Once upon a time, there was a beautiful little princess named Moonlight. She was the first daughter of King and Queen Brown, the ruler of Brook Land. Princess Moonlight had an elder brother named Nicholas who would be the heir of Brook's throne.
People of Brook Land knew Princess Moonlight as a cheerful and friendly young lady. She wasn't arrogant and always gave her sweetest smile and waved her hand while her people were acclaiming her name. Helping the poor and teaching the children of farmers to read were her habit. No wonder if Brook Land's people and her family loved her.
As the time goes by, Princess Moonlight grew up into a graceful woman. Unfortunately, Princess Moonlight wasn't as cheerful as ever. It happened because she only had a little time for being herself. Various lessons about manners and queen things in the castle made her had no time for her people. People of Brook Land started to miss her, but Princess Moonlight should obey her father's orders. King Brown wanted his daughter to be a great queen, because he knew that some heirs of neighboring kingdom's throne wanted to propose Princess Moonlight soon.
A few months later, many proposals from neighboring kingdom came to the Brook Land one by one. The princes explained their purpose to marry Princess Moonlight. They carried much golds, silvers and horses as the dowry, but none could captivate Princess Moonlight. It wasn't because she was picky and arrogant, but she saw no sincerity on themselves. They wanted to marry her because she was pretty, nice, smart, generous and the other excesses which had been sounded across the country. Princess Moonlight doubted whether the princes would love her sincerely.
Feeling tired with the royal proposals that never stopped, Princess Moonlight decided to leave the castle for a few hours. She told her parents that she should take a quick break in her room, but the fact she missed her people and wanted to teach the children of farmers to read outside the castle.
As if God would what Princess Moonlight would do, she could pass the gate easily only with her nanny's cloak. The gatekeeper thought that Princess Moonlight was Madam Rose, Moonlight's nanny.
Soon after that, Princess Moonlight arrived safely at the hut where she used to teach. Then, she was surprised when she listened that the farmer's children were learning to read without her. She was curious then peered through the window.
"Who is he?" asked Princess Moonlight quietly.
There was a handsome young man in front of the small class. He taught the kids to read and sometimes to sing. Suddenly, Princess Moonlight was stunned by his kindness and she smiled.
"Seems like we have a new participant today," said the young man with high volume.
Princess Moonlight realized that the young man found her peeking. She was embarassed and her cheeks flushed.
"Come join us! Don't be so shy," called the young man.
Still wearing her nanny's cloak, Princess Moonlight came inside the class. None of her students knew her and acclaimed her name as ever. She wasn't recognized apparently.
"Good afternoon, Lady...?"
"Rose, My Lord," Princess Moonlight lied. She didn't know why she felt that she had to do it at that time.
"Good afternoon, Lady Rose. My name is Kishi, the temporary teacher in this small class," said the young man named Kishi while kissing the palm of Princess Moonlight's hand.
"Temporary?" Princess Moonlight didn't understand.
"Yes, temporary. Maybe I'll stop teaching when Princess Moonlight is back to this class. I know that she's currently busy with the royal proposals."
The news about the royal proposals has spread all over the country. Did they hear that I refused all of that proposals too? Thought Princess Moonlight
"But, we're the poor people has no business with all the castle's stuff. So, would you like to join us, Lady Rose?" asked Kishi.
Suddenly an idea came to Princess Moonlight's mind.
"Actually, I'm the hand of Princess Moonlight and bringing her orders right now. She has heard about the kindness of a young man named Kishi. The princess knew that you had helped her to teach the children in earnest. So, Princess Moonlight sent me here to be your assistant. I can read, write, count and sing. Don't worry, I can help you," said Princess Moonlight.
"Oh really? How good the heart of that Brook Land's princess is. I never thought that Princess Moonlight would give me a clever and kind lady as my assistant like you. God bless Princess Moonlight. I wish she would find her true love in the royal proposal soon," said Kishi.
