A/N: Originally this was on a different story I decided to delete, since it wasn't going anywhere. I liked this though so I'm reuploading it as a oneshot.
I'll explain some things about this AU below.
*~ If you want to look at this in its simplest form basically Bright took Rein's place, Shade took Fine's place, Fine took Bright's place, and Hail/Rein took Eclipse/Shade's place.
*~ The love square stays the same: Bright loves Fine, Fine loves Shade, Shade loves Rein, and Rein loves Bright.
*~ In this setting Queen Malia and Queen Camelia are sisters of the Sunny Kingdom. Their parents couldn't decide who would rule so they had Camelia and Malia share the Sunny Throne.
*~ Bright and Shade are cousins who inherited the Power of Prominence. Milky and Altezza are still their younger sisters and also princesses of the Sunny Kingdom.
*~ Truth is King of the Moon Kingdom and Elsa is the Queen of the Jewelry Kingdom. Since they each rule their respective Kingdoms when they got married they each stayed in their respective Kingdoms so they live apart.
*~ Fine is considered the heiress of the Jewelry Kingdom so she normally stays at the Jewelry Kingdom, but will come to the Moon Kingdom to visit her father and twin sister every once in a while.
*~ Rein is considered the heiress of the Moon Kingdom so she generally stays over there. Similar to Fine she'll go and visit the Jewelry Kingdom, her mother, and twin sister every once in a while.
*~In order to study up on the Power of Prominence and watch it being used in action Rein follows Shade and Bright under the guise of a young lady named Hail.
*~The Sunny Kingdom considers men to be weaker than women so even though Shade and Bright received swordsmanship training, they only studied the basics however and they're considerably worse in combat then their normal counterparts. Doesn't mean they won't try to hold their own though.
*~Rein knows how to fight and use a whip since her father fell ill when she was young. She knew that his health was linked to the auroras of the Moon Kingdom which was also linked to the Blessing of the Sun. Her father weakening meant the auroras and the blessing were also weakening so she decided it was in her best interest to learn how to fight.
*~Rein tried convincing her mother to let Fine train as well, but she only allowed Fine to learn basic swordsmanship since it wasn't proper for a Jewelry Kingdom Princess to know how to fight. Elsa was also against Rein learning how to fight, but since Rein was living in the Moon Kingdom she didn't have much of a say.
*~The reason why Fine doesn't recognize Rein when she's disguised as Hail is because Rein takes her disguise a step further and wears a mask over her eyes along with changing her voice to make it sound lower than it actually is. Her hairstyle is also different than the one she uses when dressed in her Moon Princess clothing. Of course if this AU continues Fine will eventually get the feeling that something about Hail is oddly familiar...
Now onto the story~!
Scary Forest * Little Romantic Experiences!
Bright and Shade turned their heads to see Hail preparing to leave on her dragon steed.
"Wait! Hail!" Hail tried to get away as Shade began to run up to her, however once her steed started moving Shade jumped onto the back of it. Startled, it began to run erratically towards the forest.
"Shade!" Bright yelled as his cousin was whisked away. He ran after them with Poomo in tow.
When Bright and Poomo arrived in the forest they started frantically yelling Shade's name.
"Maybe we should ask the Seed Kingdom's King for help."
"It'll take too long to get back!" Bright snapped, "What if Hail does something to Shade during that time!?"
"Do you really think she'd do something to him -pumo?" Poomo asked.
"Of course! Hail is a terrible person who's been trying to steal the Power of Prominence from us since she appeared! She'll probably take the Sunny Luche from him and if he doesn't cooperate she'll probably torture him! We have to hurry! They must be deeper in! Shade!"
Bright ran deeper into the forest while calling Shade's name. Soon he reached a river and he saw no signs of Shade or Hail. No dragon footprints, no human footprints, nothing.
"There's nothing on the other side either -pumo." Poomo said as he flew to the other side of the river and back.
"Ugh…Shade! Shade if you can hear me please answer I'm begging you!"
"Over here!" They heard Shade's voice.
"Did you hear that!?" Bright shouted in glee.
"I did -pumo!" Poomo smiled.
"Shade!" Bright called again.
"Right over here!" They heard Shade's voice once again. Poomo and Bright began running to where they believed the voice was coming from.
As they soon departed, a chuckle came from a hole in one of the nearby tree's trunks.
"Let's have some fun, okay~?"
In reality, Shade could not have answered them as he was too busy hanging onto Hail's dragon steed for dear life as it continued to run blindly through the forest. Hail grabbed the reigns tightly before jumping off. She forced her steed to an abrupt stop and Shade went flying off as a result. Hail, began to calm the dragon down, "There, there, it's okay…"
"Ouch…" Shade groaned.
