Disclaimers:  I do not own Gundam Wing or any of its characters.

Notes:  Okay the prologue of a new slave fic.  The prologue cuts between two perspectives of things that are happening at the
same time but in different places.  I hope that wasn’t confusing.  Pairings, 1x2, 3x4, 2xH, 13x5xM, others that are just creepy
and I don’t want to mention.



Servitude, Retribution, and Enchantment



Prologue


A harsh wind blew across the charred fields that had once been the home of one of the most powerful clans in China.  A young
girl stood at the top of a cliff, staring out at the water, watching the departing masts of the ships that held the men who had
massacred everyone she had loved.  She was alone now . . . all was gone.  

She cursed the day they had landed on the shores . . . how kind the Elders had been to the strangers, only to be repaid for that
generosity with pain and suffering.  The screams of children rang in her ears, and she screamed out her own agony, knowing
that the one she loved most was now amongst the ancients.

She collapsed to the ground, sobbing, her heart slowly becoming cold and bitter as she promised vengeance on those that had
wronged her.  The blood of those men would run in rivers and she would gladly drink of their suffering.  They deserved no less
than to die in the most horrible of ways.  She wished agony on them, knowing that no matter how long it took, she would find
some way to give them the painful deaths that they most definitely deserved.

With that thought in mind, she stood, brushing back her tears as she turned away from the cliffs.  She would find a way to
make them pay . . . even if it took her an entire lifetime, she would see each of them dead.  Their faces were burned into her
memory, and someday she would see each of those faces twisted in agony, writhing at her feet and begging her for the mercy
that she would not give them.


*****


Princess Lucrezia Noin rode across the countryside in her carriage, hating this mode of travel.  She would much rather be on
horseback . . . but once again Father had insisted that on such an occasion she should act with dignity.  She scoffed.  She rather
fight on the battlefields with her brothers than sit in a room and do needlepoint all day.  She wielded a sword better than most
men she knew anyway.  But she was a princess and as Father said repeatedly whenever she snuck off to have fun, a princess
was supposed to act proper and prim all the time.  

Noin shook her head.  She didn’t like acting in such a manner.  It was just a lie anyway.  She hated her name . . . to her it
sounded to girly.  She hated wearing dresses, like the frilly gown she had been forced into today.  The fact that she was being
forced into a marriage was also not to her liking, although the prince she was betrothed to did bring a smile to her face.  Who
wouldn’t want to marry Prince Milliardo?  Any girl would kill just to get his attention, Noin among them.

And soon she’d have Milliardo all to herself.  That thought alone made her glad to come on this trip.  She and Milliardo had been
playing together every summer for as long as Noin could remember.  Winter made the roads too difficult to travel.  The wait just
made her more anxious to visit in the summer though.  And to think, in just a few months, after both she and Milliardo both turn
seventeen, all that waiting would be done with forever.  She and Milliardo would never have to part for winters to return to their
own homes . . . they’d share a home together.

It was an eternity before the coach was pulled to a stop, at least in Noin’s mind.  As soon as she was helped out by the footman,
she knew that something was wrong.  Milliardo had always greeted her as soon as she arrived.  Why wasn’t he there?  In fact
no one was there.  It was just so oddly quiet.

Noin grabbed the arm of Dorothy, a young girl that was staying with the family as Princess Relena’s companion.  “What’s going
on?  Where’s Milliardo?”  Noin asked.

“Oh, haven’t you heard?”  Dorothy asked, innocently.  “The Prince has vanished.  Everyone is looking for him but no one can
seem to find him.”

Noin gasped, releasing the girl’s arm.  Just then a servant ran over to her as Dorothy silently slipped away.  “Oh, Princess
Lucrezia . . . I’m so sorry . . . Prince Milliardo has disappeared.  He was riding as he does every day.  His horse came back a
few hours ago riderless.  The best trackers have had no luck in finding him.”  With that the poor woman broke down into fits of
sobbing.

Noin rushed through the halls of the castle, throwing open the door to Relena’s quarters.  She rushed over to the young girl,
seeing her staring out of her window, just looking across her family’s lands.  Noin pulled the girl into a hug, whispering soothing
words while stroking her hands along her back, trying to be comforting.

However, when she pulled back, she got the oddest feeling.  There were no tears on Relena’s face, instead a faint smile was
curling the corner of her lips.  Noin stepped back, shocked to see that Relena didn’t seem to have any reaction at all to her
brother’s disappearance.

“It’s a shame about my brother, isn’t it?”  Relena asked flatly, once again turning to the window.

Noin continued to step away from the girl, a deep sense of dread in her heart as she watched Relena.  This was not normal
behavior for a girl whose brother had just disappeared.  Relena should be crying, should be frantically searching.  But she was
neither of those.  Instead she was just calmly looking from her window, no other emotion on her face.

Noin did not like this one bit.  She turned and ran from the room, deciding to look for Milliardo herself.  She just had to get away
from Relena.  The girl’s actions were just too odd.  Besides, Noin didn’t want to feel useless by standing around and waiting for
word on her husband-to-be.  She had to do something.


*****


The young girl left her cliff side vigil, her heart already bitter with the wishes of vengeance.  She walked through the fields,
searching the bodies of her loved ones, wondering if there was a chance that any had survived.  She doubted it, shaking her
head as a single tear ran along her ash-covered face, leaving a trail in the dirt that marred her features.

She was looking for one body in particular, that of her husband-to-be.  It was only going to be a short time until they were
married, when they reached the age of fourteen, although neither had found the idea of a forced marriage all that enjoyable.  He
was so pigheaded, never wanting to do anything other than shove his nose in his precious books and scrolls.  Why was she
going to be forced to marry a scholar, when her family was from a long line a warriors?

