IRNDGL - Chapter 93: Chapman Witch
Bella kept the communications device in the pocket of her maid attire and adjusted her outfit.
She stood up, eyed the large number of files on the desk before turning around and leaving the room.
Thud thud thud.
The sound of her leather high-boots on the corridor was crisp and rhythmic.
Not a single strand of her dark gray hair held by a lace headpiece was out of place. Her well-pressed black dress was fronted with a white half-apron and frills by the sides.
Her profound features and high cheekbones amplified her somewhat stern expression, making her give off the image of a diligent, reliable, and somewhat unapproachable head maid.
In actuality, her status had far exceeded that of a mere maid. Having served three whole generations of the Chapman Family, she had already become an inseparable part of the family's 'assets'.
This time-honored family clan that believed in nature was one of the most ancient Druid families and also a major shareholder of the Ash Chamber of Commerce.
Cherry Chapman, her present master, was the forerunner to succeed the family clan amongst the current generation. On top of that, she was one of the three branch heads of the Ash Chamber of Commerce.
Nobody knew how she went from being a mixed-race bastard to a powerful authoritative figure with countless fans in the span of three short years.
Some people spread rumors that she possessed the power to captivate and control the souls of others through words and hence, called her the 'Chapman Witch'.
However, as Cherry's most trusted assistant and maid who had personally brought her back to the Chapman family and witnessed her growth, Bella naturally knew of the secret behind it all.
In fact, she had just been on a call with that 'secret'.
Bella knocked on her master's door, then clasped her hands before her lower abdomen and waited respectfully.
A somewhat weary yet youthful voice sounded from beyond the door. "Bella? Come in... What's the matter?"
Bella opened the door gently and passed through the thin, formless aetheric barrier.
Exquisite curtains draped the walls of this very spacious room except for a portion where the silver Chapman Family insignia was hung. The large, soft bed was filled with all sorts of pillows, and there was a sofa and coffee table set up on top of a large wool carpet.
The young lady... or rather, the young girl sat up in bed.
The girl looked to be only about eleven years old, with her youthful and innocent charm. She had silver eyes that sparkled with a hazy and mysterious luster. Her short hair, eyelashes, and brows were pure white, completely contrasting her dark skin.
Cherry Chapman, a human druid hybrid. Even though her appearance was that of a young girl, she was actually over a century old.
Bella could see that she hadn't slept yet.
The Chapman Witch rubbed her eyes and yawned.
She was wearing a delicate, white nightgown which revealed her fine cheekbones and thin figure. Seated amongst the heap of pillows made her seem especially tiny.
Bella approached her, lifting the hem of her skirt and doing a curtsy. "My apologies for the disturbance, Mistress."
Cherry squeezed her own bulging cheeks. "What is it? I just want to go to bed."
"I'm afraid you won't be able to sleep today." Bella straightened herself and handed the communications device over. "I'm here to report that Mr. Lin has just made a call."
Cherry was momentarily stunned and met the earnest eyes of the head maid. Then she jumped off the bed abruptly and shrieked, "He took the initiative to contact me!!!"
The young girl jumped back into bed, dove into the heap of pillows. She clutched her pillow with a flushed face and shrieked once more before biting the pillow and muttering, "Mr. Lin, Mr. Lin,'' while rolling about.
Bella's expression didn't change, maintaining her grace as she observed the young mistress behaving as if she was in a trance.
You look like a young girl giddy with infatuation from receiving a call from a crush rather than the authoritative figure you ought to be.
—Naturally, these words were something that she, as a professional maid, couldn't say aloud.
After rolling about till she calmed down, Cherry then sat up and put on an expressionless face. She reached out to take the communications device and asked indifferently, "What did he tell you?"
Unfortunately, her ruffled and messy hair gave her away.
Bella answered at once, "Mr. Lin has just taken in a girl and hopes that we can create an identity for her. According to my preliminary investigations added with the information Mr. Lin has provided, this girl might be related to the recent dream beast encroachment in Norzin as well as the attack on the Truth Union's Machine Loop. More specifics can only be made clear after sending men to investigate."
Cherry's expression suddenly changed as she looked through the communications device in her hands. "Girl..."
Isn't your focus entirely off?!
Bella continued, "Please forgive me, Mistress. I also made a request for you to visit Mr. Lin without your prior permission."
Cherry stared at her and her expressionless facade fell apart. She shrieked once more and clasped the communications device tightly. "H-h-how could y-you do this? Y-y-you have clearly ov-ov-overstepped your boundaries. Re-re-remember that this, I-I-I."
Cherry's voice died down. With a furtive look in her eyes, she whispered, "Then, did he accept?"
Bella smiled, "He did, and he expressed that he is looking forward to your arrival."
The Chapman Witch clutched her heart as if she had been struck by a magic bullet. She lay on the bed, gasping for breath as she stared at the ceiling.
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"Mr. Lin's request has to be fulfilled properly. Compile information on Norzin's happenings over this period for me. When the current auction ends and matters of the Chamber of Commerce are concluded, arrange a time to pay Mr. Lin a visit."
Cherry's eyes narrowed slightly as she continued, "Also, Congreve seems to be getting too close with the white magicians recently."
"Yes, I'll send someone to look into it. There's no need to worry too much, Mistress. His little tricks cannot shake your position as successor."
"Better safe than sorry. That's the principle Mr. Lin taught me."
Cherry revealed a slight smile, then sighed. "It's been three years..."
Bella took the communications device back, her thoughts flashing back to the event from three years ago when she had retrieved the 'runaway' Cherry from that rundown bookstore. At that time, the little girl's eyes seemed to glow when she gazed at the bookstore owner.
Bella couldn't understand why Cherry would have such an expression back then.
But three years later, she couldn't help but be in complete awe at how powerful and terrifying that ordinary-looking man was.
Colin shuddered as he stared in panic at the wall before him. It was as if he could see the image of the neighboring bookstore through this wall.
The shrill buzz of the electric saw from beyond the wall sounded very close.
Colin could imagine the cold glint of those sharp jagged blades spinning rapidly, ripping into flesh and spraying the entire wall with blood that dripped down to form puddles.
The sounds of the saw got closer and closer as if it was right before Colin's eyes.
"Waa... Mama... Save me..."
Colin didn't dare turn off the television, as if the random noises from next door gave away his last ounce of courage.
Snot dribbled down as he trembled and huddled into a ball. At this time, he saw the screen of his secondhand communications device light up and hurriedly grabbed it with both hands.
[Listen to the Moon. The Moon will show you mercy and peace.]
[Your prayers have been heard by the Church of the Dome. We will proceed with an investigation. Please do not act blindly without thinking during this period.]
[Should you discover anything strange, please use the following prescription to formulate holy water. Sprinkle holy water at the door and four corners of your house every day and also pray using the corresponding incantation.] (This message is encrypted and will be destroyed after reading)
[Formula: 5g Evening Primrose, 3g Shadow Flower, 1g Pearl, 0.02g Gold Leaf, 500ml water. Mix and blend well.]