OF THE CAPITOL, THE QUARREL, AND THE COURT

A/N: HEY, SORRY IT TOOK ME SO LONG TO UPDATE. I'VE BEEN REALLY BUSY LATELY. ANYWAYS HOPE U LIKE THIS CHAPTER AND PLEASE R/R.

************************

"How'd you guys know I might be a princess anyways?" I asked as we set up camp in the woods.

"You're dad talked to us that morning right before we left. Probably while you were in the library," answered Chance.

"What'd he say?"

"He said that he was worried about you. And even though he did not feel confident in us that we should go with you," explained Josh.

"Did he really?"

"Yes."

"And he didn't order you to come with me?"

"No, not at all."

"That's so unlike him."

"You should give him a chance," suggested Josh.

"Me? Give him a chance? You didn't hear what he said to me."

"Alright. Alright."

"It's not like I'm ever going to see him again anyway."

The two guys just sighed at my comment. I looked into the basket of food to find it almost empty. Josh looked into the basket and then glared at Chance for being so stupid.

"Why'd you pack so little food?" questioned Josh.

"I thought you had packed some as well."

"We'll have to stop in the next town. We barely have enough food for tomorrow," sighed Joshua.

"But the next town is the capitol city," I said with fear.

"My lady, we have no choice. The next village after that is at least thirty- five miles away. Not to mention the horses need a rest. We have been riding nonstop for five days."

"It couldn't hurt to stop and buy a map as well," laughed Chance.

"What you don't think I know the way?"

"Oh, I think you think you know the way."

The two guys started to tackle each other.

"Guys, stop it!"

"Sorry," they both apologized.

"We need our sleep. Because I want to get up as early as possible so we can work on disguises."

"Of course you majesty," snorted Chance.

I jumped on him and joined their fight. After ten minutes we all relaxed. Josh got under his blanket and fell asleep. While I lay in Chance's arms. I suppose I fell asleep because I awoke on my blanket.

"God, you're a late sleeper."

"What time is it?"

"10:00."

"Everyone will already be at market. Do you know how noticeable a knight, a mage, and a noble will be. Especially a noble who is me! The king does know who I am after all. Didn't my dad tell you the king probably is planning to kill me?"

"Yes, he did. But we can not leave you behind my lady. It is even more unsafe to leave you unguarded. Chance and I have come up with a plan; I will dress up in Chance's armor and you two will dress in some of Chance's old apprentice uniforms."

"Why'd you bring your apprentice uniforms with you?" I asked Chance.

"I thought we might need them. And I was right."

"For once," smirked Josh.

I dressed in the blue and white tunic and trousers that were the uniform for a man who served my father. It would be a close call since women usually weren't a knight's apprentice, but it would be a risk I'd have to take. Sirius transformed into a hound and walked by Josh's side obediently. We packed up camp and then led the horses to the capitol city, Synely.

Many people stared, but not one word was said. We had left the horses at an inn's stables. And the stable hand treated them and us graciously because we gave them a few extra pieces of silver. I had bought a cloak that had a hood so I could hide my face. I followed Sirius, Chance, and Josh into an armory, but we were stopped by a castle guard.

"Please identify yourselves. I'm on strict orders to find someone."

"Of course, I'm Sir Joshua who serves his lordship, Thomas Williams."

"Quite a coincidence we've fallen upon, I'm in search of his daughter Arianna. She has disappeared and the king wishes to escort her home."

What a lie.

"Who may I ask are your companions?"

"My two apprentices, Lance and Kari."

"It is quite unusual to have a female knight even if she is an apprentice. I'm not sure I believe you. Prove to me your story is true."

"No problem," said Josh hopefully.

"For her proof she must fight me in a duel and if she shows the techniques an apprentice of her age should. I will let you go."

Oh God. I'm not ready for this. Chance saw the worried look in my face and patted my shoulder.

"Now's your chance to show everyone you're not a damsel in distress," whispered Chance in my ear.

"No, now's my chance to either make a fool of myself or prove that Kari is real," I whispered back.

"Well let's prove Kari is real then."

Josh handed me his sword and I walked up to the guard and readied myself. He lunged at me and I parried his attack. This went on for about ten minutes. Taking turns attacking each other. I was drawing much more attention to myself then I had wished for. Finally he stopped and seemed satisfied.

"This girl has demonstrated great ability. Your story seems true. I apologize for my many questions."

All of a sudden Alexander ran in-between us and kissed me.

"Arianna! I thought you might have left with out me. I didn't recognize you at first, but when I saw you fighting I recalled your sword skills at once," he said excitingly.

