The Capture Of A Princess

Written by Scottish Princess

Chapter 1

"Good night, Princess." The maid said as she tucked in her charge. "I will be in at the midnight hour, sleep well."

Princess Aralyn nodded, closing her eyes as soon as the maid left the room. She tried to sleep, but it did not come easily. Tossing and turning for over an hour, Aralyn finally relaxed around eleven o'clock, drifting off into a dreamless slumber. Nearly an hour later, the pretty fifteen year old was sleeping so soundly, that she did not even notice three men sneaking into her room.

"Quickly now!" Whispered one, obviously the leader. "We don't want the maid to come back while we're still here."

The other two men hurriedly bound and gagged the princess, knocking her out for good measure. They gathered some blankets and made a princess-shaped lump on the bed, hoping to fool the maid. Hearing the sound of the returning maid, the men promptly escaped through secret passageways in the castle, carrying their prisoner along at a high rate of speed. The tired maid peeked into the princess' room and, seeing the lump on the bed, went to sleep herself, not even aware that Aralyn was gone.

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Sunlight filtered through multi-coloured windows, weaving patterns on the floor of an otherwise darkened room. A cluttered desk dominated the center of the small room, hardly leaving any space for its five occupants. There was a striking woman seated behind the desk. The woman was dressed in a rich, dark blue gown, which complemented her blue eyes perfectly. She had white-blonde hair that flowed elegantly down to a gold braid around her waist. Three of the other inhabitants of the room were guards and all of them looked uncomfortable in the woman's presence. The fifth person was a young man, who stood next to the woman and was giving the three guards an evil glare.

"You were supposed to steal the maid as well!" He roared at the guards, who cringed with terror. "Not leave her to sound the alarm!"

"Tariq, calm down!" The woman soothed, placing her hand on his arm. "There's no point in raising your voice at them."

"But, Milady," Tariq objected. "They didn't follow your instructions. They should be executed!"

"I'm quite sure they did their very best, don't you?" She turned her cool smile on the guards.

"I, uh," One guard stammered, "Yes, we, um-"

"But your best was not quite good enough, now was it?" The woman turned to her advisor, "Tariq, if you please."

Tariq grinned evilly as he drew his sword and advanced at the unarmed guards, but so intent was he on killing, that he did not notice where he was standing. The floor directly below Tariq, opened up, dumping her screaming advisor into a tiger pit, his sword clanging to the floor next to where he had stood. The woman's blue eyes were far more than cold as she closed the trap door, cutting off the screams from below. The three guards were terrified, this was not what they were expecting!

"Stand up straight, you cowards!" The woman barked at them. "Start acting like guards before I tire of you like I did that miserable man!"

A knock sounded on the door of the room and the woman nodded to one of the guards to get it. The door was opened and a messenger came rushing in, bowing and handing her a sealed letter. The woman broke the seal and began to read:

Their Majesties, King Ryan and Queen Kristen, request the presence of Her Ladyship at the celebration of Crown Prince Sean's eighteenth birthday. The celebration shall be held precisely at noon and shall continue no later than midnight. They shall be very pleased if you may attend.

The woman placed the letter on the desk in front of her and smiled. Reaching for paper, pen and ink, she wrote a hasty reply:

Her Ladyship gladly accepts the offer to attend the celebration planned for Crown Prince Sean and thanks both their Majesties for even taking into consideration the pleasure of their loyal servant.

That should do it, she thought, as she sealed her reply letter and handed it to the messenger. The man bowed and immediately exited the room, leaving it in silence once more. Sighing, the woman turned once again to her three guards.

"You three know what you're supposed to do, I trust you will do it better this time, or you might just end up joining Tariq and my tigers. Now go do what you must and be ready before noon."

All three guards quickly bowed and hurried out of the room. The woman stood up from her desk, picked up Tariq's sword and left the room, locking the door behind her.

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The maid woke up precisely at four in the morning with a bad feeling. She got up and peeked in at the princess.

That's odd, she thought, the princess is still in the very same position. That's not like her at all.

She entered the room and walked closer to the bed. Seeing the blankets instead of the princess, made the maid shriek. She ripped back the sheet, no princess! Frantically, the maid ran through the princess' entire bedroom suite, but she found nothing.

Oh, help! She thought, I am in so much trouble!

"Guards!" She yelled, running out the door and into the hallway.

Several guards came rushing down the hall, stopping right in front of the hysterical maid.

"What is wrong, miss?" One asked.

"The princess," The maid blurted out, "She's gone!"

"What?!" The guard spluttered, "What do you mean gone?"

"She's nowhere to be found. I looked everywhere in her rooms and found no sign of her. There's no possible way that she could leave without my knowing. I sleep right in front of the door where she sleeps."

"This is not good. Sound the alarm! No one leaves the castle and no one enters! We need to find Princess Aralyn!"

All ways into and out of the castle were closed off and guarded as every single occupant of the castle and all its rooms were searched. The hours and hours of searches and inquiries proved fruitless. The princess was not found.

Queen Sana was mortified when she heard what had happened. Princess Aralyn was an only child and the Queen was too old to have any more. Without the princess, their beautiful kingdom would surely fall. King Sivan received the news later than the Queen since he was not at the castle. He took the news stoically, but the Queen resigned herself to her rooms and did not emerge for anything or anyone, not even her most trusted ladies-in-waiting.