Bambi And The Duke - BestLightNovel.com
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Vivian had wanted to come to look at the scene for the pure purpose of finding out how the slashes on the women's necks looked like as she remembered the slitting of the throats which she had come to witness through Jamien's memories. Forgotten that she had worn her gloves over her hands, she had gone to touch it to only be stopped by the older pureblooded Carmichael man. Maybe, if she had removed her glove from one of her hand and had tried to make a quicker contact on the woman who laid down on the ground with beautiful striking blue eyes, she would have solved the mystery of the death that took place here and everywhere around the lands that was being caused by one single black witch who was using other black witches help across the land.
But that never came to happen and even if Vivian did turn around from following the man to return back to the bodies, she wouldn't have found a woman lying on the ground anymore but instead would only discover emptiness there.
The young black witch in appearance, who went by the name Ester stood hiding behind one of the trees as she looked at the two people who now roamed through the alleys by going to one house to another. After picking the residue of the black witches who she had sacrificed to complete the ritual which was still incomplete without giving her any powers. She had come to pick the body of one of the young child in the village where she had put in the sack which laid next to her feet. The black witch had been planning for the ritual to succeed for a long time but it seemed that even this time the ritual turned to failure. Having read the movements of the council, she knew they wouldn't be here but what she didn't expect was strangers who would come to take a stroll. It was a pureblooded vampire and a human girl, tsking she took the sack to put over her shoulders and leave.
Vivian who followed Sullivan in silence wondered why he had brought her here along with him. Was it to show the bodies so that he could scare her of what the council world had or was it so that it could prepare her before the second exam took place? The answer laid within Mr. Carmichael as she didn't dare to ask him about it.
The man wouldn't have known about her abilities as it was something confidential. As they made rounds checking the bodies over bodies which had been slashed and killed dead for the entire atmosphere to be filled in the stench of rotten bodies and dried blood which had come to corrupt the clean atmosphere that was left after the rain.
With the pureblooded vampire who looked inside the house, Vivian stood out with the back of her sleeve still covering her nose, she heard a faint sound coming off from a distance away from the village. Not heeding to what Sullivan had instructed and asked her to do, she walked away from the man and towards the sound which became more audible in one of the ends of the houses. Wondering if it was the scavenger birds that had come to feed on the bodies due to the smell of death, she pushed the door of the house to catch sight of a figure in front of her which had a black cloak worn. Hearing her footsteps, the person placed a wooden carved box that was being examined.
Before she could dwell on the thought of who it was, the person turned around with wide eyes as if surprised and Vivian gasped softly due to the sudden turn.
"Sister Isabelle!" Vivian exclaimed for the woman who had a pa.s.sive expression in the beginning due to the shock which Vivian noted to break into a small smile.
"Good afternoon, Vivian," Sister Isabelle smiled looking at her, stopping whatever she had previously doing at the old desk of the house, "I wasn't expecting you here," said the white witch, letting go of the box she had picked.
"You ingrateful-" Sullivan who hadn't found the human standing at the door when he had turned around had come in search of her to hear her gasp in shock making him think that she was in danger. Seeing Sister Isabelle standing inside, he stopped his speech as if contemplating who the woman was and what she was doing here he spoke, "What's a white witch doing here? Is it the council that sent you?"
It seemed to Vivian that Mr Carmicael here wasn't acquainted with the white witch. It shouldn't have come to be much of a surprise as some of the pureblooded vampires were orthodox enough to not want to enter the church. The woman didn't hold back to introduce herself, "I am Sister Isabelle from the Convent Church. I came to inspect just as you have to see if there is anything I could find before the evidence would be damaged by them," unlike the pureblooded vampire, the white witch stood in ease as she spoke to him.
Sullivan didn't hide his distaste at the sight of the witch's presence, "For a white witch to enter the dead man's land without any given notice is suspicious," he tsked in the end as if mocking her existence to be categorized with the humans.
"The council would come to call us in the end and it would be better to finish looking through the scene than wait until for their call. I have other matters to attend to," answered Sister Isabelle and from where Vivian stood, she could tell that the woman weighed the pureblooded vampire with her eyes.
