Chapter 4. Black Sheep
1.5k 2 49
X
Reading Options
Font Size
A- 15px A+
Width
Reset
X
Table of Contents
Loading... please wait.

There were intermittent doors on either side of the hallway to the left but I knew better than to check them out.

 

I turned to my right, which seemed to lead away from the rooms. If I got lost, I would just turn around and go the other way.

 

I took another turn, making sure to remember the way back to my room.

 

 'Why do they need so many rooms anyway?'

 

The turn I took led me to a much wider hallway, imposing portraits hung on the right side of the wall.

 

Every person in the portraits either walked out of sight or turned their noses up at me when I walked past, which was fine with me.

 

I didn't know how I would handle dead people in portraits talking to me.

 

At the end of the hallway, someone calling out alerted my attention.

 

"Audric! Are you deaf, boy?!" 

 

I turned around more from the sharp tone than anything else, I still hadn't gotten used to having a new name.

 

It was the fourth to the last portrait of a man with a surly expression and a twisted face.

 

I knew right away as I looked at him, this was Audric's father.

 

"You're such a disgrace to the family name." He stated cruelly, his black eyes staring at me with disgust.

 

The next portrait was of a woman with beautiful blue eyes that reminded me of mine, her hair was blonde though, not black, and was done up in a fancy hairstyle.

 

She turned around when I stared at her portrait, refusing to look at me.

 

'Huh? Looks like Audric had an even worse relationship with his family than I did.'

 

"Loser?" A shrill voice dragged me from my thoughts and I glanced at the next portrait.

 

It was a young girl, Audric's sister no doubt. She had blonde hair and shrewd black eyes.

 

"Have you seen my wand? I know you took it, dimwit…" She muttered a couple insults at me under her breath before stomping off, no doubt going to look for her wand.

 

I continued my journey to the dining room. I had considered getting information from them but they would most likely deliberately give me false information to get me in trouble or not even help at all.

 

For a minute, I was happy on Audric's behalf that he was dead. 

 

They weren't even my family and their behavior stung, I couldn't imagine how much worse Audric would have felt.

 

After I went past the hallway, I stepped through a doorway and found a grand staircase.

 

I hesitated, not sure where I should go from here. Fortunately, Wilkins showed up at this moment, bowing and offering to direct me to the dining room.

 

I didn't protest, relieved to have someone leading the way. I made sure to memorize the way there so I would be able to get there myself next time.

 

Wilkins stopped in front of a looming door and bowed deeply, he was so jittery that I feared he would go into another fit.

 

"Er, Wilkins is deeply sorry Master Audric but Lady Vannessa is here, sir." He bowed deeper, nearly folded in half.

 

I frowned. This was an unpredicted situation.

 

I should have been more prepared too, it was only natural that relatives would show up when a family member died.

 

'But, who is this Vannessa?'

 

This best-case scenario would be that she was a family member who had come to sympathize and check up on me.

 

She could also be a part of the people who had attacked my dead family, she was probably here to finish up.

 

Wilkins didn't seem terrified or worried for my safety though. With the way all the portraits had treated me, I couldn't imagine that I had any relative who liked me.

 

That must be the issue here, Audric must really dislike this 'Lady Vannessa', it would explain why Wilkins had been so nervous to tell me about it.

 

I couldn't keep standing in front of the doors though, I had to go in.

 

I quietly opened the door and stepped in, catching Lady Vannessa secretly blowing her nose into a dainty handkerchief.

 

She quickly hid it as soon as she saw me, straightening up like she hadn't just been quietly sobbing.

 

"Audric." She said stiffly when she saw me.

 

I froze momentarily, how was I supposed to treat her? I could probably get away with a lot because I was currently supposed to be suffering from trauma and tragedy.

 

My eyes were suspiciously dry though and I didn't cast the image of one who was suffering.

 

"Lady Vannessa." I muttered, mimicking her stiff voice.

 

I self-consciously bowed slightly, walking forward cautiously.

 

Lady Vannessa placed a white, lace-gloved hand against her chest. "Audric!" She called again, shock lacing her voice this time. "Is that any way to treat your Aunt?"

 

My head snapped up in shock, now that I looked at her properly, she reminded me of the portrait of Audric's mom that I had seen.

 

Her hair was a dark brown though but there was no missing those blue eyes, how had I not joined the pieces together earlier?

 

I faked dropping into my chair like my legs had no more strength. "My apologies, Aunt." I mumbled in a sad voice, I wasn't a good actor so I hoped that she would fall for it.

 

It seemed to work because she scrambled out of her chair and hurried over to me, pulling me into her arms as she proceeded to sob.

 

"Oh you poor dear," She crooned as she patted my back, her tears falling on my shirt and hair. 

 

"I told Susanne to stay away from the dark arts but did she listen to me? No! It's that no good husband of hers…" She complained bitterly, blowing her nose noisily into her handkerchief.

 

"The rest of the family estranged me for choosing to give up our family's dark past but who is the one alive now?"

 

I let her rant on, grateful for the free information, Aunt Vannessa might actually prove invaluable to me.

 

The first thing I had to do was increase my stats because if the people who killed Audric's family were to come back for me, I would be toast.

 

I also had to get accustomed to my new life too because if the attackers came again, they would be gunning for me, I was Audric now.

 

I doubted they would let me go if I told them the story of how I transmigrated and that they had the wrong guy.

 

"You might have been a rude little thing but you don't deserve this, no one does." She sniffed after releasing me.

 

Her face was a bright red from her crying bout, her dark brown hair in a disarray.

 

I bite the inside of my cheek at her words, I was quickly learning that when in doubt, it was better to keep quiet.

 

"Why don't you come live with me, Audric?" She offered a tad reluctantly like it was the last thing she wanted to do but it would prey on her conscience if anything were to happen to me.

 

I mused over this, it would actually be best for me if I went to live with her, at least for the meantime.

 

Because I still had no clue of how this world worked, school would be resuming soon and I had no idea how to get to the train station.

 

In my past life I didn't even live in Europe so I knew nothing about anything.

 

It would be to my advantage to live with my Aunt, plus she could protect me if the attackers decided to return to finish what they started.

 

I must have deliberated too long because she cut in. "You don't have to make a decision now, the funeral is in a few days, after that you can give me your answer."

 

The more time I spent with Aunt Vannessa, the more I realized that she wasn't as stuck up as I first thought.

 

For someone who was estranged from the family, she was behaving more like family to me than the people in the portrait had.

 

"Thank you." I replied, grateful for the offer.

 

Aunt Vannessa's mood seemed to improve after this. "It's all very well, Audric. Now eat up, you look quite sallow." She clucked her tongue.

 

I picked up my cutlery, trying hard not to be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of food laid out on the long, mahogany dining table.

 

I had no idea where to begin, I'd never had this much food in my entire life.

 

"The doctor will come to check up on you again before you sleep, I couldn't come earlier because I was far too busy trying to sort things out."

 

I remained quiet while she talked, listening carefully so I didn't miss anything.

 

"Also, Wizards from The Department of Magical Law Enforcement will be here tomorrow to ask questions about your family's accident." She added, looking uncomfortable with the topic.

 

I glanced up at this, it was only natural that investigations would be made concerning my family's deaths.

 

I was equally unsettled, I had no idea how to handle this. I had to move carefully or I would end up getting arrested or worse.

 

It only gave me more to think about and added more worries to my plate.

 

 

49