From Princess to Pirate: Part One
The sun rose high over Brightvale, shining warmly down on the inhabitants of the whimsical kingdom. A young royal Kau sat at the window of a room in the castle gazing curiously outward. The window was open, letting the breeze cool the room... somewhat. It seemed like nothing could help the sweltering summer heat.
“Polie? Princess Polie, did you hear what I said?” a voice asked from far away. Polie readjusted her eyes and turned her head reluctantly away from the outside. She felt nearly a prisoner in her own home, but there was not much she could do about it.
Her eyes focused to the front of the room where a large, portable chalkboard stood. It was green and various spellings and words were written upon it in white chalk. Polie liked chalk, but not to do math or learn history; she liked chalk to draw with. The thing Polie enjoyed most about her studies was art.
“I’m sorry, Tutor Vann. What did you say?” she asked, staring at her tutor, an older spotted Yurble. He was dressed immaculately in a dark brown suit. He wore a pair of dark black glasses on his long nose. Polie had always been interested in his glasses.
His voice was smooth and calm as he replied to Polie. “I asked how to spell Kreludor.” Vann was a patient tutor and he knew that Polie often daydreamed during their lessons. He gazed around the room, wondering if what the Princess really wanted was a companion to share her time with. She was an only child and she was not often allowed to leave the confines of her protected home.
“Oh.” Polie blushed. She bit her lower lip as she closed her eyes to try and visualize the letters. “K-R-E-L-U-D-O-R?” she spelled out rather quickly, her dark blue eyes shining brightly once she had gotten the last letter out. Vann nodded and smiled at his pupil as he wrote the word on the chalkboard.
“And what is Kreludor?” he asked, the chalk steady in his hand. He watched as Polie thought a moment and wondered if she was keeping up with her reading. He adjusted his suit, the room only getting hotter as the day wore on. If he were young, he thought, he would gladly go jumping into the fountain outside the Wheel of Knowledge. But he was not young any longer and it was more something that Polie would do, rather than he.
“Kreludor is Neopia’s moon!”
Polie beamed and sat up a little straighter. Whenever she answered something correctly, she always felt better about her lessons. Polie was smart, but there were many other things she was interested in.
“I think we can stop here for today,” Vann said as he set the chalk down on the desk next to the chalkboard. He saw Polie smile brightly as he spoke of letting her out early. He leaned against the desk and his eye twinkled somewhat. “And I guess that I will let you go on homework as well.” He narrowed his eyes at her and continued, “but just for today.”
Polie jumped out of her seat and scuttled toward Vann, hugging his waist tightly. “Thank you!” She knew it was unbecoming of a Princess, but it was hard for Polie to contain her excitement. As quickly as she had hugged her tutor, she was out the door and nearly running down the hall towards the courtyard.
She skidded to a halt before she reached the broad archway that led into the courtyard and stared out at the grounds. There was a large fountain with a statue of Polie’s father, the King, the first King of Brightvale. He was a tall, hulking Skeith, one of the wisest and smartest people that Polie had ever met. He was the reason that Polie even paid any attention to her studies at all. She wanted to make him proud.
There were a few people from the castle walking slowly throughout the grounds, the warm Neopian sun making many of them sweat. Female Neopians were fanning themselves as they gazed longingly at the fountain, the cool bright water flowing from a flask in her father’s stone hand. Polie grinned broadly as she skipped over to the fountain and tentatively dipped a toe inside.
It was so cool to the touch that Polie could hardly resist. She clambered into the fountain, splashing water up around her and giggling loudly. Others stopped to stare at her, but Polie didn’t care. She splashed and laughed in the fountain, having the time of her life.
No one bothered her. She was the Princess. Somewhere deep down, Polie wished they would join her. A small frown flicked across the young royal's face as she came to the realization that no matter how hard she tried to play with the people of the castle, none really would.
“Polie!” A stern voice rang out. It seemed to echo in the courtyard and Polie stopped splashing, planting herself on the bottom of the fountain. The water was still sloshing around her as it tried to settle back into the calm after being interrupted. Polie rubbed the water from her eyes as she looked around the yard. Everyone had disappeared.
“Polie,” said the voice that was ringing in her ears. A familiar voice it was, too. Polie knew immediately who it belonged to and frowned somewhat as she reluctantly turned her head in the direction of the sound. The water poured down from above next to her, but otherwise, there was silence.
