Colonel Curtiss, serving the Third Division of Malkuth Military announced, "Now, that is all
for today. You've gotten stronger."
"Thank you for today," a blonde with some gold strands of hair replied, bowing to him.
He nodded to her with his hand to the back, signing that he was satisfied with her progress. The soldiers around the training grounds of Malkuth Military force whispered to each other, gossiping about the girl. She turned around and walked back to the palace, located right beside the training grounds. Her long thick locks flew in the wind as she swiftly walked towards her destination. Her legs and knees were full of dust spots all over them. Her blue dress was in tatters as results of her training. Her dark azure eyes shone brightly and confidently as she walked.
"Ah, Princess…I mean... Symph! Welcome back," one of the maids greeted her.
"Thank you, Melody. If I may, I want a hot bath," the girl requested.
Bowing, Melody obliged, "As you wish, I shall prepare one."
She rushed upstairs, to the left side of the audience chamber where the Princess' bedroom stood to get to her bathroom. The girl shook her head at the maid's behaviour. The Princess' azure eyes suddenly reduced to aqua blue. Then, she gracefully entered her Father's chamber. He was playing with his rappigs, sitting on his chair.
"Ah, my dear! I have news," he called for the girl.
"What is it?" the 140 cm girl asked as she went up to him.
"How is…your training?" the man in his thirties asked.
His tone showed signs that he was reluctant to let her train and she apparently, could sense that. Though, in order to calm his heart, she didn't say anything about it.
"Getting better by day…" she answered.
"Symphony…I need you to do something for me. Will you?"
Princess Symphony blinked a few times, trying to register the fact that her Father was requesting for her assistance. That was the first time he did. The Emperor of Malkuth smiled to her, his blond hair resting on one side of his shoulder as he spoke. She sat on the bed. A baby rappig hopped up to her with a slight purr. She rubbed his head and giggled.
She turned to her father. "What is the request about?"
"I need you to go around Malkuth, to patrol how's the cities and towns are doing," Emperor Peony the Ninth explained.
"That's all? I can do that…I think…." she drawled.
"But, I want you to take an escort."
"Huh? Master Jade?" the girl asked.
"No…you pick your own escort…" the Emperor sighed.
Symphony contemplated for a brief seconds and then, nodded.
The Princess tossed and turned in her bed, curling herself into a ball as she shut her eyes tight in an attempt to go to sleep. Finding it hard to do so, she plodded to the waterfall in the outskirts of town. It was one of her most favourite places to be and think alone. The girl took a deep breath and heaved out a long sigh. She stared blankly at the waterfall, thinking what she should do.
"I wonder who I should pick…" she muttered.
Since she had just awoken from a coma last month, she hadn't met that many people yet. Her mind clogged with the thought of whom to choose. After a while, she decided to do some training on her own to clear her minds. So, she waddled to the training grounds, struggling to think of something else, other than having to choose an escort. She thought of strengthening her artes as that was her specialty. In the midst of training, she sensed someone watching. She turned to the maid who happened to be the youngest of them all - Melody.
"I thought I heard noises, so I came to see…" the purple haired girl explained, taking one step forward.
"I couldn't sleep…" the girl explained with her eyes wide.
Melody rushed up to her when the girl knelt down. She wondered why her Princess was so frustrated. Symphony sat there, making Melody oblige into sitting beside her. The cold night breeze touched their cheeks as they settled down on the ground. They took it as a sign that it was midnight or maybe even passed it.
"What seems to be the problem?" Melody asked, her eyes fixed on the Princess' face.
"Father asked me to observe Malkuth. He wants me to have an escort," the Princess explained.
Staring at the Princess, "I see…you need to choose on your own?" the maid guessed.
The blonde nodded slowly. Melody smiled at the confused girl. She looked up to the night sky, finding inspiration to figure something out for her. There wasn't even a single star that night, meaning it might rain the next day.
"I would recommend the six God-Generals…one of them will do. They're strong and nobody would pick a fight with them," she suggested.
