Favored By The Villain - Chapter 108
The next morning, after an uneasy night’s sleep, Levisia rose early and bathed in the bathroom adjoined to her bedroom. It wasn’t the most luxurious of baths, with the temperature of the water barely reaching above lukewarm, but it was enough to wash the sleepiness from her face.
She returned to her bedroom to find that a simple breakfast of eggs and bacon had been left on her bed. After quickly drying herself off and throwing on some fresh clothes, she sat down and tucked into her meal. It was stone cold, but she was so hungry she continued to eat.
She thought about what Pel had said to her the night before, about how he was trying to get down onto her level even though they were of royal blood.
Pel was a confusing person at the best of times, and Levisia often felt like she was getting nowhere with him. With her food finished, she placed her plate back onto her bed and resumed packing her bags. She had finished folding away her nightclothes when there was a knock at the door.
“Have you finished packing?” Elizabeth said from the other side of the door. “The carriage leaves in five minutes.”
“Yes, Your Highness.” Levisia called out. She picked up her bag, leaving the dirty plate where it was, and opened the door. Elizabeth stood with her hands on her hips, looking impatient. Behind her was Merril, peering her head over Elizabeth’s shoulders.
“Good morning, Princess Merril.” Levisia dropped into a curtsey. “How did you sleep last night?”
“Perfectly adequate, thank you. But I am more interested in what you are doing here. Got something you want to tell me, Liz?” Merril clamped her hands on Elizabeth’s shoulders, causing her to tense up. “What’s Levy doing with us? You never told me about this? I had to hear it from Lidan.”
“Get your hands off me, Merril.” Elizabeth shrugged Merril away. “This is none of your concern.” She grabbed Levisia by the arm and dragged her down the corridor. Merril ran to catch up, shouting about how she was going to tell the Count and Countess who Levisia was, and that there was only one way to buy her silence.
“What do you want, Merril?” Elizabeth stopped and spun round to face Merril, giving Levisia whiplash. She rubbed her neck as Merril skipped over, a wide grin on her face.
“To ride with my dearest sister, of course.”
* * *
As it turned out, riding with Elizabeth and Merril was even more awkward than just Elizabeth. At least Elizabeth was content to let her get on with her reading whilst she worked on her papers. Merril had attached herself to Levisia, and was leaning over her shoulder to read her book.
“Have you not finished this page yet? Gods, you are a slow reader.” Merril moaned, slumping against Levisia. “I finished reading ages ago.”
Levisia quickly turned the page, though she had not finished reading it. She was confused when Merril rolled her eyes, and desperately looked at Elizabeth for guidance on what to do.
Elizabeth had deliberately lifted her documents up to her face, almost as if she was trying to blot out Merril. Levisia came to the conclusion that everything Merril did, from cosying up to her to the occasional nudge of her foot that she claimed was an accident, was to get on Elizabeth’s nerves.
Levisia was stuck in the middle of a feud between the sisters, and had no idea how to get out of it or make the situation any better. She quickly glanced at the page, read two paragraphs, and then turned the page before Merril could comment on the slowness of her reading.
“Did you even read that page? You’re such a slow reader.” Merril said, draping her arm over Levisia’s shoulder. Levisia didn’t want her to take her time reading, and that with her on the carriage, she was unable to focus on the contents of the book.
She passed the book over to Merril to read, and cleared her throat.
“Your Highness, are you busy? Surely you must have finished those documents by now?” She said, speaking directly to Elizabeth. She knew that Elizabeth had finished her paperwork during the long carriage ride the previous day, and she was only pretending to work on them as an excuse to not talk to Merril.
“It pays to go through them again.” Elizabeth said, not taking the papers away from her face. “Resume with your reading and leave me be.”
“Your Highness.” Levisia said, hoping Elizabeth would detect the urgency in her voice. “You have been working since yesterday. Surely it would do you some good to take a break. Enjoy the scenery, for example.” She gestured to the forest outside, a fake smile plastered on her face.