“Count Thoreau would never do such a reckless thing as attacking outright,” said Alex, lost in thought. “He wouldn’t leave his eldest son’s future title in jeopardy and run for vengeance for his second son. Most probably he might try to convince everyone that Gerald was working alone, and he had no hand in it whatsoever.”
Aaron nodded. “The Count probably gave his blessing for this heinous crime,” he said, “But having the tables turned, he knows it will be a death wish to side with Gerald in this matter.”
They both looked uncertain. And Alice rolled her eyes. Men liked to prance around and pretend they were so logical. All the education and resources at their disposal and they turn out to be idiots.
Alex’s eyes twitched. He was probably pissed thinking of letting Count Thoreau go for now. He probably wanted to take up his sword and ride to his estate and run him through. Aaron, on the other hand, looked pale. He really seemed to believe that Count Thoreau wasn’t going to act on this. The look in his eyes indicated that he wanted to forget it all: Count Thoreau, Alice going ballistic, and Gerald Eastbay’s death. Alice figured that nothing was going to make him feel better. But she also knew that denial wasn’t going to help either of them, Aaron’s broken leg and Alex’s stab wounds were testament of that. It was up to Alice to be logical and clean up the mess; depending on her brothers would only get her so far.
If Alice was herself, before any memories of Kim Eun-seo, she wondered if she would be calmly sitting here and planning ahead. She would be trembling in fear and lock herself in her room till her parents came back. She might not even have been alive though, or perhaps she would have been abducted by Gerald Eastbay and raped. She was glad that she was a fifteen-year-old with the memories and skills of a professional assassin. It had saved their lives. She couldn’t afford the luxury of living in denial and letting things be with Count Thoreau as her brothers. She had to take matters in her own hands, for all their sakes. It had happened once, it could happen again. What if Count Thoreau finds another person to sneak in and slit their throats while they were sleeping at night?
“What if Count Thoreau disappears?” asked Alice, “Who inherits his mansion and his title?”
“Ranfer, his eldest son,” said Alex.
“And if Ranfer is gone, too,” said Alice, “What then?”
“Hm,” said Aaron, thinking, “Weiss Eastbay’s family maybe? But he is the Count’s illegitimate son, not recognized as his legal child, so he might not really get the title. Perhaps it might be handed over to a distant relative. There is also a possibility that it will be decided by the Royal family if there isn’t anyone suitable. Father might have to manage it as his until they find the right person.”
“Great!” said Alice, “So even if Count Thoreau is gone, it wouldn’t make an ounce of difference to his estate. The people, in my opinion, would be better off than him ruling over them. His estate hasn’t been well managed to begin with. It would flourish under Father’s authority.”
“Alice,” said Alex and sighed. “Don’t worry about the Count. I think it would be better for you to be thinking about your upcoming party. I will write to Father explaining the situation.”
Alice glared at them. It was so nice for them to be older than her, ordering her around, nagging her, scolding her, while she was the one who had to do everything from now on. She pouted. They better remember I saved their asses. They hated the rebellious look on her face. Both turned towards her expecting resistance or argument.
“Fine, the party,” she said exasperated, “Don’t regret it later. I am going to order a dozen dresses. If Mother says anything about it, it’s on you. I will tell her you made me order them.”
Aaron, who was in charge of Wishburn’s ledger, looked appalled at her wanting to order twelve dresses for one party. He opened his mouth to say something, but Alex gestured to him and looked at her.
“That’s alright,” he said gently, “We all have been through quite an ordeal. I am sure Father wouldn’t hesitate to let us indulge ourselves. When you go to the capital, you will need enough dresses to flaunt anyway. You are the Marquess of Wishburn’s daughter, and a smart and brave one, might I say.”
Not too long ago, Alice might have agreed. She had been dreaming about the banquet, the party, getting pretty and meeting a boy. She had her imaginations full with these little fancies. But thinking about it now made her want to vomit. She left the study pretending to be delighted, waving to her brothers. Neither of them tried to pry more into the details of her past life.
In the letter to their parents, they had written that Count Thoreau’s second son had raided their castle and hurt Aaron and Alex. They had conveyed that the siblings had barely managed to subdue him. Alice refused to add the part about her past life and all. It was better for them not to know, at least for now. How would they react if they knew their darling daughter was a cold-blooded murderer in her past life.
However, with all her new memories, there was no telling how she would behave, and if her parents would doubt her on her strange behaviour. She needed her brothers to know the truth so that they could cover for her. She knew Alex would. But she didn’t know if Aaron would be of any help at all, since he still wasn’t over the shock of everything that had occurred.
Anyway, the thing of utmost importance was Count Thoreau. He must be dealt with, as soon as possible in order to protect her brothers and herself. The brothers were in shock and denial, or lacked the spine to face the enemy. But she wasn’t going to wait to be murdered in cold-blood by Count Thoreau. Her brothers were mistaken. Count Thoreau wasn’t someone who would lay low and let everything slide quietly. He would try something and she would have to stop him. She hurried to her room.