"Forever..."

A story based on, "Voltron, The Third Dimension"
Copyright 2004
By Adele Previte

"Voltron" and its characters are a trademark and copyright of World Event Productions.
All other characters are copyrighted by me and can be used with my permission.

Thanks! 

Enjoy! 


Chapter 11
The Beauty of Kardel's People

Princess Allura held onto the arm of Commander Keith, as he led her through the city of Kardel.  After they had eaten a sumptuous meal at the children's school, they decided to go for a bit of a self-guided, sightseeing tour.

With a map in hand, Keith navigated them both through some of the shopping districts that were near the edge of the city.

People had been gathering around as news continued to spread that their Princess had entered the city.  Many young girls had also gathered in large groups, hoping to catch a glimpse of the young, handsome and very brave Commander of the Voltron Force.  Keith's reputation had spread throughout the countryside, and his popularity soared among the people...especially, among the young girls of Arus.

Allura halted Keith's lead as she paused to see a street seller's wares, laid out upon the table.  The older woman with salt and pepper hair, that was pinned up in the back of her head, suddenly beamed with pride and joy, as she ran around to the other side of her table
to greet the Princess and her escort.

"Your Royal Highness!" the woman beamed.  "It is an honor to have you here at my table!  Whatever you desire, shall be yours...at no cost!"

"Oh, I will hear of no such thing!" Allura replied back with a smile.  "I insist that I pay for whatever I take!  And I'll hear nothing more of it!  You've worked so hard to present your goods...I want to honor your hard work!"

"But, Your Grace," the woman replied.  "It is I who would be honored to make you a gift of anything that you see upon my table!"

"I am honored to merely be in your presence." Allura replied back, taking the hand of the woman standing before her.  "You and your neighbors and friends should be commended for what you have done with your city!  You have rebuilt it from the rubble that Zarkon had left behind.  It does me honor to see what a thriving community you have here."

"Your father loved Arus, Princess Allura." the woman said, now kneeling before her. "You do his memory honor by gracing us with your presence, and by giving us your protection."

The woman then took Allura's hand and brought it to her lips, placing a gentle kiss on the top of it.  She then looked up at the
Princess, tears streaming down her
face.

"Thank you, Princess Allura...for
remembering us!" the woman wept.

Tears began to form in Allura's eyes,
as she knelt down to the ground
and hugged the woman.

"I'm very pleased...and very honored...
to be here among you, now."
Allura said.

Keith looked on...awed by Allura's compassion.  She was every bit of what her father was...and more.  And the people loved her for it.

Allura rose to her feet, bringing the woman up with her. After a few
more lingering moments, Allura released the woman's hands and turned
to Keith.

"Shall we continue?" she asked him.

Keith smiled, nodding his head gently. "You're impressive." he said softly to her.  "You have so much love in your heart.  The people of Arus are truly a blessed people to have someone as wonderful and as kindhearted as you to be their leader."

Allura smiled graciously...saying nothing more. She once again linked her arm around Keith's arm. "Would you like to move on?"

Keith winked at her.  "As you command, fair Princess Allura!"

Allura tugged playfully on Keith's arm and the couple proceeded to walk further down the street.

The crowds had gathered in the streets, as more and more people heard about the visitors. Keith had a feeling of being somewhat of a superstar, by the way that the people were reacting to their presence.

They were now stopping every few steps, as people ran up and knelt down before Allura...
grabbing for her hand and kissing it, paying homage to their Royal Princess.

And elderly woman approached Keith and Allura with the help of a younger, more middle aged woman.  The old woman bowed before the Princess and the Voltron Commander.

"Your Highness," the old woman said, speaking in a shaky voice that was filled with age. "Thank you, for coming to our city today.  Thank you...for all that you do for Arus...for all that you both do."

Allura released Keith's arm...and leaned to the old woman, embracing her gently.  The middle-aged woman stepped up, placing a tender hand of support on the back of the elderly woman.

The old woman held Allura in her embrace and wept tenderly.  "I know you must miss your father.  He was a great man...King Alfor was...in his day.  You do him proud."

"Thank you," Allura breathed the replied sweetly and softly into the old woman's left ear as she turned her head to whisper.  "I appreciate your faith in us."

