They aren't coming back.
That poor girl.
How pitiful… and she is so young.
Shut up! I thought as a little seven year old. Shut up!
Everyday as a child, ever since my parents had gone to the war against the enemy country, Dragoon Kingdom, I would wait at the top of the largest hill in my town, Magnolia. It was the last place I saw my parents. I was just waiting… waiting for my parents to come home.
That girl is waiting there everyday… Hasn't she heard the news? I always heard the villagers say about me. Her parents were caught and executed. Why won't she believe us?
I wouldn't believe them. My father was the top strongest knight back when he were studying at Knight Academy, the country's best school for trainees to learn how to use weapons. Mother was a nurse who cared for the ill in the war. She was the best nurse in the country. My parents wouldn't die so easily. They promised after all. They promised me that they would come home, no matter what.
But after a year, I knew that I had to face reality.
I was getting ready to go back to that hill, when I heard a knock at my door. I groaned. It was probably one of those neighbors who wanted me to face reality and stop waiting at that hill.
But when I opened the door, my eyes widen to see those royal clothes. It was a young boy with raven black hair. He wore one of those tiny headpieces for children of the nobility. I knew who he was at first look.
Immediately I got on my knees on my dusty ground floor and bowed to him. I faced the ground. "His Highness Prince Gray Fullbuster!" I exclaimed. "W-Welcome! What brings you here?"
Prince Gray gets down on one leg and lifts my chin so I am looking at him eye to eye. "Please stand up," he says calmly. "You need not to dirty your knees."
"But Your Highness!" I said. "That would be terribly rude of me."
Prince Gray sighs. "Fine then. I order you as the prince of the Kingdom of Fiore to stand."
Slowly, I stand up on my shaky legs and look at him eye to eye. At this time, I was eight-years-old. Prince Gray was ten, two years older than me. I was afraid of this boy. Even as a youngster, he had much power. For example, if he wanted to execute me even without reason, his subordinates would do so immediately.
But instead of ordering anything or being the scary ruler I thought he would be, he extended his hand to me. "It's okay to cry," was all he said.
I just stared at him in confusion and shock. But soon, all the confidence I had that my parent's were still alive just broke. I honestly knew from the start that they were gone. I just never wanted to accept it.
For the first time in a whole year, tears burst out of my eyes. Prince Gray took my hand and pulled me into his chest, allowing me to cry on it. He patted my back as he hugged me tight.
After I calmed down, I invited him inside my house. He sat on a chair as I brought him tea to drink.
"His Highness," I began.
"Please don't call me that," he says. "I don't care much for royal titles."
"Um… then Prince Gray," I said. "Would you tell me the details of my parents' execution from the war? The townspeople won't tell me."
"Sure," Prince Gray says. "But you don't have to be so formal with me when it is just the two of us. Just call me Gray."
"But Prince Gray!" I said as I bowed. "I could never do that! It would be rude of me. Calling you Prince Gray is already casual enough for me."
"Fine, whatever makes you feel the most comfortable with me," he said.
"In any case, I beg you to tell me about my parents," I said. "Please Prince Gray. I must know."
Prince Gray sighed. "That's what I came for. After I heard about a girl who waited for her deceased parents everyday at that large hill, I just had to ask permission from my parents to come over," he began. "You see… your parents, Jude and Layla Heartfilia, were excellent subordinates according to my father, the King. They were said to be the best in the whole kingdom. But in the last war with our enemy kingdom, Dragoon Kingdom, they were caught as prisoners and executed by King Igneel and Queen Grandeeney."
I just stood there, looking at Prince Gray with widen eyes. My little fists shook in fear as I put them in fists.
"Lucy…," Prince Gray said.
My bangs covered my eyes. I could feel anger built within me. "I'll kill them…," I muttered under my breath. "I'll kill those rulers who ordered execution upon my parents."
"But Lucy! King Igneel and Queen Grandeeney are already dead," Prince Gray said. "I heard from the messengers that there was an accident on one of their carriage rides."
I was shocked when I heard this. If they were already dead, how would I avenge my parents? But then I remembered. They had a son, their only heir to the throne. What was his name again? Oh yes.
Prince Natsu Dragneel.
"I will kill their son," I said confidently. "That will be my parents and my revenge. I will take their only heir to the throne and ruin their kingdom ultimately."
"Wait Lucy!" Prince Gray exclaimed. "How would you do that? You are only a child! A mere eight-year-old girl!"
