"I don't think we will find anything in here, Lady Vivian. By the time our ears reached the news to what happened, the scene had been cleaned spotless," she heard Heuren say behind her.
Her footsteps had left trails on the snow and while she was looking at the high walls that contained the entire council, her left foot suddenly went inside the snowy ground as it hadn't been pushed and compacted by the workers.
Heuren came to her aid quickly, "Are you alright?" she nodded her head while her shoe had gone in. Pulling her leg away from the hollow that had formed, she placed it away from it, "Careful. It has snowed quite a lot since yesterday. Duke Leonard told us that you fell sick, but we didn't know he had planned to turn you."
"It was a surprise," she answered him, looking at the bottom of the ground to see the depth to have only snow without a trace of the ground.
"A good surprise. Your eyes are darker just like the pureblooded vampires," he mentioned for her heart to flip in her chest. One of the ways one could differentiate an average vampire from a pureblooded vampire was the eyes. It was a dead giveaway, "I guess the color takes time to cool down as your transformation was a recent one from black to red," he then changed back the conversation, "How is the Duke?"
"He hasn't spoken anything about it yet," Leo had occupied himself with the work and even though it wasn't his case to look at, the man who had been murdered was one of his close friends.
It worried her. Not a word had been spoken and not a single expression of pain had come to pass over his face.
Vivian didn't know why someone would kill Mr. Gibbs for no reason, there had to be a reason. A motive which was hidden to the public eye. The first time the death had taken place, she couldn't get back in there to see what and how things happened but this was possible. Mr Gibbs had died this morning meaning the body was still in the lab of Murk and so was his belongings in his office desk which wouldn't have been cleared. Or at least she hoped so.
After one whole turn around, they came to stand between the cell and the actual council building, wondering what to do next when Vivian felt the soft snow under her boots. Something came to her mind and she looked left and right.
Hueren wondered what was wrong as he saw the lady look around.
"Did you know where the body was found?" he heard her ask.
"I didn't see where but I heard it was somewhere where we are standing now," the man informed her to see her walk around and clear the snow back and forth with her boot.
"Found it!" she exclaimed, bending down, she scooped the snow from the ground, "Let's go stand on the other side," carrying the snow, she made sure no one had caught them doing something strange.
Snow? thought Heuren, looking at the lady.
"The team who is handling his case wasn't efficient when it came to cleaning or they just followed the orders without realizing what was meant to be done," said Vivian before opening her hands and showing the red liquid that had soaked into the snow.
"That's blood," he frowned looking at the snow she had picked up.
Vivian nodded her head, "Yes. It is blood but it is the blood of Mr. Gibbs. Whoever killed ordered the team to clean it up," knowing that they didn't have enough time before remaining lues could be sweeped out, she asked the man, "Could you go find out which team is handling the case and where the order came out from? Even if it is in the thought to not start havoc and in here, it is clear in Edict 58 that no body shall be cleared before six hours unless it has not been attended."
Heuren himself like the rest had forgotten such basic detail which they had read and forgotten after the exam. Remembering only the bigger ones they usually dealt with.
"If we can spot out who ordered it, we can trace back to see who was responsible for the death of Mr Gibbs."
"Please be careful," he said before leaving her standing below a tree where she continued to hold the snow in her hand. Her hands had begun to snow, the ice turning her skin cold and freezing it.
She had taken her gloves out before she had scooped this ice she held. The form of water was tricky and needed a lot of concentration when it was in this delicate state. To make it difficult, the snow had turned out to be a place where men had walked over it to push it down before which was mixed with memories that led from everywhere. It was a common ground.
All she had to do was concentrate on the blood that had stuck to the ice while leaving out the rest. The more she tried to take in the memories the faster the ice turned to water. Water dripping down from her palm down to her elbows as it had slid down.
Suddenly she felt a shock as if someone had thrown the ball of snow at her but it was nowhere gentle. The memory was broken and wasn't clear enough to deduce what had happened. She could sense the struggle and the pain in the chest making her wince as if it was happening to her. The fingers felt cold, the voice muffled like an unconscious mind trying to perceive and understand what was being spoken.
