March 15, 14*9, somewhere on the Adriatic Sea
These are the scared and worn out faces of my people. I must be strong. I must show courage, for their sake. They must not see their princess in fear. This is going to be the last time that I will be their princess, and once we arrive at the new land, everyone will tend to their own fates. I must endure until then.
The morale is bleak and mournful aboard our boat. Yet our men and women are singing. Their melancholic tone is longing for the place they left behind. They are also singing for this Terra Nova that we will be calling our new home.
But are they ready for this new life? Their hearts are filled with home-sickness already. Just look at the sadness in their faces. The only thing that remains of their burned homes is the memory of who they once were.
"My princess, please hold tight, we are almost there." This God-forsaken weather almost toppled our boat. The sea, too, is grim, just like our mood. The rain and the waves seem to be against us, and there is no sun in sight..
"Bad weather is the least of my concerns, Captain. I worry for my people …" Women’s faces tell me that they will be mourning our fate for many nights to come. Their tears are washed with rain. The rain then is washed into the sea. Finally, the sea has a taste of our salty tears, and it too, then, mourns our fate with its waves, and it talks to the sky. The thunder roars so loud that it shakes our bosoms and in some instances even interrupting our breathing.
But my fellow countrymen keep on rowing. They do this whilst singing. They keep going forward forgetting all their regrets. They do not laugh. They do not curse. They only look forward for the land and sing.
These are the faces of the last wave of my people to abandon their lands. These are the eagles crossing the sea.
"My princess, please remember the strict orders you are under. Upon disembarking, for your safety, you are to travel incognito. Sultan has his men even in the most distant of lands."
Among the dark clouds, the mad sea, the thunder, the rain and the sorrow, I have to remember my new name. Who am I? I must be strong for the sake of my people. this is the last time I get to be their princess. What is my new name?
Suddenly the sun pierces through the clouds, and casts its rays on the new land. The rowing slows down, as women and men stand up to better see what what awaits them at the end of the horizon. Enchanted, we all look at the shores of Italy.
"You mistake me with someone else, Captain, my name is Ana-Lucia. Just your average Italian peasant girl."
These are the worn out faces of my people, looking at their new home. Their eyes are now filled with new hope, trying to remember their new manes. But will they forget the memories of who they once were, their burnt homes and the fall of the last castle?
In the next episode: The Fall of the Last Castle.
The article was originally written in English.
Illustration: Caterina Baldi
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