"…" everyone was silent for a moment, eyes wide open in surprise, looking at the man who made his decision in disbelief.
Mikel gritted the two words out with as much difficulty as cutting one's limbs. He closed his eyes and his defeated appearance was that of a resigned man who lost his soul. He looked very tired, his pale face betrayed his loneliness and inner struggles.
He cut such a sorry figure that no one dared to breathe loudly. Mikel's heart was hurting but he knew he made the right decision. He opened his eyes, clear of all shadows and sorrows. He looked at his son's lovely tear-stained face and smiled tenderly as if he was seeing him for the first time. He was this close to agreeing to the Priestess demands until he saw Oliver's trembling form and his aggrieved and indignant eyes, staring at him accusingly with a vivid adult-like disappointed expression. It was very incompatible with his age but managed to accurately spell his incompetence as a father, nonetheless.
The pained haze through which he viewed the world after his beloved's death lifted all of a sudden and his mind regained its lucidness anew.
No one knew what happened but the withered man had a surprising edge emerging from his aura unexpectedly. His determined, focused eyes shocked the Priestess silly. Evidently, she never thought he would refuse her. In fact, no one did. Who in the kingdom didn't know how much Mikel adored his wife. It wasn't just the kind of 'I would die for you' love, it was more like 'I'd freeze hellfire and burn the heavens for a smile' sort of love.
His intense emotions were pretty much always on display in his wife's presence which inspired so much hate for the innocent noblewoman. Ironically, Mia was very helpless when it came to her husband's public display of affection. Mikel's uncontrolled feelings ruined her potential friendship with the other jealous noblewomen. Though naïve, Mia wasn't a fool to miss the barbed pleasantries and envious remarks so she mostly kept to herself and refused to mingle with most of the upper echelons of society. Of course, as a foolishly in love husband, Mikel wholeheartedly supported her withdrawal form such a toxic circle, despite the mocking inquiries and passionate criticizing his and Mia's inappropriate conduct received. Even when his position as the chief of the Nearynian council was threatened on the basis of his uncommendable behavior and negligent performance (to satisfy their vanity), Mikel never relented. He only cared for her.
Who would've thought that he would refuse such a tempting hook?
"Your lordship, are you going to keep this threat by your side, even while knowing that your wife's soul would be trapped by him for eternity?" Valdis asked incredulously. Has the excitement frayed his nerves to crisps?
Mikel reclined leisurely on the back on his seat, unhurriedly crossed his long legs whilst keeping his attentive gaze on the dark-skinned girl standing across from him who in turn found his unruffled attitude alarming. Though she knew to maintain a righteous expression, her panic was intensifying by the second. She remembered the pressure she felt when the voice spoke to her and shivered imperceptibly. What would happen to her if she failed to bring the kid back with her? She didn't want to find out.
"Priestess Valdis…I think you're lying," Mikel spoke suddenly.
Valdis' heart skipped a beat. "Why would I do that, my Lord?"
"Let's see, so I'll assume that you weren't lying about the existence of wraiths. Based on your earlier mentions, they were violent creatures with destructive desires, so would you mind telling me why would my son remain quietly crying after being discovered? Wouldn't it be more expected to rage about or try to escape?" Mikel asked in a mild tone.
"He is still young and thereby very weak, he knows he would be overwhelmed should he try to act up in any way with so many strong magicians around. It's more reasonable to try and win sympathy rather than fight a losing battle. Isn't it very efficient my Lord?" Valdis was hinting at how easily deceived he was.
Mikel's expression looked thoughtful. Just as she thought he would agree he asked again: "Then tell me this; why hasn't he tried to steal anyone else's soul if it were that beneficial to him? Aside from my wife, no one else around him died. His butler has been around him for a long time and nothing happened to him," Mikel gestured at Butler Walter who has been anxiously standing at the Priestess' side.
The butler's restlessness was finally allowed an outlet so the boyish attendant didn't hold back: "My Lord, don't listen to her nonsense, I've been with young master Oliver the longest and I've never felt weak nor sick. Though his temperament is a little difficult, he has a soft heart but knows not how to show it. I dare to swear on my honor and life that my charge is a good kid. Please, my lord, don't believe her!"
Wang Shu looked at his butler nervously defending him and his heart surged with warmth. To have someone believe in you unconditionally made him taste an unprecedented sort of sweetness. His mood improved and a dazzling smile settled on his gorgeous face. No matter what, he has people who care about him now and he will strive hard to never disappoint them.
Valdis' back was already drenched with cold sweat. Her mind worked hard to think up a reasonable excuse. "Isn't it just to avoid suspicion? He wasn't very liked from what I gather and was probably afraid that your excellency would notice something amiss. Lord Mikel, I only previously acted on impulse because I didn't wish to raise a false alarm and only dared to mention it after confirming my speculation. When I first saw him, I discovered that he doesn't have an aura," this she could say with no guilty conscious as it was a true finding, "Only a soulless creature wouldn't have an aura."
It was silent for a while.
She wasn't brainless. She's been through so much, she learned early on how to manipulate the mood and muddle truth with lies. It wasn't hard to confuse people; she'd done it hundreds of times before.
Mikel sighed audibly drawing everyone's attention then shook his head helplessly. " You're very good." The man said with a smile. He fiddled with his wedding band and a trace of nostalgia flitted over his eyes fleetingly. He took the beautiful ring off and held it up for everyone to appreciate as if he was showing off his most treasured possession. The black band was sleek and shiny, but if one paid close attention, they would notice a mystical twirling of silver and purple wisps dancing about harmoniously, appearing like a mesmerizingly mysterious night glow.
"This has mine and Mia's magical imprints," he explained, "I thought her Idea was ridiculous at first, but when I saw the finished product I couldn't stop looking at it for a long time."
Remembering his sweetheart's request and how stubborn she was about finding someone to make the rings, Mikel's eyes softened. He then looked up at the now pale-faced Priestess and sneered triumphantly at her panic-stricken appearance. Nevertheless, he took pleasure in tauntingly reminding her: "Haven't you mentioned that Wraiths were born of Buryaks with incompatible magic attributes? I don't see our imprints clashing, Priestess." The twinkling of his eyes and the girl's silence proved that he won.
"Actually, the more I think about the more faults I find…" he hadn't even finished when Valdis fished out a teleportation tablet and dashed at his son like a crazed beast. She seemed to have activated it for a while and in a blink of an eye got a hold of Oliver's wrist.
If she can't take him peacefully, she'll force him there.
Gustave's irises constricted, he reached his hand to attempt and deactivate the tablet but it was too late.
Valdis kidnapped Oliver right under everyone's noses. Was she that brave or that foolish?
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.