Swords, Dragons, and Princesses
By: A.S.H.
Chapter 3: Onward! The journey begins!

When the sunlight shimmered over the curtains, Garu grinned. He tip toed over
towards the sleeping elf princess. He kneeled beside her bedside and sighed. She was
very beautiful. Even more than when Garu's mother was Lily's age.
Lily stirred and looked up at Garu, "What is it?"
"Well," Garu smiled, "I couldn't help to notice that when the sunlight hits your
face, it makes your skin sparkle as if you've been rolling in fairy dust."
Lily shook her head, "Good morning to you too."
Garu nodded and politely walked away without any other comments.
Wind Taker sighed heavily, whispering to Lily, "Can't you see that he likes you
an awful lot? He's trying to show his feelings."
"Well," Lily shrugged, "I think the peace of the land should be ensured before
anyone can think about love."
Wind Taker rolled her eyes and shrunk to her more compact size. She flew onto
Garu's bed, waiting for Garu to come out of the washroom.
Garu came out in all his things but his armor. He nodded towards Wind Taker and
Lily. The three then left the room.

*

As Garu led the way down the hall, Wind Taker laughed.
"What's so funny?" Lily asked the tiny dragon teetering beside her.
"Garu is lost!" Wind Taker giggled, "He's been lost for a while."
"Why would he do that?" a voice laughed from the shadows.
Lily hid behind Garu, "Who's there?"
Sojun stepped away from the wall letting the sunlight coming from the windows
surround him. It made Garu think it was a cheap effect to swoon the ladies.
"Who's behind you Garu?" Sojun pulled Lily away from Garu's back.
Lily glared at Sojun, "Who do you think you are to touch me like that? Release
me this instant!" Lily then did a full turn on her heel, bringing up her leg and kicking
Sojun in the side. Sojun backed, letting go of Lily's arm.
Sojun let out a long, calm sigh, "You've got to be kidding."
Lily held her ground as Sojun ran at her, then Garu blocked Sojun with a magical
barrier. Lily smiled at Garu, who smiled in return.
"What do you think you're doing Garu?!" Sojun yelled at the smaller man before
him.
"She is the Princess of the elves of Viol," Garu spoke calmly, "she has agreed to
get us into the forest safely. But in return, we must help her people."
"You made a pact with an elf?" Sojun's eyes widened.
"Yes," Wind Taker answered as she floated to be eye level with the captain, "I
personally put her under my protection, and my wing. You of all people should know
what that means Captain."
"I know," Sojun shook his head, "I guess so. You're being waited for Garu."
Garu nodded and followed Sojun towards a large ballroom. Lily walked proudly
beside Garu, she had to represent her clan after all.
When the four of them walked through the last doorway, the elders were all
seated around a semi-circle table, with the Princess standing neatly in the middle of the
half circle. There were so many pillars that Garu lost count by fifty. Each pillar also had
every dragon that had served the kingdom.
"Interesting," Wind Taker commented as she floated around all the pillars, "I
don't suppose I'm in here."
"No." an elder shook his head, "It's for those dragons who served the kingdom
and died."
"I've got a ways to go then," Wind Taker smiled as she landed on Lily's shoulder,
"a LONG way to go."
The Princess' eyes widened, "Who is that?"
"This is the Princess of the elves of Viol, Princess Lily Teardrop." Garu spoke
softly, "She has agreed to help us get into and out the forest safely to speak with her
leaders and people."
"I see," the Princess nodded at Lily, "I am the Princess of Huji, heir to this
kingdom's throne. Do agree apon a small treaty between us that you will guarantee our
safety with us providing you with aid for your people?"
"I agree," Lily gave a nod and placed her hand on her shoulder as a sign of
alliance, "I give you the word of my people, my lands and my soul."
The Princess smiled, "Then let us start this journey."
Suddenly the large room went dark. A large shadow stepped forward in front of
Garu, Lily, Sojun and Wind Taker. The shadow laughed maniacally as he pointed at Lily,
"Now I have you, you vixen!"
"Who, or rather what, is this?" Sojun pulled out his sword and stood guarding Lily
and Wind Taker.
"A shadow spirit," Wind Taker hid behind Lily's shoulder, "an elf's spirit that
made a pact with a monster, this one seems to know Lily."
"I was to marry her," the shadow laughed more, "but she put her kingdom first. I
made the pact with the monster and he'll give me life eternal as long I kill her."
"Back off," Garu pulled out his sword.
"What's this?" the shadow stopped laughing, "I sense Ty Ju, 'The Knight of
Light'. But how? Isn't he dead?!"
"I'm his son." Garu stepped forward, "If you wish to take, hurt or even touch Lily,
you'll have to get through me first."
"Thanks." Lily sighed, "Thats very comforting Garu!" Lily snorted, marching
furiously at the shadow spirit, "You leave me no choice!"
"NO!" the shadow backed away slightly.
Garu pushed forward and Lily stood beside Garu. Lily put her left hand into a fist,
straightening her arm and making it perpendicular with her body, "Darkness flowing in
my veins, light glowing in my heart, combine in my hand and destroy my foes! Burning
Shot!" Then her fist glowed red. She smiled and simulated that she had a bow and arrow
in her hands, pointed at the shadow and let her right hand release the fake string. A red
glowing arrow flew at the shadow, piercing it strait through the middle of his chest.
"Impossible!" the Princess gasped.
The shadow doubled over. It cried out, "No! I can't die now! My mission isn't
complete!" The shadow looked up at Garu, then smile evilly. The shadow fired a dark
ball of lightning at Garu.
Garu saw, but suddenly a body covered his view, then the body slumped to the
ground. Garu turned the lifeless body over and gasped. It was the elder! Garu looked back
at the shadow but it was gone.

