I didn't forget to leave my back pack up there, but I needed to keep my dress on. The main reason was because I didn't want to have him notice my Miss Masquerade costume. But since that did sound awkward, I wouldn't need to anyway.

Thanks to Myrina, my costume was waterproof. But it was horrible that my dress wasn't…

Luckily, I knew how to open my eyes underwater. The lake looked amazing. There were plenty of different plants. Even the rocks looked cool; with all their colours and shapes. There were some air bubbles too. The biggest fish I could see was no bigger than my thumb.

As I swam deeper, I saw the sandy ground. There was a huge rock with long clear leaves sticking out. I figured that was the perfect habitat for the Sano flower. To tell you the truth, the flower doesn't actually have a name. My dad said 'sano' was a Latin (a language apparently no one speaks anymore) word that meant 'to heal'. I thought it sounded pretty, and ended up calling the flower that.

As I ran out of air, my vision had gotten noticeably darker. I would be able to see it soon. My heart was beginning beat a little loud as well.

I started to see a small light. If my dad lied to me, I'd track him down on the other side and have a long chat with him about lying to his only daughter.

The piece of light started to move around as if it was tracing something.

Was that it?

I got closer to it and reached out with my left arm. Once I ripped it from its stem, the flower appeared

Then my sight became so dark, I could barely see. I really needed to get up for air.

With my oxygen supply lowering, I tried swimming up toward the surface. I didn't get very far because my leg was stuck. I looked below to see a long-weed-type of thing wrapped around my ankle. I yanked my leg upwards, but it didn't budge.

Unfortunately, the last thing I did was look up to see the sunlight beaming down onto the water.

I was alive?

It was little surprising. I couldn't be dead, I could hear myself breathe.

My eyes opened. I blinked a few times before slowly sitting up. To my left were the lake and a stringy red flower. So that was the Sano flower.

I grabbed it to finally learn the texture to be silky and smooth. And it was cold to the touch, like ice.

Then I looked down to see a nice shirt laid on me. It was dry compared to my clothes.

I turned forward to see a slightly soaked guy sleeping on the ground a few meters away with his arm in the water. Huh? Where was his shirt?

That moment was when I realized something horrifying.

"GAH!" I screamed, as I threw the shirt back to him. "PRINCEY GERMS!"

The said prince jerked in alarm. I may have startled him, I admit.

During all that panic, I had time to quickly jump into the lake and swim a few more meters away.

"What's wrong with you?!" I shouted.

"Nothing!" he countered. "You're the one who jumped back into the place you almost drowned in!"

I glanced around to see he was right. But in all honesty, I didn't mind being in the lake than up near him. A part of me didn't want him know he was correct; because being wrong…felt so wrong...

I had to move on fast.

"I have the cure!" I said randomly, throwing up the hand with the Sano flower.

Tsaro gave me a strange look as my swimming took me in front of him. I examined his burn. It reached past his elbow and appeared to be almost identical to the red flame pattern on the fire cracker's wings.

That wasn't good. It would've looked cool in a different life, but currently, it definitely wasn't good.

"Why did you take your arm out?" I scolded. "You knew you weren't supposed to do that!"

Had my dad taught me how to apply Sano flower medication? If he did, I couldn't remember. If I had to guess, ingesting or holding the petals to the injury would be my best bet. I thought I might as well do both. It may have not been safe, but who cared? Princey was the patient.

"I needed to—" he said, before I stuffed a few petals in his mouth.

He started to silently chew and swallow them. I wished he was always that quiet.

I got out of the water, using my extra bandages from my backpack to secure the petals.

Then I sat behind a tree, back against the bark for support. I made Tsaro sit in front of the lake in case the Sano flower didn't cure the burn. Our backs were turned, but even when I couldn't see him, he was annoying to be with.

The reason why I was sitting here was because while my dress ever so slowly dried, I'd be wearing my costume. I still couldn't let the guy know I was Miss Masquerade, right? Only disaster would come of it.

I found this time a bit awkward because Tsaro probably believed the reason behind me sitting here was because I likely was...uh...not fully dressed.

"I needed to stop you from drowning," he said to finish what he tried to explain before. "You didn't come up after a while and I really didn't want to be responsible for killing you."

"If he didn't want to kill me, I had to wonder what he would say if he ever found out I was Miss Masquerade. I started to laugh since I could imagine his head almost exploding, trying to figure out what to do.

"What?" he asked, while turning my way.

I hugged the tree defensively. "Don't turn around!" I yelped.

Fortunately, he did as he was told. And once I calmed down a bit, I answered, "It's nothing..."

We left it as an awkward silence for some time before he decided to talk again.

"So…" he said. "This was bugging me for a while. At the time when you were fighting wolves, you did a flip. When did you learn that?"

I slapped my head. Ugh, what could I say? I learned to after finding out I had super powers or something? That really wouldn't be a good answer.

"Uhh…" I said. "When I found out Miss Masquerade could?" That would work! Good one, Diana! "Yeah!" I had shut my mouth after. Then I uncovered it to finish. "I—I practiced a lot."

"And you have knives too?" he asked.

"Yeah…" I said. I decided on a solution, on the spot. "Because my twin brother thinks a taser and pepper spray won't be enough."

My acting should've really had an applause for that one.

"Wow," he said. "Remind me to never meet your brother. He seems…careful."

My reaction was hysterical laughter since it was true. My sibling was too careful, but only when it came to me.

"What's his name?" Tsaro asked.

