“They don’t know I know yet. We have to sneak out during the day to find out more; for all I know they might be here for another reason.” Even though I highly doubt that.
“If King Mona finds out that the best of Roelum soldiers are in his territory, peace treaty or not, he will feel threatened and that will not be good for us and for both kingdoms.” She panics and I am surprised that she is able to think that far, she usually just lives in the present.
“Wow, look at you go; see? You are capable of more than just violence.” I clap my hands in a dramatic manner.
“I can see you are in the mood for jokes. I’m serious Salem, I just started to settle into this place, I thought my life would have no meaning without the war but it turns out there are other things I’m good at.” She smirks.
I look at her confused “Who are you and what have you done with Paula?”
“It’s not so bad, a life without having to swing your sword and spill blood, it is clean and it does wonders for your skin.” She smiles, no she grins wide and that makes me nervous.
“W.. what is this? Whaaaat ? Are you mad Paula Stone?!” I ask dramatically.
“Well, considering you have been my mistress for a while, it was bound to happen; me going insane.” She rebuts.
“Interesting, but you raise valid points; the only way it wouldn’t raise brows is if they denounce citizenship to Roelum which is impossible. Those guys are as loyal as it comes. They haven’t told a single soul about who I am, so yes; we need to know for sure why they are here.” My head aches from all the thinking.
“We have tomorrow to do this, let’s just rest our heads; it has been an eventful day.”
Paula nods and joins me on the bed.
I could swear it hasn’t been more than five minutes after I closed my eyes. I hear knocks on my door, I kick Paula to open and she ignores me. I go to open the door with my loose hair and loose gown forgetting for a minute that I’m supposed to be a princess.
The knocking persists and I growl. I open the door to see a surprise; a bunch of servants with clothes, food and drinks, Katerina in their front. I frown my face to show that I don’t understand.
“What is this?” I ask Katerina who smirks at me.
“This is the good favour of the Queen, since you have been of good behaviour for the past days, she has decided you deserve more servants and a meal befitting of a Princess in Rale’s court.” Katerina grins as if I should be excited to be treated this way.
Now I just woke up and I’m too tired to pretend so I just bow deeply. “This is too much, I don’t deserve her mercy; tell the Queen that I am very grateful.”
“You can tell her yourself, we have a banquet this evening in the hall. It’s Crown Prince Samael’s birthday, the first one since he’s been named successor, so it is going to be a merry affair.
I nod my head in understanding. “That makes more sense, I wouldn’t want to disturb her majesty’s royal sensibilities.”
Katerina looks at me in confusion.”I would be honoured. What would the banquet entail mostly?”
“This I’m sure you can learn quickly, you will just sit there with Prince Erin, eat as gracefully as you can and keep your mouth shut. Easy as it sounds.” She orders the other servants to drop the things In my room. They are surprised to see Paula sleeping peacefully on the bed.
In response to the awkward silence “She’s tired. I’m a handful or so I’ve been told.”
They nod like it makes sense as I turn to see Katerina’s disapproving look.
“There is a hierarchy. If you don’t want the Queen’s trouble, I advise you listen to this. I don’t know how it was done in Roelum but servants do not sleep on their mistress’s bed and they sure as hell don’t let their mistress answer the door while they sleep like it is the end of the world.” I swear I could see a tiny vein pop in her forehead as she grits her teeth. I’m guessing its to prevent her from screaming.
I smirk “We both didn’t grow up with the royal family. It was also kind of like this except I wasn’t invited to any fancy dinners. She’s more of my friend than my servant and I don’t see her as my servant. It would do you well too not to see her as one. While I can take any kind of disrespect to myself, I will not tolerate one towards her. Have I made myself clear?” I say with a sickly smile on my face.
Katerina softens then frowns and looks at me again as if looking at me for the first time. “That’s cute I suppose.”
She flicks her wrist and the other servants huddle behind her. I grin at the picture they make, they definitely trained for this and I find that fact more hilarious.
I look up to see Salem walking towards my table. Every time I look at her, I hold my breath. I wonder if she knows what she does when she walks into a room. Unlike the other women with their hair rolled up and covered with decorations, Salem lets her hair wild and free, except for an elbow cuff, she doesn’t wear any kind of jewelry.
She bows and pays respect to each royal household. She bows to me to which I roll my eyes on the inside to. She grins mischievously at me as she takes her place beside me.
She goes straight to the wine bottle and pours herself a drink. I’m too distracted by her presence to stop her. I hear a hiss from the Queen’s table.
“Don’t be a barbarian Salem!” Her voice resounds through the hall and Salem looks at her in shock.
“What did I do now?” Salem growls.