"…Are you hurt?" Hail asked, but didn't look towards Shade.
"….I'm…alright…" Shade responded. He never thought she was really a bad guy as Poomo and Bright were so adamant to believe, but he never expected her to ask him something like that either. She just didn't seem the type to ask about someone's well being.
After hearing that Hail gave a curt nod before bending down to get some water from the river. After tasting it and making sure it was okay she instructed her steed to take a drink.
Shade too, decided to bend down and take a drink. The silence felt suffocating to Shade so he decided to try and break it.
"What's its name?" Shade asked, but he was ignored.
"Would it kill you to respond?" Shade grumbled.
Hail went to grab a small block of hay from her bag and fed it to her dragon.
"…Would it be okay if I fed him too?"
"My dragon is a she."
"Then would it be okay if I fed her?"
Hail didn't respond.
'Well she didn't say I couldn't.'
Shade grabbed another small block of hay and gave it to the dragon once she was done eating her previous one. The dragon happily munched down on it. It made Shade think of his own pet Regina back at his palace and he smiled.
Hail began walking away from the river and into the forest. The dragon too went to stand near one of the trees leaving Shade alone in the river.
"Hey! Wait! Where are you going?" Shade gave chase to Hail.
"Ehehehe~! This'll be so much fun~!"
"What are you doing?" Shade saw Hail gathering wood from the ground.
"We'd only manage to get ourselves even more lost if we attempted to leave now. We'll stay the night here and leave in the morning."
"So that's firewood…Let me help." Shade also began gathering firewood.
"That's not necessary." Hail said.
"But it's my fault we're lost in the first place the least I can do is-" Both Hail and Shade reached for the same twig at the same time. Shade's hand ended up on top of Hail's. Shade felt his heart skip a beat and he quickly withdrew his hand.
Hail turned to stare at him, Shade felt his heart starting to pound as he stuttered out a reply, "S-sorry…"
Hail went back to her gathering after that and Shade hoped that with her turned away it would calm his quickened pulse, but his heart continued to pound in a way he wasn't used to…Shade wasn't sure what was going on and he wanted to distract himself fast in an attempt to stop his quickened pulse.
"Why…why do you know so much about Prominence?" He asked.
Hail stopped gathering firewood, but she did not look at nor respond to Shade's question.
After a few minutes of silence Shade asked another question, "How come you always appear…wherever Bright and I go? It can't just be coincidence right?"
This time, Hail turned to look at him, but she didn't respond. Shade's heartbeat quickened once again. This time Shade placed one of his hands over his heart in an attempt to not only calm it, but to also muffle out the sound as he was sure at this point, Hail must've been able to hear his heartbeat.
'Why…why is my heartbeat so…erratic? And…I feel strange…This isn't like me at all.' Shade wanted to look away from Hail's piercing gaze, but couldn't, he continued to stare deeply into her eyes.
He felt his face growing hotter and began to stutter, "I-I-I mean! I-It's just that! Umm…er…I…! Um!"
Shade tried desperately to come up with something to say, but with Hail staring so intently at him he was unable to come up with anything coherent.
'This definitely isn't like me at all! What's wrong with me!?'
Hail finally looked away from Shade to see that a tree was beginning to fall and it would surely hit Shade if he didn't move out of the way.
"Move!" Hail shouted.
"H-huh?" Shade didn't move and stared at Hail in confusion.
"Damn it…" Hail pushed Shade out of the way.
The tree missed them both. Shade has his eyes closed as Hail had pushed him. When he opened his eyes he saw Hail on top of him staring at him intently once again.
"Wh-wh-wh…" Shade couldn't even get the word out of his mouth.
"Are you okay?" Hail asked.
"I-I-I'm fine!" Shade said a little louder than he intended to, "S-s-so! Could you g-"
Before Shade could finish Hail got up, grabbed the firewood she had collected, and began walking away.
'What!? How could she just get up and leave like that!? Am I…the only one who feels like this? Gods, I feel like such an idiot!' Shade got up and balled his hands into fists.
He felt frustrated and…and maybe a little disappointed, but he couldn't figure out why exactly. Did he want her to feel like he did? He wasn't even sure if he knew what he was feeling!
Shade shook his head, 'No, now's not the time to think about this…I gotta follow her back.'
Shade ran to catch up to Hail, but he kept himself a few paces behind her.
"What's that!?" Poomo screeched.
