Chapter 2 of original story

Hi everyone! This is part two of my work. Please read and leave a comment and I will add more.

Summary: Serafina may not know what she wants in life, and living her life as an illegitimate daughter to a king has always given her few options to choose from. But she is certain that she wants to live a life of freedom and she does not want to be married off for the benefit of others. With her life in danger from assassins sent by those who see her as a threat to her brother’s throne and a certain Dragon Prince putting forth a proposal for her hand in marriage, how is she supposed to handle the new life set before her when her father adds her to the line of succession to the kingdom of Regnum, the leading country in the world for the World Peace Alliance?

Chapter Two

A Day in the Life


Sera felt herself being pulled away again from the scenes before her. Bright rays burned through her eyelids as the curtains were being pulled back from her window.

“Serafina, I swear you would sleep the day away if I didn’t wake you.” A huff was heard from the body of the hands that drew the curtains open. Leena Brent, an older woman with faded red hair tied in a practical bun, was the oldest of Sera’s four bodyguards. Her face held a scar from cheek to chin on the left side, it made her appear even more fierce than how her voice would lead someone to believe. She had also been in charge of Sera’s care since infancy. 

Sera slowly rose and rubbed her eyes as she watched Leena walk into her closet and started pulling out different options of clothing for the day. Then Leena turned towards the three young women that were sitting in the living area.

“And none of you three bothered to wake her up.” Her voice was strict, daring someone to challenge her. To which case Laney took up the gauntlet. 

“She doesn’t have any lessons today. A little relaxation on her day off isn’t going to hurt anyone.” Her hazel eyes were defiant behind her light brown fringe, as her long ponytail swayed behind her as she walked into the room. 

“My dear Laney,” Leena started with condensation in her tone, “there is not enough time in life to be wasting it on sleeping. People should just get their daily dose of required sleep to function and then the rest of their time should be filled with activities to better themselves.”

The eye rolling was very visible behind Leena’s back as she went to Sera’s bathroom to draw hot water for a bath. Then the snickering came once all four young ladies saw that they had all rolled their eyes at the same time. But Leena wasn’t without her eyes on the back of her head.

“Will you ladies start acting like the daughter of the king and her responsible bodyguards? Honestly, it’s very unladylike and childish to be snickering behind your hands.” Leena announced, without even looking up from turning the knobs on the tub. She then returned to the room.

“Now, Serafina, you will get out of bed, take a bath, and we will find something useful to do with your time.”

Knowing that it was futile to argue or delay the inevitable, Sera swung her legs over the side of the bed and stood, making her way towards the bathroom to become fresh for the day.

After she was fresh and dressed and brushed, Sera inspected herself in her full-length mirror. Her pale blue sundress swayed against her knees as she twirled and slipped on light blue flat shoes. Adding the finishing touches of a dagger on her thigh, well hidden under her dress, she was ready to face the day.

Her ladies held similar weapons under their own garments. Sera was well-trained in self-defense and blade wielding when she needed to be. But her bodyguards were far more armed than she was.

“Very good,” Leena commented, doing her own inspection of Sera. “Now let us go to the training room and then after we will go to the library. We must harden our bodies and broaden our minds.”

With plans set in motion, her ladies positioned themselves around her, enclosing her from all sides. Leena taking the lead, Jelena watching her rear, and Laney and Eileen standing on either side of her. This was always the way. Out of everyone in the castle, Sera was the only one to have four guards with her at all times. Her father and brother only walked around with two, unless they were away on a trip.

Sera’s wing of the castle was small and isolated. Nobody other than Sera and her ladies lived there. Zander’s was in the same wing as Queen Regina’s and her father had his own wing as the king. This was done on purpose, for Sera’s safety. 

As they passed small groups of noblemen, ladies, and even servants, Sera could hear the whispering and feel the burning eyes. It’s what would be the expected treatment of anyone who was the King’s child, yet not the Queen’s. Being the daughter of a mistress tended to come with a stigma that was hard for many to overlook. It was also the reason for her bodyguards. The unwanted title of “bastard” came with its own danger from radical subjects loyal to the queen.

As they turned another corner they heard quick paces from in front of them. A young lady wearing clothes standard to the Queen’s guards, a burgundy gown with enough layers to conceal all of their weapons, came racing towards them as her hand held onto a elderly Cicero’s sleeve as he tried to keep up. Yet he went without complaint.

Her four ladies quickly closed in around Sera until the potential threat was around the corner. Sera would be lying if she said she wasn’t curious about what the rush was about but she knew better than to ask and she also knew that this was routine enough that it was most likely nothing too worrisome. 

They made it to the training room that was just outside of Sera’s wing. It was a large room where ornate swords and shields lined the walls and the floor was made of cherry wood, compared to most of the castle using bricks covered with carpets. 

Sera took her stance before Eileen with her longsword at the ready. Not even having the chance to take a breath, Sera was finding herself quickly dodging and countering Eileen’s strikes. 

“Come on now, Serafina. Move your feet. Keep your eyes focused.” Leena barked. “I hardly see any sweat on your flesh. If this were a matter of life and death you would have already been defeated.”

Sera pushed harder against Eileen and then once she was starting to gain the upper hand she was soon fighting off both Eileen and Jelena. This continued on for fifteen more minutes. Sera was grateful when Leena was satisfied enough with her to not add Laney or even herself to the faux fight. After taking damp clothes to themselves to wipe the sweat they began to head towards the library and the people that lined the way. 

