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Chapter 5 {The Kingdom Of Tarius/The Scholar}

  • "The crown princess demands our presence," Pina said with an imperious tone.
  • Diana was taken aback by Pina's attitude. "What? I wasn't informed about this. Do you know why she wants to see us?" she asked, trying to keep her composure despite Pina's dismissive behavior.
  • Pina rolled her eyes. "Obviously, to work. And she specifically asked for you because she needs your assistance with an important task," she replied bluntly. "You should hurry up. We can't keep our kingdom's crown princess waiting."
  • Diana felt a tinge of frustration at Pina's condescending remarks, but she took a deep breath and collected herself. "Just give me a moment," she said as she went back inside the living quarters. She quickly retrieved her shoes from under the bed and put them on before joining Pina outside.
  • As they walked toward the palace, Diana couldn't help but marvel at the beauty of Tarius. The vibrant purple hibiscus flowers lined the sidewalks, creating a picturesque scene. The sight of red roses, lilies, and dandelions among other flowers being tended to by the young men and women added to the enchanting atmosphere of the kingdom.
  • She observed the people going about their daily activities, exchanging waves and smiles with them as they passed. Tarius seemed to be a bustling and industrious kingdom, filled with hardworking men and women. However, Diana couldn't shake the feeling that there might be more beneath the surface of this seemingly idyllic picture.
  • Diana and Pina watched them as they went about their various businesses. Some where already loading their goods on a table stand decorated with fine red leather and the rest already had customers of various kind including scholars.
  • Diana stopped in her track.Her senses were suddenly captivated by the sight of a table stand, adorned with an array of colorful candies. The sweet scent wafted through the air, tempting her taste buds. She momentarily paused, feeling a strong craving for the sugary treats.
  • She shook her head and looked ahead to see Pina three feet ahead of her, she stood till contemplating before she finally turned towards the direction of the candy.
  • Diana couldn't resist the tempting display of candy and found herself reaching for a small stack bag filled with the colorful treats. "How much?" she inquired, as she approached the elderly lady managing the stand.
  • "Just three silver," the old lady replied before turning her attention to another customer. "Sir... That one is fifty silver." She yelled at the scholarly-looking man who was making a purchase.
  • "Here you go." He said in a southern ancient.
  • Diana watched in astonishment as he handed over a bag of coins, and the old lady gleefully confirmed that it was complete after counting them.
  • Diana stared at the scholar in shock, she just checked her pouch underneath her ribbon to find out that she had only five silver of coin. And here was a scholar ready to spend fifty silver for just a scroll.
  • As Diana fished out her three silver coins and paid for the candy, she couldn't help but marvel at the lavish spending of the scholarly man. "He must be rich." She muttered.
  • "Can't believe I am worried about spending money." She thought to herself. However, her thoughts were interrupted when she heard a voice abruptly state, "I am not."
  • She turned to see the scholarly man grinning at her. Flustered that he could hear her unguarded mutterings, she stammered, "What?"
  • The scholar chuckled softly. "I am not rich," he clarified with a playful twinkle in his eye.
  • Diana's eyes widened in embarrassment, and she quickly averted her gaze. "I apologize for the statement," she murmured, feeling a pang of regret." I can't believe I just said sorry, and I didn't do anything. He's lucky he didn't say this in my previous life; I would have beaten him for eavesdropping," she thought with a wry smirk. "But in this world, I can't do that."She muttered sadly.
  • "It's okay," the scholar reassured her with a gentle smile, sensing her discomfort. He hadn't intended to embarrass her. "What is your name?"
  • Startled, Diana slowly raised her head and composed herself. "This humble maid goes by the name Diana," she replied, offering a respectful curtsy.
  • Outside she was looking quite humble, but inside Diana was furious. She let out series of cuss. *I blame the former occupant of this body* She thought in rage,but outside she had on a lovely smile that made people believe she was indeed meek and gentle.
  • The scholar let out a low chuckle , he had seen that kind of face to know that what she said wasn't what she was thinking. "Well...nice to meet you Diana." He said with a bow." I am Lex."
  • Diana looked slowly up at him before her eyes went back to staring at the ground. Why does that name sound familiar?
  • "Where have you been? I have been looking everywhere for you." Pina shouted in anger as she glared at Diana ignoring the young scholar.
  • Diana hung her head in shame. "My apologies. I was distracted by candies." She mumbled quietly before tieing the bag of candies to one of the ropes on her pink flowery gown.
  • The scholar chuckled softly and shook his head in amusement, finding Diana's reaction endearing. With a parting glance, he made his way through the bustling marketplace, leaving Diana to collect her thoughts after their unexpected encounter.
  • "Candies?" Pina's voice pierced through the air, filled with anger as she gestured frantically. "You know what? I don't have time for your indecision. When we reach the palace, you can explain to the princess why we were late."
  • Diana's eyes widened in disbelief at Pina's stern words. "Me?" she asked, pointing to herself, feeling a surge of nerves at the thought of facing the crown princess with an explanation.
  • "Who else?" Pina replied bluntly, her impatience showing.
  • Struggling to catch her breath, Diana took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. This would be her first encounter with the crown princess, and she dreaded having to start off on the wrong foot. She wiped her sweaty palms on her gown, feeling her body tremble with nervous energy.
  • Pina couldn't help but chuckle at Diana's distressed expression. "Don't worry, she doesn't bite," she said gently, surprising Diana with her unexpected comfort.
  • Diana turned her head so fast that Pina half-expected to hear bones crack. "Are you trying to comfort me?" Diana asked in disbelief, unable to fathom Pina's uncharacteristic gentleness.
  • Pina's expression shifted from a smile to a glare. "Forget it," she dismissed curtly before leaving Diana behind.
  • Diana found herself giggling at the unexpected interaction, forgetting her nerves for a moment as she caught up with Pina. She took a deep breath to steady her racing heart before they finally reached the imposing palace gates.
  • Two guards stood watch at the gate, each holding a spear as a symbol of their authority. They bowed their heads in recognition as Diana and Pina approached. With a synchronized movement, the guards shifted the spears, allowing them passage as the gate slowly opened before them.