My sister looked stunning as she gazed in the mirror, styling her hair.
Beautiful! You're the most beautiful in the world!
My sister would smile and ruffle my hair whenever I said that.
My mother sent me to spear lessons ever since I was little, because I was so weak.
My spear teacher was a man a year or two younger than my sister.
My sister would often come to my lessons and watch me.
I liked how she would smile at my teacher.
I also liked how he would smile back.
I hoped that things would work out between them.
And I thought that they would.
When my sister found out she was being married off, she cried and cried and cried.
Why don't you just run away?
Some things are just beyond our control.
I heard that country she was marrying into had ten times the military force of ours.
Even as she prepared for a marriage she didn't want, my sister would smile at me.
How can you smile at a time like this? Why?
A few years later, my sister returned to our castle.
She was sick with tuberculosis. Her face was gaunt. I still thought she was the most beautiful person in the world.
She passed away a few days later.
During her last moments, my spear teacher was holding her hands. He did not attend her funeral.
That night, he vanished.
A little later, a messenger came from the east.
He said that a soldier from this country had attempted to assassinate their king. It was an act of rebellion.
He also demanded an apology from my mom for sending such a frail bride.
My mother shook her head when the messenger stated that all would be forgiven if she sent another bride.
That night, my mother came into my room holding a knife.
One flash of her blade, and my hair fell to the floor.
My daughter, the princess, has died today. Flee with the rest of the citizens.
Mother didn't even say goodbye.
I'm so glad that I taught you how to use a spear...
I left the castle with shortened hair.
I could hear the shouting of the soldiers of the east on my heels.
As my hair re-grew, I hardened my resolve.
I would get stronger.
I am Lynn, princess of the lost kingdom.
Later... A campfire burned brightly.
The man threw in more wood before asking.
So, what's a kid like you doing here?
What's an old man like you doing here?
Old man? What? I'm only twenty!
I'm not a kid, either.
Okay, okay. You win. What's a young lady like you doing here?
Searching for someone strong.
You don't say. How come?
I have something to reclaim.
Yeah? Then maybe you're looking for me. I'm a lot stronger than I look.
Lynn snickered and stood up to go.
That's my cue to exit. I'm Lynn. It was nice to meet you.
My name is Lann.
Well, Lann, if you're really as strong as you think you are, we're bound to meet again.
You can count on it. Take care, Lynn.
Lann shook Lynn's hand with a smile.
The chirping of birds could be heard echoing through the forest.