Categories > Original > Historical

The Knight of Secrets

by VladimirVampier 0 reviews

Princess Sofia was always alone. Her father brought her out of the castle once, to see a tournament of knights. One knight captured her eye, but he wasnt as he seemed to be...

Category: Historical - Rating: G - Genres: Romance - Warnings: [V] - Published: 2015-05-29 - 9072 words - Complete

0Unrated
Once upon a time…

Slow footsteps could be heard throughout the corridors, lightly stepping on the tiles, making their way to the great hall. Princess Sofia huffed, bored as she was. Sure, the life of a princess sounds magical, but she had to disagree. She was obligated to do her royal duties, never stepping one foot outside the castle. The high walls that kept her prison echoed the sounds of her shoes. She stopped and looked outside the window. The sun shone so brightly, luring her outside.

A sigh escaped her rose-red lips. She couldn’t go outside, but she wanted to. If she did, royal guards’d surround her, having no privacy whatsoever. She had begged her father and mother, to be able to step outside, into the sun, even if it was just in their own garden, without all the guards. But her parents had none of it. They were worried about their little princess. They didn’t want her to get hurt. They wanted to give her everything her heart desired, but this was something they couldn’t do. Princess Sofia was their only child, she had no siblings, no friends, and she was lonely.

Princess Sofia turned away from the window, tear-filled eyes, she bit her lip to keep it from trembling. She continued on her way. As soon as she arrived at the big hall, which was also the throne room, her name was called.

She greeted her father, her mother not in sight, and set herself on her own fancy chair. She had brought her drawing stuff, yes, she liked to draw. She drew herself, as a damsel in distress getting saved by a brave knight in shining armor. They would go on the wildest of adventures. She had a talent for drawing, praised by many. One of the many maids they had, walked into the hall, she asked Princess Sofia if she wanted something to drink or eat and if she needed anything.

“No thank you, Maya,” princess Sofia smiled at her. Maid Maya was about the same age as the princess. Princess Sofia liked talking with her. Maid Maya smiled back and left, on her way back to the kitchen. Princess Sofia continued to color her sketch. After a while of silence, a servant walked in with new from the village.

“Upcoming Saturday, there will be a spectacular tournament for knights, to duel, ride horse and other activities,” the servant announced,” the tournament takes place at the local plaza, in the middle of the village. It will begin at 2 pm and finishes around 10 pm with a exciting finale.” The servant bowed to the king once he finished talking.

“Thank you,” the king said, nodding to the servant,” I will be present.” The servant bowed again and left the hall. The king was thinking about the tournament when he suddenly felt a pair of hands on his arm. He sighed, he already saw what was coming.

“Can I go too, dad?” princess Sofia asked in her sweetest voice possible. “Actually...” the king pondered for a moment. “Pretty pleeeeaaassseeee~?” princess Sofia asked again. The king laughed at his daughter, oh how he loved her. “It’s okay,” he said,” you’re allowed to go.” Princess Sofia’s eyes grew wide and a grin appeared on her face. “Under one condition,” the king said quickly,” You are to stay with me, at my side, at all times. You are not allowed to wander off or leave the plaza.” He waited a bit to let the information sink in.

“Understood?”

Princess Sofia looked a bit disappointed, but she was allowed outside, so she nodded her pretty head. The king smiled at his daughter and shooed her out of the room. Princess Sofia couldn’t stop the smile on her face, she was so excited! She couldn’t wait ‘till it was Saturday!


~Saturday~

The tournament was in full swing when the king and his daughter arrived. Princess Sofia stayed close to her father, while she looked around with big eyes. There were a lot of people present, it looked like the whole city had come to see. It would not have surprised anybody if that were true.

The tribunes were build in a circle, leaving space in the middle for the fight area. The king and princess Sofia were lead to the royal stand.

“How do you feel sweetheart?” the king asked his daughter. “I don’t really know,” princess Sofia said,” Really excited, but also a bit scared.. This is my first time out of the castle.” The king gently squeezed her hand,” You don’t have to be afraid. Just sit back and enjoy.”

Princess Sofia nodded and settled herself in her comfy chair. “And now, ladies and gentlemen!” said the announcer,” get ready for the for last round. The four knights who win this match will go to the last round before the final.”

“Pick a favorite,” the king said,” You could give your kerchief to one of them.” The princess looked surprised at her father,” Give my kerchief? Why would I do that?”

“It’s a common use by tournaments,” her father explained,” It’s a token of luck for that knight. It’s a sign that you want him to win. It could give them an extra boost of confidence.” Princess Sofia thought about it.

She kind of liked the idea of having a little power. Her eyes slid over the knights. Everybody had their helmets off, except one. She looked that knight over. Something was off about him.

“The one with shining armor is a good fighter,” the king said,” Keep a eye on him.” Princess Sofia nodded. The one her father mentioned had a smirk on his face. She didn’t quite like that.

“Ladies and gentleman, my name’s Alice and I like to welcome you to the for last round of the tournament,” the announcer said,” Let me introduce you to our knights!”

Princess Sofia sat up in her chair. “The first knight is Sir Bach, second is Sir Counselin, followed by Sir March and Sir Septeres.” The knights stepped forward “Further more we have Sir Adrian-“ that was the knight with shining armor “- Sir Machiavalli and Sir Chancealote. Our last, but not least, knight has a secret identity, he would not give his name nor take of his helmet. He did say however that he meant no disrespect by his choices and that he hoped the king would forgive his actions.”

Everybody stared curious at the king, who stood up. “I respect everyone’s personal whishes,” the king said,” so I allow him to do as he wants. I expect a good fight from him.” The audience applauded.

