A/N This is an updated version. As is CH2. I will do my best to post chapters more frequently now that I have the free time. If you do review, I ask that you provide helpful criticism (whether negetive or postitive). Thank you i hope you like it :)
"Sir, the princess has been captured." Two guards reported. They were dressed in the armor of the city in which they were stationed. Basic armor to cover their chest, legs, and head; chain mail covered their arms. A tabard with the symbol of the waning moon was draped over their chest piece.
"Let me see." Their lord replied.
The covers were removed, revealing a beautiful young woman. Her caramel skin was framed by long black hair pulled back into a pony tail. It fell over the side of the crude straw bed on which she laid, the curls just touching the floor. She wore a tattered cloth dress that must have been green once, but now was so caked with dirt it looked as if she had crawled out of the ground itself. Lord Tayre's eyes grew wide with surprise as he brushed aside a rogue curl, revealing her shut eyes.
"There must be some mistake here." The lord said, confused. "This girl is an urchin. I have seen her with my own eyes, singing and dancing on the street and in taverns."
The two guards standing by her bed looked at each other, then back at Tayre.
"Sir, this girl is the princess. She was introduced as such at the royal masquerade." They both replied.
There was a long silence. All stared at the girl before them.
"Could it be? Is it even possible that she and the princess are one?" Lord Tayre spoke to himself.
He knelt next to the bed on which she lay, sleeping peacefully. Her face was so soft and clear; as a princess' would be. He touched her hand and gasped in surprise. He felt it and examined it.
"Her hands are rough." He stated and looked back at her, "They truly must be one person."
The girl stirred and her eyes fluttered open. They turned about the room and rested upon Tayre.
"I see you're awake." He said with a smile.
She sat up quickly. Calmly, she turned to look at the man before her, recognizing him. She remembered, meeting him at the royal ball, and then again in the city tavern, but she couldn't let him know. Her identity must be kept secret.
"Where am I?" she demanded.
"In a humble abode."
"How dare you kidnap me! Do you know who I am!"
"Yes, as a matter of fact I do."
She paused, staring at him for a long while. He looked back at her with soft eyes. Stop looking at me like that! No... I must keep calm, and find out what the liar wants. She thought.
"Oh, so it's ransom you want. Very well…" She pulled out a purse. He took her hand and closed it. She looked at him confusion and anger.
"I don't want your money." He said.
She pulled away and stood, her posture emanating authority and grace. "So you wish to humiliate my father! I will not allow this!"
"Can you really be her?" Lord Tayre stared in awe, her beauty overcoming his senses. Her eyes blazed a crimson red, as if they could set fire to his very soul. She was not very tall, and was quite slender, but her manner was one of total confidence. This creature of beauty before him was not a girl, but a woman.
"What do you mean? You said you knew who I was. I assume you aren't lying because you did kidnap me. Now tell me who you are and what you want." She demanded, bringing the lord out of his daze.
"A woman with the power to both threaten and adore, she who understands her people but is herself not understood. She bears the mark of one cursed by fate's cruel hand. Yet she bears her destiny no ill will. Her life brings both pain and joy, but her death is what will save many. This is the prophecy of the Princess of Time." Lord Tyre replied.
"Princess of… Time?" The woman repeated, confused and irritated that the man had not answered her question. He was tall, handsome, she supposed, for an Ushki. There were younger much more beautiful men of court. His face was rugged, as though his life had been full of nothing but strife; the shadow of a beard prickled his jaw. His hair was a dark brown, his eyes the same. His frame was well toned and was neither slender nor stocky. She noticed too that when she spoke his ears, the feature his people were most known for, twitched. They were long, about twice the length of a child's forearm, and adorned with gems embedded in the skin. Unlike most of the race, whose ears stood erect, his extended backwards. She could guess he was a noble by his appearance, but what she wanted was a name. I'll have his title stripped and his body imprisoned for this treachery. Quite suddenly she remembered her own appearance. So much for keeping my secret.
"Yes. And what I want is to help you fulfill your destiny while preserving your life." The noble continued.
She laughed, attempting to hide her embarrassment. "You must be mistaken. I am not a princess."
Lord Tyre narrowed his eyes. "Do you think me so naïve to not know who you truly are? You may hide yourself away from your life of pleasantries, but you are the princess."
Her own eyes narrowed. "I am no such thing. I am owned by that spoiled brat."
Shock betrayed his face.
"I see you are confused, allow me to explain." She moved closer to the door, "When I was very young I was little more than a street urchin who still stole and pick-pocketed. I made the mistake of trying to take that brat's precious royal ring and was caught; ever since I have been paying my dues as her double when the time calls for it, like at the ball for instance. That pathetic princess disappeared again to go riding so I was introduced in her place." The door now stood directly behind her.
"So then…. It is her I seek." The lord spoke, mostly to himself.
"Ha! Honestly, sir if you truly believe that silly prophecy, then you are in the wrong kingdom all together. That princess is nothing more than a spoiled brat, she cares only of herself and how beautiful she can be."
"Impossible!" He exclaimed with genuine surprise. "How could anyone be that conceited?"
She crossed her arms and chuckled. "You obviously don't know the world of humans very well. Now, can I leave? I have customers to please and money to make, and a damned debt to pay."
Lord Tyre was too distraught to answer. He sat on the straw staring at nothing. "It can't be true." He said aloud to himself. "I can't have gotten the kingdom wrong. The amulet led me here for a reason."
The woman's ears perked up. Amulet? "What amulet?" she asked.
He looked at her blankly, then reached into his shirt and pulled out a gold amulet with a black diamond at its center. The diamond was the size of a gold galleon.
"This amulet is the key to finding the princess." Explained the Ushki, "It's said that when it was placed on her neck she fell into a timeless sleep, and then, only when she had entered the era in which she was needed would the amulet release her. It is her destiny to save her people, but…" he paused, "whatever act she must undertake will claim her life." He looked at her, his soft eyes filled with determination. "I will not allow that to happen."
"So basically, you're looking for the girl that necklace belongs to so that you can take away any possibility of her having a life in here and now by once again sending her into a deep sleep." The woman surmised.
"Yes, exactly! We're trying to save her from death." He beamed, so happy that she understood.
"And you honestly believe that whoever she is she will willingly go into this ageless sleep for who knows how long, and let lifetimes pass her by?"
"Of course she will, it's her duty."
The woman sighed. "You really don't know humans all that well do you."
He looked at her puzzled.
"Oh well, guess it can't be helped." The urchin said as she grabbed the amulet and ran.
"Stop her!" Lord Tyre cried.
"Ha, you ingrate. You show a diamond this rare and huge to a street urchin, and expect her NOT to steal it." The woman yelled behind her. And with that she disappeared into the forest. The man stared at the entrance, dumbfounded.
"What just happened?" Lord Tyre asked no one in particular.
A figure who had been hiding in the shadows stepped forward. "You let the prize escape." It said.
Lord Tyre turned his head. "You… that couldn't have been her. There's no way that selfish woman could be –"
"Must I always remind you that it's not necessarily a princess we're looking for?" It interrupted.
"But, the prophecy –"
"Does not state that the woman is a princess of a kingdom. The princess of time could be any woman who walks this earth. Did you not notice that the amulet did not reject her when she touched it?"
"I – I see." Tyre stood from his seat by the bed and turned to face the dark figure fully. "So, she's already fallen into your trap."
The cloaked figure smiled.