The grandsons of the Flemington family took their seats as their grandmother was ringing for tea. The maid, Casey, was coming into the drawing-room with the new set of china and scones for James and William. James winked at Casey as Will remained nonchalant, thinking that dallying with the maid was beneath him.
Magnus tried to hide his anger when James winked.
"So, what is the news that you are dying to tell us, grandma?" James asked, helping himself to a sconce before he was biting into it. The old lady was smiling as she was sipping on her tea before she put the saucer down on the table. Then, she turned to look at her grandsons.
"Now, it has been 2 months since the mourning for your parents—"
Everyone was quiet as James was looking at her and Will was looking at the floor. Magnus was sipping on his tea for he knew what was to come.
"And their will has been read when Magnus was bedridden. It has come to my attention that your parents wanted one of you to be marrying the princess of the realm," their grandmother said before all her grandsons were looking at her.
"You mean, Princess Christy Donavan?" James asked before the old lady nodded. He smirked.
"Well, sign me up since I will be the lucky choice for her to have—"
"It has been written in the testament that the oldest son will take the honor and fulfill it," their grandmother turned to look at Magnus. He gulped before he put his tea down as James and Will were looking at him.
"Pardon?" James blinked his eyes before their grandma was sipping on her tea again. She was enjoying this moment a little bit too much, Magnus scowled as he was looking outside the window of the drawing-room. What have I got myself into? He thought before the dowager countess was clearing her throat.
"Clearly, it is Magnus' duty to do such honor and I hope that he will be keeping up the end of his bargain or I will be most put up," the dowager said before James and Will turned to look at their oldest brother. Magnus sighed before he turned to look at his family.
His new family.
"And what exactly was that honor would be?" he asked the dowager before the old lady smiled.
"In two weeks, there will be a ball in the honor of the princess and the engagement will be announced then. You will be leaving for the castle one week prior since you will be spending some time to get to know the princess. And then, you will have to get to know her cousins as well," the old lady said before James blinked his eyes again.
"Cousins? Who are the cousins to the royalty? I thought they did not exist?"
A smack to the head as James yelped. Then, he cursed as the old dowager was pulling her hand and settled it on her laps as she smoothed the skirt of her gown.
"Well, if you have been paying attention in your education, James Leslie Flemington, you would know that the Quinnston was the royal family's relatives. What do you think the dukes were doing? Playing matchmaking?" the old lady asked before Magnus was smirking underneath the rim of his teacup. James scowled.
"Well, I don't particularly care about them. All they ever do was dancing and planning balls for the season as they were hoping to find a good match. I don't usually mingle with them," he said before their grandmother was arching her eyebrow.
"It will do you a favor if you will make an acquaintance with them. After all, they were the next in line for the throne if anything happens to the princess,"
"Let's hope that will not ever happen," Will mumbled but Magnus heard him loud and clear. The old dowager cleared her throat before she was focusing on Magnus.
"Since you have been bedridden for so long, I will expect you to polish up on your manners, young man for I will be most put out if you were to embarrass our family name," their grandma said as Magnus was sipping on the tea.
"Yes, grandma," he mumbled before sipping on the cold tea that will be the prediction of his cold future.
Magnus took a walk around the estate as he was looking out in the meadow that spread into the nothingness. He sighed before he was looking at the clear sky. It was nothing like the skies in central London for he was used to the dirty air and poor quality. But out here, it felt like he was stepping into another realm.
And he was.
Magnus has been brushing up on his history of the place that he was stuck in right now. Apparently, he was in Caga, one of the countries under the rules of the Kingdom of Ludonea. There were Niapachad Island, Zirconia, Hexstbarne, and many more that he would get dizzy if he tried to remember them all.
So much for me to go back to my own time, he thought as he picked up a pebble and threw it across the pond. He was alone and he was here without any resource on how to explain his transfer on the body that nearly died 2 months ago.
Is this a miracle? He asked as he was flexing his hands before someone was patting his shoulders.
"Well, big brother, I must say congratulation was in order then. If I were you, I would try so hard to woo the princess then," James said before Magnus sighed. It was one thing to woo a lady and one thing that he needs to make sure that he knew the customs and the courting style in Caga.
Not to mention the Quinnston family who was the relative to the princess. Magnus sighed.
"If I was as excited as you are when you're about to marry a princess, I would say she's a lucky one to have me," Magnus said before he was smiling weakly. James was arching his eyebrow before he shook his head.
"Enough of that, brother. You are well now and it is time for us to hit the town," James said before Magnus turned to look at his younger brother. James laughed.
"Please do not tell me that you will not be spending the rest of this week chasing skirts and get laid as many as you can? You will tie yourself to a woman for the rest of your life and this time, it is permanent. Come, we must serve you as many women as we can get when we're in Warydeval. I heard they had the best courtesan that you could ever wish for," James said as he was pulling him to the stables to get their mounts.
I don't think I would want to get laid with any courtesan. Who knows what they have been through? Magnus thought but he was too nice to say anything before James was asking the groom to prepare their rides as they went to change into their riding habits.
Magnus was walking down the hallway to his chambers when he noticed that Casey was on the other end of the hallway. He smiled before he went to the maid as Casey glared at him with her stormy eyes.
Okay, what did I do now?
"Good morn, Casey," he said, trying to dismiss the death glare that the maid was sending him. He did not know what irked her today but apparently, his good mood was not improving hers.
"Are you going somewhere, my lord?" she asked before Magnus turned to look at her, arching his eyebrow.
"As I mentioned before, you ought to call me—"
"Well, I'm sorry if I cannot say your given name now, my lord, for you've just been announced that you're engaged to the princess but here you are, trying to chase as many skirts as you can before the wedding," Casey said as she was glaring at him again with those beautiful, stormy eyes.
Well, now he knew the issue was.
Magnus sighed before he was rubbing his dry mouth. He did not know how to tell her that he was not planning to be sleeping with anyone at the moment. Not when he was a man of honor because of the studies that he'd been doing his whole life.
The gentry was all about the honor and integrity in his life. One day at the estate as an earl, Magnus has lost all sense of honor.
"Casey, it is not my idea too—"
"But you will do it, yes? If I think the princess would be lucky to have a man like yourself, Lord Magnus, then I think I am mistaken for you are just like the others," Casey said before she turned away from him. Magnus was about to call after the maid but his brother James was coming toward him.
"What happened? Why was the maid was scowling when I tried to smile charmingly at her?" James, as oblivious as he was, did not know what was happening. Magnus sighed before he shook his head.
"It's that time of the month, I suppose," he replied before James pursed his lips.
"Well, no maid for me until that's over," he said before Magnus was glaring at him. James laughed before he was looking at Magnus' attire. He did not change yet into the riding habits.
"Come on now, it will be taking us half a day to get to Warydeval now. And I would like to be back before sundown," James whined before Magnus was shaking his head as he called for his valet.
"But you love me anyway," James said, leaving Magnus to get ready for their impending ride to Warydeval, the sprawling city of wonders and elopement.
If one wished to.