A Step Toward The Throne 1 x 1 Tayssi Noire Airi Kellwynn DoughGuy Darrien Elklen Stroking the bay mare's nose, Noire looked at her grandparents with a smile. "I'll be fine," she told them gently as she pushed her hair back and pulled up her hood. They gave her a dubious look and her grandfather stepped forward, gripping her shoulders firmly, "what if someone captures you?" he asked, brows furrowed deeply with concern. She shook her head and smiled, shrugging his hands off "no one knows who I am. And the kingdom thinks I was killed when I was a baby," she reassured them. "I swear I will be fine. There's no need to worry, i'll send letter every so often," she promised, which earned the desired effect. They relaxed slightly, but gave her tight smiles. She was about to turn and mount the horse when they suddenly pulled her into a hug that didn't allow her to breathe. They let go a few moments later and she took a deep breath. She mounted the horse soon after and looked down at the elderly couple. "Stay safe," her grandmother told her as a tear slid down her cheek, "and visit when ever you want to," to which the young woman nodded, "will do. And you guys stay safe, too. Don't cause too much trouble just because i'm not here," she told them with a chuckle before she turned the horse and nudged it into a trot, away from the small farm house. That had been only a couple weeks ago when Noire had said farewell to her grandparents to go explore the world. Of course, they weren't truly her grandparents, atleast not by blood. Her father had sent her there when she was just an infant to avoid being slaughtered when the invasion from the neighbouring kingdom of Fawen came. The elderly couple had taken on the responsibility of raising the infant as their own child. So in all aspects, they were her grandparents, just not from birth. Her father had been Christopher Lucas Kellwynn. The previous king of Gaelin before he was murdered. So that made Noire the princess. The sole survivor of the royal family and the only rightful person to succeed the throne. She knew exactly who she was, her grandparents had never hidden it from her, but she wasn't sure what she thought of it. She couldn't see herself as a Queen, leading a whole kingdom. She loved the outside world too much. Loved exploring, adventures, learning everything she could of the world. Taking the throne wouldn't allow her to do any of that. But she knew the people needed her. Gaelin had pretty much fallen to ruin. It had been taken over by the Fawen, but they didn't care about anyone other than those with money. Sighing, she rode towards the town at a steady canter. Noire slowed after a few minutes when she was at the edge of town and dismounted from the mare. Running a hand over her short coat, she pulled up her hood soon after she slipped the reins over the horse's head. Looking around, she saw it was a fairly well off town. Quite a few stores around selling all different things and the houses at the other end of the town were bigger than the tiny houses of very poor towns. Tying the horse to a post, she stepped inside one of the stores that sold food. Crinkling her nose at the sight of oranges, she picked up two apples, a carrot and then bought some jerky with the little money she had. She needed to get more soon. And she had an idea of how she could get it, but she didn't really want to. Stepping out from the store, she gave the mare the carrot as she bit into an apple. She could sell the horse. she could get a good price on her. Shaking her head, Noire untied the mare and led her to the other end of town. She had nothing else to do here. May as well leave. The people wee happy enough and surprisingly she saw no orphans wandering around. Moving through town, she was soon stopped by a middle aged woman who commented on her horse. She was led to a stud farm on the edge of town, saying she bred her horses for nobles quite regularly and would like to add her mare to her breeding stock. Inspecting the place, she nodded, came up with a very good deal and handed the mare over. Well, she hadn't expected to sell her, but it was a good home and she got a great deal for her. Noire left town soon after, her pouch of coins in her knapsack. She shrugged slightly and shifted her bow and quiver of arrows on her back so they sat comfortably once again. She pulled her hood back and ran a hand through her silvery hair with a groan. "Where to now?" she questioned herself, not really sure where she was going to head from here. She was currently on a forest path, mindlessly following it. She had no destination in mind and to be honest, she had no idea how far away the next town was. Her blue eyes turned upwards and she looked up at the sky. It was shades of pink and orange as the sun started its descent. Stopping, she groaned and then looked around, feeling itch to practice her archery. She didn't want to run into anyone whilst she was practising, so she moved off the path, further into the trees. Finding a clearing, Noire grabbed her bow and an arrow. Notching the arrow, she aimed for a tree about 40 metres away give or take and loosed the arrow. It hit with a solid thunk, burying the arrowhead into the trunk. Nodding in satisfaction, she loosed a few more before grabbing them and repeating until the light had disappeared. The moon slowly rose in the sky, replacing the sun and she used the moon light off the half moon to find some decent logs and sticks before she cleared an area and lit a fire. Sitting on the ground, she laid back on the grass and stared at the sky. Pulling off her fingerless gloves, she raised her hands above her, staring at them, her gaze lingering on the small scar on the inside of her right hand, near her wrist. She traced it with her left index finger before she let them drop and she pushed herself to sit up again. Setting her gloves beside her, she unclasped her hooded cloak and folded it, setting it next to her as well. She wanted to keep moving, find the next town, but even she knew it wasn't safe travelling the forest paths at night. Bandits often ambushed lone people and stole everything, if not killing them. She was far enough away from the path that they wouldn't find her, but she was still nervous.