Anastasias voice sounded tired but not without authority.
Lia shot a glance at Kieran momentarily and sat facing the Marchioness.
Kieran sat by her side and placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder.
“Come to my room after you talk with Mother,” said Kieran, “I have something to say to you.”
“I will,” said Lia.
Kieran gently squeezed her shoulders as a gesture of comfort and headed to his room.
It was a rare but rebellious gesture from soft-spoken, gentle Kieran that he had ever displayed in front of his mother.
Anastasia glared at Kieran as he walked away.
She finally turned and met Lias eyes.
“Its nice seeing you get along with Kieran.
It has been a long four years, indeed,” said the Marchioness, “Have you tried communicating with each other.”
“No,” said Lia, “This is the first time I get to talk to him for the first time in four years.”
“Yes, well,” said the Marchioness, “Kieran is kind and benevolent.” She lifted the fan off the table and used it to cool herself.
She looked at Lia all this time.
“You are going to the capital the day after tomorrow,” said the Marchioness.
“Yes, I am entering the academy by your permission,” said Lia.
“Sir Theodore has spoken very highly of your intellect,” said the Marchioness, “You did well, Canillian.
Now you can be proudly called Kierans brother.”
Lia did not respond.
The Marchioness, beautiful yet terrifying, hadnt changed a bit, unlike her son.
She was still as beautiful, full of authority and a force to be reckoned with.
“Canillian,” called the Marchioness.
Lia raised her face to the Marchioness who looked a bit rigid.
“Will you find your mother in the capital”
She didnt respond.
“Answer me,” said the Marchioness.
“Yes,” said Lia, “I plan to search for her as soon as I can.”
Anastasia sneered like she had expected it.
“You are an ignorant and ungrateful child.”
“I do not know what you mean,” said Lia.
“Canillian, you have stepped inside the aristocratic society already.
The young Duke has visited, has he not Many nobles know you and your name.
Even Princess Rosina worried about you in her letters! However, you plan on disappearing as a girl overnight”
“I warned you to live like a shadow!” the Marchioness voice raised.
Her hand had turned white from gripping the fan too tight.
She was right.
Claude, Wade, Marilyn and Rosina all knew Canillians name.
They knew her.
And if she disappeared, it wouldnt go unnoticed.
“We have to be careful, Canillian,” said the Marchioness, “We have to take it slow.
There is a way, but it will take time.”
“Yes,” said the Marchioness, with disappointment, “Kieran intends to go back to Geore after the engagement.
He is too eager to learn and will not listen to me.
Try to pretend to be as ill as possible after entering the academy.
That can be used as an excuse to take you away for recuperation.”
Lia turned pale.
“What happens after” she asked.
“We will have a funeral in Canillians name,” said the Marchioness, “You can then return to beingCanillia as you want so desperately and be free.
There is no other way.”
Lias lips trembled.
A funeral for someone who wasnt even dead! She realized that this had been the plan all along.
This was why the Marchioness had agreed to her entering the academy so easily.
“I am only trying to keep the promise I made on bringing you here, Canillian,” said the Marchioness, noticing Lias distress, “You have done much more than I expected, and Kieran is well now.
Therefore, I am willing to give you the freedom you seek.”
Lia did not know why she felt so sad.
She had been waiting for this.
She had been waiting for the Marchioness to keep her promise and set her free.
Had she become too attached to the luxurious life she had been living till now Her thoughts were all mixed and confusing.
“You can come to Kierans engagement party,” said the Marchioness, “Kieran wants you to be there.” She began fanning herself.
Betty came and poured tea.
The maids face looked utterly devastated and Lias eyes welled up.
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“I have a favour to ask,” said Lia.
“What is it” asked the Marchioness.
“Please forgive my mother,” said Lia.
The Marchioness hand stopped mid-air and she looked sharply at Lia.
“That is very impertinent of you,” she said, “Who do you think I—”
“I am sure it is not very much to ask for, seeing how I have dedicated years of my life living like a boy, for my brother,” said Lia.
The Marchioness brows furrowed as she frowned.
“I am very grateful to you for taking me out of the Louvre, but no girl wants to be forced to live life as a boy,” Lia continued, “I did it for my mother.
I became Canillian.