Marquis Beilin wore a black blazer over a white shirt, black pants, and brown shoes.
When Jirni entered the room, the Marquis couldn\'t believe that such a beautiful and frail-looking woman could be the fabled Constable Ernas.
Jirni wore a light pink day dress that covered her from head to toe, making her look like a young maiden and emphasizing her cheeks reddened from the crying.
His first instinct as a gentleman was to console her and offer to defend her honor against that brute of her husband, but there was too much at stake for Beilin to act like a mindless fool.
\'Remember who she is and what she has done.\' He thought while inviting Jirni to sit down.
Lady Ernas, how nice of you to accept my invitation. Beilin gave her a deep bow to which she replied with a curtsy.
I must apologize for not coming to you earlier, but this is really a bad moment for Ruham.
Between the famine and the investigation, I barely have the time to sleep.
Please, stand tall, Marquis. Jirni shook her head, sniffling.
You have no reason to apologize.
It\'s my fault for coming here uninvited and unannounced.
I was so desperate to talk with Orion that I acted without thinking.
Then, before Beilin could even offer her a cup of tea, Jirni drowned him with her sob story and tears.
She told him how painful it had been being kicked out of her house just for doing her duty, and how much she had suffered from being forbidden to see her children for months.
Like most men, the Marquis could face a trial as well as an armed opponent without batting an eye whereas he had no idea how to deal with a crying woman.
At first, he suspected it was all a ruse to gain his sympathy.
Yet after ten minutes of sobs and hiccups the situation became awkward.
The maid that brought the tea and the pastries didn\'t even bother hiding her disgust, assuming it was all his fault.
Every time that a member of the house staff heard those desperate wails, they would peek inside and get sent away by their master without an explanation, only making things worse.
\'If she keeps up like this, my reputation will be ruined no matter what this damn investigation is about.\' Beilin desperately tried to console Jirni, but to no avail.
He felt clumsy and helpless, almost forgetting about the reason why he had invited her.
I\'m really sorry for your misfortunes, Lady Ernas.
Why didn\'t you come to me first upon your arrival I would be glad to mediate with your husband in your stead. He said.
\'I don\'t care about your marriage, but I can\'t pass up on the opportunity to get close to Lord Ernas and understand what Manohar is investigating.\' He actually thought.
Because I didn\'t want to trouble you. Jirni delicately blew her nose in a handkerchief.
With my reputation as an Archon, people would have thought that you were under scrutiny from the Crown.
I kept away from you until you invited me here to protect your good name.
I also chose to stay in a hotel instead of asking the local nobles for hospitality because the same would happen to them.
I\'m cursed to be alone.
\'Damn! That\'s exactly what I would have said if she asked me to stay here.\' The Marquis thought.
\'Now, however, if I send her away after the scene she made in front of my servants and the consideration she has shown to me, people will think that I have something to hide.\'
Thank you for your kindness and for offering me a friendly ear. Jirni stood up, giving him a deep bow.
Now, I\'d better leave.
I already bothered you for too long and I can\'t wait to meet my daughters.
Daughters Beilin echoed in confusion.
My little Flower has finally returned to the army and she is helping Orion as his field assistant.
Jirni said with a radiant smile that made him wish to be single.
She and Quylla have accepted to meet me later.
I thought that your husband had forbidden them from seeing you. The Marquis couldn\'t believe his own ears.
Please, children ignore their parent\'s orders when they are teens, let alone when they are adults. Jirni chuckled.
I\'m still their mother.
Even when we couldn\'t meet, they still called me to tell me how they were doing with their jobs.
I\'m glad to hear that there\'s a beacon of light in your darkest hour and I hope I can offer you a bit more. Beilin stood up as well and took her hands as if they were old friends.
I can\'t stand the thought that after everything you went through, you have to meet your daughters in a cold hotel room and live like a commoner without even a maid.
I insist that you stay here as my honored guest.
I can\'t accept. Jirni said.
What about your reputation I\'m a married woman traveling alone and people will talk.
\'Too late to worry about that now, damn you.\' He thought.
I\'m the City Lord, people always talk about me and rarely to say good things. He actually said.
They already blame me for everything.
One more rumor is just a drop in the ocean.
I don\'t know what to say. Jirni timidly lowered her gaze, making him feel in control.
Back in the day, the Beilin had been quite the player.
He knew a vulnerable woman when he saw one.
Once Archon Ernas may have been a lioness, but now she was reduced to an emotional pile of rubble.
Just say yes. Then, without waiting for her reply, he showed Jirni around the house and brought her to her chambers.
\'My loyal slaves will keep her from snooping around and from this room, I will have the opportunity to listen to every conversation she has and to every call she makes.
If her daughters tell her something about the investigation, I\'ll use their information to change my plans accordingly.
\'Many birds with one stone.\' The Marquis thought while inwardly congratulating himself.
Meanwhile, on the belltower, Quylla was busy picking up her jaw from the floor.
What the actual ** Everything went as Mom predicted.
I would have been surprised otherwise. Friya said.
Who do you think taught me how to use my assets to get us in here and made us come right when the soldiers with the worst disciplinary record stood guard
She made the first three buttons of her shirt, which was her shapeshifted Featherwalker Armor, open with a thought, blushing on cue like a timid maiden for the embarrassing accident.
That\'s why you were so confident flaunting those! You knew that those guys couldn\'t afford to get another complaint. Quylla said, pointing at her sister\'s chest.
My eyes are up here, little one. Friya chuckled.
It was all planned.
Maybe Dad had a point about Mom having a bad influence on us.
At this point, I would never think you had been adopted. Quylla grumbled.
Thanks. Friya ruffled her hair as if that was the best compliment she had ever received.
Now let\'s keep an eye on the Marquis..
I bet that as soon as he leaves Mom, he\'ll call his accomplices.
If you find any errors ( broken links, non-standard content, etc..
), Please let us know so we can fix it as soon as possible.
Tip: You can use left, right, A and D keyboard keys to browse between chapters.