"Alice! come on your father is waiting on you, today is the day you try out for the Royal Guard! " Alice's mom said as she held her hand and flew bringing Alice with her.
"Dad I made it! I hope I am not late. " Alice said landing beside her father giving him a hug before saluting him. "I have told you countless times to call me General while at the Palace, do you even want to be part of the Guard silly girl? " Her father said patting her head and giving a warm smile.
"Yes of course I do, " She said smiling happily, this is the day she gets a chance to show her father all of her hard work and hopefully join him as a member of the Royal Guard to defend against all invaders.
"Good, join the rest of the recruits in line so we can get things started. " He said sternly no longer smiling.
"Listen up everyone, today you will be proving if you are worthy of joining the Royal Guard. If you fail the test today you may still join the army, now take your chosen weapon and pick one of the Royal Guard lined up on the training field. You will pass if you can either overpower your opponent, or last 5 minutes in a spar with them. Keep in mind they will not be going easy on you, they have been instructed to battle you as if you were an enemy. " Her father said giving the new recruits time to pick their weapons and opponents.
Picking up a Long Spear Alice walked over and chose a Guard that was about two heads taller than she was, spinning the spear around she pointed it at him signifying she is ready to start the spar.
The Guard a young man with buzzed blonde hair, blue eyes, and a toned body raised his sword and paused a moment before lunging at Alice in an attempt to prevent her from effectively using her spear. Flipping backwards and kicking her opponent in the chin as she used the back end of the spear to launch her self further back Alice landed and took her position again. Not letting the Guard recover Alice let out a fury of jabs towards him hitting him a few times in the chest as he narrowly avoided being hit in the head. Grabbing he spear as it passed by him he pulled it from her hands, using the momentum caused by the guard Alice launched herself forward using her wings to twist her body she wrapped herself around her opponent putting him in an arm bar. Putting as much pressure on his neck with her legs as she could the Guard jumped up flapping his wings breaking free of the arm bar.
Diving back to the ground and taking her spear Alice took to the air to fight her opponent while flying. Changing blows and blocking each other strikes in a intense aerial battle the two hear a single bell, letting them know the battle is over.
Being shook awake Alice sees Yumi staring at her with a worried look, "are you okay? You kept squirming around, I thought you might be having a nightmare. "
"No I am fine I was just having a dream where i was in a battle, " Alice said as she sat up and looked around. "Do you enjoy fighting so much that you dream about it? " Yumi said with a sigh as she brought out some food.
"Miss Astala, your father has sent a message. He wants to inform you that he is sending some strong adventures to meet us half way seeing how there has been some trouble with some people targeting the family at the Kingdom, " The carriage driver said through a metal tube to convey the message.
"Thank you lets pick up the pace then, " She said. " I wonder just who could be targeting us for my father to send adventures to assist us in our travels. "
"This happen often? " Alice asked curiously. "Not to often but every now and then a business rival will try their hand at taking my family down, but they never even get close to succeeding. " Yumi said not even trying to hide her annoyance.
"Must be tough Princess Astala, " Alice said jokingly. "Ha. ha. It's your Royal Princess Yumi or My Beloved Yumi, " she said returning the joke.
Their travels continued without a problem as the two continued to talk and laugh which made the time fly by.
A few days pass as the terrain starts to visibly change, in stead of a vast forest that seemed to go on forever mountains so tall the reached the clouds and large lakes could be seen, while still having a forest it looked to be much less condensed. The trees were tall and the leaves and tree limbs didn't form until they were almost at the top of the tree letting you see further into them. Wild animal could be seen peacefully going about their own business only looking up to see the carriage every so often. It was a beautiful and peaceful scene one that reminded Alice of home, causing her heart to ache with memories of her family and friends. Alice still had no idea how much time had passed since her death and reincarnation.
"We are getting close, I would say a days travel at most until we reach the Kingdom. I wonder where the adventures are, we should have met up with them a while back. " Yumi said as she stuck her head out of the window looking at the path in front of them as she slightly wagged her tail.
"Your tail seems to show that you're pretty happy Yumi, " Alice said as she lightly laughed. Sitting back down and blushing a little she picked Shadow up, "You understand my pain down you? " Yumi said with a serious face looking at Little Shadow. 'I have no idea what this woman is referring to but tell her to put me down. ' Shadow said to Alice.
