Stepping out of the simple but clearly high quality carriage, Sakura shielded her eyes at the bright sun. Sakura turn to her right, seeing the Emperor getting off his own carriage. She quickly walked to his side and followed the tall stoic man behind him.
Once they had enter the hallway of the Emperor's home, Sakura was dismissed with a nod at her direction, making her stop and bow deeply. With a small peek under her parted bangs, she saw many pair of feet walk away from the direction she was heading to. Just as the Emperor rounded the corner of the stonewall and the Emperor's back was out of sight, only did Sakura shoot up and turned like a cat. She then ran through the maze like corridors and halls, without thinking, letting her body remember which way to twist and turn. Surprisingly upon reaching the eldest princess's wing, when she came across a few ladies in waiting, they did not once stop her. Which surprised her a bit, since the past majority years of her life, they would always scold her for doing so.
Sakura couldn't wait to tell her princess of her adventures with the Emperor. She had it all planned out once she find her, she would tell her of all the adventures of that one year she was gone while presenting her each token from each adventure. Surely, Sakura had thought, will make her princess happy. Once she has finished her story, she would retain her position as her personal maid. Yes, today was a good day for Sakura. She could hardly contain her excitement but manage to keep herself from showing anything on her face, just as she was taught from she was born.
Sakura ready herself before she knocked lightly on the door. Clearing her throat lightly, Sakura asked her princess, "Hime-sama, may I come in?"
"No!" A voice that belonged to her princess cried out followed by a shattering sound of glass breaking upon the contact of the door that startled Sakura, "Go away! Why do you people keep on making me do things I don't want to do?!"
"Hime-sama?" said Sakura, alarmed as she finds the door knob locked in place. "Hime-sama! Let me in! What happen?"
"What happened?!" A shrilled voice reached Sakura's ears, "You know what happen! You people are the ones who did this to me! Why must you do this to me? What have I ever done to you?! I've been a obedient princess. I did everything you ask of me, even turning my title to Hanabi! You're all the same! Wanting me to do this and that and I do it. Only Sakura never ask me to do anything I don't want to! I want her back! I want Sakura back!"
Now Sakura was almost panicking, never once have she ever hear her princess raise her voice like this or be improper and break something. "Hime-sama! It's me, Sakura! Sakura! I came back! I'm here! Let me in!" Sakura was preparing to force the door open in a few seconds if her princess was going to answer like her previous statements before.
"Sa-Sakura?" Sakura calmed down a bit, hearing Hinata's usual soft voice instead of the angry filled one. "You came back?"
"Yes, yes!" Sakura said almost frantically, "It's me Sakura and I came back. Now will you open the door?"
"I-I can't…" Her princess softly whispered.
"Why not?" Sakura ask with her heart beating faster.
"The l-lock is broken. It won't open unless it break down."
"What?!" exclaimed Sakura wondering why in the first place it was broken, "Why?"
"I think I might have thrown a bit to much things at the door…" She said hesitantly.
If the situation wasn't so alarming to Sakura, she would have laughed but she need to calm down and know if she was safe. Shit, Sakura cursed inwardly, how could she forgotten about her princess safety? And why haven't any of those so-called guards fixed this problem yet? "Okay. Hime-sama, where are you located at right now?"
"On my bed."
"Okay, stay there and don't moved, I'm going in."
"Eh? B-but how?" asked the princess, slightly worry for Sakura.
"Balcony," Sakura said with a bit urgency in her voice, "Stay there and don't move!" Without waiting for a reply, she ran down the hallway, almost crashing into a guard. Who also seem to have a superior complex and demanded an apology. It got on her nerves, wondering why these stupid guards appear only now.
"Apologize now, filth!" The ego filled man in armor besides his fellow guard who stared at him in disbelief.
Okay, so she was still dressed in her traveling clothing that was worn out and was dirty but it doesn't mean they can just insult her. Doesn't he know who she was? Well apparently not as Sakura watch him continue his little tantrum.
"Filth? Filth?" Sakura asked almost dramatically with her anger slowly rising. "Who are you to call me filth? Where the hell were you two when the Princess is trapped in her room, filled with broken objects that can hurt her?!"
