After a few hours, Vivian stood facing a wall as she chewed the inside of her cheek. She had tried reading the objects in the mansion with her bare hands but she had found nothing. And even if she did find there was something blocking her view. Therefore she now stood in front of one of the infamous portrait of the lord which had been brought out and hung on the wall after his death. It was the painting of the Lord who had a shocked expression on his face. Had he seen the ghost? There were so many questions but not one had been answered.
A few more hours and the exam would be over, yet she could find nothing except for the piece of newsletter she had found. She stood in the corridor, her eyes scanning the picture as her hands tingled beside her with cold.
"It is an interesting picture isn't it," she heard someone speak, turning to the side she saw it was the pureblooded vampire, Jamien who had his hands stuffed into his trouser pockets as he walked towards her. Stopping, he looked at the portrait, "Such fear in his eyes, what do you think must have happened?"
"He was scared of something," she answered staring at the portrait on the wall.
"How can the Lord of Bonelake be scared of anything. No matter him being a human, he showed the devil side of him," Jamien chuckled, pushing the glasses up his nose and said, "I think he just came to realize his guilt over what he did. It is no secret that he killed his mistress because no one ever found her body," he said in a matter of fact tone.
True, thought Vivian. It wasn't a secret with the second Lord being a human. The man was known for wrongdoings like cheating the council and his public. The third Lord of Bonelake wasn't too far in the footsteps of the second Lord. It was hard to tell who surpassed whom in their work in life with the ill things they had done.
When she had touched the skeleton she had heard a woman scream, the first time her ability had surfaced in this very mansion.
"The body of the mistress, we are to find that. Simple isn't it?" he had a smile on his face like it was the easiest thing to find when none of them had been successful in finding it.
Vivian then asked, "Who do you think wrote it?"
"The writing?" she gave a nod, "The question isn't who wrote it, the question is who was it for," this made her frown, "There were so many of us here, but since the first day we have been reduced to half the count with no bodies. This is the last few hours of the exam. Did you do something that you weren't supposed to do?" he asked her, his red eyes staring down at her with curiosity.
"I can say the same to you," she responded back to have him smile more.
"It seems that we all are guilty of doing something we weren't supposed to do, don't you think so? Maybe that is why the men went missing. Now don't go touching everything, who knows what you might break next. Be careful, milady. The house is warm and cozy but the walls here aren't so," she wondered what he meant by that, walking past her, she saw him disappear while leaving her with the frame alone.
Taking in a deep breath, very carefully she placed her bare hand on the frame where she didn't need to think to close her eyes as the memories began to flood into her taking her to another time.
As if the inky liquid which was mixed in the water after being poured, the scene turned to one where she was in a rusty house with a young man who was packing a white canvas which was covered,
"What are you covering, dear? Is that the portrait of the Lord?" the woman asked who must have been his wife. The man nodded his head. Looking at the room which smelt like paint and turpentine, Vivian came to assume that he was a painter.
"It is a valuable one but better not be given to anyone right now. Not the Lord himself," the man opened the portrait to show his wife who laughed looking at it. Vivian took a few steps to peep, to find that it was the frame she was currently touching and running her hands in the mansion.
"This is something. Why does he look so scared?" asked his wife.
The man shrugged his shoulders, taking the portrait back to cover it up with the sack, "I have never seen him like that ever. It is a priceless piece which can be sold on later," the man said to have his wife nodding at him.
Vivian took her hand back from the portrait. The memories were of the painter and not the Lord or his wife or his mistress. Most of the paintings she had touched, all of them belonged to the painter's memories and it was useless to dwell there.
Taking herself away from the paintings, she was walking by a certain room when she heard a clatter as if something had fallen down. In the three days, Vivian had come to spend time here, one thing that she realized and told herself was that if the ghost existed then it would come for her no matter where she was. Pushing the door wide open she stepped inside the window which was open kept creaking constantly as the wind blew.
Walking towards the window she looked at the white landscape that was presented in front of her. The snowy area reached too far from her sight. Her eyes moving across the forest and then the trees near the mansion before falling on the water mill and the well next to eat. The sound that it produced like a knock every three seconds felt like a lullaby in her ears. With no sleep for more than twenty-eight hours, she stared at the well for a while before something in the corner of her eyes moved. Looking to her right she saw Fitot who was struggling. At first, she didn't understand if he was going through some fits but it was after a few seconds did she see the woman, the ghost with her decayed face who had caught the man's neck to hold him mid-air.
Blood ran cold through her veins. The lowly vampire didn't stay alive for too long as a stake was pushed through his chest and his body being thrown on the cold icy ground. At the same time, the ghost looked up at the window of the mansion where Vivian stood and this got her heart pumping at a rate like never before.
Eyes widening, she quickly stepped back before stepping out of the room. Running down the stairs, she met Ezekiel who was reading a paper in his hand. Seeing her in such a rush, he asked, "Everything alright, Lady Vivian?"
"She killed him!" she whispered a little out of breath. Running out of the house, she had the human on her trail following her where both of them saw the body being dragged into the forest but they Ezekiel couldn't see who it was.
