Far away, tucked behind the mountains of Ramun and bordering the Zendain forest, there sat a kingdom named Aldea. It flourished under the rule of the wise King Florian and his kindhearted wife, Queen Jada. They were beloved by all, and the people of the kingdom greatly despaired when the King and Queen were taken from them in sickness. Left behind to rule was their only son, Henry. Though only twenty years of age when he ascended to the throne, King Henry dedicated his life to serving his kingdom and sought to find a bride who could rule alongside him.
He searched far and near, and met every eligible princess from the east to the west. Yet the King found no one suitable as a bride. Giving up his quest, Henry returned to his kingdom and decided he would rule it on his own.
Now, there lived in the kingdom two sisters who were very poor. The eldest, eighteen-year-old Adeline, had taken care of her sixteen-year-old sister Elise since their parents had died when they were young. The two sisters worked for a seamstress, and though they had little in the way of money, they had each other. During work hours, Adeline and Elise would sing to pass the time. They had lovely voices, though the seamstress often praised Elise above her sister.
When they went home each night to their small cottage, which was shared with other families on either side and above them, the sisters would play on an old pianoforte that had been given to the family long ago. The neighbors often stopped to listen.
On the days when they did not work, Adeline and Elise walked to the library and brought home books of all sorts. Though they did not know the foreign languages of kingdoms nearby as many accomplished women did, they did know how to converse with the traders who came through the kingdom. And although they did not know how to dance fashionably in proper assemblies and balls, their father had taught them at a young age to waltz beautifully.
When it reached Adeline’s ears that the King was in want of a wife, an idea sparked in her mind. The law of their kingdom stated that if the King could not find a wife among the noble women, he could choose a woman from among those in his kingdom. Knowing this from the many books she read over the years, Adeline devised a plan.
Early one morning, she arose and went out before the sun had risen. She walked quickly and made it to the palace gates a little after the golden sun had risen over the peaks of the Ramun mountains.
“I wish to see the King,” She told the guards who stood watch.
“No peasants see the King unless summoned!” They replied.
Adeline was not in a mind to let anyone dissuade her. She left, but she came back the next morning at the same time.
Again, she said, “I wish to see the King.” And again the guards sent her away.
She came back a third time and asked to see the King. But once again, she was sent away. Adeline went to the palace gates every morning for two weeks. The guards became perplexed and asked why she wanted to see the King; she only replied that it was urgent business. On the fourteenth day, the guards were so curious that they decided to let her enter the gates.
“Surely,” one said to the other as she approached the palace in the early morning light, “she is not dangerous at all. Indeed, I feel as if I know her now. She wishes to see the King—why not let her in and see what happens.”
Adeline walked into the grand palace, welcomed by a double door entrance. She came into the magnificent foyer and was stopped by another guard. “Why are you here?” he asked, his large frame filling her view.
“I am here to see the King.” Adeline replied. She was sent away by the guard, and as she left through the gates she waved goodbye to the two guards who let her in.
“That’s it,” they said to themselves, “she will not come back now.”
She did, however, return the next day, asking to see the King. The guards at the gate let her in once more, but she was turned away by others. Day after day, she returned when the golden sun shone brightly on the palace. The guards at the gate admired her persistence and began to advocate for her, hoping she would be allowed to see the King. Servants of the palace took notice of her and hoped that she could, one day, see the King.
Many attendants and maids wondered why she wanted to see the king. Adeline became a great mystery and source of curiosity among the palace staff, and nearly everyone knew who she was. A month after she began setting foot in the palace, the King heard of her. One bright morning, he requested that she be brought before him when she came to the palace. The guards of the gate, who had become friends to her, met her with smiles on their faces.
“The King has requested to see you this morning, Adeline,” one of them said, the other grinning from ear to ear.
Adeline’s smile spread from the center of her heart outward, and when she smiled it was so radiant that one of the guards felt as if she were the sun. As the young woman passed through the gates, he hoped with all his heart that she would find what she was looking for.
She was led through the grand palace and brought into the throne room, where the King received guests. Adeline’s heart sped, but she maintained her composure. She smoothed out the fabric of her skirts and straightened her auburn bun atop her head, taking in a deep breath before the doors swung open.
All was silent as she walked through the hall of the throne room, up to the seat of the King. Adeline curtseyed to the ground, bowing her head and spreading her skirts out.
“Please, stand,” the king said after a moment’s silence. She lifted her head and stood up.
