Nal'om has returned at long last! Many apologies to all my loyal readers-finals, state testing, and swim meets have put quite a strain on me these past few months. Please, read and review!! Reviews are what pulls me back to certain stories, and reignites my interest in sitting here typing out my ideas. If you want to see more, REVIEW.

Thank you,


The sun seemed to steam with color as it set over the horizon. Reds, oranges, and violets as rich as the King's dresswear cloaked the sky. The lake in front of them sparkled and shimmered. A warship sailed around lazily in the distance.

"…Princess, it's be-"

"What did I tell you about the formalities?"

"My apologies, Pri…Ashe."

"Thank you."

"It is beautiful, though. This entire kingdom is brimming with life. It reminds me so of Nabradia."

"Nabraida must be very beautiful. You haven't said much about your home kingdom."

"…it's much prettier here. At least, now. Even at the moment, Archadian soldiers might be marching to the palace…"
"That's quite a burden to carry." Ashe moved her hand to cover Rasler's. His hand tensed at first, then relaxed as he entwined his fingers with hers.

"It's made easier by people like you." Rasler cringed as he said this. He shouldn't be telling his fiancé this! He'd only known her for a maximum of twenty-four hours. That's it. What if that one, unthinking statement were to disintegrate the alliance between Nabraida and Dalmasca?

To Rasler's surprise, Ashe just smiled at him and rested her head on his shoulder. She really was incredible-even more than what his father had claimed she was in the weeks he spent trying to convince Rasler that marrying Ashe was best for the entire kingdom.

"I wish we could stay like this forever…" Ashe spoke wistfully into the silence.

"Me too, but that's unrealistic. You are a princess, and I am a prince. Soon, both our kingdoms will join as one. Together, we will rule the greatest empire ever to exist. And, of course-" Rasler was cut off by a soft laughing sound emitting from the head currently resting on his shoulder. Ashe's hand quickly moved to politely cover her mouth with her hand, but he could tell she was still giggling by her shoulder movement.

"What, may I ask, is so funny?" Rasler asked, slightly offended.

"I'm sorry…It's not you…it's just that…for a second there, I forgot that the only reason I was talked into this was to save my beloved kingdom. I never dreamed we'd actually have a heart-to-heart conversation. This just feels…right. I had always dreamed it would be this way, but never quite let myself believe it. I never thought that a foreign prince could be so charming."

Rasler let out a sigh of relief. He wasn't crazy! She felt the connection too! This was wonderful, for both of them. He had dreaded the thought of an arranged marriage where neither of them felt anything for each other- a marriage that existed only to remind both kingdoms of the alliance made between Nabradia and Dalmasca, and also to discourage any rebellions against the alliance, as both the prince and princess were very important to their respective homelands.

"It's getting late. We should both return to the palace…us staying out alone and unchaperoned late at night would put quite a nasty mark on our reputations." Rasler remarked remorsefully, silently praying that time would stop.

"You're right, of course." Ashe replied, wondering if there would be more moments like this. Realizing what she was thinking, she mentally slapped herself for being so selfish. This marriage was for the good of the kingdom, so shouldn't their concerns and needs-not her comfort-be the center of her attentions?