Jamein stepped out of the house, "What's going on?"
"There's a ghost in the mansion who is killing everyone," and as she said this, she wished she had put it out in a better way as the men stared at her without speaking a word. Closing her eyes, she opened it to look at Jamien, "You told the mistress could have been killed what if she's haunting the mansion?"
For one second, Vivian was worried that they would think her to be a crazy woman but Jamien seemed more open to the idea while Ezikiel stared at the ground. His eyes moved to the forest and then back to her when he caught sight of something up in the mansion, "I don't believe in ghosts but the last time I checked we had only one female here walking the grounds," Vivian's head whipped around to look up at the mansion where a woman stood there unmovingly next to the window.
"She appears to be very familiar. Where did I see her?" hummed Jamien relaxed, "Ah! The picture!" the pureblooded vampire said in realization. The woman in the white dress looked as dead she was supposed to look. The next second when Vivian blinked the ghost had vanished.
Ezekiel blinked his eyes, snapping his head left and right while searching for the ghost, "Where did she go?" he asked.Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click for visiting.
"To decide which one to kill among us?" Vivian asked unsurely.
"Sense of humor is an important ability during times like these," said Ezekiel, "I don't think the council added the ghost into the exam when they thought about searching for the body. I think it is best for now that we find where the body is together," when Jamien chuckled, the man asked, "Do you have any other way to stay alive from the ghost?"
"Of course, not," the pureblooded vampire smiled to show his pearly white teeth, "So what's the plan?"
"We can share what we have found until now and piece the information to see if we can find anything?" suggested Vivian. She looked at both the men waiting for them to agree and let a sigh of relief when they gave her a nod.
"I found nothing," Jamien piped in and then looked at them waiting for the next one to speak, "What? Haha, alright," he said at the narrowed eyes at him.
Taking the initiative, Vivian spoke on what they already knew, "We know there's a ghost in the mansion and a possible one who was a mistress of the second Lord."
"And that her body was not found," the pureblooded vampire chimed in.
"Yes," said Vivian, "The body must be somewhere here, hidden which we need to find."
Ezekiel who was looking at the mansion for the possible ghost to appear spoke, "I looked at the entire mansion, there's nothing in there. Do you think it is somewhere in the forest and that is why the ones who entered never returned back?" he asked.
"That might be a possible answer. Should we go look at the woods?" asked Jamien. Vivian wasn't sure about the woods. It seemed unsafe to go to a place where people had only disappeared, "What is the matter, milady? Are you scared?"
"Let me get my lantern," she answered. With that, the three of them stepped into the dark forest on the snowy ground, The night was cold. the snow surrounding the entire region had dropped the temperature considerably low. With Vivian and Ezekiel carrying the lantern, Jamien didn't feel the need and went ahead to look for the bodies. The forest was a vast one and with much less time not only because the night had come which would eventually turn to the morning but also because none of them knew who would be the next victim to go missing.
The ground was covered by snow considerably which made walking difficult on it. As they walked forward covering a certain distance, Jamien called over to them, "I don't find anything in here. Maybe we should head back," Vivian looked at the ground with the lantern which she held ahead of her.
Ezekiel spoke, his voice sounding distant as he was several steps away from them, "I don't find anything in here either. If the body is here but perhaps we should dig in," that was a ridiculous idea, thought Vivian to herself. It wasn't a small patch of land to dig and find if something was in here. When she looked towards Ezekiel, the look on his face was one of greed which felt as if he had something up his sleeve but he covered it immediately. Did he find the body? Or was it that he had figured out something.
They had come so far into the woods now that the mansion was nowhere to be seen. Apart from the soft rustling of the leaves and some birds like crows and owls cawing and hooting there was no other sound to accompany them. She didn't mind them but every time the owl hooted, the sound echoed through the forest which made it that scarier.
Forgetting she had removed her gloves earlier, Vivian placed her hand on the bark of the tree not knowing the blood that had been splattered in it for her to only start hearing things at the back of her mind and seeing it too,
"D-Don't kill me! I am another examinee!" the man struggled as Jamien held his throat. The pureblooded vampire stared at the human whose legs were dangling in the air.
"That is the whole purpose now, isn't it. I cannot go without blood and seeing there's nothing in here, I will need to take it from somewhere. Thank you for the meal," said Jamien before sinking his teeth into the man's neck and sucking the blood out until there was no more left.
Pulling her hand away from the tree with an utterly calm expression, she looked down at her hand where with the light from the lantern spilt on her hand. Blood. Wiping it back on the free she behaved as if nothing had happened while internally her mind had begun to panic. It wasn't the ghost but this man who had killed the humans as well as the vampires. Though she doubted he killed the councilman. Vampires could feed on both humans as well as lowly vampires as a resource for food.
The human looked as if he was plotting on something while the pureblooded vampire, he was the man who had killed plenty of women before. With the ghost in the picture, she had forgotten about Jamien being another suspect.
At the end of the day, everyone wanted to survive and pass the exam.