”Princess Hinata, the Emperor would like to see you. ”

She ceased her painting but didn make an attempt to move. She already knew what her father wanted to talk about.

”He said it was urgent. ”

”Tell the Emperor that Ill be with him as soon as I finish my painting. ” She dipped a brush in paint and raised it to the canvas when he spoke up again.

”I don think it is polite to keep him waiting. ”

She frowned at the drop of bright red that had stained her dress. ”Zhao you made me spill paint on myself. ”

”I am deeply sorry õjo, shall I get your maid to help you change into another attire? ”

”That won be necessary. Wouldn want to keep him waiting, would we? ”


”You wanted to see me? ”

”Yes. Feng and his father paid me a visit yesterday. I assume you know why? ”

”Why on earth should I care about your affairs? ”

”Hinata, we talked about this– ”

”–and I believe I made myself clear. ”

”You turn eighteen in a few days, don you think its time you start making plans for the future? ”

”Why does my future have to include a man?! Can I have a future on my own?! ” She already knew what her father would say next. He wanted her to be happy, like he and her mother were. He wanted her to have children, like he and her mother did.

She wasn saying she didn want a husband, she just didn want one now, and he wasn ready to listen. ”Otosan, I understand you believe you
e trying to make a better life for me but, I know what I want. ”

”Hinata, your elder sister got married at the age of seventeen– ”

”–to the man she loves!!. ”

”Hinata, what do you think your mother would say if she was still alive? ”

”No. Don you dare!. ”

”Do you think she would be happy with this lifestyle you
e living?, wasting away your days painting? ”

”At least she understood me!. She knew what painting meant to me, but you don care. All you care about is uniting our kingdoms so you can feel stronger. ” She turned to leave but stopped only a few steps away. ”If you really wanted me to be happy, you would have allowed me to be with the man I loved. ” The man I still love, she added silently.

She could hear her father grumble beneath his breath but she didn wait to hear what he had to say.


”I heard you had an argument with Otosan, how are you feeling? ”

She stared at her sister, it was no wonder she was popular among the men. She was flawlessly beautiful with her lush white hair, so long and silky. Her skin, fair and smooth like she was a goddess.

She was tall and womanly, nothing like her. Her sister had inherited their mothers good looks and charm while she just had short legs and her fathers bullheaded behavior.

”Chīsana ryū, whats wrong, did he say something awful? ”

Hinata couldn stop the smile that played at the corner of her lips. Chīsana ryū, the nickname her sister had given her when she was twelve meaning little dragon. She told her she named her that because she was always so brave, like a dragon.

”O nēchan, Im fine, you know me. Im as tough as a dragon, theres nothing he could say to get to me. ” She smiled and her sister chuckled for a bit. It was true though, Hinata ever hardly cried or showed any emotions, it made her wonder if was as a result of what happened when she was little.

”I know you
e going to get angry at me for saying this but… ” She paused to look at Hinata who was already wearing a frown. ”…why don you just do what he wants?, then at least you two would stop fighting. ”

”Do what he wants?, you also think I should marry Feng? ”

”I mean, hes not a bad person and I think he really likes you. ”

”I can believe you would say that to me Kiyomi, I thought that at least youd be on my side. Then again, Im not surprised. ”

”Whats that supposed to mean? ”

”You know exactly what Im talking about. ”

Kiyomi shot up, rage turning her face red. ”I can believe youd still bring that up!. ” She started to walk out but she stopped just few steps to the door. ”You know, I thought youd be mature than this but I guess Otosan was right. You
e just a stubborn and immature little girl. ”


”Kawaii! ”

She paused in her tracks but she didn turn. She knew there was only one person that called her that.

”Where are you headed? ”

She heard him come towards her but she still didn move.

”Hinata, ”

”What do you want? ”

”Are you still mad at me?, I thought we were past that. ”

”Past that?, are you serious right now? ” She couldn believe the words pouring from his mouth. ”How can you even say that to me?! You
e so unbelievable. ”

”Hinata, you said it in front of every one that you were over it. ”

”Of course I said that! But didn it ever occur to you that…. ” She finally decided to look at him and she wish she hadn . Just seeing his face brought back the memories she had been trying desperately to bury and the truth she tried to avoid. ”Forget it. ” She started to walk away but he held her hand.

”Hinata, you know sooner or later you
e going to have to get used to seeing us together. ”

”No, I don have to get used to anything. ”

”Let me walk you to your destination. ”

”Don , and stop acting like you and I are friends. ”

She stormed off to prevent him from seeing the fresh tears that rolled down her cheeks. Hinata was never one to show any form of emotions, except when it came to him. He had always been her weakness and as much as she hated being vulnerable, she didn mind when it came to him.

Dinner was annoying and she was more than glad when it ended. She retreated to her room to relax and hopefully forget all what had happened earlier.

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