Ethan sat across Lacey. He stared at her reddened eyes and found himself at a loss for words.
“This is some potent wine!” Lacey narrowed her eyes. “It Eaton. But we should drink and celebrate, right?”
Ethan knew that she was trying to force a smile on her face.
He didn’t understand why she was doing it though. All he had said was that he wasn’t going to fall in love with her. She didn’t have to react this way.
They had only known each other for a brief period of time. Has she really fallen in love with him?
“You’re right. We should celebrate. But I’m not sure if that’s what you’re doing. I’m worried that you’re trying to drown your sorrows,” said Ethan. “Are you sure you’re not feeling upset?”
“I’m not!” Lacey yelled before filling Ethan’s and her cups full. “Come on, drink!”
She emptied her cup. Her eyes landed on the empty bottles on the table.
“Men! Bring us more wine!”
Her eyes had turned misty. She stared unblinkingly at Ethan. He could hear the slightest hint of moroseness in her voice.
“I know I’m not a likeable person,” said Lacey. “My father doesn’t pay any attention to me. My brothers never treated me as their sister. Everyone else thinks I’m just riding on my father’s position as the sect leader…I wanted to prove myself, but I’ve never been able to do that. Then you turned up.”
Her eyes gradually took on a gentle sheen. That was a bad sign. Ethan’s instincts blared loudly at him.
“You’re drunk,” said Ethan. “Stop. You should head back to your room and get some rest.”
“I’m not drunk.” Lacey waved her hands wildly and turned towards the guard standing hesitantly at the door. “Go get me more wine!”
Exasperated, the guard left.
Lacey had amassed a sizable collection of wines. She had planned to share them with Liam and her two brothers during their rare visits to her residences. Unfortunately, they had never stayed for meals.
The guard arrived at the cellar and grabbed a bottle of wine. Just as he was about to leave, a dark streak dashed out and struck him heavily on the back of his neck, knocking him out instantly.
The man pulled on the guard’s uniform, slipped poison into the wine, then carried the bottle out of the cellar and headed for the hall.
Meanwhile, Ethan had just snatched Lacey’s cup from her. She had drunk too much and had begun to ramble nonsensically.
If he allowed her to go on, she might end up confessing her love for him.
“Alright, you should stop drinking right now.”
The guard arrived with the new bottle of wine as soon as Ethan said that. Lacey beckoned him over.
“Bring the wine over. We’re not going to stop until we get drunk!” She mumbled. “I have to thank you. You’re the reason I won all those fights and passed the test. You’re the reason…the reason I won Marcel!”
She had won the most powerful disciple in the Inner Court.
An icy glint flashed in Marcel’s eyes, which were currently hidden under his helmet. He tightened his fists. His knuckles cracked softly.
His defeat had become a reason for Lacey to drink and rejoice.
He didn’t expect Ethan to hear the nearly inaudible sound of his knuckles cracking.
Ethan turned and looked at him. Marcel was keeping his eyes to the ground. That didn’t stop him from discovering that he wasn’t the same guard who had gone to fetch them a new bottle of wine.
He didn’t say anything. Instead, he snatched the bottle from Lacey and started filling their cups with wine.
“Fine, I’ll drink with you if you insist on drinking. We won’t stop until we get drunk.” Ethan got another cup out and filled it with wine. He beckoned Marcel over. “I can’t hold my liquor. Let’s drink together. We’ll all drink with Third Miss.”
Marcel froze. What was going on?
No sensible person would invite a guard to drink with Third Miss.
“I’m just a guard…” Marcel said hastily.
“So what? Aren’t guards humans too?” Ethan’s face darkened. “Or do you believe that Third Miss deems you beneath her notice? Come on!”
His voice was firm.
Marcel hesitated momentarily, then slowly made his way to the table. He dared not sit down.
His heart began to race as he eyed the wine.
He knew that the wine was poisoned!