✍️✍️✍️✍️ The Crown's Obsession Chapter 771 - 780 ✍️✍️✍️✍️


Chapter 771 - The Question

When Theodore's lips touched hers for the second time of the night, Lucy felt as if a wave of emotions pass through her. She felt anxious, nervous, excitement building up in her nerves that turned her whole body alive with the slightest movement of friction that took place between them.

With her lips parted, Theodore's tongue sneaked into hers, probing and playing with it. Her body had started to heat up with him on top of her, and she couldn't resist circling her hands around his neck and weaving her fingers through the back of his head. She felt him capture her bottom lip, softly biting into it, and she whimpered into the kiss.

Theodore kissed her as if she was the most precious thing to him. He had treasured her for years, and he continued to do so while stealing her breath now. He sucked her lips, and somewhere in between, he felt Lucy bite into his lips, sucking the faint taste of blood from him.

He trailed kisses down her jaw and neck, nibbling and nipping the skin there. His hand traced the curve of her body with the nightgown that she wore. One of his hands settled on her waist. When he pulled away to look at Lucy, he noticed her eyes that looked slightly dilated and her lips parted.

He picked one of Lucy's hands and kissed her wrist, pressing his warm lips on her skin. The lone gesture was enough to melt Lucy's heart, and she saw the heated gaze in his eyes.

"I love you, Lucy," confessed Theodore. "I don't know when I fell in love with you, but I do know I love you. So much that I doubt I can bear it if you aren't next to me. I promise to never hurt you, to love and cherish you until the end. So don't leave."

Lucy realized she hadn't told Theodore about what she was going to do with the mansion. She put her arms around him to hug him. Closing her eyes, she whispered back to him, "And I love you. You are the only person who has been able to hold my heart."

Theodore was glad to hear it, knowing it wasn't just some fleeting emotions that would one day die.

"I am glad to hear that. So much glad," responded Theodore, hugging her back. He turned to his back so that he wouldn't weigh on Lucy, and she pulled back to look at him with a blush on her cheeks.

Theodore picked up her hand to kiss them, a warm smile on his lips, and Lucy returned the smile.

"I don't want to have more regrets than I already have," said Lucy. In the past, there had been misunderstanding from both their sides and now that it was clear, she didn't want to waste more time. She laid her head on Theodore's arm while resting on her side so that she could look into his eyes. "I will be going to the mansion only for some time. No matter how long it will be...in the end I will return to you, Theo."

Lucy's gaze was soft, her words sweet.

She leaned closer before pecking his lips.

Theodore, who held Lucy's fingers with his own, played with them back and forth. He kissed her back with a smile that broadened on his lips.

"What is it?" asked Lucy.

"I am happy that you are here. I don't know what I would have done without you," he replied to her.

Smiling, Lucy said, "Isn't that what I am supposed to say. My parents, my grandparents, my so called husband...I don't know if they ever saw me as a person." It was Theodore who had come to her at midnight, bringing her meals so that she wouldn't starve.

"You took care of me, but I was mean to you," her eyes lowered from him.

"You didn't know back then. You had the right to do it," Theodore brought her closer in his arms, placing his chin on top of hers. He brushed the back of her hair through his fingers, weaving it carefully.

Like a rabbit, Lucy got closer to Theodore's chest before letting her head rest. They had only kissed and spent time together, and she was more than content with it. She felt safe and protected in Theodore's company as if no one would ever come to harm her again.

"Did you sleep?" questioned Theodore when Lucy hadn't moved nor said another word.

"No," whispered Lucy.

"Lucy," Theodore called her name, and Lucy hummed before craning her neck up to meet Theodore's eyes.

"Hm?" she wondered if there was something important that he wanted to tell her.

Theodore sat up on the bed, and Lucy followed his suit. She saw him take both her hands in his, and he said, "Marry me, Lucy."

Lucy's eyes widened at Theodore's words. If it was possible, one could have heard her heart making incoherent noises.

"I know you have been married before and you might have some unpleasant memories from that, but I promise to erase those things that have pained you and to re-write them with the new ones. To give you the life you deserve," said Theodore looking in her eyes without blinking. "I would never want to defile you the way I did to others because you are different and special. Right now, you are the most important person to me and you deserve to be treated with love and respect."

Lucy wondered if he was telling about him not going further than the kisses they shared because he didn't want to treat her like the rest of the women he slept with before.

"I am not as pure as you think I am," responded Lucy, staring at their hands.

"Your heart and mind is pure, Lucy, and that is what matters. In my eyes, you will always remain that girl who liked to run in the corridors barefoot. Someone who was brave to wander out of the castle alone without the guards and the person with whom I shared blood from the flask," stated Theodore.
Chapter 772 - Simple Things

Music Recommendation: Much loved - Rachel Portman


Lucy stared at Theodore, her body numb and her emotions frozen as she tried to sink in the words that he said to her. It wasn't hard to understand what he told her, but the way he did and the words he chose were what she needed to hear. She didn't know how to react, leaving her completely speechless.

Theodore loved her. Even after all these years where she had given him nothing but cold shoulders and her words sharp like knives, he continued to love her.

Her eyes started to blur while staring at him, and she finally looked down to hide her tears from Theodore. A quick frown appeared on Theodore's forehead, and he apologised,

"I am sorry. It must have been too fast."

Lucy shook her head, "No," she whispered, her voice cracking as she took a deep breath and looked back at Theodore.

Theodore brought his hand to place it on the side of her face, gently caressing the skin there with his thumb, "What is it? You can tell me anything, Lucy. I will never judge you for it. You do not have to hide anything from me, even if it hurts me."

A tear slipped down from Lucy's eye, her lips softly trembling with the image of Theodore turning blur in her sight.

"Why do you love me after everything?" she questioned him.

Theodore's actions and words had warmed her heart, and she doubted anyone would ever do that for someone else. While living in a world of high society in the company of the Dukes and Duchesses and many other people who belonged to the high social standing in the kingdom Devon. She saw how people reacted towards the women and men who were left by their partners or turned into a widow. While the situation with the men was more bearable, it wasn't the same for the women, who were judged harshly by society.

Lucy had not spent enough time with the other people, but with the little amount she did spend outside to mingle and keep up the image of her being Duke Grivelle's wife, she had come to learn how people treated each other.

A woman who was in her position would never be asked to marry again, and they would shun both the man and the woman, which was why the woman was often left alone.

Theodore's eyes softened even more than before on seeing Lucy, who had tears in her eyes.

