Markata had my things packed before I entered the room. She knew me and jammed everything I owned into one case. I nodded to her, a slight smile on my face. Moving past her, I took a seat by the window. I stared out at our city, the beautiful world that I grew up knowing it would once belong to me. Now, it was taken from my parents, without a fight. Were my parents failures? Never. Only our army.

Memories of me running through the streets of Rehka filled tears in my eyes. I was most likely never going to see this beautiful country ever again. The blinding gold sparkled from every building, keeping this place full of light. If there was ever a Heaven, I was living in it. Rekha has its problems, but not all the time. Often, people were kind to each other and my siblings and I could wander through the streets without any issues. Only until war broke out between us and our enemies, then did we have to be protected wherever we went. It was a terrible way to last remember Rekha. But, it's all we had.

I stood up after an hour, slowly crossing my room. Markata looked after me, her eyes filled with question. I stared back, only being able to breath for a minute.

"I'm going to wander the palace," I said, exiting through the door as soon as the words came out of my mouth.

Outside, it was chaos. Soldiers swarmed the halls, servants scurrying past everyone, trying to fulfill Miles' orders. Since our parents were killed, Miles now ruled. I narrowed my eyes and felt my muscles tense from the thought, but it was true. He was ruler of Rekha, he took control. Yet, I knew he wasn't the ruler. While the royal children lived on, we were in charge. We knew this country more than he would ever know. We are part of its history, its present, and its future. We are Rekhan, and he can never take that away from us. The people of Rekha will remember us as the survivors while Miles was the intruder. I grinned at the irony of his plans.

Our palace walls were large and magnificent, paintings representing our lives. Paintings of my family during a typical day were all over this palace. Some were of us each individual children. My favorite painting of all led toward my parents' room. The large image of Mother staring down was beautiful. Her face took up most of the wall. You could see her eyelids and part of her eyes, since she was smiling down on the world. She wore her famous crown, but her shiny black hair fell over her shoulders like a waterfall. I felt a few tears run down my cheeks. I wasn't sad. At that moment, I wasn't crying because I missed her. I was crying because I admired her, her beauty and soul. A painting of Father was on the wall next to her, strong and courageous. His head was turned sideways, smiling at Mother. I did miss them, but at this point, I was proud of them. They really did try to protect our world. They gave up their lives for us. I knew in my heart that I had to live for them. But, I wasn't going to bow down to Miles. I was going to go with a fight.

I lifted my arms and let my hands glide along the walls. Feeling the cold walls under my fingertips made me smile for the first time in a while. I was happy, right at this moment, inside and out. I knew I was going to leave this place, but it would always be with me. I would try my hardest to get back here, but who knows when that would happen?

I stopped in my tracks as I faced the doors of my parents' rooms. Could I enter? Well, I didn't care if Miles had this closed off or not. I wanted to know if I had the courage to walk right in with no problem. I knew it would be very difficult for me, but I pushed open the door without hesitation.

Inside, parts of it were ramshackled, but from what I could tell, nothing was really missing. I figured Miles was searching for something my parents had, but had no luck on finding it. I chuckled to myself, grazing my hands on different objects that lied across the room. A dress was thrown onto the bed, and I walked over to touch it. Mother's favorite dress, the dress she wore when Father returned from war. I picked it up, pressing it gently against my chest, the sweet smell of Mother still upon it. I smiled, kindly, when the smell rose into my nose and warmed up my body.

I placed the dress back onto the bed, traveling around the room. For the first time in my life, I studied each part of my parents' room, every little trinket that they owned. I never knew how much stuff they did have in here, but I should have understood. My parents had things that were from our childhood. These objects were so full of memories, I almost had whiplash from the struck of them.

My eyes stopped on a small statue of one of our goddesses, the beautiful love goddess. My eyes lit up at the sight of her. I took it as a sign that Mother's love was still here with me. And Father, of course. Continuing to stand there and stare at her, I repeated a small prayer to her. Goddess of All, please protect my family from all of this evil. Tell my parents that we are safe. Keep Mother smiling.

"Beautiful, isn't it?" a voice marveled behind me.

I spun around, finding Miles standing in front of me. My eyebrows pulled together in confusion. Did he just call my parents' rooms beautiful? I thought he hated anything that had to do with Rehka.

"I thought you despised us," I scoffed, muttering a curse under my breath.

"I hated your parents and their power. I find Rehka a fascinating country," Miles retorted, eyes meeting with mine.

"So, that's why you stole it from us?"

Miles sighed, his eyes casting away from my stare. Why was he so sympathetic right now? I won't let my guard down, but I have no idea where this is going.

"I'm sure you are old enough to understand by now," Miles started, but I cut him off.

"I'm only a few months away from being fourteen."

Miles nodded, pacing the room, slowly and carefully, his first two fingers sliding along all the furniture. I cautiously watched him move, but my eyes would flicker to his fingers too, in case he stole anything without my knowing.

"This world that we live on is based on all of this, this cruelty. I was raised by my father, learning how to conquer lands that didn't belong to me. Every man born with power is taught this. I heard of the plans your father had to take over mine, so I beat him to it."

"My father would never do that. He knew what was his. He wouldn't want your disgusting land anyway," I spat, my guard rising and my power becoming solid.

Miles gave me a questionable look, "You would be surprised."

"What is that suppose to mean?" I huffed, titling my chin up.

"You really have no idea, do you?" Miles eyes sparkled. "Your parents have kept you a prisoner. You don't know what life outside of yours is like."

I was mortified. Those were almost the exact words that Amenophis told me before he left. Why was all of this tying within itself?

I was motionless. I couldn't speak. Miles laughed to himself, moving toward the door, shaking his head. "I can tell. Well, you will learn life all right. And, it certainly won't be the same as yours. You leave in the morning."

Miles waltzed out of the room, leaving me speechless. What did he mean by it won't be the same life as mine?