Chapter 2: Troubling Weather
--The Nydisian Kingdom, The Countryside, Lady Morgan’s Manor--
'The troubles of one’s mind and the thoughts within the soul bring forth a long-forgotten pain only to be remembered by those who sow the reward.
If only time could tell the fate of one’s life, how much time would be saved? Destiny, however, laughs in the face of time, mocking its existence for being nothing but a measure that means nothing compared to its counterpart.
However long, wherever it may be, the once-forgotten pain along with destiny will turn back to mock your existence before moving to its next victim.'
- N.A. Ainsley
Katherine, the doe-eyed brunette, was seated peacefully on the downstairs balcony of the modest but spacious manor she lived in.
She flipped the pages of the book she was reading while finding deeper meaning in the words that were said on its pages.
She thought back to the summer she spent a few years ago, doing nothing but studying the works of Ainsley. His writings seemed to have a way of speaking to her.
After closing the book in her hands, Katherine walked to the ledge that surrounded the lower balcony and stared into the sky.
The most appropriate thing that could describe what she felt was the saying, ‘a pawn in the hands of destiny’.
Ainsley’s works always seemed to grant Katherine insight into her own life.
Katherine closed her eyes and embraced the calm but cool wind of the countryside. She felt like destiny was playing with her; like it was waving the comforts of life in front of her but for some reason, she couldn’t seem to grasp the reality of the life she lived.
“It’s very troubling weather, you should get in soon darling,” The head housemaid, Eleanor suggested, persuading Katherine to come inside, but she didn’t want to.
It felt almost peaceful watching the clouds start to get darker, heavy, Katherine thought. She’s needed peace like this for several days.
It’s been very disturbing ever since Queen Orizelle died, may her soul rest in peace. The whole idea of what might have happened to her put everyone on edge.
“I will, soon,” Katherine replied, still looking at the sky while silently refusing to leave the only thing that’s brought her comfort. However, she could tell it would rain soon so she complied.
“Lady Morgan gave me the night off, I’m going to bed now. I suggest you do the same dear, a good night’s rest will do you good,” Eleanor placed her hand on Katherine’s shoulder and smiled at her, almost knowingly, and left quietly.
Katherine couldn’t help but take heed to the words of Eleanor. She and Lady Morgan represented the mother she never had.
While sighing, she stood up and walked through the halls of the manor that were starting to get dark despite the lit candles. As she arrived in her room and got ready for bed, she had this pit at the bottom of her stomach.
She had this unsettling feeling that things would change, and not necessarily for the better.
Katherine woke up the following morning with the same unsettling feeling as the night before. However, she did not dwell on it and decided to take a walk.
She grabbed her robe from her bedpost and wrapped it around her nightgown before stepping out. The sunrise had just begun and Katherine seemed to have craved the fresh air.
As she was making her way out of the living quarters, she passed by Lady Morgan’s study and heard voices.
“This is outrageous! You cannot and will not come onto my land and demand for me to abide by the wishes of what? A sorcerer? My answer is no and will stay no!” A voice Katherine recognized all too well, shouted.
What’s going on? Katherine thought. She could hear Lady Morgan all the way from the corridor. Who would make such demands, enough to warrant her shouting?
Lady Morgan has always been known for her calmness. Although Lady Morgan had no apparent title, she inherited a fair bit of land, which granted her the title of a noble.
Katherine found her legs directing her to the study door so she could hear better.
“My Lady, I truly apologize for the intrusion on your land, but orders from the royal court to bring her to the castle have already been passed.” Katherine listened to the male’s voice and she was intrigued by the man’s voice.
“She’s merely a child, barely of age, milord,” Lady Morgan sounded defeated, almost pleading.
On the other side of the door, Lady Morgan was pleading with the man, knowing full well that nothing could be done to stop them.
“The kingdom doesn’t have the time to be without its queen. Katherina Daventin is the sole successor to the throne.” The man said firmly, trying not to alarm the lady even more.
Katherine stepped back in surprise after hearing her name. She quickly went back to her room and changed out of her nightgown before making her way to the maid’s quarters to look for Eleanor.
To her surprise, she couldn’t find the person she was looking for. She passed by some of the maids that were holding fresh sheets in the hands.