However, as much as she hated his idea that books were all that were important, she did love him.  She only wished that she had
told him that before those men had attacked.  Now the last thing he would remember of her was some stupid argument over him
being stubborn and not wanting to have any fun.  That was why she had left the village that day, why she hadn’t arrived until
almost everyone she loved was already dead.

A faint groan reached her ears and she rushed over, thinking that perhaps someone had lived.  However, as soon as she saw the
uniform, seeing that he was a soldier, she grew furious.  She reached down, picking up the sword of a fallen clan member.  She
was ready to strike him dead when he turned, blood and ash caking his face as he looked up at her.

She dropped the sword, recognizing him immediately.  He had come to the clan at least a month ago, wanting to learn more
about the culture, just wanting to learn.  He was a young soldier, barely eighteen.  The clan had celebrated that birthday with
him, as he had been welcomed into their society.

“Treize.”  The girl gasped, kneeling beside him as she remembered that he had fallen during the battle, wounded while he had
been defending her husband-to-be.  Treize was a man of honor, a good man, someone who had tried to protect them.  He had
been struck down while protecting Wufei, the young man that Meiran was supposed to marry.

“Meiran?  That you?”  Treize swallowed, his voice sounding weak.  He collapsed to the ground, all his energy apparently spent
as he quickly lost consciousness.

Meiran knelt beside him, rolling him over onto her lap, worrying over his health.  A head wound was the most serious injury that
she could see.  There was a gash on his side, but that was obstructed by his garments.

Meiran nodded, then stood, hooking her arms under Treize’s armpits and began to drag the tall young man away from the ruined
village.  She dragged him to the nearby caves, knowing that they would be the only things that could provide any shelter
whatsoever.  With the village burned, soon people would come to loot the remains, to steal from the dead.  Meiran would rather
not be around for that.

With Treize safely hidden in one of the many caves, Meiran returned to the village, to get anything that could possibly be of use
to her.  She pulled the pouch off of the deceased healer, knowing that the roots and herbs would be useful. She searched
through various pieces of shattered pottery, eventually finding a pitcher that was still mostly intact.  She put the pitcher into the
healer’s pouch.  Then she retrieved as many blankets as she could find, knowing how cold the nights became in this area.  She
also collected what food she could find, at least what had not been trampled over or was decidedly inedible.

Meiran returned to the cave, dropping off the supplies she had collected, then left once more, only taking the pitcher with her
this time.  She went to the river and filled the pitcher with the cool, fresh water.  On her way back to the cave the second time,
she collected firewood and kindling, making sure she had enough to be able to start a suitable fire.

When she entered the cave, she saw that Treize was awake and sitting up, watching her with intent.  Meiran smiled as best as
she could, the knowledge that her entire clan was dead screaming at her to exact revenge on those men.  She dropped the twigs
and various branches and arranged them near the cave entrance, although not too close as to make it easily seen from outside.

Meiran raised her hand, closing her eyes and mumbling a simple chant, a spark flying from her hand to set the twigs aflame.  
She heard Treize gasp, and remembered that she was not supposed to do that in front of strangers, or anyone for that matter.  
She recoiled away from him, hoping that he wouldn’t think her disgusting that she could use magic.  The clan hated her for it . .
. it was the reason that she was being married to the youngest son of a family of scholars, instead of like her sisters who
married the elder sons of other warrior families.

“I’m sorry.”  Meiran whispered.

“Magic?  You can do magic?”  Treize asked.

Meiran nodded, avoiding meeting Treize’s eyes.  “Forgive me.”

“Why?  Why are you so upset?”  Treize asked, curiosity in his voice.

Meiran looked up, only to see that Treize was watching her intently, with no hint of disgust in his face.  “It is forbidden, seen as
evil.  That is what my father told us.”

Treize smiled kindly.  “I don’t see it as evil.  And it appears very useful to me.”  He said, gesturing to the crackling fire before he
broke into a fit of coughs.

“Thank you.”  Meiran smiled, for the first time not ashamed of the powers she had concealed for most of her life.  And as she
thought on it, she realized that she had the perfect way to exact revenge . . . she would learn to use her magic more thoroughly.  
Then she would be a force to be reckoned with, someone to be feared.  All she need do is learn.

A hand on her arm snapped her back to her senses and she smiled at Treize who was looking at her with concern.  “Let us take
care of those wounds.”  She said softly as he moved closer to the young man, tentatively reaching out to help him undress.

Before she could touch him though, he flinched back.  “What are you doing?”  He asked, his eyes never leaving her hands.

“I need to tend to your injuries.  If I can’t reach them, I can’t treat them.  Stop being a child and let me help you.”  She replied,
offering a kind smile.

Treize slowly nodded.  “Okay.”  He allowed her to remove his jacket and tunic, allowing her to bring it up over his head as he
hissed in pain.  Meiran helped him to lie down, letting him relax slightly.

Meiran checked him over, smiling at him as she treated each of his wounds, thankful to find that none of them were as serious
as she had first thought.  When she had finally finished dressing his wounds, she looked to his face, smirking at the sight.  He
was asleep, resting peacefully by the look of it.  

Putting everything away, she shoved the unused herbs in the pouch.  Then she slowly crawled over beside Treize, wrapping an
arm around his bare body as she pulled a blanket to cover the both of them.  She had torn one of the blankets to pieces, using it
as bandages and the cloth that she had washed his body with, also using up all the water from the pitcher that way.  Now she
was just weary, so she lay next to him, hoping that he wouldn’t be mad at her in the morning.

Her dreams were plagued with nightmares that night, but she did not awaken.  Her heart continued to grow bitter, knowing that
when she was strong enough that she’d exact her revenge on those men . . . she just had to for her the honor of her clan.



To Be Continued . . .