Chapter One

Rescued

Three years ago, Lucinda was living happily with her mother Marla in the village of Dunwiddie in the Kingdom of Enchancia until her mother was offered a job as the royal sorceress of Corona by her oldest and childhood friend, Erik Fitzherbert, the heir to the Coronian throne. Her mother was quite pleased with the offer and decided to move to the castle, however, Lucinda was not happy with her mother's decision to move since she would be away from all her newfound friends. When the news reached the ears of Princess Sofia, she threw a small farewell party in honor of her friend which was attended by her friends from both royalty and common folk. Prince James of Enchancia gave her a necklace which he took from the castle's royal vault to remember him by, Lucinda accepted the gift and swore to wear it always. Upon arrival in the Kingdom of Corona, Lucinda along with her mother were warmly greeted by the aging King Eugene Fitzherbert and his beloved wife for forty-five years, the legendary Rapunzel herself, they were treated like family and Lucinda noticed the jovial look on the crown prince's face when he held Marla's hand. Despite all the new things that came with her new life in Corona, she still missed her first home in Enchancia and her mother made a promise that they would return for a visit.

However, that did not come to pass as her mother died when an 'illness' took her six months later. Erik strictly ordered the various servants and guards of the castle not to utter out the true reason behind Marla's death, he did not want Lucinda to be brought into a conflict that she didn't even understand at her age, thus, stating that Marla died of an illness was a much better cover up than saying that she was actually poisoned by the darkest spell ever known to Man.

Lucinda was grief-stricken when the news came about her mother's death that she ran away from Corona and took a ship to its neighboring Kingdom. The Kingdom of the Southern Isles, which was currently recovering from a civil war that ensured between eleven brothers against one, the war came to an end when the mighty armada of ships from Arendelle and Corona smashed the Southern navy, and knights from all around the Tri-Kingdoms storming the city itself and ensuring the victory for the youngest brother. But the young King did not live to rule his Kingdom for long as he was killed shortly after in a battle against the once mighty Northern Isles which was defeated by the Kingdom of Corona after the proud Southern Isles fell to shambles.

She decided to settle down in one of the villages, at first the people took her and accepted her into their community after hearing her tale, but when a hostile group of witches led by the supposed dead witch, Muriel, attacked the village, they turned against her. The governor of the town ordered for her arrest and put her on trial for witchcraft, which normally would end with the sentence of death no matter how old the accused was, she was betrayed by her neighbors when the soldiers came. As she sat in her cell, she stared up at the ceiling and silently wished that Sofia and her friends were lucky enough not to see her in this state, little did she know that her tale was about to spread like wildfire across the continent. It was no secret that the relationship between Corona and the Southern Isles was deteriorating ever since the Northern Isles killed their King and destroyed at least two third of their once mighty army. During the first night of her wrongful imprisonment, Lucinda overheard that a massive Coronain fleet was sighted sailing into the bay, exactly a two hour ride from the village.

'So this is how it is huh...' Lucinda thought to herself. 'Betrayed by those whom you thought were kind. I should have stayed in Corona...' She cried herself to sleep.

For three consecutive days, she was locked in a cell and fed with only stale bread and water. Almost every single day, the guards would interrogate her about knowledge of the attack which she would deny as she really had no part in it, the guards response were not that kind and her screams and cries could be heard from the outside. And after draining most of her stamina away, the guards would throw her back into her cell. On the third day, she heard them saying that the wizard council have arrived to give out her sentence, and she waited for the doors to open. Two guards stepped in. She stood up and glared at them defiantly. The next thing she knew was being paraded throughout the streets, and then up the steps into a building, a group of villagers gathered outside and hurled insults as she passed, most were the kind faces that greeted her warmly when she first arrived. She was then forced into a hall with two guards beside her; shackles were around her slender wrists like those of a common criminal. Her clothes were reduced to a torn and tattered prisoner's clothing, yet the necklace that James gave her remained as the guards believed that it contained the darkest of magic and refused to even touch it. She held her head high as she passed by those villagers that she once called her friends, some started to jeer and spat out curses, some even threw rocks but the soldiers yelled at them to stop.

