an older voice rang from the mouth of a woman who had just picked up necklace of black pearls. The pearls were gift handed down the royal line of women for generations, one after the next. The black pearls were a symbol of a girl becoming a woman and entering into marriage. The future of Kalista lied in the hands of a young woman and her decision to marry. Although - she didn't have much choice in the matter. For decades on end, Bellakan and Kalista had been at war for far too long. Their opposing ideals made it hard for the two kingdoms and royal families to get along for more than a few minutes. Eventually this led to the King's decision to bring them together under peaceful terms through marriage, forming a strong alliance in its wake. The young Zuri Alifi was none too happy about the arrangement and given her failed attempted engagements in the past, she knew it probably wouldn't last too long either."Mother, you know I don't want to do this."
the young woman replied as her mother placed the pearls across her neck. Zuri was a sight to behold, though her personality would spoil such a beautiful girl. She stood a mere five feet four inches tall, the shortest of the family - but her crass attitude made up for her short stature. Her skin was as smooth as the finest chocolate, showing no sign of hard labor or blemishes. Zuri's black natural hair was loosely curled, but had been straightened to the middle of her back for the occasion. The Princess was slender, but was perfectly curvy in all the right spots. Her butt was round and full - but firm and soft to the touch that was complimented by her rounded hips. Her chest was perky, but medium sized giving the girl a figure that men would crave.
Zuri was a difficult child to raise, but she always managed to put on a show for the right people. She did not embarrass her family or make them look bad, but she had a knack for finding ways to run off her soon to be husbands. It wasn't in her agenda to run of the man she was going to meet, but she made no promises on how he would react to her. The King was worried, for years he tried his best to discipline his daughter letting her know of the consequences if she were to let this marriage go, Zuri did little to let any threats or warnings stop her from being who she was. It was no clear idea where she got the personality of a rebel from, but it worried the court. She was the only heir of age and the family was forced to go through yet another arrangement or they would be forced to wait thirteen years for their youngest child, Prince Elian, to come of age.
In Kalistian culture, women were ready for marriage at the tender age of fourteen - Zuri was now twenty and she was still without a husband or child. This was embarrassment enough to the family, making her father firmly force her into marriage with an enemy - but benefiting them at the same time."Your father needs this alliance, Zuri. You're one of the first women of our families to be so ....rebellious against marriage. You need to do this for us, for your honor, pride, and your people. We can not go through another war and we need to keep our nation strong."
the mother advised, green eyes beaming back at her daughter. Zuri's mother was more understanding of the girl, she too were a little off put by arranged marriages - although Zuri's mother, Queen Talia, had been more submissive. "I know you don't love him now, but you learn to love him and you will bring our families together. I love you, but now you must go."
she said before pulling back.
The young woman stared back, her bright brown eyes full of anger and sadness. She did not want to leave her home, her family, her people - but the exclusion of them being around would make it harder for her to persuade the marriage to stop. Zuri had the urge to run away, to get away as far as she could from her responsibilities, but there was no turning back.
She turned in anger, gracefully leaving her bedchamber and mother. Zuri was never one to cry in front of her family, but she could feel the tears welling her eyes. She couldn't believe that they would force her hand so hard, maybe she wasn't right for marriage - but it was the curse of being born into royalty. The girl walked at fast pace down the marble steps into the castle great hall. The walls were adorned in golds and marble. It was finely furnished in the best cloths and furniture her people offered.
She stopped at the front doors, staring back at the stares to see her mother watching her from a distance. "I love you - but I will be back."
she said, unsure of how to react to her mother not stopping her from leaving. A man dressed in long robes escorted the Princess to the carriage in front courtyard, taking her hand to help her down another set of stairs.
The ride was long, drawn out, and depressing. Zuri stared out the carriage window, glancing around at a home she had to leave behind. The marketplace was booming as usual, trades from around the Islands came out of their way to find the finest jewels and cloths her home had to offer. She could hear music of playing through different buildings as the commoners cheered watching the carriage file through. Everyone knew of the news, that an alliance and marriage were going to make her home a better place. She wanted to feel happy for them, but felt animosity to their happiness when she was not herself.
The carriage came to a rushing halt, causing the horses to shift uncomfortably. Zuri had fallen asleep through the journey of her vast and beautiful home. She could smell the salty sea air in the distance, causing her to awaken quickly. It was finally going to happen, she was going to leave and there was no turning back. Just outside the carriage, she could hear the driver speaking - though she didn't know who exactly. The young woman was told earlier that she would meet with someone from Bellakan, but she did not know to whom it was.
The Princess was dressed in a beautiful cream colored dress
that flowed beautifully with her curves. The dress was adorned in her families colors of gold and silver, setting off her wonderfully dark skin beautifully. Her hair was pulled back into a tight pony tailed and dressed with a gold head piece
and black pearl that hung in the middle of her forehead. On her right arm she wore an armband that carried her family crest of a dragon. Dragons had been a symbol of Kalistian culture for a long time, though the people had not seen one for centuries. It was said in legend that a dragon would arise when the world was unfit to justify itself. Although the legend was frightening to most, it held hope for those that feared those they did not know and heeded help when necessary.
The door swung open and a scruffed older man offered his arm. Hesitantly, she placed her hand in his stepping out of the carriage with grace. The carriage had stopped at the docks courtyard, she only been there maybe four times in her life time. It was a place she avoided whenever delegates and other royalty showed up to be greeted by her family."My lady, Princess Zuri Alifi of Kalista - may I present to you Prince Valadrim of Bellakan."
the man announced as he moved out the way to show the man he was speaking of. Zuri was unimpressed, the man was handsome, but he didn't seem very princely at all. Zuri scoffed, but held in any sarcastic remarks to curtsy elegantly. "My Prince, I did not know it was you who would arrive all this way."
she said trying to be on her best behavior, her brown eyes watching him closely.