*Edited*CHAPTER 1: EVE

10 years ago

Deep in the forest of Afhrin and hidden in the snowy forest, Evangeline Rose Zhatiera was hiding closely behind a bush which hovers her small form as she took a few glance at her side to see whether she was found yet.

“Princess Eve. Princess Eve, where are you, my sweet princess?” All seven of the maid in their beige dress with intricate flower and snowflake art sewn at the bottom of their dress.

Their braided platinum hair with bright blue eyes was looking for her as they scattered all around the maze, looking for their dear princess.

Some even scattered towards the back at the entrance leading to the ice castle, crystal clear and stronger than glass to  look for he. It would be easy for them if they found her inside since the glass wouldnt be able to hide her through the translucent wall.

“I’m going to get you princess.” A small giggled escape from the beautiful maids as they walk closer to where she was hiding. Seeing their reflection walking closely, Eve ran behind them, making the woman with lose, curly platinum hair to turn around  and start chasing after her.

Laughter fill the garden in the middle of the day and when Eve ran towards one of the huge vase near the open back entrance,  another maid came behind her and successfully caught her small figure, gaining a squeal and a loud giggle.

“Got you, Princess!”

“No, no! This is unfair!” Eve wanted to be angry so badly but she was having so much fun with the girls that she couldn’t stop laughing. Seeing their eight year old princess in a good mood, they smiled and helped her to get up.

Eve with her long platinum  hair, almost a shade of snow with curls donning its end got up and smoothed the bottom of her ruffled dress. It was long sleeve satin dress with her royal family emblem which is a snowflake contained with the sun. Her dress flows down to her feet and in her oddly comfortable glass slipper, she let’s her maid fix her ruffled hair.

Suddenly, two large figure move towards them and Eve smiles spread wider. She giggled and  ran towards the tallest of the figure who quickly catches Eve and hold her to his chest.

King Aidan Alexys Zhatiera, the rule and most powerful creature in the land, King of the country of Zhatiera , home of the snow people.  King Aidan smile at his charming princess who looked so much like her mother, the love of his life.

Speak of the angel, Queen Aaliyah Grace Zhatiera smiled at the sight of her husband dotting on their only daughter like a precious jewel that she is. 

Queen Aaliyah, beautiful lady that she is was gifted with bright golden eyes, long lashes that curls and accentuate her beautiful eyes, soft red lips and flowy long platinum  hair, exactly like the little girl but with a small diamond crown embellishing her free hair.

She wore a glittery silver, long sleeve dress that hugs her waist and flow down her feet with and small jewels decorated beautifully on her waist while King Aidan, with his long hair was dressed as finely as them too but his long hair was braided and rested on his shoulder. He had bright blue eyes, and chiselled facial features.

He has a slightly high cheekbone, and his physical form exudes power. A being not to be messed around with. His braids have diamond flowers and on top of his head holds a silver twisted branches with thorns and small silver rose crown with ocean blue solstice shape diamonds in the middle.

“Papa! Mama!” Eve practically scream in her parent’s ear making her parents pulls back a little and laugh.

“Eve, my dear. What have you been up to now? Lydia told us that she saw you did something a while ago. Want to tell mama what it was?”

The smile on her face falls and her bright blue eyes look down to avoid he parents eyes. She knows that if she stare any further, she wouldn’t be able to keep her secret. Eve pouts and turn to her maid who just grinned, nodding her left eye brow like there is a secret she is keeping for her.

“No..nothing, mama.”

“Evangeline, what are you hiding from your mama and papa?”

The man asks. His face was slightly serious but he couldn’t bear to hide his smile seeing how cute she was being while looking scared and nervous. 

Eve couldn’t take it anymore so she caved in.

“I ugh... went near the forest. I didn’t enter it but I was near.”

Aidan’s bright expression drops and he became upset.

“Eve my love, you’re not supposed to be near the dark forest. How many times have I told you it is dangerous!”

“But why papa? Why is it dangerous? I.. I don’t think it’s bad. At least I just think I....don’t.” She bit her lip feeling scared.

Queen Aayliah sighed and pull Eve hair behind her ear. 

“Angel, it’s not safe. There’s dangerous creatures out there. They can hurt you.”

“No they won’t mama. I have power. See...” Eve, in her father’s arm raised her hand and point it to a plant next to them. The plant slowly starts to freeze with its stem barely covered in ice. 

Eve was pushing as much power as she can deeply into exerting her gift towards the plant but she became too tired and stops. She was panting hard and a pang of disappointment hits her guts.

“See, you are not strong enough, Evie. You won’t be able to protect yourself.” 

“But Khalid can protect me!”

“Yes, but Khalid is still a young boy like you.”

“Well, at least uncle Lawan is training him now. He can protect me, papa.”

