The Cursed Imperial Heart

-The Confusion (Part II)-

It all happened so fast.

The events that came a couple of hours after the heart felt hug Addie and I shared, happened so fast.

The screaming,

”YOU GOOD FOR NOTHING TRASH!! ” Lord Niles shouted, anger and frustration were written all over his face when he found out about the incident that happened a couple of hours earlier.

Addie immediately went ahead to stop him from reaching me ”My Lo-Lord, please calm dow–ouch!! ” but he just pushed her aside none the less. His attention was mainly on me, the malem who hurt his darling daughter.

And upon reaching the inside of the shed, his dark blue eyes instantly looked straight into my soul, the little girl who sat trembling at the corner of the small room.

Needless to say, that wasn the end of it all.

”Youll pay for what you did to our sister!! ” the two boys uttered as they dragged me by the hair, down to the basement where their father ordered them to take me.

”You shouldve killed her sooner!! ” the viscountess Cordelia screamed at her husband outside the small jail-like cell I was thrown into. ”Kill that thing Niles, or I swear to the creator–I will!! ”

”You shouldn have been born!! ” even the maids who were tasked to spy on what Im doing shouted angrily at my face behind bars.

”You
e only making everyone elses lives more difficult! ” they all said.

And as a dark echoing demonic laughter created by the negativity of all thats happening followed, it too screamed.

”YOU SHOULD JUST DIE!! ”

It all echoed inside my head.

Of course, there were a lot of beatings too. But oddly enough, I could only remember glimpses of it, the feeling per se. Like how the viscount flung me to the wall of the basement so hard I most certainly cracked a rib, the viscountess Cordelia slapping me from left to right making my face all red, and how the two young boys kicked me from each side as I laid on the floor.

I think at some point, I even tried to run away and escape?

Honestly, it was all so fussy.

The only thing I could recall clearly was seeing the viscount lifting Addie up with one hand, his palm pressing hard against her throat as I laid on the floor pinned down by the two boys. She looked pale, trying her best to gasp every little bit of air she could possibly take in. Her whole body trembled, hands trying to push the viscount away, but it was no use.

Seeing her eyes roll back from the lack of air, I shouted in tears.

”ADDIE NOOOO!!! ”

And that was it.

That was the last thing I remembered before everything around me turned pitch black.

*-*-*-*-*-*

I woke up to the sound of people mumbling.

Of course, I still kept my eyes shut. I heard a lot of voices though, mostly from men, that I surely don recognize the slightest. But then again, I have never really been outside and talked to a lot of people other than Addie for almost all my life. I tried my best to listen to every bit of word and make out what they were saying. For a second, I think I even heard a woman sobbing? An unfamiliar voice even told them to keep it down as to not wake me up.

”Shhh, Keep it down or well wake her up. ” the voice whispered.

At this point, I had enough.

When I finally opened my eyes, I found myself surrounded by a bunch of doctors. From left to right my tilted, and from left to right they were there. A bunch of white coated individuals holding charts that are most likely from the duchy of Atheogro, the land of light and healing. But since Ive only ever seen one from afar whenever one of the Brotillon children got sick, I was confused as to why they were surrounding me.

As I slowly sat up the bed, I noticed something strange, stranger than all thats happening.

My eyes roamed around the huge sparkly room that I, a lowly malem, was in. My eyes widened at the site of the diamond chandelier at the center of the room, the beautiful pink curtains that shielded the huge space from the sun, the pink satin sheets dangling at each corner of the room, the gold engravings at the top sides and the huge white closet at the side close to where the sitting area was. Yes, the room has its own living room basically.

But, whose room is this though?

When my hands touched the sheets of the bed for a moment, thats when it really hit me. The bed I laid on, was soft as can be? No, soft is an understatement. It honestly feels as if Im laying on top of a huge cloud. But instead of feeling comfortable, I felt somewhat concerned, immediately lying back down again. Seriously, why am I at such a place? In my head, perhaps Im just dreaming all this? I mean, thats the only possible explanation right?