The old woman then released the Princess, and turning to Keith, she gently took his hand into hers.  Her hands were fragile and shaky, but her grip was sure, filled with strength from the years of hardship.

The woman's eyes began to tear as she looked at the dark-haired Voltron Commander.

"Please, Commander Keith," the woman's voice cracked with emotion. "Please, take care of our dear Princess.  Don't let anything happen to her.  Don't let King Zarkon or his wicked son, Lotor, come against you, and take her away from us.  Arus would surely perish without Princess Allura among us!"

Keith smiled at her, as she repeated her plea...  "Promise me, Commander Keith," the woman begged.  "Promise me, please!"

"I promise." Keith replied, with his voice full of conviction.  "I made that same vow to her and the House of Arus, more than eight years ago.  And I make that vow before you now.  I promise to watch out for her and to protect her."

"He already does." Allura added with a smile on her face.  "You needn't worry about that."

The woman released Keith's hand and brought her hands up to his face...touching it gently.  She closed her eyes and after a moment's time, the tears freely fell like rain down her wrinkled cheeks.

"You will make a fine King, Keith Hunter." The old woman proclaimed.  "You are the chosen one."

As she opened her eyes, her gaze fell upon Keith's seemingly startled stare.  He cracked an uncomfortable smile and replied, "Chosen one?  What do you mean by that, ma'am?"

She smiled. "You will soon see, if all is as it should be.  I sense that you will make our Princess very happy."

"I'm content to be her escort for the day." Keith replied with a simple smile on his face.

An enormous hover car suddenly pulled up on the street that Keith and Allura had stopped on, interrupting the scene that was taking place.

The hatch lifted up and three men got out of the back seat and came to stand in front of Princess Allura.  The three men bowed humbly before her, and as they stood up straight again, one, very portly-looking man spoke...

"Your Royal Highness!  It is indeed an honor to have you here in our fair city!" the man beamed. "Allow me to introduce myself to you!  I am Mayor Lyle Kuhn.  These men are my council leaders.  Welcome to Kardel, Princess Allura!"

"Thank you, Mayor Kuhn!" Allura replied brightly.  "And may I have the pleasure of introducing to you our Voltron Commander, Keith Hunter."

The mayor shook his head and smiled.  "No need for an introduction!  Commander Keith Hunter is a legend already in the hearts and minds of the people of Kardel!  And...
eh-hem...a local heart throb to the many teenage girls who live here!"

Keith blushed with  embarassment at the comment, as Mayor Kuhn continued.  "The Commnader's feats of honor as the Black Lion Knight are well known, and his name is highly respected!"  Then the mayor turned to Keith, crossing his right hand over his heart. "Welcome, Commander Hunter!  It is truly our honor to have you here!"

Keith nodded his head to the mayor.  "It's a pleasure to be here.  You folks have done a marvelous work on your city.  I'm very impressed!"

"Yes, we've worked hard, trying to rebuild and improve upon what Zarkon so thoughtlessly took from us during the Doom Wars." Mayor Kuhn said.  "One of our city officials sprinted into my office and told me that you two were here in our city!  I was thrilled, and sought to find you immediately to officially welcome you!  However, it appears that the good citizens of Kardel have taken care of that on my behalf!"

"Yes, they've all been extremely kind!" Allura replied.  "I too, am pleased to see how well you're doing.  I must say...judging by what I've seen so far, you've done an impressive job, Mayor Kuhn!"

"Thank you, Your Highness!" the mayor said.  "Now, it would do me great pleasure if you and Commander Keith would accompany me on a guided tour of our wonderful city!"

"Oh...um...well...I..." Allura replied, as she gazed at Keith.  He wasted no time in smiling at her, giving her a nod to assure her that he was all for the idea of the city tour.  She smiled at Keith and then turned back toward the mayor.  "Yes!  I think that would be a
wonderful idea, Mayor Kuhn!"

"Excellent!" the mayor replied.  "Come with me in our hover car!  We'll take you to some of our finest areas!  And we have a special surprise for you, Princess!"

"A surprise?" she gasped gleefully.  "What surprise?"

"You'll see, Your Highness!" the mayor beamed proudly.  "Now, come with me...both of you!  We must hurry!"

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