I sighed deeply as I laid down the bed and stared blankly at the ceiling. The sound of the birds chirping from outside the window was the only noise I could hear in that room.
When we got back to the palace from almost a day of sightseeing, I immediately rested. But no matter how hard I try to sleep, I can’t do it. My mind is in turmoil right now. What happened earlier still didn’t sink into my brain.
“I am Alvaro. The Prince of this Kingdom…”
I wiped my face in irritation when I heard Alvaro’s voice in my ears again.
Prince? Why are there Princes and Princesses here? Why is there a kingdom? What is this, a Monarchy? an Empire?
But isn’t it?
Where am I really? Where did I go? What is happening and why did I come here? How else can I get back to my house? I have so many questions to myself but I still don’t get any answer until now.
I got out of bed and sat down sadly beside the window where I could clearly see the view outside. I sounded out of breath.
I don’t know how long I will stay in this place. I also don’t know what will happen to me here. But there’s one thing I should do.
I need to find a way to get back to us as soon as possible...
I left the room when I felt hungry. I almost lost my way to find Alvaro all over the palace but I still did not see him. He is the only person I can talk to and I know here.
My stomach aches even more as I passed by the kitchen. I saw the dinner cooks talking about something while preparing the food.
“The Prince’s guest is so beautiful, right?”
“I heard she was a princess from the other Kingdom.”
“Lower your voices and someone might hear our conversation. If the Queen will find out that we’re gossiping about the royalties, we will be punished.”
I heard the gossips of those three cooks as I was leaving. I walked around the palace repeatedly until I have mastered every corner. I also hope Alvaro will show up. But a few more minutes had passed but I still couldn’t see him. I stopped in front of the two housemates who were cleaning the vase.
“Do you know where Al--- I mean, Prince Alvaro is?” I asked one of them.
“I think he’s in her room, Princess.”
In response, I just smiled sparingly and nodded before I passed them.
I was about to leave the palace to get some air when I was stunned by the arrival of a sophisticated woman and a handsome man. They are a bit old but the beauty and good looks can still be seen in their appearance.
“Who are you?” the woman asked.
I couldn’t speak, especially when she raised her eyebrow and looked at my whole being. Her look at me is very intimidating. I can’t find a word to say. Fortunately, Alvaro suddenly arrived. I breathed a sigh of relief.
“Who is that woman?” the woman asked again, now turning to Alvaro.
“She’s my guest, mother. She is a Princess from the Kingdom of Borza.” Alvaro replied while staring at me. “Princess Emerald…”
I was shocked when I heard what he introduced.
Innovative. I’m used to everyone calling me Quinn. Even my parents. Even my nickname is still my first name. I didn’t even know what my second name was for anymore because I didn’t use it either. So I felt strange that they will call me Emerald here and also include the title ‘Princess’ from now on. But I can do nothing because I have to pretend that I’m a real princess. I don’t know what they will do to me once they know that what I said is just a lie and there’s a big possibility that my life will be put in danger.
I turned my attention back to the two. When I remembered what Alvaro called to the woman in front of us today, I realized it was her parents. This is the Queen and the King of the kingdom of Araya.
I quickly bowed to them in greeting and respect. That’s what I see people doing in the movies I watched with Kings and Queens as well.
“Good evening, dear Queen and King.” I greeted them warmly.
“Good evening too, Princess.” the King smiled at me, “Come and join us for our dinner.”
I just nodded. We went to the kitchen altogether. The food on the table is ready. I forced myself not to spit at the delicious dishes and fruits I saw. The King invited me to sit down to eat. I sat down next to Alvaro. The Queen’s curious eyes didn’t escape from my sight. She was observing me. I just didn’t pay attention to her and started eating because I was already hungry.
I ate my food slowly and modestly. I avoid getting cluttered or dirty even a little. I imprinted in my mind that I was a princess here. I have to act based on the role I play. I’ll just think that I’m on a project and this is roleplaying. I have to convince them that I’m not lying to them until I can leave this place.
The silence was deafening. No one of the people with me at this table didn’t even speak and just ate quietly so I did the same.
We all turned our gazes to the newcomer. The Queen immediately stood up and went to him. He is probably what Alvaro is referring to as his brother.
“Sit down and eat,” the King commanded.
Before he sat down, he frowned and turned his gaze to me. He also wonders maybe my presence.
“Good evening, Prince.” I just said because I don’t know his name.
He stared at me for a moment but said nothing. He just smirked at me and then he sat down directly next to Alvaro.
When that man came, I heard the voice of my companions again. The Queen greeted the man and reminded him. I looked at Alvaro silently leaning back in his chair. He just finished eating.
“Princess Emerald.” said the King, my smile sparingly turned to him. “I’m formally introducing you to my family. Alvaro told me that you are lost and you are stranded here in our Kingdom. Perhaps, you know that I am the King of this Kingdom. I am King Alfredo. And this is my spouse, Queen Adelana. And my twin children, Prince Alvaro and Prince Alfaro.”
I was surprised to find out that they are actually twins. It wasn’t obvious because they aren’t look-alike. Maybe they are what they called Fraternal twins.
“Alfaro, greet our guest.” the King ordered.
“I’m glad to meet you, princess Emerald.” Alfaro grinned.
I don’t know if he said it sarcastically or if he was just like that. I also noticed that since he applied his sight to me earlier, he hasn’t removed it again. I just smiled awkwardly at him. I gazed at Alvaro as he stood up and bid his goodbye. I hurriedly finished my food. I can’t stand being alone with the King and Queen of the kingdom in one room. So when I finished eating, I immediately stood up.
“I’m done,” I said goodbye to them and bowed slightly before I finally left and followed Alvaro.
I caught him staring at the moon and the stars in the garden of their palace. I approached him and stepped aside. He turned to me.
“You never told me that you have a twin,” I chuckled. “You two weren’t look alike at all.”
He nodded and looked up at the sky again. I stared at his whole face. He’s more good-looking up close. White skin, sharp nose, brown eyes, long lashes, perfect form of jaw, red and thin lips.
“He’s handsome but you’re more handsome.” I said it abstractedly, he was stunned.
I was also stunned when I realized what I just said. I immediately covered my mouth and looked away.
It’s so embarrassing!
Silence prevailed between the two of us. Only crickets can be heard around.
“You said you were looking for me,” Alvaro said all of a sudden. “I apologize, I just had to take care of a lot of things.”
I smiled, “No, it’s okay. I understand that you have a lot of important work as the Prince of your kingdom. That’s natural.”
“I noticed the shocking reaction on your face when I introduced you to the King and the Queen earlier.” he stated.
He even noticed that. Well, maybe I’m too obvious.
“I guess you’re not used to calling you by your second name but will you believe me when I say that it suits you?”
I was stunned again by what he said. It seems like I really need to get used to hearing my second name whenever they call me here.
I looked up at the glowing stars above. I closed my eyes and smiled when I felt the cold air on my skin. I turned to Alvaro who was also looking at me. I stared at him because of what he added.
“I want to get to know you better…”