Chapter 13.2

Chapter 13.2

Chapter 13.2

“I’m talking about what happened with Count Thoreau,” said the princess. She lowered her voice, almost whispering to my father but everyone near heard it.

 My father’s face paled. My brothers clamped their mouth shut. I saw Alex’s jaw clench. The Grand Duke and grandfather glanced between us and the princess, confused.

“I think it was worth it and necessary, I understand,” the princess assured them. “Something horrible happened to your… precious little sister. So…”

“What on earth are you talking about? Nothing happened to Alice! Count Thoreau’s second son broke into our castle without permission, but Aaron and I stopped him. And Count Thoreau will be held responsible for this.” Alex shouted with his face red. 

Could ‘something horrible’ that she was talking about just be the rascal slicing his knife into my neck? Is she going to say I was defiled by Sir Slanted Eyes in front of everybody?

That seemed like it. The nobles around us began to whisper. Alex’s face went scarlet to the tips of his ears, while Aaron’s paled. Grandfather’s face turned white too, while father’s hardened like cold marble. Mother seemed to barely restrain herself. 

The Princess looked at us as if we were fools. “But Aaron went and killed Count Thoreau, didn’t he? It was for revenge, wasn’t it? But I understand and will stand by his side because what he did was right.”

 “Aaron had a broken leg and couldn’t even move. And Count Thoreau…” Alex stopped talking as if he realized too late what he was doing and glanced at father. Father’s face hardened like cold marble. He had raised his hand slightly gesturing for Alex to stop. He straightened up, composed himself and looked at the princess with cold blue eyes.

“Your Highness seems to have been mistaken. My children came to Schway right after this happened because Aaron needed to be treated. All three of them came here immediately. I thought Count Thoreau drowned from excessive drinking while taking a bath?”

Dad’s voice was loud and clear enough for about half of the people at the party to hear. The Princess blinked. She looked just like a pretty goldfish. A goldfish that just turned Marquess of Wishburn and Count of Seymour into enemies. 

“That can’t be.  Obviously, he was stabbed terribly and died without knowing how…” 

“May I ask from where you received that information? Since Count Thoreau didn’t leave a successor, there must have been a report to His Majesty about the Count’s death. Since his firstborn Ranfer Eastbay also died suddenly, Count Thoreau was looking for someone to inherit his title.” 

The Princess opened and closed her mouth then opened it again.

“By any chance, did Your Highness see this in your dreams that you often mention? The dreams aren’t worth trusting. Especially those that come to you in your teen years. Teen years are anyway pretty confusing”

The Princess’ face turned red. Father was openly mocking her foresight. Hearing other nobles around us inhale quietly, I must have been right. 

Father, I know you’re mad, but I think you went too far this time.

“My foresight has never been wrong. And isn’t it obvious? His firstborn son died suddenly, and Count Thoreau is dead too. Why do you need to hide the truth from me? I already know it. I did say I am on Aaron’s side.” 

The Princess drew a deep breath and glowered at my dad. Dad tilted his head slightly to the side and directed a cold smile that seemed to have frozen about ten people around him. 

“Ah, if so, should we ask for Count Thoreau’s body to be brought to the palace? A drowned body wouldn’t be a pretty sight, but still, it would give us some information. At least, we will be sure about the cause of his death. With the weather this cold, the decay won’t be severe yet. Ranfer Eastbay’s body must be in much better condition. he apologized for his younger brother’s actions and hanged himself. I’ll request both bodies to be brought here. Would that be okay, Your Highness?”

“Well, I think our talk turned into something gruesome. I think the Princess was a bit too excited for today’s party and her imagination turned wild. How about we continue this talk somewhere else, Marquess Wishburn? Let His Majesty also participate to resolve this misunderstanding,” said the Grand Duke. But father did not even look at him.  

“There’s nothing to resolve. Her Highness accused and insulted my children. If no proper action is taken on this, I…”

I felt that father was going to say something that he might not be able to take back. My brothers and my mother didn’t seem to care. They stared daggers at the princess, seemingly agreeing with father, but this was going too far and could turn out to be disastrous. I saw blood vessels throbbing on my grandfather’s temples.

Whenever doing something, it is of the utmost importance to search for a loophole to escape from. I don’t believe in burning one’s bridges to the extent that you have no chance of an escape when you need to. It is always good to keep a safe escape. Especially when your opponent is royalty.

So, I did the first thing that came to my mind. I laughed.



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