"Daddy, I don't want to go to Lhant!" A little girl exclaimed, "It's boring there! Can't I stay home with you?" The child had long beautiful blonde hair that nearly touched the ground and it was lose from anything that would hold it together and off her face. Shorter locks of hair fell over her eyes and slightly impaired her vision of her father.
This young girl was the Alice, Princess of Windor and her older brother, Richard was to be the King when their father died. The King placed a hand on the girl's cheek and brushed the hair off her face and behind her ears, revealing her gorgeous, light brown eyes that seemed so faded that they were nearly colorless. The bloodshot whites of her eyes from crying and pleading emphasized the sadness and tone of her soft eyes and would make anyone's heart melt, "You need to make sure your brother doesn't get into trouble, okay Alice?" He smiled at his daughter but looked up as a blue haired man entered the room, "Bryce, what is it?"
"The boat to Lhant is here, You Majesty." Bryce replied, holding his hand out for Alice to come to him, "My Princess, if you would please follow me to the port? Your brother awaits us there on the boat."
Alice turned to the man and nodded. She gripped her short light blue skirt nervously. She had never been outside of Barona. She had the option every year to go with her brother to other towns but she was so attached to her parents and afraid to leave her father's side. She had grown up not able to trust anyone outside her castle; her fortress.
She slowly moved towards Bryce, adjusting the tights underneath her skirt and covered her legs. At the bottom they were dark blue but as they went up her leg, the color slowly changed to an off-white color. A very small portion of legs showed just before her white shoes and was maybe about three inches of showing skin. Her shirt resembled a sailor-girl uniform top. When she reached Bryce, he placed a hand on her shoulder and guided her out as she glanced back to see her father wave goodbye to her.
Outside at the port, a young, eleven year old boy stood by the boardwalk onto the boat. His arms were crossed and he was guarded by three soldiers in suits of armor. Alice waved to the people of Barona as they told her to have a safe trip on her way to Lhant despite it being a very short ride. Richard held his hand out and Alice grabbed it as they boarded the ship and sat down on a bench outside, facing the bow, "Richard, what's Lhant like?" She asked, looking up at her brother with admiration.
Richard shook his head, looking off at the islands off in the distance that had names Richard didn't know, "I've never been there so I wouldn't know." He looked down at Alice, "You've never left, Barona, have you?" Alice shook her head in response and starred at her knees as she waited for their arrival at Lhant Port.
As the port could be seen, Richard took his sister's hand and led her towards Bryce and the other guards. Alice held onto her brother's hand and let him guide her to the Turtlez Transport after the boat had finally docked.
Immediately after they left the ship, people began crowding the area of the port in which the two siblings of royalty were standing, looking around at all the strangers. Loud shouts and exclamations were made by the people of Lhant as they commented out the appearance of the two, "Look! They're holding hands, they're so cute!" One young woman yelled out to the rest of the crowd. Others tried to get closer to them but a line of guards formed so that the people were pushed back as they climbed into the Turtlez Transport.
Bryce got on after them and the soldiers took formation around the creature as they began to move from Lhant. Alice took a big sigh, she was thankful for the guards that kept those people from crowding them. She wasn't very good with large amounts of people especially when she was the center of attention, "Bryce, have you ever been here before?" Alice asked.
The blue haired man nodded with a slightly, chilling grin, "Of course," He replied, "It's a very pretty town but hardly anything compared to the kind of living you have in Barona." He answered. However, Alice didn't find her home beautiful at all. Sure it had lots of nice things but she found the whole stone-cobble street thing highly boring.
Alice poked her head out of the carriage on top of the creature but saw nothing but trees, "Where's Lhant?" She asked blatantly, Richard pulling her back inside. Bryce looked out the carriage as well to see where they were.
"See that stone wall up ahead?" Bryce asked as Alice took a quick look before her brother could yell at her. She nodded and Bryce continued, "That's the gate to Lhant." He finished with a smile. Richard looked bored out of his mind as he had his cheek resting on his hand with the other still gripping his sister's. He had been told to keep a good eye on her since this was her first trip out of the city.
"It is?" Alice wondered, "But it's so small. I can't even see their castle!" She exclaimed in amazement. Being only seven years old, she didn't quite understand that not all places had castles and towers. She let go of Richard's hand for a moment as she stood up and grabbed her hair and pulled it in front of her shoulder. Alice had been sitting on her long hair the whole trip and now she could be more comfortable. She was just about to sit back down when the carriage shook violently and fell back onto Richard.
