46.2% The Tiger Within / Chapter 323: Surprise Tea

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Chapter 323: Surprise Tea

The Palace of the Dancing Wind

The wind lazily swept across the court yard toying with ladies skirts as the set about the garden duties. Kyera walked hand in hand with Raina down the path. She hadn't been this way in the garden before, it led to the harem quarters and the few meetings she had been unfortunate enough to endure had not been plesant. Alert and sensing the world around her, Kyera obediently followed Raina.

The child had been interestingly quiet, as though she she was worried she would spoil the surprise. At the end of the path Kyera noticed a small garden circle of rose bushes. At the center stood a man beside. table. Cakes and tea seemed to be waiting patiently for her.  Kyera paused as she recognized him, anger and concern melding in her heart.

Crimson hair pulled back in a ponytail behind his head, and a knight's uniform on his frame was enough to make her uneasy. Those brown eyes turned crimson with blood lust when he fought. She knew this from experience. The scar across his face, four thin silver lines a reminder of that night. Why he didn't kill her, she still didn't know.

"Your old friend wanted to see you. Surprise!" Raina giggled and Kyera managed to force a brilliant smile. She couldn't help but kneel down and put herself between Raina and the man. Even if it meant putting her back to him, it was best for Raina.

"Thank you, darling. Please run along back to your lessons. I will be back to read with you, dear. If I don't make it send Lazren to look for me." she added not wanting the child to stumble on anything negative. There was a good chance nothing would happen, but she couldn't chance it. Not with this beast.  The Princess nodded and went back up the path as Kyera stood and walked to the tea table.

"Kan." Kyera greeted unwilling to continue the statement. He bowed to her again, and she resisted the urge to slash the back of his neck.

"Princess Kyera, I am sorry. I am well aware that was underhanded of me, but we have to talk." Kan spoke a bit quickly, surprisingly respectful. He pulled out a chair for her, like a true gentleman before taking his own seat. The tea and cakes were forest delicacies, soft root tea, pale green and smelling faintly of ginger. The cakes were simple flavors that go well cooked over a open flame. The spread was certainly tempting. She took the seat once he was seated.

"Alright, I suppose you're smart enough not to poison me and…you proved honest last we met." Kyera added pouring a glass of tea while the shadows swept through the cakes on the table.

"Yes well, I didn't know if you believed me or not. I wish I had been wrong." Kan added gently. He felt similar pain after hearing of the fall of his home village. She looked away.

"It was an attempt to draw me out" Kyera asked having to force herself to remain civil. "They know I had the key."

"Had? You passed it on?" Kan asked seeming surprised and Kyera just smiled.  "alright, I give. That isn't what I needed to discuss with you anyway." Kan replied trying to be less snarky. His human form answered to her as fourth Princess afterall, and his tiger as the forest Princess.

"Then what do you want to discuss." she asked no longer in the mood for banter. He took a deep breath and met her eyes. They burned into her, searching for a willingness to listen.

"I didn't kill Verone."

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