It was a hot summer day as the royal family of the kingdom of Solaris began their preparations to go to the Hall of Neutrality. It was time for the annual gathering of the most powerful kingdoms of the region.

King Robert, who was head of the kingdom was in charge this year and he had sent servants ahead to decorate the hall in luxury. He had summoned his children, Princess Serenity who was the heir to the throne and Prince Gabriel, to the main dining area for morning meal before the journey took place.

As breakfast was served, Princess Serenity took her seat next to her father.

"Morning father, I take all is well." She knew that this day would be important to her as well as her father. As future queen she had to understand the politics that came with power. King Robert nodded his head.

"I have sent servants ahead, but we must hurry because we don't have all day. Now, do you know where your brother is?"

She sighed; she suspected exactly what her little brother was up to now. As soon as she was about to reply, her little brother Gabriel waltzed into the dining area with his current love interest Allie on his arm. The King disapproved of this current fling.

"Son, I see that your punctuality hasn't improved. I expected my son to be on time, you are making me look bad."

Gabriel gave him a slight smirk and turned to Allie. "Go on my dear, I think we have angered father again."

Allie turned her attention to her king and curtsied. "My king." She took her leave and Gabriel took a seat from across the table. Serenity gave a brother a disapproving glare which Gabriel ignored. "So why are we bothering with the gathering? Shouldn't King Jaron of Edea take control?"

King Robert stood up. "Now let's hurry we must get going, since you were late son. You will have to wait to eat at the hall."

Soon all three of them made their way outside where their servants were waiting with a carriage. Once their father was inside Serenity turned to her brother. "You know, you're going to get what's coming to you. If I were you, I would break it off right now."

Gabriel had a look of evil in his eyes. "Don't you dare touch my girlfriend. If you do anything I'll tell father how you sneak around with the guard named Brayden."

Serenity just flipped her hair as she turned her back to him making her way into the carriage. Gabriel smirked, he knew how to get even easily.

Soon all three members were on their journey to the hall.

Meanwhile, Allie checked in with Katarina her older sister. "I have information Kat, the royals of the kingdom of Solaris are now on their way to the Hall of Neutrality." Katarina smiled as she received the intel.

"Good work and let me know if anything else happens. I will let Michael and the brotherhood know." The transmission ended between them as Allie took a horse and followed.

Meanwhile, in the kingdom of Edea, King Jaron had finished last minute preparations to leave. He knew how important this year's meeting was. It would be a fight for the resources and it had become common knowledge that all of the kingdoms would suffer if no one cooperated.

His thoughts were interrupted by his daughter, Princess Alanna who had stood there waiting patiently to be recognized. Her father waved her in. "What's on your mind daughter?"

She could tell that her father was overworking himself again and she knew that their people relied heavily on his decision at the gathering. She curtsied.

"Father, I came to tell you that it was time to go." King Jaron didn't realize how late it was and got up.

"Thank you, now if you are properly ready. I want you at the carriage, young lady." He made his way past her and she sighed as she followed him out of the study.

She was concerned about her father's health, she knew that he had reverted to his old ways since his wife's death. The memories she had shared with her father were from another time and she missed how her father used to be.

Soon her thoughts were interrupted by Noel who had come to check on her.

"Princess." He bowed and she smiled as she met his gaze.

"Noel, you don't have to be so formal, we're friends." He couldn't help but feel uneasy as she mentioned the word friendship. It had been some time since his feelings had developed to the point of love for her. He was assigned to her by the brotherhood and by her father, but he had seen her as more than an assignment as they continued to spend time together.

"We are on our way to the meeting, will you be joining us?" She asked.

Noel smirked. "I wouldn't miss it princess. I love your company." He came over to her and took her arm as he escorted her out of the palace. He glanced around for signs of trouble and as she made her way into the carriage. Her father turned to Noel and with a serious glare.

"Good work."

Noel bowed and not say anything. Alanna felt sorry about how low her father treated Noel sometimes but she couldn't say anything since she had to act how her father wanted her too.

Even if it meant acting cold to the person she cared about most in front of her father.