*

"He's dead." a doctor had come to try to resurrect the elder, but he was too late,
"I can't help. You'll have to find another way to get to the forest of Viol."
The priests of the temple of Huji all carried the elder's body away praying and
singing for his soul.
"YOU!" Shojun grabbed the front of Lily's shirt, pulling her off the ground to
meet his eyes, "YOU caused this! If you weren't here, the elder would have been alive!
How do you expect us to get to the forest now?"
"Walking?" Lily smiled boldly, "Use your brain jellyfish head!"
Shojun set Lily on the ground, shoving her back, and making her trip. Lily landed
on her back and slowly sat up, "Bastard!"
"Really now?" Shojun pulled out his sword and held it to Lily's throat, "I
wouldn't be saying stuff like that unless I was really powerful."
"Back away Captain!" the Princess yelled, "You are violating the treaty that we
have with the Princess! If you so much as breath any further, you will be exiled for
violating the treaty!"
Shojun smiled and stepped back. Lily stood, facing Garu who was right behind
her. She burst into tears, wrapping her arms around Garu's neck, "Why do they hate me,
Garu?"
"Lily," Garu lightly placed his left arm around her waist, and stroked her hair with
his right, "I'm sorry Lily. I can't explain it, but I can comfort you."
The Princess sighed, "Forgive me Princess Teardrop. I take full responsibility for
this. I hope this has not ruined our treaty or our friendship."
Lily pulled away from Garu, "I'm fine now. I request though that this Captain of
yours accompany us."
"Why?" Garu looked on as Lily approached the Princess.
"I need strong men," Lily glared at Shojun as she passed him, "even if they
threaten me. That's what may make them strong or weak. He had no hesitation, no
remorse, I like that in a warrior."
"Very well," the Princess snapped her fingers. A group of guards showed up with
horses, maps and all the food and supplies needed.
"I see that you were prepared," Garu smirked.
"Always!" the Princess smiled, "I suggest we start on our little journey right away
or else we'll have to travel during the night."
"Right," Garu smiled, mounting onto a horse. He pulled his horse over next to a
white steed, and grabbing it's reigns he handed them to Lily, "Ready?"
"Yep," Lily mounted.
Shojun mounted on a Clydesdale, "I'm leading this party."
"But isn't Lily the one who's going to get us in safely and lead us there?" Wind
Taker flew over to Garu and sat on his shoulder, "After all, she is the only that knows the
way and how we shall need to behave in order to get into the forest of Viol, Captain."
"Fine," Shojun pulled his horse's reigns back, backing to be parallel with the
Princess.
Lily nodded, "Then let's go."
Garu followed with Shojun and the Princess behind him.
'A journey...' Wind Taker thought, '...unlike any other...'