I closed my eyes shut again, scared theyd find out I have already awoken. The doctors were so busy reading charts and discussing medical tendencies that no one even bothered to check up on me. But then again, why would they? The only reason they were sent her in the first place was to–Hmm. Come to think of it,

Why are they here?

But I guess the real question that I should be asking right now is…

How in the world am I still alive?

Surely the viscount had no reason to keep me a day longer. At least, not that I know of. And on that note, I couldn help but notice how my body feels somewhat new. Does that make sense? I was beaten, almost to death, yet I lied on the bed feeling not a single pain on my body, I felt as healthy as can be. Usually, I wouldn even be able to get up, but I just did a while ago.

What the–

How am I just realizing this?

Pondering at such thought, I heard the door open suddenly. Of course, I could not see who it was since I closed my eyes closed but it seemed to be someone important since the room fell silent the moment the door slammed quietly shut.

”Greetings, Lord Brotillon. ” voices greeted, all in sync.

Ah, so it was the viscount who walked in. I shouldve known.

”You may rise. ” the Lord answered with his usual uninterested low tone.

The sound of people standing up on their feet came right after those words. Thus, the doctors started to speak with him in more medical terms regarding the matter, regarding me.

Although I couldn really see what was happening, I knew that the viscount didn come alone. Hes always been the type of person to stick someone by his side in such situations. As if by instinct, I instantly imagined Cordelia holding him by the arm like the lovey-dovey couple they always worked so hard to be. If not the viscountess, perhaps his first born son and heir, Calder, walking along side his father head held high.

”Enough with those words, ” the viscounts said strictly. ”Even I don understand whatever the pit you
e saying. ”

”Apologies, my Lord. ” presumably, one of the doctors, answered.

After a moment of silence, the Lord of the house spoke once more,

”How is she? ” he asked in a surprisingly somber tone.

Another wave of silence took over. Quite frankly, since I couldn see them, it actually irritated me when silence took over the whole room. But after a few more second, one of the doctors broke the quietness of the whole room.

”To be honest, ” he uttered, giving of a rather confused vibe. ”Im suspicious. ”

Again with the silence.

Jeez, if Im dying then just go ahead and say it. Its not like theyll care, doctor.

Im currently very tempted to just open my eyes and be done with it , yet even I knew that would be a stupid thing for me to do. Who knows what theyll do to me once I wake up? Maybe they
e even waiting for me to wake up so they can behead me? Truthfully, the possibility of all this being an act is more likely since its the Brotillon themselves.

”Suspicious? ” the lord asked. ”How come? Is her illness that serious? ”

The doctor then chuckled. ”Oh no, not with the girl viscount Brotillon ” he answered.

I could just picture the look of confusion on the viscounts face when the doctor said that.

”Then? ” the lord asked again. ”What is it? ”

”Lord Brotillon, anyone would be suspicious wouldn they? ” the doctors voice suddenly sounded confident as he said those words.

He continued by elaborating his suspicion by saying,

”You called the most prestigious medical temple in all the empire, requesting they send you not one, not two, but a group of well known healers. ”

”Well thats because– ” the viscount tried to speak, but was cut off immediately by the doctor.

”Im not finish my lord. ” he said, not a single fear in his voice. ”I suggest you don interrupt me for a while since I will be reporting every single detail of this meeting to the Duke. ”

Heh, so thats why the doctor acted without fear.

He was protected by the powerful duke of Atheogro, since he serves under the magnificent light mage himself. But still, to say that to someone like the viscount, how bold of him. In my head, the picture of the pissed viscount trembling in anger couldn be more clear.

In all honesty, I was genuinely scared for that doctor, and it seemed that everyone else was too. But I guess knowing that hell have the duke by his side, he has nothing to lose in saying such things confidently in front of everyone.

”We thought that someone from your family was injured since you acted all scared and afraid, viscountess Cordelia even wept in concern. ” he continued his argument.

”But to our disbelief, you called upon us only to examine a mere little girl whos as healthy as can be? ” the doctor questioned.

