His Majesty's Devious Sins

Chapter 18: Golden Rose


Chapter 18:Golden Rose

Adeline waited a few more minutes before she finally left the balcony. That way, no one would have suspected that she and Elias were together. She wasn’t sure if he walked like a normal man, or just zoomed through the room. Regardless of which option it was, everyone knew.

She could see it in the pressing eyes that ranged from shades of burgundy to orange-brow. Vampires. They were all aware of who exactly she had an exchange with. Not many people seemed happy.

“Adeline,” Asher scolded the second he saw her. “Where did you go?”

Adeline warily glanced around their surroundings. The music played in the background, people waltzed on the dance floor, as conversations stimulated the air. But t felt like every pair of eyes was glued to her—except for the rare amount of humans invited, who did not understand the exchange.

Adeline touched her grumbling stomach. She could feel her patience reach its limit. Whenever she was hungry, she was not a pleasant person to be around. Which was half of the time in the Marden estate.

Asher gently frowned. His fingers paled from the tight grip on the plate. “Are you lying to me, Adeline?”

“Have I ever lied to you?” she asked in a hardened tone.

Asher was left speechless. She rarely spoke to him like this. Almost instantly, her face softened.

“I’m sorry Asher, I’m just hungry,” Adeline sighed.

Asher silently frowned. She needed to know snapping at people when irritated was not the best tactic. Wordlessly, he handed her the lemon tart. She gratefully reached a hand out, then paused.

“Where’s the fork?” she asked.

Asher blinked. He glanced down, realizing he had forgotten the second most important thing.

“I apologize,” he stated.

Asher retracted his hand. “The lemon tart is probably not as good as when it was freshly cut. I’ll get you a new plate and fork.”

Adeline slowly nodded her head.

“Behave, Adeline,” he murmured. “Don’t wander off again, Aunt Eleanor won’t be happy with that.”

Asher patted her upon the shoulders. He suddenly wished she wore something more conservatives. The dress was a bit more low-cut, revealing snippets of the top of her breast. Her collar was left bare, for everyone to see.

“I’ll be right back,” he grunted.

“Alright.”

Asher walked off without another word. But he was mindful to keep a watchful gaze upon her.

Adeline’s attention traveled around the ballroom, searching for the familiar face of Aunt Eleanor. Just then, she noticed Aunt Eleanor speaking with the same gentleman from last night. They were by the pillars of the castle before, but now, they were nearing the exit of the ballroom.

Where were they going?

“They seem to be plotting something…” Adeline hoped he was not a suitor.

Curiosity nipped at her. She had a bad feeling about this. But Aunt Eleanor would never hurt Adeline. Aunt Eleanor had plenty of chances to kill Adeline if she wanted to. Especially when Adeline was just a young, orphaned girl at the age of ten.

“I wonder where…” Adeline snuck a glance at Asher. His back was turned to her, whilst he sliced her another piece of the lemon meringue tart.

Adeline snuck off in the direction that Aunt Eleanor and the man went. Something in her gut told her this was a conversation she must hear. Thus, she bravely ventured through the crowd of Vampires with prying eyes that watched her every movement.

Adeline pushed the doors of the ballroom open. It was one of three, and this was of smaller size. The large door was the entrance, and it was brightly decorated up with glistening chandeliers and beautiful lights stationed on the walls.

Except, the double-doors that Adeline ventured through were far from that. The hallways were dimly lit, with a few fixtures on the walls. She squinted closely. Were those torches?

But why?

Adeline realized everything about this place felt ancient. The torches would die and soon, the entire hallway would be plunged into darkness. This was not a place that mere humans like her should venture off to.

“Maybe I should go back…”

Adeline turned to leave but found the doors were locked. Horrified, she yanked at the doorknobs, but to no avail.

Her breath was caught in her throat. With more force, sh tried again. Alas, nothing. She loudly knocked on the doors.

“Hello?” she called out, hoping someone on the other side could hear her.

Silence.

Not even a single footstep. It was as if the world of festivity from beyond never existed in the first place.

Adeline was terrified. She shakily leaned her head upon the doors, closing her eyes. “I will never venture off again…”

Adeline’s grip on the doorknobs tightened. She had no choice but to turn around.

