Few minutes ago….

Calvin hurried inside the room drawing Hansons attention.

”They are here ” he panted anxiously.

Hanson withdrew his attention away from him and tucked in the pale unconscious young man lying on the single mahogany bed before him. He then nodded at the medical apprentice in charge of looking after the ailing and strode out of the room in swift steps.

”Your Highness, the king and queen must be enraged ” Calvin worried.

However Hanson was as calm as he could be, save for the slight anxiety. And it was solely focused on meeting his betrothed.

”Mother will understand ”

”But His Majesty…. ” Before Calvin could say more Hanson interrupted him. His eyes darkened with contempt as his emotions whirled. But there was not the slightest ripple in his expression as he spoke out.

”No need to mind him. ”

When the two young men reached the door of the annex Hanson noticed Edgar waiting for them. He gave him a cursory glance when the man paid his respects, not bothering to acknowledge him as he walked past him, heading towards the main gate.

Hansons heart was thudding more loudly the closer he walked. He was never the one to believe in romance, nor did he believe he was capable of love, however he wished to marry a woman who would care for him and whom hed come to cherish.

He was hopeful and at the same time afraid, afraid that he would not be accepted, afraid he would not come to like her. He never believed in something he never witnessed, so the rumours about her did nothing to tarnish her image in his mind. He felt unprepared but knowing nothing can be changed at this point, he made up his resolve to face it, face her and decide the outcome of his life thereafter.

As the cool spring air of the bright morning blew through the gateway, Hanson stepped out of the castle gates. His eyes immediately found his parents waiting for him below the staircase. And before them stood a woman so beautiful that her beauty almost made him pause in his steps.

He was never the one to find a person good-looking easily. But he could never refute this womans beauty. But that lasted for a few seconds and all the more he felt the need to be wary of her behaviour.

He knew he had to get to know her before he could judge her, and he couldn help being more wary of the fact that their standing differs so much so that the king and queen of Clarines had to personally receive her before the gates because of the very fact that she is from Wales.

Clearing his mind of his thoughts and ignoring his mothers reprimanding gaze and the kings seething look, Hanson stepped down the stairs and walked towards Kaia, stopping before her.

He saw her looking at him as he looked at her, their gaze interlocking. She was even more beautiful up close, with her silky light blonde tresses that reached to her knees, milky white skin that glimmered like a polished jade, and blue eyes resembling purest of sapphires. She was taller than average women, a perfect height for him with her head reaching a little above his chin. She was… flawless, a truly exquisite creation of the goddess.

Hanson forced himself to break out of his reverie and performed a bow, greeting her.

”I sincerely apologise for the delay in my reception Princess. I hope you weren offended. I apologise for having to make you travel this far and making you wait upon arrival. ” He straightened up and looked at her in the eyes.

”I welcome you to Clarines. ”

Kaia gave him a gentle smile and nodded lightly, ignoring the low hmph from Alex standing behind her. ”It was of no issue Prince Voire. ”

Hanson didn return her smile but Kaia noticed his eyes soften. He reached out his hand towards her. ”You must be tired from your long journey, please allow me to escort you to your chambers. ”

Kaia was surprised and before she knew it she placed her hand over his, accepting his offer. ”Then if you would, please. ”

She wondered where the rumours about him being an arrogant and overbearing prince came from, when he was this courteous and sincere. She was even more surprised to find that hes not any less handsome than Leortes and thats high praise coming from her, with her extremely picky tastes. And she was even more surprised about the fact that, even though he recently turned twenty and is a year and a half older than her, he actually looked younger than her.

She was more devastated than being surprised of the last fact though.

Not considering the fact that it was Hanson that had a baby face, Kaia was lamenting in her heart about how shed look next to Hanson as they walked towards the castle after paying respects to the King, Queen and the older Princess with Calvin, Alexandra and Frederick following them. She didn fail to notice how he matched his pace with hers and how he patiently explained her the routes and places in the castle, albeit briefly, as they headed towards her room.

Her room was located in the second floor of east wing next to Hansons. Although they had to share a room after the wedding, Hanson mentioned that this room will be left for her even after the wedding and she can do as she pleases with it.

Kaia was more and more surprised by his actions and her anxiety reduced considerably due to his thoughtfulness. The final thread of anxiousness snapped off when she laid her eyes on her designated chamber.

The Castle of Clarines was completely different from The Castle of Wales. It was lavishly adorned with real gold used for railings and lining for the walls and furniture. Almost all the ornaments decorating the walls, including the chandelier were made of gold. The furniture were carved out of white timber, which is an expensive wood even in Wales and the Verdian white marble, one of the rarest minerals was used to cover the floor and pillars.

But her room had none of them.

Traditional redwood was used for the furniture and the flooring was replaced with teak. The curtains were light cream in colour made of spider silk and the bed spreads and carpet were dark red in colour with the former made of velvet muslin. The most expensive decoration in the room was the ivory carving of two horses running next to each other placed over the fireplace. The candle stand and other decorations were made of silver rather than gold.

It resembled so much the aesthetic of Wales that Kaia almost felt like crying. No one else had been this considerate towards her, not even her parents, except him. But now…

Kaia turned to look at Hanson and for the first time since her arrival a genuine smile resembling the sunflowers facing its source of light bloomed on her visage brightening her entire countenance.

”Thank you ”

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