"Once Upon a Wing"

Prologue

"Once Upon a Time..."

Once upon a time there lived a beautiful Princess in a shining castle. She was known throughout the land for not only her beauty and grace but also her kind and generous heart.

She was the beloved symbol of peace-both at home and in kingdoms abroad beyond the ivory sands and deep blue seas that kept the kingdom of Sanc held up on high. The Sanc Kingdom was the well-cherished sacred land of peace, far separated from the world of conflict-of wicked magicians and sorcerers, of evil creatures-warlocks, harpies and dragons, and above all, the shores kept her purity, the Princess Relena, safeguarded from any would-be royal suitors who were attempting, and yet up till now, not succeeding to take her hand in marriage-to take her away from her adoring people.

The caring older brother kept her sheltered and protected from every would-be knight in shining armor to come her way from across the seas in search of her beauty. And now also from someone else-

That someone who would give his life for her Highness at any given second, whose heroism in battle was almost as famed as his ruler's beauty and purity-the Captain of her Royal Guard, the protector of the Kingdom, whose job was to personally see to the princess' protection-even if it meant his life, to never let her go...

That singular thought that was the sum total of one young man who had come up so quickly through the ranks of the (albeit in comparison to tales of other kingdoms' military prowess) small army of the peace-loving Sanc Kingdom.
He indeed was a singular man as well. His arrival one fateful day not so long ago was quickly becoming legendary amongst the people of this good land.

One early morning, along with the ocean tide, he was washed ashore. Nameless, and devoid of a single memory, save for the awareness and the drive-the drive to kill the evil sea monster known in these parts as the hydra. It had crossed a distant ocean before him, attracted to the thriving life of Sanc's shores.

And this man had followed it here. He had passed the tempestuous waves of the sea on a craft only a starborn warrior of ancient folklore could have devised. For what lay before the cliffs and the white sandy shores of Sanc was impenetrable when the ocean decided it...

She had watched it all, on that memorable day. The Princess Relena had always been a star gazer herself. Every morning on the sandy beaches she watched the sun come up and the stars fade away, dreaming, wishing, hoping, that someday her prince would come...

Someday he would come riding over the horizon on a white winged horse, be the most handsome, most gallant, most romantic man in all the world and sweep her off her feet to his kingdom in the sky...

Perhaps those were only the dreams of a youthful girl. Or perhaps something else as the headstrong rebellion that caused her to dash on dainty white feet through the rushing sands straight to a lone boy who had been washed ashore. She gazed at him in longing.

Maybe today, he would be the one...

"Who are you? Are you hurt? Come to the palace with me. Someone will tend to your wounds- Ahhh!" Relena's kind heart offers assistance to this mysterious newcomer but his rough hands bodily shove her away.

"Did you see it? Get away!" The forceful command and frightening flashing dark eyes was more than this lofty princess could bear. She took to her heels as ordered by this awful, rough boy. The tears blinked in her sensitive eyes, screaming to her that princes only do come riding in on white-winged horses, that they were always gallant, kind and gentle, caring of her feelings-and this mere lad covered in blood and dirt, was nothing more than a-

But from a ways trodden down the shoreline towards her home, Princess Relena had paused to turn at the ear-shattering, screeching roar that had come from whence she had just left behind.
She watched in horror the visage of a three-headed sea dragon rising from the ocean depths. It's fanged teeth were about to make a lunge for the helpless boy below.

"Relena! Get back to the palace! Take the princess from here!" A barked order once again. And Relena almost sighs, if not for the excitement rushing through her veins. Her older brother races past her, protectively shoving her shoulders into that of a young guard under his command.

"NO! Milliardo!" Princess Relena's voice cries out in fear for her older sibling as she struggles against the guard tugging at her, his order given.

"We must rid Sanc's shores of all evil!" King Milliardo's booming voice could barely be heard above the melee of the three-headed hydra's screams. Drawing his broadsword, long platinum hair blowing in the sea wind heroically, the Kingdom's ruler selflessly marches into battle. He was fully prepared to give everything he had in order to protect the land that he loved-and his little sister, too...

But a fierce battle even as Sanc's small army gathers on the shore was not in the stars for today.

The young man who had travelled great distances to vanquish this evil creature had avoided its three-pronged and sharpened teeth attacks to this point and to the entire army's astoundment, along with the Princess' wide and shocked eyes-though he was bruised and bloodied and battered-he revealed a magical weapon of some sort. It was a forged piece of metal in an angular shape as never seen before on these shores-nor on any of this world for that matter.