"Such simple questions you already have answers to," replied Theodore, bringing her near to him, and he patted her back while he hugged her. "In the past, I sent you to someone and it pained me. I don't want to give you to someone else again. I don't see the point of waiting when we know the inevitable thing."

Lucy closed her eyes so that she wouldn't cry more, but the tears escaped from the corner of her eyes, slipping down her cheek before it fell on Theodore's skin.

"Are you sure about it?" asked Lucy, her voice small, and she felt a lump form in her throat that made it difficult for her to speak.

"I don't do things if I am not sure," responded Theodore, a smile on his lips as he continued hugging her. He then pulled away from her so that he could take a better look at her. He wiped the streaks of tears from her cheeks. "Will you be my wife, Lucy Hawthrone. Just be mine, while I be only yours."

Lucy nodded her head, "Yes. I would be happy to take you as my husband," and sniffed before breaking into more tears.

"Come here," said Theodore, taking her back into his arms to console her so that she would not cry more.

Theodore had hoped for Lucy to agree, and now that she had, he couldn't tell how happy he was right this moment. It felt like fresh air had started to circulate him and his breathing turned lighter with every intake of his breath. He wanted nothing more than to have Lucy next to him, to live life with her, beside her and to grow a family that she wasn't fortunate to have before.

He loved her with everything he had, and he would give her everything she deserved. This was the woman who was the most important person in his life.

It had been long since one of his purposes had been fulfilled where he had stood next to Calhoun, and he did until now. But now it was time to have Lucy and never to let her go.

"Tell me how you wanted to get married the first time and I will see to it that it is how it will happen this time," said Theodore as he gently patted the back of her head.

Lucy had finally calmed down after her emotional breakdown, and she shook her head.

"I don't mind anything. Anything with you would be perfect," she answered him. Things like lavish celebrations by inviting the other high-status people, expensive decorations, or luxurious food didn't matter to her. The only thing that mattered would be him, which was why she didn't mind the details he would pick. "Whatever you think is fine."

"What a lovely future wife I am going to have," praised Theodore and Lucy felt her heart flutter at his words.


Future wife, but it still had the word wife, thought Lucy in her mind. A blush came to settle in her cheeks at the thought of being Theodore's wife. She remembered back in the days how she wanted to be his wife, and finally, she had the opportunity to be his.

There had been days where she had written down his name over and over on the parchment, but unable to keep it out in the open, she had to sadly burn it in the fireplace so that her mother or her governess would not come to know of her feelings towards the guard who worked for her brother.

"Anything I want?" repeated Theodore, humming in the end, and he said, "I was thinking, how about we having a celebration followed by a soiree after the wedding. I have never had a celebration that was kept only for me, on my account. Exquisite drinks and food that everyone will praise how delicious the food is. Me in my groom clothes and you in your white gown so that people will know what a beautiful bride you are. We can possibly pick a mansion by borrowing it from Calhoun. What do you think about it? A big wedding celebration for us."

Lucy smiled at him, nodding her head, "That sounds good."

Theodore's eyes subtly narrowed at her, and he pulled her cheek, "Is that what you really want?" he asked her. He leaned forward to bite one side of her cheek, making her softly yelp.

"What did I do?" she asked, her eyes wide and the rim of her eyes that were slightly red. "You said you wanted it."

"You idiot," scolded Theodore, his words not harsh on her. He said, "I know you don't want those things. How long do you think I have known you?"

"You shouldn't have listed out those things if you didn't want to," she replied, her mood shifting back to its usual self. "I only wanted to see you happy."
Chapter 773 - Simple Things II

Theodore raised his eyebrows.

He said, "And you think I don't want to see you being happy? You don't have to sacrifice your own happiness for mine, Lucy. I know a lot of things about you, but I believe there are still a lot more that I might not know, and at that time, I need you to tell me how you exactly feel about things."

Hearing this, Lucy pursed her lips. "I wouldn't mind if you are happy though. I am more than happy to see you happy."

Theodore placed his hand on the top of Lucy's head, "What I listed are not the things that I want to do. Do you think I care about what people eat and drink? The only person I would care about is what you do and how you are doing," the rest could rot, thought Theodore in his mind while he smiled at Lucy.

Lucy spent the rest of the time describing how she had dreamt of the wedding to take place while lying next to him on the bed. To not do anything but lay next to each other was more than she could ever dream about, and her heart felt full and soft.

It felt like right now as if she was dreaming, and if it was true, she hoped that the dream would never end. She wanted it to last forever.

The night slowly continued to pass, and Lucy fell asleep next to Theodore, their fingers interlocked while facing each other on the bed.

Weeks passed, and the snow that had fallen over the last few days had started to disappear, the heavy clouds turning lighter and the atmosphere turned brighter until all the snow had disappeared.

On one fine morning, Madeline woke up early along with Calhoun and had dressed. Deciding to visit Lady Lucy, hoping they could spend some time before breakfast, but she received no response when she reached Lucy's room and knocked on the door.

"Milady," a maid who was at the end of the corridor had walked on seeing the Queen appear in front of Lady Lucy's room. "Lady Lucy isn't here."

On hearing this, Madeline frowned, "Did she go somewhere?" It seemed like she had woken up earlier than most of the vampires in the castle, thought Madeline to herself.

"I was here to deliver Lady Lucy the glass of blood, but she must have gone out," informed the maid, bowing her head.

"I see," responded Madeline before returning to Calhoun, who was in his study room. She walked towards the desk where her husband was busy with some of the parchments. "Lucy went out."

Calhoun hummed in response, "She must have gone to visit the graves at the cemetery. She likes to spend time there." He was writing something on the parchment before placing the quill to rest on the table. He raised his hand, and Madeline walked towards him before placing her hand in his. "You can go visit your parents. Or I can invite them here to the castle."

Madeline smiled at Calhoun's words, "I don't think they are ready to visit the castle. Mother is still scared of Vladimir's presence, since the last dinner we all had together."

The corners on Calhoun's lips tugged, and he said, "I am sure it is something very memorable to all of us. But maybe a family dinner again doesn't sound that bad. Vladimir has been pestering me about it."

"He misses you," whispered Madeline. The devil was one of the last fragments of Calhoun's mother.

Madeline came to stand closer to Calhoun, running her hands through his pitch-black hair, and she heard him hum in satisfaction, making her smile. There were only a few people left in their families whom they could count upon, and it was important to treasure them, thought Madeline to herself.

"Later, I will be going out to take a look at Lucy's wedding gown," informed Madeline.