Now that Vivian thought about it, why did Sullivan come to look at the sight if he weren't part of the council? People who didn't belong to the council were usually not allowed to walk around the crime scene and for the man to come here, Vivian stared at the man with curious eyes.
As if the dead land didn't have enough crowd, they came to hear the faint sound of carriage which got louder as it approached the quiet village. The three of them stepped out, walking to the end of the alley to see two pair of carriage arrive at the site. Vivian was familiar with one of the two that had stopped in front of them. She who had stood behind the older pureblooded vampire with the two elders in front of her peeked to see the coachmen's open the door for five men to step out.
The first man to step out of the carriage was the councilor whom she had been fortunate enough to see during her time in the first examination. His tall, lean stature stood straight with the authentic clothes that he wore. A small eyepiece gla.s.s adorned the front of his eye. He was the man who had invigilated their time during the exam.
Leonard was the second one to step out and he greeted his uncle with a respectful bow, his eyes then meeting Sister Isabelle a little confused to her presence he bowed which the woman returned with grace. As the men of the councillor's who had come to look at the sight greeted Sullivan Carmichael, Leonard caught sight of someone standing behind his uncle.
His eyes finally catching the blonder hair and short height, his eyes narrowed to a considerable good amount to see Vivian who was looking the other way without meeting his eyes.
His jaw tightly clenched, and eyes set firmly at her wondering what she was doing here. He heard Lionel, the high councillor with the eyepiece speak to his uncle,
"Thank you for your generous help, Mr Sullivan. We are glad for your a.s.sistance," though Sullivan didn't directly work for the council his skills in picking up the essence from dead bodies which were useful for the councillor's who worked in studying the const.i.tution and cause of death as what met the naked eye couldn't be enough of a conclusion.
"I absolutely find it a pleasure to help you. Also helping the council is a duty we all have to pick and incorporate," the smile which Sullivan displayed seemed to bring a one-eighty degree turn in his mood to what he posed before the councillors had arrived. There was light in his dark red eyes and a smile like a snake which made Vivian wary of the man. It was no hidden secret that the man preferred the company of the pureblooded vampires than the lowly human and the witch's presence around him. Sullivan then said, "I was expecting you not an hour early but it is good to see that the council are quick in their meeting and decisions."
Lionel didn't miss the other two females who had come to accompany the pureblooded vampire. As though his tongue tasted something sour, he frowned, "Who is this young lady you brought along with you and also Sister Isabelle. As much as we appreciate the work we would request you to wait for our guidance before coming to look at the dead man's land," the councilman dragged his words to move the line of his sight towards Vivian who had now come to stand alert with everyone's eyes on her.
The way Sullivan Carmichael held a distaste for the lowly beings, it was clear that he and his other fellow councilmen shared uncomfortable and untrusted feelings when it came to the witch. It seemed that the hate between the humans, vampires and the witches ran deeper than what it appeared to be. No one trusted anyone and people were being cautious.
Sister Isabelle bowed her head, saying, "Apologies, Sir Lionel. I had been out to buy some medicinal herbs in the mountains and I returned back to hear the unfortunate news of what happened here. I had to see what happened and what caused the ill fate of the people who lived here," raising her head her eyes met back Lionel's. The man gave a hmph sound, a small to it.
"Please don't step on to these lands unless the order has been pa.s.sed by the council in written words, Sister Isabelle," the being the eldest councilmen in the group, Lionel was in charge of this. A direct superior and reporte of Leonard.
"I will keep that in my mind," Sister Isabelle bowed her head.
Seeing that the councilman finished speaking to the white witch, Sullivan took the opportunity to step into the conversation, "This is Vivian, she has applied for this year's council exam. I thought it would be good to have her tour and understand how and what the councillors were required to do. Excuse her intrusion," hearing her name, Vivian had been alerted and she bowed her head to avoid any disrespect.
If the elder councilman with the circular gla.s.s was displeased with the white witch's presence who was a good woman with a good reputation around the land where they lived, she didn't know what retort she would be receiving from the man on her being here.
