The cheering died down in an instant, as though it had been swept away by a hurricane. Upon hearing Amaras unethical remarks, Lakandula glared at her and walked towards her. He then pointed his index finger at her.
”You really dare to disrespect me in front of these people? Shame on you! ”
”Husband! ” Lakambini stood up from her seat and tried to pull Amara away from him. ”Please, let us not make a scene in the dining hall. ”
But Amara didn listen. She abruptly stood up. ”But father, I do not wish to marry someone who I haven met yet. ”
Although I fully know that prick from reading the novel, I still won marry him!
”You are of marriageable age. I expect nothing except your obedience, ” Lakandula said in a commanding tone that even Amara was almost weak to her knees.
But it was now or never. If she was stubborn, then she really needed to be stubborn till the end, because her peaceful life is on the line here. She needs to leave the Hiraya territories as soon as possible, before the villain can even have the chance to meet her!
”But father, I can marry yet! I still have things that I want to achieve! ” Like getting out of here and not crossing paths with the vilain!
As Lakandulas face became grim, he angrily said to her, ”Like what? Becoming a katalonan? ”
”Well, thats a part of it, but father, I would really like to– ”
Lakandula roared, ”It is forbidden! It is always forbidden for a Hiraya woman to become a katalonan! Must you really embarrass me in front of the Hiraya Patriarch and our people? ”
Amara glanced at Bagani Hiraya. He was calmly watching and didn say a word.
Ah, this useless old man!
Hes the very reason Amara is in a bind right now. If it wasn for him being a coward on a stupid curse, none of this bullshit would have happened.
Amara composed herself and, in a calm yet firm tone, she said to Lakandula, ”My dearest father, with or without your permission, I will become a katalonan, and I will not marry Agos Bughaw. ”
It is always the destiny of a direct Hiraya woman to be unhappy for the rest of her life. Imagine living just to be married off. Its not the life that Amara wants for herself.
Hell, she doesn even want to marry anyone at this moment. Not after her ex-boyfriend from her previous life cheated on her.
Her blood was boiling just thinking about him. If she really has the chance to go back to her previous world, she will push that bastard down the Pasig river!
”Amara Hiraya! You need to do as I tell you this instant. Don make this hard for us, especially for our Apo. ”
”But, father! ”
Amara was instantly cut off when she felt Lakandulas hand against her cheek. The slap was so strong that she even fell to the ground. Her cheek stung as she felt it with her hand. Amara then realized the tears started streaming down her face as she listened to Lakandulas ramblings.
Never in her life had a parent done this to her. Amaras lola Mercedes is the most precious person, and not once in her life has her lola slapped her or used her hands to hurt her. Only in this world did she experience this kind of treatment from a parent.
But Lakambini and little Gaki immediately kneeled towards Amara.
Lakambini shouted, her voice almost hoarse as she spoke. ”Lakandula, for the sake of Apo Bathala, must you really do this to our child? ”
Little Gaki was crying loudly. ”Dear father, please do not hurt my ate Amara! ”
Lakam, Hari, and the twins went to Lakandula to calm him down. But Lakandula was still in a rage. ”Why do you have to be so stubborn, Amara? Did I not raise you well? Did not give you everything you needed? ”
Soon, it was Bagani Hirayas turn to stand up and walk up to Lakandula. He placed a hand on Lakandulas shoulder as if to calm him from his rage. Lakandula immediately went silent, but his face was still angry.
In a calm voice, Bagani Hiraya said to Amara, ”My child, please listen to your father. It has been hundreds of years since the law prohibiting a direct Hiraya woman from becoming a katalonan was amended. Please don make things more complicated. We are doing this for your own sake. ”
”Why do we even have such a law? ” Amara asked furiously. And with a voice full of contempt, she spoke, ”Why were women such as myself prohibited from becoming katalonan? Why am I always left out? My mother was a katalonan before she married our father. And even today, she is still a katalonan. Why am I the only one who doesn get to be one? ”
Lakandula shouted again. ”Amara, you are now crossing the line! ”
Then its crossing the **ing line!
Amara drew her breath. ”Im also doing this for my own sake because Apo Mumbaki will soon be out of his prison to get me! Instead of being too worked up about my marriage, why don all of you just focus on strengthening the golden thread? Its already getting weak! ”
She saw how Apo Baganis eyes darkened. ”Amara, do not say something so ominous on your adings birthday. How dare you speak of that bastard? ”
”Because I am telling the truth, Apo Bagani! ” Shes really not telling the whole truth. She was improvising a good excuse as to why she had the nerve to mention the villain to its enemy. ”I had a dream that Apo Mumbaki said he would come for me and marry me in front of the gods! If you don let me become a katalonan now, the Hiraya tribe will be annihilated in just a single night! ”
And to make that bullshit excuse credible, Amara acted mortified and scared for her life. She was so good at it, she was confident that if she somehow became an actress in her past life, she might win an award!
Lakandulas face contorted more as he heard Amara speak with such a shameless attitude. She grabbed Amara by the collar of her blouse while shouting, ”You ungrateful child! How dare you question the decisions of our Apo? And how dare you say such nonsense about our enemy? ” Lakandula raised his hand again and was about to slap Amara for the second time, but was abruptly stopped by a kaleidoscope of black butterflies.
He immediately released Amara from his grasp and staggered backwards.
The black butterflies surrounded Amara as though they were protecting her from harm.
Behind Lakandula, Apo Bagani Hirayas face was in a state of unfathomable fright!
