Ariella looked outside her bed chamber window, teal blue eyes looking over the treeline in awe. Within the last week she had experienced many "firsts", but this had been the only pleasant one. Some time over night the snow must have started as there was already a few inches weighing down on the dormant tree branches. It looks so peaceful...
She marveled, watching as small flakes gently floated down from the early morning sky and coating the kingdom below. Ariella had never seen such a thing before, but her mother had told her about it. On the islands it did not snow, even in winter. The air for most of the year is warm and humid, with rain storms coming often during their "winter." The snow was beautiful, just as her mother had described. It was too bad she had to experience it within this cesspool of a kingdom.
"It's the first snow of winter.
"AYE! Ma'lei hewa!
" Ariella spun around, speaking in her native tongue. In the capitals language, she would have something along the line of "What the hell!"
"Don't you people ever knock?!
" She hissed, glaring down at the small servant girl who had quietly entered her bedroom undetected. "How long have you been there?!
"Oh! I- I am sorry, G-goddess. Please, take my apology. Truly, I.. I was only...
" The servant girl began to get on her knees, bowing her head deeply and refusing to make eye contact.
Ariella practically shivered at being called "Goddess." She groaned and hurried over to the girl, gently pulling her up and back onto her feet. "Stop. Don't do that. I am not a Goddess.
"You.. you are her. Goddess Aurelia reincarnate.
Ariella stepped away, eyes still glaring as the girl continued to look at the ground in shame. "I said stop! Please.
" She sighed and turned back to the window. "Just call me Ariella.
" She had grown so exhausted hearing herself called a "Goddess." The people who believed this were delusional, clearly grasping to anything they could for hope to win the war. Insane!
"What do you want?
" Her moments of peace with the snow had been ruined. It was time to start another agonizing day as a prisoner of the Imperial Family. Her heart ached at the thought, her body tense. She has tired... so, so tired. How long would she have to be here until the Emperor decided that she was not some reincarnated Goddess? Would she be allowed to live even if he did?
"I only came to wake you.. but.. but you were already awake.
"So leave me.
"I.. uhm... I am sorry, Godde-... Erm.. Ariella. Upon the first winter's snow, we hold a festival and pray to the gods of season. Do you not know? We give thanks for a bountiful year and ask the gods for a comfortable winter until spring arrives. Great Emperor Ulric has asked that you join the church in this, as you will be a high priestess one day when you have awoken Aurelia.
Ariella heavily sighed, refusing to look at the servant girl now and instead focusing on the snow outside. Even this snow, beautiful and serene, was bringing her pain. Perhaps this was not such a great first experience after all. Nothing here could make her happy.
" The servant girl waited for any sort of response, but Ariella was clearly trying to shut her out. Now it was the girls turn to sigh. "Uhm... The Emperor also would like to introduce you to those he is calling "The Divine." I have heard that they will teach you how to unlock your strength. We must get you ready in your priestess garb now, we cannot have the Emperor waiting on you.
" The servant girl, hesitant to grab Ariella, began to walk closer to her. "If you could please follow me, Goddess...