C5 A Place to Belong
It had been a week since she got married and got contracted to Madaline. The effects were immediate. She felt lighter and could use magic with so much ease, it was ridiculous. With power like that, it would be easy to get away with poisoning herself and escaping.
The situation in the dukedom was as she expected. Even Wilbur forgot about her existence. No one came to assign the duties of the duchess to her and she was left alone, save for mealtimes. They were as dreadful as ever but it brought her closer to her goal. If they treated her nicely, it would be difficult to implicate them when the time came.
“I slept well again today”
The duke was convinced they spent the first night together and no longer called her to his room. In her past, he only did it once every three months to avoid the eyes of both her father and the king. This gave her ample time for Alana to arrive. If she was around, the duke won’t touch her. Besides, she wasn’t planning to last up to three months either way.
Aside from eating and sleeping, there was nothing else she did. In the past, she neglected her work for the duties of the duchess, making her business crash. She received no support when she needed it since she abandoned her clients.
“I can teleport with the fairy’s power, can’t I? Let me try it”
She dressed properly, taking a hood to cover her head. The part of the castle she was put in had no enchantments so there would be no alarm if she were to leave via fairy magic. To use fairy magic, one had to chant the word they wanted in fae language to use it as a spell.
A huge magic circle, with inscriptions of the ancient fae language simply reading teleport, appeared in front of her. It was a faint green color, just like Madaline’s summoning magic circle. A bright light shone and she shut her eyes. When she opened it, she was in the middle of a dark and dusty office.
“I-It worked! It worked! I haven’t been here in so long! Finally, I’m back! Huh? Am I……crying?”
The tears that streamed down her face surprised her. As the daughter of a Marquess, all she had was her business and magic research. If that went to naught, she was just the pretty-faced daughter of the Marquess.
The dark and dusty office belonged to her. It was left bare since she hadn’t returned in five long months, the time it took to prepare for a wedding and become the duchess. Her father forbade her from working since it would interfere with her work. In the end, she could only wish her workers well through her brother. But now-!
She opened the door of her office, revealing the workshop. It was hot and messy, even messier than her office. There were about 15 people there diligently working and shouting at each other. They were a mess of different ages, aces, heights, and statuses. Among them, there was one person who stood out no matter how dull they were.
The workshop came to a screeching halt when her voice was heard. They all looked up, unable to believe their eyes. Their boss was back. The one being called, a short green-haired individual separated themselves from the crowd, walking up the stairs to where she stood. It was like time stopped everywhere, only bending to the will of the one walking.
“........master” they knelt in front of her when they arrived. She swallowed her tears, touching the soft curly green hair. This individual, if it wasn’t for her, they would’ve lived a good life.
“Welcome back, boss!” the workers shouted, saluting her. She stared at each one of their faces. It was her selfishness and ungratefulness that caused them all to live miserable in her last life. Most of them were saved from the streets by her, the kind-hearted daughter of the marquess who recycles even the worst of trash. However, they came to hate and curse the duchess she became.
“In the coming days, I will not be available to come and go freely. Even coming here today, it was hard. However, I will return one day. Until then, Amaika is in charge. Treat them as you would treat me”
“Come with me, Amaika”
They entered the office, closing the office behind them. Together, they stood in the dusty office, one wondering whether it should’ve been cleaned by the other, the other wondering if the first felt offended that it was dirty.
“I am sorry our reunion is short. I have two things to say before I leave. First, there mustn’t be a word about anyone seeing me today. Two, I want you to take our business to the Empire of Illumine. I want you to take everyone there and I want you to start new lives there. I will join you as soon as possible”
“I will heed your orders, master”
“Then I will see you soon, Amaika. Teleport”
She disappeared from their gaze, appearing inside her bathroom. She took off everything she wore and walked out of the bathroom. It was good foresight to teleport into the bathroom because when she walked out, Wilbur was inside the room, leaning on the bedframe.
“My lady” he bowed when he saw her.
“What are you doing here?”
“.......you were summoned by the duke. I was looking all over for you”
“Hmm…..Just give me a minute. I’ll be right out”
He bowed and left. When he was gone, she gave herself time to breathe. She was barely gone for thirty minutes so it wasn’t enough for them to suspect she was gone. Taking a bath for that long wasn’t strange either for a young lady.
She adjusted her cloth and came out. This time, he stayed one step ahead of her, leading the way to the duke’s office. In the past, the only times she went there was when she did something wrong or she stood accused of something. He always looked down on her with cruel eyes like he was waiting for her to just drop dead. She wondered how he felt when she died. He wouldn’t have cared. He didn’t care about anyone but himself.
They walked to one of the towers, the eastern tower which was higher than the rest. His office and the quarters of his parents were located there. Wilbur knocked on the door and announced their presence. They walked in and it was like she was put in front of a judge. She curtseyed.
“I greet you, my lord”
“Since you’re the duchess, you need to start getting used to your duties. You can’t be eating and sleeping anyhow you like”
“I was waiting for your grace to summon me. I will do all that is asked of me”
Trying to bully her into submission was like punching cotton. He felt a strange kind of frustration. It was funny because why she hated his cruel judgy gaze, he hated the aura she had that made her seem like she was better than everyone. Just seeing her reminded him of why they were married.
“I’ll send Butler Corren to attend to you. You may leave”