Princess Moonlight smiled and nodded. She was happy to hear Kishi's pray for her.
The presence of Kishi and her return to her small heaven in the middle of her people made Princess Moonlight found herself back. She became a cheerful princess again and made her family happy too. Prince Nicholas and his parents thought that Princess Moonlight was falling in love and had made a decision for the proposals.
That guess wasn't completely wrong. Princess Moonlight certainly hadn't made a decision for the proposals yet. Moreover she probably would never say "yes" to the royal proposals, because she was falling in love with Kishi.
Kishi never let Princess Moonlight passed her days without smile and laughter. Besides helping him to teach the farmer's children, she always accompanied Kishi walking around the town. Kishi said that he didn't come from Brook Land. That's why he always asked Princess Moonlight to be by his side while taking the air.
This young man didn't only asked her for the companion, but also taught her new things. He taught Princess Moonlight riding the horse, catching fishes in the river, climbing the tree, buying and bidding groceries in the market, hunting with arrows and finding some hidden paradises on Brook Land. She never thought that there were many hidden beautiful paradises on her land like forest, mountain, hills and many more. Kishi brought her to a whole new world. As a return, Princess Moonlight who was good at many foreign languages taught him some new languages.
It would never happen without God's will. God made Princess Moonlight could escape the castle routinely without any danger. The gatekeepers was never curious about Madam Rose who always came in and out of the castle everyday lately. They thought that Madam Rose was busy of preparing Princess Moonlight's wedding needs. Though Madam Rose was staying in Princess Moonlight's room, made her foster child's room tidy and smiled while Princess Moonlight were back with her great daily stories. Princess Moonlight never lied to Madam Rose, therefore she always told her nanny about Kishi. Madam Rose was trustworthy and happy of seeing her Princess had truly grown up.
One day, God would show Princess Moonlight a truth about Kishi. After the class with the farmer's children, Kishi brought Princess Moonlight to somewhere. He said that he would tell her something.
"Where are we going, Kishi?" asked Princess Moonlight who sat in front of Kishi on Kishi's horse.
"Somewhere you should see," answered Kishi while riding the horse.
They rode for a few hours through many farms, rivers and beautiful hills. Soon after that, they came to a place that looked like Princess Moonlight remembered in a history book. There were a high gate which was pulling down by the gatekeepers. When the gate had opened, Princess Moonlight shouted in her heart.
"Welcome to my home," said Kishi.
Princess Moonlight knew who Kishi was while passing by the gate. Everyone in the Waterfall Kingdom bowed to Kishi and called him "Your Majesty". Kishi was the heir of Waterfall Kingdom's throne, the smallest empire in this country.
"So, you are a prince?" asked Princess Moonlight.
"I'm the one and only heir of Waterfall Kingdom's throne. Smallest kingdom in this country. Kishi Clarke from House of Clarke. Actually, I'm a king, not a prince."
"K... king?" Princess Moonlight didn't believe.
"My parents passed away when I was a baby in a war. That war made Waterfall Kingdom lost many things. Land, people and properties. That's why Waterfall Kingdom being the smallest kingdom in this country. We lost many things, and I lost my parents. Now, I'm trying to rebuild this kingdom. I wish I could make my kingdom and my people as great as ever."
"That's why you teach the farmer's children and take the symphaty of Brook Land's people? To seize them from Brook Land?"
"No, I don't seize them. I let them choose their way to build a better life. Here or on Brook Land. I let them make their decision by themselves. But I teach the children sincerely. I'm happy seeing our students become smart. I wish their knowledge would make their family life better."
Princess Moonlight's cheeks were flushing when she listened to King Kishi's words. She couldn't believe that she was falling in love with a good-hearted king.
"And I need a woman like you to always be by my side while I'm ruling my kingdom."
Princess Moonlight didn't believe what she had heard. She knew what King Kishi meant.
"Will you marry me, Lady Rose? I promise that I can be a good husband for you. We can rule Waterfall Kingdom together and keep spreading the goodness to all people in this country."
