Chapter 6: a journey begins
Saphir had just put away her sword with a sigh. She had just finished with her training session with Lana, her skills had really improved ever since she took her friend's advice on learning to use a sword, and she was glad that she did. Once the princess was done putting all of her equipment away into the chest in her room. Saphir almost jumped when she heard someone knocking on her door. Shortly after the knock the door opens revealing that it was Lana.
"Grate work out there today, Princess." complemented Lana. "You've really gotten better with my teachings. Just a little more practice and you'll become a pro in no time."
"Thanks Lana." replied Saphir, the Princess then curtsies to her guard friend with gratitude. "Have you heard any word from my parents yet?"
"Yes apparently, according to the messenger they sent; it appears that the meeting up in Sir Rubis's kingdom, they're not gonna be back until next week. Last I've heard they've got the treaty between our two kingdoms renewed. If they pull it off... Then you might have Sir Rubis as your next teacher on the sword."
"Maybe... But only if you're there to teach me as well."
"Oh? Ok then Princess I'll make you a deal; if you keep on practicing on your sword techniques and then pass the final test I give you, I will personally write a letter, asking the King and Queen of your request, is that a deal your highness?"
Saphir sat down on the bed, giving herself, a serious thought about Lana's proposition. The Princess sat there in thought for a few moments before she finally gave her answer.
"Lana... You've got a deal, but might I add one request?"
"Yes, of course."
"If my parents somehow allow me to leave this castle, and allow you to come with me, can you please drop the formalities and call me by my name?"
"Oh?" replied Lana, puzzled by the Princess' request. "But I was trained to devote my services to the royal family, including to you princess. To just simply address you by just your name and not by your title it just doesn't sound right, it can't be done. However, if you feel that strongly about it... Then I guess I'll see what I can do, alright?"
Saphir nodded her head in agreement, making Lana feel a little more at ease with their discussion. Lana bows to her as she tells Saphir good night before leaving the room. Laying there excited about what just happened. Saphir wasn't sure if was gonna be able to get any sleep tonight. She laid there in bed starring at the ceiling, while thinking about her parents, as well as her childhood friend Rubis.
"Having Rubis as my next sword teacher. That might be interesting," the Princess thought to herself.
"I wonder how he's doing. I mean... I haven't seen him since we were ten years old. I wonder if he would recognize me after ten years."
Lana was wondering the hallways as she was heading back to her room. The moonlight was shining brightly through the windows as she walked, making her feel at ease while walked the quite halls. She about halfway through the east wing of the castle when she felt a sudden sharp feeling run through her.
"W... What was that?" she asked herself, "That was odd. I haven't felt anything like that since... No! it can't be!" Filled with panic the guard ran as fast as she could back to her bedroom chamber and quickly got out the crystal ball she had stashed away in the chest at the foot of her bed. One she got it out she said the incantation and into the crystal ball, she could not believe what she was seeing.
"What? What on earth is going on!? What's gotten into Queen Flamia, this is not like her. Something must be wrong, Queen Flamia would never betray the treaty, nor turn on those that use magic." She said to herself in disbelief as she soon grew worried about the King and Queen as she thought about Saphir.
"I must notify Princess Saphir at once." she said before placing her spell book into her back as she left her room to warn the Princess of what she had seen. Filled with worry for the royal family, Lana ran as fast as she could through the castle halls trying her best not to think about what the future will have in store for them. The bells of the clock tower began to chime as was running through the West wing of the castle. The time was seen clear as day in the west wing of the castle, and the bells of the tower only rung at this this hour.
She didn't usually wake the Princess with any news at this hour, but in this case, it was an emergency and she had to inform her immediately. She was not far from Saphir's room now, but as she was almost there when she saw one of the castle maids coming from around the corner making Lana skid to a halt as the maid flinched that she was gonna bump into her.
"Maria?" Lana asked in confusion, "What are you still doing up? It’s already passed midnight."
"Apologies Miss Lana," replied Maria. "I know that I should be used to walking around in this castle by now, but this place is like a maze to me; take one wrong turn and you've already got yourself lost in these halls."
"I understand that Maria, just give it some time, after a few weeks of working here and you'll know your way around in no time."
"Thank you, Miss Lana. If I may ask what are you doing up at this hour?"
"I have to talk to the Princess, I have foreseen some urgent news about the Kingdom of Ignis that she'll want to hear about immediately."
"Oh then by all means miss, you best get going, I'm sorry to delay you."
