rincess Thylara! You are late, extremely late for your calligraphy lesson!" Thylara was very glad that when she turned eighteen, in one week, she would no longer require her dottering, old, governess, Laki.

" Okay, Laki, I'll be there in one minute, I need to fix my dress."

" Well, your already late. Can I assist you?"

" No thank you," Thy got so annoyed with the women," Sanira, bor, koki," She muttered under her breath.

" I'm ready, Laki, sorry I was so late," Thylara said in a syrupy sweet voice.

" Late? Why dear your five minutes early, like always."

" No, dear Laki, I'm usually ten minutes early," I forgot to add siennbba, I must remember next time.

" Princess! Don't you remember that your riding lesson was canceled today, so you'd have extra time to prepare yourself for the banquet tonight?" Yeah right, prepare myself? The last time I did that I got a very strong reprimand. I hate this life, I can't do anything for myself, and I have to be Queen someday. Thylara ran up to her quarters sobbing for the first time since she was a child.

When she got up to the to her quarters and into her dressing room, she was attacked by a horde of people.

" This blue is nice."

" No, the red."

" Pink is best!"

" Her hair should be up, not down!"

" Both."

" Stop it! Just stop it; let me choose my clothes! It is my banquet!" Thylara was so tired of everyone picking her things, dressing her, bathing her.

" But Princess, it's our job."

" Which if you remember, I hold, now leave, you have the night off!" her workers all left, and she was all alone in the room. Now, what should I wear, I look good in green and brown. After a few spell-words she found herself in a gorgeous floor length gown that was green from one angle, but when you turned to another it was a marvelous dirt brown. Next for my hair, how about a part bun, the rest down. Now for makeup and shoes," Tamin, fabin, a!" Thylara walked down to the banquet hall. Thy felt prettier than she ever had felt in her whole life.

" Thylara, dear, you now what this banquet is for, don't you?" Queen Bellamime asked her daughter.

" Of course, my birthday, since you can't be here next week."

" No, dear, there will be many worthy men for you to choose to marry." Queen Bellamime was very pleased with herself, she was sure her daughter would be able to.

" Mother, I was told I could marry whomever I wanted, not the choices that were given to me, Mya and Kylercee aren't married and Kylercee is older than me. Give them the party!" Thylara could not stand when her mother got like this; she was bent on marrying Thylara off to some stuffy prince, just because it was a " good marriage."

" Kylercee, if I must remind you, Thylara, was married and is still in mourning. I can't believe you'd even mention Mya, the girl is fourteen shenenth years old. Daughter, you would think the crown princess would have some more sense."

" Yes, mother."

" My dear, what are you wearing, that dress is green and then brown. Thylara, you known very well that you cannot wear a magic-influenced dress to a royal banquet. Go up and change into your beautiful azure gown. It looks good on you."

Thylara ran up to her room and made the dress vanish. She then slipped into the " beautiful azure gown". Before descending down the grand stairwell, she looked upon the massive crowd waiting for her entrance. Just as she was about to turn around she caught someone staring at her; he was a young man who looked around the age of sixteen shenenth years old. Thylara glared at him, the boy blushed and turned around. Serves him right. Imagine him staring at me, Hmmph.

The dinner part of the evening went without many happenings. It was the dancing portion that was extremely annoying. Thylara danced with her fair share of stuffy princes, presumptuous knights, and idiotic nobles. She was fair with the division of her time spent with each person as not to show preference to any particular person.

The young man approached her," Would be so kind as to share your company in this dance?"

" Yes, boy, no need to be so proper, I won't bite'cha."

" Princess, I'm a second year squire and have been asked to give you this," the squire handed her a letter, Thy opened it and read it:

Dearest Thylara,

All of Fiorque and I miss you terribly. I have the most dreadful news, that horrid princess Laeticia is at it again. This time she's spread illness throughout D'Archinwahl. It even killed the crown princess. Guess who who's left as heir?

I have sent my reliable squire, Jaren, to deliver you this message. Thy, you and Jaren will go on a quest to rid D'Archinwahl of the pain. I send you two because you have the strongest magic in all the human realms. I trust you will succeed.

With sincere love,

Princess Dajiniria

" You're the Princess' squire, Jaren. I will trust you," In truth Thy had already started to trust this scruffy, yet handsome, boy, the minute she had laid eyes on him.

