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✍️✍️✍️✍️ The Forgotten Princess Chapter 141 | 142......145 ✍️✍️✍️✍️

PHYSIENTS WILL ALWAYS OFFERS BEST STORIES AND LIVE STREAMING ALL TIME

Waking Up Like a Married Couple

I can feel something enveloping my body and it made me feel a little hot. I slowly open my sleepy eyes.

The room was dimly lit with the early morning rays from the sun. When my eyes started to adjust to the light, I realized that this room wasn't mine.

'Where am I? What happened last night?' I thought in panic.

Then I remembered the events from yesterday. Regaleon and I had a misunderstanding and he was angry with me because of it. Because I didn't want to end the day with us not making up, I decided to go look for him.

Along the way, I see Snow. She helped me sneak passed the guards and lead the way to Regaleon's living quarters.

When we arrived, the room was empty. Regaleon hasn't come back yet.

'You wait here for your prince charming.' I remember Snow said. 'Have fun.'

I was confused with Snow's words at first. But when my eyes swept towards the big bed, then I realized what 'Have fun' meant. My cheeks started to heat up.

After Snow left, I sat down on the huge bed and waited for Regaleon's arrival. I hadn't realized that I have fallen asleep.

I was woken up by the movement of the bed. The portion of the bed beside me sank. The room was dark, only dimly illuminated by the moon's light from the outside. I felt someone beside me and I knew it was Regaleon because of his spring scent.

We have talked and apologized to one another, straightining out our misunderstanings. We knew how we loved each other so much, our actions went to a rather intimate side.

'Then take me.' I remember my bold words from last night. I have mustered a lot of courage just to tell him that line.

Last night we have been more intimate that ever before. We might not have went all the way, but we have been very well acquainted with each other's bodies.

Remembering the scenes last night made me feel embarrassed and I also panicked a little. It was not my intention to sleep the whole night here in Regaleon's room. I was just thinking of taking a quick nap last night and go back to my own courtyard after. I never realized that I would doze off completely until morning.

'What would the people working in the palace say when I get out of Regaleon's courtyard early in the morning?' I thought.

"Are you awake?" I heard Regaleon's husky voice from behind me.


That was when I realized his arm embracing me from behind. I can feel his body heat touch my back.

"Leon." I quickly turned around to face him.

I see his beautiful face without the mask. His handsome face was a sight to behold and my heart thumped rapidly.

"Good morning my love." Regaleon gave me a sweet smile and planted a kiss on my forehead.

"Good morning." I replied back. I felt warmth with Regaleon's small gesture.

Seeing his beautiful sapphire eyes looking at me lovingly made me remember our intimate time together last night. It made me feel shy that my cheeks felt hot. And then I realized that we were completely naked under the sheets. This made me embarrassed.

"After what we did last night, you are still shy?" Regaleon chuckled.

"T-That's because..." I want to reason out but I can't seem to find any reason to give. It is true that I am still shy, even though Regaleon has explored every inch of my body from head to toe.

"If you continue on acting that cute, I can't promise you that I can hold myself." Regaleon said with a serious tone.

I looked at him in confusion. 'What was I doing that made me look cute in his eyes?" I wondered.

Regaleon's gaze were blazing towards me. He quickly tossed the sheets covering me away. In an instant.

"Hiyah~~" I squealed in surprise by his sudden action. I instinctively covered ny body with my hand to no avail.

"Did you know Lili, that a man's thing is so hard in the early hours of the morning?" Regaleon said with a wolfish grin. "Because of you looking this cute and delectable, I can't resist in eating you up."

And then we simply do once again what we did last night.

***

Regaleon and I was eating our breakfast outdoors, at the garden patio located at Regaleon's temporary residence inside the palace. I take a bite of my toast and chewed slowly.

I wanted to sneak back to my own courtyard after our intimate act this morning. With Snow's cloaking ability, I was sure that I can get back to my own quarters unoticed. But Regaleon insisted that I stay to eat breakfast.

With what was happening right now, it will be just a matter of time when word spreads inside the palace that I spent the night in Regaleon's resisdence.


