Chapter I: Lady Kinsey

In the kingdom of Axon it hardly rained, and the people within the walls of the kingdom felt as if they were being punished for the drought that had ravaged their kingdom for nineteen years. Some days were extremely brutal to the kingdom. It was on a day such as this that the carriage holding a future queen of Axon arrived at the gates to the upper city.

The royal knights began to search the carriage, but one of the men traveling with the carriage bid him stop, the knight did not listen and so the stranger with the carriage gently knocked upon the door, calling someone out. The door creaked open and a slender girl with hair like flames stepped out onto the dusty dry ground. Her skin was like porcelain and her beauty awed the knights guarding the walls to the kingdom.

She wore a black corset dress that went out in waves at her hips and stopped just a bit over her knees. Over that she wore a long black coat that hugged her body. She wore black boots that went up to her knees and had a bow on the outside of her leg. Around her neck was a black velvet ribbon with a large ruby hanging from it, around her left ring finger was a ring that matched.

"Why Lysander, I'm a bit surprised that you couldn't persuade them to let us in without me." She said her voice like ice and her face steely. The man who had called her from the carriage dropped to one knee and put his head down.

"I'm sorry my mistress." His voice was grave and weak, as if he were dying.

"Just this once, Lysander dear; let it happen again and you will be punished for it." The man stood up shaky and went to stand behind the girl with the fiery hair, who looked at the guards in disdain as she slipped her coat from her shoulders, exposing the bare skin underneath to the harsh sun and the guards wandering eyes.

She brushed her loose hair over her should and looked upon the guards again, this time with a smile lighting up her face.

"I do detest killing people whom I do not have to." She tilted her head to the side slightly as she reached into the top of her corset. Out she pulled a dagger, the hilt of which was black as night and the blade matching. She glided forward, effortlessly, and placed the tip of the blade over one of the guard's heart. "I bid you sir, do not bleed on my boots, or I will kill you twice over." Then she plunged the dagger into his heart and the other guards gasped in shock. She pulled the dagger out and turned to the other guards. "Who would like to go next?"

No guards stepped forward, rather, they stepped back. The girl with the flaming hair gestured to them and the men escorting her quickly finished off the guards.

After it was all done, she looked to the sky and two tiny drops of water landed at her feet. She smiled and looked at her escorts.

"Mother is pleased."

Meanwhile, deep within the walls of the palace, a tall teenage boy with black hair down to his shoulders stood, shoulders squared, arguing with a man much older than he was.

"Father, I will not marry Lady Elizabeth. You know what the witch said." The man's face turned bright red in anger and the people around him and the teen all backed away.

"You are my son and I have the right to kill you if you do not do as I say." The teen boy scoffed and rolled his eyes.

"You will not kill me father." He crossed his arms defiantly.

"Oh? And why is this?"

"I am your only heir. Mother is dead, and my sisters are all too incompetent to even attempt to run your kingdom when you die. Which will be shortly, I assure you." The king's face fell and he looked around him, at the shocked faces of the noblemen and women around him.

"I've told you, she was not a witch, simply a peasant who did not want to be turned away." The king argued, taking the young prince's thoughts back to the old legend. Not old actually, it was only as old as he was.

The story says that whenever the prince was born, a woman came knocking on the chamber door. How she got into the palace, no one is sure. But regardless, she was there. She claimed she wanted to bless the baby prince, but the king sent her away. When she refused, he had her hastily removed. She grew angry and set a curse upon the kingdom.

"It will not rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail, until you sacrifice the prince to me or he marries my daughter. You must decide dear King William, your son, or your kingdom." And then she let the guards drag her away. The king ordered for her execution, but she disappeared in the night.

"I have to marry the witch's daughter if you will not sacrifice me. Not Lady Elizabeth."

"Elijah, you will marry Lady Elizabeth, and that is absolutely final. There is no fight in this. You will marry her, and you will rule alongside her. She is in good health and will bear you many sons." From across the room the prince heard Lady Elizabeth's father agree.

"But I do not love Lady Elizabeth." The prince shouted.

"Mere facts; that does not matter, you will marry her anyway." Then the king strode out of the room with the nobles, leaving the prince to seethe in anger.

Back at the carriage the girl with the flaming hair called to the carriage, and two more girls her age stepped out. Each was just as beautiful and elegant as she was. The first out had blonde hair the color of straw. It fell about half-way down her back and she had bright blue eyes over a bed of freckles. The second girl had wavy brown hair that flowed around her face and fell down her back in waves.

The two girls both wore things very similar to the girl with flaming hair, and they stood near her, as if ready to take orders.

"Lysander, we should go. I don't like this entry way, it seems odd." The redhead stated, looking around.

"Yes my lady." He started to gather the horses pulling the carriage and the girls began to make their way back to the safety of the carriage from the hot sun.

"Ladies, do you think the prince is handsome?" The flaming haired girl asked as the three climbed into the carriage and sat in the ornate benches.

"Of course my lady," They said in unison.

"I do hope so. I don't want ugly children."

"Oh no my lady," the brunette girl said quietly, "Your children could never be ugly."

"Why," The blond girl said suddenly, "It would take a man as ugly as an ox to make your children ugly."

"Thank you girls," The flaming haired girl said with a brief smile. "That comforts my troubled nerves. Luce, be a dear and hand me my box."

The brunette reached under her bench and brought forth a black box, covered with delicate looking flowers made of gold. She handed it to her lady.

"Kat, would you kindly give me the key?" The blonde pulled a key from her corset and handed it to her lady.

"Thank you both." She slipped the key into the hole and listened for the light clicking of the gears turning. When she heard it she opened the box and pulled out a hand mirror.

"From mother to me, let me see." She whispered, and then the mirror began to change. Rather than seeing herself, she was seeing the prince fighting with the king!

"Oh my dears, he is handsome. Look!" She showed the glass piece to the girls and they both giggled happily.

"Oh my! I cannot wait to meet this work of art!" She beamed and clapped her hands in joy. The three girls laughed together.

"Lady Kinsey and Prince Aiden, we shall bear great children together. And I will rule this kingdom." The redheaded girl-Kinsey- laughed merrily at the thought, and it began to drizzle in a kingdom that had not seen rain for seventeen years.