alright, here is the first chapter of my newest story. i had a slight case of writer's block, but i think im good for now. i hope you like it, so let me know how it is. its kinda futuristic in a way, so don't expect anything medieval. anyway, before i bore you to death, i now present chapter 1. enjoy ^_^

Falling From Grace

Chapter 1

From beyond the horizon, two bounty hunters could see the towering white castle. It reached over twelve stories and its glass windows glittered in the setting sun.

"This is it," one of the hunters said.

The other one sighed. "Why are we doing this, Takuya? We're bounty hunters, not babysitters."

"Kouji, you know damn well why we are. The king specifically requested our services to protect his daughter at all costs. He cannot leave the palace, for if he does, it will be invaded that much quicker. At least the princess will be safe for the time being." Takuya glanced at him. "So quit whining."

Kouji rolled his eyes. "Whatever. Let's just get this done and over with. I don't want to stick around for much longer."

They continued their journey over the hilltops, finally coming to a vast opening. Outside the castle stood nearly fifty guards, all armed for battle.

Takuya walked up to them, followed by Kouji.

"Excuse me, but the king is expecting us," the brunette said to one of the guards.

The man raised an eyebrow. "Do you have the letter he sent you?"

"Yes, right here." Takuya handed him the folded piece of paper.

After skimming it, the guard nodded. "Very well. Go straight down the corrider and through the doors. You must hurry, though."

"Thank you," Takuya replied, making his way inside.

"Let's just grab the brat and go," Kouji said, annoyed. "I'm really not happy with the assignment."

"Kouji, will you shut up already? Damn...." Takuya sighed.

A moment later they came up to the doors and opened them. Within the enormous room stood almost a hundred more guards, as well as two thrones.

The king sat in one of them, his red robe cascading down the floor. He rose, gesturing them to come forward. Sitting silently in the other one was a blond girl in a purple gown. Her green eyes stared vacantly down at the floor.

"Takuya Kanbara and Kouji Minamoto, I've been expecting you," the king said warmly. "I will be forever grateful for your services."

"It's no problem at all, Your Highness. We are more than happy to escort the princess to safety." Takuya smiled. "Aren't we, Kouji?"

"What? Oh, yeah," Kouji replied. "Of course we are."

The king glanced at the side, where a girl was leaning against one of the pillars holding the ceiling up.

"This is Ami. She will be guiding you through the safest passages to leave the kingdom. Although you probably weren't expecting to travel with anyone else, I assure you she will be very helpful."

Ami stepped forward, her black hair gently sweeping against her shoulders. She wore a skin-tight leather bodysuit and she had a knife strapped to each of her calves. A large machine gun was slung over her shoulders, resting against her back. Her sapphire eyes bore into the bounty hunters with slight disdain.

"Pleased to meet you," she said in a low voice. "I hope me joining you isn't too much of an inconvenience."

Before either one of them could answer, the king chuckled. "Nonsense, the more the merrier. Also, you and Zoe have been friends since you were infants. I'm sure the princess will be more than happy for your company. By the way, Zoe please come here."

The blond meekly walked up to Takuya and Kouji. "Thank you for doing this for me."

"Anytime," Takuya replied cheekily.

A second later, another girl emerged from behind one of the thrones. She was dressed exactly like the princess and had long blond hair to match.

"Who's that?" Takuya asked, bewildered.

"A decoy," the king stated. "It will throw off the forces so they don't suspect that Zoe escaped. Don't worry, though. She will be protected as well, but it will buy some extra time."

"Oh." Takuya nodded in understanding. "That makes sense."

The king's smile quickly disappeared. "You must hurry, though. Before it's too late."

Princess Zoe looked at her father with worried eyes. "Are you going to be okay?"

"I'll be fine. As long as you're safe, that's all that matters," he said.

"But-"

"But nothing," he cut her off. "Now go."

Zoe gave him a brief hug, a tear running down her face. "Take care."

"You too."

"This way," Ami said, opening the door to the next room. She was holding onto a large bag. "Hurry."

Takuya, Zoe, and Kouji quickly made their way through, Ami pulling the door tightly shut behind them.

"We must hurry. The forces will be here any minute, so that doesn't leave us with much time," Ami told them.

