I felt like my throat became dry. I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t find a word to say. I just turn my gaze to the two next to me who aren’t still removing the serious stare at each other until now.
“I’ll do it, father.” Alvaro insisted.
When he took his eyes off Alfaro and faced the king, the tension between them disappeared and it was only then that I felt better. I almost stopped breathing earlier. I was terrified in their eyes. Too sharp to look at. It was as if at any moment they would punch each other’s face.
“Aren’t you going to accompany father to the other town?” Alfaro said to his brother.
I could hear the urge to piss his brother on his tone. I’m not sure if he was just reminding him of that or he was planning something else.
“Oh, I forgot.” the King said then turned to Alvaro. “You need to come along with me to the other town at three o’clock in the afternoon. The people need a response for the gathering to be held in our Kingdom this week.”
“Escort the Princess to their Kingdom, Alfaro.” the King decided.
“Surely will follow, father.” Alfaro grinned.
Alvaro hesitated to look at me before glancing at his brother and sighing. He probably didn’t want to leave me with Alfaro but because according to the King’s order, he could do nothing but obey. Even I was uncomfortable with Alfaro. I don’t trust him because I still don’t know him very well and I can imagine that their behavior is very far from each other.
After lunch, we made our own world. The King and Alvaro bid their goodbyes while the Queen left the palace first because she said she was also going somewhere.
“Are you sure it’s okay for you to have my brother with you, Princess?” doubting Alvaro asked.
Even if I wanted to say no, I just nodded in agreement. Even if he insists that he’ll be the one to accompany me, he still can’t do it because his father, the King, has an order for him and out of respect he cannot refuse it.
“Don’t worry, I’m fine.” I stated.
He was about to speak when the King suddenly called him.
“Alvaro, come on.” the King told him. “They are already waiting for us.”
“The King is calling you already. You need to leave. Be careful on the road,” I said goodbye and smiled sparingly.
He nodded, “You also have to be careful. Somehow I trust Alfaro that he can protect you in case you meet an opponent on your way.”
Even though I was confused, I just smiled at him. When he turned his back on me and he finally left with the King, Alfaro and his pet horse got up. Black is the color of his pet.
“Didn’t you just meet Alvaro?” he suddenly said, “It was only less than a week but surprisingly you both are already close to each other.”
I stopped. Does he really think his brother is mediating between us? Does he think we have a relationship? Can’t we just be close? We are friends. That’s what I think of Alvaro, but I don’t know if he also considered me as a friend.
I just ignored Alfaro’s doubts and got on the horse. I was about to sit down when the horse suddenly moved which caused me to fall. I closed my eyes in fear and waited for me to fall on the floor but a few seconds had passed and I still didn’t feel any pain in my body.
I slowly opened my eyes. I was stunned and almost sluggish because Alvaro’s face was so close to mine. He hugged me and held me tightly around my waist and back as support.
“You look prettier up close,” he said with a smirk on his lips and stared straight into my eyes.
I glanced at him. I was stunned when he lost his balance and we both fell to the ground. I moaned in pain in my hips. I turned to Alfaro next to me who just stood up and held out his hand to me. I was irritated. It was as if he hadn’t even been hurt by the force of our fall.
I just glared at his hand and didn’t take it. Even though it was very difficult, I chose to stand alone. When I got up, I wasted no more time and I rode his horse again. He supported me but I avoided him. I clung tightly to the leash before I turned to him.
“I don’t need your help,” I snorted. “I can do it by myself.”
He laughed sarcastically, not believing what I said. I raised an eyebrow at him.
“I’m sorry, I couldn’t handle your weight.”
My ear quickly tingled with annoyance when I heard that. Me? Heavy? W to the T to the F?
Is he teasing me?
I just rolled my eyes and didn’t hit him again. Apart from the fact that I don’t want to talk to him, he is still the Prince of this Kingdom and the son of the King. I thought he might punish me severely once he found out that I was just pretending to be a Princess.
He chuckled before finally getting on and quickly moving his horse. I tightened my grip on the rope so that I couldn’t hold onto him.
He’s riding carefully. Fast but not too much. Unlike Alvaro, I almost inhaled all of the air and was really nervous. I always think that I’ll die anytime in that size and height of their horses. We both just kept quiet as we headed to the Kingdom of Borza. It was a good thing that he stopped teasing me.
“Is it still far?” I asked impatiently.
We had been traveling for an hour but we still couldn’t reach the other Kingdom. The kingdom of Araya is too vast.
“We still have half an hour to get there,” he replied.
I gasped and fixed my hair up, which was tangled by the force of the wind. I still have half an hour to wait.
“Don’t you know the way to your Kingdom?” Alfaro added.
I bit my lips in nervousness. His tone is not in doubt but I felt it that way. I immediately thought of an answer. Fortunately, he turned his back on me so he wouldn’t notice my uneasiness.
“Of course, I know.” I said and forced a laugh. “But I got lost, didn’t I? And I haven’t memorized the whole place of Araya yet because of its extent.”
He just nodded and didn't ask again. I breathed a sigh of relief.
The difficulty of doing this...
After a tiring half hour of riding, we finally reached the Kingdom of Borza.
I looked around as his horse slowly stopped. My eyes shone with amazement. The place is colorful and pure. But Kingdom Araya is slightly different from here. It’s much bigger and wider.
He jumped off the horse first. I was about to go down when he held out his hand to me again. If I didn’t accept that, I might just fall again as I did before. Until now I still feel the pain in my hips. But since I said that I didn’t need his help, I just stood by that. I slowly went down there to make sure I wouldn’t fall. He put his hand back in his pocket and just looked at me struggling to get down. When I got off the horse successfully I immediately confronted Alvaro.
“Just stay here and wait for me. I’ll just go to our palace to bid my farewell to my parents. It’s not that far here. I’ll be right back.” I made a long promise to him.
He nodded, “Hurry up.”
I wasted no more time and immediately ran away. I saw a lot of people. I stopped in front of an old woman nearby. She turned to me when she noticed me.
“What do you need, lady?” she approached me.
“May I ask you a question?”
She smiled. “Sure. What is your question?”
“Do you know where Mystica Highway is located here? or the road to Mystica Elementa High? Can you take me there?”
The old woman stared at me in astonishment. I hope she knows that place. And just in case she knows it, I will be relieved because that means I can easily get back to my place.
But all of my hopes were dashed when the old woman shook her head.
“There is no such place here, lady. In my almost five decades of living here, I have never been to or heard of such a place in the whole Kingdom. Even in the Kingdom of Borza and Corax you won’t find anything like that. Are you lost?”
I was stunned. Here we go again. The question if I’m lost. Well, I’m really lost because until now I still don’t know where I really am.
How come there is no such place here? That’s impossible. I’m pretty sure this isn’t another country because I took tourism so I memorized almost all of the countries and their places. This is also not a parallel world because I know there are no such places or Kingdoms like this in our world. I’m neither dreaming because I feel pain whenever I pinched myself.
I looked around again. I tried to think of it carefully. My eyes widened when I suddenly realized something.
“Holy shit!” I cussed then I immediately covered my mouth.
Is it possible that I’m in another world?