Again, just like before, silence engulfed the whole entire room once more. Even I was tense, yet I continued to stay silent and pretend like I was indeed sleeping. The way the doctor interrogated the viscount, a well-known noble in the society of water mages, I feel like surprised is such an understatement to describe the feeling that I felt. I felt the wave of adrenaline shot from person to person, even to me apparently.

It really seemed that anything the viscount says would instantly be used against him,

Or so I thought.

”Is that so? ” the viscounts tone was obviously sarcastic.

He then let out a soft menacing chuckle, ”I beg to differ, doctor. ” he uttered.

Oh, how hard it was not to laugh when I heard him say that. Theres nothing particularly funny about what he said really, just the fact that he always has to be right no matter what, even though the doctor made a very valid point in his argument earlier, is one of the things that still baffles me about the viscount.

”You see doctor, ” oddly enough, the Lords voice became soft all of the sudden.

I heard the sound of a chair being pulled out and someone standing. After that, soft footsteps came closer and closer to the left side of the bed. With each step, I could feel my hands start to sweat and my body wanting to twitch due to stress. Because I knew, the person who was walking towards the side of the bed, is the one responsible for all thats happening.

I flinched when I suddenly felt his hand caress my cheek,

”The person you
e calling a mere little girl, ” he continued to say. ”Is actually… ”

Then, he said it. The two words that shocked not only me, but all the healers in the room.

”My daughter. ” he exclaimed.

I heard my whole head crack in disbelief.

Im….his what?!

Indeed, those two words shocked me to my very core.

Is the viscountess hearing all this?

At that instant, I really badly wanted to open my eyes already. Of course for obvious reasons, I most certainly can . I mustn , not after what I just freakin heard! He continued caressing my cheek, which by all means, freaked me out even more! And it seemed Im not the only one who is taking all the things his saying to be true, cause it isn .

”Y-Y-Your…?? ” an unfamiliar voice stuttered in confusion.

”My Lord…? Is she really…? ” another one asked.

To which the viscount answered in a very loud and energetic voice, ”Indeed, doctors! ”

Even though my eyes were close, I could feel their suspicious stares aiming at the man claiming to be the father of a malem, the creature he despised the most in this world, everyone in the whole empire knows that.

”Do you really not believe me? ” his tone sounded hurt.

Another unfamiliar voice answered stuttering, protesting. ”I-I-Its n-not that, my lord. Its just– ”

”How rude. ” he interrupted, not even letting the doctor finish its sentence.

When the doctor stopped talking, a soft sigh escaped from the viscounts mouth.

”Fine then, ” he exclaimed, then proceeded to say ”If you don believe me, ask her. ”

I pictured the viscountess immediately when I heard Lord Niles uttered the word Her, I knew he wasn alone. Like I said earlier, he would never enter a room alone without his beloved wife. If he brought Cordelia, then the couple will most likely join forces against the suspicions of the doctors, especially that one doctor who interrogated the viscount. Which come to think of it, whose voice I never heard again.

”What are you waiting for? ” I heard him ask playfully, then politely ordered by saying ”Go on, introduce yourself. ”

Another moment of silence.

Admittedly, I was quite confused by the timid vibe I got from the viscountess. Usually, his husband didn need to order him to do such a thing since she already knows what to do. I found it quite strange but when the though that It is all just an act popped into my head, the strange feeling quickly went away.

But then, I heard a familiar voice.

The voice itself disproved the red haired viscountess picture in my head.

”Greetings, ” it said. ”I am Addie, the young ladys nanny. ”

Upon hearing her introduce herself, I instantly pictured her blonde shiny hair and luscious grey eyes. Her face, her eyes, where the last thing I remembered seeing before passing out. And now, I want them to be the first thing I see when I open my eyes.

I finally was able to confidently open my eyes.

The moment I did, I jumped out of the cloud like bed as I shouted in tears.

”Addie!!! ”

And just like what I prayed for as I witnessed her body tremble from the viscounts tight grasp around her neck, she got to live another day.

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To Be Continued.

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