She led them out the castle, behind one of the hills.

"Where are we going?" Kouji asked.

"Just be quiet and follow me. The enemy might be close and we can't risk letting them hear us. But don't worry, I'll get us outta here," Ami replied.

The four of them jogged away from the invaded land, their hearts pounding. Princess Zoe stumbled, causing Takuya to grab her wrist and pull her along. She gave him an annoyed look and wretched it free.

"I don't need your help," she told him.

Takuya shrugged. "Whatever."

Finally, almost forty minutes later, Ami stopped them.

"There is a cottage close by. We will be sleeping there tonight, but we must leave early in the morning. If we stay too long, the enemy will find us."

Kouji raised an eyebrow. "Who exactly is after the kingdom?"

Ami smirked. "He is none other than the king's own brother. He's enraged that he himself wasn't crowned king and began a riot over a year ago. He was exiled and hasn't been heard from since. Well, since a week ago, I should say."

The princess looked at them. "His name is Reuben Chambers and after he was run out of the kingdom, he started his own army. Most of the men are petty criminals and murderers. They feel as though society has wronged them and now they've returned for a vengeance."

Takuya's eyes widened. "Damn. But won't they find us sooner? I mean, we're not even an hour away from the palace."

"The decoy will drastically slow them down," Ami said. "Reuben is not the brightest man in the world, but he is quite possibly the most ruthless."

"Even if my father died, I would take over the throne, whether or not I had a husband by then." Zoe sighed. "Reuben wasn't too pleased about that fact and made it his goal to eliminate the two of us."

Ami smirked. "Good thing I'm a bounty hunter as well, so I know a thing or two about protecting royalty."

"Let's just go already," Kouji said impatiently. "Where's the cottage?"

"Down this path," Ami told them, leading the way. "Just a few more minutes to go. We leave at dawn."

"Are we going to be walking the entire way?" Takuya asked, not liking the prospect of the journey on foot.

Zoe shook her head. "My father took the liberty of sending a mode of transportation."

"And that would be.....?" Kouji trailed off, waiting for an answer.

"Hope you guys know how to ride a motorcyle," Ami said with a snicker. "If not, then you'll be shit out of luck."

About five minutes later, they came up to a small cottage. By now it was nightfall, and the nocturnal animals of the night cried out ominously in the darkness. Although it was rather small, the cottage was very neat and well-kept inside.

"Make yourselves comfortable," the princess said.

Takuya and Kouji sighed, walking over to a table. They began to remove their heavy coats and weapon belts. The girls watched as they pulled out various knives, bombs, guns, bullets, and first aid supplies. Ami dropped her bag onto the floor and laid her machine gun on the table.

"I think there is something we should tell you." A smirk was on her face.

Takuya frowned. "What do you mean?"

"Ami and I are not who you think we are," Zoe told them. "We didn't want to tell you before we got here. It was for the better, though."

"What are you getting at?" Kouji looked angry. "Don't tell me that this was all a trick and that the palace isn't really in danger."

"No, nothing like that," Ami replied. "That part we were honest about. However, it's time to show you what we mean."

Takuya and Kouji exchanged confused glances.

Princess Zoe reached up to her head and tugged onto her hair. To the guys' surprise, her blond hair fell to the floor. Beneath it was black hair pulled tightly into a bun. She lowered her head and touched her eyes.

"What are you doing?" Takuya asked.

When she looked up, her eyes were no longer green. Instead they were a dark sapphire blue and she held a pair of contacts in her hands.

"I'm not Princess Zoe," she said.

Speechless, they stared at the girl in the leather. She too tugged off her raven wig and showed her long blond hair tied into a bun. After removing her blue contacts, her true eye color was shown to be emerald green.

"And I'm not Ami." She smiled. "Surprise."

Takuya and Kouji stared at them, dumbfounded.

"Okay, can someone please explain what the hell is going on?" Takuya asked.

chapter 1 is finished. im really not satisfied with this chapter, but im having a severe case of writers block and didn't want to be stuck on the same thing. so i hope you didn't think it was too bad. i promise that ill try my hardest to come up with decent chapters. chapter 2 should be out in a few days. please let me know how you liked it, okay? thank you and until next time, bye