Prologue: Mommy, why...

Mommy, why are you Mommy though you are like the dadies?"

I'll tell you when you are old enough."

Mommy where is daddy?"

He lives far from here."

Why is he far away?"

Because he lives elsewhere."

Why is that?"

I'll tell you when you are old enough."

Mommy why have I 3 names?"

Because I have two and the last is your fathers."

Why do you have 2 names?"

I'll tell you when you are old enough."

Mommy when I'm going to be old enough?"

We'll see."

Mommy, why..."

*

Since she remembered she has been living in this little village near the borders, never seeing anything more from the country she was born in. She lived there with her mother and nanny in a house on the outskirts of the small town. She has been pretty happy there, playing with friends all day, not having a bit of to worry about. That was untill 3 years ago things changed. She and the other kids of the city hit puberty and questions that never bothered her before popped up in her mind. And her mother answered only a few of them and not completely. From Fran she knew enough about the ‚reproduction cycle', ‚sexual activities' and ‚where the babies come from' and mommy explained at least that much that under certain circumstances it was possible for both genders. That was the nearest thing to an explanation Marianna ever got. It was either „I'll tell you when you are old enough" or „Figure it out on your own. I know you can."

Instead of speaking he let his actions do the explaining. Apparently, she wasn't old enough for knowing certain things, but old enough for certain activities. He took her to where he always went when leaving her in the hands of her nanny: Spying. She didn't even dare to dream that her mommy was a spy of her home country. And it didn't take too long for Marianna Gurrier-Weller von Voltaire to finally put the pieces together. She considered herself intelligent and strong, since she could hold a sword properly and was able to fight with it and was taught deducation skills from her mommy. She was 15 now, so she didn't know why her mother still considered he 'not old enough'. But being the intelligent person Marianna was, she took the ‚second most common answer' by word and guessed a few things. For instance: Mariannas last name was von Voltaire, which was one of the 10 noble houses and her mother was a spy for Shin Makoku. She doubted they met coincidentally. While spying occassionally with her mother, she learned that 99 cases out of 100 don't happen coincidentally. Almost everything had a reason to happen, even her mother said that. „Things happen for a reason" was his saying. Another thing Marianna knew was that the 10 nobles collected around the king of Shin Makoku, the Maou. Technically for this king her mother spied. And even if she knew that her clues were more than only incomplete and that it wasn't safe to assume anything in this stage of knowledge, she figured she had nothing to loose and at least something to gain as she swung herself on a horse, calling at her nanny that she's going to fish and rode off towards the blood pledge castle, 2 days of travell away.

*

It was already night when Yozak returned to the house from his mission. The lights were already out, so he assumed that his ‚two beautifull women' were already sleeping. He chuckled at the memory from 15 years ago, when he met Francisca (Fran) who should become the nanny of his babygirl. She was leaning on a tree, looking starved, as if she didn't eat for a week. He gave her food and while talking, they found a liking in eachother. And the first time Fran saw Marianna she exclaimed „How cute!" And an idea crossed Yozaks mind. He needed somebody to babysit his little girl, since he would go on missions which could last a month and apparently Francisca needed friendship. So he gave it to her. And Fran loved Marianna with all her heart as if she was her mother (sometimes it even made Yozak jealous) and took very good care of her while he was away somewhere in Shimaron or Caloria, or anywhere else where His Majesty decided he was needed.

Yozak told her everything as they met, so she knew and understood and most important, kept silent. Yozak wanted to explain things to Marianna before she turned 16 and her crest would be made, so she could choose what to do with her life, finally knowing the whole truth. But that could still wait a few months. Mariannas 15th birthday was only a month ago. He left immediately after that for Cabalcade. His Majesty had a suspicion and sadly enough it was right. So just as he came home, he went to his and Mariannas room for ink and paper to write his report quickly and then go to sleep. But as he stepped into his room he noticed several things that weren't right: 1. The room was empty. 2. A small paper rested on his pillow. 3. The knit sandbear wasn't on Mariannas bed. He snatched the small note and as he read it his eyes widened. „Damn." He ran into Frans room and shook her awake. „Fran, wake up! Marianna run away!"

„What, no..." the woman drowsily. Apparently she has been very tired. Fran usually didn't sleep at all before Marianna returned from wherever she went. „She just went fishing..." For example. But that was the last thing that bothered Yozak now. His little babygirl ran away, to Blood Pledge Castle on top, searching for the answer he wanted to give her soon. Damn that impatient brat! Couldn't she wait a few more months?! He needed to talk to her first, explain things, she wasn't supposed to find out on her own. It would be a shock for her, it would break her trust in him, it would put a barrier between them! Please no...The only thing he knew now was, that he had to follow her, quickly. And for that he needed to convince Fran that she run away.

„It's past midnight and I just found her note!"

That was all it took for Fran to sit straight up. „Tell me the details while riding."

It took them a total of 2 minutes to snatch a few things (and get dressed in Frans case) and jump on the remaining horse, galloping into the night.

Mommy, I left. I'm on my way to Blood Pledge Castle. I need to search for the answers you refuse to give me. Marianna