" Good it would be kind of tough on the road with someone who didn't trust me," he replied with a heartwarmingly quirky smile. " Meet me in the stables at one o'clock this mornin', … Thy." He tested her nickname.

" Don't'cha think one's a little late, Jare?"

" Well, your mama 'spects you to be up all night dancing with suitable men, so you gotta be up late. And dance with lots of different men. Fear not, Princess, you'll have plenty of time to get to know me."

Thylara understood a cue when she got one. She respectfully danced with an assortment of men and boys. At the 12:30, she excused herself. I have no clue what to pack, hmm, the necessary sanitary items, boots, a cloak, riding gear, clothes, bedroll, and spell book. There! I'm packed. No, wait, I'm not. I need my weaponry. Ok, now I'm packed.

Thylara ran to the stable with her pack down to the stables. Jaren was already there, waiting for her.

" You're wearing that dress, riding, in the rain?"

" Oh right!" Thylara gave a flick of her wrist and she was wearing a cloak.

" The dress, you can't ride in that!"

" Of course I can, I'm a princess, do you think I'm allowed to wear anything else?" She was extremely annoyed with his stupidity.
Jaren knew she was royalty, but they were partners. Besides he wasn't about to be pushed around by anyone, especially a princess. He had had a pretty hard life already-being the only male squire in Fiorque. On top of that he was the only son of his parents in a brood of fifteen.

This mission was Jaren's chance to prove himself worthy. So what if I'm not a girl, I'm proud to be a guy!

" Get your horse, Princess, we gotta head out by mornin'."

" Before morning. C'mon Schiirina we have to be ready to leave before daybreak"

Thylara's beautiful mare Schiirina, meaning " splendor and grace" in Ancient. The bond between the two was indestructible; each loved the other more than the other loved herself.

That night after having set up her bedroll Thylara flicked her fingers and a book appeared in her hands.

" Uh, uh, uhn. What are you doing?" Jaren asked disgusted.

" Uh… I'm reading."

" You should not be reading if you have enough energy to read we should still be moving."

" I cannot sleep if I don't read." Thylara said quite frankly.

Well, then what is that particular book about," Jaren said the word "book" as if it were a grimy towel he was being forced to wash his mouth with,

' I'm so glad you asked. It is about two young children who meet at a market gather. They decide to run away and have many adventures. It started out when they were eight. I'm in the middle and now they are fourteen. Now if you excuse me, I'm at a great part."

Jaren kept staring at her even after she "put the book away". She was so beautiful that he couldn't stop gazing at her. Her topaz eyes and mane of copper curls were so attractive she was almost obsessive. Never in his sixteen years would he ever have a chance with her. She was a princess, and he was a commoner and to add to that a male squire. Men didn't do that type of work- well men with no magic didn't.

Very few men had magic, only those who're worthy of The Guardian Keeper and her Guardians did, though no one had ever seen them.

All women were born with magic, but a lot lost it before their fifth shenenth birthday. But no male born with magic ever lost it.

All persons with magic were decreed able to train for knighthood-but Jaren was the first male in history to ever take up the offer. Even though he had as much magic as the next squire did, he struggled to keep up in that area of his curriculum.

" So do we have a "First Stop"?" Thylara asked after they had repeated riding and sleeping for four days.

" Yes, Thy, we are stopping in the Forest Realm, I'm a personal friend of Queen Reianne." Jaren used the nickname that he knew Thylara only allowed her closest friends to call her. Needless to say she was not pleased.

" Really, Jare? You Know a Queen? Somehow I doubt that…" Thylara knew that that was a very weak comeback and she also knew that he knew that she knew that it was- making it seem more flirty than mean. But She didn't want him to know that she actually enjoyed it when he called her Thy. In truth that really wasn't the only thing she found attractive about him. But, When she came back down to the real Realms, he was very rude to her. It would never happen. Come on, Thy, stop kidding yourself. You've only known the boy five days, but he already means a lot, she finally had given into that fact that it was okay to feel this way about Jaren; as long as it wasn't mutual.

" I'm a Princess' squire, so what's so hard to believe? She only had her coronation last Secenth. She is an incredible person," Jaren talked about Queen Reianne in a fond kind of awe.

