10 Snapshots of Princess Vyssa
0. Far to the South, beyond the Haunted Woods, lied the Lost Desert, and in the heart of these lands, the magnificent Sakhmet City could be found, populated with Neopians, sun-kissed and resilient of the hostile living conditions of the desert.
It was in these harsh, barren lands that she had been born.
1. She was born as Vyssa khalid Sakhmetneferu, youngest daughter of the current ruler, King Coltzan III, and the princess of Sakhmet. She was named with the intention of bringing peace to the skirmish in the Lost Desert, and her name carried the weight of her entire country.
There was a huge festival on that day to celebrate her birth, and her name was whispered from every Sakhmetian's lips.
("Princess Vyssa," the people murmured, "the one who will bring peace to the land.
The heavy expectation that stemmed from being king's daughter was mounted onto her at birth, and a newborn child could not refuse any of it.)
2. The beautiful Usul princess was never starved of her needs or deprived of her wishes.
She grew up with neither the experience of hunger gnawing at her stomach, nor the knowledge how freezing the nights of the Lost Desert could be.
She grew up as a very-much loved child, surrounded by her father, her sister, and members of the Royal Palace, servants catering to her every needs and whims.
3. Princess Vyssa was an intelligent child. At a very young age, she could already comprehend things much better than any Neopians her age, and as a result, her education as a princess started way earlier than her older sister Amira.
Her intelligence only continued to grow, unhindered by her age or lack of resources.
("Father," she called, toddling over to the older Lupe. "Why do we carry the name of our country?
He chuckled, a deep-bellied laugh rumbling in his throat.
Sakhmet is a great country," he explained, stroking his beard. "We, the rulers, carry our name in the same way we carry the name of our country. Sakhmetneferu —the beauty of Sakhmet, because we serve the country, we continue the duty of our past rulers, and we honour the wishes of our people.")
4. When she had only just reach the milestone of her sixth birthday, Vyssa, for the first time in her life, truly saw Sakhmet as what it was.
(It was the allure of the sun that rose from the horizon, painting the sky and sand into a rich golden. It was the lively chatter of her citizens as the streets bustled with their daily activities, buyers haggling persistently with shopkeepers, Sakhmetians greeting one another cheerfully.
It was the desert thieves who stole not because they wanted to, but because they were forced by famine, forced by poverty. No job, no money, no food. A never ending vicious cycle of impoverishment.
It was the helpless orphaned child collapsed at the side of the road of Sakhmet Slums, shivering despite the warm morning sun, and no one sparing him any more than a glance. They did not bother, not because they did not care, but because they did not have the ability to —they were already struggling to meet their own ends.
So Vyssa crouched down, and she extended a hand.
Serve me," she said.
There was a pause, and the orphan peeled open an eye weakly to look at her outstretched hand, and at her determined gaze.
The child might not have known that she was Princess Vyssa, or what the words meant, but he could tell a miracle when he saw it.
A quivering hand reached up for hers.)
5. And on her seventh birthday ceremony, the Sakhmetian Tradition of the coming-of-age, Vyssa swore that she would be the best ruler she can be, better than the past rulers of Sakhmet, better than her own father if he ever retire.
She could have never anticipate to be put to the test that soon.
6. As her father slumped, dropping like a marionette with its strings cut off, it was stunned confusion, then as realisation sunk in, chaos broke out in the room as Neopians scrambled about like Lennies with their heads chopped off.
Vyssa could only felt the coldness in her heart, even as it beat painfully against her chest.
(Beside her, the culprit sneered, basking in her ugly victory. She had, after all, torn a great man, a warm family, an entire country apart.)
7. Princess Vyssa was a Usul, hardly a decade old, and shaken beyond her wits. But Vyssa was the name christened to the daughter of the king, and Vyssa khalid Sakhmetneferu was the name that carried the beauty and responsibility of the country, the one who would lead Sakhmet years down the road. She would not falter now, could not falter now, not when the King was out of commission, not when she terribly wanted to grieve her father's death, not when Sakhmet needed her the most.
So, she clenched her paws and clamped down fiercely on her nervousness to locked it away.
If I could have everyone's attention, please," she requested, but her voice firm and unwavering it was less of a request but rather an undeniable command.
The effect was instantaneous, as a hush swept across the area, and every Neopians paused, attention shifting silently to her.
("Princess Vyssa," their hearts murmured, "the one who will rule in the distant future.
But the fact that Princess Amira was still the first in line for the throne did not escape them.)
8. It was resolved, a shrine of her father being built and completed ("People only die when they are forgotten, my dear Vyssa."), and Defenders of Neopia coming to Sakhmet's aid.
As she looked back to the entire incident, she was proud that she had managed it considerably well, for a princess as young as her anyway.
No, she thought a second later, I certainly could have done better. I'm still inexperienced, I still have to rely on the Royal Council and foreign Neopians. To rule this country, I have to be better than this.
9. When Princess Amira returned from her diplomatic visit, the council adjourned with the conclusion of crowning the elder princess, as Vyssa was 'too young, and lacking the knowledge and experience of running a country'. Vyssa did not disagree with their decision, even if she did not like the idea of her older sister being chosen before her. Or the idea of her older sister at all.
But she had not been living with Amira since birth for nothing. Vyssa could see the yearning in her older sister's eyes as Amira stared down the long stretch of the desert when she thought no one was looking, could see the how the burden of being the ruler weighed down on her shoulders. She could tell how much politics bore the Aisha, how much she hated being a ruler but had to shoulder it all the same.
Hence, she studied rule of Sakhmet at Princess Amira's side, knowing she would need all the help she could get.
10. Far to the South, beyond the Haunted Woods, lies the Lost Desert, and in the heart of these lands, the magnificent Sakhmet City can be found, populated with Neopians, sun-kissed and resilient of the hostile living conditions of the desert.
Princess Vyssa khalid Sakhmetneferu is the Princess of Sakhmet, and she is being shadowed by her older sister, the current ruler, who has been given the task of restoring her home city to its former glory, but that's okay, because Vyssa knew that she herself will be the queen one day.
Vyssa - lull
khalid - (Egyptian Arabic naming system) of the family
Sakhmetneferu - (literal.) beauty of Sakhmet
7 - number of perfection, effectiveness, completeness