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The Empress
Writer Lunassandra Hughes
  • G: General Audiences
  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • R: Restricted
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The Empress
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1. Cora
Lunassandra Hughes
Nov 11, 2017
6 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!87L3MZhs9bvqNrh8bxuJposted on PENANA

She sat alone in her guest’s chamber within the Solar Kingdom’s castle, her back straight and her posture impeccable. It was a facade she had constructed well as the princess to the Lunar Kingdom up north.copyright protection32PENANAVChgRABHB0

She was the third daughter of the King and Queen- but she had been the only one to survive past her first bleeding- her elder sisters had been killed by a former ally to the throne when Cora was seven. copyright protection32PENANAmJ78MU83mh

She had been saved because no one had known of her existence till she was thirteen and thrust upon high society after years of careful training at her mother and nanny’s sides. copyright protection32PENANAeRH2jZauxE

Queen Lucinda was not a very good mother, no, she was more like a friend if anything. She was like a bird- bright, beautiful, but also incredibly unreliable. She had given Cora to a nanny- Agatha. copyright protection32PENANAdshvI86jPH

Agatha had been warm and caring, but also stern to a near terrifying degree. copyright protection32PENANAjcqrkcltgI

Cora would be kept separate from other children lest she be discovered, including her own sisters who had never known of her. copyright protection32PENANAKvzsxSrHnY

Lucinda and her father had claimed she was a stillborn at birth- Agatha had revealed to her that it was at his boyhood friend’s suggestion.copyright protection32PENANAmBqD68McsC

That boyhood friend was now the King of the Solar Kingdom- a passionate charming man named Killorn who had grown up to produce two children- two sons. copyright protection32PENANAUMPke9xADN

She was engaged to marry his eldest. copyright protection32PENANAiniRPPKhx7

It had been so since she was a child, since her sisters had been slain.copyright protection32PENANAfTIGxPPk2i

Her elder sister was supposed to marry the Solar heir upon her eighteenth summer, but since she had been killed, her father had convinced Killorn to transfer the marriage agreement to his youngest daughter. copyright protection32PENANAWW4MgjWOTz

It would put them a few years behind, but it would still strengthen their ties- and what was better than that?copyright protection32PENANABbWT3MJO3g

Cora had only met the Solar monarchs a handful of times for the briefest of moments. copyright protection32PENANAVjaE0HuP2w

Killorn was kind to her and she saw him the most often, while his queen, Maria, was less so, but not by much. copyright protection32PENANA8ZsdLJwHxp

Cora had always been self conscious around the Queen of the Solar Kingdom- she was a dark, stunning beauty and her very presence could command any she came across. copyright protection32PENANAg9Bc2EZLs2

Cora thought her eldest sister would have gotten along famously with her- Ariel had that same power about her, or at least that was what her mother would muse to her when she asked about her sisters.copyright protection32PENANA2omc3mUxcW

Her mother was with child again, a surprising feat given that Cora was near grown by now. copyright protection32PENANA4kVxxGh4oP

The healer had claimed it would be a boy so they were all sure the Kingdom would have an heir should she manage to carry the child successfully. copyright protection32PENANAtEY4R0JQMc

Cora hoped for the best for her mother- not everyone did so however. copyright protection32PENANATPAg1ECWcP

No, the tales of the Princess Corinina were still told throughout the continent- Lucinda’s aunt, Cora’s great-aunt by relation. copyright protection32PENANASgaOOIv5MT

Agatha had been the one to herald her the tales as she grew- lavishing Cora with rich stories of the Princess’ youth- how whoever looked upon her would fall at her feet in worship, how she was famous for her kindness and her charity, how she was beloved by all who came across her. copyright protection32PENANAUfxSkpT4fG

Most notable however, was the tale of her demise. copyright protection32PENANAg9vQpxv2tH

She had been engaged to marry the Raven heir from birth and it was only on the night of their marriage that he rejected her for another.copyright protection32PENANARmX2bMKGRw

It had sent the Princess into a downward spiral, for she had been in love with the Raven heir since they were children, since she had first met him. She had taken no lovers outside of him and had felt no desire to even after. No, she had languished in her chambers for twelve moons until on the thirteenth, she slit her own throat while in her bath.copyright protection32PENANAAMM7F7wzbM

There were other variations of the story that were not allowed to be spoken in Cora’s presence. She had convinced a serving boy to tell her some but the cook had chided him before he could reveal the full of it all.copyright protection32PENANAfrWLiliNoM

But that had not stopped the dreams from coming.copyright protection32PENANAvg9tikf317

