The Tailor and the Princess

A Fairy Tale
Will A. Sanborn

Once upon a time, in the land of Seth, a large and prosperous kingdom, ruled by a wise and benevolent king, there was a young man named Elric, living out an ordinary life as a tailor, in the same small town where he was born. Elric's life was simple, but it was anything from happy. For you see, the townspeople looked down upon him, mocking his very existence.

It wasn't that Elric was a simple man, fit to be the town fool, quite the contrary, he possessed a keen wit and sharp insight, which early on had set him apart from the crowd. He often would see things differently, looking at situations as if from a different vantage point, and most times would have ideas and opinions contrary to others. Like many people in the world, the villagers in this small and simple town were put off by anything which is too different, and it was for this reason why he was scorned.

Elric was also a quiet young man, happy to be entertained by his own thoughts many a time, not needing to be loud or boastful like many of the other men in the village. While his quiet grace should have been seen for the virtue it was, he instead was overlooked by the fair maidens in the town, who focused their attentions on the lads who'd spend their days lost in their own glory.

And finally, Elric was looked down upon because he was simply a tailor, not a job really fit for a man. True he did his job well, and occasionally one of his customers would complement him on his fine craftsmanship, but usually they would treat him with an uncomfortable silence, or an occasional snicker, which was not always behind his back.

Elric hadn't chosen this career, but had instead been thrust into it by forces of circumstance, beyond his control. You see, his mother had run the tailor shop before him, and as she had no other children, when she fell ill, overtaken by a strong and lingering disease, he'd had no choice but take up shop, in order to support them both. So he'd stayed in that small town, looking after his mother, working at a job he didn't like, and suffering the loneliness forced upon him, by the townsfolk, who were not necessarily evil, but cruel in their own careless ways.

Gone were the dreams of Elric's youth, the dreams many a young lad has, of travel and adventure, of distant and exotic lands, of heroic battles, and of beautiful princesses to be rescued. While many boys discard these dreams as they grow older, content to the simple lives of their manhood, Elric still held on to his with desperation, occasionally stealing a moment here or there to reflect on them, and what might have been.

Now don't you think that because he didn't choose his work, Elric didn't do a good job, no, instead he was one of the finest tailors those parts had ever seen. Perhaps it was that he knew he must do a good job, in order to keep him and his sick mother from poverty, but it was also the fact that Elric was the type of person who put their most into what ever they did, doing it with pride, no matter how thankless the task.

He was also aided by the single object in his possession worth any value, a single pair of shears, fashioned out of the purest silver, handed down through the generations. Besides being of the finest craftsmanship, there was something extra special about these shears, for it seemed as if they made the job of cutting fabric much easier than with a normal pair. Even when he had first been learning to cut and stitch together fabric, the task had been joyously easy, almost as if the shears were cutting the cloth of their own accord. From his first pair of breaches onward, his workmanship had been superb.

How his family had come upon such a treasure was beyond even his imagination, but sometimes as he was daydreaming, he'd get the notion that there was some magic forged amongst the silver. A silly thought, perhaps, but to Elric it was one of the few joys he had in his dreary life. While they weren't a monstrously-powerful sword, fit to slay dragons with, occasionally he could almost imagine the simple magic being strong enough to repel evil and rescue a maiden in danger, especially if wielded with purity of heart and good intentions.

But it wasn't often when he could indulge his fantasies, as there was always work to be done, instead the days passed by, adding slowly to his tired and dreary life.

* * *

A few years passed, and after lingering in her weak state, Elric's mother was finally taken by the her long and hard illness, passing quietly from this world late one night. While caring for her had been tough, Elric loved her dearly, and never once thought of her as a burden; he was left all alone, and his heart was filled with sadness.

It was at about the same time that the wise and noble king who ruled those lands had come to realize that he was nearing the end of his reign. For he was old and frail, and sadly had no heirs to take his place, leaving him with worried for the state of his fine kingdom after he was gone.

So it was after much deliberation, passing through many sleepless nights, and countless discussions with his most trusted advisors, that he sent word throughout the land, that a giant tournament would soon be held. The message spread out from the castle, reaching even the furthest villages, that all men were invited to compete in a wide array of challenges, both physical of endurance, skill with weaponry and in hand-to-hand combat, but also of matters of wit and honor. It was said that at the end of this fantastic competition, the king believed one man would rise above the rest, to claim his rightful place atop the thrown.

And so it was that word of the tournament came to even the remote village where Elric lived. Of course it set the town a buzz with excited talk, how this and that young man was going to set off on the long journey to the castle, and how each one had sworn the crown would end up his.

