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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!GzfvpZJx8NbW4dCHPtAfposted 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 protection75PENANAaqHqJhJicC

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 protection75PENANAoScDoCD89L

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 protection75PENANAVlI0ylHoOi

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 protection75PENANADYJlpsD9LP

Agatha had been warm and caring, but also stern to a near terrifying degree. copyright protection75PENANAL9IXN6AqeJ

Cora would be kept separate from other children lest she be discovered, including her own sisters who had never known of her. copyright protection75PENANAca4UaDfS14

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 protection75PENANAaF2T1smEB8

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 protection75PENANAunhcl4jVuy

She was engaged to marry his eldest. copyright protection75PENANAFHIKBSnQKp

It had been so since she was a child, since her sisters had been slain.copyright protection75PENANAUV5XP7qcL1

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 protection75PENANAkfoBsKGLFb

It would put them a few years behind, but it would still strengthen their ties- and what was better than that?copyright protection75PENANAjkS14uUskE

Cora had only met the Solar monarchs a handful of times for the briefest of moments. copyright protection75PENANASfAXdp4DBQ

Killorn was kind to her and she saw him the most often, while his queen, Maria, was less so, but not by much. copyright protection75PENANAEW53yyNfjt

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 protection75PENANAqCNjESNyk8

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 protection75PENANAdcoNaBdfeP

Her mother was with child again, a surprising feat given that Cora was near grown by now. copyright protection75PENANA5TMbXkJLz3

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 protection75PENANAe0F2kkV8Sf

Cora hoped for the best for her mother- not everyone did so however. copyright protection75PENANAg6sFUDg7Sv

No, the tales of the Princess Corinina were still told throughout the continent- Lucinda’s aunt, Cora’s great-aunt by relation. copyright protection75PENANAXYpJan4U8D

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 protection75PENANAXnEDqYXl6P

Most notable however, was the tale of her demise. copyright protection75PENANABnW42QHjYA

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 protection75PENANAPWzfFJCKDK

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 protection75PENANAoB82ey1bU7

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 protection75PENANA1vvXzxNhRM

But that had not stopped the dreams from coming.copyright protection75PENANARHIqWoay8O

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 protection75PENANAjwprzD0AOV

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 protection75PENANAIQqdN0LBhC

Cora moved without thinking, absorbed entirely in her thoughts as Lucinda helped her to dress. copyright protection75PENANAn9j6AguKOC

Lucinda teased her, but her words failed to make any impact on Cora. No, they did not even register within her.copyright protection75PENANAy79XzIBAip

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 protection75PENANAv1gVe3WZFe

It was only when she was eleven did she start dreaming of the lives of other women.copyright protection75PENANAC3nW9YcDI0

Katherine,copyright protection75PENANAgh8pfH8Qhr

Bellamy, copyright protection75PENANAgMswIGAEGg

Emilie, copyright protection75PENANATijgetfr6X

Narcissa, copyright protection75PENANArnfzNuhVly

Darya,copyright protection75PENANAmBlP83vJIb

Grace, copyright protection75PENANAZBuiSJM7aT

Mina,copyright protection75PENANA5Cglb3QtYb

And so on.copyright protection75PENANA2lNnaWrGFa

It did not matter how the details of their lives changed, no- each echoed the others.copyright protection75PENANASEMmXF5JNg

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 protection75PENANACTSSe4W4xV

But the child would be stillborn in each of the women’s lives. copyright protection75PENANAgzg3WqZo7E

They would take care of their child as best they could, but by the next fortnight- they would take their own lives.copyright protection75PENANAyZjklg0rZN

Cora was certain Corinina’s life had ended in the same fashion- she had dreamed it was so.copyright protection75PENANAHCGzvUErZb

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 protection75PENANAmfLCiI3i6a

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 protection75PENANAXF9g0vx0Wx

Her mother was the one to place the plain gold tiara atop her head, the plainest Cora had ever worn.copyright protection75PENANANE9teEoS6n

She stood without noticing her and her mother’s height difference for the first time in a long time. copyright protection75PENANA3sDP5Wx9eD

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 protection75PENANAkcjusjZZkW

Lucinda pulled her over to the full length mirror to show off her handiwork.copyright protection75PENANAw7AGBOk0Hq

The dress did her well- the corset making her subtle curves more overt, her skirts reaching the floor in tiered pink gossamer.copyright protection75PENANAoLT1AZX78b

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 protection75PENANALtn4XQoXQI

You look sad, her maid had said when they met.copyright protection75PENANATmQu2rjns0

Cora was inclined to agree.copyright protection75PENANAOQLHRlHOtQ

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 protection75PENANA0ejojgfHe5

The worry in her stomach grew stronger- biting into her with crazed jaws and near bringing tears to her eyes. copyright protection75PENANAq7rgBuIVRa

She knew then that it didn’t matter how different her life was from the other women.copyright protection75PENANAVG0GoS25Hw

She felt as if she had been each of them, once upon a time.copyright protection75PENANAVILe74vmMJ

Cora could finally acknowledge then that perhaps those dreams had been more than dreams, perhaps they had been real.copyright protection75PENANAsdRUttobog

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