177 Behind the floor- Part 2
Vivian covered her mouth out of shock to see the councilman named Oliver who had been stuck on the wall with his legs and hands spread apart. His expression looked shocked and vacant. Due to the lack of light, it took them a while to see the man had no eyes. It was empty sockets that stared back at them. His heart was thrown below his feet where the small amount of ice had become to form on top of it.
The three of them gulped and the vampire who was outside had followed shortly after they had found the man there. Scared and out of his wits, he spoke, "This isn't funny anymore! Who out of you three are killing the people here? You," the vampire looked at Jamien, "You have hardly stayed around the mansion and have been outside. Did you kill him? Or was it you two," his red eyes looked livid towards Vivian and the human.
"Three?" asked Vivian with furrowed brows. The last time they had been told there were five of them, where was the fifth person? As if reading the atmosphere, the human spoke the unspoken words,
"Where is the fifth person? Did any of you see him?" Vivian shook her head.
"I have been minding my work if that is what you mean to say that accuse me of murder. Don't forget I can snap your neck like a twig. Mind you if you speak another word," Jamien threatened the man who gritted his teeth.
"Where is he then?" the lowly vampire asked.
"As if I know. Maybe you were the one who had the people knocked out while behaving innocent and frail," the vampire turned angry by this and ran towards Jamien to take a swing but Jamien instead dropped a punch on his face which pushed the man, who slid back on the ground. The lowly vampire groaned in pain, "I wasn't joking when I said I can snap your neck in two."
The vampire stood up, taking offense and his ego hurt, he cracked his knuckles.
"Everyone please stop fighting!" the human shouted next to Vivian, "We have lost many men and we have lost the councilman. Fighting is not going to solve anything!"
"Shutup human!" the lowly vampire growled at the human male, "Can't you see that this is all part of the test? Every year people die and it isn't something new."
Before something more could brew amongst these three men where the low vampire was trying to pick a fight after seeing the dead councilmen, Vivian spoke, "You might be right on the dying but I doubt that you heard that any councilmen were killed in the past."
"What do you say about the fifth man then? Where did he go?" the lowly vampires crossed his arms against his chest and waited for her to reply.
"Isn't that obvious? He went for a fucking walk in the forest?" the human retorted back at the stupidity of the low vampire. The vampire launched himself on the human but the man was smart enough to step a few steps away which made the vampire fall straight hitting his face to the ground.
The human dusted his sleeves as if the vampire was a dog who had shed his fur on him in the air. He then spoke, "If you are done entertaining us, Mr Idiotic Stupidson. I propose to look for the missing men."
"And do what?" the pureblooded vampire asked in a bored tone, "There's a day more for the exam to end and I doubt any of us have even got close to finding the body yet. I would like to put my time in better use than spend it on men I care less for."
"Who do you think wrote those words?" Vivian asked Jamien and the human man, who together turned to look at the wall where the walls were dripping with red colour.
"It must be a silly prank," hearing this from Jamien, Vivian's brows furrowed. Did he believe that she would believe such a thing? Feeling her gaze on her, he chuckled, "What? Don't tell me, Lady Vivian, that you plan to search for the bodies."
She pursed her lips wondering what to do. No, she didn't plan to search for the bodies but she did mean to search for the last missing person. Right now they had no guide to check what was going on not that it mattered previously. Even with four people who had gone missing, the councilman had only sat in the corner of the old mansion and had spent his time in leisure while sleeping most of the times. Now they were left with a pureblooded vampire whom she had visions of killing women, another one was a lowly vampire who didn't like her presence but also was rude to others. He seemed to be the most shook out of the four of them. Then there was the human man who seemed calm and collected, who even cared to propose to look for others. Lastly, it was her.
She had heard men kill each other out of spite and in the effort to come up in the council exams but this what she saw here. She doubted the councilman would be promoted if the exam was going to go through. The question was why was he killed? And the writing there was odd enough to tell that it was someone insane's work.
Looking at the men she tried to guess who could be insane enough to write it on the wall while also hang the councilman like a display animal.
But why him? Was it someone else? She looked at the mansion, her eyes moving one after another the other windows which were dark and old as the rest of the mansion. She said, "Going out at this hour or any hour might not be safe. Our headcount is only decreasing as time passes by. It would be better to stay inside here than roam out which might be unsafe," though she said this, in her heart something told it wasn't what was outside but what was inside that she had to be worried about.
The death reminded her of the ghoul and she wondered if it had followed her here but with two days that were going to complete, there was no sign of it. Maybe Lord Nicholas had given it a job and therefore it couldn't come here now. Worry marked her forehead.
"I am Ezekiel," the human introduced himself.
"Vivian," she said her name.
"It is nice to make your acquaintance," he bowed his head and continued, "Let's head back. We are going to be alone for the next day as the councilman Creed said, the allotments were for two days by one man each," Vivian nodded her head. When the elder councilman had spoken about it, she had picked it immediately.
