Princess In Disguise; Part Two

              Three miles west, Jayla, with her sword secured tightly to her belt, searched for the dragon. She wandered around ten minutes with no results. Exasperated at not finding such a big beast, Jayla tied her horse to a tree and bunkered down on the grass.

              The minute she sat down, she heard a loud roar. Yes! The dragon was finally coming.

              Jayla unsheathed her sword and headed in the direction of the sound.

              “I’m coming for you dragon!” She yelled, gritting her teeth.

              She came over the hill. The biggest beast she’d ever seen lay straight in front of her. Its scales were a fiery red and orange. The head resembled a snake. The beast looked fierce. She charged forward, giving the loudest battle roar yet.

              Fifteen feet from the dangerous beast, Jayla suddenly lay on the ground ten feet to the left. Something had rammed her to the ground. Glancing toward the beast, she saw a dark figure standing in front of it with a long sword. The person had pushed her aside.


              Jayla rose to her feet. What was this figure doing telling her what to do. It looked like he was trying to steal her dragon as well.

              In a small fit of anger, she grabbed her sword that had slidden from her hand. She raced up to the dragon and tried to plunge her sword into it. It wouldn’t even allow an inch. The distracted dragon turned to her and slung a claw towards her, barely missing.

              Jayla felt a strong hand on her arm, quickly tugging her away. She had no choice but to follow. They raced away. The figure pulled her into a small cave in the cliffs.

              Finally, with Jayla somewhat safe, the adrenaline started to slow in her body.  Instead it was replaced with anger. She turned to the figure. In the little light of the cave, she saw that it was what appeared to be a young man. He had dark brown hair and ruddy but handsome features.

              “Why’d you do that! I almost had the beast.” She growled.

              He laughed.

              It only made her ten times angrier.

              “You did not even have the slightest chance of killing it. If I hadn’t stepped in, you’d be dead right now.”

              “I would absolutely not.” She stuck her nose in the air and looked the other way.

              He laughed again.

              Why did he have to keep laughing at her? It made her so angry. No one should laugh at her.

              “I mean look at this sword.” He tapped her blade. “Is this a decoration?”

              “It is not. I bought it from a real sword seller.”

              “A scam artist, you mean? This sword wouldn’t cut a cucumber.”

              “You’re just jealous because the likes of you could never afford such a thing.” She pulled a string she’d never tried before.

              He laughed. Again.

              “Would you stop laughing at me!”

              That only made him laugh again. “You’re cute.”

              Who was this beggar making remarks about her? Next time she went out, she would have to not be in disguise. It was disgusting what crazy insolent young men would say to her. They would never say that if they knew she was a princess.

              “You shouldn’t speak to a prin—me that way.” Jayla decided it was high time to change the subject. “I best be gone now.”

              She started waddling to the entrance.

              “You think that beast is gone already? He’ll be out for another hour or so.”

              “Well, I’d rather go get my dragon killed, than sit here with the likes of you.”

              “Let me tell you, you’re not going to kill the beast by charging like you did earlier, and certainly not with that sword of yours. The only way you can kill coldbarrows is by sneaking up on them. That’s what I was trying to do when you made your ridiculous charge.”

              “Hmmph.” She sat back down on the dirt.

              She let silence invade until she finally broke it with a question.

              “If you say my sword is so dull, I demand that you sell me yours.”

              He laughed. “What will I kill the beast with if I don’t have my sword.” He asked.

              She shot him a cold look. “The beast is mine.”

              “What could a girl like you possibly want with a dragon?”

              “What would a beggar like you want with a dragon? Are you trying to win fame or something. Maybe even try to win the hand of a princess? Well, let me tell you, no princess would ever want to marry you.”

              “And how would you know who a princess would want to marry.”

              “Of course, I’d—” She almost answered, but then stopped short. This guy irritated her so much. Were all guys like him? She hoped not, or she would run away when her parents decided it was time for her to marry.

              “I actually just need the dragon to…what do you say…graduate from something.”

              Jayla suddenly softened. “Like a board of knightship?” She’d always wanted to enter one, but her parents refused her.

              “Sort of.” He seemed to notice her mood change. “It’s a little different than one of those. Oh, by the way, what’s your name?”


              “I’m Thyer.”

              “Hmm.. your name sounds familiar.” Jayla felt as if she should know the name like the back of her hand.

              Thyer only shrugged. They let silence fall, and each returned to their own thoughts.

              After a while Thyer started up again. “I know it’s a sensitive subject, but why do you want to kill this dragon so badly?”

