The northernmost part of the Ligaya Continent is called Humabon City. It is the land where the Hiraya Tribe can be found.
Surrounded by mountains and also blessed with a large body of water, one can say that the Hiraya Tribe has always been lucky. It was established by a Katalonan named Severino Hiraya, and he started to build his own tribe and governed the whole of Humabon City. Since then, his direct family, the Hiraya Family, has ruled the Hiraya Tribe with hundreds of thousands of followers. The Hiraya Tribe consists of the Hiraya Family, the Hiraya Tribe followers, and the common folks that live under the rule of the Hiraya Tribe.
It is so rich in agriculture, fisheries, livestock, and other resources that it was named the wealthiest and most well-known tribe in the Ligaya Continent. Being the center of all trades, it is already a fact that no one should dare make an enemy of them. They are not just strong when it comes to the economy; the Hiraya Tribe is also known as the Home of Champions. For hundreds of years, they have produced hundreds of renowned Katalonans.
Amara was already a few minutes late for breakfast when she stepped out of the residential building where her room is located. In the Hiraya tribe, there are specific buildings for the Katalonans, Babaylans, Asogs, and the Hiraya family, as well as commoners and other staffs who work for the tribe.
Amaras room is already luxurious by her own standards. The walls are made of concrete, and theres also an antique bed, a study table, a massive bookshelf, and windows that are made of expensive Capiz shells. This very room is more extravagant than her own life. If it was her previous life, it would take her forever to own such a room.
She felt so poor to the point that she was wondering how much those windows would sell for. If she ever gets out of Humabon City alive, she would choose to live a quiet life in the countryside until the day she dies. Besides, theres no hope for her to go back to her previous life; shes already lost everything there, especially her lola Mercedes.
On Amaras way to the dining hall, Selya, her maid, was walking behind her. Selya is holding a golden parasol while panicking at Amara when she loosened the collar of her cream-colored blouse. ”My lady, please do not loosen your blouse! Ah! Please don hold your skirt like that! ”
She frowned at Selya, and she could no longer hide her frustration. ”Why is my dress like this, huh? Its so tight and I feel so hot wearing this. Its making me uncomfortable! ”
She glared at her own clothes. She was wearing a luxurious Baro Saya that looked like it was made from an expensive kind of fabric. The color of her baro is cream with gold embroidery, and the Saya is gold in color that reaches beyond her knees. It doesn look ancient, because it still has elements of modern-era fashion style. For instance, the blouse was tucked into the skirt, and she was wearing a classic boater hat on her head.
The novel took a whimsical liberty and did not follow a specific timeline. The style of clothing as well as the structure of the buildings are mixed with tribal, Spanish, American, Japanese, and Chinese influences.
Although her Baro Saya is modern in style and appearance, it is still very conservative and she is not comfortable wearing it. She did look for pants just in case, but Selyas reaction wasn good upon hearing her remarks.
”Lady Amara, this is the first time you complained about your clothes, ” Selya said. ”Does its style not suit your taste? It was even made by a famous tailor in Humabon. ”
Amara sighed. She couldn do anything with her clothes because she couldn be suspicious. Besides, there is a strict dress code culture in this world. Men are to wear mens clothes, and women are to wear womens clothes.
The majority of Katalonan men wore barong tagalog and other unfamiliar clothing, or they went shirtless to show off their tattoos. Because a tattoo is a symbol of their honor.
Female Katalonans could wear pants under their skirts, but its weird. Why can Katalonan women wear pants too? Why do they have to wear a skirt atop it? Isn it uncomfortable?
”But if only I could wear pants without my skirt, ” she mumbled, but Selya clearly heard her.
Selyas eyes widened in panic, and she almost had a heart attack. ”Lady! You can do that. Your older brothers will be angry. ”
Tsk! Getting angry is just one thing. If she wears something, at least it should be comfortable for her. Who even sets dress codes for women? If there is an element of modern-era fashion here, at least let the women wear pants!
The Author, can you hear my thoughts? Listen to me!
Amara could only heave a sigh. She could wear pants after she gets her freedom. Hopefully, there is not one soul in the countryside who would frown upon her wearing pants. Amara suddenly asked, ”Why do I have to wear this fancy dress today? ”
In the book, Lakam mentioned that he only wears luxurious clothes when there is an occasion.
Actually, it is natural for the Hirayas to wear elegant clothes even when there is no occasion. The main color of the Hiraya tribe is gold, which symbolizes extravagance. And the Hiraya tribe is the richest tribe in the Ligaya Continent. So if the Hiraya tribe is rich, it means that the people here are also well-off. Even the common people would wear upscale clothes.
”You must have slept through the meeting last night, Lady Amara, ” Selya teased. ”Today will be the birthday of your youngest brother, Gaki Hiraya. It will also be to celebrate the high marks he got in his study of mahika. ”
”Ah, its little Gakis birthday–what? ” Amara was not able to stop herself from exclaiming. Selya almost jumped because of this. And even the people around them were surprised.
