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A Princess's Sword

Author's note: Medival Fantasy has always captured my imagination but I have never been too fond of...  Show full author's note »
Author's note:

Medival Fantasy has always captured my imagination but I have never been too fond of fairytales. But the action stories, the ones of heroes captivated me. One day I decided that for far too long princess have been potrayed as a blonde, blue-eyed damsels who sit in towers, embroidering tapestries, waiting for thier true loves. My story would be different hear would be a girl who could defend herself against the troubles that would come. Or could she?

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Chapter 1

Once upon a time, there lived a princess...

 

 

 

 

“Princess Arilina!”
“Yes?” I replied, hastily covering my sword with my cloak. The door flew open and the scared face of one of my maids peeked around it.
“Oh! I have been looking everywhere for you! There is a flying Erif dragon at the north side of the castle! It is burning the barracks! What are we going to do?”
As she started to sob, I realized I needed to take control of the situation. “Listen, you stay here.”
She nodded her head and choked out, “But where are you going?”
“Do not worry about me. I will be fine. You stay here, though, do not come out until I come back, understand?” She nodded shakily, then curled up on my floor crying into the rug. I closed the door and thought up a plan. The barracks, hmm? I was going to have to hurry if I was going to make it in time.
Five minutes later I reached the bottom of the castle. I opened the door and stepped out into the chilly night air. I glanced around, my hand on one of my small throwing daggers in a belt around my waist. I hurried across the courtyard to the barracks. The flames leaped into the dark sky. The fire was throwing enough light around that I could see people running towards it with buckets. Several knights were firing arrows at a dragon spewing fire. It was on the ground, but I saw wings folded up on its back. I drew my sword and stepped closer to it, staying in the safety of stone buildings. I analyzed the dragon. It was about the size of a horse, a small one. It took me awhile to remember my training, but then in the midst of this chaos it came to me. If it was the size of a horse that meant it could shoot flames ten feet forward and two and a half feet wide. When I was thirty yards away I prepared to close the distance. I took a deep breath and jerked as I felt a hand on my shoulder. I spun around and saw Father's face inches from mine.
“Arilina, what are you doing? You cannot take on an Erif dragon with a sword, you know that!”
“Father! Why are you here! I could have done it! It would have worked!”
“How? You most likely would have been shot by our own archers!”
“But, Father!” I protested.
“Do as I say. I have enough problems with this dragon without adding my stubborn daughter to my troubles.”
“My apologies, Father.”
“Go back to your room, quickly now.”
“But what about the fire?”
“There are enough people here. Please go, Arilina.” I nodded and turned back to the Keep. I hurried up the stairs to my room. The trembling maid was still there.
“What is happening?” she asked.
“Everything is fine. The knights are taking care of the dragon and the servants are stopping the fire.”
“Oh, good. I am afraid I overreacted a bit. My sincerest apologies.” She breathed a sigh of relief and recovered her composure. “Is there anything I can get for you?”
“No, that is fine, thank you.”
“Of course.” She curtsied and hurried out of the room. I threw myself on my bed. Why had I not been just a little faster? I sighed. Father was right, I most likely would have gotten hurt by my own archers. I needed to think before throwing myself headlong into problems. Just think, Arilina. I fell asleep lecturing myself.
When I woke up the next morning, I rushed to get up and change my clothes. Then I began to prepare myself mentally for the rebuke I was going to get from my father. Ten minutes later a maid opened the door and said, “Your highness?”
“Yes,” I replied, looking up from the book I was reading.
“His majesty, your father, wants you to meet him at the royal stables in fifteen minutes.”
“Thank you, you are dismissed.” After standing I walked over to the bookshelf and placed the book back in its proper spot. I threw my deep blue cloak around me and descended the spiral staircase to the ground floor. I made my way to the stables, dreading the talk I was going to have. As I stepped through the stable door, I was greeted by whinnying. My own mare, Leilia, neighed an extra greeting for me. I walked over to her stall and opened the top part of the door. She thrust her head out of her stall. She pricked her ears, like she did when she noticed something. I spun around and saw Father approaching.
“Hello Father,” I called.
“Arilina, do you think what you did last night was smart?”
“No, it was not. I was not thinking.”
“I am glad you realize that. Your life is so precious to me and I would have great sorrow if you were hurt or killed foolishly.”
“I understand, and I do regret it.”
“Good. Now to tell you the other reason why I called you here. We have worked on throwing daggers, which you excel at, and we have covered sword fighting. But in all your training I failed to give you a bow. Now, do not think that this is a reward for your behavior last night. The truth of the matter is I was already planning on giving it to you today. I hope you understand that the consequences of your actions do not just affect you, but the others around you. Consider this a reward for the effort you have put into sword fighting. Even though at times it was difficult you still remained diligent through it all.” He retrieved a bow and a quiver full of arrows from a cupboard nearby. The bow was beautiful! It was made from yew wood, so it was brown, almost orange, in color. The grain of it ran in straight lines and it was sanded to a smooth finish. The arrows were crafted out of an exotic rosewood tree. The stabilizing feathers on the end of the arrow were dyed a light brown. The index feather had a faint red zigzag pattern on it. My eyes were drawn back to the bow. There was carving on the limbs and I studied one end. It had a sword, a bow with an arrow on its string, and a chainmaille shirt. I inspected the other limb. This one showed flowers, an elegant dress, and a needle pulling a thread through some fabric. I was baffled for a minute, and then laughed out loud.
“Oh! One limb shows what Mother wants me to be, and the other one shows what you want me to be.” Father nodded and pointed to the handle. I looked at the handle and laughed again. The carving was a bow shooting a flower, a chainmaille dress, and a sword pulling a thread through some fabric.
“And that,” I said pointing at the handle, “is what will happen if I try to please both of you!” Father smiled and started to walk toward the door.
He called over his shoulder, “Come, we will soon see if you enjoy shooting it as much as you enjoy looking at it.”
I followed Father to the archery range where his knights practiced shooting. I pulled back the bow, aimed and shot. I was high and a little to the left. Some knights were practicing there as well. Little-by-little they all began to gather around me and there were a few soft murmurs among them. I tried to concentrate as best I could, but finally, I could not focus anymore.
I turned to face them and asked, “Is there something I can help you with?”
One of them stepped forward and said, “I apologize if we are distracting to you, it was not our intention to be rude. My men and I were wondering... well, is this the first time you have ever shot?”
“Yes, why?”
“Milady, I have never seen any with your talent.”
“Talent?”
“Yes! Some people take years to finally learn proper form. But you have already mastered resting the arrow consistently on the same anchor spot.”
“Consistent? Look at that target. My arrows are not even close to being together,” I protested.
“That is only because you are not strong enough yet. With more time and practice the muscles needed to hold the bow at full draw will strengthen. Soon you will be able to hold it steady, then you will be able to hit the target exactly where you want. But, we will bother you no longer. Good day, your highness.”
“Good day.” I tried to understand what they had just said. I had talent?

Chapters:   1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 17 Next »


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