Calhoun nodded his head, "I would be more than happy to host the wedding here. It is not everyday you get the opportunity to hold your sister's wedding. She takes after the woman who looked after her."

Madeline smiled at Calhoun's words. She had heard a lot about Ruby, who Lucy also addressed as Nana, who had brought her up. The maid who was kind and had loved Lucy as her own.

"Isn't it wonderful, that they will be getting married," responded Madeline. "Only if they could see how happy they had turned out to be."

"Did you speak to Paschar?" asked Calhoun, his eyes meeting hers.

Madeline shook her head, "Not since we returned from Heaven. But I did write a letter to Gabriel."

"Did you now," responded Calhoun. He then said, "Today Monique is going to meet another mechanic to help with her hand."

Madeline nodded her head, "She told me about it. I thought the person was going to come here to size the length of her hand and to find its proportion again."

Lady Monique, Calhoun and Lucy's aunt, had been trying to get an artificial arm to be placed permanently. The last one she had got was inefficient, and she had decided to go to another one today.

"Monique is not used to staying inside the castle. She spent most of her time at the borders, keeping her mind busy. She wants to go out and have a change of surroundings," replied Calhoun. He had asked his aunt to stay in the castle, to attend Lucy's wedding before she would go back home.

"It is nice to have her here. Lucy has someone to look up to as a mother figure," replied Madeline.

Not too far away from the Hawthrone's castle, Lucy stood in the quiet and peaceful cemetery that belonged to her family. She stood in front of Nana's grave, her hands folded and her eyes staring at the tombstone.

"I hope you are doing well, Nana. I returned to the castle two days ago," Lucy spoke to the grave. "The renovation of the mansion has started and it looks like a lot more work than I expected it to be. But it has been going smoothly. Some of the walls have been demolished to make the rooms bigger."

The wind softly blew the dried twigs and leaves lying on the ground, sweeping it from one place to another.

Lucy continued, "There's nothing much to plan for the wedding, except for the dress. Aunt Monique wants me to pick the best gown and she had some recommendations for me. But I asked Madeline to pick one from the village. Theodore doesn't mind me wearing regular clothes," she smiled at the thought of it. "Life has been much peaceful since the attack that took place in the castle. I wish you were here, but at the same time I am glad that you are in Heaven."

Lucy could imagine how Nana would look now if she were still alive. Grey hairs, more wrinkles on her face, as twenty years for a human was a lot in their life.

"It is good to see you to be doing well, Lucy," she heard someone speak not too far away from her.
Chapter 774 - Simple Things III

Music Recommendation: Wish I could spent the day with you- Mychael Danna


Hearing the voice, Lucy turned in its direction to find a young-looking vampiress sitting on the top of one of the graves in the cemetery. The woman had a cigar in her hand that was relaxed as she sat with one leg over the other.

"Oh, you can see me?" asked the young woman, and Lucy's eyes widened on looking at the red lips and red eyes.

"Madame Fraunces?" asked Lucy carefully, and the woman smiled. She looked much younger than she had met in the other world. As if time had turned back and the woman was in her early thirties.

"I wonder how you are able to see me now," hummed the woman.

Lucy felt a rush of memories that came to pass through her mind that she had forgotten when she had returned to the living world. She quickly bowed her head, "Forgive me for forgetting the conversation that we had."

"Don't fret about it," responded the woman. "People who enter and leave the in between world, don't remember anything. Not that it happens often. The world is not supposed to exist or to be known by people, because people then will never not want to enter Heaven, the good souls I mean."

Lucy was yet to place the flowers that she had brought for Madame Fraunces grave, and she held it tight in her hands. She remembered how the woman had earlier told her that she often came here, spending her time while watching people who visited her. She wondered why she was able to see a dead person unless she was purely imagining it. But then she remembered the words they had exchanged when she had died.

"When did you come here?" asked Lucy. Slowly taking steps towards the woman, who sat on someone's grave while not caring as she smoked.

"A couple of minutes ago. I cannot tell how strange I find it that you fell in love with someone who is purely different compared to you, but at the same time, I am glad that he has someone," said Madame Fraunces. "I heard you both are getting married. Have you decided the day?"

Lucy nodded her head, "It is around three weeks from now."

"Wonderful," commented Madame Fraunces. "You should pick up a beautiful gown and not settle for anything less. And the village does have some excellent tailors. They are good with their hands," she smiled at the end, one corner of her lips raising more than the other.

Remembering Theodore, Lucy turned excited and said, "Theodore will be very happy to see you! He adores you."

"Of course he does, I did save him from trouble a couple of times. I hope when you two have children, they inherit your nature. They are going to be handful if they turn out to be like him," Madame Fraunces's words had Lucy clear her throat. To have children, they hadn't done that, and at the same time, she didn't know if she could bear children.

As fast as her cheeks had turned red, it also dulled down.

"I-I, I don't think I can give him a child," confessed Lucy to the woman. She knew Theodore supported her in every possible way he could, but the thought that she wouldn't be able to give him a child saddened her the most. "My mother wasn't able to bear a child after she gave birth to me. I think the problem was with me."

Madame Fraunces frowned, hearing this, "You seem to be perfectly well, Lucy. And you were blessed by an angel to recover from your injuries. Even if you weren't able to have children before, you should be fine now. It is not every day an angel comes to help."

Lucy placed her hand on her stomach. Was it possible? Samuel had injured her stomach, near her abdomen. Was there still hope?

"Silly girl," said Madame Fraunces.

"Wait here!" said Lucy. "I will be back soon, don't go anywhere!" and Lucy placed the flowers on the nearby graves.

The woman who sat on the grave watched Lucy run towards the cemetery's gates, bringing her hand up to drag the smoke.

Lucy knew Theodore would be more than happy to see Madame Fraunces here, in the living world. If she wasn't wrong, she had heard how her grandmother and father had been brought to Devon before they were taken back. She was quick to get on the carriage and reaching the castle. She pulled Theodore away from the castle. When they arrived at the front of the cemetery, Lucy pulled Theodore by his hand.

"What happened, Lucy? You haven't told me what it is about," said Theodore, who had been left in suspense, not knowing what Lucy was up to.

Lucy dragged Theodore towards Madame Fraunces gravestone before looking around back and forth, searching for Madame Fraunces, but it looked like she had disappeared.


Theodore had been talking to the minister when Lucy had come to drag him from the corridor. He heard her whisper, "She was right here. She must have left."