"It's no problem, you best get yourself to your dormitory too, it's late and you'll need some rest."
"will do miss. Hope everything is alright."
"You and me both..." Lana said as she continued to head for Princess Saphir's room. Worrying about what Saphir will say once she tells her what she had seen on her crystal ball. It took her a few minutes, but she eventually got to the door to the Princess's room. Lana took a deep breath to calm herself before knocking on the door.
"I'm sorry to disturb you at this hour, your highness. But I have urgent news about the events in Ignis that you should know about." she explained as she waited for Saphir's reply. She waited a few minutes before the door finally opens.
"What is the news you have on Ignis? Are my parents alright? Did something happen to them?" the Princess asked a bit of fear could be heard in her voice as she tried her best to hide her fear in vain.
"Calm down, princess. They're alright... For the moment. But I fear it is the kingdom's Queen that might be in danger. For she is not acting like the kindhearted person we once knew, and is waging war against all of those that are magic users." Lana said as she hung her head in shame. "I'm afraid I've put us both in grate danger by teaching you magic, your highness." she said before Saphir placed a hand on her knight's shoulder.
"It's not your fault, Lana." the Princess said giving her a gentle smile, “You did not know that something like this was going to happen. And I'm glad that you taught me magic, I wanted to learn magic so that I help those dear to me, and you are one of those people that are dear to me."
"So what do you plan on doing, princess?"
"first off, I'm gonna finish learning white magic. Then once that's done, we're going to Ignis and help my parents, along with those other magic users that are in trouble down there."
"Very good mistress, but there is one little problem. What about this kingdom? Who will take care of things here while you're gone?" Lana asked in thought. While Saphir sighed in an upset tone that she forgot for a moment that she had royal duties to take care of while her parents were away.
"Oh right... I almost forgot about that, times like these I wish I had a sibling to fill in for me while I'm gone." they both sat down in thought as they tried to think of something. They sat there for a few minutes until they heard someone knocking in the doorway.
"Paraphs I could be of assistance Princess..." announced a maid as she stepped into the room. She was young girl in her early teens with chestnut brown hair. And dressed in a light blue maid's uniform instead of the normal black uniform. "If its ok, your highness, I could fill in for you while you are away. I mean I might be few inches shorter than you, but I'm pretty much the same height if I'm wearing high heels."
"Is that so?" Questioned Lana, "If you don't mind me asking Miss maid, but what is your name?"
"my name is Spinelle."
"If you don't mind me asking Spinelle, but guessing by your voice, are you by chance french?"
"oui, that is correct madam. Why do you ask?"
"Well for starters you may look similar to the Princess, but the only difference between the two of you is that you are a few inches shorter than her, plus you have a French accent while Saphir does not and lastly... you don't have the same eye color as Saphir."
"You can use a spell that'll make me look like her."
That's true, she could use a spell that can make her look like Saphir, but was reluctant to do so. Differences aside she would look like the Princess, but only her voice would still sound the same. She then sees Saphir walk over to Spinelle as she puts on her robe. The Princess looks her over in thought for a moment before giving her answer.
"You know... This could probably work." she said as she guided Spinelle over to her wardrobe and picked out one of her dresses.
"first off, let's see how this looks on you. Lana can you help out with this?" she requested as she began to help the maid change from her uniform to one of her gowns. It took about thirty minutes to get her all dressed up. Spinelle blushed at the feeling of being in one of the Princess's gowns as the Princess herself helped her try it on. Shortly after She got dressed, Saphir stood next to her after getting dressed as well. The Princess was simply speechless, wearing the same gown, they both looked exactly the same.
"Impressive..." Lana said in amazement, "Aside from your accent and your eyes Spinelle, I can hardly tell the difference between the two of you. This might work for while the Princess is away. But what about the chancellor? You know he's not going to let this slide so easily once he finds out about this."
The moment they heard Lana bring up the thought about the chancellor the smile soon melted off their faces. For Lana was right, the chancellor was gonna be a big problem.
"Oh yeah... I almost forgot about him." replied Spinelle in disappointment, "Any ideas on what to do about it, Lana?"
Lana noded sadly. "l'm afraid my answer's no... At some point he will find out, so our only option is to tell him everything we know."
"I was afraid you were going to say that." sighed Saphir, "But if it's the only choice we have, then we have no choice, we have to talk with the chancellor about this. But he's not going to like having to be disturbed at this late hour. So how are you going to break it to him?"
"We'll worry about that when we go see Chancellor Karsh. But in the meantime, Spinelle I think you better change back into your uniform."
