She sat silently on the bed watching her mother pull dresses out of her wardrobe one by one.

"None of these will do."

"My birthday is two months away, why is it necessary to decide on a gown now?" Amarette sighed.

She turned around. "You're going to be crowned queen. That deserves a dress that is custom made for the occasion."

"Then what are you looking for?"

"We've got a surprise for you tomorrow!"

Amarette smiled. "Really? What is it?"

Her mother sat down next to her. "Well, as queen, you are going to be very sociable. You'll be requested for various events, and it is of great importance that you attend them."

Amarette grimaced. "Alright, then what's the good news?"

The queen wrapped an arm around her shoulder and pulled her into a hug.

"Because of all this, you will need a bodyguard if your own. Think of it as a freedom: your own personal protector!"

"And why does this require a dress?"

"Have you been paying any attention to anything I've been telling you over the years?"

Amarette withdrew.

"We're holding a tournament to decide who is worthy of protecting you."

"Do I have to be there? I was hoping that I could spend the day with Pavelleā€¦"

Her mother clicked her tongue. "It won't take long, Amarette, only a few young men are fighting for you. I thought that girls your age enjoyed this kind of thing."

"Mother," Amarette rolled her eyes.

"I've already sent word to Pavelle. She will be with you tomorrow."


"Now get to bed. You've got to be well rested for the tournament."

"Okay, but what am I going to wear, then?"

Her mother jumped up and went to the wardrobe. She pulled out a low cut purple gown.

"A bit revealing, I think." Amarette replied sliding under the blankets.


"No, thank you, Mother, I'll find something when I get up in the morning."

She hung the dress over the vanity chair. "If you say so. Goodnight, Amarette, I'll see you in the morning." She kissed her daughter on the forehead and blew out the bedside candles.