The next morning at breakfast Alys had a smile etched on her face. She and Matthew had an animated conversation of what they had done the night before. The king believed the hard part done. He didn’t know what was coming next. After breakfast, all went wrong. (for him at least)
As soon as Alys walked into her history class she asked,
“Sir, if I am the princess, why did I not grow up here in the palace of Ondger?” Professor Attilburgh shook his head, the king didn’t want Alys to learn these details, but as a history teacher the Professor believed she had the right. However he felt didn’t matter though, so he again shook his head.
“It’s part of history!” Alys protested. It was part of her history, not necessarily text book history. After many minutes of pressure though, Professor Attilburgh did give in.
“It began with King Rupert the first. He wanted his name to last forever, so he made a family law,” Attilburgh pulled out an old, yellowing scroll and read:
“The Rupert VonMartin VonStoop family will only be allowed one child, one son by the name of Rupert VonMartin VonStoop. All of the other children, if any are born, shall be disposed of in the most convenient way.”
Alys’ eyes widened. This made sense. The mysterious death of Rupert II’s brothers, and why all of the kings since then were the only children in their family, named Rupert VonMartin VonStoop; and why, at certain points in the book Attilburgh would stop midsentence and shoo her rudely away.
“The reason you grew up in Solemn as a peasant rather than here in the castle,” Attilburgh continued, “is because His Majesty believed that he would be disgraced by letting you live. Only when he realized that the whole kingdom hated this law did he bring you back.” As strong willed as Alys was, this law horrified her. Kill all children but your first born male---that was hardly human, and yet, for generations it’s been happening! How could Solemn or Glod not have stopped this?! She was certainly glad that her father had kept her alive…she needed to speak with him.
“May I be excused?” she asked Professor Attilburgh. He nodded, and she stood up and left, still pondering the horrific things she had just heard.
Alys was running through the halls as fast as she could, barely glancing at the doors. Pushing open the door of the throne room she fell and landed face first yelling,
“FATHER!” When she looked u she had a lot more people than just the king staring at her. “Um…” she had just walked into the king’s council meeting. They sat in an awkward silence for a few moments before the king said,
“Hello Alys! I’m glad you came, we’ve been talking,” that’s when Alys noticed Matthew, sitting to the left of the king.
“Father,” she said “sternly”, attempting to glare at him. “I need to speak with you---in private.” The king shook his head,
“In a moment”
“NOW!” Alys stomped her foot. She was trying to sound angry which she would have liked to use as a cover for how red her face was. The king laughed, he saw right through her.
“Just stay here,” he said. Alys gladly took a seat and listened intently.
“Sir,” Matthew said, as soon as the king had finished speaking. “I need to bring up a point that concerns Princess Alys.” The king nodded, and Matthew continued, “Well, last night we were speaking about the riding competition that you aren’t allowing her to participate in.” he paused, letting the king react, then continued, “We were saying how we thought that since I’m her betrothed, and someday the kingdoms will be combined, why shouldn’t she be able to participate, even if she is competing for Solemn. She believes it as her kingdom, since she’s lived there all her life, and someday she will be the queen of Solemn, so itisher kingdom, if you think about it. Please allow her to participate, we have no other champion!” Matthew exclaimed. The king nodded curtly, and said,
“I’ll consider it.” He then dismissed the meeting.
Alys stared at Matthew, awed. He must want her to be happy, for she was sure that they had a runner-up. She smiled, then off to follow the king.
“Now,” said the king, “What did you want to speak to me about?” Alys “glared” at the king, then said,
“Why didn’t you let me hear the whole history?” The king frowned,
“Attilburgh told you.” Alys nodded,
“I asked, he told. Why didn’t you let me hear? It’s so inhuman, I can’t even believe it!!!”
“That’s why I didn’t want you to hear. My ancestors are absolutely selfish in an inhuman way. My mother told me that I had a sister, she didn’t want to kill her, but my father did it in the night. My mother almost left him, but, though she stayed, she refused to have any more children…she didn’t want to go through that pain again.” The king gulped, holding back tears. “I loved your mother more than anyone else in the world, and her dying wish was to keep you alive. I did, I loved you as much as your mother, and I didn’t want to lose you too. I kept you secret until you eleven months old, only Maria and I knew you, and then I sent you away with Maria so you could live. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you, it was so scary how much my ancestors wanted the one name, that they would murder all but one boy. It is horrid!” The king paused for a moment, and then said, “Let’s leave this subject, it’s too gruesome, I’d like to forget it—I destroyed the document.” Alys smiled, and then turned to leave, but the king said,
“No, I need to speak you about something else.” Alys stopped, discouraged. She had been hoping to have time to go to art, but willed herself to stay.
“Yes?” She inquired. The king spoke softly,
“I need to speak to you about your last name. I have noticed that you have been signing all your assignments with Alys Baker.” Alys raised her eyebrows,
“And this is a problem, why?” The king smiled,
“Alys. Your full, rightful name is Princess Alys Claire VonMartin VonStoop. You have never been Alys Baker.”
“Yeah,” Alys said, “except for the fact that I grew up as Alys Baker. Just Alys Baker. Why do you want me to change that?”
“Alys Bake…Alys!” the king exclaimed.
“Hah!” she said triumphantly, “You just called me Alys Baker! It fits me, and I don’t want to be a disgusting VonMartin VonStoop!”
“Alys! I don’t want you carrying a peasant name all your life. People will think you odd and unbalanced if you do.” Alys stared coldly at the king, really angry this time.
“People will find me odd and unbalanced because I’m keeping the only name I know, keeping the name I’m knownby.” The king stared at her. “Yes!” Alys said, “In Solemn I’m famous. In Solemn, Alys Baker is the girl who is going to the championship! What are they going to say when their champion is announced as ‘Princess Alys Claire VonMartin VonStoop’? My kingdom is going to be confused!”
“You’re kingdom?” The king said, “Solemn isnotyour kingdom! You are the Princess of Ondger! You are the heir to the throne! This remark angered Alys more than anything.
“No, King Rupert,” she said, “this is not my kingdom. You betrothed me to the Prince of Solemn, you gave me my kingdom. You sent me to Solemn in the first place! No, King Rupert, Ondger will never be my kingdom!” And then she stormed out.