It was a sunny day in Autumn.
The king and queen of a distant kingdom was on a picnic with their children who could be recognized by their bright golden hair. Unlike the soldier around them who stood guard at high alert, the children were enjoying their rare occasion of being outdoors and all sported a wooden toy sword to play with.
Of all the children the one who was the most excited was the youngest, Delia. She stood confident against her older brothers who easily stood a foot taller then her and challenged them to a duel. The sight of the small girl playing knight was adorable to all present.
Delia’s brothers grinned while accepting her challenge and played along but the king watched from afar with concern in his eyes. The queen, who was used to the king’s overprotective nature over his youngest daughter, tried to ease the king’s mind and reminded him that they were just children having fun.
Delia came running towards their direction after having achieved victory and beamed with pride at her parents from her achievement. The king had no choice but to return the luxurious dolls he brought for his daughter back to the castle, as usual.
Once Delia came of age, the king could take it no more and took away Delia’s sword. In its place was filled with lessons on knitting, dancing and other court etiquette that would be required for a lady. Delia rebelled of course. All this had happened shortly after she saw her brothers leave the kingdom in order to become knights with the word that she would follow them soon.
The hallways echoed with the voice of a maid looking for Delia who had skipped out on her classes. This wasn’t the first time this had happened and the maid knew where to look for Delia. So she headed towards the training grounds behind the palace.
“This is the fifth time in a row right?”
Delia exclaimed with delight after having finished a match. The youngest of Delia’s brothers, who was about the same age as her, smiled halfheartedly while sprawled on the ground.
“Ahem. Princess, we observe dueling etiquette on these grounds.”
The instructor watching over the match cautiously warned Delia.
“Oh right! Sorry! Uhm, well fought sir”
Delia saluted her brother as told by the instructor.
Her brother chuckled and said “You could go in my place with your skills Delia.”
He was referring to the expedition he would be joining soon. This was going to be his first experience in real combat after all his training.
Delia congratulated her brother and wished him luck. Yet she felt conflicted. This was not the first time she saw one of her brothers leave for war but seeing her youngest elder brother, who she trained side by side with, go out to the battleground she so yearned for was something different. She left the training ground early to ease her troubled mind.
The king was fairing no better with his youngest daughter showing no signs of stopping ‘playing knight’. He tried convincing her, forcing her to take her classes, but nothing could get Delia to obey and she started skipping classes more frequently to practice her swordsmanship ever since her youngest brother joined the battlefield.
The cold war between father and daughter ended with the king giving up. He couldn’t bear to see his daughter grow ever more distant from him and allowed her to pursue the path she wants under the condition that she shows results as a knight while keeping up with her duties as a princess.
He had thought the pressure of two roles would be enough to get Delia to give up eventually.
Delia was displeased that she won’t be able to skip her classes but not having to train in secret was more than enough to make her happy. She accepted her father’s terms and the rift between father and daughter was mended. That day the king saw his daughter’s smile which he hadn’t seen for a long time.
Delia joined a small brigade within the royal army. The commander of her post had no choice but to accept who he only saw as a spoiled girl due to his king’s orders. He was concerned about what would happen if Delia were to become injured during training and his men shared the same concern.
Many of the soldiers were displeased with having to oblige to what they saw as baby sitting a princess playing knight and tended to hand over menial tasks while addressing her as princess in a condescending tone.Yet Delia remained oblivious to these hostilities in her joy in being able to be part of the knighthood she so yearned for.
One day, during a heated duel, Delia was injured. Delia laughed it off saying she was okay but the king was furious when he saw her injury. The soldier who was responsible was brought before the king and trembled in fear before his feet. The other soldiers who were expecting something like this to happen showed their disapproval of Delia openly.
But, before the king was able to deliver his sentence, Delia stood up for the soldier. She convinced the king to regain his composure and it was in this moment the king saw a glimpse of a woman of royalty within the face of his young girl. The king admitted he acted irrational and sent back the soldier with a huge compensation.
It was after this incident Delia began to gain the respect of her comrades. Her presence within the training grounds raised moral as she started to show the side of her that was fit for royalty. Delia soon started to join various missions with her comrades and always brought results beyond expectation. With her various victories, Delia began to develop in a direction that was the opposite of what the king wanted for her.
Growing nervious of Delia’s success in the army, the king ordered the brigade Delia was part of to sabotage her next mission. The soldiers had no choice but to follow their king’s orders. Delia tried all she could to salvage the mission that went south due to the sudden change of attitude of her comrades to no avail. The mission ended in failure and the king took away Delia’s sword using agreement they had in the past.
The king wasted no time and made arrangements for Delia’s marriage. It was apparent how carefully the king chose the groom by the prince’s noble manners and wealthy kingdom. Yet Delia had nothing in mind but in planning her escape.
During the festive before the wedding, there was a fencing tournament to show off the prince’s prowess in combat. But Delia was not impressed by the prince’s swordsmanship.
Having seen enough she lifted up the skirt of her dress, which had been painstakingly put on her by her maids, and jumped in to the arena. She grinned as she did when dueling her brothers while she took the sword of one of the soldiers standing guard.