By Desert Mouse
"Terisa have you seen Princess Serenity this morning?" Tessa Stoneshield asked. Her daughter looked at her and shook her head.
"I'm sorry she got away from me after breakfast." Terisa Swordsong replied. She was disappointed in her own failure but her mother just explained.
"Don't worry about it Terisa. I don't expect you to be watching her every minute. She isn't your responsibility yet, after all you're still learning."
"That girl is as bad as her father." Tessa grumbled.
"Why is she playing these games today? Tomorrow is her naming, she will be an adult." Terisa asked in disbelief. Her mother looked at her strangely.
"Terisa you have known her since you were both baby kittens. You grew up togetherů your not really expecting that she will act like an adult just because she gets her spirit name?" Tessa asked.
"She has to grow up soon, she's the Princess." Terisa commented.
"Can you help me find her? Lady Rainstorm and Crown Prince Thunderwhiskers wish to speak to her about tomorrow's ceremony." Tessa asked.
"She's blocking her voice again isn't she?" Terisa questioned.
"That child is already too powerful. Even her father isn't able to block his mind off completely like that." Tessa Wilcox replied.
"I think I know a couple places that she might have gone. I'll take a look around." Terisa promised her mother.
Princess Serena sat against the pink wall of what used to be her nursery. The room hasn't been used in a few years, when she was five she was moved into a much bigger room that was more fitting a growing girl. She was happy to get a big girl's room but today she found herself staring at her old crib. Tomorrow she would be an adult so it felt like this was the time to reflect on her childhood.
"I knew you would find me sooner or later." Serena said with a warm smile. Her friend Terisa walked up to her without trying to hide her approach.
"Why are you hiding here Princess?" Terisa asked. The blonde haired girl replied by sticking out her tongue at the use of her formal title. Terisa shook her head and sighed.
"Tomorrow is my thirteenth birthday." Serena said almost quietly. The smile never left her face but her voice wavered.
"I am aware of that, but why are you hiding in the nursery?" Terisa asked. Serena got off the floor and looked at her childhood friend, then shrugged.
"You're scared about tomorrow?" Terisa asked picking up some of the Princesses thoughts.
"She's opening her mind again, that's a good sign."
"I'm not scared, but I don't want to disappoint everyone." Serena replied honestly.
"You got your name last year, but you were already grown up before that. What if I am not ready?" she asked.
"Getting your spirit name means that you are ready to become an adult, but it doesn't mean that you're going to mature overnight. You will grow up when the time is right, but until then you're going to remain Princess Serenity." Terisa replied calmly. She quickly turned away so that she didn't have to see the tongue that she knew was being pointed at her for using not only Serena's title, but her formal name as well.
"it might interest you to know that on the eve of my thirteenth birthday I also reflected on my childhood, as well as my future."
"What did you decide?" Serena asked.
"That you are going to be troublesome to protect as an adult." Terisa replied. The princess giggled cheerfully.
"If I'm so terrible, you could choose a different career." She suggested.
"That's true but your still a good friend, and always have been. I think it will be worth it." Terisa replied.
"A kitten with your friendly charms will need to be protected. So that you can continue to brighten the world without being dragged down." She thought with a curious smile.
"That looks good on you, maybe you should try wearing one more often?" Serena giggled pointing at Terisa's smile. Swordsong ignored the comment and spoke seriously.
"Your parents wish to speak to you about tomorrow. You should locate them in their bedchambers." Serena walked up to her and gave her a quick hug.
"Thank you Swordsong." Serena said cheerfully before leaving the room.
The next morning Princess Serena walked out the front entrance to the Jiyu'rei palace. Since her family was going to need some time to set everything up for her naming ceremony it seemed like a good idea to visit the townspeople for a couple hours.
"Terisa wanted to come with me. But what would happen in our own lands." Serena thought giggling. Sometimes her childhood friend worried too much about the silliest things.
"You look like someone that needs to be kidnapped." An unfamiliar voice cheerfully entered the princess's head. Serena took a quick look around, discovering the source was a sixteen year old girl with black hair. She smiled at the other Jiyu'rei but didn't understand the comment.
"What do you mean?" Serena asked curiously.
"Your voice sounds troubled Princess, I think you need to be kidnapped for a few hours. Come with me, I know a cute little spot you can relax." The girl chuckled. Serena giggled at her.
"Don't call me princess." She protested.
"What's your name?"
"Amy Whitewind." The girl replied.
"Don't need to ask your name, every Jiyu'rei knows you Serena." She giggled. The two girls started walking away from the palace, with Amy in the lead. She brought the princess to a clearing about an hour away with a quiet little pool of water.
"Most of the kitties in this area are too busy, they don't know about this place so we shouldn't be disturbed." Amy explained undressing. Serena giggled and started to follow her example. A swim sounded like fun right now.
