Chapter 1: A Continent Divided
"Are you sure, milady?" A servant whispered in the quiet halls of Peligia's palace. A woman of fine cloth was covering her fine garbs in a black, sweeping cloak. The finely dressed woman, obviously a noble, held a swaddled baby in her arms.
"If I wasn't sure, I wouldn't have done this." The noble peaked through the plain blanket the babe was wearing to keep the cold away. Tears brimmed her eyes, but were quickly replaced with pure determination.
"If I don't do this, the world will be thrown into chaos." The noble raised her head and glanced out a window that overlooked the dark woods in which she would escape through tonight. "The two of us, you and I, need to tip the scales." The servant nodded. "And why have you called me Lady Grimleal?"
Lady Grimleal turned to the hand maid and handed her a scroll. It was made of only the most expensive parchments and written on with the thinnest, blackest tipped quill. Befitting of a royal blood's taste in the finer details of life.
"Give this to my husband. It is my suicide note." The pass off was uneventful, yet spoke volumes above the deafening silence that shrouded the grounds of the grand castle. With one final bow, the servant simply said "Best of luck Lady Grimleal on your journey. May Naga bless you with many years of wealth and wellness."
Grimleal grinned, kissing the servant maid's forehead. "I can only wish the same for you as well, Miss Porlyusica."
In only a slight show of effort, the Lady pulled a tomb from her cloak and vanished in a flash. The old servant, Porlyusica, folded her hands together and said a prayer.
"Naga, if you can deliver one, I know Lady Grimleal would want it to be her daughter. If you can, save both from the hells and trials that lie in their paths."
A figure on horseback could be seen riding away from the castle from the window the servant stood close to. The figure grew smaller and smaller as it rode into the dark woods that secluded the castle from the town at the base of the mountain the kingdom of Pelagia regarded as their capital.
"Naga, bless the child's cursed heart."
A scream erupted from the far end of the castle. The guards would be alerted any second now if they hadn't already that Lady Grimleal had disappeared. All they had was her suicide note and news that the child would perish with the Queen Of Pelagia that night. Even if they were to look out the window to try and catch a glimpse of the fleeing crowned wife of the King, she had already made it into the woods and was long gone by now.
Another noble woman sat on a chair within the library of Ylisse castle late at night. She held a sleeping one year old, blonde girl in her arms; the girl was holding a carved wooden pegasus. The creatures wings were white and outstretched, is if ready to fly. The horse like body had black patches on a cream colored background. A fine toy for a young child who loved the beasts so dearly.
The noble stroked the blonde's hair, staring at the flames that were burning in the fireplace. She couldn't be happier. She had her lovely daughter sleeping peacefully in her arms, a blissful relationship with her people, and the kingdom was in a time of peace and order. What more could one ask for?
"My Exalt." A feminine yet commanding voice asked from the behind the couch the pair resided on for comfort. Turning at the sound of her title, the Exalt smiled at the person who had called from her musings.
"Ah, Aquarius. You're back from your anniversary so soon?" she asked, noting the tiny blush on the blue haired woman's face. "Yeah well," Aquarius started "We couldn't stay away for long." Her face went to it's familiar scowl.
"Besides, I can't trust any of these idiot guards with your life. Even if you relieved me for life, I wouldn't trust anybody but Capricorn, Lady Layla."
Layla laughed at her strongest guard's distrust in all people that came within ten miles of the country's rulers. It was comforting to one person was on their toes at all times. The noble motioned for the guard to sit. "Come dear friend, you mustn't stand in my presence. We are all equals here." The guard abide and sat down in the plush arm chair nearest to her queen's couch.
"So Aquarius, what have you come for?"
Her friend's face dropped at her question, making Layla also lose her signature smile. Even so, Aquarius sighed and spoke.
"It's Plegia. As of late, a child was born of their queen, Lady Grimleal. But..."
Aquarius went silent and dropped her gaze to the spotless, wooden floors. Layla's now flat lined mouth turned into a frown at the actions that her guard was displaying.
"But what old friend?"
The sea haired woman brought her eyes up again, only this time they were filled with only the slightest hint of fear. "The king claimed his child would help him rule with an iron fist at his side."
Layla's frwn became upturned. Aquarius was puzzled and merely stood up from her chair and put on her infamous frustrated face. All who saw it knew hell was coming, and there was no mercy.
"How can you smile at a time like this? The king publically announced to make his offspring act as he would! He's trouble as it is!" Aquarius vehemently said, her voice kept as quiet as possible to leave the sleeping child in Layla's arms at peace.
The Exalt simply looked down at her daughter, the heir to the throne and princess of Ylisse and beyond. "I'm not worried because of the child's mother. Lady Grimleal is a fine woman with good morals and a strong will."
Layla stood up from her seat while carrying her princess. "If the child is anything like their mother, I know that they will make the right choices."
Aquarius scoffed, standing up and walked out of the library behind the queen and the daughter. "And if the child doesn't?"
The Exalt stopped walking to face her friend, her doe brown eyes shimmering in the low candle lights of the castle halls. "Then Naga will be the child's guide." The noble turned heel and continued to walk with Aquarius at a distance. It was high time the ruler of Ylisse retired for the night. Tomorrow, she would send a letter to Lady Grimleal. Layla just didn't know, it would never reach her beloved friend.