Elizabeth woke up with a small gasp. “Sir Meliodas!”
She breathed deeply, her mind trying to catch up with her so that she could break her dazed state. She couldn't breathe. She couldn’t move. SHe needed to relax.
Elizabeth slowly sucked in a chilling wind before moving the air out of her lungs. She repeated this for a minute before shakily bringing herself to sit up. She looked around to find herself inside of her bedroom, changed into a pair of her pale pink nightdresses. Feeling something on her head, the small princess reached up to touch her forehead, finding a bandage wrapped around it. What had happened?
She pulled herself out from her bed, grabbing her small teddy bear as she rushed to the door, and tried her best to remember what she could. She remembered that she had been playing hide and seek, when she had overheard… someone.... Elizabeth shook her head, “I can’t remember anything…” She grabbed the handle that was just barely out of her reach and pulled it open. She was just about to rush out, when she pulled to a stop before colliding into a pair of long legs. Elizabeth looked up and blinked in surprise. “Oh, Hendrickson-Sama.”
Hendrickson looked down to her aloofly. “Princess Elizabeth. IT is very early. May I suggest you return to bed? I will be sending one of the maids to bring you your breakfast soon.” Elizabeth frowned at the look in his eyes. They were so cold, and she couldn’t detect any of the kindness she used to see in the gentleman. “N-no thank you… I was just about to go off to find one of my sisters, or maybe Meli…”
Hendrickson's gaze hardened at the nickname of her blonde holy knight. “Princess, I’m afraid that I cannot allow that. Meliodas will be unavailable as of late, and your sisters have been required to stay in their own rooms as well.” He motioned his hand for her to go back into her room, but the small silverette didn’t budge. “Why?”
“It is for your safety.”
“From what? And why do you say Meli can’t see me? He always makes time to spend with me.” She stepped forward to pass by the Holy Knight, but he stepped into her path once more. “Princess Elizabeth, I really must insist. For your safety-”
“So what.” She looked up to him with a pout. “I don’t know what you’re keeping me safe from, but I don’t care. I’m going wherever I want.” “Princess-”
“Exactly!” Elizabeth now looked to him with a hardened glare, just pushing him to argue with her. “Princess. That’s what I am. And as Princess, I demand that you let me by where I please, as this is my home, Sir Hendrickson.” They both remained silent before Hendrickson bowed his head with a huff and stepped aside for her to pass. “Very well, Princess Elizabeth…” She smiled with pride as she skipped past him happily. She made her way towards Meliodas’ room, not caring that she was followed, and entered in cheerfully without the bother to knock.
“Meli! Come play with me- Oh.” Elizabeth stopped short in surprise to find the room empty. Not just of her best friend, but of everything. All of Meliodas’ things were gone from the room. Elizabeth frowned, “Meliodas?”
She turned on her heal and glared to Hendrickson. “Where is Sir Meliodas?”
Hendricksons face bowed to look to the ground. “As I said, he is unavailable as of lat. By which I mean, he and his fellow Sins are forever banned from here.” Elizabeth froze, a chill running down her back as she stared at the holy Knight in horror. “What...?” “They have been committed with a horrendous crime, of which will cost the rest of their miserable lives. Meliodas and them have all fled, and if they dare return, we will promise their death to the kingdom.”
Elizabeth felt sick, her hands covering her mouth in horror. “N-no… It’s all a misunderstanding, I’m sure of it! Mel isn’t a bad guy at all! He can’t commit a crime, he’s a Holy Knight!”
Hendrickson frowned to her, “Not anymore… He and his comrades of the Seven Deadly Sins have been accused of the slaying of Holy Knight Grand Master Zaratras.”
That’s when it all clicked. Elizabeth remembered everything that had happened the previous night or so. The last time she had seen Meliodas.
She had been playing hide and seek, and had hidden behind one of the curtains. She had been hiding when she heard MEliodas’ voice along with the rest of his comrades, and had decided she would pause her game to go see him. When she had come to them though… she had seen Zaratras’ body impaled by poles.
Elizabeth threw her fists down in anger, “It wasn’t them! I was there! Meli and his friends would never do such a thing!”
Hendrickson sighed, “Princess, I understand that you would go to try and protect the likes of those criminals. It is no secret that the captain had captured your attention and made you favor him, but that does not lessen their crimes. Do you have proof of your claims?”
She hadn’t seen what happened, but even still, with all the Sins there, she knew they didn’t do it. Not only because of her trust in them, and her knowing them all so well and what they were really like, but…
“Oh come on! If Meli was to go and kill someone like Zaratras, he wouldn’t make it look so pitiful!”
Hendrickson choked at her words, faltering slightly in his stance, “Why-what-?!”
Elizabeth crossed her arms and turned with a humph. “Meli would have done something much more interesting! Knowing him, he would have involved a dragon, or maybe a giant animal- anything! He wouldn’t just go put someone on a pole- he’d make them a public display of humiliation, if they really made him mad enough to kill them! He probably would have burnt them down and put them in some ridiculous situation, and then dropped them off all too happily. Besides, if this were truly Meli’s doing,” she turned a pointed look to Hendrickson. “He would totally have taken the fall. Sorry, but I don’t see him boasting about his works as a murderer, now do I?”
