Author's Note: I am so happy that I am able to write my second story! Don't worry, I will continue to upload Le Diable despite this new story. I will update this at a slower pace than my first one, since I am still writing somewhere in chapter 20 for this one... The difference from Hane and Le Diable is that there is not much evil in this one (so sad...) and the setting is not at present. I don't think I am good at writing normal high school kids' story, so I am sticking to some fighting and magic in this story as well :D

Disclaiminer: I own this story, yay for being the creator (laughs). This story is not related to anyone or anything in the real world.


PROLOGUE

People are weak creatures, aren't they? They tend to judge by appearance, and to go after riches. There is nothing in this world that is appealing, at least it does not look appealing. Nothing. Not even a flower, a piece of stone, or a particle. The air has always been dry, and lonely. Dreams and hopes can be crushed in a single minute, by the person you least expected, and under the worst circumstances, no matter how long you have treasured them.

This story happened long ago, during the time of wars between kingdoms, when people were still depending on mechanical weapons like swords and shields to fight, when people known as sages, or magic healers, existed.

Hane was the newly-born princess of the Kingdom of Illinotis, a peaceful country under the rule of its present king. The citizens praised the king for his love for the country, they thanked the gods for giving them enough food and shelter, and everyone rejoiced in hearing the good news of an heir to the royal family.

Hane was like the most precious treasure of her father. Everyone could see the tears of joy he shed when he received news from his servant that the queen had given birth to a lovely girl. Setting aside everything, he was the first one to run into the queen's bedroom and crouched beside her, holding her hand while smiling sincerely at his wife.

"My Lord," the queen spoke softly between her tired breaths, "I am very happy to be able to bore you a daughter before I die. The doctor told me that my body is too weak to manage, and I am not sure if I will be able to survive this time."

The queen was well-known for her beauty, but also for her poor health. The king had been very careful about the measures taken regarding her health, but it was obvious that the queen's health has declined a lot after giving birth to her child.

"No, dear. You are going to be fine." The king encouraged, "We are going to raise our daughter together, and to rule the kingdom together."

"This is what I hope for, but I am already happy that you are by my side now. I have nothing more to yearn for as long as I see that you are living happily."

"No, I will not be living happily if you are not here." The king and queen were interrupted by the opening of the door.

"I am sorry, Your Majesty," their head servant, Rineavrre, came in, holding the baby princess wrapped in a thick piece of white linen in her hands. "Congratulations on having a lovely princess." She knelt down and handed the king his baby.

"Thanks, Rineavree," the king held the baby girl carefully and showed it to his wife. "Look, she has the same face as yours." The queen smiled and nodded slightly.

"If there's nothing else, please excuse me." Rineavrre backed up towards the door.

"Please wait a moment," the king called, "I would like my head servant to be in charge of taking care of the princess while the queen recovers."

"It's my pleasure and great honour to be entrusted the job." Rineavrre answered politely and went out of the room. "Please call me when you need my assistance."

The queen gave out a choke after Rineavrre left and started to cough. Horrified at this sudden sight, the king called for his doctors immediately.

The next day was cloudy, and rain started to pour even before the sun rose from the Eastern Alpines. The citizens of Illinotis looked out of their windows. They all had a bad feeling haunting them.

A few hours had passed, and the royal messenger came announcing the death of their queen.


Chapter 1 The Fall of Illinotis

Ten years had passed since the death of the Illinotis Queen.

"Wait, princess! Please don't run about! It is time for your lessons!" Rineavrre chased after the energetic little kid who was running away from her the more she shouted.

"I hate lessons! The teacher is mean! I'd rather sit here and look at the flowers all day." Hane replied, while stepping across the grassland in the central yard of the castle.

"It is for your own good, princess. All kids study and learn when they are small." Rineavrre stopped running and rested her tired legs, sitting down at a nearby stone.

Hane gave a look of dissatisfaction, and slowly ran back towards Rineavrre.

"You know, I don't like you calling me princess." Her childish looks made Rineavrre laughed to herself. "Call me Hane. You said we are friends, didn't you?"

"Yup, we are friends, but you are a princess. What's wrong with calling you one?"

"It sounds… so unfriendly." Hane sat down beside her servant.

"Princess is still small now. There are still many things you don't understand. If I call you by your name, I will get into deep trouble." Rineavrre smiled.

"What trouble?" Hane asked, looking innocent.

"Erm… the others will think that I am favoured."

"You are, because you are my best friend. Father is always busy with his own work and has no time to play with me." Hane said as she held her lips out at the topic of her dad.

"There are a lot of important issues about the kingdom that His Majesty has to handle. You will learn about that when you are older."

Hane protested, "You always say when I am older, it will be very long before I know the things I want to know!"

"Yah, that's a challenge for all kids." Rineavrre smiled. "So, shall we go back to class? The teacher will get impatient. Perhaps you will have extra homework for this week."

"No way! I still haven't mastered the magic I learnt last week…"

"That's why we are going to see the teacher."

Hane went back into the castle and headed towards her study room. Rineavrre opened the door quietly and signaled her to enter. Hane popped her head in before putting her feet into the room as silently as possible.

"So you have finally come, princess." A voice from the far end of the room shocked her at once. The teacher, Lornsbane, was standing by the window, holding his book in front of him. "I was thinking if I should come down for you at the garden just a minute ago."

"Sorry… I… I am late." Hane said shyly as she walked over and sat down at her usual place.

"His Majesty has been very busy recently, since there are some slight movements in the Kingdom of Scanevalon. As the princess, your job is to study hard so that you can help with politics sooner or later, don't you understand?" Lornsbane looked at her through his wire-rim glasses, which flashed as he pushed them up his nose.

