Regent's Blood - Aristocracy (Book 1) COMPLETED

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Chapter 69

Maggie’s POV:

I slowly came back to my senses with a pounding headache. I blinked a few times, then put a hand to my temple, which was really sore.

When I looked at my hand, I noticed that it was covered in blood. I sat up carefully and leaned my back against the bedside cabinet, because everything seemed to be spinning.

Slowly, I noticed the whole situation around me and it’s whole, terrible extent.

Adrian had left.

Across from me, on the other side of the room, Darius lay unconscious. At least I hoped, that he had only passed out.

I slowly got down on my knees to crawl over to him, when I saw Soraya next to me on the bed, which caused me to pause.

The sight was horrible.

A moderately strong, steady stream of blood ran from the corners of her mouth, ears, and nose. She was pale as death and little beads of sweat formed everywhere on her skin, because she ran a high fever. Her eyes were deeply sunken into her skull, unusually reddened, and her pupils were barely larger than the head of a pin.

Her arm hung slightly over the edge of the bed and where her veins were supposed to be, bluish black branches formed on her skin.

The only thing she could still move, seemed to be her eyes. They looked at me pleadingly and fearfully.

Suddenly she began to shake uncontrollably all over her body, as if she were having an epileptic seizure.

Darius had to wait. I couldn’t leave Soraya like this.

I didn’t know what to do. Desperate, I took her hand to comfort her.

As my eyes filled with tears, I whispered to her.

“Don’t worry! I will stay by your side!”

There was no more reaction from Soraya. Only her body, over which she seemed to have lost all control, kept twitching constantly.

After a drive, that felt like an eternity, James and Daina finally arrived at the manor in Ignis.

James didn’t bother looking for a parking space. He parked as close to the entrance as possible, then jumped out of the car and ran up the few steps.

Daina struggled to follow him.

The staff only reacted in puzzlement to this unexpected visitor, but when they saw who was standing in front of them, they bowed and were very attentive.

James didn’t bother with greetings or formalities.

“Where is Lady Margarete Fleur de Lys?”

When people didn’t answer his question quickly enough, he had no problem getting the necessary information straight out of their heads. Right here and in this situation, there was no place for decency.

The third maid was finally able to provide information about Maggie’s whereabouts. Allegedly, she saw Margarete outside her rooms.

“And where are Margarete’s rooms?” He snapped gruffly at the maid.

“On the first floor. Shall I show you the way, Sire?”

“That’s not necessary. We’ll find our way around.”

He was already running up the stairs, followed by Daina.

He would have no problem, finding the rooms and he couldn’t use any more witnesses. It just meant more work for him in case he had to slightly adjust their memories of the incident, afterwards.

Finding Maggie’s rooms was easy, since the door to them was the only one in the hallway, which was wide open.

At the beginning of the hall, he had already noticed the smell of blood, which made him even more nervous. Hopefully he wasn’t too late.

He crossed the living room with long strides in the direction of the room behind. The door of the adjacent room was also open and it seemed to be the source of the unmistakable smell of blood.

“What the hell!” Escaped loudly from his lips.

The sight, that greeted him as he walked into the room took his breath away and made a shiver of horror run down his spine.

Darius was lying unconscious in the right corner of the room.

Maggie was kneeling by the bed, covered in blood and crying, desperately clutching the hand of a woman, who was presumably Soraya. The latter was in a catastrophic state of health, more dead than alive and bleeding from every possible body orifice.

James had seen some unsightly and disturbing things in his 354 years, in which he walked the earth. The situation here surpassed everything, he had seen before.

When Daina, who had run after James, entered the room, she let out a cry of horror and then fell into a kind of paralysis.

From this sturpor, she was partly torn again by James, who shouted loud instructions at her.

“Daina ... Daina!”

Slowly, her eyes wide with horror, she looked at James.

“Daina, take care of Darius. I can hear him still breathing. I will take care of Margarete and the woman. Let’s hope, it’s not too late.”

Daina just stared at James with wide eyes and still didn’t react.

It was futile.

James went to Daina and put his hand on her shoulder. Then, his thoughts forced her to look at him.

He repeated calmly and objectively. “Take care of Darius. He’s probably just passed out.”

Daina nodded like a small child. Slowly, stiff as a puppet, she went over to Darius, knelt on the floor next to him and tried to find his pulse.

James POV

Shaken to the core, I slowly moved towards the two women.

The sight of my Maggie crouching beside the bed, hurt and crying desperately, would haunt me for the rest of my life.

I walked up to her slowly, so as not to scare her even more, and crouched next to her on the floor.

“Look at me, love.”

She looked at me desperately with big eyes, and cheeks streaked with tears and blood.

I carefully put my hand on her cheek, which was covered in blood and scanned her body for injuries. Except for the laceration on her forehead and a slight concussion, she had no injuries.

Only when I realized that, did I dare to breathe again.

I gave her a light kiss on the forehead.

“My love, hold still so I can heal your wound.”

Completely unexpectedly, she pushed me away with her free hand, shook her head carefully, which obviously caused her pain, and replied:

“No, first Soraya. She needs your help much more urgently, than I do.”