" Well, I've never heard of this Queen Reianne, The Forest and Light Realms have never been on the greatest of terms, you know. While you people of the Fire Realm have never had any problems with anyone. Although it seems fire should have more problems with forests than light."

" Fiorque," He corrected her. In Fiorque they all spoke the Ancient Tongue as well as if it was there own, "does not have good relations with the Snow or Ice Realms. In fact no one from Fiorque is allowed to go to either of those places."

Thylara couldn't contain her laughter, it was so funny to hear Jaren talking about relations between realms," Well, I guess that's logical, seeing that fire melts Ice and Snow."

"I guess that would be the reason, that actually never occurred to me as the reason," Jaren started his own laughing fit. Soon they were both bent over double in giggles.

After she had finally gotten in control and calmed down Thylara asked Jaren if he thought that the tension between the Light and Forest realms would be disastrous to their stay.

" Not if we disguise you."

" Disguise me as what?" Thylara was very worried about what might be the next thing out of her companion's mouth.

" A man."

" With magic, right? Because I do not want to cut my hair."

" Of course with magic. A princess should not have that short of hair."

" Good."

" Thylara, I have a question for you. What stage of knighthood are you?"

" In two days I was to under go my trials, but of course I won't. Now I have two questions for you. Number one. Why do you ask? Number two. What are we stopping in the Forest Realm for?"

" I asked because now we are both squires on a quest, okay? And we are stopping there because she has a magic talisman I need to borrow if we are to beat Laeticia."

" Kylercee, have you seen Thylara? I've looked every where for her and she isn't anywhere," Queen Bellamime asked her eldest daughter frantically.

" No mother, not since last night at the banquet." Kylercee was glad to see her go. It meant that now she was the rightful heir to the thrown, if indeed it could be proven she was dead or if they did not hear of her whereabouts by the next Frienta. She had lost the throne to Thylara when she had lost her magic on the day before her fifth birthday. All birthright-queens must be knights and knights must have magic, was their stupid excuse. So when she was fifteen they married her of to some prince in the south, his realm had been as big as the Light Realm's palace. Even still it had hurt when he died on that fateful hunting trip last Sunshimthyme, She had lost yet another chance to be a queen. At least she had not born any brats by him, that would have been a reason to die.

" Mother, Schiirina, her horse is missing, too," Mya told her mother in a meek, pitiful tone.

" Your Majesty, There is someone here to see you. She says she knows the whereabouts of Princess Thylara," The Queen's Guard told Bellamime.

" By all means, bring them in!"

In walked the beautiful dark skinned Dajiniria. Just the sight of her was awe inspiring, She was a tall woman with cocoa-cream skin and emerald eyes. Her wavy black hair reached her hips and her ruby red gown swiped the floor ever so slightly. She was graceful and had a great passion for everything she did. Yet she had a sense of humor that lightened her personality. Kylercee hated her.

" What're you here for?" Kylercee asked Dajiniria her voice scornful.

" I know where your sister is, Princess Kylercee" Dajiniria said in a syrupy sweet tone.

" Please explain, Princess Dajiniria," Queen Bellamime told her.

So Dajiniria explained her long story.

" Two MALE Squires!? You numbskull! You are the only male squire. Ever." Thylara started ranting the second Jaren's idiocy sank in.

" I hadn't thought of that, I have a hard enough time being the only male squire, sometimes I guess that makes me wish I weren't. So then I guess you can be my companion on my quest. The girls go in pairs, but I'm not allowed to travel with any of those girls." Thylara had cut a wound in his pride, a very deep wound.

" I'm sorry, I guess I really never thought about that. What will you call me?" Her voice had dropped immensely and sounded of great compassion.

" Thlyle, it should be easy enough, now, we'll be there in a day and you should get used to a male body. You'll be in it a while and often. I'll give the spell that will transform you. Take this blanket, your clothes won't last the conversion," Thylara took the blanket, very weary now, and covered herself," Zufia lartan eman lucifira crysalets!" Then Thylara was no longer female or clothed.

" Quick! Either give me some clothes or magic some on me!" Thylara was so frantic that the blanket almost fell off. Thy grabbed it just in time.

" I mustn't overuse my magic, so borrow some of mine."

Jaren turned around while Thylara changed into his tunic and boots. She had little trouble dressing, but felt pretty awkward about her new body.

" I had to do the transformation because women can see other women's' magic on other women."

