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<---Back To Chapter Three                                                   Back To Main Page
 
Chapter Four

‘There’s…something else I must tell you Princess.’

Those words constantly ran through Kitana’s mind as she followed General Rain to her sleeping quarters. ‘What exactly does he want to tell me?’ she thought. ‘Any why in my quarters?’

They soon entered her room. Rain lit up a candle for her, then made his way to the balcony. Kitana followed him there. She looked out into the world. The castle was completely surrounded by a large forest, with only a small trail for carriages to pass through.

Then, she looked at Rain, who had taken his facial garment off reveal his features. His dark eyes glowed in the moonlight, and his slightly long brown hair was pulled back into a small ponytail. He also had thick eyebrows and thin lips.

“Rain,” Kitana said. “What is it?”

“Princess,” Rain began. “This is a little uneasy for me to tell you but…”

Kitana nodded slightly, letting him take his time. Whatever it was, he was quite nervous about it.

Finally, Rain let out a deep sigh. “Ever since I’ve been promoted to General, I…I’m, I’m in love with you Princess.”

This indeed stunned the Princess. This was indeed not expected from the General at all. “General Rain…”

“I know, it’s silly, but it’s how I feel for you, ever since I was assigned here…the moment I saw you…” He took yet another deep sigh. He then placed a hand on her face and looked deep into her eyes. “And when you become Queen one day, I will be you knight, if you let me.”

Kitana smirked a little. It has been a very long time since she was with a man. But the thing was, all of her past relationships have been nothing but her being disrespected, just because she was royalty. She looked into Rain’s eyes. She could see that he means no harm, but she knew, deep down, there was a bit of rage within him. She and her mother knew that he would throw fits whenever something went wrong, though he has often tried to hide it from her and her mother.

“This was unexpected,” Kitana said. “You’re a good man General, but this is something that I need some time to think through. It’s been a long time for me and with everything that is going on right now, I need a bit more time.”

“That is fine,” Rain replied. There was a hint of grunt within his voice, she could tell. But if he wanted her in his arms, he would have to respect her decision, right?

“I promise Rain, I will let you know when I am ready.”

Rain only nodded before leaving the balcony and out of her quarters. Kitana let out a sigh. She had tried to go easy on him with her answer, but was it good enough to hold his inner rage back…?

***

That afternoon, Kitana went to the castle’s large garden, which were full of wildflowers. It was another one of her favorite views in Edenia, something her mother had worked very hard on and was extremely proud of. It was also the favorite spot of her bodyguard and best friend Jade.

 

For the past two weeks, Jade was away in a small town where her relatives lived. She and Kitana had both agreed to meet here the day she came back from her trip to talk about what has happened since her departure.

“How was the trip?” asked Kitana eagerly.

Jade smiled at the Princess as they took their time scrolling down the garden through a grey pebbled walkway. “It was wonderful. It felt good to be able to see my relatives again.”

“That is good to hear,” Kitana replied. “A lot has happened since your departure.”

The two women sat down on a stone bench. The tip of Jade’s black hair, which was tied back in a neat French braid, just touched the bench. Her lime-colored eyes briefly scanned the scenery of the garden before gazing back at Kitana.

Kitana had known Jade nearly her whole life, someone she has grown to trust throughout the years. Both were assassins for the Emperor of Outworld when Edenia was taken. Once Edenia was freed, Kitana had asked Jade to come live with her in the castle. Jade’s parents were killed during the last invasion. Jade had accepted, but under one condition…she would be the Princess’ personal bodyguard. Kitana resisted the offer at first, but soon she gave in. After all, no one else could play bodyguard better than her best friend.

Jade slightly scratched her arm, which was part of her dark-colored skin. “What has happened during my departure?”

Kitana brushed a loose hair from her face and tucked it under her ear before answering. “Well, not that much has happened. Actually, until yesterday, it was a mere bore.”

“So this is where the ‘a lot has happened’ part plays?” asked Jade.

Kitana lightly laughed a little. “Well, in the afternoon, Mother and I had a meeting with the Ambassador. I don’t know if you heard, but rumors have been going around about another possible invasion of Edenia from the armies of Outworld.”

“It was a big talk in the town I was in,” Jade mentioned. “I think people are just trying to start something just to scare others.”

“Actually, a Tarkatan was reported trying to attack the castle. Of course, he acted alone and was quickly rid of.” Kitana sighed. “I wasn’t even supposed to know.”

“They’re just trying to protect you, that’s all,” Jade assured her.

“I know. Oh, did I mention the Ambassador’s daughter came to the meeting?”

“Heather?”

“No, Tanya.”

“Tanya?”

Kitana nodded.

Jade cringed just by hearing the name alone. “What was that wrench doing there?”

The Princess shrugged. “You have no idea how many times I asked myself that. And I still can’t figure it out. She only spoke once during the whole meeting.”

“Maybe she’s trying to please her father,” Jade suggested. “After all, she’s not an easy person to like.”

Kitana nodded. “Very true.”

Jade smiled at her again. “What else has happened?”

“Well,” Kitana sighed. “Last night, Rain and I were talking and, well…turns out that ever since he got his promotion and was assigned here…well…he fancies me.”

Jade’s grin became wider. “I’ve always known he had.”

