I have another book that is also fantasy, but doesn’t have dragons.
Prince Julián scanned the crowd of nobles and royals, all dressed in the colors that represented their kingdom, looking for a pop of color, the purple dress and black princess curls that could only belong to Princess Veronika of Literaya. Only magic users or sorcerers used purple, and none of the few royals who possessed the ability, including himself, would use the color openly, especially during an event as important as the musical.
He spotted her near the front, next to her younger sister, Lacy. Julián had to restrain himself from running and greeting her, because he knew his father was watching and would disapprove, saying that it wasn’t the proper behavior for the crown prince of Attrais. Instead, he walked between the rows of chairs at the theatre at a respectable speed, but eager to see his friend.
They had met a few months earlier during a trip Julián took to her kingdom. Initially, he hadn’t been looking forward to it at all, since it was a political trip to attempt to make an agreement between both kingdoms about commerce. Attrais and Literaya had an age long rivalry because they each thought that either images or words were more important. Julián didn’t see the point of this argument at all. It was an endless loop of ego and pride, which prevented them from learning anything about other cultures, which would be very valuable knowledge for their own kingdom. But their ego blinded them, when they actually weren’t as perfect as they thought.
Thankfully, what had promised to be a boring trip turned out to be one of the best things in his life. He met Veronika, and they became fast friends, bonding over their love for learning about other cultures, and the fact that they were both sorcerers, and neither had many friends because of that. By the end of the trip, Julián had known that he wanted to see his new friend again. Now, after several months apart, he was reuniting with her at the musical, an event that represented the unity between all the kingdoms of Artistica.
He finally reached their seats, and with a smile greeted the two princesses of Literaya. Veronika’s eyes sparkled as she stood up and gave him a hug.
“Julián! You made it! I really missed you.”
“Me too. Letters just aren’t enough,” he said, laughing a little.
“What am I? Invisible?” Lacy complained sarcastically.
“Hello Lacy. It has been a long time without seeing you.”
Julián remembered Lacy’s sarcasm well. The red headed, younger Princess of Literaya was also a good friend, but more than that, he saw her as the little sister he never had. He would protect his friends and family no matter what, and both Lacy and Veronika were no exceptions.
Julián sat down on the velvet seat that Veronika had saved him at her right, and continued talking with both princesses until the lights provided by sorcerers dimmed and the curtains parted, revealing the set for the one hundred and seventy fifth musical since the establishment of the five kingdoms of Artistica.
The young prince was glad that he could finally be with Veronika again. What he had said earlier had been true. Those months without her had been lonely, and letters that took several days to arrive were too little. They were far from what it was like to see her in person.
The set was a beautiful walled garden, with exotic flowers and trees all over. A couple walked in, and everyone’s full attention was on them from that moment till the end of the musical…
“I love you Izta, do you know that?” the man said.
“I do. I love you too.”
Then, he told her that he wanted to ask her father for her hand in marriage after he proved he was worthy of her. She agreed, but suddenly, a man came running in, interrupting the character’s almost kiss.
“Princess! Your father called for you urgently. He is not well, to say the least.”
They ran to the king’s room, and after an emotional exchange between father and daughter, the elderly king died, leaving the responsibility of ruling their people to his daughter. The princess took a deep breath, and immediately took control of the situation, giving the orders as to what to do next.
Julián admired how the princess took control the way she did, her strong leadership, especially after the death of her father. If Julián had been put in her position, he wasn’t sure if he would have been able to do what she did. Despite being the Crown Prince, he wasn’t that used to politics and giving orders like the princess from the musical did.
As the musical continued, Julián found himself seeing how he would react if he were placed in the character’s situations. He would have done anything to protect his people, and those he cared about like the soldiers and the princess’ lover. He probably would have been overwhelmed with all the responsibility like the princess was, but he simply couldn’t connect with what happened after that.
The princess received the news that her lover had died in the war, and became sick, eventually dying of grief and a broken heart, just because of the evil plot to take over the kingdom.
Julián just couldn’t imagine that ever happening to him. Yes, the situation was somewhat unrealistic, but the part he couldn’t connect with was how the princess loved her partner so much, that she died instead of living without him.
When the curtain finally went down, and the lights came on again, the floating balls of fire regaining their brightness, the theatre erupted in chatter. In Julián’s personal opinion, this was the best musical there had been in years. The script was wonderfully done by the people from Literaya, the songs and music were some of the best Melodia had ever produced, and the dances Gambolon had choreographed fit the scenes perfectly. The actors, as always did a wonderful job, and one couldn’t ignore the beautiful set made by Attrais.
Veronika’s hand slipped into Julián’s as the three of them walked out of the theatre, and even though neither of them noticed, Lacy gave them a weird look. Outside they met their parents and Veronika’s grandparents, who were the current monarchs of Literaya. Julián inclined his head respectfully and greeted his friend’s family, as well as his own parents.
“Good morning Queen Cadance, King Ronald.” He then turned and greeted Veronika’s parents in the same way.
It was so typical of Julián to be that formal, but considering he had been with the royal family of Literaya for about a month during his visit to Veronika’s kingdom, and he was also a royal, he didn’t have the need to. However, despite Veronika, Lacy and their parents telling him to be less uptight, he wouldn’t budge in his ways.
They all walked together to the dining hall, where all the nobles would get together after the musical, a reunion that usually involved a lot of politics that none of the three young royals enjoyed, but had to participate in. As they neared the doors to the dining hall, they took a deep breath and prepared themselves to navigate through the nuances of the court.
“Are you ready?” Lacy asked.
“Let’s do this together,” Veronika said, nodding as two guards opened the doors for the two royal families.