Chapter Twenty Five: The Wolf and the Sheep
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“Jade, keep yourself hidden and don’t make a sound” Ophelia states right before covering her body under the pale bed sheets.
The day had passed in a blink and now darkness roamed the land, carrying its deadly whispers around. Jade was standing in the corner of the room, blending in with its shadows.
‘Gilbert... I wonder what face you will show me...’ she couldn’t help but to feel an anxious feeling grow within her. She couldn’t wait to see that man turn into shreds, begging for mercy while his soul succumbed to despair.

Several hours pass and, as the moonlight shun brightly, the sound of a doorknob turning echoes in the room. Ophelia’s heartbeat increased rapidly, she was feeling the adrenaline rushing in her veins.
“Found you... whore...” Gilbert’s voice whispers and she feels a heavyweight on the bed. He was on top of her.
He grabs the covers and slowly pushes them down, uncovering Ophelia’s sleeping face. Gilbert thought that she looked pretty as she slept, tempting in fact. Suddenly she wakes up, startling the intruder.
“I was waiting for you...” Ophelia grins largely and Gilbert’s eyes widen in surprise right before his consciousness is lost. Jade knocked him down with a single blow on the back of his neck.
“Shall we go then...?” Gilbert is tied down and placed inside a big cloth bag. His mouth had a gag that prevented him from talking while his eyes were covered with a piece of fabric. Right before leaving, Ophelia changes to a set of black trousers and a dark shirt, covered by a cotton cape with a hood.
They both head out of the mansion becoming one with the dark, avoiding the eyes of the guards that were nothing but slackers. After sneaking outside they walk until the Duke’s estate was out of their sight. In the meantime, Gilbert woke up and attempted to escape by squirming his legs and arms around, however, Jade was stronger making the assassin’s attempts nothing but a futile childish act.

“I think this should be far enough” Jade drops the body onto the floor, removing the cloth bag that hid his body. Ophelia then sits on a big trunk of a cut tree, glaring down at him, “Take it off”
Jade takes off the blindfold that was covering Gilbert’s eyes and the fabric on his mouth that was now wet with saliva.
‘Where am I...?’ Gilbert looked around just to be greeted by overwhelming darkness and tall trees. He understood he was far away from the estate, in fact, he was in the middle of a forest owned by wild, dangerous animals.
“Gilbert Averton” he flinches as he heard his real name come out of Ophelia’s pale lips.
“Who is that...?” he couldn’t understand. He was always cautious to not leave any clues regarding his identity but, somehow, the woman standing before him knew.
“Do you know why you are here?” he frowned as he realized that she wasn’t buying his excuse.
“I don’t milady, I’m just a mere butler... I don’t know who you are referring to...” he looks away.
“You dare to lie!? You filthy...!” Jade was about to punch him but Ophelia signals him to stop.
“Oh-oh? You don’t... I see... Maybe you need some help to refresh your memory...” Ophelia’s eyes sparkle with anticipation as she opens a small bag and removes a sharp dagger from it.
“A lady shouldn’t carry such a dangerous object around... Please milady...” he was trying to convince her but it was useless. Ophelia’s eyes were not looking for peaceful negotiation.

She removes her cloak, showing her dark clothes as her blue eyes sparkled with the penetrating moonlight. Ophelia grins and as she approached, Gilbert felt a shiver on his spine.
‘This woman... She’s going to...’ Gilbert knew her eyes very well. He saw them every time he looked to his own reflection, ‘I need to escape... But how...?’
“What do you want?” his eyes sharpen as he finally shows his true colors.
“What a pity...” Ophelia clicks her tongue and sits back down, “Who ordered you to kill me?”
“I’m sure you already know it, don’t you?” he mocks her as she plays with the dagger on her skin, making tiny drops of blood slide through it.
“Gilbert... You are a smart man... It would be wise not to test my patience...” Ophelia signals Jade and he lands a swift blow on his left cheek, making his lip rip. Gilbert coughs up some vivid red blood onto the dry dirt.
“Alright, I will tell you what you wish to know however you will let me go” as she heard his desperate words she couldn’t stop but wish to rip out his filthy tongue.
“I don’t think you are understanding your place...” Ophelia grins and gets up. Gracefully she walks towards him and kneels right before holding his chin covered in a messy dark brown beard, “This is not a negotiation” she licked the dagger that held her blood making Gilbert’s soul grow cold.
‘I have never seen anything like this... This bloodlust is just...’ by looking closely to her eyes he could see how much Ophelia wanted to hurt him, not for vengeance but for her pleasure. This was her lustful sin.
“I am not stupid enough to give you the information without having any guarantees” Gilbert knew that this was the only way he would be able to survive. He needed Ophelia to promise him his safety but, even then, it was a risky gamble.
“Of course Gilbert... I will let you go free, you have my word” she caresses his face with the cold edge of the dagger, making Gilbert’s panic increase.
‘So... this is fear, is it?’ he only felt something like this when his mother went missing however, he had forgotten it alongside his humanity long ago.
“Your father, he paid me to do it” contrary to his beliefs, Ophelia gets up and starts laughing uncontrollably. To Gilbert, it looked almost as if someone had possed her body, a demon, a monster, who knows. He looks beside him just to find the platinum-haired man look at the scenario without any surprise.
‘I would’ve never thought this man would be such a threat...’ as Gilbert recalled his plan he had undervalued a crucial part: Ophelia’s slave. He thought he was nothing more than a butler even if he had a somewhat fit body but, since he was stuck in bed for a long time, he didn’t saw his habits and routines. That man was a complete wildcard that he forgot to take into account.
“Who gave you the information inside the mansion?” Ophelia stopped laughing and, with a serious posture, she questioned him. Inside, she was hoping Gilbert would know who was the spy, saving her the upcoming trouble.
“I don’t know” he replied coldly. She didn’t like this answer and so, she kneeled in front of him again, placing the tip of the dagger on his left cheek which was now bruised from Jade’s previous punch.
“That’s not the answer I want to hear Gilbert...” she grins as blood started to come out of his tanned skin.
“It’s true! I don’t know! It was always through letters that were delivered at my door!” she clicks her tongue and removes the dagger, making Gilbert’s pained expression turn into relief.

