Seven Days in Corona
Chapter 1: The Announcement
Corona, Royal Castle,
Within the castle of the royal line of Corona sat a majestic library. Its ceiling was high and vaulted, the surface plastered and painted with frescos depicting the sun, the moon and the stars. Large windows covered much of the surface of the eastern most walls, allowing the morning sun to shine upon the plush red carpet that lined the floor. Each of the other walls were occupied by towering bookcases, reaching from the floor to the ceiling, with each of their shelves almost bursting with books and tomes of every shapes, size and color imaginable. At the center of the room were set up a number of red plush chairs and ornately carved tables, painted a soothing off white color. A fireplace sat in the west wall, surrounded by the massive bookcase, its insides holding the remains of the previous night's fire.
Sitting in one of the chairs, reading a book was a young woman, roughly nineteen years old. She had chocolate brown hair that hung loosely to her shoulders, which she brushed behind one of her ears as she scanned the page with emerald eyes. She had pale skin and a slim build over which she wore a lavender colored dress. A silver tiara decorated with a multitude of gems sat on her head, while her delicate feet remained bare against the plush carpet.
Next to her sat an older woman, looking to be middle-aged. Her skin was just as pale and her build just as slim as the younger woman's, appearing almost a mirror image over her except for her slightly longer, darker brown hair. She wore a purple dress along with a strand of pearls and white, high-heeled shoes.
The two sat in peaceful silence as they read through their books, the only sound being the occasional turning of pages. The silence was broken however, when a man entered the library.
The man was tall and imposing, with fair skin, brown eyes and chocolate brown hair along with a trimmed beard. He wore a silk, white shirt and fine red pants, over which he wore a red coat trimmed with white fur and fine brown shoes. A golden crown decorated with the finest jewels sat upon his head.
"How are my ladies today?" he asked jovially as he walked up to the two women.
"Wonderful, Dad," the girl beamed at him, closing her book as she looked up at her father.
"Me as well, Henri," the woman agreed with a smile of her own.
"Excellent," the man, Henri, said as he walked over to them, before he reached into his coat and pulled out a roll of parchment.
"This arrived today, Susanne," Henri said as he handed the parchment to the older woman.
Taking it, the woman, Susanne, opened it and began to read the parchment. As she did, a smile crossed her face.
"What does it say?" the younger girl asked, putting the book down and leaning up, trying to read the letter.
"It says that we are going to be receiving a visit," Susanne answered, smirking at the girl while she closed the letter so she couldn't read it.
"A visit!" the girl exclaimed excitedly, "From who!?"
"King Fergus and Queen Elinor of the Highland Kingdoms," her father explained.
"A-Another king and queen?" the girl asked, suddenly becoming very meek.
"Yes, Rapunzel," Susanne stated, "And they'll be coming with children of their own."
"C-Children?" Rapunzel whispered, becoming more anxious by the second.
"Yes, triplet boys," Susanne said, which seemed to cause Rapunzel to relax for a brief moment, "and a girl a few years younger than you."
"A daughter!?" Rapunzel exclaimed, "How much younger!?"
"I think she just turned fifteen," Susanne replied, amused by her daughter's reaction to the news, "You're not panicking, are you, dear?"
"Me? No, I'm not panicking," Rapunzel said as she got up from her chair and began inching towards the library door, "Why would I panic? Princesses don't panic, which I'm sure Princess…"
"Merida," the queen provided.
"Princess Merida will know that we princesses never, ever panic," Rapunzel continued as she opened the library door and began to inch out, "So no, I am not panicking. Now, I have to go take care of something and I will see you guys later. Bye!"
"She's panicking, isn't she?" Henri asked after a moment.
"Very much so," Susanne replied before turning back to her book.
Meanwhile, Rapunzel was running down one of the castle's red carpeted hallways at a breakneck speed, rushing past servants who gawked at her in surprise as she sped past.
"Quasi!" she cried, desperately searching for someone as she rushed through the castle, "Quasi, where are you!?"
As the princess raced through the halls, a group of guards dressed in gold and red armor were walking down another one, laughing and joking amongst one another. They were led by a man in his twenties with wavy brown hair and light brown eyes, along with a goatee on his chin. He wore gold colored armor with a blue cape, pants and shirt along with brown leather gloves and boots. A steel sword hung from his hip.
"And then I said-" the leader began, laughing along with his men.
"Quasi!" Rapunzel's voice echoed down the hall, causing the men to pause in confusion.
"I don't get it," one of the guards said dumbly. Before the leader could reply, Rapunzel went rushing past, catching all of their attentions.
"Whoa, what's the hurry, Blondie?" the leader called after her, causing Rapunzel to skid to a halt and turn around, her chocolate brown hair whipping around as she did.
"Eugene!" she called, rushing back over to him, "Have you seen, Quasi?"
"I figure he's probably in that love nest of yours in the west tower," Eugene replied, chuckling at the princess.
"Oh right, thanks!" she said, turning and beginning to run away again, before pausing to whirl around and glare at Eugene, "And it's not a love nest, stop calling it that!"
Rapunzel quickly spun around again and raced off, leaving Eugene chuckling behind her.
"What's wrong with the Princess?" one of the guards asked, "She seemed upset."
"Oh, it's probably one thing or another," Eugene said dismissively as he began to lead the men in the opposite direction that Rapunzel had gone it, "It's always something with her."
