“That doesn’t concern me. That’s your decision. As long as you don’t kill someone that I care for, it’s none of my concern.”
“So, if I leave the estate and murder someone and come back, will you be okay with it?”
Leon let out a short sigh. Just like normalcy, morality was overrated as well. Morality and goodness were subjective and people used it only when it suited them. It was there to keep society functioning.
“Archer, if I had to choose between you and some stranger from outside of our estate, I would obviously choose you. But if you decide something then I can’t change your mind, can I?” said Leon. “Do you have some kind of obsessive-compulsive disorder that urges you to kill frequently? Then I would recommend you do your investigation and find criminals. It would make the world a safer place and give you some form of peace. But if you do it, I think it would cause you more distress than it would cause me.”
“Your words are sophisticated, My Lord,” said Archer. “I wouldn’t know what to say.”
“Seeing your stance on morality, I hardly think you would leave the estate for something like murder,” said Leon, chuckling.
Archer sighed. “It is dangerous to live with such thoughts, My Lord,” he said. “If I wasn’t so loyal to you, I would have considered moving somewhere else.”
“You can’t be thinking of moving with the Warwicks!” said Leon. “If you are by her side then you would have to do worse things.”
“Didn’t you just say she wouldn’t do something like that unless she had a good reason?”
“I know,” said Leon. “But reason can come in the form of many things. Some small and some big. Even now, Alice is unhappy with the Princess showing an interest towards her brother. Alice thinks the cleanest way to fix something is to get rid of them. If she had an efficient assistant like you, she might even try getting rid of the Princess.”
“I wouldn’t mind helping if it’s the princess she is after,” grumbled Archer. “She barged in here even when she wasn;t invited and tried to harm you!”
“No! Do not touch the Princess. You absolutely mustn’t do that.”
“Why?” Archer asked.
“If the princess disappears, who is next in line for the throne?” said Leon.
“You, My Lord.”
“That is why you cannot harm the princess,” said Leon. “I do not want the throne. I loathe it. I only want to live with Alice. I want to make up for the disappointment I have caused her. If I become the King, Alice would balk and run away so far, I will never find her again. I cannot allow that to happen.”
“Sometimes, you say the oddest things, My Lord.”
Leon smiled and leaned back on his chair.
“Then will you let her do the job, My Lord?” asked Archer.
“The assassins that have been sent your way. How many are they?”
Leon shook his head. “I don’t want to bother her. I can take care of that much by myself.”
“Seems to me that she expresses her care by getting rid of people who harm you.”
Leon chuckled. “True,” he said. “But you shouldn’t rely too much on the people you love. I don’t want to burden her. I would be grateful if you kept quiet about this, Archer.”
“I can do that, My Lord,” said Archer. “But I don’t think the Princess will keep still.”
“She is just a child who doesn’t know what she is doing,” said Leon. “The problem is that my brother is swayed by this child’s foolish words.”
Leon pushed his meal away and stood up. His smile suddenly disappeared. “Let’s get started with today’s schedule,” he said. “We can’t invite so many guests and expect them to entertain themselves. What kind of hosts would we be?”
“How long should we look for the body?”
“Until around evening. I don’t want to ruin today’s schedule.”
Archer bowed. He then walked to the wardrobe to pick something for Leon. Leon walked up to the window and gazed outside. He saw the Princess’ maids crossing the courtyard. Alice Warwick walked in the garden with her brother Alex and another man by his side.
Hugo Duplo. First son of the Duke of Ayble.
The Duke of Ayble had been very strong in the past but over time his influence and his power had dwindled. The produce of his estate was low. His second son was trying his best to get on the Princess’ good side. His eldest son seemed to have a better personality than the younger one, at least. He also showed an obvious interest.
Just pray that Alice doesn’t look back at you. He wouldn’t be able to stand it. This time he wanted to shower her with love. She is mine in this life. And I am hers.
Archer called to get his attention. Leon turned around and smiled and thanked him. He then began to put on the clothes laid out for him.