The Conquered City

This story takes place in a world no different to our own with just a few differences. The tale unfolds from different points of views and from different people.

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3. What to do next

Celina stood there on the doorstep the chilly night rustling her dress. The sisters had finally shut the door leaving Celina abandoned there. Fleethoof lifted his as she approached.
“Come on Fleet, home we go.” Celina swung herself into the basic leather saddle. Although the night was cold Celina didn’t feel the breeze, she was so caught up in all she had learnt.

Celina cantered into the stables, not bothering to be quite. A guard rounded the corner and yelled with surprise
“My Lady you know you can’t be out here. I’m sorry but I have to take you to your father.”
Celina let him grab her shoulder, not bothering to shake him off. The courtyard was light with the moons rays and filled with noise. A fountain splashed in the corner, each droplet looked like a minuscule diamond. As they rounded the corner Celina saw the garden bathed in light, a room in the house was light up.
The dark hallway filled with noise as the guards hobnailed clinked on the highly polished wood floor. The guard stopped in front of the council room. A light shone from behind the oak and gold door.
“Mam your father and family are waiting for you.”
“Thank you Bejön. Your services are commendable.” Celina said, her head held high not daring to look at Bejön. She pushed open the heavy doors and strode in her head still held high. There sitting in their high backed chairs they all sat their eyes staring at her. Father stood hunched over the table only looking up as I entered.
“You stupid child…”he began.
“You believe me stupid and do not call me child I am eight-teen father. I am of age!”
“I’m sorry Celina but you know we are only trying to look out for you.” Mother added
“So is that the reason you kept my rightful childhood and upbringing from me?” Celina spat. She knew it was a low blow but her anger had taken over.
“Oh… the Sisters told you didn’t they?” Father’s emotions started out as embarrassment and turned into rage but then slunk into his chair, all expression had left his face.
“Wait, father, what is this commotion about? What haven’t you told me?” Juliette lifted her head, from the table, as she spoke.
“My dear Juliette,” Celina started contempt in her voice. “How can I put this in the nicest way possible but I’m not your sister,” personally I’m glad Celina thought. “I’m someone else entirely. You see when I was three I came to live here do you remember? A young man came too and with him he brought a large sack he intrusted to Father,” Celina sketched quotation around his name, “I guess it was a lot of my money from home.”
“It was 500,000 gold sphinx to be accurate.” Father said his voice soft.
“Wait how did you get so much money?” Juliette asked confusion and craving in her voice.
“I am Princess Celina Fairchild of Banjï. It is one of the conquered cities in the North. We learnt about it in geography remember?”
“It sounds a bit farfetched to me Celina.” Juliette voiced.
“Juliette it’s true, my darling” Mother added.
“In the morning I shall go shopping for a new wardrobe, shoes, jewellery, a new saddle for Fleethoof and Juliette if you come with me I shall buy you some things as well.” Celina stood up. Bowing her head politely she said “Good night everyone.” She turned and left the room, slamming the door behind her, leaving everyone astounded.

Celina sat there in the tailor’s shop staring at all the fancy dresses and materials that lined the walls which gave the impression of an Aladdin’s cave. A tiny chandelier hung from the ceiling emitting a golden light making the thousands of gemstones sparkle. Finally the tailor appeared from the next room which she managed to catch a glimpse of through the curtains. He was a short man with grey sideburns and a moustache. He looked quite comical standing there; his little blue eyes seemed to be suck on them.
“Lady Juliette. No doubt you have come about a dress for the royal masked ball…” He faltered as he caught sight of Celina. “And who may this be? You have never set foot in my shop before.”
“Ah Mr Finchester this is Princess…” Celina elbowed her in the ribs and gave Juliette a warning look.
“I am Celina, Juliette’s sister.”
“Well hello madam. Right who needs what?”
“Mr Finchester my sister needs an entirely new wardrobe as we are going the Esrila soon.”
“Okay then,” Mr Finchester grinned, he knew he was going to make a lot of money today, and gestured for Celina to follow him. “You first.”
Celina stood there, pins jabbing into her side, whilst Mr Finchester altered her dress. It was a light lilac colour, with long sleeves. Celina smiled in the mirror and admired herself. She noticed that the lilac made her hair nearly pale gold. She had never seen such a beautiful dress in her life. The bodice had silver lines traversing each side whilst the skirt was made from two different materials, a centre section was made from a silver silk whilst the rest was the same lilac colour. Mr Finchester stood back to survey his handy work.
“Yes! Perfect!” he said as a huge grin appeared on his face. “Okay nest dress.”
The process of trying on each dress, altering it and taking it off took over half an hour each even. At the end lay before ten marvellous dresses each tailor fitted to Celina’s body. Mr Finchester, after acquiring her shoe size, brought out a pair of shoes for each dress and a little riding out fit with boots. Each pair of shoes matched the dress and Celina gapped at the jewels encrusted, sewn and glued onto each shoe. As a final treat Mr Finchester brought three piece of jewellery to match each dress. Celina looked at the monument of jewels, satins and silks and her heart skipped a beat. “Oh the wonders of being rich woman.” Celina thought, not even listening to Mr Finchester addressing Juliette about her dress. 
“Celina you’re not listening to me!” Celina was brought back to earth as Juliette nudged her. “Which colour green or purple?” Juliette stood before her holding to different fabrics, one was a deep forest green the colour of ever greens and the other was a deep royal purple.
“Juliette do you not think it a bit rude to wear the royal purple in front of the Royal Family?”
“You’re right.” Juliette turned to Mr Finchester. “I shall go for the green.” After that it took Juliette sixteen attempts before she decided on the style she most liked. Celina lifted her head to see Juliette standing in the most gorgeous dress in the shop, well apart from hers. It was the green from before but with gold lines creeping all over the dress giving the impression of a leaf’s veins. Her eyes seemed to shine greener every second she wore it. Celina just sat there wide eyed as Mr Finchester and Juliette discussed prices. After a couple of minutes Mr Finchester turned to me.
“Well Miss Celina altogether your new dresses, jewellery and shoes will cost you 1750 gold sphinx.”
Celina stared at him aghast. “The wonders of being a rich woman aren’t half expensive.” She thought.
“Juliette your dress was costume made so sadly I’ve had to raise the price. It shall cost you 250 gold sphinx instead of 100.” Mr Finchester said not looking unhappy at all.

Celina and Juliette left the shop, Mr Finchester waving goodbye, their arms laden with bags packed full of satins, silks and gemstones. The street outside was crowded but people seemed to part as they wandered through. The air was thick with the scent of perfumes, spices and all kinds of candies. The hum of voices grew louder until it was a deafening crash of people trying to talk over each other.

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