After Lazer successfully got the word out, frequent lively noises were heard in Shaquille’s tent, which were weird considering the circumstances.
The noises came exclusively from Shaquille. He laughed and shouted from time to time, seemingly unafraid of the noises exposing his whereabouts. He urged Diana to break free from her bindings.
“Are you about done, Diana? It has been five minutes!”
“No, that is not the right way to untie yourself. I have already taught you how to do it!”
She lowered her hands in annoyance, causing the rope, half untied, to droop.
“Shaquille, if you do not plan to let me go, why teach me how to untie the knot?”
“Because it is fun,” Shaquille sat lazily on the floor and flicked his tail, showing an annoying smile.
“I do not find this fun at all,” she gasped awkwardly.
“That is why it is fun, for me,” Shaquille sat up straight, crossed his legs, and leaned towards Diana before asking, “Don’t you want to know who won the bid? Untie the knot quickly and I will tell you as a reward.”
“That is obvious, it is my parents; they have gathered enough money to save me,” she said, exhaling lightly and staring at the sturdy lizard demihuman in front of her. “If it were the buyer, you would have killed me by now and brought my body to the buyer. You would not be waiting here.”
Shaquille smiled softly.
“You are clever, girl. I guess it is more fun to see you untie the knot.”
“When is the transaction?” That was the only question that she wanted to ask.
She let out a sigh of relief and finally smiled. “Soon, I will not have to see your face.”
“That is hard to say. Maybe one day I will show up in the Juan family and propose to you.”
“—What?” This shocked her. She shook her head violently, in disbelief of what she had just heard.
“Yes, propose to you. Or do you still have feelings for Lazer? Don’t be silly, any lizard demihuman is better than him.”
“That is not the point!” Her small face flushed instantly. She squeezed the corner of her clothes tightly and screamed. “Shaquille, are you out of your mind? How dare you think of something like this? Just wait for me to go back and my parents will take care of you—”
“If your parents are going to ‘take care of me’, I may be better off just killing you right here. Even though your parents have gathered the money, it is actually not much more than what the buyer is offering,” he noted, smiling.
“What do you… what do you want? Are you threatening me to marry you?” She was depressed and did not know whether he was joking or serious.
“Well, at first, I was merely following orders. However, the last couple of days with you has made me realize what an interesting person you are. To be honest, I would be reluctant to kill you now.” He rubbed his jaw with his hand, as if thinking hard to come up with a reason—or a reasonable excuse—to explain his interest in her. “How should I put it… although I have seen you in the past, you were like a robot. Kind of like a doll, and that was definitely not attractive.”
Her heart twitched.
The person he saw was the real Diana, a defenseless girl who was pushed onto a bloody stage by her parents.
Diana must have known her destiny at a young age; she was destined to become a queen. She must have wondered if she was just a puppet to her parents. She must have felt powerless.
“No… it is not like that…” her heart sank and she felt pained for the beautiful girl. “A person like you will never understand the pain that I have experienced…”