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 and unlike how she didn't care with the Emperor, she felt bad as she stared at pale faced dwarf whose legs trembled.
"Did you not want any tea?", tears glistened the dwarfs eyes, flustering Alexis.
"No, no!" She waved her arms hoping to calm what looked to be an upset toddler, "I heard dwarfs struggle to think on their own, I'm sure it's a lie since you proved otherwise!" She rushed out hoping she didn't make a bigger mess of the situation.
"Oh." At this, the dwarf calmed and looked much more reassured, "Miss Emilia sent me a telepathic message since you didn't say anything".
Alexis felt stunned, as if she had been slapped in the face.
'Of course Telepathy exists...’
"So you didn't think of that on your own?" She questioned in shock.
"No, Ma'm. Dwarfs struggle to think for themselves. Some people say we must have been cursed, but it's been like this for generations and we don't mind as long we don't end up going mad like our ancestors." Alexis shivered at the reply.
'So it wasn't a lie or some sort of racism. Well, that was reassuring' she shook the frightening thought away and asked the question she couldn't get an answer for from Emilia.
"Alright Angela, I know you don't like questions, but there's something else I want to ask you. What do you think of his highness? Please be honest! I'm supposed to help him and I need a genuine answer for this" Alexis prayed the dwarf wouldn't give a sugar-coated answer.
"His highness?" The dwarf asked, surprised by the question, "he is very competent at his job and although he's scary he's someone who doesn't treat other apparitions badly like most humans”. It seemed like she spoke the truth, like an innocent child answering a question to the best of their knowledge.
Alexis frowned and turned to the other two dwarfs.
"What about you two? Is it the same for you?" She eagerly awaited refutes but only got nods in return and slumped forward.
'So dwarfs like him then? That guy? No way!?'
She thought brainwashing might be a possibility and realised if she wanted a genuine answer she had leave this room and find out what others thought of him.So she asked the maids to give her a tour of the palace. It was the same palace his highness resided in so she would be able to get lots of genuine answers.
But no matter how far they walked only other dwarfs were sighted; Gardening, cleaning or rushing food about, like little kids given tasks they seemed to earnestly take part in. Alexis frowned again, they had been walking for an hour and it seemed she was the only one exhausted."How much of the castle have we seen already?" She gasped as she leaned against a pillar.
"Only half of the third floor ma'm. We still have the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th to finish." A red headed dwarf maid spoke.
"Are there any other types of magical creatures here in this palace?" Alexis whispered out, amid her pants for air.
"Magical creatures? You mean dwarfs?" Angela replied this time, "No, except for Master Agathus by his majesty and, of course, Emilia who sometimes comes to visit since she's like a mother to the Emperor."
That was news to Alexis.
"Emilia is like a mother to the Emperor?" She asked curiously.
"That's right." Added the third maid who had hair so light it was probably white instead of platinum blonde, "she raised him since he was a child."
Alexis frowned at that. That meant Emilia had the most knowledge of the Emperor, but another question pestered her.
"What about his mother?" She realised she shouldn't have asked when the dwarfs got all silent and looked anxiously at each other. She sighed and spoke again, "don't answer that."
'Why was I so weak to these adorable little things?' She internally groaned at her weakness to cute things.
"What’s the shortest way out of this palace?" She asked.
"Down the flight of stairs through the hallway on our right" Alexis didn't wait any longer and rushed down the hallway were she came to stairs made from ceramic.
She gulped slightly at the dangerous material the long stairs case was made of, but she could see the ending surrounded by grass and beautiful orchids made to look like wild flowers.
"Wait! Miss Alexis! Please those stairs are made for dwarfs and not humans so you might fall!" Angela called behind her, but it was too late.
Alexis already realised the steps were much too small for her and sat on the smooth top of the railing. She shut her eyes and pushed herself down.
'Here's to common sense' she thought and sped down the long straight railing that stooped lower and lower, after she got to the second floor she could've sworn she saw a familiar head of sparkling blonde hair on a tall body, but didn't bother to linger on it as she held on for her dear life.
It was just her luck that there wasn't a single dwarf coming up or down the stairs.
Soon she saw the orchids and patches of grass come closer and closer and realised something very stupid.
'I don't know how to slow down?!' She panicked.
Grabbing onto the ceramic was impossible since it's glossy coat slipped right through her fingers and instead she braced herself for a rough landing.
Her body crashed onto the grass which grunted in response to her weight.
'Wait! grass doesn't grunt?' Her body which seemed unharmed from the fall easily lifted her head and she found herself staring into angry red eyes.
'Oh no' she thought as she realised that the grass didn't have any face much less one that was so ridiculously attractive.
That's right. She was currently sprawled all over the tyrant Emperor.
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
She heard a splash and gasped when she realised he must have stepped out of the water. She wondered whether she should ask him if he needed any clothes, but soon she heard a rustling noise behind her and the Emperor came out behind the dressing blinds in a long red robe."I take it Agathus has explained my scenario, Dirt?" He asked. Alexis couldn't bother getting mad at him and just nodded, she felt solemn as she recalled his situation."He told me, and I think the best way to spread your "good" name is through people" Alexis who was eagerly ready to propose her plan was shot down."I thought I clearly I don't like people" the emperor who casually sat on the richly purple Victorian style coach, his arms spread out, as if he was a player at a frat party."I know, the people here tend to discriminate towards other beings and that's why you dislike them, correct?" She asked, hoping he would let her get her idea across so she could speak her mind."Yes
A day or so, had passed since that conversation and Alexis spent most of her time holed up, trying to read through the thick books Emilia had left her. The books were more packed than her college books and shortly after her head would be spinning.Terms like, central mana, epidermal mana, mental mana and emotional mana. After a while she had to read through the same pages multiple times, barely grasping an understanding.One of the books, the one on magical creatures was actually interesting. It had long chapters that focused on a single creature, it was packed with their abilities, mental capabilities and even hobbies and preferences with dislikes labeled boldly. Warning the readers not to anger them.She didn't realise that five nervous men stood outside in the guest gardens, under the chrysanthemum tree, shading from the blazing sun, while sitting on a large round picnic bench."To think we're all here to meet the violent- I mean, his Emperors mage" on