1 The Journey To The North

A princess looked up at the first star in the sky while aboard a horse carriage and sighed wistfully. The horse carriage was running non-stop for the past few hours.

The villagers who they passed through would have identified it as the entourage of a princess from the Nieverdell Kingdom on its way to the North.

The further north they traveled, the colder the winds got. The sky was already looking dark when they finally stopped to rest at a suburban inn.

"Your Highness, we shall be resting here tonight. Tomorrow morning the journey will continue" A maid stiffly explained to the princess as she reached out to open the carriage door.

"Thank you, Tania," said the princess.

"You're welcome, Your Highness," the maid said and looked at her sternly. "Please remember what we talked about. No one must know who you are until we arrive at the palace."

Princess Arielle Dellune glanced out the window and saw their pitiful entourage. They were only accompanied by a few guards despite the fact that they were going to the Northendell Kingdom.

"I am sorry that you have been dragged into this mess with me, Tania," Arielle whispered quietly to her maid.

"It is not your fault, Your Highness," Tania said.

"If only I could do something but… I am but a disposable person in my family." Arielle closed her eyes. "If being a Dellune actually meant something then I could have prevented this, but being the tenth princess is a worthless title."

"Your Highness!" Tania sharply looked at her. "You are still the daughter of His Majesty of Nieverdell. You must not let this situation shake you, Your Highness."

"His Majesty does not care about me." Arielle shook her head and smiled bitterly. "If he did, then I wouldn't be sent to the north in exchange for my brother's actions"

Here she was, Princess Arielle Dellune, the tenth daughter of the King of Nieverdell. Princess Arielle was on her way to the north as a prisoner of the Northendell Kingdom.

"Your Highness, Prince Alexis is the Crown Prince…" Tania said. "Of course, His Majesty wouldn't allow him to be taken."

"I understand that." Arielle clenched her fist and blinked back the tears. "If only he knew how to aim better then we wouldn't be in this mess in the first place."

"You have become so bold in words, Your Highness," Tania said.

"I apologize, but… now that I am no longer in our kingdom, I feel like I can finally say what's on my mind." Arielle looked down sadly. "This is unbefitting behavior for a princess."

"It was all an accident, Your Highness. Nobody could have predicted that this would happen."

Arielle smiled sadly. "In the eyes of the Northendell Kingdom, this is a violation of a long-held treaty."

A few days ago, when an envoy from the Northendell Kingdom was visiting Nieverdell, a hunting party was held. Prince Alexis, who was about to shoot a stag, missed the target and hit one of the wild wolves.

The Northendell Kingdom did not accept Prince Alexis' rash attitude, as for them, wolves were sacred creatures that no one should touch or hurt. The four great kingdoms had signed a covenant hundreds of years ago that they would never harm a wolf.

King of Northendell asked Prince Alexis to be made a prisoner in the north. However, King Nieverdell refused because Prince Alexis' position as crown prince was crucial.

King Northendell then returned to the north with a final ultimatum. Nieverdell had to give one of the king's descendants to be taken prisoner until Nieverdell could give them a newborn wolf baby in place of a wolf's life they had killed.

King Nieverdell was in a dilemma, as did the Queen and the king's other concubines. Neither of them wanted to sacrifice their children to be taken prisoner at Northendell.

Amidst the chaotic conditions of the palace, a princess whose existence was always forgotten suddenly becomes the attention of the royal family.

It was her.

as She was the king's only child born out of wedlock. Nobody even knew who Princess Arielle's mother was.

They always thought that Arielle was just the daughter of a prostitute who happened to be warming the king's bed while outside the palace.

Arielle herself was powerless to refuse. Without any preparations the next day, Arielle was dispatched to the North with a small group of an entourage.

***

After much conversation with Tania in the carriage, Princess Arielle finally gained the courage to step out. She was greeted by a snowflake that fell on her nose and the sight of thick snow that fell on top of the inn's roof.

"Snow?" Arielle asked confused.

"We are already at the border of Nieverdell and Northendell," Tania explained. "It will only take three more days to reach the capital city of Northendell."

Arielle nodded as she entered the inn. Arielle was greeted by the warm atmosphere of a fireplace near one of the dining tables. Tania, her loyal servant, helped Arielle sit down by the fire while waiting for their dinner to be served.

Tania ordered a bowl of chicken broth soup and a piece of bread for Arielle.

"This is delicious," Arielle exclaimed as she took a sip. It didn't take too long for the princess to enjoy it.

Princess Arielle looked so happy at eating the soup, it attracted the eye of the male servant who worked in the inn. He thought that the princess looked so beautiful eating with a smile on her face.

He gained the courage to approach her and decided to ask about the soup.

"Are you from Niverdell?" the servant asked.

"Yes," Tania answered for her.

The servant eyed the guards carrying the princess's belongings and asked. "What will you ladies and gentlemen do in the North? I think Nieverdell is much warmer. In the north, there's just snow everywhere."

"We're going to visit a brother's house in the capital Northendell."

The waiter suddenly gave them a skeptical look. "You are not part of the royal family, are you?"

Arielle smiled and shook her head. "No, we're just ordinary travelers."

The waiter replaced the candle that had almost run out on Arielle's dining table. After putting down the candle, the man didn't leave and sat opposite Arielle.

"Is this your first trip to the North?" he asked curiously.

Arielle nodded nervously.

"As you know, the North is not as warm as the other kingdoms. Besides the eternal snow, there are a lot of strange things happening around there."

"Strange things? As?"

The man drew himself closer and asked Arielle to come closer. He looked around as if confirming that what he was about to say was taboo.

"They say the North is full of mysterious creatures. I've seen it once… a wild wolf much bigger than an adult stallion. Its fur is as black as night. Its eyes glowed red like rubies," the servant said.

He added, "That time, I was trapped in the forest after visiting a relative's house… like the legend of Northendell, that Monster appears at the time of the full moon. The legend is true, therefore all residents will always lock their houses and turn off the lights every mid-month."

Arielle bit down on her lip and is getting scared by him. She couldn't imagine how big the wolf was and if all wolves were like that in Northendell. She herself did not know how Northendell treated their prisoners.

What if she was placed in a dense forest where the wolf monsters roamed around?

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From the author:

Thank you so much for adding this book to your library. Welcome to the love story of Arielle and Ronan. This is my entry for the WPC (Writing Prompt Contest).

If you would like to support me and read more of this story, please vote your power stones to this book. Thank you so much!

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