"Yeah…but, they're from Daath. Plus, I don't know them at all…" Symphony complained.
Melody began to explain about how Malkuth helped the Order of Lorelei to have its own territory. Symphony was confused but the girl told her that Malkuth could get help from Daath anytime they wanted. The blonde finally understood what Melody meant. Then, the maid began telling everything she knew about the God-Generals: Asch the Bloody, Legretta the Quick, Largo the Black Lion, Sync the Tempest, Arietta the Wild and Dist the Reaper. What interested the Princess most were Arietta the Wild and Sync the Tempest as Melody could hardly explain about them.
"I guess…I'll take them into account…" Symphony rested her chin on her knees.
"You can't always rely on Symph," the maid advised.
"I know…but, I hate fighting. I can deal with healing, but not fighting," the girl explained.
Melody nodded to her. Upon standing up to her feet, she excused herself to go to bed. Symphony nodded and told her that she wanted to stay a bit longer. She obliged and walked away.
"I've decided not to rely on you too much…" she muttered.
"And burden other people? No way! I won't let you!" her conscience spoke, scolding her.
"I can't always rely on you…maybe, just maybe, I can learn a thing or two from them," Symphony coaxed.
"I won't let you! You hardly know them!" her conscience debated.
"I guess…but still, Father mustn't know you exist, for now…" the girl sighed.
"…" Symphony waited for it to speak.
"… Do what you want. I'm not gonna say anything…"
Symphony sighed again. She stood up and brushed off the dust on her dress. After deeming that she was clean enough, she strolled back to the palace. She bumped into Jade on the way. The girl bowed, her eyes locked onto the floor. Jade stared at her for a brief moment.
"Is there anything I can help you with? Or rather, why are you up so late, my dear Princess?" the man asked.
"Umm…no definite reason. I went for a stroll and then, train for a while…" she half lied.
"I see…if there's anything you need, feel free to ask," Jade replied calmly.
Symphony was confused whether he could sense she was lying or not. Her eyes followed Jade's figure until he was out of their sights. She continued her walk to her room. Symphony changed into her white nightdress. She stared at her reflection in her mirror that was beside her bed.
Her room was wide. There were three doors, one leading out to the pathway to the audience chamber, the second one, on the right side of her bedroom lead to her bathroom and the third one, standing opposite of the exit door, was her closet door. Peony bought her a makeup table that was put on the left side of the room. The bed stood between the mirror and the table.
Symphony sank into her bed with her eyes staring at the ceiling. She waited for a few moments before going to sleep. Her mind was still clogged with her conversation with her conscience just now. Fortunately, she was able to fall asleep in a split second due to being exhausted from her training.
Eyes fluttered open when the door was knocked gently.
"Yes?" Symphony called out.
"Princess, are you awake? Pardon me, but the Emperor requests your presence at the audience chamber immediately," Melody's voice was heard.
"I'll be there in 10 minutes," the girl replied, getting out of bed.
She made her bed liked she always did, refusing to let her maids do it. She rushed to take a bath. Her choice of clothing that day was a long white short sleeves dress with frilly at the bottom. She tied her hair into a pony tail to her right. She was all set to meet her father.
When she got to the chamber for meetings, she caught sight of a person she wished not to meet. He was a boy at the age of 17 with spiky red hair and turquoise orbs. He smiled and bowed when he saw her. Symphony made an irritated face. She went to her Father's side after bowing to Jade who was with Peony.
"Have you made your choice?" Peony asked her.
"I haven't…" she replied, half glaring at the guy.
"I see. Then, why don't you take him?" he suggested.
"Why should I? Can he protect me?" she implied angrily.
The girl still controlled her tone as she was speaking to her Father. Sighing, the man reminded her of the treaty formed between Malkuth and Kimlasca-Lanvaldear that is to be strengthened once she turns 18 – through marriage. Symphony sighed in frustration. Then, there was a hint in her mind of whom to choose.
"Wait! I do have a choice of my own!" she announced.