              “I… there was an old man I met whose daughter died because of it, and well, he wanted to get revenge on the beast, but was too old. So, I offered my services.”

              “Even though, no offense, you’ve never wielded a sword in your life, you did it for him. That was kind of you.”

              Jayla felt a little guilty. She really was just looking for adventure. “I…well…I was just looking for something adventurous to do. I thought it was a good opportunity to adventure.”

              Thyer gave a nod. “Where are you from?”

              Jayla looked up at him.

              “You don’t talk like the people around here, so I figured you weren’t from around here.”

              Jayla didn’t think it mattered too much if she told him. “I’m from the kingdom of Youla.”

              “Ah, I myself am from the Syer.”

              “About six days journey from Youla, yes?”

              He nodded. “I once visited Youla when I was little. I was about six, I think. I can’t remember much of the trip.”

              Jayla stared at him. What he said reminded her of something. Thyer, the name. Syer, the city he was from. And his trip. It all brought back to her the memory of when she was four.

              She had just turned four, but she remembered when a royal couple came to the castle and brought their young son named Thyer. She had played with him for days and days. She blushed as she remembered the day they had to part. The six-year-old Thyer had asked to marry her when she grew up, and she had accepted. It was so silly now. But she had meant it all those years ago. They had never seen each other after that day.

              “Wait. Are you Thyer de Gullion, prince of Syer?” She asked.

              Thyer scooted back in surprise. “How do you know that?”

              “Well, if I remember correctly, a certain Thyer de Gullion came to visit my parents fifteen years ago.”

              “Jayla? Are you saying you’re Jayla. The Jayla, daughter of King Serov?”

              Although it was dark, Jayla thought she saw a slight blush cross his face.

              “Uh, yes.”

              “So, what are you doing in a cave in the middle of nowhere?” They both asked at the same time.

              “You answer first.” Jayla said.

              “Okay, I, as I said earlier, am on the last step in order to graduate into being fully fit for kingship. I must kill this dragon and bring it back to show them, if you don’t kill it first.” He said with a wink. “What about you?”

              “I’m sort of on vacation.”

              “In the wild. What kind of princess gets a vacation in the wild? Your parents just let you leave to ‘adventure’ in the middle of nowhere?” He was shocked.

              “I sort of snuck away.”


              “Well, my parents are gone for the month, and I needed to get away. I was way too bored at the castle. Especially without my parents. So, I decided to seek adventure.”

              Thyer just shook his head.

              “You won’t turn me in, will you?” Jayla expressed worry on her face.

              He laughed.

              “Of course not, you’ve a dragon to kill.”

              “But I thought that you needed to kill it for your graduation.”

              “I don’t see why we couldn’t work together to kill it.”

              “Wouldn’t it disqualify you, if I helped?”

              “Actually, if I remember the rules correctly, I’m not allowed to have any more than two men to help me, and, since I don’t have any men with me, you could join me.”

              “Why didn’t you bring anybody to help you?”

              “No one volunteered.”

              “Well, you’re a prince, you could have made someone help you.”

              “Well, I figured if they didn’t want to help me, then they would be afraid to kill such a beast. And the dragons can sense fear better than anything else.”

              “Oh.” Jayla said. “So, when do you want to start?”

              “How about tomorrow? It’s the groggiest in the morning, besides it’s getting way too dark today, anyway.”

              “Oh, dear, has that much time passed already?”  

              “Yep, follow me, and I’ll show you where I sleep.”

              Thyer crept deeper into the cavern. They crawled into a large room with a two-foot ceiling. Thyer lit a candle, lighting the room. A mat lay in the corner surrounded by supplies. A draft of wind blew through the cavern.

              “I’m afraid that I don’t have two mats. You’re welcome to use mine.”

              “Oh, I have one in my pack outside.”

              “I’ll go get it for you.” He turned to head out of the room


              It was a good thing that Jayla wasn’t claustrophobic.

              A couple of minutes later, Thyer came back with her pack.

              “You make yourself comfortable. I’ll take my mat and sleep near the entrance. That way I could guard it in case of the dragon starts to enter.”

              Jayla knew he was sleeping in the other room to give her privacy, which she was grateful.

              “If you feel hungry, I have some snacks in that pack.”


              With that he left.

              Jayla settled down on her mat. Her thoughts were brought back to the time when she was four. How could this have happened? Meeting Thyer after fifteen years of being apart, and in circumstances like these. Her mind was full when she finally drifted into sleep.

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