Even busy at his work, Elric didn't miss this news, and once again his dreams were rekindled, if only for the briefest of moments, before he realized that's all they would ever be, just dreams, daydreams of a tired young man, who now felt much older than his years. He knew sadly in his heart that he could never hope to join the competition, for he was just an average man, not strong enough to best his opponents, nor skilled with any tool, save his shears.

It was days later, as he cried himself to sleep, alone in his now-empty house, that a single thought came to him before falling into slumber. Even if he could never hope to compete, just attending the tournament would be the experience of a lifetime. There was nothing left to hold him there anymore and he could finally take one of those fantastic journeys he'd always dreamed about.

The next day he decided to try and seek passage with some of the townsfolk leaving towards the castle, but it seemed as if he may have been to late. For most of the eligible and able-bodied men of the town had already gathered their gear and set out on their travels.

There was only one man who had not yet set off, for he and his sons had wisely decided to stay an extra few days to finish planting their crops, making sure the stake of their future wasn't all resting on wild dreams and even wilder chances.

So it was that man's farm which Elric visited, on the faint hope they might show him some small amount of kindness. Dressed in simple, yet well-made clothes, carrying his meager possessions with him, he came to their house, knocking softly on the door.

The boy who answered must have been a few years younger than him, but stood several inches taller, looking down upon him like the rest of the town had all his life.

"What do you want?" he asked, almost with a sneer.

"May I please speak with your father?" he replied with soft humility.

Turning back into the house, the boy bellows "Dad, somebody wants to see you," lacking any grace whatsoever.

Coming slowly to the door, looking weary from the frantic planting shifts, the farmer's eyes narrow as he sees Elric standing there. "What do you want... tailor?" he finally spits out.

"I've heard you and your boys are planning on going to the great tournament," and after a moments hesitation, "would you please take me with you?"

After a couple of seconds of silently studying him in disbelief, the man finally busts out laughing. "What, our fine tailor thinks he deserves to be our king?!"

"No sir, I just wanted to go and see the spectacle, enjoying the show. please take me with you... I can help with some of the provisions. I can work for the rest of my share"

"Our clothes are in good shape tailor, we have no need for your services... perhaps you should stay in town and mend all the clothes of the women and children left behind."

"No please..." he could feel his face heating up, his eyes beginning to sting.

"It's late and I'm tired, so leave us to rest," and with a rough shove the door was shut in his face, leaving him standing on the porch, his dreams again quickly stolen from him.

He'd only been barely able to keep him and his mother from poverty, eking out a meager existence, and there was no way he could afford to travel alone. Once more he was trapped in this hateful town.

Taking a short cut back to his house, he passed through a section of the nearby woods. In the past, he'd sometimes steal away there, on rare occasions when he was able to get away from his work. The peaceful solitude of the forest had always eased his troubled mind, but now even that held no comfort for him. Finally, slumping down on a fallen log, he buried his head in his hands and sobbed quietly.

A few minutes later, he was roused from his sorrows by a women's voice, reaching softly out to him. "Why are you crying?"

Startled by the quiet outburst, Elric looked up to see a red fox sitting only a few feet from him, gazing at him with intelligence and compassion in its eyes. Again the fox spoke to him, just as soft and caring as before. "Why are you crying, good sir?"

Dumbstruck by the possibilities of what meeting up with an enchanted creature, alone in the forest, nearing nightfall could mean, it took the fox a third asking of her question before Elric was finally prompted to speak. When he did so, it all came pouring out of him, like water spilling out of the floodgates. Forgetting the obsurdity of his companion, for she obviously cared enough about his well-being to ask him about it, he confided in her as if she was a long-lost friend. He told her everything, of his alienation from the rest of the townsfolk, his loneliness, the loss of all his dreams, including his last chance at freedom, of traveling to a better place.

Finishing with a sob, he looked at her through watery eyes. "I guess it was a silly idea in the first place..."

"Nonsense," she replies, her voice still as soft and caring, "if you were to lose your dreams, then life itself would have no meaning."

"But what does it matter? I'll never be able to get out of here... I'll never be able to make it to the tournament."

"You don't belong there." A pang of resentment rushes through him, as even she appears to judge him like the rest of the townsfolk, but moments later she adds, "the men at the tournament, they all think themselves worthy of being king, for they are strong and brave and believe they are noble... but they're doing it for all the wrong reasons... there is no honor in their hearts."

