"Well", she continued to wait for an answer and soon the tip of his mouth moved.
"I don't enjoy the company of humans." He answered. His eyes looked anywhere but her as he answered, from his demeanour it was clear he felt uncomfortable with such a question being asked.
Confused and a bit lost, Alexis leaned back and suddenly recalled how Agathus, the hybrid, had spoke about different species like Ogres and Dwarfs.
'Were there others?' She thought carefully before speaking.
"Oh... we don't have different species in our world. Well, we do, but only humans can speak and maybe a parrot or two..." Alexis muttered glancing around, "so what your trying to say is that humans don't spend time with you and so... they don't like you?"
"Wrong. I don't like them."
"So what's the problem then?" Alexis was utterly bemused."Fix my public image." He spoke coldly.
'What was this? Some kind of riddle?' She thought as she stared at the man whose face didn't budge an inch. She knit her brows as she tried to figure it out.
Then, glancing down at the paper that sat between them, she double took. On the paper a first sentence had appeared in glowing red letters. She didn't understand what the words meant at all.
'Another language? But then why could she understand what these people said?' Something didn't sit right with her.
"What is this?" She spoke while staring incredulously at the letter.
"A contract paper." The Emperor, Alastair, spoke calmly. "I'll give you a year. If you can't fix my public image by then, I'll kill you and you'll never return back to your country. If you do then I'll allow you to return".
Alexis' eyes widened in shock. Her body started to tremble slightly and then she remembered.
'This is just a dream. Not real. Just a dream.'
She reassured herself and glanced at the beautiful man whose gaze seemed to challenge her. She didn't notice the writing that had appeared on the paper besides the first sentence.
It was shaped eerily similar to the number one.
"Fine. What else?"
"You must hone your mana to defend my palace and adhere it to my needs where necessary."
"Mana? What’s that?" It sounded so vaguely familiar and she could've sworn she recalled Blair saying something about it when she gushed over a novel.
"You don't know?" Alastair looked at her in disbelief and then laughed smugly, "of course what would a plebeian like you know about mana! It's magical power and you reek of it, Dirt" he suddenly laughed at his words. "Dirt is great nickname for you, it really suits that hair colour of yours."
Alexis fumed as she took in his words.
'Magic exists here? Well why not? It seemed pretty fantastical' she shrugged it off but she was still mad about that nickname.
Once again she didn't notice how long the writing had got on the letter.
"My name is Alexis! I'm a person and not a p-plebean?" She faltered as she forgot the strange word he called her.
"Plebeian". He corrected her with a smirk causing her to redden even more.
'How dare!- oh no, now she was starting to sound like him.'
"Well anyway, I don't know how to use magic" she smiled at him as if to say, 'I'm useless'.
"You'll be assigned a tutor." Alastair quickly countered with ease.
Alexis slumped forward.
'This was impossible.'
"So if I change the public's opinion of you in a year to something more favourable all the while protecting you and this bloody castle, I can go home?" She asked. It seemed hard to her but it shouldn't be that bad.
'What type of dream lasts a whole year, anyway?'
"That's right, if you've agreed to the terms, then please sign the contract." He gestured to the paper on the desk.
"My hand are tied..." Alexis deadpanned at him while lifting the rope tied hands. They seemed to get tighter with each passing minute.
"And they are. You just need to drop some blood on it since it's a magical contract." He laughed condescendingly once again.
"How exactly do I do-?"
She was cut off as she suddenly felt a prick at her thumb. She looked at it to see a trickle of blood slipping down her hands.
"Eh?" It fell on the paper and strangely the wound healed and the blood on her hand cleared before she could inspect it.
"Magic." Alastair spoke as if he looked at a child while moving his hands in a exaggerating manner. He snatched up the contract, rolled it up and it quickly burned to a crisp.
"What the hell?- what did you do?" She stared at where the paper was last, which happened to be the tyrants hand. There was nothing left in its wake.
"I'll summon it when I need it" he smiled at her, just as a question struck her.
"W-wait! What happens if I don't act accordingly with the contract?" Alexis cursed herself mentally for not asking first.
In her own world, breaking a contract probably meant a fine or a penalty but she shuddered to think what it was in a world so magical. Where papers could somehow burn to crisp and ropes appear out of nowhere. But then again, this was a dream right?
A silence once again plagued them. This time Alexis was the one at the short end as her heart raced at the possible answers. Sweat trickled down her neck as she stared at those beautiful rose coloured eyes that seemed to laugh at her.
They were cruel and empathetic. The idea of somehow getting people to like this man seemed down right impossible. How could she persuade people to like a man she didn't even like? And Alexis tended to get along with most people, from neighbours to peers to old people and even shady dealers. She just smiled and they smiled back. It was simple.
But not with this guy.
Alastair smirked at Alexis. A foreboding sense of doom loomed over him as he spoke.
"You'll explode right on the spot".
