Seeing her search for someone, Leonard asked her, "What happened, Vivi?"
"He's here," she whispered, her eyes still searching for the man who had helped her. It scared and worried her to think that a switcher had come to aid her during her fall. For that person to help, he must have been one of the people who was dancing here but now that her eyes raked around, she didn't know whom to point at.
Leonard who heard this quickly understood who this 'he' was and he took her along with him, moving to where Lord Alexander was dancing with a woman, "Excuse me, Lord Alexander. A word," Alexander turned his face, giving a nod and excusing himself from the lady he was dancing with.
"What is it?" Lord Alexander's dark brows brooded as he asked the Duke.
"Somewhere private," Leonard suggested by this time Nicholas who had been humouring two women with his charming snake-like personality noticed Leonard and Vivian talking to the Lord of Valeria and slipped out of the company he had to follow them who had stepped out of the hall to momentarily speak.
Catching them standing in the corridors, Lord Nicholas asked, "What's the matter, Leo?"
"Let's move to my study room," Lord Alexander proposed before looking at the Lord of Bonelake pensively, "Would you want him to come too?" he asked Leonard for which Vivian was the one to answer him,
"Yes. It would be good if Lord Nicholas joined us," Leonard gave Lord Alexander a nod of approval. Not waiting, he turned around to lead them the way to his study room.
Vivian followed the Lord along with the Leonard and Nicholas who was walking behind her. The Delcrov mansion was much brighter and nicer while compared to the other Lord's mansion. Lord Nicholas' mansion was dark, the walls being painted dark and the some of the passageways and corridors lean and narrow, compared to that this mansion appeared to be spacious.
Opening the door to the study room, Vivian stepped in to feel the warm air which was filled due to the fireplace that was burning with its zeal. Not taking a seat and believing the matter had been urgent and important, Lord Alexander asked, "You can be assured this room is safe. You can speak what you wanted to ask me."
To Vivian, the lord of Valeria appeared to be an intimidating man. For some odd reason, his presence felt too strong compared to the other two men which made her wonder why it was so. He was a pureblooded vampire but Vivian could tell from where she was that there was something more to the surface than what the eye met.
Leonard took the opportunity to speak, "Pardon us, Lord Alexander but might you be having a guest list of who has come?"
"Yes, there is one," Lord Alexander replied.
During times where a grand ball took place, maintaining a guest look was important as there was always a possibility for the lower beings who didn't belong here to take part in events which were meant for the high society. The high society didn't take a lower being to mingle in the same crowd as they did.
As if on cue, the butler knocked on the door. The door opened to reveal an extremely lean man with hollowed cheek and a scar on the face. His eyes were dull and out of colour. If Vivian had met the man in one of the lonely corridors of the mansion she was sure to assume him to be a ghost such was his appearance, "Martin, do you have the guest list?" the Lord inquired.
"Yes, milord. I have it with me," the butler answered, stepping inside the study room he fished something in his trouser pocket to pull out several sheets of paper, handing it to Alexander which the Lord gave it to Leonard.
"Has the switcher come here?" Lord Nicholas took a wild guess and saw Vivian nod her head, her eyes which were slightly wide, "How interesting, should we go ask for a lockdown in the gates to make sure he doesn't escape?"
"What's a switcher doing here?" Lord Alexander asked with narrowed eyes.
"He's come to enjoy the ball?" asked Lord Nicholas to receive a glare from the other lord, "My, can't take a joke yet," he murmured before clearing his throat.
Lord Alexander ignored Nicholas' teasefull remark and asked the Duke, "How do you know it is a switcher? Locking down and making them undergo test will only make the switcher escape. And he might have left already," he waited as the council was yet to give away the details about the switcher. It had been only weeks since the information about the new creature had been revealed. Being of a highly confidential matter, the information wasn't shared with everyone even if they were in the higher-ups. Most of them didn't even know that a new creature had shown up as it would only alert the person who had impersonated to another.
The Lord of Valeria had received a few words but not everything that he could understand. Leonard was already working on the case along with his team and his head Lionel where Lord Nicholas had been informed as he was the Lord of Bonelake and also because of his charming serene personality, he shared a great rapport with most of the councilmen except for a few old ones who had been loyal to his father Wilhelhum.
Until now there were only four of them who knew about Vivian's abilities- Leonard, Nicholas, Sister Isabelle and the ghoul if it was considered that is. A lot of secrets had been kept safe and they intended to keep that way but right now didn't seem like they could.
The Lord who had been waiting for Leonard to answer, his eyes moved to fall on the human girl, "You don't seem normal," he said.
Vivian didn't know why she said it but the words that came out of her mouth, she regretted it right away once it was out, "You too, milord," internally she closed her eyes scolding herself for being so on alert and worried. To her surprise, Lord Alexander cracked a small smile.
