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So this is the way of it? We fight together, we bleed together, and what then do we do with our hearts?" "You tell me, Jasper of Moline... You tell me." Dive deep into this epic tale of love, adventure, and redemption alongside Hannah and Jasper. A princess who once thought her destiny was to rule alongside a man whom she might not have wanted and a warrior who once wanted nothing to do with love. They both soon find that not everything must be without color, not all flowers must be dead, not all wars were physical, and that some of them took place right within our very selves.
My name is Hannah, and I am princess of Brone. yes, the actual princess, the only child of my parents. My conception is one of those stories they tell around campfires, with children gathered, cross legged and bright eyed. And when it ends, those stay seated waiting for more, knowing it's over.
But when I hear the story of my conception, the hairs on my skin stand on end, and I am humbled. But I am reminded, that life is a gift, my life is a gift, and I must honour that and not take it for granted. My people are a blessing, and I must remember my responsibilty to them.
with all this said, another story begins,
My name is Hannah, princess of Brone, And my Kingdom is being threatened.
My people fear, and the anxiety of what comes next eats at them. it eats at all of us, causing us to shudder whenever we remember, and making us- some, if not all- want to hide, run, and keep the evil, keep the dark away.
But we can't all hide you see. we can't all run away. Heaven knows , the hiding, the running would be all but welcome right now, so easy. But so wrong.
I can save them, it's my destiny, I believe. Although papa and mama, refuse to acknowledge this.
They'd rather I stay at out of something so vile and destructive. I don't blame them, but their request is a hard one, an impossible one.
But I feel it, the dread, the certainty that something big is coming. I'm no mystic, but I guess it's safe to say, I'm no stranger to strange.
So yes, truly, I feel it. The darkness, the pull of it, the tug of it, the sadistic euphoria, the emptiness, the destruction...
And I no choice but to let it come, and then when it is time, to stay, to sit with it, and to fight against it.
They say many are called but few are chosen.
And that even after you've been called you still have a choice. you can take up the mantle of purpose, of destiny, or you can turn away, you can walk away?
Walk away from destiny? Walk away from purpose?
But if you walk away from that which you have been called for, what else would fill you up? what else could make you feel whole? what elese could make like worth living?
On dark days, what would be the light?
On sad days, what would bring you joy? what would bring a smile to your face, the bright , precious light to yours eyes?
so maybe there is a choice, and that the problem isn't really if you'll be given a choice or not, but rather, if you'll make the right choice.
the choice to chase the light, the choice to chase the good.
the choice to chase the beautiful.
And what is the light, the good, the beautiful?
Are they all in onne narrow path, or do you have to strive, toil, and go a little bit mad ifrom running around in circles to attain that which is worth it?
That which is worth fighting for, That which is worth dying for?
For what is the point of 'it,' if you don't see it as worth fighting for, as what dying for?
Hannah sat under a castor oil tree a book in her hands, using the branches of the tree for a shade and watched as a purple butterfly danced above her head.
"Must be fun being free like that, right, Mr. Butterfly?" She said softly, smiling as it landed carefree on her right thumb.
"Pretty little thing." she said on a giggle
She watched it alight and fly away, and then she sighed softly, looking towards the castle.
It had been five years since the whispers of war emerged. Five years since the threats came, since such whispers caused a wild stir, and then, as time passed, these whispers died down. And now she was older, nineteen summers to be exact. And all was still, all was quiet.
But she knew.
she knew, as did her parents, that one brewed, subtly, gently, violently. A slow poison through and through, one that ate at you without living any visibel mark. But it clouded your judgement, your ability to think and reason without fear, without worry. God knew it had been clouding her mind lately.
There had been a time, they had been able to quiet the Athanatoi, but for how long?
How long till they - the Athanatoi- grew restless and sought out once again that which they wanted the most. Her parents had pleaded and cajoled with jewels, begged shamelessly, seeking what of them that might have something akin to sympathy, but it was but for a moment. she knew that, they all knew that.
The Athanatoi were fickle things. Immortal beings, yes. But fickle none the less, as twisted as they came, hell bent on raining down agony and misery. They treated human lives as worthless things, as nothing, and those who traded with them, those who turned to them for help, and believed in them, were damned. Just like her parents. Just like her.
She closed her eyes against the pain that shot through her chest. And though it didn't take it away, she didn't know what could, she reached for the Small sliver of hope she held on to, Sighed and laid her back on the bark of the tree and uttered a silent prayer to heaven,
"God save us all," she said, her voice catching,would he hear? She didn't know, but she hoped, she wanted to believe in something or someone bigger than herself, that which was pure and which brought forth light. And when sleep came, she let herself drift off, into oblivion, into a different place and time.
He watched her as she slept. she had a black mane of hair, that fell like pools of midnight around her. He touched the hilt of the sword at his side and drew a little closer, stopping abruptly when he recognized her.
