That was possibly the only word to describe how she felt meeting the would-be Empress for the first time. Ka'asume's beauty and gentle, kind demeanor was...refreshing. Ru'qayyah had always assumed royalty would be somewhat haughty and condescending; how could she expect any less? She believed people who have led rich and luxurious lives always act like they own the world...a horrible personality trait she had both often witnessed and reluctantly tolerate amongst other wealthy and notable temple visitors.
"Ru--, RU!" Ru'qayyah was lurched from her thoughts at the call from her companion, Sai'la. She almost lost her grip on her rose-colored lantern from the interruption, but regained her composure before dropping it, thank goodness. She would have been mortified if she had ruined the serene atmosphere with the clanging of a dropped lantern."The High Priestess is coming, stop daydreaming!" she hissed as the matronly woman glided toward them.
High Priestess Ta'ameira was truly a sight to behold. Despite her years, her porcelain skin still had a quiet glow, and was enhanced by her robes, which were emb roidered with rare silver that had a bluish-tinge. Her cerulean eyes glinted softly from the light of mineral deposits that dimly lit the corridor, as well as by her own lantern which she used to illuminate her path.
"Praise to Ki'konia, High Priestess,"chimed the two green-haired priestesses, with a slight bow as Ta"ameira reached where they stood.
"Ki'konia be praised, my children. Has the Heir been directed to a meditation pool yet?"
"Yes, High Priestess," Ru'qayyah affirmed. "She has asked for us to come back for her the first hour past midday."
"Splendid, I will go to her at that time. The Gods know how much that child needs time alone for contemplation and meditation. I am so happy she has decided to do so here in our temple. A wise ruler knows when to seek out the Gods for reflection and aid. What did you both think of our Heir?"
The two young women quickly looked at each other, uncertain of the answer the High Priestess was expecting. "She--is not what I thought she would be, that is for certain. She is so humble and quiet for someone who is to rule all of Tanjia. I...I do believe I like her," Ru'qayyah responded with a small smile that was slightly hidden under her head covering. Sai'la's headdress jingled slightly as she nodded in quiet agreement.
"Very good, child. Now, both of you go on and complete the rest of your duties for the day. Ru'qayyah, you have somehow managed to receive gardening duties for the third month in a row...we'll have to investigate how that mistake keeps repeating itself, won't we...?"
Ru'qayyah bowed even further towards the floor in embarassment, masking her face from the High Priestess' prying eyes. "O--of course, High Priestess," she replied sheepishly.
Even in the dim light, both could see the gentle grin growing on Ta'ameira's face. "Very well...I will see you later on for evening prayers. Praise to Ki'konia."
"Ki'konia be praised."
Her whole body ached, but Ru'qayyah was finally done for the day. Even though she hurt all over, there was something to be said for the reward of hard labor. She was always pleased to do any work that made the temple a serene and peaceful place for visitors to escape from daily worries.
It also didn't hurt that she could spend time in her favorite place, the Temple Gardens, while she worked. She sighed as she remembered the High Priestess' comment...she would eventually have to move on to cooking duties soon, which she dreaded immensely. She would rather pull weeds all day than cut up Na'ata radishes for an hour!
"Bye Ru-- see you tomorrow!" Sai'la exclaimed as she made her way towards the marketplace. She had been meaning to buy a new outfit she had been saving up for. Although Sai'la lived in the temple, she spent every spare moment in the marketplace, chatting with the vendors and finding out about their spiritual needs. She would also try to entice them into visiting the Temple that was so near to their place of business.
Ru'qayyah envied her beautiful friend's ability to converse with anyone; she herself was a quiet spirit who couldn't possibly hold a five minute conversation, even with her fellow garden enthusiast Yu'uto. Despite his friendly disposition, she couldn't b ring herself to speak to him for hours on end like she could with Sai'la.
Ru'qayyah smiled and waved to her friend and fellow priestess. She made her way down the steps, reflecting on the exciting day she had meeting the Heir, and tending to her during her first visit. Ru'qayyah hoped she would see Ka'asume soon, and be able to have more of a conversation with her the next time. "Lofty dreams, Ru," she muttered to herself as she reached the bottom step.
"Oh Gods!" Ru'qayyah exclaimed. She realized she had forgotten her lantern inside the temple. Long overdue for a cleaning, Ru'qayyah had made up her mind to clean it tonight before midnight prayers. She turned to make her way back inside, when she heard a lovely tune fill the air...