Chapter 1

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A/N: My dear Spektators, it is here: Mayra's story! I'm so excited for you to read this. The Scarlet Princess can be read alone, but if you haven't already, I would advise you to read Seize the Day and Chains of Fate before reading Scarlet Princess. But if you don't mind spoilers, you can go ahead and read it. ♥

I hope you guys enjoy The Scarlet Princess. Please let me know what you think!

~ Katie

Chapter 1

Radiant sunlight danced across the spring leaves like sun warriors preparing for battle. The soldiers waged war with the shadows, springing to life in the crevices of the new growth populating the branches of the broad oak trees.

I watched them perform their dance, little men of light against little shadow warriors. It was like the ashkar, the traditional battle of the Eremithians.

I could see the arrows of light shoot at the darkness as the leaves swayed in the breeze. The sun warriors were slowly gaining victory.

Eventually, the sun rose and the shadow men fell. Once night came, the sun warriors would fall to the shadow men and the cycle would repeat.

An endless cycle with an endless number of days. Those sun warriors had their every day chosen for them. Day by day, they would do the same thing over and over again.

Over and over and over.

"Princess Mayra!"

I definitely knew the feeling.

I turned my head sideways to see Misa, her pale face strained from the effort of running. Funny. Why was she out here? "What is it?"

Misa gasped, clutching at her side like the world was ending. "Princess, please do not run off like that!" The sun warriors danced across the dryad's features, illuminating the maroon hair that stuck to her sweaty face. "Your mother said—"

"My mother says a lot of things," I replied. "It doesn't mean I have to listen."

She sighed in exasperation and knelt beside me in the fresh growth. "Princess, please. It's not quite summer yet. You could catch a cold."

"Careful," I said, pulling the edge of my black cloak from under her knee.

"My apologies," Misa replied tartly. She stood and held out her hand. "Please come back to the city."

She knew not to use the word home with me after I argued with her for an hour about how the forest was more like a home to me than that glass prison.

I ignored the offer of her hand and stood, brushing off the corset of my dress. I followed Misa through the forest. The ground was damp with the fresh smell of new growth. Flowers sprung up beneath fallen, decomposing leaves.

A sudden screech made me stop.

Misa paused. "What was that?"

I touched a tree and closed my eyes. I felt the flow of the wind and listened, waited.

There it was again. Just in the distance, a cry. An outburst.

A conflict.

I couldn't stop myself from grinning. "Tell Mother I'll be late for lunch!" I told Misa as I disappeared into the forest.

***

Being the second princess of Eremith, one had quite a few duties. First, the princess must keep order within the forest where Eremith resides. Second, the princess must perform administrative duties to keep the city running and peaceful. Third—

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