"Hmm," Vivian found Lionel give her an overall look similar to how Sullivan had looked at her earlier when he had come to visit Leonard, "Congratulations on pa.s.sing the first exam."
"Thank you, councillor Lionel," Vivian thanked him, keeping a faint smile that didn't feel too much nor have a blank face. Lionel moved away to walk along with Sullivan and have Leonard next to him, who had unwillingly moved his feet away from where Vivian stood. Even Sister Isabelle who had been standing with them, gave them a smile too explore the sight.
"Is it just Vivian? No last name to carry forward?" asked one of the men who had was a fellow councilman who had come along with them. The man was of average height, his smooth copper brown hair falling on his forehead, his eager brown eyes waiting for her to reply. He was a human who had joined the council a year ago, his spirit still high with youth, unlike the ones that had come to rust in time.
"It is rude to ask a lady her name without giving yours, Heuren," another man jabbed Heuren's side while he tried to whisper which wasn't whisper enough to everyone around them.
"Pardon me, for my lack of tact!" Heuren apologized giving Vivian a deep bow, "My name is Heuren Bilgun. May I ask what your name is, fair lady."
The council though filled from the brightest mind to the most cunning one, it was wholly dominated by the male population and if needed to be more statistical by average and pureblooded vampires. There were hardly two to four females who worked in the council and everyone were vampires. With Vivian who had cleared the first part of the exam, it was a treat to the human, Heuren who had only found out of her existence a few minutes ago. As average as she looked to some in the world, Vivian had her own charms which she emitted without realizing it caught the opposite s.e.x's attention. While Vivian had been hiding behind Sullivan from Leonard's dark eyes which had been moved from shock to glare, the human who worked alongside Leonard had caught sight of the girl as if she were a shy creature who didn't want to be seen.
"It is just Vivian, Sir. I have no last name," Vivian introduced herself. Though Leonard had last time given her his last name calling her 'Vivian Carmichael', Vivian doubted it would be wise to tell them to only pique their curiosity on why a Carmichael was a human.
"Oh. That's fine, the last name doesn't have much value than the first names," Heuren responded before putting up a bright smile, "Glad to make acquaintance with you," the man next to him coughed who stepped forward to introduce himself.
"Lady Vivian, I am Datan Valentine. Congratulations, on pa.s.sing the council exam. The second one will be easy too," he encouraged her, his red eyes told her that he was an average vampire. Datan fell shorted than Heuren as if pa.s.sing by her height with just an inch.
"Thank you, Mr. Valentine," Hearing Lionel call, both of them gave her a short bow with Heuren's lips which had been pulled wide before leaving her standing there.
Vivian released the breath she had been holding back. With no one staring or glaring at her. Like Sister Isabelle who didn't follow the men's trail who had come to look at the dead land's man, she decided to take a trip around again. This time not having Sullivan breathing down her neck so that she didn't 'contaminate' anything, she gave a look in the direction where she could hear the men's audible voice before walking ahead of her.
The ground was muddy, the soil which had been hit by the force of last night's rain causing the soil to turn wet. Every time she took a step front or back, her shoe went in and out of the ground. If one weren't careful, the feet along with the shoe could easily slip and fall.
She had come here so far in the day, not seeing anything would be such a shame, in that thought, she pulled the right-hand glove and the next was the left-hand glove. Covering her face again with the back of her hand, she began to pa.s.s the houses. The pungent smell of the dead had come to turn viler as time began to pa.s.s with the bodies slowly working on decomposing on their own.
Vivian could hardly stand around, forcing herself to take a step forward something came to her notice. With this amount of smell, it could hit anyone in the face unless one knew how to not breathe in the foul stench. When Vivian had heard a noise and had gone to find Sister Isabelle, the stench was still there and she had to cover her face before letting go of it. There were occasional times when Leonard's uncle, Sullivan Carmichael had also covered his nose but she had not once seen the white witch flinch at the smell the wafted across the village or the houses.