The library was a much appreciated place to be after having to walk past so many people to reach it. It was one of Sera’s most favorite rooms in all of the castle. There were two floors, with her father’s desk towards the back with a master fireplace behind the large oak surface and a ceiling high window facing the gardens on either side of the fireplace. The rest of the room was filled with shelves where every nook and cranny of them were filled with books of any and all subjects. 

Leena turned to the young ladies behind her. “I want you all to pick out a book to read. Educational, preferably. Then we will make our way towards the garden. I already sent for there to be food waiting for us for lunch.”

Books quickly in hand, and approved by Leena, they were back off walking through the corridors snaking their way back towards Sera’s wing where her private garden was located. With the wing being so vacant and Sera always being accompanied by her ladies, only one guard was needed to stand by the entrance to the secret garden. The guard bowed and stepped aside to allow the ladies through. 

The garden was in the shape of a perfect square. In the center was a large three tiered fountain. In adjacent corners were beds of wildflowers and in the other two adjacent corners were plain with fresh cut grass and a bench in each corner. But the most intriguing feature of the garden was the glass ceiling, so that Sera could enjoy the garden no matter the weather. Underneath the beds of grass and flowers was an intricate waterway to keep all of the plants healthy and self-caring.

 However, the best feature was one that was a surprise when she stepped into the garden. Sitting on the lip of the fountain with a book in hand sat her older brother Zander. His curly black mop hangs in his steel eyes as they read. His clothing hiding the broad shoulders and muscles that were evidence of many years of sword training. He glanced up as the approach and gave a dazing smile. Both had their father’s hair and if you had not known their parentage, one would assume that they were full siblings at a first glance. However their differences appeared greatly in their eyes. Zander’s were the hardened steel of his mother with a wisp of blue of his father. While Sera’s eyes were only that of the woman that their father loved most. Needless to say, both were attractive enough in appearance. Sera knew that her brother was the much sought after prize of many eligible princesses in neighboring countries, as well as other eligible noblewomen, and he had yet to choose a single one to be his wife, despite his mother breathing down his neck about it since he was sixteen-years-old.

“Little sister, how are you today?”

Her ladies curtsied to the Crown Prince as Sera drew closer to engage in conversation.

“I’m doing well. Leena forced me to get out of bed today so I had no choice but obey and take on Eileen and Jelena in training and then find an educational book.” She gestured to her book and gave a sarcastic eye roll.

“Well, excuse me for looking after your health and education.” Leena jumped in. Then she gave a scan of Zander. “And what are you reading Zander?”

Zander began fidgeting a bit, as if embarrassed. “It’s a book of fiction this time.”

Leena gave a glance at the title. “‘The Joker that Tricked the King.’ That’s an interesting title. But I’m sure that you could find one that would be more beneficial for your mind.”

“Yes, ma’am.” Zander bowed his head slightly, like a child. 

Laney stepped forward to save the poor prince from his former nanny’s eyes. “So, cousin, we had seen one of your mother’s guards running like her life depended on it, down the corridor with poor Cicero having to trail behind her. Is everything alright?”

Zander gave an annoyed expression but was quick to hide it, lest Leena were to scold him again. “It would appear that my mother has fainted, again. I can assure you that she is fine though. She always is. Honestly I feel worse for Cicero than anyone else. Poor man needs to retire but refuses too.”

“What would have caused her such stress to faint again?” Sera’s curiosity peaked.

Zander gave a secretive smirk. “Well, I can say with some confidence that this fainting spell was probably real, unlike so many in the past. She received a letter from Father, the first that she has had in a long time. I can only imagine her shock at what he had to say. But I can’t really say out loud what it is yet.”

Now Sera’s imagination was going rampant but she kept herself in check. “Why can’t you say anything?”

Zander’s face broke out in grin at knowing a secret that she was not private to would eat her up inside. “I can’t tell you right now. But I can promise that you will be brought into the secret soon. It’s my hope that the secret will make things better for you. But for now, dear sister,” he gave her a quick kiss on the cheek, “I must head over to see Mother before she sends for me. I would rather not listen to her nag and tell me of how much I don’t care about her. So if I go before I am called then I won’t have to stay longer than needed. But I will see you all later.”

“Ladies.” Zander turned towards the ladies and gave a courteous bow and headed out on his way.

Shortly after he left, a group of servants brought a spread of meats, breads, and cheeses for their lunch. After a quick taste test, something that Sera truly despised, not ever wanting her friends to be put into needless danger for her sake, they could finally enjoy the food and read while doing so.

Once everything was picked over and books were well into, Sera began to feel her eyes burn from the pages and the sense of fatigue that came with it. Turning towards the others, she did not get the same sense of fatigue off of them that she had. She turned to Leena, wondering if she would actually allow her to nap or not.

“Hey, Leena. I’m feeling rather tired. Would it be alright to have a quick nap before dinner?” She could see a slight annoyance in Leena’s face, along with something else that she couldn’t quite place. Maybe amusement?

“I swear you would have people believing that you were five instead of eighteen. But if you truly feel as though you should have a nap then I suppose we can escort you back to your room while we make our rounds of the wing.” Leena rose from her spot, and like little ducklings, the rest of them followed her back to Sera’s bed chambers.







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