The Painting and the knight

I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge - myth is more potent than history - dreams are more powerful than facts - hope always triumphs over experience - laughter is the cure for grief - love is stronger than death

-Robert Fulghum

Chapter 2

EPOV

"Your Highness. Archery practice today?" Gregor, one of the archery field keepers greeted me.

"Yes Gregor, please bring my special archery set, will you." Edward's smooth velvety voice demanded Gregor. A moment later, Gregor showed up in front of his King with a beautiful strong longbow and several sharp arrows with soft feathers fletching in his hand.

"Thank you Gregor"

"It's a pleasure my King." Gregor bowed as he took several steps back. I loaded my arrow and brought up my magnificent longbow taking aim at my target. I drew the bow back and was about to let it fly when I was interrupted by a voice.

"Your Highness" I lowered my bow and turned toward the voice. Jasper had kneeled down in front of me.

"Yes my dear friend? Stand up please." I said as I handed my longbow and arrow back to Gregor.

"What is it? It's something important isn't it? You would not dare to disturb my archery practice session if it was not." A silent chuckled came out from my mouth.

"King Charles has gladly accepted your proposal" I felt undeniably blissful at this, but then I remembered the very simple basic thing that I had forgot before.

"Jasper.." I called out

"Yes my King?"

"Tell me something about Princess Swan."

"I'm sorry my King, I know nothing about her." Jasper said apologetically.

"Not even one thing?" I raised an eyebrow

"There's one thing. She's young, she's about 21 years old. A little too old for an unmarried princess though, but still 8 years younger than you"

"I see, arrange everything fast Jasper, but give them a little space." My voice was cold even to my own ears. I decided to just continue my archery practice session

BPOV

"Can we do nothing to change it?" I asked to my father and all of the councilmen that were meeting in the throne hall.

"I'm sorry your Majesty, but we cannot. Once we turn down what we have already accepted, our associational relationship will be immediately broken off. They won't trust us anymore" Councilman Curtis said.

I was angry and upset, yet still confused. I was angry and upset because in no time, I will be a wife to the King of the Holy Roman Empire. I was confused because no matter how angry I was about the decision, I still put the Kingdom's importance above anything. After a moment I finally realized, that this was probably the best way.

"I see" I replied to Curtis.

"Then take care of the wedding" I said coldly and walked outside.

EPOV

"Everything's set!" Emmett shouted loudly towards the guards, cavaliers and maidens, as they replied "yes your Highness", Emmett walked towards my direction, and kneeled down.

"My King, everything's set, we may set out"

"Prepare Duke, will you Emmett?"

"But Your Highness, you're supposed to be in the horse cart"

"Not now Emmett, just prepare my Duke will you?" I said smiling thinking of riding my beloved stallion, Duke.

BPOV

I just stared blankly and emotionlessly at the window while my servants were trying to help me get change into a beautiful flowing gown. I just couldn't believe that I'm getting married soon. The whole kingdom is waiting for King Edward and his people to appear.

Her father indeed realized something was wrong with his beloved daughter. He realized that since she finally accepted the proposal, her eyes that once were so full of life and happiness were now full of hatred and they were so cold. Her beautiful face which always showed joy and a smile was now emotionless and icy, as if she was already dead. She wore a look that he couldn't describe.

A moment later, she was already in the library, reading a book while having a daydream session too. When she read the book, sometimes she turned her sight to the window, and stared blankly at outside.

"My dear" My father greeted me.

"You should've knocked" I muttered while my eyes were trying to focusing on the book.

"Something bothering you?" He asked as he took a seat beside me.

"Nothing is bothering me father, except the fact that you are interrupting me from reading my book" I snorted sarcastically. I could tell that my father was already frustrated and tired but I didn't expect what he said next or his tone.

"Isabella, enough!" I stared at my book for a long moment before closing it rudely with loud thump. I threw it to the floor, then stood up.

