A short that doesn't include something twisted in anyway.
Are you lost?
All day, all day! The Governess would not give her a break, "Princesses stand up straight, Princesses do not stomp!"
"This princess has had enough!" Ashe grumbled as she paced her room, "I hate being a princess!"
At fifteen, her father thought some formal training in how to behave more like a lady would do her good, but King Raminas had not expected his daughter to make such a drama out of it. For three weeks, she had done everything she had been asked, albeit reluctantly. Today had been tough; Princess Ashelia wanted a break from it all, although, her Governess did not believe in breaks.
Then it came to her, she will escape her gilded cage, she will use the many passages and trapdoors she found over the years to breakout into the city and disappear among the inhabitants.
Ashe packed a small satchel with a few changes of clothes and slipped into the hole behind the tapestry. She bumped her head as she navigated the small passage, it was probably fatigue, she never could stay awake for too long before becoming accident-prone. She pushed herself on, fighting against the sore back she now had and the god-awful smell that now filled her nostrils. She continued on, in the distance a small dull light and her glimmer of hope; she will finally be out of this tunnel. On her hands and knees, looking less like a princess than any other time in her life. "Where am I?" she asked allowed. Her voice echoed off the walls of the sewer, alerting some dire rats to her presence. She screamed as he leapt at her, biting and scratching at her regal flesh, "get off me!" she swatted at the rodents with her satchel, without success.
"Hold on!" a boy called out, swinging a dagger around, cutting down the rats as her ran towards her. He sliced his way to her side, "I got you." Hoisting Ashe to her feet, and supporting her they evaded more rats and made it to store house five. Out of breath and sweating from the run, they collapsed by some boxes, "I'm Reks," the boy offered his hand.
"I'm A … malia, Amalia," she used her mother's name.
"Another girl named after the late Queen, huh?" his words sounded sympathetic for the most part. "I haven't seen you around here before."
"Ah," she hadn't thought of a back story, "my family are … gone."
"Plague got them too huh?"
"Yeah," that was easy.
"Mine too," Reks sighed, "Only me and me brother left." Ashe shuddered at the bad grammar, but the boy was polite enough.
"It's just me," Ashe lied, "I don't have any brothers or sisters."
"I envy you," he chuckled, "Vaan's always getting into trouble with his stealing; I hope it doesn't ruin my chances to join the Order."
I may do that just by being here with you, thought Ashe, "Why do you want to join the Order?"
"Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to be a knight, like Sir Vossler, Sir Tal and Sir Basch," he explained with a dreamy ambitious intent, "I hope I can be one of their squires, one day." Ashe started scratching at the bites she had acquired in the waterways, "You shouldn't do that."
Ashe stopped, looking down at the bleeding wounds on her legs, "Oh!" she cried, trying to clamp her hands over all the injuries."
Reks started to laugh, "Here, I'm sure I could spare some," he handed her a half-full bottle of potion. Ashe thanked him and poured a small amount on her wounds and rubbed it in, leaving dried blood behind. "I think you should come with me, get you cleaned up."
He helped Ashe to her feet and led her to the fountain.
Rabanastre at night was truly beautiful, the full moon reflected on the water surface of the fountain. Ashe stared wide eyed around the sparsely populated area; she did not understand that the city at night could be so beautiful until now. She dipped her hands into the refreshingly cool water and cleaned the dried blood from her body.
Up at the Palace, the Princess's absence had been noticed. "Find her!" Raminas ordered the guards. "And expose how she managed to slip out of the palace devoid of attention being drawn to her."
Vossler made his way to the main city, hoping to catch a glimpse of the wayward monarch and bring her back to the safety of the royal residence. Much to his disappointment, only the odd drunk scattered around the place. He contemplated calling out for her, however to alert the general populous that their princess was among them could prove disastrous. The market places proved fruitless, as did the north end; although, considering she had run away from the palace, it did not surprise him that she was not there. He preyed that she did not meet with an untimely end; the king would surely loose his will to live.
He travelled south, through the west market place; the captain carefully navigated past a few Bangaa attempting to play a gambling game of some variety in the light of a flickering street lamp. He continued, ignoring the jibes the reptilian bettors called out.
As he entered the South Plaza, a teen couple caught his eye, he could not clearly see what the young people looked like, but it was clear that they were enjoying each other's company, splashing water at each other and laughing. The Knight edged closer, they did not see or hear him approaching. He felt somewhat guilty, invading their private moment; that was until he recognised the young lady. "Princess!" he cried out, startling the teens.
"I think you are mistaken, sir," Reks stood up, protectively; standing between Amalia and the knight. "This is Amalia, just another orphan."
"This young woman is the Princess," Vossler growled, "And she will be accompanying me back to the palace. You should be grateful that I haven't arrested you!"
Just as Reks was ready to respond, Ashe stepped out, "He has done nothing wrong, Vossler!" knowing her cover was blown, "He saved me from an attack!"
Reks could just stare, too shocked to speak.
"Saved you from what, exactly?" Vossler crossed his arms, silently demanding the explanation.
"A pack of dire rats came at me," she looked down, tears forming in her eyes, "Reks here killed them."
"Dire rats live in the waterways," Ashe slumped, "so do many other dangerous creatures that could have killed you. Young man, thank you for rescuing her highness, but we must be going." The knight grabbed Ashe's arm and began to leave.
"Wait," the girl announced, "surely we aren't going to leave Reks without rewarding his bravery?"
Vossler stopped, "You're right, Reks is it?" the boy nodded, "what would you like as a reward?"
"Um …" he finally spoke, "I always wanted to be a knight … like you, sir."
The Captain liked the sound of that, "Come down to the barracks in the morning."
"Thank you, sir," the teen smiled.
Ashe pulled out of Vossler's hand, "I'm sorry I lied to you, can you forgive me?"
"Princess," he blushed, "my only regret is that we won't see each other again, and there is no need to apologise for making me happy for a few hours."
"You'll be a knight one day," Ashe shrugged, "I'll always be in the palace, chances are we'll meet again, thank you again, Sir Reks." She walked away with Vossler, looking back just once to wave good-bye.
It's a little bittersweet, but Reks is a war hero so why shouldn't he be heroic before Archadia ruined everyones lives.