Xperia 1.2

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“Very well Charles, begin” Arellia’s announcement sent bright smiles on every candidates face. Including their commanding officer who barked orders at them almost immediately, once Charles nodded the go ahead. 

They rushed off down some steps towards the farming grounds. These had been cleared a couple of days early for the occasion. There was the tests of marksmanship, and swordsmanship. As well as challenges that were designed to replicate possibly dangerous situations to the Queen. 

As each candidate passed each course, Arellia noticed something oddly disturbing. They were each the same, and they rolled through the challenges exactly the same. At the end, when each were faced with a challenge that required a specifically tactical decision between her, and another woman who was a citizen. They all made the same decision, and Arellia hated it. 

Charles looked to her, he was clearly pleased with what he saw. Until he saw her face. He cleared his throat, and the men lined up where they had started. The citizens of the city had gathered to watch the exciting event. They had no idea what she was about to do. It would be the first time. 

Each candidate looked at her with pride. 

“It is an important duty to protect your Queen, but more so to protect your people, each one of you made a decision, it was the same decision without fail, and for that reason, you have all failed, and I shall select none of you, just as none of you thought about how to protect both ideally, but at least the citizen”. 

She was responded to with a gasp of silence. The pride dropped from each man’s face. Charles paled. This was a crucial time for her to have a guardian, but she would much rather face her trials alone. 

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To be continued… 

Xperia 1.1

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Arellia’s first thoughts when she arrived at the courtyard was, ‘oh no’. She serpressed a sigh, and held her chin up with a smile. The young girl who had escorted her glanced over her shoulder, the look was one of uncertainty. 

The courtyard was all white marble stone statues, with fresh green ivy plants blooming over them. A mosaic floor of the god taking his son from the dying mortal woman. Seemed fitting. 

There were a group of men stood with their backs as straight as a Plank. Chests raised in their armour like they wanted to appear as big as possible. Made her think of cats. 

Her chamberlain, who was a slim tall man, pretty in the face, and always wore the top fashion of the city. At this moment he was in a lovely black and gold long coat with golden buttons on either side of his chest working all the way down. 

“My lady are you ready? He asked her. 

The sun was blazing through a clear sky. The knights commander was waiting for his time to call the games. The wind blew in her hair she could tell they were all the same… Trained the same… She knew none would be her guardian today. 

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To be continued… 

Xperia 1.0

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Inside a fifty foot ring wall, made of solid stone, a city thrived. It’s buildings were structured to follow the perfect curve of the barrier. It had four small canals splitting the rings, and rushing out of the wall. Smack in the centre was the castle, with a huge spire at the peak. 

The castle was extravagant in decoration, archways carved with depictions of muses creating art of many forms. Stained glass windows to emphasise the beauty between couples in true love. On the floor was a mosaic article of their God, and how the wall came to being. 

Within this castle a young woman stood at the peak of her spire. Her hair blew in the fresh morning breeze, and it cooled the sweat at the back of her neck. Arellia had decided to wear her hair down for a change, against her chamberlain’s wishes. It was a marvelous royal blue colour, typical of the royal bloodline. Her eyes reflected in her colouring, while her skin was pale. She understood why, she was allowed out of her home only once a year, if that. She had been kept busy in her studies, and duties that it left little time for herself. Except today. 

It was time for her guardian selection. Every Queen has one, to help preserve the protection. Now, with her coming of age, it was her turn. 

Her dress for the occasion was perfect she thought. It matched her hair, in length, and in colour. It was soft silk, and satin. Wrapping around her breasts, following the curve of her waist, and hip. Then draping to the floor, with a split down the sides of her leg. Her shoes were high platform heels, which she adored wearing. In long dresses she got away with it, and they made her walk with an elegance she lacked in flat shoes. 

The altar behind her, in the centre of the room, thrummed to life. Arellia turned just enough to see it over her shoulder. It was a table designed to strap her down, a huge crystal spike above it waiting. She looked at it with disgust. Memories of her mother screaming rang through her ears. She clamped her hands over her ears, and shook her head. 

“Your majesty?” one of the new maids of the castle, Cara, looked at her with wide nervous eyes. She appeared to be settling in well, although Arellia only ever saw her running by. 

“Yes?” She replied. She gave the young girl a smile. Cara bowed, a cute smile spread into her cheeks. Arellia noticed small dimples in her cheeks. 

“It is time, I have been asked to escorts you to the courtyard” she gave another quick curtsey. 

“Of course, lead the way” Arellia felt her heart drop. It returned to her chest in a frenzied panic. 

