Maiolaine had been working for the queen since her days as a slave in Iridia. Reina had saved her from that life, and although Maiolaine was truly dedicated and grateful, she had betrayed her saviour in a way that could not be forgiven. Perhaps that was the reason she had been left behind to chaperone the princess, after all it was the first time in years that Maiolaine had been separated from Reina. It had all been an accident, a mistake, a trap. She had been ordered into the bed of King Conri, against her dearest wishes, she could not deny the king. Her daughter would be raised as a princess in the royal castle, and Maiolaine had refused the offer to live there with her, instead she had chosen her sentencing as she saw it, to continue in service of the royal family until the day she met her end.
“Rei?” Maiolaine called down the seemingly deserted hallway.
She’d gotten caught up with dinner preparations, and lost sight of the princess. If the queen were to hear that she’d let Rei be alone with either of her suitors – well, she didn’t want to think of that. Maiolaine turned a corner, and paused. She swore she’d heard a noise, a voice – a squeak. Something sinister gripped her, and Maiolaine abandoned her usual carefulness of etiquette. She approached a nearby door, listening carefully for another sound. And there it was again. Fear rushed through her.
She didn’t hesitate, she didn’t knock. And when she burst through that doorway, what she saw was not what she feared, but worse.