"You filthy whore!" My stepmother raised her hand ready to slap me.
I ready myself to take the blow. But I was shocked to see what had happened next. I blocked my stepmother’s hand with my own hand.
She looked at me in surprise. I can’t blame her, I am also surprised myself. My reflexes just kicked in.
"What is the meaning of this?" The queen yelled. "Let go of me!"
I didn’t realize that I still had my grip on her wrist. She was pulling her hand so I quickly let her go.
"Ahhh!" The queen went out of balance and fell on the ground.
"Mother!" My stepsisters said in unison. They kneeled down to help their mother.
"You ungrateful wench!" My elder stepsister Veronica yelled. "How could you do that to queen mother?!"
"But she said to let her go." I said innocently.
"Well that was what I heard as well." Leon backed me up. His face had a big smile.
"How dare you laugh at the queen?!" Elizabeth yelled. "Guards, seize him!"
The queen’s guards moved forward to seize him when I blocked their way.
"No!" I yelled with force and authority.
The people around was taken by surprise. I was also surprised myself. This was the first time I have yelled so loud. I was used to being meek and silent.
But thinking what my stepmother will do to Leon made me step up. I don’t want Leon to be punished because of my own doing. I might be still weak, but I want to protect the ones precious to me. And Leon is one of the people I treasure.
"I was the one that let go of stepmother’s hand. Take me if you want to punish someone." I said with a serious face.
The queen’s guards still stood their ground. They are still not moving and are looking dazed after I yelled.
"W-what are you waiting for?" Veronica came back to her senses. "Seize them!"
The guards started to advance at us again.
"HALT!" A loud voice rang in my courtyard.
Everyone looked at where the voice came from and we saw my grandpa Robert and Richard who was just behind him. He was stomping angrily towards us.
"What is the meaning of this!" My grandpa said in anger. The guards shivered in fear. They have every right to be scared. This old man was a war hero in the previous war. He was called the raging bull because every battle field he was assigned to, all the enemies were swiped out.
"Father what are you doing here?" The queen has regained her bearing and stood up.
"It is I who should ask you that Erica." Robert said seething his anger.
"Father, this bastard has burned Elizabeth’s face. Look!" The queen pulled Elizabeth beside her to show the gauze covering her daughter’s cheek. "After a few weeks it has not yet healed. You know that Elizabeth is the most beautiful of the king daughters. She is the pride of Alvannian beauty. What will happen if her this wound fester and leave a scar?"
’The most beautiful? Is she blind? It is clearly Alicia who is the most beautiful of Edward’s daughters. Even if they give rags as Alicia’s clothes, her beauty is still evident if the sisters stood by each other.’ Leon chuckled internally.
"She should be punished severely!" The queen yelled.
"Do you really think that Elizabeth was really scalded and burned by hot tea?" Robert scrutinized.
"Grandfather, what do you mean?" Elizabeth looked surprised. "Of course I was burned. You can ask William, he was there when that incident happened."
"Are you doubting your own granddaughter?" The queen asked in disbelief. "You are siding with this bastard than your own granddaughter?"
"Enough!" Robert yelled furiously. "Someone told me that he saw Elizabeth with no burn in her face."
"Who would tell such lies?" Elizabeth defended herself but her eyes was clearly shaken.
"I was the one that told grandpa." Richard came forward from behind. "Elder sister, I saw you a few days ago and your face was as smooth as a baby’s."
"W-what? Nonsense!" Elizabeth yelled in defense.
"Then why not take off your bandage princess Elizabeth." Leon interjected. "You can clear your name from their allegations after we see your wound."