The king sat down again and smiled. “Ok,” Alice shouted excited,” This round exists of four fights, no swords, only other melee weapons by choice.” As the knights went to get ready, princess Sofia took another good look at the knight whose identity was secret.

He wore a normal custom armor, it was colored black, with dark blue aspects. She saw how he grabbed a pair of thick iron gloves. “Is he really choosing that as a weapon?” the king asked surprised,” He’s gonna lose.”

Princess Sofia chuckled,” I have a feeling he knows what he does. We are sure to get a surprise.” The king turned to look at his daughter,” Why do I get the feeling that he’s going to be your favorite?” He laughed.

Suddenly the knight with secret identity appeared in front of the royal stand. He climbed a bit on the wood so he could reach the people in it. He pulled something from behind his armor and held it up to the princess.

It was a beautiful white rose.

Princess Sofia blinked and made a questioning gesture. The knight nodded and held it out more. After a bit, the princess took the flower. She could see a pair of eyes through the helmet. They were sky-blue and had a playful twinkle in them, like a smile.

The knight hopped off and bowed to the king. The king nodded and the knight went to get ready for his fight.

“Maybe,” princess Sofia said,” Because of that?” Her father’s booming laugh sounded. The fights started and princess Sofia kept her eyes on the match with the secretive knight. He was really good. He blocked the upcoming attacks from the maze with his iron gloves. In return he hit his opponent hard.

The final blow was the iron glove to the face of the opponent. He had won. Just like Sir Adrian, Sir Machiavalli and Sir March. The others got carried away.

“Wow, what a fights!” Alice yelled,” Ready for the next round?” The audience began to cheer excited. “The next round will be a jousting round!” If it was possible for the audience to get wilder, it did.

“The matches will be two out of three for the win,” Alice announced,” It’s Sir Adrian VS Sir March and Sir Machiavalli VS the knight with the secret identity.” The knights returned to their stands to make themselves ready. Princess Sofia noticed that Sir Adrian went to the secretive knight. Sir Adrian looked quite smug, but as he had a word with the knight, his smug grin disappeared.

He stomped away in anger. Princess Sofia was curious to know what had been said between the two knights. “Knights,” Alice said,” take your horses and let the first match begin!”

Princess Sofia looked with a bored expression at the match between Sir Adrian and Sir March. “Are you not interested in this Sir Adrian, darling?” the king asked as he noticed the expression on his daughters face.

“No, you might think him interesting, daddy, but I most certainly don’t,” she said,” He is a skilled fighter-“ Sir Adrian knocked his opponent off of his horse, winning the match. He grinned and send a kissy hand the princess her way “- however, he is arrogant and I dislike his attitude.”

The king nodded. “Sir Adrian is our first finalist,” Alice said,” now it’s time to find out who is going to take the other place. Let the match begin!”

Suddenly, the expression on the princess’ face changed from bored to excited. “You have seem to take a liking to that mysterious knight,” her father said. “There’s just something about him…” princess Sofia said,” I don’t know what…”

The knight with secret identity knocked his opponent off of his horse. That’s 1 time. The second time it was Sir Machiavalli who got the point. Once the secretive knight was on his horse again, he gave his opponent thumbs up.

A thought formed in princess Sofia’s head: He would be the perfect person to show me the world.

The tension rose and the audience grew silent. The knight that got the other off next was the last finalist. The horses puffed as they both sprang in action, the knights running straight to each other.

A loud clang could be heard, followed by thud. The audience began to cheer and clap. Princess Sofia took a relieved breath.

Sir Machiavalli found himself lying on the ground. He had lost the jousting game. The knight with secret identity jumped from his horse and bowed.

The next thing he did surprised a lot of people. He jogged towards his fallen opponent and... helped him up. Sir Machiavalli took the offered hand and got up with the help from the other. The knight helped Sir Machiavalli to his stand and patted him on the back.

The crowd had gone silent as they all watched the unusual happening. As soon as the knight returned to the tournament field, the crowd began to cheer and clap again. The knight stopped in front of the royal stand and bowed for his king.

“What you did was kind, knight,” the king said,” I appreciate a caring attitude.” Suddenly Alice’s voice sounded over the amplifier,” What a crazy fella.” The crowd laughed and the knight turned to Alice and mockingly bowed.

“Anyway,” Alice said,” These are our finalists. Sir Adrian and mister funny guy over here.” The crowd laughed again. “The finale is simple, a swordfight. If one loses his weapon, one must fight with his hands. First one to fall and not stand up within 5 seconds is out, he loses the tournament.”

The finalist had taken their swords and went back into the field. “So, mister ‘secret identity’,” Sir Adrian sneered,” Ready to finally get beaten?” The other stayed silent. “Oh?” Sir Adrian turned to the audience,” he’s too afraid to say something!” He laughed dryly.

Princess Sofia shook her head. A servant came up to the royal stand and asked the princess:” Would you like to say something to the knights, your highness? Some support and maybe give one of them something?”

Princess Sofia nodded,” Yes, I’d like to do that.” Her father looked with pride at her. It was her first time a long time from the castle and her first tournament, but she acted like a true royal would.

“Sir Adrian,” said the same servant who had asked the princess to speak,” present yourself to the king and his daughter.” Sir Adrian buckled his sword to his armor and walked up to the royal stand.

“Your highness,” he said, bowing. “Sir Adrian,” princess Sofia said, she stood up,” I wish you the best of luck. I do believe the fairest knight will win.”

Sir Adrian smiled,” I’m doing this for you, my beautiful princess.” Princess Sofia nodded,” You may.” Sir Adrian kept gazing hopefully at the princess.

“You may leave.”