Meanwhile, Rapunzel was rushing towards the west side of the castle. Coming to the foot of a spiraling staircase, she quickly raced up it, leading her into a tower as the staircase narrowed. Eventually, she came to a wooden door in the ceiling and pushed it open before climbing up and inside.
The belfry was relatively large, its ceiling arcing up to a coned point with the tower's roof and braced with rafters. As she looked around, she could see through the lighting coming from the belfry's slatted windows that every surface of the ceilings and walls had been painted, the images largely focusing on the life changing events she had experienced only a year ago. She smiled as she looked at her handiwork, accidentally bumping into a table that had been set up in the middle of the room. She smiled as she looked at the model of the capital city, rendered in loving, handcrafted detail. She grinned at it, before glancing around the room, looking for someone.
Glancing up at the rafters, she made out a shape which caused her smile to widen. Running over to a wall, she hopped up, braced her foot against the wall, before pushing off, spinning around, grabbing one of the rafters and gracefully swinging herself up onto it, landing on her fingers and the balls of her feet. Grinning, she began hopping and flipping through the rafters before reaching her destination.
She smiled gently as she looked at the figure before her, curled up sleeping with his back against one of the rafters. It was a young man, the same age as her with auburn hair and fair skin. He wore a green tunic, his favorite, which her mother had made for him, along with brown trousers and brown leather shoes. His back had a notable hunch to it, forcing his shoulder higher than his head when he walked. His forehead was large and sloped forward, partially covering his right eye. His nose was round and stuck up, giving it a snout-like quality. Some people would call him ugly, but to Rapunzel he was the handsomest man in the world.
"Quasi," she whispered, leaning down and kissing him on the nose, "Hey, Quasi."
Quasi's blue eyes fluttered open and a smile crossed his face as he saw her.
"Hey," Quasi said tiredly, smiling as he saw her in front of him.
"Hey," Rapunzel replied, her smile growing, "I've been looking all over for you."
"Oh sorry," Quasi apologized, before giving a big yawn as he stretched his arms, "I figured I'd come up here until you were done spending time with your mother. I must have fallen asleep."
"That's alright," she replied, a worried smile on her face as she reached out and stroked his hair. He noticed the look and took her hand is his, a concerned look crossing his features.
"What's wrong?" he asked.
"A letter came today for my father," Rapunzel explained, "The royal family from the Highland Kingdoms are coming to visit. That includes a princess a few years younger than me."
"That's great!" Quasi exclaimed, a smile on his face.
"No!" Rapunzel replied, her eyes wide with fear and despair, "It's terrible!"
"Terrible?" Quasi asked in confusion, "Why?"
"I'm not ready!" Rapunzel exclaimed, "I'm nowhere near good enough at being a princess to meet another one. She'll know what a sham I am the minute she sees me! And then she won't like me and her parents won't like me and then her parents won't like my parents and then diplomatic relationships will break down and then there will be a war and it will all be my fault!"
"Rapunzel, calm down!" Quasi exclaimed, surprised by her outburst, watching with wide eyes as the princess buried her face into her hands, "None of that is going to happen."
"How do you know?" Rapunzel asked miserably.
"Because I know you," Quasi said, reaching out and gently pulling Rapunzel's hands from her face and looking into her sad, emerald eyes, "You're the sweetest, most wonderful girl in the world, and something would have to be very wrong with someone to hate you right upon meeting you."
"You really think that?" Rapunzel asked, a smile spreading across her face.
"Of course," Quasi replied, reaching up and stroking Rapunzel's cheek, "That's just one of the reasons why I love you."
Rapunzel replied by practically jumping on Quasi, nearly knocking both of them off the beam as she pulled him into a kiss.
"How do you always know the right thing to say?" she asked as she pulled back, looking at him in wonder.
"It's a gift, I guess," Quasi replied with a chuckle, causing Rapunzel to laugh as well. They laughed for a few more moments before stopping with a sigh, Rapunzel's face falling slightly.
"I don't know if I'm ready for this," Rapunzel sighed.
"Of course you are," Quasi replied, taking her hand into his, "What we really have to worry about is if they'll run screaming from the building when they get a good look at me."
Rapunzel glared at him and quickly swatted his shoulder with her free hand, the blow causing Quasi to flinch even though she was nowhere near strong enough to hurt him.
"Don't do that," she said crossly, pointing a finger at him, "I hate it when you say things like that. You're too wonderful to talk about yourself like that."
"Sorry, force of habit," Quasi replied with a shrug.
Rapunzel smiled gently at him as she rubbed the back of his hand with her thumb.
"I don't think I could do this without you," Rapunzel sighed, looking into his eyes and smiling.
"Well, then it's a good thing that you don't have to," Quasi replied with a chuckle.
Rapunzel chuckled as well before leaning in a giving him a lingering kiss.
"I don't think I'll ever get tired of that," Quasi said with a smile.
"Me either," Rapunzel replied with a giggle.
"How about we work on one of your paintings to take your mind off of things?" Quasi asked.
"That sounds great," she replied with a smile, before the two of them slipped off the beam and began to enjoy their afternoon together.
A/N: Well, I told you guys I had more in store for Quasi and Rapunzel and I meant it! This is both a sequel to Heaven's Light and a prequel to the Dragon and the Bow, and it is meant to be a more lighthearted story. It will show how things have gone since the ending of the first story as well as explaining some of the minor plot elements in the later one. I hope you guys like this! Please review!