Chapter One

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"Shayanna, really. Look at the state you're in."

Shay groaned. She hated her full name. Why couldn't her mother just call her 'Shay' like everyone else did? She looked down at herself, she didn't look that bad. Well, okay, her long blonde hair that she gotten from her father's side was tangled and dirty and her dress was covered in mud and her face caked in it.

"Shayanna, are you paying attention?"

Shay glanced up at her mother. "Yes mother." she lied. Her mother saw right through it and looked down at her daughter disapprovingly. Shay's mother was a tall and very beautiful woman. Her long dark black hair fell down her face and shoulders in curls and her bright blue eyes were full of wisdom and courage. Despite all this, Shay's mother was as lady like as they could get. Well, thought Shay, she has to. After all, she is the queen.

Oh yes, Shay's mother was Queen Thayanne of Rhodes and her father was King Ronald of Rhodes. Oh yes, Shayanna was the princess, and she hated it more than anything.

"Shayanna." Queen Thayanna said sharply. Shay looked up at her mother once more and prepared herself for the never ending lecture that her mother always gave her after she had run off.

But it never came. Instead, a short thin woman in her mid-thirties entered the room. The woman had shoulder length light brown hair and hazel eyes. She looked at Shay and smiled.

"Is this your daughter?" The woman asked her mother.

"This is she. Shayanna, this is Lyora. She will be your new governess. She'll be teaching you and attempting to turn you away from your boyish ways. She's an old friend of mine, she I except you to respect her."

Governess? No way. Shay thought. This is the end of the end. She sighed.

"It's nice to meet you Lyora." Shay said in a rather bored voice as her mother gave her an annoyed look. I might as well get rid of this governess as fast as I can she thought.

"It's nice to meet you too" Lyora said in an equally bored voice. Shay stared at her. Lyora laughed and said "I think you and I are going to be great friends."

"Sure." said Shay awkwardly. She hadn't expiated the woman to have a sense of humour at all.

"Well" Shay's mother said briskly, "Shay, why don't you show Lyora to her room. It will be the small one of the side of yours. And Lyora, perhaps you could change Shayanna's clothes and make her look presentable for tonight's dinner. A few of the Blades will be attending tonight."

Lyora's head jerked up. "The – the Blades?"

The queen stared at Lyora for a second and they seemed to talk to each other for a couple of minutes with their eyes. Finally Thayanna said "You don't need to attend if you don't want to."

"No, no. I think I will." Lyora said. "Come along Shayanna, you should show me mine and yours rooms."

Shay shrugged as she led Lyora to the two rooms. She was confused. Why was Lyora so frightened about the Blades? The Blades were a group of magically people from around the kingdom. Every year the Blades came around to check any children that had been reported with magical powers. If the Blades were satisfied with the child's magical abilities than they would be taken from the family and trained to be a Blade. It must be that time of year again.

Shay knew that her mother refused to have Shay checked for magical powers. Shay just assumed that her mother was scared that she would and than Shay would be forced to leave. Shay knew better, the closest thing she had to magical powers was that dream she had about a dragon eating her mother the other night. She laughed.

Lyora stared at her. "What's so funny?" She asked.

Shay blushed. She hadn't meant to laugh out loud. "Oh, nothing. Just something I was thinking about."

Lyora nodded and did not ask anymore questions. But Shay had a question.

"Why did you get all shaky when my mother mentioned the Blades?"

Lyora glanced at Shay. "Oh, it's nothing." She said in a small voice.

"Uh huh" Shay said. She didn't believe Lyora, not one bit.

Lyora avoided Shay's gaze. "Um, my brother was a Blade. He was killed. I've hated the Blades ever since."

"That's stupid." Shay pointed out. "It's not the Blades' fault that he died."

"Right…of course not." Lyora said in a soft voice.

Shay shrugged as she and Lyora stopped in front of a large door. "This is my room, by the way. There's a hall inside that will lead to a small room. That'll be yours."

Lyora nodded. "Okay." They entered and Lyora headed for Shay's wardrobe. "You mother said to find something suitable for you to where. Now, for heaven sakes, go wash up. I'll brush your hair and try to make you look like a lady. It will be hard though." Lyora laughed.

"Funny" mumbled Shay as she went to wash up.

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A few hours Shay headed downstairs with Lyora to dinner. Lyora had (believe it or not) managed to brush Shay's massive blonde hair to lie flat and the mud off her face. Shay was dressed in a long pale blue dress and Lyora in a plain dark green dress. Shay had to give the woman credit; she knew how to do the beauty stuff.