The stunned expression on his face was close to comical. He had been absolutely certain that he would be presented with the princess’ kerchief. He returned to his place.

“Sir…eh,” the servant said, dubitable,” yeah.. Present yourself to the king and his daughter.” The knight with secret identity walked up to the royal stand and bowed. “Kind knight,” princess Sofia said,” could you please come closer?”

The knight looked around to find a way to come closer to the princess. He did it the same way as before, climbing in the wooden planks of the royal stand. Princess Sofia smiled,” dear knight, I wish you the best of luck. I do believe the fairest knight will win.” She took of her kerchief and hung it around his neck.

“You are in my favoring.”

The knight took her hand and bowed deeply. After that he hopped off of the royal stand and returned to his spot. “Now, after the lovely princess gave her blessing,” Alice announced,” it is time to start this finale. Knights, ready your swords.”


Both knights lifted their swords. The secretive knight had bound the kerchief around his left wrist.

“1…
2…
3…
Fight!”

A heavy metallic clank sounded when to swords met. Sir Adrian was fuming with rage. How dare that disrespectful wanna-be knight get the princess’ blessing?! He growled as he attacked once more. “You’re going down!”

The fight was mostly Sir Adrian attacking with fierce power and the knight deflecting the attacks. “What’s wrong?” Sir Adrian asked,” Cat caught your tongue?”

The other stayed silent. It was making Sir Adrian go mad. He attacked again. His arms began to feel sore and his attacks began to falter. Meanwhile, the knight with secret identity hadn’t even land a blow. Nonetheless, the attacks kept coming.

“You’re a fool,” Sir Adrian said,” you think you’re really something, don’t you? You think you’re all tough and stuff, keeping that helmet on and never saying something. Well, you’re not.”

He swung his sword, but it got deflected. “It seems that Sir Adrian is getting tired,” Alice said,” even though he hasn’t done much.” The crowd laughed. It only fueled Sir Adrian’s frustration. He lashed out, it was a very badly aimed half-assed attack.

The knight with secret identity took the opportunity to disarm his opponent. Sir Adrian’s grip on his sword loosened and the other was able to hit it out of his hands. The sword landed a few feet besides them.

Sir Adrian looked shocked up at his opponent. “Oh, it seems that the only thing he has to do is knock Sir Adrian out,” Alice said excited. The audience was waiting for the secretive knight to finish the match, but he turned around.

“Uh,” Alice said,” What’s he doing?”

The knight walked up to the sword of Sir Adrian and picked it up. “Oh! He’s gonna use two swords to finish him!” Alice shouted excited. Everybody stared at her and the knight shook his head.

“…No?”

Alice was disappointed,” then what are you gonna do with it?” The knight turned to Sir Adrian, lifted the other’s sword and threw it his way. Sir Adrian catched his sword. It was silent for a bit.

“Well, that you could do,” Alice murmured. “You truly are a fool,” Sir Adrian said, getting ready to fight again,” pathetic. You can’t even finish it, when you can. Real petty.”

The clinging of metal against metal continued. This time the secretive knight did fight back. Both were tired and scratched up. Sir Adrian lashed out again, turning his sword at the last second. The other had not foreseen it and got disarmed.

The crowd expected that Sir Adrian would give back the sword too, but that did not happen. Instead he raised his sword. “I’m not weak like you,” Sir Adrian said and swung his sword. The crowd gasped as they saw how Sir Adrian attacked fiercer and how he got more aggressive. Some began to shout in protest.

“Dad,” princess Sofia said shocked,” he’s trying to kill him.” Her father laid a hand on her shoulder,” It’s part of the rules. And he’s not trying to kill him.”

The knight with no name seemed to have a hard time. He had to deflect the attacks with his armored hands and arms. He landed a few punches on Sir Adrian here and there, but there was not enough space to knock him out. Sir Adrian was so fed up with his opponent, he had all the intensions to hit him. He would show the others what a real knight is.

Meanwhile, the audience was cheering, protesting and boo-ing. Alice tried to talk above them, but to no avail. “Sir Adrian’s not a knight! Real knights won’t do that!”called somebody from the crowd. “He’s just jealous that somebody’s better than him!” called another one. “Yeah, the other one is a real knight!”

The crowd began to cheer for the knight with secret identity. In frustration, Sir Adrian lashed out to the other one. “You want him, don’t you?” he yelled at the audience. He got a lot of angry shouts and boo’s back. “Well, that’s too bad,” Sir Adrian said and slashed the knight’s arm. Blood welled up from the wound.

If possible, the crowd began to protest even louder. Sir Adrian walked closer to the audience, his back turned to his opponent. “I’m the better knight!” he screamed,” Me! Not him! He’s nothing more than a irritating little pest!” He kept screaming at the audience, an insane look in his eyes. He laughed maniacally.

Suddenly he turned to the royal stand, looking at the princess. ”And you, princess,” he sneered,” you’re not even worth fighting for.”

The beautiful princess Sofia got a hurt look in her eyes. Her father stood up to demand to lock the insane man away and the crowd tried to climb in the ring to kick his ass. That all stopped and things went quiet when a surprising thing happened.

Out of nowhere, the secretive knight raised his fist and gave Sir Adrian a hard uppercut. Sir Adrian’s head fell back as his body fell to the floor. He was knocked out, fair and square. The knight with unknown identity straightened his back and rubbed his hands.

After some silence the crowd broke out in a happy cheering. “Take him out of my sight,” the king ordered,” and let a doctor check him.” Royal guards marched up to the slowly gaining conscious Sir Adrian and dragged him off the tournament field.