She was led into a hall where the wizard council stood, the guards halted and so did she, the council consisted of six elderly men, they were tall and their gray hairs were signs of those who have studied and learned magic for years. Her former friends sat in seats around her. One of the wizards came forward; he looked her in the eyes and sighed. Then he spoke.

"Do you know why you have been brought here child?"

She knew, and was angry that he would dare ask such a question, but still she nodded her head.

"So you know and understand why the people turned against you..." A second wizard inquired.

"Yes...I do." Lucinda turned her head and looked at the villagers in disgust. "Just because they knew that I used to be a witch...but I am no longer one! I gave witchcraft up a long time ago! Haven't you all forgotten the things I've done for the community? The cat I saved? The burning farm? Are you all just blinded for revenge that you failed to see the truth!" She growled, her eyes blazing bright with fury. The guards behind her, grabbed her arms with much force that she winced in pain and stopped her outburst, but her glare remained plastered to her face.

"Silence!" A third wizard exclaimed. "You do not have the right to speak."

"We are sworn to protect the community with magic, not threaten them with dark arts, and your mother practiced the dark arts." The first wizard explained tiredly. "Do you have anything to say in your defense, before we give out your sentence?" He asked slowly.

Lucinda wisely chose to remain quiet and only shook her head.

"Then due to overwhelming evidence, we of the wizard council proclaim you guilty of witchcraft, you will be taken to the town square to be burned alive for your deadly sins." The second wizard announced, and with a wave of his hand, the guards complied, grabbing her roughly by the arms and leading her out of the room.

She didn't protest nor retaliate. Her mother was dead and the people she had come to know have betrayed her, in her heart boiled anger and rage but outside she was frightened, and that was the two reasons why she chose to go quietly. She was only a girl barely in her teens living a peaceful and content life in the village, trying her best to help the small community until Muriel came along and screwed things up. As she was being led up the scaffold, she caught a glimpse of several horsemen watching her from a distance before disappearing into the forest, she watched as flocks of birds flew out of the trees in fright. Since being a witch, she could understand animals, especially those with feathers. Something within the dense forest must have spooked the birds that they flew in such a hurry. As a herald was reading out her sentence to the crowd, she studied the trees and the flight patterns, her ears drowned out all other noise but the rustling of the trees and within the forest, she heard a rumble.

Something was coming, but what.

Among the crowds that were surrounding her, Lucinda took notice of two witch-hunters whom her mother had made friends with; their names were Hansel and Gretel. The twin siblings were well known around the Kingdoms for hunting down any witch that practiced the dark arts of necromancy, but they were also close allies with any witch that didn't stray from the light. The two were watching the guards' movements and were observing her from a distance, but the looks they gave her were neither disgust nor anger but were sympathy and hope. She nodded towards them. She frowned at the guard lifting up a torch as the crowd cheered and chanted for her to burn like all foul witches, but amidst the commotion happening all around her, she spotted movements along the rooftops and her eyes widened.

Before the guard could actually lit the stake on fire, Gretel fired a spell into the sky and a fast swirling arrow pierced the neck of a guard carrying the torch, spilling blood all over the scaffold. Lucinda glanced from left to right as the figures stood up and continued raining arrows towards the other guards stationed around the scaffold, Hansel and Gretel then revealed themselves and started to attack the confused guards, and then out of nowhere she heard the sounds of horses galloping and loud battle cries. The horsemen she saw earlier were merely scouts for the main force which had just arrived, she turned to find knights on horseback charging into the village with their weapons drawn, she watched as the knights cut down those who stood in their way as flaming arrows rained from the sky, striking their targets with deadly accuracy. A small flicker of hope burned inside her heart. The Kingdom of Corona was here; and they were hell bent on making her captors pay with their lives.

"Coronains!" A guard cried before his head was separated from his shoulders by a Coronain knight.