"Yah," Hane said with a tone of annoyance. She opened her book and flipped the pages. The History of Illinotis. What a boring book.

"So," Lornsbane started his lecture. "The first war between Illinotis and Scanevalon took place 487 years ago. At that time, King Amanovis and Queen Hermides of Illinotis died to protect our country. Luckily the soldiers managed to help the prince and fled, but…"

Lornsbane stopped when he saw Hane yawning.

"Hey, are you listening?"

"Yah… Just continue…" Hane had a hard time keeping her eyes opened. She took irregular glares outside the window into the beautiful sky. Wouldn't it be great if she could go out instead of staying inside the study room listening to history lectures?

Hane gave a groan, and Lornsbane stopped again, requesting her to go and had her face washed. Hane happily followed his advice. She jumped down from her chair and raced off along the hallway to the bathroom.

Opening the tap and splashing herself with cool water, Hane felt herself completely refreshed. She looked into the mirror at her own face. Did her mom look exactly like her? Her father had always told her that she resembles her mother very much, but Hane had never had the chance to see the truth herself.

As she was day-dreaming to herself in the bathroom, she heard a loud bang from outside. Quickly, Hane ran to the window and looked out. She could see smoke coming from the far plains, a few miles outside the castle. The smoke was white, but Hane could see the seeming red flares at the very bottom part.

Is it an attack?

Hane wiped her face with a towel and ran back to her study room. As soon as she opened the door, she could see Lornsbane standing by the window as well, showing horror in his face.

"Teacher…?" Hane looked confused.

Instead of replying, Lornsbane rushed at Hane and lifted her up, carrying her as he raced across the corridors.

"What is happening?" Hane cried.

"No time to explain, but it seems that we are being attacked. We have to go to the king immediately and see where he can send you for refuge." Lornsbane ran as fast as he could towards the king's meeting room. He threw open the door.

They could not believe their eyes. All around the king's meeting room, soldiers and lords lay on the floor, dead with pools of blood everywhere. Before Hane could see clearly what was happening, Lornsbane covered her eyes with his hands. "Sorry, princess, but you are not old enough to see what is around us."

"Take off your hand! What is happening?" Hane struggled, trying to get the big hand in front of her face away from her.

More footsteps were heard from outside and soldiers rushed into the meeting room.

"Lornsbane, what is happening?" One of the soldiers asked. Everyone held their breaths as they saw the dead bodies on the ground.

"Do you want to know what is happening, princess? Or do you prefer me to call you Hane?" A voice spoke from the direction of the throne. Lornsbane and the soldiers looked towards the throne, with the soldiers pointing their lances at it.

Rineavrre walked out, holding the king hostage by pointing a dagger at his throat. Everyone below was stunned by the situation.

"What do you think you are doing by taking His Majesty hostage?" Lornsbane shouted.

Hane could not see anything, but she could clearly hear the words "taking His Majesty hostage". Her heart seemed to have stopped for a moment. Is her dad in danger?

"What do you think I am doing?" Rineavrre said with a smirk. "Ah well," her expression suddenly turn from serious to more serious, "I guess it's time to tell you the truth. The Kingdom of Scanevalon will be taking down Illinotis soon. Our army has defeated your troops at the four main gates, and proceeding at high speed towards the castle. I may not be able to live through this battle, but neither will you get out of here alive."

"Rineavrre…?" Hane asked, hearing the voice of her friend. She bit Lornsbane's hand, which loosens its grip on her, and Hane jumped onto the ground.

"Princess…!!" Lornsbane tried to stop her, but he was too late.

Hane looked around her. She could see red colour on the walls, on the floors and staining the beautiful paintings of the past nobles. She had always been well cared for, and never in her life had she seen a dead body. Hane didn't know how to react. She looked at the dead bodies one by one then up to Rineavrre and her father.

"Father!" She cried at the sight of her father in her best friend's hands. "What are you doing, Rineavrre? Release my father!"

"Your father will die, Hane, and Illinotis will collapse." Rineavrre replied evilly.

"Why are you doing this?" Lornsbane asked.

"Oh, I bet I have never told anyone. You know, I am a Scanevalian. My ancestors have been killed in the war 400 years ago. Generation after generation we strived to do our best to gain the trust of the Illinotis nobilities, and finally here is my chance. You should blame the king's foolishness to put his trust in me."

"But you said you are my friend." Hane said softly as she started to cry. The 10-year-old kid hoped that someone could stand up and tell her that she was dreaming. Her best friend had been cheating her for the whole time, and Hane had given so much of her heart to accept this friend.

"So now," Rineavrre said, "say goodbye to your father." She held her dagger firmly and stabbed it right through the king's throat.

Hane screamed at the sight of this. Lornsbane quickly picked her up and run while the soldiers behind rushed forward attempting to kill the traitor.

Hane screamed and cried as Lornsbane carried her along the grand marbled corridors towards the secret back gate through the underground dungeons. Hane could not stop herself from replaying the scene of her father's death again and again in her mind.

"You are going to die too, Hane!" Hane could hear the last words of Rinvearre echoed loudly through the castle stone walls.


End of Chapter Rant: Whew! How do you find this? In my opinion this is not as good as Le Diable, because I am sort of in a rush... perhaps juct too bored. Anyways, please review! Thanks!

Next On... Chapter 02 Escape

The army of Scanevalon was after them, Lornsbane and Hane fled through the Magical Forest. Will they get lost, get caught by the Scanevalians or succeed in escaping?