On a dark night a kingdom known as Magneia launched a surprise attack on the kingdom of Elegand. During Magneia's assault much damage was caused to both Elegand's town at the foot of the palace and
the palace itself. With quick thinking from Elegand's generals and soldiers, much of the palace personnel managed to escape to safety including palace staff and the king and prince. Unfortunately,
casualties could not be avoided as many civilians in town lost their lives during the attack as was a few members of the palace staff when the castle was bombarded. Much of the palace's staff
migrates safely towards the neighboring nation of Charon in the mountains while the royal family safely migrated to a temporary safe haven. The next day, Magneia sets up perimeters around the
palace and through the town to show that they are in control of Elegand.
Also escaping from the palace is a young group of palace workers who became separated from the main group that evacuated to Charon. Among them is Lief, a palace worker who still mourns the lost of his adoptive mother, Lily, the former head chambermaid of Elegand. With him is his childhood friend, Gwen who also worked at the palace. Also in the group are other palace workers, Arianna, an exotic beauty, Aiden, Arianna's older brother, Lenard, a former homeless boy who decided to work at the palace, and siblings Carac and Thea, two children who Lief evacuated out of the palace at Lily's request who's parents were former palace workers.
It has been three months since the Magneian invasion and Lief and his friends have been on the road migrating south east. They begin to head as far from Elegand as possible due to Magneia taking over. They cannot go to Charon as it's in the west and traveling there would require them to pass through Elegand once again right in Magneia's sight. With no other friends or family the small young group of seven decide to rely on each other as they head onward looking for a place to stay safe. With no money they occasionally stop at rest stops along the road to see if any kind Samaritan will be kind and volunteer to pay for them to have something to eat, fortunately this area has mostly kind civilians of Elegand's kingdom who assist in their situation.
Traveling for a while, the group find themselves walking through a grassy field. Together, Lief and Aiden help pull a wagon carrying food, clothing and supplies they managed to obtain. Aiden notices a tired look on Lief's face.
"Hey, Lief," says Aiden, "listen, take a break for a while."
"A break, are you sure?"
"Yes, you look tired. We've been traveling for a while now and it seems that you could use a break."
"Alright, thanks. I'll just take a small break for a little bit."
Lenard is on the side of the road looking for anything someone may had dropped such as pocket change. Both Carac and Thea are asleep on the wagon. Lief walks past Arianna who looks up at Lief and gives him a smile, though Lief barely notices and continues past her. Gwen walks up to Lief, noticing his tired look. She walks beside him and notices a slight sadness in his eyes.
"Lief, are you alright?" asks Gwen.
Lief looks toward Gwen, slightly changing his eyes to a more light hearted look, "...Yes."
"Are you sure?" asks Gwen, "Ever...ever since that night, you seem different. Your not as happy as you once were. Please Lief, if there's something on your mind..."
"No, Gwen. I'm alright."
As Lief turns away, she notices that he still has a sad look in his eyes. 'You can't fool me, Lief. I've known you for too long not to know how your feeling.' she thinks to herself.
"Lief...your still thinking about Lily aren't you."
Lief pauses slightly before coming to and looking down with a shadowy look.
"A little, yes. I just wish I was...stronger is all. I could do so much, if only I was stronger and just a better person."
"But you are a good person." says Gwen placing her hand on Lief's shoulder to comfort him, "You protected the two children and I'm sure Lily would be proud of you, I know she would be. Your doing a good job of watching over all of us really, you and Aiden."
"But it's not enough, Gwen. What if something like this happens again, what if we run into another bad kingdom who wants to kill and destroy. I can't save anyone."
"Don't think like that, it will just make you sick and pull you down?"
"I'm just...I'm just tired of not being able to do more."
"You do enough."
"Not enough, I want to do more. I want to protect everyone."
Gwen looks at Lief with a concerned look. 'What do I say?' she wonders to herself, 'I don't think there's anything I can say right now to make him feel better. All I can do for now is to just be by his side.' Gwen walks to Lief and puts her arm around his back and rubs it, continuing to walk with him.
A while later, the group comes up on a small restaurant and decide to take a temporary break to eat and rest before heading off. They enter and use spare change Lenard found on the side of the road to pay for a meal. The group sits at a table where two nearby men sit at a table behind them talking. As the two men talk, the group overhears them.
"So your going to the village in the south east forest then?"
"You talking about Edia? Maybe."
"Just cautious. They say there's some dangers in the forest, wild animals and I want to be ready before I head there."
"You better hurry up and go there, they say Magneia is slowly heading this way."
Hearing the last sentence, the group suddenly feel a slight shiver.
"Yeah, Magneia's acting up a lot lately. They say Magneia made a mess out of Elegand and are slowly attacking to expand their nation. Not looking forward to seeing them."
"But you should be pretty well protected in the village. I doubt Magneia will go there any time soon seeing how big and dense Edia forest is and all."
"Hey, how far did you say this forest is?"
"It's about five miles to the south from here. The village, if you remember, is just going straight through the forest."
"Got it, but didn't you say people get lost through there?"
"Sometimes, the village is pretty far into the forest so many people take all these unnecessary routes and end up somewhere deep in the forest. All they had to do was keep going straight."
"Alright, as soon as I'm ready I'll head there. Hopefully I can get to Edia village."
"Yeah, hopefully. It's a safe haven, though I never been there myself either I hear that it's a pretty nice place, all peaceful and with kind people. Magneia won't bother anyone there."
The two men later get up and head off on separate ways waving goodbye to each other.
Later in the evening, the group finishes. They decide to camp outside near the restaurant for the night. Once again, Carac and Thea have fallen asleep on the wagon. As they set up camp, they remember the words of the two men.
"A village in a forest to the south. Sounds like the kind of place we've been looking for." says Aiden.
"Yeah, but didn't those two guys say that it was a dangerous trek there, with wild animals?" asks Gwen.
"Yes they did. But it seems that if someone were to get past the forest they would reach a nice place to stay. We would be protected from this Magneia kingdom." says Aiden.
"Wild animals? Glad I found this then." says Lenard, pulling out a hunting knife he found on the side of the road.
"So what do you all think, should we attempt to find this village?" asks Aiden, "Could produce good benefits."
"...I guess so." says Gwen. She turns to Lief who's looking down and sitting beside Arianna. "What do you think, Lief? Want to try our luck to see if we can reach this village?"
Arianna taps Lief on his shoulder causing him to glance at both her and Gwen, "Lief, do you want to go to the village?" asks Arianna. "It could keep us safe for a while, better then wandering around until Magneia catches up with us." says Gwen.
Lief looks to Aiden, Gwen, Lenard and Arianna, all smiling enthusiastically at him. Lief glances down putting on a slight smile.
"If it's what you guys want and if you believe it to be safe, then it's probably good for us to see if we can make it there as we have not much to loose."
Everyone smiles back to Lief happily. "Then it's settled, tomorrow we shall travel to this forest those gentlemen mentioned and see if we can go to this village." says Aiden.
After camp is set up, they all go to sleep. As he lays down, Lief looks up towards the stars. He looks over to Arianna who's sleeping on her side near him, her face appearing to glow.
'Arianna, you look so pretty under the star light. I swear, I will protect you. I may have lost one person I loved but I sure won't loose another, this I vow. So for now, please rest easy, I will not let anything bad happen to you.'
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