Where did this hallway lead to?

There shouldn’t be anything dangerous lurking near the ballroom. Right?

“I can only walk forward…” Adeline realized. She turned and observed her surroundings.

It was a single hallway that ventured into the darkness. The torches’ lights were growing dimmer. It must’ve been a strategic design. That way, when the entire hallways were plunged into darkness, whoever was here was trapped. Maybe this place was not meant to be explored at all.

“W-what would Aunt Eleanor be doing here?” Adeline whispered to herself. And who exactly was that gentleman? Was he a Vampire? But that should’ve been impossible…

Aunt Eleanor despised Vampires.

With nowhere to go but forward, Adeline took a timid step back. Her heart loudly thudded upon her ribcage, filling her ears with unpleasant noises of gushing blood. She was so terrified, that the only sound she could hear was her own heartbeat.

“H-here goes nothing…”

Adeline slowly walked down the hallway, terrified of what could be waiting for her.

The more she walked, the more it felt like an eternity. There wasn’t a single door here. To her left were enormous windows, but when she approached it, there was nothing to see.

It was just the same gardens that surrounded the ballroom. She couldn’t open the windows either, to signal a guard that was likely stationed beneath her.

“Why would this place be opened to the public, then locked?” Adeline mumbled. Surely, someone had seen her walk through the doors. Did she make an enemy already? For the doors to be locked the second she walked through… it was too suspicious.

Adeline wondered if she should tell Elias of this issue. But why would he care? She let out a small sigh. It was not like he viewed her as anything more than a toy to tease.

“He promised freedom…” Adeline nibbled on her bottom lips. In exchange for a life in the palace. What did all of this mean?

He did not want another palace made. Did not want a mistress. Then what was he going to make out of her?

Adeline prayed it would not be a blood-servant. It was told they were always being fed to have enough blood in their system. As much as Adeline was starved, she could only stomach so much.

Lost in her thoughts, Adeline didn’t realize the cloaked figure in front of her. That is, until she lifted her gaze and came to a startling pause.

“Hello…” Adeline warily said.

Adeline began to take small, slow steps backward. The stranger was shorter than her. It was not Aunt Eleanor nor the gentleman she left with.

“Hello child,” a wise voice said.

Adeline blinked. The silhouette pulled their hood down, revealing a face of wrinkles and aging spots. An old woman was standing in front of her.

“It seems fate has brought us together yet again, Addison.”

Adeline tilted her head. Addison? As in… her mother, Addison?

“Oh my,” the woman croaked out. “It seems I’ve grown old.”

The old woman touched her eyes, revealing one of them was shut. But there wasn’t a visible scar over the closed one.

“You’re not Addison,” she softly said, her voice becoming more kind. “For a split second there… I through—” she sighed with a shake of her head.

Adeline was intrigued. “Y-you knew my mother? Her name was also Addison. To be more exact, Crown Princess Addison of Kastrem.”

The old woman’s lips parted. It was weathered out, like worn leather. There was a distant, sorrowful look in her eyes.

“Yes, I knew your mother, small child.”

Adeline opened her mouth, to say something else, but the woman quickly hushed her.

“The Gods above are playing with the fate of an innocent life yet again,” she quietly murmured. She shifted her only good eye towards Adeline.

“The love of your life is not destined to be yours, Little Rose,” the old woman added on. She slowly shook her head, as if disappointed with the works of the world.

“Would you mind elaborating?” Adeline gently asked. She ignored the nickname. Since this woman knew of her mother, surely, she would also know Adeline’s surname was Rose.

“You have all the descriptions of his beloved, but you’re not her,” the woman mumbled out.

Adeline blinked once. Twice. Beloved? Who?

“Oh goodness me,” the woman softly sighed. “I’ve spoken too much.”

“No! Please continue.” Adeline took a step closer, wanting to hear more of this conversation.

“Dearie,” the old woman murmured. “Do you not understand?”

Adeline shook her head.

“You are not the Golden Rose he is looking for.”


Use arrow keys (or A / D) to PREV/NEXT chapter