At Selia's mom's apartment, Ani and Selia drink tea and swap stories. Selia is Ani's servant companion now, and Ani is uncomfortable and wishes she could be out with the animals instead of pent up inside, talking about royal subjects she isn't all that interested in.
Selia, on the other hand, seems to be more of a princess than Ani. She knows how to talk to people, what to say, how to act—all the things that make Ani's head spin.
Quickly Ani excuses herself from tea, which is disappointing to Selia's mom since she's the princess and all, though Ani doesn't care, since she wants to go riding with her dad.
At the stables, Ani asks Falada to take her riding—but she does so without talking. She and Falada share a special bond where they can communicate through their brains without ever uttering a word aloud to one another. Cool trick, right?
She meets up with her father over by one of the gates, and he teases her about playing crown princess—he knows she has to, but he prefers riding with her to sending her off to play tea party with a bunch of snobs.
After a few more jabs, the two go off riding and have a race to see whose horse is the fastest. The king gets to the fence first, but just as he is about to jump, his horse fumbles the jump and he falls off its back.
Ani rushes toward her dad, trying to help him, but it's of no use—he dies right there in front of her. Needless to say, this is a major bummer.
At her dad's funeral, Ani tries to seem strong for the people since she knows she will be queen one day and has to seem like their leader. She's in for a big surprise, though, because when her mom makes a speech at the funeral, she claims her son, Calib-Loncris, will take over as ruler once she's gone… not Ani.
Ani is confused, but Selia is outraged at the news—how dare she take this away from the crown princess.
Selia encourages Ani to ask her mom what the deal is, but Ani's not so sure—and when she finally gets up the nerve to visit the queen, her mom is expecting her.
The queen explains that five years ago, the Prime Minister of Bayern—the country on the other side of the mountain—came for a little visit and explained that the king wants to expand his country.
Since the queen knew her own armies were insufficient, she promised Ani to the kingdom of Bayern instead—so now Ani will marry the Bayern prince very soon, since she is sixteen now and all.
Ani is surprised that her mom never mentioned this to her before, and asks whether her dad was in on this whole marriage scheme.
It turns out that he wasn't in the loop on this one, but the queen did everything she could—and since Ani's always been different, this way she'll still be a queen, just not of Kildenree. Burn, right? Right.
Even though her mom apologizes, Ani doesn't feel any better—she's got to leave her home and family for a new world that she's never been to.