Under the Boughs of Sylvana Noct

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  1. Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, in a kingdom by the name of Terra Vis, there was a golden prince. He was fair of face and full of grace, a charming and outgoing young man who was all a prince ought to be. Intelligent and handsome and strong, he could play nearly any instrument and knew three languages fluently and jousted like a dream, he sang and danced beautifully- there was only one flaw with this prince.
    But it was fine that he was proud, for he was all a prince ought to be and more. His parents arranged a very fortunate and profitable marriage to a princess of a neighboring country, Terra Sylvan. Hers was a land of myth and enchantment long past, all centered in a small forest walled off from the world. Sylvana Noct, the Woods of Night, untouched for a dozen hundred years, as the terms of an ancient treaty with a white hart, the so-called Prince of the Forest. But what was an ancient treaty compared to a marriage with the greatest prince in the world?
    When he asked to hunt in Sylvana Noct, the king hardly hesitated before giving the prince his wish. The treaty was all but forgotten, the forest sealed because of bare formality, surely. What could it hurt? The gates were opened and the prince's hunting party charged in with bows and arrows and spears and hounds and horses.
    On the first day, they found nothing. Not a bird sang from the branches. On the second day, they found nothing. Not a squirrel scampered through the canopy. On the third day, they found nothing. Not even a butterfly crossed their paths. On the fourth day, they finally spotted a doe. She walked towards them, fearless. The golden prince drew his bow, put an arrow through her heart, and declared that the end of the hunt. It was a disappointing hunt, but his wedding was on the morrow, so he needs must return with so little.
    At the altar, he paid for his sins. Just before the words were spoken, the doors of the chapel burst open, and the Prince of the Forest walked in. He was a shapeshifter and an immortal, thousands and thousands of years old, who had signed the treaty into being. Sylvana Noct was his realm, the doe was his wife. So he took from the prince what had been taken from him, and abducted the bride from the altar, bearing her into the forest as his prize, sealing the gates behind him with sorcery.

    In theory, stealing a princess and retreating into his forest sanctum was a brilliant plan. The perfect revenge; poetic justice at its finest. Oethiah had spent the night mourning the loss of his woman, drinking heavily of the liquors the Pixies provided him, and plotting how best to make this golden prince pay for his crimes. Obviously, a wife taken for a wife would be fair.
    In retrospect well... maybe it would have been a wise idea to wait a few days and let the alcohol wear off before acting. He was sober now, with a squirming human maiden in his arms and a sudden realization that he didn't even know where he was going with her, much the less what he would do with her once he got there.
    In all honesty, trusting the Pixies was a bad idea. They were well known for being warhawks, staunchly anti-human and spoiling for a fight. The Prince himself, on the other hand, had forgotten more about humans than he should have. It had been over a thousand years since that treaty was drawn up, and near as long since the last man's feet had walked beneath the trees. He didn't even remember what they ate, aside from venison, or the language that they spoke. He didn't remember the name of the king he had treated with or the name they gave the wall that protected him... it was easy to forget.
    It had been many, many moons' turn since he had taken his centaur form, and decades since his human one. Living as a stag had its benefits, but when one was an animal so long, it was easy to forget what it felt like to be civilized. Though he was Prince of the Forest, the forest needed little princing. There were few laws and fewer crimes, no policies or foreign relations to handle... for the most part he was free to simply wander and wonder, to lose his mind in the majesty of the enchantments.
    Responsibility was an unfamiliar yoke, and he chafed under it as he wandered into a grassy meadow. Deciding he had come far enough, Oethiah unceremoniously dumped his captive on the ground, looking down at her with dark eyes. His hair and fur in all forms were white as flour, as starlight, but he was no albino. His hooves and nails were jet, his eyes deep pools of amber and sable. Atop his head was an impressive rack of bone white antlers, the only crown this Prince would ever need.
    "Have you a name, oh daughter of the torch and axe?" He asked her after a moment, in a strangely formal dialect most commonly known as the Old Tongue. "Mine own nomenclature is being Oethiah, who your ancestors once did name Prince of the forest and Lord of those within, and you are being my captive, as a prince ought to know what his lady captive is called, should he not?"
  2. The day had begun so well considering the circumstances, as the sun rose above the horizon and promised a warm and sunny day Shuna had with the help of her handmaidens and her mother prepared for the wedding, after a bath she had been dressed in the gown she herself had helped sew and her dark copper hair had been loosely braided and adorned with white flowers placed in between the soft curles. The dress white and snug around her upperbody with long sleeves that flowed out after her elbows leaving her forearms bare if she raised them, the skirt floor length and a bit wide, a simple woven belt in powder blue and silver, the same colours were sewn along the hems and upper arms, silver patterns on blue background. She had been immensly fond of the simple dress, both colour wise and design wise, compared to some other dresses where every one seemed to be more intricate and extravagant than the one before.

