Chapter 6:

Truth, Lies and Equal

The Only Female

"What do you think this is?" Alice ask Karl as they look at the necklace together. Karl look at it quietly before taking it off from Alice hand.

"It looks like a normal necklace to me..." he said.  "Right?" she added. Karl raise the necklace to his eye level and notice a small line on the pendant top. He twisted it and the top of the cylinder opens up.

"Karl... You broke it!" Alice exclaims. Karl shakes his head.

"No... I didn't break it. There's something inside." he explain before showing the rest of the pendant to Alice. 

"What is it?"

"It looks like a...  flash drive. A very small one." he said and left out a sigh. Karl turned to look at Alice.

" I don't know what it is, Alice... But, I don't think your governess is a normal person."

"You mean... She's like a spy or something?"

"Even worse. Or else she wouldn't die like that."

"Let's take a look." she suggested. Karl look at Alice for a moment before pulling out his laptop from the bag. Then, he put the laptop at nearby round table before sitting on the chair. He inserted the flash drive and watch as the contents load. Then, his eyes widen.

"Alice... Come and take a look at this." he pointed. There's about six folders in that drive. One of them, belongs to the Fredericka's.

"Oh my... Is that... my folder?" Alice asks. Karl shakes his head.

"Not just you... But all of the most prominent families in Ventaga. There's Ludwinger, Anderson, D'Artaganan ,Vakross, and Prescott in here too." he said and quickly click on one of those folder. Karl forms a frown.

"Karl? What's wrong?" Alice asks again. Karl shakes his head and immediately closed the laptop. He pulled out the flash drive and shoved it inside of his bag hastily.

"Karl? What's the matter? You're acting so strange. What did you find?"

"Nothing of importance. It's probably best you and I don't know."

"Nonsense. Karl, I led you to Mandy... Anything or everything that revolves around her - I wanted to know. What's the folder all about?" she asked back. Karl sat quietly on his chair. 

"Enough of this patriarchal bullshit! My parents died a long time ago. You don't have to shield me from anything, Karl. What I need now is the truth!"

"Truth... Now ain't that nice? You said it exactly like a perfectly naïve' sixteen year old girl, Alice. Oh wait... it's because you ARE!"

"You making fun of my age now? Well, jokes on you my eighteen-year-old husband! Should've thought of that before you decides to marry a minor!" Alice shot back. Karl left out a sigh.

"Enough of this. Bickering like this won't solve anything. I need to protect you."

"Why? Because I'm your wife?"

"Yes. Regrettably, you are. And since you're an orphan with a dead governess, I suggested you should follow my lead. Don't open the folder no matter what you do."

"Why? Why can't I open them."

"Because... It would be the death of us. The end of the Ventaga community as we know it."

"I don't understand. You said like it's a serious matter. Why so?"

"Alice, that flash drive is a pressure point. It contains a lot of damning evidence about our family mistakes and past criminal activities. Yours and mine included. The committee would never allows it to see the light of day, so I think that's why they had your governess killed. It's to protect us all."

"But, they killed someone, Karl. A human being. Are you just gonna sit there and suggested us to turn another cheek? Pretend like we don't know what's happening?"

"For our own safety and future - yes. We need to pretend, Alice."

"I can't believe you... The first time we met, I thought - here's another charmer trying to charm his way into my heart and later into my pants. But, you did neither. And so I thought, he must be a pretty cool of not doing that. Perhaps he can be an ally or friends... I have no idea you're actually just a selfish and cold-hearted, Karl Vakross!" she shouted .

He clenched his fist and replied, "Why are you protecting her still? Your damn governess manipulated, lied, and collected information about you and people around you for years. Surely you're not too foolish to see that?"

"You don't have to remind me what Mandy did. She might've done all of those things, but I haven't forget something."


"That she is my friend, Karl! My ONLY friend!"

"Sentiment, I see. There's no helping to that, I'm afraid. You have to handle that one on your own." he said before leaving her. Karl closed the bathroom door quietly as Alice stood there watching.


"How's the salmon?" Alice ask during dinner. They are eating dinner inside of their own room. Karl have cancel all his plans after the necklace discovery that they made earlier that day.

"It's okay, I guess." he replied flatly. Karl is still tossing his asparagus around. Alice put down her fork and knife and look at his sullen face.

"You aren't still mad at me about earlier, are you?" she ask. He look up.

"No. I'm not."


"I am... not mad. I'm just, afraid - I guess." he said. Silence fills the air again. Alice take a sip from her lemon water and stand up. She extended her hand and said;

"Come... let's dance."

"In the middle of a dinner? No, thanks."

"Oh, come on... You barely even eating. It wouldn't cause you any harm." she reply. He smirked before throwing the napkin on his lap on the table. He take her hand and pause just for a second to say;

"With you on a mix? I highly doubt it."

"I see you gotten your sense of humor back. Sorry about earlier." she said. He shakes his head.

"Can we not talk about that, please?" he said. She nodded her head.

"Of course. I won't mention it again." she said and put one of her hands on his shoulder. Together, the two of them begin dancing without a music on the background. As Karl hold Alice's hand and help her to twirl around - they're humming an exactly same song.

"Is that, Mozart?" he asked her quietly. She nods.

"Yes. Do you know it?"

"Piano Concerto No. 21, right?"

"Yes, it is. I was just humming it. How did you know?"

"Well, it might sound ludicrous and disgusting, but I been to enough event in my life to know that particular piece by heart. They usually play it during the dance."

"Oh... And have you been to many dances before?" she asked back. He paused and sigh.

"Not that many. I detest such ridiculous activities and much prefer to be left alone."

"I see... And what did you do during those moments alone?" she continues. He looks at her questionably.

"Just asking. Please indulge me."



"Yes. What can I say? I loves to read more than I do dancing."

"I haven't read any good books lately... Can you suggested me with something interesting?"

 "Sure. I think that can be arranged." Karl said and give a little smile at her. She smiled back.

- End of Chapter 06-