" I know that!"

" Jaren?" Thylara asked very quietly, later that night.

" Hmm."

" Am I a handsome man?" Thylara blushed a bright red.

" Not really. You look beautiful, as if you were supposed to be a girl."

" Of course! I am a girl!" Thy laughed. Jaren was looking at her in a peculiar way, almost lovingly. Thy ducked her head; embarrassed.

Jaren thought it was adorable that Thylara was worried about her looks, so he had to suppress a giggle. He did think she looked better when she was a girl, a lot better.

" He's coming," Queen Reianne told Nika her lady in waiting.

" Who's coming, Reianne?" Nikka asked her queen.

" Jaren. Princess Dajiniria's squire, I'm very fond of the boy," the queen said in a reminiscent tone. She remembered a banquet night she had attended when she was eleven shenenth years old. She had danced with him the whole night, which was improper of a princess. He had been twelve at the time, and it was the only banquet out of the hundreds she'd been to in her fifteen shenenth years, which she had ever had fun. Now she had to dance out of courtesy with myriad amounts of stuffy nobles, princes, and kings.

She hated being a queen; she always had people watching her every move. They told her what to wear, what to eat, what to say, and how to do everything! The only person she trusted was her wonderful friend, Nikka.

" Reianne, how do you know that he's coming?" Nikka asked her friend, a trifle scared of the answer. Nikka had been friends with Rei since they were little girls. She was waiting to see the boy that her friend talked very affectionately about.

" I can sense his magic."

" C'mon, Thy! We're almost there, Rei will be so glad to see me!" Jaren's mount, Hannanh was galloping now.

" I thought you only knew her! You're on a nickname basis? Or do you just shorten every woman's name to three kaaking letters " Thylara was very upset now. She felt like he had lied to her.

" Oh, I was good friends with her when I was twelve. Though I doubt I'll be allowed to address her as Rei. And don't curse in her presence, please." Jaren looked absolutely pitiful. Thylara wondered if he had feelings for Queen Reianne.

" And you were lovers?" She thought it best to just get what was in her head out.

" Guardians, NO! I was twelve shenenth years old! We were great friends, nothing more. At least I know I never felt that way for her." For some reason Jaren had an easier time opening up to Thylara in her new form. She was somehow less intimidating and he wasn't overcome with her beauty every time he looked at her.

" Welcome Jarey!," Queen Reianne's amber eyes twinkled in delight at her old friend, but their glisten diminished when she saw his companion. " Oh, who's your friend?"
" This is Thlyle. He is joining me on my Squire's Quest for I'm not allowed to travel with any of those girls and I need a partner for my Quest. "

Wow! Jaren pulled that one off great. I hope she can't tell I'm really a woman.

" Nice to make your acquaintance, Thlyle. Now, Jarey, I know you have a reason for coming to me. You aren't here to visit. Am I right?" The young queen asked arching an eyebrow.

" Yes, yes of course. I need to borrow your talisman. The one that connects one to all of the human realms."

" Well of course you may, but how soon do you need it? You would need to stay here at least a week. I need to fix it up, fit it to you, and train you to use it. I am guessing both of you need to learn to use it?" Rei secretly wished he would stay for a while, but if he couldn't, he couldn't.

" Well, I guess we can stay for a week, but Reianne that's the most. I am on my Quest. Yes we should both learn."

" Very well. Nikka will show you to your rooms."

"Come this way," Thylara thought that Nikka was eyeing her so she ducked her head. Nikka started to blush. Nikka did find Thlyle very attractive, but he seemed to be annoyed with her conduct.

" Jaren, I think that Nikka is attracted to me! I won't be able to take this. And I know that this isn't the only place I will be forced to be a man." Thylara was extremely disgusted with Nikka's behavior, but it wasn't her fault.

" Thylara, I will have to be transformed into a woman when I have to. I know it's tough to have to put up with women, but it will be worth it in the end. Don't worry, Thy." Jaren put an arm around her shoulder as an act of comforting her.

" Can I be a dog or even a cat next time?" Thylara seemed to be almost pleading.

" We'll see. Now chin up, Thy, 'morrow's your birthday." Jaren left her and entered his own rooms. He plopped himself on his bed and fell into a deep sleep. How'd he know it's my birthday tomorrow?, Thy thought but was soon also lost in sleep.

