"Please pardon me for disturbing your peaceful morning. His highness wishes to see the young miss, Alexandra," His voice rang inside their ears as silence surrounded them. Lysander, the knight who was with her a week ago was standing in front of her and Diana with a worried expression was standing behind him. She wasn't able to stop the knight. He was more powerful and he served under the emperor his self. What does he need this time? Is he going to kill me? Those thoughts lingered inside her mind as she stared blankly at the knight who was waiting for her to stand and come with him to the Diamond Palace.
Shock and nervousness conquered her whole body. She slowly stood up from her seat as she held the book tightly. I must bring this for self-defense, she thought to herself and clutched the book inside her arms. As the wind blew, her hair that was tied up in a ponytail fluttered in the wind as well as her dress. With a gentle smile, she spoke, "Please show me the way." Alexandra said trying to hide the fear and nervousness in her voice as she spoke. She looked at Diana who was worried and smiled at her telling her that she'll be okay but her eyes showed fear and worry. Diana hesitated to let Alexandra go, the emperor wishes to see Alexandra only and as they walked away, Diana and Therese prayed that she'll come back alive and not crying.
As Alexandra and the knight walked, silence surrounded them. Alexandra's pace was slow because she was worried and she doesn't want to go. Lysander who noticed her slowing down stopped and that made Alexandra stop too. Are we here already? She asked herself and looked around to see trees and a curved path. Her eyebrows knitted and she clutched the book tightly. Why did he stop?
The knight suddenly turned around and faced Alexandra. He walked towards her and bent down to pick her up which made Alexandra startled. "W-Whaa—"
"You were walking slowly, his highness might get angry for waiting. Aside from that, the path is long and it will take us minutes." He simply said and he started walking, this time faster. Alexandra's palm was cold and her face was pale. Her palm was shaking and the knight noticed this. Lysander sighed when he saw her being nervous and afraid, "He won't kill you." Alexandra knitted her eyebrows. The cold breeze gently blew and caressed her bare skin. She held the book in her arms, protecting it. She was startled at his sudden voice. What do you mean by he won't kill me? Why would he suddenly want to see me? Alexandra wanted to ask but she just held back her questions until they reached the palace.
Lysander still hasn't put her down and they just continued to walk until they reached the throne room which was brightly lit with the large windows and the golden chandeliers on the patterned ceiling of the room. It was big and there were stairs that lead to a person who was sitting on a golden throne decorated with jewels and gems which shined. His usual expressionless face was seen and his gaze was cold and piercing. As Alexandra and the knight walked towards his direction, her heel clicking against the red carpet leading towards the throne resonated and echoed inside the room, it sounded gentle yet powerful at the same time.
A few feet away from the stairs, both of them bowed. "Blessings and Glory for the Queenilia Empire," Both of them said at the same time while bowing. He didn't respond and just stared at them. Lysander lifted his head and Alexandra also, her warm gaze met his cold ones. Alexandra gulped and she stood still not moving a muscle. Lysander remained beside her.
"Lysander," He called out to the knight beside her. Is he going to order the knight to behead me or is he really not going to kill me just like the knight said? If not, then what is his purpose? She asked herself and waited for the next thing Alexander is going to say. "Yes, your highness?" He asked politely, his voice filled with respect. "I'm going to have tea with her, tell the maids to prepare deserts kids would like. At the courtyard," Alexander answered and stood up from his throne walking down the staircase elegantly. Is he not expecting visitors? Alexandra asked and watched him took a step down.
"Yes, your highness," Lysander said and bowed. Alexander was still walking down the stairs when the knight left. Well, this is awkward, Alexandra said to herself as silence surrounded them after the knight left the room. Alexandra fidgeted with her skirt while she held the book tightly with her other hand. After a few seconds, he was already standing in front of her, a few feet away from her. Alexandra felt a chill went down her spine as she felt the cold gaze of the man in front of her. He walked pas by her and she turned around to follow him, his aura intimidating her.
A maid with the food the emperor asked for. She placed down the teapot and a cup of tea in front of Alexander. The cakes and other deserts were placed down in front of Alexandra whose eyes sparkled seeing the food. So far, as they walked towards the courtyard and waited for the food, nothing suspicious happened. He didn't talk to her nor touch her, he was just staring at either at her or somewhere while Alexandra read the book she brought.
The maid who brought their food stared at Alexandra confused and curiosity seen on her face, this was the first time she saw her. Aside from that, she looked like the emperor because of the hair and eyes. Please go away, stop staring at me, Alexandra thought to herself and gripped the book tightly. Alexander didn't mind her reading in front of him, ignoring his presence. Alexandra closed the book and set it down on top of the table near her.
Lysander was watching them at a distance just like a week ago. They were still quiet and didn't talk with each other, their atmosphere wasn't comforting nor awkward. Alexandra took the fork and started to eat the cake in front of her, she was afraid that he would threaten her just like before. The sweetness of the cake melted inside her mouth and encouraged her to eat more even though she is with him, she felt hatred towards him because of what he did but she was also heartbroken. Nevertheless, she still continued eating while the man in front of her just sipped his cup of tea. Did I just come here to eat? Alexandra decided to trust the knight's words that he wouldn't kill her… yet.
Alexandra continued to eat when she heard him speak after 20 minutes or more of silence. "Who taught you how to read?" He suddenly asked and Alexandra answered calmly, "I learned by myself" Silence surrounded then once again but after a few minutes, he spoke once again.
"Are you aware of who's sitting in front of you?" He asked, his voice cold, his face emotionless, his gaze piercing through her. Alexandra gulped and stopped eating, did she show disrespect? She didn't, right? She just ate, so that he wouldn't blackmail or threaten her, what's wrong with that?
It felt like lightning struck in her background which made her more nervous and scared. Okay, be calm, be calm, she thought to herself.
Is this another test? Ba-dump. Ba-dump. Ba-dump. Her heart was beating loud and fast again. Alexandra gulped once again while she examined him, based on the book she read, people tend to ask questions that have a deeper meaning, his question was just simple, unexpected and short but it feels like it has a deeper meaning. It seems like he wants to know what Alexandra's opinion of him or what he is to her. Alexandra gulped.
Should I try a bold approach? A formal one? An intelligent answer? A simple answer? If I answer no, what will he say? Alexandra started to panic inside her mind, her hands were shaking because of nervousness. The wind blew, her hair fluttered with the wind and Alexandra lifted her gaze and met his.
She said what her mind first thought.
"Father…" Her voice was gentle and smooth but when she realized what she said, she wanted to slam her head against the wall or the table. What a great answer! What if he kills me? She was having a mental breakdown, her mind went blank and she stared at Alexander whose expressionless face slightly changed, not as it changed but there was some sort of emotion which she doesn't know. Her heart tells her to 'Go on! Continue!' and her mind tells her: 'Change your answer! Immediately!'
But the man's expression tells her to go on. Alexandra smiled widely, "Father!" Her voice was gentle like the sea's breeze, sweet like candy, and smooth like silk. Her smile beamed with joy, and she tried to hide the fear in her eyes. She just hoped that she will be alive.
Crap, this is it. She said inside her mind while smiling at him waiting for his response.
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