Unhappiness, guilt. Was how he felt now that he was alone and lost in the duty of royalty. After that terrific day, all his memories and all of his past started to come to his mind, specially… her. But he wouldn't give up, he owned her that much, and was determined to find her no matter what, despite the fact all his kingdom and even his mother had lost all hope in finding her alive.

It was almost midnight, and there he sat at the library reading a book about "basis of magic and alchemy" in the search of a clue. The big window which leads to the backyard garden remained open; he stretched his arms of tiredness and looked upon the black sky, then to the garden, finally his eyes closed and his head fell in the back of the couch he was sited in.

FLASH BACK Derek: 15 years Oddette: 14

Come quick Brom!, or she'll know what we're up to. The two boys jumped through the library's window and ran towards the lake carrying a heavy sword.

-If my mother finds out we have it... we'd be punished for an entire life! Derek said while running.

-But this'll show that cocky duke what happens when he goes around saying that you're a chicken for not accepting his swords challenge.

Answered Bromley, running behind Derek.

Suddenly, a blond haired girl came down a near three blocking their way.

-Hey you! Shouted What are you guys doing so suspiciously? I saw you escaping from that window!

-How bad luck! Oddette is here now, what else will happen! Rain? Said Derek theatrically, Bromley started laughing.

-I'm glad to see you too! said Oddette following his sarcasm, and what's that you're carrying? Could it be…?

-It's not your business!. Now if you could leave us alone for the entire summer we would be really grateful...

-I know! That's the sword of your ancestors! Your "jewel family" isn't it? Why are you taking it to the lake? Asked Oddette throwing glances to them

-No! Derek, she found out! Now she is going to tell your mother!!! Cried Bromley.

-If you dare to tell my mom we'll label you as the worst blabbermouth of all history. Said defiant the little prince.

-For your information I'm not going to tell anyone, but you have to let me go with you... whatever you're doing…!

The boys accepted reluctantly, and the tree kids kept running to the port past the lake, where a squad of some boys was already waiting for them to arrive.

-So, at last you show your chicken face, Derek! But what a surprise! You brought your little girlfriend, I suppose she it's going to do the fight instead huh? Or is she here to console you when you're crying, you loser! Said mockingly a boy dressed in fine clothes, to what his friends started to laugh loudly.

-Shut up and let's fight Alexander! Answered the prince coldly.

-Slow down little princess! Let me state the rules, let's see… the duel will be done in that boat in the middle of the lake, so you can't escape but to fall in the water. And the second is that the loser wins the other one sword. There are no more rules than that. Are you following?

- Done! So let's…

-Derek! You can't be serious! So that's the reason of bringing your family's sword? You can't risk that much! Said Oddette putting herself in front of him

-Hahaha! Maybe you should listen to your girlfriend, you little orphan! You don't even have a father to teach you!

For him, that was enough, he wouldn't stand him anymore…

-I'll do it, out of my way! Said while going to the boat in the shore of the lake, some other boats were already there, and the duke Alexander and Derek got on and the others followed in other boat. Oddette got in one boat as well, while Bromley doubted to get in or not.

- You're coming or what? Said Oddette taking the oars, and nervously he got on and took one oar.

Once in the middle, the boy rowing in Alexander's boat jumped where his friends were, the duel started, and you could see it wasn't quite easy for Derek to handle that heavy sword in an unstable platform.

-So! I'll make you fall! Said the duke giving a blow which he blocked, then responded pushing him aside, and trick fully the duke started to move in order to swing the boat and make Derek lose balance.

-That's cheating! Derek said and hang to the edge with his free hand, Alexander took the opportunity and threw other slash to take the sword out of Derek's hand to the other side of the boat.

-Now! I think we have a winner!

-No way! Shouted Derek, standing in a jump which suddenly moved the boat and made Alexander fall by the edge to the lake

Soon he started floating, and cursing the prince, but in a blink he sank in the water.

- What happened? Said scared one of the boys

Then Alexander came out of the water, he was frightened and fighting to float, shouting for help, like if something was trying to drown him.

Quickly Derek stretched his hand from the boat to help him back, but then the duke was pulled down again, he could see it now, some kind of weird vine plant was surrounding the boy's body and drowning him in the process.

Derek took his sword and jumped to the water, it was a difficult task to see something beneath, but he found one branch and cut it releasing Alexander, then he felt it, one vine tied to his leg and started to pull him down too, it was all chaos, he fought and reached the boat's edge, but the plant kept pulling.

