Prologue: From Riches to Rags

In the world of Lagorna, there is the Veranea, Pahra, Turanian and Quintel kingdoms. Theses four kingdoms have an established peace that has lasted more than 500 years. This treaty also states that if one of the kingdoms should break the treaty, the other kingdoms will help stop the traitor. However, there was no way for these kingdoms to be prepared for what was to come.

Princess Andrea Veranea lived a pampered, sheltered life. She has never left her castle, nor has she ever learned how to use a weapon. She is also as frail as a child. She has been waited on hand and foot, but she is a kind princess who understands the value of human life, and that her subjects have need of a just ruler. Her parents, the King and Queen, are also benevolent, and have shown Andrea an idea of how to rule. But Andrea is also very gullible. She once believed when one of the servant boys told her that servants needed to be paid 100,000 gold. But she never falls for the same thing twice.

Andrea's life is changed forever when soldiers wearing the crest of the Turanian kingdom arrive at the castle door. They are allowed in, and ask if the King and Queen can take a message. They accept and allow the soldiers into the throne room. Suddenly, soldiers garbed in Pahra armour arrive, also bearing a message. Soon after, soldiers from Quintel arrive as well. The King and Queen are wondering what all three neighbouring kingdoms could possibly wish to say. The soldiers tell them that they're message is one and the same. When they ask what it is, an explosion suddenly occurs in another room of the castle. The soldiers then reveal the message: This treaty only needs three kingdoms. Suddenly, the entire castle is engulfed in an explosion.

At this time, Andrea was in the courtyard. She was finding the most beautiful flowers when the explosion occured. The first explosion sent her flying past the castle walls, which spared her from the fate everyone in the castle suffered. She was sent into a lake, which she quickly got out of. She then overheard some Turanian guards saying how he saw her sent out of the castle walls. She could tell that she needed to get out of there, now. She had no idea where she was going, but she knew it was better than being caught by the soldiers. But how was she to escape her pursuers and get a chance to understand what was going on?

Chapter 1: Princess, Meet World

Andrea POV

What's going on? Where am I? Where are Mother and Father? Why was there an explosion in the castle? Why are those soldiers chasing me? I have to find somewhere to hide and collect my thoughts. But I'm quickly running out of breath, and I know the soldiers will catch me soon. Wait, that building looks big enough, maybe I could lose them there. I enter, and notice there are men everywhere. I'm going to stick out like a swore thumb. But I need to lose the soldiers, so I try to push through. I managed to get to the window before the soldiers entered the building, and they searched the building while I ran to the next building.

I open the door, and notice the heavy smell of... something. I notice it was a drink that was making the smell. I believe that drink is called alcohol. I was told that I have to wait 3 more years before I can drink that. I try to push through the crowds and find some sort of sanctuary. But this brute grabs my wrist.

"'Ey, you're a fine young lady," the man said.

"Please, let go of me," I asked him.

"Nah, you're just to pretty to let go. I think I'll take you home and show you a good time," the man said in a scary tone.

"I do not want to go to your home. Now please let me go now," I asked again more urgently.

"Are you sayin' you don't (hic) want to? I don't think I heard you right. No one says no to me," the man said.

"Please, just let me go," I asked again.

"I'm afraid not, missy. Now, let's go."

"I SAID LET GO!" I scream as I slap him out of desperation, making him let go of me.

I had never used violence before in my life. I had to shake my hand because it hurt from hitting him. But it looked like I angered him. I knew that I was in more trouble than I had been in before. Oh, I wish I never left the castle.

"That's it!" the man yelled. "Telling me no is one thing, but no girl ever hits me without getting the same in return!" he yelled as he tried to hit me, though someone stopped him.

"Hey, that's no way to treat a lady," the nice man said.

"Then you can take her punch!" the scary man yelled as he tried to hit him.

The nice man easily avoided the attack, and then tripped the scary man, causing him to fall on a table, which made a huge mess. The nice man then told a man named Geoff that the money was in the counter, grabbed my wrist and lead me into the forest. We didn't stop until we were a good distance from the building.

"Phew, we're safe now," the man said.

"Um, may I ask your name?" I asked him.

"The name's Darren," the man told me.

"I see. Thank you, Sir Darren. I am indebted to you."

"Jeez, you don't have to be so prissy. Just "thank you" would do." Darren told me.

"Oh, I'm sorry." I said.

"Why are you apologizing?"

"Didn't I anger you?"

"No, you didn't."

"Oh, that's good."

"You are one weird chick. Why were you in that tavern anyway?" Darren asked me.

"Tavern?"

"You know, that place we were just in. The place people go to blow their money on drinks that makes them tipsy."

"Oh that! You see, I was hiding. My name is Andrea Veranea-"

"Wait, you mean of the Veranea royal family? But they were all declared dead!" Darren suddenly said.

"W-what?"

"Well, it wasn't hard to notice that the castle blew up, and when rescuers found all the bodies, the King and Queen were among the identified."

"It can't be," I said, then started to cry

Darren POV

Whoa, this girl is crying. I think that maybe she really is the princess. Of course, she could just be a really great actress. I won't believe her until some sort of proof shows up. But I don't want to risk leaving the princess for dead, so I'll tag along with her... for now. But what do I do about the crying, whether it's authentic or not.

"Um, I don't know what will happen next, but I want you to know that I'll help you as best I can," I told her.