A couple of birds flew away from a nearby tree upon hearing Poomo's screech, rustling the leaves once again.
"Just a couple of birds, were you scared?" Bright asked.
"O-of course not – pumo!" Poomo lied.
Rustle. Rustle. Rustle.
Clop. Clop. Clop.
"I'm scared!" Poomo clung onto Bright.
Bright unsheathed his sword and prepared for whatever may be coming towards them. However he didn't expect for it to be…
"Princess Fine!? Oh! Ah..." He quickly sheathed his sword.
"Oh! Bright!" Fine pulled on her horse's reigns and made it stop in front of Bright, "What are you doing here? Isn't Shade with you?"
"Shade's been kidnapped by Hail!" Bright said, "He's somewhere in this forest!"
"What!?" Fine screeched. "This isn't good. This place has been called the Scary Forest, since travelers who come here experience something truly frightening! We must go after him immediately! Hop on!"
"O-Okay!" Bright got onto her horse. Fine grabbed his arms and put them around her waist.
"Don't let go, okay?" Fine said before instructing her horse to start moving. "I came from downstream."
"So did we!" Bright said.
"The they must be somewhere up the river."
"Yes!" As the horse galloped away Bright blushed and smiled. Shade might be in danger, but Bright couldn't help but enjoy this situation just a little.
"I'll show you a nice dream~!"
"Hey, are you sure we're going the right way?" Shade asked.
"This was the only path around and like the one we went through there are no branches sticking out. What else could it be, but the right path?" Hail responded.
"But this path seems a lot longer than...uff! Hey! Why'd you suddenly stop?" Shade bumped into Hail when she abruptly stopped walking.
"Ah..." It wasn't until that exact moment that Shade realized just how much smaller Hail was than him.
'She's...really petite...How can someone so small and cute be trying to steal our Prominence? And how could she be such a good fighter? She's more like a porcelain doll that should be protected by others not fighting herself...'
"Hey." Hail spoke up in a stern voice, bringing Shade out of his thoughts.
"Huh!? Ah, yes?" Shade blushed. He couldn't believe he was just thinking something like that while staring at her! Did she notice?
"Stay here and wait for me." Hail began walking off.
"What!? You can't just leave me here!" Shade ran up to her. He overtook her and stood in front of her frowning.
"You're useless. Let me find my way back, I'll come right back for you."
"I'm not useless! I'm a prince! I know my way around a sword and I have the power of Prominence!" Shade huffed.
"Hmph...Alright. Do as you please, but if it does come down to a real fight, stay out of my way. You don't look like someone who can handle a serious fight. A prince from the Sunny Kingdom is meant to be protected." Hail sighed.
'I'm meant to be protected!? Wait...does that mean...'
"You plan to protect me?" Shade let out his thoughts, unintentionally.
"I can't let anything happen to you...since you're the key to the Power of Prominence, I mean." Hail responded.
'That last part was definitely an afterthought. I knew she couldn't be a bad person! She genuinely wants to keep me safe.'
"What's that grin for?" Hail glared.
"Huh? I have no idea what you're talking about." Shade said despite that the grin was clearly on his face.
"Whatever, keep moving."
"Two from here and two over there~! Let's all have fun~! A lot of fun~!"
"Prince Shade – pumo!"
"Over here!" They heard Shade's voice.
"He responded again!" Bright said.
"Again?" Fine repeated.
"Yes, he responded a while ago as well." Bright nodded. "It's the reason Poomo and I started going upstream."
"In that case I don't think it's really Shade..." Fine frowned.
"What?" Bright asked.
"All the travelers who have had those frightening experiences all said they heard a familiar voice before it happened. Furthermore, it looks like we've been traveling in circles. We've passed that tree before."
"Huh?" Bright took a look to where Fine pointed. They had indeed passed that tree moments ago. "We passed that when we first arrived too!"
"Then this is all an illusion!" Fine growled.
"Shade!" Fine shouted.
"Shade! If it's the real you please answer us!" Bright pleaded.
"Prince Shade – pumo! You have to answer!" Poomo shouted.
Shade heard the shouts of Poomo and his cousin, without thinking he began rushing to where he believed the voices were coming from.
"Bright! Poomo! I'm here!" As Shade disappeared into the fog Hail grabbed her whip.
Something was off about this place.
Something was horribly off...
"I won't be tricked..." Hail murmured.
"Bright! Where are you!?" Shade shouted.
"Is it really you Shade!?" Bright responded with his own shout.
"Of course it is! I'm coming to you!" Shade started running as fast as he could, but was eventually forced to a stop. "This huge tree..."