Controlling his anger, the red haired boy asked, "And who's that?"
Symphony beamed, "The Six God-Generals."
"Them? You think they would waste their times with you?" the boy scoffed.
"Now, now, Max…since she has made her decision, we should abide by it," the Emperor interrupted their tongue fight.
Max gritted his teeth and glared at Symphony. He mimed, 'You win this time.' Symphony simply stuck half of her tongue at him without her Father noticing it. The boy walked out after Melody was called. Peony requested Melody to assist Symphony in writing her letter of request to the God-Generals and the girl obliged. She smiled satisfyingly at the Princess. Symphony smiled guiltily. She was only using the God-Generals to run away from Max.
"Why don't you go sightseeing while fulfilling the task?" Jade suggested, rolling his eyes to the Emperor.
"Why not? You've only been living for a few months and yet I never let you out. Go and enjoy your life for once," the young Emperor agreed.
Blinking in disbelief, Symphony managed to ask, "Really?"
"Sure," he nodded to her.
She was so happy to hear that that she started hopping out of the audience chamber. Melody bowed to Jade and Peony. She exited the chamber.
"Did you hear that, Melody? I never thought I could go sightseeing…! I've always wanted to go to the Cheagle Woods and…and Tataroo Valley!" the girl stirred with excitement.
"Yes, Princess. I'm happy for you!" the maid beamed.
They started writing the letter of request to the God-Generals.
"Are you sure this is the right decision?" Jade asked Peony.
They were in his chamber and Jade was trying to avoid Peony's rappigs as possible. Peony rubbed his rappig's neck, making them make what seemed like a purr sound.
"I think so…I want her to enjoy her life. She was created since I had no wife. She already had to suffer not having a Mother," the Emperor explained.
Jade shut his eyes, calmly thinking.
"I see…I shall see to that they would not hurt her."
"You're sending a spy?"
Jade shook his head. Peony was confused but he knew he could rely on Jade. He kept on stroking his rappig's neck.
'Symphony…just enjoy your life for a change…'
The Emperor sighed.
Princess Symphony and Melody went shopping in the afternoon. It was true that it rained but Melody would never skip her shopping routine. The Princess decided to help Melody with the groceries and at the same time, she could buy some supplies for her journey. The citizens greeted them in a friendly and respectful manner.
"It's really calm here. I don't even understand why Kimlasca would want to start a war…" Symphony sighed, starring down at a puddle under her feet.
She was waiting for Melody who was busy choosing some vegetables at the market.
"I can't say for sure why, your Highness…" Melody replied without even looking at her and kept on choosing the vegetables.
"Hmm…I wonder...if I could stop the war, then I don't have to marry Max!" symphony exclaimed.
"Yes, that's true I think," the maid replied.
She paid for the vegetables and started walking. Princess Symphony followed from behind her. They stopped at the general store. Melody stopped for a brief moments and then, turned to the Princess. Symphony blinked at her.
"You're coming here tomorrow, right?" she asked Symphony.
"Hmm? Oh! Yes, I'm coming here tomorrow. Symph did say she didn't want to train tomorrow," Symphony suddenly remembered.
"Then, let's head back now. Or do you have anywhere to go?"
Shaking her head, Symphony replied, "No. Let's head back."
Melody nodded. Symphony kept on starring at the ground as she held her umbrella. The rain was getting heavier and heavier, so the two had to run halfway to avoid the heavy rain. When they got to the entrance of the palace, their shoes were soaking wet.
After putting the basket of groceries in the kitchen, Melody rushed to the Princess. "Let's get you into warmer clothes, Your Highness."
Symphony nodded and they went to her room. She put on a blue dress after drying herself up. She sat on her bed.
"Melody, do you think the God-Generals would accept my request?" she suddenly asked.
"If they want to get to know you, they would," Melody replied to the girl.
The Commander of the God-Generals walked steadily to the meeting room where he had already called all six of the God-Generals to be there. He had received the later and had reviewed it. However, he hadn't made a decision yet. He needed a word with his subordinates first. He pushed open the door. The six immediately stood.
