Everyone in the mansion had heard tales of angry ladies and what they had done to their maids. They had heard tales of what the Kings daughters had done as well. With the rip she managed to shorten the hem of the dress by half. With a nod she tossed the extra fabric aside and walked to the window. ”Are there any fruits in the house? ” she asked the maids. Her gaze did not turn from the window. Outside gardeners were still hard at work. A number of different lily breeds and rose breeds dotted the scenery now. Around a pond hydrangea flowers and cattails were on proud display. In fact all across the Kingdom new banners and decorations were going up. Villas under the Royal family were changing their gardens to display the flowers of the Heir. A tribute to her. The Nobles and common folk alike noticed and were happy to see the changes.

It was a well known fact that the King currently had three pregnant wives. All safe behind castle walls. It was assumed one of them had given birth to an Heir. Many ladies were chatting about the development. As the banners of this Heir was made in Ladies Lace. How could anything be more telling. The Heir was surely a Female. A Girl. The noble men Started to consider which of their sons would be fitting enough for the Kings Heir. To be a Queens guard, mate, husband, or friend. It did not matter all would bring the family honor and increase their station. The owners of flower shops saw an increase in sales as Noble mothers told their daughters to practice flower arranging. If only they all knew…Iris would have preferred the plant berry bushes.

”Yes, Your Grace. Would you like us to get you some? ”

”No, ” Iris turned from the window and walked to the ladies. ”If you would be so kind as to take me there Im perfectly able to get my own food. Well once I know where to find it. ”

”Of course, ” One maid said. She was shorter than the rest. Only a bit taller than Iris, but her cheeks were still round with a childs fat. Her green eyes widened when one of the others lightly elbowed her, ”I- I mean Yes, Your Grace. ”

”Iris, ” Iris corrected her. ”I am far from a Queen. ” The maids looked at one another but still nodded.

”Would you like to change? We have filled the wardrobe with clothes for Your Grace. If anything does not fit we will send it for adjustments at once. ”

Iris turned away and proceeded to look with the wardrobe. Her eyes widened. She had never seen so many clothes in her life. ”What is your name? ”

”Nina, is my name if it please, Your Grace. ” With a sigh Iris pulled out a pair of pants and a shirt. They looked like they should have been for riding but considering Iris had never ridden… The shirt was rather loose cut and pale blue in color. It was far softer than anything else she had touched before. She hated it. She had thought of asking for her clothes back but what were the chances that those clothes were not already burned. Doubtful. She yanked off the gown and pulled off the stocking. The maids once again gasped. It was not because she bore herself to them without care. No, that was a rather common occurrence when it came to ladies and their maids. The thing that shocked them was something they had not been able to notice under all the dirt and bruises she had before. Across her back were long scars. Another scar on her shoulder, and her legs.

Her scales were also on full display the true mark of a Mer. Like purple fire they started midway down her back. They formed the shape similar to birds flying. They spread out as they went lower. The light played across the scales of purple, blue, and teal. The maids had seen them before but now they had envy. Before those scales had been lackluster. Now they were priceless gems they should be so blessed to see. The scales opened at the arch at her back wrapping around her front and dripping into the top of her belly button. Without the stocking her toes could spread out. The thin membrane of skin between each toe, clear to see with every touch of the sun. Iris frowned looking down at her toes. They had clipped her nails. No doubt to prevent her from ripping the stocking during her sleep.

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