The Lost Prince: Chapter 18

Elsa knocked on the door to her father’s study, then slowly opened it. “You called?” she asked her father, nervous about what he was going to say.

“Come in, my dear,” he replied. Once Elsa had entered the room and fully closed the door, he addressed her. “You have been faithful to me and my plans, and for that I thank you. I need you to be as faithful just one more time, for the trip to Corona that you, your sister, and Gothel will embark on tomorrow. Your sole responsibilities are to act as mournful as possible and make sure that Anna does the same. Gothel will be coming along to act as an escort since she is from Corona, and also so Anna can continue her lessons on the ship. Since you are now twenty-one, I feel that it is time for the end of your lessons with Gothel and the beginning of your lessons with me. Your assignment on the ship will be to read these books in full. Once you get back, we will start our lessons.” The King gestured at a large stack of books on his desk.

“Father, what do you have to teach me that Gothel cannot?” Elsa asked, though as soon as she said it she knew what was coming.

“You, my dear, are my eldest child. I have not had a son, and since your mother and I are beginning to grow old, it is most likely that we will not have any more children. Therefore, once I die, you will become the queen. Since Gothel has no experience with having royal duties, it is best that I teach you how to take care of our kingdom and make it prosper.”

“Why can’t you or mother come along as well? That way you would be able to keep an eye on Anna yourself.”

“My dear, traveling by ship is very dangerous. If there were to be a storm at sea, everyone on the ship could easily drown. So long as your mother and I stay here, Arendelle will have an heir, even if the ship does sink and everyone perishes.”

Elsa shivered at what her father had just said, but more so at the fact that he didn’t care if she was the heir, but that Arendelle had an heir. “May- may I be excused?” she asked.

“There is just one more thing,” her father replied, retrieving a white box off of the shelf behind him. “This is for you. Consider it to be a farewell gift from your mother and me.”

Elsa opened the box up. Inside was a pair of black leather gloves, made to match the dresses that she and Anna would be wearing at the funeral.

“Your white cotton gloves would be unacceptable on the day of the funeral, so instead, you will wear these,” her father explained. “Now you may be dismissed.”

Elsa nodded her thanks, then took the box and stack of books and made her way out of the room.

***

Elsa dropped the stack of books into the trunk sitting at the end of her bed and latched it shut. She glanced over at Anna’s trunk, noticing how all of her sister’s things seemed to cascade out of the open top, like a picture of a waterfall in a book. She wondered if Anna had purposely made it that way, or if everything had just fallen out in that pattern. She guessed that it was the latter.

When she stood up, she noticed a white box sitting on her sister’s nightstand that was identical to the one she had just received. Curious, she walked over to her sister’s side of the room and opened the box. Inside were many different kinds of candy, including chocolate. Elsa wondered who her sister had received it from, and why she hadn’t been given a box as well. It was a little-known fact that Elsa’s favorite candy was also chocolate, though she didn’t go about stuffing it in her face as Anna did. She wondered if Anna had a suitor who had sent her the gift, and if so, who would know her well enough to know what kind of candies she liked? Suddenly Elsa realized how much she would miss her sister if she got taken away by a handsome prince, leaving Elsa to be Queen of Arendelle. Tears came to her eyes at the thought, and she lay on her sister’s bed sobbing when Anna walked in.

***

“Elsa? Are you okay?” Anna asked, standing at the side of her bed while staring down at Elsa’s shivering figure.

“Just- just- oh, I don’t know, pack your trunk neatly or something, but just stay here in the room, okay?” Elsa said, wincing at her terrible choice of words.

“Um, okay, but why?” Anna asked, attempting to fold her clothes the way Elsa did.

“Because I just need you to, okay?” Elsa snapped, suddenly getting annoyed at Anna’s constant questioning.

“Fine,” Anna huffed, giving up on folding her clothes and instead stuffing everything in her trunk, slamming the lid, and then sitting down on top of it until the latch clicked shut.

“You forgot this,” Elsa said, giving her sister the box of candies.

“Oh, thanks,” Anna replied as she stuffed a piece of chocolate in her mouth. After swallowing, she offered a chocolate to Elsa.

“Thank you,” Elsa replied, resuming her normally civilized manner after the chocolate was fully down her throat.

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