I gulped and stared at Prince Gray straight in the eye. I got on the floor and bowed. "Please Your Highness!" I exclaimed. "Please allow me to attend Knight Academy!"
"Huh?" the prince said. "But you… you're a girl! You can't attend Knight Academy!"
He was right. Only males were allowed to be knights, like how only females were allowed to be nurses. But I couldn't just sit around there and do nothing. I wanted to fight and kill the king and queen of the Dragoon Kingdom myself. Not wait for someone else to assassinate them.
"Lucy, you are a female, don't you understand?" Prince Gray says. "I can not allow someone like you to become a knight. It would be against the law."
"They will make an exception for me!" I said strongly. "I am the daughter of the past greatest knight of this kingdom. They will allow me to attend Knight Academy."
Prince Gray gulped. He knew that I had a chance with that kind of reputation. "Fine… I'll talk to my mother about it."
My eyes brightened in excitement. "Thank you so much, Your Highness!" I exclaimed with a bow.
"Don't call me that," Prince Gray said with a tint of pink in his cheeks. "Just call me Gray."
I made a slight grin. "Okay, Gray."
And from that day on, my number one goal was the assassination of the prince of the Dragoon Kingdom by my own hands, no one else.
I would assassinate Natsu Dragneel.
A year had passed since that declaration. With the Queen's permission, I was allowed to be the only female to attend Knight Academy as a trainee. I was also the youngest out of everyone there. Most boys started attending this school when they were thirteen. I was nine, so not only being a girl made me stood out, but it was also my age.
It made me gain much publicity.
I remembered the first day of school as if it were yesterday. It was the day I got to choose what kind of knight I could be. I could be a swordsman, knife handler, traditional katana user, archer, bomber, and et cetera. I had no idea that there were this many types of knights in our kingdom.
I decided to choose knife handler, even though it was the hardest area to work on. But knives were the easiest to conceal, perfect for assassination.
I did make some friends from the nursing school nearby. Everyone was thirteen, older than me but I still managed to get along. My best friend Levy was one of them. I thought that she was an impressive nurse in training. She was thirteen and I was nine when I met her, but we got along great.
It was harder for me to get along with the males in Knight Academy for a while. They kept whispering and making rumors about me, saying I was weak due to my gender and age. They would also bully me, push me in the halls, and call me names. But I was determined to show them wrong during the first practice match after the first month of school.
Everyday, I would get trash on my training weapons and my shoes thrown in the trash. The bullying from the boys seemed endless. But I didn't care much about it. They had no idea about the kind of strength I, a nine-year-old, had.
I took my wooden knife and went to the training grounds, where my class was going to have our first training match. The instructor stood in the middle of the tiny arena.
"Alright kids," he said. "For the first match of the day, I would like to see Trainee Swordsman Elfman and Trainee Knifehandler Lucy Heartfilia to battle."
"Go Elfman!" I could hear all the teenage boys cheer loudly. "Show this wimp who's boss!"
"This isn't even a battle," I could hear a boy next to me whisper to his friend. "Elfman is the strongest trainee and a swordsman. Swordmen obviously have an advantage against knife handlers."
But instead of being frightened, I grinned. My heart beat in excitement, as if adrenaline was running through my veins. A fight against the strongest guy in the grade? Perfect to show who was the best.
I watched Elfman take his wooden sword as he stepped in the ring. Then he looked at me with an intimidating look. "Hey you, girly twerp," he said rudely. "Are you going to get on the ring or are you too scared?" he teased.
I glared at the over muscular guy as I walked toward the ring. I wasn't going to allow him to humiliate me.
"Oh, looks like the girl is really going for it!" a boy laughed.
I could hear the constant cheers for Elfman raging in the tiny training grounds. Since when were the boys this annoying and loud?
I looked at Elfman's structure. He seemed to be heavy, probably around a hundred forty pounds since he had so much muscle. But because of that, he was slow. His run was probably around eight miles an hour.
I made a slight grin as I tried to keep my poker face. That was my advantage right there. The boys were wrong. The one who had the advantage in this battle wasn't him. It was me.
"Alright," the instructor said. "Quiet down!" And instantly, everyone stayed quiet. The instructor raised his hand. "Okay. Start battle," he slammed his arm down. "Now!"
Immediately, Elfman charged towards me with his wooden sword aimed at my stomach. He was faster than I imagined, but I was still faster.
I waited until he got close enough. Everyone watching the battle started getting confused on why I wasn't dodging such an obvious attack.