Richard grabbed his younger sister's shoulders and braced her as the carriage shook again. Soldiers began yelling and shouting outside and Alice looked out of the carriage to see three enormous bird-like creatures attacking the guards, protecting the carriage at all costs. Richard pulled Alice back inside again and sat her down, "Just sit down, Alice." Bryce took out a metal claw and jumped out the carriage, joining the fight as well.
The young girl held her brother's hand tightly as she sat right next to him, waiting for the danger to pass. She always admired Richard for being so brave and wondered why she couldn't be the same way. The fighting had gone on for quite some time when she heard a strange voice yelling that sounded like, 'As the Bell'. Alice looked out the window again, "Richard, look! There's a kid outside!" She exclaimed.
Outside was a young boy probably Richard's age and had dark red hair that matched the man in front of him. The boy's eyes were a bright, icy blue and he seemed to be arguing with the man about something. Richard sighed, "Alice, please stay inside the carriage." He crossed his arms, "It's not polite to eavesdrop."
Alice got back inside as Bryce jumped up and the carriage began moving again. From inside she could see the limp, lifeless bodies of the creatures as they passed by and into Lhant. Alice was in awe at the town as the people starred at the carriage as it passed by. An enormous windmill stood in the town's center and she thought it was gorgeous. A small girl with pink hair stood in front of her house and seemed to be in wonder of the carriage's entourage.
It didn't take long to see all of Lhant and arrive at the Turtlez stable beside a large manor. Richard and Bryce jumped out of the carriage and Bryce turned to Alice and helped her down. She immediately rushed to the fountain and dipped her hand in the water. It was cold to the touch but it was so crystal clear that she didn't want to withdraw her hand from the water, "Richard, come look at this!" She exclaimed.
Richard approached his younger sister with a sigh. He was always so patient with his sister especially now since this was her first time out of the city. Bryce spoke to a man in a suit while the two children admired the flowers and water fountain. Richard picked out a single flower and placed it in Alice's hair; it was a light blue flower that perfectly coordinated with her outfit.
Bryce had finished speaking with the man in the elegant suit and the two were walking together back towards the manor, "Richard, Alice, follow." Richard looked back at Alice and the two followed Bryce as requested into the manor. The inside of the large house wasn't too impressive; only four room and three were bedrooms. It was a cottage compared to Richard and Alice's castle. But Alice thought it was simply adorable and spent her first impressions admiring the picture in the back.
"Hey Richard," Alice began, "That boy in the picture looks like that kid from the road outside of Lhant." She tugged on her brother's sleeve and pointed to the red-haired boy on the painting above the stairs, "And that man looks like the one that was there too!" Richard seemed to be ignoring his sister as the two siblings were led into the room on the right. There were two beds and they were fairly small. But the room was pretty large and comfortable.
"Now you two stay in here." Bryce ordered as he walked out the door and shut it behind him, leaving the two alone. Alice sat on the bed and bounced a few times, checking the softness of the mattress. Richard walked across to the desk and began rummaging through what had been supplied to them. Some paper and quill rested on the table while inside was more paper and some extra bottles of ink.
"Richard?" Alice began, her brother turning to look at her, "Why do we have to stay here in this room?" She asked, "It's boring in here and I don't want to stay here. Can't we go look at around Lhant?" Richard shook his head and took a seat at the table.
"We have to stay here because that's what Bryce said," Richard answered, "And until he says we can leave… Well then we can't leave." Was all he had to say to his younger sister. She seemed satisfied enough with the answer and proceeded to go through the drawers of the night stand and anything else that had been provided for them.
Suddenly, there was a noise outside as the door was pried open to their room. Alice immediately stood up as did Richard and they turned to see a red-haired boy climb in with a younger blue-haired boy and a pink-haired girl. Behind them was a girl that was probably a little older who had purple hair the length of Alice's.
"Who are you?" Richard began, motioning for Alice to join him on the other side of the room. Like a loyal puppy, she stood next to her brother and held her hands behind her back. The strange boy looked around at his small entourage and smiled.
"My name's Asbel Lhant!" He exclaimed, "And this is my brother Hubert; we're the sons of Lord Aston." He continued to the others, "And this is Sophie, and Cheria." Asbel had finally finished introducing his friends when Alice stepped forward.
"You're that boy from earlier," She began, "The one on the road to the Lhant port!" Alice concluded, looking back at her brother who seemed un-amused by the whole scenario, "Richard? Can't we be friends with them?"
Richard looked fierce, "They don't want to be our friends," Richard growled, "They only came because of who we are! Right?" He seemed extremely angry at his people who had just come through their windows.
