Chapter III: Rebellious
Rebellious... who says I'm rebellious?! The underbrush quivered before me as I crashed through Guardia Forest. As if it wasn't enough that my fat old father should be convinced that I needed to stay home on the Millennial Fair, now he goes and calls me rebellious?! What am I, anyways, a little girl throwing a temper tantrum?
As I burst out of the woods, I took a sharp right--Truce was always my salvation when family problems struck, so I knew the way by heart. I also knew which homes to avoid--the elder, apparently, paid attention to current events, so he would recognize me; the inventor always grabbed me and asked me to test some sort of machine; and the girl with the cat and the ridiculously red hair, well... she carried around a sword. Much to my father's complaining, I never did take up the blade. Instead I always have a crossbow within grabbing distance. Still, girl or not, I really doubt I'd win in a fight against her. And believe me, we would get into a fight.
And so, tucking my family's pendant under my tunic as the sounds of music and laughter drew closer, I went to the Millennial Fair despite what the old king said.
I had been to Truce's fairs before, but this was an entirely new experience. The others had been well-meant, but, it seems, with my rather... royal... upbringing, a party thrown together by a few peasants was hardly even worth the trudge through Guardia Forest. This, I knew even as I crossed under Leene's Bell, was worth it. Completely worth it.
I stood staring up at the ancient bell, then, out of nowhere, it spun out of sight and I hit the ground. "Watch it--!" I began.
I did a double-take as I recognized the figure standing over me. It was the girl with the red hair, the one with the sword. And there it was now--though, sheepishly, I realized now that it was only wooden. "S-Sorry," she stammered. "Are you okay?"
"Y-Yeah..." I replied, coming to another realization: up close, her hair wasn't that ridiculous at all. I actually kind of liked it. But I was shaken out of my reverie when I reached instinctively for my pendant--It wasn't there!
I shot up, feeling around for the blue gem. Nothing. "Did you lose something?" asked the girl, leaning down over me worriedly.
"Um, yeah, it's a pendant... Kind of big... Blue..." I muttered, still surveying the ground under Leene's Bell.
"You mean that one?" she replied, pointing over to a heap on the cobblestone a few meters away. I noticed how, for someone who could run into me so fast, she didn't make a move to go pick up the pendant for me yourself.
"Yes. That's the one." I quickly scuttled over to where it lay and shoved it under my tunic again. "Thanks."
The girl still didn't move. "My name's Crona," she said, finally. "Yours?"
"Al--" I stopped, realizing that if I was going to keep up this charade of normalcy I would have to refrain from offering my real name. I used the excuse of getting up and dusting myself off to think of one, before finally turning to the girl--Crona--and offering my hand. "Larse."