C2 3000 years later
I look at my reflection in the mirror, with my emerald green eyes and auburn red hair I am a natural beauty. Too bad, no one ever gets the chance to notice.
I have lived at a secluded orphanage all my life. Nothing ever happens and the only company I have are the nuns that come visit me sometimes.
I am the only child that is kept separate from the other children. I have no idea why but it has always been this way. However today my life will change! It is my 18th birthday, so I can finally leave this place and explore the world.
Just the thought of leaving makes my heart jump with happiness. I grab my bag which contains almost nothing. My only possessions are some clothes, food, and a strange amulet they left with me on the doorstep of the orphanage 18 years ago.
I am just about to open the door when 2 guards storm in.
“Are you Noelle Pupillo?” they ask. (Pupillo is the last name they give to children whose parents are unknown.)
”Yes I am,” I answer.
“You are hereby obligated to take part in the sacrifice ritual to the sea kingdom today,” the guard's command.
I look at them confused I have heard of the ritual but I thought only high-born women were considered good enough to be sacrificed.
“Surely there is no need for a poor orphan girl to take part in that?” I ask.
“All women on the age of 18 are to be presented to the King of the sea, you are no exception,” the guards say.
One guard grabs me by the arm and takes me outside. He shoves me in a waiting carriage.
“It's a 5-hour ride so you better make yourself comfortable,” the guard grunts.
I don't know what to think of this change of events but it will probably just be a delay in my journey.
There is no way I would get picked because I don't consider myself anything special. I don't know much about the ritual, to begin with.
The nuns told me the King of the sea comes to shore every year. Where he picks a woman to take with him to his kingdom. I know the selected women have to be 18 years old and virgins.
The women who got picked over the years have never returned, no one knows what happens to them. But it can't be anything good in my opinion.
So today it will be a good thing that no one ever notices me. I don't even know what the king of the sea looks like but I imagine him to be a big brute.
I decide to stop thinking about it and start to enjoy the scenery instead. I see the most beautiful sights, more beautiful than I could ever imagine. Flowing hills, gigantic trees, and pastures with blooming flowers, all take my breath away.
So before I know it the 5 hours have passed and we arrive at the destination.
“Where are we?” I ask the guards.
“We are in Dandion the capital of the mortal realm,” the guards answer.
When I get out of the carriage we are at a beach within the background of a large city. I see high buildings entirely made out of glass but also Victorian build houses.
It seems to be a mix of modern and historical architecture. The beach reaches as far as the eye can see with white sand and clear blue water. On the beach, there are hundreds of women waiting, one more beautiful than the other.
The air feels tense, everyone is quiet with a look of fear in their eyes. All the women are wearing plain grey dresses. The guards put one in my arms and tell me to change my clothes.
“The King requires everyone to wear the same clothes to make a good decision without distractions,” they say.
I put the dress on but even the boring color cannot hide that I have curves in all the right places.
I walk to the beach and take my place next to a woman who looks like an angel.
“Hi, my name is Noelle. What is your name?” I ask.
The angel lady keeps looking at the ground when she answers,
“My name is Luna, but please you have to be quiet it is starting soon.”
Every woman except me is staring at the ground. Which must mean they had better training than me. Then I hear the blowing of a loud horn, I look at the sea when the guards shouted.
“THE KING HAS ARRIVED!”