Monster to Some
The sea air was crisp and clear, a slight breeze blowing a salty bite into unsuspecting faces. The gulls cried loudly, their voices harmonizing with the crash of the waves against the side of the massive ship. It rocked gently but with a rhythm that soothed those on board. As the gallant ship sailed closer to the strip of land on the horizon, and all of the sights and smells and sensations of the ocean washed over those on deck, the Princess Amelia Wil Tesla Seyruun found she had never felt more miserable.
Coming, once again, to the Outerworld had initially seemed like a good idea – a chance to spread Justice and right wrongs in the name of her kingdom.
But this was no vacation.
This was a mission that could bridge the gap between the previously divided lands of what was called "the Outerworld" and those within the Monster Race's Barrier. There was a possibility of an alliance between the Holy Kingdom of Seyruun and the Kingdom of Parfan, which lay on the outskirts of the Desert of Destruction. All these two kingdoms needed to cement a friendship between the realms (as well as copious trade agreements and tactical advantages) was the union of the royal families.
And that meant marriage.
And since she was the only member of the Seyruun royal family eligible to be wed, the task fell to Amelia.
When the council had initially told her of the arrangement, she had wanted to scream- run- torch them all with a fireball – but, Princess that she was, she stood firm (though defiant) and told the assembly that she would try to do what was best for her kingdom.
Only her father, Crown Prince Phillionel, saw through her act.
And when he found her later on in the library, surrounded by dusty stacks of books and with tears running down her cheeks, he enfolded her in a massive hug and let her cry into his shoulder, her sobs turning into angry exclamations on the injustice of it all and how she was too young and so on. All he could do was hold his little girl close to him and promise he would put this off as long as he could.
However, it seemed it couldn't be ignored for long.
As much as he wanted his dear Amelia to be happy, Phil was only the Crown Prince, and his solitary vote- though valuable- was overruled by the majority vote of the council. And despite his bias in regards to his daughter's feelings, Phil realized that an alliance between the two lands would help not only their kingdoms, but also the lands roundabout. Seyruun's pacifist views made it the choice kingdom to start the alliance, as it ensured that any and all agreements would be peaceful and help avoid a war that could easily come about if the other Outerworld forces felt intimidated by the magical abilities of those from within the Barrier.
"Besides", Phil said, as he and Amelia sat on a balcony overlooking the city, "You don't have to marry him right away."
He looked imploringly at his daughter, who continued to stare off into the distance.
"As long as you're engaged, we can start negotiating with Parfan. You'll have plenty of time to get to know the prince! And when you're ready, we'll get everything settled!"
He slapped the table excitedly, sure that this solution would appease her.
But all she did was sigh heavily and turn her sad eyes on her father. "Daddy?" she began, trying to steady her voice, "was your marriage arranged?"
Phil paused at that. "Well, no… I first met your mother at a ball…" He scratched his head, mustache twitching as he tried to remember the facts. "She was a noblemen's daughter, from a kingdom not too far away…"
He hesitated then smiled brightly, "But she didn't tell me at first! All I knew was that she was the most beautiful and vibrant girl I'd ever seen! And such a wild spirit too! Why, it took two more balls for her to even let me dance with her! But I loved her from the start! I asked her myself to marry me, and your dear Grandfather was wonderful about making it happen!"
Amelia smiled at the love shining through on her father's face, and said "What if you had been forced to marry someone else?"
Phil puffed up in indignation.
"Why I'd have refused of course! I'd battle kingdoms and armies and anything else that got between me and my beloved! I – " Phil stopped mid-flourish as he realized just what he was saying.
He turned back slowly to his daughter, who was staring at him with reddened eyes.
"Oh my Amelia…" he said softly, his voice strained with sudden emotion, "You're not… you don't mean – you're already in love with someone else, aren't you?"
Amelia let out a choked laugh.
