The Craft siblings found themselves in the castle infirmary and Silvia was excited by all the different tubes and vials they had. Truly things she could only dream about studying back at home in her lab. She found her eyes wandering here and there as Zia, the royal healer, explained what she knew about the princess's condition.
"Her breathing is starting to become less labored after I gave her an antidote a few hours ago and I hope she will continue to recover. However, I'm still unsure what she had been given and how. I don't know who would try to sabotage the Kingdom like this..," Zia said, there was a worn crease in her brow and Silvia knew at once the woman had seen many troubling things in her years of service.
"May I ask who the Princess had contact with prior to and when first arriving in the Kingdom?" Alastiar had his small notebook out, as he often did on their cases, ready to copy any information he found relevant.
"I was the one to pick her up and deliver her by steam carriage," Armond said, "and when she arrived I gave her a tour of the grounds. After that she took an hour or so to freshen up in her bed camber before joining the royal family for dinner. She fell ill during dinner."
"I see...and do you know of anyone who would wish harm against the kingdom?" Alastiar asked as he wrote. Armond frowned and shook his head.
"There are many people with ill feelings, but none of them with access to the castle. The security is kept tighter than usual since the King's passing. Political enemies know all too well how vulnerable the kingdom is until Prince Wesley is crowned," Armond explained.
"Yes, good, and do you mind if I interview Prince Wesley?" Alastiar asked.
"The Prince is busy this afternoon meeting with the lords. I'm sure he will be eager to meet with the two of you, but his duty to the Kingdom comes first. I'm afraid he will have to fit you in tomorrow if possible," Armond told them.
"Alright." Alastiar closed his notebook then and Armond nodded.
"I'm sure you are tired, so let me show the two of you to your rooms and you can get settled in," Armond said and he led them away.
As soon as Armond led them to their rooms Silvia threw her bag down and went to talk with her brother.
She knocked on the door which Alastiar sighed for his sister wasn't known for patience answered.
"I figured you would want to know what I thought during that interview with Armond." He took his seat again.
"Yes dear brother I guess my herbs weren't needed." Her expression changed.
"Well I think you should give them to Zia and maybe if the princess's condition turns for the worse than you will be able to help her." He told her hoping to lighten her mood.
"Yes that is brilliant brother I will do that as soon as I can but enough with that I want to know what you wrote down." She took a seat next to him.
He showed her the few notes he wrote down and she felt a sense of disappointment "So nothing that will get us close to solving this case."
"Patience little sister we will solve this because the solution is the key to saving all of us." His body language changed slightly so Silvia took his hand and squeezed it.
"Like I said brother you are one of the smartest people I know and we will solve this I have faith." She was able to bring a smile to his face.
"Well good night brother and don't stay up too late alright." She took her leave than.
He smiled a little and soon both siblings were getting to turn in.
At the same time Prince Lancelot had gone to Persephone to pick up the potion from her.
But when he arrived she gave him some news that was disturbing to him apparently there were now two detectives staying inside of the castle and the princess seeemed to be on the road to recovery.
"How did you come of this news?" He asked.
"Your guard friends I got them drunk to get the news." She replied with a smile on her face.
He laughed a little "You did what I normally do to get gossip and I thank you so I will pay you extra."
"Your generosity is appreciated my prince." She bowed her head as he handed her the money.
"I will need your help it seems to come up with a new plan. I will return at dawn."
He took his leave but leaving the bottle for he didn't want to make anyone suspicious of him.
He told her to hide the bottle until they come up with a new plan and she agreed. He took his leave back to the castle.
Once he arrived at the castle he had took the passageway to avoid everyone and went to see his mother.
The Queen mother was awake and told him to enter after he had knocked.
He entered the room and stood before his mother.
In a whisper so they were not overheard by prying ears for anyone caught spying or eavesdropping would be punished by the queen mother herself. No one wanted to see that side of her for she had an unforgiving nature when it comes to betrayal.
"Mother I have news." He than told her of what had happened and what he was planning on doing now.
"Just be careful my son. I will protect you, you know that but still I would not have that power when your brother is king." She warned.
He nodded "I understand mother and I will be extra careful."
He took his leave and turned in for the night but he made sure he was going to be up early to meet with Persephone again at dawn.
The next morning Silvia took her brother's advice and went straight to see Zia.
"Good morning, Miss," Zia smiled at her and Silvia fidgeted.
"Good morning, I was wondering if there was any change in the Princess's condition?" She asked as Zia let her in and closed the door behind her.
"Not much I'm afraid. She is pulled back from the brink of death, but her condition wavers back and forth. Luca, my apprentice, and I have watched her through the night and she does not seem to be close to waking..."