The guard glared down at me and pulled out his sword again. I in return glared at Alex. Josh grabbed my hand and pulled me towards the inn. Somehow our horses were standing outside the inn and they were all tacked up. I held out my arms and Sirius jumped into them. I hopped on Zorro and then once again I was cantering off.

We stopped back at the camp to make sure we had everything. I walked up to Chance and tried to help him pack the blankets, but he moved away from me. And later I tried talking to him, but once again he ignored me. I tried to get over it as we rode off in silence. Until we heard hoof beats at least. And it was none other than Alex.

"Hallo, my fair lady!"

"Hi."

"I'm going to go ahead. Josh, I'll talk to you later," said Chance as he rode away.

"Bye," I sighed.

"So, it is great to travel with you," he said trying to start a conversation.

"Yeah, whatever."

Basically everyone was pretty silent for the whole trip. It was nothing like when we traveled just Chance, Josh, and I. When we finally came up to Chance, Alex moved his horse near mine and grabbed my hand. Chance started to set up camp and left us there. I smacked Alex up the side of the head.

"Never do that to me again!" I yelled.

I was sitting in the tent alone writing when Chance came in. He turned to leave but I was quicker, "Chance don't go."

"What?"

"Why are you mad at me?"

"Why do you think?"

"I don't know. I suppose Alex is the reason, but I don't think of him as anything more than a useless flirt. I love you. I always have."

"Than why did you look at him with joy when he gave away our disguise to that guard?"

"I glared at him for God's sake!"

"It sure didn't seem that way. And why did you bring him up to our roof back at the manor?"

"I was trying to get away from Stella and he followed me!"

"Then why did you let him call you fair maiden? You seem to hate when I say anything like that."

"I didn't want to start a fight!"

"Well it seems like you have started one!" and with that Chance stormed out of the tent and of course with his so imperfect timing Alex walked in.

"Leave me alone!"

"What's the matter?"

"You're the matter! Now do as I say and leave me alone!"

"Arianna?"

"My name is Arie, not Arianna! If you actually liked me you would know that! Go away and never come back!" I screamed as I threw the ink well at him. It hit him right in the stomach and spilt ink all over his fancy clothes. I couldn't help, but laugh. And neither could Josh or Sirius they both were in stitches when they saw him. Alex stormed off and cantered his horse away.

Josh came into the tent with Sirius.

"It's going to be another nice night. Why don't you come outside and sleep?" he asked.

"Nah, I'll be ok. I think it's best if I stay inside for tonight."

"Alright, but Sirius why don't you keep her company?"

"I'd love to."

Josh left the room and Sirius hopped on my lap with joy. He was in the shape of a bobcat and he was swishing his tail around.

"Why are you so happy?"

"I like sleeping inside better. That way mud doesn't get on my fur."

"You can turn into an animal without fur, like a bird or a lizard."

"I prefer having a glossy coat."

We both laughed at his comment and then got ready for bed.

"Goodnight Arie."

"Goodnight."

****************************

I awoke to the sounds of clashing. I figured it was just Joshua and Chance fighting so I picked up Sirius and I walked outside. Which believe me was one of my more stupid moves. Because when I got out I saw a whole group of crown guards fighting my two companions.

"Arie, run!" said the unmistakable voice of Chance.

"No, I will not abandon you."

"Arianna! Leave now."

Sirius transformed into a wolf and stood by my side growling furiously. I stupidly grabbed a sword and started to fight. But hey I can do magic why did I waste my time using a sword. Because I have no common sense. One of the guards came to the back of me and used the hilt of his sword and knocked me unconscious.

******************************

When I awoke I was on the floor of a great hall. My ankles were tied, but there hardly seemed to be a reason for that since I had been unconscious. On either side of me there was Chance and Josh. And sitting in front of me was Sirius in the shape of a bobcat again.

"Where are we?" I whispered.

"Shush. Get up," whispered Joshua who held out his hand to help me. I stood up to see myself in the one place I never ever wanted to be, court. And I was standing on the center floor with everyone staring at me. There were elves, wizards, enchantresses, noblemen, and the esteemed king himself. He sat in a throne in front of us.

"Three rebel children stand in front of us. One a runaway mage who did not follow regulations," spoke the king.

"I followed regulations better than any other mage ever! I stood by my maiden's side through all her hardships!" defended Joshua.

The king continued ignoring Josh, "Next there is the famous Lady Arianna Selene Williams. Whose birth alone was a crime. We all know her heritage and the predictions for her future. But she continues to add to her criminal record. Lady Arianna tried to kidnap Prince Alexander from my daughter Princess Stella."

