“Miss Diana, please have a seat.”
The servants opened the door for them, showing the Juan couple—Carmelo and Idnan—who were already sitting on one side of the room. The couple leaned on a huge cushion and nodded at them. The light of the oil lamps made their faces clearly visible. Diana completely inherited the temperament and beauty of Mrs. Idnan, and the beautiful color and scales from Mr. Carmelo, the Juan family head. The impeccable appearance and genes of the two made the young girl appear second-class; her scales were too short and scant, and she did not have a significantly raised backbone.
“Diana, you are late. We have already finished our prayers.”
“Sorry, mother,” she replied, glancing left and right. Finally, she found her seat and sat down.
“How was sewing class today?”
“It was fantastic. I made a new pair of gloves,” she smiled, raising her hands to reveal the gloves.
“How are you going to eat wearing these gloves? You will get them dirty. Let’s take them off, my dear.”
“Uh…” the girl froze and turned back subconsciously to look at Lazer to determine whether this was in fact a test. Lazer gave her a gloomy look and stared her down. She got chills down her spine and immediately looked back at her parents.” “But the gloves… I…”
“Let’s not put her on the spot, Idnan,” Carmelo interrupted her hoarsely. “If Diana cannot make it, we should eat now.”
“She has certainly chosen the perfect time to throw a tantrum. God knows what her problem is now. We have important things to tell her. Lazer, are you sure that she understood what it was that we told her?”
“I am sure that she does.”
“That child… the battle for the throne has been going on for five years. I really wish that she realizes what is at stake here.”
“Realizes what is at stake? She is merely 14. I will talk to her. Let’s have some beans, madam.”
“Still, the sooner the better. Alright, that is enough, Carmelo, no more beans.”
Seeing how they began to grab their food and pay no attention to her, the young girl felt that her presence was no longer needed. She suddenly felt unsure about whether she should leave this place, a place where she did not belong. She got up quietly but accidentally knocked over a cup by her feet, attracting everyone’s attention.”
Blushing from embarrassment, she said, “May I be excused?”
“No, please sit down, girl. Leaving now will only attract more attention to you. Come on, let’s have dinner together.” Idnan beckoned for her to stay, a gesture that caused the magnificent bracelet on her hand to sound. “Would you like some pitas? Or pot roast? Ah, choose whatever you want. However, just for your information, Diana would choose the pot roast first. That is her favorite dish. Are you aware of that?"
“Alright, madam, that is enough.”
The couple in front of the young girl proceeded to eat their food without engaging in much interaction. The young girl bit her lip and was unable to relax. She grabbed some food but found it unappetizing. As dinner finally came to an end, Carmelo changed the topic of the conversations from trivial matters to the throne war.
“We will host a banquet in two weeks.”
This statement was directed at Lazer and the young girl.
“Yes, I am aware of this.” The young girl had heard about it. Because of the banquet, both the servants and chefs working in the kitchen had been remarkably busy. In fact, the chefs had been tense and nervously hoarding food ingredients in advance so that the banquet could go smoothly.
“Just the other day, another candidate for the throne committed suicide,” said Idnan, drinking her tea. Based on her looks, it was clear that the deceased did not die from suicide. “So far, five candidates have died, and the families of two of the candidates were almost wiped out. What terrible, terrible … accidents.”
The young girl clenched her fists. Hearing this made her stomach twist.