We never would have thought that the almost destruction of this country would be the outcome of all of this. To confuse you less, let's rewind to the beginning.
Mum had just gotten married to a wealthy man whom she did not love, but he had been courting her for years. Why would she do that? For his money. Don't get me wrong, she's not a "gold-digger."
A poor traveler had come across our house late in the night just three weeks ago. Our mother, being the gracious and generous woman she is, took pity on him and let him stay. When we woke in the morning, we found all of our gold and valuable jewelry gone with the traveler. We would have been living on the streets, cold and hungry. We tried to keep us afloat, getting jobs, but the money wasn't coming in fast enough so our mother made the sacrifice to ensure out safety and comfort. She married him.
Now the man had a daughter, and I won't deny that she is very beautiful, but she had a horrible personality.
When we first moved to his house, our stepfather had to leave, and he told us to make ourselves at home. I didn't know it was Ellie's room. I thought that since our stepfather wanted to welcome us, he supplied the rooms with furniture and dresses. After all, all of the dresses fit me since I was very petite. Ellie seemed to have a grudge against me after that. Once I found out I had stolen her room, I tried to give it back, but she wouldn't talk to me and slept on the floor, keeping warm by the fire. Her dresses barely kept her warm. She was a foot taller than me, but her dresses were my size so they only covered her upper body, leaving much of her legs and arms exposed.
We tried to keep out of her way by playing outside, wasting time observing the tall evergreens and the tangled wild roses. Often times the sky would be bright blue with warm sunshine. We assumed since he was rich, he would have servants and maids, but as it were, we were wrong. Ellie had taken on the responsibility of taking all the chores in the house. We tried to help her, but every time we scrubbed the floor or washed the dishes, she yelled at us that we were doing it wrong, calling us bimbos. We severely apologized for helping and never tried to help ever again.
Ellie had gotten the habit of flitting aimlessly around the house and declaiming her woe of the cinders and the ash from the fire ruining with her perfect complexion. Jokingly, we called her Cinderella, but when she ran away, crying, we were puzzled. She bitterly repeated the name every day, moaning about how she'll look like me. That was a low blow. I have "red spots" all over my face, making it look like I have a severely disfigured face. However, that is not the case. When I was younger, my mom had always made me look disfigured, telling me that I should look for a husband who loves me for my personality, not my beauty. I didn't mind, though, because she was right. There were girls at the academy my sister and I attended when we were younger who only made friends with those they found "beautiful." Thus, my older sister and I were shunned, me because of my face, and my sister because of her learning disabilities. She couldn't pronounce some words correctly at times and had trouble memorizing facts and names. Often times Ellie got mad at her for her "incompetence."
My mother tried to break the tension between us and her by having us work together on cleaning the fireplace out, but Ellie went berserk when we were carefully picking out lentils out of the ash one by one. She screamed at us that we were only going slowly so we wouldn't get done on time and blame it all on her. She kicked the ashes and scattered it all over the room, causing it to go into our eyes and mouth.
Mum forbade her to leave the house ever since. But that turned out to be my curse because she started spending time in the library, my sanctuary. She shelved the books in the wrong places and left the curtains open, letting dust inside. Fortunately, she got bored and left to find some other hobby.
Shortly afterwards, a messenger of the castle came knocking at our house. It was an invitation to a ball for the prince to find a wife. Our mum decided we needed to get out of the house and have some fun. We asked Ellie if she wanted to come with us, but I think she thought we were making fun of her because she slammed her bedroom door in our faces. We dressed up, we got a carriage, we went.
It was grand and elegant. Although nobody wanted to dance with me, my sister got many requests. I had fun gossiping with Mum until a courageous man asked me for a waltz. I had so much fun, and he made me forget about my face with his sweet compliments. He was handsome, with a strong physique and wavy brown hair. His voice was smooth, and his language was charming. His charisma overflowed from his body. He was so nice, and we danced for the rest of the night. The only break we had was when a girl was announced when she arrived. It was Ellie, wearing a short red dress. My mum didn't stand up and scold her; no, she thought that Ellie needed some fun to loosen up. And she was loose, all right. My sister and I weren't interested in the prince, but that night, everyone at the ball found out Ellie was definitely interested. She flaunted all of her curves in front of him and showed off more skin than I have ever seen. Ashamed and embarrassed, we stayed a little bit longer and then left. Ellie came home after we had all gone to bed; we knew because she made quite a commotion in the kitchen.
Gossip about what Ellie had done at the ball flared up throughout town. It was said that she had led him back into the palace where they had gone into a room and locked the door. We were disgraced. Soon after the ball, the prince came knocking at our door, asking for Ellie's hand in marriage, which she accepted. Our stepfather had heard the news, and he came home just in time for the marriage, but, however, he never mentioned what had been doing all those months away from home. Afterwards, he disappeared as if he had simply faded away. My mother rejoiced.
A month after their marriage, I was asked for marriage by the man I had met at the ball. He had seen me again at the wedding and had courted me for a month. I accepted, and we lived happily in the countryside in a house we purchased with my mother. I had taken off my mask and shown my true face. My husband didn't care whether I was disfigured or beautiful, he would always love me.
My sister had become quite an attractive lady, even though she was only a simple potter. She made beautiful vases, pots, and sculptures. The last time I saw her, she had made a small home for herself in town.
But what happened to Ellie, you wonder?
Things had gone smoothly, Ellie was pregnant with an heir to the throne, and the public saw them as blissfully married. However, few knew the truth of what was going on. The prince was cheating, the princess was greedy for power and treasure, the king was dying, the marriage was failing. The prince was immature, unprepared for the responsibility that was about to befall him. The princess demanded to be crowned queen earlier than the traditional crowning.
But there was nothing anyone could do.
The princess was now queen with a six month old belly, the prince now king.
Hungry for more power, she sent our kingdom's knights to conquer the nearby kingdom. The newly crowned king was oblivious to everything, enjoying luxuries and life as if he were still a bachelor.
Fearing for our family, my husband, my mother, my sister and I, with my two month old belly, escaped from our home to a small kingdom with almost no power. From there, we watched our first home crumble and deteriorate. The kingdom my stepsister sought to conquer was offended by her actions. They broke diplomatic ties with the kingdom, killed the sent knights, and sent their own army to attack. With our knights gone, it was easier to pillage and ravage the town. They killed the king and queen, but a peasant pleaded her case to the aggressive general of the army that the queen had been ruling corruptly. The general had a kind heart and heard the tales of all the peasants. He spared their lives, refusing to kill any more peasants. He then was crowned the new king, and he ruled kindly and justly for many years.
And everyone lived Happily Ever After.