“Is there any evidence to say that the Grand Duke is plotting a treason?” Alex asked.
“It is an unfounded delusion that His Majesty the King has often had since ancient times. Did he pass on that obsessive delusion to his daughter?” Mother said in a clipped tone.
My father patted my mother’s hand with a bitter smile. “Don’t be so hard on him, Chelsea. His Majesty must have had bitter feelings left from his childhood days. I’m sure he didn’t mean it.”
“If a person truly has no grudges, they wouldn’t have their own brother assassinated,” I commented. I stopped chewing the meat and looked at my parents. Alex almost spit out the wine he was drinking.
“An assassin?” asked Alex with surprised eyes. Father sighed.
“It’s been five or six years. There was a time when the Princess was ill for a while. His Majesty sent an assassin saying that this was the Grand Duke’s fault and that he needed to get rid of him.”
I stayed still. My brother Alex continued to ask. “How did it get revealed?” he said.
“Vionier II found out, stopped him and severely reprimanded him. Because of that, the story of the assassination attempt spread throughout the palace. Nothing like that has happened since then, so His Majesty must have realized something.”
“You are saying that, since then, there hasn’t been any attempt?” I asked.
Father nodded. “Of course. It shouldn’t happen again. The previous king even said that if he did that one more time, he would be kicked out of the heir position.”
Did the previous king know about the assassination attempts before and after that, or did he really not know? As a ruler, it would have been a better choice to quietly ask and move on, than to kick out the already appointed heir but…
To be honest, I felt a little upset. It was upsetting to think that person could have been harmed. I don’t know what he thinks of his mother and his family, but as the Grand Duke Glouster, there must have been a time when he believed in his parents. A child was like that. There are times when you think that your parents are the only people you can trust and rely on, no matter what kind of people they are. Some people get out of those feelings quickly, and some people take them for granted as they become adults.
“Mother, father,” I said, out of the blue. Mother and Father looked at me. Both of them looked worried. I laughed softly. The wound on my face was slightly painful. However, there was another throbbing in my heart, a certain kind of pain, twinged with happiness, “I love you.”
Father had a puzzled expression on his face; Mother’s hard face finally loosened. Her eyes soon glistened.
“I love you too, my Alice,” she said. “Heavens, why is this doctor so late? Does he know how much we are paying to hire him?”
Alex looked at me with a strange expression. He raised his eyebrows as if he realized something, and shook his head. “Thank me for not hiring an assassin because I’m jealous of you for monopolizing mother and father’s love,” he said jestingly.
“Alexander Grendel Warwick, if you do something like that, you will not only be kicked out of the successor position, but also beaten to the point where the skin on your bottom peels off. I didn’t raise you children to become crooked enough to kill each other because of jealousy,” Mother icily shot back, but my brother and I just grinned. Father also looked quite relaxed, but his tone was still serious.
“I don’t think the old king would be able to say that. If His Majesty is still doing that, then it’s even more problematic if the Princess was brainwashed and acts according to her beliefs,” Father said. He pondered for a while. “Exactly how am I supposed to deal with this.. bringing this up at the nobility council would be like poking a beehive. The Jura family will rage, saying that it’s an attack to damage the dignity of the successor…”
“Don’t do it,” I immediately said.
Father looked at me. “What?”
“Don’t do it.” I put down my fork, looked at my father and continued, “It’s no use bringing up anything unless you have proof, right?”
“Of course. Still, as the heir to the throne, going around saying unfounded things… It will be a nuisance to the Grand Duke.”
“If he hadn’t endured it, he wouldn’t be able to survive until now. Wouldn’t he at least leave this country?”
Then I wouldn’t have met him again. The thought made me feel slightly strange. I would have lived well without seeing him again. After all, my primary goal is to enjoy the love of my parents and then live off my eldest brother until I die of old age. It didn’t matter if he was part of the picture or not. But nevertheless… the thought of living without seeing that person again made my chest tight. Forget it. I will think about these things later.
“It would be more comfortable to live as an ousted royal than to live a precarious life treated like a traitor in his own country, and by the king, nonetheless,” Alex added. Father nodded his head in agreement. I wanted to say the many hardships that person had gone through so far, but my words would be meaningless without evidence.