraine have many suitors in the kingdom. But none of these men has met their high standards so far. Which explains why they are still unmarried even if seventeen is the right age for it.
"I'll be sending handmaidens to assist you, my princesses, in prettying yourselves up. Consider this as an honor—not horror—if you will be selected as his queen. We all know that the Emperor is a good-looking man." My mother said. Yes, I admit that he was attractive because when I saw his painting, I was attracted a little bit. But that does not change the fact that the Emperor is coldblooded.