"They say... that it can grant your greatest wish."

Saya snuggled closer to him as he spoke, only half-listening. "We could get married."

He smiled and wrapped his arm around her. "We'd be together for as long as we want, an' with no silly rules to follow. We could... live, Saya. Really live."

"That would be nice," she whispered into his ear. "If only it were real."

Tobias grinned wryly. "I'll find it for ya, promise."

Saya, much to her displeasure, woke in her own bed.

"Princess, do you want breakfast in your chambers or in the Large Dining Hall? This morning, we have a wonderful selection of-"

She yawned, and said, "I'll just have it here, thank you. I'm a bit tired."

The maid bowed, and with a quick, "Yes, your highness," she was gone.

Saya opened the door to her chambers and scanned the hallway outside. Satisfied, she lifted the skirt of her nightgown and ran to her favorite music box. She removed the key from around her neck, and turned it into the matching golden lock. No one, not even her father, was allowed to see the contents.

The tune always reminded her of him... of her beloved, Tobias.

She hummed along and placed her latest love-letter into the box, before closing it slowly and returning the key to its place around her neck, thoughts of him dancing happily through her mind.

Saya's joyful hum continued until the maid returned with her breakfast and business.

"Your highness, the Lady Claire would like to speak to you today, and Lord Tenset wishes to present to you a gift this afternoon. The Grand Council will also not be meeting today, as your father is too ill to attend."

"Father?" Saya asked quickly. "Is he really that ill? I shall make a point of visiting him today. Could you please tell him that I'll be down after breakfast?"

"Yes, milady. Anything else?"

"No, that will be all, thank you," Saya replied as she attempted to shove her breakfast down her throat in the most dignified manner possible.

"Oy, Toby! Quit with yer 'ead in the clouds and get ta work!"

Tobias nodded quickly. "I'm gettin' on it, Boss! I only got a few left."

The Captain mumbled something incomprehensible and began yelling at someone else.

Tobias didn't really notice, seeing as how he was tackled from behind. "Toby! How's it goin', buddy! How's that noble Lady o' yours, eh?" Toby righted himself, picked up the crate, and turned to face his friend, who was waggling his eyebrows suggestively.

"Get off it, Petey, it's not like that an' you know it," he replied with a smirk. "But she is mighty tempting, I'll give ya that much."

Petey frowned exaggeratedly, and began to wring his hat in his hands. "Ye still ain't gonna tell me who it is, eh? Tell ol' Petey, yer best buddy, who's practically wallowin' in sorrow at not knowin'?"

With a hearty laugh, he replied, "Ye'll tell every old geezer on the dock, an' then I won't be able t' see her anymore. Cheer up Petey, there's work to be done, and I ain't doin' it alone."

"Yeah, I know it," Petey grinned. With a shrug, he added, "need any help with them crates?"

"Father," she said, trying to be as composed as possible, "are you sure you are all right? I could send for a doctor, or-"

"Saya," he interrupted, "I am fine. There is no need to worry about an old King who cannot even rule any longer." He lay back down, setting his cup of herbal drink to the side.

"Father, you can rule. How will the country ever manage without you?" She said, letting her harried tone slip through. "I am not even married yet. I am not yet prepared for this position... Father, please reconsider."

"We have been discussing this for weeks, and no other options have presented themselves." With a smile, he added, "I am too old, and I have raised you well. I have utmost confidence in your ability to rule, especially since I am certainly not planning on dying anytime soon."

"A King has always had the monarch's position. Tradition states that I must marry before serving as Queen..."

"Tradition be hanged," the King replied. "No suitors are suitable for you, my daughter. You have been trained for this since birth, and I know that you are capable of leading the country in my stead."

Only the faraway glint in her eyes and the hesitation before she accepted hinted that this wasn't the ending she had hoped for.

"Ye still lookin' for the damned Relic!" Petey exclaimed. "I'da thought you'da given up by now. What the hell you wanna waste your time for, anywho?"

"They say it can that it can grant your greatest wish, an' who wouldn't want that?"

"True, that, but what if it don' even exist? Whatcha gonna do then, Toby?"

Tobias let out a sigh of frustration as he set down a particularly smelly crate. "It exists, mate, there's stories of it from here to the West. An' hell, even if it don't exist, I'm still gonna find it."

Petey chuckled heartily. "The god what made you a fisherman shoulda known you was an idealist. He coulda put you up there with your Highborn lass, an' nobody woulda known the difference."

Tobias' mood darkened even further. "I hafta dream. Everyone's got dreams, even guys like us that look like we don't got a future ahead of us. Dreamin's the only thing keepin' us sane."

Petey let out a guffaw. "True, that." With his final crate put to rest, he straightened his back and gave Toby a friendly punch on the shoulder. "You in for drinks tonight?"

Notes from a Distracted Author

I just couldn't find anything else to write about for my other unfinished stories, so I'm trying to actually finish this one, first. It'll be short, probably only about ten chapters or so for the first half, and decidedly less for the second.

This is based on a few legends I've heard, but all from different areas or different stories. This is a "realistic" interpretation of a combination of these legends, with a bit of personal flair thrown in. And it actually has an obvious romance! That's something much different that I usually write about.

If you have any questions, comments, criticism, or corrections, feel free to contact or correct me! I've got tough skin, so don't be afraid to tell me when I've messed something up. I'm especially concerned about the fisherman's accents - I want them to be readable, but still have a bit of an uneducated feel about them. I have trouble reading deep accents (they way Mark Twain writes them, for instance), so I want to be especially careful with readability.

Hopefully, the next chapter will be up soon... since this story is so short, I might actually finish it! :)