"To become a Royal Musketeer, you must..." These are the words which every aspiring Musketeer hear. Taryn, Chloe, and Jamie are all in training to become Royal Musketeers. They each have their own reason to want to become one. Jamie wants to make her father proud. Chloe feels that there is more to life than what she had been living before. Taryn wants to be a hero; to show everybody who said she would never amount to anything what she can do. What will happen, however, when they discover that only one of them can become a Royal Musketeer? What about when they find that, by becoming a Musketeer, they forfeit any marriage rights? Those are only the beginning of their problems.

A/N This, *points up* is the full summary. Please R&R! ;)

Chapter 1

Meet the Musketeers

Taryn Hiddenblade parred. "Ha, you think you can get the best of me?" She swung her blade at her opponent, who met Taryn's blade with her own.

"I don't think, I know!" Chloe cried. Pushing Taryn's blade aside, she thrust her blade toward her, causing Taryn to roll out of the way. Jumping to her feet, Taryn returned the favor with a flurry of attacks, ending the fight with her blade an inch from Chloe's neck.

"Okay you two," Jamie laughed. "We're not trying to kill anybody for real here, so weapons down."

The two looked at their friend Jamie, who's eyes twinkled with laughter, and burst out laughing themselves.

"Jamie, you're always the one to stop us from killing each other. Can't we have a little fun just this once?" Taryn joked. "I promise I won't hurt her too much."

"What makes you so sure that you'd win?" Chloe challenged. "I, for one, believe that I could beat you. So you'd better stop gloating and watch your back!"

"Oh, quit it you two. Captain Jeffery wants us. He said something about the next step in training," Jamie added, knowing that this would peak her friends' curiosity. They had been training as Musketeers for a year now, and they were all adequate enough to become one. However, they still had much training to do if they were ever to be part of the Royal Musketeers. Captain Jeffrey was their trainer.

Taryn and Chloe immediately ran to the weapons rack and returned their swords. Then the three friends trotted towards the training hall, merrily laughing and joking.

As they entered the the hall, they once again marveled at how elegantly yet, musketeery the place was. It was like the royal training grounds, where the prince would train, and yet it was the Royal Musketeer's training grounds.

"Taryn Hiddenblade, Chloe Hilltree, and Jamie Canda! What took you so long?" a voice boomed. They at once recognized their trainer's voice.

"Sorry, Captain," Chloe apologized. "I was in middle of training and didn't know you needed me until Jamie came and said as much." She lowered her head, her blonde hair swinging in the air.

"Don't blame her, Sir. It was my fault, too," Taryn admitted. She didn't, however, lower her head as Chloe had done. She stood erect, her short, five foot four frame sporting her dark brown locks. Taryn was the trouble maker of the bunch, but it was not yet decided if she was the strongest. Captain Jeffrey can't blame it all on Chloe if I'm admitting to it, she thought. She also had a strong sense of justice, which wouldn't let her have anyone else take her blame. It was an interesting combination, really. A person who liked to cause trouble, but would always take the blame? The reason she was this way was a mystery to all, including herself.

Jamie remained silent, not wanting to interfere, especially with her father involved. Yes, her father—Captain Jeffrey—was not one who took disobedience lightly. If she said something that didn't agree with what he or someone else said, she would earn more of her father's scorn. He already disliked her as it was, and the only way to redeem herself was to become a Royal Musketeer. At least, that would be a start.

Captain Jeffrey looked at his beautiful daughter. She looked just like her mother, with her raven black hair and stunning violet eyes. Her mother had been such a fighter, a Royal Musketeer herself. He had high hopes that she would someday walk in her mother's footsteps, at least, the footsteps that hadn't lead to her death. The day that that man had stuck down his wife had been the final straw. He wanted revenge, and his beautiful daughter was the perfect vessel.

"You are all to blame," he said finally. "You'll each an extra lap tonight, and if this continues you will be running five extra laps."

"You said something about the next step in training, Sir?" Taryn asked, boldly.

"Indeed. You must be aware of some things first, however." He cleared his throat. "The first: to become a Royal Musketeer, you must pledge to never marry."

The three girls gasped.

"What do you mean?" asked Chloe.

"Exactly what I said. Ever since an incident that happened precisely thirteen years ago, being married has not been allowed among Musketeers. It is a sacrifice they must be willing to make. Only those who were married before the law was put in place may remain married and continue to be a Musketeer. There is no exception," he said with finality.

The girls, not sure what else to do, reluctantly shook their heads. "No exception," they repeated.

"Second..." he paused, "only one of you can become a Musketeer."

"What?" they shrieked in unison.

"With all do respect, Sir, we have been training for three years, and you are just telling us this now?" Taryn pointed out. "Why have you waited to tell us this?"

"Because I didn't want it to hurt your friendship, but I now see that there is no avoiding that. You three will each go through individual tasks, and when and if you pass it will be decided by the court who will become the next Musketeer."

"What do you mean, 'if', Dad?" asked Jamie.

He hesitated. "You will have dangerous tasks to accomplish, and one of you may not make it back alive. But this is another price that a Musketeer must pay."

After another flood of questions, Captain Jeffrey held up a hand for silence. "No more questions will be asked. I will now take you each back individually and give you your assignments so that you may prepare yourselves for what is to come." He turned, preparing to leave, then as a side note added, "And you are not to tell another soul what your assignment is, not even each other. Understood?" They all nodded their agreement and he left the room, marching up the stairs.

A/N Sorry the first chapter is so short. I just wrote this, and I intend to make the other chapters longer. :)