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   Chapter 3 Ch one(3)

Lucy Wickshire By Mfonemana Uduak Characters: 7406

Updated: 2019-09-23 17:31


A noble man garbed in grey, sat in his town home, his eyes fixed upon his tea swirling from his crystal cup, than the chess pieces before him. His opponent, a round study man, glaring so hard at him, one would wonder what kind of chess they were playing.

"You can not reject the queen, Haye. As the Duke of Crystal-mot, you have an obligation...."

"To the king, Lord Rhog. Not the queen."

"We all know she usually gets what she wants, my friend. Is it wise to openly stand against her?" Lord Rhog asked.

"Openly? My dear friend, the queen's petty schemes has not a speck of dust in my nightmares."

"Lord Stellden, you have always been one incapable of knowing when to fear." Lord Rhog said in frustration. He feared for his old time friend. The queen schemes, yes. But this time, she is dead set on making this happen. She has every intention of seizing the kingdom by force if necessary. You hold high regards for death, yet less for fear?"

"No, my dear old friend. It is you who has not opened a ciere with death, not I." Lord Stellden said.

"For once, my friend.... the queen is clear to those in her trust who her enemy is."

"The same enemy you ought not make yours, Lord Rhog. I am willing to bet that the queen's agitation is not from her enemy but from her supporters. If I can stand on my wealth of experience, I'd say others, even in the king's counsel, are standing on theirs." Lord Stellden warned.

"Why can't you all see sense? The opposition and the queen, I am sure the one with power is as clear as a roster's burnt behind."

"Power, my friend is not of he who holds the cards nor the one who uses it. It is he who sees those who hold and those who use and even those who see as well. Rumours of Lady Wickshire and whispers are more than whispers. The queen is trying to drown by doing this and I'm wiling to bet she will." Lord Stellden sipped his tea.

***

The king of Juhntt laid on his bed, light in thought unlike his physician whose bald head and brows greased with sweat.

"My king, you need not resort to this." he protested, earning a look from the king.

"My wife intends me dead. You confirmed the potent nature of this slow killing drought yourself."

"Then handle it, sire. As king, you can...." the physician started.

"Oh, I'm well aware of what I can or cannot do to my wife. But I'm sure there shall be protest from her supporters. People supposed to support me."

"Then why pretend that the potion lives within you doing as intended?"

"My dear wife thinking I'm dying will not try to kill me and this is time more than ever to retract myself from her company."

"Retract, sire?"

"She has with her own hands, started a fight she cannot win. It is but her greed alone that drew her to the cleaver's edge."

"She intends to have total control of the council. Trying to flush the power of Lady Wickshire is her error. But what has this got to do with lying about your health?"

"And right she is. Lady Wickshire has in her command too many in my service and everyone's service. But trying to fight her head on is her error. This is where I step aside as she falls, pretending to be dying as she intends me to."

"And Lady Wickshire? Will she actually stand against the queen? She seems in every way, aloof of the queen's plans"

"I don't fancy myself wise in the matters of the lady, my friend. But one ought not to be scared when she does something, but when she does nothing. Given that she rarely does a thing, one ought to wonder what might happen if she does." the king said, his voice a shade of grave never heard by his friend before.

***

Lucy's day in her books was as uneventful as could be. After

an hour in morning class learning the different types of tea and supposed meaning as to different circumstances, she went in for lunch only to have it cut short by a visitor. She now sat in the drawing room waiting for this unknown person with her maid, Shilla standing behind her. Lucy recognized the man that walked in; it was Lord Morge. The grim look on his face set a contrast to his light brown coat and shinny combed back black hair. She noticed Shilla's looming presence as she neither stepped back nor excused herself instead curtsies and remains in place, as she sees the lord walk in. The Earl of Morge kisses Lucy's raised hand before sitting.

"Do you have something for me?" Lucy asked.

"Forgive me my lady, I've failed you. During my watch, the diamonds went missing." Lord Morge said, his voice a worse shade of grim than his face.

"Were you thinking it'd be there?" Lucy asked.

"My lady....I..."

"It was only a matter of time. Some have started to loose faith in my ability, this is to be expected." Lucy said offhandedly.

"Forgive me.."

"Do you have an idea who?" Lucy asked.

"Rumour has it the Mclears are openly trying to drown you."

"Rumour or they truly are open about their intentions?"

"They think your father is the one they fight, my lady. What do you want to do about them?"

"Oh, let them be for now. Be ready to take from them, though."

"What?"

"Everything." Lucy said. Lord Morge looked at the soft face before him. He felt a chill down his spine. One would think that look on her face innocent, but he knew better. That look was anger. He kissed her raised hand with caution, before leaving in haste. Lucy remain silent for a while before calling to Shilla. The maid walked round to face Lucy before curtsying.

"Tell me, Shilla, did you learn any thing useful?"

"My lady?" Shilla's eyes filled with confusion.

"I have had a thought. If I owned this institution and I wanted to know what the ladies of heighten positions were up to; what they talked about, what they knew of their families and their businesses, I'd have a system were I'd receive reports; know when their letters are in, so I can see their contents first. But you see, this plan of mine would be terribly flawed. I would need a key; the maids. Those that walked behind the ladies hearing their whispers, knowing exactly when they receive a letter, write one, get any thing from home and whisper as secrets." Lucy paused letting the room soak her words.

Shilla felt the back of her dress soak with sweat she could swear before the king, could not possibly be hers. She looked before the young lady. Those grey eyes pierced her deeply as if it saw all and she knew that if the head maid or headmistress found out that the lady suspected something, she would go missing like others before her. She could not move or breathe, for fear that the lady would see.

"If you owned a school such as this, would you not consider this?" Lucy asked, her face as straight as ever, her eyes though trained on her maid, and a look starved of care for the matter of which she spoke of floated off her pale face.

"And if a maid could not keep discrete, I could get creative with their service. What say you?" Lucy asked. The pause was deep, as though everything had frozen in place. A knock on the door brought air into the room Shilla did not know was absent. Taylor walked in and curtsied to Lucy.

"I'm here to release Shilla. The head maid asks to see her." Taylor said. Shilla thought an earthquake just seized the room as she could not stop shaking.

"You are released Shilla. Go. It is an institutional necessity." Lucy said, a soft smile gracing her lips.

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