Heaven's mind went blank, then got flooded with many questions. What did this mean? Did her father have siblings? And did she have uncles or aunts she didn't know about? Did her grandmother know anything about this or her father?
No! Heaven refused to believe this. Her grandmother would be hurt if she didn't already know this.
"I am sorry." Zamiel apologized when he noticed her confusion.
"No, don't be. I am glad you told me."
But she wasn't alright. She asked Zamiel to take her back home. When they arrived at her room Zamiel looked at her with concern.
"Will you be alright?" He asked.
Heaven forced a smile and nodded. "Yes. I am fine."
He told her not to think much and get some sleep. Then they said goodbye, and he left. Heaven went to clean up and change into her nightgown and then came back into her chamber. She was surprised to see Zamiel standing next to her bed. Why did he come back?
She walked further in with a questioning look.
"I... It didn't feel alright to leave you like this." He said. "I'll only stay until you fall sleep. I can sit there." He pointed at the couch.
It was the first time she saw him a little nervous. It made him look more human.
Heaven wanted to assure him she was fine, but she wanted him to stay, so she went to bed quietly. She lay down facing where he sat on the couch and just stared at his face in the dim light. He smiled at her.
It reminded her of what he said earlier. That he was willing to marry her. What would that mean for her, or her family, or the kingdom? She had never thought of it before, but getting married would mean giving up to rule.
"Zamiel. Do you think I will succeed in becoming a ruler?"
He thought for a while.
"I don't doubt it. But it will take time and you have to think of it as climbing up stairs. You have to take the first step up to the throne, yield some kind of power before having it all."
Heaven nodded, but her brain was too tired to think of what it meant. So many disturbing thoughts occupied her mind. She pushed them to the back of her head and continued to watch Zamiel in the dim light. Looking at him helped her forget everything. All of her problems.
"You are… beautiful." She told him. It just came out of her, but it was true. She had seen many beautiful men in her life, but no one like him. Any man standing next to him would pale in comparison.
Zamiel was taken aback for a brief moment before his gaze darkened. "You shouldn't say that in the darkness." He said.
Was he displeased by her compliment? He closed his eyes and leaned his head back, but she could see his hands clenching into fists.
Not understanding how she disturbed him, she decided to stay quiet and eventually she fell asleep.
When she woke in the morning Zamiel was gone. How could she already miss him?
She prepared for the day and went to her fighting lesson with Roshan. Roshan was waiting for her, as usual. She looked around for Zarin, but he was nowhere to be seen.
"Good morning." Heaven greeted.
"Good morning, Heaven."
Heaven was glad that Roshan acted as usual. He didn't seem angry with her like Klara, but she still wanted to make sure he wasn't.
"I hope you are not angry with me."
"I am not and don't worry about Klara. She will come around." He assured her.
After her fighting lesson, she went to the morning meeting with generals and the council.
This time she didn't sit in a corner to observe. She took a seat at the table and they all looked at her surprised except her father. He went on with the meeting as usual.
Heaven looked around. They were all men sitting at the table. Not a single woman was present. Why?
She looked at the highest ranking generals. Highly respected men who took part of decision making. Some of them even made decision without involving her father.
Suddenly it hit her. What Zamiel had told her last night about taking one step at a time and yielding some power before taking the throne. She needed to become a general first. A respected one. She had to rule beside her father and gain the trust and respect of the council and other generals before ruling on her own.
While thinking how, they were still discussing of convincing other kingdoms to trade with them. Some general suggest threatening the other kingdoms and if needed, declare war against them and take over. But her father didn't want war. He wanted to solve things without a fight.
"I can personally go visit the King of Valish and convince him to work with us." Heaven said.
"That is not safe, Your Highness and I don't think their King would want a princess to visit him. He would find it insulting." General Harvey spoke.
"Now you are insulting me. Besides, I am sure their King would appreciate talking to a nice female than men in armor." Heaven replied.
Without giving him much importance, she then turned to her father. "Your Majesty with your permission, of course. And General Harvey is right. Going there as a princess isn't fitting. If I complete this mission successfully, I would want another title that allows me to perform these kinds of royal duties."
Her father seemed surprised, and so did everyone else in the meeting room.
Lincoln who sat quiet finally spoke. "Your Majesty. If Princess Heaven comes back successfully, I think she deserving of a suitable title."
General Roger agreed. He was an old man who had worked with her father for many years.
Her father finally agreed to give her a suitable title if she succeeded, and so the meeting ended. Heaven was proud of herself, but now she needed to come up with a plan. What if she failed badly? She would embarrass herself.
No! She could not fail this simple mission if she wanted to rule a whole kingdom. Now she had to set a plan. But first she would visit her friend and make sure he was alright. She also had to figure out what she learned about her grandfather, but that would have to wait at the moment.
Heaven teleported herself to Zarin's home and then knocked on the door to his room. After a short while he opened the door.
She was relieved to see him. She scanned him from top to toe. He seemed alright.
"Are… are you alright? You just left last night."
"I am fine." He replied curtly.
"I am glad." She said.
An awkward silence followed. "Can I come inside?" She asked.
He moved away and motioned for her to come in before closing the door behind her.
Heaven turned to him, feeling nervous. It felt like she was losing her friend.
"Zarin. Let's be honest with each other. I don't want you to keep things from me and I won't keep things from you. Let's fight it out instead of acting like strangers. I want you back."
"You don't need me anymore." He said.
"That is not true. I just need you in a different way now."
He shook his head. "I can't do it." He almost whispered. Heaven wished she didn't hear those words. "I can't be your friend anymore."
Heaven felt her heart drop. No! He couldn't have said that.
"Why?" She asked him, walking closer. "What did I do wrong? I will apolo...."
"Don't!" He cut her off. "You did nothing wrong. It's just me."
Now it was her turn to shake her head. "No. It can't just be you. There must be a reason. I need to know."
"I told you. There is no reason. I just don't want to be your friend anymore."
She grabbed his arms and looked at him. "I don't believe you. There has to be a reason. I am not leaving before you tell. Now tell me. Why can't you be my friend anymore? Tell me." She demanded.
"Because I love you." He yelled.