    Then the ceremony had come, walking up to the altar to stand beside her future husband, very handsome and full of pride in his best clothes, Shuna hadn't heard many of the words being spoken, standing straight and with a pleasant smile her mind was elsewhere entirely. The day had come far quicker than she had thought, she had had little time dreading the day busy as she had been with her normal duties and preparing her wedding dress and dowry, but she had pondered enough on it to come to termes with her fate, it may not be her choice but it was for the best of the kingdoms. The sudden silence was what brought her back to the ceremony, at first scared to have missed her own small line Shuna quickly realised that no one stared judgingly at her, but instead stared at something behind her. Turing her head she followed everyone's eyes, entering the chapel was the strangest man she had seen, hair as pale as freshly fallen snow with oddly dark eyes and, Shuna gasped, large antlers upon his head.

    The silence had been absolute, no one could find their voice, the moment was almost frozen in time as the man walked up towards the altar, all the mystical stories of her homeland ran into Shuna's mind with the force of a spring river, the wedding all but forgotten until he unceremoniously picked her up and swept out from the chapel. Too stunned and surprised at first to protest Shuna wondered if she would soon wake up in her bed and find it was just a nightmare, that the wedding was yet to take place. But she didn't wake up. Realising it was real she started fighting against his grip, squirming and kicking but to no avail, he didn't seem to have any problem keeping hold and just continued on his way to wherever he was going. Her demands to know what he was doing and who he was had been ignored so well that she wondered if he had heard her. When they reached the forest, that special forest that had been sealed for so long until her father had granted her betrothed access a thought sprouted in her, the Prince of the Forest, was he real? And if the stories were real could he still be alive?

    With a sudden drop Shuna fell to the ground with a surprised yelp, the soft grass doing little to dampen the fall, lifting her angry brown eyes to the man, if you could call him that, towering above her, how dared he treat her like this, her anger at being handled like a simple object almost overshadowing her fear and disbelief. This could not be happening, it could not be real. Her confusion only deepend seeing the inside of a forest no one had set foot inside for hundreds of years. The woods were beautiful and untouched by human hands, unspoiled and serene, it gave the feeling like nothing else existed in the world except for this forest. It scared her at the same time, she saw no life, neither animal nor human, although the last one didn't surprise her, but Shuna was used to company, she was rarely alone and had never been away from people for longer than a few hours, this forest seemed so large and empty to her that it sent shills down her spine.

