DISCLAIMER: Knights in the Nightmare © Sting. I seek to gain no monetary profit from this writing.

She was born complete, right down to the knowledge of her purpose.

Above all else, she was a "doll".

The community within the Sanctuary was dwindling, both from harsh conditions and from the constant battling with the kingdom, the descendants of the invaders. Even so, the life of the court was a busy one, and there was little time that could be spared for a princess, no matter how important everyone knew she would eventually be.

And so—she was created for that purpose. She would be bodyguard and playmate, and see to the Imperial Princess' needs. She was a creature built for defense: To project illusions powerful enough even to seal their last haven off from the outside world if need be. The Tiamats who had created her were thorough, and her creation had been accomplished out of love. None but the best for their princess.

The doll was given the name Sacchito and told that she would devote herself.

She stood complete and empty and newly formed and awaited the appearance of the master she had been born to serve.

A door opened; a pair of soldiers stood to either side of it. In the silence there was a faint pattering, and then a very small girl came into view.

Sacchito thought, oh. So that's what it means.

The princess couldn't have been more than five or six years old, and she was covered in petticoats and ruffles, bows and lace, like the more inanimate and delicate type of doll, as if this little girl was the poppet and Sacchito was the one being presented with a toy. Her hair was already long enough to trail onto the floor, and there was lace wrapped about her dragon's horns, and her small pale face was entirely dominated by a pair of immense green eyes.

The girl walked (almost toddled) in Sacchito's direction, staring up at her, hardly blinking. Arriving directly in front of her, the tiny princess reached out and got two fistfuls of Sacchito's clothes.

"They said that you're for me," tiny Arlier said in a high voice that already seemed to have a light crispness to it, some sort of refinement. And: "Will you stay with me?"

"Of course," Sacchito replied; "always."

(She would have answered so even if she had not been born for that reason only. For who could look at Arlier and not love?)