Thirteen years ago...
“Hurry, Your Highness, it is coming.”
The Princess and her husband sped as fast as they could through the corridors of the castle, following far behind the Captain of the Royal Guard.
“I’m going as fast as I can, Captain.” She breathed out in pants, struggling to keep up with the professionally trained, and fast, man. Running in a gown was one thing, but also trying to carry a seven year old child was another.
The Captain stopped in his tracks. “Hand her to me.” He urged, carefully scooping the young princess into his arms. “Now, we must hurry, they will be upon us soon.”
Somewhere in the distance, a loud bang was heard, followed by a scream of anguish. The sound was abrupt, blaring through the empty halls, causing the Princess to stumble over her dress in fright. More screams and shouts filled the air, forcing the three to push faster.
“Where is it?” The Prince questioned urgently. “Please tell me they have finished!”
“It is a few rooms away. We will make it.”
The Captain proved to be correct when they rounded a corner, and burst into a room. Upon entering, Captain Harold quickly slammed and barred the door, giving them a little extra time. The Princess took her daughter back, and let her eyes wander the room quickly. She recognized it as a servants quarters. It was tiny, with very few objects in it. Her main concern was the bed, and what lay on it.
Her eyes widened as she gaped at the tiny body. She moved until she was hovering over it, staring down at the, identical to her daughter, being.
“What is it exactly?” She heard her husband ask faintly. He was not of the 13th Kingdom, and was still learning the extent of it's magical abilities.
“'Tis a replica body, fashioned to look just like your daughter. It will contain all of her magic, and allow her to live normally, undetected. It is merely a capsule, meant to hold in her true form. It will never find her in this form.” The Captain explained.
“Are you positive?” The Prince asked in return.
“Yes, I am sure. As long as Aurelia is kept inside of this capsule, she will be safe. And I will always be with her, incase anything unexpected occurs.”
The Captain’s words did nothing to soothe her. Putting her daughter inside of another body was meant to keep her safe?
“I do not understand. How is this meant to work?” She couldn’t help the tears that started welling in her eyes. She wasn't far enough along in her training to understand how these created bodies worked yet, and it frightened her.
“Her soul is what her powers are truly connected to. Her soul will be transferred to this decoy, and it will act and function just like a normal body would, while her true form will be hidden where no one will find it.” It was only then that she noticed a small gold box on the floor.
Box was an understatement. To her, it looked like the equivalent of a casket. That thought made her heart clench even more.
The Captain explained a little more, as quickly as he could. The box was enchanted with magic. It would provide all the things necessary to keep her daughter alive and growing as normal, so one day when her soul returned, it would fit back in perfectly.
This should have seemed normal. All the magic in the 13th Kingdom was centered around life and creation. A magical box providing just that for her child should have seemed normal. But the idea was nothing of the sort to her. Leaving her offspring’s body in a box to grow, while her soul was transferred to a body-like capsule, and sent away to another land?
“Rosalind, let her go.” She didn’t realize she was tightly holding onto her sleeping child, until she looked into her husband’s sad and pleading eyes.
“I-I cannot.” She let the tears fall. “What if we are wrong? What if she is not ‘the one’? The entire realm has been searching for centuries. We cannot just send her away. What if we are making a mistake?” She finally let the wall break, swiftly letting out sob after sob. It was all hitting her at once.
The morning started with a peaceful breakfast. Her daughter skipping around the garden, her husband lovingly holding her hand as she watched her mother and father, the King and Queen, doing the same. Dancing around in the garden, which was her and her fathers favorite activity to do together, was quickly passed along to the littlest princess. All was well until that awful black cloud approached from the horizon.
All too soon, she watched her brave father, the King, parish right before her eyes.
Questions swirled in her head. Did Mother make it out? What about the people? Will this plan really work? "Are we making a mistake?” She repeated.
“Your Highness, I promise, we are not making a mistake. She is the one. She has shown exemplary skills and powers, far beyond her years. She is the one we have been waiting for. And even if by the slightest chance she is not, she will be safe either way. I swear upon my life.” He held up his right hand.
With salt staining her cheeks, she looked sadly into the eyes of her dearest and oldest friend. The two had been inseparable for over a century. He was more of an older brother to her for all these years. She could still remember how proud she was when he earned the title of Captain of the Royal guard. She trusted this man with her life, and equally, her daughters.
“Don’t you trust me, Rosie?” He extended his arms, awaiting the child.
“Of course I do.”
“Then please, let her go. Before it is too late.” He urged softly.
With a sob, she reluctantly handed her flesh and blood over to her dearest friend. That is who she needed him to be in that moment. Not a tough warrior and leader.
“Please, Harry...Please keep her safe.” She whimpered, hearing the bangs and shouts draw nearer.
“What of the boy?” Prince Kenneth inquired about the second child of the prophecy.
“I know not exactly of who he is, but I caught whispers of a boy from the 1st kingdom being sent away tonight as well.”
The young royal couple nodded in response, silently praying that the two would someday find each other.
“No more time for delays. This must be done now. It is almost here.” Harry said urgently.
He carefully placed the sleeping princess in the golden box, allowing her parents to kiss her forehead and say their goodbyes. Once they were finished, he lifted his hands, letting the magic flow through him. The sun like beams surged through the air, wrapping around the child. Before anyone knew it, her small, mist like soul, was floating in the air.
Her ghostly eyes fluttered open, immediately catching her mothers. “Momma?” She cried out, but due to her form, it only sounded like a faint whisper.
“I love you, my child. To the brightest star and back again.” She spoke the words that they shared every night.
“I love you, Mommy. To the furthest realm and back again.” The little princess completed the phrase.
More sobs tore through the Princess, and her husband, as the little girl’s eyes closed once more. The white mist of her daughter disappeared into the body on the bed, remaining in a deep slumber.
“I will take care of her with my life.” Harry vowed, quickly hugging his life long best friend, and the man who stole her heart, becoming like a brother to him. “No harm will come to her.”
Breaking from the embrace, Captain Harold, back in royal guard mode, walked over to the child’s body in the box. Sealing the lid, the box disappeared with the snap of his fingers, being hidden away until the day the prophecy was meant to be fulfilled.
A sudden crash was heard against the door, causing the Princess to shriek. “They have found us!”
Wasting no more time, he grabbed the child, creating a portal to another world.
“Goodbye, Kenneth. Goodbye, Rosie...” He said sadly to his two closest friends, knowing that would probably be the last time he ever saw them.
“Goodbye, Harry.” She cried, wishing things didn’t have to be this way. Wishing the prophecy was written differently, for some other child.
The Captain, and the young princess, slowly started to disappear before Princess Rosalind spoke again. “Wait! Where are you taking her?!”
“A realm in the farthest part of the universe. A world untouched by magic, where It will never think to find her.” He had to shout, due to the storm brewing outside the chambers.
“What is it called?”
With what seemed like an explosion, the door splintered and broke. The last thing he saw before fully disappearing into the portal, was a black cloud, filling the room in a whirlwind of chaos.
And then they were gone.