"Whom are you speaking about?" asked Theodore, his eyes sweeping across the empty cemetery as it was just them in there.

Lucy bit her lip before turning to look at him, "Madame Fraunces."

Hearing the name, Theodore's eyebrows furrowed. If a human heard this, one would tell that she was imagining things.

And Theodore was no regular person, "Did you speak to her?"

Lucy nodded her head, "I met her before. Before returning back to life. I forgot we had met earlier and today was the second time we met. I asked her to stay, but I don't know where she went," she pursed her lips.

Theodore wondered what that was about. He knew Madame Fraunces was dead for quite some time now. After spending some more minutes in the cemetery, he said, "Maybe she went somewhere. We can return here tomorrow at this time and see if we can meet her."

Before they left the place, Theodore gave one last look to see if he could see the woman, his eyes on Madame Fraunces grave before leaving the place with Lucy, to head back to the castle.
Chapter 775 - Preserved Gown

Music Recommendation: Stories from the sky - Sid Acharya


The young-looking vampiress hadn't gone anywhere, and she continued to sit on the grave where she had been sitting for the last few hours. Her bright red eyes looked at Theodore and Lucy, who walked and reached the end of the cemetery gates. She saw Theodore turn around, looking at her, but she knew he wasn't able to see her. On the second time, even Lucy was not able to see her.

It didn't feel like much time had passed since she had died or seen them, as she had always tried to be here, watching people enter and leave the cemetery.

Madame Sylvie Fraunces stared at the couple until she couldn't see them anymore. After ending up in the in-between world, it had taken her a while before she was able to visit the living world. Right now, it wasn't that her body was stuck to the graves, but it was only that she didn't want to follow them.

"I was wondering what happened in here," said someone from behind her.

Madam Fraunces turned her head and caught sight of a person in white light who had smoke evaporating up in the atmosphere. She couldn't see the person's face, but by the aura, she could tell it was an angel.

"I didn't expect to find a wanderer in here," said the angel before his features started to turn more precise, and she was able to see the gold eyes of the person.

"I didn't expect to find an angel in the cemetery," replied Madame Fraunces, not knowing what an angel was doing here.

"Devon has been a favourite kingdom when it comes to angels visiting it," smiled the person, and he looked around the place to see if there was anyone else in here. "It seems like you came in contact with a living being. How strange," murmured the person.

As far as Madame Fraunces knew, mortals couldn't see the dead.

Like many other days, she had been sitting here and watching people come and go on rare occasions. With years that had passed, the vampiress found out that there were many people here whose name didn't match the skeleton that rested in the graves.

With the angel here, she could only guess that he was here to check the vicinity and make sure to keep a balance in the living world.

"Is there a reason why she was able to see me?" questioned Madame Fraunces. It had taken her by surprise that Lucy had caught sight of her.

"I guess the veil between the living and the dead had fallen down," replied the angel named Gabrielle.

Gabriel had been around, speaking to one of the church priests where he had planned to locate himself instead of staying in the town that was near the borders. Since the last few weeks, things here had turned far more interesting.

"One of your angels helped her. Paschar," stated Madame Fraunces as she was there the night the Hawthrone castle had fallen under attack. She was there the entire time, but she could not do anything but only watch on the sidelines.

Hearing this, Gabrielle smiled, "My brothers seem to have been affected by the mortal world." With one of them, who had turned his back on Heaven and had turned to the dark side, the other two brothers had been put under trial. "I guess this is something that will need to be discussed once I go back. Though I do wonder what you are doing here, instead of being in Heaven? Your soul doesn't look tainted," he noted while watching the woman.

Madame Fraunces chuckled, "I wonder how you people segregate the souls to be good and bad. If someone were to ask me, I would have been sure to choose Hell."

Gabrielle didn't respond to this, but he continued to stare at the woman who looked younger than when she had died. It wasn't often a person's soul turned back its time.

"Why do you think it to be so?" he asked, his voice calm and peaceful like the surrounding of the cemetery where no one was there to disturb.

The woman wasn't shy to bring her hand up that held the cigar in between her fingers, using it to drag the smoke before she blew it away. "I don't follow the worldly rules which other people follow. Not to forget, if I am not wrong, most of the vampires are damned and are warranted to end up in Hell."

At the woman's words, the angel smiled. "This is where the difference lies, we believe if there is still hope in a person to change, then that soul is worth saving. They are worth living in the Heavenly realm," he said to her. "I know what you have done until now, Sylvie. We try to be fair in our judgment, because God is merciful. I doubt what you have done is something evil or to harm others."

"Will the veil come down again?" asked the vampiress.

Gabrielle had seen many wanderers who refused to enter Heaven and took the path of loneliness. Some hoped to go back to the living world and continue their lives that had been paused without their will.

"I doubt so," replied the angel, who had fixed the veil back to its place. "It must have been a temporary error that dropped the veil between the mortals and the existence of the dead. You should enter Heaven before it is too late."

The woman smiled, "I find it hard to do. Rumours have it that you wipe out the memories, and what are we without any memories? An empty shell."

"You must know that it is done to prevent a person from experiencing any more pain and heartache. Cleaning the memories, helps in putting the person at ease," stated Gabrielle. "It isn't as bad as it sounds."

Madame Fraunces didn't respond to his words. She didn't have any plans to leave the world that she was once part of.

"Think about it, whilst you have a few more days. You won't see many wanderers around and that has a reason," said Gabrielle. "A wanderer has only a certain period of time before he or she needs to decide if they are willing to enter Heaven. If not, their soul gets dragged by the Salvette Mortems to the underworld," saying this, Gabrielle disappeared from there, leaving Madame Fraunces alone in the cemetery, again.

Back in the carriage in which Theodore and Lucy rode, Lucy couldn't help but wonder where the woman had disappeared to. She had told her to wait.

She felt Theodore's hand slip into hers, and she turned to look at him, "Don't worry about her. She will be fine. As far as I remember, the woman has always been able to look after herself without anyone's help."

Lucy nodded her head, "I hope she's okay."

She let her head rest on Theodore's shoulder while putting her arm around him.

Theodore, who sat next to Lucy, wondered why Madame Fraunces was still around without entering Heaven. It seemed like she refused the idea to leave the living world.
Chapter 776 - Preserved Gown II

Music Recommendation: Romance Suite - Anthony Willis


At noon, Lucy got back inside the carriage with her aunt Monique and Madeline, who had decided to accompany her.

