Chapter 1

Lucy Heartfilia, only princess of Fiore, is currently traveling by carriage to meet her betrothed, a royal from her kingdom. She has never even met the man, yet she is engaged to be married to him. Of course, she is not happy with the idea at all, but has no say in the matter. The blonde sighs heavily as she looks out the window, watching the land pass by. Judging by the colors she can see in the sky, the sun will be setting soon. Tomorrow she will see her betrothed, marking the end of the three day journey.

"Now, now, Princess Lucy," a voice scolds lightly.

She turns her head to look at the busty woman with glasses across from her. She has long caramel hair that falls in waves along the bottom and dark eyes. Evergreen is one of the four members that make up the Thunder Legion. They are an elite group whose sole purpose is to protect the princess.

"There's no need to be dramatic," she adds.

"This whole thing is ridiculous," the blonde says yet again, losing track of how many times she has uttered that phrase.

"That's the thirty-third time you've said that since we started this trip," the caramel-haired woman points out. Apparently someone was keeping track for her. "I think you've made your point by now."

"You think so?" Then Lucy goes back to looking out the window to her right.

The leader of the Thunder Legion nudges his horse closer to the carriage so he is next to the window. Laxus Dreyar is a fierce man with a lightning bolt shaped scar on his right eye he got from protecting the princess. His short blond hair is slicked back with spikes pointing backwards and a single tuft at the front of his hairline. He and the princess have a special relationship not found with most guards and their charges. It involves admiration, not infatuation.

The muscular man looks at her with his blue-grey eyes. "You're more dramatic than yesterday," he jests.

She puffs her cheeks out at him in an unladylike way. "That is not a nice thing to say."

"But it's true."

"I suppose you are right. I still feel uneasy about it all."

"You have no need to feel uneasy with us around."

That gets a little smile out of her. "Now that is true."


A glint of something shiny from the forest across from her catches the blonde's attention. "Did you see that?" she interrupts, not meaning to be rude.

Laxus turns his head look, keeping quiet while his eyes scan the area. "Freed, I need another set of eyes over here."

A man with long green hair comes around the rear of the carriage on a horse and joins the blond man on the other side. "What is it?" he asks.

"Check the forest," the blond man instructs. "The princess believes she saw something."

"It was shiny," Lucy says so they know what to be on the lookout for. "Like the sun reflected off of–"

A group of men races out of the coverage of the tree line. Bandits. They are all on foot, not risking a horse that could have given away their position.

"Bickslow, make the horses go faster!" Laxus commands, readying his weapon. "Evergreen, remain with the princess! Freed, with me!"

The carriage jolts at the increase of speed. The blonde leans away from the window and steadies herself, heart already racing. The bandits are now adding to the stressful situation of her engagement that she wishes not to happen.

The caramel-haired woman is already preparing her bow and quiver full of arrows. She leans towards the window, placing an arrow to fire. She pulls it back, finds a target, and shoots.

If Lucy had a weapon she could fight too. The leader of the Thunder Legion trained her only because she asked. She has learned to shoot a bow and wield a sword, unbeknownst to her father.

Evergreen readies another arrow. "Damn, there's more!"

The blonde controls herself not to peek or steal a glance of what is happening outside of the carriage. She cannot risk putting herself in danger with her guards doing their best to protect her. All she can do is listen to the sounds around her: fighting and horses' hooves.

A yelp of surprise slips from her lips when an arrow flies through the window and lodges itself into the opposite wall. Lucy stares at it before tearing her gaze from it to look at the caramel-haired woman.

"We'll protect you," she assures her, and releases the arrow.

The carriage is jostled around and things are much different, a clear sign something is wrong. Bickslow shouts from above. "Damn bastards took out a wheel!"

The blonde's heart skips a beat.

Things only go from bad to worse when the carriage stops in a rather rough manner, jostling the two inside. Evergreen ends up hitting her head and is currently clutching it.

"Heads up, you two!" Bickslow warns. "They're coming!"

The door to the left is thrown open and a man pokes his head inside. "Knock knock, lad–"

Lucy delivers a powerful kick right to his face, causing him to lose his balance and fall back.

"Princess, run!" The caramel-haired woman shouts.

Without a word, she opens the other door and quickly steps out, Evergreen right behind her. It's chaos under the open sky. The male members of the Thunder Legion are engaged in combat with the bandits, easily outnumbered by the fifteen or so men.

An arrow whizzes past the blonde's head and nearly hits the woman behind her. She glances over her shoulder to look behind her. "Are you alright?"

"I'll be fine," Evergreen replies gruffly, her head pounding from pain.

Thundering hooves draw Lucy's attention and she spots a bandit on a horse heading right for them. "Evergreen!"

The caramel-haired woman quickly shoots an arrow, but misses her target. She curses under her breath and readies to fire another. She misses yet again.

Bickslow steps up and throws a dagger and hits the rider. The man falls to the ground limp, not even twitching.

"Take the horse and go," Evergreen instructs, steering the princess to the jittery animal that is pacing in place.

The blonde goes towards horse calmly, not being too quick about her movements. "Easy, boy…" She steps over to the left side of the animal and swings herself up, grabbing a hold of the reins. She looks down at the woman and opens her mouth to speak.

"Go!" she urges.

Lucy kicks the horse and he lurches forward, taking off. She stays low and guides the animal to the tree line, not wanting to be out in the open. Stinging tears begin to form. She is not just leaving her guards behind, but her friends.

Inside the forest, trees and foliage tear at her gown, ripping it in some places, as the horse runs through. The blonde glances back, not seeing anyone giving chase. She faces forward and keeps going.

Time passes and her luck eventually runs out when a fallen tree is up ahead. Rather than jumping over it with ease, the animal skids to a stop and rears. Lucy tumbles off and lands on the forest floor, gasping for air that is knocked out of her. The horse skitters around before taking off in another direction, leaving her behind.

The blonde slowly sits up, checking herself for injury. Other than being sore, she feels fine. So she stands up and looks around, taking in her surroundings. It's quiet without another person in sight. She's all alone.

"What now…?" she muses softly to herself.

A/N: Tada! This chapter may have seemed rushed, but it was a way for me to get this fic started :D I'm already digging the feel of this fic and can't wait to write more ^-^