" So Dajiniria, that is were she is? On Quest with your squire, why is this?" Queen Bellamime was extremely angered.

" Because they have the strongest magic in all the human realms. They can beat the evil source and wind up alive. Unlike most of us out there." Dajiniria stayed calm and collective for she had not expected a tolerant remark.

" She will be back?" Queen Bellamime asked in a commanding tone.

" In time, Queen Bellamime, in time."

Curse her! That wretched girl has ruined everything, Princess Kylercee thought. She screwed up my plan! May The Guardian Keeper overlook her on her deathbed. I was going to be Queen, now I shan't. Unless Thylara doesn't make it back…

" AAAH! Jaren, come QUICK!" Thylara was staring at her self in the mirror. Jare came rushing in, his feet skidding on the floor.

" Thy! What is it? Are you okay?," Then he looked up at her," Guardians! What happened? My magic should have lasted. It lasted overnight before. Why is this happening?" Thylara should not have turned back into a woman. It defied all rules of common magic.

" I… I… I don't know," She managed to stammer out," I woke up and went over to the mirror to comb my hair and… here you are." Thylara was very shaken by the incident. " Magic doesn't fail!"

" Well, did you wish that you were a girl again? Since it's your birthday and I'm sure you know about birthday wishes, you could have subconsciously done it. And maybe it's just my magic; maybe male magic is different than female magic. The only research they have is on female magic."

" Why doesn't matter right now. Just change me back, please. I can't get caught.'' The overwrought girl was pleading now.

" Get under your covers first," He waited for her to get back into her huge bed, "Zufia lartan…"

" Stop! Can't I just turn into a dog or… tell them who I really am?" Thylara hated being a man. It was too humbling. It made her far to aware of her self and everything she said.

" You need to learn to use the talisman, or do you wanna wind up dead?" Lately Jaren was starting to feel like he was far elder than his shenenth years.

" Not if you talk to Reianne, you do knowthat she loves you." Thylara thought that that might persuade him to talk to Reianne about letting her live. Thylara also thought that it might hit a place inside him that would blind him from her simple-minded tactics.

" Ha ha ha! You expect me to fall for your childish strategy? I may be two shenenth years younger than you are, but I'm no fool. Do you understand that? Do you, Thy?" Jaren was ranting now, for the first time in the week or so she had known him, she feared him. This behavior was so unlike him, he wasn't a mean person.

Of course Thylara couldn't let Jaren know that she was afraid of him. No, that wouldn't do. She had to be in control, not him. She thought that maybe he was drunk, but she didn't think so and she felt odd today too.

Thylara didn't know why she felt the need to control this boy; he was only trying to protect her from an almost-certain death. And still, she knew that if she showed fear, everything would be over. But what was everything?

" I'm not afraid of you, Jaren! What do you think would happen to you, if I, Crown Princess of the Light Realm, were harmed? Not so brave, now, are you Jaren?" She wanted to crumble down on the floor and beg forgiveness to this person- her friend, who only wanted to help. Thylara, didn't though, she stood tall, not slumping even slightly.

" You know, I thought you were a person, Thy. But you're not; you know what you are? You're a mask, a front, and a sham. You just wanna be the big girl, but you are crumbling on the inside and don't even tell me your not."

" My plan, is working! Hee, hee, hee. This plan is ingenious, don't you think so Kylercee?" The tall, dark woman laughed malevolently.

" Yes, Laeticia they have no clue what we are up to. Soon enough I'll be Queen, heh heh heh.''

" Come now, my little puppets, that's enough for now. I have much more in store for you."…

Thylara couldn't take it anymore; she slumped onto the floor and started sobbing uncontrollably. Jaren rushed to her side and laid a comforting hand on her knee. " Guardians, I'm sorry Thy, I have no clue what got into me. I didn't mean a word I said."

Thylara looked up at Jaren, eyes forgiving. Then she looked down at her cupped hands and was astounded by what she saw. Slowly she lifted her hands so Jaren could see.

" Great Guardians, they're the same color as your eyes. Do ya think they're magical?" The tiny topazes glistened around a huge on in the middle.

" Only person here who might know is Reianne. Can you please transform me so I may talk to her?" Thylara asked pitifully.

" Yes," for a slight moment he hugged her as he helped her stand up and tucked her into her covers so he could transform her.

