Valdis' heart was beating so loudly it might just pop out of her rib cage. In fact, she was so scared she could faint. Initially, the Priestess had no reason to go to such extremes, claiming that Oliver was a wraith just to know his secret. Although, she did wish to find a way to break her ties with the church and go look for her family, but definitely not in this manner. Even if her assumption wasn't completely baseless, since Oliver was quite a gloomy kid with a raging temper, and did in a way cause his mother's death, but it was outrageous to say that he was a wraith.
Despite that, she had to do it. It wasn't to save herself or to justify her earlier offense. Even she had to admit that it was quite rash of her to drug the kid and cast an illusory spell on him just after he woke up. Her curiosity and greed got the best of her and her retribution came earlier than expected. Still, she could've dealt with the situation and cleared her name with ease. She prided herself best in her hypnotic abilities which were put to use on a maid, compelling her to do her bidding. It was one of the girls responsible for bringing lunch to Oliver who used a vial she gave her to secretly spike the meal and was made to confess her actions should the plan fall through. As long as Valdis claimed she was only brought back to the room to check on the collapsed kid on his butler's request, all would've been well.
Who would've thought that when she went to her room to send an emergency signal to her teacher, a voice she couldn't place spoke to her all of a sudden. It was a whisper and a screech blended together, sounding both demonic and saintly. It came from inside and outside of her head simultaneously. She shook in fear as a dreadful pressure gripped her heart in a constricting grasp, and her ears buzzed at the auditory aggression both overwhelming and dulling her other senses. Its command clear and forceful: "Bring him to me." That's all it said and yet she could somehow make sense of the instruction. There was no room for defiance or resistance. She had to do it.
Looking at the stupefied face of the kid in front of her, Valdis felt slightly apologetic. No matter what, he was too young, yet suffered unbearably so. This would probably destroy however little familial affections he had to his father. But what about her? She was also taken from her family because of her special constitution to serve the church regardless of her parents' objections. The high priest forced them to sever their ties and never meet again. They put a very powerful binding spell on her that would alert them of any intentions she had of running away. She wasn't even sure of the identity of the spell caster that condemned her to a life of so little freedom, but she instinctively knew she can't break the shackles with any sort of magic. Now she reckons that the voice belongs to her true capturer. Maybe it was for the best that her family wasn't around anymore. Her life wasn't any easier nor was it any more pleasant than the teenager's.
Each is for their own. She can't be blamed for his weakness; nor could she afford to sympathize with him at her own expense. With a newfound determination she continued: "Lord, if you allow me to take Oliver back to the church with me, I can attempt resurrecting your wife!"
At her words, you could hear a loud intake of breaths echoing in the hall, each evincing the shock and agitation at the absurd notion of bringing someone back from the dead.
Mikel's heart constricted. His emotions whirled out of his control in instant. He could have his Mia back! As a glimmer of hope was brought forth by the girl's statement, he stood up on shaky legs, expectantly awaiting her affirmation that he could reclaim his happiness again. In his anxiousness, Mikel failed to notice his son's pained gaze as he looked at the yearning and eagerness of his father's.
Wang Shu's eyes glistened with tears despite his struggle to hold his heartache and pain that were certainly not his. He could feel his blood bubble with rage and Oliver's remnants simmering with resentment at the total disregard for his life.
Looking at his miserable face, Gustave embraced him tightly, willing his anguish to disperse.
"I won't let them take you, don't cry." The teenager's whisper sounded right by his ear. The gentle murmur tickled his earlobe and helped him recover some of his reason. Wang Shu stiffened instantly at the intimate exchange but felt his heart warm slightly. Even if he didn't know why Gustave had a change of heart or why he was willing to protect him, Wang Shu still appreciated his kind intentions.
The older boy appeased his cousin, and gently wiped the tears from the corner of his eyes. In fact, he was very clear on what wraiths are. Such creatures existed indeed and the Priestess wasn't making things up. In the future, all kinds of mutations, diseases, and ailment pervaded their lives, so much so that nothing surprised him anymore.
