The Traveler Chronicles 3

ERABELLE’S TALE

PART ONE: THE UNEXPECTED SAVIOR 

Erabelle sunk her head low in sorrow, her pale face carefully concealed behind her mourning veil. The tears and sorrow had become a part of the ‘tragedy princess persona’ she had been forced to adapt to in those days. This was because from a young age, Erabelle had experienced sorrow like no other royal had in the Magical Realm…

Erabelle or Era as she was known by an intimate few, had lost her grandparents even before knowing them- her grandmother, Penny Roth had died while giving birth to her paternal Aunt Emilie (who had also tragically passed away while in her mother’s womb) and her grandfather, Blaize of Breanna, had died soon after of a broken heart. That meant that her father, Prince Ember of Medula, had ascended to the throne when he was barely an year old and a Regent had been appointed by the state to look after the young man and rule in his stead until Prince Ember was old enough to rule as King of the growing controversial ‘half-breed’ nation.

The Regent appointed, Regent Oweyn Bellows, quickly won favor with the people with his wit and overall fairness in all matters. It was for this reason that when Prince Ember ascended to his throne as his birthright, Regent Bellows was appointed as his senior most advisor- the King’s right hand man and his second in all things. The newly crowned King continued to rely on the Regent’s wisdom in all matters concerning the state and the people grew to love him as much as Regent Bellows.

Now when the time came for Prince Ember to marry, Regent Bellows chose the best suitor for the King from among many suitable candidates. The candidate was considered a bastard by her people- a half-breed part dryad, part witch child named Xylona. She was an instant favorite among the people of Medula and all thought that she and King Ember were a match made in the Paradise Lands. Regent Bellows personally took it upon himself to coach the illegitimate daughter of the Queen of Nymphadora into the Queen she was meant to be- the perfect Queen for the people of Medula.

By the following year, King Ember and Queen Xylona had a beautiful baby girl- Erabelle. The child was special as she was a rare hybrid capable of pure magic to some degree. The people were elated as they watched the child grow up and follow in the footsteps of her parents. Era was intelligent, helpful, kind and well-mannered, a perfect princess.

In the eyes of the people, they couldn’t have asked for better aristocrats but behind closed doors were dark secrets the people couldn’t have possibly have fathomed. Era trembled involuntarily as she thought about the morbid life she truly lived that the people were completely oblivious to…

It had began when Era was still considered a fledgling, a meek eight year old child. She was excited to have performed her very first live healing on a bird with a left broken wing and had been so successful that the bird had been able to take flight almost immediately. Naturally, she ran to tell her favorite Granduncle Bellows about it. She was elated as she approached him delightfully boasting of her brilliant success. He seemed proud of her and he hugged her, gradually adding pressure and rubbing his hands along her back softly.

Era embraced the Regent joyously but the hug suddenly dragged on for too long and then Granduncle Bellows began to touch her in a more aggressive way- in a way she had been taught only mothers and fathers were allowed to touch. Granduncle Bellows even began to touch her ‘no-no’ areas and she was scared and felt powerless against such a strong and powerful man.

However, even after thinking that it was wrong for  the Regent to touch her like that, her mind rationalized that he was simply just so happy and proud of her that he wanted to give her a very special, grown up hug. After all, mothers and fathers gave each other special hugs all the time meant for adults only and the Regent’s hug was simply a way for him to show her he counted her as an adult… Granduncle Bellows was simply treating her like an accomplished, adult healer, she reasoned.

However, as time passed by, she had an epiphany that her Granduncle Bellows was not the kind man he projected himself to be to the world and was instead a predator and she, his unwilling prey. In time Granduncle Bellows continued to abuse her  by touching her whenever he wanted usually going as far as to sneak into her room in the dead of the night and threaten her  to keep silent and sometimes he bought her extravagant gifts, calling her his favorite niece just to keep her silent.

Bellows would then tell her that he loved her and she was his very special queen. He even tried rationalizing what he did to her by trying to trick her fragile mind that they shared a bond as strong as the Protector’s Bond and that she was meant to be his mate.

