185 How it works- Part 1
After the council that had survey the area and had pulled out all the bodies to put them in the graves, closing the case and giving out the result of the pass outs who was Vivian and the vampire named Axel, Nicholas had gone to the sight after two weeks to clean the mess the second Lord had left them in. With his ghouls who lurked in the shadows, the men began to dig the place in the balcony at the time of evening.
Vivian who had been part of this by witnessing what had happened in the past wished to come along and both she and Leonard came at the sight too, standing in the corner as they saw the men dig through until they stopped when they found the skeleton that laid underneath this floor all these years. It was no surprise now that why there were snowflakes in this particular part of the mansion. The ghost had done it out of happiness after killing the man.
Walking forward, she saw the skeleton being pulled out of the floor and being put in the open. The flesh and the mass had disappeared leaving only the skeleton and the clothes she had worn that day before the time of her death. Leonard had held her closer when the body was being taken down where it would undergo a ritual before being buried so that the ghost could rest in peace.
"Where are the rest of the bodies? The ones they found here," inquired Vivian.
"In the local cemetery. It is hard to believe that Jamien was killed by the ghost. I was hoping to get more information regarding your visions," Leonard wasn't happy with that, "Maybe compared to you their crimes were much more worthy in her eyes and before she could target you, everything had come to an end. I missed you so much," he kissed the side of her temple.
"I missed you more," she whispered, a little shy to tell it out loud. During her time here, to spend the worst times she had remembered her time with Leonard here as if he were sharing the same space as her. Time had been hard in those three days.
Finally, the day came where Vivian was officially going to join the council. Leonard had to be there early and therefore he had left at the time of dawn. When Vivian reached in her carriage, she stepped out with a crisp looking dress which was worn mostly by women during formal occasions. Her hair was braided on either side to tie up her hair completely with just two pieces of strands on either side of her face setting lose.
For the council, it was like any other day with work, assignments and meetings which were to be attended to resolve issues across the four lands of different towns that were handed by the Dukes and the magistrate. When a female entered the black doors of the white building, the workers couldn't stop but spare a look or two to see the person who had been welcomed into the council. She was one of the people to have avoided death during the examination, therefore, she had earned more murmur in her name with people looking at her.
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It was still hard to believe that she had not only been accepted but would also be working with Leonard. Sooner they would start working the sooner she would find the person who had killed Charlotte.
Walking through the bustling crowd of people who had made their way by stopping to look at her, she saw Lionel who had just exited the room with Leonard walking next to him.
Seeing Vivian, Leonard didn't hold himself back. His steps went quicker to meet hers and he asked, "How was your ride here?"
"It was good. Am I on time?" she saw him nod.
"Let me take you to head council. He said he wanted to meet you," he informed her. Exchanging a look with his superior he led the way to where the head council was.
Leo and Vivian's conversation was short but for the councilmen around them, they had a look where ost of their mouth was wide open in shock. Leonard was a man who usually didn't spare a look to strangers, to think that the man was talking to a woman who barely entered the council for a few minutes, they were taken aback.
"Why does he want to meet me?" asked Vivian as she followed him through the single door. The walls were thick and made of a block of square stones on both sides.
Leonard turned to look at her, "It must be to talk to you about the snow mansion," hearing this she pursed her lips. It had been a week since she had heard the case to be closed. What more did he want to know? "He is a good man, you don't have to worry about him. I am here with you," he assured her like many other times of having her back and she knew he would catch her if she were to fall anywhere.
"If you aren't confident to answer the questions he asks you don't have to. Leave them as it is," he said and after reaching with many narrowed passages they reach a dark matted wooden door where a guardsman stood to open the door for them to get in.
When Vivian entered the room, she was welcomed with the brightness that she had to squint her eyes away from the windows.
"Welcome, Lady Vivian Carmichael," she heard a man greet her and as her eyes focussed on the blurry man before her vision came to see a man, his black hair combed behind and his height falling short by two or three inches from Leonard. Red eyes looked at her which held a certain calmness in them.
He offered her a smile which looked harmless. He offered his hand for her to shake and in those spare seconds when her hand touched his, she could sense something like the electricity of memories which was threatening to break through but their hands pulled back, "It is good to meet you finally. I have heard so much about you from not one or two but many. I hope you bring great morals and hope for the females who are looking forward to entering here next year and the years that are to come. Please take a seat," he said motioning his hand.
This man really did come off to be different than the rest of the councilmen she had met here. He was the head after all yet he didn't come off to be intimidating or rude like the rest who believed they were superior to the rest. After meeting many vampires of different kinds and status, she noticed him be a person of the lower kind. He wasn't a pureblooded vampire like the most of them who had enrolled to work.
"I am Reuben Marais, the current head council which you must be aware of," Vivian gave a nod to indicate that she was listening to him, "Would you like something to drink?"
"I am fine, thank you," she answered him, having Leonard next to her was a relief and then it hit her head. The head council had not called her Vivian but Vivian Carmichael, had he been informed?
"Firstly, I would like to congratulate you on your passing marks on how you survived the exam. Though the exam wasn't to test on the survival," he said, his voice calm and collected. It was something very similar to the way Lord Nicholas was but not charming enough to hold a candle to the Lord. He pulled out the reports and turned the pages, "So many waste of lives that it is a pity that some of them didn't get a chance to perform and live their dream, don't you think so?" he asked her.
"Life is what we make of, Sir," Vivian replied back for the man to nod nonchalantly.
"True, very true," he agreed. Reading the reports, he said, "It says here that you were one amongst the survivor. The other being a man who apparently hid in a cabinet for two days. Frankly, I wouldn't consider him to be part of the council but he used his mind or should I say in this case believed his imagination and protected himself. But I have to say, it is a quality to stay alive after everything that is presented to us. What is your take on it?"
