~in the morning~
I was suddenly woken up. I was so surprised I rolled off of my bed with a Thud.
“O-ouch…” I groaned while rubbing my head.
“Why is it so hard for you to wake up!? And where’s your grace!?” I raise my head to see an unfamiliar maid with brown hair, and blue eyes who looked around 14.
“Who are you?” I ask sleepily.
“I am Al- Alisa Ben, I will be attending to you today,” she said stuttering.
How dare she shout at me!? This is down right shameless– no wait, now that I look at her closely she’s not from house Ben.
Idiot, there is no house Ben, but.
I smile gently “I’m in your care then,”
She became arrogant.
“Yes of course!”
‘I am so stupid not to know who this is’
With that, she started dressing me.
“Why… Is the hem of your nightgown dirty?”
She questioned, and I flinched.
“I went out on a walk last night. I have a hard time sleeping, you see…”
I defended myself with a poker face.
“… Were you not tired after being hit with an arrow, and not able to heal yourself? Everyone in the palace was frantic because you were losing a lot of blood.”
She questioned nonchalantly while finishing up with the ribbon behind me.
‘Did they really send an untrained informant. Do they underestimate me that much?’
I turn around quickly and slam her to the wall.
The wind around us started swirling, lifting my hair up making me look a lot scarier despite the our height difference.
‘Pocket?’ I suddenly heard Aearial’s voice in my head.
‘Bottle.’ He clarified.
‘A bottle…’ I grab the bottle from her pocket and use vines to restrain her.
“What is this?” I asked in a cold voice inspecting the purple bottle as she visibly shivered.
“That’s!-” I opened the bottle and took a very small sniff at the powdery substance.
Even with just a small whiff, I felt so dizzy.
“Nightshade…” I smile at the maid.
“Did they send you?” She looked terrified.
“I-I don’t know who you’re referring to but t-the young masters of Ascot w-wanted to talk to you in private.” She said practically crying.
The vines around her had flowers that bloomed, and the pollen was sprayed in her face.
“Althea Bennett, another puppet of the twins.”
Count Bennett’s fourth daughter who is also a spy who was used to take down Snow.
Another lovesick idiot is desperately in love with the twins like Alexandra but Althea always worked in the shadows.
She even became a trained assassin for the twins, and never had a fiancé if I recall.
“Poor little cannon fodder, at least you don’t have a fate like mine.”
I start dragging her but not before putting on the mask I had on yesterday.
‘Three rights, five lefts, another right down two flights of fricken stairs- why!? Why. Is. It. So. Far!?’
I start panting when I finally found the room the twins were staying in.
I knocked on the door then the twins opened it excitedly.
“Althea! what took you s–“
The door was suddenly slammed in my face.
“Hey! Don’t you want your spy back?” I said knocking again.
“Nope! You can keep her!” They shouted on the other side of the door.
“I’ll leave her here outside your door. Oh! And next time you send a spy, send a trained one.”
Then I started to walk away.
“Wait!” I heard a shout behind me.
“Is she dead?” Renée asked while Reinel kicked the body.
“No, just knocked out,” the twins then dragged her body inside their room while I turned to walk away.
“Hey!” Renée called as I turned around irritated.
“What now?” I asked facing them.
“Aren’t you going to come in?” Reinel asked normally as if he wasn’t dragging a knocked-out count’s daughter wearing a maid outfit.
“Why not?” I felt like a crazy person but I was very very disoriented so I was practically crazy at the moment.
I helped them carry Althea’s knocked-out body because I was starting to feel sorry for her who’s been being dragged around the whole morning.
We placed her on a nearby couch, and Reinel started to pour tea in the cup in front of me.
The twins sat in front of me, Reinel sipping tea, and Renée eating cookies.
“So, what did you knock her out with?” asked Reinel.
“You can ask her when she wakes up,” they pushed beautifully decorated cookies and sparkling fruit tea in front of me.
“Hey, aren’t you hungry?” Renée asked, pushing the cookies, while he stuffed his face with other cookies that looked like sapphires.
‘Is there anything else you can say other than hey?’ I thought to myself.
“No.” I said sitting up straight.
“Thirsty?” Reinel asked.
“No.” I shook my head.
“Althea said you wanted to talk to me,” I was drooling inside my mask but managed to hide the desire to eat those cookies, and risk them seeing my face.
“Yeah, why do you want to hide behind that mask of yours?” I think carefully.
“Should I have to answer? But as your princess I would say pride and appreciation of tradition.” I said.
They nodded their heads like they understood.
“My turn to ask. Why’d you send an informant if you were just gonna talk to me face to face?” I asked.
“Isn’t it obvious?” Renée said rudely.
“You have an overprotective father, a former assassin for a mother, you even won king Fantasia’s favor, if they suddenly found out that you weren’t in your room, after that little accident, then found you here what do you think would happen to us?” Reinel explained.
“Why not ask for an official audience?” I ask.
“We’ve tried, but no matter what string we pull, we can’t seem to get one.” Said Reinel swirling his tea.
“I see, so let’s cut to the chase shall we?” I said quickly. Everything they’ve said was true, dad really won’t let me have an audience until my debut… Or even after that I’m guessing.
“Let’s,” Reinel said happily.
“What do you look like?” Renée asked.
“Hmm… I have two eyes, one nose, and one mouth,”
They were silent for a while.
“Next question, why don’t you want the engagement? It would be very beneficial for you and your kingdom,” said Reinel quickly.
‘It wouldn’t benefit me at all. On the contrary it’ll kill me,’
“I-… I plan on becoming the next heir.” I said confidently.
Renée choked on his cookies, and Reinel stopped sipping his tea abruptly.
“I see… Then, your brother? Why was he adopted?” Reinel asked, putting down his tea.
“… That… He was being abused by his family so we took him in.”
“…” They were both silent again for a while.
‘I guess they assumed we took in Dean so that he could be the heir. But everyone knows that only nine-tails are allowed to rule Sterling.’
“You should leave!” Renée said in a panicked voice.
“Tch, you’re right we’ve exceeded the time limit,” Reinel said checking a pocket watch.
“Honestly you’ve managed to catch our attention. For someone to make us forget about something so intricately planned–” Reinel suddenly stopped talking, and put a pill in my hand.
“It’ll teleport you back to your room,” Renée explained.
“Don’t worry we won’t look, just go or we’ll get in trouble.” They turned around, I lifted my mask and suspiciously took the pill.
“Wow, that really worked,” I was actually back in my room.
‘I don’t think getting the twins’ attention was a good idea…’
“Maybe I can make friends with at least them,” since I’ve already peaked their interests.
‘Let’s give it a shot.’
“She’s definitely more fun than anything we’ve ever played with,” Renée said beside me wiping his face that was full of cookie crumbs.
“Indeed, and she keeps surprising us in ways not even we can anticipate!” I said excitedly.
“We can’t let this one get away from us, Rei,”
“I know,” I said.
“So who gets to keep her?” I asked.
“How about letting her choose?” I agreed by nodding my head.
“Don’t cry if she chooses me instead of you,” I said confidently.
“How confident, let’s see if she picks the conniving, two-faced, gentleman over the honest, cute, and blushing boy,” he said smiling.
“In the end, we’ll have to share her anyway,” I said, crossing my arms.
“Yeah, you’re right but the satisfaction of winning is just another plus,” he said while drinking his tea.
“Agreed,” I said, smirking.