“And where are these letters now?” Ophelia gets up.
“In my room! I can go grab them if you want!” Gilbert’s eyes were glimmering with expectation. He knew that if he got the chance to go back to the mansion he could devise a plan to escape this situation since, right now, the chances of him surviving are slim to none.
“You should repent for your sins” Ophelia sits back down on the trunk of the thick tree with her legs crossed. Her lips portraited an evil grin.
‘Lying is not good, little rat... My father would never do something dumb as not ordering the letters to be burned, and neither would you...’ she knew exactly how he thought since she already knew him.
Jade grabs his dark hair and pulls his body up, right before delivering a heavy punch on his abdomen. Saliva came out of his mouth alongside some blood from the force of impact. He could feel his organs burning from the pain. Then he shoves his body on the floor, making Gilbert’s head hit one of the trees. A small river of blood stained his skin as he coughed continuously.
“P-Please stop...” Gilbert states as he felt his body screaming in pain.
“We’re not done” Jade’s eyes were cold-blooded while his expression remained unchanging. He didn’t even flinch in hurting a man, it was as if he had done this over and over again.
‘It’s not possible...’ Gilbert always thought his destiny was to be an assassin, to get rid of annoyances in the society but now, looking at this platinum-haired man that became one with the night, he could understand. His whole life had been a lie because he was not a true assassin, he could never have those heartless eyes, that unwavering soul, and strength in punishing the other.

 

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“Eat” Marquiss Verne states right before banging his hand on the table, “I said EAT!”
I bring the tablespoon to my lips, drinking the tomato soup slowly.
“The ball is tomorrow so you have to be in your best shape Ophelia, we wouldn’t want your father to think something is wrong right?” Verne’s eldest son, Julius states.
“Julius remember to bring out the matter of the ships. We need the Duke’s patronage otherwise...”
“I know father, I won’t let you down” Julius smiles charmingly as his dark blonde hair shines in the light of the chandeliers.
“Ophelia you better do your job properly or else...” the terrifying brown eyes of the Marquiss were on me, like a wolf on a sheep.
“I-I will do it, sir...” my hands were trembling as I struggled to fit anything into my stomach.
“Good” the Marquiss signals the butlers to bring him the roasted beef.

“Aren’t you excited, puppet? You will be able to be with your sister again” Maeve, the maid that served me, chuckled in a mocking tone as she combed my hair.
“Y-Yes... Very...” she made me feel uncomfortable. Maeve never did any chores except when the Marquiss ordered her to. I know she despises me, just like everyone else in this house.
“Good, now go to bed, I’ve got better things to do” she yawns right before leaving the room. The comb was left on the desk and the bed was unopened. I sigh.
Mentally I was already preparing myself to encounter them. Amanda, my elder sister, would definitely mock me until the end of the earth.
‘Of course, you can’t even keep a man, you are nothing more but a cursed beast’ it is something between the lines of what she might say.
‘I didn’t raise a child to lose a husband like this... When I thought you couldn’t disappoint me further... Indeed you exceed my expectations... How did you come from me?’ is something between the lines of what he might say.
The harsh rain fell outside, knocking on the windows as the brute wind blew it further and further. It was such a cold and dark night, one that already held a premonition.
“Happy birthday to me...” I mumble in a soft singing voice as I blow on a candle. Of course, no one remembered, why would they? Tears flew down my face as I covered my body with the warm blankets.
Soon my tears ran dry and my head began to hurt but, even then, I managed to fall asleep soundly.

