Her name being the last one to be called as well as that she was the only female in the crowd, people didn't stop to glare or look at her in resentment. She felt too small as if if she didn't leave the place she would be questioned and pounced for getting through and taking their possible position for the next exam.
"Congratulations," she heard one of the people come to wish her on her passing result. The man wore round glasses, his hair shabby and his clothes dull, "I am Jamien. One of the passed candidates," he introduced himself.
"Thank you. Congratulations to you too," she replied back to feel the friendly greeting from the honey blonde man. Feeling the gaze of others who continued to throw hateful expression, Vivian looked away.
"Don't mind them," the man named Jamien pushed the glasses up that had come to slide down the bridge of his nose, "Let me see you to your carriage. You have one, right?" he asked her.
"You don't have to do that," she waved her hands in front of him in denial to his polite gesture.
"Please, I insist. Only the first half of the exam has been completed, we still have another before we see if we have made through it. I wouldn't want a lady to be left alone on her way out here," the man's politeness didn't exactly sit well with her.
The books that he carried under his arm fell down on the ground, and Vivian couldn't help but bend down with him to pick them up. Just as she handed over two of his books to him, her hand touched his fingers and like a zap of memory, she saw flashes of women having their throat slit.
She pulled back her hand quickly away from him. Her reaction was too obvious, the man tilted his head wondering what happened to her. Taking it as a sign of embarrassment from the lady which wasn't so he asked her,
"Are you alright?"
Vivian quickly put up a smile on her lips, nodding her head she said, "Sorry, I-I am not used to...Thank you for your offer but I should be going," she bowed her head and turned around heading towards the carriage while leaving the man behind her.
She didn't wait to be congratulated by others nor to be spoken, in a few minutes she had reached the carriage where the coachman was waiting for her. Getting into the carriage, the carriage was pulled away from the council, taking it back to the Carmichael's mansion.
The black carriage arrived back at the Carmichael's mansion late in the night where the villages that it had come to pass by on its way had fallen asleep in quietness. Vivian herself had fallen asleep on her way back and when the carriage stopped, her sleep broke for her to open her eyes drowsily.
The coachman stepped down from his front seat, walking towards the door to open and let the lady out. Most of the lights in the mansion had come to dim down, the candles turned to melted wax on the surface and some still dripping out hot wax as it burned slowly.
Jan, the housekeeper was quick to open the mansion doors, helping her take the cloak that she wore off from her.
"Would you like me to prepare something for you to eat, Ms. Vivian?" asked Jan with his head slightly bowed.
Vivian wondered if it was feasible to ask the maids to prepare for her now when it was the time of midnight. Being a former maid, she knew the pain of the servants on how they had to work hard or their monthly wages would be reduced from the lowly amount they received by their owners whom they worked for. The money was given in such fashion that it wasn't too low but enough to pass through the day but not enough to leave the work. The higher society knew how to keep hold of their servants so that they would never lose the grip they had on their lowly servant's lives.
"I don't think I will be able to digest cooked food at this hour. I will eat the fruits instead," said Vivian to the housekeeper who looked at her and she looked back at him wondering what he was thinking as he stared with the dull blank expression of his.
At the same time, her stomach growled, making it evident that she was hungry. With the exam on her mind, she hadn't found time to eat in the evening nor asking the coachman to make a stop.
"Master Leonard wouldn't be happy if he heard that you skipped your meals. I will prepare something very quickly. Please change yourself to something comfortable and take a seat in the dining room," the vampire suggested, turning around he made way to the kitchen.
Seemed like today was again one of those days where Leonard wouldn't be coming home until late in the morning. Once she had gone to her room and came down, she saw the housekeeper had prepared her hot food in less than a given time where a normal maid would take at least two hours. To think that the vampires had prepared her food, it made her a little more than speechless.
Walking towards her usual spot where she sat, her chair was pulled back by the housekeeper for her to sit. As Jan began to serve the food for her, she couldn't stop looking at him in suspicion. Since the time he had come to work in the Carmichael mansion both the housekeeper and she shared a hostile relationship with each other.
"You don't have to look so surprised. It is my job to serve the master of this house. His interests are my priority and knowing that his interests lie in you I need to make sure you are comfortable and looked after in this mansion," the housekeeper's words were too blunt.
How nice, thought Vivian to herself.
One could easily say that he was a former servant of Lord Nicholas' mansion.
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"Have you been a vampire from your birth?" asked Vivian changing the conversation subtly.
"No, milady. I was turned from human to a half vampire," the housekeeper answered her, done with serving her the food, he took to stand on the other side of the room, "I was sold out to the Rune mansion and was then turned to a vampire. How did your exam go?" he asked her.
"I passed," she couldn't contain her happiness about it. She had wanted to tell it to Leo or someone she knew that she had passed the first test but with Leonard not in the mansion, she had stayed quiet.
"That's excellent news. Master Leonard will be elated to hear it. I have heard how the exams are never easy to pass by, many come and fail disastrously some even getting banned for a few years before they can appear to retake the exams."
"Yes, there were hundreds of them but only nine were picked," she blew the hot food and put it in her mouth.
"Wonderful isn't it. With the amount of effort that was put in by you and master, it wouldn't be hard to track. I have heard that the master is well versed in his teaching methods," that was true. Leonard had been her teacher since a young age and she had learned from the best, "Why such a long face if you have passed?" his voice didn't seem curious at all yet he asked her anyway. It made her wonder if he was trying to strike a decent conversation with her instead of keeping the heavy atmosphere they usually shared between them.
It wasn't that she was sad but she had been in a pensive state since her return back from the council. She couldn't shake the feeling of the man named Jamien when she had touched his hand accidentally.
"I must be tired from the traveling and writing the papers. The papers were tricky," she answered for Jan to nod understandingly.
She sighed internally. Why was it that she never touched and found happy memories? It was as if this gift that she had received was the kind that only felt pain and gore of death.