As Elric stares at her, eyeing her with surprise, she finishes. "You not only have honor in your heart, but bravery and nobility which most cannot see."

"So you believe I should try and enter the tournament?" he finally manages to breath out, hardly daring to hope that someone might have faith in him, even if it is such a strange creature as sits before him.

"No, as I said that is not for you... your goal is a larger one indeed."

Again disbelieving, he waits for her to continue. "Your destiny lies in the dark tower, at the heart of the lost forest, many days journey from here. There the evil witch queen has imprisoned the king's only daughter all these long years."

"But the king has no children, everyone knows that," Elric blurts out, forgetting the special creature he's addressing. With a soft bat of her paw against his nose, she reminds him that, being an enchanted animal, just perhaps she has some knowledge not known to common men.

After he's silenced by humility and trust, she continues. "Ah that might seem true, for the king himself does not even remember having a child. For it was long ago when the evil queen stole her away in the middle of the night, placing a powerful spell on the castle, and indeed the entire kingdom. In the morning nobody was to remember the child, not even her parents, and shortly after, as the result of another of the witch's enchantments, the king's wife, our fair queen was to fall ill and die. Partially out of grieving, and partially out of the witch's magic, the king never remarried, and never had another child. So now the fate of the entire kingdom rests on finding the rightful heir... a task which falls upon you, with my help."

"But why me? I'm just a tailor, I'm not a strong man, or a brave man, nor am I skilled with any weapons... what chance do I have going against this witch queen?"

"You have strengths lying within you that you can only guess at, hidden all these years, but for surfacing within your dreams."

"But those are just dreams, nothing more..."

"Dreams are always more than they appear, and they carry their own magic. There are powers within your heart, powers stronger than any spells that might be cast against you."

And so it was, after much discussion, that the fox finally convinced Elric of his destiny. It was decided that they would set off together, into the heart of the woods, in search of the lost princess. That night, as they nestled beneath the trees to sleep, the fox curled against his chest, Elric's thoughts drifted erratically.

How could he, a simple tailor from a small town ever hope to save a princess against the unimaginable power of the evil queen of the witches? But the soft breathing of his strange, yet friendly companion helped to ease his mind. She was obviously a special and knowledgeable creature, born of magic, and she believed in him, something no one else had ever done. This single thought was what finally lulled him off to sleep, his dreams filled with fabulous visions of the strange and wondrous adventures he'd always dreamed about, now unfolding before him.

* * *

He and the fox traveled together through the woods for over a fortnight, walking on foot the whole journey. It wasn't easy, but true to her words, Elric had been able to rise to the challenge, and getting over the stiffness in his legs after the first few days, was actually beginning to enjoy himself, finally getting his chance to travel, and see many strange and new things.

For the forest they were in was no ordinary woods, the further inward they traveled, the more enchanted it became. They saw several fantastic creatures on their journey, such as butterflies as big as a small child, deer with a single horn atop their heads, turtles with two heads sticking out from their shells, and a peculiar type of moss clinging to the trees and rocks which gave off a soft and beautiful glow at night.

They had no trouble with food, as the fox, like her un-enchanted cousins, was skilled at hunting and easily provided them with fresh rabbits daily. Aided by his intelligent companion, Elric quickly learned how to start fires by simply rubbing two sticks together in the right fashion, and with fruit plentiful in the trees all around them, they ate quite well.

At night, the fox would always curl against him, keeping them both warm and comfortable. Her gentle presence and soft breathing a welcome comfort on the nights which could get chilly, and his thoughts sometimes drifting to dark possibilities.

During the day, she was a wonderful traveling companion, pleasantly chatting with him as if they'd always known one another. It finally donned on him that unlike the people in the village, she saw him for what he truly was, and accepted him that way, in short she was a true friend. Most men would find the notion of having an enchanted fox for a friend more than a little odd, but like her, Elric was vastly different from the ordinary, and gladly accepted her friendship, for who she was.

All in all, Elric was having a wonderful time, he was living out his dreams, traveling on a fantastic journey, he'd met an understanding and kind person to be his friend, and he was even beginning to enjoy the exercise from all the walking. Yes, he was happy and at ease, that is except for the times when the thoughts of their final destination, the dark tower and confronting the evil witch living there within would intrude upon his peace.

He'd talked with the fox several times about his fears, and she was always reassuring, telling him that he possessed the power to overcome what lay before him, and he began to believe her. With each of these talks, his confidence would grow, until he did indeed believe in her words, and of the hidden powers he could almost feel welling up within him.

