20th February 156 (Valentinean's Calendar), the Holy Knights at Section 3 were still busy treating those who were injured during the assault of a group of bandits one week ago. The commander of the barrack, Sir Gerard Mason himself was injured due to the assault. Despite his injuries, he was still doing his job as the leader to his men. He had broken some of his ribs and his right leg, so he had to use walking stick to walk around, making his movement quite sluggish.

Nobody seemed to mind that much. After all, Sir Gerard himself was a great one man army. Some broken bones didn't really stop him doing his job.

"Arturia," Sir Gerard searched for the new knight as he walked sluggishly along the pathway. He had just taken a visit on some of his injured men in the infirmary. He went into the cafeteria when he saw the blonde girl talking with Murphy. "There you are," he smiled.

"Sir?" Arturia looked at the commander. "What is it, sir?" she asked. In the last assault, she collapsed after wiping the half of the entire bandits group. It took her three days to finally recover.

"Come with me, I want to talk with you about something," Sir Gerard said. "Murphy, I'm sorry but I need to borrow Arturia for a while," he spoke to Murphy. "Is that alright with you?"

"Go on, sir," Murphy said. "Have a good talk. Arturia…" he turned to Arturia. "See you later, okay?" He said. Arturia nodded.

Sir Gerard walked slowly due to his injured leg and Arturia followed him. They sat on a bench near the exit of the cafeteria. Arturia looked at Sir Gerard's injured leg, seemingly concerned with the commander's condition.

"Sir, are you okay?" Arturia asked with slightly worried tone. "Does your leg still hurt?"

Sir Gerard laughed before he shrugged. "Nah, it's nothing. Docs said it'll fully recover next week. They'll put some medication on it this evening," he closed his eyes. "Man, I remember when I was young when I got my left hand cut by a rebel warrior," he revealed a scar on his left hand on his wrist. "Good thing we got a healer back there. She attached this hand back on the spot." The older knight laughed good-naturedly. "And that's how I met my wife."

"That's scary…" Arturia commented, trying to imagine one of her limbs being cut off. "I-I mean the part when you got your hand cut, not meeting your wife!" she corrected. "So, is there something important?" she asked. "You said there's something we have to talk about."

"Indeed," Sir Gerard said, sighing heavily. "The assault last week had injured many of our men, thanks to God we didn't get any casualty. But…" he looked at Arturia with worried eyes. "You're injured during the assault too. You're our new knight, a new stalk in our unit. I can't forgive myself for letting someone like you to be injured in your own first mission. Please forgive me, Arturia…" Sir Gerard said apologetically.

"No, that's okay. No one died, right?" Arturia said, trying to sound upbeat.

"Anyway, I've come to a solution," Sir Gerard said, looking straight into Arturia's green eyes. "After you recovered from your injuries, you'd been working endlessly to help our remaining injured knights. I assumed you're exhausted after doing all those tasks, right?" he asked the blonde girl.

"Well… if you put it that way…" Arturia scratched the back of her head. "It's a little bit tiring, but I don't really mind," she said, smiling brightly.

"I see…" Sir Gerard mused. "So, if you don't mind, why don't you have a little break? I mean, go out from the barrack and return to Camelot. I know you're tired, so please enjoy yourself when you get a chance like this," the commander put his hand on the girl's shoulder. "I'll give you two weeks of break. I'll deal with this matter after this. You may leave this place this evening,"

Arturia's expression turned happy and exclaimed, "R-Really? Am I allowed to go outside?!" she asked rather anxiously.

"You hear me," Sir Gerard replied, smiling benevolently. Seeing Arturia reminded him of one of his daughters back at Camelot.

Extremely delighted, Arturia pouched towards Sir Gerard and hugged him quite tightly, suffocating the knight slightly. Some of the other knights were amused by the situation. Apart of Arturia's over-the-top reaction towards Sir Gerard's offer, the commander's bemused expression was amusing to be seen because it was rare.

