I sat at my mirror, waiting for the announcement, for me to go downstairs to the large room we used for balls. I had been sitting in the same chair for a hour, while Lola, my humanoid maid did my hair and makeup. My neck was starting to hurt.
Today was my 18th birthday. All of my home planet, Arcana, was celebrating their only princess's special day. Though there were many people, only royalty and other invited members of the court and such where invited to the party at held at the castle.
Eighteen was a special year for the Ravenna Royale. Only known to the Royale family and a few selected advisors, it was the year when the heir to the Icarus Solar System is sent out to find her suitor from the universe.
The mate they found could be of any ethnicity and be from anywhere in the eight universes. Northern. Northeast. Eastern. Southeast. Southern. Southwest. Western and Northwest. Our tradition was to marry for love, not political advantages.
The citizens had never seen what I looked like, other then when I was born. They only knew of my existence, after I had never made public appearances, as to keep with family tradition, my suitor search. It made it easier for when I was sent out into the public and not be recognized. And to avoid assassination from rebels.
I had no friends growing up, and didn't really know how to react with those around me. Those who I didn't know, strangers.
"Done, Princess Cordelia," Lola bowed and waited for me to evaluate her work.
My birthmark stood out against my porcelain skin, a baby lilac flower string woven around the right side of my face. It looked more like a tattoo or a jewellery with how realistic it looked. Two delicate, yet intelligent sapphire eyes rested under blue black bangs that just hovered over my eyebrows. It was something I would of dreamed of. She had painted my lips with a red-purple rouge that looked good my with purple eyeshadow. She had brushed my checks with some pink blush creating a rosy look.
"I love it. I look so beautiful! Thank you, Lola!" I thank her and turn back to the mirror.
"It is my duty. I am happy you are happy with my work." Lola simply replied. We had been working on trying to replace her personality chip without wrecking her memory. I wanted her chip to have a more sisterly personality. I felt like sometimes I was taking to a puppet. I didn't like the feeling. She didn't feel some doll but they way she replied just made me remember that she wasn't really real.
My eyes were defined by black wings.
I looked like one of those China dolls. I like being pretty but I felt that if I looked too pretty, people wouldn't fall in love with me for me. They would want my beauty to parade around with pride.
The little bell by the door jingled, signalling to me that I could now go downstairs to the party. The party was full of nobility and others members of high positions in the court that had already seen me. I just had to get through the party and survive for tomorrow. By then I would be upon a ship to start my "Suitor Search."
The suitor search was a fancy way of saying that the heir of the Icarus Royale would be sent into the universe to find a suitor. Our tradition was based on finding true love rather than political arranged marriages. I was more interested in finding new planets and exploring the galaxy's and my search would make a great cover up. I would eventually have to find someone, but it couldn't be that hard. Could it?
I made my way down the staircase, gliding my hand along with the banister, trying to find some form of comfort in it. It's coldness soothed my fears and the butterflies that were starting to form in my stomach disappeared.
My dress's train flowed down the stairs, like rippling liquid gold. It was a Raefeyana Ling Original. I custom ordered it to look exactly like a picture I drew once. Cuts in the side near my waist and a slit down the left side. It fit like a glove and it was gorgeous. I was very happy with it when it arrived. I wore crystal earrings and a more simple diamond necklace, which had been given to me not even three hours ago by my closest cousin, Aniline.
I stopped on the last step, taking a deep breath and letting it out, slowly.
'Cordelia, you can do this, it's just a party,'
I recollected myself and hurried on, the large doors opened as I approached. My name was being announced, as it sounded through the hall.
"Princess Cordelia Ravenna of Icarus SS!"
I stopped at the top of the stairs, the room was quite full. Ladies in gowns and Lords in suits. It was quite lively. I started my descent into the party.
Mother hugged me as soon as I reached the bottom. "Happy birthday dear!"
"Thanks, mom." I replied. I knew she wanted more children but after she almost died having me the doctor told her she couldn't have anymore.
"Your father and I have a big surprise for you, later on, okay?" She kissed the top of my head.
"Okay." I wondered what the surprise was. I probably looked weird staring into the distance thinking about it. I didn't even notice the tap on my shoulder. "Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry."
I apologized as I spun around to meet the face of one of my distant cousins, Gale. "Gale! I didn't know you where coming?!"
"Ah yes, I had gotten my invitation yesterday night, I didn't get here until this afternoon," he answered, politely.
"Ah!......" I trailed off. Music started to play and the men were starting to get partners.
"Would you like to dance with me, your highness?" Gale bowed and offered out his hand.
"I would be delighted," I answered as I placed mine in his hand and was lead out onto the dance floor. Along with all the other couples. We began twirling around the room like the other dancers.
The dance was a slow one, probably a waltz. I had no talent for music, so I didn't pursue a instrument. I felt it a waste of time when I could be out exploring the solar system. It was so beautiful out there. I stuck to viewing the stars in our observatory. All the constellations seemed to be alive, twinkling in the far away space.
"So, your highness, how has your birthday been thus far?" He asked poetically, as he smiled.
"It's been fine, I have been waiting all day for this ball and my mother has told me she has a surprise for me. I'm super excited to find out what it is," I smiled as the music came to a stop and another song began.
"Thank you for the dance, your highness." He bowed once again and kissed the back of my hand, a smile on his lips.
I curtsied and began walking towards the snacks table, when I was swept back into someone's arms. It was fathers.
"So my daughter, how are you enjoying your ball?" He asked me as he swung me around the floor. Guiding me as much as me we use to do when I was younger and I use to just stand on his feet.
"Much, father. Mother has told me of a surprise you two have for me. Can you give me any hints to what it is?" I try to bribe him, but it doesn't work.
"No, you must wait to see, my Cordelia." A smile played at father lips. As if he was keeping some big surprise, I could only wonder at what it was. I wanted to know so badly.
The night flew by quickly with swirling skirts, moving bodies and laughter filling the room. The dances gradually became slower and less people danced, some that had to leave earlier, did so. At the closing of the night, Father stood up and announced a toast to my eighteenth birthday. We lifted our glasses and drank.
"For you who have not left, you will be here to hear the surprise gift to Cordelia. She is going to explore the other parts of the universe starting tomorrow. As a parting gift, I and Queen Adeline are giving to our beautiful daughter Cordelia, her very own spaceship, of which we hope that she will explore this vast and beautiful world with and maybe find the love of her life." Father finished and I ran up to hug him. I was so surprised, so touched and I was excited, to see the rest of the world outside of Icarus SS.
"Thank you, Mother, Father. Thank you so much. I'm so happy." I hugged them close.
I would get to see my ship, The Artemis ⋈. I was so excited for tomorrow, it was hard to sleep, but somehow I managed to fall into a slumber.