I was eating silently with a grumpy look on my face. Regaleon who was seating across me, on the other hand, was grinning widely. I am not exagerating when I say that his smile can split his face in two.

'He is clearly enjoying this.' I thought and sighed internally.

Regaleon take a sip of coffee from his cup with elegance while holding some documents with his other hand.

"Is your breakfast to your liking?" Regaleon asked with a smile.

The food on my plate consists of bacon and eggs with buttered toast. These are one of my favorite foods for breakfast. But the serving was too big, I can't simply eat it all in one seating.

"I like it. But this is too much." I said. "I can't finish these all."

"I am sure you are famished." Regaleon said. "After our vigorous workout last night ang this morning, I am sure you are hungry." He teased.

Regaleon's words made me feel shy. I can feel my face heat up. I can imagine steam coming out of my ears any minute. I must be red as a tomatoe by now.

Regaleon was just smiling nonchalantly. He was done eating the same breakfast as me a while ago, sweeping his plate clean.

'He must be the one hungry after that rigorous exercise he mentioned.' I scoffed internally.

"Ahem." Dimitri coughed. He was at the side all this time while Regaleon and I were eating breakfast. He looked my way and nodded apologetically.

'Why does it look like Dimitri knows what happened last night and this morning?" I thought. Just by thinking about this made me more shy.

"Your highness, the preparations for your departure are all done. You will be leaving at noon." Dimitri announced.

"Hmm." Regaleon simply nodded.

Then I remember Regaleon telling me he will be gone for a few days to attend to some business matters. I lowered my head and felt a little sad.

"Don't worry, I will be back in no time." Regaleon must have seen my reaction just now. "I will return before the grand parade. And after that, I will be bringing you home to Grandcrest with me. We would be spending more time together once we are there." He reached my hand and caressed it gently.

"Hmm." I smiled at him sweetly.

"Be careful while I am away, especially around that crown prince of Jennova." Regaleon said.


Then I remembered that I will be having tea with prince Gladiolus this afternoon.

"Don't worry, I won't let my guard down. I promise." I said.

"Good girl." Regaleon gently patted my head.
____________

We are Family (1)

Regaleon accompanied me back to my own courtyard after breakfast. I don't know if it's just me, but I felt all the people we passed by were looking at us.

Regaleon was holding my hand along the way with a huge grin on his face.

"With this, everyone would know that you belong to me." Regaleon chuckled.

'So this was his intention all along.' I thought. I don't mind letting him brag that I am his because in this lifetime, he is the only one I intend to love until my last breath. But the gaze the people are giving at us now made me feel shy. I can hear some of the maids chat when we pass by.

"The prince and princess looks so good with each other."

"I know right. The prince clearly loves our princess."

"Did you know that the princess spend last night in prince Regaleon's residence?"

"Really?"

"Do you think they have went the extra mile in their relationship?"

"I don't mind if they did. They are engaged to be married after all."

"The prince looks like a hot blooded young man. With the princess' looks and great body, I am sure he can't wait till their wedding night."

The maids were whispering and giggling. My face felt hot with the things I heard. I felt a lot more shy.

Regaleon looked at me and had a meaningful smile. He lifted my hand that he was holding and planted a kiss on it lovingly.

When we arrived at my courtyard, Theon and Trica were standing at the door to recieve us. They both bowed at us.

"Good morning, princess Alicia, prince Regaleon." Theon greeted us respectfully. Regaleon and I both nodded as greeting.

"Well then, I will be going back." Regaleon faced me and smiled. "I will miss you." He tucked a stray strand of hair from my face to my ear.

"I am going to miss you to." I replied. "Be careful on your journey and come back to me safely." I returned his smile.

Regaleon gave a kiss on my forehead as parting and looked at Theon.

"I leave her to you." Regaleon said to Theon.

"I understand your majesty." Theon nod his head once.

Regaleon looked at me again and gave a parting smile. Then he walked back to his residence.

I looked at his back in a distance until he turned in a corner and vanished from my sight.

***


In the afternoon, I have ordered Tricia to prepare for the crown prince of Jennova's arrival. I have agreed to have afternoon tea with him after helping me the last time in the hall of justice.

