Chapter 10. Love

 

***

After the banquet, Prince Teran walked Maya to her room.

It was late night, so the palace was unusually quiet. The moon shone quietly high above the white lilies in the garden. The wind brought their gentle fragrance to them. Sometimes, she could hear summer insects chirping softly.

“My room is just ahead. Thank you, Prince Teran.” Maya stopped near her room.

“Maya,” Prince Teran stood still and called out her name softly. “You are beautiful today.”

She looked down shyly while he continued, “To be honest, I have been keeping this in my heart for a long time and did not dare to tell you. However, I realized that if I don’t tell you, I won’t be able to sleep again tonight.”

“What is the matter?” Maya looked up and was puzzled. She met his gaze by coincidence and saw that his eyes were bright as stars and gentle as a stream. Suddenly, she found herself holding her breath.

“Maya, I have been in love with you since I first saw you.”

“Huh?” Maya was stunned and did not know what to do for a moment.

“Maya, I am telling the truth. I can swear in the name of Amon.” He took a step forward and held her hand.

“I… I will return to Babylon,” She managed to come up with an excuse while her thoughts were in a mess.

“Maya, don’t go back. If you are willing, I can marry you and make you my consort. I can see that you like me too, right?” His emotions stirred up.

Maya pulled her hand away quickly and shook her head. “Prince Teran, I think you misunderstood. I do like you, but I have always seen you as a friend. It is definitely not that sort of like.”

“Then, who do you like that way?” His expression was strange under the moonlight. He continued asking, “Is it Ramses?”

“That’s impossible!” Maya was shocked and denied immediately.

“Then why won’t you accept my love?” His usually gentle expression seemed a little twisted.

“I… I can’t…” This was the first time she saw such an expression on Prince Teran. She couldn’t help stepping back in shock.

Prince Teran also knew that he had behaved improperly. He pressed his lips and smiled as usual again, “I’m sorry. I was too nervous. Did I scare you? Don’t worry, I won’t force you. It’s fine if you don’t love me.”

Maya had figured out what she should say when she saw Ramses’ maid running towards her in a panic. The maid looked at Maya as if she had found a savior, “Miss… Miss Maya, the Second Prince said that he has a stomachache and is throwing a tantrum in his room. Can you please check on him?”

“Stomachache? Take me to him!” Maya was nervous and forgot to say goodbye to Prince Teran. She rushed away with the maid.

Prince Teran looked at her back profile and retracted his usual gentle expression. His expression was unreadable.

The moment Maya reached Ramses’ room, she heard a swishing noise. She immediately dodged and dragged the stunned maid with her. Then, a loud clang followed, and a carved silver vase slammed onto the floor and became dented. There was even a crater on the wooden floor.

“What the heck!” Maya was angry. He could kill someone.

She stood straight and went into the room. “Ramses, what is wrong with you?” She said with an angry tone and glanced at the frightened beautiful women who were kneeling on the floor. She then glared at Ramses, who was reclining on a chaise longue. Anger surged with Maya. This damn prince, why is he surrounding himself with beautiful women again!

“It’s you.” Ramses’ dark eyes seemed to brighten a little.

“Did I hurt you just now?” He said with a gentle tone.

Unfortunately, Maya was still furious and did not notice this. “What do you think? If I didn’t dodge on time, you would have broken my head and not the floor! Why are you so bad tempered?”

For a second, Ramses seemed remorseful and worried. Just as Maya thought that something was wrong with her eyes, his expression became cold as usual.

“All of you, get out of my sight now!” He said coldly to the group of beauties kneeling on the floor.

The beauties rushed to escape from the room. A few seconds later, only Maya and Ramses were left in the spacious room. Maya subconsciously took a step back. She found the situation a little uncomfortable.

“Why are you here?” Ramses looked at her and said coldly. He sounded a little impatient.

“Your maid told me that you have a stomach ache. Otherwise, I would not come here,” she answered indignantly.

“Aren’t you on a date with my brother?” Ramses sounded jealous, but even he did not realize it himself.

Maya said with frustration, “What nonsense are you saying? Why would I go on a date with him? We are just normal friends! Why am I explaining this to you? It’s not like we are close.”

What surprised her was that Ramses not only did not lose his temper, his expression even seemed calmer. There was even a slight humor in his eyes.

“So is your stomach painful? If not, I am leaving.” Maya turned around to leave.