In their despair, longevity was the only aspiration they yearned for. It was a collective obsession, researchers sought it though science and experts through magic. But because magical energy was very sparse, spellcasting was a forbidden practice. Everyone was very conscious of the dangers of extinction so it wasn't hard to make them principled in this regard. As such, this law became their golden rule, not to be broken unless as a last resort.
Of course, there were always those whose selfish desires outweighed their sense of reason. With unstable mindsets and defective genes, something was bound to go wrong which is how the wraiths he was familiar with were created. He had to put down quite a few, after all, and he could tell with certainty that Oliver wasn't one. Even if Gustave was aware of the peculiarity of the kid on the account of his mysterious recovery, he had confidence in his conjecture.
This means that the Priestess was purposefully framing Oliver, whether to save herself or for another reason, it wasn't really important. How was this kind of person hailed as the savior of their world? Wasn't she trying to speed up its destruction rather than preventing it?
Seeing how things are progressing, Gustave was sure that what was mentioned in their historical records were but faulty claims. Either someone purposefully covered the truth up or for of the lack of witnesses came up with an ungrounded explanation to save the church's reputation.
Looking down at the teary kid in his arms, Gustave was biased enough to believe that even if he was really the culprit, he must've been backed into a corner and had no better way to retaliate. Yes, he was going to shamelessly throw all the blame onto the church. No matter how baffling it was to side with Oliver, he couldn't even bring himself to hate him anymore.
Though it seems unfathomable how such sentiments came about, Gustave wasn't all that surprised. He was very decisive. He grew up in a very fast-paced environment. There was no time for regrets or overthoughts. As long as his intuition spelled Oliver's good-naturedness, he will trust in him unconditionally. As rashful a decision as it may seem, it was his way of life and there was no changing it after twenty-eight years of life.
In this way, he chose to take Oliver under his wing without a second thought. He could only blame the kid's beautiful expressive eyes.
"I wasn't aware that the church dabbles in necromancy as well. High priest Phlios, have you started teaching dark magic now? How scandalous!" lady Eleanor, who by now recovered from her previous fright, spat hatefully.
What a joke, that person can never be brought back again! Her death was the happiest thing that happened the princess' life, she wasn't about to wait for her enemy to claim her love again. She would rather have Mikel live as a hollowed-out shell than see him happy with that wretch!
"That's preposterous! Our church only practices light attributed magic, how could your excellency suggest otherwise?" The Priest scurried to defend himself. He was so shocked to hear what his apprentice said. Although she was valuable, he can't allow her to tarnish his hard-earned reputation. If worse came to worst, he would just lock her up in the church under the guise of punishment and reformation.
The Priest's prickly attitude easily showcased his uninvolvement in his apprentice's plans. Mikel regained some of his reason by now, sat down again and impatiently inquired: "Priestess, do not test my patience, how will you prove your claims?"
Valdis looked at the widowed man and swallowed her guilt to further bluff: "I did mention earlier that the wraith's victims are cursed to follow them for eternity, at least until the wraith is killed, which means your wife's soul is still bound to him," she said pointing to Oliver, already treating him like a monster, "I can prove that without resorting to necromancy because she only lost her corporeal body. There is a shamanist resurrection spell that can bring her back and it doesn't fall under dark magic practices, this kind of revival is only possible because her soul wasn't actually claimed by death. Let me bring him back to the church to seal his powers and we can prepare for the spell. If I am wrong, you can take him back."
She was so confident that everyone found it hard not to believe her. Mikel waivered. He wasn't stupid to think that this won't bring Oliver any harm, but on the off chance that what the Priestess said was true, his Mia can come back… His heart was so painful that his breathing turned ragged. He missed her so much. Mikel was willing to sell his soul to the devil if it means he gets to see her for another moment. But…
Turning his head to Oliver, he locked eyes with him for a moment.
He made his decision.
More Privileged Chapters
Download the app and become a privileged reader today! Come take a sneak peek at our author's stockpiled chapters!Download
This's an experimental test for reading assistance in case.
We highly recommend you to enjoy the beauty of the original words.