    Now she struggled to rise with a dress that wanted to tangle around her legs and long sleeves that proved to be very cumbersome when trying to stand up, smoothing it out and pushing back strands of dark hair that had escaped the braid all the while with his words rolling around in her head but she couldn't process them, if he spoke the truth he would be many centuries old, it simply wasn't possible. A young Shuna would have believed the man without protest but with age she had turned more towards logic and reason, but his speech was so strange, old fashioned and formal, could he really be what he claimed? "Do you not know who I am?" Her surprise was obvious and her royal pride wounded by his ignorance, years of upbringing and lessons having taught her these manners. "I am Shuna, the only child of the King of Terra Sylvan." Lifting her head and standing as tall as she could, with the bearings of a future queen she stared up into his dark eyes, this close she saw they weren't as dark as she'd first believed but a curious mix of amber and black. "What could you possibly want from me or my family if you do not even know who you abducted from her own wedding?"
  3. His skin prickled, and he felt eyes on him. Looking into the forest revealed nothing; his subjects were too good at hiding even for him. The bold and flashy ones had not survived these long, hard centuries, and what rotting ruins remained of his kingdom were shy and wore enchantment like armor, leaving it only when necessary. To bring a human into their midst, especially so soon after men had killed one of their own, was doubtlessly keeping them from sight. Nevertheless, their disapproval was palpable. He could hear the questions already.
    Why had he brought her? What good would it do? Did he bring the wrath of the men of Terra Sylvan upon them? Would he take the war to the humans? Would he execute her for the crimes of her kind?
    The questions did no good. Even Oethiah was unsure of his intentions. She was an enigma, and one he wasn't even entirely aware he would be taking on until a few minutes ago. Things had begun to move very quickly, in a land where life dragged by syrupy-slow. She brought time into a timeless place; mortality into an ageless one. She belonged no more between the trunks of his trees than he had belonged between the walls of her chapel. Both profaned sacred things with their presence- her human stink filled his nose already, and he snorted to clear it before he found his voice again.
    "I know your line, Shuna of Terra Sylvan. I was friend of the acorn of your family tree, and treated with branches that have risen so high as to be lost in the clouds of memory," He informed her with a frown. "T'is needless for an immortal like I to learn of a creature as yourself who lives and dies between one breath and the next. You are a moment in time, Shuna of Terra Sylvan, when your feet rest beneath the boughs of Sylvana Noct. The man whose ring would have graced your figure respected his moment not, and took from me my woman-wife with an arrow and a hound. Ought you to being glad that I stole my revenge with mine own feet and hands and profaned not your dress with the red of life's blood."
    He stepped away for a moment, considering his options. His people would want answers, she would want answers... Hell, he wanted answers.
    "The life off you and yours are forfeit, for it was your hands that did shatter a treaty of yore, writ in blood and fire and fear. Father of your father of many fathers before did sign a pact, a pact I also did put my name and my blood to, and did swear to. That day it was declared that no fey should pass through the wall to draw the blood or take the possessions of humans without, nor man step foot within to do harm. The golden prince did break this treaty, and for it your blood is black," he declared darkly. "Know you not your histories? Have men such shot memories?"
  4. Waiting for the horned man to answer her Shuna cast uneasy glances around her, the meadow seemingly so serene felt almost hostile to her, she almost expected the very forest to call out its rage over her presence, but the silence was never broken and her eyes found nothing between the trees. In fact it was a very silent forest, no birds singing their melodies, no wind blowing through the leaves, just an eerie silence, she wondered if it always was this quiet or if it was her, a humans, presence that caused it.​