"...when did it become so tall?" Bright looked up at the tree. He was positive it was a lot smaller a few minutes ago.
"Bright!" Shade started climbing the tree.
"I'll go to you right now!" Bright also began climbing the tree.
"Bright, wait! I don't think that's a good idea something's wrong here!" Fine shouted, but to no avail, Bright kept going.
The two boys finally met at the very top of the tree.
"I'm so glad you're alright!" Bright heaved a sigh of relief.
"Same here!" Shade smiled.
Suddenly the tree began to shake and it started growing and growing at a rapid pace!
"What!?" Roots of the tree lifted Fine off the ground.
"Damn it..!" The same happened to Hail.
The tree grew taller and eventually slanted and turned into stairs forcing Bright and Shade to climb down them. They soon reached a point in the stairs where they were enveloped in light and when it faded...
"Aren't these..!?" Bright looked down at his attire. It was a traditional outfit worn by the groom-to-be of a Jewelry Kingdom Princess.
"This looks like...!" Shade's attire had also changed. His outfit was similar to one Hail wore, it complemented her attire nicely, like his new outfit was made solely to accompany Hail's attire.
"Shade? What are you wearing?" Bright turned to his cousin.
"Same to you! What is that!?" Shade said.
"But this is sort of..."
"I guess it's kinda..."
"Nice in a way right?" The two said in unison smiling to themselves.
"Um! Shade? Bright? Would one of you explain what's happening!?" Fine came down a separate flight of stairs in an attire different form her usual. She was wearing the traditional dress of a bride-to-be of a Sunny Kingdom Prince.
Bright blushed as she looked at her. She was positively stunning! She was always beautiful, but she did pull off this outfit exceptionally well.
"Disgusting! What's with all these...these frills!" They heard Hail shout. The boys turned to see Hail wearing a very cutesy and frilly dress. The colors consisted of light purples and blues. It contrasted heavily with Hail's tastes if you went by her normal attire which consisted of dark blues, grays, and black and it most definitely did not have any frills.
Shade blushed when he saw her. Now she really did fit what he was thinking of earlier...She was a pretty porcelain doll...
"How do we go back to normal!?" The girls screamed.
Suddenly the girls, along with the stairs, disappeared and the boys found themselves falling.
Eventually they hit water and they continued to sink further and further down...
"The river wasn't..."
"...always this deep right!?"
The two boys tried to swim to the surface, but some unknown force kept dragging them down.
"Someone help!" The boys shouted.
"What are you two doing – pumo...?" Poomo spoke up.
The boys opened their eyes and saw that they were lying in the river, but they weren't drowning or anything...was it all an illusion?
"Are you alright?" Fine asked.
"Princess Fine..?" Bright got up quickly when he noticed her.
"Hail?" Shade also got up quickly when he realized she was also there.
"D-did you see..."
"...wh-what happened just now?"
"No, no! Not at all! Well...a little maybe..." Fine mumbled the last part.
"You both looked ridiculous." Hail said with no hesitation.
"Hey!" Fine glared at Hail.
"Just being honest." Hail responded nonchalantly.
"How embarrassing!" The boys said to themselves.
Hail began walking away from the scene.
"And where are you going?" Fine asked.
"I'm just going to start building a campfire. Not sure if you've realized, but leaving while it's so dark is dangerous. We could be ambushed by whoever is doing this." Hail replied as she began picking up twigs and branches nearby.
The four surrounded themselves near the campfire. Fine continued to throw a few twigs into it every once in a while to keep the fire going.
"Ahhh...choo!" Shade sneezed. Fine got up and sat next to him. "Huh?"
"If we stay huddled up together I can warm you up. It wouldn't be good if you caught a cold." Fine smiled.
"Ah...thank you..." Shade said.
Bright was staring at them, 'Not fair...Wait I got it!'
"Ah...choo!" Bright faked a sneeze, Fine looked at him, but she made no movement to go next to him.
'Ridiculous...' Hail thought and she got up. 'Faking a sneeze just to try and get her attention. How desperate are you? Can't you see she cares more for your cousin?'
"And now where are you going?" Fine glared.
Normally, Hail would have no problem telling her where she was going...but right now she was rather upset with her, although it wasn't really Fine's fault. "None of your business. I can go wherever I want to."
"I can't let you do that! Why are you following the Sunny Princes around?"
This was an answer Hail absolutely refused to answer. So instead of saying anything she began to walk away, but Fine wasn't having it. She got up and went in front of her. Fine always carried a sword around with her and she was prepared to draw it.