"Th-thank you," Andrea said. "But what do I do?"

"Well-"

"There she is," someone suddenly yelled.

I turned, and saw that they were Turanian soldiers. They brandished their weapons, and charged right at us. I drew my knuckle busters, while Andrea kept her distance. I guess I'm gonna have to play bodyguard for her. But I have to admit, the soldiers prove that she is the princess. I sidestepped a soldier's attack, and punched him in the head, knocking him out. I then punched one in the nose before he could attack me. The last one tried to stab me, but I dodged and kicked the guy in the shin, then punched him in the mouth. Me and Andrea then ran off before reinforcements could arrive or they could come to.

"You are an amazing fighter!" Andrea said.

"Meanwhile, you were standing in the sidelines while I risked my life protecting you," I said.

"I-I'm sorry. We never thought the kingdoms would betray us, so it was decided I wouldn't have needed to learn to defend myself."

"So I have to be your babysitter, huh?" I asked.

"You wouldn't abandon me?" Andrea asked me.

"I think I already proved that by taking on those thugs instead of just letting them take you."

"That is true. I am truly grateful."

"Ah stop, you're making me blush."

Andrea then giggles.

"What's so funny?"

"I'm glad I met you, Darren."

"Whoa, where'd that come from?"

"If you hadn't been in that... tavern, was it? I could have been seriously injured, or worse."

"Oh, that. No problem. But now what are we gonna do? If those Turanian guards are after you, that must mean Turania itself is our enemy."

"I don't know," Andrea said, looking gloomy. "I wish I knew what was going on, but what I do know is that I have to live as the last member of the royal bloodline."

"Well, we'll have to watch our step, and be careful not to get spotted by Turanian soldiers."

"Oh, I'm hungry," Andrea said.

"Well, don't expect the gourmet food they probably feed you every day of the week at the castle," I told her.

"I know," she said.

"I know a good restaurant," I told her.

We headed for my favourite restaurant. I had more than enough gold to feed the both of us, so I decided to take the chance to buy food for while we're in the lam. We then noticed some soldiers from the Pahra kingdom. Remembering the treaty, I thought they would help us. So I called out to them.

"Oy, Pahra soldiers!" I shouted.

When they turned, they drew their bows. I then flipped the table to make a shield. The arrows were stopped by the table, but it was a close call. The soldiers then blew a horn, and I knew that meant we had to get out now. I threw the table at the soldiers, which knocked them down. I led Andrea out of the building, and we saw more Pahra archers. We ran away, and managed to make it to the alley. When we got out on the other side, Turanian soldiers spotted us. We ran to downtown, where we managed to blend into the crowd. Unfortunately, we did too good a job, because when I turned my head for just a second, Andrea was gone.

Andrea POV

I didn't mean to be separated from Darren, but this was my first time in the city, and it was just too easy to get lost in the crowd. I was being shoved by people from all directions, and I couldn't tell where Darren was. I then noticed some Quintel soldiers, and they noticed me. They told me to follow them, without drawing their weapons. I guess that means at least the Quintel kingdom is on my side. I walk up to them, and they tell me to follow them into an alley. When we arrive at the alley, they suddenly grab me by my wrists, and try to restrain me. This must mean that all the kingdoms are after me. As I realize this, I try to get free, but one of the soldiers punches me in the face. I almost passed out right there. Suddenly, the soldiers were all hit with arrows. I look to see a girl who is younger than me jump down.

"Are you ok?" the girl asked me.

"My cheek hurts where I was punched, but otherwise I'm fine," I told her.

"That's good," the girl said. "Hey, have you seen a guy about this tall, with short brown hair, green eyes, and a face that looks like mine?"

I hadn't noticed at all, but the girl looked a lot like Darren. That must mean they're siblings. I wonder if I should tell her about the situation he's in. Well, I'll at least tell her he should be nearby.

"I believe he's in the area, but I'm not sure where exactly," I told the girl.

"Thanks," she said in a chirpy tone. "By the way, why were those soldiers trying to kidnap you?"

"Well-"

"There you ar-Fay, what are you doing here?"

"Looking for you to get my 500 gold back," Fay said impatiently.

"Fine, just take it and go," Darren said as he handed his sister the gold.

"By the way, your girlfriend nearly got captured by Quintel soldiers," Fay said.

"Andrea! What made you think if the Turanian and Pahra kingdoms were against us, the Quintel wouldn't be! It's too much of a coincidence that they all are after you. The kingdoms must have all attacked the castle."

"So, I can't trust any of the soldiers of the other kingdoms, then?" I asked.

"Exactly!" Darren said.

"What is going on here?" Fay asked.

"Nothing you need to worry about, just go home," Darren told Fay.

"I'm not leaving," Fay said.

"Listen you little brat, we're caught up in a dangerous situation. This isn't the place for-" Darren would have finished, but Fay took out a soldier that tried to sneak up on him.

"Can I stay now?" Fay asked.

"Aargh, fine, but you better be careful," Darren said reluctantly.

"Yes!" Fay said excitedly.

We managed to sneak out of the city without any further delay, and then nightfall arrived. Laying down on the ground instead of a warm, soft bed took a lot of getting used to, but I eventually managed to get to sleep; So this is my new life, forced to run from soldiers bent on capturing me. I wonder how and if I'll have things back to the way they were.