Silvia nodded as she was led to the Princess's bedside and saw for herself how the Princess seemed suspended in sleep.
"Master Zia," she began only to have Zia shake her head.
"Just Zia please, miss."
"Zia, would you mind giving the Princess this antidote I came up with? I studied medicine under my mother and after you told me her symptoms I mixed it together," Silvia told her. Zia's eyes lit up as she took in the antidote. "I would also like to take a blood sample. That way we could pinpoint the exact type of poison."
"A blood sample…?" Zia looked confused. Silvia nodded.
"Yes, with it I can analyze it for deep study."
"Of course Miss! That's amazing, I have never heard of such a thing in my years! Also this antidote is quite a work of art, it will do nicely your mother taught you well." Zia gave the Princess the antidote. "It seems obvious once I see the mixture of herbs you have here but I didn't think of it myself..."
Silvia blushed at the compliment. "Thank you."
Meanwhile Alastiar had set off to the castle kitchens and confronted a cup of coffee and the head cook.
"So sir, the dinner last night was supervised by yourself, correct?"
"Was there anything unusual that happened that night?" He had his pen ready over his notebook.
"Not really, I made everything perfect, it was a bustle in the kitchen that night because I had to fit in the Prince's special request at the last moment..."
"The Prince's last minute request?"
"A favorite dish of the Princess...to make her feel more welcome. Lemon cat-paw tarts. Cat-paw is-"
"A flower that only grows in the Crystal Kingdom." Alastiar finished for him. The head chef nodded.
"Right and it was only because of Prince Lancelot that I was able to get the cat-paw flower at the last moment. It's out of season and very hard to find now."
Alastiar finished off his coffee. "Thank you, sir. I need to find my sister now."
He hurried off in search of his sister which he found her coming out of the healing room.
He could tell that his sister was in a better mood "Well how did it go?"
"It went well the head healer Zia took my herb antidote but she said the princess's condition had been wavering in between death and life. I just hope it works." She seemed a little unsure of herself and Alastiar smiled.
"It will once the healer knows how to use it. I'm sure the princess herself will thank you." He hugged her which she returned it.
"So what happened with you?" She asked for he had seemed to be in a hurry.
Meanwhile Prince Lancelot had started his day at dawn and made his way to the tavern for some food and morning coffee.
He ate his meal and made his way to Persephone's place.
He found her pulling some herbs from her garden which he announced himself.
"Morning Persephone I see you are busy I can come another time." He turned to leave but she stopped him.
"Not at all my prince you are welcomed please come in." She gestured him through the door.
"I was just making my morning meal. Excuse me." She tended to her food and he took a seat.
He gestured her to go ahead for he already ate and she bowed her head grabbing her meal.
"Persephone I'm curious about you. Have you always been alone? Where are your family?" He asked which her body posture changed.
"I lost my mom to a plague and my father died a few years later by coming down with the same plague she had died from. I was an only child and I was 17 by the time my father died so I had to make my own way by learning herbs and other things from a teacher so I can make a life for myself." She grew real quiet after that.
"I'm sorry for your loss and that you had a hard life." He told for now he felt a sense of guilt of even asking about her life.
"You life up in the castle made of steel and gold living your glamorous life without a care in the world. While us normal people who live under your great illusion suffer from barely making a living. Tell that to your brother maybe he will finally do something for us peasants." She felt anger rise up within her than realized whom she was talking to.
"Forgive me my prince." She bowed her head.
He waved it off "No you are right the trades haven't been going very well and I should know I am in charge of that after all. I will talk with my brother as soon as I get back about trying to improve your conditions so no one will die again from any diease you all will have the goods to live a better more thing if you and the people of the village want anything that didn't come in before I will try my best to get it for you. I give you my word milady." He flashed her a smile.
She nodded slightly taking that smile as sign that maybe things will change for the better. They are a advanced society in terms of tech but not in way of life for the village looks like it lived in the medieval past. That was why the people had a hard life.
"So my prince what can I help you with?" She asked changing the subject.
"I had heard this morning from one of my servants that the detectives were questioning the staff so whatever we are planning on using it must be untraceable." He told her.
Persephone stood up "I will work on it my prince how should I reach you?"
"I will return tomorrow so I will give you more time but please let me know if you need more than a day by leaving a message with my guard friends. But be discreet about it by telling my guard friends they want to meet me at the tavern for a drink and a meal. They will not see that as suspicious since everyone knows I'm a partier." He told her.
"Yes my prince." She bowed her head as he took his leave.
He made his way back to the castle and he will make sure his brother had time to meet with him one way or another. He couldn't let Persephone down and the rest of the villagers.