Lucinda looked to the front and saw more knights coming from the other side as well; another guard whom she recognized as the one that tortured her was struck in the neck by an arrow, she watched as he fell to the ground gurgling and twitching until the light finally left his eyes. Screams and the clashing of steel against steel could be heard all around, horses neighing as their riders pulled on the reins, and the smell of death was becoming much more evident in the air. The Coronian knights and soldiers showed no mercy to the villagers as well, an elderly man whom she remembered hurling insults was surrounded on all sides by soldiers with spears advancing upon him, Lucinda quickly turned her eyes away from the gruesome scene. Arrows rained almost everywhere, one managed to lodge itself just an inch above her hair, she started to panic but could not move an inch due to the fact that she was tied up to the stake, she didn't have to wait long as the knights that were attacking ran up the scaffold and sliced the robes binding her in place. One of the knights checked her for injuries while another asked questions.

"What's your name?"

"Lu...Lucinda.." She replied, still shaken by the sudden attack.

"And what is your mother's name?"

"Marla Magwin..."

"It's her alright." The knight said, turning to the others. "Go find the King!"

Hansel approached her and smiled warmly. "Hey, hey, kid. You remember me? Nod your head if you do." He ordered. She managed to bop her head up and down as she was still a little traumatized by the arrow that narrowly missed her head. "Someone pass her something to keep her warm. It's freezing out here!" He barked, and one of the knights ripped off his cloak and handed it over. "Here...it'll keep you warm from the cold." He said, wrapping the cloak around her shoulders.

She smiled at her savior. "Tha...thank you.."

"Don't thank us." Gretel said, with a crossbow in her hands. She jerked her thumb towards a man riding on a white horse. "Thank the current King of Corona. He came looking for us the moment he heard you were arrested, when we heard your name we didn't hesitate to travel down here. Your mother was our closest ally and a good friend. We promised to keep a close eye on you after her untimely death." Lucinda looked confused at the word 'current', which Gretel noticed and a solemn expression formed on her face. "King Eugene and Queen Rapunzel have left us for the next world. Erik is now the King."

Just as Gretel finished speaking, King Erik of Corona rode up and dismounted from his horse. It was the first time, Lucinda had seen Erik up close and personal, it's true that she had seen him from afar and almost every single night with her mother but never this close. She had heard tales from travelling merchants about his bravery on the field of battle; his courage in the face of danger and his amazing negotiation skills. Word is that Erik places his family before his honor, and if it meant butchering an entire populace to keep his family safe, then he would see it done. Her mother had also told her countless stories about his love for magic and how he would demand a magic show to be displayed before going to bed when he was a young boy. She guessed that he was in his mid-forties but his true youth was masked behind the studded beard that he had chosen to grow after he won his first battle. He knelt down to Lucinda's height and brushed a few stray but grateful tears that rolled down her cheeks.

"Did they hurt you?" He asked, his voice was firm and strong.

Lucinda nodded her head slowly, she weakly lifted her arm and several gasp of horror were heard all around. She could see the fury in the King's eyes but it was gone within a few seconds, the darkness across Hansel's face was the one that made her frightened. Several men around her whom she believed were the King's generals and commanders grumbled and growled at the thought of her treatment, a few foul languages could be heard from those men. Gretel on the other hand was seething with rage, she could see through the ragged prisoner clothing that Lucinda wore, she could see the bruises and scars that the girl recieved during her imprisonment. By now, the battle raging around the village had died down and the Southern guards had been decimated completely, the villagers likewise had not been spared the sword. Under normal circumstances, she would have begged the Coronains to spare the villagers, but she wasn't feeling that merciful today, she wanted nothing but retribution to those that caused her pain. The torture she suffered in the prison would remain at the core of her mind, and it'll take some time for her to fully recover.

Erik looked at her and smiled sadly. "My name is Erik Fitzherbert, you may have heard of me from your mother or seen me with her. Your mother was a close friend of mine, a very good friend...you see, and I loved her, despite her being a witch and all...and when I heard that you were arrested in the Southern Isles, I had to come...and for the love I bore your mother..." He said softly, fighting with his inner self not to shed a tear in front of a young girl."...do you want to become my daughter and live in the castle with me? You'll be a princess then, a member of royalty-?!"

