Two young women were studying in the middle of an elaborate library. Scholars from all around the world were willing to abandon everything to be grander access in this place of bountiful knowledge that made even the royal library pale in comparison. Despite that the two women didn't paid any heed to the wealth surrounding them, after all it was but natural to be granted free access to those facilities as members of the house. One at fifteen years old and the other a year younger they were burying their faces on the books laid before them, the youngest acting as a teacher to the oldest.
Nadine: I suppose we made healthy progress for the day, you truly are a fast learner.
Estelle: By no means! Without your Ladyship's guidance I would never had come this far.
Nadine: Are you perhaps calling me a liar? Take pride and hold your head high, you soon will be a Renner.
Estelle: Excuse my ruddiness despite how many times I have been told this I still continue to fail in believing.
Nadine's mind wandered back to a usual family diner that took place a year ago when out of nowhere her older brother got up from his chair in one big dramatic action declaring that he wanted to wed the girl next to her, the daughter of a noble with no territorial claims. The unexpected part wasn't the context, in fact Nadine knew about it since the beginning and had already informed the rest of the family, the unexpected part was how he just jumped up like something stung his ass and declared it out of nowhere with such fervor.
Andree: Then please do present your case.
Gregory: My case?
Andree: Surely you must have a good reason to disturb this peaceful meal, am I wrong?
Gregory: Dear father since my sister paid quite a few visits to Lady Estelle's abode she is the one to promote her values.
The young girl stopped eating and glanced at her brother with murderous intent before composing herself and turning towards her father.
Nadine: 'Sigh' She sure has the looks to join the family...
Asteria: Nadine that is no way to talk about a lady!
Her mother interjected lecturing her for her behavior.
Nadine: If a certain someone informed me beforehand then I would had time to prepare an appropriate speech...
She glanced over at Gregory who looked like he wanted the earth to open in two and shallow him but despite that continued holding his ground.
Nadine: Very well. From what I observed she is a mature person for her age. Very hard working and motivated but given her birth she keeps her head too low. Despite that she has displayed quite the interest in dear brother even when she thinks she's hiding it.
Asteria: Indeed that would be unbecoming for a Renner but pride is easy to obtain and difficult to let go, she can learn our ways in due time.
Andree: One would assume a bolder behavior from her being a friend of 'that' and all.
Nadine glared at her father for this unwarranted comment of his.
Nadine: In that case why don't we invite her to live here with the pretence of working as a maid before making it official and witness firsthand if she is Renner material. On top of pride she also lacks both stimulation and resources so why don't we observe how she develops.
Asteria: A good idea, we can have your tutors provide where she lacks.
Nadine: If possible I would like to personally supervise her growth.
Asteria: Why is that?
Nadine: A promise. And excuse me dear Mother but I would like to keep the details to myself.
Andree: Go ahead. We must honor our promises, especially to the dead.
Nadine: It is as you say esteemed father.
Her brown twitched as those memories were brought back to the surface.
Estelle: Lady Nadine is everything alright?
Nadine: Ah! Don't worry, you're a few years to early to be concerned about me.
Estelle: Is... that so?
Nadine: I say we finish here for today. Since you are such a bright student I need to prepare more appropriate material.
Estelle's face blushed bright red as she averted her gaze to avoid being seen by Nadine but it was already to late for that, a few years to late, everyone already knew she was a person weak to compliments. After Estelle exited the room Nadine was left alone in the library, laying her head on the table followed by a loud sigh as she looked over at the empty chair asking herself the greatest question able to change already recorded history 'What if...'.
Each time her mind went to that person she didn't saw their face, actually she could hardly remember how she looked or even if that was what she actually looked like. In the first place she never met the real person, just a character she was playing for her convenience, the one real characteristic was how wide that back, now burned in her memory, appeared and at the same time how she herself could do nothing other than watch whilst being protected by her father.
The plan was a simple one, Leon or Alex or Cadence or whatever name she went by would drew out the first prince then Adrianna would save the royal family while herself was responsible in keeping Luisent Ecstraze in check but in hindsight she realized it wasn't her that pressured Ecstraze to inaction but rather her father rushing to shield her from everything that was going on.
Nadine: And then you go ahead and die on your own...
After that Adrianna displayed an insane level of savagery as she lashed out at her own father to get him to dispel the barrier rushing towards her side and then disappearing with the body at hand. For as short as their encounter lasted Alex did managed to leave a lasting impression on the young girl.
A door opened, heels hitting against the floor getting closer, from the sound it wasn't Estelle returning back. In a hurry Nadine fixed her posture sitting upright, her eyes facing forward and picked the first book she found to look proper. A maid appeared out of the corner as soon as Nadine put everything together, her otherwise simply designed green work dress was tailor-made by the best seamstresses using imported fabrics, definitely not something the average maid would wear even for the house of Renner.
Maid: Please excuse my rudeness Madam. A letter of upmost importance has arrived addressed to your Ladyship.
A stoic expression, her voice unwavering to an uncanny degree.
Nadine: "Of upmost importance" you say? So we finally have some movement on that front?
Maid: Please excuse my rudeness Madam. I do not know the context of the letter to answer your inquiry.
Her emotionless sapphire eyes pointed down to her extended hand holding a tray with a butter knife and the letter in question. Taking the context of the tray in hand without breaking her posture she gracefully cut open the envelope in one move and proceeded to read the letter.
Nadine: 'Sigh'... You have to be kidding me!
Her eyes sunk deep into her skull as she read the short letter, not even the astounding calligraphy used to convey the words was enough to lessen the foul mood overtaking Nadine.
Maid: Please excuse my rudeness Madam. Is it safe to assume that the context is not your Ladyship's liking?
Nadine: They gave him the entire Vingevue estate, why not just hand him the throne while we're at it.
Maid: Please excuse my rudeness Madam. I understand the situation yet please make an effort to control your conduct as a proper lady.
Nadine: How can I? Ever since that foreign Cardinal showed up seven months ago when then snow fell everyone's been stretching their tongues to see who can lick the furthest up his...
Maid: Please excuse my rudeness Madam!
Nadine: ...Indeed. Based on this message they handed him our county's land not for an embassy but for his personal use, what's more if he goes away from the capital we won't be able to keep him under as tight a surveillance as we do currently. This is outrageous.
Maid: Please excuse my rudeness Madam. It is as your Ladyship says, I will make sure to place as many of our people on Vingevue estate as logic allows.
Nadine: For what it's worth I do like this idea. Unfortunately we are already strained as is, we can't afford to place to much eyes on him or we suffer from leaving too many blind spots, employ the minimum possible amount for now and later we can try to win over the rest of the employees at the estate.
Maid: Please excuse my rudeness Madam. Your insight is as magnificent as always, I must depart immediately to carry out your will.
Despite knowing this maid her whole life Nadine still couldn't tell whether she was being sarcastic or not when using such passionate words with her monotonous voice but since she didn't wanted one more thing to worry about on top of everything else she learned to ignore her.
Nadine: Yeah, yeah you are excused.
The moment Nadine heard the door close shut her straight and proper posture evaporated into thin air as her face hit the table. Despite not taking her maid's words at face value for her there weren't many people deserving to be called that.
Nadine: Brilliant she says... If it was her he would be already dealt with while all I can do it watch while the world goes to shit all around me. Tell me where's the brilliant in that?