Chapter 6 - Duchess Of Roses
Note: This chapter is as is, not edited. I haven’t had enough free time to go through it and revise in depth. It is edited on the go, still, there might be misspelled words, grammar, etc. errors. I apologize for that. I delayed posting it for this reason, hoping I will get the free time to work on it, and present it as clean as possible. However, I failed. So, keep in mind that it’s a rough draft, and enjoy the story. Thank you so much for your understanding, and sorry for presenting it like this! 🤦♀️🙏🙏🙏�❤💖😘❤
“Well, I am staying at Madam Flouchard. She’s always my host when I come to these lands. Thank you, sir. Nonetheless, she will pout at me if I don’t go back. Plus, I have already paid her. She will call me a snob if I will send her message of my staying here. I don’t want her feel inferior as a host,” Alexandria answered on a calm and gentle manner, though she was accepting of the idea of staying there for a while, to capture Horex. She couldn’t leave that demon there. It meant infection for the castle and the humans there.
“I know Madam Flouchard. And yes, you are right, she would be like that. I can talk with her tomorrow and explain to her that I want you here to inform me of other lands. What better way of telling me than spending more time together? We can speak at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and in all the other moments when I am not in an affairs meeting with the noblemen. I am not due for a while to go to battle or visit places. Therefore, it’s perfect timing. What do you say, my lady?” explained Duke of Wolfbury with such warm eyes and smile.
“My Lord...,” smiled back Alexandria, “You consider that I have so much to tell about other lands?”
“Well, we wouldn’t know, unless we try, right?” persuaded with a gentleman pose Sir Antony.
“I don’t want to impose. I am sure that there are many ladies in there that can’t wait to take a moment of your time and speak with you. I can’t be taking so much of your time, sir. We can meet some other time and speak. I better go.” Alexandria was not an easy woman. She was precious to others exactly for the fact that she was seen for short period of times. She had noble manners and wasn’t rumored to have intimate relationships with anyone. Alexandria would never stay in a place where there wasn’t a lady of the house. It wasn’t considered respectful. As a High Priestess she was pure and had a perfect conduit. Never had she been involved with someone in love matters. All she knew since her existence, was to balance light over darkness, keep her faith, protect humans and destroy bad demons. Yes, some demons were good, and their existence had a reason, that of fighting against bad demons. In fact, she was now a good demon.
“You are not imposing. It is I that is inviting you, my lady.” Sir Antony was not going to give up. He was stern on his decision and was not going to take “no” for an answer.
“Well, I can’t stay in a place were there is no lady of the house, sir. That wouldn’t be right for my reputation.” ′Not that you would have a chance against me. I would crush you in a second, you idiot, with that lustful smile of yours.′ Alexandria sensed his feelings and wasn’t too fond about it. But it was of help to be liked and favored in her missions. It created leverage.
“We have my Nana for that. She is like my only breathing parent nowadays. She knows me since my birth and raised me to the man I am today. I am grateful for having her more since my parents died,” answered Duke of Wolfbury. Nana was his babysitter. An old lady that cared for him and was there for him all his life. She was more like a grandmother, but Antony cared for her like she was his mother. Nana’s opinion had importance for him in all matters.
“Then, I can consider your invitation, sir. First, I need to speak with your Nana and see what she thinks about this. If she doesn’t agree and want to take me under her care, I can’t stay unfortunately.” Alexandria was always precautious with her surroundings and people involved. She didn’t need scandals or loose ends. It would severely destroy her reputation in the human world. That was something she didn’t want for the success of her demon hunt missions.
“Alright! Let’s go to my Nana. She will be delighted to see our new guest!” Sir Antony lead the way in the opposite direction to where Nana was.
Alexandria was guided by Sir Antony through a long hallway. There were imposing portraits on the walls left and right. One would depict the portrait of a gracious lady in her twenties. She had such delicate features. The focus was on the eyes. While Alexandria laid her eyes on that particular portrait, she thought that the lady was watching her. It was like the portrait was alive.
“This portrait is such an art, sir. May I ask who she is?,” interrupted the walk Alexandria with her eyes on the portrait.
“Certainly. She is my late grandmother, Antoanella Seymour, Dutchess of Wolfbury. I have never actually met her. She was from my father’s side. Actually, there’s a weird story related to her death.” Antony Seymour’s radiant face disappeared. His jawline clenched, and his eyes lost their glamour.