"A-Arturia… you're c-choking me…" Sir Gerard said, trying to coax the girl away from him. After Arturia released her hug, Sir Gerard sighed. "It seems you're still a little girl after all, Arturia," he placed his hand on Arturia's head. "So, you may pack your stuff now. Around 4 pm, your cart will arrive to bring you to anywhere you like…"

"Thank you very much, sir! Thank you!" Arturia exclaimed as tears of joy gathered in her eyes. "I really want to go outside!" she said joyously. "Okay, see you later, sir! I want to visit Miss de Vrias for a while!" she said before she scurried away from the commander, going out from the cafeteria. Sir Gerard just chuckled by seeing Arturia's rather childish behavior.

"Haha, after seeing you in battle, I kind of forgot that you're still a small child…" the commander sighed before he went to the counter with the help of his walking stick to order his breakfast.

Valentine Chronicle

Written by Louis-sama

Chapter 4: The Master of Masks

"Miss de Vrias, are you awake?" Arturia peeked into the infirmary room and found Rose was on the bed. Her head was bandaged and she dressed in plain white shirt and pants. Her black long hair was slightly unkempt.

"Arturia," Rose put down the novel she was reading and smiled to the blonde girl. "Come in, dear. I'm awake…" she said calmly. She didn't show any kind of hostility she displayed towards the new knight in her first day. Arturia stepped into the room and went to Rose's side.

"Miss de Vrias, are you okay?" Arturia asked. "Is your head fine?" she looked at Rose's bandaged head.

Rose chuckled before she poked Arturia's forehead. "Silly girl, of course I'm okay. It takes more than that to put me down. And for the last time, stop calling me de Vrias, will you?" she grinned. "I feel old when you call me that."

I'm sorry…" Arturia apologized. "Umm… so, how's it going, Rose?" she asked, tilting her head.

"Well, like the usual. Medication, restrictions, diet, all of them I have to follow. They're annoying, you know?" Rose grumbled. "They don't allow me to drink beer. That sucks…" she sighed.

"It's for your own good, Rose…" Arturia said reassuringly.

"I guess you're right, Arturia," Rose said before she squeaked. "No more beer. That's a hell on earth for me if that's really happen for the rest of my life…" she said, weeping in such comical fashion.

"Umm… I don't think that'll happen," Arturia reminded. "Anyway, I want to tell you something," her smile widened. "You know, Sir Gerard allows me to have a break outside. He'll give me two weeks of rest!" she exclaimed, raising her voice. One nurse took a peek and hushed. Arturia realized what she had done and bowed apologetically.

"Rest? Now that's great, Arturia," Rose said with upbeat tone. "You'll need that. After all, you've helped us all after we're attacked. I know you're tired, so you may go back to your place and play with your horses, cuddling with them on straw mats," she said, recalling their first meeting with was quite unfriendly. Both of them laughed, making the nurse, the same one who hushed earlier to take a peek for the second time and hushed again. Both Rose and Arturia bowed apologetically.

"Thanks, Rose," Arturia said thankfully before she took Rose's hands. "Thank you for being my friend, Rose. Thank you very much," she said while holding Rose's delicate hands. Despite being delicate, Rose's hands had some visible cut marks on it, indicating that she had some injuries before.

"I'm the one who should thank you, Arturia," Rose said, trying to not cry. "And… I'm sorry for being so rude to you when the first time you arrived. You know, I was so jealous of you back there. You're a princess. You should have a nice, cozy life in your place. Instead, you preferred to be a warrior, a life unsuitable for a princess, where you could get yourself killed in pretty nasty ways. When I was little, I dreamed of being a princess, but it's just a silly childhood dream, right?" she smiled sadly.

"Rose, I prefer to be a knight for the sake of my people," Arturia said. "I want to protect them all so they can live a happy, comfortable life," she stared at Rose's eyes directly. "A childhood dream isn't silly. They're great, they're wonderful. They often drive us to reach our destination. It's just…" she smiled like she was the happiest girl on earth. "We need to struggle a little to achieve it,"

"Arturia," Rose looked at the blonde girl. Then she laughed. "You're right, Arturia. We're here to achieve our goals. We're here to protect those we loved. We'll protect them together, won't we?" she asked.

