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After the first two days of the festival, I did not go out at all and instead was sitting in the room with Snow on my lap, caressing his fur.

"So, are you saying... Prince Alexander is colluding with King Renard?"

Sir Nicholas nods as he gave a grim expression. There were bags under his eyes and he seem very tired yet he was used to it.

I had just told him about what I saw during the second day of the festival and Sir Nicholas had said it was the same day when King Renard was spotted to have seen talking with Prince Alexander near his palace.

That bastard, I clench my fist.

"I've sent a report to Captain Nathaniel and Vice-Captain Sara as well as Tim. We should wait for further instructions now that it has been confirmed", Sir Nicholas stares into my eyes as he said "You should return home soon".

"As soon as the festival ends. Rose and Lily are expecting me to attend the ball", I cut through his sentence as I gave a serious look as well. "I doubt they would expect something but I find myself becoming friends with them so I should honor the promise".

Sir Nicholas saw my determination and sigh saying, "I'll accompany you then. Prince Alexander only saw me as your guard and didn't know I was tailing him so it should be fine".

I pause. "You... are coming with me?"

Sir Nicholas gave a confused look, "Yes, I am the guard sent by your uncle and he swore to kill me if anything happens to you".

"So, you won't leave my side?" my words made Sir Nicholas pause as well.

I hope he doesn't know my thoughts were straying as when he first said he was coming with me I actually imagined him as my partner and now that I've said these words...

"As your guard. Yes" Sir Nicholas caught himself quite quickly at the moment that there was no hesitation in his words and I found myself a bit hurt that he didn't see me as a partner, a woman again.

"I see. Then I'll be counting on you... my guardian knight", I sat up and let Snow down as I called for Lucy.

"Where are you going?" Sir Nicholas asked.

"I still haven't found a dress for the ball", I easily lied. The room felt suffocating at the moment and I didn't even know why. "It's not easy since we just arrived recently and the ball is in 4 days' time"

When I saw Sir, Nicholas was going to follow I stood still and gave a piercing glare as I said, "I don't need anyone to cover for me. Rest while you can since I also do not wish to be responsible for my guard's death if any".

Sir Nicholas seems as if he was going to put up a fight but after thinking for a bit, he agreed and head to the other room to rest while I took Michael and Lucy to town.

Had I known I truly was going to go to a ball, I would have agreed to let Lucy pack at least one fancy dress as currently most of them were sold out in boutiques.

"I told you we should have packed at least one", Lucy sigh beside me.

She would often give a stare whenever we exited a shop as there was no suitable dress and my pride took a wound a bit as I truly thought we were going to be here for a while and packed more comfortable clothes for wear.

I agreed to whatever Lucy had said and went through an alley as there was a shortcut available and thought I would hear her cocky voice saying, "I told you so" again but then I realize it had gotten quiet despite the festival was still functioning well in the morning bazaars.

And without me noticing, there was a cold feeling by my neck and the scent of steel entered my nose.

"Come with us quietly or your friends will get it", the voice was stuffy and I could tell the person was skilled seeing how he passed through my senses.

This is what I get perhaps for rejecting Sir Nicholas's offer.

I turn to see men clad in dark clothing, even covering their faces so only their eyes were visible while Lucy was being held captive widen her eyes at the sight of my neck was bleeding perhaps while Michael was unconscious by the wall.

Sensing my gaze on Michael, the man who held the knife by my neck continue saying, "Don't worry, he's just unconscious".

I nod and look towards Lucy, "I trust that you'll let my maid free now since she can't bring any harm to anyone"

But the man despite having his face covered I could sense he was smiling as he said in a tattle tale voice, "Perhaps but it would be well that she follows us quietly as a hostage".

My fist tightens when I realize how prepared they were. Had they let Lucy go and just brought me in with them then I could have escape by myself but since Lucy could not defend for herself it would be as an excess baggage instead. But I can't leave her hence the perfect leverage.

The other men then tied up my hands and blindfolded us that I felt helpless by the second.

"Miss..." Lucy's voice held fear in them as who knows where they were bringing us.

Trying to ease her worries as well as give a threat, I spoke confidently "Don't worry, they won't harm a hair on our way unless they want to start a war between the two empires".

Someone clenches my shoulder harder as they brought us inside a carriage of some sorts.

Though I was confident, it was merely a bluff not just for Lucy's sake but also for my own.


Hello there readers, long time no update; I apologize for that as I did promised it might be finished by May but now that it's June... Hahaha.... Coughs awkwardly. Damn me and myself and I. 

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