Eventually, Era broke the silence about the abuse she endured to her mother, Queen Xylona. The Queen called her a despicable liar and made her hatred and bitterness towards her own daughter be known from that day. The Queen blamed Era for turning her sterile since she had been unable to successfully carry another child to term since Era’s birth. Era suffered more and more each day, each month and each year with Regent Bellows’ abuse gradually escalating emboldened by Xylona’s victim shaming of her own daughter, until at last, she confided in her father, King Ember.

King Ember, unlike his wife, had always adored his daughter. The news of Bellows’ abuse led to a rage like the King had never experienced and in the resulting feud he had with the man he had trusted since he could speak, he nearly killed the Regent and cast him out of his Palace, exiling him from their lives and from Medula itself. To protect his daughter, he hid the truth from the people even as popular opinion began to turn against him due to Bellows’ allies and supporters’ ruin of the pristine image maintained of the royal family.

Era and Ember grew closer and closer while Xylona’s rage and hatred towards her daughter intensified. King Ember continued ruling the people of Medula despite the unpopular opinions of the people and went on to making treaties with the other countries of the Magical realm, eventually meeting the Queen of the witch nation of Mialand herself and by extension, the Queen’s most trusted ambassador, Lady Anna Greaves. He and Lady Anna instantly took a liking to each other and became close friends, staying in communication long after the treaty was signed and sealed.

Due to the close connection he shared with his daughter who was then of age, he confided his feelings of instant attraction and love for Anna to her. Era, who wanted her father’s happiness above all else, encouraged her father’s romantic pursuits of the lady. However, they soon learned of the news of Lady Anna’s secret marriage to the Prince of Mialand and of her pregnancy. Heartbroken, Ember could do nothing more but dream of a life with her that could have been.

However, fate would soon turn the tide and Lady Anna, who turned out to be a half breed, was discovered while giving birth to her daughter when the headdresses she loved to wear so often even when she lay next to her husband were suddenly stripped from her head. She was promptly disowned, divorced and exiled before the people of Mialand even knew of her status as the Royal Consort of the Prince.

The royal family of Mialand sought to silence her once and for all and drove her out to the no man’s land near the border between Mialand and Denary (then known as the Underground Kingdom) where they would have killed her had it not been for the peace-keeping soldiers of Medula who were in the Underground Kingdom on a diplomatic mission of peace helping to keep the borders safe. Luckily, the soldiers took her in and helped give Lady Anna and her baby safe passage from the Underground Kingdom to Medula and vowed to never reveal the secret of who she and her baby really were in exchange for gold from the soldiers whose mission it was to kill the two exiles.

The soldiers soon sent word to King Ember of the stranger they had rescued and the King promptly arranged for Lady Anna’s resettlement in secret. Lady Anna fell in love with the King not long after settling in Medula and soon had a secret romance for two blissful  years before a jealous, enraged Queen Xylona found out the truth. She began to plot her revenge secretly with well connected aides of Regent Bellows who planned to overthrow the king.

Eventually, King Ember was given the choice of either abandoning Lady Anna, his true love, or giving up on the Kingdom. For the King, the choice was simple- true love was far more important to him then a kingdom loyal to the Regent. He thus chose the earlier and continued to live on with his love with his daughter, Era, discreetly supplying them with the gold and necessary resources required to live their lives comfortably.

However, Queen Xylona soon had the King and Lady Anna assassinated and would have killed Lady Anna’s child, Elisabeth and her daughter by King Ember, Penny, born not long afterwards, had it not been for the intervention of the loyalist family living close by who took the two children in and hid them while the Queen’s and Regent’s men sought them out.

With King Ember dead, it only took a few weeks for Regent Bellows to emerge from the shadows and claim the Kingdom of Medula for himself. Bellows then made it known that Queen Xylona, who went into a murderous rage and began killing off all the loyalists  of King Ember that were made known to her, was unfit to rule and quickly won over the people.