"Of course we will!" Arturia answered enthusiastically. Then she glanced at the clock and gasped. "Oh my God! I have to pack my stuff so I can go out this evening!" she stood up. "Rose, take care! Please recover as soon as possible! When the next time we meet," she grinned confidently. "Let's have a duel again, okay?"

Rose gave Arturia a thumb-up. "Of course we'll have it, silly girl! Just wait and see, Arturia. You'll get your butt kicked next time!" she said, grinning. Any sign of animosity had long gone. Instead, it was replaced by healthy competitive spirit.

Arturia just grinned. She was happy to be a friend of this woman. After giving a goodbye bow to the nurses, she walked out from the infirmary room.

Evening, Arturia was currently on her way out from Section 3 to the district of Aberforth, a border between Section 3 and the towns. She was in a cart pulled by a couple of horses. She dressed in her blue sleeveless dress and cotton shoes. As a case for emergency, she brought along her armors and swords, which were kept magically in storage space, where she could recall them at any time she wanted.

"When will we arrive at Camelot, Eddie?" the princess asked the driver, Eddie. The cart depended solely on the horses without any interference of humans. They would pull the cart until they arrived at the destination. The driver would give the horses the direction they needed and he could make the horses stopped if something happened. He also could change the destination by giving the horses a new instruction.

"Judgin' at the time and the speed of horses, we're gonna arrive at Camelot about tomorrow's dawn. You can sleep here tonight. You don't have to worry, your Highness," Eddie spoke. He was a pint-looking middle-aged man with freckled and wrinkled face, but somehow, kind-looking. He wore a black hat, indicating that he was on job.

"O-Okay," Arturia nodded. "So, will we stop somewhere to take a rest or something?" she asked again.

"'Bout that, it depends on the condition of the horses," Eddie replied. "If they're exhausted, we're gonna take a rest at nearby town for an hour or so before we continue," he said. Despite being pint-looking, he seemed to be happy with his humble job as a driver.

"Where's the nearest town, Eddie?" Arturia asked, glancing at the window. It was already dusk and night birds began to fly out from their hidings.

"Hmm… let's see," Eddie put his fingers under his chin. "The nearest town is Cornwall. It's a small town compared to Camelot, but they've got many interestin' things there like fun fares, street performances and many more. It's just bandits are roaming that place often. Thanks to God that Golden Vault Gang is destroyed by the Avalon's Police Force."

"Avalon's Police Force?" Arturia frowned. "Eddie, can we stop at Cornwall, please? Let me stay there for three days before we go to Camelot. I want to stay there for a while, may I?" she made her best puppy eyes to Eddie. The pint-sized driver was bemused.

"Sure, why not? But why? I mean, why do you want to stay there?" Eddie asked.

"S-e-c-r-e-t!" the princess replied naughtily. "Can we go there?" she kept pleading.

"If you say so, your Highness," Eddie stood up and reached for a lever. He pulled the lever and the cart abruptly stopped. He jumped out from the cart and went to his horses. He whispered something to them in strange language. It was a courtesy of being a driver to be gifted for being able to speak with animals like horses.

"Okay, Cornwall here we go!" Eddie announced before he jumped back into the cart, pulling the lever and the horses continued their journey.

"This is the best tea I ever consumed, Murphy," Sir Gerard commented after he sipped on tea Murphy's wife had served. He was wearing brown shirt and pants, regular attire for civilians. His walking stick was put near his feet. He was sitting near a table, sitting opposite to the younger knight.

"Imported from Ebon, sir. Their tea leaves are the best," Murphy explained. "They are planted on higher ground and the condition of Ebon's soils is quite different compared to Avalon," the young knight said. He dressed in white plain shirt and black pants. His wife, Eva was standing on his side.

