For seven days, Sarmia hiked through mountainside after mountainside, village through village until her emerald green gown looked nothing more than a peasant's garb. Even her frosted blonde hair was streaked with dirt. The only thing that gave away her rank as high princess was her eyes, like two glistening jewels amidst the fog. She had made her way west and had reached the small village of Merial that sat on the outskirts of Ephedra Forest, a wild, untamed forest where no human dare dwell. She mad a small bed in an old abandoned farm and hid her bag under a pile of hay. Dusk began to set so, after pocketing a large gold coin, walked towards the village square, blending in with the other bustling peasants who made their way between each merchant's stand. Spotting an open merchant, Sarmia made her way through the packed street. "Would the lady love a fresh ripe apple," asked the old man as she approached.

"Ah, no thank you," she replied after eyeing the fermented ball he had held in his hand, "I'm just looking."

As the old man went to help the other customer, Sarmia stepped her way down the stand until she came to an alleyway opening. At the edge of the dark alley leaned a large barrel filled with bread rolls. Walking over, she began to pull out some rolls until she became very aware of someone in front of her. Glancing up, her glistening eyes beheld a faint silhouette in the dark. It was too bright outside to make anything else out so after dropping the rolls back into the barrel, she stepped into the shadows. For a second the faint picture of a boy her age, about 18, was visible. As she blinked her eyes, the picture faded, but his eyes stayed engraved in her mind. A few minutes passed before she realized she was staring down an empty alleyway. Walking back onto the main street, Sarmia bought a few rolls and a cup of water with her gold piece, a meager meal compared to those back at the royal castle. Yet anything was better than having to marry a man she did not love, Sarmia thought. As she made her way back to the old farm, Sarmia gave her bread away to a small child and her mother who shared one raggy old duvet at the corner of a rat infested street. When she reached the farm, night had fallen and stars could be seen in the sky. It had been a long journey for Sarmia; little did she know it had hardly begun. Lying on the pile of hay she had gathered earlier for her bed, the high princess fell asleep, unable to keep her mind off the young man's luminating eyes she had seen in the dark alleyway. Not knowing that as she slept, someone sat in the rafters watching her, his eyes luminating.