* * *

Shut up in the highest room of the dark tower, in the middle of the enchanted forest, the princess, whose beauty still shone through, amongst her bleak surroundings, waited apprehensively in her small cell. That night, as the moon was high in the dark sky, letting its pale beams flow in though the single window and illuminate her room with ghostly light, she lay on the bed, trying to hold back her tears to no avail, knowing what was about to happen.

In the dead of the night, the bolts holding her in the chamber were drawn back with a low scarping sound, rousing her from her sobs. Turning her head upwards, she saw the queen witch, a pale woman with cold beauty, entering her cell.

"Hush now child, why all the tears?" she asks, her voice cool and removed.

"Please, let me go... you've kept me like this for so long... I just want to see my father again," the princess forced out around her sobbing.

Crossing the floor to her bed, the queen reaches out to touch her shoulder. The princess shied away, but her grip became more insistent, and the princess yieled to her wishes. As if by a silent command, the princess fell into her arms as she sat on the bed next to her.

"There there my dear. Your father doesn't even remember you... nobody does. You have nobody to look after you, except for me... and you know I want to keep you here for myself."

With that she pulled the girl's head to her chest, muffling her sobs, running her hand through her hair, not much different than one might absently try and comfort an animal. Leaning down, she softly kissed the princess' cheek, then the pale light of the moon glinting off her cold eyes, she moved her mouth down to the base of the girl's neck.

Touching the soft flesh there, the witch's kiss deepened, becoming more insistent, as the girl's body quivered, becoming rigid, her arms clutching desperately against the evil queen. Her struggles useless, against the lady's strong clutch, they quickly died down, her body becoming limp, passing into an unearthly sleep.

Finally, the witch ceased her unloving kiss, withdrawing her mouth from the girl's neck, leaving the tender flesh there marred by four bloody punctures. Getting up, she let the girl's body fall back onto the bed, briefly licking her lips, then exiting the room, locking the door behind her, once again sealing the princess up with her ghastly fate.

* * *

At that same moment, Elric and the fox had reached the clearing and now stood outside the dark tower. Looking up at his destiny, the ominous stone structure in front of him, its obsidian stones absorbing all of the moon's light, Elric again became unsure of himself.

As if sensing his doubts, the fox, who had been his constant companion for all those days, spoke softly "you have the power within you Elric, you must use it now." And with that she gently nudged his hand with her muzzle, once again stirring the feelings deep within him, reassuring and brave.

Leading the way, Elric walked up to the door, a large entrance made of a type of wood which also soaked up every ounce of light falling upon it. Reaching for the iron handle, it was cold to the touch, and his hand drew back momentarily. Then feeling courage well up from deep inside him, he grabbed for it again, this time throwing open the door, and stepping into the dark hall beyond, the fox following close behind.

His eyes adjusting to the dark, he finally made out a faint light at the end of the corridor, and began walking toward it, coming finally to an open room. Looking inside, it appeared to be some sort of a sitting room, ornately decorated with gold trimmings and gems along the black walls. Several torches burned along the walls, but the light in the room still felt cold and pale, not the friendly and comforting light which the fires should have be casting.

At the further end of the room lay a beautiful throne, carved out of a brilliant deep-red stone. Sitting upon the thrown, was the witch queen, dressed in a black, flowing robe, contrasting with her pale skin. Looking upon her, Elric was struck by her sheer beauty and elegance, she was by far the most beautiful woman he had ever seen; he did not realize that her looks were that of frozen perfection, a twisted mask of real beauty, with none of the spirit or life wich makes one truly beautiful.

Smiling coolly at him, she spoke, "so you are the one who has come for me?"

Lost in her steely gaze, Elric numbly replied "yes..."

Widening her malevolent grin, her voice deepened, "then you are mine... come forward, approach me."

His feet moved as if of their own volition, while his gaze stayed locked in hers; he was only vaguely aware that the fox had stayed behind at the doorway, as if frozen there.

Reaching her, she held out her hand to him. Taking it he dimly noticed how cold her touch was, but the peering depths of her eyes were so commanding. As he was stuck in front of her, his will ebbing away, she brought her other hand up to run her fingers along the sensitive flesh of his neck.

It was then, with his fate almost sealed, when she moved her head slightly, and his gaze was momentarily distracted by something in his peripheral vision. His attention briefly captured, his eyes darted toward the glittering, to see a magnificent chalice, made of gilded crystal, placed on a shelf with other ornate decorations.

