A/N: Wow, I'm really starting to get a lot of reviews! I love you all so much, you make writing more fun. Big hugs to all my reviewers, and even to those of you who lurk in corners of reading-and-not-reviewing. I am so sorry that I haven't updated before this, I meant to type it up, but I got sick and then behind on all my work. So, at long last, here it is!

On with the chapter!

As suddenly as Celia had slipped into the trance-like state, she came out of it. She quickly got to her feet, swaying the tiniest bit. Joien caught her elbow to support her. Nodding her thanks, Celia pressed a hand to her throat and turned towards Joien.

"They are coming."

This single sentence was all she said, but instantly Yusuki knew who 'they' were. The Dark Faeries were on the move, hunting them down. By the look he saw on Lisha's face, she had also discerned what that meant.

"You must go, and quickly," Joien said, addressing Yusuki. Worry was prominent behind his dark brown eyes, no longer shining with mirth. "You may yet be able to make it safely. But," here Joien dropped his voice so that only Yusuki, standing next to him, could hear, "I must say, it does not look good."

"Gather your things, we're leaving," Yusuki called to the girls, looking at his old friend.

Lisha ran into the other room, and started packing what few things she had left. Having changed into her now-clean white peasant blouse and green plaid skirt, she carefully folded the elven gown and put it in her pack. It would be easier to run without the long skirt. She stuffed in the remains of the food and tied the leather thong. Braids would keep her flyaway hair out of the way, one quick braid back each side. She repacked Selina's pack for her, and turning to Selina Lisha told her, "No matter what, always keep running to the edge of the forest, understand?"

"But what if su-" Selina started, but Lisha cut her off, "You'll be fine, just don't stop, okay? Always head towards the edge of the woods, and don't stop for anything."

"Okay" Selina replied, earnestly bobbing her head up and down.

"Good girl, lets get you changed, and then we have to leave."

They had one last hurried meal with the Elves, then called goodbyes over their shoulders as they once more hurried off into the forest, and all its many dangers.

Early afternoon, the group stopped for only five minutes to catch their breath and wolf down some bread before they hurried off again. They were, after all, running for their lives.

Throughout luncheon, Lord Kiern entertained the Queen. He hoped that he could take her mind off her worries, if only for the duration of lunch. He told her tales of the old days when warriors roamed the lands and villages were plentiful and spread far and wide.

Elizibea listened, enraptured by the story-teller. The Queen's merry laugh rang out as Kiern finished a story with a surprise ending. Queen Elizibea finished her venison and selected a pear from a nearby bowl. Gracefully, she stood and Kiern jumped from his chair and offered to escort Queen Elizibea back to her sitting room.

"I'm sure you have something that you put off to meet with me. I am sorry to have taken you from your work," he said when Elizibea nodded and accepted his arm. "You cannot know how much it meant to me," he finished.

"It wasn't a problem at all Lord Kiern, and I was glad to learn even a bit about you," Elizibea replied, and this time, she did not blush.

Back in her rooms, Queen Elizibea was hard at work. Kiern had respectfully bowed himself out just moments ago. She was now signing papers, revising laws, and tactfully declining the plentiful quantity of invitations. As Queen, she received many invitations a day, some to balls with her nobles, some dinner invitations from her village officials. Normally, she loved to accept several of them, but these were not times that allowed such. These were finally times to do something. Finally, those that rebelled, those that chose Darkness over Light, would be judged and sentenced.

Next moment, Queen Elizibea's mind was wandering to more of the many mysteries she was faced with. Why was the Orb of Lazulo so powerful? Who crafted it? They must have been powerful indeed, to have made such a thing. Elizibea did not know the whole of the situation, or she would have been terrified to even keep the Orb in the same palace—let alone chambers—as herself. She did not know that only one who has not lost innocence, one who was not tainted by lust for power, could safely wield the Orb. That was the reason for all the tales of people trying to steal the famed sphere and dieing. None of their motives were pure. But the Faerie Queen was unaware of this. She had only minimum facts, and missing pieces.

One thing she did know was that if the Orb of Lazulo fell into the hands of treachery and Darkness, all hell would break loose. The enemy, those tragically fallen from the Light, were not always so. They were once just as she. She thought of the old ballads she had learned. One of them, she remembered, dealt expressly with the plunge of Raladar's Rebellion. A noblewoman by the name of Raladar did not like the way she was being governed, and gathered followers of like thinking. This sect of Faeries deluded themselves, convinced themselves that what they were doing was right. But at the heart of this group, there was an evil, black hearted, truly Dark Faerie. She was using the Honorable Alliance of Provinces—the rebellion's name, part of deceiving themselves—for her own twisted purposes. She wanted the crown, and would use the witless followers to get it. The young Crown Princess, Katarina, was not fit to inherit the crown and become Queen. She was the daughter of a commoner. It mattered not that Katarina was also the child of the King, for the King's politics were wrong to begin with. There was no doubt the girl would follow in her father's footsteps. Therefore, this Darkest Faerie, leader of the rebellion, would put a stop to this and take the throne herself. The old ballad went on to tell of Raladar's complete deceiving of her followers. There was an uprising, but the newly crowned Queen defeated the Noble Alliance of Provinces in one crushing blow, thanks to the warrior who captured the rebellion's super-weapon.

Something about that bothered Queen Elizibea, but her sleep deprived mind fumbled with the puzzle. She was unable to sort it out, put the clues together.

Aware that she did not really have the time, Elizibea took a history book to her favourite window seat. Elizibea loved ancient lore, facts, myths, old ballads, all of history. It was her hobby. She supposed everyone needed a hobby. History was one of the few appropriate hobbies for a young lady that sounded interesting. The Queen settled into the sumptuous pillows and opened her book.

Lalo sat on the edge of his bed. The Queen refused to let him resume his work, and he was bored out of his mind. He had watched that morning as Queen Elizibea strode into the section of garden under his window. Lalo was glad she was out of the palace. At least, he had been until he saw the Queen meet up with Lord Kiern. There was still something about that warrior that bothered Lalo. It wasn't that Lord Kiern seemed untrustworthy, there was just something about his person that was very odd. As though he should not really be here. Lalo wondered if the Queen noticed.

A/N: So, I'm terribly sorry once again for not updating for so long, but you know how life is, right? Well, as an apology, this chapter is two and two-third pages long instead of just over two pages. And as a reward for such a long chapter, don't you think I deserve a review or five? Push the little button, you know you want to!