Noticing Frederick's intention to speak up, Myra turns her back to him and strolls off, no real direction in her mind. Deciding that it's awkward for a lady to not know her own home, she takes it as her responsibility to explore her family's mansion.
Myra eyes dart around, watching the walls with her careful eye, noting suspicious details, wherever they may be out in the open. Her head briefly throbs at the memory of breakfast, reminding her that there should be something she's searching for, something she's not exactly sure of. As far as she's concerned, her home is as generic as it can get to a mansion.
Truthfully, she's found it difficult throughout the morning to withhold her excitement, for the sake of not embarrassing herself and to also focus on more relevant matters on hand.
Along the way, growing overly-conscious of Frederick's tailing, she whips around on her heel. Raising an eyebrow at him cynically, she tries to dismiss Frederick so she can spend the time on her own, who only ignores her request saying that he "needs to protect her". It's at this point that she learns that her words likely won't get taken seriously without force, or sucking up to the Duke, which is far too terrifying of a step at this moment.
Myra, averting her mind back to the interiors of her home which still feels foreign, admires the rich design in the wallpaper, the sheer detail in the pillars holding up the walls. The Ruskin mansion, by rumour, is the largest and the most luxurious mansion in all of Fleurette, envied by other noble families that yearn for their level of comfort. Outside the mansion is an obsidian statue of Hades surrounded by rose shrubs. It exists in a form akin to a heavenly blessing.
The pathway leading out to pink-tinted gates is made of chiseled stone, cushioned by trimmed bushery. Leading out to the back of the mansion is a massive garden as well, decorated to enamor anyone who is fortunate enough to step foot in it. Sheltered by strong, tall-growing trees, Myra strolls under the shade of the canopies, jaw tickled by a gentle wind.
"This place feels so familiar to me, I wonder why," Myra lets out in a breathy voice. A feeling of fondness tugs at her heartstrings as she pauses in a spot giving her an almost perfect view of the garden. It's almost like she's used to this, to recognising this exact marble tile as compared to the other identical ones. Frederick cracks a knowing smile at this, pausing a distance away from her as the young lady wanders along the path of trimmed grass.
"It was designed to match the artists' representation of the Garden of Proserpine," he explains. "You were fond of this place since your birth and often asked to come here during your free time or when you were awfully stressed."
"Must explain it. It seems like my family's fond of Hades' mythology," she hums, leaning down to pluck a rose from the bush. She lifts it to her eye-level, scrutinizing it with cold eyes, twirling it with the bare touch of her fingers. Her gaze falls to a protruding thorn and curiously, gently, she runs her finger over it. It doesn't prick her finger the first time she tries.
Turning back to Frederick, she discards the rose, letting it waft to the ground. Not sparing one more thought to it, she thinks of visiting her siblings instead.
"Mind telling me where my brothers and sisters are? Other than Mariene, I've spoken to her already. I don't remember a lot about the rest of them."
"Is that so?" Frederick checks. "I'm afraid you won't be able to meet with young master Cole as he is preparing for an urgent trip to the far-west of Fleurette to check on one of the military territories. Lady Roseann… typically spends her time wherever her emotions take her. Her room is simply a corridor down from yours and I can have you meet her if you wish."
"I am the… third-born daughter of the family, correct?" Myra narrows her eyes in thought as her head throbs lightly. She softens her voice in surprise, wondering where the information is returning from. Frederick confirms this indifferently.
Myra follows in Frederick's steps, looking forward to meeting Roseann who, so far, seems as if she isn't the most fond of Myra's return or presence at the very least. Her interest is the curious kind, eager to see whether her sister belittles her or invites her formally, though she doesn't plan on intentionally getting on her sister's nerves, as far as that may get her with her nature.
"Jalen spends most of his time at the stables so you might only find him once evening falls. Marine, on the other hand, spends hours in the front garden doing her sketches when she's not busy with tuition," Frederick continues to ramble, which Myra has only half-heartedly listened to. On the way, Myra pauses in her tracks upon seeing one of the closed doors open slowly.
From it, emerges Cole, clad in a formal military uniform made with wool stained burgundy. It complements his dark orange, almost ginger hair and fierce expression. Myra stands frozen in his presence until he angles his head towards her, eyes widening in surprise.
A certain look flashes over his eyes when he sees his younger sister, something different from normal brotherly affection. It's more cold, selfish—so much so that Myra has to narrow her eyes.
"I didn't expect to see you here, Myra," he makes a warm expression of joy, striding towards her promptly.
Reaching out a hand to caress her face, to which Myra almost flinches, Cole mutters gently, "Apologies that I was unable to speak much to you this morning. I've been dispatched to take care of an unexpected problem that emerged in one of our camps. Will you be well? Did you come to see me yourself?"
"It's nothing important," Myra reassures. "I only came for a chat. I've been struggling to remember my circumstances from before I fell unconscious. Doctor Aren mentioned I was fine but it's odd as to why I can't recall too much."
Cole frowns at this, his eyes laced with worry. Releasing her, he takes a step back and lowers his head to adjust the glove on his hand. "Hm… I will return as soon as I can. Try not to fight too much with Roseann. I've asked her beforehand to accompany you to the, ahem," Cole makes a face of distaste here, "tea party. I'm sure Jalen will listen if you speak to him, that brat holds something against me whenever I ask him for a favour."
"I see, then. Have a safe trip, brother," Myra curtseys.
Cole nods, ruffling her hair affectionately as he passes her. His back faced to her, he cascades down the hall, carrying an immense ego with him similar to the Duke himself, and he comments once instead of 'goodbye', "Try your best to retrieve the previous sharpness you used to have. Humility isn't a respectable quality in the Ruskin family."
Myra stands dumbfounded, goosebumps prickling against the surface of her skin at the roar of his voice.
Frederick knocks on the entrance of a room two doors down and informs Myra, "Lady Roseann is in her room. She told you to enter promptly and does not want to be kept waiting any further, miss," he interjects amongst the muted sounds of Myra's ears.
A shiver running down her spine, she peels her gaze of Cole's distancing silhouette and scurries to Roseann's bedroom door left ajar.
"It's odd of you to drop by, Myra," Roseann turns her head from the window. Her silk curtains have been tucked to the sides of the glass door leading out to the balcony, allowing sunlight to penetrate through the decorated glass. It bathes Roseann's silhouette in an array of colours, painting her with ethereality. "I wonder where you get the courage from, or perhaps you've always been so calculative?" she glares.
"Unfortunately, I don't remember too much about what my life was like before I passed out," Myra comments simply, picking up a fountain pen from Roseann's table. She twirls it with her fingers expertly, sauntering around the room calmly.
Though she's in the presence of her older sister, she finds herself washed over by an unprecedented calmness and confidence. Though her memories are now scattered, it may be that her affections haven't changed.
"Likewise, I don't recall what it was like with you. That could change," Myra folds her arms, raising her chin. Roseann clenches her jaw, aggressively flipping her fan shut as pulls a strained grin onto her face. The skin around her eyes crinkle and suddenly, the room is cold.
"You can fly even higher." | Make sure to support this book and my first novel with powerstones and collections!