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 "LADY PRESCOTT, I've heard about the dispute you had with Sir Belington a few days ago," Sir Ainsworth told her.

Tilly almost choked on her own saliva when Sir Ainsworth brought that up after the small talk they had a while ago.

Currently, they were using the captain's carriage. She accepted his offer because she didn't want to be rude to him. Plus, she didn't want anyone to think that she was making Her Royal Highness wait for her.

She was kind of scared now because she was alone. That was because she asked Blake to follow Flint and to make sure that the child wouldn't be hurt. She also asked him to bail the boy out of jail. At first, the vice-captain didn't want to leave her alone with Sir Ainsworth.

But when she pleaded, Blake finally gave in. The vice-captain left her a communication device and told her to contact him if anything happens.

[I'm with the Golden Tiger Knights' captain so I'll be safe.]

"The knights who arrested Sir Belington that day told me that you wanted to question how I train my troop," Sir Ainsworth continued. "But it didn't push through when you decided for a settlement instead."

Sir Ainsworth was a really intimidating now that she had met him in person. But she had to stand by what she said that day. It wasn't like she would take it back just because the captain of the Golden Tiger Knights looked a little bit scary.

"That's true, Sir Ainsworth," Tilly confirmed in a voice that she hoped sounded confident enough. "I may not be close enough to you for us to be considered as friends. But I heard stories about how fair and honorable you are both as a noble and as one of the captains of the Four Orders. And I believe them. My father talks highly of you. That's why I can't believe that your troop has produced a knight that would tarnish your good name by showing disrespect to a captain." She clenched her teeth when she remembered the harsh words Sir Belington said to Kiho that day. "Sir Kiho doesn't have a noble bloodline but he's still the captain of the Black Serpent Knights. I just couldn't stay silent as Sir Belington belittle Sir Kiho for being a commoner. Isn't it also a part of our noble duty to look after the citizens of Moonchester Empire regardless of their blood?"

Sir Ainsworth seemed to be impressed by her long "speech." "Spoken like a true noble."

She just smiled at his remark.

"I understand your sentiment," he continued. "I know this may sound like an excuse but I have to let you know that there are problematic knights in every troop. I'll monitor my men closer to make sure that the Golden Tiger knights will uphold the value I instill in them whether I'm looking or not. Thank you for your honest feedback, Lady Prescott."

She suddenly felt embarrassed. "I hope my words didn't offend you, Sir."

"Not at all," he assured her. "I appreciate your honesty."

"Thank you."

"I heard that you recently got engaged to Captain Kiho," he said when he changed the subject. "I apologize for the late greeting but congratulations on your engagement, Lady Prescott."

She lightly bowed her head. "In behalf of Captain Kiho, thank you, Captain Ainsworth."

"Captain Kiho is lucky to have you as his future wife, Lady Prescott," Sir Ainsworth said in a somewhat more gentle tone than usual. When she raised her head to look at him, he gave her a small smile. "It seems like you genuinely care about him. I thought it would be a political marriage between you and Captain Kiho. But I guess I was wrong."

"It was both our choice to get married, Sir Ainsworth," Tilly said with a smile. "Captain Kiho is good to me so I'm luckier to have him."

***

TILLY was really nervous.

She was currently on her way to Moonflower Palace- Princess Nia's residence.

Sir Ainsworth walked her to the entrance of the Moonflower Palace before he left. Now, she was being escorted to the parlor by the princess's ladies-in-waiting. Since the sun was already about to set, the tea "party��� was going to be held inside the palace instead of the garden.

[I'm half an hour late. I hope "that" incident is already over.]

To make sure that it wouldn't happen in her presence, she called and informed the princess's secretary that she'd be late because of a minor accident.

[Please don't let me discover Her Royal Highness' secret this time!]

"Your Royal Highness, Lady Prescott has arrived," one of the ladies announced in front of the door leading to the tea room.

"Let her in," said a familiar commanding voice.

[Ah, it must be Catalina- the princess' close aid.]

She took a deep breath when the knights outside the tea room finally opened the huge double doors. Then, she entered the chamber where the princess was already waiting for her.