Princess Moonlight was speechless. She started to cry.
"Why are you crying, My Love? Are you afraid that Princess Moonlight won't let you marry me and move here? Let me come to the castle and talk to Princess Moonlight. I'm sure that she will give you permission."
Without responded King Kishi's words, Princess Moonlight started to take her nanny's cloak off. King Kishi was surprised when he saw a georgeous lady with beautiful dress in front of him.
"P... Princess Moonlight Brown." King Kishi didn't believe that he had proposed the Princess of Brook Land.
"I didn't mean to hurt you by lying. I was hiding, because I was tired of that royal proposals. I just want to escape and find my true love by myself. I'm sorry, Your Majesty. I didn't mean to---"
Princess Moonlight's words hadn't finished yet while King Kishi was closing her mouth with his kiss. That kiss made Princess Moonlight's tears melted. They hugged each other while crying because of happiness. Princess Moonlight was happy of finding her true love, and King Kishi was happy of killing his loneliness.
Although Princess Moonlight had promised King Kishi to accept his proposal, King Kishi should come to King and Queen Brown to propose their daughter. They still had to follow the tradition. Prince Nicholas had also a contribution to choose the future husband of her sister, because he's the heir of the kingdom's throne.
A few weeks later, King Kishi came to Brook Land while the kingdom held a big feast in the castle. King Brown and Queen Brown held the feast to announce Princess Moonlight's decision. She had to choose one of the royal proposals and announce it on the feast. If she hadn't made the decision yet, she would be married by his brother's best friend, Prince Arthur Wood, the heir of North Mountain's throne.
As the feast began, the one who captivated Princess Moonlight was only King Kishi. She kept her eyes on him, and so did he. Princess Moonlight couldn't wait to announce her decision.
After she greeted some princes and danced with King Kishi for a while, time for the announcement was coming. Princess Moonlight stood in front of hundreds princes who has proposed her and started to speak.
"After I considered, had a discussion with my confidants and pray to God, I've made a decision to choose the one who will be my husband. He won't only be my king, but also my life partner who can spread much goodness across the country with me."
The heart of the princes were beating, so was King Kishi.
"I accept the proposal of King Kishi, from The House of Clarke, the King of Waterfall Kingdom."
Everyone was surprised of Princess Moonlight's decision. They couldn't believe that Princess Moonlight chose the king of smallest kingdom in this country, while her kingdom was the biggest one.
"I choose him because he's a good-hearted king. He's generous, humble, kind, happy to help the poor, smart and independent since he was child. He's an orphan. The late King and Queen of Waterfall Kingdom died dozen years ago because of war. And King Kishi is a strong man who can survive and grow up well without parent's love."
"BUT WATERFALL KINGDOM CAN'T STRENGTHEN BROOK LAND ARMY! IT'S A SMALL KINGDOM! THEY ARE POOR!" yelled Prince Nicholas.
Shout of Prince Nicholas was responded with another "yes!" yell. Princess Moonlight didn't believe that her brother and her parents would reject King Kishi just because of property.
"Your brother is right, Moonlight. You should marry a rich heir. You can't marry King Kishi," said King Brown.
"But he's a good man, Father! I just want to marry him," said Princess Moonlight.
"You can't, My Dear. Listen to your father and your brother," said Queen Brown.
"I just want to marry King Kishi!" yelled Princess Moonlight.
"NEVER!" Yell of Prince Nicholas was louder.
"My princes of the neighboring kingdom, I've rectified the decision of Princess Moonlight. Princess Moonlight will never marry King Kishi, because Waterfall Kingdom is the smallest kingdom in this country. And the conclusion is, that Princess Moonlight will marry Prince Arthur Wood, from The House of Wood, heir of North Mountain's throne," said Prince Nicholas.
All princes in the castle's ballroom clapped their hand. Prince Arthur grinned from the distance. Princess Moonlight started to cry, while King Kishi was yelling.