Sakura stared at him in disbelief. He dared backhand her?
"Shut you mouth wench, know your place!" The guard exclaimed with superiority.
His partner could only stare at his partner in horror. Apparently, she thought, his partner knows who I am. Smart.
"You!" Sakura said, pointing to the man that did not speak, "What are you and your partner's name and station?"
"Ken-Kenji and Station Five ma'am!" Kenji said nervously, "He's Station Five Bunta!"
"You two go inform the other guards off-duty to clean up the Princess's room and do not break her door down. Just try and unscrew the doorknob. Hurry!" The petite figure said with authority before running down the hallway. Sakura cursed inwardly as she ran faster, that idiot had taken up time she needed for her Princess and damn that backhand sting. It's going to leave a mark. How would it not? With that metal armor he backhand her cheek with, her cheek was probably bleeding lightly at one point. She could still hear some of their conversation before she completely was out of earshot.
"Stupid asshole!" Kenji hissed, "You not only talk back to her but backhand her? How much do you want to die or suffer?"
"What?" stumbled Bunta, "B-but she was-"
"She was nothing you need to be involved with! I could only hope I won't get punish for what you stupidly did!"
"What do you mean but that?"
"Do you know who she was? Where was your brain when General told us who to watch out for? She is…!"
Sakura didn't here anymore of their idiotic conversation but made a mental note to only get her revenge for someone named Bunta. With another few twist and turns, she ran out into the opening balcony and jumped to the tall tree, conveniently placed next the balcony.
The princess, who was two years younger then Sakura, turned around in surprise as she partially saw Sakura landed without a sound from a tree. With a cry of delight, the princess face lit up and at once, she clumsily got of the big bed and ran to hug Sakura. Sakura who had already expected the hug and small force, steady the slightly shorter girl but she haven't expected for the princess to fully cry on her.
Sakura smiled a bit at the childish antic but lightly pulled her down to the floor so the princess wouldn't have to stand and cry at the same time, making her more tired then necessarily. After a few moments, the princess calmed down enough to sit up straight and smile slightly, while wondering when the idiots would come and clean up the room so the princess can be safe.
"Sa-Sakura," she started with an unsteady voice as she stares at Sakura's face with her own white, pupil-less eyes. "Your face! What happened?"
"It's nothing to worry about," Sakura said, quickly brushing away the fact it still stings and ache, "What's happen? What made you act like this? Did someone pick on you? Did someone harm you? Are you hurt in anyway?" Before Sakura could accuse more of the nonexistent horrible deeds done upon her princess, she received her answer.
"I-I…I'm going to get marry soon.." Hinata said so softly, Sakura almost didn't hear it.
"What?!" Whatever Sakura was expecting, she didn't expect this! Well maybe she did entertain that thought for a bit but that's not the point. "Who? When? Why? How?!"
"Grandmother…Grandmother wanted me to marry into the Uchiha Kingdom…So-some agreement or contract that Mother couldn't disobey. O-one of the Uchiha siblings will m-marry me once I turn fifteen." The princess explained. That was in three years, Sakura calculated.
"But…Hime-sama?" Sakura asks, "Weren't you ready to marry?"
"I-I was b-but I was expecting to marry one of my distant cousin. So I was never taught of the Uchiha Kingdom ways or even other countries ways. I was only taught the Hyuuga's ways…considering how useless I was." The princess bitterly repeated the last few words her grandmother always said to her.
Sakura frowned deeply before she told Hinata in a firm voice, "You are not useless Hime-sama, don't ever sell yourself short. You are the Princess of Hyuuga's Empire." Pausing, wondering if she should ask her next question. "Hime-sama...What...What about Hanabi-Hime-sama? Wouldn't Miyabi-Kotaigo-sama pick Hanabi-Hime-sama instead?
"Grandmother said she was too…valuable and potential to be married off into the Uchiha just yet. I'm more expendable, supposedly."
"Hime-sama…" Sakura couldn't bear to see the princess bitter and distress like this. She wanted to help her as much as possible, not wanting her to be hurt by the Princess's Grandmother or the infamously cold hearted Uchiha, no matter what it took for her princess to be safe.
"Hinata." The Princess said, "I told you to call me Hinata a lot of times before."
