Seeds of Vengeance [Invite Only]Started by Adelina Valkoran at Nov 30, 2019 7:14 pm
Dophn 21, 1201 AB
"The tavern is yours, my lady," the serving-man standing in front of the seated Adelina Valkoran said. She regarded him with cold, still blue eyes over the rim of her cup of tea. The liquid was lukewarm, but good enough for now. The servant had kept her waiting almost as long as the noblewoman would tolerate, but the news justified the wasted time. This time.
"Of course it is," Adelina replied. "Now I have another task for you."
"Y-Yes," he stammered. "Anything."
Yes. Anything. He wouldn't defy her. He didn't dare. Not if he didn't want his wife to find out where he'd been spending his evenings for the past five months--or with whom.
"I want her watched. Tell me who her friends are, who her enemies are. I want to know everything," Adelina said. "Every move she makes."
The serving man didn't seem surprised, and he bobbed his head in a nod and scurried off with her dismissal. A few moments later her handmaid, Frieda, appeared.
"Fetch my daughter," Adelina said tartly. "And don't dally." The woman left, and Adelina returned to her embroidery.
It was going to be a good day.
In her room, Lydia lay across her bed sleeping as usual. The young woman didn't hear the knock on the door until the third time Frieda pounded on it. She'd had a long night. A long, fun night.
"Go away!" she yelled at the rude person awakening her at this horrible hour.
"Your mother has requested you to see her," came the response, muffled through the door.
Not even Lydia refused her mother and the blankets were thrown off in irritiation. She could show her displeasure in little ways. By taking her sweet time getting dressed in her most revealing outfit in her wardrobe. The top was cut low, showing her very generous cleavage and the skirt as short and tight as possible without hindering movement. Fiery red tresses piled atop her head were held with pins to give an artfully messy look.
Finding her mother, head bent over the needle-work Lydia herself dispised. Flopping into a chair opposite, the young woman huffs a sigh.
"What is it now, mother."
Adelina's merciless eyes raked her daughter's wardrobe with keen disapproval. "Good afternoon to you too, Lydia," she said tersely, pushing the needle through the fabric perhaps a little harder than she needed to. The colorful strands of thread followed it--red, blood red, like a first flowering.
"I do not know where you found that clothing, but it will be gone before the day is through. Do you understand me? No daughter of mine is going to dress like a strumpet. Your stepmother has returned and you will be on your best behavior until there is a ring on your finger and you have a child. Besides, I have something more...worthwhile, for you to do. We are going to ruin them, both of them, and to accomplish that we cannot afford a breath of scandal of our own."
Lydia frowned at being chastised for what she wore. But, as her mother requested it would be burned before nightfall. And she'd be dressed more appropriately. "Fine," she grumbled until mention of her father and his bitch came into the conversation.
Then, she sits up straighter, proper-like and tugs the hem of the skirt down. Grey eyes spark with mischeif as she tilts her head. "What do you want me to do?" Whatever it was, if it ruined her father and that money-hungry whore he married, she was all for it. She, of course, did not even voice a protest at being married and having a child. A child she would want, the other part? Not so much.
Adelina would probably sympathize with her daughter's distaste for marriage. It was never somethin she was particularly interested in herself--but they were noble, and had a duty to their family. Marriage was a necessity, children a blessing. She was willing to stomach that necessity until Malcolm Steros cavorted with a trollop while she labored to bring his children into the world. Lydia first, then the boy. She hadn't been disappointed to have a daughter. A healthy child was still a blessing from Afara, and she could have more. She'd borne the girl's brother less than a year later. She'd done her duty and expected her due--a minimum of scandal, an attentive, wealthy husband. Was it asking so much? She could have forgiven Malcolm his indiscretions.
But he married her, at their children's expense. At Lydia's expense.
"Your stepmother is a drunk. She spends her evenings at the Gilded Harp--which I now own. When the time is right, she is going to do something....unforgiveable. You are a clever girl. I am open to suggestions."
Leaning back in the chair, as her mother hadn't made her change immediately, Lydia crossed one leg over the other, her fingers drumming thoughtfully on the arms. "I don't suppose," she started,"A romp in the hay with some commoner becoming public would be enough." No. Those sorts of scandals could be brushed aside, bribed away. "She doesn't have particularly sticky fingers.." She's just throwing out ideas at this point.
"Hmmm. Maybe we can slip something into her drink, make her appear to go insane." Is that enough though?
"She is probably already insane," Adelina murmured. "But that idea has potential--if not for insanity, then something else. I want her punishment to be more lingering...not something she or Malcolm can beg, bed or bribe away. Something that sticks." The noblewoman's mouth turned down in a thoughtful frown. "No, she does not steal objects--only husbands. I doubt she would leave Malcom for another married man, though..."
They would think of something, somehow. Beatrix would fall.
Lydia stared at her mother, Adelina, for a moment. "What about murder. I don't mean we commit one. But, what if we can make it look like she did."
The idea was rather distasteful, but so was the thought of being married off. And, the thought of her father with that bitch.
"That is..." Adelina trailed off as she considered the possibility. "You may be on to something there." The idea wasn't as distasteful to her as it was to her daughter. What would push Beatrix to do such a thing? Malfolm? Her children? "You very well may be on to something." They could certainly frame her, but that appealed to the noblewoman less than making her replacement desperate enough to actually commit the act herself.
Lydia allowed a smirk to briefly tug the corners of her mouth upward. "May I go now?" She'd given the idea it would be up to her mother to execute it, unless she needed something more. An auburn brow arches in question even as the young woman puts her hands on the arms of the chair to push herself up.