The next day, Mighell Thorne saw me when I was busy assessing the growth of the Haycinth plants in the pots. He was mystically calm and curious as always. My best efforts to avoid him seemed to be in vain when he came down to the yard to watch the garden.
He stood beside me, still and silent. I kept counting the passing second, expecting him to leave at some point. When he didn’t for a long time, I dared to lift my head to him.
“Haycinth,” he murmured, as if he was educating himsef.
I ogled at him while he eyed the pots. He took in a sharp breath and threw his head back to look the crown of the tree. As he did that, his face caught the rays of the early sun, enriching his fine features.
“What is this tree?” He cocked his head at me and held my gaze.
In the bright light his eyes were clear hazel. I opened my mouth and closed. The name stayed on the tip of my tongue. For some reason I couldn’t fetch it. His presence was like a trance and I was sinking down to the bottom of it. I shook my head to break its effect.
“I love the crimson. Strong red stands for danger, strength and death.”
“Cerise-velvet, that is the name,” I uttered, snapping out in time.
“I see,” his voice was a murmur again.
A smile reached his lips from somewhere deep where he seemed to have buried it. He nodded and turned around to leave. A nod was an unusual gesture from a Knight towards a menial. In this land, no one regarded an Underling. But this Knight—he saw me as an equal, as a fellow human if not a wolf-bound. I felt a sudden admiration for him.
I felt him leave my side. His lazy steps were loud to my ears in the emptiness of the hallway. I observed the blooming flowers of Cerise-velvet blankly. All of a sudden, the crimson gripped me and I reached up to pluck a flower from a low hanging bough.
“You are off to Smallmav... if I am not mistaken?” I asked to his retreating back.
As he stopped, I closed the short distance between us.
“You are not mistaken,” he replied.
“The man that killed my family, his clothing was of the same shade of crimson and stained with blood as the stains here. I remember his eyes—they were like rubies...” I trailed off as he took the flower from me.
“I see. That is where the name comes from then. A monster in a human form,” he said, staring at the flower, lost in his indiscernible thoughts. For once, I was desperate to know what he was thinking. But he just kept it at that.
He closed his palm, locking the flower inside his grip. “Those creatures brought chaos to my land. But they cannot go too far with that, they will be found and hunted down soon.”
“He was also very quick moving. You wouldn’t know when he made it from the shore to the woods.”
“So I have heard.”
I wanted to say more. Not about the red-creatures, but to him. I felt a need to caution him to not confront them alone, to make sure have strong weapons, and to stay safe. Even as he was the son of a traitor, I couldn’t help from being concerned. In a way he was avenging the deaths of my deceased foster family too—they were the only people I knew as mine after my Alpha-Father. I felt like I owed it to him. Yet, my sense of lowliness stopped those words in my throat.
He threw the hand with the flower to his back, and held my gaze for the second time.
“I’ll remind them the deaths and sorrows they have caused. I’ll tell them yours,” his words held great certainty. “It shall be their end. It shall be their ruin.” He nodded in that knightly manner and left with a thin smile.
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