The Regent Bellows, in his very cleverly constructed image of a ‘considerable and fair’ ruler then declared that he would marry Princess Era to ensure her birthright was rightly given to her and preserved in honor of the royal line of Queen Penny Roth. The people were all for this insane arrangement for little did they know of the Regent’s true nature.

Princess Era made only one formal request of her abuser- turned-fiance to accept his offer of marriage. Her request was for the Regent to formally accept naming her sisters, Princess Elisabeth and Princess Penny, who were safely stored away by a loyalist family as legitimate princesses with stakes at the throne. Regent Bellows graciously agreed and promptly had the princesses crowned and named as legitimate princesses even in their absence.

The wedding was then planned for when Princess Era had observed the proper mourning period for her father Ember and Lady Anna which was only three months and unfortunately, the Princess’s time was almost up. Princess Era sighed and began to cry again- mourning and begging and pleading for a way to escape her cruel fate without endangering her sisters and the loyalists who saw through the Regent’s facade.

However, even when all hope seemed lost, a savior at long last come to save her with a mere two days left for her to walk down the aisle. Her savior came in the form of a woman also dressed in the black mourning dress and dark veil she wore throughout the mourning period. Her savior, however, pulled off the mourning dress a lot better than Era ever could.

The woman dramatically lifted her veil revealing a stunning asymmetrical face with the most gorgeous almond shaped, emerald-green eyes Era had ever seen and the most attractive smile stretched across bow shaped lips ever witnessed in Medula. Era could not do anything for several moments but to gaze upon the beautiful woman who soon took her ice cold arms and held them in her soft, gloved palms, a gesture so simple yet so effective in comforting her.

The woman, Osbertus, her most loyal and trusted personal guard informed her, was Lady Aurora Greaves, a relative of Lady Anna Greaves, mourning the loss of Lady Anna. Era vaguely remembered seeing her at the funeral as was purported but then again, she was nursing a broken heart after such a tragic loss and could not so easily confirm if this was true or a figment of her imagination. She however, accepted the woman’s help without question, embracing her and feeling a strong sense of kinship with this virtual stranger before her.

They spoke for what felt like hours about Lady Anna and King Ember and their tragic demise. They spoke of the princesses; of Era’s beloved sisters and they also spoke of Era’s future.

“My lady, I wish not to poke at open wounds nor remind you of unpleasant things but I know of the true nature of that monster Regent Bellows and the evil he is truly capable of. I came to mourn with you and to comfort you, my princess, but I wish to offer you a solution to your present situation, if you’ll allow it,”

“My… my lady?” Era asked, suddenly entertaining the first rays of hope she had had since her father’s and Lady Anna’s tragic demise upon hearing the Lady’s offer.

Lady Aurora smiled and nodded. “I know of a place and a time where you need not suffer that monster’s cruelty. A place where you and your sisters can live and thrive, where you may love whomever you choose- whomever your heart desires. I can take you there and to many other wondrous places if you allow it, my princess,”

“Can my sisters come with me? And the loyalists? I imagine Regent Bellows would surely take his revenge out on them if I left them behind,”

“If it pleases my princess, we can take Princesses Elisabeth and Penny along with us and anyone else that pleases my princess,”

“And where are these places you speak of, my lady?”

Lady Aurora smiled and said, “Words can seldom explain the wonder of these places, my princess. I’m afraid I must ask you to trust me,”

Era felt that she had no choice. Whatever places Lady Aurora would take her to would surely be much better than that cruel world, she reasoned. She nodded her consent immediately. She simply had to put her faith in the beautiful savior that had presented herself to her on the nick of time.

TO BE CONTINUED…

Hey there, thanks for reading! Here’s the links to previous entries in this story sub-genre…

  1. The Traveler Chronicles One: Aurora’s Tale
  2. The Traveler Chronicles Two: Ember’s Tale part One
  3. The Traveler’s Chronicles Two:  Ember’s tale: Part two

Hope to see you next time! Thank you!

 

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3 thoughts on “The Traveler Chronicles 3

  1. Pingback: The Traveler Chronicles 4 |

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