If today is Gakis birthday, it means that tomorrow night, Raha Sitan will escape from his prison!
You mean to say I will only last a few hours in this world?
”Lady Amara, what is wrong with you? ”
In the novel, on Gaki Hirayas birthday, Amara will be punished by Lakam Hiraya, so she decides to run away to start a new life. But for some unknown reason, she met Raha Sitan, and that was the last time she was alive.
And the fact that she is about to be engaged to a stranger this fast means that her death is the next thing to happen!
No way, I must leave the Hiraya tribe immediately before Raha Sitan arrives here and causes chaos!
Amara was still lost in her thoughts when she suddenly felt a sinister chill on her back. Her whole body trembled and went cold with nervousness and fear. And at that moment, she heard a chilling voice calling her name from afar.
”Amara Hiraya, my dear wife. ”
And after that, she felt her body falling slowly to the ground.
Selya noticed her and shouted. ”Lady Amara! ”
She didn fall, though, because someone caught her and carried her. ”Ading ko, are you not feeling well today? ”
Her eyes immediately looked at the person who caught her, and she was instantly dumbfounded. The person is a handsome young man. His shoulder-length brown hair was tied, his eyebows were thick, and his chocolate-colored eyes stared worriedly at Amara. The tattoos of centipedes and ferns on his arms are recognizable among young Katalonans. However, there is only one young Katalonan in the Hiraya tribe who has a fern tattoo across his chest.
Ah, how would she not be able to recognize the male lead of The Hidden Treasure?
It was the one and only Lakam Hiraya!
Lakam stared at her when she quietly gasped in surprise. Because she will never be able to get used to seeing his handsome face every day!
Imagine being the sister of the male lead? Thats the only thing she could boast to no one right now.
Although feeling dizzy, Amara still did not forget to greet her kuya Lakam, out of respect. ”Greetings, kuya Lakam. I am sorry for troubling you, but I am fine now. ”
”Are you really? ”
She stood up properly and smiled at him. She figured out she would feel more nauseous if she kept on leaning to him. ”I am really okay, kuya. Besides, I promised little Gaki that I would be with him today. ”
”If you really say so, ” Lakam said, and didn pry anymore. The two of them started walking towards the dining hall. ”Its actually a good thing that I found you. ”
When Amara saw Lakams face getting serious, she instantly knew that he is going to talk about what happened to her kuya Hari. Lakam is someone who always adheres to the family culture and tradition. Hearing that his beloved sister is being a troublemaker would make him quite mad.
And there was nothing Amara could do except play dumb and ask him in the most innocent tone she could muster, ”Why, Kuya? Is there something wrong? ”
Lakam smiled at her, obviously aware of her acting. ”I heard you used mahika on your kuya Hari earlier. ”
Amara flinched. ”Kuya Lakam, I think kuya Hari is just hallucinating. How can I use mahika when I don know anything about it? ”
Thats a lie, though. Amara already tried her best to study mahika as soon as she woke up in this world. Because she figured she should not wait for death to come to her doorstep.
As much as possible, she should do all things to survive!
”Stop being mischievous to your Kuyas, ading ko, ” Lakam sighed. ”You know that you are not allowed to wield mahika. ”
For the past month that she has been living in this world as Amara Hiraya, she still can understand why her family is up in arms against her using mahika even though she has the capability to do so.
And now she only has a few hours or days before Raha Sitan gets out of his prison. She should do something.
”Kuya, I just have to learn mahika, ” Amara said in defense of her brothers remark. ”I am doing this for my own good! ”
”Your family knows better for your own good, ading ko, ” Lakam said. ”Whats best for you is to follow what is destined for you, to get married as soon as possible. ”
Amara felt the urge to curse this male lead for being too committed. But she restrained herself and told him something that would make him understand why she was being so stubborn. ”I am just doing this because of a nightmare I had a few weeks ago. ” Amara took a breath. ”I have dreamt that Apo Mumbaki will escape from his prison, and he will kill me. ”
It was an obvious lie, but some of the truth were still there.
But Amaras patience was tested when Lakam said, ”I am afraid I can believe you, ading ko. You don have the mahika of divination, I think you are just making things up. ”
”Putangina! ” Amara suddenly cursed. ”I am telling you the **ing truth. Why can you just– ”
”Amara Hiraya! ” Lakam snapped at her. ”How dare you curse in front of your kuya? Is that a nice thing to do? Meet me again tonight, and bring along a bilao and mung beans. ”
That was the moment that she knew, she had **ed up.
In the novel, it was at night when Lakam punished Amara for accidentally saying a bad word. And he didn know that when he punished his sister, that was the last time he would see her. Because after that, Amara met the villain and died.
Terms and Definitions
Lola – honorifoc used for a grandmother.
Putangina – its a Filipino bad word, don search for this word!
Ading ko – term used when and older sibling addresses a younger sibling
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