“No I will not.” All eyes in the room turns to a small boy with messy long hair that falls to cover his golden eyes and its length reach beneath his neck. He had dusty silver hair, a bit darker shade than Eve and her parents.

Khalid was holding a serious gaze and a small covered dagger was strapped across his body from his left shoulder and tied to his other waist. 

“Khalid! I thought you will have my side!” Eve struggled to stand on her own two feet. Her father gently placed her down and both of her parents smiled seeing her looking agitated.

“I promised to protect you but I never promise to keep secrets from the king and queen.” He approaches Eve’s parents and knelt down at their feet.

He offers his hand and says. “King Aidan, Queen Aaliyah. I hope you are well today.”

Queen Aaliyah giggles at the young boy and brush her finger down his palm, “Stand up, Khalid. There is no need to be formal.”

Khalid stand up straight and bow his head, “I have to, your highness. You are my queen and your highness is my king. I will lay my life for both of you.”

Eve seems to be angry at his words. She stomps towards Khalid and pushed his shoulder which didn’t  make him budge at all since head a but taller than she was. Bigger too.

“Why won’t you treat me like you treat my mama and papa? This is no fair! You are only nice to them but not me!” 

Khalid crossed his arms. 

“You are just a princess and a very naughty one at that. Once you become queen, I will do the same.”

“But I want you to be nice to me like you did mama and papa too.” Her eyes becomes teary and it somehow affect the boy so much that he look and feel so guilty . However, he push himself to remain serious and spoke to Eve.

“You are only eight, princess. The king and queen is my focus! Once you are old enough, I will do the same for you, alright?” He grunts.

“You are eight too!” She stomps his foot, making him yelp in pain and jumped. 

Eve quickly run from there while laughing. Khalid snort at her but cant help smiling even when he should be angry. His precious princess never fails to put a smile on his face.

The pain on his feet still hurts though, making him groan and rub it gently to sooth the pain. Both the king and queen was laughing at the scene the while time.

“Khalid, love. Is your feet alright?” 

“I..I am alright, your highness. Just a small pain. I will be the princess personal knight one day so this does not bother me at all. I am strong. I am fine.” He was flinching as he stands and it made both Aidan and Aaliyah smiled. 

Aidan shook his head and kneel down to meet his gaze.

“What a brave knight you are, Khalid. Your father must be proud of you. I know that for I am too. The goddess has whisper the same thing to me.” Small gasped left Khalid’s lips and he nodded, biting his lips trying to hold the tears pooling in his eyes.

King Aidan, being the descendant of the Goddess Khione, an ice Goddess with powers not to be reckon with has the ability to speak with their maker. Well, not really speak but he can see the future foretold by the Goddess and thus, holds the heart of all the Zhatierians for his spiritual gift.

“I am, my King. Just like my papa, I will be as brave to protect you, my queen and princess Eve..”

Aidan rubs his head and leave the garden, calling out Eve’s name while Aaliyah stayed with Khalid. Aaliyah too kneel down so that she can speak to Khalid eye to eye.

“Khalid, love. Can I ask you for a favour?”

“What favour, your highness?”

“A big one. Only if you can put all your hearts and effort into it. I could not seem to find anyone braver and stronger than you, so I really need your help in this one. Only if you are alright with that?” 

Aaliyah tilted her head and smiling down at him. Her smile was so bright, making Khalid blushed.

“Anything, my queen. I’ll do anything. I am a strong knight.”

Aaliyah nodded.

“My Evangeline is a very curious girl, Khalid. Unlike you, she does not know the danger of the world. She likes to explore and see what is unknown to her. I wish I could stay with her longer but I could not. A queen has her own duty.”

Khalid snort. “Eve is very naughty, my queen. Just a child. I’m no child.”

Aaliyah chuckled. “That is true, Khalid. So that’s why I need you to always protect her. I need you to always be by her side, protects her, love her and care for her no matter what happen. Living here can be a bore for her seeing she is the only girl in this castle. She needs a companion. Someone she can trust.”

Khalid frowned, “How about Marion? He’s her best friend right?”

“Marian is just an owl, love. Sure he can be her friend but I don’t think a small bird like Marion can protect her, right?”

Khalid nodded and bowed down, “Alright my queen. I will reaction the princess with everything I got. I am a brave knight like my father. I will care for her and be her friend. Not that I’m not now but we’ll be closer than ever.”

His words are adorable yet his reaction was serious and that makes Aaliyah wants to laugh harder. She rubs his unruly hair and leave the garden. 

Khalid stare at the sight of the family in front of him. Powerful family, sacred and adored by many. Staring at Eve, he felt his cheek reddening and can't help but smile. His precious princess. All him to protect. While others would call it a duty, it was a promise he was happy to take. 

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