The investigation of who poisoned the priestess was still ongoing, even though almost three weeks had passed since Lady Nira awoke, but even with this investigation continuing one piece of news began to stir the people’s hearts.
“Have you heard: his majesty wants to wed Lady Nira?”
“The Priestess, right?”
“She is such a kind soul and her blessings have made our harvest flourish.”
“I would love for her to be queen.”
Such words circulated around the kingdom and even reached the ears of the resistance. The moment Rasmus heard the news; he was enraged to the point of shattering wine glasses in the cellar and bursting wine barrels using his control over water. Candace managed to calm Rasmus down, but even she was bewildered why Rasmus had such a strong negative reaction to the news.
“Your majesty…Rasmus…please tell me what is bothering you,” urged Candace with concern in her voice, but Rasmus just entered a room refusing to look Candace in the eyes.
Rasmus collapsed on the makeshift bed of the room as the news about Damario of wanting to wed Yanira flooded his mind. Even he was confused why he was so enraged at first, but as he pondered to himself he began to think of Yanira when she first comforted him when he came to the realization that Damario betrayed him. He also remembered the words of Captain Ravenclaw who had asked if he had made any progress with Yanira when they were back on the ship. He didn’t understand the words before, but now he realized what the words meant: Progress in a romantic relationship. It was at that moment that Rasmus realized that the moment Yanira comforted him on the ship, he saw her as a woman…he was undoubtedly in love with her.
Rasmus sat up on the bed as he made a plan to rescue Yanira from Damario’s claws.
On the other hand, Farkas was in his room sulking. He just didn’t understand it. Not too long ago, he had spoken with Yanira and she didn’t mention anything about getting married to Damario and yet he was now hearing news of the proposal. It was just so perplexing for him, but he clenched the precious stone around his neck remembering the smile of Yanira.
Farkas didn’t know why the news of a proposal was spread, but he only believed in what Yanira told him.
Meanwhile, Yanira was unaware of the news of a marriage proposal as she swept the temple. As she did so, she failed to notice the eyes of the soldiers that were stationed to guard the temple from any intruders.
“Do you think the rumor is true?”
“I’m not sure. I mean she isn’t acting any different.”
“How does she act around his majesty?”
“They haven’t met since after the time she awoke.”
The soldier nodded and added, “The war preparations have been eating up his time along with the investigation of who poisoned Lady Nira.”
“Then who started the rumor of marriage then?”
“I have no idea.”
The soldiers were excited about the rumor, since they had high hopes for the new priestess, but coming to a realization that the rumor might just be a rumor made them feel disappointed.
Yanira finally noticed their stares and asked, “Do you need something?” The soldiers immediately shook their heads and turned away. Yanira tilted her head in question wondering why the soldiers looked so nervous, but suddenly heard a loud grumble emitting from one of them. Yanira giggled making the soldier with the loud stomach turn red from embarrassment, while the other soldier was shaking in laughter.
Yanira placed the broom to the side, approached the soldiers, and stated, “I was planning to gather some ingredients at the market and I would be glad if you would accompany me.” The soldiers, knowing their duty, nodded with serious looks, but their serious looks faltered when Yanira pulled out sweet bread from her priestess robes pocket and held it to the soldiers saying, “I need to get my purse, so please eat this while you wait.” The soldiers nodded with a smile as one of them took the sweet bread from her hand.
Yanira left the soldiers and then entered the room with the soldiers watching her with warm looks.
“Lady Nira is really kind,” stated one of the soldiers as he began to munch on the sweet bread, but the other soldier snatched the other half of the bread muttering that the bread was meant to be shared.
As the soldiers continued to share the bread, they suddenly heard someone call out to them. They turned around and saw Grian approaching them. They were immediately hit by a great dislike for the soldier. They were aware that Grian was the favorite of the captain and as a result had gotten great privileges when it concerned rank. The soldiers immediately frowned asking what Grian wanted.
“Captain sent me to stand guard of the priestess.”
“Do you expect us to believe that?”
“To be honest: not really.”
“So you’re lying? That can get you whipped you know.”
“I’m not lying though. I was sent by the captain to stand guard,” stated Grian firmly and added, “The captain will also be joining me shortly to stand guard.”
“That must be a lie! The captain is busy with the war after all…”
“I am busy with what?”
The soldiers flinched recognizing the voice of their captain. Molech, the captain, emerged from behind the trees and stood next to Grian with a serious look.
“Captain!” the soldiers exclaimed as they stood at attention. Molech looked at the two and ordered them to leave with a frown. The soldiers obeyed as they ran off.
The moment the two soldiers were gone, Molech glanced at Grian and stated, “I see that you are still not liked by the soldiers.”
“I am aware,” stated Grian wiping the sweat from his brow. Molech glanced at the temple door and asked, “I was surprised that you asked to be on guard duty for Lady Nira. Is there a reason?”
“It’s just been a while, since I last saw her.”
Molech noticed the small blush on Grian’s face and rolled his eyes saying, “I will tell you now that his majesty is serious about wedding her, so don’t get any ideas concerning the priestess.”
“I would never…”
“When it comes to gaining the affections of a woman any man could become dumb.”
Grian blinked in confusion, but snapped back to reality when he heard a door open within the temple. The next thing he saw was Yanira exiting the temple wearing pure white robes with red and gold lining on the sleeves and her long red hair tied back into a ponytail that bounced as she walked. A brown pouch that looked like it was made of leather hung from her shoulder. To Grian, Yanira looked lovely compared to the last priestess.
Yanira gasped when she saw Molech and Grian standing before the temple and asked, “Where are the two soldiers that were here?”
Molech crossed his arms and stated, “They were relieved by Grian and I. Were you planning to go somewhere?” Yanira nodded.
“I was going to go to the market to get some ingredients.”
“Not planning to run away?” asked Molech with a raised eyebrow. Yanira puffed her cheeks in dissatisfaction stating, “I stopped trying to running away long ago.”
Molech couldn’t help, but laugh at Yanira’s annoyed look, while Grian went to Yanira’s side saying, “Captain was only teasing, Lady Nira.” Yanira seemed to calm down and smiled at Grian saying, “It’s been a long time, since we last met.”
“True,” stated Grian and added, while taking a bow, “If it wouldn’t bother you, I would be honored to take you to the market as your escort.”
Yanira giggled doing a curtsey saying, “I accept, Grian.” Grian and Yanira smiled to one another creating a rosy atmosphere, but the atmosphere was broken when Molech stated, “Let’s go to the market before the sun goes down.”
Grian nodded and took Yanira’s hand leading her down the path with Molech close behind.