She looked at me insistently, with a pleading look. As if I could refuse her a wish in this situation.

“Of course.”

I turned from her and towards Soraya. Then, I leaned over her badly injured body and, similar to Maggie before, touched Soraya’s cheek to check her body for injuries.

What I found made me wince in horror.

There was really nothing left of her body, which was in a state, that I could have saved it. No healer in the world would have been able to help this poor girl.

Most of her organs had already decomposed. Maggie’s blood serum acted like a strong poison, being irreversibly distributed throughout Soraya’s body by the bloodstream. It was a miracle, that she was still alive, much less able to think.

Her fears and worries, which I was inevitably able to pick up on, combined with the images from her past, gave me an ice-cold shiver.

What did this poor woman have to endure under Adrian? He had abused her, tortured her, raped her, played sick role-plays with her and finally used her as a kind of pin cushion. Presumably so, that he could implement the disgusting plan he and Daina had come up with.

I became miserable and sick.

The more I looked into Soraya’s past, the worse it got. She had lived a happy life until the time she ran into Adrian. Nobody deserved such treatment.

Soraya was getting weaker and weaker.

I could feel her coming to an end and there was nothing I could do for her. She seemed to realize herself, that she was going to die.

This led to an infinite increase in her fear, anger, and despair about being abandoned in the end.

I did the only thing I could do to make her end a little easier. I replaced her dark, cold feelings with my warm and hopeful ones.

I felt each of her emotions as strongly as if they were my own. Until the unbearable burden was suddenly replaced by emptiness. Then, her body collapsed limply.

Stunned and motionless, I crouched over the bed. It was only after a few moments, that I noticed Maggie, who looked at me worriedly and carefully wiped tears from my cheeks.

I hadn’t even realized, I was crying...

There were many benefits to being able to read thoughts and emotions. But to witness the death of a person and using these powers at the same time, also meant that a part of oneself died, too.

I slowly wrapped my arms around Maggie and held her close to me. I needed her proximity as a drowning man needed a safe shore.

While clutching her, I put my hand on the gash on her temple and began healing it. When the wound was completely closed, I let go of it, took a step back and looked at my handiwork.

Satisfied that my loved one would not be left with a scar from that terrible day for the rest of her life, at least not an externally visible one, I pulled her closer to me and kissed her.

“Malachy...” she said in a tear-choked voice. “We have to take care of Darius.”

She broke away from my embrace and walked over to Daina and Darius in a slightly bent position, that reminded me of a beaten dog.

For a brief moment, I stared at the now empty space where Maggie had previously stood.

At that moment, I saw a blood-serum vial lying on the floor next to the bedside cabinet, Maggie’s blood-serum vial.

I quickly bent down, picked up the small jar and let it disappear inconspicuously into my pocket. This way, no one would find out what had actually happened here. I would protect Maggie, no matter what...

Then, I went over to Darius and knelt next to him. He was still passed out.

When I touched him, attempting to heal him, I noticed something strange.

He didn’t just seem unconscious. Apparently, the weapon of ‘anti-healing’ had been used on him. A secret martial art, that was only allowed by law to the Regents and a few head of Clans, belonging to the ‘Witch-Circle’.

With this type of attack, one could deliberately destroy the cells of an organism and thus put it out of action or even kill it.

Adrian, who was partly belonging to the ‘Witch-Circle’, seemed to have used this attack on Darius. Very amateurish, luckily. Otherwise Darius would probably no longer be alive.

This raised one question: Who had taught this psychopath the forbidden art of ‘anti-healing’?

He obviously seemed to have support in higher circles, than I thought possible.

After a few minutes, which were very exhausting for me, I had restored Darius to such an extent, that he would survive this attack without major long-term consequences.

Exhausted, I leaned back and took a few deep breaths.

When Darius moved carefully and slowly opened his eyes, I was relieved and hoped that no one would die at Adrian’s hand today, anymore.

Maggie fell on my neck in relief and thanked me for helping her brother. I pulled her onto my lap, hugged her tightly, and buried my face in the crook of her neck. Then I breathed in her familiar scent a couple of times.

Thank God, I hadn’t lost her. My heart wouldn’t be able to take it...

When I got my emotions under control, I slowly got up and pulled her up with me and into my arms.

I lifted my head and looked over Maggie’s shoulder and straight into Daina’s also grateful but pleading eyes. How could she get herself involved in such a disgusting plan with Adrian?

Darius slowly found his voice again. Confused, he stammered: “What happened? Why is there blood everywhere?”

I brought him up to date without leaving anything out, or glossing over anything. Horrified, he straightened up, went to Maggie’s bed, and glanced at Soraya’s lifeless body.

Shaken to the core, he then turned to me and asked in a very husky voice: “What do we do, now?” He looked completely lost.

Angry, but with a firm resolve, I replied: “Now we’re going to thwart a plot and make it clear once and for all, who’s in charge here. But first we have to take care of the mess, that Daina has created.”

During these words, I let my cold gaze rest reproachfully on Daina.

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