Note from Author
Why I deleted each of these from the opening ceremony
1) Leyla – nonessential character
2) Pyper – I loved her, but narrowed my choices to other characters, however, . . . if I were to go back in time, I would’ve kept Pyper and taken out a different character.
3) Zendaya – we didn’t need to see her introduction. There were already plenty of others in the third chapter. In fact, I should’ve completely eliminated Zendaya from the book altogether. She was just . . . fun for me to add. But really, I should’ve eliminated her to reduce characters.
1) Leyla’s Introduction
. . . Leyla, Duchess of Nololay, was the elf from my father’s home city.
My elven grandmother was standing at the bottom of the dais and offered her a warm smile. Grandma visited us half the year, and returned to Nololay for the remainder. I visited met Leyla during a family function, but aside from that, and her profile, I knew little about her.
Leyla was dressed modestly with spunky short blonde hair, and piercing blue eyes that made me want to soar into the depths of the universe and discover more. She had an equally adorable smile with her soft pink lips and offered crystals that could light up and be used as lanterns.
2) Pyper’s Introduction
The Pyper, Countess of Centaurs, was next and wore men’s clothing of trousers, jerkin, and a tunic underneath. Yet she maintained a feminine flair as her stays accentuated her small waist. Tall boots weaved their way up to her knees and she had a simple ponytail with bangs. A green cloak fluttered behind her and a sword rested off her hip. Seeing it made me want to take my new sword and challenge her to a duel right now for fun. Give the audience a show about how compatible we were.
Her family was invested in ships in the ports in Centaurus. They sailed the seas and explored new worlds across the ocean, and from what I could tell, Pyper appeared very adventurous and energetic with a bounce in her step.
“Your Majesty, it’s an honor to make your acquaintance. The Centaurian people are humbly grateful to serve such a magnificent family. To show our gratitude, my gift of an Arabian Stallion waits outside,” she confidently said.
My mother’s lips drew flat, and I recalled the incident in her time wherein she received a Fuscia Pegasus, which happened to be a valuable family member of the centaurs, and was ultimately framed for theft. It almost resulted in an all-out war with the centaurs.
Seeing the concern in my mother’s eyes, Pyper addressed my mother directly. “Worry not, Your Imperial Majesty, it’s neither a Pegasus related to the centaurs, a stolen animal, nor a magical creature of any kind. We raised him ourselves, bred to the highest standards.”
My mother’s shoulders relaxed and she nodded in approval.
“We shall go for a ride together, Lady Pyper,” I said. My heart lifted in delight; so much that I wished to leave right now and start an adventure with her. The two of us could have a lot of fun together.
We were almost complete and I now had an unbreakable smile on my face. I was impressed with all the choices I had been presented with so far. Each girl was impressive in her own way.
There was no point in turning to look at Saqoiya, as she might pick fun at my improved mood.
3) Zendaya’s Introduction
For the Velazian City competitor, my parents worked with me to choose a noblewoman far enough removed from us that we practically weren’t related anymore, and ended up with Zendaya, Viscountess of Velazia. Nothing bad could be said about my first impression of her. She kept her eyes pinned on me without blinking, with an ever-so-slight smirk plastered on her face. It was my second impression that had me questioning her.
She batted her eyelashes and puffed up her chest, as if intentionally trying to get me to notice. Then she twirled a hair in her finger, bit her lip, and brought the hair lower on her bosom, directing my eyes to that area.
I quickly shot an eye to Saqoiya, who raised her eyebrows twice as if saying: “Are you head-over-heels yet?”
But I wasn’t, her actions were too forced and left a bad taste in my mouth.
Like Pyper’s family, Zendaya’s family also invested in explorers who sailed off into the Pearl Sea, so her gifts were clay hieroglyphics from these distant civilizations they explored.
Her family ushered her to the side, but she wouldn’t budge.
“Zendaya! Zendaya!” Her mother waved her over.
To finish, she formed her fingers into the shape of a heart and blew it my way.
“I’ll invite you to teach me about what these hieroglyphics mean, Viscountess,” I concluded, hoping to move her along a little faster.