I opted to have afternoon tea in the rose garden outside. The weather was good and the roses are blooming beauifully.

I sat down at the small tea table while Tricia and some maids prepare the tea and snacks.

"So princess, what happend last night?" Tricia whispered behind me.

I was taken by suprisen by her question.

"W-What do you mean?" I asked.

"Well last night, I was so worried that you haven't gotten back when it was late. But then Theon informed me that you would be spending the night in prince Regaleon's residence." Tricia said. "So, did you get to the last base with the prince." She giggled teasingly.

I felt a blush crept on my cheeks. "T-That...we didn't go all the way." I said with a low voice that only Tricia would hear.

"Oh my, so you really did some naughty things with the prince. I have to applaud prince Regaleon with his strong will power to not go all the way." Tricia giggled. "So, is the prince good? Did you enjoy his naughty actions?"

"Tricia, don't tease me." I pouted at her. Tricia giggled even more with my action.

"Prince Gladiolus of Jennova has arrived." Theon announced.

I look their way and a young man with platinum blonde hair was walking towards me. He was wearing a light gray suit and pants. Like Regaleon, their was a regal aura enveloping his whole being.

I stood up from my seat to greet him. "Good afternoon prince Gladiolus."

"Good afternoon princess Alicia." Prince Gladiolus greeted back.

"Please, have a seat." I gestured the seat across me.

"Thank you." Prince Gladiolus smiled in response and took a sit. I too take my seat after.

"I don't know what tea you prefer so I let them prepare black tea." I said with a smile. "I hope this is to your liking."

As for me I like jasmine tea because of it's aroma. But as prince Gladiolus is a man, I thought he would like something much stronger.

"Black tea is good. Thank you." Prince Gladiolus replied.

Theon was the one to serve us tea. With precision and elegance, he poured the tea to our cups. After that, Theon took his place by the side to wait on us.


"Your butler looks like a capable person." Prince Gladiolus said.

I looked confused, why would prince Gladiolus compliment my butler. I look at Theon who was standing by the side, he was wearing a serious expression and his eyes were focused on us.

Regaleon was the one to assign Theon to me, so I know how capable he is.

"Theon is a really capable and dependable butler." I told the prince and he nodded as a reply.

Prince Gladiolus took a sip from his cup before looking at me once again.

"Princess Alicia, I have something I want to talk to you about." Prince Gladiolus said.

I looked at him confused. "You can speak freely, prince Gladiolus." I replied.

"Before that, you can call me by my name. In return, can I call you by yours?" Prince Gladiolus said with a smile.

I was a little surprised by his words. We haven't been acquainted for long and was not close. But he wants us to call each other by name.

"I guess it's fine." I answered. I don't feel any hostility ir bad intentiond around him, so I agreed.

"Then Alicia, have you ever thought why the both of us has the same shade of hair and color of eyes?" The prince asked.

I had a curious look. I have already

suspected something and have been thinking about it the first time I saw him. But after the incidents that happend these past few days, this was pushed back on my mind.

The prince smiled at my reaction. "I know that you have knowledge of your lineage, princess. You don't need to be wary of me because we are family." He took a sip of his tea casually.

My eyes went wide in surprise.
_____
We are Family (2)

"I know that you have knowledge of your lineage, princess. You don't need to be wary of me because we are family." Prince Gladiolus takes a sip of his tea casually.

My eyes went wide in surprise. 'What did he mean by that?' I thought.

As if prince Gladiolus read my mind, he answered. "It is literally what I meant. You and I are both from the royal blood line of Atlantia. Your mother Leticia, was my mother Patricia's twin sister." He gave me a smile as confirmation.

"So you mean... we are cousins." I tried to hide my surprise.

"Yes, we are." Prince Gladiolus said.

"Then, how did you become the crown prince of Jennova?" I asked in curiosity.

"It is like how you became a princess of Alvannia." Prince Gladiolus said. "But the difference is, my mother became the queen while your mother just became a concubine."

I was processing the information Gladiolus was giving me. 'So I still have a blood relative.' I thought.

