i would sail across the east sea
Princess Sonia Vladimirovna Serova is the only daughter of a royal family that rules a clan of Glacier Popokos. The clan live deep in the Ice Fields of Subeta, in elaborate underground caverns that they have carved and tunnelled through many centuries. Their caverns are located directly beneath a long-dead forest, so that the ceilings of their homes have a network of roots that spread over their heads.
Sonia is known for her love of sweet treats and beautiful trinkets. Candy, cakes, sweet biscuits, ribbons and lace are transported across miles of snow and ice for the princess. Sonia is especially spoilt because she is the only surviving child of the royal family; her brother and three sisters before her did not survive their first winter in the Ice Fields. In addition, her father died a season before her birth in the Spring, leaving her mother, Queen Roseanne, to rule alone.
Cruel rumours surrounded the King's death; many whispered that he was so distraught from the death of each of his successive children that he could not bear the thought of losing another child and so caused his own death. Many insensitive Popokos in the clan blame the Queen for producing sickly children. Sonia is no exception to these rumours, for she is a survivor only because she spent her first winter with a Glade Popoko clan. Every winter thereafter, Roseanne sent Sonia to the clan, understandably protective of her only child and the only link left to the deceased King. Adult Glacier Popokos native to the Ice Fields are too sensitive to warmth, otherwise Roseanne would gladly accompany her daughter.
This winter will be the last winter that Sonia will spend with the Glade Popoko clan. The Queen had attempted to deny her for the past two winters, for Popokos of Sonia's age are well insured against cold by now, but Sonia insisted upon going. She claims she still feels too weak to endure a winter in the Ice Fields, but that is a blatant lie. In fact, the heat of the glade where the Popoko clan resides is beginning to make her feel sickly and unwell; the older she is getting, the more sensitive she is getting to warmth. There is a danger that if she continues her visits each winter, she will overheat and die. However, she is finding it difficult to give up her annual visits to the Glade Popoko clan because she has fallen in love with a Glade Popoko.
Their relationship is an impossibility because there is no way for them to be together. The Ice Fields are too cold for a Glade Popoko, and anywhere a Glade Popoko would want to reside is too warm for a Glacier. To make the situation more complicated, Sonia was forced to entertain a parade of suitors, before finally being betrothed to a childhood friend, who lives in another clan to the east of the Ice Fields. Though it is uncommon for a Prince to reside with the Princess that he will marry, his clan understood the predicament that Queen Roseanne' clan was in, having only a daughter to carry on the line, and graciously gave up one of their princes. It is expected that he will reside with Roseanne' clan and that he and Sonia will eventually ascend to rule. Sonia has an affection for her friend, but it is nothing compared to the way she feels about the Glade Popoko.
Sonia is determined not to give up, but even she knows that nothing can be done. She keeps her love a secret; Sonia is a true princess, knowing what is expected of her, she keeps her innermost desires hidden away. Sonia also knows that though her clan adores her, they still think she is sickly and extravagantly spoilt. No one understands that the treats and trinkets Sonia requests is just her particular way of coping with her situation. It is ironic that while the Queen and her clan thinks that she obtains everything she craves, Sonia knows that she will never be able to obtain the one thing she truly needs.
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