"Is it true that you will be able to move your fingers once they fix the gears and bolts in your hand?" asked Lucy while staring at her aunt's hand. One of the hands of Aunt Monique had been cut from her forearm. Though Monique had an extended metal like hand, it was only for a show that didn't move and only weighed on her.

"Mm," responded Aunt Monique, "At least that is what I know. I don't think there's anyone here with decent qualifications to create a moving metal hand with fingers. I curse that bastard."

Samuel was the one who had cut her aunt's arm, and Lucy couldn't help but partly feel guilty about it.

Madeline, who noticed Lucy's eyes lower down, placed a hand on hers, "You shouldn't take the blame, Lucy. No one is blaming you."

"That is right," agreed Aunt Monique. "If there's anyone to blame, it was the previous Queen for forcing you to be married to someone you didn't like," she shook her head at the end. "Sometimes people do a lot of things to prevent something from happening, but it happens anyways. It makes you question what was the point of all those things that was done. Absolutely pointless."

Madeline then asked Monique, "Will you be accompanying us to the tailors shop?"

"You both dearies can go ahead. I am not sure how long it is going to take for the person if he does decide to fix things today," replied Monique, and Madeline nodded her head.

The coachman pulled the carriage to a pause so that Lady Monique could get to her work for what she had come here. The two young girls continued to travel to the next village to visit one of the tailors, where Lucy had already given her measurements during her first visit. With James Heathcliff, who didn't work in East Carswell's village anymore and wasn't in Devon, they had decided to go to the second-best tailor but not the ones where the High-status family went to get her clothes made.

Madeline and Lucy had worn clothes suitable to visit the village so that they wouldn't stand out from the other people and attract unnecessary attention.

When they entered the shop, the man was quick to offer them a deep bow.

"Miladies!" greeted the tailor with a bright smile on his lips, showcasing his sharp fangs. He had a thin moustache that rested above his upper lip. "It is so wonderful to have you both here again! Mario, chairs for the young ladies. What would you like to have tea, coffee or would you like some blood tea?" he asked, knowing who precisely one of the women was.

The Queen had taken her time to come to revisit his shop, and he was more than happy to build a good relationship with her so that she would continue to take his services.

"We are full, Abel. Thank you," replied Madeline. She had made sure to let the tailorman know not to address her as the Queen but as just a regular customer of his.

"Now, milady," the tailorman named Abel turned to look at Lucy. "I made just the right gown for you! You will be blown away just by looking at it!"

Lucy turned to look at Madeline and whispered, "He finished so quickly?"

"Young girls get married in the village often. They are used to working on the dresses quickly," replied Madeline.

Abel had disappeared into the back room and reappeared with the white gown as he carefully carried it with his two hands, "Here it is, milady."

Lucy looked at the cloth that had sparkling stones on it, and her eyes widened, "This…"

"I told you, you would be mind blown by the very sight of it. I made use of the exquisite stones and the rarest rare high quality materials," replied the man.

Madeline looked at Lucy, and she then turned to look at the tailorman and said, "Abel, Lady Lucy wanted something simple. I believe this is a little too much."

"It is?" he asked in a questioning tone. "I thought it was the simplest for the King's sister's wedding," he whispered with a smile on his face.

Lucy wanted a simple gown, and it wasn't that this wedding gown wasn't beautiful. Like the things used, it was indeed exquisite, but it wasn't what she had planned to go for.

Seeing how much the tailor had put his effort into it, Lucy didn't want the gown to go to waste, and she said, "It is fine. I think it is fine," she smiled, looking at them.

But the tailor was quick to notice that the lady didn't seem to be too fond of it, and he waved his hand.

"You don't have to worry about this gown, milady. I have many other customers who come looking for gowns and other materials like this. A dress will never go to waste if the tailor knows how to change it into a different dress." Remembering something, the tailor said, "Please, wait right here while I go find you some more."

Abel returned after five minutes with another wedding gown. Like other gowns, it was made out of silk and was soft to touch, but it had no dazzling embroidery made out of tones to shine under light and was instead very plain to one's eyes.

"What do you think about this, milady? This is nearly four to five decades old. As a vampire, I always make use of special elements in the cloth so that it can 
stay in good condition even after decades. Actually, I am not sure about the time. The lady wanted a simple gown for her wedding with her lover, she even paid for it, but I never got to hear from her again. I don't know where she went and since then, the dress has been lying in one of the old boxes," informed the tailor.

Lucy's eyes lit up like she had been given an early Christmas present, and she walked forward to take a closer look at the dress. Indeed, the dress was simple, but it was elegant and beautiful to look at.

"Why don't you let my assistants help you with it and you can see how it looks on you. If you like it, we can make some adjustments to it," Abel held both his hands together, hoping the vampiress would like it.

"Okay," replied Lucy, and the tailor quickly clapped his hands to get his assistants to assist the lady in wearing the dress.

While Lucy was ushered to go to the back room with the female assistant, Madeline looked around at the other dresses displayed in the shop. "Do you have any more gowns that are as old as that wedding gown?" she questioned the tailorman, who waited on her and Lucy.

"Not many, milady," answered the man. "Usually we store important gowns and clothes, and it isn't often that people forget to collect their orders back. After all, we ask them to pay up in advance before they can take the dress from us, we don't want people wasting the materials and time for no reason if they don't plan to buy it."
Chapter 777 - Preserved Gown III

"That's understandable," replied Madeline.

The tailorman then continued, "This wedding gown just happened to be an exception. It was probably two or three years since I started working. A girl came here, who was very excited and she wanted to get the wedding gown stitched. She was excited to marry him and she said she would invite me. If I am not wrong, she was a beautiful girl, and I remember she had given me the full payment. I felt she would come back, which was why I stored it, but she never did."

Madeline didn't know why, but the story tinkled something in her mind, and she asked, "Do you know what her name was?"

The tailorman tried recollecting it, but he shook his head, "I think the names should be in one of the old registers. Give me a moment, milady, while I look for it. I have been writing down the customer's names and the amount they have spent and what they like. It makes it easier for me to understand what my customers are particularly keen about."

He walked towards the corner of the shop, pushing the clothes away from the table, pulling out various collected parchments that were bound together.

"Found it!" said the man. "Wedding gown made out of silk without any stones or pearls except for thread work. Simple fittings without too much bufness in the skirt. Sleeves until wrist with circled cut and neck with a heart design. Her name was Constance. Constance Leigh."

Hearing the name, Madeline felt her body turn slightly cold.

