The maid's truth

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Chapter 2: Having fun?

“Come again?” I asked Hellen in disbelief. There is no way I’ve heard her right, maybe I’m still sleeping.

“Lady Lancaster has instructed that you must join them at the party as a guest” she repeated kindly. “Once you finish your daily chores go to your room and get ready, everything has been taken care of”. Then she left, without giving a proper explanation.

I was having breakfast with Lisa when Hellen approached me and she was almost as surprised as I. We discussed a few crazy theories like me being officially adopted as a Lancaster or Lady Lancaster wanting a full-time maid during the party to fetch her drinks and fix her make up.

With my belly hurting for laughing so hard I began my daily chores and instructed some of the other girls about the accommodations for the guest; I was in charge of that but with the new “maid as a guest” assignment I had little to no time to spare.

I rushed to my room with an hour to get ready and went straight to the bathroom to take a quick shower, my belly hurting but this time for the lack of food, I was hoping I could eat something during the venue. I detangled my hair and enveloped it in a towel to let it dry in my natural curls, a trick I had learned over time, and applied some light makeup with nude lips and a little smoked eyeshadow to make my eyes pop.

The dress was carefully displayed on my bed and it was beautiful. The dark violet fabric seemed almost black but it shimmered in purple when the light touched it. The dress had a very decent v line in the cleavage and the corset hugged my upper body like a second skin, the skirt had several layers of sheer fabric, giving it a flawless appearance, and the short sleeves were made of the same fabric covering my shoulders like feathers.

The three inches sandal high heels were a delicate artwork and would have been the death of me if it weren’t for Lady Lancaster forcing me to take etiquette lessons since childhood; not like I needed the extra inches being almost 5’7’’ with my normal plain shoes. I looked in the mirror and I couldn’t recognize myself; the only sign it was still me was my mother’s necklace shining on my chest.

I had only ten minutes left to make it on time to the main hall and hurried through the aisles, earning a few curious glances from my coworkers. I used one of the staff passages to enter unnoticed and took a moment to admire the greatness of the room.

We’d worked a full week to achieve it but it was worth all the effort. The candles in the ceiling filled the room with a warm light, the decorations were strategically placed and beautifully planned to represent the seven lands of the kingdom: ice figures for the mountain region, bird of paradise flowers were set in glass jars filed with desert sand from the western region and water lilies in the drink tables for the swamp, fishnets and rope hanging from the wall representing the coast region, in the pillars there were red Little flowers with grapes hanging down as lava for the volcanic region were the most exquisite wine is made, pink flower and gold feather centerpieces to represent the capital and the forest region was present in the appetizers as the local delicacies.

A sudden commotion caught my attention, Lord Lancaster was welcoming everyone to the party, his wife looked very elegant wearing a matching cream dress with deep green embroidery, the colors of the family.

“Without further delay let me introduce the person we’re all gathered here today, my son Damian is finally back from his diplomatic mission”

Everyone greeted lord Damian, some young noblemen hollered his name and the young noble ladies ogled him with hungry eyes. If I were them, I’d probably do the same, he looked very handsome with his blonde hair combed back and his green eyes matched the color of the sack he was wearing, making them shine with an enticing glimmer.

“I’d like to thank everyone for coming.” His smile was sincere and his posture very comfortable, he was obviously used to talk to big crowds “As instructive and fun my trip was, every day I felt something was missing and once I came back, I realized the reason. All the treasures of a kingdom, the beauties of the foreign nations and the excitement of the adventure will never be enough to the heart of a man yearning to go back to his beloved ones. It’s good to be home; I hope you enjoy this as much as I”

With that the crowd went crazy and the party began. Staff members arrived with more drinks and immediately left, leaving only the must trustworthy in the hall to preserve the guest’s privacy while having fun. I had been in many of this parties as a member of the staff and I was certain this wasn’t going to be one of the wildest.

