The lord of Karnashun City’s palace was a bit like the Taj Mahal. The buildings had some religious vibes. It looked bright like it was built with loess. I initially wanted to take the initiative to go and see the lord of Karnashun City, but surprisingly, their envoy had already arrived as soon as we settled down. It was exactly as Lorana said, all kings have their own “eyes and ears”, and it’s not too surprising that the lord caught wind of us so fast given that supposed mercenaries carrying all sorts of weapons had arrived in the city.
But the lord was very smart. The lord was seemingly aware that I didn’t want to cause a commotion and attract attention, thereby sending just a single envoy to invite me into the palace for a meeting. This way I didn’t have to publicise my presence. Nobody noticed me all the way until I entered the palace.
“The lord’s palace is an important place. Weapons are not permitted!”
The door-guard wanted to stop us when he saw Lorana’s sword at her hip. She narrowed her eyes then pressed her hand on her sword and coldly said: “We came because your lord invited us. We came via invitation. There is no way we will hand you our weapons.”
“We are doing this for the safety of our lord!”
The guards held their halberds up to us horizontally without backing down. Lorana looked at them. She then drew her sword and slammed it heavily onto the ground. She exclaimed: “I’m doing this for the safety of Rosvenor Empire’s prince, his majesty! What are trying to do by aiming your weapons at his majesty?! Are you revolting?!”
The guards jerked their bodies then looked at me with surprise and disbelief. Lorana pulled out the royal family’s coat of arms from her pocket and placed it on a corner of her cape. The two guards were so shocked they turned white as a sheet. Before they could kneel, a fresh and cool laugh came from behind them. It was a female’s laughter that was pleasing to the ear that was like the melodies of birds. I could imagine her beauty before I had seen her.
When the guards heard her laughter, they respectfully moved aside to kneel, thereby revealing the beauty behind them. I looked at her. She had a smooth, flat and small belly underneath her clothes which was made for uniquely with refreshing and cool, a design unique to the desert. Underneath that, she wore a long-silk skirt as thin as a cicada’s wings. I couldn’t take my eyes off her beautiful legs that seemed to be hidden yet exposed at the same time. Her short shirt was tight and ended below her breasts, emphasising her perfect ratios. She scanned us with strong interest through her black veil with her lively and energetic eyes. She had red hair comparable to Lorana’s that looked like a fire in the desert. The jade bracelets on her wrists and ankles jingled. She was like a pearl in this rough ravine-like desert.
“I was afraid and panicked when I heard that you had come here, your majesty. I never thought that there would be another mess here. Your majesty, my two guards do not know better. Please do not blame them.”
I took off my hoodie, looked straight at her and replied: “Not at all. Protecting their lord is a guard’s duty. Not allowing weapons to be brought in is also a rule in the palace. Why do I need to blame these two guards who have done what they should?”
She scanned my face curiously then smiled and said: “You sure are the prince. You are man of striking appearance but also clever and well-mannered. I am the lord of this city, Nara Sobros Bafena. It is a pleasure to meet you, your majesty. I heard that you got married, yet did not come to see you. For that, please allow me to apologise.”
“Don’t worry about it. You are busy and it’s a long journey. I can understand. I am hoping you can look after me during my visit here.”
“You need not say that your majesty…… Since you are so straight-forward with me, I shall not hold back either…… But please be mentally prepared as I am not a beautiful woman.”
She slowly pulled her veil down, revealing her noble yet pretty and cute face. In that moment I realised that she wasn’t wearing a face-veil to keep the sun out but to avoid the eyes of others, but to avoid shocking the world with her beauty.
Luna pinched my back from behind to bring me back to reality from her beauty.
She looked at me and smiled. She then bowed respectfully and said: “Now then, please allow me to warmly receive you, your majesty. You must be tired from your long journey. If you need anything, please allow me to assist you. But for now, please attend the banquet I have prepared for you. You must give me the honour, your majesty.”
“Is it alright if I have three people with me?”
She responded with a smile before chuckling softly and replying: “Of course, of course. Even thirty people would be okay. I do not mind this trivial amount of food. Please come through, your majesty.”
The dining customs in the desert are kind of different to ours. They sat a bit like in ancient times, but I wasn’t used to kneeling at all, so I kept shuffling around. However, nobody cared how I sat. The food in the desert is all right, it’s just that the taste is really strong. Same goes for the wine. Everything was intense like the desert.
“So then, your majesty, may I know what you are here for this time?”
Nara put her goblet down and then looked at me with a smile. I lingered for a moment. I never expected her to not beat around the bush. I’m not used to being so straight-forward, but it strangely made me relaxed. I looked at her and replied: “Do you not know already?”
“Haha.” She laughed heartily then shook her head and responded, “What do you want me to say? I do have a guess though. Could it be that you are here for that mysterious mine?’
I placed my goblet of wine down, nodded and replied: “You’re right on the money.”
She paused for a moment and looked at me strangely. She then fiddled with her goblet of wine in her hand as though she was thinking about something. She then said: “Are you lying to me, or are you really here to search for the mine? Your majesty, while your eyes are clear, I cannot see through you.”
Lorana looked at me. I went to speak but she shook her head to stop me from continuing. I didn’t want to say anything either since I noticed the overtones in her speech. More explicitly, she knew some things about me but didn’t mention them.
When she noticed my gaze, she smiled and waved her hand before saying: “Your majesty, you need not look at me like that. I just casually said it. I am just really surprised. I never thought such rumours would catch you when you are so smart.”
I paused for a moment before asking: “Are you sure that it’s a rumour?”
“I do not believe there to be anything that I have not seen.” She waved her goblet around and looked at me with a smile in her eyes. She then continued, “I consider statements which are not supported with evidence, rumours. I never thought you would make such a long journey here for those rumours. However, your majesty, I have nothing to prove that the mine does not exist either. So shall I wish you good luck?”
I looked at her and directly asked: “Do you know about the mine or not?”
She froze up for a moment then placed her goblet down and went silent for a while as though she was thinking about how to answer. I didn’t rush her. I patiently waited for her response.
“I would say that I do not believe the mine exists, but I hope that it does?”
After a long pause, she gently twisted her fingers, looked at me with an odd smile and softly added, “Your majesty, please come to my room tonight…”