"Enough of what! Can you just please leave me alone! Can you just please understand that I am trying to have the best time with my favorite place in this palace for the LAST time!" My chest was heaving, I was shaking with anger and I was trying to hold in my tears. I was about to continue when a voice interrupted,

"Highnesses, King Edward and his people has just arrived. He is requesting your presence my King." With that my father turned his eyes to me.

King Charles and his daughter stared into each other's eyes deeply for a moment, until Isabella broke it by looking to the outside view through the giant window.

"Tell him I will be with him momentarily, will you?"

"Yes your Highness" The guard bowed and left the room. I took a few steps closer, and hugged my father.

"Father." I whispered

"Yes my Bella?"

"Can you please tell me the real reason of why you accepting the proposal? The real reason father, I want to know the truth" I asked, I knew my father too well. My father had already taught me how to be a very strong and great Queen since I was born. There was no way he was doubting my ability to be a good Queen, so there must be another reason.

"Isabella, you know that we lost your mother when you were only 2 years old? I was her husband. I was a strong King, but I couldn't even protect my wife Isabella, your mother, the love of my life. Then what will happen to you Isabella? I, the strong King, couldn't even protect my wife. What will happen to your life when you don't even have a protector?" He said as he leaned his head on his daughter's shoulder weakly.

"Father, I know it was hard. I know that you can still feel the wound of losing her, but can you at least put a little faith in me?" I said as I hugged my father tighter and stared out the window.

"Isabella, I have faith in you. I love you. You are the love of my life, that is why I can't lose you. Your mother died for nothing Bella, and I won't let that happen to you. I believe that King Edward is capable of protecting you; he's much stronger than I was. I trust him." I sighed and leaned my head onto my father's shoulder, there was no point of arguing with him.

"I'll miss you." A tear slid down King Charles's cheek. I, however didn't let a single tear fall onto my cheek. I was just not that type of woman who cries easily. I knew, no matter how bad this decision was that there must be a couple of good thing waiting for me.

"Me too my little Belle" Both of them took a deep breath, and released each other. My father walked outside to greet our guests and I walked towards my chamber for the last time.

EPOV

"King Charles, a pleasure to meet you, your palace indeed is very pleasant." I said and bowed my head slightly.

"King Edward, a pleasure to meet you too, and thanks for the compliment. I really do take very good care of my palace"

"How's life your Highness?" I asked while we walked through the palace's garden.

"Never been better Edward." He replied.

"So.." The situation indeed was awkward, but I decided to just get to the point.

"Thanks for accepting my proposal Charles." I said.

"You're most welcome Edward. It's what is best for both of us."

"Your Majesty? I beg for forgiveness for my impudence, but I am curious about your daughter. Can you please tell me something about her? I mean like her hobbies. What are her likes and dislikes. Things of that nature. I just think that it is important to provide for her needs. For example if she likes to play piano, I'll put a piano in her chamber. I want to give her things that will make her feel more comfortable."

"Oh, that is so kind of you Edward. Well, Isabella…hmm. She loves to read and write. She is a genius violinist. She loves to go horse riding. Isabella is a great fencer and swordsman. Her accuracy in archery playing is undoubtedly perfect. Hmm, what else? I really could go on all day about her because she has a lot of hobbies. She is a little bit stubborn and dominant but she is indeed very loving, caring and great with everyone in the kingdom."

"Oh, she seems…adorable" I shrugged. Everything he told me was a bit of a surprise to find out. Isabella seems to have lots of talent. Still she held no interest for me at all. This marriage would be a lie, considering the marriage was purely for the purpose of an alliance.

"Yes she is, I've taught her how to be a great and strong Queen since she was born. I'm sure she will be the perfect partner for you Edward"

"Yes sir, Charles, I hope so."


A/N So what do you think? You like it? Sorry for the late update though hehe :D, thanks to my beta Kimmie-LOVE71 for being such a great beta

Anyway, review is the best motivator for me to write more creatively and beautifully. So please pretty pleassse review!

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