After settling the girls in their respective quarters, Kaia was about to take a nap when she heard a knock on her door. Alex who was about to leave turned around to ask for permission and opened the door when Kaia nodded.

A tall young woman with short dark curly hair stood in front of the door. She was donned in a dark blue knights attire but that only served to enhance her alluring beauty. Her dark brown almond eyes focused on Alexandra when she opened the door for her.

”Please come in ” Kaias canorous voice rang from inside the room.

Catherine stepped in and immediately bowed to pay her respects. ”Greetings Your Highness Princess of Wales, Knight Catherine Rosewood, appointed by His Highness the Crown prince to serve the Princess from today henceforth! ” her voice resonated, mature and melodious, but steadfast, her words surprising Kaia.

Just as Kaia was about to speak there was a sound of knocking. The three women turned around only to find a tall man grinning playfully as he stood leaning on the door frame. He too wore a knights uniform but the most striking feature on him is his long dark apple red hair, which he wore in a pony tail.

”The Princess is just as beautiful as said in the rumours. ”

He strode in and stood next to Catherine before he bowed. ”The Crown Princes personal knight Stefan Rodriguez greets Your Highness Princess of Wales! ”

Kaia looked at him in bewilderment. ”Rise, Knight Rosewood, Knight Rodriguez ”

Stefan gave a sloppy grin. ”Please feel free to address me as Stefan, Princess ”

”Likewise, please feel free to address me as Catherine, Your Highness. ”

Catherine gave Stefan a cold look that could freeze him into an ice sculpture.

Kaia just smiled at their antics. Although Sir Stefan seemed playful and irresponsible, Kaia knew it wasn easy to become the personal guard of a royal. And hes the Knight of the future king, so he definitely can be looked down upon.

Soon Stefans expression became solemn. ”Your Highness, I know His Highness would not have informed you prior. The queen mother will be arriving soon. Please do exercise caution as she isn exactly fond of His Highness. ”

Kaia wasn expecting Sir Stefan to warn her. He was also quite straight forward with his words. She was immediately satisfied of him as that single warning proved where his loyalty lies.

”His Highness sure does have good eye for people. ” Kaia smiled with a profound look in her eyes.

Kaia was reassured by Hansons ability and decided to place her trust in him consequently. She looked at Catherine and resolved to trust her. ”Ill be in your care from now on. ”

Catherine kneeled immediately. ”I shall place my life on line to protect Your Highness. ”

Hearing those words, Leortes face flashed through her mind and Kaias expression turned cold. She slowly rose from the sofa she was sitting on and walked towards Catherine. Her steps were light but steady and they stopped right before her.

”Rise Knight Catherine. ”

Catherine stood up but was at a loss as to why the Princess was angry. Stefan looked at Kaia, equally confused.

”I appreciate your loyalty but… under no circumstances I would allow you to sacrifice your life. If you are going to protect me, you should be able to protect yourself. ”

Catherine and Stefan were stumped for words. Even though Stefan was not particularly assigned to Kaia, he knew that those words were directed at both of them.

Kaias gaze was calm. Stefan could infer clearly from her expression her unsaid words that if they were not even competent to preserve their lives she has no need for such weaklings as her Knights.

As soon as Catherine came to from her stupor, she and Stefan both immediately kneeled in reverence, their hearts overwhelmed.

”Yes Your Highness! ”

————————

Kaia woke up early next morning. She was glad she rested early yesterday or she would have been quite tired that day.

Just as she was dressing up after her bath, a maid from the main palace came to inform her that she had been summoned by the Queen mother.

Athena glanced at Cynthia. She was tying the ribbons at the back of Kaias dress and Cynthia was holding a jewellery box with a set of pearl necklace and earrings for Kaia, while Alexandra looked at Kaia with slight trepidation. The two girls were not present when Stefan warned Kaia yesterday so they weren as worried as Alexandra.

Kaia sent the maid off with affirmation that she will be there as soon as she is done getting dressed.

Alexandra started worriedly, ”You Highness, this… ”

”Its alright Sandra, what can she do to me? Eat me? ”

Seeing Kaia smiling with ease with a hint of laziness, as if she couldn even bother to spend energy on worrying about it, Alexandras concern only increased.

After she was done getting dressed Kaia immediately headed to the main palace. Catherine who was standing guard outside Kaias chambers followed her and the three ladies. Looking at how worried Alexandra was, Catherine could not help but reassure her.

”Do not worry Lady Belford, I had already sent word to His Highness. ” She informed in a voice low enough to only be heard by her. Only then Alexandra could heave a sigh of relief.

When Kaia arrived before the doors of the main hall, the guards stationed before the doors stopped her from entering. ”Please wait Your Highness, the Queen Mother is occupied and cannot see you yet. ”

Kaia raised her eyebrow at that. She folded her arms and stood quietly and patiently not bothering to argue, a hint of laziness in her eyes.

After ten minutes the door opened with a creak and a maid with her head held high, strode out of the doors. ”The Queen Mother will see you now. Follow Me. ” She said haughtily her tone laced with impoliteness.

The faces of Alexandra, Cynthia and Athena changed immediately. Even Catherines eyes exuded coldness sharp enough to pierce the maid in front of them. Only Kaia had a slight amused smirk playing on her lips as she followed the maid in.

A woman around her seventies sat on the Kings throne as she looked down on Kaia and her entourage from high above the dais. Kaias eyes flashed at her obvious show of power. Even, her own grandmother never had the audacity to sit on the Kings throne.

The maid, who led them in walked up the stairs of the dais and stood next to the throne, looking down at them with the same haughtiness she displayed before, now even more pronounced with pride. Kaia then understood that the maid must be the one waiting on the Queen Mother.

Kaias gaze fell on the Queen Mother again. She was donned in a dark green velvet dress, which had golden threads sewn over to make the patterns of the exquisite embroidery. They sparkled in the light showing that there were precious stones embedded with the threads.

Over her shoulders was a red cloak adorned in diamonds, which draped down heavily making them priceless. Her necklace and earrings were made of platinum encrusted with diamonds the size of acorns, each weighing heavily visible to eyes. She wore a golden crown, with rubies and emeralds decorating them with a single blue diamond etched deep in the middle.

Even though Kaias country had more wealth than Clarines, they never flaunt it like the old woman, so no one knew the actual value of the Royal Treasury of Wales. Thus they could only call Clarines as the wealthiest country in Zestria.

So, when she saw the old woman trying to show off, she only felt amused. Kaia wondered whether the old woman can stand up with all those heavy ornaments decorating her, weighing her down.

At the same time, The Queen Mother was scrutinizing Kaia as well.

”So? You are the one that is supposed to marry my grandson? ” The Queen Mother asked Kaia with open disdain.

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