disclaimer: "I do not own yugioh."
Hidden perfectly in the shadows created by the fading rays of the sun and palace walls, a cloaked figure slid closer and closer to its destination. The black robe hung loosely around the body of the figure, hiding every curve, and making it impossible to decipher the identity of the mysterious form.
"Oh no." The figure panicked, watching two royal guards approaching its hiding place.
'I told her to keep them away from the balcony.' The mysterious stranger thought and slid further into the wall in an attempt to become a part of the wall, and be concealed by the shadows completely. The desperate attempts were successful, and the guards passed without noticing anything. A deep breath of relief escaped the stranger's lips.
'She better have left the balcony window open.' The figure silently prayed and took out a thin rope, with a small metal hook attached to one end. With masterful accuracy and precision, the figure threw the hook at a chosen spot. After hearing a familiar "clink", the black-robed body skillfully, and swiftly climbed the rope, and finally landed on the floor with a silent jump. No one was around. The princess' room was empty.
'Perfect' the figure thought with a sly smile and entered the exorbitant room. Feeling confident, the figure threw off its cloak and lumped on the lusciously soft bed.
"Saved… yet again," the figure whispered with a confident smirk.
"No you are not," came a voice, startling the figure, causing it to jump and turn around.
"Oh, it's just you Lyna," the figure said, recognizing a woman in late forties.
"Yes, it is me. And you are late, my princess," the women named Lyna chided. The princess just laughed softly, and Lyna frowned. "Your father has been asking for you." This caused the princess to rise from the bed in surprise.
"He has?" she asked, her blue eyes wide in surprise.
"Yes princess. I have been stalling him for quite some time now. But he will not rest until he sees you," Lyna said, approaching the young girl.
"Yeah. I know. He is stubborn," the princess said, falling back on the bed.
"I would say you both are." Lyna said with a faint smile, but that smile quickly turned into a frown of disgust as she approached the princess.
"Oh my. What have you been doing today, Tea? You smell worse than ever." The young princess laughed.
"Mr. Hamid needed help with feeding the cows. So I helped him. I mixed the fodder, fed the cows, and I even helped him milk them," Tea said proudly.
"No wonder you smell like cow dung," Lyna said and Tea's excited smile disappeared. "You should take a nice long bath before you go anywhere near another human, or any other living thing, for that matter."
"Ok. I'll go now," Tea said and stood up. Lyna grabbed a nice silk robe for the princess to wear and walked with her towards the huge bathroom, where the princess stripped out of her clothes, and slid into the warm water.
"You need to end these escapades out of the palace, Tea. If your father ever found out that you have been sneaking out of the palace, he will have my head," Lyna said, massaging scented oil in Tea's hair to wash away the smell and dirt from the day.
"He'll never find out Lyna." The princess said, playing with the bubbles that floated around her. "I've been sneaking out of this palace for 4 years now, and he hasn't suspected a thing. You worry too much."
"You are right Tea," Lyna sighed. "I do worry too much about you. But you cannot blame me for worrying. You are a troublesome girl. You always have been one from the start. Yet I have always guaranteed your safety and well being every time you did something… inappropriate. But I really am growing scared about this."
"What's eating you about this one now? You agreed to it before." Tea asked seriously.
"Well yes, I did agree. But I thought that once you saw and experienced the hardships outside these palace walls, you would not have wanted to go out again. But instead, you were fascinated with the new life." Tea nodded her head, letting the women know she was paying attention.
"But you are 18 years old now… or rather, you will be after two full moons. You are a grown woman, and the princess of Greece. You must behave in a specific way that is appropriate for a princess. You should dress in silk and velvet dresses of the highest quality, wear the finest jewels, and attend all palace galas, so you can mingle with the people of your own society. But what do you do instead? You sneak out of the safety of the palace and run into the surrounding villages. You run around with peasants all day, doing menial tasks for them."