This was Calhoun's mother. This was the first time she had heard about the Lady's wedding gown, and she asked, "Did she say anything in particular? To whom she was getting married to?"

"No, milady," answered the tailorman. "But, I do remember she seemed very excited. She said she wanted to get the gown with her own money and not from her lover's money. I suppose her lover didn't know that she was getting a wedding gown."

Madeline couldn't believe that years ago, Calhoun's mother had come here to get her wedding gown stitched. The worst thing was that it was obvious whom Constance believed she would be getting married to, but the man had broken her heart even before she had the opportunity to look at the wedding gown.

After two more minutes, Lucy appeared wearing the gown that had been pinned so that it would fit her well. Madeline didn't know how Lucy looked in her last marriage, as it seemed like it was the same time when she was lying in the coffin.

"You looked beautiful, Lucy," Madeline smiled at her sister-in-law.

Lucy smiled back at Madeline. "Why don't I give you some time for you while I look for the other wedding gowns that might be there in the room," said the tailorman before getting inside the side room.

"I would have never guessed it was her gown," whispered Lucy, who had heard what Madeline and the tailorman had spoken on the other side of the door.

Lucy didn't know how to feel, knowing she was wearing a wedding gown made for Calhoun's mother. A gown that the Lady had prepared in the hope to marry her father, but her father had broken Constance's trust and love by marrying her mother Samara on her grandmother's word.

"We should give this dress to brother Calhoun," said Lucy. "It doesn't feel right wearing a gown that belonged to his mother."

Madeline placed her hand on Lucy's shoulder, "You don't have to feel that way. I believe Calhoun would be more than happy to see you wear his mother's wedding gown. It would be a pity if someone else wore this gown that was made for a particular person, if the person doesn't know to treasure it the way you know."

Madeline had spent enough time with Lucy to know the vampiress wasn't like the other night creatures. If there was anyone else in women apart from her and his mother, whom Calhoun cared about next, it would be his sister Lucy. She had heard from Calhoun how some of the things Lucy did reminded him of his mother.

"Do you like the wedding gown?" she asked Lucy.

Lucy looked down at the gown that she wore, running both her hands over her waist and to the sides, "It is too beautiful that I worry I might stain it."

Madeline smiled at Lucy's words, "Mr. Abel, we'll be taking this one here."

The tailorman quickly walked outside, stumbling one step before he got back on his feet, "You don't want to take a look at the others?"

Lucy shook her head, "I think this is what I was looking for. This is the right one," she said to him.

The man looked slightly dejected as they didn't pick an expensive one that would profit him, but at the same time, the tailorman believed it was the bride's choice decision. He politely bowed his head.

"Let me take the measurements and do the final alterations that need to be done," said the man and Lucy went back to change herself into the clothes that she had worn when leaving the castle. While removing the gown, Lucy caught sight of something that was stitched inside the gown with a white thread that was hard to notice.

'Love & Happiness'

After waiting for two more hours, the wedding gown was ready to be taken from there, packed inside a box and handed to them.

Lucy pulled out her pouch that held more than fifty gold coins which she carried with herself, and instead of opening it, she placed the entire bag on the table for the tailorman.

The tailorman didn't know if he was being tested, and he politely asked, "Milady?"

"Thank you for preserving the gown for such a long time and not reusing the cloth for another dress. The dress might appear to be a simple one, but it is an important one," said Lucy.

The tailorman, as well as his assistants, were quick to bow their heads, "Thank you for your generosity, milady!"
Chapter 778 - Riches To Rag

Music Recommendation: The Burnt Orange Heresy Theme- Craig Armstrong


In the village where Lucy and Madeline had gone to visit to meet the tailor, in the same place, there were two more people who once were related to the royal family of Devon but were now shunned.

The once very proud and arrogant daughter of the former Queen Morganna, Rosamund Wilmot, now stood behind a vegetable shop with her face covered so that nobody would recognize her. Gone were the expensive clothes on her body and the jewels that used to adorn around her neck and ears, the rings on her fingers had disappeared, and her palms were now dirty and empty.

Her daughter Sophie sat behind her, her arms crossed while she didn't bother to stand next to her. She wore a dirty dress that had stains and was torn at the ends.

The shop was located in the village's marketplace filled with a stench of stale meat and food. Sophie covered her nose so that she wouldn't smell the foul air around them.

After a while, Sophie came to stand next to her mother. "Mother, how long are we going to live like this?" she whispered.

This was not the lifestyle she had been looking forward to. She hadn't even done anything, but she was stuck with her mother in poverty. She had wished for the stars, and instead, she had received dirt.

Rosamund barely had an expression on her face. The mansion and the little money she had saved had been burnt in flames right in front of her eyes.

Sophie looked at her mother, "Let me go and talk to Calhoun. I am sure he will forgive us," if not her mother, at least her, thought Sophie in her mind.

"If you cannot help me here, then the least you can do is sit in the corner and not speak," Rosamund glared at her daughter.

"I didn't do anything! Why am I being punished! You and Markus tried to frame Calhoun, I am the innocent one here who had nothing to do with it," retorted Sophie, and when a man appeared in front of the shop, looking at the vegetables, Sophie turned quiet.

But the man didn't pick anything to buy from them. Instead, he stood looking at the vegetables before his eyes fell on Sophie, "Are you in need of money?" asked the man.

Sophie stared at the man who didn't look like a person who was of good status, but money had been scarce, and she didn't have a decent meal for the last few weeks.

Several weeks had passed since she and her mother had turned homeless. No money, no status, their lives had been ruined since that human had entered the castle. Madeline...Sophie despised the human with every single fibre of her body.

"How much do you have with you?" asked Sophie, lifting her chin.

"It depends on how much you can offer me," and the man looked at her eyes before his gaze travelled down to look at her chest and her whole body.

Sophie glared at the man who appeared to be in his late forties. "I will f.u.c.k.i.n.g gauge your eyes. Who do you think you are talking to?" she asked.

"Who am I?" the man laughed, staring at the younger vampiress, "I am the person who owns this stall that you and this woman decided to sell vegetables. Get out of this place unless you want me to call the guards."

"Sophie apologize to him!" Rosamund glared at her daughter.

With the King, who had closed the doors for them and had ordered people not to help, Rosamund didn't know where to go. Not to forget, the devil, after he had burnt down her mansion, had dragged her husband somewhere that she had no clue about.

Hearing this, Sophie frowned before gritting her teeth. "He was looking at me rudely!"

"It is not how you speak to people. We need this place, how do you think we are going to afford living?!" questioned Rosamund.

