Elora

When I turned 18 six months ago, I moved back to Ironwell town, my mother's hometown. She died when I was 11 years old. She used to be a baker and had a bakery shop in town but she left it to move to a nearby village called Redfell with her elder sister. I was born there. When she died I started learning bakery so I could move back to Ironwell and open her shop. But when I did, I suddenly became a princess! I'm Elora, and this is how my life changed.

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1. Chapter 1

Fresh air filled my lungs as I opened my shop after I organized my products on the glass case. It was warm inside. The air smelled of cinnamon, caramelized sugar, chocolate and a mixture of other ingredients I used this morning to bake.

It has been six months since I came back to Ironwell town. My mother used to live here. This bakery shop was hers. She moved to the neighboring village of Redfell before I was born, and lived with my aunt. But when she died seven years ago, I decided to become a talented baker like her. I used to bake in my free time, I bought many books to learn. My goal was to come back and open my mother’s shop. So when I turned 18, I decided to move back to town.

I wasn’t used to this yet but I was happy that people started to notice my shop.

The sunlight shone through the rectangular window, lying on the wooden floor like sweet honey. It was just another refreshing spring morning, or so I thought.

Welcome” I said as I heard the bell ringed when the door opened.

Two good looking men entered the shop, one was wearing the royal knight's uniform, the second had really beautiful and expensive looking clothes, he must be a noble.

“Can I help you?” I asked.

They looked around at the shop before their eyes land at me. The man in noble’s clothes spoke: “Excuse me miss, you are Elora, the owner of this shop, am I right?”

“Yes sir, I’m Elora. Can I help you?” I looked at him in confusion.

“Yes, would you come with us to the royal palace?”

“I beg your pardon?” My eyes went wide at the sudden request. I looked at the knight next to him, he was still looking around, clearly uninterested.

I looked back at him and asked in confusion:”Would you care to tell me who are you?”

“Oh, please forgive my rudeness. My name is Julian Bright, the personal advisor of his Majesty, and this is sir Evan Blackwell, the general of the royal army.”

My jaw dropped and I forgot to blink. (They're both nobles! What on earth these two high ranked young men came to do in my modest bakery shop?

I realized that I was staring at them. I felt the heat in my cheeks. “I … my name is Elora Wayn.”

“We know exactly who you are, that’s why we came.” Said Evan looking directly at me.

Julian spoke again: “I suggest you to close your shop for the time being. We have a lot to talk about, and I prefer not being interrupted by sudden customers.”

I looked at him, unsure of what to do, but in the end I chose to trust him and I went to close the door.

We sat at the table next to the window, I offered them some tea and cake.

Julian took a sip of his tea, then put the cup in the saucer and left his eyes to meet mine:” Allow me to tell you a short story. Long time ago, when his majesty was still a prince, he fell in love with a town girl. Their relationship didn’t work due to… some... complications. The girl disappeared, but few years ago, we discovered that she had a daughter, his majesty’s illegitimate child. So we started our investigations to find our lost princess.” He took another sip of his tea.

“And did you find her?” I asked.

He put the cup back in the saucer: “Indeed, we did. And that would be you, Miss Elora.”

I nearly choked on my tea: “What? No that’s impossible! My father is a normal town guy and he’s dead!”

“Did you ever meet him?” Evan finally joined the conversation.

“well, no but… I’m sure that there is some kind of mistake.”

Julian reached for his breast pocket and took out a pendant “Have a look at this, does it look familiar to you?”

I took it in my hand to examine it. It was half-circle shaped, made of silver, it had the words [belong] and [you] carved in it. “Yeah, it.. does..” I removed my necklace and looked closely at the pendant in it. It was in the same shape but had different words on it that I never understood [I] and [to]. But when I put the two pendants together, the words made sense [I Belong To You].

“I guess that you got that pendant from your mother.” Julian said looking at my confused face. I nodded.