Dreams where Agatha’s tales had come to life with a flourish, dreams where Cora was Corinina and where she lived an astonishing life full of beauty and art, full of those that loved her for her.copyright protection32PENANAzBTmIztf8F

Cora’s mother entered the chamber and flitted to her daughter’s side carrying the pale rose colored gown that she was to wear tonight- her wedding night.copyright protection32PENANA2o7Y9pksdI

Cora moved without thinking, absorbed entirely in her thoughts as Lucinda helped her to dress. copyright protection32PENANAeIZobhIrkJ

Lucinda teased her, but her words failed to make any impact on Cora. No, they did not even register within her.copyright protection32PENANAyUkrg30Kj9

Cora had such dreams since she was nine, her mind imagining the life of Corinina with such vivid images that she felt as if they were real- more real than her current life, surely.copyright protection32PENANAplxwkGWF9a

It was only when she was eleven did she start dreaming of the lives of other women.copyright protection32PENANAooSnM4EvvZ

Katherine,copyright protection32PENANAe3TzvaCwVW

Bellamy, copyright protection32PENANAFlicSCTOi3

Emilie, copyright protection32PENANAZGrR3eWIJs

Narcissa, copyright protection32PENANAHXwBw1L9xG

Darya,copyright protection32PENANA5d2nqU0kJi

Grace, copyright protection32PENANAnIZOz22wKL

Mina,copyright protection32PENANAYrJu3gwOq4

And so on.copyright protection32PENANAvwhyUIsU2b

It did not matter how the details of their lives changed, no- each echoed the others.copyright protection32PENANAdpTcetfgZZ

They were born and grew until their eighteenth birthday, whereupon the day after they would meet him and fall desperately in love within the weeks that followed. Soon they would consummate their love and the women would fall pregnant within the month. Merely five moons later he would leave them for another- a woman they knew that they knew, but not how. They would give birth, content in knowing that at least they would have their child even as they grew more and more certain that he would not be coming back to them. copyright protection32PENANA2YrMtu20jt

But the child would be stillborn in each of the women’s lives. copyright protection32PENANA4PZmnT4QO6

They would take care of their child as best they could, but by the next fortnight- they would take their own lives.copyright protection32PENANA12vUfJou0o

Cora was certain Corinina’s life had ended in the same fashion- she had dreamed it was so.copyright protection32PENANAu3mWQQrTQK

Cora took comfort that it might not happen to her now- no, she was going to be married before she turned eighteen. It was a marriage alliance between two kingdoms that would protect her from her great-aunt’s fate.copyright protection32PENANAmUAmgYflO4

But part of her still worried as Lucinda poked and prodded her with hairpins, organizing Cora’s long golden waves into an elaborate braid with moon flowers laced in beside amethyst ribbons that matched her eyes.copyright protection32PENANArP7XKmH8RI

Her mother was the one to place the plain gold tiara atop her head, the plainest Cora had ever worn.copyright protection32PENANAwlLThCJIvA

She stood without noticing her and her mother’s height difference for the first time in a long time. copyright protection32PENANAtRv3dM2t7Q

It had once made her subconscious, but her mother had assured her that she would not stand taller than her soon to be husband..copyright protection32PENANAyzFFwp1dyS

Lucinda pulled her over to the full length mirror to show off her handiwork.copyright protection32PENANAV5eHYwkIfP

The dress did her well- the corset making her subtle curves more overt, her skirts reaching the floor in tiered pink gossamer.copyright protection32PENANAjIHOMVAOpI

Her own amethyst eyes were the star of it all, but Cora cared little for it- her eyes were a direct window to her soul, Agatha had once told her.copyright protection32PENANAEXhkCNKE1i

You look sad, her maid had said when they met.copyright protection32PENANAxXnMFmiZ5x

Cora was inclined to agree.copyright protection32PENANAOogvc3rNRQ

Her mother left first, leaving her alone in the guest chamber to find Cora’s father so that he may escort her down to the grand hall.copyright protection32PENANAvwNNRqAB5C

The worry in her stomach grew stronger- biting into her with crazed jaws and near bringing tears to her eyes. copyright protection32PENANAUDzipeFIdK

She knew then that it didn’t matter how different her life was from the other women.copyright protection32PENANAg28wylzZ8r

She felt as if she had been each of them, once upon a time.copyright protection32PENANAPEYDrP42r9

Cora could finally acknowledge then that perhaps those dreams had been more than dreams, perhaps they had been real.copyright protection32PENANAFmMeEctjUH

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