The days are inching closer, but Raiden hasn’t spoken a word about Duchess Tuyen’s demands of rectification for Song. When I look at him, my feelings are troubled. With his frequent absences, I have had time to think things over. I heard from Aika that the King has ordered all Palace portals to be sealed. Everyone knew it was to keep the Prince from escaping.
I have questioned about the many unreachable outcomes. If I was born a female dragon rather than a human, would things have been much easier? Raiden is a Dragon Lord and I was a human. Our lineage unambiguously contrasts themselves. He was strong and powerful while I am weak. By placing me into this world and becoming a Queen I can easily become a target. Yet, here I was not regretting being born human. This is what I am. I shouldn’t have to change myself for anyone.
However, that leaves me in a dilemma. My heart is beyond reasons. It is a strong, rocky ship that flows with whatever waves throws at it. On the other hand, my mind is listing off all the disadvantages and advantages.
How did I end up in this situation? There is a saying that it only takes a second to have feelings for someone, an hour to like someone, and a day to love someone. Isn’t this the truth for me? Stuck and confined in his wing, I have learned to like him even when he was not very likable. Slowly as time went on, the affection in my heart carried on more than like. After those revelations of my past, I knew for a fact that I have loved this man for a long time. My feelings were just hidden—dormant until he unleashed it.
Is this what they meant by fate? Even if it doesn’t make the most sense, the heart doesn’t lie even if it can be overdramatic sometimes.
Sitting in the bedroom and doing nothing for the past couple of days was not helping either. I toyed with the pages of the history book regarding chosen mates. My mind lingering on the sacramental ceremony. The book stated that it is a tradition for the potential chosen mate of the next Royal in line for the throne to travel to the palace. Once here, a banquet ceremony is taken place to congratulate the two couple.
During the sacramental ceremony, there is a sincerity ritual that needs to be completed in order for the ceremony to progress. The two chosen couple will use the sacrilege royal dragon dagger and slice their palms. Their blood will mix into the sincerity basin and if the water in the basin turns gold than the sacrament is approved by the Gods. If the water turns black, the Gods do not approve the sacrament.
My fingers were unconsciously touching the dragon mark on my body. I spent some more time reading about chosen mates and learned that the mark on my body serves as a symbol that I have a mate like wedding rings. In this case, it isn’t a wedding ring that I am wearing but his Dragon. I flipped the page and read the next paragraph. It specified the mark does not affect the human DNA other than fertility and given immortality in their world.
Honestly, I am relieved. I don’t know how I will feel if I suddenly was turned into a dragon. I have a temper and by what Raiden has told me, I can’t let it loose. Imagine me causing havoc in this world. Great first impressions.
The door opened, and Raiden walked in. He was dressed completely different today. Donned in a turquoise and gold embroidered buttoned up. A gold waist clothing belt wrapped around his waist and gold trousers. His eyes immediately swept them room until it landed on me by the window.
Aika peeped out from behind him. My eyebrows furrowed in confusion. She stepped out completely and I saw her carrying a gown in her hands.
As Aika walked closer, my eyes fell on the dress that was in her arms. It was beautiful. The skirt had waves of turquoise and gold together almost like brush strokes. The top of the dress was more exposed. It has heavy gold and turquoise gemstones embroidering the top. The waistline and bust had small cut triangles to expose the skin.“What are we doing?” I asked, looking back up at Raiden.
“Anna, I want to perform the sacrament ceremony with you.” He said with a shrug.
I started shaking my head in objection, but he halted my movements. His stern eyes looking down at me.
“In this lifetime, there will only be one woman who will stand next to me.” He whispered before leaning in and brushing his lips over mine.
Aika turned her back to us to give us privacy. I opened my mouth to say more but I closed it when I realized that I wanted to do this with him. I didn’t want Song to mate with him and he chose me. I bear his mark on my body. The answer was simple.
I remember something my father told me as I was growing up that I shouldn’t waste my time worrying about all the things that could go wrong. Stop looking for excuses and reasons to put off the inevitable. When the bridge comes, cross it. Follow your heart.
“Will you stand next to me, Anna?” He asked.
I smiled at him before nodding slowly, “I will.”
And he flashed me a smile that had my knees weak and my heart skipping like a little girl.
He left us shortly after to get ready. Aika helped me into the dress and was now fixing my hair. I think she realized that I didn’t like that much jewelry and so she stuck with leaving part of my hair down.