Nosy much?

"Apollo," I said. Princey started to crack up. "Yeah, I know…Apollo and Diana. My parents were very 'creative' with names."

When he stopped laughing, I was deep in thought about how Apollo and everyone else were doing. I shook my head when I heard Tsaro speak. I didn't want to be rude...yet.

"I don't have anyone in my family except for my dad," Tsaro told me, stiffly. "Actually he isn't even my dad. My mom was his sister and she passed away when I was five. So he decided to take me in as his own son. I got used to calling him my dad...and you know what? I don't even want to be a prince. I hate it."

I whipped my head back. "Are you kidding?" I kind of shouted. "You should be grateful! To be born in your position means you get everything!"

"Which also means I get more responsibility," Tsaro said. "I'm supposed to help the public, which I tried, but it's never enough...If I make one mistake, everyone would end up despising me, or even worse, start some rebellion. I need to be a good role model, but I'm not perfect (I know right?); no one is (but I'm the closest anyone can get!). Then there's Miss Masquerade making my life even worse, by getting me into trouble for her stupid pride. The people are probably now against me because of the crown…it's just too much pressure…"

"I made a tight fist. I really wished he would shut up.

He continued. "You—" I slipped on my still slightly wet dress. "don't—" And began walking into Tsaro's shadow. "know—" he started.

Then I pushed him into the lake. He turned to me after floating to the surface.

"Why'd you do that?!" he shouted.
He deserved it. No one could disagree.

"To cool down the hot-blood and the giant air-head of yours!" I snapped, while leaving out some other words I could've added. "Don't be so selfish! You may be going through all that, but everyone else has it worse than you. You might've helped a few homeless people, but there are much more problems than that! There's pollution everywhere, affecting all the animals around us...Illnesses that can't be cured easily because people can't afford a doctor, which you can get in a snap of your fingers! And while juggling all that, they have a responsibility to feed their families. I don't know a single person who isn't tired of having the money they worked hard for taken away because of stupid taxes!"

"Then I noticed I may have gone a little overboard. Princey looked as if he was gonna yell some unkind things at me.

My expression softened. "Tsaro, just relax. Don't over-think things," I said, putting my feet in the water. "Float instead of swim. Forget about your duties (haha, I said duties). Your mind will clear up more."

What was I? A wise old man? That wouldn't do…

He was about to say something, so I interrupted him. "I won't let you back on land until you relax, Princey," I said. "So get to it!"

Forcing relaxation…that's a first.

When it got to nightfall, I called out to the guy that might've been sleeping on top of the water.

"If you stay in there any longer you'll turn into a pruney-prince!" I said.

There was the possibility that he might get sick too. I was NOT helping an ill jerk!

"Tsaro!" I yelled. "Get over here this instant!"

"Coming, mom!" he shouted with a laugh.

He did not just call me mom, did he?!

A couple of hours went by. Tsaro was dry at that time, and it was dark.
"Is there anything else you want, mother?" he asked, before drinking some water from a bottle.

Okay, if he was going to mess with me, then I'll freak him out with my awesomeness.

I took a blanket from Tsaro's supplies and chucked the thing at his chest. "Go to bed," I commanded. "Or you're grounded forever! He did a spit take. I was so glad I moved before that hit me.

"But—" he started.

"Go!" I said, then grinned evilly while grabbing the bag of supplies. "Since you won't listen to me, I guess I could just leave…" I whispered my next words. "...with every-thing."

"Okay, okay!" he said, as he dropped to the floor with his blanket.

It was too bad he couldn't see the joy that was evident on my face. I loved ordering around people; especially people I disliked.

I left to a different tree when he asked me something. "Mom, can you sing me a song before I sleep?"

"No," I answered. "Go to sleep."

"But I won't be able to sleep without a song," he complained.

"Well, tough love,"

"I'll keep bothering you until you do,"

"Knock yourself out," I said.

Does he not realize I could hear him laughing?

I closed my eyes on the tree I chose for the night.

A calming silence went by...It was close to enough for me to—


I fell out of the tree and into a bush. There were twigs in my hair and a branch at my side.

Tsaro continued shouting, "I can't sleep! I want a song! You need to sing for me!"

All that went on for ten—long—minutes. I got so annoyed, I shouted, "Fine!"

He was such a spoiled brat, as a child and himself.

My forced smile started to twitch as I walked over there. I sang as bored and annoyed as I really was:

"Go to sleep, my little prince. You're my darling…"

"You need more feeling,"


Idea! I could do something else…he did say 'a song before I sleep,' not a lullaby.

Time for the plan to take its course. I began to sing in the softest, sweetest vice I could manage, "When you need me, I'll stay with you."

"I'll make you feel safe and sound if you ask me to."

Close up, he looked like he was about to sleep. Now for some fun!

"But if you disobey me, you're about to see…"

"Uh, Diana,"

"A spine-chiller, shocker, or a fright from a real killer…"

"That song is I freaking me out—"

"No one will help you, from the nightmares that will be.

If you scream, I'll just be laughing here…behind you...

So be good, and go to sleep, my little prince…my darling…"

I ended the song with an evil laugh and crawled off to take out a flashlight from the supplies bag.

"Diana?" Tsaro said in panic, while I walked back several steps. "Are you there?"

I turned on the flash light. "Boo!" I whispered.

He did one of those low guy screams. So: "AH!"

I laughed 'til my lungs hurt.

Then I heard rustling, "Tsaro? Did you hear that?" I asked.