The madame wouldn’t let her honor falter, wouldn’t let her driving passion burn out, just because of the new speculation from the King’s royal guards; they’re the ones who had the audacity to come storming into our quiet home in the middle of the night just to accuse her. I was both appalled by the sudden accusation, yet I was intrigued by how they even came up with the possibility that the madame was behind it.

Madame Valencia remained at the top of the marble steps, her chin held high as she gazed down at the knights dressed in blue, “And just how did the High King come about his conclusion of me being involved? Was there some kind of hint that only I would leave at the crime scene?”

The King had sent two of his normal patrol guards from the main bazaar. Each one of them were dressed in a light layer of metal, small sheets and covers protecting the major potions of their body. Scimitars were tied around their waists, dangling down just a few inches above the floor. Even though they came in the name of the King to have a “peaceful conversation,” I could tell that they were preparing to see things go their way, through the use of force, should things go astray.

One of the guards walked up to the first step of the stairway and took out a small scroll. He kept his eyes on the madame as he opened it, “King Balthazar has requested that you come back with us to the palace prison. He assures that you will be able to defend yourself and that no harm shall come to you.” The guard changed is attention to me, “You, wench. You are to stay here while we escort Valencia.”

“Hm. The King usually hires nothing but brainless brutes. At least you have the decency not to track your filthy boots up my pristine staircase,” the Madame taunted. She then folded her arms and glanced at me, giving a quick nod, “Go get the paper, Yuria. I want to read what’s on it.”

“As you wish,” I humbly replied.

Before I took the first step down the guard shouted out that I couldn’t come retrieve the paper, that it had to be handed over directly to Valencia herself: for her eyes only. As if hearing the punchline to a terrible joke, Valencia broke out into laughter, having to grab onto the railing to prevent herself from falling forward.

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