I glanced at her through the vanity mirror, “We are really going to do this.”
“The Prince loves you. Do you remember what I told you when we first met?” She asked.
I frowned in confusion. She gave me a warm smile before clipping my hair up in a gold leaves hair clip.
“He has never had any interest in women. Never courted or slept until you. So, when he asked me to prepare you a gown. I know that nothing can change his mind. The future might look scary but Prince Raiden has many followers. Many people love his compassionate nature and he goes out to visit villages more than the King himself.” Aika replied. “If anything, I am sure that Prince Raiden knows what he is doing.”
An hour later, Aika and I stood before a magnificent double door. She turned to me and gave me an excited smile before pushing the door opened.
Raiden and General Takashi were talking quietly but stopped when they heard us come in. Raiden’s dark and desire filled eyes swept me over slowly before his eyes met mine appreciatively. Without saying a word to General Takashi, he walked over to my side.
Aika moved from my side and headed over to General Takashi. They both headed for the other side of the room.
Raiden placed a hand behind my back and I took the opportunity to look at the room. It is a stunning room. It has a cerulean dome ceiling. At the center of the room, there is a rectangle pond and a raised marble platform above it. Above the rectangular centerpiece was a hanging bright light that cast a heavenly glow downward. At each corner of the rectangle pond, there are four trees. He leaned close to my ear while whispering. Where General Takashi and Aika were standing was a beautiful altar and glass windows that revealed the open sea.
I tore my eyes from the room to him, “Why?”
“When this Palace was built by the first pureblood, this room was never here until he met a female dragon who happened to stumbled into his realm. He fell instantly in love and built this room for her. She loved the open sea. The four trees in this room are called Renganu. The barks on the tree are known for healing but if removed, the tree will die. The tree is a symbolization of divinity and loyalty. Once every year for one month, the tree will blossom with flowers that has sapphire petals. When she was killed in battle, he sealed this room off for hundreds of years. Upon his death, he ordered the seal to be broken and the room to remain as a sacred room for the Royals after him.” Raiden explained while guiding me further into the room.
Raiden stopped in front of the altar. In front of us was a small rectangle table. On top of it was the basin that I read about. General Takashi lifted the cloth that was next to the basin and it revealed a finely crafted dragon dagger.
“How do we do this?” I asked.
General Takashi chuckled, “Well, normally there is a speech given by the King before the union is completed but because we are doing this on the low, we can skip a few parts and go straight to the sincerity basin ritual.”
Raiden stood next to me while Aika and General Takashi stood on the other side. General Takashi flipped the dagger in his palm and pointed the butt of the knife towards Raiden. I glanced in the bowl and saw that it was half filled with water.
Raiden turned towards me. The knife still in his hand. He took hold of one of my hands in his, opening my palm to face him. Slowly, he placed the sharp end on my palm.
“Wait!” I squeaked when I felt it pressed into my skin.
He stopped immediately and looked up.
“Do you really want to do this?” I asked him.
He smirked, “I want you, Anna. No matter how many times you ask me, the answer will always be the same. There will be no other. By doing this, we both will know that our Gods approve our mating. By mixing our blood, it is a symbol of our union. Until death do us part, you and I will be forever.”
I nodded and waited for him to make a move but he didn’t. My eyes found him again.
“Do you have doubts, Anna?” He asked.
“I’m afraid of the future.”
“Ever since you were a child, have I ever failed to save or protect you?” He questioned. I shook my head. He was misunderstanding me.
“I am not afraid of my future. I am afraid for yours.” I admitted.
He gave me a reassuring smile, “I will do everything in my power to protect to you. If I ever leave your side, trust that I will always return.”
Taking a deep breath I nod my head in agreement. He held my palm in his hand and in one swift cut, sliced my palm. It was painful but only briefly. Blood seeped from the wound. He guided my hand to the bowl where my blood dripped to the basin. It fell and the water rippled before it started sparkling, the water turning black.
Aika walked around the table and handed me a white cloth to tie up my wound. Raiden turned and sliced his own palm. His blood dripped into the basin and mixed with mine. At first, the water sparkled before it increased. Little sparkle of lights coming out of the basin. It swirled before the black color glowed gold.
It was beautiful. The glowing of the gold was bright and looked almost like a thick liquid of gold was in the basin.
A loud and furious pounding sounded at the door. A second later, the doors flew apart and hit against the walls revealing who was behind it.