Sophia felt her heart clench, her tears filling around her brown eyes.

”Of…a horrible disease? Why? How? How are you sure it is she? I know Diana left home for… ”

”She went to Fermich. The kind family that took her in, they sent her last letters, and her clothes. They buried her. They could not bring her body and so, they buried her. ”

”How could they bury her in a foreign land? How dare they do that when they know she has a family? ”

”It was her last wish too, ” Edward said. ”She wanted to, even in death, be close to Fermich. ”

”More than she wanted to be close to us? We are her kin. ” Lady Sophia said, her voice rising. She could believe Diana had someone, in a foreign kingdom that she valued above them. She could not believe it. Diana could never do wrong.

”Apparently, Sophia. She lied to all of us. She went to Fermich to seek a man. She was heavy with his child! And even while she died, even in death, she still chose that cursed man! ” Edward yelled, letting go of his wife.

She leaned away as he stood, the veins of his head breaking out on the skin of his forehead.

Lady Sophia held on to her dress. Her mind was reeling with the possibilities and she shook her head. ”I do not believe it. I can not believe it. If it is not Diana herself telling me… ”

Edward suddenly flung a bunch of enveloped letters to Sophia, his lips pursed harshly, his tears bitter.

”There, Sophia. She will tell you all of it herself. My own daughter chose to die and be buried in another kingdom, in foreign land, rather than finding her way home. She refused to even give me a body to put flowers on. A grave to cry at. How dare her!? ” Edward yelled, his teeth gritting. He held his long dark hair, then gave a shaky sigh.

”Father, Diana… ” Lady Sophia started to say, but Edward raised a hand to her, stopping her from talking.

”I do not want to ever, hear her name in my household. I do not want her to be associated with this household. I have only one daughter now, and that is Sophia. It is a good thing she is already dead. She might as well be dead to me too! ”

Lady Sophia opened her mouth, but no words could come out of it. Slowly, she fell to the floor in the middle of the flowing silk of her dress, her ears drowning out her mothers hysterical wails, as well as Pauls.

All she could hear was the loud throbbing of her heart in her ears, the blood pulsating harshly. Diana was never like that. She had the most suitors between the both of them, but never had she done anything their parents would not approve of.

She was not even the type to be attracted to the kind of freedom most girls wanted, running around beautiful servants, or knights for a taste of whirlwind romance, before they were given off in to a marriage of convenience.

To think that she had carried another mans child…out of wedlock…

Lady Sophia shook her head frantically, then went around the floor on her knees and her hands putting the paper together. She pulled it all to her chest, and before anyone could say a word, she stood up, then ran to her personal chambers.

The letters fell on the soft, pillowy rugs and she followed them to the floor. She grabbed the first one, her eyes wide as she read them.

They were all letters addressed to someone. Letters of love. Amorous letters. Lady Sophia could hardly believe it. She let the papers fall through her fingers, her body shaking with the tears that welled up in her throat.

Diana has revelled in promises of love, promises of a man that promised to come back for her. She was carrying his child, and she had learnt that he was marrying someone else.

He had left her for someone else just like that, despite the child between them.

Lady Sophia took the very last of the letters. none of the letters had said his name. It was almost like she loved him enough for her to feel bashful about the slightest things, such as his name.

”You are the stars I look upon at night. I miss the sounds of laughter that you never let me hear…I miss the soft scent in the beautiful waves of your hair. I miss the sound of your name…it is the most beautiful. Your name. Prince Alexander Einar. You are the most beautiful. ”

Lady Sophia swallowed. A prince of nobility? A man of royal blood? He must have abandoned her because he knew she would not be approved of by royalty. She is, heavy with a child too, and would only bring disgrace to his name.

Lady Sophia felt her sadness slowly turn to anger. Prince Alexander Einar.

”Paul? ” Lady Sophia said, emerging again from her chambers. He was still on the floor, his hands on his head.

Slowly, he straightened from his position, and turned to her with a small bow.

”Yes, my lady? ”

”I have work for you. Prepare for a journey. ”

”Where are you going to, Sophia? Especially now that your sister is dead and your father so… ”

”I need to get to the bottom of this matter, mother. and I can only do so if I go to Fermich. She was indeed pregnant, and she was indeed in Fermich with a man. Prince Alexander Einar. I need to find him. I need him to account for my sisters death. ”

”Sophia, please. Please do not do this. Your father will not allow you. Your father might disown you too. ” Rachel said, leaning, her hands clasped in front of her. ”Please just let us grieve in peace. Please let all of it go. ”

Lady Sophia opened her eyes, the memories fading away with the single burning candle light in the room. She had intended to simply ask him for accounts. To know if he deserved to know what happened to Diana. To know if he even cared for her.

But he was unrepentant. Having a woman while preparing for marriage with a lady of his status. She would not let them be happy. Not while her sister that used to be so full of life, was now lying cold beneath the ground.

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