"Alexandra Alice Elizabeth, I will ask you a question. If your answer satisfies me, I would let you go but if not, consider this day your last day and your answer to be your last words." He threatened her and Alexandra's eyes widened, she almost choked at the food she was eating. Her heart was beating fast again and she was mentally screaming inside her mind. Is this a test? A test that if she fails, she will die and if she passes, she will live? It sounds like it. He didn't mention 'Everly', her surname. Maybe he didn't accept her as her daughter and just the thought of it, made her heart shatter into a million pieces.
Alexandra, with slightly shaking hands, placed down the fork she was holding. She clenched her skirt once again, this time her gem-like blue eyes that were warm yet showed fear and nervousness met his emotionless eyes that were glaring at her, piercing through her like a sword, stabbing her heart multiple times. Ba-dump. Ba-dump. Ba-dump. She could hear her loud heartbeat which showed how nervous and scared she is. He opened his mouth, she became more nervous. My life depends on my answer, she thought to herself.
"If your father abandoned you, would you still treat him as your father?" He asked with a serious face and his voice was cold but somehow sadness trailed his voice, was it because of his eyes that looked tired yet sadness can be seen if you stared at it more.
She was caught off-guarded by his question. She thought it was something serious, more nerve-racking like her final exams but it wasn't which made her loosen up a bit, her heartbeat slowly calmed down. But, why that question? She asked herself. She opened her mouth to speak but was interrupted by him, "Answer me truthfully. Do not lie." He said. Every word he said was emphasized especially the words, 'truthfully' and 'lie'. Alexandra fell into silence, his question repeated inside her mind multiple times which made her panic. An answer that would satisfy and impress him but also tells the truth. Then is he asking her to speak from the bottom of her heart? Something like that?
Alexandra sighed. She didn't experience having a father in her past life. When her mother got pregnant, her mother was still 20 years old when she got pregnant, she was still in college when it happened. Her father ran away. Leaving them behind with a note that says, 'I'm sorry' and cash underneath the note. That was what her mother told her. By the time Alexandra was born, her mother stopped going to college. She took many part-time jobs just to survive. His father didn't show up not even once when her mother died and at her funeral. Her heart shattered into millions of pieces at that time.
But personally, Alexandra thinks that her mother was the strongest, most attractive and cheerful person she ever met. Even when she got pregnant when she was young, she didn't abort her child. She tried her best to survive and she did everything to make Alexandra happy and satisfied. That's what made her beautiful and strong. A mother's love was the most beautiful in the world she could ever have.
Alexandra felt a lump in her throat but she ignored it and opened her mouth to speak. "If my father abandoned me, I would be sad, lonely and heartbroken. I will hate him for making me feel lonely and sad. I will hate him for leaving me, I will truly hate him." Alexandra paused for a moment before she started to speak again, she was surpassing the tears that welled up in her eyes. Do not cry, do not cry, do not cry, do not look weak in front of him, she told herself and bit her lip.
"Is—" She interrupted the man in front of her, shutting him up which she didn't know nor noticed. "But… If he came back… If he came back to apologize if he came back to make me happy, if he came back to make me feel what a father's love is, if he came back to love and take care of me as his daughter, then I will accept him. Because what matters the most is that he came back, what matters the most was the present. Because if he abandoned me, he must have his own reasons to do so. Without him, I wouldn't be born. I will not exist." She spoke gently and calmly, sadness trailed her voice. She showed a faint sad smile. She spoke from the bottom of her heart, from what she experienced, and from what she felt. It feels like she can normally breathe again.
The man in front of him fell into silence after she spoke, he didn't move nor speak. That's what made Alexandra nervous, even though she didn't lie, he might not be satisfied with her answer. Well, at least her last words were beautiful and meaningful, she thought to herself. She stared at him and she noticed that his once expressionless face was changed, what's with that face? Is he happy? Satisfied? Annoyed? Perhaps because of her nervousness and being scared, she was hallucinating, probably. Alexander opened his mouth, "Lysander." He called out to the knight far away from them who walked towards their direction and responded, "What is your command, your highness?" He's not satisfied by my answer, he's going to kill me, I am going to die without reaching the age of 10, she thought to herself and half-heartedly accepted her fate.
Or so that's what she thought. What came out from the emperor's mouth shocked Alexandra.