“Father,” Polie replied, staring up at the tall orange Skeith. He was staring down at her with that look in his eye that meant business. Polie grimaced as she stood, her gown drenched from the fountain. “I... I was warm...”
“The palace fountain is hardly a bath tub, Polie,” her father admonished, crossing his arms across his chest. He stood tall and proud and all Polie could do was hang her head shamefully. “We also... have a swimming pool.”
Polie’s face turned red. She knew that there was a pool in the garden, behind the maze of statues, but Polie couldn’t have made it that far. It was just so hot! She mumbled something incoherently as her father awaited her explanation.
“What was that?” he asked.
“I said I was sorry...” Polie replied as she climbed out of the fountain.
Her father smiled somewhat. “Polie, you just have to learn to make the wisest choice in your decisions.” He placed a hand on his daughter's shoulder and pulled her close to him in a hug.
Polie smiled her big beautiful smile again. “I will! I won’t let you down!”
“You could never let me down, Polie. Now, go off and get dry. Maybe, take a bath.” He winked at his daughter.
Polie skipped off, her drenched clothes leaving puddles all over the castle. It, perhaps, wasn’t the wisest choice to go skipping through the castle like she was, but she was happy again and her father hadn’t been too angry with her.
“There you are!” A voice came from the shadows, startling Polie so much that she nearly hurtled into a vase at the end of the marbled hallway. She had a song from a band stuck in her head. She had heard it at the Tyrannian Concert Hall the year before when she had joined her father on a visit there. The sweet melody was humming in her mind and came out through her lips, only slightly off-key.
“Berna!” Polie squealed, slipping on her own wet dress and nearly tripping. She was being very clumsy for a Princess.
“Your father heard you were splashing around in the fountain out there. I tried to get to you before he did, but it appeared that I was a tad too late,” Berna, a dark brown Shoyru, explained. Berna had been Polie’s nanny for as long as she could remember. Now that Polie was older, she still helped the Kau with various things and aided her during the day.
“He wasn’t mad at me,” Polie replied, shifting uncomfortably now in her wet clothes. All she wanted to do was to get changed into something dry.
Berna crossed her arms nearly the same way that Polie’s father, Hithalan, had. Polie scrunched her nose at the stance Berna was in and sighed. Clearly, Berna was angrier than her father had been.
“I know, I know. Bath.”
“Yes, bath. You know the way, too.”
Polie sighed and slowly trudged towards her royal chambers. The sun was still high in the afternoon sky and she found her stomach rumbling. The sooner she bathed and was dried, the sooner she would be able to eat a magnificent lunch. She could nearly taste the beautiful ripe berries and the refreshing glass of lemonade as she entered her suite of rooms.
Brilliant pinks and whites covered nearly everything in her bedroom. Her bedcovers had a pink flowery pattern on them with matching pillows and curtains on the windows. Both of the windows were wide open, a nice cooler breeze blowing in through them. Polie didn’t dawdle and she quickly had her bath and changed into a lighter dress and sandal shoes.
Berna was waiting for her in her bedroom when she was finished. Polie came in humming to herself as she tied a white bow in her hair. Berna took in her appearance, making sure that the Princess was well enough dressed. Long ago, Polie had told all of her servants that she wished to dress herself and she had been doing so ever since. Her father had told her it had been a very wise decision.
“Very well, you seem to be clean enough now.”
“Berna, I am a Princess; I am always clean.” She nodded as she sat in a chair by the window. Again, she found her eyes wandering out towards the kingdom of Brightvale, finding the brilliant greens of the land intriguing. Polie had never been anywhere outside of the castle without an escort. Maybe, one day that would change.
Berna raised an eyebrow carefully, but knew that the Princess wasn’t looking. Even if she had been, Berna had nearly raised Polie. “That is hardly the case when it rains and the hard earth turns to mud.”
Polie giggled. “Why don’t you have a little fun sometimes, Berna?”
“One can have fun without rolling around in the mud.” Berna sniffed. She turned to leave, but stopped herself. She had nearly forgotten. “By the way. Your mother has sent word that she will be here before nightfall. Your father is throwing a reception for her in the Grand Hall. I have chosen a few select gowns for you to choose from that will be acceptable for the event.”
Polie’s eyes went wide as she stared at the back of Berna as she walked out of the room and closed the doors behind her. Her mother was returning home! What a wise time to return...
To be continued...