"Don't be silly daddy! When would I have had time to fall in love? I'm a busy princess with a mission to spread Justice throughout the world!"
She finished with a fist in the air and a determined smile on her face, but Phil couldn't help thinking that his baby girl had done more growing up in her travels than he had thought….
'Maybe I should've just told him then…' Amelia thought wistfully as she refocused her attention on the ocean, her plum-black hair brushing her shoulders in the wind, '… that I have fallen in love … maybe he could've postponed the trip, or- 'no.
It was no use.
No matter how much she divulged to her dear father – he couldn't force the one she loved to love her back.
A face appeared to her mind's eye: the face of a young man, with blue skin that shone like polished stone, spattered with darker pebbles, all topped with fine wire for hair. A face that, in her blurred memories, wore a small half-smile that seemed reserved only for her.
The face of her dearest friend Zelgadis Graywords, a man transformed into a chimera by his own grandfather, to become a conglomeration of human, stone-golem, and Brau demon.
A man who hated his current self and never seemed to notice that those around him liked him the way he was. That she liked him the way he was.
But of course he didn't notice. And truth be told, she hadn't liked him at first.
Their very first encounter had started with her calling him "creepy and suspicious looking", which… had not been polite at all. Then again, he had come crashing through a window like a villain, throwing daggers and slashing things with his sword, so she liked to think that her first opinion of him had been a bit colored by that.
In fact, the next time they met, she had told him as emphatically and sincerely as she could that she thought he looked 'cool'. It seemed he didn't believe her.
He never had been very observant of feelings.
He often liked to pretend that he didn't have feelings, and was the "heartless sorcerer-swordsman" that others had mistaken him for in the past.
He never would see that she didn't buy this.
That she knew he had a softer side – she knew because she had seen it and been on the receiving end of it. The smile he gave her after defending him in their first real battle together; Him taking a sword for her that shattered his stone skin and left her to heal him with shaking hands; His arms holding her as she lay dying at the hands of Hellmaster Phibrizzo, one of the most sadistic and powerful Monsters they had ever faced.
Yet even from their first shaky encounter, they had looked out for each other – had the other's back so to speak. He protected her, she protected him. It didn't matter if the other needed it or not.
He had always been there for her, including during her last visit into the Outerworld with him and her other friends. It felt as though they had truly become a team – a pair synchronized in thought and might. She thought they had finally made some progress. He had even agreed to come home with her after their battle with the Dark lord of the Overworld, Darkstar.
And he had.
But he had a quest as well – a single-minded obsession to find a cure for his chimeric body. He could not be dissuaded, no matter how much she told him that she didn't mind – and even liked- his appearance.
No one could change his mind.
So she had given him one of the bracelets she always wore, enchanted it with a spell of Vision to communicate over long distances, and bid him farewell with a smile.
He had left, and had been gone from her life for almost a year. He never wrote, and despite her gifted bracelet, had made no attempts to contact her.
Of course, neither had she.
She tried to tell herself it was because she was a busy princess and didn't have time to chat, but really she was afraid – afraid that he wouldn't want to see her or talk to her, or worse, that he wouldn't be there at all. A small part of her feared that her bracelet had been discarded after he had left the city; that he only took it in the first place to get her off of his back.
She didn't think she could take it if she called on him and he wasn't there.
'But still…', she looked down at her wrist, a pink and purple bracelet with a bright blue bauble winking back up at her, and glanced to the other wrist where a similar pink bracelet had once resided. "I thought he cared for me…"
This is going to be a multi-chapter story; I already have a large portion of it written, and it'll probably be quite long. The beginning may be a little slow, but it picks up after this - this is basically the intro and main backstory. So please, stay tuned, and hopefully you'll like what comes later!
Also, I tried to keep with cannon for most of this story, but since I'm basically trying to bridge TRY and Revolution here, there will be a good portion of it that is my own head-cannon and original ideas. So if anyone takes offense to my portrayal or head-cannons here, sorry.