CHAPTER 36

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"So there's nothing that can be done?" Xerxes asks his advisors.

"My Lord, you are a king, so you can change the law anytime you please. All we can do however, is tell you what the tradition has been. A woman of the king has to either leave on her own free will or commit treason for her to lose that status," the Man of Coin, explains.

Xerxes has spent the past few weeks trying to figure out a way to get rid of Oma. He told her to leave but she refused. If he uses his power as king, it might upset Saya, that's the last thing he wants.

"Or, My Lord" the Man of War says clearing his throat, grabbing everyone's attention. "You can just marry the princess."

Xerxes rests his chin on his hand thinking about it. That is certainly not a bad idea, she did say she loves him, and she's pregnant with his child. His advisors look at him carefully, his face is not showing any reaction so it's difficult to understand what is going through his head.

***

"Serve this food to the king...I dare you," Oma says, taking a step closer to the princess. Nabir stands in front of Saya immediately blocking Oma from coming any closer.

"Get out of my way," Oma says angrily.

"I won't let you harm My Lady," Nabir says, looking at her dead in the eyes. Oma steps back and laughs.

"Don't worry Nabir, come on, the noodle soup is ready," Saya says going towards the pot.

Oma stands there watching her as she dishes out the soup, puts it on a tray, and adding fruits to a bowl as well.

"Nabir, could you help me carry the tray please?" Saya looks at Oma while saying this. Nabir immediately takes the tray, her and Saya walking past Oma, heading to the king's study.

"Shouldn't you have told her My Lady?"

"I did...I just didn't expand on it," she replies. Saya takes the tray from Nabir, the guards opening the door for her. Xerxes walks up, taking the tray immediately. She smiles, thanking him, they both take a seat, but as soon as Xerxes picks up his spoon, Oma barges in. Saya turns to her, her hand on the table, holding her face with her palm.

"My Lord!"

Xerxes doesn't respond, eating his meal. "My Lord this woman here has committed treason! Look at this!" She throws the scroll and book on the table, waiting for his reaction, but he just continues to eat.

She looks at him confused, "My Lord she is literate! She took these from the forbidden floor!" Oma exclaims. The king should be furious right now, dragging Saya away to be punished! Why is he acting like this is normal?

She turns to Saya who is still looking at her. "Lady Oma, I told you in the kitchen that telling him won't change anything," she says innocently.

"What charm have you used to bewitch the king!"

"You will be wise to choose your words carefully, Oma" Xerxes says, grabbing a few grapes and putting it in his mouth.

"My Lord she-"

"She is the woman I am to marry"

Marry? Saya turns to him surprised, when did they ever discuss this? Xerxes is looking at Oma clearly annoyed.

"My Lord, this is not fair! I have loved you and been with you for 3 years and counting now! Sure I clawed my way up here because you are rich but I genuinely fell for you and I love you. You can't do this to me, please do not do this to me," she says in tears.

"Speak of Saya's literacy to no one, that's an order." Oma's face is now red from tears, she turns around, leaving the room. Saya can't help but feel a bit of sadness towards her. She turns to Xerxes immediately, "You never told me anything about marriage."

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