"That's a lie!" I argued. "He followed me. I never meant to take that piece of scum from your grasp!"

The king snapped his fingers and his mage, Josh's father, performed an adflictatio spell on me. (For all of you who read Harry Potter this spell is kind of like a Crucio.) My knees weakened and I fell into Chance's arms. And surprisingly enough he caught me with joy.

"You're not mad anymore?"

"How could I ever stay mad at you?"

I smiled sweetly at him and the king immediately saw the happiness in my eyes and instructed the mage to repeat the spell. I stood up and stared the king strait in the eyes and wiped my face of all the pain so I looked perfectly calm. Chance put his arms around me and squeezed me tight.

The king gave up on me and turned to Chance. "This boy has quite a respectable past for himself. My historians did some research and found out that he is royalty. Chance as my dear niece, Arianna, calls him deserves to know his true name. This young man is Leoran son of Rhahan."

I looked at the boy who I thought was Chance. I slowly backed away from him and when he went to touch me I pulled away.

*************************************

TIME OUT

(I know it gets annoying when I do this, but if you really want to understand its necessary)

Now I'm sure you're wondering who Leoran is. He is a descendant of an ancient royal family of the old kingdom. His grandfather, Dwaenyth son of Dimitri, was the last to revolt against the current royal family, my family sadly enough. They haven't ruled for hundreds of years, but everyone knows that there was one last son from that family. No one ever knew where he was and it ends up he has been living with me for his whole life.

(Ok, back to the story)

*********************************************

"You're lying!" I screamed at the king. "Chance has been living at the manor forever!"

Chance put his arms on my shoulders and made me look into his eyes. There was no way I could avoid him.

"Arie, I've been living at the manor for your whole life, but not mine. I'm two years older than you, remember. On your first birthday my dad dropped me off at the manor to protect me. I never thought it would matter to you, but I didn't want to take the risk. It was a great chance that I had not been killed because the king had killed my father, so you're dad began to call me Chance."

"So, all this time you've been lying to me. And the one time I ask you what you're real name is you just say you'll tell me later."

"Please Arie, you know I love you. It doesn't matter what our names are all that matters is that we love each other. You do love me don't you?"

"I do love you," I said as I ran into his arms.

"It makes no matter. All three of you are under arrest and charged with a life of imprisonment."

"No they're not!" yelled an elf who was sitting in the room. "I am the girl's grandfather as well as the king of the elves. And she is still a minor so I take custody for her. Which means at the most you can only charge me a fee."

"The two boys are not related to you. They must still face the sentence."

"No! Technically they are my servants. I mean Leoran has been my knight and Joshua is my mage, so they can not be imprisoned."

"She has a point," added another male elf.

"You can't argue with that," agreed a female elf that was standing next to the other elf.

The three elves walked down the stairs and stood by me.

"Unshackle them at once," ordered my grandfather.

The guards untied us and we stood with the elves.

The king walked up to me and glared with hatred. "I will have you. And then you're life will be miserable. Mark my words you will get what you deserve. I will have my revenge."

The female elf led Sirius and I outside.

"I guess it's time to fill you in on some things," she said.

"I suppose so."

"I'm Caradien, but you can call me Cara. I'm your cousin. As you know elves have eternal life, but if you want a relative age for humans I'm about 19. And the other elf in there is my brother, Corion. He's pretty much the same age. In reality we're hundreds of years old."

"Will my dad live forever?"

"No, he gave his immortality to your mother, but it didn't work. Eventually he will die. And sadly so will you. But let's not look that far into the future."

"Alright."

"Elorfindel, our grandfather, is working out things, but until then here's what we're going to do so far. You and your friends will come to our city then we'll work out everything from there. After all you have the choice to be our princess as well."

"I don't really want to be a princess of people who will never really age, while I do age."

"We shall discuss it later."

Elorfindel walked out with Leoran, Joshua, and Corion.

"Girls, we're going to war," announced Corion triumphantly.

"Against who?" I asked.

"The humans?" asked Cara.

"For the most part, but all humans who wish to join us may. As well as any other beings. The king has got many mages and orcs to ally with him. I can promise you that this war will never be forgotten," sighed Elorfindel.

Our horses were returned to us and we left. I rode next to Leoran.

"What shall I call you now?"

"Leoran sounds so formal and Chance is not my proper name, so why don't you call me Leo?"

"Ok, a new name for a new beginning."

"I like it."

"I love it."

********************************

HOPE YOU LIKED THIS CHAPTER. NEXT WILL BE UP IN A WHILE. PLEASE R/R THANX ALLYSON