When the coachman pulled the horses to a halt in front of a huge castle-like a mansion, Heidi looked outside the window while still sitting in the carriage. She had to stretch her neck back to see the length of it when she got down on the square and rectangular grey stoned ground. The mansion was built on a large land, gardens stretching wide before it met the walls. She couldn't stop her eyes from roaming around the mansion in front of her which was built magnificently beautiful. Yet in its own beauty, it looked haunting due to the dull grey and black walls. The sky was turning dark, erasing the orange and yellow lines from the sky.
The coachman led her inside and she was asked to wait, leaving her with a maid who asked her if she would need to change her clothes before meeting the Lord. Not wanting to burden the maid, she politely refused with a small smile before it fell flat when she stood there alone.
"Milady," she heard the coachman's voice again but this time she looked confused seeing him walk in butler's clothing, "I am Stan, the butler of this mansion. If you would follow me, I would like to lead you to the drawing room."
Holding her dress and the envelope in her hand, she followed him quietly, their footsteps clacking on the marble floor. There were portraits of men and women, old and young that was hung on the walls which looked old even with a clean environment. Some paintings were of scenery and she looked at it until the next painting came in sight.
The higher class of society lived their lives lavishly, eating food which they liked, wearing clothes that made them stand out and lived in such an enormous building which the poor had no access to. And now due to the alliance, Heidi would be living a life just like an elite. She wasn't still sure if she was fortunate or not. Her eyes then went back on the butler who walking in front of her, his long blonde hair that moved slightly with his precise steps on the floor.
Unable to keep her curious mind to herself, she spoke,
"Could I ask you something?"
"Of course, milady."
"Are there no coachmen in the mansion?" she asked to see him smile with a twinkle in his eye, "Pardon me. It was just that you are handling two jobs, that must be quite tedious."
"That's what being butler is all about. A butler should be able to juggle the tasks and make time when a particular job is assigned. Answering to your question, no we do have coachmen but it is that the Lord had entrusted me in bringing you to the mansion."
The butler had been quiet all this time knowing his lord's alliances and company didn't prefer to talk to a mere butler. A half breed vampire, who was neither a human nor a vampire. Taking a quick peek from behind he saw that the woman had clutched her hands too tight due to which her hands were turning white. He had heard from his lord that Sir Warren Lawson, his cousin was going to marry a chosen bride from an elite family but by the looks of it, something just didn't match with the woman behind him.
"You have nothing to be nervous about, Ms Curtis," the butler gave her an encouraging smile which was an absolute lie which even he knew. The Lord's family a little crooked and working for many years now under the current Lord he was part of the family too.
Heidi felt herself smile at the encouraging words of the butler. Maybe this mansion wasn't going to be that bad, she thought to herself, trying to put up a brave and positive attitude.
When they finally came in front of a double door, she felt her hands go cold and limp, too stiff to move. Seeing the butler give her an encouraging smile, she saw the door open.
"Ms Curtis has arrived," the butler announced loud enough for the people who were in the drawing room to hear.
"Please come in, Ms Curtis," she heard someone invite her in and she took few hesitant steps, moving forward and the door behind her was closed.
Heidi noticed four people in the room, out of which three of them were men. One was an old man in dark green robes, his hair that had turned grey with age. Then there was the woman, her black hair which didn't go past her neck. She wore a black dress that hugged her lean figure, her perfectly manicured nails holding the cigar stick in between two of her fingers. One man had his back faced at her, hearing the clink of glasses from his side and lastly sat another man next to the woman, his legs crossed as he looked at Heidi intently with his red eyes.
"I am Reuben, the head of the council for the four empires," she shook her hand with the man, "I hope you didn't face any difficulty in your journey on your way here," the old man inquired, "Please take a seat."
"No, the journey was fine. It went well," she added the last sentence.
"I'm glad to hear that. We were worried if something had happened to you as we were expecting you to arrive in the morning," the man said with a grim expression and before he could continue any further, the man who had been staring at her sitting across from her spoke,
"Have you brought the envelope along with you, Ms. Curtis?" his tone was polite, a gentle smile on his lips. She nodded, passing the envelope to him which he got up himself to take it from her. She had been so occupied all this while she was traveling that she hadn't bothered to open the envelope to see what contents the letter held. As the man read the letter, Heidi spoke,
"I had a few things to take care of before I left. Pardon me for the lateness," and she heard the black haired woman speak.
"We don't appreciate tardiness, Ms Curtis. We hope that in the future if something like this, is to arise, you will make sure to write a letter to us or anyone so that no one wastes their time."
"Yes," Heidi didn't know who the woman was but nonetheless she nodded.
"That's alright mother. It looks like it was the Duke's fault," the man said waving the letter, placing on the table.
Mother? She shouldn't have been surprised knowing fully well by seeing the Iris colour of their eyes.
"I apologize for not introducing myself earlier. I am Warren Lawson and this is my mother Venetia Lawson," the man named Warren introduced himself and his mother.
Heidi saw the old glance towards the other man and she did the same before returning back her gaze on the old man.
"I believe you already know what you have come here for?" Seeing her nod the old man then continued, "Good. That will save a lot of time. Ms Curtis, the man you will be marrying is Warren Lawson and I hope that in a span of a month you will try getting to know each other so that the council can decide if the truce will hold up during the long run. When I speak it is for both," Reuben paused before speaking again, "The peace between the two empires solely depends on you and we hope to see this decision executed successfully with both your cooperation."
"I am sure both of them know and understand the severity of the truce, Reuben," the man who was still making his drink spoke with a gentle voice, "The girl must be tired. Let her rest while the rest can be discussed in the morning."
"You are right, Lord Nicholas," Reuben agreed before saying something else which Heidi didn't catch on to. It was hard for her to believe and when his eyes met hers he did nothing but give her a placid smile.
When he turned to face them, Heidi's eyes widened in a mixture of shock and surprise. Did the head council call him with the title of Lord?! He was the Bonelake's Lord!
"Yes!" Heidi replied and shrank at the same time at the volume she had responded with. The Lord had spoken to her and she hadn't even heard what he had said to her.
"A maid will show you where your room is, which is where you will be staying until your given time here. You can leave for the night," he said, his dark red eyes gauging her expression.
"We will see you tomorrow at breakfast, Ms Curtis. Have a good night," Warren wished her this time his tone friendlier and she bowed her head before leaving the room full of vampires.
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