Secrets and Scandals
The atmosphere tonight was definitely not it ever since the duke and duchess returned from Urvinum. They were both in a terrified state and as much as I tried to demand an answer, none of them was saying a thing to me.
I swear, it got me a little agitated and frustrated which had been my mood recently anytime they attended their council meetings.
I usually braced myself for some uncomfortable news which has been the order of things, since my exit from court. That was how the other time, they came back with the news that Lady Ophelia, the minister of health was running a baby factory that was discovered in Wayfort and traced to her. Though the story is been investigated, she was suspended.
So much for being a leader. That was one of the the shocking revelations to the people of Doxa but then I felt the duke of Wayfort should have been involved in the investigation since it was been operated in his domain, right under his nose except it was a name saving situation again.
"Father, mother" I called out to them and they both turned at me lifting their heads from the plate of food infront of them which they've been eating silently.
"You guys are frustrating me in this house, I must confess. Why won't any of you say something to me about what happened at court?" My mother gave me a forced smile while my father ignored me and continued eating.
"Its nothing to worry yourself my love, we are just processing the information. That's all"
"What is this information and two days is more than enough to atleast let your daughter in on it. Besides you kept me in charge when you're both away.....So -"
They both stared at each other briefly, obviously communicating through their eyes and after then nodded before my mother spoke up again.
"Aris,there is a waging war springing up amongst the royal family and we just -"
"Hold on mum, Is the prince okay?" I voiced out immediately what was in my heart and the way they stared at me confused, got me embarrassed.
"I'm so...... so sorry " I apologized for my awkwardness, closing my eyes and exhaling deeply avoiding their gazes.
"Aris, my dear. Are you okay?" My father gave me a concerned look while my mother chuckled lightly.
"O c'mon honey, our princess still cares alot for the prince. That's what this means" she smiled and stretched her hands to graze my cheeks lightly.
"Mother, please stop it, besides can you carry on with the story" I switched the topic back to the former still trying to hide the blushing me.
"Anyways, After the prince reported the whole situation to the king, it kind of framed up the queen..."
What was my mother talking about? It wasn't a framed up story. She is guilty as charged.
"....She was handed over to the royal investigation commitee. I think she got furious and..... decided to strike back"
"Stirke back?" I muttered audibly. "What do you mean?" My father took in several deep breaths shaking his head repeatedly.
"Apparently, seems the king has some cockroaches in his cupboard that she knows about and has threatened to reveal them"
"What? She's fighting the king?"
"That is what it is. I still cant believe it" I lowered my head facepalmed feeling a whole lot of guilt.
"Hey, Dont feel bad" the duchess consoled me.
"Mum, it's because of me" I exhaled. "I'm the reason the royal family is at loggerhead with each other.... First it was the prince and the queen and now the king and the queen"
"No darling its not... Please dont blame yourselves. They are responsible for whatever is happening. They had the powers to prevent it but failed to, so please dont you ever say it's your fault"
It took alot of convincing for my parents to debunk every thoughts of guilt I had on my mind concerning the royal scandal. This was after they told me everything.
So according to the story, the queen first of all accused the king of cheating on her and having several mistresses, one of which was lady Ophelia who was suspended.
Then she went on accusing him of money laundering, corruption and the deepest murder. Apparently that was the one that caught my attention and I listened intently to it.
They said it happened many years ago in a village. The king gave an order that a small harmless village be destroyed for just no cause. There was no sympathy, no pity, no compassion and no love and as commanded the whole village was raised down to dust in a blink of an eye. Everyone in it was slaughtered with no escapees.
This one broke my heart, causing it to bleed. How could the king be this ruthless and cold hearted, murder innocent souls without a just cause. I was trembling by the time my mother finished her narration, not paying attention to the tears streaming down.
Contrary to what I know the king to be was this story I'd just heard. To me, he was a nice, loving and upright ruler with minimal stubbornness and strictness which was a strength in leadership but this, No.......No........ I cried more. The queen surely has all of his dirty secrets.
Dinner ended shortly without me eating after loosing all of my appetite. I found my way to my room, after changing into comfortable clothes, wrapped myself up in the bed, lost in thoughts.
The more I thought about it, the more I wondered why such case wasnt mentioned anywhere in any of the history books. My curiosity was then increased and I decided to find out exactly what happened and why it happened.
Suddenly there was a knock on my door which I chose to ignore but it became persistent until I angrily stood up from the bed to answer it.
"What is it?" I shouted as I flung it open only to see Ida.
"I'm very sorry for disturbing you my lady, a letter for you from the capital" she said with a shaky voice as she handed over the small parcel to me.
"Thank you Ida" I shut the door, glancing intently at the envelope in my hand taking in on its side.
Strange. It didn't look like it came from the prince because his seal was absent. Still raking my head for whom would have sent me this with the royal envelope, I opened it up and almost could not believe my eyes - a letter from Echo.
I screamed in my head blushing very hard. I'd missed her so much. Realizing she's been thinking of me all this while made me tear up and happy and quickly jumped back to the bed so I could digest the contents of her letter comfortably.
Dear Lady Aris,
Royal greetings to you my lady and your entire family. I'm so sorry for not doing this earlier, I was heart broken when you left and was more broken hearted when i was forced to serve lady Gemma as i served you.
I really hope you are doing fine. I really longed to see you and was happy when the prince decided to visit Rythfork with lady Gemma then. I prepared myself to see you but was disappointed when lady Gemma refused me from accompanying her probably she felt we were going to reconnect, I really miss you.
Alot has been happening in court since you left up till this moment, I sneaked to send you this letter. I thought by now you must have returned to court after I found out how badly you were treated by the queen and lord Charles. I quickly told the prince about it because I felt it would remedy the situation. But up until now, everything still seems the same.
I know how hurt you were because of the scandal laid against you, it was indeed very embarrassing but in all, my lady I wish you will just look past the hurts, pains and anger and forgive the prince.
Truly, he acted in ignorance and anger, which I do not understand why especially for someone he says he loves but right now, he is a shadow of himself, after finding out the truth, he confronted all the parties involved including lady Gemma who is gradually slipping into depression because the prince has out rightly refused to speak or have anything to do with her again.
I know you're really in love with him, my lady and so he is in love with you. Please let bygones be bygones, and accept his sincere apologies.
Like I said, alot has been happening especially amongst the royal family. The king and queen are at war with each other as the queen has vowed to expose and disgrace the king. The king on the other hand has said, the queen should be in investigated and punished, together with lord Charles because of what they did to you. So theres alot of heat on ground and it's never easy with us, the court staffs because most times, anger and aggression are transferred to us.
I really miss you my lady, including Dorothy and Victor and we hope you would return to court soon.
Take very good care of yourself.
Lots of love