"You're not the only elder on this Island." Tessa pointed out. She stood straight, watching the Crown Prince very carefully. He was the type of feline that could try and take off at any moment, just to see how she responded.
"Why are you so against me naming Serenity? I am not the only elder around here, but I'm quite qualified and love the naming ceremony. Many of the kittens I have given spirit names to love their name. Including your own daughter Mrs. Stoneshield."
"I am aware that you're a talented telepath. I don't suggest otherwise but you're too close to the girl, you should seek another Elder for her naming."
"You worry too much Tessa, take a page from my daughter's book and cheer up." Tony smiled.
"I won't treat her any different then the other kitten's I have named." He added, Tessa heard the tone in his voice that suggested the discussion was over, there would be no point in arguing any further.
"Mother, Crown Prince. I must speak with the two of you." Terisa Wilcox was the next one to speak up. Several minutes after Tony and Tessa finished speaking she burst into the room.
"Is there a problem Swordsong?" Tony asked.
"The Princess went into town. She refused to allow me to go with her but now her voice is disappearing. It's been fading for awhile now. She would not wander this far from the palace." Terisa reported to them.
"You think something's happened to her?" Tony asked amused.
"Crown Prince Fraser, if you intend to be the Elder for her naming then go prepare. Terisa and I will attend to this." Tessa said sharply. Tony attempted to protest, believing that they had both jumped to the wrong conclusion again. However he was overruled by his head of security.
"Just don't take things the wrong way, this isn't the human lands. Remember that." Tony said before leaving the two of them alone.
"Have you seen the Princess? She came out here for some fresh air and has failed to return." Tessa asked a Jiyu'rei woman in her late forties. The first two felines they asked didn't know anything.
"I did see two kittens heading in that direction. One of them looked like the Princess and I think the other was Amy Whitewind." The woman pointed into the forest.
"Thank you." Tessa replied. She let the woman go and turned to her daughter.
"Try finding her voice now." She suggested. Terisa nodded and had to close her eyes to concentrate. The voice of the princess was very low but now that she had a general direction that she could focus on. Terisa was able to get a better idea on how far away Serenity had gotten.
"I can feel her, there's water but no beach." Terisa said carefully. She opened her eyes and her mother was smiling at her.
"Very good. It's important to be able to find your charge when they run off. The Princess is a lot like her father, and she's going to try and escape from your protection." Tessa proudly told her daughter. The two of them followed Terisa's feelings until they reached an unfamiliar clearing. Right in the middle of the pond that dominated it was a naked princess and her new friend swimming.
"Hi, I've been kidnapped." Serena cheerfully reported to them with a giggle. She got out of the water. Both mother and daughter shook their heads.
"Get dressed girls. The princess needs to return to the palace for her naming." Tessa said firmly. Both of them looked disappointed that playtime was now over, but Serena turned to her new friend.
"Come with me?"
"I would be honoured Princess." She replied. The two of them got dressed and they went back to the palace with Tessa and her daughter. Amy separated from Serena when they got there, following Tessa to a place that she could wait comfortably while the princess was taken by a very watchful Terisa to get ready for her naming.
The palace gardens were lightly decorated with the royal family's crest and the soft pink that had always been the Princess's favorite colour. Normally these ceremony's were done in a special room in the palace or buildings that were set up around the Jiyu'rei islands. However this was a very special naming ceremony. It was for the Jiyu'rei Princess and descendent of the old generals Fireclaw and Whisperwind from the beginning of Jiyu'rei society. Even so only a very few people were allowed to attend. No matter how many Jiyu'rei wanted to witnesses this event it was still a special day in a little girl's life so only family and friends had been allowed in.
Serena walked through the garden's path to the center where her mother and father usually had a set of tables set up. For now they had been replaced by a small pedestal for her to stand on to meet her father in the eyes. She stepped up to the pedestal and giggled softly, almost losing her balance.
"Princess Serenity Fraser." Tony announced when she was in place.
"Daddy!" Serena protested.
"I have to be formal, now please let me work." Tony smiled at her. He reached into her mind, and used his own knowledge of her to choose what name would suit his kitten the best. He thought about it carefully, the name she had been given as a baby and the attitude that she displayed.
"Serenity, your name suits you very well, you bring a sense of calmness to people around you similar to the soft moonlight. And you have never been seen without wearing that bright smile of yours. I sense within you a spirit that can never be broken. It is for these reasons that I feel the name Brightmoon reflects you the best." Tony spoke clearly and carefully. Secretly he hoped that she liked the name because it was hard as an elder when a kitten didn't, and even worse because this was his own daughter.
"Brightmoon?" Serena asked with a giggle. Her father nodded his head and she rolled the name around on her tongue.
"It's cute, I like it." She declared cheerfully.
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