The Warrior Princess: Lendra
Lendra gripped her bow tightly and peered into the darkness. She tentatively took a step, hoping that she wouldn’t walk on a stick and cause a snap. The last thing she needed was for the Enemy’s soldiers to hear her. Suddenly a figure appeared in front of her, startling her. She jumped back.
“Who are you?” She reached for her dagger. The tall young woman, cloaked from head to toe, that had just emerged from the darkness in front of Lendra looked confused.
“What’s wrong? Did I do something?” She smiled. “I’m sure I didn’t mean to.”
Lendra shook her head in wonder. Did this person not know the danger she was in? She held out her hand. “Hello. I was just surprised to see you here. My name is Lendra. What’s yours?”
The woman smiled. “Oh, I’m Neece. Lendra is a very nice name, but why do you have a dagger in your hand?” Her voice was not quiet at all. Lendra closed her eyes, trying to keep the mean words that she was thinking from coming out of her mouth.
“Neece is a nice name too; but please be quiet. We are very close to Enemy soldiers.”
Neece’s eyes opened wide. “Enemy soldiers? I didn’t realize they were close. Why are you around here, if you know that Enemy soldiers are here?”
Lendra sighed. “I am here because I need to get to my parent’s farm. It’s on the other side of the Enemy lines.”
Neece nodded. “Ohhh. I didn’t realize.” Then she whirled around, a completely new expression on her face. “I hear something. Do you think it’s them?”
Lendra listened closely. There was a snapping of twigs, and it sounded like several men were rushing towards them. “It probably is. Here. You stay behind me, and I will try to protect you.” The woman nodded and went behind Lendra.
Now the first soldiers were bursting out of the forest in front of Lendra. She began shooting arrows as fast as she could toward them. Hearing something at her back, she realized that they were surrounded by soldiers, but Neece was fighting them expertly with a sword. Lendra was too hard pressed to be surprised by the fact that what she had taken to be a simple-minded girl was now fighting like a pro. Lendra dropped her bow. The soldiers were too close for her to use it. Now she and Neece stood back to back, fighting against the enemy—Neece with a sword, and Lendra with a sword and dagger. When a soldier would get close, one of the girls would fight him. So far, they had won every hand-to-hand fight. Lendra fought grimly, afraid that finally, all their efforts would have been in vain, and they would be captured or killed. But as they kept defeating all the enemies that came against them, the soldiers began to slow down. Finally, Lendra and Neece were able to run, leaving the tired soldiers behind.
When they reached a comparatively safe place, Lendra looked at Neece gratefully. “Thank--” she gasped as she looked at Neece. Neece’s hood had fallen off her head as she fought, and Lendra could see that her long hair was the peculiar light reddish-brown color with golden highlights of the Warrior Princesses of Adainia. “You aren’t who you were pretending to be!” Lendra stammered. “You-you’re a princess!”
Neece smiled. “I am. My name is really Bernice Alana Kilidora Anmar, princess of the realm of Adainia. But I really am just called Neece.” She looked at Lendra and grinned. “Please, don’t worry about that. May I accompany you to your parent’s farm?”
Lendra nodded dumbly. She still couldn’t believe that she had thought Neece was just a simpleton! But Neece had acted her part well. Anyone would have been taken in.
Neece stayed silent as she followed Lendra, but when she saw a light in the distance, she motioned Lendra aside.
“Please don’t tell them I’m a princess. Just say I am a friend you brought home for supper.” She smiled. “By the way, you seemed pretty accustomed to fighting. Do you go through the Enemy lines much?”
Lendra nodded. “I do. I have to sell my parent’s vegetables, and the nearest town is through the lines. I’m pretty good at getting through unnoticed now, but not when I meet a person who has no caution, of course. Then I have to fight.” She kept a straight face with difficulty as she watched Neece’s eyes twinkle.
“Oh, you wouldn’t say that if you knew me. We princesses have a bad habit of chopping heads off of people who mock us.” This time both of them laughed aloud.