CHAPTER 7- Of a Lost Wand

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I had hurriedly run down the winding steps, and emerged right beside a royal tent. It was some kind of clearing for the carriages as there were two horses tied to a tree and various tire marks on the dry ground. There was no other person in sight. The black soldier must have taken the woman a bit farther by now. I looked around frantically, not knowing what kind of clues exactly was I looking for. Springing up pace in the direction that I had last seen them going, I let my limbs run free. It seemed like a dirt track. This place must only be reserved for the royals of Summer Realm.

Looking up as I passed the point where I had been standing on the Amphitheatre's platform just a little while ago and had had this sudden urge to go looking for trouble. I stopped to catch my breath. It was cold as it always was in this Realm and I clutched my thick shawl a bit closer. I walked a bit ahead searching the ground for any signs, when I heard soft footsteps approaching me from behind. My heart thumped loudly and before I could make a run to the closest tree for hiding, I heard a clear voice. Damn this.

"Hello there. Are you lost?"

I turned slowly and found the driver, Prince of Sagittarius House, looking at me with a glint of amusement in his dark brown eyes. He had a sharp angular face, dark wisps of eyelashes that made me insecure of my own, brown hair curling upwards with the wind and thick eyebrows now raised at me.

He sized me up in a long stare, recognition clicking in. "Fancy seeing you here."

The Prince's face betrayed the change in his thoughts, as he took a step towards me and asked, "Are you alright?"

"I am fine. I was... just passing by."

I pondered about asking him if he had seen anything fishy but I wasn't sure if that would be helpful or plain stupidity.

He narrowed his eyes at me. "You are not passing by miss; you are in fact trespassing-by."

I averted my gaze from him, inwardly groaning at his mindless wordplay. "I didn't know this place was the Defensors out camp. I just..." My cheeks had turned red. Why did he have to come right this instant?

He was quiet for a heartbeat too long and I gazed up to check if he was still there. He was wary about something, looking left and right deep in thought. The silence grew palpable until-

"Listen, just tell me if you are his spy?" He uttered suddenly with all hints of mischief gone from his face. Like a bolt of lightning in clear sky.

"What spy? Who do you mean?" I gawked at him and added, "Why would you get spied?" We stared at each other, his face cautious, mine entirely bewildered. He must have realized my absolute confusion and his own senseless error because he backed down with a huge sigh.

"I just remember meeting you before and now this... Well, never mind." He rubbed the back of his head and asked yet another question, "How did you find your way here anyways?"

"I was up in the amphitheatre," I said and pointed with my index finger upwards. It felt silly. He opened his mouth with another obvious question so I answered it for him, "I am not trespassing, I am a Corresponder of the Spring Realm. We are on a job."

"Aaahh!! The perfect disguise," he nodded sarcastically.

"Excuse me, Prince. There's no disguise here." I said with my temper rising. Only if he knew I had saved his stupid royal life just a few days ago.

"Just Doran. I am not...a Prince," his voice sharpened and eyes shadowed. Strange, I thought.

"Okay. Well, I should get going." I gave him a strained smile and started to move back towards the direction of the winding steps. It dawned on me that Serena might be looking for me. Why did I have to risk it like this?

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