“Hear Ye, Hear Ye,
Thy King has summoned all fighters, thieves, and anyone who can travel for many days, fighting off many creatures, to his palace in ten days. Thank you.”
The town crier shouts out to all of the villagers that the King was looking to hire a skillful fighter, for he was having problems with his daughter. Her birthday was coming up, and all he had to give was a diamond-covered lamp, but he wanted to save that. He had overheard her talking about a new crown that she wanted with blue rubies and a spiral design on the front. But, alas, silver and blue rubies were only found in the volcano, and that was surrounded by monsters. He needed three heroes, and the King only found a mage and a warrior who would take the quest, but that’s because he didn’t look around the farm…
“Father, I’m done with my chores. Can I practice with my bow now? Mother’s out by the market buying a new horse, so the field’s empty. Well, only if you don’t count the livestock, but still, I won’t shoot any of the animals this time, I promise!” Linda was eager to practice with her bow, it was her favorite hobby. She could have fed the pigs, sewn clothes, made wind mill blades, or even made a new wind mill, but she loved shooting arrows.
“All right, but don’t forget to water the plants and feed the pigs.”
“Papa, that’s Mary’s job, not mine!” Mary laughed at her sister and stuck out her tongue.
“Mary has to do mother’s job, and she fed the pigs extra last time, so they are starting to get edgy.”
Linda slumped over to where she hid her bow and arrows and walked outside. She grabbed the bucket of leftovers and shook it. The contents turned to mush. She threw the bucket in the air and shot at the rope, pinning it to the wall over the pig stall. As she was walking by, she poked a hole in the bottom of the bucket, and the mush slid into the trough. She did the same with the bucket of water for the plants. Then she started to have fun. She shot most of the wind mill blades and climbed to the top of it to get the arrows out. A man saw Linda do this and rushed over to talk to her.
“Excuse me, Miss, but I happened to see you shooting and retrieving your arrows, and I think that I know of something that might suit you. The King is looking for fighters like you to go to a volcano and find the silver and blue rubies that will be forged into the princess’s birthday gift. Are you interested?”
“Uh…I would love to…um… serve His Majesty by traveling to a volcano, but, um, I, uh, have work to do. Here. Now. So, no thank you.”
“Miss, wait! You will not be alone! You will travel with trained fighters! Please!?”
“Well, oh, all right, but only if you are sure that I will not be alone.”
Linda walked the short few miles up to the castle. She met the fighter, Frank, (who was a lot older that what Linda expected) who said that he used to be a guard. She also met the Mage, Lexa, who said that she was the only creature on earth that possessed the formula for immortality. No matter how old she looked (and she looked like she was twenty), she was 120,654 years old.
The long days ahead were full of dragons and one-eyed beasts. After thirty days of fighting, the three saw a volcano in the distances. Linda and Lexa, with the help of a spell, levitated up to the mouth of the volcano while Frank stayed at the bottom to keep away the wolves. Lexa cast a spell that kept the volcano still long enough for Linda to mine some silver and collect some of the rubies. When they came back, Frank said that he had watched a man meet a wolf girl who wanted to eat him, but Frank had bravely saved him.
The group was sitting by the fire, trying to forge the silver into a crown. “I believe that the rubies should be carved and cut to shine in complete darkness, and that they should be scattered about the silver ring. The ring itself should be spiked at the top and should have part of the silver darkened to show a delicate spiral.” Lexa said. “I read her diary while she was speaking to the Guards,” she explained.
Linda was walking home after the princess had squealed and squeaked at the new gift, when she spotted her father talking to a guard.
“Yes, she has green eyes, a long, blond braid that comes to about her waist, and she was last seen in a brown dress with an apron.” He was talking about Linda, though she was not wearing a brown dress. Instead she wore leather hunting armor.
“Father, what are you doing? I thought mother told you that I was out?”
Her father hugged her to him. He knew that she had been on a journey, but had gotten worried and sent out a search party. When the group didn’t return, Linda’s father got panicked. Linda never left home again.