Eleanor stared at Ethan as if she didn’t understand. Ethan brushed his hair back again, locked his fingers and looked at her.
“It’s hard to investigate every murder that happens in the lower district. There’s a limited number of guards patrolling. A lot of time and money would spent if we investigated every murder case… Most murders happen because of fights or they financial disputes, trivial matters. There is not enough manpower to punish all of them. It’s better to focus on something.”
Eleanor frowned. She was a bit bothered, but she didn’t know what to say. “But you should be punished for committing murder. Murder…. is a serious offense,” she said.
“It is, but are you really going to get involved in it? That wouldn’t help you gain popularity. You’d only be wasting resources.”
Their resource was the palace budget. Aaron reviewed the palace’s budget and said they were in a bit of trouble. It was already costly to have guards for her, but a lot more money would be required to maintain the palace knights for the treason that would happen later.
Eleanor pondered. She could always take care of the citizens later. People from the lower district will commit treason anyway. They’ll hate her. What was the point of wasting resources on them? She only needed to take care of the people that would stand by her side after.
After she came to a conclusion, a maid came in to announce Aaron’s arrival. She nodded. Aaron came shortly after, frowning and slightly limping. When he first came to her at Glouster territory, Aaron wasn’t limping. She didn’t know why he was now, only that it was off-putting.
But Aaron himself was ever as charming, so she let the matter go. He had a princely stature, blonde hair and emerald green eyes. That was Aaron’s charming point. Only his sad eyes and downturned lips didn’t quite fit the image of an ideal prince.
Still, each day he was becoming much like the Aaron that Eleanor remembered. If she were to describe his character progress, he would be halfway. It was much better than Aaron at zero percent, who was a nerd. She didn’t know how he changed but she was satisfied with it.
As he bowed politely in front of her, Eleanor quickly lent him a hand. “I told you you don’t have to do that. Act natural.”
“I can’t do that to the Princess.”
His stubbornness was also his charm. Trying to hide her smile, she pulled him up then sat herself first by the table. But Aaron, as expected, didn’t sit right beside her. He wasn’t like Ethan, who would comfortably drink in front of her.
She remembered a nickname, ‘Ethanally’ and thought it was a load of nonsense. Ethan had been written to be smart and charming, but the current Ethan was so different from Aaron. The people who read the novel and shipped Ethan and Eleanor were stupid. It just wasn’t it.
Even if there were good points such as Ethan’s handsome face, the more time she spent with him, the less she thought he was desirable. She didn’t like the stinking smell of alcohol that came from his mouth, his predatory, hazy eyes. She was reminded of something she didn’t like. Something she couldn’t put her finger on, but certainly something she didn’t like.
“Can I give you the report?”
Eleanor came back to her senses as Aaron spoke. She fixed her posture and nodded.
“His Majesty ordered that the murderer from Schway Teresa division be caught. It is to be of utmost urgency. He directed this to both the Schway guards and the Palace Knights.”
Eleanor frowned. “Really? That’s not the only thing we have to do,” she began.
“The nobles insisted strongly. If the palace doesn’t step up, they say they will use their own soldiers to search Schway.”
“They’re delusional… They’re going to swarm the capital with their own soldiers? That’s a defilement to the royals.”
Ethan mumbled from beside. At least today his speech was rather clear. But that seemed to be enough to show that he was under the effects of Alcohol. Aaron was glaring at him, there was contempt in his eyes. Aaron didn’t like Ethan. He didn’t like how Ethan could drink in front of the princess and act lousy.
But for Eleanor that didn’t matter, only, she didn’t like how Ethan talked about Aaron’s sister… that sinister female supporting character. She was quite annoyed that Aaron was protective of that girl. However, if she thought of it positively, then Aaron could be regarded as a family person.
And as time goes on, such affection would also come to her. Right? Even though his sister didn’t die, Aaron came to her side as it was in the original plot. In the end, everything was going according to the plot.