The Queen's biggest secret
Alicia, Capital city
Kingdom of Nirvana
The kingdom of Nirvana now grown to be one of the largest kingdoms on the continent and probably even the wealthiest. More than 5 years since the death of its 9th monarch, King Cristoph the third Nirvana had thrived and had found a way to balance its internal politics, external relations, tax income and optimum use of its many resources as well as the entertainment, comfort and happiness of its citizens. They had gotten wealthier and larger but had not been able to build an army that could rival the might of Venera who they still considered an enemy even after all the years of diplomacy and peace between their Queen Isabel and the older Queen Catherine of Venera. All this had come as a shock to the rest of the kingdoms on the continent comprising of the small and the great because King Cristoph had died without a male heir or brother to rule in his stead, for the first time on the continent one of the powerful kingdoms was being ruled directly by a woman and a very young one at that. The only child of the now late King Cristoph had taken over without any fuss and had done an almost impeccable job of ruling for almost a decade now. The people loved her regardless of their status in the kingdom; those of both the higher and lower echelons loved her. She created a system for using the wealth from the kingdoms gold mines to develop its roads, the capital city of Alicia now more beautiful than ever and the other aspects of Nirvanan economy and culture fully funded and monitored to maturity. In all the time she has been Queen of Nirvana there has been peace on all fronts because she had made the army large and strong using the gold they mined in the Kingdom optimally and then never resorting to violence but maintaining strong relationships with the kingdoms around her through diplomacy and dialogue.
The Kingdom of Cresha to the South could come a little bit close in rivaling Nirvana in wealth but not military might but the Kingdom of Venera to the North was the oldest on the continent and had maintained its military might for years and had wealth of their own from the large tributes received from other conquered kingdoms. Venera had the military might to take on Nirvana and come out victorious but had not made any moves for reasons no one in Nirvana could decipher. It felt like both kingdoms were experiencing the literal calm before the storm, the odds would favor whoever had Cresha as an ally and for Nirvana it was more important to have Cresha as an ally than it was for the Northern kingdom of Venera. If the Queen could reach agreements with Cresha and Venera then Nirvana would be assured peace for years to come but for some unseen reason and a gut feeling, everyone on the continent felt war between the neighbors had been brewing for years and was definitely going to happen and would affect every single person on the continent. Cresha had requested something from Queen Isabella that she knew could not be made available to them any time soon while Venera and Nirvana although at peace for the time being had not really had relations between their royal families for years since the death of King Cristoph at the small town close to the northern border.
His death remained mysterious and many thought that the royalty of Venera had a hand in the death of the loved king as some sort of retaliation for the assassination of their own king just as those in the other kingdom believed the Krone family had a hand in the death of their own king Adrian and his only son Jonathan while on a hunt in the vast Oldtree forest that served as a border between both kingdoms. The beautiful and young Queen Isabella had a lot to do even though she had already accomplished so much; her head was never free from thoughts in recent months, it wasn’t just one person’s head though. Queen Isabella was thought by everyone to be a single person but in a secret reality, Queen Isabella didn’t really exist. Isabella was just the name their father had chosen before breaking it down and giving each one of his triplet daughters a part of the name. He had named the eldest of the triplets Bella, the second daughter Isabel and the last daughter Elle.
All three girls looked exactly the same and had ensured they continued looking identical for almost a decade now. They each appeared in public as the Queen on different days and at different occasions. At first it had been difficult but each girl had mastered the act of acting and role-playing after having to do it since they were just kids meeting dignitaries from other countries. Their father King Cristoph had done it all for their own safety because he knew just how chaotic things would have been if the entire continent had found out at their birth that Nirvana had three girls who all had the right to rule the Kingdom whenever their father passed on to the other side. The arrangement was such that on one day, Bella would be the one to have discussions with dignitaries or appear in public for functions as crown Princess Isabella, the next time Princess Isabella was needed Isabel would be the one to make an appearance and after that the much more vocal and social of the three girls would be the one to appear to guests and in public as Princess Isabella. Elle was the youngest of the three Princesses, but she was the only one of the three who enjoyed being Queen and performing the public duties of the Queen.
She enjoyed attending tournaments, games, important weddings, foreign summits and every other social event whether public or not that would give her the opportunity to express herself well, go to new places and meet new people. Elle enjoyed these things so much so as a young girl that sometimes her father allowed her to go out as Princess Isabella for back to back events, Bella and Isabel never complained about it, the other two of the triplets preferred having time to do their own things and preferred spending time with each other than other people. With time Elle who was the youngest had set the standard and created a fixed impression for how the crown Princess Isabella acted and spoke in public, Bella and Isabel could not keep up with just how much energy, charisma and flair Elle had so they decided to let Elle be the one to appear as the crown Princess during the public events that required speaking at length or charming a guest or dignitary, the arrangement had worked out well for all three girls.
