“Full marks Wow! You are amazing, young Master!”
When she arrived home from the academy, Pepe stopped her and asked non-stop questions.
Lia quickly covered her ears with both hands and collapsed onto her bed, exhausted.
Her head hung off the edge of her bed, and through her window, she could see the sky of Artear.
It wasn’t as clear as the sky in Cosoar, but it was what she had become accustomed to here.
Unable to resist sleep, she chose to take a nap, despite many people’s previous warnings that she shouldn’t skip meals.
I must have been more nervous than I thought. Lia didn’t even have the energy to move a finger, yet her mind still raced, and she thought about the big hand that had touched her lips. Why
Claude often did things that she could not understand, but today he was behaving strangely, and he’d seemed absent-minded.
He’d seemed like a different person, and the way his hand had touched her lip was too natural.
With that thought, Lia laid in the quiet for a long time sifting through her thoughts.
She was happy about her full marks, but Claude had told her not to pick grade nine because the teacher was a sodomist.
Now that she thought about it, had Claude been implying that Eddie Kirkham was interested in her in that way
Suddenly, she felt angry, and the feeling of humiliation filled her being. Surely that can’t be it Shaking her head, she shook away the uncomfortable thoughts.
What she needed right now was sleep.
After waking up and filling her stomach, she had something to do which required her to be well-rested.
The bright sun that had been above the building earlier was now behind the Leon Bridge and the reddish sunset permeated into the cozy room.
The arm covering her eyes interchanged, and eventually, her muscles relaxed.
For the first time in a while, the sound of peaceful breathing filled the old room.
You’re so beautiful, young Master.
No, I mean young lady!”
Lia fiddled with the waist-length hair with a troubled look on her face.
She had expected the puff sleeves and tight waist for her outfit; she had expected all but one thing, this wig.
What she’d wanted was to wear a chocolate-colored, inconspicuous wig, but what Pepe had brought was a wig that looked exactly like her own hair.
The large mirror in front of her reflected a pink-faced, mature lady.
“I look weird,” she said, turning her nose up at the mirror.
“No, you don’t! Goodness.
I think I will become blind from your beauty.”
Besides, I don’t need to stand out.”
“I thought about that, but I think there is no need to hide your natural hair color.
It’s not a common color.
What if they don’t recognize you at all if you are wearing a brown wig”
“Is that so” Lia was easily convinced.
However, she still felt that she couldn’t go out like this because even though it was relatively dark outside now, her hair was far too bright.
So she put on a thin hoodie to cover her head and grabbed a dagger before leaving her room.
Pepe followed closely behind, also reaching for her coat.
“No, I will go alone.”
“I beg your pardon To somewhere that is dangerous You cannot go alone.
I will come with you.”
“It’s more dangerous to go together.
You know how confusing Louvre is.
I know the way well, but you do not, so wait here.
Or, if you’re that worried, wait for me across the river, but whatever you do, do not cross it.” As Lia firmly stopped her, Pepe looked like she was about to cry, unsure what to do.
But Lia was right.
If someone attacked them, they had no chance.
Running away alone and hiding would be the fastest way to escape someone.
“I will leave now, Pepe.”
“You must be careful, okay” She replied dismally.
“Okay!” Lia said courageously and entered the coach that was already waiting for her.
“To Louvre, please.”
The coachman seemed surprised that she wanted to go to Louvre and irritably turned around to look at her.
She handed him a shiny gold coin without saying a word, and the coachman smiled broadly as he hit the horse with his whip, which then started trotting quickly in response.
“You must be careful.
I don’t know why you are going to Louvre, but it is best to run and not look back if someone chases you.
Do you understand”
“Yes, I do.”
The coachman warned her to be careful multiple times, but Lia was not afraid.
It was her hometown where she’d been born and raised.
As they crossed the dimly lit Leon Bridge, the sparse street lights at the entrance of Louvre became visible.
The coachman guided the carriage deeper into the city, knowing full well that the only reason that royal girls went to Louvre was to obtain illegal drugs.
Knowing this fact, the coachman stopped in front of the east entrance, where numerous drug traffickers gathered.
Lia didn’t protest about where he’d stopped because she was unaware of this and she stepped out of the coach without uttering a word to the coachman.
“I will be waiting.”
Lia contemplated for a moment and pointed to the river, “Please wait for me at the north entrance.
I will meet you there.”
“You must know this area well.” The coachman’s eyes flashed suspiciously, and Lia returned the same look.
Well enough to come out alive.”
“Huh, well… I understand.
I will wait there then.” The coachman didn’t like the darkness of Louvre and spat on the ground before turning the coach around.
At that moment, the horrible stench of wastewater hit hfer nose, and she realized what Louvre had become.
Lia stood in the pitch-black darkness, and she gripped the handle of the dagger tightly, taking a step forward.
The further she walked into the dark, the worse the stench became, and she heard the sounds of moans and groans all around her and coming from a distance, she heard a baby crying.
She turned her head in the direction of where the sound of the baby’s crying was coming, and a black cat ran past her ominously, lightly brushing against her legs.
Although Louvre seemed different, nothing much had changed with regards to its layout.
Her steps gained momentum as she walked across the bumpy stone ground, determined to find the house from her last memory in Louvre, and Lia remembered how the people worked and lived here.
Bravely continuing on her journey, she finally came across the single oil lamp she’d been searching for and scanned the mark below with her hand.
It was something that she’d engraved with a knife while playing around when she was young.
As she traced her fingers above her mother’s poorly etched name, Laura, her hands trembled, “So it’s here.” One left turn from here, and there would be a house with a red ribbon tied outside.
Racing around the dark corner excited, feeling her heart beating so fast that it felt as if it was about to burst, she unexpectedly saw a dark shadow, and someone attacked her.
Without time to even scream, she lost balance and fell backward, and the hood covering her head fell off, exposing her long honey-colored hair as it cascaded down her back.
Suddenly, a muscular arm wrapped around her waist, and instinctively, she clutched onto the sleeve tightly, ready to fight back.
She thought it was a thug, but she didn’t smell a stench from this person.
Instead, a light lavender scent tickled her nostrils.
It was so familiar to her, and thinking about it made her head hurt; it was the scent of Claude Del Ihar, and her thought was soon to be confirmed.
“Canillian” Claude asked, sounding dumbfounded.