The wedding had been a fete to be spoken of for generations; the entire capital city had been invited. The Princess Zsófika was resplendent in her gown of pearls and sapphires, and if anyone noticed that her vows did not allow for the possibility of refusal, no-one mentioned it. She was marrying the Emperor, after all, poor girl. She was marrying the Emperor and tying her natal kingdom finally and entirely into the Empire.
The celebration went on for a week, the Emperor and his new bride at every event, the bride in a shining new dress every day. Later, women who knew who to talk to would fight each other for the rights to this dress or that, as they would only touch the Princess’ body the once, and they were, both literally and in the more common sense, a king’s ransom, every single one of them.
And then the Princess went into the Tower, the Consort’s Tower, the bride’s Tower, the Tallest Tower, and the Emperor went back to the business of ruling a slightly-larger empire. Continue reading