"But I like helping them," Tea spoke with true joy in her tone. "I get bored sitting in the palace all day. Outside, it's a lot more interesting. I've learnt so much about my people, their lifestyle and their little beliefs. The people are so kind and carefree, not like the stuffy guards or generals in the palace. And the women don't pick on everything like the nobles. Frankly, I prefer them over the nobles." Tea said hotly. Lyna didn't answer. Tea also chose to end this conversation at that. After washing away all the dirt from her, Tea stepped out of the water and dressed herself in a silk dress. It reached her knees and hugged her body's curves perfectly. She quickly brushed her hair, while Lyna added sparkling gemstones for style and beauty. After viewing herself in the mirror, Tea smiled graciously at Lyna and left her chamber to meet the king, and her father.
(Somewhere far away)
A young man groaned in pain and frustration as he attempted not to rip away the ancient scrolls that surrounded him.
"The ancestors chose to abandon this language for a reason: it's too complicated," he grumbled, "and now I have to dig the graves and figure out what they were trying to say. Oh how I love my life," he finished sarcastically.
'This country relies on me too much,' he thought bitterly. 'If there's anything even remotely difficult, they throw at me. And I have to do it because I'm the pack mule that is dragging this empire forward.' Anger surged through his veins and he slammed his fist on the stone table in frustration. Just then, a servant entered the study chamber, cowering in fear.
"Y… your em… eminence," he stuttered. It was common for everyone to be afraid when in his presence. He loved the effect his stature and his power had on others.
"What?" he asked coldly.
"The… the pharaoh wishes… to see you. In the… throne room." The servant finally finished, struggling to say every word under his piercing gaze. He sighed and tried not to yell.
"I'll be there shortly," he finally said, and the servant bowed quickly before running out of the room, trying to be as far from him as possible. As soon as the servant disappeared out of sight, he slumped in his chair in defeat.
"What does the brat want now?" he asked no one in particular, as he straightened his robes, preparing to appear in front of the pharaoh and his cousin. Once satisfied with himself, he swiftly walked towards the throne room with a mask of indifference plastered on his face. Servants moved out of his way, in respect and fear, as he entered the throne room. Just as he had pictured, his cousin, the pharaoh, sat comfortably in a large gold chair. A young girl fanned him, while another sat on the floor, massaging his feet and legs.
"High priest Seto, so glad you could grace me with your presence," the young pharaoh said with a mocking smirk on his face.
"You requested my expertise?" Seto said with a cold expression on his face, but his chosen words caused the smirk to disappear from the pharaoh's face.
"On the contrary Seto, I called you here to tell you something," the pharaoh said.
"Then tell me, Yami," Seto said, not caring if he sounded offensive to the pharaoh. Every time Yami called him by his first name instead of his title, he called him by his name instead of "pharaoh."
"Of course," Yami said smugly. "But, please, you first. Tell me Seto, how are the scrolls coming along?"
"Quite well," Seto replied with indifference. "I have deciphered almost every scroll."
"Impressive," Yami said with an amused look on his face. "I didn't expect anything less from you. Father truly knew what he was doing when he chose you as High Priest." This caused Seto's blood to boil, but he controlled his rage by clenching his hands into fists at his sides.
"Anyway," Yami continued, "I do feel bad for assigning you such a difficult task. Therefore, I have decided to give you a break." Seto tried not to laugh at Yami's words. 'A break,' he thought. 'Yeah right. Most likely, it's something even worse.' He kept silent, though, allowing Yami to say whatever he intended to say.
"But there's a catch," Yami smirked slyly, and Seto resisted the urge to roll his eyes.
"I thought so." Sarcastic words escaped his lips before he could stop himself. Yami only chuckled.
"You know cousin, you should try these massages," Yami said, closing his eyes in contentment. "Female fingers on your skin add a flame that soothes all your troubles away."
"I have better things to occupy my time," Seto said, and Yami let out a hearty laugh.
"Oh, I forgot. You don't allow anyone to touch you, not even a woman." At this, he withdrew his legs, causing the girl at his feet to retreat her eager hands and shift herself to one side by his throne.
"Oh how I worry about you, dear cousin," Yami said with fake concern. "Since I am the pharaoh, I have the responsibility to produce a healthy and able heir for this state so my legacy can continue… and of course the legacy of my ancestors, who happen to be your ancestors as well. We should make them proud Seto, don't you think?"
"I am making them proud the way I see fit," Seto replied through clenched teeth. "I have my skills and my knowledge to show. However, I don't see you with an heir that you can show off."
