"Princess you seldom smile. You should smile often, you look so beautiful." Tricia said.
"Really?" I asked.
"Yes, your’re really beautiful when you smile princess." A voice of a man said. The voice came from beside of the gazebo post.
A blonde haired young man with blue eyes emerged from behind the gazebo post.
"Will." I greeted him.
"Hello Alicia." William was smiling at me. His smile was warm and fuzzy. Unlike Leon’s which is bright as the sun.
’Why am I differentiating Will and Leon’s smile? Alicia that’s improper.’ I scolded myself thinking about such things.
"One of your maids in your courtyard told me you were here." Will said. He walked towards me.
"Please have a seat." I told Will. "I’m taking a break from my studies."
"Oh is that so? Am I disturbing?" Will asked.
"Of course not. You are free to join me if you wish. I’m going to have horse back riding lessons next." I said.
"Then can I accompany you?" Will asked.
"Of course." I smiled at him.
"Oh look what we have here?" A familiar voice said from behind me.
I looked behind me and I saw my second older sister, the second princess Elizabeth.
"Second sister." I was surprised. I stand up and give my courtesy as a greeting.
"Second princess Elizabeth, Good afternoon." William also stood up and bowed in front of her.
"Rise young lord William." Elizabeth said.
"Third princess Alicia, William." A young man beside Elizabeth greeted us.
Elizabeth is with two young men. One I knew was her personal knight Bradford.
Bradford was a tall young man with auburn hair and light green eyes. He had a gentle face for a knight. As I know he was nineteen years old. Bradford who was behind Elizabeth also bowed as a greeting.
The one that greeted me I do not know who he was. But he looks like a young lord from a noble family judging from his clothes. He has light brown hair and brown eyes. He was tall but not as tall as Will and Leon.
"James, fancy meeting you here." William greeted the young man beside Elizabeth. "Alicia this is James. He is the eldest son and the heir of Carlson Dukedom."
I look at James. He seems a rather proud young man with an air of arrogance in him.
"I am starting to court our second princess Elizabeth. That’s why I’m here." James said with a cocky smile.
I see Elizabeth rolled her eyes without James noticing it. She seems to be unsatisfied with her suitor.
"Is that so? Well then good luck." William said with a smile.
"Haha thanks." James was laughing proudly. "Are you here to court the third princess?"
"Well something like that." William said and looked at me affectionately. I blushed with his stare.
Elizabeth clenched her fist looking irritated.
"Well nothing is set in stone. Our marriages are still decided by our father king. Your courting is just a way to see if you suitors are suited to be our husbands." Elizabeth said with an irritated face.
"You are right there princess Elizabeth. But I’m sure to work hard to get your father’s approval for Alicia’s hand in marriage." William said confidently.
Elizabeth was fuming with anger. I’m afraid she would burst.
"Second sister, young lord James. Would you like to sit and have a snack?" I offered to quench Elizabeth’s anger.
Elizabeth gave me a look and smiled wickedly.
"Of course sister." Elizabeth said.
Elizabeth and James took their seat while Bradford stood behind. William and I took our seats as well.
"Come and sit here with me sister." Elizabeth told me. I was a little hesitant at first but I can’t refuse her or I will regret it later. I know how she is if she’s mad.
Elizabeth’s maid brought a teapot with tea. What I didn’t see was the look Elizabeth gave to her maid. The maid nodded silently.
"I gifted you this oolong tea that I got from my journey in the Grandcrest kingdom. I know you like oolong tea so I specifically bought it for you." James said to Elizabeth.
The teapot was placed besides me.
"Thank you James." Elizabeth smiled at James and he smiled with satisfaction. "Sister can you pour me a cup please." Elizabeth asked me.
I nodded. I lifted the teapot and was about to pour it in her cup when my grip suddenly slipped.
The teapot fell and landed on the table. The hot tea splashed out.
"Ahhhh." Elizabeth cried. She was holding her face. "It hurts, it hurts." She was crying in pain.
The hot tea also splashed on my hands and it burned.
"I’m sorry I didn’t mean to..." I was saying when I felt a slap on my face. I lost my balance from the force and landed on the floor. I can feel the pain on my cheeks as I hold it.
"Insolence!" James shouted. "I have heard that you were jealous of your sister’s beauty but I never thought you would do such a thing to hurt her beautiful face!"
"But I didn’t... It was an accident." I said. Tears are running from my eyes.
I see my sister crying. Bradford was there assisting her and applying ice.
William leaned down beside me and comforted me. "James what are you doing? She is still the third princess of Alvannia. You don’t have any evidence that she did it on purpose. It was an accident."
"She’s just a bastard!" James shouted.
Then a shadow passed by me from behind. The next thing I know James was on the ground with a bloody nose.