"It's unfair! Princess Moonlight has chosen me, but why did you replace her decision with yours?!" shouted King Kishi.
"I'm her brother and the heir of the biggest kingdom in this country. So, Princess Moonlight has to obey me!" said Prince Nicholas.
"But, Your Majesty, Your Grace, I love your daughter sincerely and she loves me!" King Kishi didn't want to stop shouting.
"Kingsguard! Arrest this poor king, take him out and make sure that he will never set his foot on Brook Land!" yelled Prince Nicholas.
The kingsguards arrested King Kishi and took him out while Princess Moonlight were crying and calling his name. She could do nothing when she saw her true love was separated from her.
"Father, I want Moonlight being placed in the highest tower with a tight security from kingsguard. I've heard that all this time, she always escaped from the castle to meet her poor king secretly. It's for making sure that she'll never leave this castle till the day of her wedding with Arthur anymore," said Prince Nicholas.
Princess Moonlight resigned over his brother's orders. She was placed in the highest tower alone with the tight security from the kingsguard. Sometimes Madam Rose came to accompany her while she was crying. She didn't want to marry Arthur, because she just loved Kishi. Princess Moonlight kept praying to the God.
King Kishi was desperate of his love to Princess Moonlight too. He couldn't believe that House of Brown rejected him just because of properties and army. The news about the placement of Princess Moonlight in the highest tower also made King Kishi sadder.
The more days passed, the health of Princess Moonlight got worse. All she did everyday was just daydreaming of her memories with King Kishi. She didn't want to eat, drink and do anything except sitting in front of the window, waiting for her true love came back.
Madam Rose was worry about the condition of her princess. She called many masters to heal her fever, but it didn't work. Then she knew that the one and only healer for Princess Moonlight's fever was King Kishi.
Then one night, Madam Rose was writing a letter for King Kishi. That small message was sent by a raven. Miraculously, no archer can see this raven while it was flying. Again, God's will made the raven could come to King Kishi's palace safely.
Meanwhile, Princess Moonlight was sleeping. She was dreaming that she could fly outside the tower. Then she saw a girl was jumping from the window of the tower to the ground. She screamed and woke up with Madam Rose was by her side.
"What's wrong, My Lady?" asked Madam Rose with worry.
"I just have dreamed. I had a nightmare," answered Princess Moonlight.
"No need to remember again. It was just a dream. Do you want me to prepare your breakfast?"
Princess Moonlight shook her head.
"You need much energy for today, My Dear," said Madam Rose while smearing butter to a bread.
Princess Moonlight felt there was a strange thing while seeing Madam Rose. Something would happen today.
"What happened Madam?" asked Princess Moonlight.
"Why do you ask that?" Madam Rose turned to ask.
"It feels like there's a strange thing," said Princess Moonlight.
Madam Rose shook her head.
"Nothing, My Dear. Your health is decreasing, and I want you to have breakfast," said Madam Rose while giving Princess Moonlight a slice of bread.
Princess Moonlight obeyed Madam Rose's orders. Shortly after she ate up her breakfast, she heard sound of a horse. Her eyes rounded and she got up from her bed to look out of the window.
Madam Rose thanked God for the King Kishi's presence.
"Madam, did you ask Kishi to come?" asked Princess Moonlight. Madam Rose nodded while holding her happiness tears.
"Then, what should I do right now? I knew that Nicholas would never let Kishi get in." said Princess Moonlight.
"My Dear, the kingsguards just protect this room's door. Trust the God that you can be with Kishi forever," said Madam Rose.
Princess Moonlight's eyes rounded again.
"You want me to jump from this window?!"
"Trust the God, you can be with Kishi forever."
While Princess Moonlight were thinking about a thought of jumping from the window, King Kishi has come under the tower. He wasn't brave to call her lover's name. All he can do just stared at Princess Moonlight and waited for her jump.