Now they were no longer just crown Princess Isabella, they were Queen Isabella and that meant a lot more responsibilities which they shared between themselves in accordance with their individual talents and preferences. Princess Bella was the eldest and always had that serious edge Elle lacked on occasion so Bella was to be Queen Isabella on Monday’s and Tuesday’s when the Queen was expected to attend a lot of meetings on governance, administration of the kingdom and politics within the various organizations in the kingdom.
Princess Isabel was to perform the role of Queen Isabella on Wednesday’s and Thursday’s when the financial aspects of leadership were to be discussed and planned, things such as the taxes, budgets for occasions and resources needed for projects were discussed in meetings fixed on Wednesday’s and Thursday’s when Isabel was acting as Queen Isabella so as to maximize her gifts. Isabel was the quietest and calmest of the three sisters but she was some sort of a genius.
Elle was to be Queen Isabella on Friday’s and Saturday’s for obvious reasons. She was the best at speaking to the public and charming everyone she came in contact with. She was also the better dancer and orator of the three so she had been given the days when the Queen was required at one important social event or the other. She attended all the festivals, dances, carnivals, weddings and the meetings with dignitaries that needed to be charmed.
Each girl performed their duty as Queen based on their best natural gifts and it made the Queen seem larger than life, smart, strong, funny, charming, quiet, ambitious and calm all at the same time. The subjects as well as the various lords and dignitaries who had met Queen Isabella were in awe of her with many people falling in love with the Queen during their first encounter. When all this was added to the goddess-like beauty the triplets were born with and grew with, it made Queen Isabella of Nirvana more of an enigma than anyone on the continent, little did anyone know that the multi-talented and amazing Queen was actually not one person but three queens pretending to be one and ruling a kingdom perfectly even for their young age.
It was a Friday evening in September, this meant only one thing. It meant Princess Elle was the one allowed to go out the royal palace as Queen Isabella.
She was on her way to someone she had recently become sure she was in love with but could not be with, how could a queen seeking to strengthen her army and protect her people from the threat of a stronger enemy to the north pass up a chance at marriage to a powerful man in a neutral kingdom. The man she had fallen for was a mere hunter named Jon Terra she met at the commoner’s dance sometime back, luckily for her the commoner’s hardly saw the Queen so no one in the outer ring of the city had ever recognized who she really was even as she visited frequently to spend time with Jon.
The king of Cresha had secretly asked for her hand in marriage though he was at least 20 years older than she was, accepting it would make Cresha an ally and make the possibility of maintaining peace with Venera or defeating them if it came to that even easier than it seemed at the moment, she had discussed the matter with her sisters and they were all still considering their options as they were all three of them Queen Isabella. Now all of a sudden her heart had decided to fall in love with a mere hunter, a queen could not be in love with a commoner from an immigrant family from a foreign country, the odds were zero as she considered them in her head, what would her identical sisters Bella and Isabel think of her even considering such s stupid thing. Destiny was out for a stroll in Alicia tonight, it was a stroll destiny had been taking for weeks now in this same carriage.
Queen Isabella Krone, the presumed only child of the late King Cristoph Krone and current ruler of all of Nirvana sat in her small, single horse driven coach contemplating what exactly to tell Jon and how to tell him what she was planning to tell him. She always used the smallest and less magnificent coach when going to see him so as not to arouse the suspicions of the people who frequented the fountain or those constantly annoying her at the royal palace. She had told all her friend’s in this part of the city as well as Jon’s friends that she was the cousin to the Queen and her name was Elle, she had lied to everyone including Jon about the truth but at least she had told them her real name. She was going to have to keep living in that lie till she found out a way to unravel all the mess she had currently allowed her heart and feelings put her into.
As usual they would meet at the fountain where they had constantly met by evening time on Fridays weekly for almost a year now. She sat amused at the thought of Jon’s confusion and annoyance regarding how they were only allowed to meet once a week, but didn’t really feel bad for him because he was yet to profess his feelings for her or make his intentions concerning her clear. He had complained bitterly that seeing her just once a week was not enough but she could not change the way things had been for years simply because she wanted to see him more often.
Princess Elle was Queen Isabella and Princess Elle was in love with someone, the someone Elle loved was a mere commoner, but Queen Isabella was not allowed to love a mere commoner and not supposed to let love her own personal life and feelings interfere with the protection of her Kingdom, she had to make decisions soon, very hard decisions.
For now she wasn’t ready to make those decisions yet, she sat in her coach recalling how they first met and bust into a fit of laughter which surprised the man riding the coach. She would ask Jon how he felt before her trip to Cresha because in her heart she knew that his reply would be the deciding factor in taking this decision that not only affected her, not just her sisters but the entire kingdom. She sat there lost in her thought as she remembered their first encounter with fondness and a smile spread across her beautiful face. It was at a commoner’s dance she saw his face for the first time. She had attended many of such fun social affairs but that was one she would always remember, one she remembered fondly.