CHAPTER 12

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Four weeks had gone by since the king's victory at the border. Xerxes spent every night sleeping beside Saya who happily received him, sometimes accompanied by moans. Everything was going well in the castle. Oma learned to keep her distance from Saya but always made comments, and shot glares her way the slightest moment she got. She became very envious because Xerxes only spent the night in Saya's chambers. What does she have that Oma doesn't? She is curvier, has fuller breasts, and is even prettier than Saya! So what charms does she use to get the king to stay with her every night?

It is a quiet afternoon for Saya as she is in the garden watering the seeds she had sown a week ago. She wants to watch flowers grow from scratch, that's why she had planted some in a cup and had left it in the garden. Saya is excited to see a tiny stem right above the soil. She must be doing everything right. However, the afternoon takes a sharp turn when she hears screaming inside the castle. Her heart skips a beat and she looks at Nabir who is equally distressed as she is. A few maids walk out quickly from the castle, shaking their heads in disappointment. Saya walks up to them, and they bow immediately. "My Lady" they greet her. She bows back and asks "What is going on? What happened?"

The maid in the middle, with blonde hair tied up in a bun, steps forward and says, "The king is furious!"

What could have made the king so furious that a woman is screaming?

"Why?"

"His first woman, Cordelia, is pregnant"

Saya's heart drops when she hears this. But this doesn't make sense, the king spent most of his time with Saya the past few weeks, when did he ever have time to lay with her? Unless...no way...treason?

"The baby belongs to her lover," the maid finishes, dropping the final bomb. "That is what we heard," the other maid clarifies. Saya nods and thanks them. She grabs Nabir's hand and walks towards the throne room. "My Lady please don't do anything foolish like last time," she pleads, her heart racing.

"Don't worry, I won't," Saya replies.

They get to the throne room and Cordelia is on the floor holding her stomach and crying. "My Lord, it is yours, I swear!"

"Silence!" the guard beside the king yells. "You have a lover and you expect me to believe that it is mine?" Xerxes asks furiously. Saya looks to her right and she sees a man kneeling on the floor, his clothes soaked with blood. Saya gasps but covers her mouth.

"My Lord, I swear! Since the last time, you laid with me, I haven't laid with him. We have been intimate but never to the point of-"

"Silence!" the guard yells again. Saya carefully looks at Cordelia and sees a little bump on her stomach. "It adds up," Saya whispers to Nabir. "Yes but the king doesn't want children, and also it is not certain. She's been hiding that lover for a while," Nabir whispers back.

"You have committed treason Cordelia, and the punishment for that is death," the king says, venom lacing his tone.

"No! Please, I beg of you, I am with child!"

"That is why, the life of your lover shall be taken instead," he says, glaring at the man. Saya's eyes widen when she sees the guard stepping towards the badly beaten up man. "My Lord please! I'll do anything!"

Xerxes ignores her and lifts his hand, the guard stabs the man and slits his throat, blood gushing out. Saya covers her eyes but the screams of the man are too much for her. Cordelia's screams echo throughout the throne room before she faints in shock. The sight of the man's body causes Saya to feel sick. She quickly turns around and runs straight to her room, Nabir chasing after her. She enters her chambers and grabs the first basin she can find and pours out the contents of her meal this morning. Nabir immediately brings her a cup of water, and she rinses her mouth, spitting inside the basin.

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