Lucinda didn't bother to hear him talk and launched her arms around his neck, hugging him tightly while crying onto his shoulders, the various knights and the two witch hunters smiled warmly at the touching scene. "Dry your tears little one...it's over...you're safe now." Erik whispered, and the young girl sniffed and complied. Then, a group of knights and soldiers approached with three members of the wizard council, they halted right in front of their King and forced the three wizards to their knees, swords and lances were at their backs in case they tried to run. "Why are there only three old men? Where are the others?" Erik asked, looking at the three battered and weary old men, his hand resting on the pommel of his sword.

"Dead," A knight, most likely a member of the King's guard judging by his cloak and insignia replied. "They fought back against us when we told them to surrender; they were easily shot down and cut to pieces. Sir Ralof has their severed heads should you wish to see them."

"No need for that..." Erik said, he then turned to the remaining three. "What shall I do with the three of you? You accused an innocent girl of a crime she didn't commit, did you start investigations? Did you interrogate the residents? Did you find out what really happened before you give out judgment? No! You did none of those sorts, and yet you claim that the wizard council was designed to keep the peace..." He approached one of the wizards. "Peace...here is your peace!" He grabbed him by the collar and started punching his face repeatedly. The wizard screamed in pain, but Erik didn't bother and continued, "How does it feel when the odds are now turned against you?" And with that said he smacked the wizard's forehead onto the ground, smashing the skull and splattering blood all over the place.

"You...you're a monster!" One of the two wizards proclaimed.

"Monster you say?" Erik sneered, he gestured to the surrounding. Knights and soldiers with bloodied swords and spears stood glaring intently towards the wizards. "Do you not see wizard? I showed him mercy. Imagine what would happen to him if I leave him into the hands of my generals." Several of his knights snickered at the phrase. His hand went to the hilt of his sword; he unsheathed it and sliced off the wizard's arm, causing the old man to scream in agony.

"I wouldn't talk back if I were you; here is the legendary King Erik, the conqueror of the North, vanquisher of the barbarians, savior of Enchancia...and so on..." Hansel spoke. "He united the once scattered banners of Corona and led them against the invaders of his Kingdom. In case you have forgotten, the powerful Northern Isles have been brought to kneel at his feet, and the Queen of Arendelle stands at his side as his most valuable ally."

"Not only that dear brother." Gretel added with an equal smirk. "During the Northern Campaign, the northern lords called him 'The King of Beasts'."

"Thank you for the kind introduction my friends." Erik said, patting Hansel on the back and nodding at Gretel. "What are your terms, as I offer none." He asked, quickly ending the one-armed wizard's life with his sword.

"Mercy milord! I beg for mercy..." The last wizard said.

Gretel smashed a bottle of glass onto the floor. "There's your mercy. Your comrades saw to that when they decided to burn Lucinda. You'll have an easier time drinking from that glass than suing for mercy." She stated bluntly.

"Well said." Hansel smiled at his sister.

"I guess, that leaves their fates in the hands of my beloved daughter." Erik said, turning to look at Lucinda. "My men will obey to whatever you say from now on, should you choose to spare him, and he will leave this place unharmed. But if you want to kill him, I will let you choose his death." He placed his hands on her shoulders. "Just remember that you have the power over life and death, his fate is now in your hands."

Lucinda sniffed and stood to her full height. She looked at the frightened old man kneeling in front of her, for once she felt powerful but on the other she felt nothing but sympathy for the wizard. But nonetheless, vengeance for the way she was treated clouded her judgment; she looked at her step-father with fury in her eyes. "Kill him!" She cried before breaking down in tears again. She shook away the hands that tried to guide her away from the scene. A knight swiftly decapitated the last wizard. She sniffed and wiped away her tears furiously, she stood up straight and stared at the knights. Loud cries of protest were heard from the other side. Her eyes narrowed and she clenched her fists as she stared at the man responsible for her imprisonment, for her harsh treatment. She pointed a finger towards the man. "That's the governor! I want him burned alive!" As soon as she uttered out the last sentence, her eyes rolled backwards and her knees buckled, she started to fall and was immediately caught by Gretel's outstretched arm. Gretel walked down the bloodied scaffold with Lucinda resting in her arms, the knights and soldiers made a hole, allowing them to pass through unscathed.

"You heard her." Erik said, holding up a torch and tossing it to one of his guards. "Give me fire."