Adeline looked into the eyes of the ruler, which were as golden as the morning sun she had come to know so well. “Your majesty,” she said, nodding her head once more.
“I have heard much of you, and I am curious about you. Tell me your name.”
“My name is Adeline, your majesty,” she replied.
“Why is it, Adeline, that you have come to see me? I hear from my advisor that you have come every morning for the past six weeks. You have your chance now—please, speak.”
Adeline took in a deep breath. The King tilted his head, waiting. “Your majesty, I join with all of the kingdom in mourning over the loss of the late King and Queen, your parents, over a year ago. They were the kindest and wisest of rulers, truly loved by every subject. You stepped into this role at a young age, but have demonstrated a knowledge and discernment that surpasses your years. I have heard of your quest to find a suitable bride, searching near and far—but to no avail. I have come to suggest to you a very suitable bride, one who is loving and kind and accomplished.”
The King raised his eyebrows in surprise. “Ah, I see. And tell me, Adeline, who is this woman you suggest I marry? You?” he asked, tugging at his short, dark beard.
She smiled, shaking her head. “No, your majesty. The woman I am speaking of is my younger sister.”
“I see,” he nodded. “And why is it that your sister is not here, Adeline? Why could she not come herself?”
“Because she is only sixteen, your majesty. She is not yet old enough to be presented in court, and because of this she cannot come before you now. But she will be seventeen in a year, and I would like to present her to you then. If, of course, you have not found a bride by then.”
The King sat back, seemingly intrigued. Adeline continued.
“I do not think your majesty would care to simply meet her a year from now—that would not do. I propose that I come to you every day for the next year, and each day I will tell you about her. You may decide every day if I should return or not. If you decide that you do not like what you hear, or if you meet another woman who is better suited to you, I will be dismissed and will never return. If, however, you would like to know more, I shall come back the next morning and tell you about her,” she paused before adding, “What do you say to this, your majesty?”
Tension filled the room from the golden laced ceiling, down the pillars, to the polished marble floor upon which Adeline stood. The King tapped his fingers on the arm of his throne. There was no harm, he thought, in hearing about this young woman in his kingdom. If he met a woman who was well suited for him, he would not need to hear of her again—and if, for some reason, she peaked his interest, it would do no harm to learn more about her. It may even be quite interesting. Adeline intrigued him, and he decided he would allow her to return the next day.
Upon hearing the good news, Adeline’s smile spread through all around her, and the King found it to be quite infectious when he realized he, too, was smiling. Adeline curtseyed once more, and began to make her way out of the large hall.
“Wait!” the King called, standing up and advancing a few steps. “Are you not going to tell me anything about her today?”
Adeline turned. “Her name is Elise.” With that, she left.
Adeline returned to the town and went immediately to work. She met Elise there, who noticed that Adeline was up to something. The elder sister was decidedly quiet, however, and would not say a word about where she had been. Early the next morning, she woke up and headed again to the palace. The guards let her in, and she was greeted with fondness. She entered the throne room, where the King was waiting.
“Your majesty,” she began, “what would you like to know about my sister today?”
He thought for a moment. “Tell me what she looks like.”
Adeline nodded. “My sister Elise has beautiful eyes—green, like the color of grass that shines beneath the morning dew. Her hair is long, and in the sunlight it looks like honey. When not braided, it flows down to her waist in soft curls. And she has the fairest of skin, as many often tell her.”
The King seemed satisfied with what he had been told, but there Adeline stopped.
“Well, go on,” he urged. “What else?”
“I am afraid that is all I can tell you today,” she replied.
He sat back in his throne, sighing. “As you wish. Come back tomorrow.” Adeline nodded, curtseying before exiting the room.
The next morning, the King was once again in his throne room, eagerly awaiting her entrance. Adeline moved to curtsey, but he waved a hand, stating that a gesture so formal would not be needed every day. They were, after all, to see each other every day. He did not want to waste time on formalities when they could be speaking. Adeline laughed, noting how eager the king had become, but acquiesced.
Adeline told the king of her sister’s many accomplishments—in singing, drawing, dancing, reading, sewing, playing the pianoforte. During the following weeks, Adeline’s conversations with the king grew longer and longer. He became increasingly interested in the lives of the two sisters who lived in his kingdom.