" May we see her majesty, Lady Nikka?" Thylara was trying to be as impersonal as possible as to not lead this poor girl on. She found the whole episode obscene.

" Why naturally, you may Master Thlyle, Master Jaren. Come right this way", Nikka was twiddling with her hair and grinning up at Thylara. Curses! The girl thinks I'm flirting with her. I'm trying to do just the opposite!

" Jaren, fend the girl off me, pleeeeeaaase, I beg of you," Thylara whispered as they walked down the corridor

" Sorry, she's your problem. What I don't get is why she's after you. You're not even a good looking man." Jaren chuckled, but Thy didn't share his amusement. He stopped after she had slapped him.

" These jeweled tears can only belong to a princess or queen. So, Thlyle would you mind telling me who you really are." Queen Reianne did not like being toyed with. If this man weren't obviously a princess, she'd have him killed for treason.

" I cannot tell you, you will have me beheaded." Thylara stood tall not shrinking one bit, so Reianne would realize her immense power.

" I shan't kill a princess, that is what you are isn't it? It is simply against the rules of common decency. Now I give you one last chance, I warn you, do not mess with me."

" What? He's a she? Eww! I fell for a woman! No wonder you showed no response," Nikka could have slapped Thlyle, but slapping a princess was illegal. Reianne had started to open her mouth to reprimand Nikka, but Thylara interrupted.

" Thylara. I am Princess Thylara of the Light Realm." Thylara had given up. Hiding wasn't worth it.

" Thank you. Now will you please tell me why you hid your identity to me?" Reianne couldn't imagine any reason why she would.

" Our parents did not get along well and I thought you might hold a grudge," Now the girl felt pretty foolish.

" My dear, we are not our parents. Nikka get the girl a blanket and some clothes. Jaren, when Nikka returns change your friend back, now would you?"

" Queen Reianne, how'd you know that I changed her?"

" Boy, do you take me for an idiot?"

As soon as they had Thy back to her woman form, Thylara and Jaren started their lesson. "Well, Now you don't have borrow my talisman. We'll just make one from Thylara's topaz. The tiny ones can be crushed for spell dust for you Jaren."
" Spell dust?" Strangely it was Thylara who asked and not Jaren.

" Yes, spell dust is used to make a spell even stronger. When casting a spell…." Just then Nikka burst in.

" Tiomi is back, he's back, finally after three months!" She cried.

" Who's Tiomi?" Jaren asked Reianne, who had tears brimming her eyes.

" He's my husband, I missed him terribly."

" You're married? You're only fifteen!" Jaren felt ill.

" Well of course, I had to become Queen and to become Queen I had to be married."

Tiomi walked into the door. He was an extremely attractive man, with mysterious hazel eyes and smoky blonde hair. Reianne ran to him a he picked her up off the floor and kissed her soundly. She hugged Tiomi back so tightly she looked to be stuck to him. Jaren's eyes and ears were working but he still couldn't believe it. " Jealous?" Thy asked ,taunting, only because she was jealous that Jaren was.

Lady Nikka saw the jealousy in Thylara's eyes and knew of a perfect way to get her back. After all, this Jaren person was sort of attractive…

" So Tiomi, did you enjoy your hunting trip in the Eastern Meadows?" Reianne asked her husband once the five of them had sat down.

" Yes. It was enjoyable, though the game at this time of the shenenth year is not very sufficient. Have you been enjoing yourself? Any important news?" Tiomi did not want to tell his beloved wife that he had seen many horrible and ghastly things on his trip, but he figured she may be able to tell that he was keeping something from her.

He had seen the appalling work that Laeticica had done over the last shenenth year. The dead bodies in the street were not those of soldiers dying for their Realms, but those of innocent men and children laying there lifeless from diseases no one had ever in their right minds known of. He did not want his beautiful lover to know of such horrors.

" Well, love, I do have some news…Oh, I guess I can tell you in front of all of my friends", Rei had a smile on her face like Tiomi had never seen.

" Yes, Rei, I'm listening. What is it mikira?"

" Well…I'm with-child, my michira. A Girl." The Queen's face illuminated the dark room. She was eager for her michira's approval.

Tiomi did indeed approve; esctatically. The others were happy for her too.

