Chapter I. Derrya of Veraden

I am... I am Princess Derrya of Veraden. I was born to something that some people can only dream of. It's rather boring to me. Sometimes, I wish I could just runaway and have an adventure.

My sister, Broline, says that I am a foolish girl, and that I must always remember that I am a servant to the throne which I shall never sit-upon.

I am the youngest of five children, but my brothers died in the battle, defending Silla with the Prince of that country. Broline is to one day marry Prince Tavian of Silla, but she forgets about it most days. Sometimes, I catch her, sitting at the widow, quietly, in one of her 'fits'. She has told me she is thinking about Tav; she wonders if he is doing well in the war.

When Broline was 9, (I was 7), Father told me she was engaged to the Prince of Silla. I had met him only once before. He was 13. I didn't think much of him. I only knew that I was afraid of him- for one day, something would happen to my sister because of him.

Father found me crying in my room, a week later. He asked me why I was crying.

"Because Prince Tav will hurt Broline-"

"No-" Father laughed. "Engaged means that she will one day marry him."

I couldn't believe it. At 7, I had not planned anything for myself past the age of 9. I could not believe that my 9 year old sister would marry a man, but Father told me that she would not leave before she was seventeen.

I soon began to hate the Prince that would one day take my sister away from me. Soon, I put it out of my head. My brother, Maren, had married the previous year, and they were going to have their second child.

I played with my other brothers' children and my sister. I got to play with Maren's first child, Marlen, and soon, baby Claudia came.

It wasn't more than two months after Claudia was born that news of the war reached us. My Father knew full well that he couldn't deny Silla any men for aid, for my sister was engaged to Silla's only remaining heir. Finn and Arden left first; they were killed shortly after. Maren had to leave to lead the remaining men. I loved my brother Maren. Maren was 17.

The day Maren left was the hardest for him. Deep inside, he knew that he would never see his wife, Danna, again. And he would never live to see his son ride his first horse, or see his new baby girl take her first steps. Maren knew all these things, and no matter how much I wanted Maren to remember that he would never see me grow up or Broline be married to Silla, I knew it wasn't about me. It was about Danna and Marlen, and baby Claudia.

Maren had left a note, locked in his drawer. I was the one that discovered it- Danna never let me inside her house again. But I remember reading that letter...

And to you, my love- my heart rendered itself dumb when I first saw you, and the night of our marriage- I could have sworn (the next morning) that you had slipped me a potion, for not only was I dizzy, but I felt a new kind of emotion- passion, and within it, something that only I can know.
To you, my children, Marlen, you are my son... You are my heir, my first-born, and always and forever, my little, baby boy. Claudia, I never knew much about you, but what I did know was that you had your Mother's perfect smile and beautiful eyes, along with your Father's messy crop of hair. I love you, too... My little one...

To you, Broline- you will always be right... You know right from wrong and you will always enforce it, whether it be on yourself or on others.

To Derrya, I thank-you. I know that it was hard for you to stand back. I love you for it. I am sorry that I will never get to see you run in the fields, picking daisies to put in your hair or to give them to Mother and Father. I will always love you, my little sister.

Mother and Father, without you, I am not me, and without you I am nothing. For this, I am eternally indebted to you, both.

Pain is pain. I know I shall not see you again except for that glorious day in golden streets. And then, Derrya, you may come hug and kiss me, first...


Danna yelled and screamed at me for me to get out, after I read it out loud.

Danna left with Marlen and Claudia; she was married to a Prince of Desbian. My other brothers' wives have also gone with their children, and they too, have married Princes of other countries.

I am the only one left, along with Broline, and I, too, am engaged. I am engaged to the one person I never wanted to be engaged to- Elcimer MacAmorr (Ell/sih/murr Mahc/uh/more).

Elcimer thinks he owns me. The only thing is that Broline is in love with Elcimer, and I believe that Elcimer loves Broline.

Elcimer likes to boss me about; he says that I might as well get used to it, for one day, I shall be married to him. MacAmorr is 17. I think he is too young to be bossing me about.