Did it have something to do with being a white witch? Thought Vivian to herself. With the voices almost turning faint, she knew it wasn't wise to fall astray as even though this land was of no use right now it was always good to be cautious.
Her left foot came in contact with a stone, kicking to fall into the thin stream like water with a plop that was flowing in a certain direction. Her mind tickled when she saw it. It was odd to her because she knew that the rain was harsh last night and for these distinctive lines to still exist without being washed away, something felt very odd about it.
There was something about the water line, just like the one she had come across earlier. Wondering where it went, she began following the water trail. After a minute's walk, it seemed like the trail intersected with another line but Vivian didn't stop there. She continued to walk. Following the line until she reached the end of it but the line connected to another one again. The line she seemed to have walking had moved from one corner to another corner. While the councilmen were busy looking into the bodies and trying to figure out what happened with the black witches being the highlight, Vivian fed her curiosity.
As if in realization, this time she walked with the outer line to meet the log she had seen before. This particular line seemed to be in circular nature as she came to the same point where she had initially started. When she walked around she saw two more lines which went away from each other such that the lines touched fiver times.
"It's a pattern," Vivian whispered to herself.
Not able to stop her curiosity she walked hastily with her eyes following the path through the two intersections which happened to meet more lines in the middle of the circle. Like an adrenaline rush, the pattern started to piece out in her mind. It was a pattern in a star-like formation. She had read in the book of 'Untouched Dark Magic' where the black witches often used different geometrical shapes which channelled in the necessary energy required to draw and start a ritual of ma.s.s sacrifice.
There was no doubt that this was the doing of the black witches but what kind of ritual were the witches performing?
If her calculations were right the number of ma.s.s murder that was taking place, it was for a certain goal which was yet to be achieved by whoever was planning on it. The newsletter had spoken about the murder but it had failed to give full information which would again stir up the village and town folks rumours. When Sullivan had been looking at the bodies with his 'clean' hands, she had heard him murmur and mutter while looking at the bodies that some had died without being touched while the rest had been killed by slicing their throats.
Wanting to find Sister Isabelle so that she could give the information and discuss with her as she doubted the councilmen would take advice from a woman like her who was yet to be qualified to be a councilwoman.
Before she could go searching for the white witch, she came to discern that she hadn't found her when she was following the path of the water line.
Had she already left? she asked herself.
"Lady Vivian," one of the men called her. Looking over her shoulder she saw it was the man named Hueren who came to walk towards her, "What are you doing alone here?"
But Vivian had her own question for him, "Excuse me but do you where Sister Isabelle is? I seem to be having trouble finding her," she gave him an apologetic smile for cutting through his question.
"Ah, Sister Isabelle? I don't reckon I know but we can find her together," the human councilman proposed the idea and to his delight, she nodded her head in agreement. They began searching for her but apparently, it seemed that the woman had left already. With a slight amount of dejection, she sighed internally, "Are you alright, milady, would you want me to go fetch you water? There must be some in the carriage."
"I am fine, thank you," she gave him a polite smile and the man beamed like a candle which could be blown away if Leonard stepped into the picture to see Vivian being wooed.
Councilman Heuren Bilgan looked at the tired expression of the fair lady and spoke, "It is very common to feel nauseated in the presence of so many dead bodies. The first time always gives you a headache in the dead man's land," Vivian only smiled as she contemplated if it was right to tell everyone present here about what she had found out.
Remembering something Leonard had told her during their stay in the inn when they had gone to pay and give their last respects to Charlotte Easton, she held back her tongue. There was a spy in the council and they were still trying to find the imposter.
Even if she didn't say it now, the news would still reach the head council and the others which made it only pointless to keep to herself. Weighing her options she stood quite.
"Where do you come from, Lady Vivian?" Heuren asked interested to know about her. The woman was beautiful, her characteristics delicate and gentle which made him feel like he wanted to be her knight in s.h.i.+ning armour.
Vivian looked up to meet his eye which stared right into hers, "I-uh, I am from Valeria, Mr Bilgan."