Her Royal Highness Princess Nia Moonchester was sitting on the sofa regally.

[Gosh, she's unbelievably beautiful.]

The princess, just like the emperor, had silver hair and red eyes. Her skin was also as pale as the moonlight. If it only weren't for her rosy cheeks and pinkish lips that were sign that she was alive, anyone would easily mistaken her for a pretty porcelain doll.

[Her clothes look modern-ish.]

The dress that Princess Nia chose to wear was a gorgeous floor-length gown with a bell skirt that was slightly shorter in the front and longer in the back. The style of her dress showed a little bit of her legs and also made her heels visible. And the top of the gown was a short-sleeved brocade with a wide neckline. She also had a tight bodice that made her waist look thinner.

The princess had her long silver hair down with minimal hair decoration. Her makeup was light, emphasizing her natural good looks and clear skin. Her Royal Highness' overall outfit was completed by a set of simple jewelries: a small pair of earrings, a layered necklace with a tiny pendant, a simple bracelet, and a diamond ring- the engagement ring given by the emperor.

[It's really her.]

Tilly gave the princess a polite curtsy. "Greetings to the brightest star of the Great Moonchester Empire," she said. If the emperor was the "moon," then his sister and fiancée was the "brightest star" of the empire. "I, Lady Prescott, present herself to Her Royal Highness."

"Rise," Princess Nia commanded in a soft voice.

[The word "gentle" was probably made for Her Royal Highness.]

Tilly looked up at the princess to absorb her beauty once again. But she looked surprised when she saw the pained look on her face.

[Oh, no...]

In her previous life, she discovered the princess's secret when Her Royal Highness fainted. Then, she discovered what was mixed in the tea that she drank.

[Will it happen again?]

When Tilly looked at the table, a purplish tea was served and it seemed to have been drunk by the princess.

[But why? As far as I remember, the princess should have already drunk the tea before I arrived. There was a schedule for it and if Her Royal Highness followed it, she would have fainted half an hour ago. That was the effect of the tea. But it would only last for five minutes so Princess Nia should have been okay by now.]

Tilly deliberately arrived late so she wouldn't witness the princess faint.

In her past life, when Her Royal Highness fainted, she immediately checked if the tea was poisoned. That was her duty as a noble. But because of that, she discovered what kind of medicine was mixed with the princess's tea.

"Lady Prescott, you seem to be worried about me," Princess Nia said with a weak smile. Then, she place her small hand (and slender fingers!) on her now pale cheek. It was rosy just a few minutes ago. Did it mean the medicine was already working? "I feel a little bit sick."

"Your Royal Highness, shall I call the doctor?" Catalina, who was standing behind the princess, asked politely.

"No, I'm fine," Princess Nia said kindly.

Tilly was seriously having a dilemma right now.

[If the princess faints now, I have to check the tea for poison because it's my noble duty. The servants wouldn't be allowed to touch the food and tea that the princess consumed. I am the only person here who would be qualified to investigate because everyone who served Her Royal Highness would be immediately suspected, even Catalina.]

In her previous life, when she found out the royal secret, Princess Nia confessed to her. Then, she promised that she would keep her secret safe with her.

[I'll change my destiny!]

Tilly didn't want to experience that so she did the first thing that came into her mind: to faint before the princess does.

She made her body temperature rise to make it look like she was having a high fever. To be honest, she wasn't good at acting but she tried her best to drop on the ground as naturally as possible. It hurt her head and shoulder but she'd rather feel that than repeat the events in the past.

Then, she closed her eyes tight to pretend that she fainted.

"Lady Prescott!" Princess Nia said in a worried voice. "Catalina, call the royal doctor!"

"A-As you wish, Your Royal Highness."

Tilly knew that lying in front of the royal family could be considered as treason. But she didn't want the princess to know that she was aware of her secret...

.... And that royal secret was the fact that Her Royal Highness was taking a forbidden medicine that prevented her from getting pregnant.

Yes, Princess Nia didn't want a child with Emperor Aku.

***

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