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Everything went back to normal the minute my soul merged with the newborn’s body. I was forcefully yet carefully taken away from the old woman by the Prince. He then passed me onto the old man wearing the butler's uniform.

“Urgh!” I heard a thud as the perpetrator’s body flew and hit the ground after the prince kicked her hard in the chest. She struggled to sit back up a few times, but without success.

“Vhar! Mhuye hastep unat vhar dre kuman vhar-i?!” [1]

The old woman paled and immediately kowtowed in front of the prince. I heard thuds as countless knees made contact with the carpeted floor, probably from the other uniformed women in the room.

“This impudent one tried to kill the Princess in front of me.” Albeit not having any idea of what he was saying, one could feel how venomous his voice was.

‘This man is scary. I shouldn’t get on his bad side.’

She trembled. “I dare not Vhar El Haluman! I tripped--”

“Guards! Seize this midwife at once!” The veins in his temple popped as he shouted.

The double doors opened and four Royal Guards rushed inside the room to hold the crying, hyperventilating midwife.

“Heed my orders: Everyone present, from servants to nobles, currently in the Royal City must gather at the Punishment Hall and witness the execution of this impudent woman who tried to harm the Princess. Make it so that everyone would know what would happen to them if they tried to do harm to my daughter.” His voice was void of any emotion… no, he spoke with venom in his voice.

“Hadidi, Vhar Haluman!” the four replied in unison. [2]

“Noooo! Hwan! Please believe me! I dare not harm the Princess!” the woman pleaded again. [3]

“Did you think I would believe you? How dare you pretend to trip just so you could choke my child? There’s nothing to trip yourself off, I made sure of that ever since I got to know Luna’s pregnancy. If you’re truly protecting the Princess, then why were you squeezing her neck and pushing her onto your chest? You could clearly feel her thrashing about because she could not breathe, but not only did you not release her, you also tighten your grip around her.”

The mad prince was enraged. He looked back at the person holding me; without saying a word, the butler gave me to the former. The old butler left the room, followed by all uniformed women with the exception of the two women standing by the bed.

The midwife was forced to stand up and was dragged out of the room. Her pleas echoed as the mahogany doors closed. “I was only protecting Dayang-Dayang! Nooooo! Hwan! Please forgive this servant for what she has done! Please!” [4]

It was quiet for a while until a woman wearing an exquisite yellow crinoline dress said: “My King, maybe she was just really protecting the Princess. No one would dare to harm the Princess, as she is one of your children. Not to mention that it is still broad daylight and that you are here in person, no one would dare commit treason in this situation.”

“Are you saying I lied, Alicia?” the prince asked the woman, his eyes full of rage.

“E? N-no, My King… of course not. It’s just that it’s absurd that she would just kill the Princess right in front of you.”

He glared at her, making her shake in fear.

“Are you saying that I overreacted, then? This child is the hope of my kingdom; the answer to all our hardships. If you think that this matter is only small and what I did was too much, then I don’t see any reason for you to be by my side any longer since you failed to see how important this Princess is to the kingdom’s future.”

Upon hearing this, the woman immediately kneeled and asked for forgiveness. However, he no longer paid her attention. Instead, he walked towards the other woman lying on the bed. He sat down on the edge of the bed and handed me to her.

She kissed my head and hummed while he moved some strands of her hair stuck on her face.

“You’ve done well. Thank you for giving birth to a healthy daughter,” he whispered to the woman. “Rest. Don’t worry about anything. I’ll make sure that nothing of this sort will ever happen again.” He lovingly caressed my face before leaning in to kiss me.

Afterwards, he turned his attention to the three women who were still inside the room. “Haven’t you heard what I said earlier? I instructed everyone to be present in that midwife’s execution, so why are you still here?”

Sensing that their King was still furious with what just happened, the three hurriedly exited the room.

His attention went back to us, and his soft countenance came back. He held his woman’s hand and massaged it a little. “I need to go now.”

He smiled once more before he ultimately left the room; the rest tailing him, leaving only the woman in the bed and me alone.

The woman adjusted herself and patted my back gently. She started to sing a lullaby that I’m not familiar with, but still made me relax. I soon fell asleep while listening to her soft voice. However, I felt myself drifting away from reality again.

-----

[1] Translation: You! What do you think you are doing?!

[2] Hadidi = a formal way of saying yes, and is used when someone is agreeing with something.

[3] Hwan = literal Damari term for the word king.

[4] Dayang-Dayang = the title given to the ruling monarch’s daughter, which can be considered as Her/Your Royal Highness but is not the literal translation of the HRH title.

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Manyana Hobbit

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