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CHAPTER 1

The palace was noisy with different people here and there doing one thing or the other.

Some maids were seen scrubbing the floor, some dust the furniture while others arranged and kept things in order.

Some were coming from the kitchen and were serving breakfast on the royal dinning table with different foods.

The dinning had a sweet smell from the different foods arranged on the dinning table.

In the upper castle, there were four rooms that were lined up like an hallway.

The third door was the room of princess Aurelia. She was still sleeping peacefully with just soft snores.

A soft knock came on the door and then, a tiny voice followed. "Princess Aurelia?"

When Daphne knocked again and again and called out to the princess and got no reply, she concluded that the princess was still sleeping.

She sighed and walked away. She would come back later because princess Aurelia hates for her sleep to be disrupted.

"That lazy princess! Still asleep by this time of the day. Humph!" Princess Aurelia step sister scoffed as she saw Daphne walk away.

Princess Eleanor was standing beside her twin sister, Eloise. They just got out of their different rooms and heading towards the dinning room.

"Humph! Very lazy indeed but then, father would not say anything, instead he will take sides with her and tell us to let her take her beauty sleep." Eloise humphed enviously.

She has always hated the fact that her father loved Aurelia more than everyone of them.

Maybe because she was exceptionally pretty and the fairest of them all.

"Let's go. It would really have been better if she does not wake up, she will just sleep and die in her sleep." Princess Eleanor said wickedly. She had a smirk plastered on her pretty face.

"That would really have been nice but that is really impossible." Princess Eloise shrugged and started taking slow strides with the sound of her shoes making noise on the floor.

Princess Eleanor trailed behind her too.

"Yeah, you're right sister." Princess Eloise said bitterly. The rest of the walk to the dining room was quiet as none of them said anything to each other but Eleanor was in a deep thought.

*

"Wake up sleeping beauty." Queen Alora said softly and tapped Aurelia lightly. Aurelia rolled out of her quilt blanket and yawned. "Mom?" She called out with her eyes still closed.

"Come on, get up. You know your father would not be happy if you do not join us for breakfast. He is already ready and he would soon leave." Her mother told her.

"Holy Mary! I totally forgot that father would be going out early today." Aurelia yelled and quickly got down from her bed. Queen Alora giggled as she watched her daughter try to hurriedly do things. "I will be in the dinning room with everybody. Come down as soon as possible." Aurelia heard her mother's voice as she applied toothpaste on her toothbrush.

"Okay, mother." She yelled, but it was not loud because of the paste in her mouth. She rinsed her mouth and poured the water in the sink. She did it again before turning on the faucet and flushing down the foam.

She hurriedly pulled her nightwear and got under the shower. She smiled as the warm water came in contact with her skin. When she was done, she tied her towel around her chest and walked out of the bathroom.

She got to her room and met her personal maid Daphne arranging her room and putting things in order.

"Good morning princess Aurelia." Daphne greeted with a smile and moved towards her dressing table. "Morning Daphne. Why didn't you come wake me up huh?" Princess Aurelia asked and took a quick glance at Daphne.

"I did come princess. I knocked on your door but you didn't answer." Daphne said with an apologetic smile.

"Goodness gracious. I totally overslept." Princess Aurelia said and rolled her eyes.

Daphne had already set her elegant dress for her on the bed.

Princess Aurelia wore her blue flowing gown and smiled to herself. She brushed her hair and let it fall down her shoulders. She wore her heels and hastily went out of her room.

She got to the dinning room and met every royal family sitting and waiting for her. "I'm so sorry everyone. I overslept and I didn't mean to." She gave an apologetic smile. "Good morning father." She greeted and pecked his cheeks. "Morning Aurelia. I was thinking you would not join us for breakfast today." The king said.

"I would not want to miss it for anything." Princess Aurelia giggled. The two wives and their children threw disgustful and jealous glances at princess Aurelia.

What was so special about her that the king dotes on her so much? The first queen, queen Sanura thought. If only the king could treat her own daughter that way too.

"Let's eat already father, I am starving." Prince Halifax said with a playfully pout. His mother, queen Alora chuckled lightly. "Let's all dig in." The king said. Everybody started eating.

****

"Bye father. Do have a nice day." Princess Aurelia waved at her father as he entered into the royal carriage that was already prepared for him. "Bye princess Aurelia." He waved at her.

Princess Aurelia walked back into the palace and went to the sitting room. She sat on a sofa and took a novel just beside the stool and started reading. She was so engrossed in it because it was interesting.

"Hey! You little nitwit, what are you doing with my novel?" Princess Eloise yelled at Aurelia and stomped to where she sat. "Oh; I did not know it was yours. I just saw it and I decided to read it because it looked interesting." Aurelia said.

"Oh! You saw a novel that doesn't belong to you and you decided to read it without taking permission first from the owner?" Princess Eloise snapped at her.

"I'm sorry. Here, you can have it back." Aurelia stretched out the novel to her but she hissed and rolled her eyes. "It belongs to the trash. I can not read that book again because you have laid your hands on it." Eloise spat out. Aurelia was totally flabbergasted and taken aback by her utterances.

"You talk to me as if I am a slave or a commoner when I am not. Princess Eloise, did I perhaps offend you?" Aurelia asked with a raised eyebrow.

"Your sight only is enough to get me angry." Eloise said harshly. "Why would you say such a thing to a fellow princess and your sister? " Aurelia queried, getting upset about the whole thing. "Sister? You're just my half sister. And we would never be sisters." Eloise stated. She hissed and walked out of the sitting room.

Aurelia sighed and continued reading the novel – she acted as if she didn't have an argument with her sister. "Maybe she is in a bad mood." Aurelia told herself and shook her head.

.............

Princess Eleanor got down from the carriage and paid the carriage man. She had sneaked out of the palace without the notice of anybody, not even her own mother. She was disguised with a cloak. And the commoners have never seen any of the princesses before except few privileged people. Princess Eleanor looked around and started walking in the midst of people in the market.

It was crowded and she felt really irritated that she felt like throwing up. She wasn't used to being in a crowded environment especially in the midst of commoners but in this case, she had no choice. It was all for the best.

She walked for a few minutes before she stood in front of an old dirty door that was barely holding up. Termites had eaten the door and it was almost falling off. She scrunched her nose in disgust because of the putrid smell emitting from the surroundings.

She felt really disgusted. She was a little scared because the small house which was almost like a hut looked abandoned – it was as if nobody was inside. She summoned up courage and knocked on the door. She knocked twice before the door opened and an old man that had gray hair appeared.

"Yes? What can I do for you?" He asked, showing his bad dentition. "I'm looking for a man named Klaus." She said with disgust. She had removed the cloak so, the old man could see her clearly.

"I am Klaus." The old man said to her surprise. "Come on in." Klaus invited her in. Princess Eleanor wanted to reject the offer but where was she gonna stay is stayed outside? And also, she could not afford being seen, so she followed him inside the thatched looking house.

"And to what do I owe this visit?" Klaus asked with a smile, showing off his dirty dentition. Eleanor looked around the small congested hut and it was almost choking her. She could not even breath properly because the air was unpleasant.

"Um...I've come to collect poison. One I can add in a water or drink." She said and stared around to make sure no one was eavesdropping on them.

"And may I ask for who?" He asked. Eleanor rolled her eyes and hesitated, "My step sister."

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