*Insert confession bear image* I am atrocious at naming everything. I usually just use a random name generator and use whatever comes up the list and sounds good.*/confession bear image*
Even though it’s a bit overused in Japanese novels, Sebas is such as badass butler name. I can’t help myself but use it.
***June 6th, 965 A.F. (Night)***
***Queen Rosie Barrett***
The summer night quietly fell on the Dwarven Capital. Candles were lit to illuminate throughout the Royal Castle while a howling breeze cruises through its corridor, causing it to be abnormally cold. A middle-aged female dwarf paced up and down in front of a door non-stop. She was wearing a high-quality purple dress, clearly designed for nobles and royalty. But contrary to the dress and her status, her long black hair was completely disheveled. She was Rosie Barrett, Queen of the Dwarves. Anxiously and silently, she waited outside to hear the news from behind the door. Finally, the door opened, and a single elder dwarf emerged from the room, carrying a small brown briefcase in his hand.
“How is the king, doctor?”
”I think it’s best that we plan for the worst, my queen. There was no sign of foul play at all. The king is dying from old age. There is nothing that I can do.”
She bit her lips in sadness. However, she was not sad because she was about to lose her loved one. There were no feelings in between her and the king. Their marriage was simple a transaction in between nobles and royalties. Her family would support the king, securing the king’s power and in return, the king would give her family more authority in the courts. The marriage between Rosie and the King was used as a guarantee in between the two parties so that both would honor their side of the deal. Her sadness stems from the fact that it was not within her plans for the king to die so early. The death of the king would throw all her current deals and schemes in disarray.
“Will the king wake up? Can he talk?”
“You have to keep the news about the king’s failing health a secret. You cannot let anybody know. If not…”
“I adhere and obey, my queen.”
With a quick bow, the old doctor retreated from the sight of the queen into the depths of the corridor. Still standing outside of the room where the dying king rests, her mind races through different scenarios in silence. Finally, she called out a name into the darkness. As if he materialized from the shadows, another dwarf showed up. Dressed in classical black butler’s clothing, he knelt down to receive Rosie’s orders.
“Yes, my queen.”
“Just to make sure that the doctor doesn’t spill any information, ‘invite’ him and his family to stay within the confines of the castle. Treat them as special guests and don’t harm them. Keep him here until everything is settled. Afterward, let him go and give him extra rewards for his troubles.”
“As you wish.”
“Also, initiate the backup plan.”
“On everybody, my queen?”
“Yes, everybody. My son’s position as the heir is not secure yet. If news gets out that the king is dying, his life will be in danger. I can’t let that happen. We have to take the initiative. My son is the only thing that matters to me.”
“As you wish. Is there any other orders, my queen?”
“That is it, for now. You may leave.”
The butler in black stood back up and retreated once again into the shadows of the corridor, disappearing as if he was never there. The queen turns and looks out to of the window at the dark cloudy sky. She held her hands together and prayed in a sorrowful silence.
***June 7th, 965 A.F. (Night)***
Agnes was standing outside of the door waiting for approval to enter the room. She was hired as a caretaker to help Annie Barrett, the royal concubine, with taking care of the seven-year-old Prince, Sam Barrett at night. After waiting for a while, she knocked again, thinking that she was not heard.
After another solid minute of silence, she was confused as to what to do. On one hand, she needs to enter the room to do her job. On the other, she does not dare to enter without given permission. After thinking about the situation, she decided to find the head maid and ask for her opinion on what to do. She found the head maid in her bedroom, changing into her nightgown getting ready for bed.
“I am sorry to bother you before you sleep, head maid. I knocked on the door to the prince’s room, but there was no answer. I do not dare to enter without given permission. I am not sure what I should do.”
“That’s odd. That shouldn’t happen.”
Sensing trouble, she rushed towards the room without changing out of her nightgown. Usually, it is not acceptable for her to be seen walking around without her maid uniform, but her instinct told her she doesn't have time to change. When she got to the room, she knocked on the door hard and loud.
*Knock knock *
“Madam Annie, this is Alice. May I come in?”
There was still no answer. She banged on the door even harder.
*BANG BANG BANG*
“Annie, are you ok? Are you ok… Annie!”
Alice couldn’t wait any longer. She tried to open the door, but it was locked. She hastily retrieve the master key on her waist and unlocked it. As soon as she opened it, both of them screamed on top of her lungs which woke the whole residence. In the room was the body of Annie and Sam. Their dinner was still on the table, with only a few bites on it. Both of them died in agony, grasping their throat. It was clear that they were poisoned. Cries and screams of terror echoed throughout the Dwarven Capital as similar events happened to all the king’s concubine and eligible heirs to the dwarven throne.
***June 8th, 965 A.F.***
***Queen Rosie Barrett***
Rosie was sitting in the Royal Garden, enjoying some tea and biscuit under the shade of a great parasol, shielding her from the harmful rays of the scorching sun. Sebas appeared behind her as though as he was a ghost. Kneeling down, he was prepared to give his report.
“Is it done?”
“Almost, my queen. There is one that is outside of the capital. We are currently tracking him down.”
“All the loose ends?”
“All tidied up.”
“Good job. Spread the news about the king’s health after a week. After that, let the old doctor out of the castle. Sebas, what do you want for your rewards.”
“My loyalty towards you and your family is beyond any rewards, my queen.”
A childish voice broke the conversation between the two of them. A 7-year-old dwarf ran towards the queen. When he reached her, he held his hands up in the air, asking to sit on her knees. It was the second Prince, Alan Barrett. Even though it was improper for a queen to do so, Rosie happily obliged his request.
“So, what is my little troublemaker up to today?”
“I want to go to Sam’s house and play with him today!”
“I am sorry dear. I don’t know how to tell you this, but Sam died last night. He ate something bad by accident and died.”
“But.. but.. he’s my brother *hic* and my *hic* best friend...”
Alan started to bawl loudly for the death of his half-brother. Rosie could only pat his head guiltily, trying to calm Alan down with a wry smile.
(Author’s post note: You’ve been hit by, you’ve been struck by, a smooth criminal)