Most of the women had the habit of pleasing the men who belonged to the higher society. Especially if the man was a Duke, Lord, or anyone who was in a good position in the council it was equal to say that marrying a man of such status would lead them to the path of heaven on these very lands. This girl didn't hold back her words.
As if his memory serving him, he remembered her walking right into him in the council to apologize to him. In this room, only two of them knew about each other. Having their own best curiosity both the Lords had tried to understand another knowing there was more to the surface to what met the eye.
Seeing the girl look at the butler who was still in the room, Lord Alexander said, "Don't worry about Martin. He is one of my most trusted servant who has served the last two generations. Feel free to talk. If you won't I won't be able to understand what is going on. Take a seat, everyone. It looks like there's a lot to discuss but," Lord Alexander turned to talk to his butler, "Keep an eye on the hall. We might have an intruder," the butler obliging to his master's words turned back and exited the room.
As they sat, the Lord didn't fail to notice the ring in the girl's hand. Also that both the Duke and the human sat next to each other on the couch while the Lord of Bonelake chose to sit on a single seat.
"What do we have?" asked Lord Alexander as he took a seat himself, crossing his legs he leaned back in his seat waiting for one of them to start.
Knowing the Lord was someone trustable and wouldn't leak any information, Leonard was the one to speak, "Vivian is a foreteller of the past," he said leaving out her ability to heal.
"Foreteller? Isn't that what witches do?" he asked staring at the girl, her black eyes looking back at him. For a human, she sure was courageous enough to be able to keep an eye contact which didn't stray away. Most of the women couldn't hold on to this gaze as they felt it too overpowering.
When Leo heard the word witch, he frowned, "Vivian isn't a witch," with the assumptions of being a witch came a lot of troubles which he didn't want on his wife. That was the reason why even the white witches who meant no harm and only goodwill often hid in the eyes of the society.
"I wouldn't harm your wife in the name of a witch, Duke Leonard," answered Lord Alexander cooly which immediately got the attention of Leonard whose eyes fell on Vivian and saw her hands were she wasn't wearing the gloves anymore.
During that time Lord Nicholas looked in another direction as if he hadn't heard a word of what they were speaking.
"She isn't a witch, milord," Leonard went to explain, "Vivian was a former pureblooded vampire," this caught the Valerian Lord's interest and he leaned a little forward to know more about it, "We don't know what caused her pureblooded self to turn to human but there must have been some changes that took place due to which she has acquired the ability."
"It is a theory," Lord Alexander went to confirm. His red eyes continuing to stare in interest.
"Yes, right now it is just a theory."
"Where are you from, Lady Vivian?" the Lord of Valeria continued to ask her questions. It made her think on how fast the man was in picking up things which weren't even spoken of, was it just him testing out his thoughts on her to get answers or was it the straight questions he needed answers for.
"I am from Valeria, milord," Alexander cocked his head, wondering how he hadn't seen her before with her parents if she were from Valeria. It wasn't uncommon for him to not know about every pureblooded vampire but connecting the dots he spoke,
"They disowned you," his words were nothing less than a knife into her anxious heart but she didn't show it on her face. She smiled at him, her eyes a little sorrowful which was hidden in the luminescent light of the fireplace.
"I think they did," the Lord hadn't meant to hurt her but just wanted to confirm things on his end. He nodded his head.
"Some don't know to be parents and adapt to changes. It is better to not to have people like those to be called parents," responded back Lord Alexander before continuing to ask her, "When did you change?"
Leonard squeezed Vivian's hand that she had placed on the couch next to him, "It must be around the age of six or seven?" she looked at Leonard who spoke for her.
"Vivian was brought in by one of my previous house staff when she was the age of seven. The maid told us that she was a niece of a far relative and my parents my mother didn't question on it. She was a human when she arrived at Carmichael's mansion. She must have turned around that time for her parents to push her out," he answered the Lord's question, "We are trying to find her parents."
Lord Alexander didn't respond to it. He didn't see the point of waiting and searching for someone who had disowned their own child due to a transformation which was understandable in their point of view as the pureblooded standards were too much. It wasn't his issue, therefore he went to ask, "What do you see in the past, Lady Vivian? If you could elaborate on how it works, it would shed some light on the matter," for a mere second his eyes looked at Lord Nicholas who seemed to be reading the titles of the books in his shelf near him.
Vivian opened her mouth, with her eyes looking down on the carpet, "I see a lot of blood."
"When I touch something where there has been pain and death, it is easier to pick up those memories. It is easier to read the ones that have gore than the ones which are filled with happiness. In the beginning, they were accidental. Most of them were accidental like the one today too. I am...working on learning how to pick the memories without it coming to me but going to it and fetching it. One of the white witches is helping me."
Lord Alexander stayed silent for some time before getting up and going to sit next to Vivian. Leonard suddenly looked at the lord of Valeria with narrowed eyes.
Raising both his hands in front of her, he tested her, "Try reading me."