"I'm glad to be able to live longer to drink such magnificent tea, Murphy," Sir Gerard put the cup on the table. "Anyway, Mrs. Eva, you're the same just like I imagined. You're beautiful like your husband had described to me," he said, flattering the woman.

"Really?" Eve exclaimed before she put both her hands on her cheeks which were shaded with healthy amount of red. "You flatter me, sir," she replied.

"Honey, could you please bring me those purple cookies? I bet Sir Gerard might love them," Murphy spoke to his wife.

"Okay, sweetie," Eve nodded before she went into the kitchen, searching for the said cookies.

Sir Gerard was visiting Murphy's house to take a look on Murphy's wife, Eve Murphy. She was a woman in early twenty with short auburn hair. Her eyes were hazel-colored and her skin was fair. Like any ideal wife a man could dream of, Eve was a beautiful lady.

"Murphy, I want to discuss to you regarding our little girl," Sir Gerard said. "Arturia, I mean," he added as he received a frown from Murphy.

"What is it, sir?" Murphy asked.

"That girl, she is an extraordinary fighter. She annihilated most of the bandits by herself. I have to admit, she is a master in swordsmanship, judging at her ability. Moreover, she used that technique," Sir Gerard said with serious tone.

"Lightning Armor, isn't it?" Murphy spoke. "A young knight who had just graduated from the Academy is able to use such high-leveled magic. Even I took a year to fully utilize the technique in battles," he said, sipping his tea.

"But she has yet to fully master the technique, Murphy. Remember, she only lasted about ten minutes before losing strength and consciousness. A good user of Lightning Armor is able to continuously use the technique for the whole day," Sir Gerard explained. "During a war, even an arrow can bring fatal injury. A Lightning Armor must be continuously activated to avoid being injured in battlefield."

"She overused her magic. It's common for inexperienced warriors to use most of the stored magic energy for a single spell. I assume she learned it from her father, because Lightning Armor is King Uther's signature spell and technique," Sir Gerard continued. "The girl has a great future, Murphy. Her basic elemental power is lightning, one of the most dangerous elements ever existed. If we can train her, she'll make a great warrior in the future."

"You have your point, sir," Murphy nodded. "But, how about that man?"

"The masked man?" Sir Gerard asked. He remembered the man in mask who saved them from the Chimera during the assault.

"We never knew him, and yet he appeared in the facility. He used a fighting skill we had never seen before. He seemed… inhuman," Murphy said in bated breath. "His strength, I mean…"

"He's a man who saved our sorry life, Murphy. We should be grateful that he showed up and saved our collective posteriors while at the same time, killing that Chimera like no one's business," Sir Gerard said. Then he gazed upwards, remembering the time when all hopes seemed lost while facing the demonic monster before the man came, accompanied with lightning.

"Damn…" Sir Gerard cursed as he looked straight into Chimera's red eyes. He stared at those glowing eyes with such denial, willing himself to die rather than showing any trace of fear to their monstrous adversary. He glanced at Murphy who seemed to be injured by the last blow. Both of them were sent behind by the blow towards Arturia, who was severely weakened due to her overused magic. She slumped on the ground, unable to stand up.

He hated to admit it, but they were hopeless as only two of them were remained standing. Arturia was too weak to fight and Rose was unconscious. Some others were scattered and injured as well. Sir Gerard glowered at the beast before he muttered a curse again. "Damn…"

The Chimera lifted its paw, intending to crush three of them under its weight. Despite sustaining injuries, both Sir Gerard and Murphy prepared to receive the blow which seemed to be final for them. Sir Gerard glanced at the weakened Arturia.

"I think this is it, Arturia. I'm sorry. Your service in the Holy Knight is ended rather quickly," Sir Gerard thought. Then the Chimera brought its paw down.

Nothing happened.