Once his blade was about half a foot away from my stomach, I dodged to the right and grabbed his right shoulder, using it as a launch pad to jump over his body, dislocating it while I was at it. I then balanced myself and got myself on his broad shoulders, like how a father would carry his child.
"Argh!" I heard Elfman cry in pain, immediately dropping his sword.
I grabbed my wooden knife and immediately used my weight to bring him to the ground, making the two of us slam into the dirt as I used my legs to create a neck lock, choking him.
"Urgh…," he groaned, trying to get my legs off of his neck. But my legs were stronger than his measly hands.
"My win," I said with a grin as I unsheathe my wooden knife and brought it to his neck.
"Stop the battle!" the instructor immediately exclaimed. The trainee nurses immediately ran into the ring as I let go of Elfman. He needed immediate care due to the dislocation I made in his shoulder.
Well, that was what he got for underestimating me just because I was a girl.
I looked the my classmates. All of them were speechless from the battle. It was short. I overpowered the most muscular thirteen-year-old guy in our grade and defeated in less than a minute. And I was a nine-year-old girl.
Well, after that the bullying stopped. I guess they were scared of me or something.
I was sixteen when I graduated from Knight Academy. Most people graduated as twenty-year-olds, but I started when I was nine, so I was an exception. I was titled as the strongest knight in the kingdom, just like my father. People were amazed to watch me get awarded by the King and Queen of the Country of Fiore. I could see Prince Gray, grinning at me.
After the award ceremony, I ran to Prince Gray and gave him a hug. In our country, it was uncommon for people to hug or show affection unless the other person was a relative or lover. But he and I were close enough, so we didn't really care. At least I didn't. Prince Gray always blushed whenever I hugged him for some reason.
"Congrats, Lucy," Prince Gray said with a smile. "You did great for the past seven years in the academy."
"Thank you so much Prince Gray!" I exclaimed. This could only happen thanks to you."
"Geez…," he muttered bashfully. "I told you to call me Gray."
"Sorry, it's a bad habit, Gray," I said. "But I always feel so guilty whenever I call you by just your first name, you know what I mean?"
I still had a habit of calling him Prince Gray, but I began to talk a lot more casually with him. He was my closest and best friend after all. He was the reason why I, a female, was allowed to be a knight.
I was the first female and youngest knight in the whole kingdom. I smiled as I thought what my parents would think about it. Would they be proud? Maybe they were bragging about me in heaven. I hoped they were. I always wanted to be the daughter they could brag about.
The king walked over to me after the ceremony. I looked at him in awe. I was close to Gray but I rarely ever spoke to his father. Immediately, I got on one knee and bowed. "His Highness King Silver Fullbuster," I said, naming his title to be polite.
"Heartfilia," he said. "You may stand."
I stood to his orders and straightened my back, looking at him in the eye.
King Silver ordered one of his subordinates to come over. The subordinate came over with a beautiful cased knife. The handle was beautifully carved and decorated with gold water-like carvings. In the center was a sapphire, the country's national gem.
"This knife was your father's," King Silver said. "He was an excellent swordsman as well as a knifehandler. I believe he would be honored to have this knife be passed down to you."
My hands shook as he placed the knife into my hands. The knife was heavy, perhaps about fifteen pounds or so. "T-Thank you so much King Silver!" I exclaimed as I put the knife on my belt. "This is more than I could ever ask for."
The king made a smile at me and to my surprise, he patted my head, something very uncommon to do in my country. It was something a parent would do to a child.
I looked at him, confused.
"Oh sorry," he said, letting go of my head. "Your father was a very close friend of mine, so to me, you seem to be almost like a daughter."
Daughter… I thought. How long had it been since I was called that? My eyes watered a bit, but I kept the tears in. It would be humiliating to cry in front of my king.
King Silver must have noticed that I was crying, so he handed me a handkerchief. "You don't have to call me King Silver," he said. "Your father just called me Silver whenever we were alone, you know. He was the closest friend I have ever made in my life. And you Heartfilia…" He bent down to get a better look at my face. "You have your father's eyes."
I burst out crying. I swore to myself never to cry once I became an official knight, but I was already breaking it. It was too much to hold in.
"Even the emotionless knights have to cry too," King Silver said with a laugh. He put his hand on my shoulder. "So don't feel ashamed, Heartfilia."
"Yes, thank you Your Highness," I said. "You are too kind."
The king made a soft smile, almost like a father looking at a child. Perhaps my father and him had similar personalities which was why I kept thinking of Father. "Why don't you marry my son?" he joked. "I wouldn't be upset if you were my daughter-in-law."