She finally heard a voice, "You are a pitiful man, Mr. Gibbs. To die in a place like this in my hands," it was a whisper of voice.
"You are the pitiful one here," Maximillian's voice rang with a chuckle and then it was blank. The snow in her hand had melted away and she returned back to the present. Someone did kill him and with the robes of clothes, it seemed that it was definitely a person from the council.
The elder council members had blamed the last death to be on the switcher last time, keeping the matter hushed which had been closed in others councilmen's eyes and this one, Mr. Gibb's death was being blamed again on the switcher.
But the switcher had nothing to do with it. Or did he? He had told them that he was helping Sister Isabelle with something. Going back inside the council, Vivian went in search of his desk. As the man had died, it was possible that the rest of his team would be attending the meeting today for interrogation leaving the rooms empty for this hour.
Making her way up there she came to halt when she saw men crowded in the passageway.
"Lady Vivian," came the hushed whispered call from Dutan behind her.
"Dutan. Did you find anything about him?"
He shook his head in disappointment, "I couldn't find him anywhere. I asked for him but his fellow teammate said he hasn't seen him either. Wouldn't that mean the switcher lied to us?"
Vivian didn't want to believe that the switcher had betrayed them but switchers had never come to be trustful. What was the difference now?
Glancing at the men behind her, he said, "I don't think you go in there right now. It would only raise unneeded suspicion," he was right. Two men who were walking by offered them a bow which the pair returned back with the same politeness, "Let's go wait in our department room for the Duke to return to know what the council has spoken."
When Leonard returned back, he came with Lionel.
"What did the head council say?" asked Dutan turning himself towards Lionel and the rest did the same. Lionel looked rather dull and tired as if the death in the morning that had taken place had added his work for the day. Leonard who had followed him in looked serious.
"It isn't good news," replied Lionel, shaking his head, "They have spoken about the switcher who lies amongst us. The one who had killed the first council a few months ago who now lurks so ever freely," Both Vivian and Hueren looked at each other, their eyes meeting for a mere second which went back to give the attention to the elder man who seemed least happy in the room. Vivian hadn't expected for the head council to reveal it to everyone but the matter had gone off hand. The man had been reported of the switcher and the black witch's involvement in the mass murders that had been occurring along with the corruption of the hearts. The matter couldn't be hushed anymore as men of the council would have already started to doubt on the happenings here, "We need to find this switcher as soon as possible. The sooner the better so that we don't have another death again."
"Isn't the other team going to look for it?" Hueren raised the question.
Lionel stared hard, his monocle that was settled on side of his eyes looking at Hueren, speaking, "They will be working on Gibbs case but that doesn't stop us from having our homework done beforehand. Get back to work," he said, turning around and walking out of the room.
When a good ten seconds passed after the man had left, Vivian said, "We didn't tell him about Lancelot. Do you think we should?"
"Lancelot doesn't want anyone to be involved. His terms of help were to keep his identity safe and sound because there were things he was helping the white witch with which was meant to be kept as a secret," said Leo before turning his head back and saying, "Lock the door. We need a plan," he said going to Dutan's desk which was cleaned the previous evening where he had kept the books aside to make room for him to place his parchments.
He pulled the map that was on the wall, tearing the above ends and turning it around so that they could have a clean pale surface, "Hueren and Dutan, what did you find?" Vivian who had gone to lock and secure the door came back to stand next to Leo where he held a quill in his hand.
Dutan was the one to reply, "There wasn't any odd activity that took place in the council. It has been going as before. We met with Lancelot and he asked us to look for the year 1732, stating something about the white witch where she had been killed."
"He's still looking for the answers of what happened to Sister Isabelle," the other councilman added.
"That's because Sister Isabelle has been trying to find the answers. Vivi, did you ever get to read anything from her?" asked Leo for her to shake her head.
"It was only the beginning that she had asked me to crack the memories so that I could reach through but she was too strong for me to read," and she understood now why. The woman wasn't an ordinary white witch but one of the wisest and strongest white witches of their time and she was no more,
"Why didn't she try searching for it before?" doubted Vivian with her question.