Hendrickson felt his eye twitch at her claims. “Princess… I ask that you kindly return to your room. We are not to continue this conversation any longer.”
“But-” she was cut off when two maids rushed in and hurried Elizabeth back to her bedroom. They locked her into it, and told of returning soon with her food.
This is what it was like for the next few months. They would allow her out every now and then to be in the gardens, but never without a group of Holy Knights around her for “protection”. Honestly, even if they did believe the sins guilty, did that honestly think they would harm her? She didn’t want to boast, but; the Sins all loved her. They had all admitted to it.
Elizabeth was locked into her room almost all of her days. She would once in awhile see her sisters during a few meals outside of her room, but other than that, they would see each other maybe a few times a week during their lessons. In the last five months of this, she had seen her father once. He had been apparently ill and couldn’t be around her and her sisters for too long. The once she saw him, he had told her to simply go along with it for her safety. She didn’t know what it was, but when her father said it was for her safety, she couldn’t help but feel he meant from the Holy Knights, instead of the Seven Deadly Sins.
She would spend a majority of her time trying to figure out what to do. She would try to remember the voices of the ones she had heard, talking about killing Zaratras. She tried to convince Holy Knights of the sins innocence, but they never listened. She did whatever she could to try and help the Sins.
Then, one day, it came to her.
She was talking with one of the maids as she was presented her dinner, when she noticed Hendrickson and Dreyfus speaking near the door in hushed words. As soon as she heard their whispers, she froze.
It was them. They were the ones she had overheard.
Elizabeth promptly excused herself and rushed to lock herself into her room. She grabbed her favorite red bag and filled it with her favorite clothes, and her teddy bear. She snuck down into the kitchen and grabbed some food and a container of water. She put a large bag of gold and silver coins into the bag for in case, and placed the bag onto her back. Before she could go to the door though, she recalled an important piece of information.
She had no way out.
She looked around nervously before looking to the carpet below her with a gasp of remembrance. She heffed the side of the carpet out of the way and smiled in delight at the panel on the ground.
She could recall about a year ago that she had been about to fall asleep when the Panel had been pushed up. She would have been frightened if not for MEliodas’ voice calling out in surprise. “Huh. Could have sworn this would lead to the kitchen… Oh! Hey there Ellie~” The two had explored all the secret passageways together, mapping the routes out by heart.
Before going down the passageway, Elizabeth snuck back out of her room once more, entering into one of the training rooms. If she were to be on her own, she might turn up in trouble. She grabbed two of the fighting knives and rushed back to her room. After checking that she was completely ready, she made her way down the passages. When she had finally made her way through them all, having gotten lost twice, what without Meliodas’ help, she found herself near the backhand of the castle.
She pulled out a map of Britannia she had grabbed, and looked over it with a hum. She had heard rumors of seeing the sins in different places, but…
She smiled when her eyes landed on one town. “Vanya! Yesterday, a Holy Knight said that Sir Ban was spotted drunk there. Maybe he and Meli are together!” Luckily, Vanya was only a town or two away. She could try and hitch a ride.
It took only two days for her to get to the town. She had paid to travel on two different wagons and had walked a mile or two all in all. Now, standing at the center of Vanya, Elizabeth was determined to find the Sins.
She wasn’t a Holy Knight, and they would no doubt recognize her, so she had no worries that she would find the Sins easily. They wouldn’t be hiding from her.
Elizabeth walked around town, knowing better than to ask if someone had seen them. If she asked something like that, it would only lead to trouble. She looked around and asked people through descriptions. No one seemed to know until she came up to three tall men who were coming from a day of hard work. “Excuse me, sirs?” They looked down to her and smiled kindly. Elizabeth fiddled with the strap of her red bag nervously. “Umm, I’m looking for a friend of mine-? His name is Meliodas! He has blonde spiky hair, and green eyes. He’s about thrice my height-?”
The men looked surprised before nodding happily. One of the men chuckled. “Say, don’t she mean that tavern owner?” Another man nodded to her, “Here, we’ll take you to him, alright kiddo? So, why you lookin’ for him?” She followed them happily to the outskirts of the town, “He’s my protector! My knight, and my best friend~”
They came upon the large tavern and Elizabeth looked to the sign hanging in surprise. “The… Boar Hat?” The men opened the door for her and one of them called out for Meliodas. “Sir Meliodas? You have someone here lookin’ for ya’!”
She walked in and looked around kindly to the people there. Customers for food and drinks all spoke to her kindly, telling her how Meliodas and the other workers were just upstairs. Suddenly, something round and pink walked over to her. “Pguuh! What’s the racket around here for?”
Elizabeth turned around at the voice and gasped at the sight as it came over to her. A pink pig at around her height, yet much thicker than her, with a dark pink clover n its bottom, and a gold piercing on its ear. The pig blinked to her in surprise. “A kid? What do you want with Meliodas?” Elizabeth stared at the pig long and hard before cautiously stepping forward to it. “Are you… really a piggy?”
“Huh-? Oh, umm, yeah?”