"And another difference is, I am of purer blood than yours." Prince Gladiolus looked my way. "My mother and our uncle, the crown prince of Atlantia were engaged. Their wedding took place before he went to war, so I was conceived before he died. My mother was smart to let the king of Jennova think I am truly his."

"O-Our uncle?" This was not news to me.

I have learned that the royal family of Atlantia has practiced incest, to preserve and strengthen their magical blood line. But to think that a product of such incest is right before me, still shocked me.

"That is why I am purer than you." Prince Gladiolus explained. He takes a bite from a pastry.

I look at the prince before me. It doesn't look like he is lying. The fact that his physical apperance is proof that he is of Atlantian royal blood, he might really be my first degree cousin. But why is he telling me all of this? I can feel that he still have something to say.

"I am happy to know that I still have blood relatives living. I thought I am the only one left alive." I give him a smile.

'I need to get his trust and to get on his good side.' I thought.

I can't deny that I have some famlial feelings since the first time I saw prince Gladiolus. But as Regaleon said, he is dangerous. I can't really put my finger on it, but I feel he has hidden plans.


"My mother would love to see you in person. Why not visit us in Jennova?" Prince Gladiolus said.

"I am happy with your invitation." I smiled. "But I am afraid that I cannot visit any time soon."

"Is it because of your engagement with prince Regaleon of Grandcrest?" Prince Gladiolus smiled casually.

"Yes." I answered. "After the grand parade after a few days, I will be departing and travel towards Grandcrest. I will need to take my bridal training in preparation for my wedding with prince Regaleon."

"I see." Prince Gladiolus take another sip of his tea and I do the same.

"Maybe I can change your mind and let you come to Jennova instead." Prince Gladiolus suddenly said. There was a mischeavous smile on his face.

I see him insert his hand inside his pocket. He taked a small box inside and put it on the coffee table in front of me. I look at it curiously, not sure what is inside that will make me change my mind.

"Go on and open it." Prince Gladiolus encouraged me.

I looked at him and the box with curiosity. Looking at him still smiling made me feel more curious. I stretched my hand towards the small box in front of me and lifted it.

The box was light in weight. I hold it with both my hands. After some moment, I open the lid.

Inside, I see a brooch. The center of the brooch was designed with some kind of family crest. A white tiger standing proudly on a pedestal. Around it were some kind of letters I don't have knowledge of.

"Those texts are of ancient Atlantian writings that are long gone and forgotten now." Prince Gladiolus said. "It is our family crest, the crest of the Atlantian royal famiy. The text says 'The one that rules all, above heaven and earth'."

I look at him and then the brooch. I have the feeling I have seen this before. This brooch, I remember it when I was little. My mother has the same kind of brooch. I remember her looking at it with sad eyes.

***

(Memory of little Alicia)

"Mommy, what is that?" I asked my mother who was holding something shiny.

"Oh this little thing." I see her wipe her tears away. "This was given to me by my mother. All of us siblings have one of this. See this?"

Mother truned the brooch, and on the back was a carving of her name "Leticia".


"All of us siblings have one of each, with our name on the back." My mother explained.

"This is from grandma?" I asked. "So this is your treasure, right mommy?"

"Yes." Mother nodded. "This is a precious momento of my past life and your grandma that I love so dear."

(End of memory)

***

I turned the brooch and saw the name carved at the back.

"Leticia"

My hands was shaking with shock. I remebered that this brooch was burried with my mother. My mother's body was burried at the town where we lived in before she died. She had asked my father the king to burry her at a hill overlooking where the sun sets behind the mountains.

"H-How did you get this?" I asked forcefully. My eyes were looking at prince Gladiolus with anger.

'If ever he have deconsecrated my mother's grave, I am sure to skin him alive.' Anger was welling up inside of me.

"Easy Alicia. You would not want to use your magic here now, would you?" Prince Gladiolus calmly said.

He was right, the palace has many eyes watching. I cannot move as I please. But still I stare at him with anger, demanding an explination.

"Don't worry Alicia, we never moved even one rock from your mother's grave. In fact your mother was never burried there in the first place." Prince Gladiolus said.

