Prologue. An old book
16-year-old Princess Irene loved the library of her father's palace. She could spend hours and days, reading and rereading the books and manuscripts kept in there. The king approved of this. He liked reading himself and told his daughter once:
"Books widen your mind and improve your character. Keep reading, Irene! You're lucky you have been taught to read."
And Irene kept reading nearly four books in a day. The only books she ignored were the fairy-tales about goblins. She remembered goblins very well, and she often had nightmares about them, though they all were drowned eight years ago. Naturally, she didn't want anything to remind her of these adventures.
Oh no, that's wrong! There was one memory she had never wanted to lose. The memory of Curdie Peterson, the young boy, a miner's son.
"Maybe he has already forgotten about our friendship and... the kiss," Irene sighed sometimes. ''I'm the heiress of the throne. What's a miner's job compared to the queen's crown? Or perhaps he thinks that I have forgotten about a plain miner's son, so he has never thought of me during the eight years..."
One day, Irene was thinking about Curdie once again. It was cloudy and rainy outside, the king was traveling far away, and Irene felt terribly sad and bored. So she went to her favorite library to comfort herself a little at least.
She searched the bookshelves to find something interesting, and she spotted an incredibly old and thick book. She took it and read the title:
One Legend from the Future
"Interesting..." Irene thought, sat on her armchair and opened the book. The pages were brownish, and the letters were truly hard to read.
"How old it is!" the princess exclaimed. She turned the first page and read:
The Golden Pixies
There's a fairy nation of pixies living in the woods of the kingdom. They make magical illusions and like to trick people, but they're kind and noble, unlike the goblins.
Irene's face twisted. Why did the author had to mention goblins? Nevertheless, she continued to read. She was somehow intrigued by this book.
The pixies are afraid of just one thing in the world, but nobody knows what it actually is. It hasn't appeared... yet. But it will show itself one day, and only a young queen of a human country can save the pixies. She's dressed in ebony black silk and she's crowned not long ago. She's sixteen years old.
"Sixteen years old - just like me!" Irene smiled. "But I'm only a princess."
She turned the page, aching to read the rest of the book. Much to her surprise, the pages contained the same lines about the golden pixies and the young queen. Irene flipped all the pages of the book - and nothing else could be found. Irene was disappointed and shoved the book away. She was going to search for another one, when she saw horses and carriages approaching the palace outside the window.