“The one I just handed to you is his majesty’s. It’ the only reminder of the love of his life. He treasures it more than the crown itself.”

I looked up at him, still can’t process what he was telling me. Evan added “So long story short, you are our lost princess, and we came to take you to where you belong: The royal palace.”

“But.. I...” I didn’t know what to say. This was too much for my brain to take.

“Miss Elora, you have to trust that we did lots of investigations, and we are sure of what we are telling you. There is no mistake. I think your pendant is a good proof.” Julian put his empty cup down.

I swallowed before speaking, still not believing what was happening: “What do you want from me?”

Julian rested his elbows upon the edge of the table and twined his fingers together: “We only want you to come with us the palace and be our princess.”

I didn’t know what to say so I just said the first thing that came to my mind: “What would happen to my shop?”

I noticed Evan rolling his eyes. Julian’s face expression relaxed into a gentle smile:”It will always be yours, you can think of what to do with it later.” He suddenly stood up, Evan did the same. I looked down at my reflection in my half-empty teacup.

“So, let’s go.” I looked up and saw Julian smiling down at me and offering me his hand.

“R..right now?” I looked at his smiling face, then turned to Evan, he sighed and turned on his heel and headed to the door. He opened it and walked out.

“Would you take my hand?” I looked back at Julian and noticed that he was still offering me his hand. I felt the blood rushing to my face. I took his hand and stood up.

Evan came back holding a box. He handed it to me: “Please get ready.”

I took the box and opened it:”Wow! This is so beautiful.” The box contained a nice blue dress, a silver high heel shoe, lace gloves, and even a pearl hair band and some jewelry.

I looked up at them with wide eyes after I realized what Evan said: ”Is this for me to wear?”

Julian was the was who answered: “It is. We can’t have you going to the palace wearing...uh...simple clothes. We are introducing you as the princess, so you should look the part.”

“We will wait for you outside.” Said Evan, as he walked out the door, Julian followed him and closed the door behind him.

I looked blankly at the door for a while, my brain is clearly having hard time processing what happened.

I shook my head to clear my thoughts, and looked down at the box in my hand.

(Well, I’m not sure if this is some kind of a prank or a mistake or whatever… If I go with them I’ll know for sure. Plus, who doesn’t want to visit the royal palace!)

I hurried to my bedroom upstairs and got changed.I put the pearl hairband on and looked at myself in the mirror. (The dress is really beautiful! But I’m not sure if it suits a girl like me...) I small sigh escaped me.

I put on the shoes and went downstairs. I took a deep breath before opening the door.

I stepped out and saw a carriage with a coachman in front of the shop. Behind the carriage stood Julian and Evan next to a beautiful black horse with an elegant saddle underneath it a red pad bearing the royal army’s golden emblem. It must be Evan’s horse.

I could see their eyes widened when they saw me coming out. I felt so embarrassed. I lowered my head and closed my eyes. I took a deep breath to calm myself then opened my eyes and raised my head. I started walking forward. Julian met me in front of the carriage. He smiled and said: ”You look gorgeous, princess.”

“Th..thank you.” I turned my face towards Evan, but when I did he averted his eyes and mounted his horse. I could see I faint blush on his cheeks.

“Please allow me.” Julian reached his hand out to help me up. I slipped my hand into his and stepped up on the step. He helped me in the carriage and got inside, shutting the door behind him. The carriage started moving.

I put my elbow on the windowsill and looked out the window. I could see the back of Evan riding his horse.

In a few moments, the carriage left the town and started going up towards the palace in the top of the hill.

The scenery changed from lined out houses to a green forest. I felt weird. I didn’t know why I had the feeling that it was my last time seeing the town. Maybe because I was nervous. well, who wouldn’t be! I was on my way to the royal palace! I sighed.

“What’s wrong?” Julian’s voice startled me. I turned to face him. He was looking at me with a frown on his face.

