Once inside her bedroom, Lena slipped the strap of her bag off her shoulder and dumped its contents onto her desk, spilling out her latest findings. Most of the bag's contents were either scrolls or books, but her mother's journal stuck out among all the other books. The princess has only heard a few vague stories about her late mother, but even then they were just from either Jaga or from some of the older Thunderians. Claudus always refused to talk about her. It was as though just remembering his wife would bring about too much pain.
Furrowing her eyebrows again, Lena picked up the aged diary and began to leaf through it, her eyes skimming through the entries. Most of the entries were little ramblings or notes the late Queen Leona made to herself or questions she had about the world. It wasn't until Lena had possibly skipped a few years worth of entries that one entry stuck out to her.
Astrid Day XX, Year XXIV of Lord Leon's Reign
Prince Claudus and I have been walking through the gardens again. But today was different. He surprised me with a special gift. But the gift alone wasn't what made this day special. The way Claudus gave this special gift to me was even more special.
He gave me an Astrid Day Flower which is said to keep even the most food deprived Beast alive for many a day. Each petal is full of nutrition, but this isn't why these flowers were my favorite.
The Astrid Day Flower is said to symbolize the bond of the two people who share this flower. I've heard other girls say that it forever binds two souls together.
I must go now. I can hear my father calling to me.
Lena nearly jumped out of her skin at hearing a knock at the door. Tygra's voice slithered through the wooden oak door, calling out to her.
"Lena? Are you in there?" Tygra called. She swiftly shoved her mother's diary into the drawer of her desk just as her adopted brother came into her room. She saw the Tiger standing there with his arms crossed in front of his chest, one eyebrow raised. "Reading your childhood fables again?" he asked smugly.
Lena just rolled her eyes and shook her head.
"No, I was…" her sea green eyes scanned the room for an excuse and the lioness quickly grabbed a pillow off her bed, "fluffing my pillow!" she said quickly. Her hands tugged at the pillow she held, straightening it and squishing it. She saw disbelief creeping on to Tygra's face. It made her smile weakly in turn. "What?" Lena began.
Tygra just shook his head, facepalming himself. "You are a terrible liar, baby sister." Her older brother said with a sigh. Tygra crossed his arms, allowing his golden eyes to scrutinize his sister. Parts of her dress were dirty, but that was common since she was always either in some dusty part of the Palace, reading or outside helping the servants tend to the gardens.
"At least my head's not full of hot air." Lena blew a raspberry at her older brother as she said this. At first it seemed like Tygra was going to yell at her. He just rolled his eyes, uncrossing his arms in the process.
"No, your head's just full of childish fantasies." There was a sharp edge to Tygra's tone as he said this, but unlike with Lion-O, Tygra never yelled at his sister. Again, his step-sister blew another raspberry at him. His smile faded a bit at seeing various scrolls and books littering the Cat's desk. From the look of things, she's been raiding the Secret Vault again. "Lena, tell me you didn't go into the Secret Vault again?" he asked quietly.
Lena's eyes went wide at hearing his words and she scooted closer to the drawer containing the Late Queen's diary. A big smile spread across her face, becoming strained. It was a clear indicator to Tygra that she was going to lie.
"No, I borrowed these books from Lion-O." it was plausible enough, but Tygra wasn't buying it. The tiger prince walked up to the desk and picked up a book. An eyebrow shot up as he held out a book.
"The Great Lizard Rebellion?" He then picked up another book, "The history of Third Earth?" Tygra's eyes narrowed even more, as he repeated more titles. "These don't sound like books Lion-O would have." He said to his sister after leafing through an old scroll that showed indicators of the Book of Omens or at least foretold its location. "This is from Father's personal vault."
The look on his sister's face faded into the shell of a smile, one indicating that Tygra had her where he wanted her. Lena breathed in deeply before putting on a slight pout. "Okay, fine, you got me. I was in Father's Secret Vault, but you know I have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and… Papa has loads of books and scrolls waiting to be read!" her smile completely disappeared from her face at seeing the hard expression gracing the tiger's face. "W-what?"
Tygra breathed a sigh. He placed a hand onto his forehead, doing a facepalm motion as he did so. "Father doesn't like it when anyone goes into his private chambers without his permission, let alone take his things." The prince replied emphatically to his youngest sibling. There was a tiny hint of irritation in his voice, mixing with the sterness he tried adopting from King Claudus, but it didn't fail. Tygra was always too outgoing, arrogant, and quick tempered to keep a cool head like their father, Lord, and King.
Seeing that she was giving him her usual pleading look, Tygra sighed once more, uncrossing his arms once more. A small smile crept onto his lips. "Alright, I won't tell him. I'll even take the scrolls back when you're done reading them." He heard a giggle of delight before being assaulted with numerous hugs and a string of excited thanks you's from his sister. Tygra couldn't help letting himself smile even more and return her hug with one of his own.
Tygra released Lena once the hug was over and she had calmed down before remembering his reason for coming in. "I almost forgot, Jaga and Father wish to see you before the Ceremony." He added, looking down at the young Cat.
Hina: Thanks for reading this guys and I'm sorry for the long wait. The plot will really get started in the next chapter. I'll post the next chapter soon. Thanks again!