Alexis couldn't help but stare mesmerised by the angelic being in front of her. The being in turn, just smiled in return as if she was very used to people staring as dreamily as Alexis did.Her silvery hair framed her pale skin and her green eyes fluttered open surrounded by long silver lashes. Her clothes consisted of a long foot-length white dress, it was simple yet, somehow, it looked amazing on her. She was breath-taking and very tall as well, like a woman out of Greek mythology. Alexis couldn't help but think she was very similar to the emperor in that aspect.The only feature about her that made Alexis sure of what she was, were the pointy ears on each side of her head. Had it not been for them, Alexis would have thought she was an angel."Your an elf, aren't you?" The woman chuckled at Alexis' triumphed face. Her laughter sounded sweet and silky."His highness did inform me about your lack of familiarity with other verbally intellectual
Emilia soon left Alexis who still sat in her seat staring drearily at the pile of books left in Emilias wake. She shook her depressed feelings away and turned to the dwarfs.'If dwarfs couldn't apparently think for themselves then how did that one maid come up with the idea to make tea? That was enough of a thought!'"Excuse me? Miss maid?" She called the dwarf from earlier. The dwarf maid noticed and obediently walked over, "Can I ask for your name?"The dwarf maid looked stunned for a bit and then seemed to recover as she gave an adorable curtsy while speaking, "Angela, My name is Angela"."Angela..." Alexis stared at the maid, with her blonde hair and brown eyes, she did pass as an Angela. "Is it alright if I ask you a question?""Oh I'm not good with questions, Ma'm. But I will do my best!" She beamed at Alexis."What made you think I needed tea earlier?" Alexis realised the question was pretty rude an
Deep red rose coloured eyes burned into Alexis making her jump back in a fright. Her whole body had been cushioned by his highness who she thought she saw on the second floor."You crazy fool!" He shouted and grabbed her by the shoulders. "You could've died! Do you have any idea of how stupid-!" His words caught in his throat as an expression of surprise overtook his anger.Alexis had already felt the warmth around her eyes, just as she had felt the shaking of her whole body. Her teeth chattered in shock.“W-why are you?-" he started to ask, but seemed to not know what exactly to say.Tears slipped down Alexis' face making the once fierce man a flustered mess. Her face flushed as if she had a fever and Alastair could feel her trembling."I'm so sorry!" She wailed, still awkwardly perched on the emperor."H-hey! this is no situation to cry-" the King fumbled with his words and soon with a sigh he started patting her
Alexis didn't pay attention to the hydrangea bushes carefully maintained in the garden spaced or the orchids that bloomed along the side of the path she stood on. She didn't notice the captivating Bleeding-heart tree that they passed, nor the stray peonies that popped up here and there like a wonderful surprise.No, she was busy mulling about the Emperors sudden change of behaviour. If the gentle man who cheered her up really existed or maybe the cold, arogant and condescending Emperor was just trying to trick her?She shook her head after a long while with a sigh.'Let's not think about that bipolar mess and focus on discovering those bad rumours.'"How long before we actually manage to see some humans?" Alexis turned to the short green man beside her. Now that she put her mind to it, he was slightly taller than the dwarfs.'Must be the ogre blood.'"Oh, well if we carry on walking we should run into some. Humans really like their flowers,
"What?" Alexis, offended that Agathus would think she's suicidal, questioned.'Wait... I did try to commit suicide a few hours ago... what was I thinking back then?' Alexis shook her head at her impulsive thinking earlier."Was it a hard question?" Agathus seemed surprised, but he realised some humans were naturally quite air-headed."No! I understood it, of course. But why would you think I'd do something like that?""My first impression of you was someone who was kind of stubborn and I'm good at gauging personality types for humans. So I would say, it astonishes me that you haven't escaped and are actually trying to help his majesty." His voice was full of praise, but Alexis didn't seem to take it as it was and looked at him with furrowed brows."Even a stubborn person will listen if it meant acting out would leave them in small bits..." she muttered, she intended it not to meet Agathus' ears, but his sharp dwarf ears heard the wo
Soon the mesmerising laughter died out and the man heaved shamelessly in front of the now, completely embarrassed Alexis."You're a tyrant." She coldly said, shocking everyone else on the table except, of course, the emperor."How dare a plebeian like you call me such!" Alexis couldn't tell if he was mad or just saying it because he was used to it."What is that word? What does it mean?" She was fed up with this King.'What a clown!'Soon a dwarf holding a steaming tray came near her and effortlessly placed utensils and bowls of food in front of her. A steaming steak with strange vegetables on the side, drizzled with what she hoped was lamb sauce."Thank you." She said to the dwarf, her actions were seen as bizarre by the royals."Why thank someone whose just doing their job?" Alastair asked, curious at what the otherworld girl would say."It's polite.""So you have manners, it's the first I've seen any
That night, Alexis balled her eyes out to sleep.Why?Because it was unfair. Here she was, in a magical world, filled different creatures, magic and people with different hair colours, but she was stuck- captive- in a confining palace with a set of terms she might never accomplish, all because of that stupid bastard!‘That ridiculously handsome one... what a waste of good genes...’Her eyes blinked up at the ceiling above her and she groggily lifted her tired body, while rubbing her eyes.'I want to go home...'Her parents faces flashed before her and her lip quivered. ‘Why didn't I study harder? They supported me all the way, and I just screw up everything like this...’She remembered her little brother who would beam at her every time he saw her. how he would proudly tell her that he bragged about how she was a lawyer and she would laugh at how cute he looked when he said it.Wiping the tea
"So, let me recap there just for a second," Alexis held her finger to silence the solemn looking Agathus. "The scum-His highness! Was sent to a fake war between the Kaedmen Empire and the Eastern Empire along with his 18 other half-sibling princes, planned by the previous Emperor and the current Emperor of the East? This sounds like a drama." Alexis was now completely immersed in the unfolding story."That's right." An unexplainable emotion stormed behind Agathus' eyes."It was supposed to be a trap to kill all the illegitimate royal heirs, however, Alastair ended up killing the Eastern Royal family and destroyed the original plan. So the bet couldn't be finished through? Are any of the other princes alive?" Alexis again, felt that familiar pang she felt yesterday when speaking to his highness.'His own family sent him to his death...'"No, he was the only one who lived along with five other soldiers... It was a massacre, so it's known as the battle initi