As they entered the dinning hall, Shay excitedly looked around her. She couldn't wait to meet a Blade, her mother had never let her before. She saw fifteen or so men in the traditional black garments of the Blades.

"Shh, calm down Shayanna" Lyora whispered. "Really, you're acting like you're a four year old."

"I am not." Shay exclaimed "And can you please call me Shay, not Shayanna. Thanks."

Lyora nodded and said "of course" as Shay's father, King Ronald, approached them with three men in black, three Blades.

"Greetings daughter" he said in that deep voice he had. His golden crown combined with his blonde hair and bright green eyes was almost blinding. He turned to Lyora. "You must be Shay's new governess."

"Yes sir, my name is Lyora." Lyora awnsered.

The kind nodded his head. "Greetings to you as well" He motioned to the three Blades behind him to come forwards. "This is Moraz" he said as he motioned to a tall, fit man about Lyora's age. "This here is Hanson" he pointed to another man about Lyora's age as well, "and finally this is Randolph." He waved at a smaller boy, about sixteen, about Shay's age. He was pretty cute too she realized.

As they all sat down, Shay of course, ended up sitting next to Randolph who, Shay found out, was the most unsociable person in the world.

She tried to make conversation with him. "So, my name's Shayanna, but everyone calls me Shay. Well, except my mother. She's really annoying. Wait, you're name is Randolph, right? Do people really call you Randolph? I would hate it if people called me Randolph all the time." And so on until Moraz finally pulled her aside.

"He's a bit shy, encase you haven't noticed" Moraz said smiling.

Shay nodded. "Yeah, I did. What's up with him?"

Moraz sighed. "His parents were murdered a few years ago, right before his eyes, when he was twelve. Ever since then he's been quiet and reserved. He was such a bright and happy kid before, so they tell me. His magically power is that he can talk to the dead, but for some reason his parents won't talk to him. He thinks he did something wrong, I think."

Shay shivered. "That's horrible. Of course it's not his fault."

Moraz shrugged. "You know how some people can be, stuck on something." he paused. "There's something I wanted to ask you about."

Shay cocked her head, hoping with all her heart that it was to ask her to become a Blade.

Moraz glanced at Lyora of in the distance. "What do you know about your governess?"

Shay answered, disappointedly "Not much actually. She just came today and she's kind of mysterious. Apparently my mother and her are long time friends and –"

For some reason this struck Moraz as very interesting. "They are? I wonder where they met."

Shay shrugged. "No idea. And then Lyora got all weird when she heard that the Blades were coming to visit, like she was scared of you guys." She paused. "And then when I asked her what was up, she said her brother was a Blade and was killed. But that still doesn't make sense why she doesn't like the Blades."

Moraz nodded. "So, you think she lied."

Shay shrugged again. "Well, kind of." she admitted.

Moraz and Shay started to walk back to the dinning hall as they talked. They reached the table and sat down. Moraz slipped into a seat next to Lyora. Lyora looked frighten as she glanced quickly at him.

"So," Moraz said casually. "I hear your brother was a Blade. What was his name? Perhaps I knew him."

Lyora's eyes widened. "Um – um – his name was Jacob."

Moraz paused. "Perhaps I knew him…What was his Blade name? Do you know?"

Shay listened intently. The Blade name was assigned to a Blade when he became a Blade. It was suppose to be a secret name, not told to anyone. If a Blade decided to tell his Blade name to others, it would only be to the most trusted of their friends. For, with someone's Blade name, you could destroy them.

Well, Shay thought I guess in this case it doesn't really matter. Lyora's brother is already dead and his Blade name would already have been revealed to the world at his burial.

Lyora shook her head. "I don't remember."

"Hmmm" Moraz said thoughtfully. "Perhaps when I return to the Blade's training temple I shall look into him, and see if I knew him."

Lyora, again, looked frightened. "Oh, you don't need to do that."

Moraz looked like he was going to answer her, but King Ronald got up and started to give his long welcome speech he always gave when they had visitors. It was rather boring and dull in Shay's opinion.

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Some hours later, while Shay lay sleeping in her bed, Lyora rose from sleep and slipped out of the room quietly. It was many hours later until she returned.

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A/N: So there it is: the first chapter of my little experiment. It's probably really horrible, but if you like it or have any suggestions, I would love it if you reviewed and gave me some feed back. Thanks!!!! Rowan