The maid swallowed dryly.
“I, don’t dare evaluate Her Highness.”

   Bjorn looked up from the piece of paper that had several different family names scrawled on it, linked by lines and dots.


   “Yes, Your Highness.”

   “Strange,” Bjorn said, placing the note paper back on the table, “because it seems to me like you already have.” He looked at Karen with cold eyes and a gentle smile.




The glass conservatory that looked out over the lake had been built for Princess Gladys.
It was a present to demonstrate how the Royal couple loved their one and only princess.

   Erna listened politely and sipped tasteless tea as the Princess of Lars told her the history of the glass house.
It was filled with rare flowers and butterflies.
It was a house of eternal spring that made you forget what was going on outside.

   “Come to think of it, it was here that I received the letter of proposal from Lechen.
It was such a beautiful letter, I don’t think I’ve seen a letter more beautiful since.
I’m sure you understand, you must have received something similarly beautiful,” Gladys said as she dainty sipped at her tea.

   Erna couldn’t see any shadow on Gladys’ smiling face, as if she was recalling fond memories.
The other noble woman didn’t seem to care.
This was no coincidence, Erna was convinced and put down her tea cup.

   Karen had advised her that she should visit the lake, telling her how the calm water reflected the colours of the trees so beautifully and it was a placed loved by all of Lars’ royal family.
Since it was so close, she didn’t need to make any arrangements or seek permission.

   The sudden kindness from the woman she knew disliked her made Erna very suspecious, but by the time she realised the plot, she was already looking at Lars’ Princess.

   “I received flowers, Princess, a very pretty rose,” Erna said.

   She was very calm, mostly because she had been through this already.
She was able to maintain a calmer demeanour than the messy tea party, now that she realised what was going to happen.

   “Really? You got married and didn’t even receive a proper marriage proposal? Bjorn, really.
A man who writes such beautiful letters can be so heartless,” the Princess let out a theatrical sigh.

   Erna no longer avoided those eyes.
The moment Gladys invited Erna for tea, she suspected what the Princess was really doing.
Instead of choosing to run away and hide, Erna decided to face such obvious malice.

   “Can I show you my favourite flower?” Gladys asked.

   Before Erna could respond, Gladys was already up.
Erna noticed the Princess’ intentions and calmly responded.

   “Princess Gladys, I think the only reason you called me out here is because you have something to tell me.” Erna said flatly.

   The chatter of the other ladies stopped and they all looked at Erna and Gladys.

   “What are you talking about, Grand Duchess, I just want to show you my favourite flowers.
You seem like the type of person who really enjoys flowers,” Gladys smiled brightly at Erna.

   Erna looked away and tried to gather her thoughts.
The flower bed Gladys stood before was filled with Lilly of the Valley, it was the only flower in the bed.

   No. Mrs.
Fitz’s voice came to mind, when Erna had asked the old woman if she could use the Lilly for a bouquet display. Absolutely not.

   Erna never guessed why, at the time, but now that Gladys stood before a bed of the flower, she guessed the reason why.

   “It’s such a beautiful flower,” Princess Gladys said, “it is my favourite flower.
I guess you like them too.” Gladys pointed to Erna’s hat, where there was a Lilly of the Valley.
“We have so much in common.
We both have the same taste in flowers and the same taste in men…ah, that might have been a bit ride.
I’m sorry.” Gladys’ voice became lower and her words more brutal.
“There are pink Lillie’s over here, in this next bed.
It is a precious flower that is only found in Lars.
You may take a few as a gift, if you like.”

   Gladys calmly led Erna around the rest of the greenhouse, on a meaningless tour, all the while talking none stop about flowers.
Erna remained clam and followed.

   “Do you know, Bjorn was such a beloved crown prince,” Gladys turned on Erna suddenly.
She was no longer smiling, “and I want to return that crown to Bjorn.”

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