One day, Adeline was taken down an unfamiliar corridor, to the other side of the palace. She was escorted through a large carved door, behind which lay a garden more beautiful than anything she had ever seen. She was not sure she could call it a garden—the word was too plain, too simple. Trees of every kind laced the edges of the oasis, and flowers carpeted the ground. Golden-laced cobblestones peeked through the emerald grasses, glimmering in the sunlight. Butterflies and hummingbirds fluttered through the air, and a stream flowed through, the sound of the trickling water echoing like a beautiful melody.
She stepped through the garden, enchanted with everything she saw, and came up to the king. “Your majesty,” she said as the king turned to her.
His golden eyes sparkled. “This place is my sanctuary,” he said, “I come here when I cannot think…or when I think too much. Or, when my advisors are getting on my nerves.” He chuckled. “Come to think of it, I come here often. It is so—”
“Peaceful,” she finished, looking up at the willow tree next to them.
The king nodded. “Precisely.”
“Your majesty, what would—”
“I grow tired of hearing people call me that,” he said, holding a hand up. “It seems that no one can address me in any other way nowadays.”
“That is perhaps because you are the king.”
“Yes, quite so.” He nodded to himself, looking around the garden. “But I cannot stand being only called ‘your majesty’ and ‘sire,’ because I feel as if one day I will forget what my own name is. Please, from now on, address me as Henry. That is my name, and I would like for a friend to call me that.”
“Do you consider me to be your friend?” Adeline asked, tilting her head. Her hair, which had been pulled back into a ponytail, fell across her shoulders.
He smiled, with one half of his mouth curving up more than the other. “Yes, I would like to say we are friends. I will be seeing you for many more weeks, and it would feel odd if you only ever addressed me as ‘your majesty.’ Please, address me as you would a friend.”
She nodded. “As you wish, y-…Henry.”
The king broke out into a grin that outshone the entire landscape. He was so full of joy that Adeline did her best to soak up the moment. They remained silent for a few seconds, then Adeline remembered something.
“What would you like to know about Elise today, Henry?”
His expression changed. “Ah, yes. I was out here watching the sunrise this morning, looking over all the flowers.” He walked through the garden, Adeline joining him. “I wondered which her favorite is.”
Adeline thought of all the days she and her sister ventured out to the fields surrounding the city. They walked among the hills and picked flowers to make crowns and wreaths. There was one Elise always reached for.
“Her favorite is the sky flower,” she said, pointing to a delicate blue one a few steps away. The small flower had perfectly sculpted petals that mirrored the color of the sky above.
Henry nodded. “My mother always loved that flower.”
“Perhaps that is a sign,” Adeline suggested. They chuckled.
“What about you, Adeline? What is your favorite flower?”
She described a fiery orange and red flower that was hard to find; the dragon wildflower, which always stood out to her amongst the green grass. It was then that Adeline saw the sun and realized how long she had been there.
“I must go!” She gasped, heading toward the palace door.
“Why, what is the matter?”
“I am late for work!”
“Work?” Henry asked, caught quite off guard. “You work?”
She stopped, spinning to look up at him. “Of course; my sister and I work for a seamstress. And I am afraid I have been late for the past week. I cannot be late again—I must leave right away!” With that, she left.
“Adeline, what is going on with you?” Elise asked one evening, as they walked home from work. “I wish you would tell me.”
“All in due time.” Adeline replied, looking to the vast summer skies. She could already feel the air changing, bringing in a new season.
The summer warmth faded and the world spun, bringing a crisp chill into the air. Adeline answered questions about Elise’s favorite books and music choices, childhood memories, and thoughts on the world. She was a good storyteller, Henry noted one day, as she perfectly described the day Elise scraped a knee jumping from one side of a stream to another and fell into the water.
The weather turned colder and snow blanketed the earth. Adeline found it difficult to make it to the palace on some mornings, yet she never missed a day. During the cold months, her conversations with Henry became longer and she found herself feeling quite at home speaking with him every day about life. All of those who worked in the palace had become like good friends to her, and she cherished the conversations she had not only with the king, but also with the others.
Seemingly as quickly as it had come, winter retreated into a corner and spring began to shine through, bringing warmth back into the land and making the long walk wet from rain instead of icy from snow. On the first day of spring, Henry asked if Adeline would play the pianoforte and sing one of the songs she told him Elise knew well, and though quite nervous—for, she had only ever played for her sister—she agreed. She chose a valley song that she and her sister both learned as children. Her hands felt shaky and her fingers slipped on the ivory keys a few times, yet the king told her she played—and sang—beautifully. Adeline assured him how much better it would have been if Elise had performed.