Oddette, who was now near their boat, jumped from hers to Derek's and helped him to get in the boat quicly, but the plant had attached his sword heavily and he was also fighting to get it back, as the boat was bending extremely to one side.

-You have to let it go! Alleged Oddette, who was now helping Alexander to return up the boat which was extremely complicated as the boat was inclining to one side, and that was leading to turn the boat upside down.

-But I can't! My mother would kill me!

-If you don't, this thing will!

All of a sudden, Oddette fell also to the water, and in the moment she floated was vigorously pulled down the bottom by the plant.

The duke reached then the edge of the boat and climbed up, coughing and crawling on it.

-Let's go… coughed Alexander.

-We can't, the plant caught her! Said Derek, realizing he had just left his sword fall to the lake. Where is she?

-It's all over… you don't have a sword, mine It's gone too!. Claimed while recovering and took the oars.

-No! What are you doing?! She tried to save you! It has to be a way! It must!

-She's not coming back! Just accept it! Let's go now before that thing kills us both!

-Hey! Who's been the coward now!? Shouted Derek, then a knife fell in his boat.

-Use it! Said a boy who thrown it from the other boat.

Without doubt the prince jumped again to the water and saw a silhouette going down to the bottom, he hurried and then he finally found her, difficultly cutting all the vines, and when he thought everything was safe, the most disgusting bulb plant came to his view, it was one of those he remembered from a book, of a brilliant yellow, then he saw the duke's sword stuck in a near vine and took the opportunity to slash the plant.

He hurried as fast as he could carrying Oddette's body from the waist to the surface, where he saw the first boat to his reach, hurrying Oddette's unconscious body, where Bromley waited almost in shock, helping them to get onto the boat.

-Are you okay? What happened!? Look she is unconscious! Cried Bromley.

Despite Derek was so exhausted, he found the energy to go and check her pulse. She it's not breathing… thought while nearing his head to her nose.

And without a second thought he pressed her nose and gave her mouth to mouth reanimation.

-Damn! Come on! Breathe! Said in despair, doing it again a couple of times.

Finally she started coughing and splitting water.

-She's alive! Cried Bromley

Derek felt sudden relieve, but after a second he realized he was too close to Oddette's face and immediately jumped back.

-What! The plant!... said the girl sitting up.

- You're safe! Don't worry! Said Bromley also trying to convince himself

-But what just happened… where's that boy?

-You fell! I brought you back! That simple OK.?! Oh!!! My father's sword… It's lost… my mother'll kill me!

-So I fell… but you can't tell I didn't warn you!

-Shut up… if just you weren't that stupid to fall from the boat, I'd still have it with me…

-Stupid? Don't tell me about stupidity! You Prince Derek!

-But he gave you a kiss! Interrupted Bromley

Oddette's eyes opened wide with a scared face

-A what?!

-I didn't!!! Close your mouth Bromley! That would be the last thing to do in my entire… oh.. my mother is in the shore…

They took the oar and the three boats reached the port. The queen, the dukes and some people of the court, along with some servants were watching them, until the Queen ran towards Derek.

-OH MY! Why are you all wet!? And the duke! Tell me Derek what happened?

-Well I… you see… the sword…

-It's my fault lady Uberta… said Oddette while walking towards them

All the boys, including Alexander looked in her direction.

-I wanted to go to the lake and Derek was showing me your family's sword… then, accidentally I fell from the boat and if hadn't been for those nice gentleman I would have been drown by a strange plant… but I'm regretful to let you know the sword it's now lost…

-Oh my dear, but that can't be possible, the sword it's been polished right now, I sent it right away and left a fake one, you know how sentimental I am, It's strange you didn't noticed Derek! By the way that's impressive, good for you gentleman, you deserve a price, but for now let's change clothes or you'll catch a cold. Come come.! You'll all tell me the details of that plant while dinning!

Said the queen and started walking to the castle.

-Thank you! whispered Derek with unbelievable face.

- No… Thank you for saving my life… said Oddette with a light smile

-But I still think you're stupid for falling... oh! And have I told you how ugly your hair looks wet? Smiled Derek and ran further.

-Hey! Will you ever grow up!? And both hurried back to the castle.


A sunray was now entering the window of the library. Prince Derek woke up suddenly, saddened by such far away memories of his childhood

-Just a dream… Oddette, don't lose hope.

And with a determined look in his eyes, he said to himself.... I will find you.


My first english fic, hope you enjoyed! Please R&R

And feel free to correct any of my grammar, I would likely appreciate it! n_n