"That will be changed soon," Yami said with a smug look. "And I'll kill two birds with one arrow."
"What do you mean?" Seto asked, trying not to sound surprised, and remotely curious. Yami rarely came up with ideas. He always pressured Seto to come up with every decision and solution, while he basked in the resulting praises and glory.
"I'm sure you know all about the state of Greece… or don't you?" Yami said.
"Of course I do. It's a very prosperous state, rich in minerals, and natural resources that are lacking in the sands of Egypt," Seto replied coolly, not revealing his confusion at Yami's question.
"Well, do you also know that the king has only one child, that happens to be a daughter?" Seto's eyes widened considerably, not at the information, but at the possible ideas that Yami might have regarding that piece of information.
Tea causally walked into the throne room, greeting the servants good-naturedly along the way. She found her father conversing with some high-ranking generals and officials. Upon her entrance, they bowed deeply to her in respect. Her father stood up as well to greet his daughter, and dismissed the men with a wave of his hand.
"Hello my King. You wished to see me?" she asked with respect and formality, lowering her head and eyes to the ground. Her father smiled at her gesture and placed a hand tenderly upon her head.
"Yes princess. I did request your presence. But I'd prefer if I could speak with my daughter as well," he said with a warm smile.
"Of course baba." Tea smiled. She always liked it when she didn't have to call her father 'king', and when he treated her as his daughter instead of a princess.
"Come, sit with me." Her father gestured towards the throne, and she obediently followed. She had sat on the throne with her father many times during her childhood, as well as teen years. She was an intelligent girl, and often gave her opinion in the matters of the state. Her father, a very liberal and open-minded man, listened to her opinions and took them into consideration along with the suggestions of other high ranking officials, when making a decision.
"How was your day today baba?" she asked her father, feeling guilty at the fact that she was away all day.
"Same old, same old. You know, the boring matters of governing a huge empire," he said with a smile. "But I do believe your day was interesting." His smile widened and Tea's heartbeat increased. Did he know?
"What do you mean baba?" she asked, trying her best to keep her voice from shaking. What if he knew? Was that why he had called her?
"You know, I always thought your fascination lied with horses. I never knew you were interested in cows." The warm smile never left his face. However, all color drained from Tea's features. So he knew.
"I'm… I'm sorry baba. I… I…" She desperately tried to find a reason that would justify her actions in the eyes of her father and the king of the state, but she found none.
"There's no need to apologize Tea." His kind words shocked her beyond comprehension, and her mouth hung open. He laughed softly at her reaction.
"I may not be too happy at your constantly sneaking away, but I do feel great pride at your attempt to know our people. You may posses more knowledge then any other "old geezer", as you call them, in the court, maybe even more then me." He said. Tea wouldn't reply. She was still in shock.
"I'm glad to know that my daughter is different than other girls in her same age."
"When… how… how did you know?" Tea said, finally finding her voice. Her father laughed again.
"What kind of father would I be if I didn't know what my rebellious daughter was up to?" A bright smile appeared on her face and she threw her arms around him in a warm embrace.
"I love you baba. You're the best baba in the world," she said. When she pulled away, her father had a serious look on his face.
"Do you really think I'm a good father Tea?" he asked.
"Of course you are!" she said encouragingly. "You're a great father and a great ruler as well." She really did believe that.
"Sometimes I wonder if the king takes over the father," her father said with a sigh.
"It doesn't matter. I trust them both with my life." Tea said.
"The king has made a decision about this empire, and that decisions concerns you princess." Her father spoke dejectedly. "He has decided to marry you to the pharaoh of Egypt, to form an alliance with the strong kingdom." Another shock seemed to have rendered the witty princess speechless for the second time.
"An alliance with Egypt will deter all our enemies, and will increase our trade with the Middle Eastern empire, providing stability for the state and people."
"And… what about… the father?" Tea asked fearfully.
"The father… agrees with the king." Tea's heart sank to the bottom of her chest. Her father noticed her expression, but continued nonetheless. "You will be of age in two moons, and will be ripe for marriage. Many will come to seek your hand in marriage. I only want what's best for you. The pharaoh is a strong leader, known for his justice and wisdom. He'll treat you with respect and care. You'll be the queen of an enormous nation that will worship you like a goddess." Her father tried to cheer her up, but failed.