"Now, what would the princess of the kingdom of Brone be doing, sleeping on the floor outside of the walls of the castle?" He whispered to himself. " And all by herself." he said im a long suffering manner.
Her eyes shot open as soon as the words left his mouth as though she had heard him. She arched a brow as though in curiosity before passing a hand over her eyes, then peered up at him with deep brown eyes.
"Hello." Was all she said, but she could have been singing to him. Her voice was sweet and was music to his ears. He mentally pinched himself for his fanciful thoughts. He was a warrior, he reminded himself, not a poet.
" Good day your highness." He could have sworn he saw her wince at his words. "Are you lost?"
Her brows shot up at his question and her expression quickly calmed.
"No, I am not." And he didn't miss that hint of bite in her words, he tilted his head, mildly amused. Ignoring his small jest, She got up without much fuss and dusted at her skirts, before turning in the direction of the castle.
"If you'll excuse me." She added, a bit more mildly.
"Yes?" She answered, turning on her heels to face him. "May I escort you to the castle?"
If the question shocked her, she didn't show it, her countenance was one that radiated royalty. He marvelled at her ability to keep a cool head at the request of a stranger asking to escort her to the castle. But they weren't strangers- deep within they both it- and this wasn't merely just a request of accompanying the princess to the castle, but was wise enough, to keep his thoughts to himself.
"I'd like to speak to the king." He added, as a way of explanation. "The king." she murmured, " Do you have an appointment?"
"No. But it is of utmost urgency that I speak to him, soon would be good, if you can help me manage that."
She seemed to consider his words before nodding her regal head, at least that was how it seemed to him.
"Follow me then, I'll see what I can do for you," she looked at him and added,
"but I make no promises." Then turning on her heels, led forth the way toward the castle gates, with him following behind her.
"Milady! Milady! You were outside the walls? All by yourself? How did you get out? And for the life of me! who is this man?" Said ànemos, the chief of the king's guards in hysterics.
He grew so pink with every word, Hannah had to wonder that he didn't turn purple next and simply faint. But she did feel guilty. He was older than the other guards and tended to be paternal towards her. He truly cared for her, and she hated to worry him.
If it weren't for... For? She mentally pinched herself. She did not even know his name. However, if it weren't for him she would have taken the way by which she left, a secret passageway she had discovered when she was a little more than eight years old. But ànemos didn't need to know that.
"ànemos, it's okay. I'm fine, look!" She did a little twirl in place, so he would see for himself that she was alright. " perfectly fine.Just dandy."
He seemed to calm down a bit, after taking a careful look at her.
Jasper seemed to think, she looked fine too, more than fine. when she did twirl, he had a premonition-not really- that she was born dancing.
"And the gentleman?" He asked, gesturing towards the man who had been standing, quietly watching their exchange.
She turned to him and tilting her head subtly as if saying 'go on, explain yourself, get us out of this mess.'
He seemed to understand her because he drew himself to his full height and turned to ànemos.
"I am Jasper of province Moline and I am here to speak to the king. It is urgent, of upmost importance. I wouldn't press this matter otherwise" ànemos looked taken aback by his words before quickly gathering himself.
"I hope for you sake it is as urgent as you say." He said gravely and turned to Hannah. "Well then princess, show him the way."
"What? Oh yes, yes. Alright, have a good day then." He seemed like he was going to say something, but simply smiled and said, " you too, princess." And then excused himself when one of the guards called out to him.
"Well, that wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Now that we've gotten you within the walls, we just have to find a way to get you to speak to my father." She said In something a little bit more than a whisper, before grabbing his hand. "Come on."
"Where are we going?" He asked, looking down at their linked hands, and back to her face.
"To the stables, I know a secret path we could take to avoid eyes spotting you. You can hide out there, while we think of a plan, we'll need one to enter the throne room unannounced, at least you will, and a good one too." She said, seeming to be enjoying herself, which she was. He resisted the urge to chuckle as he looked down at her, a gleam in his eyes that mirrored the one in hers.
"I see, lead the way then, princess."
And she did, a quiet giggle leaving her lips, as though for his ears alone. He thought the sound was sweet as he followed her, Her hand in his. And he wondered, somewhere deep within him about the little princess at his side, if she was as sweet as the sound that escaped her lips.
"We're almost there." They'd crawled and stuck to tall hedges for cover, but so far, true to her word they hadn't been spotted.
" there, right there." She said, pointing to a brown small builing that resembled a barn, which stood only a small distance away.
"I don't think the caretakers are in there right now. In fact, I think they should be done for the day." She said when they got to the door. She opened the door quietly and raised up a hand, gesturing for him to wait before poking her head and surveying the surroundings.
"All seems quiet in here, come on in." She said, before leading them in, stopping at every stall to greet each horse.
The woman, he thought, had a word for each one of them. He wasn't sure if to Marvel at her when she made each stop or simply stop her and remind her of why they were there in the first place. But after horse number three, he realised that, he didn't want her to stop. He found her endearing, the way she would stroke and croo
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