“The unknown knight is the winner!” Alice shouted,” He’s the champion of this tournament!” The knight with secret identity walked in front of the royal stand and bowed. “You did well, brave knight,” the king said I’d like to invite you for a party at the castle in honor of your winning.” The knight nodded.

“In fact,” the king said, raising his voice,” I invite all citizens for the party. It will be held tonight at the castle.” The crowd started cheering. The king looked to his daughter, she looked very happy to hear the news. They didn’t have much party’s at the castle.

The secretive knight disappeared in the crowd, the princess’ eyes on him. She wondered where he was going. She was looking forward to tonight, hoping to see the knight again.



~That night~


The party was in full swing, the halls were packed with people in their finest clothes, the music bands played their songs and the castle staff was working full time. Princess Sofia let her eyes slide over the big crowd, searching for a particular person. She could not find him.

She sighed and leaned back in her throne. Her parents were talking to some slightly important people and left her alone on the throne. Her thoughts began to wonder, thinking about the earlier tournament.

Suddenly, she got shaken from her thoughts. A pearl white rose was held in front of her eyes. She took the flower and turned in her seat. Her eyes met blue one’s behind a visor.

“Hey,” she said,” It’s you.” The knight walked in front of her and bowed. He held out his hand with a bouquet of white roses for the princess. “Are those for me?” princess Sofia asked. The knight nodded. She accepted the flowers.

Her eyes fell on her friend, Maid Maya, as she walked by with a plate of food. “Maya,” she called. The maid, who had put down the plate on a table, looked up at her princess. “Milady?” she asked. “Look at these beautiful flowers I got,” princess Sofia said,” Could you put them on water for me?”

Maya nodded and smiled. “Of course, right away,” she said and took the flowers. “She’s my friend,” the princess explained to the knight, who nodded.

“Hey, do you wanna see the gardens?” princess Sofia asked. She loved the gardens, it was the only place outside where she was a bit free, of course there were still guards around, but not within 4 feet. The knight held out his arm for her to take. She gave him her hand and she showed him the way.

The guards greeted them when they walked outside. “This is my favorite part,” the princess said after showing the knight almost the whole garden. The knight turned his visor to her. “I come here ever since I’m a child,” she said,” I love that swing.”

They both took place on a swing. Princess Sofia talked about her life as a princess, how her parents are over-protective and other things that bothered her or what she liked. She had actually never talked to somebody like this, like a real friend. It felt good to get some things off of her.

“Thank you,” princess Sofia said,” for listening. I don’t really have anybody to talk to..” She stared at her feet.

“I would listen to you anytime, princess.”

Princess Sofia looked up, surprised. It took her a moment to realize it was the knight who had spoken. His voice was lighter then she had expected. “My apologies, princess,” the knight said,” for not talking sooner. But I feel I can trust you and we’re not surrounded by others right now.”

Princess Sofia noticed she was staring at him and quickly shook her head,” Your apology is accepted. But, please, call me Sofia.” The knight nodded. “Now I know how your voice sounds,” princess Sofia said,” am I allowed to know your name?”

She felt a bit nervous, but also very happy to know that the other had opened up to her. “My friends call me Chris,” the knight said. “Sir Chris,” the princess mused.

“Nooooo, just Chris,” the knight said and laughed. Princess Sofia laughed too. “You said your parents don’t let you go out by your own,” knight Chris said, getting a bit more severe,” Has something happened in the past to make them this worried?”

Princess Sofia shrugged. “Not that I know of,” she said,” it’s just because I’m a girl, they think I can’t take care of myself or protect myself...you know?”

Knight Chris snorted,” Trust me. I know exactly what you’re talking about.” Princess Sofia arched her eyebrows,” How can you understand? You’re no-.”

She stopped herself. She blinked and stared at Chris. The swings bumped into each other as princess Sofia moved closer to the other. She placed her hands on either side of the helmet. She swallowed nervously,” May I?”

Knight Chris nodded. The princess pulled the helmet off. She noticed the blue eyes she had seen before. They looked intensive at her. She pulled off the cap on Chris’ head, revealing half long, wavy golden locks. Princess Sofia stared surprised at his – ahem – her face.

“See,” Chris said,” I told you, I know.” Princess Sofia had known something was off, but this? She had not expected this. “I humbly beg your forgiveness. I hope you understand my predicament,” Chris said, holding princess Sofia’s hands,” do you understand what would happen if they knew I was a girl?”

Princess Sofia nodded her head slowly. They stared silently at each other. Princess Sofia’s voice broke the silence,” I can’t believe I called you Sir Chris.”

Knight Chris looked at her in surprise, but then started laughing. Princess Sofia couldn’t help her giggles and soon she laughed along. “I’m used to others thinking I’m a male,” knight Chris said,” I sometimes forget myself.”

“Hahaha,” princess Sofia giggled,” What? Do you take the wrong bathroom then or what?” Their laughter rang again. “I do!” knight Chris said between laughs.

It took quite some time for them to calm down and stop laughing. “I’ve never laughed so much before,” princess Sofia said. She happily smiled at Chris. Here she sat with a knight, who turned out to be a girl, of which she had the feeling they had known each other for forever.

“That’s a shame,” knight Chris said,” it makes you even prettier. You should laugh more.” Princess Sofia blushed and swatted Chris’ shoulder. “Not that anyone’s around to hear it,” she huffed. “I don’t think all the guards mind,” knight Chris muttered, trying to smother her laugh. Princess Sofia shook her head.

“Hey,” Chris said and sprung up from her swing,” you wanna see the city?” Princess Sofia looked shocked at her. “I know you want to,” knight Chris said and took her hands,” I’ve got a feeling that this party will not be over soon. We’ve got plenty of time.”

