Tainted Saint, Chapter SeventyMature

Cassandra's fingers were poised above the letter bearing her name, unsure if she should dare to read the letter or not. Upstairs, she heard Gabelle opening a door - perhaps a closet door - and rummaging around. There would be time for Cassandra to briefly skim whatever it was that had her name on it.

Moving aside the other official papers, Cassandra carefully picked up the letter, heart beating rapidly. Knowing she did not have time to reading everything, she immediately skipped to the paragraph in which her name was written.

"This wretch, this Cassandra, is ruining the reputation of all who call themselves loyal to the King. To allow her to enter the castle gates would be to allow all kinds of evil to pervade the integrity of the place within which royalty dwells. She cannot be there. She does not have a right to be there. She belongs in Nicu, where her evil can only affect other evil. She belongs to me."

Cassandra was fairly certain her heart stopped beating. Who had written this letter? A feeling of dread seeped through her bones. She didn't recognize the handwriting, but she recognized the bitter tone.

Someone was coming down the stairs.

Quickly shoving the letter into her pocket, Cassandra dashed over to a bookshelf, where she haphazardly chose a book and pretended to be reading it. Only seconds later, Gabelle entered the room. "I've got the perfect dress for you!" she exclaimed, seemingly oblivious to Cassandra's petty thievery.

"Ah...really? I'd love to see it," Cassandra said, still flustered.

"Well, then, come upstairs! We've also got to find you some jewelry, and perhaps a circlet for your hair. Have you ever worn a circlet?"

"Uh...no, I don't believe so..."

"Well, then, you've got to wear one! All the girls in the palace have been wearing them nowadays. I've got several - do you like flowers? Or pearls?" Gabelle laughed. "Or perhaps, both?"

It occurred to Cassandra that Gabelle was being more talkative than she'd been upstairs. Perhaps, my snooping did not go unnoticed.

With a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach, Cassandra followed Gabelle upstairs.

The End

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