“Wait!” He called out. As he was about to continue speaking, his stomach suddenly rumbled loudly.

His face flushed with embarrassment.

Maya was at first stunned, but then she couldn’t help laughing, “I know why you have a stomachache. Who told you to eat so little at the banquet before throwing a tantrum and left?”

“You’re too noisy. Go get me something to eat!” He ordered with an embarrassed expression.

“He is always so arrogant. He’s much more bearable when he is blind,” Maya thought. When she left his room, she saw that the group of beauties were still waiting nearby. She had a sudden idea and went to whisper to the beauties.

The beauties quickly brought various food and swarmed into Ramses’ room. Poor Ramses had no choice but to let these annoying beauties surround him and swore that he will never forgive Maya for what she did.

A few days passed quickly. On a sunny day, Maya hugged Warrior and closed her eyes to rest under a fig tree. The other lions were also dozing lazily near her. She could vaguely hear footsteps coming her way.

She immediately guessed who the person was. Apart from her, the only other person who could show up and not startle the lions was Ramses.

She had no choice but to open her eyes. Ever since the night of the banquet, she hasn’t seen him again. Oh no, is he still angry with me and is here for revenge?

“Ramses, I was suddenly unwell that night, so I asked the courtesans to serve you. You’re not angry with me, right?” Maya cleared her throat and said,

“Oh, that… I should thank you.” He said the word ‘thank you’ through gritted teeth.

“Ah, look at the lions. Aren’t they all obedient,” Maya felt that something was not right and quickly sought to change the topic.

Ramses did not seem to want to talk about that night anymore and asked suddenly, “Maya, is your mother an Egyptian? Where are your other relatives? Were you planning to live with them when you first came?” 

Maya hesitated for a moment before saying, “Actually, my relatives, including my father are all in Babylon. My mother passed away long ago, so I came here to see the place where my mother grew up. I will need to return soon.”

“Return?” Ramses frowned when he heard this word. “Do you not like Egypt?”

“I like Egypt but this is not my home. My family is all in Babylon.” Maya suddenly spoke excitedly about her hometown, “Do you know that Babylon has a tower that stretches far above the clouds? There’s also the magnificent Temple of Marduk, the beautiful Tigris and Euphrates River…”

“That’s enough!” Ramses seemed sullen, “I don’t want to listen about it!”

Maya looks at him with frustration. Why is he suddenly angry? How did I annoy him?

Just as Ramses was about to leave, Warrior, who was dozing beside her, suddenly got up and collided with Ramses. 

Ramses was surprised. He lost his footing and fell onto Maya.

“Get up, Ramses!” Maya recovered her shock a few seconds later and immediately tried to push him off her.

Ramses did not say anything. He pushed himself up slightly on his arms and stared at her. There was a strange gleam in his eyes.

“Why are you not moving? Get up quickly! You’re heavy, don’t you know?” Maya felt uncomfortable with his closeness and strange gaze. Ramses gazed down at her neck, and his eyes brightened with joy. Maya followed his gaze and discovered that the talisman he gave her slipped out of her clothes.

“You always call my name in such a discourteous tone. It’s time that I punish you.” Right after he spoke, he planted a kiss on her lips without hesitation.

She felt as if fireworks went off in her mind. His kiss was scorching on her lips, and his hot tongue explored her mouth. She thought to resist but she felt a burning desire in her heart consuming her. She felt faint and melting from his passionate kisses… She recollected her wits with difficulty, pushed him off her and scolded furiously, “Ramses, what are you doing?”

Ramses smirked and spoke as if nothing unusual happened, “Do you not like me doing that to you?”

“I don’t like it!” She was even more furious. “Go to your courtesans if you want to do that!”

He stood up slowly with a smug smile, “Why don’t we try it again?”

Ramses, you idiot! Maya stood up angrily. She pointed to the lions and shouted, “You, you, and you. Warrior, you too. All of you charge at him now!”

Maya looked at Ramses running away frantically as the lions chased him out of the training site. The sight calmed her anger a little. She touched her lips and was angry with herself. How can I let myself be dazzled by his kiss just now? How can I be so weak?

Ever since that kiss, Maya always had a cold expression whenever she met Ramses. On the other hand, Ramses behaved as if nothing had happened. His reaction made her even angrier.

 

Notes

N/A

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