It was a small bit of jewelry perhaps? A medallion of sorts? Hopefully it could cast an evil spell on the hydra and send it away back to the depths it came from?

BANG!

An ear-splitting explosion stems from the tiny article in the mysterious boy's hand. Every soldier stands in awe of the foreign warrior as, with precise aim, he defeats the three-headed hydra in one single blow to its one shared heart.

All three heads gave one final roar before sinking to the bottom of the sea it came from. Still standing there was the one single disheveled and bloodstained young man who had destroyed a feared creature that would have doubtlessly ravaged the land and the army of Sanc's soldiers who were armed only with the steel and bladed weapons of this world's humans.

Now this man, though not riding in on a white-winged horse, nor possessing the gallant and dashing romance Relena desired in a prince-perhaps he was still one as yet...

A prince from the stars...

Her "Heero"...

And so that was this heroic boy was so fittingly named. For he had none of his own-at least he didn't give his name to anyone. He didn't confide his name nor his past or where he came from to any of his fellow soldiers of the army he was then welcomed and embraced into as a hero.

And so that was what she named him. The princess, much to her elder sibling's concern and chagrin, requested the newcomer to be her bodyguard that her older brother had been insisting she have if she was intent on attending the much famed wedding of Relena's often visiting friend in the neighboring kingdom of Aissur-the stunningly beauteous Princess Dorothy.


Princess Dorothy of Aissur was marrying a foreign prince hailing from the isolated island of Noxas, whose goodness, kindness and gentleness that preceded him, was almost as famous as Dorothy's catty eyebrows and unfortunate jinx in reeling in a suitable suitor.

Many a royal heir and knight had been handpicked by her illustrious family for the infamous blonde vixen to wed-but before she even had the opportunity to marry them, let alone meet most of the daring princes and knights who were off on their death-defying missions - they all, well...died.

One had caught a virus in an epidemic, one fell off a winged horse, and yet another had a bad case of turning to stone after taking one forbidden look at another evil-eyed woman.

Oh, well, there will always be another sucker-oh, I mean suitor-pardon me.

To take up the cursed cause of being betrothed to the Princess Dorothy. She didn't have a whim, a fancy or anything on the boring thoughts of love for a single one of them before their unfortunate demises, that is.

Golden Princess Dorothy far preferred the horse to its supposedly heroic rider. She was a great equestrienne herself. She had grown up under the tutelage of her beloved cousins-the Prince and King-to ever be amazed or awed by any mere mortal man other than them.

Who dared attempt to interfere with the utter adoration of a little girl she still had for her adored cousins? His Majesty, King Treize and His Royal Highness, Prince Trowa.

Ever since she was old enough for them to sit her up on her faithful winged steed-atop her very own pegasus...

Besides, what could possibly make this suitor - this Prince Quatre of the Isle of Noxas, any more special than the rest? We'll see just how worthy he proves to be of my beauty and my brilliance...

"We'll see if he lives long enough to make it to the wedding. Want to have a wager on it, hmmm, my beloved Pegasus?" With a loving caress around the neck of the white horse (a caress that no man ever deserved in her opinion), Princess Dorothy gives the golden reins a soft tug. She soon found herself soaring through the sky that no one could contain her lofty, wild spirit within.

High on the wind swept clouds, hovering over Aissur, the kingdom where the Pegasus roamed free and Princess Dorothy could accomplish anything-even conquer the world below from these dizzying, lofty heights.


P.S. Thanks for your wonderful review of 'my Gundam Wing: Neverending Story' too, Harpie-sama! There's even an Act II of Neverending Story', written yet untyped. I hope tp get it published someday...

As a guest, I didn't know how else to respond to your kindly comment on Gundam: Neverending Story', so I'll put it up here and at the end hoping you'll catch it, Gundam Friend!

Thanks again, to all of my loyal reviewers! It's so nice to hear of even past books still being appreciated! That really bolsters my imaginative spirit as I am busily writing my newest Frozen: Again sequel, my longest novel yet, at 500,000 words and counting!

I'll also try to be posting another chapter (already written, yet un-typed#) from each of my stories, including Gundam Wing: Neverending Story", on my birthday week off this year 2016 in August.

So til then, please keep reading and reviewing to keep the Gundam dream alive in Fanfiction-dom!