The Princess
Part I
written by Mercury
In a faraway time, in the faraway Kingdom of Mannanon, the castle was abuzz with the announcement that the great queen Kouhino Megami was to give birth to a child in just four months.

Queen Kouhino Megami, now forgotten by many, was said to be a great beauty and was remarked greatly for her tall, feminine figure: perfectly rounded bosoms over her slim waist and shapely hips leading to long, strong legs; this hourglass figure topped by a face that inspired the muses themselves, and thick, wavy hair of a very rare platinum blonde color that was said to have been long enough to have reached the greatest depths of the ocean.

Her husband is a great figure in local lore, but the King is not remembered today on a personal level. He was said to be a great man, strong and fair, and a great warrior. He is depicted in ancient paintings to be a gentle man with his wife, but a force to be reckoned with on the battlefield. His face in these paintings varies from warm and handsome to dark and devilish, but always it is very apparent by his physique that he was a very powerful man: large, muscled (for he always appeared with torso exposed in those paintings depicting war scenes) chest, an abdomen that told the story of seemingly ten-thousand crunches daily, and a slim waist, large, strong thighs and calves, and always topped by thick, wild, dark brown hair streaked with red. It is not hard to imagine him being mistaken by the King of the Gods himself, Zeus, on the battlefield.

* * *

In this long-ago time, in this faraway place, the people were celebrating. The great King and beautiful Queen had blessed the world with the addition of their daughter, Princess Mizukeiyou. The child was playful and her face held the prophecy of a very fair lady, a greater beauty than any other kingdom could ever had produced. Her hair was yet still short in her infancy, creating the glow of a halo around her pretty face and large, sparkling eyes the color of faraway exotic and tropical seas on a warm summer's day. The baby was said to smile a lot and giggle like the ringing of one-thousand crystal bells echoing throughout the castle and brightening the entire kingdom. She was an inquisitive child: not only would she someday become a great, beautiful lady, but a scholar as well.

Days came and went; years passed: the Princess was now a young child of six years and very adventurous. She kept the entire castle staff busy on some days searching the grounds for hours and finally finding the girl, curled asleep in a cabinet or reading a book by a window; leaping from the closets and shouting "boo!" to scare the maids, or even wandering in a meadow, picking blueberries and flowers or climbing an ancient tree. Despite the mischief she got in, the castle staff was very fond of the girl and her parents loved her deeply; the people they ruled over had annual feasts on the girl's birthday.

Being now six, the Princess had beautifully thick, wavy hair of a red-blonde color, but extending only to her tiny waist. This worried her nurse: the rate of growth was a disappointing shadow of her mother's growth, and the growth of all the previous Queens of Mannanon (for it was a place noted for its highly varying but consistently breathtaking coastline and exotic sealife, its beautiful women, the queen especially, and their long, luscious locks) and although it was a completely beautiful color, she grew afraid that the princess would never attain the legendary length of her mother and would be remembered by future nurses, telling future princesses, "take care for your hair, now! You don't want to end up like Queen Mizukeiyou!"

The Queen, however, was completely unconcerned. "The Princess's hair is of the very best color and quality and it is in her blood for it to be a thing of great beauty: I am confident that someday it shall surpass even my own and people will talk of it for thousands of years and remember her forever for it, and everything else she shall do."

The Queen was not only speaking from her own intuition (though she could have been: her intuition told her this much anyway); she had in her employment a Seer, who foretold great things for her daughter.

Although this Seer was under employment of the King and living in his castle, he nor anyone else but the Queen knew this. One day, years before the time I speak of, when the Queen was still yet a young maid, and had wandered from her father, the Duke of Lawthorn's manor, she came across a gypsy telling fortunes and reading palms out of her carriage, which was stopped on the side of the road. The gypsy, upon the now-Queen's passing, stopped the her, saying: "Girl, you are in danger if you continue in your wandering. Girl, lady, I know who you are. I see great things in your future, but any more down the road, down the road there, past this field and into the wood, past the swamp, and into town are not places where you must be now. There, great danger awaits you. Stay away from there, girl: the world must not lose you."

Curious, slightly offended, and trying her best to hide that the gypsy's words had sent chills down her spine, the Queen said: "Who are you, and what do you know or think you know of me? You are a con-woman; you want my money, and you shall not have any of it. Let me pass."

The gypsy was not deterred. "Girl, please listen. Even if you do not believe me that evil itself awaits you in the wood, there are still common thieves there waiting to strike, and the lady of the manor, there (she pointed out in the distance to the Queen's manor), traveling by dusk and alone, would surely not pass by unnoticed. Girl, I do not seek your money. There will come a day, years from now, when you shall become a great queen of a far land (she pointed now out over the ocean, which the road, atop a cliff, bordered), and when this happens, you shall birth a child, and this child will grow to be the greatest beauty the world shall ever know; her hair fire-red and in wild curls only matched by the fiercest storm in the middle of the sea and greater in length and loveliness than ever the world has seen; her skin shall be fair, and smooth, and supple, covering a perfectly formed and shaped body; her eyes shall be of the clearest and brightest blue, of such beauty that the sea itself will be envious; her mind, finally, shall be fast and clever, working on a level higher than that of any common person, and she alone shall hold the future of the world in her hands."

Ever since that day, the Queen has not forgotten this prophecy the young gypsy woman told her that day, and when it was proven true and Kouhino Megami became the Queen of a land across the ocean from her home, she sought out this gypsy woman and kept her forever employed under the unknowing King.

Leaving the still pensive nurse, the Queen left the room in search of her small Princess, with her silvery hair trailing behind her for several feet, rippling along safely on the velvet carpet.

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