"Take her back to their palace." He said coldly and the knight bowed. Alexandra who was dumbfounded remained still. I am going to live, he's going to let me live, I am going to reach the age of 10, she happily thought to herself and her eyes sparkled. She was drowned in her own happy thoughts of the emperor or her father letting her leave the palace alive that she didn't notice the knight beside her who was staring at her. Alexandra looked at the knight beside her and stared, he cleared his throat, "It's time to leave." He said and Alexandra got down of her seat.
Just like what she should do, even though this was the person who threatened to kill her earlier, she still showed respect, he might kill her if she doesn't. "May the blessings and glory of the Queenilia's sun shine down upon you, your highness," She said as she lifted the sides of her skirt and made an elegant bow while she was speaking. By the time she finished speaking, she let go of her skirt and lifted her head without meeting his gaze. She turned her back against him and started to walk to the door she went through earlier. Lysander walked beside her while guiding her to where they should go. As they exit the palace, Alexandra saw how big and intimidating the palace's exterior was, it's towering height loomed over her and it sparkled. Well, this palace is where the current emperor and his family lives, this is called the Diamond Palace. She doesn't know why it was called the Diamond Place, was it because the people who live there are important people that are needed to be protected? This palace was built 500 or more years ago, the home of emperors and their families at that time which was only the members of the Everly Bloodline.
Wistalia Palace was previously a palace for concubines or wives of the rich and powerful people. That was the palace where they usually bond with other wives or concubines. It was built around 400 years ago but when the Emerald Palace was built 200 years ago, the palace became empty and the Emerald Place is where they bond, have tea parties and picnics. The path both of them took to go back to the palace was surrounded by flowers, wildflowers.
As Alexandra walked, she was lifted by the knight. Making her startled and yelp in shock. "As a child, you have short legs and the path back to the Wistalia Palace is long, you might get tired." Lysander, the knight, said nonchalantly and he started to walk while carrying her. He must have noticed Alexandra becoming slower and slower as minutes past by when they were walking. She didn't resist nor struggle and just remained still, roaming her eyes around to examine her surroundings. It was surrounded by trees but not like those tall trees from the forest she got lost earlier.
After minutes of walking, they arrived at the palace. They emerged out of the somewhat hidden path in the forest on the left side of the castle. They walked towards the huge wooden door of the palace and passed by the garden. "Young miss, Alexandra!" The familiar voice of Diana rang inside Alexandra's ears as she ran towards them at full speed as soon as she saw her. Alexandra who told the maids that she will be picking flowers suddenly disappeared without a trace and that's what made them worried and anxious. They looked around the palace for hours and there was no sign of Alexandra. Not until she arrived being carried by a knight inside his arms.
The knight lowered his self and placed down Alexandra gently. Alexandra ran towards Diana and she was embraced into a tight hug and she felt being carried up, "What have you done to the young miss?! I thought you will not touch her!" Diana screamed, her voice filled with hatred, the words she spat out were like venom. Alexandra could imagine the face Diana was making from the way she tightly held her in her arms, protecting her from further danger or harm, she could imagine her glare, her furrowed eyebrows, and her teeth clenched.
Alexandra saw Claire, Yulli, Daisy, Grace and the other maids arrive at the scene and they almost encircled Alexandra and Diana. They were protecting her. They knew that the knight, Lysander, who arrived with Alexandra was a knight from the Emperor's palace because of the crest on his chest that only knights from the palace wear. However, Lysander raised his arms as a way to say that he was harmless and he didn't do anything to her but the maids didn't budge until he turned around and left. The maids sighed in relief and Diana loosened her arms and looked at Alexandra, fear clearly seen on her face like it was written. Her eyes were teary.
Even from earlier, when they were going back to the palace, she was stopping the urge to cry because of fear. She was threatened, she was in a life-or-death situation and it was her own father who threatened her. If she answered with a different answer from that time, will he kill her? Will he not be satisfied with her answer? And what's with that question from him? Why does it seem like there was something from that question?
However, as she asked herself many questions inside her head, she was getting confused that her head hurts. And she can't take it, she cried. She cried and sobbed while the maids tried to comfort her but she still continued crying. She wanted to cry her heart out tonight, she was scared and heartbroken at the same time. Scared because of Alexander's threat and heartbroken because he treated her life as trash that could be thrown away just with a snap of his fingers and he didn't saw her as his daughter.
She regretted going with the boy, she regretted being naïve and stupid. If she knew that this would happen, then she should have just run away or wander around while her knee was bleeding. However, there was another emotion or feeling that her heart feels when she saw him earlier.
I hope you liked this chapter! Thank you for reading!
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