A/C: I welcome you to the magical world of Minerva. I'm so sick of the stereotype that princesses are kind and sweet. I'm debunking the Princess genre! And I hope you like it!
Chapter I: Athenia and Its Princess
Alongside the lush expansion of trees and forest which is Enchantrass, the magic forest, is the wondrous kingdom Athenia. It is a kingdom that is surrounded by a wall, protecting it from dangers outside. In the middle of the kingdom, a castle looms over keeping a close eye over its citizens. The rest of the kingdom built around the castle and upwards along its sides. The kingdom resembled a mountain.
Inside Athenia, the streets were forged from marble and stone. So too were the buildings and houses from marble. Only few were built from wood. As you trekked upwards, the buildings grew more elegant, being paved with columns and gold trimmings. Statues of the greatest figures of Athenia were built all over in this region, as the citizens called it the Way of Heroes.
The King who built the kingdom was the very first thing they'd see. Further up would be the various knights and soldiers who had protected the kingdom from threats. As of lately, one of the newest statues was the captain of the Impervion Guard, Brutos. The Impervion was formed as an elite group to protect the Royal family in times of danger.
The end of the Way of Heroes was the entrance to the castle itself. If anyone was lucky enough to step foot inside, they would fine refurnished pottery, the floor paved with a silky, shiny marble, torches lighting the way around, and a calmness that would ease even a savage dog. It was home to the Athenian Royalty, the crowned Queen Pallas.
There was only a queen in Athenia, crowned with the Olive Branch Crown. The King, Pallas's late husband, suffered a fatal accident, ending his life before he saw the birth of his daughter, Minerva. It did pain Pallas that her husband wasn't around to see her Minerva grow up, but she still was thankful for her. She was ecstatic for today; the day of all days that Minerva finally turned sixteen. Each young lady in Athenia who reached their sixteenth birthday held a celebration called the Coming of Age.
The happy queen traveled down the corridors of her castle home to the chamber where Minerva's party will be held. Smiling, blue eyes wide with happiness, Pallas reached the door. She opened the doors to the chamber. The chamber had a great view down at the kingdom, no better place for her party. In the middle of the room was Minerva in her finest grabs, the one she is most seen in.
Servants were about in the chamber, taking orders from Minerva as they decorated the chamber. "How is this, my princess?" asked a young servant boy, younger than Minerva. Minerva watched him decorate the walls. "It needs to be better." She demanded. "This is my Coming of Age! I want it to be the greatest!" mumbling under his breath, the boy fixed the decoration.
Minerva looked over to the food table. Two servant girls put a fizzy beverage too close to the bowl of grapes; something Minerva clearly did not want. "Excuse me! Who told you two to put those there?" she marched over there, making the girls stiffen. Minerva demanded that the beverage be placed over on the other part of the table. The girls quickly did what she, not trying to anger her further. All the servants were on edge whenever Minerva was present. It was either the way she wanted things done or they could say goodbye to their positions in the castle.
Finally one of the servants came into the chamber, bowing in respect before Pallas. He walked up to Minerva, again bowing. "My princess… we have a slight problem…" he was afraid to say. Minerva stopped suddenly and looked at the servant. "What is it?" she demanded, her brow narrowed. Sweat beads formed on the poor servant as he tried to find the words to describe the situation.
"Uh… the apples you requested for… the ones right next to Enchantrass." Minerva stared down the towering servant before her. "We can't go get them…" Minerva shouted, "Why not? This is my Coming of Age! Those apples are the finest in the land! Go get them!"
"I'm sorry, my princess… we were ordered not to go too close to Enchantrass." The servant's heartbeat increased. Minerva was shocked. "Under whose authority?" Pallas felt a presence right next to her. It was Brutos, fully covered in Impervion armor. "My authority, Princess Minerva." The blonde princess saw the husky man beside her mother; he had broad shoulders and a flat chin. His blue eyes shone in the sunlight.
"Captain Brutos," Minerva left the servant, giving him a sigh of relief. She faced Brutos with no fear. "I ordered for those apples especially for my Coming of Age. Don't ruin this for me!" Brutos wasn't afraid of Minerva's demanding nature. He replied, "I won't risk the lives of a few servants or my men for a few dozen apples. We have plenty of fresh apples scattered around Athenia."
Minerva pouted. "Peasant food? My lips can't touch unclean stuff. I deserve the best." Brutos, along with the servants, rolled their eyes. Baffled by this, Minerva turned to Pallas. "Mother!" she looked sternly at her. Pallas only shrugged. "Tell him!" Pallas answered, "I have to agree with Brutos. It's not worth the risk going so close to Enchantrass." Minerva frowned angrily, crossing her arms and turning her back to the adults.