I wake up with ratling noises on the window. The rain had stopped and the wind was as quiet as a mouse.
‘Am I imagining things...?’ I open my eyes and, without getting up, I look around. Everything was where they were meant to be.
I close my eyes once again and fall asleep.

 

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“Yo-You’re a monster!” Gilbert’s teeth were filled with blood as his face became dirtier.
“A monster? A rat dares to insult what’s mine?” Ophelia gets up and steps on his head harshly, making the grass and dirt become tainted with his red fluids, “I’ll stop if you beg for forgiveness...”
“I’m sorry!” after several minutes of feeling his skull being crushed between the hard floor and Ophelia’s foot, Gilbert begged.
“Hold him” Jade grabs his body while Ophelia picks up the small dagger that was vertically standing on the trunk of the tree, “Now... You still don’t seem eager to talk...”
“I am! Please!” as Gilbert’s expression turned worried, Ophelia came closer to him.
“Then... Will you tell me...?” her sweet whispering voice echoed in Gilbert’s left ear.
“Uh...? What...?” Ophelia’s face was tainted with some blood drops as her eyes sparkled with pleasure. Suddenly, an excruciating pain hits Gilbert’s body as he felt the blood come out of his body.
“Does it hurt?” she asks as Gilbert’s attention turns onto the floor, where his ear was perfectly cut in one stroke. Behind him stood Jade holding the bloody dagger as his eyes portraited pure emptiness.
“Ah! You monster! It hurts!” his eyes were filled with tears. Gilbert barely knew any pain since he was never caught, that’s what earned him his nickname “The Ghost”, but, now, he was screaming as he felt a growing burning sensation on what used to be his ear.
“Monster?” Ophelia chuckles, “Don’t you mean Curse?” she grins.
Shivers ran down his spine as blood poured out of his wounds, turning the dry dirt moist. His soul was beginning to leave his body as Jade grabbed him by the hair, holding his body still. Gilbert’s eyes saw a woman standing before him but, somewhere deep down in his soul he knew the person in front of him was no longer a human. The lack of kindness in her eyes, the lips that portraited her desire, without a doubt, Ophelia wasn’t human, she couldn’t be.
“P-Please... I’ll tell you everything I know just let me go...” his tears flew down harder. Gilbert didn’t want to die, he still had so many things to achieve, so many dreams to fulfill.

 

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I wake up with the sound of a window knocking over and over again as the wind played with its uses. Quickly I get up and close it.
‘I don’t want any water inside if it begins raining again...’ I think as I take a look around. The room was dark but everything looked normal even though the window was mysteriously opened. Even then I couldn’t bring myself to question it since the maids regularly enjoyed playing pranks on me like this.
“Found you...” as I was about to lay on the bed I feel a sharp pain enter my abdomen through my back.
“Ah... I-It hurts...” I groan as my body falls onto the bed.
“You shouldn’t be sleeping with the Marquiss you know... Some people don’t like that type of service...” a man’s voice. I looked back slightly just to see a brown bearded man with regular brown hair. His gaze was sharp but his lips carried a smile.
“I-I don’t...” I try to speak but I am quickly interrupted.
“You don’t need to play games with me, missy, you see... All women are whores, some just need some help to understand it” he chuckles.
Rain starts pouring down again, almost as if crying out of laughter from my pitiful luck. Suddenly, lighting hits followed by a thunder sound.
“No... You’re way too young...” the man approaches me and grabs my hair, pulling it harshly while uncovering my face, “How old are you girl?”
“I’m eighteen and I’m Ophelia Criswell... I married to Layton Verne...” as I finished explaining everything I could he throws my head onto the pillow. I attempt to get up but the pain was excruciating.
‘Was I stabbed...?’ I begin to feel dizzy due to the blood loss but try to remain conscious as long as I possibly can.
“Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck!” the man states as he runs around in circles, “I messed up... I messed up! Shit!”
He turns his attention onto me.
“That’s it!” he grins as he notices the oil lantern on my desk, “Well, I can’t have you snitching on me can I miss?”

 

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“Are you scared?” she approaches him once again and grabs his face forcefully, his eyes were covered with horror. Ophelia was enjoying this so much that her whole body was compelled by desire, making her usually pale cheeks blush and sweat drip from her pores.
“For every second you don’t reply...” she grins right before grabbing the dagger from Jade and making a cut on his arm. His dirty clothes began to be covered with red as his fluids poured out.
“Stop!” he screams as he starts to feel the agglomeration of pain.
“That’s not what I asked Gilbert...” she continues, enjoying the situation, smiling lustfully.
“Yes! I am scared! Yes!” he yells and she stops just to see his shirt filled with holes.
“Good Gilbert good... Do you want to live?”
‘What is this...?’ Gilbert couldn’t understand, ‘Is she going to let me go?’
“Yes,” his eyes were filled with determination and Ophelia smirked.
“Then let’s play a game...” she holds his chin, “Kill me and you’re free”

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