I laughed. "A commoner can't marry a prince. Even if I am titled the strongest knight," I said. "That would be terrible of me."
"That's a pity then," he said. "I wouldn't mind it though. I'm sure my wife would agree."
I shook my head with a smile. "You must stop joking around, King Silver."
"Hm… I wasn't joking though," he mumbled. "Anyhow," he pointed at me. "I have the first mission for you."
"Yes King?" I said.
"Sneak into the enemy kingdom, Dragoon Kingdom," he said. "And assassinate Prince Natsu Dragneel."
"Yes!" I shouted like a proper knight, going on one knee and bowing. "Your order is my command."
The next day, I prepared my black horse and supplies for the journey. It would take me about three nights to arrive there. I would have to travel through a desert. I heard that the Dragoon Kingdom was a total desert itself. Water was scarce there. I prepared a lot of water for the round trip. I was going to come back after all, with news that I had killed that revolting Prince Natsu Dragneel.
"Lucy," I heard someone say my name as I was packing. I turned around to see Prince Gray.
Like with every royal person, I got on one knee and bowed. "His Highness Prince Gray," I said.
"Goodness Lucy," Prince Gray scolded. "I told you that you didn't have to be so formal with me when we were alone."
I felt a sweatdrop on my cheek. I stood up and scratched my head. "Ah, sorry Gray," I said. "Bad habit I guess."
Prince Gray looked at my horse and sighed. He looked a little down.
"What's wrong Your High- I mean, Gray?" I asked. "You don't look well."
He shrugged as he touched the soft fur of my horse. "I'm scared for you," he choked out. I noticed little droplets of water dripping down his chin.
"I'm scared!" he exclaimed. "What if you don't come back?! What if I never see you again?! What if… What if you end up like your parents…?"
I felt a lump on my throat. I walked over to Prince Gray and hugged him from his back. He was taller than me, so I had to go on my tippy toes. "It will be okay," I whispered in his ear. "I won't die."
"Then promise me," he said. "Promise me that you will come back to me safely."
"Okay," I said strongly. "I promise."
Prince Gray turned around, surprising me a bit, and wrapped his huge arms around my tiny body. He made me slam into his chest. "When you come back, I need to tell you something," he said with a tint of blush in his cheeks.
"What is it?" I asked.
"My feelings," he said.
I looked at him, confused. Feelings? What did he mean by that?
"I don't get it," I replied. "Can you explain?"
Prince Gray shook his head. "You'll find out when you complete our promise and come home safely."
I smiled, even though I was still a bit confused. "Alright then," I said. "You tell me when I come home with news of Prince Natsu Dragneel's assassination. I guarantee that it will happen."
Well, I guess that I am finally done talking about my past. Right now, I am about to ride out of the castle gates for my mission. Prince Gray, King Silver, and Queen Ur are watching me.
"Good luck Heartfilia," the king says with pride.
"When you come back, be sure to marry my son," Queen Ur says.
I grin. "Sorry my queen," I say. "But I don't think that is possible with my status."
"S-Stop joking Mother!" Gray says with an extremely red face.
I look at Prince Gray carefully. "Your Highness Prince Gray," I say. "Do you happen to be ill? Your face is quite red."
The queen laughs. "No, Lucy," she says. "My son is just having some love problems."
"Love problems?" I ask, confused.
"Mother!" Prince Gray madly shouts, using his arm to cover his overly red face.
I laugh. "Well, either way, Prince Gray, please remember to get some rest."
"Okay, okay," Prince Gray pouts. "I will."
I smile and look at the queen, king, and prince. "I'm going to get going now then," I say with a salute.
The king salutes back. "We wish you the best of luck on your assassination of the prince, our fine knight."
And with that, I pull the strings of my horse and I am off. The horse is fast. The wind feels like it is cutting my skin.
It is finally happening. I grasp onto my father's old knife that I recently sharpened.
I'm getting revenge for you father, mother. I will avenge the two of you.
I will assassinate Prince Natsu Dragneel, the only heir, and ruin the Dragoon Kingdom.
This will be my vengeance. Yes, A Knight's Vengeance.
- End of Chapter One -
Hi guys! So this is my new fanfic! I hope you like it! :) If you are new to me, thank you so much for checking out my story! I hope we can get along!
Thank you for reading the first chapter of this fanfiction. Please look forward to the next one! ^_^
Also, if you know the artist of my cover image, please tell me so I can give proper credit! Thanks!
~ Metallic Snow