But it was the chalice that caught his eye, for it was positioned just right to catch the light from one of the torches, causing a brief twinkle to briefly awaken his consciousness. Then by another kind twist of fate, the reflections from the chalice captured the fox, still standing in the doorway, watching on, unable to help him. Because of the shape of the chalice, the image was also magnified, showing him, if only ever so briefly, the look on his companions face, the horror and caring flashing in her eyes.

Then in a flash of inspiration it hit him, the fox had been with him for the entire journey, had been his closest friend, always there encouraging him to believe in himself. Realizing how much she cared for him awakened Elric to the fact that this lady, no matter how stunningly beautiful she may appear, did not, nor would she ever care for him.

Her spell broken, Elric's will returned fully to him; gathering his wits about him he quickly remembered the pair of silver shears he'd carried with him all this time, still hanging from his belt. Reaching down to grasp them, feeling their power, now for real, no longer imagined, he reacted with lightning speed.

Turning his gaze to confront the witch he yelled "no, you can't have me," then bringing the shears up in a swooping arc, to come crashing down into her chest. The force of his blow, combined with the magic in the instrument and the force of his will behind it, pushed the blades of the shears into her dark heart, its pure metal piercing the center of her evilness.

Letting out a shriek, her eyes became wild, as Elric struck his blow. Within moments the power from the silver spread throughout her entire body, leaching the hideous mockery of life from her veins. He watched dumbstruck as her pale skin and cold features withered in a flash, drying up like old paper, crumbling in upon itself, until all that was left was a pile of ashes on the floor, with him holding the unscathed pair of shears in his trembling hands.

The paralysis of fear lifted, as the understanding of what he had accomplished flooded over him, Elric turned to see the fox, also freed from the spell running up to him.

Dropping to his knees, he threw his arms around her, feeling her soft warmth and companionship.

"You did it... I knew you could."

"I know, thank you for believing in me..."

Their quiet moment was interrupted though, when she pulled away from the hug to look at him, her eyes wide. "We must check on the princess, and make sure she's alright."

Turning she ran out of the room, with Elric close behind her, following her down another passageway to a set of stairs, spiraling up into the tower. Reaching the top of the stairway, he quickly undid the bolts and threw open the heavy door, rushing into the chamber to find the princess asleep on her bed.

Hesitating briefly, Elric then reached down to gently touch her arm, and managed to wake her. She came to with a jolt, as if trying to get away, but then seeing Elric there, a flash of understanding shown in her eyes, and she relaxed. "Who... who are you?" her voice a little uncertain.

"My name is Elric, we've come to return you to your father."

"The queen? Is she..." hesitation evident in her voice, as if she dared not even hope, a small shiver passing through her.

"Yes... it's okay... she's gone," his voice kind and reassuring, softly touching her arm. Then looking at her, finally noticing her beauty, he pulled back, suddenly feeling awkward.

Just as quickly she grasped his hand and held it in hers, looking at him with adoration, as well as a great relief. "Then I thank you Elric, thank you for saving me from that evil witch's icy clutches... but you said 'we've come to save you,' are there more than you?"

"Oh yes, of course... I'd forgot. I was led here by my companion, an enchanted fox."

"An enchanted fox?" her voice suddenly sounding dubious.

"Yes, in fact she's right over there," as he turned to look in the doorway, but doing so he found only the empty hallway behind it. Breaking from the princess' grasp, he ran out to check for himself, but only the shadows from the moonlight lie there.

Coming back into the room, he met the princess' puzzled gaze. "She was just here a minute ago, I don't understand..."

* * *

Elric was finally able to convince the princess that his story was true, and he had been accompanied by the mysterious talking fox, but even after searching the entire tower, no trace of his strange friend could be found. Finally he let the princess convince him that they should leave the place, as she wanted to get back to her father, whom she dearly missed.

"After all, if she is enchanted, then she should be able to find you again, whenever she wants to," she had said, with a kind assertiveness, with which he had to agree with.

Coming to the witch's stable, they found an ornate carriage with two pure-white steeds hitched up to it. The princess knew of its magic, and said that using it they could make their way back to her father's castle by morning, so boarding it they were off, as the horses seemed to know the way.

On the ride there, the princess soon fell asleep, while Elric's thoughts were troubled. He should have been overjoyed upon accomplishing such a fantastic task and rescuing the beautiful princess, but he was bothered by the disappearance of the fox, who'd been his close companion and friend for what now seemed like much longer than a couple of weeks. Why had she left him so suddenly, what had happened to her? Finally, he passed into an uneasy sleep.

