Prologue: Tragic Loss(This chapter is from when Hayley was 8 years old. In all other chapters, Hayley is 16.)
"Where are you birthday girl?"
I giggle as I hide behind a tree in the Murken Forest. Today is my 8th birthday and my parents and I are out in the fresh air celebrating. My mother and I always play together on special occasions such as this.
I hear her voice calling for me again. "Where is my little Hayley, hmm? When I find her I'll tickle her to death." She then walks towards the tree I'm hiding behind, so I run back to the tents, but she grabs hold of me and tickles me.
"No, stop it! Stop, I'm ticklish!" I scream. "Mum I'm ticklish, stop!"
She kisses my cheek. "Okay, no more tickling then." She then picks me up and spins me around. I really like it when she does that. She knows how best to keep me entertained.
Just then, my father approaches from the forest, sword in hand, covered in scratches. My mother is the first to approach him. "Oh my goodness Maximus what happened to you?"
"Same as usual, Gina," my father says. "That stupid Yaros trying to get the better of us."
"That mean fire dragon?" I ask. "He's really awful."
"He won't hurt you Hayley," my mother tells me. "You're safe with us."
"We promise," my father replies, smiling at me.
We then hear footsteps approaching. Elise. She runs up to the guards around our camp and whispers something to them. They nod, then keep an extra look out.
But from what? What's going on?
All I've heard so far are battle cries for charge, swords slashing together, arrows being fired, and bodies collapsing to the ground. I am curled up in the corner of the tent, scared for my safety. As I rock back and forth, I daren't look out to see what's happening. But I am also scared to not look out.
But then I see someone entering the tent. It's Elise! She picks me up and mounts her horse, still carrying me. A guard then approaches her and she says, "Stay here with the King and Queen. I'm leaving you in charge while I return the Princess to Cloud City." The guard nods, and Elise's horse starts galloping. I look back, and the last thing I can visibly see before a hill blocks my view is my mother and father standing up to Yaros.
It's been a few days since I saw my parents. The maids have been taking care of me in the castle, but I still fear for my parents' safety. For all I know, something could have happened to them, and I don't even know.
I hear a knock on my bedroom door, so I open it, and I see one of the guards. His head is held low, which worries me. "Princess... there's something you need to know," he says.
"What happened?" I ask.
He sighs. "Your parents didn't survive the battle."
I feel a river a tears swelling in my eyes. My parents didn't survive the battle.
No, they didn't die.
They were killed.