Hugo went bright red in the face. “I am so sorry, My lady! Please forgive me!”
A red stain bloomed all over my light emerald dress. As everyone turned around to look at me, Alex jumped up from his seat to help me up.
“It’s alright,” I said, “I can just change. My maid will suffer more than me trying to get the red stains out.” I smiled. “If you will excuse me for a moment. Please continue with your dinner.”
Hugo looked devastated but it wasn’t that much of a bother, honestly. On the contrary, I was sort of relieved that this allowed me an excuse to go back to my room. Talking to Hugo was alright but I was starting to get exhausted.
Alex tried to follow me but I pushed him gently back on his seat. “Keep an eye on Aaron,” I whispered into his ear. “He is acting a bit weird.”
Alex glanced at Aaron and back at me. “Will you be alright?” he asked. “Will you come back here?”
“I will be fine,” I said, “But I think I will stay in my room. Bring me some snacks later.”
Alex nodded and patted me on my hand. “Were you really going to break my finger?”
“If you had continued pinching me, I would have,” I teased him. “You saved your fingers with your wise judgment, Viscount of Wishburn.” I grinned.
Alex narrowed his eyes at me which reminded me of the Grand Duke who had squinted his eyes at me moments ago in a similar manner. I poked his cheek softly and walked out of the dining hall.
A maid followed me and asked if I needed my dress to be cleaned. I thought it was better to leave it. The stained part could be cut out and the remaining could be given to the maids at the castle. We did that usually and the maids made beautiful dresses out of the spare clothes. It would be too much work for the maid to get rid of the stain anyway, so I declined the offer. I had too many dresses, more than I needed anyway. I had recently gone to Madame Circa’s dress shop in Schway with mother. It was one of the most expensive and best-selling dress shops. I had bought some dresses from there too.
I sent the castle maid away and reassured her that I didn’t need my dress to be cleaned. I entered my room.
I could feel a presence in the room but there was no one in sight. Perhaps Amy had thought I wouldn’t need her until dinner was over so she might have gone to enjoy her own time. I closed the door and looked around the room.
Something was amiss. I can tell when someone has gone through my things. Of course, being a noble lady, I have always had to live with my maids so I didn’t really mind them going through my things to clean or arrange them. But I could usually tell who had gone through my things. Amy was always careful and meticulous so I am always able to tell when she had been in the room. But the person who had been here hadn’t been Amy. I noticed things that were out of place immediately. Amy always folded the blanket and smoothed the creases and she always folded the upper part just up to the length from my wrist to my elbow. The blanket was weirdly uneven. The towel next to the wash basin was tilted. The legs of the chest of drawers near the bed were crooked as though someone had opened and closed them with force.
The clothes stuck out from my trunk. Amy was always meticulous with that. Someone had sneaked into my room while we were all in the dining hall.
Well, where would they be? What were they looking for? More importantly, who were they?
Did they see the information about the Underground District murder case in my clothes trunk? Wouldn’t it be logical to think that someone from the gathering today could be involved in the crime?
They weren’t here anymore, whoever they were. I would have noticed. I didn’t really enter my room quietly so I would have noticed a movement if someone had tried to hide. Anyhow, whoever it was wasn’t really a professional. I realized that they might still be in the room.
Where would an amateur hide? I looked under the bed. There was no one there. The closet? The closet was quite large, enough for even two people to hide. That was where Amy had hung my dresses. Through the crack in the door, I noticed the hem of a dress which didn’t look like mine. Got you!
What are you going to do now? Was she planning to leave after I quietly left the room? And what if I don’t want to leave?
That was the problem with noobs. The most important thing before you do anything else after breaking into someone’s room is to secure a route for escape, otherwise you get trapped. I turned my back to the closet and pretended to be busy cleaning my dress.
I heard the closet door burst open. I turned around. A girl ran straight at me and pushed me, trying to make her way to the door. I hadn’t expected such actions. I was grateful that I didn’t have to open the closet door and face her myself. It’s always easier when they outed themselves. It saved time.