”Breath, smile – and be calm. ” I chanted my mothers words in my head.

After leaving the shore- we board my mothers chariot she had come to pick me up with.

I wasn pleased. But there was nothing I could do.

SHE Rebuffed me greatly, on how careless I have been. She lectured me yet again, on how dangerous it would have been, if some dangerous species, had gotten hold of me.

After that, she asked me a million questions, about how I had found my way there, who I had interacted with, and if anyone tried to hurt me.

I stayed mute- for I knew if I had said a word, Id never hear the last of it.

She compared me with other regions keepers.

There was nothing that I hate more than comparing.

It infuriated my anger.

I stayed mute- for I was furious. I kept pinching my thighs through the silky gown to help me stay calm. But it is beyond that.

Realizing she had steered my anger she stops bombarding me with questions.

”Im only looking out for you, Emerald. When you finally have the Terras region weight and responsibility on your shoulder plus children, youd understand. Now breathe, smile, and be calm. ” Was the last thing she said to me.

The chariots stop at the center of the coronation ground. I stepped out still fuming, but I had managed to put on a smile.

The first thing my eyes were fixed on was the magnificent white rug, that rolled all the way from the stairs to where my feet were currently laid.

I look around in amazement.This was more than I had dreamed of, it beats my imagination a hundredth fold.

Mom, steps beside me.

I move my gaze away from her and my eyes turns to the audience.

They were all uniformly dressed and it was beautiful. So beautiful I couldn stop myself from smiling at them.

Mom tugged my arms, and we begin to ascend the stairs.

It wasn massive but rather tiring to walk through.

Six more steps to get to the top, but I could already see what was at the top.

Four Armrest Thrones were set on the left and another on the right. on the right side, sat the three Regions keepers, and on the left, the region warriors leaders.

I got excited knowing fully well, that my Throne and that of the soon-to-be keepers would be larger.

I had rushed to the top with the hopes to meet thrones that are times Ten bigger and larger.

Just to get disappointed.

It was a plain white cushion. A Cushion!

Something, I lay my head on is what was laid there as a seat!

”Mother, you can go along, Ill wait for the rest. ”

She had given me a curt nod before proceeding forward, to join the others.

I shake my head from the memory.

I had read enough books to satisfy my inquisitiveness to know what takes place and what to expect in a coronation.

We all faced the audience. And everyone was quiet as they watched on.

Even I, wanted to know the outcome and whats about to happen. In books Ive read, they would always kneel and the crown would be handed to them before going to the throne.

But this wasn like anything I had read about. None of the books, I had come across says you would or should seat on a cushion.

But here we are, seating on one and everyone stared on.

”Is this a staring competition? ” The question had bubbled out of my mount unwilling.

A chuckle from the next seat made me tilt my head a little.

”For someone that is elegant and as you are you seem to know little about our norms. ”

I said nothing.

”Im Freya. ” She says again.

”I know. ”

”And you… ”

Just then a shiny lighting – showed up out of nowhere. It was so bright, that everyone had to cover their eyes including myself.

I shudder at the light, I look over to the other of the rest maidens to find out they were cowering on the floor at its mere presence.

I wonder if this is one of the procedures- it affected my eyes, but I stay seated using my arms to shield my eyes. I turn to the other side to find the Mother and three others on the floor. But I had stay seated my legs crossed and immovable.

A loud scream from the crowd sent tension up in the air.

Is this some kind of test? Or are we in danger?!

I felt burning eyes on mine but I couldn tell where it was coming from. All I knew was that someone was staring at me intensely. It lasted for a brisk second.

And I suddenly hear a voice.

”Lilith. ”

With that, it disappeared. The tension was still in the air, and it was overwhelming.

I look over to mother to see shes already up along with her comrades. (The keepers)

They all had eyes on me and I wondered if am doing something wrong.

Maybe I should be on the ground too?

I stand up from the cushion and scrabble to where my soon to be comrades laid and I lay down with them.

Not wanting to be the awkward maiden amongst all.

”Stand. ”

That was a command- and I rolled my eyes realizing mon is at it again.

I thought the coronation was over. Why is she still doing that? I whined internally

The gems sprang up, from the cushion it laid on peacefully, now emitting a beautiful light. It shone brightly for a second before taking off to where the old keepers stood, and resting on their palms.

A loud gasp was heard from the crowd and I wondered what happened. Slowly, Everyone including the warrior leaders, started getting back on their feet. And soon everyone was standing. They started murmuring incoherently. They look perplexed.

Mother steps forward and looks into the audience, making everyone go silent.

”The coronation has been postponed. And it will recommence in a hour time. There has been a message with utmost urgency and secrecy. It demands quick resolution. Before then, enjoy yourself with foods and wines. ”

They cheered loudly, and the thick tension that had surfaced dispersed. The maidens made their way downstairs and I followed suit.

I crossed my heart as I passed my mother hoping she doesn make me go back to my room till the coronation begins again.

I felt a pressure on my arms and I turned to look at myself. Mom has her hands wrapped on my arm.

There goes my hope, shattering into million pieces. Oh, how I wish she would let me be.

”Not you, emerald, ” she muttered

”Not today mother, ” I say surprising myself and my mother.

”Emerald - ”

Id come to realize whenever my mom starts with my name or doesn say my name at all, she was about to compel me to do her biddings.

I shut my eyes waiting for her to say it.

But instead, I felt her release her hand that has tightly held my arms.

Huh?

I made to look at her but the squeals from the soon-to-be keepers had me staring at them in confusion.

They rushed to my mothers side.

”Oh Aunt! It has been so long! ”

They squealed. Mom smiles sweetly at them and I felt a pang of jealously tighten in my chest.

Shes never smiled that way at me before.

”Oh is this your daughter?! Shes so beautiful! ”

”Come along now, we have a lot to catch on! ”

With that, they drag me away not waiting for my mother to respond.

I could feel my mother burning gaze on me, but I refused to turn.

We walk down the stairs together, while they chat on.

I keep my lips sealed not knowing what to say or how to chirp in.

We got to the middle of the room and I stop moving to make them halt in their step. When they did, they turn to glance at me.

”Thank you, ”

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