All Sir Gerard could see was a blinding flash of lightning. Before he could realize it, a tall man, taller than him was standing under the paw in front of two of them, holding the paw from reaching those two knights. A short blade with scabbard was strapped on the back of the man's waist. Sir Gerard tried to see the man's face, but was disappointed as instead of a face, he saw a fox mask as the man glanced behind.

Two of them were astonished as the masked man managed to hold the paw by one hand. Then the masked man spoke, "Don't worry, it's going to end soon," the masked man looked at Arturia. "Take a rest, Arturia Valentine. I'm going to handle this thing for now on…" his eyes were yellow and glowing under his eye-sockets.

Despite being weakened, Arturia managed to ask the man. "Who are you?" she asked weakly.

"A passing merchant, I guess." The masked man shrugged. Then Arturia's eyes closed before she fell limply on the ground.

"Arturia!" Murphy exclaimed as he examined her condition.

"She'll be alright, Seth Murphy…" the masked man said before he pushed the paw upwards, making the beast stumbled behind. "She's not used to the technique yet. If she gets enough rest, she will recover…"

"Who are you, and how do you know my name?" Murphy asked, looking at the masked man.

"Like I've said, I'm just a passing merchant. It's not really important right now. Knights, please allow me to handle this fussy little thing by myself." The masked man spoke, turned to the Chimera that got on its feet already.

"Are you insane? You won't be able to defeat that monster!" Sir Gerard exclaimed.

"I can and I will…" the masked man replied coolly before electricity flickered on his fingers. Both of them could feel the smell of ozone. The atmosphere around them seemed to thicken as the masked man's finger continuously flickering out electricity sparks. Then the man raised his hand and the earth shook.

It was the brightest lighting they ever saw.

Sir Gerard could feel his hairs on the back of his neck were standing. He saw the man's hand emanated such blinding light. Murphy could feel the shock as a small amount of spark flew around both of them.

"I suggest both of you to take some steps behind." The man spoke, lowering his charged hand. "I have to tell you that air can conduct electricity perfectly. If you are unlucky, you may get yourself shocked."

Without second thought, Murphy and Sir Gerard stepped back as the younger knight dragged the unconscious Arturia. The Chimera growled, seemingly rattled by the sudden change in environment due to the lightning.

"Let's rock." The masked man muttered before he dashed towards the beast. The electricity left its trails as he ran forwards and the sound of thunder was produced. The beast brought down its paw towards the man but he easily avoided the attacked with such grace comparable to a cat. He jumped into the air and did a somersault. He landed on the back of the beast before he pointed his finger on the back of its head, or rather one of its heads.

"Boom." The masked man muttered before a loudest thunder was heard. It almost deafened both the commander and his knight. A sharp cry was heard before the heads exploded. Electricity lingered on the beast's dead body before it fell limply to the ground. The masked man jumped down from the beast's dead body.

"That might do it." He said. "Okay, see you later. Send my regard to the princess, okay?" And so, he ran towards the bushes and disappeared, leaving behind no trace.

"Wait!" Murphy shouted. He tried to chase him but his injuries hindered him from doing so. "Oww! Damn it!"

"Murphy, just let him go," Sir Gerard said. "We must deal with the wounded first and wait for the reinforcement. We cannot do anything in this state." He then looked at the corpse of the Chimera that the masked man had slain. How could such monster, something that was unable to be defeated by his knights, be slain without trouble by that man? Who was he?

Sir Gerard sighed. That masked man was a real mystery. And let's not get started with his lightning spell that he had unleashed upon the monster. It was so powerful it might be able to obliterate the whole army. The commander was pondering to himself whether the man was a threat or not.

"Cookies here!" Eve announced as she brought a plate of purple cookies.

Sir Gerard could only tell that the masked man had something in his mind. He just couldn't decide whether he's up to something good or bad.

"Whoa, so this is Cornwall!" Arturia exclaimed happily as she looked outside from her rented room. "Thank you very much, Eddie! I love this place!"