On her way to the palace one morning not too long after, Adeline slipped on the road and scraped her knee badly on a rock hidden beneath the mud. When she arrived at the palace, the staff was shocked to see her leg bloodied and took her immediately to be bandaged. The king insisted that she borrow a carriage for the ride home that day.
Adeline assured him she was quite alright, and after a short conversation about Elise, she left with a limp. From a window in the palace, the king watched as his friend traversed down the muddy path. He stopped himself three times from rushing out to help her, for she had a stubborn disposition and refused any assistance. Adeline fully recovered from her injury a short time later, though Henry insisted she would have healed quicker if she had not made the walk each day and let him instead make a carriage available for her.
Shortly thereafter, Adeline realized that nine months had passed since their first meeting, and she was disheartened when she thought about their time as friends coming to a close. Yet, she reminded herself that it was all in the interest of her sister.
“Do you think I will like her, Adeline?” Henry asked one fine morning, only a week before the year was up. They sat under a large willow tree and listened to the stream that ran in front of them.
Adeline turned to look at the man beside her, and realized her heart was torn in two. “Yes, I think you will like her very much,” she decided to say. How could anyone not love Elise dearly? She was most accomplished at many things, and had a heart of gold. Which, Adeline told herself, would do well in such a palace.
“I hope we will remain friends through the years, no matter how things turn out,” he said absentmindedly. Adeline left the palace that day without saying much more.
The last week passed, and Adeline suddenly found herself waking up on the morning of her sister’s seventeenth birthday. The sky outside was grey and dismal, the way her heart had become. The last of the evening stars was still shining, though not as brightly as Adeline had remembered it being in the past year.
She went to her sister and gently woke her up. “Put on your best dress, and let me do your hair.” Elise, rubbing her eyes sleepily, did as instructed. Adeline braided her sister’s hair and pinned it back, framing the young face nicely.
The two set out, one silently following the other. The sound of shoes clicking on the cobblestone streets was all that protruded the silence. Elise struggled to keep up with her sister as they passed the city and began up the long path.
“Where are we going?” Elise asked, breathless. Her sister would not reply, but kept her eyes forward. Adeline slowed down to a gentle walk, and the incline was not so bad at the time so Elise felt like she could talk.
“I do not know the reasons why you determine yourself to make this awful walk all alone. I don’t know where you go, or why. You have been absent from work many mornings, and have left me alone much of the time. You haven’t noticed the changes in me in this past year, so I will have to tell you what you have missed in my life.”
“Oh, sister,” Adeline said rather gingerly, “I wish you would be quiet. We are almost there. Please, be patient.”
That was when Elise looked up and realized they were in front of the palace gates. Two ominous guards peered down at the women, and Elise thought of retreating behind her sister. But after a moment’s silence, one of them broke into a grin.
“Adeline! You don’t look so well this morning. Probably cause of this weather, y’know? Today hasn’t been the best day for spring, what a shame. Who’s this you’ve got with ya? This is a shock, a real shock! Ain’t it, Teddy?”
Teddy, the other guard, replied, “Aye, it is indeed! She looks an awful lot like Adeline, don’t she? Adeline, is this your sister? She must be! Look at them—the very same face structure! Course, this one’s a little shorter and plumper, and she’s got different eyes.”
“Her hair isn’t as dark as Adeline’s, either, I reckon.”
The two men continued to talk, and Adeline passed through the gates after saying ‘good morning,’ greeting them like friends. Elise hesitated, looking up at the towering palace and realizing she was not prepared for whatever lay within.
“You know those men?” she asked, catching up with her sister.
“They are my friends,” Adeline replied.
The doors were opened for Adeline before she reached them, and Elise’s mouth hung open. Surely her sister could not have taken on a job at the palace—could she? Everyone they came across seemed to know her so well.
“Carslile,” she called to a man who was carrying a tray—before she said anything else, the man told her she would find “him” in the old library. She nodded and walked up the grand staircase without any hesitation.
“I must tell you, dear sister, our lives may very well change this day. I have been coming here, to the palace, every day for the past year.”
“I…gather that much,” Elise replied, trying to keep up.
Adeline nodded, looking at her sister. “I have been meeting with the King.”
“The King? But…That’s impossible!”
“It is quite true. I have come here each day to tell him about a woman he may marry.”
“Oh?” Elise asked, “You know a noblewoman?”