"Is that so. I thought you must be an acquaintance of senior Carmichael as he introduced you. I have visited Valeria many times, we must have moved in the same circle if you know men like Sullivan Carmichael," Hueren spoke the pureblooded man's name in a whisper as if if he were to be caught speaking of his name he would be punished for it.
Not wanting to seem rude to the man even though he was a stranger she had only met here, she asked him, "Do you work with the Duke?" the man's eyes brightened up.
"I do. Duke Leonard is the one who leads our team of three," he replied to her question.
"What about Sir Lionel?"
"Oh, Sir Lionel doesn't take part during the job. He is in the process of turning to one of the high elders due to his credibility. He usually works on the commission and a.s.sessing of the tasks. You must be wondering why he is here today," he smiled when he saw her give a questionable look in the direction of the faint voices they could hear. The man's smile was infectious that she smiled herself. He then went to whisper lowly, "If you have been reading about the recent news that has been circulating, you will find a lot of killings. The death has seemingly increased and it all leads to the same kills."
"Same kills?" she asked.
"Aye. Meaning by the same person."
"Can one person kill so many of them?" Hueren frowned at that, pressing his lips before he spoke,
"There have been tracks, footprints that were acquired in some of the locations. We don't know why it's happening though. Ma.s.s death at a time hasn't been heard in a while," Vivian didn't give out any information and only nodded to what the councilman had to say about the matter.
"Hueren," Leonard arrived at where the pair stood.
"Duke Leonard. Are you acquainted with Lady Vivian? She's the one who cleared the exam," Leonard stared at his fellow councilman for a brief minute before looking at Vivian.
"Good afternoon, Duke Leonard," she bowed her head to hide the smile that had come to form on her lips.
"Good afternoon," his voice seemed a little hard yet quiet.
Hueren leaned towards Vivian, "If you aren't accustomed to the Duke don't mind his lack of words."
"I will keep that in my mind," she responded back, "Duke Leonard, might you know where Sister Isabelle is? We haven't been able to find her," a small frown appeared on his forehead.
"She said she was going to find you fifteen minutes ago."
"She must have perhaps gotten busy while coming to search for Lady Vivian," Hueren stated but Leonard found it odd that she hadn't gotten back to Vivian. Sister Isabelle wasn't the kind to go astray. His eyes then fell on Vivian's hands where the gloves had come off.
"Did you find?" he asked directly while ignoring Hueren's confused look at the question which was directed to Vivian.
"I didn't touch anything," he gave a curt nod to her. Knowing Vivian, she would have jumped in the opportunity to find what had happened. Out of nowhere, Vivian then suddenly turned back in a certain direction.
"Give me a moment please," she bowed at both the men and ran in the direction she had turned.
Picking up the front of her dress Vivian ran to the house she had been told off by Sullivan Carmichael. She didn't know why she hadn't thought about it before as she hurried. Two pairs of boots followed her closely.
The room. The room they had been and the room she had found Sister Isabelle standing there and looking at something.
Was it too coincidental that she happened to find her in the same room?
Having been a little familiar due to the earlier exploration, she found the house and pushed the door open to notice that the woman who laid on the floor was missing now. But there was something else that laid on the floor. Something gooey and lumpy meat which had melted due to extreme exposure to heat.
She couldn't stop herself from scrunching her eyebrows at the sight of it. Having never seen something like this, it raised the bile in her stomach making her almost vomit which she tried to hold back as she covered her nose.
Her eyes falling on the wooden box which she had seen Sister Isabelle drop when she had come to see who it was, she walked towards it while keeping her distance from whatever was on the ground. Not waiting, she placed her hand on the box to feel a memory which she tried to read but it was hard to pick up on as it was hazy and blur.
Not taking note of Leonard and Hueren who had arrived in the room, she took a deep breath, trying to relax she finally felt herself seep into memories which weren't clear but enough to clear her doubt. Her heart pounded in her chest. Opening the carved wooden box, she found it to be empty.
Turning around slowly her eyes met Leonard's, he asked, "That wasn't Sister Isabelle, was she?"
Vivian shook her head. That wasn't Sister Isabelle.