Kitana raised an eyebrow at her. “How did you know?”

Jade let out a soft giggle. “Well, right before I left, I heard Rain talking to another guard. He was planning to confess to you as soon as the right moment came.”

“…You are indeed the stealthy ninja we all know and love.”

“Thank you, I’m proud of my status.”

The two women shared a light laugh.

“Oh yes,” Kitana continued. “There’s one more thing.”

Jade smirked. “I was thinking there was more.”

Kitana nodded. “We…kind of have a guest in the palace.”

“A guest? Why haven’t I seen them yet?”

“Because he is still recovering in the guest room. Only the doctors, Rain, Mother, and I can see him, under mother’s request.”

“I see. How did he end up here?”

“We’re not entirely sure. Actually, if I hadn’t snuck out yesterday morning and went into the woods, he would be dead now.”

“You snuck out again?” Jade cried.

“Yes…I’ve already heard it from Mother.”

Jade nodded, knowing that she was saving her breath from lecturing Kitana. “Will he be all right?”

“We are not sure. All we can do now is wait and let nature take it’s coruse.”

“I see.”

Kitana nodded again. “Come Jade. Let us go inside. I’ll have Lilah make tea for us.”

“Swell idea,” Jade agreed. The two got up and began to make their way back to the castle.

~~~

A knock was heard at the door. Kitana had just finished with slipping into her nightgown. She then grabbed her blue silk robe. She slipped her arms into the sleeves. As she finished, the knock was hear again.

“I’m coming!” Kitana called out. She closed the robe around her slim but toned body and tied the rope together into a knot. She put her blue fur slippers on and made her way to the door. She opened it and saw the leading doctor standing on the other side.

“Good evening Princess,” the doctor said.

“Good evening,” Kitana replied. “Is everything all right.”

The doctor nodded. “As a matter of fact, everything is very good. I’m here to inform you that the man you found yesterday morning is making quite a recovery. His wounds have healed and I expect that he will survive.”

“That is wonderful news doctor!” Kitana replied with delight. “Has he awaken at all?”

The doctor shook his head. “I’m afraid not, but I do expect him to. But Princess, even if he does fully recover, it may be weeks before he awakens. Sometimes, traumas like this can put a person out for quite a while.”

“I understand,” Kitana said. “Is it all right if I see him now?”

“Certainly.”

Kitana bid the doctor a good night before making her way to the guest hall, which was not too far from her room. She turned the corner and saw only one guard standing by the door. She cocked one eyebrow up and walked over to him.

“Where is the other guard?” she asked.

“I think he has an upset stomach,” said the guard. “He keeps running to the bathroom every five minutes.”

Kitana sighed. She looked at the large clock on the wall. Both guards were to switch places two other guards in an hour. “He can leave early tonight and I will make sure to give you time in a half for the last hour.”

“You’re too kind Princess.” He stepped aside to let her in the room. Kitana bowed her head to him before entering the room.

Only a single candle was lit in the room. And this time, no one else was in the room.

‘Come to think of it,’ Kitana thought. ‘I have not seen Rain since last night.’

She sighed to herself. Perhaps fate did not have them cross paths just for today.

An armchair was placed next to the bed where the stranger rested. Kitana walked over to the chair and sat down. Then, she looked over at him.

For the first time in years, Kitana began to daydream about someone like this man. White bandages were wrapped around his bare abdomen. She looked at the rest of his bare upper half. His muscles was of medium build, but it seemed to suit him quite well. She wanted to shift her eyes down lower, but she stopped herself. As much as she wanted to, it just wasn’t the right time.

Instead, she shifted her eyes to his face. His dark hair was spiked up at the top and sleeked back on the sides. He also had a thick set of eyebrows, a sharp nose, and thin lips. His face had some stubbles and the skin itself seemed a bit rough. But despite that, Kitana couldn’t help but smirk.

‘He’s quite handsome,’ she thought. She looked at his closed eyelids. The only feature she couldn’t figure out now was his eye color. She tried to imagine what color would match him. Blue came up more, mostly because it was Kitana’s favorite color.

Kitana continued to daydream. Before she had realized how long she had sat there, she fell asleep in the chair.

Her sleep wasn’t long, but it sure felt like it. The images played in Kitana’s head. There was fire in the background and many men dueling with various kinds of swords. Blood squirted in every direction as a man fell to his death. Kitana tried to make out the men in the fight, but it was all blur.

Before she knew it, Kitana quickly opened her eyes as a bead of sweat dripped down her face. She breathed heavily and tried to catch her breath.

‘The nightmare again,’ she thought wiping the sweat off her face with her hands. After she did, she looked over and saw that she had fallen asleep in the armchair, in the stranger’s room.

Kitana sighed and looked at the time. “It’s only midnight,” she muttered softly. She brought her chestnut-colored eyes over to the sleeping man again. As anyone would in their sleep, he seemed relaxed and peaceful. Kitana smirked a little.

“Wake up soon,” she said. “I’m sure your family misses you.”

Kitana stretched her arms a little, then got up. She blew the lit candle out for the night, then made her way over to the door. She looked over at the stranger again. The moonlight outside seemed to shine down on him. She smirked to herself again before leaving the room and headed back down to her quarters.

To Chapter Five----->

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