    Frowning slightly at the prospect of immortality Shuna felt her mind swirl when trying to imagine a never ending life, to exist until the end of time, it was as confusing as it was looking at the night sky and trying to imagine all the stars or for how far it stretched on. Human minds just weren't made for the infinite, the simple idea of living forever was easy to understand but to really try and understand the concept of something never ending could not be really be done by a creature that experienced but a short moment of time's lengthy weave. If he really was speaking the truth, and Shuna could find little reason for him to lie, then were it safe to assume all the legends of her kingdom to be true as well?​
    Shuna was taken aback by Oethiah's words and against her initial feelings of her abduction felt sorrow for the loss of his wife, she had not known her betroathed long, barely knowing him at all but that he would kill a woman she couldn't see happening. An absurd thought came before her, the prince had hunted for animals and found but a single one and felled it, could it be that the Prince of the Forest and his wife could alter their shape, it was such a farfetched thought but it stuck with her still, and no more strange than a man living for centuries. "Accept it or not but you have my deepest condolences," Shuna said softly, her heart in her words. "I doubt that this will matter much in your grief and it will not change what has happened but I apologize for his horrible crime." It was truly a crime of pain, for whatever the Prince of the Forest did in revenge or took as a repayment would never bring his wife back to him, not even an immortal could turn back time.​
    "We haven't forgotten," she said silently, her royal pride and situation all but forgotten in light of the situation. Her father would not stand for this and she doubted her future husband would stand for such a blow to his pride, to loose his bride on the altar, would they come for her, attack the forest and sully the treaty even more or would the forest act first? It didn't really matter in which order it happened for if it did the result would be a bloodshed with no true victor. "However most, including my father apparently, think of it as legends, stuff of old myths. For the treaty and stories of Sylvana Noct still lives in my kingdom although not in history but as stories for children as myself when we grow up, the treaty a formality of the old ages."​
    Shuna held little understanding for hunting just for huntings sake, for glory and pride, it was a senseless act to her who appreciated all living, hunting to survive was one thing even if she doubted she herself could do it, and to allow such a shallow wish despite a treaty, believed true or not, was not the best course of action in her opinion. One thing from her childhood had stuck with her that enforced this opinion, one of her nannys as a child had often told her the old stories but also reminded her that in every legend there are a grain of truth even if no one now remembers it. "If I could change the actions of my race I would, and if my spilt blood would fix everything you could have my life," her intention was honest but her conviction over her life was not as unwavering, even if it was for her kingdom she was young and did not want to die even if it would help solve a problem.​
    "However this would only birth more problems, it will not bring your wife back nor will it be seen as a fair trade despite your loss. Only more violence would be born." This was the problem though, it was a temporary stalemate, when the respect for Sylvana Noct had ebbed her kingdom would possibly march against the forest, even if she was sent back Shuna was not certain that no reprecussion would come. Although being a human herself Shuna knew the faults of her race, pride, stubborness and a belief that they were always right, it was not a description of everyone for sure, but it was a common thread seen through history books of wars and clashes of faith.​
  5. The prince wondered if the Dryads watched him from within the trunks of the trees, peering out sightlessly through wooden eyes that were not truly eyes at all. Did they whisper to him with the breeze ruffling the leaves? Did they hear his voice when it echoed forlornly against their trunks? There was a stream not far from the meadow, Oethiah recalled suddenly. Did the Nixies within the stream peer at him through the transparent roofs of their watery homes? He could hear the water burbling now, murmuring bloody suggestions, murmuring that he oughtn't listen to her, ought to kill her now... overhead an eagle screamed, and he knew it was no mortal creature.

