MidReal Story

Royal Rebellion: A Princess's Strategic Marriage

May 18
Scenario: princess ophelia is forced to marry to save her kingdom, she's smart but people underestimate her cause she's a woman.
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princess ophelia is forced to marry to save her kingdom, she's smart but people underestimate her cause she's a woman.
I was in the middle of a game of chess with my mother when I learned I was to be married.
I’d been losing, and losing badly, for the better part of an hour, but I was determined to see it through.
I’d always been a stubborn girl.
“Checkmate,” my mother said, her voice light and teasing.
She reached out and knocked over my king, then sat back with a satisfied smile.
“I win again.”
“You always win,” I grumbled, crossing my arms over my chest.
“Because you’re too impatient,” she said.
“You need to think ahead, Ophelia.
You can’t just focus on what’s happening right now—you have to consider what’s going to happen next.”
I scowled at the chessboard, hating that she was right.
I hated losing even more than I hated being wrong, but I had to admit that she had a point.
I was too impulsive for games like chess—I preferred games of strategy that moved quickly and kept me on my toes.
Just as I was about to respond, the door to the royal chambers opened, revealing my father, King Leopold.
He was tall, broad-shouldered, and powerful, a perfect representation of the ruler of our kingdom.
His dark hair was shot through with strands of silver, and his face was lined with age, but he was still a handsome man with a commanding presence.
He offered a brief nod to my mother before turning his gaze to me.
“Ophelia,” he said.
“I have news.”
I tried to ignore the way my heart sped up at the mention of news.
News was never good, at least not for me.
My parents were always busy with matters of state, and that meant I was often left out of important decisions that affected my life.
I had learned to accept it over the years, but that didn’t mean I liked it.
I forced myself to relax and meet my father’s gaze head-on, hoping he wouldn’t be able to read the fear in my eyes.
What is it?”
“I have arranged a marriage for you,” he said.
The words hung in the air between us, and I felt like I had been punched in the gut.
He was marrying me off?
I tried to find my voice, but nothing came out except for a strangled sound that was somewhere between a gasp and a sob.
My father’s expression softened as he took in my reaction.
“It will be good for our kingdom,” he said gently.
“And for you as well.”
My mother reached out and placed her hand over mine, giving me a reassuring squeeze.
The gesture should have been comforting, but all it did was make me feel more trapped.
“Who am I marrying?”
My voice was so small that I barely recognized it as my own.
My father’s smile turned grim.
“Prince Edmund,” he said.
“He is the heir to the neighboring kingdom of Thalassar, and he will be your husband.”
I felt like I had been punched in the stomach—and this time, there was no mistaking the flash of fury that washed over my father’s face.
“I will not allow you to speak to me that way,” he said, his voice like steel.
“And you will treat your future husband with respect, do you understand?”
He was right, of course.
I was a princess, and it was unseemly for me to shout at my parents or show my emotions in such an uncontrolled manner.
I lowered my gaze and forced myself to take a deep breath, willing the tears that threatened to fall not to.
“Yes, Father,” I said, my voice barely a whisper.
I’m glad you understand,” he said, his expression softening once again.
“This is for the best, Ophelia.
You will see that soon enough.”
And with that, he turned and left the room, leaving me alone with my mother.
Her gaze was sympathetic as she studied me, and I felt an overwhelming need to lash out at her, even though I knew she was on my father’s side.
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Of course she was on his side—that’s what spouses did.
My marriage to Prince Edmund was not about love or affection or even happiness.
It was about power and alliances and securing the future of our kingdom.
Thalassar was a powerful neighbor, known for its formidable military forces and abundant natural resources.
We had been allies for generations, but as of late, relations between our two kingdoms had grown strained.
This marriage would help bridge the gap between us, strengthening our alliance and ensuring that we would have Thalassar’s support in the years to come.
I understood all of this intellectually—I understood why this marriage was necessary and how it would benefit both of our kingdoms in the long run.
But none of that changed the fact that I didn’t want to marry Prince Edmund.
Even worse, I didn’t want to be married off like some kind of pawn on a chessboard, without any say in the matter.
My father may have been the king of our kingdom, but that didn’t mean he could control every aspect of my life—no matter how much he seemed to think otherwise.
I was still trying to process the news of my impending wedding when I heard someone clear their throat.
My mother was staring at me with a pained expression on her face, her eyes filled with sympathy.