"What do you mean?" His words makes no sense at all.

"The body that was burried in that grave was a body double. Another's body, so to speak." Prince Gladiolus said.

My eyes went wide in shock. "How can that be?!" I said with a forceful tone.

"My mother was searching for aunt Leticia for a long time. When she found her, she thought it was too late. The news of aunt Leticia dead was what came to her. My mother loved your mother dearly, being the older one and aunt Leticia the younger of the twins. My mother didn't want to let your mother's body be burried at the country of the people that killed her. So she sent someone to steal her body before the burial." Prince Gladiolus explained.

Now my anger was being intensified. "All this years, I was visiting a grave of an unknown person?!" I stood up and shouted in anger at him.


"Let me finish first." Prince Gladiolus smiled. "When aunt Leticia's body came, there was still a small life force burning inside of her. But it was faint. With our body's magical abilities, your mother's life force was saved. Her heart seemed to stop beating if a regular doctor diagnosed it. But iwith an Atlantian doctor, she was saved from the brink of death."

"Saved? You mean..." I was in shock with prince Gladiolus words.

"Yes, she was saved. Your mother is alive in Jennova." Prince Gladiolus smiled.
__________
My Mother is Still Alive

"Saved? You mean..." I was in shock with prince Gladiolus words.

"Yes, she was saved. Your mother is alive in Jennova." Prince Gladiolus smiled.

I staggered a little in place and lost my balance. When I was about to compose myself before I fall, I can feel warm hands carefully wrapped around me, assisting me. When I look up, a familar warm face greeted me.

"Will." I called his name in a daze.

"Alicia, are you all right? Do you feel ill? You look pale." William asked in a worried tone.

I shook my head. "I-I'm fine. Thank you for asking Will." I replied. "How about your wounds? Shouldn't you be resting?"

"I have rested all day long. It is not so much hard work to guard you in your afternoon tea." William smiled at me. But then he gazed at prince Gladiolus with piercing eyes. I am sure William had a hunch that I was pale because of something prince Gladiolus said.

Prince Gladiolus and I were talking with a tone only the two of us could hear. I am sure that no one in the vicinity have heard our conversation.

"You are sir William, Alicia's personal knight?" Prince Gladiolus asked.

William's gaze became much colder when he heard prince Gladiolus calling me by my name.

"I heard that with your efforts, Alicia's assassins weren't able to complete their tasks. You are a very capable knight. How are your wounds?" Prince Gladiolus was looking at William with appreciation.

"Thank you for the compliment. It is my duty to guard the princess even with the cost of my life. And for my injuries, I am healing well. Thank you for your concern." William nodded his head as a gesture of thanks but his body was stiff.

"Well, I am afraid I have to take my leave. The afternoon is getting late." Prince Gladiolus stood up and took my hand gently. "It is a pleasure drinking tea with you, Alicia. If you have any concerns, you can come to my temporary resisdence. I will be waiting for you."

Prince Gladiolus gave my hand a kiss on the back that made me startled. William was still behind me, silently guarding me.

"Keep safe on your way back." I said to the prince.

I look at the prince's back dissapearing from my sight. I was still in a daze.

"Alicia...Alicia...Alicia." William was calling me

"Huh, what?" I was waken up from my daze.


"Are you all right?" William cupped my face gently and stared at me worryingly. "You don't look too good. Why not go inside and drink a hot cup of milk?"

"Hmm, okay." I agreed.

William held me gently and escorted me back inside.

When we reached the living room, William helped me down on the couch. Tricia quickly brought a cup of warm milk to help me energize.

I took a sip from the cup and I felt the warm milk warm my body instantly.

"Did that prince say something to you?" William asked with a serious tone. "If I may be bold, but there is something off from that prince of Jennova."

I look at William's expression. His brows are furrowed and his face had a hint of displeasure

"You feel that way towards him as well?" I asked William. He looked at me, curious with what I just said. "I mean, Regaleon and you have the same feelings about prince Gladiolus."

"Oh." William understood. "Well, that prince looks like a shady guy. I just fell that he is up to no good. Better put a distance from him."