Before Richard could continue, Bryce entered the room and seemed dis-pleased with the presence of the children inside their room, "Oh? And what is this all about?" He asked. But he wasn't too interested he the answer for he continued without it, "At any rate, Richard, it's time for your sword training."
Richard sighed, "Please, not today Bryce. I'm not feeling well at the moment." He replied as an excuse. Alice knew this which is why he was a little short on words when she spoke about the fountain and seeing Asbel in the painting in the main foyer. However, Bryce was not taking Richard's excuses today.
"Your enemies aren't going to hold back just because you aren't feeling well," Bryce scolded, "If anything they'll attack for that very reason. Now come along, Richard. We have training to do." Alice noticed that Bryce seemed strangely persistent today about Richard's training while other days he would've just left Richard alone.
Just as Richard was leaving with Bryce, Asbel stepped forward, "Wait! You shouldn't force Richard to fight when he isn't feeling well!" He exclaimed, "What's one day of training lost?" Alice cringed for the boy who didn't know how Bryce could be. Bryce went to reply but was cut off, "Train me instead of him today."
Richard and Alice were very confused by Asbel's actions; they had just met him and he was taking training sessions for Richard's sake? Bryce seemed to have no problem with training this boy for the day instead of Richard. They all went out into the front courtyard to watch Asbel's session with Richard's sword instructor. Alice's instructor was present at the Lhant manor as well but was most likely discussing things with Lady Kerri.
Bryce stood in front of Asbel, neither one of them moving. After quite some time in which there was nothing but silence, Asbel spoke, "Where's your sword?" He asked strongly, looking up at Bryce with his wooden weapon gripped tightly.
Shaking his head, Bryce seemed to take offense to Asbel's remark, "I don't need to arm myself against a mere child!" He protested. Alice sat down beside Richard's feet and waiting for the battle to finally begin rather than listen to the two as they exchanged pre-battle dialogue.
"I won't attack an un-armed man," Asbel began, "It would be shameful for a knight to do so." Alice looked up at her brother as she heard him let out a short, quiet laugh and mutter something under her breath. Asbel kept a strong stare as he waited for Bryce to pull out his weapon.
Instead of agreeing with Asbel's request, Bryce only taunted the young boy, "It seems as though the little swordsman is afraid of losing." He commented, his hands clasped together behind his back as his lips curled into a smile, "In that case, Richard or maybe even Alice should take this lesson instead." His smile widened as Asbel took a battle stance, "Very well, then. Prepare yourself."
Bryce shot forward and punched Asbel hard enough to send him flying a few feet back. Richard called out to Asbel like he was worried about the stranger but Bryce continued his instigating, "Aw, did the little knight fall down?" Asbel got up and retaliated with a few swipes that Bryce easily dodged, "Too slow! Are you even trying?" However, the boy was able to land a third blow of Bryce while he was distracted with his taunting, "What?!"
Alice jumped to her feet, "Look Richard! He actually hit Bryce!" She seemed genuinely impressed by Asbel's feat and was bouncing up and down in excitement while her brother was in absolute awe. But then Bryce took out his metal claw and looked ready to kill the small boy.
"That's enough!" A guard ordered as he came out into the courtyard with an enraged look on his face. He approached Bryce and gave him a stern stare. Asbel wiped the sweat from his forehead and lowered his weapon.
"He actually held his ground against Bryce!" Richard exclaimed as the battle finally came to an end, "Amazing…" He added under his breath as they watched the conversing between the guard, Bryce, and Asbel. It seemed Asbel truly wanted to become a knight rather than take over after his father for the Lordship of Lhant.
Alice couldn't stop staring at Hubert, Sophie, and Cheria over on the other side of the courtyard. They were all so different from her; they were older and wore different kinds of clothing from her. She wondered quietly how people could live in such a town like this with such little to offer for entertainment but she had heard that most of the world was like this unlike her home of Barona. "Stop staring, Alice." Richard warned his sister and she looked to her feet.
"Well, now that we're already outside, want to see something cool?" Asbel asked as he approached Alice and Richard with his friends, "Come on, you can come too, Alice!" He smiled but she was looking straight past Asbel and at Cheria who had been staring at her.
"You guys really shouldn't go there now… It's getting late." Cheria pointed out in a slight whine of a tone. Asbel told her she could stay behind if she wanted and Richard began walking off with Asbel. Alice quickly ran after them and grabbed Richard's hand as they walked off with Sophie following behind them, "Alright guys, let's go!"
Thank you everyone for reading the first installment of my fanfiction! This is something I started a few months ago but never got to uploading it because I felt like I would never finish it. But I think I has enough interest in my own fanfiction that I can trust myself to follow through! In fact... There are already 12 chapters for its debut on this website!