Three months later...

It has been three months since the terrible ordeal, but Lucinda was glad that it was finally over. The week after she was rescued by her father, she was crowned the Crown Princess of Corona in front of the royal delegates from Arendelle and the Northern Isles, the townspeople and the military forces, after which a ball was thrown in her honor. Before announcing her as the princess, King Erik went through all the possible details with his advisers and it was decided that they would keep the introduction small and simple. Marla Magwin, was crowned the Queen posthumously, and Erik made a royal proclamation that he would not be marrying anybody else since the love of his life was dead. Upon her return to the castle, she was greeted by a sight that would haunt her for almost her entire life, the lifeless form of the late Queen Rapunzel and her husband, Eugene lying side by side.

"I'm...I'm so sorry for running off like that." Lucinda mumbled her apologises as she stared at the peaceful face of Rapunzel. "You gave me clothes. You gave me food. You sang for me and read stories to me. And I ran away from all that..." She dried her tears and stood straight. "I promise that I will become the girl that you always wanted me to be. I'll do it for you and mother." She promised. And she was bound by her oath to see it finish no matter what obstacles that stood in her path.

Lucinda, garbed in a black dress stood alongside her step-father whom was wearing his royal regalia; with his crown and his own personal insignia. With a silent prayer, the two released the first lantern into the sky. It was soon followed by the other members of the royal court, and then the high-ranking members of the military and the foreign dignitaries in attendance, and then the citizens of the Kingdom. The night sky were litted with lanterns until they were as bright as the sun that fateful night. Laid atop a boat were the bodies of both Rapunzel and Eugene, both wrapped with the Kingdom's banner, their personal items were placed on board before the boat was pushed out into the open fjord. Erik stepped forward with a bow in hand.

"Father. I will never forget the days we spent together either in the castle's Great Hall or in the courtyard. You imparted me your skills of speech which granted me the ability to negotiate with the various Kingdoms around us, and I'll...I'll do my best to become the King that Corona deserves." Erik stated solemnly as he watched the boat drift along with the slow tide as the lanterns flew above. "And mother, you were my light in the darkness. You were there for me when I was down. You told me stories when I couldn't sleep at night. You gave the warmest of smile during the coldest of nights. The castle will always be quiet without yours and father's laugh. May the heroes of old welcome your spirits with open arms." He delivered his short eulogy. He litted his arrow on fire and drew back the bowstring as hard as he could, he lifted his aim towards the skies and released his shot. The flaming arrow soared thru the wind and struck the tip of the boat with deadly accuracy, upon contact, the boat caught up in huge flames as it continued drifting down the fjord.

"SOLDIERS SALUTE!" Came the cry from a General. As one, the knights and soldiers lifted their swords high in honor as the common folk bowed their heads in prayer.

"I'll do this Kingdom proud." Lucinda muttered softly. "I swear it."

True to her word, Lucinda quickly picked up the skills that was required of a princess and learned the proper way of addressing royals from other Kingdoms; she went on and lived among the common folk, making her loved by all she met. She learned from several guards that her step-father fought alongside King Roland the First of Enchancia and saved the King's life nine times on the field when he was merely a young prince, and the two had been close friends ever since. The friendship was then extended to Roland the Second, the current King of Enchancia and step-father to her first official friend, Sofia. But unlike other princesses around the other Kingdoms, she wore neither a dress nor a gown during her daily activities. Instead she opted for the outfit that the royal guards wore when they were not on duty, and instead of a fan, she had a sword attached to her belt. King Erik was amazed by her skills in swordsmanship; she had started training in secret and was caught by a royal guard after her wooden sword struck a suit of armor causing a loud crashing sound to resonate around the castle. Lucinda was determined to master her sword arm and Erik decided to throw in his support and agreed to let her train with the royal guards. She also agreed to her father's wishes of living up to her mother's name by honing her magic skills under the guidance of three famed fairies, she knew them as; Merryweather. Fauna. Flora. With their tutelage, her magical skills surpassed beyond their magic level that they could no longer teach her.

"We have taught you everything we know." Flora stated with a thoughtful expression.