Princess Moonlight started to cry when she saw her lover again. She had missed King Kishi so much and couldn't wait to be in his arms.
"So, I have to do this? How about you? You will be punished by my brother." Princess Moonlight was worried.
"It doesn't matter, because my duty has finished. I have been taking care of you since you were a newborn till you marry your true love. So, I've been ready for everything that I will face in the future," answered Madam Rose.
Prince Moonlight hugged Madam Rose tightly. She kissed her for the last time, before she walked to the window and saw her lover again.
"Trust me, I will catch you under. Whenever and wherever you fall, I promise I'll always catch you under." After all this time, finally Princess Moonlight heard King Kishi's voice again.
"Trust me, My Love," said him again.
Boldly, Princess Moonlight jumped from the highest tower's window. God's will made this situation couldn't be found by the kingsguard who protect Princess Moonlight's room, and the God's will made King Kishi could catch his true love under precisely too.
Finally, Princess Moonlight was in King Kishi's arm and they hugged each other tightly. They had kissed briefly, before King Kishi rode his horse to leave the tower. Again, God united them again and made they journey to the Waterfall Kingdom safe.
The arrival of Princess Moonlight in Waterfall Kingdom were welcomed with festive. People of Waterfall Kingdom couldn't wait to see Princess Moonlight being Moonlight Clarke, The Queen of Waterfall Kingdom.
On the same day, King Kishi married Princess Moonlight immediately. He didn't want to lose his true love anymore. Then on that day, Princess Moonlight Brown officially became Queen Moonlight Clarke, wife of King Kishi Clarke.
Day by day, month after month, even year by year passed, but none picked Princess Moonlight up with force to come home. There was a rumor that Nicholas and Arthur's army never reached Waterfall Kingdom because of the storms that created by God in the forest. Another rumor said that Nicholas felt guilty and finally accepted Moonlight's decision. But they were just rumors and Moonlight never heard the true story.
A few years later, Queen Moonlight gave birth for the second time to twin baby boys. Her first child was a beautiful princess just like her. The Princess of Waterfall Kingdom named Charisse Clarke, while the Twin Princes of Waterfall Kingdom named Gerhard and Kennard Clarke. King Kishi and Queen Moonlight were happy by their three graces of God.
Until one day, a letter sent by raven came to Waterfall Kingdom.
"Your Brother feels sorry for what he had done before, and your father is sick. He wants our family come to Brook Land in his wedding celebration," said King Kishi after read the letter.
"Nicholas are going to marry?" asked Queen Moonlight while breast feeding Gerhard.
Kennard was listening to Charisse's story. This little princess has just been a little bit able to read a picture book that made by her mother.
"Yes, with Brielle Wood, Artur Wood's sister," answered King Kishi.
"Evidently, he used another strategy to strengthen Brook Land army," said Queen Moonlight.
"Wish he would truly love her, like I truly love you," said King Kishi while kissing his wife.
"Let's come to Brook Land and show them our happiness." Queen Moonlight were sure.
Finally, The Clarkes came to The Brook Land. God's blessings were still with them and protected them during the journey. How happy The Browns were while seeing The Clarkes little family. Nicholas hugged his sister tightly, kissed her forehead and said sorry sincerely. He shook Kishi's hand and carried his niece and nephews one by one. Queen Brown were crying when she saw her daughter were back. She hugged Kishi and couldn't stop kissing her grandchildren. The health of King Brown improved when his grandchildren were in his arms.
How about Madam Rose? Madam Rose was still alive and couldn't hold her tears while seeing her princess again. Her tears kept melting while hugging King Kishi and his little Princess and Princes of Waterfall Kingdom.
The Browns and The Clarkes never lived happily ever after, because life had it's own sweet and bitter. But they promised to love and protect each other forever.
Because family isn't built by blood relation, but it's built by forgiveness, love, trust and respect.
Audrey D. Alodia
Sunday, February 19th 2017