Sophie huffed, "I am your daughter, and you are letting the man to look at me-"

"You can vacate the place right this instant," demanded the man, crossing his hands across his chest while waiting for Rosamund and her daughter to start moving. "Quick! I don't have time for people like you!" Saying this, he pushed one of the wooden baskets that had tomatoes in it. The fruit rolled on the ground.

Rosamund had no place to go! Somehow, the people who were remotely willing to help her had helped her with this shop, but now this man claimed to be the owner of it. She didn't know if it was a trap that had been set up for her.

Her lips trembled as it was hard to push away the pride that she had carried for years in her. She was no peasant's daughter from the streets or the alleys selling vegetables, and it was humiliating! She was the late King Lauren's sister and Queen Morganna's daughter!

Rosamund tried to keep a calm composure and said, "We were told this was our shop. That it can be used by us. I have the papers for it," she said, looking around the shop before finding the parchment that she had been given a few days ago. "Here it is."

The man took it in his hand, observing it before he said, "Are you trying to act smart with me? These are false papers!" he yelled loud enough for the passersby to look at them.

The man threw the parchments on the ground, and he snapped his fingers, "Get out of the shop. This one belongs to me. Move!"

He pulled Rosamund out of the shop while she tried to stop him, "Wait! I know the person who gave these papers to me, the person's relative used to work in the royal court of the Hawthrone's castle. Let me bring him-"

But Rosamund didn't get to finish her words as she pushed out of the small shop.

Seeing this, Sophie turned angry, and she glared at the man's audacity, "How dare you push my mother! You won't be spared!" she went to hit him, but the man caught hold of her hand before twisting her arm.

For a human, this man seemed stronger, and Sophie realized he wasn't a human but a demon. Lately, news had been circulating in all the lands about the existence of the demons in the living world.

"Let me go!" Sophie screamed, and when she elbowed his stomach, her action didn't sit well with the man.

He only twisted her arm further, and right at the time when she faced him, his hand struck hard on her face, making her stumble into her mother's arms.

"Get out of here! If I see you lurking around my shop again, claiming it to be yours I will call the village guards and lock you both in the dungeons," the man glared at Rosamund and Sophie.

Even though scenes like these weren't uncommon in the market, it was still entertaining to watch, and the people who were in the market stared at the mother-daughter duo, whispering and muttering within themselves.

Rosamund had lost her son and her husband. She had lost her status and name, and right now, she was a nobody in this vast land that thrived. The only person she had was her daughter, and she tried to look at Sophie's face.

"I told you to keep a low profile!" whispered Rosamund while scolding Sophie, who had a split lip where blood oozed out of it.
Chapter 779 - Riches To Rag II

Sophie's eyes held tears when she looked at her mother, "Didn't you say that the minister gave us this place for our own use? Why is someone else coming to claim it?! Why aren't you doing anything mother?" she questioned with bewildered eyes.

"He must have lied. Every person is involved with Calhoun. Do you see why I told you cannot go to the castle? This is what he wants, he wants us to suffer."

"But I didn't do anything!" whined Sophie. The humiliation she felt right now with people who were much lower than her in position, staring at her as if she were beneath them annoyed her.

Rosamund pulled Sophie to the other side of the market to sit where there was less crowd so that she could tend to her daughter's lip. "I will try to fix this, Sophie," she assured the young vampiress. "I will make this wrong right."

Sophie shook her head, closing her eyes before looking up at her mother, "No, it won't. It has been weeks, but it feels like years have passed. This was not how I grew up! Markus was the one who created treason, and you didn't do anything either. Did you mother?" she questioned.

Rosamund didn't reply to her daughter, and she stared at the ground that was covered in dust. She had been desperate to get hold of the throne, so desperate that she didn't see the path that had been waiting for her.

Years ago, when Constance had entered her brother's life, she had gone to visit a soothsayer to know her future, if she would be able to get the throne and how to get it.

The soothsayer had used his seven sticks that had engraved markings on them, throwing them in the bowl before giving her a read. He had said,

'Be careful with the girl who has entered the castle. She will be the reason for your downfall. If there is anyone who will stop you from holding the throne and the crown, it is her.'

She had questioned, 'Do you think she will be less of a problem, if I send her away from my brother?'

'It is hard to say. Her magnetic power is high and your brother seems to have fallen too hard for her. I see that she will play an important role in your life and she will be the reason that will keep you away from what you want,' stated the soothsayer while staring at the bowl.

Rosamund had thought hard about it before saying, 'Do you know anything that might reduce the magnetic power and also kill her without being caught?' All she had cared about was the crown on her head. She was born for it, and her brother was doing a terrible job with it when she could do much better.

'There's a cursed jewel that once belonged to a cursed Queen. You must have heard the story of Queen Hanima. Offer her one of the jewels and see to it that she wears it, the process is slow but the result will be fruitful,' the soothsayer had shown her a way to get rid of the girl who had bewitched her brother.

When the time had come, Rosamund was happy that Constance had not turned pregnant and her brother had lost his interest in her. With the help of her mother, she threw the woman out of the castle, sending her as far away as possible from her brother while Laurence was married to Samara.

The marketplace she was in was familiar to her. She had been here before when she had pushed Constance into a corner, making her beg for food and sending people to trouble and thrash her.

'Please stop it!' Constance had pleaded with one of the women who caught hold of the back of her head. 'Please!'

'You pushed me and behaved as if you didn't do anything. You think we don't know who you are?!' the woman next to Constance glared before pushing her towards one of the front shops to only be scolded.

'I didn't mean to, forgive me!' Constance bowed her head while holding both her hands together.

One of her men had come to stand next to her and asked, 'Lady Rosamund, what else would you like us to do?'

'Make sure she doesn't come anywhere near the castle and see to it that no one offers her any work. People who offer her work will have to face the King's wrath,' said Rosamund. 'I want to see how she will survive.'

As the memory passed by her mind, at that time, Rosamund didn't know Constance had already conceived Calhoun. She had no idea, which was why twenty years ago, when her brother had brought Calhoun to the castle, seeing the boy exist had been a slap to her face.

'I asked you to keep me reported! When was he born?! This can't be true,' Rosamund had glared at the person who worked for her and her mother.

'It might be another man's child, Rosa. You worry for nothing. Laurence is only trying to cling to anything possible that will keep the throne safe to himself,' her mother, the then Queen, had tried to calm herself.