“But-“

Chris shushed her by putting her hand before princess Sofia’s mouth. “No buts, I’m gonna take you to see the best spot. You’ll be save with me,” knight Chris said,” the city is beautiful by night.” She dragged princess Sofia with her to the outer wall of the gardens.

“I won’t push you, if you really don’t want to.”

Princess Sofia gulped, she felt nervous, but also excited. “Boost me up,” she said with a smile. Knight Chris grinned and helped her on the wall. She climbed on herself and hopped off of the other side. “I’ll catch you,” she whispered to princess Sofia, who sat on the wall. Princess Sofia looked over her shoulder before she jumped off, right in knight Chris’ awaiting arms.

She only now noticed that she still held Chris’ helm in her arms. “Oh,” she said,” you might need this.” She handed Chris the helm. “Yes, I do,” knight Chris chuckled,” thank you, Sofia.”

She turned around and whistled a little tune. Princess Sofia was just about to ask why she did that, when the bushes began to rustle. Startled she duck behind knight Chris’ back. Chris chuckled,” Don’t be afraid, it’s just Serenade.”

“S-serenade?” princess Sofia asked, looking over Chris’ shoulder. The bushes rustled some more before a horse stepped through. It was a beautiful black horse, with white streaks in its mane.

Chris stepped towards it and petted its head. “Hey there gorgeous,” she whispered. The horse softly nudged its nose against her face. Chris laughed softly and turned towards the princess. “Princess Sofia, meet Serenade,” she patted the horse,” Serenade, meet your highness.”

Princess Sofia took a step towards the horse. “She’s beautiful,” princess Sofia said. “Yes, she is,” knight Chris said,” you can come closer, she’s not coy, she’s actually very curious.” Knight Chris let go of the horse and it instantly turned its head to princess Sofia. Serenade slowly stepped closer and sniffed the air around the princess. Princess Sofia held up her hand. The horse sniffed it and then proceeded to nuzzle it.

“She seems to like you,” knight Chris said, a warming smile on her lips. She walked up to Serenade and climbed on. “Milady,” she said and stuck out her hand for princess Sofia to grab on. The princess took her and gracefully climbed on.

“Hold on tight,” knight Chris said and dug her heels in the horse’s sides, making it move. Princess Sofia swung her arms around Chris’ waist. Together they rode through the forest. Princess Sofia didn’t feel comfortable with the darkness, but she felt save with Chris. She also felt nervous and very excited.

This person had just jumped into her life, had trusted her to keep her secret and now took her with her, out of the castle, out between the high walls. Something she had always wanted to do.

“Hey,” Chris whispered and moved a bit,” you still with me?” Princess Sofia blinked a couple of times. “Yeah, I’m here.” Her voice was laced with sleep.

Suddenly a growl sounded from somewhere, making princess Sofia yelp. “Haha, carefully,” Chris said,” don’t fall off! It’s just my stomach.” Princess Sofia looked up at her,” are you feeling hungry?” Chris chuckled,” I haven’t had food for a while.”

“Then we should get something to eat,” princess Sofia said,” do you know a good place to get food?” Chris nodded,” I know all the good places, the bakery is close by.”

She stirred her horse in the right direction. “It’s quite quiet, isn’t it?” princess Sofia asked, looking around at the little stores and houses. “What did you expect?” knight Chris said,” almost everybody is at the castle, celebrating my victory.”

Princess Sofia blushed and looked at the ground. Of course. “But that mean we can go out at this time,” Chris said smiling, “And little to no people to see us,” princess Sofia said,” aah, now I understand.”

Knight Chris laughed and stopped her horse. “We’re here,” she said climbing off,” it’s humble.” Princess Sofia climbed off the horse and dusted herself off.

“It’s perfect.”

She said that once she saw the little bakery. Chris bound Serenade at a tree and followed the princess inside. Princess Sofia’s eyes were big when she looked around, there were bonbons, chocolate, cookies and cake and etc everywhere.

“Look at all this yummy stuff,” she exclaimed. The baker looked a bit more proud than before. “Good evening,” the baker said,” how can I help you?” Chris smiled and stepped forward,” I’d like some of your finest bread, good sir.”

“I will get it from the back,” the baker said,” there’s the freshly baked bread, even more delicious then normally.” Chris nodded. She looked over her shoulder at the princess. Princess Sofia was practically drooling over the window of cookies.

“Look Chris!” she said and waved her hand to Chris to come over,” Chocolate chip cookies, those are my favorite.” Chris chuckled,” I’m more fan of the white chocolate with caramel cookies.”

“A real sweet tooth aren’t you?” princess Sofia laughed,” I don’t eat sweets that often, my mom says it’s bad for me.”
“Well,” Chris said,” she’s right, it’s bad for your teeth and health.” Princess Sofia thought about it for a moment,” and you? How often do you eat sweets?” Knight Chris grinned,” as often as I can.”

Princess Sofia stared dumbfounded at the knight, but she soon started to laugh. “I’ve got your bread right here,” the baker said as he returned. Chris walked up to the counter. “I’d also like a pack of chocolate chip cookies, they look delicious,” she said. “Right away,” the baker said and grabbed a bag from behind the counter.

“It’s a shame you have to work while there’s a party at the castle,” princess Sofia said. “Maybe, but somebody has to watch the bakery,” the baker said,” there’s bread that needs to be made and some other stuff, like cake. Our working day starts early and ends late.”

“Wow, I never knew there was so much that needed to be done in a bakery,” princess Sofia said,” and did you say our?” The baker smiled and nodded,” Our as in my wife and me. We run this bakery together. As of late it’s mostly me who runs it. We got a baby, you see, so my wife takes care of our son and I take care of the bakery.”