"Looks like he knows what you mean, even his tail gives him away, " Alice said lightly chuckling seeing Little Shadow's tail move back and forth while being held by Yumi.
Letting out a small growl Shadow freed himself from Yumi and sat as far as he could away from the two for teasing him. "Such a sassy magical beast, " Alice said still smiling.
Finally able to see the kingdom walls the two couldn't help but be happy that they can finally get out and stretch their legs soon. "I was thinking you're basically coming to a new kingdom without anywhere to stay so I would be more than happy if you lived in my estate with me! It has way to many rooms that are not even used and you're in my party now so it would be super convenient, what do you think?" Yumi couldn't help but ask as shes tried to think of a way to ask for the last few days but couldn't find a way to ask.
"That works for me, i was just going to try to rent a room at the guild but if you have a free room I am all for saving some money, " Alice said as they got closer to the Gates.
Upon seeing the carriage approach the guards quickly moved all of the adventures out of the way so they could pass through with no trouble.
Looking out at all the different shops and admiring the difference in culture in the Kingdom Alice barely noticed they had stopped moving. "We are here lets go say hi to my father, its been a few years since I have seen him he surely will be happy to see me!" Yumi said as she took Alice's hand and ran towards the massive front doors to her fathers mansion.
Her fathers house looked like a fairy tail home for Royalty, It stood three stories tall and had beautiful stained glass windows along the top depicting her fathers lives journey, while the grass was clean cut and the home itself was made from all white brick.
Entering the house Alice couldn't help but marvel even more at the gorgeous interior made from a mix of white and black marble and velvet carpet that lined the steps of her stairway leading to the second floor that had a portrait of her father and mother standing embarrassing each other lovingly.
"This place is something else, I figured your family had money because of the carriage but this is more than what i imagined a real princess would have. " Alice said as they passed countless art pieces and maids as they entered her fathers study.
"Daddy, I am home did you miss me? " Yumi said as she let go of Alice's hand and jumped into her fathers arms giving him a big hug. "Of course, you should have came back sooner you have made me wait so many years to see you again. " Her father said returning her embrace before turning his eyes on Alice.
"I see you brought home a friend mind introducing me? " He said as he stood up walking over to Alice before outreaching his hand to her. "Alice this is my father Arita Ken Astala Duke of Kingdom Samaria, " Yumi said as Alice shook him hand not knowing of the proper etiquette for meeting a Duke.
"It is nice to meet you Alice i hope you enjoy your time in the Kingdom and you have my thanks for joining Yumi on her trip back home, I hope she did not cause you to much trouble. " Arita said as he motioned for a maid to come.
"Jasmine prepare a feast for tonight, we need to celebrate my daughter's return. " He said as the maid bowed and left the study. "Daddy can Alice live here for a while in one of our spare rooms? I already told her she can, she is going to be my party member for when i go back to the guild. " Yumi said giving he father a slight pout.
"Okay, okay no need to throw in a pout i would have gladly let her had you asked or not i still owe her for keeping you company over the last few days. " Her father said as Yumi happily grabbed her hand and ran to show her to the room next to her.
'I am starting to feel like the side character to Yumi's life with as much as she leads me around' Alice thought. 'Well you do let her do as she pleases you have no one to blame but yourself, ' Shadow chimed in.
"Hey, Yumi tomorrow can you show me around the Kingdom to the Mages and Adventures Guilds, I have some things i want to do, " Alice asked trying to get Yumi to slow down a bit. "Yeah sure, we can go shopping after that! " Yumi said not giving Alice a choice.
After having been shown her room and various other rooms in the estate as well as the garden and her favorite maids, butlers, and staff members that she hasn't seen in years Alice finally got some alone time in her new room. "I guess if i was taking a friend home to see my family i would probably have just as much energy and excitement as well, " Alice said remembering her Father and Mother slightly tearing up. "Ugh this is harder than i thought it would be, maybe Arita would know something about my race I need to find a chance to ask him later. "
Wiping the tears from her face Alice composed herself before unpacking her belongings from her inventory and bags. Laying on the fluffy and luxurious bed Alice pet Shadow, 'You still promise not to die and leave me right?' She asked Shadow feeling insecure.
'I would never leave you behind master, even if the whole world turns against you I will always be there at your side.' Shadow said nudging his head against hers fully able to feel her deep sadness.