Folk Lore ©

A young girl and her two companions go traveling to collect some fish for the King's birthday party, and on the way they get attacked by an unknown assassin. Maria manages to get away, but will her companions? Will she ever see them again? And what is Maria's teacher's role in all of this?

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Now, this story actually came from a really weired dream I had, and it gave me an idea for a story, so here it is! (the names of the places I did not come up with, they came with the story)

Chapter 1

The Beginning

'Come on bonehead! Hurry up!' I looked over at the guard, shuffling along, some feet behind me.

'Oi! There aren't any bones in my head!' he yelled back at me. I stopped walking and turned around.

'What about your skull?' the other guard asked.

'My what?' the stupid guard looked thoroughly mystified. I giggled to myself, quietly.

'Your skull. You know, the thing that covers your brain?' I paused, 'Wait! No! forget I said that!' he growled low in his throat, the sound sending shivers down my spine. He may not be the smartest person in Māhamǽo, but he sure was one of the strongest.

'Ha ha. I have a freakin' brain' he sulked.

'Are you sure?' he nodded, 'Are you not sure that you're surely not sure?'

'Huh?' he cocked his head to the side, much like a dog would do.

'Hahaha! Never mind!' I punched him on the shoulder and kept walking. Perhaps a bit of information would be appropriate now. The two guys that are traveling with me are Zero (the smart one) and Grant (the…not so smart one). They are traveling with me by order of my Sensei. (Because he's a worry-wart)

Takuma Sensei found me wandering the northern part of the MaēSoriā forest when I was two years old. But I don't have any memory of before then. So he's the only family I've ever known. It's kinda weird because even though he's only fourteen years older than me I still have to call him Sensei.

And now that I'm nearly sixteen, Zero keeps telling me to be careful when I go out, because I will be the legal age for marriage from the day I turn sixteen, so that will draw men to me like wolves to a rabbit. (Nice metaphor) Oh well. Zero and Grant are really nice; so I'm not complaining.

That's probably why Sensei insists that Grant and Zero follow me around all the time… Zero does his job, sure, but Grant… Grant acts more like a brother to me that a bodyguard. And whenever he and I muck around, Zero is always the one who tells us to settle down.

Anyway! We are, at the moment, traveling to the Morēā fishing village because the King specifically asked me to collect an order for him for his birthday celebrations next week. And that's kind of a bum, because my birthday is next week as well. We have to get thirty five river whippers.

A few weeks ago the King came to the house that Takuma Sensei and I share, because he said that he had heard that he had a little delivery girl working under him and he wanted to see for himself.

One Sensei introduced me to him, the King asked me about my parents. Before I could answer, Sensei intervened,

'She is the daughter of a family friend. But her parents were quite poor, so they gave her to me to look after when I was sixteen, she was two years old at the time. But because it was nearly fourteen years ago, she doesn't remember them, sir.' The King smiled.

'Well, perhaps the child would like to learn more about her parents? Do you have their family name?' Sensei shook his head, 'Ah, well then, that's a shame. But, that does not stop me, hm? My library is at your disposal, my child,'

I found it ironic that he was calling me "my child" when he was only five years older than me. I smiled and opened my mouth to speak, but he cut me off.

'Do not be afraid to call on me whenever you feel like reading something in the royal library. I will tell the guards that you posses one of my rings, and that, upon showing them the ring, they must take you to the library.' He held out his hand for me. I hesitantly placed my hand in his, and he slipped the ring onto my left middle finger.

'And, should you get hungry, simply tell your guard and he will take you to the kitchen. I will assign one of my most trusted guards to you; his name is Zero. And I think you will like him.' He smiled, for the thousandth time that day.

'Thank you, my Lord. I deeply appreciate your generosity, but…' He held up a hand to cut me off.

'No "buts"! I will send Zero to collect you in the morning. And I would be honored if you would join me for breakfast tomorrow morning as well.' I saw a glint of something in his blue eyes; a glint that spelled "trouble" with a capital "T".

He kissed my hand, nodded to Sensei, turned and walked out the door.

I felt Sensei come up behind me and I could sense his displeasure at the thought of me being in the company of such a powerful man without him. He wrapped me in a backward hug; his head resting on top of mine.

'Be careful, Maria. Do not let your guard down while you are around the King. I don't trust him with you. You are young and vulnerable. And those are exactly the things a man like that wants a girl like you to be: an easy target.' He shook his head and turned into the bedroom, closing the door behind him.

'Oi! Wait a minute!' I ran after him, 'What do mean "an easy target"?' he could have any woman he wants! He's a king for crying out loud! How many girls do you think would die to have him?!' He turned to face me, and the look on his face sent shivers down my spine; he looked like a wild animal.

'And how many women do you think he's had? How many women do you think he would bed every night? As you have said, he's a king. Therefore, if he wants you, he will have you, and no one will have the authority to stop him. Even if he has assigned a guard to you, do you think that a guard will defy his master, to help a girl like you?

'He has had thousands of women in his bed, and to have one so young, it might just become another notch in his bedpost, or, it might become something for him to continue using until the end.' He grabbed his coat and walked out of the room, 'I'm going to the pub.'

He looked over his shoulder, 'I'll be back later, a lot later. So go to bed.' And with that said, he left and closed the door behind him.

Please review! Constructive critisism acepted. Please don't be mean.

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