Cara turned quickly, and started towards the spiral stairs. Arellia noticed her wait every couple of steps to make sure she was still following. When they arrived at the bottom, the castle was eerie quiet. No one was working in the kitchens, or cleaning. Her chamberlain was not around to tell her what subjects she was to study. There was no nobility to out step their rank. It was completely empty, and she had to admit, she didn’t mind it so much. 

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To be continued… 

Xperia 0.5

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Some of the guards didn’t take kindly to his confident words. Multiple charged at once toward him, swords in hands. Jaxon smiled, and with that smile Tessa’s body turned cold, the guards disintegrated into dust. 

Those that hadn’t made a hasty move had started to fidget on their feet. Tessa looked around at the people who had come to celebrate, but none made it worth surrendering to him. Except, her brother. He was dressed in his royal arms uniform, the emblem of a sun, and moon across the backs of the shoulder blades. He held his new wife close to him, protecting her from the sight of death. His face had paled, but he still looked to Tessa, and shook his head. It put a sad smile on her face. 

“Why are you doing this? We have done nothing to you!” Tessa’s mother screeched. She had decided it best to fall to her knees in a weeping heap. 

“Well, I could answer that in a justified revenge plot line… But…” he looked momentarily serious, but that could have been boredom. “That would be lying” his face twisted into the widest smile his face could conceive. Her father opened his mouth to speak, but Tessa got there first. 

“Fine, however, only on the promise that you leave my home, and my brother’s kingdom alone” She projected her voice. She had hoped to sound braver than she felt, even though her heart was clogging her throat. Jaxon’s eyes found hers. 

“We have a deal” he winked. 

There were verbal protests, but they all muted out as she was transported to a cabin next door to the most beautiful lake she had ever seen. Jaxon watched her for a moment, as her intrigue peaked long enough for her to forget what she had just agreed to. 

“You will be comfortable here” he said, bringing her back to reality. 

“What do you want of me?” she asked, her eyes marvelling at the setting sun’s reflection.

“You are to give me a child, it has to be of royal bloodline” he sounded a little amused. 

“You could have done that in the conventional way, considering I quite liked you for a moment” she replied still not daring to move. If she moved, she might have tried to run away. 

“No, that would have been too easy” he mused. “Now come, I have much to plan, you will stay here for the time during your pregnancy”. He took her hand, and led her into the hut. 

Nine months later, and things had become smooth, calm, and boring. Though her pregnancy had gone so smoothly she wondered if it was alive at all. She wasn’t particularly motherly, her hands did not stroke her belly, and she did not care for the kicks. She just stood in the frosting day, watching the ice crackle across the lake. The baby kicked, and fluid exploded from between her legs. An uncomfortable pulse ran through her. It was time. She wasn’t ready. Jaxon appeared beside her. 

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Xperia 0.4

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The hall grew dark. The fresh coloured flowers withered. All went quiet like the world had died. Tessa stared wide eyed at her dance partner, his eyes had swirled into a green whirlpool, he gripped her hand. The silence was broken with a snap, and Tessa screamed as her right hand crumpled under his grip. Bones had pierced through the skin, her blood dripped in his hand. When he released her, she clutched her deformed limb to her chest, but didn’t dare take her eyes away from Jaxon. She cautiously stepped away from his, as he liked his hand clean on her. 

“Now, now princess, I rather enjoyed our dance I think we should do it again” Jaxon sneered at her. She glared back, she was never good at confrontation, now she wished she had been. There was good response for that, so she voted silence instead. Her mother screeched, and rushed to her. “Oh dear, the party pooper of the evening, is that concern for well-being I see?” Jaxon sniggered. 

“Guards!” Tessa’s father stepped out of the crowd. He pointed his finger towards the imposing Knight. A rush of royal guards pushed through the crowd of on lookers. 

“Typical, can’t fight your own battle, well that is not why I am here” Jaxon looked bored at the ring on royal guard that had circled him. His eyes returned to Tessa. “With your blood, I have two options” He held up to fingers. As if she couldn’t count, or just mock the fact that one hand was crushed. The throbbed, ached, and had started to lose feeling in her finger tips. “I can heal your hand, quite easily in fact, and you’d never know the injury was there, but you have to give me what I want”. That was ominous, why didn’t he say what it was? Tessa bit her lip. “Or I can injure you further, kill your family, take over your kingdom, and I would still get what I want”. His request left much to be desired… What choice did she have? “It up to you, if you do what I want willingly, or forced, either way is fun for me”. 

