I was dreaming again. I was seeing the same old flashes of scenes, and hearing the same old sounds of voices.
"Never ever forget who you are Runa. You are the proud princess of this land."
Yes. I am the princess of the Land of Ikha ー the one who will rule over this kingdom in the future. I am from the kingdom that lies between the realm of the other two still unknown and unexplored kingdoms.
"Never ever betray your people. Protect and cherish all of them, regardless where they came from or what they are here for."
The people of Ikha ー most of them are natives of this kingdom. Yet, some of them, unbeknownst to almost all, still walk the land of Ikha, unnoticed.
She carefully combed the fringe hiding my face back to my head, "It's time to head out now," slipping the longer ones at the back of my ear.
I was examining her face painted with kindness all over it. She was still gorgeous despite having a few lines beside her crinkling eyes.
She gently rubbed my earlobe down to my nape, tickling me a bit before smiling, "May the moonlight guide you again tonight."
She was then engulfed by the blinding light. The echoes of her voice slowly disappeared along with the lingering warmth from her fingertips. I was left with a very vivid memory of her, yet not a chance of it ever happening again.
From the bright images shown in my dreams, I opened my eyes to see nothing.
The room that always provided me the comfort and security suddenly appeared unpleasant and unknown. The darkness that stretches from all directions now wrapped around my body, swallowing me all in whole.
Despite fully awake, I felt like I am still in a nightmare, running in a never-ending pit of darkness.
"Your highness," a voice echoed inside the room. The source silently walked around before going to the window. He slid the curtain open to bring in the light from the outside, "Are you now awake?"
I got up, stretching as high as my arms can reach while yawning as wide as my mouth can open. I slowly blinked both my eyes, adjusting to the moonlight that was providing me some sort of discomfort.
I only saw an image of a man standing ー a silhouette provided by the still rising moon. He was all prepared as usual, and he was here to drag me into preparing as well.
It was almost time for our appointed task. Yet, this man seemed to be basking under the moonlight, taking his time to enjoy its gentle glare.
I continued with my routine, wearing what I usually wear, not minding my audience. He was always been with me, even before I started noticing the changes in my now adult body. He definitely had a mental note on how long I needed to prepare ー cleaning and covering the contours of my body.
He was looking outside, seemingly watching the rising of the moon. But I knew, he was observing me.
He listened to every cutting noise made by the fork and knife, and to every gurgle inside my mouth and stomach. He made sure I finished eating all of this lavish five course dinner, yet again.
If there was something uncomfortable, it was definitely not him watching me every time, but it was him not saying anything all the time.
I am done.
"Let's go, Khai."
The moon had already risen so high. It was time for us to head out.