Chapter 48

"I am sorry to hear that you are leaving."

Raena shifted before the Princess, yet refusing to reveal what her heart said. It was clear that Nara, no matter how polite and mannered she appeared, was hiding bittered feelings toward her. Her words were uncomfortably curt and cool, and her eyes, despite her face being masked by that trained, customary expression, made Raena shiver--as if the Princess knew everything and despised her for it.

"Hum," she replied through her lips, nodding. "I feel I am of no use here and should return home. Where I belong."

Nara showed neither agreement or disagreement, blandly continuing, "On behalf of  my brother, out of town, I offer his farewell and well-wishes, being unable to give them himself."  

Lady Raena could almost taste the bitterness in her tone, the mild venom in her eyes. She could hear the true words behind the curtoesy the Princess offered her, the scolding for the many things Raena had been scolding herself, yelling at how she came so near to making such a ruinous disaster out of Navarn's Crown Prince, and herself, that she was the most stupid, wretched woman to ever live under Navarn's banner.

The Princess watched as Lady Raena soon excused herself as quickly as possible, with the most regal bearing that she could manage. Through her practiced, polished facade, Raena was a storm of emotion and Nara could see it, even if the rapidly diminishing vision of her frustrating eyes could barely see Raena herself. She was mainly furious with her brother, that he could be so heartless and illogical as to put this woman, who had already suffered so much in her heart, through such abuse as this. No matter how Alezander truly felt for Raena, whether it was a love true to him or simply a mindless wanting of pleasure where he could find it, Nara was bubbling with an anger inconsolable. He had a duty to his crown and position, he had a duty to himself, and he had a duty to Princess Cassandra, no matter how much they could loathe one another in the end.

Once alone, Nara posture collapsed, closing her eyes, weary from straining all day long, and allowing her head to fall to rest on the chair's back. She sighed, putting her hand to her aching forehead. What was happening?

What was happening to her?

The End

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