The Proposal

It was a moment of intense shame for Princess Kiara. How could his brother marry that witch? It was humiliating for her. The Klan Dynasty and the Crown of Nursia had been at the war since one could recall. Queen Diana, the youngest ruler that Nursia had ever seen in centuries, had just offered herself as a potential bride and future Queen to the Klan Dynasty in exchange for freeing all the captured territories and prisoners.

It was a very diplomatic and political move on the Queen's side. Despite her intellect and aptitude, the people of Nursia were still reluctant to admit that a young Queen with no King was their ruler. In the proposed alliance, not only would she end the age old war between the two nations, but also secure a good hand in marriage. Prince Khan, Kiara's brother, was known to be a soft hearted, down to earth Prince. Under Diana he would never prosper, nor would he have any real power.

Kiara was in a dilemma. She had to meet the Queen in order to sort out an agreement. The official messenger had only said that the Queen had offered her hand in marriage to their Dynasty, and not another word. Being the only lady in the family and clever as she was, it fell upon her to negotiate. But there wasn't much to negotiate- her father was beyond happy with this proposition, and her brother... didn't mind it. It was hard for her to know what her brother wanted. Nursia was a prosperous, beautiful country. With some hesitation, Kiara even let the thought slip in her mind that Nursia looked better than her own kingdom. It wasn't just the properties or the market, it was the people- they genuinely came off to as a peaceful and happy community. The palace didn't disappoint- it too was a splendour, a breathtaking sight. However, she was aware of their unnatural and unseen ways of living. As her carriage passed

across two men engaged deeply in what seemed to be an intimate conversation, her aversion to Nursia returned.

Kiara was also aware of the plan the Nursians had in mind for her - as soon as she got into the palace, she would be taken to the guest chambers, freshened up, and then presented to the Queen immediately. She scoffed. Presented. As if she was just some commoner of this kingdom and not a Princess with her own kingdom backing her.

As planned, she was immediately given a bath and was changed into fresh new clothes. The Nursian representative even offered her something to eat and drink, which as expected, she refused. There was no time to waste. She was immediately taken to the Queen.

Queen Diana, with all her intelligence and humour, had always been raved about for her beauty. Being the only child of the former Crown of Nursia, she had been brought up with the utmost care and instruction any child could ever have been given. Despite her hatred, Kiara couldn't help but be amazed.

The representatives of both the countries introduced the Princess and the Queen. As a rule, a Queen never bowed unless to another King or Queen- but the Princess always bowed to the Queen. As much as she hated this rule, Kiara went along with it silently, yet not dejectedly.

Kiara thought it would be best to begin this conversation herself, in order to assert authority.

"I would like to begin with the fact that my brother is immensely flattered with your proposal,

Queen Diana.”

The Nersian Nursian representative stared. "Your brother, the Prince?", she asked in wonder. Kiara replied in affirmative, confused. Queen Diana smiled, and Kiara was once again struck by her.

"My dear Princess, there has been a misunderstanding, I believe." Kiara's representative stage whispered to her.

"What do you mean?", Kiara said in a loud voice, not wanting to keep up pretenses.

"He means", Queen Diana said for the first time that evening, a coy smile playing on her beautiful lips, "That the proposal wasn't made to your brother. It was made to you."

Author: Shriya Simran Pradhan

Editor: Eeshpal Singh

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