Another fanfic TSQ-IV retelling: this one with Bobbi Morse as the princess and Lance Hunter as the prince.
And this one is redoubtable as well!
...knowing about the woman in the castle was better than knowing nothing at all...
...into the palace to listen to the court musicians. ...at the strings of the instruments when they are left unattended...
"The palace! I am looking for a castle! Is it much the same place? Is there a woman there?"
Ah, not just a woman, but a princess.
Oh, a princess! And is she waiting for someone? The convovulus said—
Many travelers have been seen these past few months, mostly those who have come far and wide to win the hand of the princess. She has turned many away, you know, and she is a very clever. So clever, in fact, that she was bored with her own cleverness. She studied the art of war, and she became a great warrior for her kingdom. But a peace has come over the land, and to pass the time, the princess decided to marry. So she sent out word that if a man could come to her, and not be afraid of her, he could be her prince. It turns out that there are many who want to be a prince, and they traveled from distant lands for a chance to woo the princess. But they were each in for a surprise, for when they entered the palace, and they stood face to face with her majesty, they were so overcome with her beauty, cleverness, and ferocity that most of them stood still as a statue. Others who came, even if they were well-spoken outside the palace, stumbled over their words like a small child. And after a time, the princess was so distraught over the whole affair that she declared that anyone who came into the palace, and spoke well, and acted as if he was quite at home, would have her hand in marriage. And such a person came.
The traveller, he came to the palace—he was dirty, for he must have traveled a long way. But he was very handsome.
Did he find favor with the princess?
Why, yes he did. Instead of freezing or making a fool of himself, the traveller strode right up to the princess as she sat on her throne, gave a bow, and said, "I can see why this place would bore you into matrimony. I've been here less than five minutes, and I'm bored enough to try it myself. Care to join me?" And the princess was so taken by his boldness that she agreed.
You cannot go to the palace, they have guards posted at every entrance, and they do not take kindly to uninvited guests.
The castle could be seen easily from the river.
around corners and hid in little crevices as guards passed them by.
...to make way to the princess's chamber. And oh! how lovely was the room, for it seemed to be painted in gold, and there were two small beds that came up from the ceiling on golden stems. Each bed was adorned with large petals that made it look like the person laying in it had been swallowed by a flower. One was red like a rose, and in it lay the princess. The other was white like a daisy, and in that one lay the one.
How peaceful he looked as he slept in his palace bed!
to find the princess towering over, and she was just as fearsome... She had a robe red as blood and long, blond hair that streamed downward in curls.
But then the princess smiled, and asked very sweetly what was the matter...
When he turned his head to blink at her... It was merely the prince. One thought he was not quite so handsome as everyone said.
...to discover that the princess was as kind as she was fierce, for she asked what had brought the palace at such a late hour...
"I see," said the princess, "but you cannot continue this journey when the world is covered in snow. You must stay here with me until spring, and you may spend each day in my library and read more books than you ever dreamed of. I have always longed to have a student of my own."
Truly, one could not imagine the wealth of knowledge in a possessed by a princess as clever as she.
"You poor little thing," said the princess. "Well, if that is the case, I will help you on your way. You will need a new coat, and some boots, and a carriage to take you to Finmark. A woman lives there, who is a greater warrior even than I, and she will help if she knows I have sent you."
The princess, of course, was not startled at all.
Both quickly agreed that the princess was indeed very clever, and by the time the sun rose that morning, Gemma was dressed from head to toe in new clothes, and sent off into the wide word to continue her journey.