Tiomi caught a look at Jaren's face and recognized a pain all too familiar, poor guy, why does his name sound so familiar? Hmm, Jaren, Jaren, Jaren, I got it! He's Dajiniria's squire. Yes that's where I know him from, but how could he be in love with Rei? Tiomi thought long and hard about this and soon drifted out of the conversation.

Nikka, too, excluded herself from the conversation, but instead of thinking, she watched. To exacute her plan properly she would have to know their thoughts. But she couldn't read their thoughts, no, she had lost her magic nearly a decade ago. So, instead, she would have to watch, watch like an owl searching for it's dinner. Of course she couldn't look suspicious because then they would know. They would figure out that she only wanted to feed the insatiable hunger of anger. Anger from being embarassed by a cross-dressing girl. She looked from face to face, smiling occasionally. As soon as she saw what she needed to know, she would recognize it.

" Jare? Are you all right? Ya seem sorta down," Thylara knew what was wrong with her friend, she just wanted to comfort him.

" Thy, I'm fine. Just kinda tired. Don't worry yourself over me," He was trying to act nonchalant, but when Jaren squeezed her hand, she knew he had taken the comfort to heart. Knowing this, she retired to her rooms to indulge herself in a bath before dinner.

I love this new freedom I have. I can wear magic'ed clothes and no one judges me, Thylara thought, Mmm. This bubble bath feels great.

When it was nearly time for dinner, Thylara emerged from her rooms fully dressed, and walked to Jaren's door.

" Hi there, Thy!" Jaren said over-enthuisiastly as he came out from the door.

" Hello, Jaren," She noticed she no longer objected to him calling her Thy. She was going to be cool tonight because she knew there was something her friend was hiding.

" Wow! You look very beautiful this evening," Jare knew he was covering up very lamely, but she really did look beautiful.

" Thank you. Shall we go?" So they linked arms and decendend down the great stairwell.

All during his meal Jaren noticed Lady Nikka eyeing him, bu the thought that it was just his eyes playing tricks on him.

Later that night while he was sitting in the courtyard of the woodland palace he saw Lady Nikka approaching him, " May I sit down?" Nikka asked in a perfectly charming voice.

" Hmm? Oh! Yes, yes, of course," he scooched over to give her skirts some room.

" You seem upset, are you ill?" her voice was coaxing him to admitt what Jaren knew he couldn't.

" No, I'm fine. Just thinkin' 'bout things. Thank you for asking" He didn't know why, but he felt very comfortable in her presense.

" You're welcome" she breathed and leaned in and kissed him on the didn't stop kissing him until he responded. This time Jaren started the kiss.

Jaren was having fun kissing Nikka, but all the while two pictures kept flashing threw his head; Reianne and Thylara.

Thylara decided hat the thick night air was perfect for a walk in the courtyard. She knocked on Jaren's door to see if he was there, hmm. That's strange, were could her be? So, Thy figured she'd take the walk herself.

When she had reached the courtyard her jaw dropped halfway to the ground. Jaren and Nikka? No, it couldn't be. I think I'll just happen to walk past those two, see what a little distraction does to them. But, when Thylara walked past the two, liplocked teenagers she got no more then a quick glance. Thy kept walking until she reached a door to the palace and walked in. This corridor was different, slightly strange at that. The turns were sharp and twisted. The murals and tapastries not of peoples depictions of the Gaurdians and their Keeper, but of demonly sprites and cats, the sign of the aliance with the Dark Being. People who were in aliance with the Dark Being often practiced a strange magic, a magic that didn't require any natural magic. Thylara wondered why there would be anyone like that in the palace, the easiest place to get caught. She reached the end of the long hall. Thylara found a locked door, " Rajjja natta elli", she whispered.

Thylara inched the door open and seeing no one was there, she walked in. The room was a deep burgundy and the only furnishings were a dsk in the room's center, an old bookshelf, and what seemed to be a hundred pillows. There were pink candles lighting the room, Thylara shuddered, pink was the color of death. She sniffed the air, purple rose! The purple rose had the lovely scent of any rose, but with a tinge of spice. It was the deadliest flower in all the realms!

A book was open on the desk, Thy went over to read it.