Brutos and Pallas didn't expect anything less from Minerva. She has always been this since she was a little girl. Whatever she wanted, she got. It was mainly due to Pallas's fault; since her husband's death, she drowned the pain with giving Minerva her attention. Now the queen sees it was the wrong thing to do to cope.
With his visit over, Brutos bowed his head to the queen and left the chamber, armor clanking. Pallas turned to the angered Minerva standing in the middle of the room. Every birthday Minerva has had it was a massive celebration; never was it just them alone. The Coming of Age celebrations meant that Athenian youth were growing up. Pallas wanted to spend as much time with Minerva before she grows up.
Queen Pallas walked up to aggravated Minerva. "Little lily flower," Pallas gave Minerva her nickname when she was little. "Would you care to take a stroll with me down to the Market District?" a little mousey smile appeared. "The servants can handle the rest of the decorating and food preparations." She hoped that it was a positive answer.
"I can't leave, mother." Minerva loosened the strain of anger she had. "I have to make sure everything is correct and perfect. This is the biggest day of my life. But I promise we'll spend time together after all this." She didn't face her mother; Minerva went on to tend with her party.
Eyes saddened, Pallas went on to say, "O—OK. If you need me I'll be in the Market District." Pallas turned and walked out. Closing the door behind her, Queen Pallas lowered her head, closing her eyes and frowning. "Another birthday without Minerva, hmm?" Brutos was standing with his back against the wall. Pallas only nodded.
"I just wanted to spend today with her." Pallas said simply. Brutos took Pallas and walked with her down the hall. "Do not worry, Pallas. She'll come around eventually. Children always do." He said. Around Brutos, Pallas felt safe and reassured. "You've always known what to say, ever since we were children playing in the courtyards."
"Is there anything else on your mind?" Brutos asked concernedly. She exactly knew what Brutos meant. Today, of all days, was the day of her sister's banishment. Twenty-one years has passed since her sister was forced from Athenia. Since then, the Impervion, by orders from the old King, had increased security and watched Pallas strictly. The King took her eldest daughter's threat very seriously.
Seeing her sister leave took a toll on Pallas when she was younger. This will explain why Pallas wants to spend so much time with Minerva to flush out the thought of her. However, since Minerva was "busy," Pallas thought the walk will clear her mind. "I'm OK, Brutos. Thank you." she fixed her dress. "I'll be walking around for a while."
"I'll have two guards walk with you." Brutos obeyed the Impervion rules. He is a dutiful man.
Pallas nodded. She proceeded down the hall.
The day was beautiful and calm. A zephyr blew by, calming the day's heat. Pallas enjoyed the rays of sun on her skin as she walked down the street, two Impervion guards with her. Passing citizens, they all bowed with smiles on their faces. Pallas smiled back at them. They loved their queen for she was generous and kind.
Every now and then, Pallas would stop and talk to a random citizen, seeing how their day was doing. Children would play with Pallas if for example their ball bounced in her path. She would bounced the ball back to the children. Today, she heard a compliment that made her smile. "Your Highness, you're a ruler that every kingdom deserves." Pallas thanked the ordinary citizen. She continued on with her day.
She passed a father and son, but did not hear their conversation. The father gave his son a telescope. "I got it from traders from very far away." He said. "You can look farther then your eye can ever could." The son grabbed the telescope; he loved it. Putting the telescope to his eye, he looked out to Enchantrass. "I can see the edge of the forest!" said the son.
Seeing through the telescope, the small boy spotted something strange. He saw the bushes rustle violently. He even saw a couple of strange beings run by. "Father?" he gave him the telescope. "What is that?" the father observed and came with a simple conclusion. "It's just some deer that run by. Nothing to worry about."
Servants hurried down the hall with brushes and fragrant perfumes in their hands. They went into a room where Minerva was sitting in a chair getting pampered by other servant girls. The two servants running went to Minerva, one young and the other older than all of them, and tended to her. The older one, Juno, brushed Minerva's glossy blonde hair while the other sprayed the perfume on her.
"My princess, I expect you are excited for later." Juno said. Minerva answered, "It would've been perfect if it were for the apples." Juno chuckled.
"Juno, you've been a resident here at the castle for a while," Minerva said while a servant filed her nails. "What was your Coming of Age like? I imagine it was glamorous, spending it with all the servants in the castle." Again, Juno chuckled.
"No, my growing princess, I spent my Coming of Age with my parents and my friends. It was nothing too fancy." Minerva found it odd. Juno was the most popular amongst the servants and befriended them all. "I knew I wouldn't be young forever. I wanted to spend as much time with my family as I can before I grew too old. I loved them."
Minerva frowned. "What a lovely sentiment." She said. "Are you all done yet?" she looked at her servants. "My Coming of Age is in one hour. I want to look my best."