"Your Highness, I'm gonna come again three days later. Don't worry, this inn is the safest living place in Cornwall. Have fun, Your Highness." Eddie smiled kindly before he left the room. Then Arturia heard the sound of horses from outside before she saw a cart being pulled away by those horses.

"Okay, let's go!" Arturia punched the air before she went out of the room.

Arturia arrived at Cornwall at night, and she was very tired and sleepy. So Eddie brought her to an inn that was claimed to be the safest one in Cornwall. Then she was left there with her belongings and a bag filled with 9000 aurs for three days.

Thus, Arturia strolled along the streets, looking around. She saw many new and interesting things like street performances and stalls. She stopped for a while to see a clown doing a juggling performance. After the performance ended, she clapped happily before she tossed about 2 aurs into the clown's hat. Two golden coins could afford to buy a complete meal for a day.

After that, Arturia also looked at some children playing starball. It was a game in which a group of players will have to shoot at each other with their glowing balls. If a player gets the highest hits, he wins the game. Arturia never understood the rules though, so she messed up after a boy offered her the balls.

She ended up being laughed at because her body and face had glowing imprints on it due to the hits from the balls. Being a kind of person she was, she just laughed it off.

After cleaning herself in a public bathroom, she continued her journey around the town before she stopped in front of a stall. It was rather different compared to the others because it displayed only masks. There were no toys or food sold, only masks. There was a man sitting on a chair, carving a wooden mask with a short blade. The mask-maker clad in gray leathery suit, but the man didn't seem to be bothered with the heat as he carried out his job.

Arturia looked at the displayed masks with curiosity. Some of them were downright creepy as some others were cool. Others looked funny and Arturia couldn't help but to laugh as she looked at their funny designs.

"What's so funny, miss?" The mask-maker asked, still working on his mask while glancing at the princess.

"No, there's nothing funny, mister." Arturia replied. "I just find this mask looks strange." She took one of the funny masks from the display and held it out. It had bulging eyes and long nose. It had its tongue stuck out. It was like a combination of the face of an ape and a dog.

The mask-maker stopped his work as he looked at Arturia, smiling at her. "That's the mask of Tian Guou. They're some kind of older race in Avalon. They're pretty much some kind of talented hunters, but nowadays they live in forest." He explained to the princess.

"Oh," Arturia nodded. "I never knew that." She glanced at the mask-maker's face. The mask-maker was quite handsome with sharp chin and silver eyes. His hair was messy and gray-shaded. He was slightly tanned and there were some crinkles on the edges of his mouth, indicating that he smiled a lot. For Arturia, she found the man quite an eye-candy and she didn't realize that she was staring at him.

"Miss, it is quite impolite for a lady such as you to stare a man like that." The mask-maker said, smiling gently. Arturia realized what she had done, blushing intensely, bowing anxiously to the man without realizing that her head hit the stand of the masks, making the stand fell over her.

The mask-maker winced as he saw Arturia was buried beneath dozens of masks.

A few minutes later, Arturia was seen whimpering miserably as she helped the mask-maker to put the masks back on display. There was a slight bruise on her face because of the masks falling on her.

"I'm sorry…" Arturia squeaked. The mask-maker just smiled.

"Nah, no worries." The mask-maker shrugged. "It's good that something like this can happen once in a while, you know?" He grinned like an idiot. After all the masks were arranged on the display, Arturia bowed apologetically to the mask-maker.

"I'm sorry for the trouble I caused. I promise I won't do that again." Arturia said.

"Haha, don't be like that. Here, let us talk for a bit," he pulled out another chair from the stall and offered Arturia a seat. "Anyway, my name's Gray. As you can see, I'm a merchant, selling masks for the people."

"My name's Arturia Va-" she stopped. If she told Gray about her full name, he might end up calling her 'your Highness', which sometimes irritated her if someone called her like that. "Arturia, just call me Arturia," the blonde girl beamed a cheerful smile. "So, you're selling masks, right?"

