Alexandra woke up sometime later. By the time, they had already reached the capital.

”Well be there in a few minutes ” Kaia informed the still sleep deprived Alexandra.

”Oh! I didnt realise Ive slept for so long, forgive me your highness! ” Alex apologized now fully awake from mortification.

Kaia waved her away. ”You just being here is much appreciated. I know you wanted to stay back and care for your brother, yet you still decided to follow me. ”

Alex gave Kaia a small kind smile. ”I can abandon my princess in her time of need, now can I? ”

Kaia smiled back and shook her head at her friend. ”Really, thank you Alex. I wouldn know what to do if you weren here either ”.

Alex gave Kaia a gentle smile. ”I promised to stay by your side for as long as you would allow me. And I will definitely fulfill it ”.

….

Its been a few minutes since the carriage had entered the castle gates. They have been driving through ever since. Looking at everything around Kaia can only describe the castle of Clarines as such.

Extravagance at its best.

From the golden gate to the lavish garden, with the expensive and exotic flora, everything simply screamed riches.

Kaia turned towards Alex and their eyes met. ”I think Im scared now princess ” Alex mentioned monotonously with a blank stare.

Kaia gave her a rueful smile. ”I agree with you ”

The carriage finally stopped before the castle entrance. Kaia let out a nervous breath as the guard announced her arrival. Alexandra gave her an encouraging smile to which Kaia responded with a small nervous one.

As Kaia stepped down the carriage Frederick the Royal Knight guard who accompanied them offered his hand to help her down. But unlike many maiden who wouldve swooned at the opportunity Kaia only felt the opposite.

Heightened repulsion.

How preposterous of him to think shed even allow herself to breathe the same air as him.

With her head held high, Kaia ignored his hand just like how she had ignored his entire existence and his feelings towards her until now.

Kaia was immediately greeted by the King, Queen and former Princess of Clarines at the entrance. As soon as she rose from curtseying she was immediately attacked by the former Princess of Clarines.

”My! The rumors about your beauty doesn do you any justice! Isn that right mother? ” Pricella gushed as she embraced Kaia in a tight but gentle hug earning a bashful smile from the younger princess.

”Id agree completely my daughter, she is indeed a beauty, the people from my old home wouldn dare to stand against her ” the queen smiled and gave Kaia a gentle embrace after her daughter.

”Im honored to hear that your highness, your majesty ” Kaia smiled back at Pricella and the Queen.

The king let out a laugh at that. ”Coming from my wife thats high praise dear. Shes from Aria after all. ” He then gave her a gentle smile. ”Im really glad. Xavier and I have been friends for long, now we can be relatives which gives us even more opportunities to meet. ”

The Queen gave him a disdainful look. ”Its not like you two didn have any rendezvous every month. ”

The king gave a boisterous laugh. ”You are right my dear wife! ”

Kaia felt like a heavy burden had been lifted off her shoulders. She was wondering how the royal family would react seeing her but now that she had witnessed it herself, she could only find… acceptance. Nevertheless, even if there were intentions, for now the reception helped abate some of her anxiousness.

Except for one of the four men standing behind the king, others seem amiable. Kaia knew well to read emotions with the eyes. Leortes wasn an expressive person to begin with and she loved to know his thoughts and feelings. So, she sought to find his emotions through his eyes.

Kaia scoffed internally. She would have never thought it would come as a useful skill now.

The lanky blonds stare never left her and the direness almost made her shudder. Kaia did her best to act like she wasn aware of his ogling as she introduced Frederick and Alexandra to the king, so as to not raise any attention. She gave a side long glance at Frederick who nodded discreetly to show that he understood.

Although she despised the man, she trusted him with life. Since hes absolutely loyal to the king and is not only skilled with his sword but also has a sharp intellect. His elegant silver hair that resembles a white wolfs mane, sharp amber eyes that resembles a tigers, looming height and muscular figure worthy of a titan also helps in intimidating annoying pests. All in all, he is the perfect Knight and escort.

Kaias attention was drawn to the king when he called out to the queen. ”Helena, where is Hanson? He has yet to greet his bride. ”

The Queens eyes showed traces of a scowl. ”Im sure Ive told that boy that its etiquette for the groom to greet his bride first upon arrival. Hes really testing my patience now ”

The king turned towards the man who had been previously staring at Kaia and started with a stern tone. ”Lord Edgar, find the Prince and bring him here ”

”As you wish Your Majesty ” Edgar replied with a bow and with one last discreet glance at Kaia left through the castle doors.

”Honestly that son of mine… ” the king finished exasperatedly with a sigh. ”I apologize for my sons conduct Princess, although I wish I could assure you it won happen again, he doesn know nor care for anything outside his duties. I wish you could help him now that you are to be his wife ” He looked at Kaia apologetically.

Kaia wanted to frown at that. She neither liked the way the King spoke of his son, nor she liked the Princes attitude.

”You don have to apologise your majesty. I am to be his wife. And its the duty of the wife to see to her husband after all. ” Kaia replied politely with her perfect smile despite her inner misgivings.

”As one would expect from Xaviers daughter ” The king laughed. ”Let me introduce to you my most trusted men before my son arrives ” He smiled and turned towards the three men who stepped forward from behind the king.

Of them, were the royal doctor, Lord Julian Thomas. He stood out with his long blond hair that reached below his knees and thick rimmed spectacles that adorned his gentle eyes. Then there was Sir Sebastian Dolomore who is the Head General of the armed forces along with Sir Bartholomew Fresher the Head Knight of Cavalry.

Sir Dolomore was a man adorned with scars showing his dedication and hard work of years. One could deduce hes experienced in his work with a single look. He had a long scar that cut through his dark brown hair just above the hairline and reached below his eyebrow. To many he might look intimidating with his built and stance but to Kaia he had the most gentle eyes ever.

Sir Fresher on the other hand seemed… Fresh according to his name. He was young, two or three years older than Kaia and looked inexperienced as well. He had a built similar to Sir Dolomore which shows hes dedicative but his prim and clear appearance, his flirtatious smile and shiny wavy blonde hair which seemed to be arranged with some effort made him seem innocent in his field.

Even after introducing himself he didn let go of her hand.

Kaia figured he might have other ideas but wanted to wait and see how it plays.

Before Kaia could think of the situation the sound of footsteps from inside the castle drew everyones attention. Sir Fresher immediately let go of Kaias hand and withdrew himself after a quick bow.

Three men were heading in the direction where they stood, the last one being Edgar, who followed a crisp light brown haired gentleman around Kaias age. He had the lightest shade of brown eyes that drew Kaias attention with how bright they were. But only for a few seconds, her attention was immediately caught by the man before him, who stood in all confidence like he ruled the world. The sleek raven hair that reached just beneath his shoulders which he likely inherited from his mother, the fair skin that seemed slightly sun-kissed and which shone in the sunlight, the way his eyes regarded everyone standing at the bottom of the staircase coldly and the elegant way he stepped down the stairs everything drew her attention.

But as he stopped in front of her, what drew her attention even more were his vivid blue eyes with streaks of green which resembled the bright blue sea covering the coral reefs of the coast Flain. They regarded her with mutual curiosity, drawing her in, making her detached to everything around her but them.

They were… Captivating.

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