    Shaking his head and shorting, he shifted restlessly from one foot to another, and finally gave up on two feet entirely and seamlessly transformed from fully human to his centaur form. To him shapeshifting was as easy and natural as shedding a cloak, a process that took only a moment or two. He stood perhaps an inch taller, his lower half now that of a large deer, the size of a small horse, larger than any stag had a right to be. He felt more comfortable this way, but still felt the urge to become a stag again, and to forget all his worries and troubles, to have no bigger problems than where next to root for acorns.

    Her words drew him slightly back to reality, reminding him of the task at hand. He had to focus... focus, dammit! It had been too long since Oethiah had been expected to converse, especially in this tongue. "Consider the apology you offer.. accepted," He murmured, before listening to the rest of her words and growing even more agitated. If she spoke lies he would be angry, but if she told the truth that was no cause for celebration.

    "We are been made myth and legend, the very thing of children's stories and old women's fables?" He asked in disbelief, blinking his large, liquid eyes at her. To him, it had only been a few weeks, maybe a month since the signing of the treaty. In that time uncounted generations had come and gone in the human world, but in the forest, time made less difference. There had been births and deaths, but life went by much the same.

    "I will not be the doing of your death, Shuna," He promised her after a moment, trying to come up with the best course of action. "You are become mine now, to repay for what was lost. And that will be the ending of it in many and more ways. Let it be done here. But if your prince or your father or any other of your kind set foot in the forest, that foot is liable to be lost. Our borders have become closed. I will not have the going of my people to a bloody war, but no longer may man set foot beneath the boughs of Sylvana Noct. He may not camp in the roots of our trees or drink of our springs. He may not eat the fruits of our flora or fish our rills. His life is the selfsame price to pay for toll across the wall. Know this, Shuna of Terra Sylvan. You must needs pay for the crimes of your people, but justice demands knowledge, not blood. If you can learn the meaning of life in Sylvana Noct, you will be returned to your people to teach them, and in time our borders may open again. If you cannot learn what this life means, you shall never leave. That is my proclamation, as Prince of the Forest. That is my will, as Lord of Sylvana Noct. And that shall be done, as my word is law beneath these boughs."
  6. Shuna automatically looked up when the eagle's call rang out, it's lonely scream sounding ever more isolated and haunting in the forest, but all she saw was branches and leaves that hid the sky, and while it unbeknownst to her was no real eagle it still gave her strength. But none of that strength helped soften the blow when the Oethiah changed his shape. It was over in the blink of an eye and before her stood a mix between a man and a unnaturally large stag, it was no question it was still the same man though but it hardly gave her any comfort. Taken aback by the shift she stumbled backwards, a sharp gasp escaping between her lips before Shuna could raise a hand to her mouth as if to keep in any other exclamation, stunned to silence she could only stare at this creature she had thought mere fantasy.

    She had nurtured a thought that the Prince and his wife had been shapeshifters seeing as that was the most logical explanation for what had happened, but suspecting it and actually seeing it right before your eyes are completely opposite things. It took all her will power to continue talking after he had accepted her apology, only her strict upbringing to handle everything with composure allowed her to concentrate on what she was saying. "Yes," Shuna confirmed. "There have passed many centuries since those times of old and truth has been morphed into fables and myth." After centuries upon centuries it was no strange thing that history would get mixed with myth, that events were told differently from how it had actually happened, no mortal man had the ability to live for so long that he could make sure history stayed untouched and correct.

    Listening to his words, his judgment over her fate filled her with relief in that her life would not be taken only to be followed by a grip of fear in her chest, feelings of anger and indignation over being forced to stay in the eerie forest against her will were overshadowed by empathy for his loss and the logical thought that this indeed was a more than fair repayment for a crime that could have ended in more blood. She was lucky to have this chance, that not her bloodied corpse would be the result but knowledge and a possibility to be set free. But that did not make it any easier to hear and accept.

    Learn the meaning of life in the forest? What did he mean by that? To Shuna life in a forest was not so hard to imagine, the strong lived off the weak like everywhere else, predators hunted their prey and the prey grazed of the vegetation, through births and deaths life would go on in this endless cycle, but she had little knowledge of life outside the castle and city she so far had lived in with a few trips outside that mostly had been spent in a carriage? It was surrounded by legends and myths, ruled by a shapeshifting prince and curiously empty of normal wildlife, maybe it could show things in another light and show what a life free of the grasp of humanity was like.

    "If that is what is needed I will do it." Shuna said as he finished, not that she really had an option to disagree, she doubted she would get far if she refused or even get outside the forest, and if this could rekindle belief in the myths of old and reknew the treaty it was for the best of her kingdom which made it her duty to comply with the sentance. "I do hope you will permit me some resources of this forest," she added dryly. "Or I will not survive long enough to learn nary a thing of what you intend."