Getting back inside every one scattered not wanting to stick close but find their clues as it was still important to pass the exam. No one could leave the mountain where the Snow mansion was situated as one would have to cross the forest before reaching the path were humans moved. And God knew without a carriage if it was safe enough to pass through as the men who had gone had never returned back.
Having burnt the piece of the clue, she looked around the mansion if she could find anything more. Instead of going anywhere else, Vivian came back to the study room where the room was now as she had left. Taking two lanterns she burned them brightly for the entire room to light up, it was enough for her to move around and look through the books than have just one lantern in her hand.
As no one was around she looked down at her gloved hand. All she had to do was remove the gloves from her hands and concentrate on finding and picking up the memories of what might have occurred in these closed walls.
Taking in a deep breath and letting out the air she saw the foggy like air coming out of her mouth. Pulling out her gloves, she put it in her coat. The weather was cold and it wasn't something she wanted to part ways with for a few minutes but the death of the councilman had shaken all of them.
Were they going to let the man hang like that until the other men came? What if she would fall prey like the rest, would she die here? Leonard had been less worried as he sent her in the carriage, not saying too many words, he had kissed her, pressing her lips with his and wishing her the best. The man she had married had confidence in her that she would come out in passing colours. All she had to do was prove to him that he was right.
Removing the thin chain that she wore around her neck, she opened it to put the ring which Leonard had given her. Putting it back on, she looked at the little racks of books that were lined. Picking the one which was in the far corner, she raised her hand to hear a ruffle of paper behind her. Turning around she saw there was no one in there with her. The windows had been locked and this worried her.
Already too scared with the name of ghosts and now that people had gone missing or had been killed to be specific, she could only imagine what this abandoned mansion had. No, she didn't need to know that because she already knew who the ghost was. It was enough to clue and link things. All she had to do was find the skeleton which she had last time touched and understand what had happened so that she could go back home.
Her hands hovered over the books and soon the papers began to ruffle making sounds which had her heart thudding in her ears. It's okay, she told herself, nothing was going to happen to her. She had done nothing to be afraid of but then she doubted if ghosts would understand her reasoning that she had been a good girl her entire life.
She placed her hand directly on the books where she first heard a crack sound and soon the entire shelf broke down to her horror. Oh no! she internally panicked. She had only meant to touch them but instead, she broke the entire shelf where the glass case broke to pieces on the floor.
Jamien and the other two men came to the room to see the broken shelf that laid on her feet, "Please don't burn the mansion," Ezekiel said looking at the glasses.
"I am sorry," she apologized. She hadn't meant to create a mess out of it by bringing attention to herself.
Jamien like the other time didn't bother to talk to her, he looked around her surroundings and then turned his back. The lowly vampire whose name she had come to learn to be Fitot grumbled and cursed her for scaring his wits due to the sound like thunder crash in the mansion.
Ezekiel who had stayed behind said, "You don't have to clean it up. It is a task, mishaps are bound to happen but be careful. We need to find the evidence too," she nodded her head, "What were you looking for?" he asked her curious, stepping inside the study room and looking at the books and desk that the room held.
"I was going to pick a diary," she said quickly. Thankfully before she had gone to touch the case with the full force she had read the name on the dairy 'Journal'.
"Dairy?" asked the man curious. He bent down to push away the pieces of the glass and went through some of the books before picking a red book, "Was this the one?" he handed it to her.
She gave him a look of puzzlement. Wasn't he interested in looking at it? If it were the vampire named Fitot, she was sure he would have fled with the book in hope of finding something but this man seemed hardly interested. Noticing her stare, the man spoke, "I already went through it," she nodded her head. So that was why he didn't want to take a look at it, "There isn't much written in there. Just about how wonderful the lord's youth was and how many people he killed," he summarized to save her time.
"He killed people and no one did anything?" she asked Ezekiel who went through the other books. Knocking on them which were sturdy, "How did you break that case?" he asked in wonderment.
"He must have hidden his journal and it must have come out in light only after his death," he guessed, "It has words written about his mistress where he had quite an affair until she left him," this was a new version to the mansion, Vivian thought to herself.
Curious, she questioned him, "Why did she leave him?"
"Because he took a new woman as his wife while ignoring the mistress? Who knows? The tales are too tall," he commented which she agreed.
The rumors of the snow mansion and the stories that had spun around were so much that no one could tell which was the truth.
The night passed and morning arrived like a dread. The four of them had stayed awake with not a wink of sleep as it was better to stay awake than be the target to be killed next in line.
"Let's bury the man," Jamien proposed to her surprise and for a minute she felt as if the man had a good heart.
In Vivian's point of view, Fitot wasn't interested but he must have felt it be a better idea to bury the dead than leave it hanging like a scarecrow outside the mansion. Standing afar, she saw the men who had buried the ground deep as the snow went way down before meeting the soiled ground. Once the body was covered, a stone was placed not to mark the man's death so that one could go back and visit him but so that they would know where to point when the councilmen would arrive tomorrow.