1 THE PAST 1 (1718)

"You're too weak to be a king! How can your twin sister be stronger than you are?" King Eric growled at Prince Beckham angrily. It hurt him that his Queen had died trying to deliver such a weak prince.

"I'm sorry, father," Prince Beckham apologized. He had always been a sickly child, unlike his twin sister Rebecca who was always full of life and strength.

"Don't be sorry. Be stronger! How will you ever be able to defend yourself if our enemies ever attack us? You can't even wield a sword properly," King Eric complained.

"Father, you're being too harsh," Princess Becca, who had just stepped into the palace, told her father softly and moved over to stand beside her twin brother.

"He doesn't need to wield a sword. And if ever a time comes when it is needed, I will do so in his stead. The gods probably sent me alongside him to be his strength," She said, smiling at her brother.

Princess Rebecca, fondly called Princess Becca by most of her subjects and family who managed to tell her apart from her twin brother on those few occasions when she decided to dress in feminine apparel, was a tomboy and her father's pride.

Her soft black hair was as short as her brother's hair, and her skin was slightly more tanned than her brother's skin because she spent more time outdoors than he did. She had a small heart-shaped face with big beautiful brown eyes.

She was about an hour older than her identical twin brother and never failed to remind him of that every time an argument broke out between them.

"And when you're not there? What is he to do?" The king asked with a scowl.

"I will always be here right by his side," She said confidently.

"What happens when you get married to a prince and have to live in a different kingdom?"

"I'm never marrying any prince. I can't be anybody's wife. Only lasses and wenches become wives. And if ever I get married, it has to be a man from this kingdom," She said, grinning at her father, who hooted with laughter.

"Some day, a fine man will tame you, and you'll make a fine and strong wife," He told her proudly before turning to look at the prince, who had been watching the exchange between his father and sister with keen interest.

"And you, I know you're trying, but you have to do better. I've been getting some disturbing news from the northern borders, and I fear a war is at hand. You can't sit on a throne if you can't lead your men to battle," He said gently.

"War? But I thought we had a peace treaty with the people of Lumba on the northern border," Princess Becca asked with a frown.

"Yes, we did. But their king is dead, and I fear the new king might not be as honorable as the late one. It might just be rumors, but we need to be ready in case they attack," King Eric said.

Just then, a young lass ran into the palace and bowed slightly to the king. She turned to look at both Prince Beckham and Princess Becca with a confused frown on her face as she wondered which was the princess between them.

"I take it you want to speak with the princess," Prince Beckham said cocking a brow.

"Yes, my Prince...? She asked, stressing on the prince to know if it was him before turning to the princess, who was grinning from ear to ear.

"Emilia is in labor and is asking for you, my princess," The lass told her.

Emilia was her young handmaiden and only female friend who had gotten married just a year ago. Emilia had promised to give her the honor of seeing her push out a child during labor when they were younger.

"Already? Her young one is sure in a hurry to see the world. I'll see you later, father, brother," Princess Becca promised as she rushed out of the palace with the lassie in tow before mounting on her horse and riding out of the royal castle.

Next chapter