“Enid, dear, I’m so happy you agreed to come” Lady Lancaster greeted me, a big cup of wine in hand “I know we are not your real parents but please feel this as your own birthday party and mingle with all the young men here. Harry and I have discussed it and we’ll take care of your dowry; the most prestigious families have already been informed that you are like our daughter and coming of age, so get ready to have many suitors approach you”

I was speechless, Lady Lancaster had just offered me in the meat market as a delicacy and given me the news with a polite smile and a suggestive wink. I smiled back, trying to seem sincere and took the chance to pursue my main goal. It’s not that I don’t want to get married, but going through the awakening ceremony is more important and urgent.

“Lady Lancaster, I’m already indebted with your family for taking me in. I couldn’t possibly ask you to take care of my marriage as well” I fidgeted with my fingers while thinking how to smoothly bring up the sorceress location.

“Nonsense, dear, after all these years we’ve grown very fond of you. It’s the least we can do” she sipped eagerly from her wine and started eyeing around. “Let’s find you someone to talk with right now. The night is young but you have to level up your game if you want to get a good catch”

I rolled my eyes at her boldness but followed her without complain, I know better than to argue with her.

“Lady Lancaster…”

“Martha, deary, call me Martha” she interrupted me while dragging me around.

“Sorry, Martha, there’s something I’ve been wanting to ask you for a while” She nodded, telling me to continue “I’ve been reading some old scrolls in the library about the seven sorceresses of the kingdom but there is nothing about where to find them and I was wondering if you knew”

She stopped abruptly, almost making me collide against her, and gave me a pensive stare making me uncomfortable. I was about to take back my words fearing she would scold me or punish me for prying in such matters when she finally spoke.

“You should make a visit to the old crypt” she said as nonchalantly as if talking about the weather “Sometimes the answers are hidden in plain sight” With that said she took my hand and dragged me across the hall to a group of very expensively dressed people.

I spent the next few hours mingling with half the noble people of the empire. The couples weren’t that bad, the old marriages would talk about their grandchildren or complain about getting older; the newlyweds would speak wonders about marriage and kids, and the women complaint about pregnancy or praise their little ones.

My problem was with the single lords and ladies, for them this gathering was a competition to catch the best suitor while bragging about themselves and sending murderous glares to the ones they considered competitors.

The women were dressed to impress with very expensive dresses embroidered with jewels, tiny waists and bold low necklines enhancing huge breasts about to spill over the edge of their corsets. The men, on the other hand, bragged about their properties, titles and wealth; those who served in the army proudly wore medals and stuff, and the others didn’t hesitate to show an heirloom or two.

I was half listening to the hundredth boring speech of a baron or something while the girl next to me faked a giggle to a lame joke and leaned a bit forward to show off her breast. I internally thanked lady Lancaster for my simple and prudish dress.

“Having fun, Enid?” the low whisper next to my ear startled me and almost made me drop my glass. Damian was standing next to me with an amused smirk, the jerk obviously enjoyed seeing me so out of place, my simple dressings sticking out like a sore toe.

“Milord, I almost have a heart attack” I scolded him holding a hand to my heaving chest. “But answering to your question, it is a wonderful party the one you have here.”

“Of course, it is, and I bet you planned at least half of it.” he laughed giving me a boyish smile “I beg you speak to me casually, we’re like siblings after all. My mother would give me an earful if she knew my sister treats me like a stranger”

“In that case, what about a dance, Damian?” I glared at him, for his statement just painted a target on my back “I don’t want to miss the chance to practice with you again, I hope you’ve learned not to step on my toes after your trip overseas” I said offering him my hand and smirking at his embarrassment.

We danced a couple of songs; he obviously has had more than enough practice during his time abroad and was an excellent dancer whilst I was barely decent. We laughed and bicker at each other like when we were kids and I let myself feel the familiarity between us. Up to certain extent, he was right, he was like my brother, or more like an annoying cousin, and even though I wanted to kill him sometimes I’d missed him.

“Will you sneak to the library again, little mouse?” he asked when he caught me glancing at the clock “Or are you afraid your dress will become shags and your carriage a cabbage?”

“It was a pumpkin, you moron” I snickered “But tonight I have a much interesting destination” he glanced at me with curiosity and I complied “How do you feel about a midnight stroll to the crypt?”


28/09/2021
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