“Nothing. I’m just a bit nervous.” I looked down at my hands.

“Well, It’s normal.” I looked up at him, his facial expression was relaxed into a smile. I looked back out the window. I could see the palace in the distance.

The palace was high upon the hill overlooking the town, it's many pointed towers giving it the look of an eccentric crown. The walls were a white stone that glistened in the sun and the roof was gray slate. It was as big as twenty of the ordinary houses of the town and employed a good number of the townsfolk as servants.

 

The carriage passed through the palace’s main gate and drove across the front yards then slowed down and stopped.

“We’re here.” Julian opened the door and got down. He offered me his hand to help down.

Evan dismounted his horse and a stable boy came to take it to the stables. Evan then looked at Julian: “I’m heading to the barracks, I have some business to do. See you later.” He turned on his heel and walked away.

“Let’s go inside” Julian walked through the door and I followed him.

The inside was so luxurious beyond my imagination! The walls were so white with golden patterns carved in the edges. Beautiful chandeliers hung from the high ceiling. I looked around with admiration.

“Please this way.” Julian climbed the stairs and I followed him. We walked in a long red-carpeted corridor with big windows and lots of doors. He stopped in front of one door and opened it.

“Please.” Julian held the door open for me.

I entered and looked around me to admire the spacious bedroom. Its furniture and decorations were fancy and colored with many shades of creamy color with a touch of gold. I was so comfortable to see.

In the center of the room was a creamy colored four postered bed with light golden silk curtains and two bedside tables on both its sides. On the left were a sofa, a table and the door to the walk-in closet. To the right was a dressing table and the bathroom’s door. Everything in the room was rich and lavish; I found myself awed, and envious that I never had a place so luxurious.

A girl that looked a bit older than me was standing in the center, holding a notebook. When I entered she was startled and curtsied to us.

“Princess, this is Nelly. My secretary.” Julian said as I looked at the girl.

"So this is the princess huh. Not bad, I guess." She looked at me from head to toes.

Julian's expression became more serious "That's rude, you should be more polite with her"

She rolled her eyes and said nothing.

Julian sighed "What are you doing here anyway?"

Nelly closed her notebook: "I was checking if everything was ready for the arrival of" She glanced at me and continued in sarcasm "Her highness."

"Well done. You can go now."

Nelly curtsied again and left the room.

“This is your room. Please make yourself comfortable.” He smiled and showed me to the sofa.

Suddenly we heard a knock at the door. ”Come in!” Julian answered and the door opened.

A young man entered the room and bowed.

“Just in time.” Julian looked at me and added “This is Rody, your butler and assistant.”

“Nice to meet you princess. I’m honored to be serving your highness.” He flashed me a cheerful smile.

 

I was stunned and lost for words. (This is going to far).

“Nice meeting you too. ” I said with a smile, after a regained my composure. His expression made me relax a little bit.

“Well, I need to go now. I’ll be back in a while.” Julian headed to the door and left the room.

I sighed and looked down at my hand in my lap. (Am I dreaming? This is really weird. Am I really the princess? Did the king know about me? If he did, then why they only looked for me now? But my mother told me that my father is dead. Did she lie to me? But why?) I let out a deep sigh.

“Your highness?” I looked up at Rody, it sounded like it wasn’t his first time calling me.

“Would you like a cup of tea?” He already made tea and put the teapot on the table without me noticing.

“Yes please.” (Maybe the tea will help me calm down and clear my head)

I took a sip “This is delicious! So refreshing!”

Rody smiled “I noticed that you’re nervous, so I added some herbs to help you relax.”

(That was really kind of him. I feel better already.)

I took another sip “Yeah, it’s helping. Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.” He bowed.

There was a knock at the door. “Please come in.” I answered.

The door opened and Julian stepped inside. “Are you ready?”

“For what?” My face full of confusion.

With a serious face, he answered my question “We’re going to meet his majesty the king.”

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