"The king and father may have made their decision, hoping that you'll respect their wishes. They have placed their trust in you, but the final say will be yours. If you refuse, then it'll be." Her father finally said and stood up, signaling that their meeting was over. Tea also stood up, though her legs were shaky, and walked back towards her chambers, trying to comprehend her recent learning.
Lyna noticed her quiet entrance and walked up to her.
"What's wrong Tea?" she asked with concern. Tea turned to face her, and her empty blue orbs scared Lyna.
"Tell me," Lyna insisted.
"He has decided my future for me Lyna. He's caged me," Tea whispered, her eyes void of the ever-present spark of life and happiness. Lyna quickly wrapped her arms around the young girl to calm her.
"Tea, what happened?" she asked, panic dripping from her words.
"He… has fixed… my marriage." As soon as the words left her lips, Lyna squealed in joy and hugged Tea tighter.
"Oh, wonderful! I knew today was going to be a joyous day. My right eyelid kept twitching. I knew it. Oh this is wonderful!" In her excitement, she failed to see tears form in Tea's eyes.
"Yeah. Won… derful." The princess tried hard to keep her voice form breaking. Lyna noticed Tea's state and calmed herself immediately.
"This is something to be glad about princess. Is it with the pharaoh of Egypt?" Lyna asked. Tea slowly nodded and Lyna smiled.
"So what I heard was correct. You are the luckiest girl in the world Tea. Egypt is a strong and blessed land. And the pharaoh is a god. He is worshipped and you will be as well when you are his queen. The world will kiss the ground you walk on." Lyna said.
"I don't care about all that Lyna," Tea said in anger.
"Then what is the matter?" Lyna asked in exasperation.
"I don't want to get married to someone I don't love. I've never even met him Lyna. I don't know what kind of person he is. What if he doesn't like me?" Tea revealed her fears. Lyna only smiled.
"That is all? You worry too much." Lyna threw her words back at her, but kindly. "You do not have to get married immediately. Your father is a wise man. He has already said that no matter whom you marry, you will spend some time with him first to get to know him. And I know he is not going to change that now. You will get a chance to meet the pharaoh, get to know him, and you will learn to love him as well. As for him liking you? You are smart and you are beautiful. Who would not love you?"
"I am not talking about physical features, Lyna. I'm talking about personality. I don't think I'm fit to be a queen." Lyna laughed and kissed Tea's forehead softly.
"Just go to sleep princess. Do not think on it too much. I have a feeling there is love for you on that land," Lyna said knowingly. Tea only sighed and changed into a simple silk robe for the night. When she lay in bed, Lyna came and kissed her forehead in affection again.
"Good night Tea. Sleep well, for this may be your last day on your homeland," she whispered and left the room. Tea's eyes opened and she stared at the ceiling. How could Lyna and her father be so sure about that pharaoh? They'd never met him. That'd only heard about him, and already, they trusted him. But she was different. Her trust had to be earned by the person himself.
An uncomfortable feeling arose in her stomach as she thought about the pharaoh, Egypt, and her marriage. She had never feared any new development or change in her life. But she was truly afraid of this one. A new land, a new culture, a new lifestyle always excited her, but now, it caused her toes to curl in fear.
'I can't let this happen!' her rebellious side spoke through the dark corners of her mind. 'I have always been free, and I can't let someone cage me now. I have finally developed my wings and I want to soar in the sky higher then before. I can't let them cut my wings now.'
But what could she do? She had no other choice. In the morning, she would have to answer her father, and she knew what that answer would have to be, even if she disagreed with it. She could never say no to her father, and she couldn't avoid him either.
'That's it!' she mentally screamed in joy. A content smile appeared on her lips at her decision.
'I'll run away from home.'
Hey people. It has been quite long since I wrote a new story. I was really busy with other shit. I thought my fanfiction account had expired since I hadn't logged in since forever. But lucky me. Anyway, I am writing this storyin collaboration with "Want2BFree". So read and review, and let me know what you guys think. Also, if you guys have any ideas that you want added in the story, let me know.