"You have mastered even the strongest of magic ever known to us." Merryweather continued.

"And we can no longer impart anymore knowledge to you." Fauna explained.

Lucinda gazed up at them, shocked to the core. "But...but..but, without your tutelage-?!" She protested but fell silent at Flora's raised hand.

"Your skills surpassed even our magic, even if we wanted to teach you, we simply can't." Flora stated with a smile. "I'm sure you will manage." She gave a loud 'oomph' when the young witch threw herself towards her, she slowly returned the hug. "We will always remember you, Lucinda."

"And when it is time. When you are ready. You may come and join us in Royal Prep." Merryweather said. "We can use your help."

"Yes. Yes. Your help we will need." Fauna insisted much to Merryweather's annoyance.

Lucinda dried her tears as she giggled at their antics. "I'll be there." She promised. She waved happily as they faded away from view. She glanced down at her wand and her sword, a small mischievous smile formed on her face. "Let's try combining the arcane arts and sword play together."


A few months went by, and Lucinda's thirteenth birthday was drawing near and King Erik knew her daughter misses her home village of Dunwiddie, and he came up with a brilliant plan together with his best advisers, Hansel and Gretel. The two witch-hunters chose to quit hunting after the introduction of Lucinda to the royal court, but before they could decide on their next journey, Erik offered them a place in his court. And the siblings agreed after much consideration, Hansel became the Lord Commander of the royal guards, and Gretel took over as the new royal sorceress. Hansel took it upon himself to train Lucinda in the art of swordplay whilst Gretel trained her in wandless magic, a feat that not many could master easily but Lucinda was eager to learn and proved to be a better learner than others.

And of course, they were elated to help plan the present for Lucinda.

"Hansel, it's time. Go and get Lucinda."

"At once sire." Hansel replied with a grin.

The Lord Commander found his target in the royal gardens playing with her pet falcon; Rune, the two had bonded after she mended its broken wing and nursed it back to health, from there the two were inseparable. They were so close that the falcon had saved Lucinda's life when she fell into the fjord near the castle, because of its quick thinking and determination her life was saved. King Erik himself honored the falcon with the rank Master of Birds.

"Your Highness." He called, the girl turned towards him and smiled.

"Hansel!" She squealed with joy as she ran up to him after allowing Rune to take flight. "So...what's up?"

He chuckled lightly at her enthusiasm. "Your father requests your presence in his study." He said.

Lucinda's face paled. "I didn't do anything wrong, did I?"

"It's none of those sorts. Now, come along."

He led her back to the King's study. "Your Majesty, she's here." He announced, before opening the door and allowing her to enter. He then stood guard outside with two other members of the royal guard.

"Ah, Lucinda there you are." Erik started, "I did some researching and I know that you used to live in a village called Dunwiddie in the Kingdom of Enchancia. I just want to ask, how was it like living in a village?" He asked.

Lucinda was taken aback at the question but answered anyway. "It was fun, peaceful, quiet. It was actually everything I could ask for. At first, the people weren't kind to me because I liked to cause trouble and make fun on them but Princess Sofia came along and changed me for the better."

"Hmm...Interesting. Go on."

"With Sofia's help, I managed to make friends with everyone in the village, including those whom I hurt. They forgave me and we started anew. She also introduced me to her family, her mother and brother took a liking to me at first glance, though it took some convincing for her sister and father but at the end, they all understood and became good friends." She continued. "Why do you ask?" She asked with a frown.

Erik smiled. "Because...I am invited to a royal ball in Enchancia in courtesy of my deeds during the war, and I want you to come with me." He brought up the sealed letter with the royal insignia of the Kingdom of Enchancia and showed it to her.

"This is real right? Not a fake?" Lucinda asked skeptically, eyeing the royal seal as if it were an evidence to a crime.

"Yes, my sweet dove." Erik replied with a light chuckle.

"Sooo..." Lucinda trailed off with an evil grin. "Can I disguise myself?"