“It is no noblewoman,” Adeline said, “It is you.”
“Me?!” Elise stammered, nearly tripping. “I—I don’t understand!”
The sisters came to the top of the staircase, where Adeline took Elise’s hands in her own. “I realized some time ago that you have grown into a very accomplished young woman. I know of no eligible bachelors in our society of friends, and though I may never marry, I should like to see you happy and well taken care of.
“Last year I came to the palace, requesting to see the king. When allowed an audience with him, and I told him of your many talents, your kindness, your joy, and of the very nature of who you are. He has been getting to know you through me for the past year, waiting until you may be presented publicly. Now that time has come, and I am to officially introduce you. The King is the kindest of souls I have ever met and the best of men—a person could not be made better, even if the Creator tried for a thousand years.
“I do not know what will happen today, but the King may very well fall in love with you at first glance. I do not expect you to do the same, only consider what your future could be, if he offers. If not, no harm will come because your heart has not been entwined to his.”
The sisters reached the door to the library and Adeline sighed. She took one more look at her sister, then boldly walked into the presence of the King.
“Your majesty,” she addressed him, which caught Henry off guard, “may I present my sister—Elise.”
Elise, still quite shocked, stumbled, but recovered and curtseyed. Henry crossed the room and bowed. The three spent nearly an hour in the library, Adeline only moderately listening to the conversation between the King and her sister.
She finally realized someone was speaking to her, and turned to see a delicately smiling Elise. “Are you ready? We must go to work.”
Adeline nodded, rising from the couch. “Yes, of course.” She looked at Henry, holding back tears that so desperately wanted to escape, and curtseyed. “Thank you for seeing us, sire.”
Henry nodded in return. He looked at the sisters, then addressed Elise. “Would you be so kind as to return tomorrow morning, Elise? I have something I would like to speak to you about privately.” He glanced at Adeline, adding, “If your sister does not mind.”
“Not at all,” Adeline replied. Elise accepted the invitation, and the sisters departed.
Adeline realized as the sisters walked home that her heart had indeed been torn into two. Yet, she determined, she would be happy for her sister, as she had always planned. Adeline heard nothing her sister said the entire day, but devoted herself to work instead. The sisters went to sleep without much conversation between them, and in the morning Elise arose early and left Adeline alone in the house.
She came back after some time, smiling as if the sun had shone for the first time in her entire life. Needing to be on her own, Adeline walked among the hills behind the city that afternoon, letting the gentle breeze catch her up and take her where it desired. When she returned home, the sun had just dipped behind the mountains and a blue hue was blanketed over the earth. Elise was at the old pianoforte, playing gleefully. Adeline was not feeling up to joining her in a duet, even after Elise implored, and went straight to bed instead.
When morning came, the sisters readied themselves for work as usual. But before they had even had their breakfast, a knock came on the door. Adeline answered the door, with Elise only just behind her.
“You have been summoned to the palace.” Raymond, one of the King’s servants, announced. Adeline noticed a grand carriage waiting behind him.
She turned to her sister, saying, “Get your coat on, and don’t keep the man waiting.”
“Beggin’ your pardon, Adeline,” Raymond returned, a smile widening across his face, “but your sister isn’t the one who’s been summoned. You have.”
Adeline looked at him, then back at her sister, and back at Raymond. A confused look wrinkled her forehead. “I do not understand. Elise is not summoned?”
Raymond shook his head. “No, you have been summoned. Best not to keep the King waiting, eh?” he said, gesturing for her to get into the carriage.
Adeline felt her sister hug her and usher her into the carriage, and before she had time to think she was at the palace, being escorted into the grand castle. She was instructed to follow one of the servants, who took her down corridors and hallways she knew all too well. The great wooden door was opened for her and she looked out at the garden, which was brimming with life and color. She stepped out into the green meadow, being told he was in his usual spot. The door closed behind her and the only sounds that invaded Adeline’s thoughts were those of the wind rustling through the trees, birds harmonizing among the branches, and the stream laughing as the water swirled and ran downhill.
The King was standing under the golden sun, his back toward Adeline. She walked through the garden, each step heavier than the last. She did not know why he had called her there, other than to thank her for introducing him to his sister. Perhaps, because she was the only living relative, he would ask her approval of the match, as was tradition in all marriages in Aldea.
When she neared him, he turned to face her. Adeline’s heart nearly stopped beating, for she saw on the King’s face a look that she hadn’t recognized before. It was one of kindness, and softness, but also something else she could not quite place.