"Everyone, I have news," the brown haired man started.
"What is it, Commandant Grants?" a woman, with blond hair that is pulled into a ragged ponytail, asked him.
The man showed them the letter of request. He handed it to the woman to read first. After she finished reading, she handed it to the member beside her, a man with a scythe in his hand. He read it next.
"So, basically she asks us to be her escort?" the woman asked.
Handing the letter to a green haired boy wearing a bird-like metal mask, the black haired man turned to his leader, "But, in the letter, she states that she is the daughter of Peony the Ninth…is he married?"
The people in the meeting widened their eyes at his questions. After the boy was done, the man on a floating chair snatched the letter before the boy could hand it to the pink haired girl who was sitting beside him.
"I can't believe this!" the man exclaimed.
"Hold your horses, Dist. He is…apparently, not married yet…" the Commandant explained rather awkwardly.
"Then, who is his daughter?" the green haired boy asked.
"Probably something Jade the Necromancer created," a red haired young man said, half chuckling.
The Commandant glanced up at the young man. He coughed to warn the young man. Turning to each and every one of the God-Generals, he said, "Yes, Asch is right. She is a creation of the Necromancer."
"What type of creation…he only knows fomicry…" the green haired teen asked, rolling his eyes under his mask.
The girl beside him, simply react by holding the doll in her hand tighter. Dist instantly widened his eyes even more when he heard about the Necromancer developing a new type of project. The others acted calm after knowing that the girl was just one of Necromancer's newest creations. The Commandant took a deep breath, waiting for all of the members to read the letter. After more than half an hour waiting, the letter was back in his hands.
"So, do you think you can do it?" he asked.
"You don't mean all of us should go, do you?" the pink haired muttered.
"Hmm…she did request all of us," the red haired stated.
"Asch is right. We may as well go…" the blonde one suggested, turning to the Commandant, "Is there any mission from you? You seem to be enthusiastic about this matter, Commandant."
Commandant Van Grants smiled to her, nodding calmly. He turned to look at all of them again. He leaned to the front with his hands on the table, face as serious as ever.
"I need you to observe this creation. Is she worth our while or not and can we use this new project as one of our plan. That is what I actually wanted you to do…" he explained, standing up straight and bringing his hands up, "If you accept her request…that is."
"Since Asch did say she requested everyone, all of us must have an agreement then," the man holding the scythe suggested.
"I agree with Largo!" the green haired announced, standing up, "I say, no!"
"But, Sync…our main goal is to simply observe her. There's nothing wrong to that, is there?" Legretta coaxed the boy in her stern tone.
"You are not good at coaxing people…" Sync replied, lying back on his chair with his legs crossed on the table.
Legretta sighed. She turned to look at the pink haired one. The girl stiffened when Legretta looked at her. She glanced up at the woman in a panic manner. Legretta smiled comfortingly yet the girl still refused to oblige. Her gaze fell to the floor as she felt a bit guilty for refusing. Legretta sighed again. For brief seconds, there was silence in the air.
"I agree, I guess…since Commandant has other plans for her," Largo announced.
"I'll come too! I want to observe this new creation of his!" Dist shouted a reply, spinning around in his chair.
Commandant smiled satisfactorily at the two. He turned his gaze to Legretta and the woman nodded to him as an answer. Asch decided to go too, adding that he didn't have anything better to do for the time being.
"Now, all that's left is you and Arietta, Sync," Largo said.
All eyes were on the two. Sync and Arietta stared at each other for a moment as if talking to one another through telepathy. Arietta was the first to give in since most votes were on accepting the Princess' request. Sync was still reluctant as he didn't like the idea of babysitting a brat like a Princess.
"Come one, Sync. We promise we won't let her bother you if that's what you want," Largo negotiated.
The others nodded eagerly, but Arietta only buried her face in her doll, ignoring him.
"F-Fine! I'll go…" Sync gave in, glaring at Largo through his mask, "But, you must keep your promise!