* * *

In the morning, true to the princess' word, they had reached the castle, now a bustle with the giant tournament going on. As their carriage drew up to the gates though, all who saw it stopped what they were doing, seeing its ornate design, and sensing something very special about it.

The horses took them up through the crowds, which parted in front of them, all the way up to the king's thrown. The princess, upon seeing her father, became overjoyed and leapt from the carriage into his arms. As soon as the old king saw her, the remnants of the spell were broken, and the memories of his daughter came flooding back to him, as he joyously accepted her into his embrace.

Not sure exactly what to do, Elric stayed in the carriage, while the crowds looked on expectantly. Finally the king called him out to stand nervously before him.

"My daughter tells me of your bravery, how you saved her from the evil witch's grasp."

Elric, still awestruck at speaking with the king, only nods silently, so the king continues. "Now that my daughter has been returned to me, she is the rightful heir to the throne, there is no need to continue to the contests of the tournament... Of course she should have someone to help her rule the kingdom." With that both the king and the princess smile at him.

"What... no you don't mean?" he manages to stutter.

"If my daughter chooses a husband, than he will share the throne with her," to which the princess adds "and I choose you Elric... if you'll have me," reaching out to take his hand in hers.

Flooding with disbelief, at a momentary loss for words, Elric finally replies, "but I can't be king... I'm just a tailor... I don't know how to do such things... I don't deserve it."

Smiling at that, the king claps him firmly on the shoulder. "But you are worthy my dear boy, don't you see it? You've shown the courage to do what it takes to rescue my daughter, you've shown purity of heart, and you have the final thing I was hoping for: humility. I was worried that with the tournament, even those most eligible would expect the right to be king to be theirs, without really earning it. My daughter's told me briefly about you, you have enough belief in yourself to accomplish the task, while not consumed with false pride... you'll make a wonderful and just leader, with my daughter's help of course."

* * *

And so it was how Elric the tailor came to marry the beautiful princess and then went on with her at his side to be become one of the wisest and fair rulers the land of Seth had ever seen.

Of course at the time he was so overwhelmed by everything, for it was decided that they would be married that very day, so the two of them were kept busy until well after dark. First there were the hectic plans, then the wedding, followed by the largest feast the castle had ever seen, attended by everyone who'd been at the tournament.

It wasn't until late at night when Elric was finally able to slip away from the festivities and retire to their bedroom. Still confused by the turn of events, his mind also kept on coming back to his friend the fox, and wondering where she'd gone off to; being his first true friend she meant a lot to him. He also wondered how he and the princess were going to get along. She was very beautiful, and he felt very lucky indeed, but part of him worried that they wouldn't be able to become as close friends as he had with the fox, perhaps that luck wouldn't hold out for him the second time.

His thoughts were finally interrupted by his bride entering the room. "There you are, I've been looking for you all over the place."

"I guess I was just tired of the party... I'm not used to this," he smiled weakly.

Coming to sit beside him on the bed, she reached out to touch his shoulder, "what's wrong, you're thinking of your friend the fox again aren't you?"

"Yes, but how did you know? She was a very close friend of mine, and I miss her deeply... I wish she was here to see this." Then realizing what a fool he was being, talking like this to his new wife, he quickly added "I'm sorry... it's silly isn't it?"

"No of course not dear, she meant a lot to you. I can tell, but you're also worried about taking the throne aren't you?"

"Of course I am. I don't know the first thing about being a king... I'm just a tailor..."

"No, not just a tailor, not with what you did for me... not with these," as she removed the shears he still had with him, attached to his belt.

"My shears?" his face showing his confusion.

"They're not just any shears, they're from a great magician long ago, who knew of what would happen, and created a magic weapon, but in disguise, so only the worthy could use it. You are descended from him, and as predicted you wielded them with the power in your heart, vanquishing your evil foe."

"But how did you know what happened?" the slightest glimmering of understanding twinkling in his soul.

"I knew you'd come Elric, and these past weeks I've gotten to know more about you, helped you to learn about yourself..."

"What do you mean?" he managed to put the pieces together one by one, as she leaned against him, pushing him back onto the bed, pressing gently against him. It was then when he recognized the familiar sound of her soft breathing, and the warmth of her presence.

"I'm glad it was you who was chosen to come for me... I knew it almost from the moment I first met you in the woods."

"But how?" still disbelieving, but his soul soaring.

"You're not the only one with magic in their history you know..." was her reply, with a playful grin, which he was quick to kiss away.