"Hime-sama," Sakura whispered, "Yes, Hinata-sama. Your wish is my command."
Just as Sakura was helping Hinata sit on the soft cushioned bench outside in the balcony, just underneath the shade for her to rest and calm down, the door lightly swung open to reveal several guards and maids. Sakura could only narrow her green eyes at the late arrival and pulled the curtain to shield the princess. She closed the glass doors but left it unlocked.
Sakura knelt in front of the blue-haired princess and smiled lightly at her. "Hinata-sama. I'll find a way to help you. No matter what it takes. I will find a way for you to be happy. At least find out which Uchiha is best for you. Now sit still. I was planning on early to tell you of my journey that I'm going to tell you now, okay?"
Hinata smiled even if she was still shaking slightly.
"Okay, okay," Sakura said as she dug into her bag that she had left out in the balcony and took some unfamiliar jar out, handing it to Hinata, "This is a Moon flower that I got for you. This was the first gift I got when I first journeyed with his majesty in the Moon Valley Village. This flower glows eternally in the night with the water in it. So never let the water and flower leave the jar, otherwise it won't glow anymore, okay?
Tonight you'll see how beautiful it is in all its glory, Hinata-sama."
Sakura could see her princess look in wonder at the flower she never before seen in her life. Sakura, wanting to see the smile she hasn't seen since a year ago, on her princess's face. With that goal in mind, she hurriedly picked out something else and handed to her princess.
"Now this, Hinata-sama, is what you call a…"
"You may enter," A guard next to two tall and wide doors said, "The Emperor and Empress awaits you."
Sakura nodded slightly to the guards and went inside the throne room and knelt a dozen feet away from the two thrones with her head bowed down. "It is an honor to see both of my Emperor and Empress together today after one year and for your majesties to want to speak to the unworthy one."
"Sakura." A gentle voice beckons, "Look up so I can see how you grown."
"Yes, my Empress, for your wish is my command." Sakura said politely before she lifted her head up to see the two ruler of the Empire.
"My," the Empress said with a smile, "How you have grown since I last saw you."
"I thank you for your undivided attention on me." Sakura said.
"Sakura," The Emperor said with his strict tone as always, "You have heard of Hinata's marriage to the Uchiha, correct?"
"Yes sire, it is correct."
" The contract will have our Empire and the Uchiha Kingdom be a permanent ally, the contract must not break. You know very well how the Uchiha is. Hinata was not raised up to be a wife of Uchiha but only one of the Hyuga. She will not last there even a week if she was to live there. I want at least to be sure of my daughter's safety. I absolutely will not let my daughter live in a lion's den.
"Will you be willing to go to the Uchiha Kingdom? To pose as one of them, to find everything to ensure Hinata's safety?" The Emperor asked even if the three knew Sakura would without fail.
"For the Princess's sake, I'm more than willing to die for her, sire." Sakura stated with determination in her voice.
"Good. Everything is already arranged. You'll go as an orphaned distant relative. One of my ambassadors' distant relative in the Uchiha Kingdom. You'll have to stay there for at least two years, work your way up, gain the trust of the Uchiha and find out just how safe the Kingdom is. How you do it, I'll leave that to you."
"When will I leave the princess again?" Though Sakura wanted Hinata's safety, she doesn't want to just go off for another two years of not seeing her.
"Minimum of three months. Hinata is to visit the Uchiha Kingdom every year till the marriage one month for each seasons starting in two months."
"Yes sire," Sakura said before asking, "Sire?"
"What is it?"
"Who will be protecting Hinata while I'm not there when she travels?"
"I already hired two shinobi for her, in the worse case scenario, she would have to defend herself. You are dismissed."
"Yes sire." Sakura bowed deeply before standing and walked back wards towards the door.
"Damn!" Sakura hissed, "Hime-sama definitely won't be happy about this."
Today's good day turned out to be a bad day for her.
"Hey you girl! Why are wondering about the hall late at night?"
Great, she thought, another one with a superiority complex. What have the Hyuga guards come to? Sighing, she turned to the guards and glared harshly and felt a throbbing headache forming. Yes today was a bad day for Sakura.
A/N: Chapter 1 Revised a bit.