Hail glared, "You don't honestly believe that will work against me do you? You're a Jewel Princess, you are taught basic swordsmanship, but nothing beyond that. You're too weak to do anything against me."
"And how would you know all that!?" Fine drew her sword.
Wordlessly, Hail took out her whip. Soon a tree branch came crashing down afterwords. They didn't notice while she was doing it, but it was Hail who broke it down quickly and without making so much as a sound.
Fine's grip tightened on her sword. She was starting to feel nervous about confronting her, but she couldn't back down.
Hail, on the other hand, looked calm as ever and was ready to take her down if necessary.
"Don't fight, please!" Bright got in front of Fine.
"We shouldn't fight at a time like this!" Shade stood in front of Hail.
Suddenly a powerful gust of wind came and blew their campfire out, soon everything around them started to become engulfed by darkness...
"What do we do?" Bright asked.
"What else? We have Prominence!" Shade said. "Ready?"
Using their Sunny Luches the boys transformed into their Prominence powered prince outfits and cast a spell.
The darkness was gone, but...
"Stupid..." Hail sighed.
"Excuse me!?" Bright huffed.
"You fixed nothing, we're in the same unfortunate situation as earlier. What you should have said is 'take us out of this forest'." Hail pointed out.
"Then...let's try again!" Shade said, but unfortunately, their Luches ran out of charge.
"Why now?" Shade groaned.
"I mean we did use them earlier..." Bright sighed.
"Who's that!?" The boys shouted.
"Listen~. I'm kind enough to let you all dream a lot more~!"
"Alright, I've had enough!" Using her whip, Hail brought out the creature from a hole in a tree trunk. It wrapped around a strange creature and pulled it out. Hail then threw it onto the ground with a thud.
"Oh, uh...h-hello everyone I'm a Baku, a dream-eating creature. My name is Snowy!" Snowy introduced himself.
"Baku!?" The boys and Fine shouted.
"So you're the one responsible for all these illusions people have experienced!" Fine said.
"No not illusions, they're dreams!" Snowy corrected.
"Like it matters!" Hail glared at him.
"Why did you do all this?" Fine asked.
"Well people let me eat a lot of tasty dreams in this forest. Since they're so delicious I decided to share them with the travelers! Huh? Is something wrong?"
Snowy looked at them. Bright and Fine had a look of utter shock. Shade and Hail on the other hand looked somewhat annoyed.
"Food always tastes even better when you share it, you know? Oh! I get it you wanted something even tastier right? Look I have this extra scary one over here!"
Soon everyone was glaring at Snowy and the boys yelled, "Stop causing trouble! We don't want anything like that!"
Snowy had escorted them out of the forest and apologized.
"I won't share these dreams anymore...but well maybe a little..." The four shut him down immediately.
"Eeek! I'm sorry!" Snowy ran back into the forest.
"Sharing wouldn't be so bad if it was a cake though." Bright said.
"Only if it was a cake baked well though." Shade added.
"Shade! Look out!" Fine yelled.
"Huh?" Fine pushed Shade to the ground just as Hail's dragon jumped from above and to Hail.
"What did you tell that thing to do!?" Fine shouted.
"You're overreacting, she only wanted to return to my side." Hail replied.
Fine was once again preparing to draw her sword.
"Wait a second, Fine!" Shade said.
"What if she told that thing to take your Luche – pumo!?" Poomo glared.
"I'd thank you to not refer to my companion as a thing." Hail frowned.
'Isn't she going to try to even refute what Poomo just implied..?' Shade thought.
"So Poomo's right. Then I can't let you approach Shade ever again!" Fine shouted.
"Eh?" Bright stared at Fine.
"If you do anything to hurt Shade...I will never forgive you!" Fine declared.
'Don't tell me...is it possible that Fine loves...' Bright's eyes traveled to his cousin who was still staring at Hail almost with pleading eyes, hoping she try to defend herself.
Bright's expression immediately clouded over. He clenched his hands into fists and looked down. He was jealous, but he didn't want them to know or see the look on his face...
Hail climbed onto her steed and glanced at Bright. She disliked seeing him like this and felt he had no reason to be jealous of Shade.
She then turned her attention to Fine, "I am only interested in Prominence. Your little friend over there means nothing to me."
"Uh?" Shade's eyes turned wide. He didn't mean anything to her...? Why did it hurt to hear her say that?
"Never follow me again! You're nothing more than a nuisance!" And with those words she rode away on her steed.
Shade wanted to glare at her, to be offended by the fact that she called him a nuisance, but rather than being mad he found himself feeling...depressed...