I hated her.

I hated her before I could even understand the emotion itself. A feeling so strong my small frame could barely contain it.

Whenever her golden hair caught the light, I would tug at my black tangle of curls. So hard, my scalp would bleed.

Whenever her bright green eyes filled with emotion, and everyone marveled at her sensitive disposition, my dark ones made the other members of our court uncomfortable. I was asked to look down unless spoken to.

Whenever her rose-pink lips curved into an innocent smile, and her dainty hands clapped along to the music, and the locals who adored her basked in her fairness, and the foreigners came from far and wide to behold her, and the priestesses read her hands in holy adoration, my existence simply orbited around hers.

I hated her before I even knew why she was treated with such reverence.

Why her food was tested and not mine. Why her maids disappeared and never came back for months at a time. Why, when they did, they came back thinner, dark circles replacing rosy complexions. Why her place during the quarterly mass was next to the Summus Sacerdos and not behind.

As much as everyone was aware of all that she was, they were also aware of all I was not.

They whispered behind my back, loud enough for me to hear. Loud enough for the court to hear. They whispered about my hair and my eyes and my smile. They whispered about my name and why it was changed. The whispered about my past and how it had changed. And they whispered about my future and how it would never change. But most of all, they would whisper about my mother.

So, no one was surprised. Not really.

When I plunged our father's sword, through my sister's chest, and into her beating heart.