The very next day, the royal Coronain convoy departed for the Kingdom of Enchancia. Unlike the other Kingdoms across the continent, Corona is one of the three Kingdoms to not have any Pegasus in their stables, hence they had no flying carriages. However, the Kingdom of Corona was known for their extensive deployment of cavalry forces upon the field of battle, it was their horsemen that turned the tide in many battles and skirmishes when the largest barbarian horde that the continent had ever seen invaded the peaceful lands of Enchancia, thus igniting the spark to a total war. And because of their massive breeding of horses, it took at least three stables that was fifty-feet wide in length to house all their horses, the castle itself had its own stable which housed the King's personal horse and his guards. The newest addition to the stable was a fine Arabian horse breed that originated from the Arabian Peinisula, but was raised in the Kingdom of Rudistan - another Kingdom that could field a vast force of cavalry and was considered to have the second largest army in the continent, slightly behind Corona by a margin, thankfully, the two Kingdoms were on the best of terms and each considered the other an ally, if not it would have been total chaos. The horse was meant to be Erik's gift to Marla, but with her untimely death and certain events leading to Lucinda's adoption, he decided to give the horse to her after ensuring that she could ride.

Lucinda was elated beyond her wildest imagination; she hasn't seen her friends for three years and she literally can't wait to see them again. And the best part was, they didn't even know that she was now a princess and part of the Coronian royal family that had ties to Rapunzel herself. She wanted to use that knowledge to her advantage, and that was why her father had allowed her to bring along her royal guard apprentice outfit and giving her a four hour head start into the village. Other than that, she was absolutely fine with his other rules. She watched as the townspeople waved and said their farewells as they left the main gate, soldiers standing to full attention as they passed. Erik had allowed Lucinda to bring along Rune, seeing that the two were inseparable and the falcon itself was the perfect guard for his daughter than any of the royal guards combined. Secretly, he had also formed a bond with Rune as Lucinda had caught him chatting with it in her room, but he put it aside as being curious about her feathered friend, but no one knew that he could understand animals. His enemies did not call him 'The King of Beasts' without a reason.

"Did you feed him?" He asked casually.

"Who?" Lucinda looked at her father.

"The falcon..." He sighed.

"How did you know it was a 'he'?" She asked.

"Um...I just guessed." He quickly replied before pretending to look at the scenery.

"How odd..." Lucinda observed. "You always seem to understand what Rune wants when others could not." She voiced her thoughts.

Erik chuckled as he continued slapped the reins of his horse and trotted forward leaving Lucinda in suspense at his hidden ability.

Gretel, who was riding next to her smiled warmly. "His Majesty the King called us to his chambers in the dead of the night, at first, we thought that it had something to do with the Southern Isles or something like that but were mistaken. It turns out that you left your journal opened and he took a glimpse and saw many indications, stating that you missed your old home. We decided to make your dream a reality, letting you see your friends again sure brings joy to our hearts." She said.

"Aw...thank you so much Gretel!" Lucinda said, inclining her head in gratitude. "I can't wait to see James again." She fingered the diamond-shaped ruby necklace that hung on her neck.

"What was that, Your Highness?" Hansel coughed, pretending to be deaf to get her to repeat.

"Nothing!"

Erik smiled at the scene. "We will probably arrive a day before the ball starts, I did this on purpose so you could roam around and meet with your friends. But when the ball officially starts, you must know that I have to announce to all that you are now my daughter. I hope you do understand." He explained.

"I do." Lucinda nodded her head. "We can't hide forever...it's about time."

"But you do know that once I make the announcement, you will have to attend Royal Prep."

"The Headmistresses of Royal Prep are my tutors before Gretel, in case you have forgotten. And besides, I love a challenge."

"Now, that is a Lucinda we know and love." Hansel commented from his horse. "Just remember-"

"Don't eat the candy." Everyone cut him off while rolling their eyes.


Author's Notes

Hi, I know that it has been quite some time since I last updated my Sofia the First fanfic, and I have been doing lots and lots of thinking during the long pause from writing 'Lucinda the First' and I made the decision that a revised version is in order. I am just not too happy with the last few chapters I made with the war and all that and felt the need to get rid of them thus I decided to rewrite the entire story. Some plots like this chapter would remain exactly the same with some minor changes here and there to provide more backstory for various characters. Stay tuned for more info in the next chapter!