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Rated: ASR · Novel · Fantasy · #590303
The story of Saharrah, princess of Western Elanon.
My name is Saharrah Alahanna Adalleeone. I am the princess of Western Elanon. I am also 1 of 6 Universe Children, a sorceress, and a warrior. Most people think that because I am a princess and a sorceress, I cannot fight. They soon learn their mistake. Don't misunderstand me; I am not the greatest warrior. That title is reserved for the prince and princess of Northern and Southern Elanon. Desta and Daniel, my friends, my family. I am not a good princess, either, that title goes to Eastern and her partner SouthEastern. I am a sorceress. Maybe not the wisest, but certainly the best at using my skills...Well me and Chris. Chris is my best friend (and partner) in the entire universe. We agree on everything (except what to do) and have never fought (except when we disagree).
Chris is, as you may have guessed, the prince of SouthWestern Elanon, so for fall, winter, and most of spring, he is at his castle attending prince lessons. Unfortunately, so am I. Today, thank goodness, is the last day we have to study. Then tomorrow Chris will be arriving for our exams. That means a ball. UGH!!! I hate balls! But our parents agree that we must show how well we've learned our lessons. At least we get a few days of freedom before the ball.

Madame, my teacher, has found me daydreaming in the Library when I was supposed to be studying.
"What do you think you are doing? They are arriving tomorrow! You must be ready to greet them like the royal princess you are!"
"I am ready Madame. Besides it’s just Chris. I don't see why we have to go through all this."
"Stop whining. You're 16 years old! You should already know how to greet royal visitors. And don't slouch. Princesses don't slouch."
Same old thing she's been telling me for the last 2 years.
I really shouldn't complain. Madame is very kind, and if she yells a little it's because she's afraid my parents won't be pleased with what I've learned. In other words, she's afraid she'll be fired, like the others. Well it's not like I can be expected to get along with all those...incompetent idiots. What I want to say about them is inappropriate for a young lady, much less a princess.

Madame just came to wake me. It's only 6 o'clock in the morning. I hate getting up this early, but if I'm to be ready, I must. If there's anything I hate more than mornings, it's dresses. Unfortunately, if I'm to prove I've learned anything I must wear a dress. I wish I knew who came up with the idea of women wearing dresses. I'd murder him (only a man could come up with such a ridiculous notion).
"I don't see why you make such a fuss. A dress isn't so different from those robes you wear all the time."
"Those robes are a symbol of my mastery of sorcery. All sorcerers wear them and besides they don't make me feel naked. If I could just wear..." She didn't let me finish.
"Most certainly not! Why your parents would fire me for sure and then I'd never find another job again! No one would hire me! Please do your best today, my lady. So much is at stake."
I hate it when she puts it like that, making it sound like it'll be my fault if she gets fired.
"And if you do good..." she hesitated.
"Yeess?" Sweet smile I know she can't resist.
"You may have the afternoon free."
"Thank you so much!" I gave her a big hug. I really do like the old girl, even if she doesn't understand me, and my fascination with magic. She doesn't have very much of her own, less than most Elanonains.
I think I should tell you something of magic on Elanon. Everybody has some magic. But there are different levels of magic. A common person can use magic. Every Elanonain child is thought to control and use their magic in school. These classes are learned in school with the usual math, history, language (We do speak a different language than you earthlings but we learn English in school, too.) and so on. This is important in our world because we don't want any wild magic on our hands. Magic tends to be unpredictable when you don't know how to handle it.
Anyway, it's very rare for a person to be born without any magic. There are maybe 2 people on the whole planet without magic. Life on Elanon must be very tiresome for them because we Elanonains tend to rely on magic.
Madame is done fixing my dress (Ugh!) and is starting on my hair. My hair isn't very long, just a little past shoulder length, but it is thick so I'm happy to leave this to her.
I keep falling asleep. I really shouldn't have stayed up so late working on that form, but I really want to be better than Chris. He can be so smug when he gets ahead. He doesn't have to worry about half the stuff I do. He can wear just about anything and get away with it while I have to be perfect. Sometimes I really hate being a lady.
Finally finished! And not a moment too soon. I'm starving!
"If your going to eat, my lady, you must hurry. They will be here any minute! It will not do for you to be late to greet your guest."
If she could see me, I would have just lost my free afternoon. Late indeed! My guests are more likely to be late and she knows it! Of course, though, it wouldn't matter. I would still be stuck entertaining the royal guests while their carriages are unloaded. Then I have to show them to their rooms. The same rooms they stay in every...
Lucky I know a short cut to the main hall. It will still be close...
Made it!
The formalities didn't last nearly as long as I'd figured.
"Saharrah, please show your guest to his room." My mother's request told me that she knew about Madame's bribe and dismissing Chris and me. About time!
We walk off down the hall and make it up the stairs before we break into a run. We ran all the way to our rooms (located next to each other. Our parents having learned the hopelessness of trying to keep us apart. The hard way.) fell on the bed and laughed with relief. We might just be able to pull this off after all.
"I was beginning to think they'd never let us go!"
For the rest of the morning we sat and talked about everything we did while apart.
"Have you eaten yet? I haven't. Why don't we grab some food from the kitchen and go find Goldenwings? I believe she's in the Glade."
"We ate a light breakfast," his tone said he didn't think a light breakfast was really breakfast, “about 3 hours ago. Goldenwings told me before I left to come see her as soon as I got back. We'd better go or she'll think me rude." We died out laughing. Our little joke about our lessons. He started to leave but I stopped him.
"Hang on. Help me out of this dress. Madame will skin me if I get it dirty. I all most forgot, I found a new secret passage that leads to the," I paused while he pulled the dress over my head, “hall outside the kitchen. Only problem is it's in the room next to your parents."
Chris's parents don't really approve of his "extracurricular activities." They mean his sorcery and the friends that go with it. Friend is a human term and doesn't really apply to creatures such as Goldenwings. Goldenwings is an eagle, a golden eagle to be exact. We've known her most of our life, but she isn't our friend. She's more of a mentor. She's taught us more about our powers than anyone else, and helped us to control our animal side. She is just as annoyed as we are that our lessons interfere with her lessons. I am glad that she has such good patience.
I pulled one of my robes on then a pair of pants under that.
"O.K. now comes the hard part. Madame is going to be really annoyed with us, you know."
"Maybe we should leave her a note?" he suggested.
I did not even pause to consider that, “No because then she'll have to admit knowing where we went."
"We need to go, Goldenwings will think we aren't coming."
"I know, hang on."
Rushing about I piled things into my bag. A little this and that.
"Let's go already! Are you taking your whole wardrobe with you? Come on!"
We ran down the hall, and down the stairs. At the bottom we stopped. I pointed at him and he looked around the corner. He motioned for me to follow him. We walked quietly past his parent's closed door. “Which one?” he whispered. I pointed to the door behind him. He turned to open it. Suddenly we heard footsteps behind us.
Quickly we darted into the room. I led the way to the fireplace where the passage way was.
The footsteps stopped outside the room. We froze.
The knob turned and the doors slid open a crack. Voices drifted in.
"... heard something."
"Probably rats."
"Sounded like footsteps. Shouldn't we check?"
"Naw that's the guard's job."
"But..." The second voice cut him off, “We’ll send one when we're through! Right now we got to get this stuff in..." The door slid shut and the footsteps moved on.
I waited a second then exhaled. I turned around and smothered a laugh. Chris's face was pink! I mouthed 'BREATHE'. He mimed inhaling then motioned for me to continue.

