Aedalia of Kantorell ab Semar was happy. No. More than that. She was elated.
And honestly, thought the lady what isn't there to be happy about? She was beautiful, with thick, flowing, blonde hair that shone like the gold on some hidden jungle temple, eyes that sparkled like the sea on a calm day, and a complexion like smooth cream. She had charm, grace, intelligence, and could outshoot anyone she challenged. She was perfect. Suitors came from countries she had never even heard of to ask for her hand. Why shouldn't she be happy? But to top it all off, in two days time she would be looking at her future husband, King Peter the Magnificent of Narnia. Not that he had consented to marry her, but surely anyone who laid eyes on her fell in love instantly! It would be a simple thing to travel east to Narnia, win the king with her beauty, wit, charm and all-around perfectness! Then she would marry him, become High Queen of Narnia and Kantorell ab Semar, and live in perfect peace and (more importantly) considerable wealth for the rest of her days. She sighed with pleasure.
"Else!" Her maid came scurrying to her, fearing that should she be too slow, she would anger her mistress and have to spend three hours sorting her shoes again (" Red ones over there. NO, over there! Honestly, you stupid girl!)
"Yes, your Majesty?"
"Bring out the trunks. I shall begin to pack."
"Yes, your Majesty."
But which dresses should I bring? Mused Aedalia. Something that makes me look even more divine that usual. But that is hard, isn't it?! She laughed at her little joke as if it was the best she had ever made. Sadly, it was. In the end, she settled on thirty of her finest gowns, (It is good to travel light!), Forty pairs of shoes (you can never have too many!) and twenty hats and headpieces. (Always useful!) After that she had a pleasant evening terrorizing her servants and her subjects. ( the people of Kantorell ab Semar are to this day known for their fragile sanity, meek temperaments, and habit of flinching uncontrollably wherever anyone with golden hair and deep blue eyes approaches them.) Then she retired to he bedchamber and dreamt of Peter.
The next morning, Aedalia awoke to the sounds of horses in the courtyard below her royal apartments. Remembering what day it was, and where she would be going, she got out of bed and began to get dressed. At a bellow from her, Else came running upstairs, and helped her take the curlers from Aedalia's hair. Then, taking into consideration the state of her hair, the weather, the temperature in Narnia and how it matched her eyes, our heroine began to choose her clothing. After three hours, five tantrums and much hitting of her unsuspecting and meek maid, she settled on a traveling gown of deep purple, cut low (but not too low), with sleeves that were large enough to hid a very small canoe into. Her skirt was tied up at one side into a rosette, revealing the lacy white petticoat beneath. It was a dress to impress even the most icy bachelor in the land. Or so she though.
As she sat in her covered sedan chair, Aedalia though of the people she would meet in Narnia.
Doubtless they are barbarians. All of these eastern countries are rude and uncultured. I shall have to put up with it, though. Giving up comfort and civilization for true love. I really am a most self-sacrificing person. And so modest, too! The High King can hardly not love me! Just then a trumpet sounded, interrupting her thoughts of selfless sacrifice. She started, and made a mental note to yell at her trumpeter for no good reason sometime soon.
"Cair Paravel, my lady." Said her master of the guards, drawing back the curtain of her sedan chair. She looked up. A castle at least twice as tall as her own towered up before her. Perhaps these Narnians are more civilized than I thought. Her captain of the guards tapped her on the shoulder, reminding her where she was.
"Shall I tell the crier to announce you to the court, your Majesty?"
"Of course, you idiot! Do you think I have to stand here all day? I am a Queen, aren't I?" She snapped.
" Yes, your Majesty. Of course, your Majesty. He ran off before she could respond, and was back after a few minutes. " The Kings and Queens are currently in the great hall, entertaining the diplomats from Archenland and Szaren, here to discuss ties with Calormen. You are free to join them."
"Good." Pushing past him, Aedalia went through the front doors, where two leopards led her through a matrix of corridors to the great hall. Before the doors opened, she readied herself. Deep breaths. Deep breaths. Soon you will see your future husband. And , more importantly, he will see you. Gathering her skirts, she waited for the fauns who acted as doormen to open the great wooden doors. When they did so, she took a final deep breath, and swept into the hall. s