Unexpected royal

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We left the inn the following day and journeyed to the next town - where we stopped by the local market to purchase a few items. I found out these necessities were merely a change of clothes and food to snack along the way. Master Hooney bought a feminine change of clothes for me to wear.

Wearing his large clothing made me look awkward and he said it would benefit him greatly if I looked more womanly, even though he appreciated the sight of me in his robe. I didn't know what he meant by that - but - whatever makes him happy...I thought.

We journeyed from town to town, stopping from time to time at large vacant lands so he can dismount and observe the land. He often took samples of the soil, sometimes walking around the field with his measuring tape. When he comes back, he pulls out a parchment in his bag and marks a tiny dot in it, scribbling necessary notes.

I don't know what he does, but it seemed important, even after being with him in this journey for a couple days I still don't know what his title is, and what he does for a living. We had conversations here and there, but never surpassing our personal boundaries. Master Hooney gets bored enough and starts asking relentless questions until he gets me to open up and start chirping like a typical girl.

He seemed to enjoy my company when I tell him little stories about my former master, (the master who sold me back to master Li He). I never ran out of humorous stories to tell, although I threaded stiffly on my mention of master Li He and how I was born to a mother who's a slave to his family. I know the mention of it would open personal questions that I wouldn't be comfortable sharing my new master.

There were days when we stayed at the local inn, whenever we're lucky enough to run into one. But, most times, we simply took refuge under the blanket of the night sky and slept on the ground with a thin blanket between our bodies and the itching grass.

It was almost too romantic if only we were lovers. Now, I understood why he was relieved finding out I was a girl. There's something comforting about being in the company of the opposite sex - unless of course - he's gay which I highly doubt at this point, since I often found him comfortably snuggled beside me during hours of dawn, just as I wake up even though he started out a few feet away the night before.

He'd groan and made up excuses such as; he must've rolled over while he was asleep. Then I would think, it's a lot of rolling for him to do in his sleep. I never once said anything, but he threw in his fake innocence anyway. I know better, although smart enough to pretend I didn't.

His constant frolicking made me wonder whether my master is a married man although I was never brave enough to ask. If he wants to let me know, he'll inform me.

"You're a restless sleeper, master," I told him once and he quickly agreed with my pretentious assumption.

"Yes, very. I keep rolling in my sleep. Strange." He said with a deep groan, despite only rolling over beside me and nowhere else.

Having to travel with him from places to places was like an adventure. I never had this kind of freedom, never been able to leave my master's premises without permission. I enjoyed it and I didn't care whether how far he took me, my new master never had me do anything, only kept him company. Speak when he got bored and help him gather his items when he needed my help. He fed me when I got hungry, bought me a change of clothes, let me bathe at the inns where we stayed, and slept when I got tired. He was strange, his kindness was very strange.

After about three weeks on the road, master Hooney suddenly announced he misses his home and he wanted to go back. He would rather have one of his men complete this task. I thought, maybe, he just got bored with it and ready to go back to his pampered life.

It took a few nights to make the journey back to his home. I was surprised at the size of the manor as it came into view. Thick wall gated his entire property, armed guards rushed to open the gate for him. He was like a royal riding back to palace. Except this is not the imperial palace...I'm sure of it, or it would've been more massive than this, even though this could count as a small palace itself.

The guards inclined their heads down as he passed, the horse we're riding made his slow strut inside when more men scampered towards to the gate with their heads low to the ground.

"Welcome back governor-general Hooney."

Governor-general?

"Governor-general?" The word escaped my lips before I could stop it.

"Master Hooney is fine." He purred. "Don't let my title intimidate you."

I felt a rush of blood climbed up to my head, dizzy suddenly. This whole time I had no idea I was traveling with a royal.

"Y-you...y-ou..." I stammered unable to get a grip of my voice. "Y-you're a royal?"

He shrugged dismissively. "The eight prince is my father, he has about 22 children. Between him and his brothers, they have hundreds of children, and those children spread their seeds everywhere." There's an air of humor in his voice that he somehow found it hilarious. "I doubt the royal palace even know I exist." He laughed. "If I want to be the emperor someday..." He gave it a thought and calculated some complicated mathematics in his head, master Hooney made a playful gesture of picking up his hands and counted his fingers like a child. "...I'll have to kill about 600 cousins and uncles. Seemed like a pain in the ass to do!"

Of course, he exaggerated his numbers but laughed anyway.

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