“Then I will begin. Shaquille, I do not understand your reason for kidnapping me.”
“You remembered my name?” Shaquille sat cross-legged and looked at her with interest.
“Of course I did, even though we have almost never met. I remembered the names of all the guests at the banquet. I initially called you that out of respect. Now, I do not think that it is necessary.”
“Oh… I did not know that you were such a serious child.”
“Are you being sarcastic?”
“Nonsense! I admire that quality of yours!” He laughed. “Because I admire you, I want to challenge you. I am a straight forward person; I want to beat anyone worth beating.”
“So the ransom was not the main reason for kidnapping me?”
“Of course it was. Not everything in the world is black and white. Has my smart lady figured that out yet?”
Her face was hot. She found herself trying to probe too hard and was forced to pretend to stare him down. “I just want you to know that even if you get the ransom, you should get away from the Desert Kingdom; the farther away you are, the better. You betrayed my parents, so they will make sure that you see your own demise.”
He snorted and patted the cage. “You mean Carmelo? The man who can only hire humans as bodyguards?”
“Lazer is better than you think,” she said, freezing for a moment before quickly sticking out her chest.
“Are you kidding me? On an important banquet like this, he was not even by your side, and that was why you were kidnapped.”
“So, to redeem himself, he will do everything he can to avenge me! Maybe he is already on his away and is ready to kill all you brutes. Shaquille, it is not too late to beg for mercy now!”
“How can you be sure of that?” The lizard demihuman grinned, as if admiring the girl’s rare childish speech.
“Because he is Lazer,” she gritted her teeth, almost forgetting that she was playing the role of Diana. “He said he would protect me, so he will. That alone is enough for him to come.”
Shaquille let out his usual loud laughter and kept patting his thighs, his tail hitting the ground fiercely. The girl did not expect her speech to cause him to a sneer. She looked surprised and bewildered.
After Shaquille had his fun, he rubbed the corners of his eyes and asked in a low, hoarse voice: “Do you really know him, Diana?”
“What do you mean?” She shrank slightly, thinking that she went too far with her role as Diana.
“He will never be a lizard demihuman; he is at best a chameleon. How can you trust his loyalty?” Shaquille sighed, “He used to be a frontline soldier of the Kingdom of the Sun who managed to escape after being captured and imprisoned. He evaded the people who pursued him and made a living in the streets before voluntarily surrendering to go to prison. Have you heard about all this?”
“I have… more or less…”
“Looks like you did not pay much attention,” said Shaquille with a strange look on his face, “After returning to prison, he passed the test of the Colosseum and became the only prisoner to be pardoned. Then, contrary to what one would expect, he did not leave the desert but voluntarily became a soldier, returning to the frontline to fight the Kingdom of the Sun.”
“Isn’t that a sign of loyalty to the Desert Kingdom? A human being returning to the battlefield to kill his comrades demands a lot of courage,” said the girl, bewildered by Shaquille’s reaction. She kept feeling like he harbored a strong animosity towards Lazer.
“Let me ask you this, Diana. If a person can betray his own country, who’s to say that he will not betray yours?”
She opened her mouth to refute him, but could not.