If I were to decide to kill the Princess in this castle, I probably would be able to do it. If I put on a maid’s clothing, wear a hood, sneak in while the Princess’ room is empty, I could hide under her bed, in her trunk, or in the closet, come out quietly when everyone is asleep and cut her throat. After killing the maid who sleeps with her in her room, I could change my clothes and take advantage of gaps between the soldiers’ shifts.
If you truly decide to plan it, you’ll have to check a few more details, but overall, it would work. It would be even easier, if you let out most of the servants.
Hmmm, if that princess bothers my brother too much, should I settle it this way?
No, that won’t do. The Princess is the only heir to the throne. If the Princess disappears, then the next successor to the throne would be…
The Grand Duke. Damn!
If he inherits the throne because of me, he’ll torment me. What if he wants to make me his queen, or his concubine? I would simply kill myself. I will not do it even for my family. There was no way.
Let’s skip the Princess.
“I brought it, my lady.” Amy came in with a bunch of parchments tied into a bundle with a string. It wasn’t the note from last time. Did he gather all the information and only gave me some of his findings?
“Your brothers are in the next room,” said Amy.
“Oh, when did Aaron return?” I asked as I turned the parchment over.
“Just a while ago.”
A while ago? I talked with the Grand Duke, got the shock of my life, returned to my room, changed and got into bed, tossed and turned a thousand times…. It must be over an hour. Did the princess and Aaron walk every corridor in this huge castle? He should have been back a long time ago.
The murder cases were interesting, but I was also very curious about my brother’s state. And his impression of the Princess. I walked to my suitcase and shoved the parchment inside. Amy helped me to don a light and comfortable dress. I went to the next room.
“…I feel sorry for her,” muttered Aaron.
As I entered their room (without knocking, of course, just to annoy them), my brothers turned to look at me. Aaron’s face had an unexpected expression. Not at all what I expected it to be. I would have expected him to jump up and strangle me in anger for making him stroll around with the princess. But his eyes were sparkly and he looked sad.
Alex gestured for me to sit down beside him. I sat down in an empty chair and looked at Aaron. “Who do you feel sorry for?” I asked.
“The princess,” he said. “She is carrying the pressure of the whole royal family alone for being the only heir to the throne. And it seems like no one can understand her.”
I looked at him, waiting for him to yell that it was only a joke and he was fooling us. But he seemed serious. I glanced at Alex. He slightly raised his eyebrows but remained silent.
“His Majesty is still here so she should not stress so much, right?” said Aaron.
Aaron frowned for a few seconds, looking at me with sad eyes. “That’s why I said ‘heir to the throne’. Her Highness will have to ascend the throne when His Majesty is no more. That would be so hard for her, it would be a relief if it never happens. Heirs to the throne have so many hardships. I see it as something people like us can’t fully understand.”
“Why don’t you try to understand hardships of heirs to Wishburn too when you are at it,” muttered Alex. Aaron would usually smack him playfully but right now he only looked annoyed.
“Nobles are only nobles. And royals are royals. Don’t you think their responsibilities differ? That’s why I said I feel sorry for her. Others don’t think about how hard it must be for her, just because she’s still a young girl.”
“The late ruler was also a woman. A queen.”
Aaron let out a sigh at my words. “Right. And imagine how hard it must have been for her to protect the throne all alone. Her highness must do that too. Besides, the late queen had siblings, but the Princess had no one.”
“Our grandmother didn’t keep any relations with the royal family. She almost never went to see the late queen.”
Alex’s voice became sharp. Aaron’s voice faltered a little. “But it’s still different from having no one at all.”
“Ugh, I am hungry. They say that the snacks here at Gouster is very good. Amy, could you bring us a plate of snacks? The white powdered cookie that I ate in the day with the Grand Duke was delicious. Can you please ask the kitchen if they have some more?”
Amy quickly left the room. Aaron looked at me with a strange expression for a second and shook his head.
“Snacks… come to think of it, I haven’t had anything to eat either. What time is the dinner again? I suddenly am very hungry.” His face reverted back to the one I knew so well. The face of an annoyed but innocent book-worm.