Prologue: Girl of Unknown Origin

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A man in shining gold armor sat atop the horse properly, like something out of a fairytale, and cut down the ogre approaching them with ease. Sophie watched with awe as he turned around to see the five children behind him, and his eyes widened with shock. Sophie noticed the royal emblem of the Everglen family on his chest as he knelt his horse down. "Get on," he urged, "quickly! And hold on tight, I shall take you somewhere safe."

Sophie didn't hesitate, but Dex seemed to be frozen with fear. She quickly handed the man Rex from her arms, then took Bex and Lex out of Dex's, balancing them on the horse as she climbed on, then pulled Dex on beside her. Together, they held the triplets tightly as the man righted the horse and shot through the madness. They lept over bodies and soldiers and the man defended them against any attackers, though an arrow or two did scrape their skin a bit, but that was better than dying. Bex cried as they left the village, and sobbed when an arrow cut her palm as it whizzed by, a cut that they would soon find would leave a scar, but to Sophie, her cries were all lost in static as she drowned in the setting, her photographic memory capturing images soldiers and ogres killing one another, and innocent people being defended or terrorized, though usually the latter.

There was a point where an ogre got very close to them with a battle axe, and the man protecting them was already engaged with another ogre. There was no one to protect them. Fear spiraled throughout her system and she threw her hand out on instinct, sending the ogre backwards with a force she couldn't explain other than... telekinesis? She hadn't ever found time to learn the skill, like many peasants, and the man on the horse who was saving them saw this, an amazed look brushing over his face for a moment before returning to the battle, which didn't seem to cease in gore or sorrow. It was only when they were able to unlock from the battle's jaws and began riding on the path out of the village that the man sped the horse up, the scenery at last a blur.

Eventually, they reached shimmering gates of blue light, and they swung open, revealing the heart of Evertalia: Everglen. The man didn't slow down until he arrived at what appeared to be the stables. He slid off the horse and helped the kids down, carrying the triplets all in his arms and asking for the two newly teens to follow closely behind. Sophie sort of had to prod Dex along as they went, and a million thoughts were running through her head. Where were Grady, Edaline, Juline, and Kesler? Were they okay? Was everyone okay? Where was this man taking them? Who was he? How did she know how to use telekinesis? Her third question was answered as soon as they moved past the first servant, whose eyes were wide, "My king... What is going on?"

King? The man who had saved them was a king? They were in Everglen... so that must mean... this was King Alden! Sophie was instantly star struck, and tried to walk faster than the man so she could look up and study his face clearly for the first time, but she didn't have to look long to see it was him, his teal eyes unlike any other outside of his family. The aging lines of his face were set in concentration, and he walked with purpose. After they were walking in the grand... beautiful castle for a while... he beckoned someone to open the doors for them, leading into what Sophie guessed was an infirmary. The king called for the doctor, who immediately one rushed over quickly patching up all of their scrapes and such, but looked confused.

Once he finished, the king picked up the triplets again, and brought the five kids to a room that was filled with younger kids who were clearly not royalty, so they were probably the children of servants. King Alden set the triplets down on a bench, who were all sniffling and crying. He then turned to Dex and Sophie, getting down on his knees, resting a hand on each of their shoulders, "I will come back. This is the nursery for my staff's kids. You'll be safe here. I'm going to go back and rejoin the fight, but please, tell me the names of your family who's still in the village and I will look for them when the battle is over, I promise. If you need anything, let one of my staff members know. Your names are?"

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