    She wondered how much the prince himself knew of humans, their needs and way of thinking, if he lived all his time here among the tall trees when was the last time he had seen the outside, moved with humans and interacted with them, was it back when the treaty was placed or some time later? "You say that the forest is closed to humans now, can it withstand an attack?" She asked after a sudden thought. "Can you hinder them from entering or force them out if they do?"
  7. Watching her stumble back was all the evidence he needed. There was no magic left in their world, no enchantment in Terra Sylvan, no sorcery on the continent of Tamre. How sad of a place it must be, he pondered, to live life without the mystery and wonder that the unexplained and unexplainable provided? She had never seen anything of his kind with her own eyes, that much was plain, and Oethiah was anything but spectacular compared to many of the denizens of Sylvana Noct. The slavering half-wolf shapeshifters were more fearsome; the elegance of the feline shifters was undisputed. The fey could weave enchantment out of thin air and glamour a mere stone into anything they could imagine. Even the Dryads were resplendent when they wanted to be, stepping out of their trees with ageless nobility and serenity.

    Yet to this young Shuna, he was plainly the most magnificent sight she had ever seen. How charming, and how sad. He mourned her loss quietly, but was somewhat satisfied that at least he could still inspire awe.

    Her questions of defense drew him back to reality, and he reflected dully on the blood that still may be shed. "Your armies will shatter at the walls of Sylvana Noct, will bash themselves against her gates," The Prince proclaimed, trying not to let doubt enter his voice. "Those are no mortal walls, child, and they cannot be torn down by mortal hands." Or, at least, they couldn't when they were built. Now, though... there was so much less magic in the world, in the forest. Did they still have the power to completely seal the borders? Did the humans have the ability to break the wards that defended the perimeter?

    They were questions he would get nowhere by asking. So he chose not to ask them- not yet, at least. Soon he must convene a security council, Oethiah knew, but there were more pressing issues now. Such as what to do with her. "You are become mine, and will be provided for as mine own. You shall not want for food or drink, nor shelter nor clothing," he assured her, "but I can promise no more. There is much you must need learn, and not much time in which you may do this thing. For now, it would behoove you to leave behind what remains of your human life. Come, follow me on the path of the first step of your redemption. We shall be going to mine hall, where I will show you what has been done and tell you what must be done still."

    With that he turned and began to walk into the forest, maintaining a slow pace that he thought should be easy enough for her to follow.
  8. "I hope so," she murmured. Feeling conflicted in a way, part of her wanted back home, to be saved and taken from here but the other, stronger part of her, wanted the wall to be strong, to stand against any attack so that no more blood was spilled and through time she could help resolve this in a peaceful way. Ever since a young age Shuna had been groomed into a princess that would fit a kingdom, one that saw to the needs and aid of her people before her own, one that had her life planned out all in the best of everyone else. Being raised into it Shuna had never really pondered on this fact, it became natural for her to think in this way over time but ever since growing up past her teenage years thoughts of her own personal needs and interests had begun to bloom in her.

    Nothing so intense as wanting a different life or resenting being born into royalty with all the duties, but enough to want to decide some things for herself and actually being able to take charge of her own life while still doing what was expected of her, she couldn't believe that would be so bad. Yet she was still caught in that circle of being pushed into everything, but at least the forced stay in the forest would hopefully lead to prolonged peace so it was easier to accept in the end.

    Following after Oethiah, who walked slower than Shuna guessed he could since he had four legs at the moment, but she still had a hard time following him. Normally this would not be a problem but her flowing, silky dress tangled itself in every little twig or bush she passed, as she lifted the dress from the ground to make it easier her long sleeves snagged themselves instead as they trailed after her. This was a wedding gown and not particularly suited for outdoor use, not many dresses were, but some were worse than others, her thin shoes were not intended for traipsing around outside either, doing little to hide the forest floor.