Vivian didn't know why, but it felt like she was under interrogative interview where she was being tested.
She took a good few seconds, thinking before she spoke, "If you have given him the opportunity already to work it only means that you considered all the possibility and then gave him a position which would suit him the best here. After all, there is various fieldwork when it comes to the council and not something that always needs valor of justification. One needs to know to save their lives while being put under certain situation," her answer laid on the diplomatic side which made the man nod, he leaned back, his mouth slightly twisting and he hummed.
"I heard from Lionel and Leonard that you want to work in their department, is that true?" he inquired.
Leonard who was seated next to Vivian didn't chip in to answer her as it was something Vivian would have to do it herself. Now that she was part of the council, she wasn't a little girl anymore after all she had finished her second exam and she would be subjected to the eyes of others who would come to weigh her importance in not just the council's work but to see how well suited she was when it came to her own skill and ability.
After Vivian had surveyed the dead man's land where the death had taken place, Leo had spoken about having Vivian in their team to Lionel. His superior was a man who was hard to sway. Most of the teams who worked in the council had at least six to seven people but theirs was limited to four which included Lionel himself. If it weren't for Lionel seeing how well versed Vivian was when it came to her keen eye that with which they were able to tie the loose ends, he would have objected right away. But he didn't and instead had said he would give her a shot that is if she were to pass the exam.
But Leo hadn't stopped there. He had gone to mention with the head council, dropping in the good word about this certain female examinee before the head council heard who she was.
When the examinees passed out, different departmental seniors in work liked to grab the person into their teams to increase the productivity and Vivian was special here, not only was she a female who was pretty but also with her abilities if one knew that is, there were chances of men jumping to take her into their team. The more solved cases, the more was the credibility. More the credibility, there were higher chances of being promoted to the next level.
"Yes, I think I would do well in it," Vivian answered confidently.
"That's good. I hope you bring a lot of laurels to the team," his eyes looked at her curiously but he didn't bring out his curiosity and instead spoke, "I have already brought in some of the documents prepared for you," documents? thought Vivian to herself, "Now do remember this is from the council so it might not be a lot but you being one of the few women who will be working here, I hope you find it up to your satisfaction," with that the head council handed her a parchment which she unrolled to read what it was about.
'Vivian Carmichael, on passing out of the exam with a high score and taking into the account of the Edict 133 the council has decided to provide you with the following things.
A mansion in the Mainline street, a carriage with two horses. A maid which can be replaced if needed from the Slaves Establishment. Plumbing and other architecture are not included. Also, bear in mind that if a maid is picked, the behavior is purely on you and the council isn't and shall not take its consequences of your choice.'
She was going to get all this for passing the exam? Once she finished it, she looked up with a blank expression. A mansion?
"As I said, we aren't generous but we need to set an example so that women can come forward to join us. Men only get land or two and nothing else," said Reuben taking the parchment back, "Do you have any concern with it?"
"About the mansion," she raised the concern.
Thinking she wasn't satisfied with the location of the mansion, Reuben responded, "Mainline is a decent street though it is not located to the heart of Bonelake, you will be able to see that as years are to come by the value of it will increase. I mean," the man deviated from the topic, "My wife thought it wasn't much of value when I bought land next to the edge of the border of Mythweald but now the money is too high. Sometimes you just have to trust your partner's decision, what do you say, Leonard?"
"I think it is still a bad decision to buy something so soon where there is no habitat. You will be the first target to be taken by the witches so maybe in forty-fifty years you can occupy it," Leonard's straight forward answer made Vivian look at him. The councilman in front of them was a man of the highest post. It seemed that Leonard showed indifference when it came to his behavior with any person.
"Actually I don't want the mansion," Vivian's words made the head councilman frown, "It isn't that it isn't good," she said not wanting him to think that she was being rude by not taking it, "I will take the horses and the carriage but nothing more than that. I have everything else that I need," the man continued to frown, his eyes held on to hers.
"Are you sure about it?" he asked her. Vivian nodded her head.
"Yes," she offered him a smile.
"Okay, if you say so. I think that is all we have for now. Leonard can take you to the cubicle where you get to know the others before you start your work from today," he smiled back at her, one which was of a businessman. Both Leonard and Vivian stood up bowing their head out of respect, they walked towards the door.
Before Vivian could step out of the door, the head council called her for her to stop,
She turned around, "Yes?"
"Did you see the ghost in the snow mansion?"
"No," her words were soft as she answered him.
When Vivian and Leonard left the room of the head council room, the man was in his late thirties, stood quietly with his lips set firmly in a thin line. Being the head council, the man received all the reports but some reports never made to his hands and it wasn't that he wasn't aware. The man kept a keen eye on what went through in his supervision but sometimes there were reports which even though reached his hands, they were manipulated with the facts.
And one of the reports was what he had missed a few years ago.
With what he had come to hear by the councilman, Lionel, he had spoken about the writing on the wall which one of the examinees must have written to scare the other but he doubted it was so.
'I know what you did.'
The few words held a heavyweight as it wasn't just the examinees but they had also lost one of their councilmen. Whoever had killed could have killed the first councilman who had been on guard but it was the second day the death had taken place when there was a change in the supervisor for the day.
Something told him there was more to what was written there. That there was something going on or something that had happened which he was yet to discover. Going back to sit behind the desk, he pulled the parchment which he had previously handed to the girl to place it back in the drawer. As he went to close it, his fingers touched the above surface opening the little box he had hidden. Picking it out, he opened to look at the little objects beneath which a photo laid of a woman.