She sits there with a smug smile. Her scarlet silk robe shines as the light from the ceiling  beams down on it. With both her feet on the bed, and arms behind her, she flips her hair seductively and flashes me a glance that sent me frozen on my feet.

She giggles as she notices me stiff up.

"Well hello there... you must be...?"

"Rh...R-Rh..Ra.." I struggle to say my words. My face flames up as I look her from down to up.

Her Golden locks shines bright as it hangs from one side of her shoulders. She sports a  a pink silk bow headband that hangs to the side of her hair. She starts to step out of the bed, putting down her right foot gently onto the floor exposing a small portion on her radiant skin through her shin. she looks me right in the eyes, as she puts her other foot down into her slippers.

I've had about enough... I quickly turn around and shut my eyes tight as I can feel myself stiff up a little... In more places than one... How embarrassing...!

I hear her footsteps come a bit closer to me. her slippers drag a little bit through the floor.

"Ra..?" she asks with a soft voice.

I feel a little cold sweat run down my forehead. my heart is beating really fast, and my hands start to grow cold.

"R-Raphael... Clarin....." I managed to breathe out.

I feel warm fingers touch my left cheek. Softly, the pull my chin away to face the maiden.

"What was that...? I didn't seem to hear it..." She whispers to me as she leans in a bit more in front of me.

My eyes narrow. My jaw opens, and I quickly jump back. I scramble as far away as I can. My heart races as i pant heavily. She laughs a playful laugh bringing her sleeve to cover her mouth. I grow irritated as she laughs at me. It's not funny.

"My apologies, I was merely having fun, Master Clarin." She calmly says as she regains her posture.

"Master Clarin...? Wait, what...?" I ask her as I try to understand what she meant.

"Yes, Master Clarin. You are a tenant of the palace now, so we are obliged to serve you. If you have any requests, please do not hesitate to ask." She says as she puts her hands together and bows.

I make a confused face. Tenant of the palace... So I'm not a prisoner? What the heck is going on here... Am I free? Is this  joke? As far as i remember palace tenants who don't work as a staff member are of royalty. So am I royalty? but, why? Why just me? What did I do? All these questions dart through my mind as I stand there looking puzzled.

"Oh, how rude of me, My name is Ana by the way... I am one of the two heads of the palace staff. The other, being Lea. I'm sure you've met her before." 

"Wait, what do you mean tenant of the palace...? I don't remember being of royalty... especially to your kind... Nor do I intend to be. I don't think I understand what's going on here at all." I ask with a stern face.

"Oh, I would have imagined, you've figured it out by now. But I will tell you."

She moves closer to the center table at the base of the room. she puts her hand on a blue rose resting on a vase at the center of the table. Lifting it up, she turns around and faces me.

"Well, you see master Clarin, The minister of our country is very fond of you."

"What...?" Once again, I am confused.

" You see, As the soldiers were hauling in survivors to be classified, Our minister stood watching with the men."

She advances towards me, holding the rose between her fingers.

"For some reason, as you were being brought up to be judged, the minister requested you to specifucally be thrown in the dungeon."

I cringe a little.

"Later, he informed Lea and I to prepare as an important person will be brought here by Allen the dungeon keeper. He told us that you were to be treated as if you are a tenant of the palace."

She stops in front of me. she looks down on me and places the flower on my hand.

"I think I know why, though. You have eyes that can tame a lion in a glance."

She walks back to the base of the room. She heads for the door, but pauses at the center of the room.

"This is your room by the way. this is where you'll be sleeping. you can do anything here. the room is all yours."

she continues to walk  towards the door. She grabs the handles and push it open. The doors make a loud creaking sound as she gently pushes them. I stand under the beaming light holding a single blue rose. The rest of the room seem a bit dimmer now.

I recall the hellhole dungeon once more. 

Somehow, the gaps between the petals remind me of the prison bars where they held me for so long. It might look like paradise, but the aroma can never hide the ugly face of hell behind it.

The End

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