The door was opened and someone sneaked into the room. The room was almost completely in the dark. The only lights were the faint reflection of courtyard lights that came through the window shutters and the red numbers on the alarm clock dial on the bedside table. The clock was marking 3am.
A woman was sleeping in the large wooden bed. Her long cyan hair was spread over her pillow, in beautiful disarray. She wore a short white satin and lace nightgown, that didn´t cover much more of her body than the necessary parts to preserve her modesty. She was lying with her head on her right arm, facing the wall opposite to the door and her body was partially covered by a light sheet. She was sleeping calmly.
The person that has sneaked into the room walked on the tips of its toes, trying not to wake the sleeping woman. This mysterious visitor stared at the woman lying on the bed, trying to catch a glimpse of her face, but as she was facing the opposite side, it was not an easy task. The room was cluttered with different kinds of luxurious furniture, making it too risky to walk around the bed just to try to take a better look. Doing it without hitting the wardrobe or some little table was almost impossible even to the lithe and agile newcomer. The stranger's countenance betrayed doubt and fear; as if it was not sure about the place it was in. If it had invaded the wrong room, its live would be at serious danger. The person walked towards the bed very slowly. Suddenly, its eyes caught a glimpse of some sort of staff lying by the opposite wall. The mysterious visitor released a sigh, in relief, and then kept walking towards the bed more confidently, though carefully enough not to wake the woman lying on the bed.
The mysterious visitor reached the bed and sat on it carefully, beside the sleeping woman. It paused for some moments, checking whether the woman would wake up or not. As the cyan-haired woman kept sleeping silently, the person placed its hand to the woman's hair and started stroking it gently. The invader had its green eyes wet and tried to smile while staring at woman sleeping, though its face showed discomfort, worry and sadness. It was never easy to be bringing bad news, mainly when the bad news could be just a silly invention of its own mind. But no, the mysterious visitor had never felt such a feeling inside its heart and it could not ignore the feeling.
The mysterious visitor went undisturbed for many minutes, caressing the cyan hair of the woman lying on the bed. When the clock hit half past four, the sleeping woman moved slightly, sighed deeply and opened her blue eyes. She felt something touching her head, but dismissed as a pillow or a blanket. She tried to push it out of her head carelessly with her hand. However, her hand hit something that she recognized as an arm. She was startled and immediately turned her head to face the owner of the arm.
"What is that? What does that mean?" The woman shouted angrily, scaring the mysterious visitor, who retracted its arm back. "What are you...?" The woman caught a glimpse of the person who was in the bed and swallowed the rest of the sentence. The person was a woman, with auburn hair, green eyes, pointy ears and a small horn in its forehead. Her mouth was closed, but the tips of her canine teeth were visible. It was a familiar figure, so she should not worry. "Cham?"
The other woman nodded.
"What are you doing here?" The cyan-haired woman's countenance showed surprise, but the anger and the fear had disappeared. "I mean, why did you sneak into my room? Are you crazy?"
Cham started weeping. "Sorry, Valna, I didn't want to scare you." The elf lady hesitated. "It is just... it is just..."
"Just what?" Cham's hesitation made Valna feel anxious.
The elf lady shook her head. She had her hands pressed on her chest. "I don't know how to say it..."
"Say it anyway!" Valna was losing her patience.
"Yuko!" Cham barked out of anxiety.
Valna was startled by the answer. "Yuko? My sister? What happened, Cham?" She seated on the bed, her sleepiness disappearing immediately as she heard the name of her sister. As the adrenaline was pumped into her body, she felt completely alert, anxious and worried. "What happened to my sister?"
"I... don't know... Valna..." Cham was looking down, sad and frightened.
"So what? Tell me, Cham, please!" Valna was so anxious that she grabbed Cham by her arms and started shaking her.
"I'm feeling... an oppressive feeling... in my heart... I can't explain you... but I'm sure it is Yuko..." Cham was still looking down, unable to stare at Valna.
"Are you sure, Cham? Are you sure it is about my sister?" Valna was trying not to lose control of herself.
"I can't explain you how or why... Valna... but I'm sure it is about Yuko. Oh, Valna, I'd not have traveled for so long... leave the Dark World people... just to meet you... if that was not serious..." Cham looked very depressed. Valna could see the despair and feelings of hopelessness in her emerald eyes.
Each moment, Valna grew more and more worried because the auburn haired elf was only raising more doubts than answering questions. "So, what will we do? Do you know where she is?"