“Oh? Could you share the story with me? Only if you can, sir. I can tell it’s not an easy story for you to convey.” Alexandria’s eyes searched for Antony’s waiting to hear the story.
Antony’s eyes matched hers and back to his grandma’s portrait sighting. “Presumably she was a witch. Of course, it is only a rumor. No evidence was found. She came from the middle class. Her family was neither rich nor poor. As you can see, she was such a beautiful creature. My father told me she possessed such kindness and calm. With natural social abilities, such as yourself, she was loved by everyone. The garden the castle has in the west side, was made with her bare hands. My grandmother had the ability to heal withered flowers. Her roses were known for their rich petals and intense smell. One rose would have been enough to perfume an entire room. The color of her lips was natural and resembled that of her scarlet roses. The garden had many other beautiful flowers, but her signature were the roses. When she would walk across a room, a dim smell of roses would remain behind her steps. She was like a walking jewel. Her eyes were green such as the roses’ stem. She even liked to have custom made dresses in those shades of green and red. Even her jewel collection was heavy in these colors. You would find lots of rubies and jades. Each full moon, my grandmother would bathe in water with rose petals. She would get a rose with stem and would squeeze it in her hand a little to get a pinch of her own blood in the water. Her saying was always like this: My beautiful roses with scarlet essence, nurture me like I nurture you. Bring me your beauty and energy as I bring to you. Here’s my blood to scarlet you. Here’s my blood to tribute you.′ Her death was announced. She had never been sick. When she came back from a nearby land visit at night, she was pale. Going to her chambers on excuse she was tired from the journey, she screamed on the stairs and collapsed. Everyone rushed to the scene to see what had happened and help her. Nothing was found to explain her piercing scream and reason of falling down the stairs. When they checked her body for injuries, everything was fine. Nothing was wrong. No bone fracture, not a thing that would have caused her death. Though the fall was pretty bad and dangerous, her body was in perfect state. It was a night with full moon. The next morning, when servants went outside to prepare for her funerals, they found all the roses withered and the land they were on, dry. Antoanella Seymour, Duchess of Wolfbury, died at the age of 27,” concluded Sir Antony still having his eyes glued to his grandmother’s beauty. “She still looks like a living person, isn’t she?,” underlined Duke of Wolfbury.
“Yes, she does. I would say something, my Lord, but I don’t want you to misunderstand me. I am not here to judge, just to understand,” said Alexandria looking in the vivid eyes of Duchess of Wolfbury.
“I wouldn’t misunderstand. You may speak your mind,” said Sir Antony turning his stance towards Alexandria.
“You said there was no evidence of her being a witch, sir,” spoke Alexandria still having her eyes on the portrait.
“No evidence at all,” replied Antony changing his stance towards the painting having a rigid posture this time.
“Then, how would you explain her ritual and the coincidence with the roses after her death, sir?,” continued Alexandria with a soft and casual tone.
“A mere coincidence. Servants’ nature is to gossip and give an augmented reality to facts. Hence, they are only rumors, as I said at the beginning. It’s their story, regarding her death. For the ritual, that was my father’s story. Still, you can’t believe a child’s words. Children always have a rich imagination to things. It can’t be completely trusted. When my grandmother died, my father was only nine years old. So, his account to things could be altered. The real facts that were noted, regarding events surrounding her death, are that she slipped on the stairs due to her fatigue. Her scream was interpreted by her scare of falling. Whilst, the roses, they said there were high temperatures for several days, and with grandmother being away for her visit, she wasn’t there to personally nurture them. Servants are servants, and when they are alone, they tend to miss a few steps in the process,” explained Duke of Wolfbury, going back to his radiant face features and throwing a warm smile to Lady Alexandria.
“I see. Thank you for the story, sir. It was one that I couldn’t miss. Very interesting and intriguing. I am very sorry for your family’s loss. Duchess was a kind soul, even flowers mourned her death.” Alexandria knew the true reasons of her death. She had one more task in the castle now, besides catching Horex.
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BITTER BLOOD SERIES-CURSED by Andra-Cristiana Stan, Romania. Copyright © February 2019. All Rights Reserved
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This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.