Quinn and The Quasars: Chapter Ten
“Please believe me! Those call logs are genuine. I have no reason to lie about this. There was another servant with me when Tigre Stripes approached me,” Ms Kim insisted and even in her semi drunken state Indigo thought she saw a smile appear on the woman’s lips.
“Ok, I’ve had enough of all this back and forth. Why is this dragging on forever? Indigo asked. “If this was a story, we’re be on what, chapter nine or ten by now?” she said stomping over to the bar and pouring herself a drink. “Will you please hurry up and tell us who the other servant was so we can find the culprit and get Quinn out of jail? This is so long and drawn out I bet even the writer must be tired of the rigmarole.”
“It was Meri,” Ms Kim said quickly before anyone had a chance to ask Indigo what exactly she was talking about.
“Meri?” Junn asked incredulously? “My sister’s handmaid was with you when you let that stalker into our home? That can’t be true!” the teenager exclaimed indignantly. Meri Innamorate was a somewhat distant relative of the Zanni Royal family like most of their personal servants. She was wealthy in her own right and came from one of the top families. That was why it was acceptable for her to wait on a royal princess of Varuna. Junn wondered if that was the reason this Tokkian peasant was trying to use Meri as a scapegoat. So that she could argue that she was being framed because of nepotism?
“It is true!” Ms Kim stated with a newfound confidence that allowed her to meet the young princes’ gaze. “Please, for the sake of my eighteen children, just give me a chance to explain everything that happened that night,” she pleased clasping her lower abdomen.
“Oh please!” Indigo snapped, “Can you stop using your children as a shield and just get on with whatever story it is that you’re planning to tell? I have my own child to get home to. I don’t have time for this!”
“Go on with what you were about to say,” Kailani said, a little more diplomatically than Indigo.
“Thank you,” Ms Kim replied with a quick bow. “I’m just a servant her and the only member of staff who is neither a relative nor subject of the family. I only want a chance to tell the truth before I’m blamed and made an example of as the token Tokkian,” she explained, her voice breaking.
“The night that Mr Stripes came here, I was on my way back into the palace after completing some duties I had to take care of for her majesty, the queen. I was just coming back onto the ground through the servants’ entrance when a tall, well-dressed man approached me. He was wearing a Abzu style Highwayman’s cloak from last season and he said that he had been invited there to mee the princess.
“I asked him why he was coming to the servants’ entrance if he had an invitation from a member of the family,” Ms Kim said quickly, as if anticipating the question one of the listeners must surely ask. “but he said that the rendezvous was secret and that’s when he exposed his face and revealed that he was Tigre Stripes. The man whom the princess believed has stolen the Pearls of Mer.”
As soon as I saw that it was Mr Stripes who was trying to get in, I told him to get lost and was just about to make my way inside when he pulled me backwards and told me that he needed to get in because, “Quinn” that’s what he called her, “Quinn” was going to meet him, and he couldn’t be late. Sorry to use my children as a shield again,” Ms Kim sad with a hint of bitterness in her voice, “But I’m a Tokkian. I’m only four feet tall and I’m pregnant. There was nothing I could do when a six and a half foot tall Bubastian man started pulling me around like a rag doll. I wanted to calm Stripes down so I said that if he could show me some evidence, I would let him in. If not, I said he would have to leave.
I thought if I told Mr Stripes that, it would give me time to press my emergency alarm to call for help whilst he tried to come up with an excuse to cover his obvious lies but instead, Mr Stripes pulled his Com-D out of his pocket and said that he had messages from Princess Quinn on it.
I’m not the best person in The Alliance, I admit that. I was curious to see what rubbish he had come up with so I demanded that Mr Stripes hand over his Com-D so I could see for myself and he did, as quick as a flash. I could barely believe my eyes when I saw the Princess’ Com-D ID code and the invitation she had sent.”
“You’re just rehashing the same thing you said before,” Ran said, interrupting Ms Kim. Ran’s voice was as cold and distant as the frozen world from which she came, and it cut through the air like a knife as she spoke. “We’re waiting to hear about when it was that Quinn’s handmaid supposedly witnessed all of this. Hurry up and get to it.”
Ms Kim swallowed hard and for the first time since she had been given a chance to speak she seemed genuinely worried. Ran had dragged her husband out of the room to an uncertain fate and now she was demanding answers. The Niflheimer was clearly in no mood to be trifled with.
“Meri arrived just as I had unsuccessfully tried to reach Princess Quinn,” she explained quickly. “That’s why my next call was to Mina. Meri was standing right next to me holding a large bag. She claimed that she had no idea what was going on but the fact that she wasn’t surprised to see Tigre Stripes standing there trying to get into the palace and claiming that he had an invitation speaks volumes. When the message from the princess came through, I realised that it was a prearranged event and I immediately stopped asking questions and just let Mr Stripes into the palace whilst Meri went back to the venue with whatever she had in her bag.”
“That’s not true!” a voice said, interrupting Ms Kim’s tale. All eyes turned in the direction the voice had spoken from and there was Meri standing at the door behind Queen Varianna. The pair had apparently opened the door and stepped into the room without any of the five people within having noticed. “You’re a liar,” Meri said stepping out from behind the queen. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“Silence!” Varianna ordered sternly causing Meri to bow apologetically and step back in line. She had been so incensed by what she had heard that she had completely forgotten herself and her years of training to step forward and expose Ms Kim as a liar.
“I require an explanation Junn,” Varianna said turning on her son. “Tell me what’s going on at once!”
Junn quickly relayed all that had happened since he had discovered that his sister had been arrested. He told his mother how he had rushed home from school and quickly been joined by the Quasars. He was careful to avoid saying that he had sent the girls away when he mentioned how some of his schoolmates had come to the palace and left behind the results of their hasty investigation, which had provided the evidence that it was Ms Kim, the wife of the Quasar’s manager who had left the now deceased Tigre Stripes into the grounds. “…And then Ms Kim told us that Meri was with her when she let Tigre Stripes into the grounds. That was when Meri interrupted her,” Junn finished.
Varianna nodded, now she understood what the message they have received at the security headquarters meant when it said that there was a break in the case that would prove Quinn’s innocence once and for all. The break in the case was that one either Meri Innamorate or Kim Ji-Eun had murdered Tigre Stripes and framed Quinn for the crime. All she had to do was find out which one it was.
Read the Next Chapter: Chapter Eleven