    Saying nothing about her problem Shuna followed the centaur prince deeper into the forest, casting uneasy glances around her, searching among the trees, but every time she thought she maybe saw something living in the corner of her eye it always turned out to be something normal like a tree or a rock or just shadows playing with her mind. Sighing to herself in annoyance as the dress once again caught a small branch, her irritation erased her patience and she pulled her dress free, tired of being careful, tearing the fine fabric. "Is the forest always this silent and empty?" Shuna asked after awhile, feeling the silence starting to gnaw on her, it was rarely ever silent in the castle, some noise or another could always be heard and even when things calmed down after dark the silence never became a source of unease as being surrounded by walls made humans feel secure.
  9. Oethiah remembered vaguely his own youth, the days of myth and legend before the era of man or Elf, back when the world was a wilder and untamed place, needing no more civilization than the trees themselves provided. Then half the world had been forested, and he had named it all his domain. He had thought his future full of glorious opportunity, ready to be used to its fullest. He had learned better since, had mellowed and calmed and grown wiser, wise enough to know that the rush to always build, improve, add was a human weakness. There could never be more creation than destruction, and no matter how great the creations were, one day the price would catch up.

    Now he was an old man, the third oldest being on the planet, as far as he knew, and so very weary of the race to get more, more, more. He didn't want more. He simply wanted no less. Was that so much to ask? The forest had been thriving. He had not asked for it to expand, for it to grow. He had only asked it not shrink. Yet it was dying, rotting from the inside out, stagnant and infected. It was an admission he would never consciously make, though he knew it to be true.

    In a way, yes, the forest was always silent and empty. But not so much as it was then. "The people of the forest live in fear of your kind, naive Shuna," he replied gravely, turning his head to take her in. "And why would they not, when the only hands that often pay homage carry arrows and axes?" And torches, and spears, and nets, and snares... but she did not to know all of that, not now. The atrocities had been great on both sides, given, but man was more numerous, quicker to change, faster to respond, and persistent even across generations. Antlike and unrelenting, humanity was a flood that the magical world had simply abandoned for higher ground, and now feared even the gentlest rain.

    "You wear garb for stone halls, not natural ones," He said. "The forest grabs for it, knowing it to be foreign and filled of wrongs. It is an ill thing to have here. You will have more suitable garments for your body soon, ones that do not offend the very flora you walk through."
  10. While it was true that many humans were like he said, after all far from everyone had the money or resources to build their homes with stone and humans needed warmth to survive and the forests offered the perfect solution to both. But that the forest would fear her was less understandable, sure she was human and was most likely regarded the same as any human but seeing herself with any kind of weapon, even used in an everyday setting like an axe, was not a picture that easily came to mind. Raised as a princess gave her other tools like needles and her words, had she been born a prince then it would have been a different matter.

    Knowing her words may do little if nothing at all, being impossible to erase fear in an instant, she looked at the prince, his centaur form still impressive. "No one in your forest need to fear me," she said, stepping over a root curling across the ground. "Although those are human tools and weapons I have never learned to use them or carry them." Especially in this attire it was impossible for her to carry a weapon even if she wanted to. Which she didn't, weapons were not for her they only caused harm, of course that made it so that she had little with what to defend herself with, but that were never a problem living in a castle surrounded by guards.

    Still the only sound heard were the rustle of her dress and their footsteps, dampend against the soft forest floor, she longed for voices, music or just sounds of the servants moving about doing their jobs and the familiar stone walls of her home. But it would be awhile before she could see it again she guessed and perhaps it was easier if she didn't dwell on it too long lest she'd get homesick, or rather more homesick.

    She agreed with him, it wouldn't take long before her dress were completely ruined and useless, and it would surely be easier to move around in other clothes. Although she couldn't help that his words pricked her pride over her handsewn dress, how could a simle piece of white fabric offend an entire forest, the materials for her clothes came from nature, or perhaps that was part of the problem. Clothes made from natural resources harvested in masses by humans to make an abundance of clothes with little or none respect for the source.
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