Sitta scrobeh 9

It was today that I made my journey to our parralel dimension planet. It is a ghastly place. They call it Earth. I have never seen such a horrid way of life. They think magic is simply fantasy and have never heard of the Dark Being. Their ignorance is understandable, however. I know this because I learned the secret of their past. They once believed in magic, but all magic was consisered evil and those suspected of practicing it were sent to our world. Some time after that period people came out of hiding, their ancestors had been forced to hide it, so the decendants then called witches, had the mere magic ability of a boy.Now milleniums later they merely believe magic is a child's tale.

Thylara could no longer take the smell of the purple rose, her last concious thought was I'd like to go to Earth.

" Wake up, come on. You can do it", Thylara heard a voice ringing in her ear. Slowly she woke and saw the most peculiar looking man peering into her face. His face was amazingly pale, his eyes were brown, just brown, not the color of a jewel or mineral. His hair was discolored, short, and standing on the top of his head arranged in spikes. He was a mere six feet tall, short for a man and his clothes! They were hideous, a white shirt with an orange floral designed jacket, blue pants, and shoes with little ropes on them?

" I'm Jacob. I found you passed out on the floor." This Jacob seemed all right.

" You're from Earth!" Thy accused, now sitting. Jacob gently pushed her back down.

" Yes. I was walking through the city one day and I couldn't stand the noise, so I wished to be in a more peaceful place. And here I am. I just came flying into this room, that was a month ago." He looked to be telling the the truth. His eyes looked like those of a scared child.

" Well, you landed in the room of an ally of the Dark Being. The darkest evil in the Spirit Realms."

" That's all very well, but do you know how I can get back to San Fransico? On Earth." Jacob's eyes were pleeding, " By the way. Why'd ya pass out?"

" One question at a time, boy! Please I just woke up." She reprimanded laughingly.

" Okay 'd ya pass out?" He asked, humoring her.

" The Purple Rose inscense. Doesn't it bother you?"

" Purple Rose? Smells more like lavender and rose to me. On Earth lavender does have the effects of sleep on people. Now for question number two. Can I get back to San Fran, on Earth.?"

" Why, your certainly demanding. I cannot answer your question. Jaren, my journey-companion can. But I know that you must be under the age of 28 to teleport other people or be teleported by others How many shenenth years have you?"

" I'm not quite sure but I think my answer to you is twenty six. Now for my last question before we meet Jaren, what's your name?"

" Thylara. Princess Thylara. You can call me Thy, Jaren does."

" You're a princess? Oh gawd! Sorry you majesty, " He said kneeling.

" Stop it! What is this Gawd you speak of?"

" God, is the Creator and Protector."

" No. That is the Gaurdians and their Keeper. Now come," if the Guardians heard him talking. Thy took his hand and led him out to the courtyard. Just as she hoped Jaren The Lock-Lip was not there and Nikka was. So she led Jacob up to Jaren's rooms and tapped on the door, but there was no answer. Annoyed she brought Jacob to her sitting room and excused herself for a moment. Thylara walked into her bed-room and was shocked at what she saw. Jaren was sitting on the edge of her bed, his eyes looked as if he had been crying.

" What are you doing here? How?…" Thylara stammered.

" Simple magic, Thy. As to why I'm here, you saw me in the courtyard, didn't you?"

" Yes, I saw you and Nikka" At this point Jaren got up and embraced her apolagetically.

" I'm so sorry you had to see that." He whispered, his face still burried in her shoulder. Thy moved his face so it was eye to eye with hers.

" Why are you sorry? If you really are attracted to her…" She acted as if she didn't care but the painful look in her eyes didn't hide anything. Jaren thought that just maybe it meant something. But then a man's voice called and the look on her face seemed to disprove his theory. " Oh. Jare that's my friend Jacob, he comes from a planet in a parralel dimension, called Earth. He wants ta know if he can get back home." Thy smiled. She squeezed Jaren's hand and then walked out to the main room, Jaren followed her out.

" So, Jacob how many shenenths have you?" Jaren asked

" Twenty six. Geez, what does that mean anyway?" Jacob had heard the word many times since he'd been on this planet.

" Loosely translated from the Ancient Tongue, shen meansed essential and enth means time. Over time the to words got combined and year usually gets added at the end when talking about age."

" How is it we speak the same language?"

" Not many know this, but Soghhoghn Tempantin went to a distant world and stole the language from someone. He proceeded to return here and teach it to everyone, Ancient became the language of magic. I am fluient in both. Thylara knows only the magical terms. I will teach her the rest, someday.