“Wake up, dar~ling~”
The young girl around fourteen years of old said to the boy with ashen hair that was around the same age.
He was positioned on the back seat of an inconspicuous car that the girl drove to their destination. His limbs were tied and he was gagged, yet he was surprisingly calm for a person in such circumstances. Oh wait, he was just unconscious.
The girl removed the gag, lifted his head by the hair to her eye level and pressed it close to hers.
“You are finally mine!”
She beamed an innocent smile and her face was red. She looked truly happy. She gazed at the face of the person that was in her hands and her eyes clouded over. She fidgeted a bit, giggled shyly and pecked him on the lips and quickly turned away, blushing even more furiously.
For someone who was able to steal a car and kidnap a person so simply, she was unexpectedly innocent.
“Aren’t you happy? I sure am. From now on, you are going to be mine and mine alone! I no longer have to tolerate other people talking to you, or looking at you! I don’t have to share my most most most precious darling, ever again with anybody else! Isn’t it lovely? It is, isn’t it?”
She jumped on her feet, clapping excitedly.
“But… first~ I’m really really really sorry~”
And she slapped him in the face very painfully which caused him to regain his consciousness.
“It couldn’t be helped, you know~ The drug was way too strong, after all…”
The boy was looking around confused.
“Delilah, where are we?”
He looked at the girl innocently, as if his limbs weren’t hurting from being bound by the rope too tightly.
“This, Jeremy, is the surprise I told you I was preparing~”
She hopped over to him and looked into his eyes. There was the familiar murky sticky darkness swirling around in her irises that the boy saw.
She stood up straight and spread her arms wide
“Welcome, to your new home!”
“Welcome to your new home!”, was the line that Lachersia greeted Jennifer when the latter came to.
The carriage was shaky indeed. The roads were maintained poorly and instead of saying that it was shaking, it would be more appropriate to say that it caused the sleeping frame of Jennifer to frequently experience the momentary feeling of weightlessness that happens when you get thrown into the air.
It was certainly an obstacle in the way of her afternoon nap. Still, her unbending will paved the way for her lofty goal to come into fruition.
Lachersia’s and now Jennifer’s new “home” was very tall. That would be the first adjective when trying to describe it.
It lacked embellishments that the residence of a high-ranking kingdom official would usually have but it was imposing nonetheless.
A tall grey tower that was built with huge bricks with four smaller towers sticking out of the sides about half-way through.
One of the towers had a spacious terrace that was facing the Capital, allowing for a beautiful view.
Another one had a dome covering its top and some kind of tube was sticking out of it. If Jennifer was correct, it was called an observatory and was used to observe the celestial bodies. As for where she found out what an observatory was, she didn’t know. Her memories still only gave her strange pieces of information and nothing substantial that would let her know the details of her previous identity. She didn’t even know her own name!
The other two had a few small windows with sturdy-looking wooden frames but nothing about them was worthy of note.
The main body of the tower had a pointed roof covered with red slates seemingly made of clay or some other similar material. It also had a chimney.
The tower was slim compared to its height but objectively it was very wide. And it had several doors for an exit. The main door was three meters tall and located on the ground. It had a brick walkway laid out to it. The other one was further to the side and it was around two meters tall. There were also several others sticking out of the walls above the ground.
Jennifer wanted to describe the style as eccentric, but her own sense of taste could only allow her to call it as “disastrous”. The architect did such a poor job that the sight of the result left her caught unprepared, with her mouth agape. And she could calmly deal with many extreme things, so it spoke volumes of the abominable taste of the building.
Seeing Jennifer being genuinely surprised made Lachersia smile sheepishly and want to hide somewhere. She grabbed Jennifer by the waist and quickly scurried to the door.
The carriage drove away. Lachersia liked solitude, so all her servants lived far away from the tower. Jennifer would be given a tour of the place and its less… eye-catching sights if she didn’t react the way she did causing Lachersia to be too embarrassed. Which, obviously wouldn’t happen. The years spent living in the place made Lachersia desensitized to the novelty of the artistic solutions involved in the planning of the building. She actually forgot the effects it would have on the first-time visitors.
On the inside, the building was more balanced in style. It had a lot of paintings, vases, carvings, several mosaics, a few statues, bookshelves and a collection of things from other cultures of the world that Lachersia had picked up on her travels with the previous hero’s party. Instead of being a disaster of many flamboyant things stuck together, it was more carefully arranged. Walking through the floors and corridors felt like an adventure on its own and every room was arranged beautifully and it was pleasant to spend the time and study the objects put there.
Lachersia quickly guided Jennifer to the room prepared for the girl on the sixth floor. They didn’t have many things with them as Jennifer didn’t take many things from the Castle and, obviously, she didn’t have many things from the other world that and the things she had were forgotten and disposed of long ago.
The room had very little in terms of decorations. It was because Lachesria didn’t know Jennifer’s tastes well enough and decided to let Jennifer fill the room at her own discretion.
“It has been a very busy day for you, hasn’t it, Jennifer?”
“No, I’m perfectly fine, thank you.”
“Are you tired?”
“No, not at all”
“I see. Would you like anything to eat? I usually cook myself as I prefer staying alone and while my skill is not as good as the chef from the castle, I am confident that you will be left satisfied”
“Yes, thank you!”
Seeing Jennifer’s eyes light up at the mention of food, Lachersia came to the conclusion that Jennifer was a surprisingly simple creature with simple desires. So far the only things she has shown interest towards were eating and sleeping. A reaction that was very strange for somebody who was suddenly transported to a completely different world.
She hasn’t even mentioned her friends and family from the other world. Not even once. This was also strange. And despite some occasions where she has shown weakness and anxiety that were very short, she has been showing mature behavior unbefitting her young age. Her past was also an enigma and apart from her name, Lachersia realized that she knew nothing about Jennifer. No, she has realized it long ago but she didn’t want to ruin the feeling of intimacy she had established with the girl and therefore conveniently overlooked the questionable parts of her history in fear of ruining their relationship.
Remembering the resolve she made on their way here and understanding that it would only make things worse if she continued to ignore the inconveniences she has decided to break the unspoken agreement that they came to when they first met.
“And I think we both understand that it would be for the better to be more open with each other, don’t you think so? While I truly enjoy our current relationship, we both know that it can’t last forever?”
The previous smiling childish expression disappeared from Jennifer’s face and she looked Lachersia in the eye.
Understanding the points the other party had, Jenifer had to agree. She also understood that Lachersia meant her no harm and was even considerate of her, so she could only give up. Lachersia was willing to treat Jennifer as an equal despite the difference in their standings, abilities and age, so it was only right to not spite such generosity.
“Nothing does. Sigh. Nothing lasts forever. I really enjoyed our act though. Did you enjoy it too, big sister Lache?”
“If you enjoyed it so much, you could continue playing your part?”
“Would there be any point? It would only be worth doing if both of us committed to the play”
Indeed. Jennifer wasn't good enough to fool Lachersia, a Grand Mage. It was only because Lachersia felt a lot of goodwill towards Jenifer that the latter was allowed to "fool" the former. Keeping their goals and motivations to themselves, keeping their relationship vague wouldn't work anymore now that the cat was out of the bag.
If they wanted to cooperate further, they had to be honest with each other.
“Indeed. We have a lot to talk about, don’t we?”
Just as Lachersia said, it was going to be a very long day for Jennifer.