At last, a new chapter :) I can't believe it's already Summer of 2009! I haven't updated this since 2007.

Deceived, Chapter 10:

An Enlightening Dream

An unusually somber Kiley rode his horse, a greyish-white male named Prinstone, due south. He was headed for the kingdom's largest city, Cirudan. He believed it would be the best place to begin his search. He was dressed in simple attire, and he was trying to mentally prepare himself for the role he was about to undertake. He hunched over a bit, and put on a rough expression. Not too hard, considering his angry state of mind. He'd always chosen to have hair longer and shaggier than any other member of hte royal family, because he thought the ladies dug it. And now it would help him blend in easier!

So... To Cirudan!

Cirudan had once been a beautiful, cheerful city full of prosperous marketplaces, lively musicians, and wondrous seasonal festivals... But that was well over a century ago. Kiley's great-great-great-grandpa, King Edwich, had been a drunken gambler, and he had a tendency for great amounts of cruelty. He didn't care who he hurt; his only interest was in acquiring new paintings and statues to brag about. He was a collector, but his gambling often lost him much money, and some of his precious gallery items. When he had taken the throne, he had greatly raised the taxes on everything that was bought, sold, and owned, until the peasants of the country became rebellious and fought back. King Edwich was eventually murdered in his bed, but during the time when he ruled, he sucked the country dry, and destroyed the happy atmosphere in the cities and villages. Many wealthy cities, like Cirudan, had been burned down.

Since then, all of Kiley's ancestors had done their very best to turn things around, seeking a fair balanced for all, and the country was becoming prosperous once more. People were happy again; or so Kiley had thought- until word of a rebel group had spread, and his mother was.... Murdered!

Kiley clenched his fists, his eyes straight ahead. They will pay. Whoever did it...they will pay dearly.

The once colorful Cirudan was now dismal and dark; brick and stone buildings were tinged with burns, and the many wooden homes had burnt down completely. Still, thousands of people lived there now, and work was being done to repair it. One thing that the King and Queen had been doing was putting the people's taxes to work by rebuilding the city. The people had loved them for that.... but the rebel group had to be somewhere, and Cirudan, being the largest city, was the likely place to start.

So Kiley rode, a lump in his throat. Where are you, murderer?!! I will find you....

But first things first. The group must be found, and then Kiley would have to convince them he wanted to join, and would be a loyal soldier. He mentally prepared himself to use all the skills he possessed, especially his quick wit, charm, and good looks.

Always before in life, PrinceKiley had been lucky at everything he'd set out to do. He fervently hoped that wouldn't change anytime soon.

Ten days passed; Momo was healing, physically and mentally!

She could walk with only the slightest limp now; and her bruises were dark purples and blues, which meant they were healing nicely!

Momo walked to the edge of her father's small property, smiling. Her legs were strengthening. Perhaps she could help her father today. She saw him in the trees, sawing some firewood. He looked tired and worn out... He had been so kind to her since she'd been hurt.

Her father did his best to tend to her wounds; but he had so much work to do, and now he had to do hers on top of it, so he wasn't able to be around as much as he would like. He didn't know what had happened to her, and she wasn't interested in telling him. No, she could handle things herself.

Somehow, Kiley's words had only made her stronger. At first, her heart felt broken, and her anger at Sae was beyond anything she had experienced before.. But like all things, she felt better one morning, after waking up from a vivid, intense dream.

She had dreamed of an ethereal, hazy forest that was beautiful beyond compare. So much greenery, exotic birds singing their songs in the trees, large trees that she couldn't stretch her arms around. She was walking, but for some reason, it got harder with each step she took. Frowning, she looked around..and noticed the silence. The birds had stopped chriping. And then she saw the animals, staring at her from a short distance away.

One was a snake, twisting and slithering and sneaking around, and she knew without a doubt that it was Sae. Near the snake were several evil-looking hyenas, laughing and jeering at her. They grinned at her and whispered behind her back. She knew they were the village girls; Hilde and the others.

They hated her.

For no reason at all, they all hated her!

The thought was so overwhelmingly painful, and she couldn't help but wail.

"I'm innocent!!!" She shouted with all her might. "I'm not who you think I am... I'm... good..." The last two words were whispered, and tears clung to her eyes. She hung her head, and then stared back at them with angry pride. "I...don't...deserve this! I've done NOTHING TO YOU! NOTHING!"

"Silly Momo..."Sae whispered with a cruel smile, "You're so nieve... So pathetic. Don't you know that you'll get nothing in this world? You are a mere peasant, and I am a high-born, a princess! I can do whatever I'd like to you, anything at all... I can even take Toji from you... And you can't do a thing to stop me... Oh, you are a fool. Poor doomed fool! Alone forever!"

"No!" Momo sobbed, her heart breaking. "I can survive, I can beat you, Sae... I can find a way..."

"Poor doomed fool! Poor doomed fool!" The hyenas began chanting. "Alone forever! Alone forever!"

Falling to her knees, she cried out, but they were leaping at her now. Sae the snake came, too, hissing malevolently at her with cruel, dark eyes. "Momo..... You're finisssshed, Momo...I own you forever!" She snarled.

"Stop it! Please! Stop it! Why are you doing this?!" Momo pleaded with them as they started to beat her. She couldn't do anything to stop them, only scream. Weak. She was so weak... The forest turned black, and red, and she still couldn't move.

And then, suddenly, the forest was filled with a bright light. A new day had come; and her attackers were nowhere in sight. All was calm. All was serene. Momo knew something had changed.

Dream Momo was no longer in pain. Instead, she felt wonderful and free. There was a brilliant blue lake nearby; she walked over to it calmly. Serenely. Across the lake were two magnificent lions, and she knew instinctively who they were: Kiley and Toji. Kiley smiled lazily at her, winking; Toji looked solemn. Kiley raised a paw, beckoning her, and Toji turned slightly and stared into the depths of the lake.

Momo knew it was time to look at herself. Who was she, in this dream world filled with animals? Was she meek and small; a sheep or rabbit perhaps? Or... could she be someone else, someone braver; someone stronger? Someone who could, who would, FIGHT BACK!

Who am I?

She needed to know, and she began to look down...

...And she woke up.

Yes, the dream had made her wonder, and it had made her want to fight, to reclaim Toji and her life. Sae and those village girls were hurtful. vicious, cruel... in every way possible. They only wished to hurt her; to destroy her. She didn't need to waste time thinking about them, because it only brought her down. It made her doubt herself, and it made her meek.

She was not helpless, like they believed. Like a part of her had even believed. She had the right to live her own life without fear. She had the right to be happy and free, just like everyone else.

She nodded to herself, breathing deeply and closing her eyes. That was settled. She could move on; just worry about herself, her father, Toji, Kiley.... the people who mattered to her.

Toji. She was head over heels for Toji, and she wanted to see him. As soon as possible.

Dark princess Sae was turning him against her, but that was going to change. No longer was Momo going to just sit back and let Sae get the best of her. She was going to fight for what she wanted! She was going to win her love back, and Sae was going to have no idea what hit her.

Momo grinned to herself, her hair blowing in the wind. Okay! Time to plan my attack. Sae, you're going down, bitch!

Well, well, well :) I'm back to being inspired by this plot! Hehe. Expect another chapter next week!

If you want to, please leave me your thoughts ^^ I love to hear them!