Regaleon and William's intuition is one and the same. I can't just brush off what they are saying, even if it's true that prince Gladiolus is my cousin.

"Hmm, I undsestand." I replied to William. He smiled to me in return.

But I still want to know if what prince Gladiolus said is true.

'I have to know if my mother is really alive.' I thought to myself.

And the one that has the power to know it is none other than Regaleon.

'I must tell him about this when he comes back.' I thought.

I take another sip from my cup.

***

(Regaleon's POV)

My business trip really didn't take too long. The main matter why I went away for a few days is because ex-queen Erica was scheduled to be transferred from the palace to the tower of Grace, which was located at the remote corner of the country of Alvannia.

I wasn't content with the sentence king Edward had given to his ex-wife.

'She tried to take the life of my most precious person. Of course I won't let her get away with such light punishment.' I thought.

I was mounted on my horse, Midnight. We were concealed near the road going to the tower of Grace.

I took my shadows guards and Dimitri with me, planning to ambush the ex-queen's convoy


"Your highness." A shadow guard came out of nowhere and kneeled down before me. "The ex-queen's convoy will be here shortly." He said.

"Hmm." I nodded. "You know what to do."

"Yes." The shadow guard replied.

"Tell the others to take their stations as planned." Dimitri ordered. "We will execute the plan once the ex-queen's convoy is here."

"Understood." The shadow guard retreated and vanished into the woods.

"Is there any news from Theon?" I asked Dimitri.

As I know, the prince of Jennova invited himself for afternoon tea with Alicia. I have ordered Theon to watch his movements carefully.

"I have a very bad feeling about that prince from Jennova." I said.

The sun has set in the west a while ago and the darkness of the night enveloped us. Only the light of the wanning moon illuminated the surroundings. Going to the tower of Grace from the capital will take at least a week by carriage.

The location we are at now was the most suitable for ambush. It was clearly a remote road. If ever the convoy dissapeared, the alarm will only go off after a week have passed and the ex-queen and her convoy haven't arrived in the tower of Grace.

"A letter was just sent via Tempest, your higness." Dimitri said. I have specifically left Tempest behind to guard Alicia and if ever an emergency occured, I would know instantly because Tempest flies fast.

"What is written?" I asked.

"It said that the afternoon tea ended smoothly. Just that the princess looked ashened by the end." Dimitri replied.

"Ashened?" I looked at Dimitri curiously.

"It looks like prince Gladiolus said something that shocked princess Alicia greatly. Unfortunately, Theon wasn't able to hear what they were talking about even with his advance skills." Dimitri explained. "Fortunately, sir William was there to support the princess. He also has the same view as you,  pertaining the prince of Jennova."

I sighed in relief. At least I can count on that William for Alicia's safety while I am away. The both of us truly cares about Alicia whole heartedly.

'I don't want to admit it but William and I holds the same amount of affection towards Alicia.' I thought.

Then we hear a bird's sound. That was the signal to commense the plan.


"Let's focus on what is on hand first." I said with a wicked smile. "I will deal with the prince of Jennova later."
_________
Ambush

(This chapter will be written in a 3rd person view)

At a remote road in the outskirts of the country, the carriage bringing the ex-queen is seen. The road they are taking leads to the tower of Grace, which is a week's travel from the capital. At the tower, the ex-queen will be spending the rest of her days in house arrest.

Inside the carriage, the ex-queen Erica is wearing plain clothes. She isn't wearing any make up and her hair is only tied into a pony tail. Her appearance now is a far cry from her former self, who was always dressed in luxurious clothes and exquisite jewelry. Her hair is always styled with shining hair ornaments that compliments her beauty.

Now she is just a whisp of her former self, traveling to the last destination of her life. Looking at her like this, one would wonder how a queen who was high above all others would plumet down to nothing.

The ex-queen was silently seating inside her carriage, outside are royal knights riding in their horses guarding her.

Erica just took one maid with her. This maid has been with her ever since they were young and is very loyal to her. Even after Erica's sentence, the maid cried hard and wanted to go with her in exile. Erica tried to dissuade her maid from coming but also gave in to her plead.