"Yeah," Gray nodded before he resumed his work. He carved the mask with his short blade. "It's a cool job, you know?" the mask-maker grinned.

"But there's only a few people who buy masks." Arturia stated innocently. Gray frowned for a while before he laughed.

"Of course! There're no reasons for people to buy masks other than to have fun!" Gray said. "But, other than that, people also don't need to buy masks because they're also wearing one." He blew the dust off the mask he was working on before he took out a can of paint. He pulled out a little brush from his pocket and continued to decorate the mask with the painting.

Arturia seemed confused. "What do you mean?" She asked.

"You see, people like to pretend in front of other people. They want other people to see the face that they display to others instead of showing what they truly are." Gray examined his mask before he added some extra details on the mask. "The truth is, we are keeping our true face under a mask." He let out a satisfied smile as he finished his work.

"I don't understand." Arturia admitted. Being a young girl, it had to be expected.

"You'll find it out someday, sooner or later, Arturia." Gray said before he handed Arturia the mask he created. "Take it. Is it pretty?"

Arturia looked on the mask. It was a mask of a fox with some stripes of decoration under its eyes and mouth. It seemed to be pretty exotic and yet… familiar. She thought she had seen something similar like this before.

"How much I should pay, Mr. Gray?" Arturia asked as she opened her purse.

"Consider it as a present for you, Arturia." Gray said, still grinning. "It's free."

"Oh." Arturia nodded before she smiled. "Thank you. See you later, Mr. Gray!" She waved her hand and walked away, leaving Gray alone with his stall.

"She's a cheerful kid," Gray muttered before he sat on his chair. "Arturia Valentine, I knew we will meet again. I just wondering how we are going to meet after this." His lips curled up into a mysterious smile.

"We're keeping our true face under a mask?" Arturia muttered as she looked on the fox mask. She was walking along the street near the buildings. "I wonder what that really means…" she sighed before she put the mask on her face.

"Hmm… nothing special." She said before she removed the mask from her face. "Well, where should I go next?" She looked around before she saw a seemingly-normal civilian. "Oh, maybe I should ask him! Excuse me!" She ran towards the man. "Do you know anything interesting in this place?" She asked.

"Hmm?" The man looked at Arturia. He was thinking for a moment before he spoke to the princess-in-disguise. "If you want something interesting, you can follow me." He turned around and walked towards a direction. Arturia followed him without question.

They were walking for about five minutes before they arrived in front of the entrance of an alley. The man asked Arturia to stand closer to the entrance because she would get something interesting if she did just that.

"So, if I stand here, I will see something interesting?" Arturia asked.

"Of course!" The man replied. "Just hang on for a moment. The fun will begin after this."

"Fun?" Arturia frowned. "What do you mean?"

"You'll know it, little girl." Somehow, Arturia saw the man's suspicious smirk. Arturia realized something was odd. Before she could say anything, a pair of strong hands grabbed her shoulders, much to her surprise.

"Surprise!" A voice said. Then a hand with a piece of cloth was put over Arturia's nose and mouth. Arturia tried to scream but her voice was muffled by the piece of cloth.

Arturia tried to activate her magic, but the smell from the cloth that covered both her nose and mouth somehow hindered her from doing so. She felt sleepier and her eyelids became heavier like leads. Finally, last piece of energy left her being. She could no longer move her limbs. She felt powerless and her vision blurred.

"She's a good catch today," a voice spoke. "We're lucky, see?"

"Oh yeah! This is what I'm talking about!" Another voice exclaimed.

The mask slipped from Arturia's hand and fell to the ground. Then she felt she was dragged forcefully by someone. Despite her blurred vision, she still could see the masks on the ground. She wanted to reach it but she couldn't even move her fingers.

"Help me!" She screamed in her thought.

Then she could only see darkness.


Author's Note: Sorry for another late update. So, this is chapter 4 of the story, in which the story really starts to begin. So far, there is no important thing for me to rant about, so I hope you guys will like this chapter. If you don't mind, leave me a review, will you?