Once upon a time, on a misty cliff overlooking the sea stood the proud kingdom of Borealis. All across the kingdom, streets and markets echoed with noise as its people prepared for a celebration. Their beautiful princess had come of age. As per the royal tradition, her coronation day was soon to follow. It was not uncommon to hear the sounds of singing rolling over distant hills or to witness the sparks of firecrackers illuminating villages at night, for it was a time of joy and jubilation for the kingdom's citizens.

Yet, inside the walls of the Borealis castle, a single girl had curled up on her mattress, oblivious to the festivities outside.

"Never! I won't do it!" Aurora pouted. Minutes ago, she had rolled around violently on her mattress in a manner most unbefitting for her position as heiress to the throne.

Her advisor, June, sat nearby, cleaning her glasses. She seemed unaffected by Aurora's plight.

"No! This cannot be happening to me!" screamed Aurora.

Sighing quietly, June sat beside Aurora. "Your father wanted for you to marry before becoming queen of Borealis. Do you not want to make your father proud?"

Aurora began to cry. "Not if it means I have to be married," said she. "I am not even in l-l-l-lo-love."

June put her arm around Aurora and dried her tears with a finger. "Princess, I know this is difficult to accept, but the people of Borealis have waited many years for their queen. Long ago, a law was put in place to ensure your marriage, so that the royal line will continue and so that you will have a husband who will serve alongside you as your king. After your parents disappeared—"

As June spoke of Aurora's parents, her smile transformed to an expression of sadness. Though many of Aurora's attendants remembered her parents well, Aurora herself had only been an infant at the time of their disappearance.

Even so, seeing her best friend's downcast expression hurt Aurora greatly. "Do whatever you want," Aurora blushed, looking the other way.

Smiling, June embraced Aurora with both arms.

"I will do my best to find you an acceptable suitor," she promised.

---

Long ago, a King and Queen led the kingdom with kindness and grace. Under their rule, the people of Borealis became wealthy and prosperous. The richest citizens held banquets open to all, and so its poorest citizens never feared for hunger or poverty. When the birth of a baby girl, the princess was announced, the entire kingdom erupted in celebrations of pride and joy.

One day, the king and queen decided to embark on a journey. They departed on the ocean, eyes bright in search of new trading partners for their kingdom. They promised to return in a matter of days. Soon, days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, and months turned into years. Despite many fervent attempts, the King and Queen were never found again.

Despite growing up with attendants giving her everything she wanted or needed, Aurora began to show signs of loneliness. Spending her time in her room alone, she would never smile and would only speak when spoken to. This deeply concerned her caretakers and they did what they could to help her. They made her favourite food, gave her presents and toys, and even took her into the town to see the people. But no matter what they did, Aurora wouldn't smile.

One day, one of the attendants brought her daughter with her to help maintain the palace. Curious and restless, June had no interest in cleaning. She wanted to explore. June ran around the palace, looking for secret passages and treasures. But June could only play by herself for so long. "I'm borrrreeeeeed", June wined at her mother. June's mother realized that she had the perfect playmate for her.

Aurora and June became inseparable. They danced and played with the passing of the seasons. Aurora grew up to become a beautiful and kind, albeit grump princess. June became her most trusted advisor. But as June became older, she became aware of the true purpose of her role: to preserve the family line. The Kingdom of Borealis would have a King and Queen again, and June was willing to do everything in her power to make this happen, no matter the cost.

Pages