Katherine quickly composed herself before offering a smile to the maids as they bowed respectfully.
She waited until they were out of sight before speed walking to the kitchen. Upon entering the kitchen she saw Alina, the head cook, already preparing breakfast with the help of a few maids.
Katherine smiled kindly and greeted her good morning. “Alina, would you know where Eleanor might be? I’ve been looking for her,” Katherine asked while grabbing a muffin from the tray.
A few crumbs fell on the floor and on cue a puppy came running in and licked them off the ground and started to lick Miss Katherine’s toes which resulted in a giggle escaping her lips.
Alina laughed while looking at Chester, the puppy, licking at the lady’s feet. “I think she went to the market, she mentioned she’d be back soon.” Alina’s response received a nod from Katherine as she stepped out of the kitchen.
Katherine felt a bit anxious about what the man had said, that’s why she felt the need to speak with Eleanor. She and the woman who seemed to be in her early 40s had a close relationship. Even closer than the one she shared with Lady Morgan.
In light of the information that she had gone out, Katherine went back to her room avoiding going near Lady Morgan’s study. She didn’t want the man to smell her in case he was supernatural by any chance.
The estate owned by Lady Morgan was more or less human-oriented asides from the guards who were mostly werewolves.
Katherine thought back to the time where she tried to sneak out and moments later one of the guards and a close friend of hers, Jason, appeared in front of her in his wolf form and chased her around for a bit before turning back to his human form and laughing at the frightened expression on the poor girl’s face.
Jason said he could smell her from miles away, ever since then, she’s been careful to note his enhanced senses.
Katherine was brought out of her thoughts when she heard a loud knock against her door. “Miss Daventin, I am Lord Killian, I am here on behalf of the Cardinal. I would like to discuss such matters with you.”
From what Katherine had heard earlier, she had a feeling they would come looking for her soon. Katherine was so lost in her thoughts, she didn’t notice that Lady Morgan had already opened the door and both she and Lord Killian stepped into the room.
Lord Killian, was a fairly young man who grew up in the castle as his father was one of the ministers. He was yet to take his father’s position but has managed to make a name for himself.
One deep long breath followed by a short exhale passed through Katherine’s lips and she opened her eyes and was met with Lady Morgan and a tall young man standing in her room.
“Miss Katherina-” Lord Killian began to speak but was cut off by the girl to whom he was speaking.
“I prefer to be addressed as Katherine, Milord,” immediately after Katherine spoke, she walked over to Lady Morgan.
Lady Morgan wasn’t Katherine’s biological mother, even though she could be classified as her caretaker, Katherine and Lady Morgan never had that mother-daughter relationship even though they were close. Katherine never referred to Lady Morgan as her mother.
“I’m sure they will explain all this to you but Katherine you need to go with Lord Killian,” Lady Morgan said while holding back the tears in her eyes. Due to being unable to have children of her own, Lady Morgan never remarried after her husband died.
Instead, she focused her time on helping children and along her way she came across Katherine and a few months later, decided to adopt the girl.
Katherine was a bit stunned when she heard that she would have to leave the manor, she turned back to look at the man, only to see that he was respecting their moment and looking the other way.
A tear rolled down from Lady Morgan’s cheek as she kissed Katherine’s forehead. Lady Morgan was moderately taller than Katherine as she was about 5"11.
“I’m sorry to interrupt but we must get going,” Katherine frowned at what Lord Killian had said. She wasn’t allowed to say goodbye?
Before Katherine could say anything else, Lady Morgan led her to the front of the estate where a carriage was stationed and Lord Killian was following silently behind them. She felt her heart clench as she realized Eleanor hadn’t gotten back yet.
“Please we have to wait, Eleanor isn’t back yet. I have to see her.” Katherine said trying to reason with the man.
“Apologies, Milady,” Lord Killian said as he started walking towards her. Katherine shook her head profusely while trying to step away from Lord Killian but he had already caught a grip on her and lifted her into the carriage.
The side of Katherine’s head hit the carriage door making her feel dizzy along with a slight headache.
“Where to, Lord Killian?” The coachman in front asked while reading the horses. Katherine’s eyes started to feel a bit heavy due to the pain in her head.
Lord Killian glanced at the girl once more before answering, “The castle.”