Soon the carriage left and Noel called in to Michael of the brotherhood. "The royal family of Edea are on their way to the hall." He ended transmission and grabbed his horse and followed them. He could see the pity in Alanna's eyes as she made eye contact with him when he was confronting her father. Her father only saw him as a tool and thought that any inappropriate contact with the princess was inexcusable. Alanna had rebelled against her father's wishes once before and her father had caught them kissing…it resulted him in defending her against her father's rage he was punished.

Alanna noticed a change in the king and she told Noel time and again how sorry that she has to act indifferent now around him. He knew deep down that Alanna still loved him even though she tried to convince the king that they were only friends and nothing more.

At the same moment, the yard of Kingdom Asmia were in a stir as the names of the guards escorting King William and Prince Evan to the meeting were announced. The commander of the unit bellowed loud to a line of soldiers that stood all in a row.

"Stillwell, Lowe, Crane—you've been chosen for duty," the grizzled old man announced, reading off a holographic that sprouted from his wristband. No sooner had e said the words then three soldiers stepped forward. Hawke felt the telltale 'ping' of their mission details being delivered to her own wristband as she saluted.

"Yes sir!" She chimed off with the two others.

"You three were specially requested for this mission so do your best," their commander said, the way he eyed the three of them said that they would pay dearly if they did otherwise. Hawke felt the butterflies from earlier flapping around in her stomach, it was going to be her first big mission.

"Don't worry sir, I won't let Lowe screw things up too bad," came a cocky voice she knew all too well. Seth Crane strolled up to where she stood. Hawke scoffed.

"I could beat you in hand to hand with just my legs," she replied. He just smirked at her. Their commander looked uneasy.

"Don't worry sir, I'll keep them in line," a blonde woman named Odette said, stepping up. She was a rank higher than them both so they saluted to her and the commander looked visibly pleased. "Let's go you two."

They helped with the last of the preparations for the King and Prince and when they were ready the Prince himself made his way over to where Hawke stood.

"Lady Hawke!" Prince Evan greeted as he came over to her.

"Your Grace," Hawke answered easily with a salute. He waved her off.

"At ease," he said smiling. Hawke had wondered why she had been requested for this job, but she was glad to be able to protect the Prince, and he looked very relieved to see her.

"Are you nervous?" She asked, secretly glad she was the only one. Prince Evan was going to the meeting in order to learn his role of next in line for the throne.

"Is it so obvious?" The Prince admitted.

"Son, come along," King William interrupted before Hawke could reply. Prince Evan frowned before turning to his father and nodding.

"Yes father, be right there!"

Satisfied with that, the King rolled the window of his carriage back up. Once he was sure they were alone the Prince turned back to Hawke with a nervous look.

"Say, have you noticed anything…off about my father as of late?" Evan tried to make the question seem casual, but Hawke could tell he worried about something.

"Hmm…" Hawke paused to think. It was widely known in the guard barracks that the King had suddenly begun beefing up Asmia's military power when he used to be focused only on peace. It was a strange change after so long, but with the fight over resources between the three major kingdoms it wasn't too strange. "I think it's just the times forcing a change in your father," she finally answered. "Nothing to be worried about."

The Prince nodded hesitantly. "Right, that makes sense…well I'm counting on you for protection, I picked you especially for this mission, you know."

"Ah, I wondered. Well it's an honor, your grace," Hawke said with a light bow.

"Would it be too much if I asked you to call me by 'Evan'?" He asked, gently reaching a hand out to lift her chin from the bow.

"Yes, your grace, a little too much" Hawke grinned pulling away. Evan grinned back stepping away.

"One day I'll change your mind," he promised before stepping away to join his father in the carriage.

"Wow, flirting with royalty?" Seth asked. Hawke turned to see him watching her amused. Her face turned a little red despite how she tried not to react to his stupidity.

"Don't be an idiot—oh wait," she said glaring at him. He snorted and tossed her a set of keys.

"Your hovercraft's ready, we're following the royal carriage in V formation," he announced walking to his and getting on. "If you fall behind don't expect me to come save you."

"You're the one who's going to have trouble keeping up," Hawke smirked jumping on her's and starting it up.

"Keep focus, soldiers," Odette warned. After that they all left for the Hall of Neutrality.