“It can’t be!” Eleanor exclaimed. She looked down at the body wrapped in a cloth. All the young nobles gathered there started whispering.
“This can’t be! Why would a maid wander around in the forest? It doesn’t make sense!”
Elsie Swandle was supposed to sneak into the Grand Duke’s bedroom. The drug should have worked and the Grand Duke would have returned to his room to recover. But the servants said that the Grand Duke didn’t return to his room last night. It was clear somebody had made up everything.
The drug was created by the institute of pharmacology. She had overseen it herself. The Grand Duke should not have been able to stand up, much less move around, for a day or two. If the lord of the castle falls ill, the estate would be in chaos. She had planned that disruption to go through the Grand Duke’s study and his personal room. Everything had been in vain!
Where on earth did Father find that drug! Did those stupid researchers at the institute give Father the wrong drug? I’m going to shut down that institute!
She shouldn’t have interfered in the event at all. This event wasn’t even mentioned in the book. Her anxiety had skyrocketed when she heard that the Grand Duke was organizing it and every young aristocrat was invited. He could have been inciting rebellion with these nobles against the royal family! What if all these nobles had already sided with the Grand Duke?
That was why she had come here. She had ignored the Queen’s nagging saying that an uninvited arrival would look impolite. She wanted to know. The King had agreed, of course. The King was always on her side in matters concerning the Grand Duke. The King was fearful of his brother’s strange side and always trusted Eleanor’s advice.
She didn’t agree with the King’s way. If they found evidence of the Grand Duke planning a rebellion then he would be detained but such a thing might block her prospect of becoming the Queen of this place.
In the novel, the attack on the palace causes a riot in Schway. But the riot wasn’t caused by the Grand Duke. He would just take advantage of the chaos and mobilize the forces to take over the throne. He would try to kill her.
Without the Grand Duke, the King and Queen wouldn’t die. There would be no chance of her ascending to the throne. The male lead, Ethan Duplo, was already on her side. She didn’t know why he hated Alice Warwick so much but that didn’t concern her. He wasn’t her favourite anyway. All she had to do was make a good impression on Aaron Warwick. She was planning on doing just that while the maid sent by her father, Elsie Swandle, searched for evidence of treason.
Aaron was still a person whose nose was always stuck in his book but she had found something attractive in him. If he cut his hair shorter and appeared more serious, he would be closer to the Aaron in her imagination. Besides, Aaron had warmed up to her. He had been more friendly during the dinner.
Aaron had been next to her as she walked around Glouster estate today. He didn’t make fun of her clumsy horse-riding skills. He was instead very concerned and tried helping her like a gentleman. He had even offered to speak to the stable master to find a horse more suitable for her.
The Glouster estate wasn’t much to see. She didn’t care for it very much. But with Aaron riding on her right and Ethan on his horse to her left, she already felt like a queen. It was as though she had found her happy ending in the novel. All the villains were done away with and she had become the leader. Sersaw would only flourish under her excellent leadership. While Aaron and Ethan would be her loyal lovers who would do anything for her. Of course, she would have to choose one of them in the end. She would choose Aaron, undoubtedly. But Ethan was just as handsome.
The late Queen had borne children from every one of her lovers while ruling the kingdom. Maybe she could do the same. If she didn’t make it public, she could see them both. The author had ended the story so vaguely….
Anyway, she would be queen so what would it matter who she chose to be with. It wasn’t like people would rally against her.
She returned to the castle with such pleasant fantasies. But a body was waiting for her.