Echoes of Midnight

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Five

Bewildered with the mystery, Greta’s thoughts spiraled in confusion. Two masters in one castle? Mudwick hid its own secrets very well.

She summoned her courage as she reached for a blazing torch from the wall overhead. The door was left unlocked, thank goodness.

But, which of the men should she put her trust with? A High Lord with no name or a beastly Daemeon?

Silly little girl, a voice close to a whisper stopped her from her tracks.

“Who is it?” she asked, feigning courage as she tried to make out the end of a tunnel.

Laughter passed by her as tiny wings flashed before her eyes. Flap flap flap.

Before Greta could cower into a corner and hide, the winged creature turned into an old man in a tailored suit.

A butler who could transform himself into…a bat?

“My lady, I was ordered to escort you to your quarters.”

“Tell me you’re not role playing right now! You did not just turn from a bat to someone’s grandpa in one blink of an eye.”

The servant ignored her qualms before he said, “I know it’s puzzling my lady, which is why I am here to lend you a light to some matters since you arrived.”

Finally! The answers to all these questions appeared before her. But what if the old man was simply tricking her to put her in a dungeon and be done with this mess?

She was disturbed from her thoughts when the servant spoke again.

“My name is Erik, my lady and I am loyal to my master.”

“Whoa, back up! I didn’t catch that one. Master? Who are you kidding? I saw two different people in one day and I don’t know who is who or maybe that guy was a raging lunatic.”

“I serve only one master, lady Greta, and I would not be happy to explain again the obvious.”

“So, basically you’re saying that Mr. Dark Pants and the beast are one man pretending to have two selves?”

“I’ll leave you to your musings, my lady, but from now on, please beware of master, for he can do things I would rather not share about.”

As they walked further through the musty tunnels, Greta went silent and left the old man to lead the way.

Through a series of winding corridors, they took a turn until they reached a wide wing of the castle. Then, Erik opened a door to the far left end.

A vast expanse of a bedchamber filled Greta’s vision before she focused on the tall windows.

Beyond those rain-soaked glass, a sprawling forest ran for miles. Hugged by a winding road she trudged upon earlier that day, Greta was forlorn upon knowing that her plans were derailed.

Please forgive me, Hans. I was trapped in a haunted castle with its mysterious master and running out of ideas for escape.

Then, Erik spoke as if he can hear her thoughts, “Fear not, my lady, master would visit you come morning to discuss these things.”

She understood Erik’s efforts of comforting her, lest she complained again.

“I appreciate your kindness, Erik. I trust that the master is not here as of the moment?”

“He left earlier to some important business somewhere but, I assure you, he would come back to Mudwick by sunrise.”

Greta felt no remorse in not replying as Erik went out of the chamber. A castle with giant bedrooms? I am living my life away like a princess. Greta thought with wonder but not until she felt being haunted by someone, or better yet, a something.

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