“That’s a lot of work,” knight Chris said. “Yes,” the baker said,” but I love to do it, so don’t worry.”

“What’s your wife called?” princess Sofia asked. “Evangeline,” the baker answered,” and my son’s name is Theodore.” Princess Sofia smiled,” Those are beautiful names. You are a lucky man.” The baker smiled fondly,” Yes. Yes, I am.” Chris took out her satchel of coins. (1 coin = 2 dollar),” How much do you get from me?”

“That will be 3 coins for the bread and 2 coins for the cookies,” the baker said,” so that’ll be 5 coins, please.” Chris handed him coins. “Uhm... that’s 5 coins to much dear,” the baker said after recounting. “I know,” Chris said as she put away her satchel.

“I-I can’t take this,” the baker said astonished,” this is too much.” Knight Chris held up her hand,” Please. I insist. Buy something nice for your wife and son. You are good people, you deserve a little extra.”

The baker’s eyes lit up in a twinkle,” I will do just that. Thank you.” Chris smiled,” You’re welcome.” She took the bread and cookies from the counter and, followed by the princess, left the little bakery.

“That was really sweet of you,” princess Sofia said as the knight got her horse. “I can’t be so generous the whole time,” knight Chris muttered, but smiled. Princess Sofia was silently thinking about the knight’s words. She let herself be helped onto the horse. Knight Chris settled behind her,” Do you know how to ride a horse?”

Princess Sofia nodded and took the reins,” Where to?”
“Up the hill,” knight Chris said,” there’s my favorite spot.” Princess Sofia steered Serenade to the left.

The horse ride up the hill was silent. Not that neither the princess nor the knight minded, it was a comfortable silence. At a time princess Sofia gave the reins back to Chris and leaned back. She felt comfortable surrounded by her friend’s warmth.

“Are you poor?” she asked. “Nah,” Chris said laughing,” I’m not rich and we don’t have much coins, but I’m certainly not poor.”
“Oh,” princess Sofia said,” where do you get the coins from?”

“My work as a knight,” Chris said,” I do love being one and with the coins I get from winning tournaments, I get my fair share of coins.” They were silent for a bit. “Here it is,” Chris said.

The hill was green and covered with flowers, to the side there were bushes and big, flat stones and a beautiful view of the place below. The castle stood proud on the opposite side.

“Never thought I’d see the castle like this,” princess Sofia sighed,” it’s beautiful…” Chris smiled and climbed of off of Serenade. She helped the princess off as well. Princess Sofia climbed on one of the flat stones and sat down, legs dangling from the edge. Knight Chris joined her, taking of her helmet.

“This is really a beautiful place,” princess Sofia said, smiling at Chris. “I like to come here after training and watch the sunset,” Chris said. They were silent as they watched the lights below.

Suddenly a loud growl sounded. The princess and knight looked at each other, then at Chris’ belly and then back each other. They started to laugh. Serenade walked up to them. “Good girl,” Chris said, still laughing a little. She took out the bread from the leather pockets strapped to the side of Serenade. She broke a piece off and handed it to the princess.

“Ladies first,” Chris said, winking. Princess Sofia giggled and took the piece of bread. She put it in her mouth, as Chris did the same. “This is really good,” princess Sofia said. “It is, isn’t it?” Chris smiled,” We always get his bread, it’s our favorite.”

“We?”

“Uh,” Chris said, laughing softly,” We as in me and Alice, we live together.”
“Alice?” princess Sofia asked,” the announcer from the tournament?” Chris nodded,” We have a small place, I pay from the winning money and she pays from her jobs, like being the announcer.”

“She knew the secretive knight was you, but she pretended not to know,” princess Sofia stated,” genius.”
“When were alone she still calls me he,” Chris laughed,” but yeah, she alone knew that I was the knight of secrets.”

They sat in silence, watching the scenery. “Well, Chris said,” Alice and you now.”
“Nobody else?”
“Nope,” Chris said. She stared with a far-away look in the distance.

Suddenly, a pair on arms was around her. “Thank you,” princess Sofia mumbled, face pressed into the knight’s armor. “You’re welcome,” Chris said, hugging back,” You looked like you could use a knight.” Princess Sofia let go.

“I wish I could come see you,” Chris said, keeping one arm wrapped around the princess,” you know, without the armor and the hiding...” Princess Sofia sighed,” I would love that.”

Princess Sofia felt happy, she was out of the castle and she was with a new friend. “You know,” princess Sofia said,” I wouldn’t mind being in the castle all day if a friend would stop by occasionally…as long as I’m not alone all the time...”

Chris nodded,” I’m not allowed in the castle, let alone close to you, without armor.” Princess Sofia thought for a moment. “I’m sure my dad would let you if you did something heroic,” princess Sofia said,” show were your heart lies. Which intensions you have, that kind of stuff.”

Knight Chris arched an eyebrow,” Something heroic, like what?” Princess Sofia sat up, a twinkle in her eyes,” like saving the princess.”

Chris realized what she was talking about. “From what?” she asked, arms wide to indicate there was nothing around to be saved from. “Hmm,” the princess hummed,” what about, some robbers tried to kidnap me, you went after them and saved me?”

“Yeah,” Chris said,” but why didn’t I call for help? And where do the robbers go?”
“Because calling for help costs too much time and if you would have done it, they would’ve gotten away with me,” princess Sofia said.

“Seems legit,” Chris said. “As for the robbers, well, they got away and you had to bring me back so you couldn’t follow them,” princess Sofia said. She looked rather proud of her plan.

