CHAPTER 28

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"You  must feel so lost dear," Queen Sandra says, comforting her daughter.

"I really don't know what to do." Saya told her mom the drama going on, desperately waiting for a solution she might have.

"Saya, this is something you have to figure out on your own. If you love and trust him as you say, you should follow your heart."

"I know mother, it's just...hard."

"You will be alright Saya, just think about it, and pray to the gods for their directions." A knock is heard on the door and Peter comes in.

"I apologize for the intrusion, it's just that I received orders from the king to go everywhere the princess goes."

"It's alright Peter, I was leaving already," Saya hugs her mom. "We'll be leaving the castle, there are a lot of places I want to see again."

Queen Sandra nods smiling at her. Peter and Saya head out of the castle, walking down the streets. "So when your mother told you your father was sleeping she meant..."

"That he might probably never wake up," she completes. "He's always been sickly, that's why I did not want him stressing himself especially at King Stephan's party"

"I am so sorry to hear," Peter genuinely says. "It's okay. I have grown used to it, he always gets back on his feet. Now stop looking at me like that, let's go have a little fun," Saya smiles at him then walks on.

The streets of Laine are lively, more full of life than Moore if possible. Children running around, marketers happily selling their goods.

"Laine is beautiful," Peter says looking around.

"It is a small kingdom so there's always enough to go around."  Saya stops at a food stall.

"Princess! You're back!" the woman says smiling.

"Yes, but only for two nights. I hope the children are doing well?"

"They are! Cora has been asking for you since you left."

"Where is she now?"

"She's with her brothers, at the stream with their father." Saya turns to Peter, "Do you want to try this?" she points at roasting meat impaled with sticks.

"Sure, why not?" Saya buys two, giving him one, eating as they head to the stream. "This is good,"

"Their food is always great. My sisters and I always came here when we were younger. We would buy so much and stuff our mouths before going back home and wake up with bad stomach aches the next day," she narrates, making him chuckle.

They finally get to the stream and for Peter it seemed like an eternity. Every step they took, children would run up to Saya for her to carry them, or hug them. They love this young woman, her family has a strong positive impact on their people.

"It's the princess!" a young girl screams from the stream. Saya waves at the girl who comes running into her arms. "I missed you too Cora," she kisses her cheek. Cora smiles and looks at Peter who gives her a tight smile. She covers her face and whispers to Saya, "Who is that man?"

"He's my friend," she replies. "Princess!" she hears people calling again. "Saya turns to the stream and sees her  2 brothers running towards her with something in their hand"

"Is that for me?" she smiles touching the fish

"Yes!" the boys smile. Cora takes it, telling her that she will tell her mom to cook it for her. Saya nods, tying up her skirt and stepping in the water, heading towards Cora's father.

"Princess!" he smiles at her

"Hello Mr Guy" she greets returning his smile. "It's been a while since we met. I hope the king of Moore is treating you well"

Saya nods, smiling wide at him. Both of them indulge in a very long conversation and only turn when they hear Peter yell.

Cora and her brothers had pushed him into the stream, laughing at him. He starts chasing them, all enjoying themselves. Saya and Mr Guy can't help but giggle at the sight before them. Peter catches them, then falls on the grass, the children jumping on top of him. Saya and Mr Guy come out of the stream. "Time to go kiddos," he tells them, but they whine. "Can we go for story night? Saya can come tell us a story," Cora pleads. The  man looks at Saya, "I'll make sure to bring them back myself." Mr Guy nods, taking his basket.

"Let's go." The three eager children, Saya, and Peter arrive at a big brown tent. All of them enter inside. Peter  is amazed to see the number of children there listening to a woman tell a story. This tradition amazes him. "Princess!" the children shout, clapping their hands, completely forgetting about the woman telling her story. "Ssh! Listen to the story" she says smiling at them.

"Princess! Would you like to tell a story to the children? " the lady asks

Saya feels a bit nervous. "It's been a while since I told a story," she responds.
The children start begging her, a few even crying! Saya gives in and sits in front of them. She looks to the back and sees Cora sitting on Peter's lap, her brothers by either side of him, waiting for her to begin. Peter nods smiling, she smiles back and begins her story.

"This story is about a princess, who was trapped in a castle with a monster. She was so scared that she never left her room, except at night to get food to last her the next day. This was how she lived every day. Months passed and the princess began getting used to this life. Although she missed her family so much.

One night, the princess was taking some food when she heard something. A deep voice asked her what she was doing there. Frightened! The young girl dropped her plate, the food and water spilling everywhere. She knelt down, her head on the floor, begging the monster to spare her life. But, she looked at the feet in front of her, and they looked just like ours! She raised her head and saw it was only a strong man standing in front of her. The princess got off the floor and carefully looked at the man, he wasn't a monster at all.

She embraced the man crying, telling him that she was sorry for judging him based off of what people said. The man told her that he was actually a monster, but she refused to believe him. Everyday after that, the princess spent it with this man, and they eventually fell in love, got married, and had a baby. They were so happy, but people were angry at the princess, calling her all sorts of mean names because she fell in love with someone they call a monster.

The man was worried that she might run away with the child, but she assured him, what the people said didn't matter. They decided to leave the castle and go someplace where people will not know who they are, so they could live the life they wanted. The princess and her husband found a farm with a family who welcomed them.

Now, this family knew the rumours going on, but they welcomed them saying 'It doesn't matter what people say about you. It matters what you think about yourself. Life is too short to make enemies.' The princess and husband settled down in the farm, eventually having more children, living happily ever after with the other family. The end"

The children clap for Saya who thanks them. A child raises her hand, the princess calling on her.
"Princess, did you tell us the story of you and the king?" the children start laughing, making her chuckle too. "Part of it yes, but the important thing I want you to know is what the family told them. Life is too short to make enemies."

"What do we say to the princess?" the woman asks

"THANK YOU!!" they scream happily.

"Everyone line up for your  night treat!" The young woman announces. One by one, Saya hands each child a fruit as they leave the tent. The night had come and older kids were taking the younger ones back to their parents. Saya and Peter walk with Cora and her brothers but suddenly they hear screaming, and yelling. Saya turns her back and sees people running.

"What is happening princess?" Cora asks tearing up.

"Don't worry, let us get you to your parents." Peter frowns ready to draw his sword, or shoot his bow and arrow. They quickly rush the children back to their house with difficulty because people are running everywhere, and that's when Saya hears the horn, making her heart drop.

The kingdom is under attack!

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