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Chapter 16

In the next morning, I decided to send letter to my parents. Hiding thing is over. I hope that would be enough to at least calm my parents down. I’m sure, to what I have done they are really worried now.

I could only sigh.

We or our kingdom was victorious of this war. Our knights erected our kingdom’s banners all around the place, a sign that we were victorious here. After that ambush incident, the first prince together with his army arrived back in our base and reported that the enemies have retreated.

“So that’s what happened. He came back knowing when the ambush happens and ends after being in the front line and then pretends as if he didn’t know anything and returns as the hero of the kingdom,” I mumbled. Well, he’s really a cunning fox. He might not be showing it, but I know he is hiding his disappointment in this turnaround of events.

I’m sitting atop of the horse in front of Brother Terrence while we are heading back to the capital. Really? I never thought that the assassin will be dead. Liebert reported that the assassin had a poison hidden in its mouth. Or he hadn’t and there have been a foul play to silence him.

This is really tricky. I mean they are really tricky.

I wonder who is the traitor between the two princes. We caught Prince Varis’ knight talking secretly to the enemies. And Prince Reimir’s close knights attacked my brothers. Yes, he fought and actually saved one of my brothers and fought alongside himself into the fray. But it could be an act to fool everyone. I still can’t bring myself to trust the princes. This only means I should not drop my guard around the two princes. I am still yet to confirm the second prince’s integrity and loyalty to the kingdom.

“What?” Brother Terrence was poking me.

I was startled at his sudden query, “Oh… no-nothing brother.”

“Seems like something is bothering you... What is it?” he asked with his gaze straight in front as our horse marches.

I paused for a moment, really reluctant or unsure what to say.

“Brother, have you ever thought of the two princes or maybe one of them would betray the kingdom?” I asked, clenching my fists.

“Claire, you are slandering the imperial family.” Brother Terrence looked at me with seriousness.

“I am not… you know… The first prince’s knight at the forest and the second prince knights attacking you...”

“If you think that the second prince is a traitor… do you think he will cover my back when we were attacked?”

That… he’s got a point. Prince Reimir did cover his back at the ambush just as what I have thought earlier but… “But he wasn’t so surprised about the attack towards you brother. And he reacted to that sudden attack as if he was expecting it,” I said.

Brother Terrence sighed.

“Well if that’s bothering you, let me tell you this… His highness was able to tell earlier on the march that the knights were acting suspiciously… he just let them be and observed what they’re up to.”

A good alibi indeed but it can be true also.

“As to about Prince Varis knight it seemed his highness doesn’t know a thing about that.”

“Another way to escape a potential suspicion is to act innocent right of the bat when questioned,” I scoff.

“Is it me or you are not protecting your precious prince this time?”

“As I have said. It was a pure immature infatuation. I opened my eyes now and can see how jerk he is.”

“Jerk huh? did something happened?”

“Let just say he love someone secretly. He was only acting kind and affectionate towards me since he wants me to support him in sitting the throne.”

“Ho~ you have thought that far?”

“Brother, I grow up and I am able to see the bigger picture now.”

“So, your saying that?”

“I am beautiful and smart,” I proudly said.

Brother Terrence just went laughing loudly. Seeing him happy like this, I could only smile and lean on him. I am thankful that they are alive and sound. Brothers, I managed to save both of you and our family from the slander we were about to face. However, I feel this is not the end but the beginning of the battle against my tragic fate.

After some time, we were finally able to enter the capital and the streets became really crowded. Loud yelling and cheering and laughter mixed up as we marched towards the heart of the capital. It was really a very warm welcome and a festive welcome for our victory.

We decided to head to our manor directly instead heading towards the palace to report our victory to the Emperor. Seems like the second prince will be the one taking care of that.

When we arrived to our home. I immediately spotted my mother and father waiting dearly in our return. When they saw us, the crowd and the people under my family cheered lively. Mother and father dashed towards me then gave me a tight hug.

“Father, mother I know you missed me and I miss you too.”.

Both of them let me go and checked me thoroughly as if I have a damaged or what. Oh, well I can’t blame them since this is all my fault running towards the battle field without a goodbye. I mean, even if I said goodbye the thought of me running to the battlefield would be too much for them, I guess.

“You, brat, you don’t know I was almost turned-over the capital just to find you,” father scolded me with teary eyes.

“My goodness, my daughter. Why did you do that?” mother reprimanded.

“I know but it already happened. We can’t do a thing on it. Still I came back alive and without injury. So please? Don’t be angry?” doing a cute expression.

Both of them sighed and just looked at each other.

“Fine, just don’t do it again,” father said with defeat.

“Okay,” I beam.

“Claire, I’m serious. If you do this kind of things again. I will lock you in your room for a year or two,” he firmly said.

Ack! a year? I can’t even stand for few months just stuck by my room. Whatever, I will just make sure next time that I won’t be caught right? I smiled brightly.

“Let’s get inside. I’m sure you guys are exhausted.” Mother gestured to enter the manor.

My brothers and I nod. We walk inside our mansion and went ahead to each of our room.

“Miss, I already prepare your bath,” the servant stated.

“Yes thank you, please help me in the bath.”

I walked to the bathroom and sulked my body inside the bath tub. The servants wash my hair and scrub my body. I’m so tired to move and so letting them do this small thing relax me a bit. After, taking bath they help me wear my corset, then my dress and fixing my hair.

“It is done, Miss.”

“Thanks.”

“Milady, the Duke and the Duchess are waiting for you in outside.”

“Oh, yes. I will get going then.”

I stood and walk outside my room. I sigh then started walking down the staircase. There is a banquet will be held after the war to celebrate in winning the war. I reached the main door and saw my parents.

“Where are Brother Terrence and Brother Tyler?”

“They are already on the palace. They need be there since his majesty the king will look for them,” Brother Clarence answer.

“I see.”

We enter to our carriage with the crest of our family and head towards the palace. We arrived and enter the banquet hall confidently. Mother and father went to their friends and greet while I left alone with Brother Clarence.

“Ha~ I can’t believe they will have and attend a banquet right after we arrived. Aren’t they exhausted or something?” grumble.

Brother Clarence chuckled, “You can stay home if you are tired though, my sister.”

“But his majesty the king invited us. I won’t come it may show a disrespect to his majesty.”

“He also personally want to see you though.”

“Who see who?” I surprisingly faced him.

“Claire.”

I turn around to see who called me. I saw my two Brother in their elegant attire and so cool appearance. The three of them stand each other and I can see the women glancing on them.

“I’m so happy guys that I can share to you my beauty,” I proudly said.

“Wow, since when the youngest sister acting so cocky?” Brother Tyler said.

“It is us share our beauty to you little sister,” Brother Clarence corrected.

“I’m not little,” I sulk.

“Yes, you are.”

“I’m not.”

“Yes you are.”

“I’m not.”

“Yes…”

“Okay stop,” Brother Terrence stopping us, “His majesty wants to meet us.”

“Okay, you can go brothers,” I smilingly said.

Both of them squint their eyes on me.

“What?”

“The three of us.”

“What?”

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