“Hello,” he smiled, closing the gap between them.
“Hello, Your Majesty,” Adeline curtseyed, feeling quite awkward and out of place in addressing him as such.
Henry must have felt the same, for he was taken aback and furrowed his brow.
“Why such formality, Adeline? I thought we were friends.”
“We are, sire,” she replied, “That is, I would always enjoy your friendship. But with your upcoming announcement of an engagement—”
“Ah, yes.” He smiled to himself, as if lost in a thought. “Adeline, I would very much like it if you would call me Henry, always.”
She nodded her head. “Of course. As you wish.”
He smiled, but his brows turned up as if he were trying to communicate something she could not understand. “Did your sister tell you of our conversation yesterday?”
She shook her head in response. “I do not believe so, your m—Henry.”
“Well, then I shall have to relay it to you.” He took in a breath, looking up at the blue skies that loomed overhead. Clasping his hands behind his back, he looked down at the grass upon which he stood. “I will not be marrying your sister Elise.”
Adeline was shocked, taken aback for a moment. “Oh.” She managed to say after a few moments of silence.
“She is all of what you told me before—she is charming, kind, intelligent, and a well-rounded young woman. But I am afraid neither she nor I felt any sort of connection, and I found after the two of you left my palace the other day that I already had made a decision to marry another, in my heart.”
Adeline felt the blood leave her face, and her heart sank to the pit of her stomach. “I see. I am very happy for you.” The words came out, though she could not make herself feel any joy in them.
“You are?” he asked, turning to her. “You do not even know who it is I have decided to marry. What if I have chosen a conniving, evil woman who wants me for my money and power?”
Adeline smiled a little, shaking her head. “You are a wise man. You would not marry a woman like that.”
“What if I decided to marry a girl with no brains, who couldn’t tell her fork from her spoon and could not rule alongside me?”
Again, Adeline shook her head. “You would not marry a woman like that, either.”
Henry looked at her, his golden eyes alive with more sunlight in them than the sun itself. “You are quite right. I do not desire to marry a woman like that at all. I have thought long and hard about it, because I wanted to ensure the best decision for my kingdom as well as for myself. And what I found is that the woman I love—the woman I hope would do me the honor of being my wife and the queen to this kingdom—is nothing at all like the woman I was expecting.”
Adeline remained silent, unsure of his meaning.
“She is more selfless than any other being I have known. Though she can be quite stubborn at times, it is always for the right cause. She knows and loves those around her equally, and makes no distinction between the classes. All of my staff loves her dearly, as does her family. In short, she is the most beautiful and accomplished woman I have met, and I know that none other would be capable of being queen as she.”
Adeline nodded her head, holding back tears. “I look forward to your endless happiness, and I would very much like to meet your queen one day.”
Henry smiled. “Adeline,” he said. “It should be no mystery to you—you are the one of whom I speak. The woman I wish to have as my wife and partner, the queen of Aldea. That is, if you will have me.”
Adeline opened her mouth to speak, but no words came forth. Henry found himself down amongst the grass, on one knee, offering to her a ring that shone brighter than any other that Adeline had ever seen. Her heart all at once was completely mended, and more than that, it was overfilled with joy. She accepted without hesitation, and was immediately embraced by the man she loved so well.
Henry wished to summon Elise to the palace at once, that she might join in celebrating the engagement of her sister. He had spoken with her the day before about it, and Elise encouraged him to waste no time in speaking to Adeline, for she was truly happy for them.
When the King announced his engagement to the kingdom, his subjects were delighted. The palace was full of joy and merriment, and all of Adeline’s friends could not have been happier for her. Arrangements were made for the wedding and in only a few weeks they were King and Queen. The kingdom rejoiced, for the King had found a queen who was lovelier and more gracious than any the kingdom had ever known, and the two ruled as one. The Queen was loved by all, especially her sister, who happily married two years later.
King Henry and Queen Adeline ruled for many years; under them, the kingdom prospered as it had never before. And truly, they lived happily for the rest of their days.
Laurel Burlew has been a writer for the majority of her lifetime. Though her focus is in speculative fiction, she has written in a variety of genres and constantly strives to push herself outside her comfort zone, including writing this fairy tale. When not writing, Laurel can usually be found with a book in her hands or at a piano. She is currently studying English Literature at her local university. You can follow her on Instagram @laurelanne.b and find more of her writing on her blog at www.hbauthors.com.