“It makes sense, House of Ini used to be the palace, the pallaire is as old as time but has just changed hands several times, it is a good way to get information about rebels and other pleasures members of the royal family might have indulged in, with this, they can go in and out of the palace without anyone knowing.” I reply and shrug.
“Rigghhht.” Akka looks at me suspiciously. I give a sign that says he should be quiet.
“Let’s separate, change out of these clothes, we’ll meet in my chambers in three days, Victor meet up with Erin, you should take him back to the palace. ” I say.
“What about you?” Victor asks me.
“I’ll be with you shortly.” I reply, I separate from them and head in a particular direction.
Paula comes with me, I go to a room and wait for the owner.
“You think it’s her?” Paula asks.
“I don’t know who it is, but she is the likeliest although she has no motive or one that I do not know.” I say to her.
“Can I kill her if she is the one?” Paula glares.
“Why? You feel hurt?” I smile sadly.
“You won’t?” Paula raises her brow.
“Maybe a little, I liked her a bit.” I sigh.
“Did you see this coming?” Paula asks.
“I’m not a fortune teller Paula, there is still a chance that she’s innocent.” I change out of my clothes.
“Bullshit… I know you, the moment you were suspicious of her, she became guilty.” Paula scoffs.
“I’ll give her a chance to own up and if she doesn’t, then you can kill her.” I run my hand through my hair.
“I don’t think you can kill her though…. Punish her, maybe but death??” Paula sits comfortably.
I grin at her in response. The door opens and Elena comes inside. She looks shocked at first, she then schools her reaction into something more pleasant and innocent.
“Why didn’t you tell me you were here? I would have come up a long time ago.” She says as she picks a lock of my hair.
I stare at her for more than a minute and she gets uncomfortable.
“Why are you looking at me like that?” She asks.
“How, how am I looking at you? Elena” I hold her hand.
“Why is your pulse erratic? Is there something you want to tell me?” I ask.
“I’m nervous, I’m wondering why you are looking at me like that, of course that’d make my pulse erratic.” She responds.
“I can understand that.” I let go of her hand.
“Nothing to say to me?” I push further.
“What do you want to hear? Tell me so I can understand what exactly it is you want from me.” She starts shaking and she tears up and looks at me like I’m a monster.
“Tsk tsk tsk tsk, I haven’t even done anything yet, there is no need to waste your acting skills on me.” I wink at her.
Paula growls and she jumps.
“What have I done? I have been good to you.” She looks at the door.
“Have you? Have you really? Have you been a good girl” Paula takes out her knife and plays with it.
“Whatever it is you think I did, I promise I didn’t. This must be some kind of set up.” Elena kneels at my feet and begs in tears.
“You know me! You have seen me, I can’t … Just tell me what I did so that I can prove or at least explain myself.” She holds me and looks at me with those innocent eyes that has probably fooled others.
“It’s alright.” I pull her up and help her to a chair.
“Thinking about it now, I’ve never asked for your last name, or wondered how you could be so alright with losing the Prince. You might not have loved the Prince but you have pride as a woman. I was wrong when I said you have no motive. Actually you have reasons to get back at me.” I laugh at myself.
“Putting myself in your shoes, the favoured mistress in the pallaire, envy of many all of a sudden lost your place as the most valuable member, I can imagine the ridicule you must have gone through. Women have really nasty tongues and to make matters worse, you have to watch us and pretend to be happy and pleasant, I admit from my end, I was a little bit thoughtless, I was fooled by those eyes of yours.” I hold her chin.
She sniffles and her facial expressions change to one of mockery, somehow it fits.
She moves her head and settles in the chair, she crosses her legs while she stares straight at me.
“What gave me away? I am a really good actress.” Her voice and mannerisms change from an innocent young lady to a masterful seductress.
She sighs and smiles at me.
“I did fool you, right? Even if it was for a short while.” She grins at me.
I laugh and sit on a chair facing her.
“Yes, yes…. You did fool me.” I agree.
Her eyes twinkle with Joy. “The one and only feared general, you know you motivate me. Killing all those people while being a woman, how was it when you had to go to war on your period?? Did you kill more because of the mood swings or lesser than usual because of your mood swings?” She asks with a straight face.
Paula moves to hit her and I stop her.
“That one has got anger issues, chill girl… Drink some wine, have some fun.” She says to Paula.
“Why don’t you come closer so I can show you how I unwind?” Paula glares at her.
“No my lady, I’ll pass.” She looks back at me.
“Yeah yeah, all of those reasons and more. The reason I could fool you was because I never lied to you. I do like you and I’m not in love with Erin, but i did feel wronged and it doesn’t exactly feel good to be shoved down but it was all the special privileges that came with being a Prince’s woman. I had to listen to those women yap about me going from grace to grass and like you said, I’ve put on this mask for so long that I forgot for a second who I was, Thank you for reminding me her royal Highness.” She bows mockingly.
“And who are you?” I ask.
I hear a voice behind me, “My sister…” I look to see a knife coming my way and I dodge.
“Ayo….!” I whisper.
“For the love of God, so many entanglement… Is there anyone that isn’t related to anyone?” Paula says sarcastically as she raises her sword up in defence.
We are surrounded by the Cads, Ayo smirks at us.
“Finally, I have you right where I want you.” Ayo gleams with joy.