“Are you feeling all right?”
she asked gently.
“Would you like some tea?”
I knew she was only trying to help, but I couldn’t stand the thought of sitting around and sipping tea while I was being married off to some stranger like a commoner.
“I don’t want any tea,” I said sharply.
The tears that had threatened to fall earlier were gone now, replaced by an overwhelming sense of disbelief that made me want to scream.
“He can’t do this to me,” I said.
But he can,” she said quietly.
“And he will.”
She was right, of course—my father was the king, and his word was law.
There was no getting out of this arrangement, no matter how much I may have wanted to.
But it wasn’t just the fact that I was being forced into a marriage that made me angry; it was the fact that my parents had known about this for months and hadn’t told me a word.
They had made plans for my future without any consideration for my feelings on the matter, and that hurt more than anything else.
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
I asked my mother.
She flinched at the question, as if she hadn’t been expecting it.
“I didn’t want to worry you needlessly,” she said.
“We didn’t want to say anything unless we were sure the match would be a good one.”
A good one?”
I echoed, my voice rising in pitch.
“Who cares if it’s a good one or not?
I’m being forced to marry someone I don’t even know!
How can you expect me to be happy about that?”
My mother opened her mouth to speak but I cut her off before she could say anything else.
“This isn’t fair!
You can’t do this to me!”
“Ophelia,” she began.
“Don’t Ophelia me!”
My voice was loud enough to carry through the stone walls of the royal chambers, and I could hear the servants whispering on the other side of the door.
But I didn’t care—I wasn’t going to let this moment pass without making my feelings known.
“I refuse to marry someone I don’t even know!”
I continued.
“You can’t force me to do this.
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The look on her face told me that she was not going to budge on this, no matter how much of a fuss I made.
“Don’t be ridiculous, Ophelia.
This is a done deal, whether you like it or not, and there’s nothing you can do to change that.
You need to start thinking about what’s best for your kingdom, instead of worrying about what’s best for yourself.” She spoke with the calm authority of someone who was used to getting their way, but I wasn’t ready to back down just yet.
“What about what’s best for me?”
I demanded, my voice rising in pitch as I spoke.
“Did either of you stop to consider that?”
“You’re our daughter, Ophelia,” my father said quietly.
“It goes against everything we stand for to use you as a mere bargaining chip in some political game.” He paused for a moment, as if trying to decide how much he wanted to reveal.
“But we don’t have a choice.We need this alliance if we want any hope of surviving the war with Maridell.”
Maridell was our neighboring kingdom, and relations between our two countries had been tense for years.
My father was convinced that it was only a matter of time before our two countries went to war—and if that happened, we would need all the help we could get.
“Of course we have a choice!”
I shouted, my voice echoing through the room as I spoke.
“This isn’t a game of chess!
I’m not some pawn to be moved around the board at your discretion—and I refuse to be treated as such!”
My mother winced at my words, but my father’s expression remained impassive.
“We are not treating you as a pawn, Ophelia,” he said evenly.
“We are treating you as a princess.
This is your duty, just as it was your mother’s before you.”
“What if I don’t care about duty?”
I demanded.
“What if I just want to be happy?”
My father’s face darkened at my words, but before he had a chance to respond, my mother cut in.
“Is this because you’re lonely?”
she asked gently.
“Because if so, there are other ways to make friends than by marrying them.”
I glared at her, but she merely raised an eyebrow in response.
“There’s no need to be rude, Ophelia,” she said coolly.
“I’m only trying to understand why you’re making such a fuss over this.”
“How could you possibly understand?”
I shot back.
“You’ve never been lonely a day in your life!”
She winced at the words as if I had slapped her across the face, but I didn’t care.
It was the truth, after all—my mother was one of the most popular people in the kingdom, while I was one of the least.
But it wasn’t as though I hadn’t tried to make friends; it was just that people found me off-putting for some reason, and no matter how hard I tried to change their minds, nothing ever seemed to work.
They always seemed to find some reason to avoid spending time with me, and I had long since given up trying.
“Ophelia,” my father said sternly.
“This is neither the time nor the place for—”
“I’m not going to marry him,” I said.
I cut him off before he could finish speaking, my voice low and even as I spoke.
“And neither will Isolde.”
I looked at my younger sister as I spoke, and she gave me a grateful smile in response.
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