With his lips curving into a smile, Largo replied, "Alright."
It was weekend and Symphony had the whole day for herself as Symph didn't want any training that day. She had asked one of the high-ranking members of Malkuth Military to accompany her around Grand Chokmah yet again. She would frequently do that each month, dragging him around town. Usually, her favourite stops are the praying room and the general store. The light-colour haired general was getting tired of it, but he had to put up with her. Unfortunately for him, that particular day, she noticed his boredom.
"General Frings, you may go if you want," she said to him when they reach the front door of the general store.
"But, Your Highness, the Emperor will be—" he stopped when he saw her sweet smile.
She held her hand to her back and turned around from facing him. Calmly she said, "I will explain to him about that. Besides, I've noticed that you've been getting bored of me since last week…"
Then, she turned her head to him, still smiling. Frings felt awkwardly guilty because he didn't know that she had noticed his boredom.
"You can rest today. I'm sorry for dragging you around almost every week," she apologized with her back to him.
"A-As you wish, Your Grace," he obeyed.
Frings walked back to the headquarters of Malkuth Military. Symphony stepped into the general store. She eyed the place and smiled since nothing has changed. The stairs lead up to a gallery or showroom of sort. In front of her, stood the weapon merchant, armour merchant and the item merchant. They greeted her with a bow. She curtsied to them as a Princess should. Then, she walked up to them.
"Hello, Princess! It has been awhile I should say," the weapon merchant said, grinning.
"Yes, it has!" Symphony replied happily.
She eyed the accessories, mostly the tiaras and bangles. Those were her interest to be exactly. If it was Symph, she'd go for the weapons and armours. Symphony was not really into combat and was more to healing as well as supporting artes. She preferred that as she guaranteed herself that she'd never have to kill people.
"Anything you want, my dear Princess?" a voice echoed in her ear.
Symphony jumped and backed away when she heard the voice. Max smirked to her with his hands on his waist. Symphony glared at him. She turned to the merchants for brief seconds, smiling.
"I shall see you later…" said Symphony ever so sweetly.
She turned to the door and rushed out of the store. Max followed calling for her. She rushed to the palace's lawn. Before she reached there, she had asked some guards to not permit Max the permission to enter the lawn. The guards did as told and she was satisfied. Symphony lied down on the soft grass. She stared at the calm sky, sighing.
"Your Highness!" Melody called, rushing up to her.
"Huh? Oh, Melody…what is it?" the girl asked, sitting up.
The maid panted with her right hand on her chest, breathing hard. "There's news from Daath!"
Symphony widened her eyes when Melody smiled and nodded to her. The girl got up to get ready for the meeting with the Six God-Generals.
That night, they were all gathered for dinner: Emperor Peony, Princess Symphony, Max, Colonel Jade Curtiss, Commandant Van Grants and the Six God-Generals. Symphony wore a white gown with feathery frilly at the bottom and around her chests. Her hair was tied into a bun. In front of her were the Generals, dressed in their common uniforms and nothing formal than that.
"Commandant, I thank you for accepting my daughter's request," Peony started.
"It is an honour, Your Majesty," the Commandant nodded.
"Please, don't hesitate to eat," the Emperor said, smiling.
The food was served – roasted beef, steamed potatoes, salads, chicken soup and many more. All of them enjoyed the dinner. Symphony's eyes were locked on Sync and Arietta as she ate. Sync knew that he was stared at but refrained from questioning it while Arietta felt really awkward as the Princess was staring at her. She ate in a slow pace, but Sync and Asch didn't hesitate to gobble almost everything.
"So, Princess Symphony is it? What a unique name," Legretta started a conversation.
The startled Princess turned to Legretta and smiled. "T-Thank you."
Legretta continued eating.
"Thank you for accepting my request! H-Hope to be in your capable hands!" the Princess burst rather awkwardly.
Sync almost choked his food while the others chuckled silently. Melody who was watching from afar giggled at her Princess.