"I recall that day when she went into labor... "
Nerissa thinks back to the day of the war.
Maids running around, getting things ready, "more hot water" the midwife said to the maids.
"Urrrrrggghhhhhh... " the queen groans in pain.
"Your majesty, you're doing just fine. Push harder" a fair maiden dressed What in a dark blue long sleeved gown spoke to her while rubbing her palm on the queen hand, trying to soothe her.
"More, push your majesty, push" the midwife kept on saying, "almost there... I see a head, its coming out. Good job mg queen, just a little further".
The lady by her bed, gives her a dashing smile, "my queen you're almost there".
"Head is out, push again".
"One last push, give it all you got your majesty. On my count, one two three, pushhhh".
"Aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh Eric, aaahhhh... " she pushed with all her might and the baby came out.
Crying sounds could be heard and the queen fell back on the bed, feeling tired. It was an excruciating experience for her. "Congratulations your majesty, you did it" the lady by her bed said.
"... " she takes in deep breathes, trying to regain her strength.
"Your majesty, it's a girl. You have a princess" the midwife said bringing the child to the queen.
She placed the baby in the arms of the queen, and she held her baby, feeling a warmth she had never felt before. The princess was still crying, "Shhh... Hush now my princess. Cry no more, you're in mother's arms now. They didn't handle you with care? Don't worry I'll fight for you and beat them ok".
All the maids and midwife stop in their tracks, feeling wronged, they did handle her with extreme care. Why now was the queen saying they didn't...
"Hahhaha hahah haaa... " they were all surprised when the queen and the lady by her beside started laughing.
"You should have seen your faces. You were terrified out of your wits" the queen said in between laughs.
"Her majesty was only joking" the lady said trying yo ease their worries. They turned to each other and were shocked. Only then did they realize why the queen and her head maid were laughing. Their expressions were die hard funny and soon, everyone burst into a fit of laughter.
"Shhh... The princess has stopped crying" the lady said to them.
"Thank you Queen Isadora" they all chorused.
"Why are you thanking me?" The queen asked feeling confused.
"You've produced an heir your majesty. The kingdom would be glad, she looks just like your majesty".
Just then the baby opened her eyes, and the queen, her head maid and the midwife were shocked.
"Your majesty... "
"A child born of the sea and land" the queen said while looking lovingly at her daughter. Both of her eyes were of different colours, an orange sapphire and a blue colour.
"A fairy and a mermaid... " the midwife said.
"No, a fairy, a mermaid and a sorceress," the head maid said cutting her short.
"I was a half breed, you are a hybrid. But I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. I wish your father was here."
"Your majesty... "
She smiles at her head maid, "Nerissa, she looks a lot like her father. I see him in her."
"She looks like you your majesty".
"Not just me. When you look at her, you see me. When you look closely, you would see she resembles her father. It's because you didn't meet him," she gave a warm smile.
"I name you Astrid. Princess Astrid Isla Eric."
As soon as she named the princess, they all curtsied and bowed down to the princess. The queen smiled at them as a tear slid down her face. Then she felt something and her smile disappeared.
"Your majesty, what is wrong?"
"Are you in pains or bleeding?"
The midwife and Nerissa asked not giving her a chance to speak.
She raised a hand and they kept shut, "They have crossed the mark I placed outside our borders. They are coming, Silvie inform the guards to tell my father and the general, they are on their way" she gave the order while still holding her child.
"Nerissa, it is time".
"Your majesty, we won't fall, I want to stand by you and fight" Nerissa spoke trying to convince her.
"My mind is already made up Nerissa, your sole duty now is to protect the princess as you would protect me".
"My queen, you just gave birth, you shouldn't fight... ".
She was cut short by the queen, "I have a kingdom to protect and people I love. I will fight and protect what's mine. Leave us everyone".
They bowed and left the room, leaving Queen Isadora and Nerissa alone.
"Your mother, the late queen".
"I won't lose anyone else Nerissa, so I can't afford to let anything happen to Astrid. If I fall, what would happen to my kingdom? And they want Astrid, I can't leave her here in the palace. We have spies here, if not how would the other races know about my pregnancy and date of delivery? They can attack while I am being distracted outside".
"I would not let anyone get her".
"I know you won't, but not while you are here. You must flee the kingdom, go somewhere far. And if we win this battle, return the princess. If not, raise her as your own and don't bring her close. Don't let her find out who she is. It would be too risky, hide her in the human kingdom. I would disguise her, hide her wings and change her eye colour, so she can blend in their race".
She performed a spell and it changed the princess's eyes, and hid her wings. She now looked like a normal human girl.
"I have prepared everything you need for your journey, its hidden in the secret passage. Take her and leave fast. If anything happens to me, I would be glad I have left them hope, a heir, a ruler" she puts Astrid in the arms of Nerissa and kiss her cheek, "Now go Nerissa".
She takes a step backward, "Do not die on me Isadora. This is a friendship promise. When I return with your princess, still be alive. Your daughter would want to meet her mother. Don't make the princess into an orphan at a young age. I need my friend, promise me Isadora" she said looking all serious.
"I promise. I won't let you lose me and let my daughter lose the only parent she has left. You don't die on us too. I won't forgive you if you do friend".
"... " they stare at each other for some seconds.