Chapter 3:

The Princess of Aquia 1

The Nonpareil of Resh (Act 1)

On a distant world, in a country known as Aquia, down a castle hall, a girl was running. She wore a decorative dress of frills and sleek space-age fabric. It hung down to her ankles, making her sprint difficult, but it did not stop her completely. She, in reality, had no desire to stop as several of the castle guards, two in total, chased after her, or so it seemed as they also ran from a cloud of green smoke.

"Princess!" one of the guards shouted in fear.

"I'm sorry, I didn't think that would blow up!" the girl shouted from in front of the other two.

"The button was labeled with 'do not push'!" the second guard shouted.

In the hall's distance, some other castle guards had noticed the plume of smoke with its three targets in front of it. They sighed as the smoke began to take the shape of a vast beast and swiped at the back of the guard the furthest behind the sprinting trio.

A large door in front of them began to close. While the two guards with the princess shouted out for help, the other castle guards simply looked away. The large door shut tightly.

"What do we do now!" the guard closest to the princess shouted.

"We fight!"

The princess reached the recently closed door that now made the hallway a dead end. She spun on her heel and faced the smoke beast. It had continued to take shape and collected into a more solid creature. Its skin was green, and its eyes a fearsome yellow. It had round ears like a rat and a tail equally similar. The rest of the beast would be best compared with a feline. Not that any of the inhabitants in this strange world were familiar with rats or cats.

"We fight? We can't beat–" One guard began to complain in a whiny voice.

The princess chuckled.

"That is where you are wrong! We were indeed helpless in its smoke form, but once solid these beasts can be knocked out just as well as anything else!"

The guards looked at each other after the princess made her claim. The first guard shook his head to indicate they shouldn't go along, but the princess fired up the second. He drew a chrome blade from a sheath at his side. The reluctant guard sighed and pulled a matching blade from his sheath. The princess simply held up two fists, one of which wore a yellow, mechanical gauntlet.

In a flash of red light, she appeared on the other side of the green beast. The creature hastily looked around the hallway. It finally spun around to see the princess running down the hallway the way they just came.

"You should be able to knock that thing out now that it's distracted! Good luck!" she yelled to the guards as she waved goodbye.

The reluctant guard swiftly moved next to the creature. He smacked the hilt of his blade into the creature's head with as much force as he could muster. The beast only looked over to him with a look of mild annoyance.

"Yeah, I figured that might happen..." the reluctant guard sighed.

"Don't let it get you!" the eager guard shouted as he smashed his hilt into the beast's side.

The ensuing battle would be talked about for several days to come within the castle, with both guards narrowly knocking the beast unconscious and escaping with matching scars on their faces, albeit on opposite sides.

The princess kept running through the castle halls. She turned several corners and ran through many more corridors until she finally stopped in front of a large window that overlooked a central courtyard. As she stopped to catch her breath, she stared out the window. Light gleamed off her light sapphire blue face as a gentle wind shook the trees.

She reached down and brushed out the wrinkles that had accumulated on her dress, then smoothed out her silky jet-black hair.

Isn't it about time to get going? A mechanical voice echoed in her head.

"Not yet; I think we can wait a little longer," she softly answered before beginning to walk away from the window. "Let's see what else we can find today."

Just don't go pushing any strange buttons again.

The princess ignored the comments that echoed in her mind and began to walk around the castle some more. She passed by some sleeping quarters and exited into the main hall filled with towering pillars.

"Princess Fiona!" someone shouted as she entered the hall. She sighed as she looked at who called to her. One of the King's advisors, she didn't know his name, but he was tall and slender with purple eyes and a mint alabaster skin that shined with no hair on his head.

"Oh, hey. What brings you here?" Fiona asked as she tried to seem casual.

"Your father sent me to find you, your beyond late for the assembly!"

"Oh, am I... sorry...." Fiona feigned innocence, which was abundantly clear to the advisor. He sighed and rubbed between his eyes.

"Please, just come with me," he said through exasperated sighs.

Fiona let her head hang and walked after the advisor. Now that she had run into someone so close to the king, she could not expect to get away so easily. 

Taylor Victoria