Meliodas looked down to the map of Britannia, looking to the towns with red markers on them. “Alright. The Holy Knights know we’re here thanks to Ban’s heavy drinking spree.” The sins all sent a pointed look to the undead man.
Ban chuckled, “If it’s wrong for a man to enjoy the pleasures of life, then I’m guilty as charged~”
Merlin looked to the map, “We'll have to leave after closing up, as they should be arriving here by the morning. It’d only be trouble n the town if we stick around.” Meliodas nodded, “Exactly. So where-”
The sins all looked the way of the stairs in shock. They heard Hawk squeal from below, “Whoops!”
Meliodas sighed, “Dear goddess, what did the pig break?” Before they could do anything else, they heard another voice call out. “Hawk-Chan! Are you alright- Whaaa!” The Sins all froze at the sound of the squeaky voice. It sounded all too familiar, but… no, it couldn’t be.
“Oy! Elizabeth! Are you alright?!”
The sins all rushed downstairs as fast as they could, but Meliodas beat them all to the bottom before they could even turn to sprint. When they arrived to the scene, they all blanked at the sight.
A table was upturned and food and dishes littered the area. A majority of the customers didn’t notice the ruckus, but there was about five who were trying to help hawk with picking up. One of the men looked towards something. “Ah! Elizabeth-Chan, do you need help?”
The sins remained frozen as they watched little Princess Elizabeth come to a stand, squeezing out the skirt of her dress, as it had gotten wet from some of the spills. “I-i’m alright, thank you. I slipped on some of the spilled drinks…”
Meliodas inhaled sharply at hearing her voice. “Elizabeth…?”
The world seemed to freeze as Elizabeth looked up to him with blown wide eyes in shock. The two stared at one another in shock before the silverette gasped happily, a bright smile spread across her face. “ MELI! ” She rushed over to him, while he dropped to his knees with an overjoyed laugh, happily taking her into a tight hug. “Meli, I’ve missed you all so much! I was so upset when you all disappeared!” Meliodas hugged her tighter at this. “I know Ellie, and I’m so sorry. I missed you more than anything.”
The sins smiled gently before Merlin looked to her cautiously, “Elizabeth… Were you accompanied by a Holy Knight when you arrived here?”
Elizabeth looked to them in surprise before scowling, “Pfft! Yeah right! Like I would let one of those monsters near me anymore!” The sins all looked to her in shock at her statement. “‘Monsters’? Ellie, what are you talking about? And who brought you all the way here?”
Elizabeth looked up to Meliodas and her smile came back. “No one! I heard that you all may be here, so I came by myself~” Her head tilted to the side childishly, “I ran away~”
The Sins all fell to silence before they all looked to her in rising panic, “You did what?!” Elizabeth hugged herself to Meliodas once more, “I took the passageway in my room and escaped. I paid to ride on a few carts to get here, and I brought enough stuff to be sure I’d be safe. Please don’t be upset, Meli. I know you don’t want me on my own ever, but I had to come and find you…”
Before they could get the chance to respond, Elizabeth pulled back to look at them gravely. “I… I found out who slayed Zaratras…”
Elizabeth sat on one of the seats, happily munching away to the food Ban had made for her. The sins all watched her from around the table with fond smiles. Hawk huffed from beside her.
“Hold up- so let me get this straight… You’re a runaway princess, in search for these band of hooligans?” When Elizabeth nodded happily, Hawk shook his head, “I can’t believe it… How can someone so innocent and sweet have anything to do with Meliodas?” Meliodas hit Hawk on the head with a deadpan expression, “Keep talking ham-slice, and I’ll turn you into pulled pork.”
Gowther looked to Elizabeth, “Princess? You said that you had left shortly after learning the identity of Grand Master Zaratras’ slayer?”
Elizabeth nodded sadly, “Slayer’s, actually… I don’t know how many people were involved, but… I found out who it was that I had heard speaking on killing him.” SHe looked up to them gravely, “It was Hendrickson and Dreyfus… They planned on starting a Holy War, and they wanted to throw the blame on you all to have you killed.” The sins frowned deeply at this.
“Dang,” King sighed. “To think those two would be behind it. They were so close with Zaratras…” Diane nodded sadly as she looked to Elizabeth, “What about your father, and sisters? They’re probably worried about your disappearance.”
Elizabeth shook her head. “They won’t even know. In the past five months, I’ve only seen my father once. He’s claimed ill in bed, and the only time I saw him, he told me to do what Hendrickson orders so that I’d be safe from the Holy Knights. I only see my sisters once in a while now, because they always lock us up.” The sins all watched as tears pooled in the Princesses eyes. “I hate it so much… Hendrickson locks me away in my room, saying that you all could come back and harm me and my family… When I found out it was him and Dreyfus who killed Zaratras, they were talking about waiting for my father to pass away, and… and then they would do away with me and my sisters…”
The sins gasped at this. Meliodas immediately pulled Elizabeth into his hold, looking to her sternly. “Elizabeth. I refuse to let you go back there. Not until we fix all of this.” She sniffled around her tears, “Y-you promise?”
He smiled gently and hugged her, “I promise. We’ll save the kingdom, and your family.”