Chapter 19 – The Royal Ball (2)
Just before sunset, the master of the house returned. Wicked entered his bedchamber that was attached to his study room through a gaping window. He took off his clothes which was soiled with the blood of his latest victim; the only evidence he had just killed. Releasing a surge of energy originating from his body, the discarded clothes vanished into thin air, leaving no trace in its wake.
He entered his washroom, Wicked let the water fall all over him, washing away all the dirt, grime and blood that had accumulated on his body. Still, it did not matter how much he tried to clean himself, he mused. No amount of water could wash away the sins his soul bore. Which was too bad, he thought.
Tomovoy laid in wait outside of the washroom, attentive to his master as he took his time bathing. As soon as the streaming water sounds stopped, Wicked came out, dressed in his bath robes and saw fresh clothes prepared for him on his bed. Putting them on, he finally turned to meet with his servant, who was in the study room.
Tomovoy dutifully read to him his schedule for the day.
“Mr. Wicked, you still have two hours until your next appointment” He supplied, surprised with the fact that Wicked came back earlier than he had expected.
“Good.” he said to Tomovoy, “Then that only means I have plenty of time.” Wicked responded indifferently.
Was it for Ribbon?
“Very well,” Tomovoy began, “As you have requested we’ve searched high and low for potential tutors for Lady Ribbon. Dr. Baba Yaga heard of it, and contacted us himself.” Wicked watched Tomovoy as he walked around, “He plainly stated he would be honored to be able to mentor his student once again.” It was as to be expected, considering the debacle Ribbon had caused at the village, the news of her resurrection must have reached the ears of Dr. Baba Yaga.
“I guess he is still fond of his student.” Wicked mused
“He must have been the happiest person to hear she was alive.” Tomovoy agreed, recalling how Dr. Baba Yaga had honed, trained and educated Ribbon; how high he held his hopes for her. Even so, all of this must be quite a shock to him. “Though I expect he is still a little skeptical about her return. After all, he has yet to see her in the flesh after her resurrection.”
“If Baba himself is coming here, then that means even he himself believes, even slightly, the possibility of the impossible.” said Wicked as he seemed to stare off into nothingness.
He was brought out of his reverie when Tomovoy decided to continue the conversation. This time, his tone was light and teasing.
“Excuse my prying but I’m a little curious. Did you deliberately finish your work earlier?” Tomovoy smiled. “For her?”
Wicked averted his gaze from outside and pointed it to his present company. His countenance was calm, as if he was just discussing the weather. But in all honesty, even him was slightly baffled upon his own actions.
He glared at Tomovoy in warning, but the latter was oblivious to the warning signs and had continued on with his query.
“With the dresses earlier, normally you would’ve just delegated the task to one of the maids to fetch a fitting dress from Montblanc’s collection for her to choose.” Tomovoy pointed out, “Accompanying her was unnecessary on your part.”
“It’s all part of the act” Wicked said, sighing deeply trying to calm his raging temper. He did not appreciate having things pointed out to him.
” Is that really it?”
“What do you want me to say?!” he snapped, and finally, Tomovoy had realized he was being too insistent.
“Nothing sir, I apologize,” Tomovoy bowed his head in apology, “I was just reading in too much on how quickly you finished.”
But despite his earlier annoyance, Wicked could understand Tomovoy’s growing suspicions. Even he could admit what he was doing was beyond what was expected of him. Still, he was planning on keeping her for a long time. Her trust was vital to his plans. Right now, she was vulnerable, which made his position as her guardian all the more perfect to lure her into a sense of security.
At the upcoming ball, Ribbon would have her first public appearance, and that invitation had been extended to the pagans. He knows her mere presence was enough to instill dread, and make fear grow amongst the pagans once again. It would weaken their own forces. For those who feared her very existence, it would send them into a crisis.
“I shall leave you alone now.” Tomovoy retreated, leaving Wicked by himself.
True, her powers and mana remained the same, but she did not know how to use them to her advantage. This only serves to be more dangerous than helpful in their situation. He has no choice but to be more attentive to her, to her activities, her needs. He needed to be extra vigilant this time around in protecting her. Even if he was unwilling or too tired to do so, her security was of maximum priority. After all, he still wanted something from her. He still needed her blood.
My curse will gnaw at you and eventually kill you.
My curse will wear you out, until eventually, it will kill you.
Ribbon’s voice echoed inside his head, making it throb painfully. Wicked winced as he held his head. Why would he remember the past now?
I’m going to rip your heart out.
The evil curse bounded them together. Her dying screams faded out of his thoughts, as he continued to wonder to himself. Staring into space absentmindedly, he slowly closed his eyes, until he began to laugh mirthlessly by himself. Much like a man who was hallucinating…
Without her memories, he could easily manipulate her.
“I wonder who would be finished first,” he thought out loud, “Her ripping my heart out? Or me devouring her?”