“You don’t look like you’ve been kidnapped,” Chris stated. “And you don’t look like you’ve had a fight,” princess Sofia said. They thought for a moment.

“I’ve got a plan,” princess Sofia said,” what if we run through those bushes over there? We’ll get scratches and stuff.” Chris nodded,” after that you can swing my sword at me.” The princess stared at the knight.

“ What?”

“ Hey, I wear pretty thick armor,” Chris said laughing,” it has to look like I had a fight.” Princess Sofia nodded and walked over to the bushes. Chris was right behind her. They started to run through them. They had thorns, how convenient. The thorns stuck in princess Sofia’s dress, making it rip a bit. They laughed when they saw each other.

“You look really bad,” knight Chris said, laughing. “And you don’t look bad enough,” princess Sofia said,” so, hand me your sword.” Chris grinned and whistled. Serenade walked up to her knight.

“Good girl,” Chris said and pulled her sword from where it was strapped to Serenade. “Catch!” Princess Sofia caught the sword and pulled it out of its holster. “You ready?” she asked, raising the sword. “As long as you aim for the chest plates,” Chris said. Princess Sofia felt a bit nervous. What if she had a terrible aim and missed the chest plates and hit Chris accidentally?

“Come now,” Chris said, a grin on her face,” I’m an knight, I can take some.” She put on her helmet. Princess Sofia smiled and swung the sword. It hit right in the chest plates. A couple of more metal on armor sounds could be heard before it got silent again.

“Now, that wasn’t so bad, was it?” knight Chris said. The princess shook her head. “SO, princess,” Chris said as she climbed on the horse,” how do you want to do it?”

Princess Sofia climbed on the horse too. “Simple, we ride to the castle, you take me in your arms, you step dramatically inside,” princess Sofia began explaining,” then I will tell the story and then you will tell something too and take of your helmet.”

Chris hummed,” Not a very detailed plan, eh?” She stirred Serenade to move down the hill. “Not really,” princess Sofia said,” you’ll have to improvise.”

They sat in silence for a while, the princess with her arms around the knight. “Say..” princess Sofia said softly,” would you come and save me if something would really happen?”

The knight was silent for a bit. “Without a doubt,” she said,” actually, it’s very typical for me to go after a bunch of robbers without calling for help first.” She chuckled,” I never was a smart person.”

Princess Sofia laughed,” You’re not dumb either.” She noticed that they were already close to the little bakery. “Alice says I’m a doer before thinking,” Chris said amused. “Maya says the opposite of me,” princess Sofia said,” she was the one I gave the flowers to, remember?”

Chris nodded,” she looks like a really sweet girl.”
“She is,” princess Sofia smiled,” I think she’d be good friend with Alice.” Chris laughed,” They would, wouldn’t they?” Princess Sofia hummed in agreement.

Silence once returned to them as they were closing in on the castle. To soon for the girls’ liking did they arrive at castle’s doors. They climbed off the horse. The princess looked herself over one more time, while the knight secured her horse.

“Ready?” princess Sofia asked. Chris nodded. She swooped the princess in her arms. Before they opened the doors, Chris whispered: “You know that, if we do this, you’re never allowed to leave the castle again?”

Princess Sofia nodded and mumbled,” I don’t care, as long as you can get in.”

And with that said, the knight barged through the doors. The party noises fell with the banging of the doors. The crowd gasped as they realized who had disturbed the party. Princess Sofia felt the knight tense and got nervous.

Had this really been a good plan?

As Chris walked towards the end of the grand entrance hall, towards the king and queen, royal guards rushed to help the knight. Chris nodded to them, she had this. She put the princess on her feet, once they stood for the king and queen. The knight bowed deeply.

The queen quickly hugged her daughter close,” my child, you look horrible! What happened?” Princess Sofia seemed at a loss of words, but quickly started explaining when she saw the look on her father’s face.

“Well, I was just showing the knight our rose gardens and after that I wanted to show him how beautiful the leaves had gotten in the forest behind the walls.”

The twitch of her father’s eye did not go unnoticed by the princess and she quickly continued:” He said that it probably wasn’t the best idea, but I convinced him to go. So we climbed over the wall in the back. I was already on the other side when I suddenly felt somebody garb my arm. It was those robbers! They dragged me with them, while the knight went after them. At one time, I thought he was gone, but out of nowhere he appeared and fought off the on that hold me. That’s when thy started to attack him. Oh daddy, he fought so brave! It was just him against 7 of them. Eventually they gave up and ran away. He picked me up and started to run back to the castle. I’ve got some scratches and where that robber grabbed me feels sore, but I’m alright.”

The queen hugged her daughter again and whispered reassurances. The king hugged his daughter and then turned to the still kneeling knight. “Stand, please,” the king said. The knight stood up. “You’re very brave,” the king said, putting a hand on the armor on the knight’s shoulder,” you saved my daughter, you’re a true knight.”

The crowd began to cheer. “He’s a hero!” somebody shouted. Instantly the crowd went silent when the knight spoke.

“My king,” the knight said, bowing again,” my queen. I’m truly sorry that the robbers got away.” The queen gave a warm smile,” It’s alright. You brought my daughter back, save. Thank you.”

The knight put his hands on his helmet and, to everybody’s surprise, pulled it off his head. A loud gasp could be heard. Chris’ long blonde hair got visible.

“It’s a girl,” somebody whispered. “I would bring her back anytime, your highness,” she said softly,” no matter what.” Both the princess and the knight looked anxiously at the king.

“She saved my life, daddy,” princess Sofia said,” she’s allowed to come her and visit me, right?” Her father looked at her, no expression on his face. “That would make me very happy..” princess Sofia said softly. The king sighed and turned towards the knight.

