The King's Bride is co-written by two separate authors: Alexis and Alice (ChemistryOfLife)
Throughout the story, Alexis and I will occasionally leave authors notes at the end of chapters. This will be our only time to ask you to consider following and reviewing as you read or following ChemistryOfLife if you are eager for more updates. There are a total of 69 chapters for The King's Bride already prewritten on a document, and I anticipate posting every other day. If I forget, just shoot me a message!
The two authors went back and forth in writing a new chapter in their designated character's perspective. Alice wrote in the point of view of November Reed and Alexis from the point of view of Killian Dufort. Special thanks to Myst Marshall for being an extra pair of eyes, editing all the stupid mistakes she caught that Alexis and I made!
Aside from the basic facts about the characters and plot determined by the coauthors at the beginning of the story, nothing was planned, mapped, or laid out in explicit detail ahead of time.
This is the story that the characters gave us to tell.
"The people are...restless, my lord."
"And I took a shit this morning, tell me something I don't know."
The first man that had spoken exhaled slightly with exasperation. "Trust me, my lord, I understand that you're a busy man, but this is a real concern. You could fall out of favor with the entire country if you're not married before your birthday."
The king rolled his eyes. Since his last birthday, he'd heard little else but "time's up, get married". Tradition held in the country of Weisland, north of Germany, south of Denmark, and east of the Netherlands, that an unmarried monarch past the age of thirty was considered bad luck. Thank the Dark Ages for that; ever since people rarely lived past the age of thirty, being unmarried and without heirs by that time was practically a death sentence for a monarch's lineage.
He was sure there were plenty of people in his country that would be perfectly fine with that.
But the vast majority held rather high regard for their king. He ruled fairly, kissed babies, didn't kick puppies, so was generally well-liked. At least, according to his advisors that monitored that kind of thing. So naturally, people were a bit anxious that he was unmarried and heirless.
Of course, it wasn't like he didn't have the time in his life, but some superstitions never die.
As his chief advisor so graciously reminded him every day.
"You know what," said the king, finally turning to face his advisor, whom he'd mostly been trying to ignore this whole time. "Do me a favor, Bertram. Just pick someone. I don't care. Pluck her from the street for all I give a damn."
Bertram made a slight face. "This...requires a bit more finesse than that, my lord."
"Then finesse it. Better yet, talk to my bloody mother. Isn't this her job?"
"Well vej, my lord, but you're the king."
"And she's the queen mother, this isn't my problem."
Bertram sighed. Technically, the king was correct; arranged marriages were pretty common in Weisland, and they were always orchestrated by the parents. Obviously since he was the king, his father wasn't exactly around, but his mother was. She could take care of all this...marriage bullshit.
Preferably before his birthday in October.
Because as coarse as the king was, he actually did care about how his people viewed him.
As Bertram opened his mouth and took a breath, the king raised a hand to silence him. "Let's do this, Bertram. Leave it up to the people."
"Have them apply."
"Do whatever you want with it." He tossed a hand dismissively. "As long as I can bear sleeping next to her at night….Y'know what, I don't even care about that. Just get it done." And with that, the king started to walk away.
"But my lord…!"
"Don't forget to invite me to the wedding," the king tossed back, heading into his office and slamming the door shut.
On the other side of the room, lounging around a couch, two Hovawart dogs picked up their heads and flattened their ears briefly at the sudden noise. However, they were used to their master being this way and got over being startled quickly, before trotting over to greet him.
Sometimes, dogs felt like the only things that didn't irritate him to no end.
"Swejlen, my hounds," the king said softly, bending down to scratch at the tops of their heads. The older of the two Hovawarts, a golden called Alban, merely shut his eyes and appreciated the touch. The younger, a black and gold called Claus, thumped his tail happily.
It was a blissful moment until it was ruined by a knock on his office door. The king was about to snap at whoever it was, thinking it was Bertram trying to bother him again, but instead a feminine voice came through. "Killian?"
The king let out a calming exhale and stood up straight again. It was only his sister. He stepped away from the door, gesturing for his dogs to do so as well, before speaking. "Come in, Amelie."
Amelie, Killian's youngest sister, stepped into his office and shut the door. "I have to tell you something, but you have to promise not to tell anyone I told you," she said, smiling.
Killian exhaled. He did love Amelie. He was quite protective of his baby sister, in fact. But...she was terrible at keeping secrets. "Who are you upsetting by telling me?"
Guilt crossed the young woman's expression. "...Erika."
Erika was the middle child, and should anything happen to Killian, the queen. He and she never really...got along very well. So, Killian decided he would let it slide this time. "Alright, hit me."
Amelie grinned. "I just saw her giving Christoph an azalea~!"
Killian held back a sneer. "Fantastic."
Flowers were a very important communicative aspect of Weis culture. Different species, as well as configurations, carried vastly differing meanings. In this occasion, Erika had given her husband an azalea; the flower most associated with pregnancy and childbirth.
Which meant Erika was pregnant.
Killian knew he should've been happy for her, and he was...to a point. But when they were kids, they never got along, and that carried along into adulthood. He was about as happy for her as he would be a stranger.
If Amelie were pregnant, that would be much more exciting.
Except she wasn't married, so maybe a little less.
"I don't think she knows that I saw her. I'm...pretty sure I wasn't supposed to," Amelie admitted.
Killian gave her a teasing smirk. "So you were spying?"
The man chuckled, reaching out and rubbing the top of her head. Amelie was twenty-three years old, but she could fool anyone into believing she was much younger. She was short, a whole foot shorter than Killian, for one, and she had managed to keep a child-like wonder with the world.
Whereas Erika tended to be a cynical, argumentative bitch.
You can see why he favors Amelie.
"I won't tell," Killian promised. It was easy to keep secrets for Amelie anyway; wasn't usually long before she spoiled it herself.
Amelie's face brightened. "Good." Then she peered past him, towards his desk. "Are you busy?"
He glanced back at it as well. It was...pretty cluttered with envelopes. "I wasn't, but….I seem to have a lot of letters to look at. Again."
Amelie made a teasing expression. "Fan mail?"
"Hey, some of its hate mail." Most of the mail Killian received, both physical and digital, was one of three things: compliments, complaints, or grade-schoolers learning about the government. Those, in particular, were the only ones he even bothered reading all the way through, never mind answering. He liked imagining the looks on their little faces when they received a personal response from the king himself.
Adults though, adults could generally bugger off. Killian had read every compliment and complaint in the book by now. He'd only been king for five years so far, but boy did the people always have something to say.
"Want some company sifting through it all?" Amelie offered sympathetically. Though not as often, other members of the royal family were written to as well; probably with the hope that they might respond, if not the king. So Amelie understood the pain, to an extent.
"That would be wonderful," Killian agreed gratefully, moving to sit behind his desk and hunkering down for the long haul.