I wanted and tried SO very hard to get a chapter written before the time jump. Well, not so much before, just something in the middle, before a nearly 200 year jump. The words weren't coming though. I started at the same blank page for multiple days, simply trying to think of something to write. But nothing came. I even tried to write one for Haruka's birth, still…no luck.

Chapter 4

Date: March 6, 2040
Place: Tokyo City Center
Event: 18th Birthday Celebration

"The guards will be busy with protecting the royal family," a young blonde haired woman spoke to her close friend. "Ryo, this could be our only chance to eat for a while."

He glanced around him briefly, "Haruka, you truly are nuts. I hope you know that."

She fixed the worn knit cap on her head before picking up a stick to draw out her plan. Haruka knew very little of her past lives. The only thing she knew for a fact, was that she was told, from a very young age that she had to keep her hair short and covered, at all times.

"Here's the castle," she drew an oddly shaped square in the dry soil. "The path the parade will take goes right through the Market District…here." She continued drawing her lines and symbols. The stick stopped abruptly after two Xs were marked. "Bakery and produce. Our targets."

"Right. I've got the bakery, you're hitting the produce stand."

She smirked when she nodded, "We're going in as the parade passes right out front. That's when everybody will be the most distracted. That's also when it'll be easiest to vanish," they walked through the alleyway. "With so many people it'll be a snap to lose anybody fool enough to chase us."

"Genius," Ryo slapped Haruka's back as they walked.

Much had changed in the last two centuries. The roads evolved from the dry dirt of the 1800s to the loose stone at the turn of the 20th century, then brick by the mid 1900s, to finally the solid black pavement it was now. Times had seen the rise and fall of horse drawn carriages. Steam power was short lived. Now, solar powered vehicles were the only acceptable form of transportation.

People of all social classes lined the streets. Those of the highest caliber allowed in the front. While those in the back were of the lowest social class. The peasants that were often forgotten about. Haruka and Ryo pushed their way through the mass of people, heading closer to their destination. Nobody was the wiser to their plan. They just assumed that two more people showed up to see the princess as she celebrated her coming of age ceremony.

"Here she comes," Haruka stretched her neck to see just how close the motorcade was getting. "In you go." She rushed Ryo away.

"Father, when can we go home?" The princess whispered to the aqua-haired man beside her. She hated how he paraded her around like some sort of prized trophy.

The expression fell from his face, "Michiru, you know better than to ask something like that. There's still four kilometers left. Now, be a good girl and wave to your people." The king raised his right hand to gesture his greeting to the citizens on his side of the vehicle..

"They're not 'my people.' They're your little pawns on your chess board of life." Michiru refused to smile at the people surrounding her.

"What have I told you about that kind of thinking?" His voice was hushed, yet dripping with anger.

"To not have it," She couldn't help but smirk when she spied two younger people running away from two shops with food in their hands. "If I had my way there would be no need for theft for people to stay alive."

"Stop them! Thief! Thief!" The produce merchant yelled at the top of his lungs as he chased Haruka and Ryo.

Katsuo ordered his guards after them. "No," Michiru spoke calmly, "Stop the car." He obeyed her and turned to watch her as she climbed out of the back of the convertible.

The light breeze cut right through the layers of clothing she wore on that early Spring day. Her aqua hair flew wildly as a gust of cold air rushed down the street, "Michiru, get back in the car this instant."

The defiant teenager ignored him. She smiled sweetly to both the produce merchant and the baker when she came face to face with them. "Here, this should cover anything that was stolen, plus some extra." She handed a stack of bills to each of them. They were both too awestruck to respond with anything more then gratitude.

"Hey Ryo, look at that," Haruka stopped when she noticed they were no longer being chased.

"What's she doing?" He lifted a roll to his mouth, taking a big bite.

Haruka's eyes glazed over when the princess smiled at her, "She's beautiful."

"Oh, keep dreaming buddy. That's the only way you'd ever get her." The young man patted her shoulder. "Let's go eat. I'm starved."