His eyes were wide, his face terror-stricken at the sight he was beholding. The katalonans curiosity and anxiety increased when they witnessed that the Hiraya Patriarch himself looked scared.
If Apo Bagani Hiraya feared the black butterflies, then this is no laughing matter. Something dangerous must have come.
Amara was also puzzled about how a group of harmless butterflies seemed to scare the Hiraya Patriarch.
But it was then, when her mother, Lakambini, suddenly shouted, ”One black butterfly is already bad. But a kaleidoscope of it? May the gods have mercy on us! ” Amara realized what everything meant.
She immediately felt the same chills she had earlier when she heard the unfamiliar voice of a man that called out to her.
And she is not misled by the fact that these butterflies are the main symbol of Raha Sitan!
In the novel, a black butterfly is a sign of bad luck; either someone will die, or someone will rise from the dead. It was also believed that a kaleidoscope of black butterflies was always associated with the Apo Mumbaki. It is said that those black butterflies are the souls of the mumbakis who died during the war of light and darkness. And even in death, they are still working for him and causing chaos across the continent.
Amara also frowned when she realized that this particular scene didn happen in the novel. Not once did Raha Sitan expose his presence in front of Bagani Hiraya as well as in front of thousands of Hiraya tribe katalonans. Well, unless it concerned her since Amara Hiraya is related to the curse.
W-wait a minute. Does this mean Raha Sitan has already gotten out of prison? Does this mean he is really out to get her?
This can be it. I have to leave this place now. I should not meet him, or else I will really die in this world!
”H-How? ” Lakandula stammered as he stared at Amara in horror.
Bagani Hiraya immediately composed himself and calmly asked, ”Amara, what have you done? ”
Amara suddenly stood up and stepped backwards while the butterflies still clung to her, never letting go. She was also afraid and in a state of shock, thinking that the villain was now on the loose, and that her untimely death was about to possibly take place in a few hours.
Bagani Hiraya was looking at the butterflies with so much contempt, as though he recognized them at just one glance. However, he was still calm as he spoke again, ”Amara, this is something inauspicious. You need to get married by tomorrow. ”
Amara wanted to show her middle finger to Apo Bagani, but she stopped herself from doing so. She already has enough bad deeds in this world, she can be so bold anymore.
And she was still terrified with the butterflies clinging to her as though they were naturally glued to her in the first place.
”Are you hurt, my dear wife? ”
That chilling voice again!
Amara tried swinging her arms to shoo away the butterflies, but the more she did, the more the voice kept talking in her head.
”Your father had hurt you. Should I kill him now? I do not want my wife to get hurt by her own family. ”
”Stay away from me! ” Amara shouted from nowhere. She felt like she was about to go crazy in front of her family, but she didn mind. She went on to exclaim, ”Do not call me your wife, I will never accept you as my husband! ”
Lakam held her by the shoulders. ”Amara, what is happening to you? ”
”Kuya Lakam. ” With the butterflies still sticking to her skin, she grabbed Lakam by the arm. ”Apo Mumbaki is speaking in my head. I can hear him! ”
”Calm down, ading ko, there is no way Apo Mumbaki would speak to you. He is currently sealed in an earthen jar. ”
But the chilling voice spoke in a playful manner, ”Oh but I am speaking to you, my dear wife. ” And in a whisper, as though he was just standing beside her, he said to her, ”I will come for you, Amara, I will take you away from here. ”
Amaras tears started streaming down again as she screamed out of pure terror. ”NO! STAY AWAY FROM ME! ” She pushed Lakam away from her and started running outside the dining hall.
She didn mind her unmannered strides towards the residences. She didn mind the people gaping at her covered in black butterflies. All she was thinking was that she needed to escape. She has to leave this place immediately!
”You can never run away from me, my dear wife, ” the voice said again. ”I will find you even at the end of Maharlika. Even if you hide among the gods in the Gunita Continent, or hide among the immortals in the Tadhana Continent, I will always find you. Not even Apo Bathala himself can help you hide from me. Mark my words. ”
Instead of getting scared, she only got angry at him. ”Gago! Leave me alone! I don want to marry you! ”
What did he think? That she would happily marry an old man like him?
Amara lunged towards her closet and ransacked her clothes to find the bag of gold coins that she had saved up to escape. Along with the bag is a map of the Hiraya territory, with lines marking ways where she could escape.
As soon as she got what she needed, Amara went towards the door to leave. But as soon as she opened her door, she saw a little boy who was about little Gakis age, standing in front of her.
”Who are you? ”
”Greetings, princess Amara, ” the little kid said with a bow. ”I have come to escort you to Apo Bagani. He is looking for you. ”
”What do you mean, Apo Bagani is looking for me? I just got out of the dining hall. ”
Something about this kid makes Amara nervous. She feels as though she knew him and was very familiar with him, but she can remember where she met him.
Its even stranger that a Hiraya follower like this kid would wear a black robe and a bright red bandana on his head.
It took Amara a full five seconds to ponder.
Amara hastily took a step back as soon as she realized who this little kid was. He is no ordinary kid!
The little kid seemed to have noticed Amaras shocked expression, so he smiled smugly at her. ”So you know my true form? As expected of Apo Raha Sitans wife, not even the other Hiraya bastards recognized me ”
”M-Manong Luban? ”
She couldn help but scold herself in her mind for her stupidity. ”Amara, you fool! How could you even forget the one and only character who unleashed Raha Sitan? ”
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