Spinelle blushed to being reminded that she was still wearing one of Saphir's dresses. With their help she was able to quickly change back into her uniform before helping the Princess get ready to go see the Chancellor. The Princess was feeling nervous that it made her feel sick to her stomach having to pay him a visit at 1:30 in the morning. As soon as Saphir was ready both she and Lana began to head for Chancellor Karsh's room. The two of them have been up and down these castle halls so many times they knew their way around the castle like the back of their hands. It took them about fifteen minutes for them to finally make it there. As Lana knocked on the door there was no answer. The knight knocked again this time hearing a faint memering that sounded like "Alright, alright I'm coming." as they waited for him to open the door. There was the sound of him unlocking his door before it finally opened.
"Do you have any idea what time it is!?" Karsh said, still half asleep. "This better be important."
"Apologies for waking you at this time, Karsh. But I'm afraid something urgent has come up that we had to wake you for this"
"Oh, for the love of the water crystal's blessings Lana, what could be so urgent that you and the Princess had to wake me up at 2:00 in the morning?"
"It's about my parents, Karsh." explained Saphir, "Lana thinks that in her vision that something has gone very wrong down in Ignis."
That woke him up completely out of shock. He then gestures to the two of them to come into his room. As he lit the candle on his bedside table.
"Now then... What happened in your vision about them, Lana. And don't hesitate to tell every detail of the events that unfolded." he said as he pulled up as chair to sit on as he Listened to Them explain everything that happened. With everything they told him, Karsh sat there in thought, as he listened to everything they had told him. He then sat there pondering the situation at hand as Saphir stood up to ask him.
"Chancellor Karsh, I know that you won't like hearing me ask you this but... I want to go Ignis and help them. My parents are in danger if we don't do something about this immediately."
Chancellor Karsh sighed as he listened to the Princess's request.
"It’s just like you to be the first to help anyone in need, isn't it Saphir? But if you're gone, who will take care of your royal duties for you while you go out and play hero?"
"Well chancellor... We were thinking that maybe you would. Just until I get my parents back here, alive and well. Lana will be with me, so you know that all three of us are safe on this task."
"Oh Princess Saphir... It is a fool's errand, trying to help your parents in a Kingdom that has just broke our treaty? They have basically just started an act of war when they arrested them, your highness. If you go and help them it'll only make things much worse-"
"So are you saying I should just sit here and watch them die instead of going to help them!?"
"You know full well that is not what I meant Sapir, but please listen to me, there is no way to help them without using making things worse for Oceanum. And as for that girl you mentioned them being with, Samaragd, if she is with them then they are in good hands."
"How do you know that?" asked Lana.
"Because Samaragd is a good old friend of mine, and a very talented scorcoress to boot. She is more than capable of keeping your parents out of harm's way. But if you feel that you're absolutely sure about going Ignis to help them the I strongly recommend this, I will let you go help them, but Lana is to go with you as a bodyguard. Does that sound fair enough?"
Saphir pondered at the idea for a moment before she finally nodded.
"I can work with that. I wouldn't have it any other way, I would've had Lana come with me anyway."
"Very good. Now then you best get yourself ready, you have a long trip ahead of you. I pray for your safe return Saphir, This kingdom will need their princess in this hour of need while the King and Queen are gone, just come back to this kingdom safe ya hear!"
"Thank you, Karsh." replied Saphir, hugging him before she left the room. She was very excited to finally be able to leave the castle for her adventure. As soon as Saphir and Lana had left the room as Karsh walks over to the rosary he had hanging by his bed. He then took it off the hook and began to pray.
Oh great god Avandra. Please bless this kingdom's Princess and her companion with your protection on thier travel into the unknown. And my they have the blessing of the water crystal for a quick and safe return from thier journey. Amen.
Once he was done with his prayer, he then quietly wished good luck to the Princess before going back to sleep.
"Are you sure you're ready for this, Saphir?" Asked Lana, as she gathered some last-minute supplies for their journey the next morning. "This trip could be dangerous, and it is a long way to get to Ignis. Are you sure you want to go through with this?"
"I am. I not gonna just sit here, while my parents are in danger. We have to get over there and help them. You're with me on this, right Lana?"
"To the very end, Saphir." Lana replied confidently. They then got on their horses and started out as the gate was opened by her command. Once they were out the two of them then gave their horses a small kick to speed up, for as of now after passing the towns of the Kingdom, Saphir's adventure had just begun.