“If we kill you first?” Tessa’s mother hissed. Everyone in the hall watched as Jaxon bent over with a laugh that was over exaggerated at best. He stopped mocking her with hum. 

“You can’t”. 

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To be continued… 

Xperia 0.3

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The courtyard was all marble sculptures, and well groomed hedges. Flowers from all over the country had been brought in honour of the Royal family, to bloom in the garden. It was usually a place of peace as civilians were only allowed within the grounds on invitation. Though today was different. Of course it was different. Tessa wondered out towards the main gate, she passed people who glanced her way, but no more than that. After all, she was only princess. 

The only to notice she had left the wedding party was her mother who didn’t come out to get her. She sent a guard, all dressed in his armour, to fetch her. While delaying the guards efforts to deliver her back to the hall, Tessa thought about why she was in such a foul mood. Her patience was thin, and tolerance of anything remotely irritating was mute at best. 

“Please, my Lady Princess if I do not return with you soon your mother may ask for my head” The Knight pleaded. Wonderful, Tessa thought to herself. Maybe she had inherited her lack of patience for anything against her will from her mother? No, that would be too easy an excuse. 

“I apologise, it was not my intent to cause you grief” She replied. She gave a little curtsey, which was honoured with a low bow from the Knight. He guided her back. Upon returning she was met with numerous requests for a dance. It was like a wall of young hopefuls. There were tall ones, short ones, stout and stubby, broad and lean, and even bulkier again in muscle. The testosterone between each boy was so overwhelming her urge to flee took over again. 

Tessa twisted around on her heels away from the crowd, and smacked into the Knight. She exclaimed her apologies, she had no idea he was there, but he seemed to ignore all of that. He lifted his silver helmet from his head revealing a shockingly handsome face. Square jaw, high cheek bones, blonde hair in a tiny ponytail at the base of his skull, and grassy green eyes. He removed other pieces of armour, all except his sword, and held out his hand. 

“My Lady, would you do me the honour of having this last dance?” he bowed his head. Tessa got a clear view of the lean body mass under his shirt. He was like the other boys who had come to offer their time to dance with her. It wasn’t that they were unattractive, but they had been sent on a promise, the Knight had not… 

“I’d love to” She placed her fingers lightly in his hand, which he stroked with his thumb. The princely suitors watched on from the sidelines obviously vexed at their rejection. “Thank you” Tessa whispered, as the Knight brought her around to face him, and guided them into a ballroom worthy dance. Bodies pressed together she could feel the movement of muscle in his body. 

“For what?” He asked, his smile could have caused most ovaries to explode. He had a nice smile to add to his chivalrous rescue. 

“You saved me from my mother’s wedding army” Tessa said, her cheeks flushed in response to his smile. 

“I do not think you needed saving, I just knew you liked to dance” He chuckled. He was young, how long had he been a Knight for? She had not had the opportunity to dance in a long time. “Besides, you looked ready to bolt, and I think I’d have been skewed with my own sword”. 

“Yes, well my mother is a fearsome creature when she is on a mission” Tessa felt a laugh bubble out of her. Her curiosity faded to the back of her mind. He spun her around, and she could see her father tilting his had at her. “What do I call my knight and shining armour then?”. 

“Jaxon Daniels” A glimmer in his eyes made Tessa glance away. Pressure to feel shy burned in her chest, and she couldn’t bring herself to look up at him. 

“Thank you, Mr Daniels” She murmured. Her heart raced in her chest. The thud drowned out the end of the music, and just as another began… 

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To be continued… 

Xperia 0.2

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“Good evening” Tessa replied. The young man remained stood, but he adjusted his position to stand next to her. 

“Care for a dance?” He held his hand out to her. Was he one of her mothers suitors? Probably, he was young enough for it. 

“No, thank you” Tessa liked dancing, she enjoyed it enough to watch the other dancers with jealousy. It was the reason she sat at the back of the hall. 

“Do you dislike festivities?” he asked her. She caught a glimpse of her mother checking on her. Yes, he was one of the suitors, she must have pushed him in this direction. Tessa glared her defiance. 

“No, I’d just enjoy them better if you weren’t here because of my mother” She shot him right in the bullseye. He seemed to have developed a bit of a sweat on his brow, and a choke in his throat. He cleared it, and reached out for a glass of water. 

“I’m afraid you’re mistaken” He coughed out. Tessa rolled her eyes, then lifted herself from her seat. She left the hall through the main entrance. 

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To be continued…