“I actually don’t care which gender you are, you saved my precious child,” the king said,” you are allowed in the castle anytime. You’ve proven your worth. You are also allowed to the princess and visit us. I would love it if you did.”

Chris’ eyes went wide, but she soon smiled. The king laughed,” I never thought a girl could fight like that.” The tension broke when the crowd laughed. The music started again and the party was in full swing.

The queen hugged her daughter and the knight before calling maid Maya over. Maya guided them to the dressing room of the princess. She insisted princess Sofia took a bath. “I’ll help pick out clothes for the knight,” she said. Princess Sofia nodded in agreement.

When she was settled in the bath she could hear Maya and Chris in the other room. “Thank you, but no thank you,” Chris said laughing,” but I’m not going to wear a dress!”

“Come on, now, there are no other clothes for you can wear,” Maya said. “I’ll just wear what I’m wearing then.”
“Eww, no,” Maya said,” you look horrible and you smell.” Princess Sofia could picture the insulted look on Chris’ face. She giggled.

“Just let me dress you and do your hair,” Maya said,” as a thank you.” Chris sighed and said:” You’ve got a weird way of showing your appreciation.” Maya laughed.

After that, princess Sofia couldn’t hear anything anymore. She washed herself and dried herself of. Maya had put the clean clothes on a stool nearby. Once she was fully clothed and had done her hair, she walked back into the changing room.

“Wow,” she sad when she got a glimpse of Chris. “You’re all done,” Maya said, as she looked her personal masterpiece over. Chris sighed in relief and stood up.

She wore a light blue dress, sweetheart neckline and wide from the bottom dress with dark blue aspects. Her hair was up in a loose ponytail. “You look pretty,” princess Sofia said. “Thanks,” Chris said, blushing slightly,” You look beautiful yourself.”

The princess was wearing a green dress, a bit shorter than Chris’. It was also a type of ball gown. She had her hair loose and some decorations tucked between some strands of hair.

“You two are ready to go,” Maya said, she smiled with glee. “You sure?” Chris asked,” There’s not some weird stuff you want to put on me?” Maya laughed and escorted them back. “You two have fun!” she called before continuing work.

“Want to go outside?” princess Sofia asked. Chris laughed and asked:” You still haven’t had enough fresh air?” Princess Sofia shook her head and they walked outside.

Soon they arrived at the spot where it all began. The princess and the knight sat on the swings again. Their soft conversation only destined for their ears. “I can’t believe it worked,” princess Sofia said. “You did quite the good job,” knight Chris said. They laughed.

“But I’m very happy it worked.”
“Me too,” Chris said,” your dad seems to like me.” They laughed again. Their conversation went all through the night, ‘till the end of the party. Two friends sitting along side each other.

~A couple of days later~

“So, how’s it going?”

Princess Sofia smiled,” Good. I mean, you’ve only been away for three days.” The knight put her back on the ground,” I know, but I missed you.”

As soon as the knight had set her eyes on the princess, she ran towards her, picked her up by the waist and twirled her around. “You’re so overdramatic,” princess Sofia said laughing. “You wouldn’t want me any other way,” knight Chris said with a grin. “True.”

They walked up to the room of the princess chatting loudly. “My dad ordered the raise of the wall around the castle,” princess Sofia said. She smiled somberly. “ That just means we have to figure another way out,” knight Chris said jokingly.

“It’s not bad in here,” princess Sofia said,” as long as I have company.” They passed maid Maya in the corridor. Chris stopped to greet her. She took Maya’s hand, put something in it and walked further.
“What did you give her?” princess Sofia asked curious. “A little heart shaped stone,” Chris said,” I saw them and bought one for Alice and one for Maya.” Princess Sofia wondered why, but smiled,” That’s really sweet.”

They arrived at the princess’ room. Princess Sofia opened the door. Chris pulled something out of her bag and put it behind her back, right as princess Sofia closed the door.

“What’s that behind your back?” princess Sofia asked once she turned around. “What do you mean?”

Princess Sofia walked to the bed where Chris sat, trying to peek behind Chris’ back. “Well,” Chris said,” You said you wished you had some more company, so I bought you this.” She pulled the object from behind her back and handed it to the princess.

The princess blinked and took the stuffed animal. “A Teddy-bear?” Chris looked away embarrassed. A big grin appeared on princess Sofia’s face. She suddenly tackled the knight in a glomp-like hug.

“Thank you,” she said as she hugged Chris tight. “Haha, you seem to like it,” Chris said, she sounded relieved. “Of course!” princess Sofia said,” I got it from you! And it’s really, really fluffy.”

They hugged for a bit. “But, this doesn’t mean you won’t come around, does it?” princess Sofia asked. Chris shook her head,” Don’t worry. I will.”

They both lay on the bed talking. “You know,” princess Sofia said,” I told Maya.”
“You did?” Chris asked,” I could have guessed so.” Chris chuckled,” I told Alice. All she did was laugh. Seriously.”

Princess Sofia laughed. “No really!” Chris said, trying to hold in her laughter,” All through dinner and even when I lay in bed I could hear her laughing in the other room!” Chris began to laugh too.

“May I ask what’s so funny?” maid Maya walked into the room. Princess Sofia and knight Chris simply looked at each other. Maya smiled and sat in the chair besides the bed.

The tree resumed talking. Princess Sofia finally had the adventure she wanted, someone to talk to, to keep her company. Someone who would visit her regularly.

The adventure of friendship. A friend, who she got in a most peculiar way, to talk to, to be with. And maybe, just maybe, the high walls of the castle won’t be so lonely anymore...

They lived happily ever after.

The End
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