"Your majesty, you look tired. Why not take a nap?" The maid said.

Erica heaved a heavy sigh. "Why did this happened to me?" She asked her maid. "All I did was to love someone whole heartedly."

The maid looked at Erica with a sad smile. "I am afraid you have loved him a bit too much, your majesty." The maid replied.

Erica looked at the maid curioisly. "Did all I do wrong? I have given him everything he asked for. I gave him power, I gave him the throne. And this is how he pays me." She was heaving in anger.

"Your majesty, please calm down. Your health isn't good these past few days. Getting angry isn't good for you." The maid tried to console Erica.

"I do not care about my health. I curse them, I curse all of them. I wish they have a life like living hell!" Erica screamed in anger.

"Your majesty." The maid looked at Erica with pity. It is true that the queen has given everything to the king that she dearly loved. But in the end, she was not the one the king loved. Her love wasn't returned to her.


It was also a pity that the ex-queen's uncle died. If he was still alive, surely he would have a way to let Erica escape from her fate.

By that time, their carriage came into an abrupt halt. Erica and the maid was confused.

"What is happening out there." The maid called outside.

"Just stay inside." A royal knight said.

By then they heard the clashing of swords outside.

Erica and the maid looked at each other with grave faces. They knew that there was a battle being fought outside.

"Bandits might be attacking us." Erica said.

Erica thought that this part of the road they were taking was a remote area. Many bandits try to rob fancy looking carriages that they knew were owned by nobles.

"Your majesty, let's use this opportunity to escape. With the royal knights busy fighting the bandits, we can slip pass them." The maid offered.

Erica nodded in agreement. She thought this will be a good time to escape. She wasn't willing to be imprisoned in that tower for her whole life. She is sure to take her revenge against her ex-husband and his bastard daughter. And she would let her daughters marry suitable husbands and take over the throne and this country.

"Your majesty, this way." The maid opened the door of the carrige slowly.

The maid take a peek outside. The royal knights were in fact fighting against black clothed men with half masks covering their lower faces.

Once the maid saw the coast was clear, she opened the door and led Erica out towards the woods.

"Hurry your majesty." The maid was holding Erica's hands, leading her inside the woods.

"Yes." Erica was running just behind her maid. She felt hope for herself. She thought that this wasn't the end of the line for her yet.

While they were running inside the woods, they heard rustling behind them.

"Your majesty, the bandits might be after us. Hurry." The maid said.

They were running as fast as they can now. They were running for their lives. Not long after, they can feel the exhaustion of their body from running. They stop to catch their breath.

Erica can feel her throat burning while breathing. They have ran a long distance, maybe the bandits lost them.

"Your majesty, hide here first." The maid saw a big hollow part under a huge tree's trunk. One person can fit inside.

"I will scout the area and call you when the coast is clear your majesty." The maid said. "But if I don't come back after a while, I am afraid you have to go on alone."

Erica was surprised by her maid's words. She caught her maid's wrist before she walked away.

"No, don't go. You have done enough for my expense. Just stay here." Erica was looking at her maid with pleading eyes.

The maid gave Erica a sad smile. "Your majesty, do you remember how you saved me when I was still little?"

Erica nodded her head in response. She saw her maid one winter's night in the capital's alley when she was a little girl. Her maid was in the brink of death and she took pity on her and took her in as her personal maid.

"After you saved my life from that terrible cold winter, I have promised my self that I would dedicate my life to you. I was an orphan who you gave a home." The maid said with a smile. "Now I have the chance to pay my debt."

The maid covered her head with the hood of her cape. With her appearance concealed, you won't notice the difference between Erica and the maid because they have the same body shape.

They heard rustling from not far. The maid took Erica's hand off her wrist

"Keep safe, your majesty." The maid smiled and run outside.

Erica had a look of shock. She never thought that her last loyal servant would sacrifice her self just for her to escape.

"There she is, after her!" I man's voice yelled. Many footsteps were now running away from her.

Erica was hunched under the tree's trunk , shivering in fright. She was alone now, all alone.

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