Chapter 6

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JADE visited Lady Maverin's house the next day.

Hosun had left immediately after breakfast, and Jade had left not long after him, sitting in another carriage, as Lady Maverin's house was in the opposite direction from wherever Hosun needed to go.

As the carriage made its way through the city, Jade took in Littoriana for the first time. It was less grand than Aquana, of course, Aquana being the capital city. The houses were smaller, the decorations less elaborate, but Littoriana had plenty of natural greenery.

She soon reached Lady Maverin's house. Riana Maverin was already aware of Jade's arrival, and Jade was shown into the sitting room, where Riana was waiting.

"Jade!"

"Riana!" Jade exclaimed, throwing her arms around the pretty woman. "It's so good to see you again," she said, finally pulling away.

"I agree, it's been much too long," Lady Maverin said, sitting down. Jade followed her example. "So, how was your journey?"

"Quite long. But I had Hosun with me, so it was alright," Jade said.

"Ah, you had Hosun with you," Lady Maverin said, raising her eyebrows and grinning.

Jade flushed, "Riana, really."

"Hiding things from your childhood friend now?" Lady Maverin said, folding her hands complacently with a smug look.

"Riana, please. Why do you so love teasing me?" Jade said, shaking her head.

"Alright, we'll change the topic. So, how is your family? And Karina and Evena?" Lady Maverin asked.

"All quite well. My parents are looking for grooms for Jasmine," Jade said, her mind flashing to her sister's fears momentarily.

"She must be so nervous. I remember I was," Lady Maverin said, a faraway look in her eyes.

"I suppose. And how is everything here?" Jade asked.

Lady Maverin pursed her lips, something dark shadowing her eyes, "It was fine. . . until the attack. Now everyone's afraid."

"Oh, Riana," Jade breathed,

Lady Maverin shook her head sharply, before Jade could say anything else, "That's enough of that. This is meant to be a happy visit. Besides, in my condition, it's best to stay positive."

Jade raised an eyebrow, not knowing what condition Lady Maverin was referring to, until the other woman put a hand on her stomach.

Jade was up on her feet in an instant, "You're with child?" A slow grin overtook Lady Maverin's face, and she nodded.

"Barely one month along."

"Congratulations! And you sly woman, you didn't tell any of us!" Jade said, her lips parting in a gasp.

"I wanted to surprise you. I'll be writing to Evena and Karina soon," Lady Maverin said, eyes twinkling.

"I can't believe it. And how is Lord Maverin taking it?"

Lady Maverin laughed, "Lian was shocked when I told him, he nearly fainted. But now he's overjoyed, treats me like a Queen—and he's very protective."

"That's wonderful, Riana," Jade said, sitting down again. Indeed, she was happy for her friend. Becoming a mother would be . . . well, perhaps not easy—as her own mother had told her multiple times—but certainly an experience that Lady Maverin was ready for.

She automatically thought back too the pregnant woman of the day before and swallowed silently. Lord Maverin was involved in the army as well, in some minor position- though not an outright soldier, he could be in danger. What would happen to Riana if he was. . . injured, to say the least?

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