"I don't know... Valna. But we must find her... If she is in danger... the whole words may be in danger as well... If someone gets Leethus and Valis from her..."
Although Cham's words indicated she was aware that some action should be taken, she seemed to be overwhelmed by sadness, incapable of acting. Princess Valna saw the elf's actions as a lament, not a plea for help. She knew the elf lady's antics were somewhat strange for a human like her, but it was not time to let the depression paralyze her mind. Yuko was in danger and they had to do something about it.
"I can't stand the thought someone may harm my beloved sister. We must save her, Cham!" Valna lost the control. Her tone was desperate.
"I know, Valna, we must save her." Cham wiped out the tears from her eyes. "That is why I'm here. Oh, Valna, I miss her sweet smile. She was so brave, so good, so kind..."
"She still is, Cham, very sweet, very kind and the bravest woman I've ever met." Valna put her hand friendly over Cham´s shoulder. "I'll be ready in a moment and we must not lose time. We can´t just stay here wondering what may be happening to Yuko. We must find her!"
"I wonder who is the damned scoundrel who is trying to harm Yuko. He will pay!" Cham's tone became angry and rude, scaring Valna a bit, but soon she softened again and returned to her laments. "Oh, Yuko..."
"Come here, Cham." Valna hugged the elf woman. "What happened to you? You were not like that. You used to be stronger and colder. Now you are more sensitive than me."
"I don´t know... Valna... I think everything Yuko and you have taught me... You know, living in the Dark World is not easy. You two, who are from Dreamland and Earth, have easier lives; there is less evil to deal with daily. I must be harsh, sometimes rude, in order to survive. Nevertheless, I acknowledge your ways are far better than my ways... You and Yuko are my only true friends." Cham burst in tears, looking down and shaking her head, soaking her red outfit. Valna was scared by her friend's reaction. The elf girl didn't look like the independent, cheerful and sometimes rude girl she used to know. Maybe there was something wrong with her, not with Yuko, but Valna could not put her sister's life in Jeopardy. Even if she Cham was only fooling her, it was better to waste her time and make sure Yuko was safe than dismiss the elf and leave her sister on her own.
"Well, Cham, I´m so glad to have you here to help me. Cheer up a bit." Valna raised Cham´s head with a gentle pull of her index finger on Cham's chin. "If we stay so low in spirits, we will not be able to help my sister. Let me get ready we will look for Yuko."
"Thanks, Valna." Cham embraced Valna. "I don't know what is happening to me, but I can't ignore this feeling inside my chest. I swear that if there is anyone harming Yuko, he will taste my whip. And I'll not stop until he or I am dead!" Cham's green eyes had a strange glare, filled with anger.
"Alright, Cham. Calm down now. As soon as I'm ready, we depart immediately. Can you wait for me outside?" The cyan-haired princess pushed the elf gently and left the bed to get properly dressed.
"Huh, well, yes…" Cham was feeling a bit confused. At first, she didn't understand why Valna asked her to leave the room, but, as she at Valna, she realized the princess had considerable parts of her soft white skin exposed. Cham herself would not mind dressing in front of a friend, like Valna, but she realized the princess had more refined values and manners, so she blushed and left the room.
After some minutes, Valna appeared again, in a long white gown, wearing her jewels and carrying her magic staff. Apart from the staff, Valna looked ready for a ball, not an important and dangerous mission, but Cham was used to her companion's ladylike antics. Cham was not crying anymore and resembled more the girl she used to be.
"Where are we going, Cham?"
The elf woman shrugged. "I don't know yet, but a good guess would be seeking the advice of the elders."
"You are right. Let's hurry." The girls started running, but Valna stopped after a few seconds. "But not too much, Cham. You are too fast for me."
Cham looked back and chuckled. "Gee! I forgot that. Oh, Valna, it is so good to be with you again." The memories of Yuko made her feel sad again. "I wish Yuko was with us…"
Valna walked towards the elf and gently placed her hand on the girl's shoulder. "Don't worry, Cham. Yuko is strong and, no matter what happens, I'm sure she will be able to resist until we find her." She smiled at Cham, trying to lift up her spirits. "I'm sure soon we three will be laughing together, Cham."
Cham tried to smile back. "You are right, Valna. Let's find Yuko. I'm longing to see her smile again."
The two girls left Valna's home and disappeared in the blackness of the night, with their beloved Yuko on their minds.