This passage was a simple one. No secret passkey or anything. Just a lever you’d be lucky to find because it is so obvious. Third brick down on the left, push, and you’re in.
A note on secret passages, all the castles, especially the main ones, have them. They’re everywhere. The servants all use them. Not all of them have been found though. They were put in as escape routs for the Royals, during the wars. Some of them were sealed with magic. Simple passkeys, or some times tuned to a family, so no one else could use them. Anyway, we use them to get around without being noticed. We know where more are than probably anyone. And still we are finding new ones, such as this one. Hidden so obviously in the fireplace.
The back wall slid back and in at a touch of the brick. The wall moved silently even after all these years. Once in, I touched a similar brick on the inside and it slid closed.
“Simple and direct. Easy.” I smiled.
“Nice. So shall we?”
It only took a few minuets to reach the end of the passage. We sped through the kitchens, grabbing a loaf of bread hot from the oven. Once outside, we raced towards the gardens. Here we paused to catch our breaths.
“Ya know it’s a good thing we can fly now.”
He nodded and closed his eyes. I just watched. To an earthling he looks like he was meditating. I know he’s just finding his center. One of the first things we learned to do. For a Universe Child, magic isn’t really something we do. It’s more like imagining something. For instance, Chris is seeking calm, when he finds his center he will start the change. Taking his body in his mind and willing it to be what he wants. Now shape changing is dangerous, he must not loose control of his mind. If he does he could become the form in mind as well as body. A balance is needed. He must retain his intelligence and sense of self while also becoming the form all the way down to instinct. Go too far and he will become lost, too little and well you may have the body of a bird and the intelligence of a man, but it doesn’t mean you can fly.
Even as I stop to watch, his body changes. Skin (and clothing) become feathers, arms turn to wings, legs shorten and toenails become talons. Now instead of a 16-year-old boy he is a bald eagle with a six-foot wingspan. He looks up at me, then hops a few paces and flies off to the nearest tree to watch.
In moments I too am an eagle.

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