The minister in the room bowed his head and said, 'Milady, Calhoun is King Laurence and Constance's son. I have verified it. He was born seven or eight months after she left the castle.'

Rosamund couldn't believe that the soothsayers' words had come to be true. She had worked so hard to keep her position in the court, to overthrow her brother so that she could be the Queen. Instead, time had stopped favouring her. It was as if the time of her bad luck had started to tick the moment she had met Constance in the castle for the first time.

She and her daughter had been placed in a place where they had never imagined it to be. And suddenly, a carriage that was moving from one side to another, its wheel hit the puddle of water to splash it on her and Sophie.

"Can't you see where you are going!" Sophie yelled in irritation, but when the carriage started to pull over, Rosamund cursed under her breath.

She caught hold of her daughter's hand and pulled her in the opposite direction so that they didn't have to deal with the coachman.

"How many times did I tell you that you cannot go yelling at people! There's no one to save us, get that in your empty brain!" Rosamund scolded her daughter while continuing to drag her away from there.

"I am hungry, mother. I haven't eaten anything since the last two days. I am thirsty and with the guards who follow us wherever we go, it doesn't make it easy," complained Sophie.

Sophie's fangs ached in need to want to have some blood in her body, but the last time she had tried to drink blood from a human on finding the person alone, she had not only been caught by people but also slapped for nearly killing the person.

"I will find a way for it tonight," Rosamund assured Sophie, placing her hand on her daughter's back to comfort her.

"Mama, look there," whispered Sophie, staring straight ahead. When Rosamund turned, she noticed it was her niece Lucy and Madeline, who were walking on the other side of the village road.
Chapter 780 - Riches To Rag III

After buying the wedding gown from the tailor and placing it inside the carriage, both the young women had decided to take a stroll in the village before heading back to the castle. When they were going to cross the road, Madeline was the first one who caught sight of Rosamund, who stood on the other road with her daughter Sophie.

Her footsteps had slowed down, and Lucy, who noticed this, followed her gaze to see what had caught Madeline's attention.

Lucy was surprised to find them here, and she walked halfway to be followed by Madeline closely, and her aunt and her cousin covered the other half. The condition they were in was something she had not expected to see. The clothes both wore were overused and dull in colour, with patches on some places to cover the torn areas. There was dirt on their faces, and their eyes had turned slightly hollow.

"I-Its so good to see you here, Lucy," she heard her aunt express to her with a forced smile on her lips.

Calhoun had given strict orders to the royal family to not mingle with the Wilmot's, but Lucy offered her aunt a smile. By blood, the woman was still her aunt. Rosamund then turned to look at Madeline, who did nothing but stare at the older vampiress.

Madeline knew the history between Rosamund and Calhoun; therefore, she didn't feel the need to speak to the woman.

"My Queen!" Rosamund bowed her head. Sophie, who stood behind her mother, gritted her teeth in bitterness and bowed her head. "It is so good to see both of you here. Did you come here to have a look at the market?" her tone was polite.

Madeline didn't respond, and Lucy, who stood next to her, nodded her head, "We did. I didn't know you were here."

Rosamund shook her head, "There is no place to go now, Lucy. Some man, whom I presume was the devil, took your uncle away with him, and it has been just me and poor Sophie. We have no place to go or stay, no roof over our head and we have been starving," she said in a whisper and her eyes in tears.

Sophie came forward to speak to Lucy and said, "Sister Lucy, please speak to brother Calhoun. I know he will listen to you."

Lucy's eyebrows furrowed on seeing the small amount of blood smeared on her cousin's face.

Her cousin continued, "I didn't do anything. I don't even know why I am being punished. We were even kicked out of the shop that was told to be ours. How can he do this to us?" cried Sophie. "People treat us like rats and no one ever opens the doors and they aren't nice. We have been sleeping on the ground. Please, sister Lucy."

Rosamund nodded her head, "We went to the people whom we believed we have helped in the past, but no one cares. They chase us away and threaten us to not show up in front of them. I agree Markus did the mistake and he was executed for it, but we are getting punished because we grieved for his death. He was my son-"

"You should have thought about it before trying to poison Calhoun or killing his mother," Madeline interrupted Rosamund's words. Her eyes looked straight at Rosamund with little sympathy for the Wilmot's.

The older vampiress stared at the Queen, trying to not snap at her as she still needed favours from her, "I didn't do anything, my Queen. You are under wrong assumptions."

"You can drop the act with me, Rosamund," Madeline's words were colder than usual. After seeing the wedding gown that Calhoun's mother had lovingly got it made, the thought of how her life had ended left a bitterness in her mouth. "You and I both know why you are in this place today."

"My mother did nothing! If you feel she is involved, how come your sister was not sent on an exile? How is she pardoned?" turning to look at Lucy, Sophie questioned, "Is this unfair, sister Lucy? Why is there a partiality? Aren't we family?"

Though Lucy didn't know the full details, she knew the overview of what had occurred in the past.

"Elizabeth made a mistake, but she is trying to fix herself unlike you Rosamund, who has been given plenty of chances in the past," stated Madeline. "You weren't satisfied driving Constance into a corner and killing her, that you decided it was time for Calhoun to die." She then turned to look at Sophie, "You should ask your mother what she did to deserve this that she has also dragged you into it."

Rosamund shook in anger, "How dare you say that to her," she spoke in a low tone and turned to her niece. "Calhoun killed your parents, Lucy. He killed them."

"I know," came the calm words from Lucy. Rosamund was surprised that Lucy didn't care about it. "I know what brother Calhoun did, and whatever he did, he did it to protect people who were right. The life you gave him and his mother was not something anyone deserved. But you did it anyways, and it has come to you now," her words were calm.

"I had nothing but the best interests for the Hawthrone family, Lucy! You should believe it!" pleaded Rosamund, and Sophie nodded her head. "Please forgive me, Lucy! I never did anything to you! Please think about your sister Sophie!" she begged for Lucy to convince Calhoun.

People treated them like dirt, badmouthing them right in front of their face while they could do nothing but listen quietly. The acquaintance and people who used to visit their mansion for the soirees and to receive favours from Rosamund had turned their backs and behaved as if they didn't exist anymore.

Lucy bowed her head, and she said, "I cannot help you."

Rosamund was desperate to get her life back, and she went to catch Lucy's hand so that she could continue to persuade her, but to others, it looked as if she was about to attack. Madeline pulled Lucy behind her, and at the same time, a tall man appeared to stand between them.

He caught hold of Rosamund's hand tight enough to let one hear the crack in her bone.