The annexed hall wasn't as big or as glorious as the main hall. Nevertheless, it had its own charm and beauty. The hanged paintings, the marble statues on the corners at the entrance. They can't be described as less than the ones in the main hall, yet very different in style and allure.
Not so long ago, the head of the menservants started to use the annexed hall for his regular duties and meetings instead of the main hall. From giving new assignments to collecting the last developments about what was going on inside and outside the manor's walls.
Because of a few reasons, the main one was the latter disagreement that happened between the butler himself and his master. They just couldn't see or understand the perspective of each other. The persistence of the Count to abandon the farm, it meant to his butler only one thing; the Count Francis Leal Dimontez desired to put an end to his services. Along with the contract that unites the benefits of the two of them. Seaben's head couldn't think of anything else.
When the six maids, count was concluded, they stand in one straight row to the right side of the butler. Their appearances can be compared to a set of dried small trees on the side of the road in the middle of winter. The stress and fear have made their way to their misshapen faces, painting shallow traces.
The butler swung the baton in the air to fall directly in the center of his other palm, producing a weak slapping sound. All the six maids shuddered, their eyes pointed at the floor, not daring to look at their master.
The butler enjoyed the impact of his baton's swing on the poor slaves, thus he repeated this movement several times to satisfy his arrogance but with less intensity than the first time:
"Did you find her?"
None of the maids had the audacity to look at him not to mention to speak.
"When was the last time you have seen her?"
All the stares shifted to the last maid in the row, even the butler walked toward her before he stopped, she murmured as if she was confessing:
"She had a duty to take care of Mr. Hendrickson's quarter…"
The head of menservants glares pressed her to continue.
"It was the last time I have seen her, we have searched the entire manor except for Mr. Hendrickson's quarter…"
"Why is that…"
"He ordered us to not disturb him."
Seaben swung the baton in the air as he screamed:
"In the whole world, I am the only one who can give you orders. Not even the Count himself can interfere with my orders."
The terrified maid fell on her knees and shrank her body in dread. She knew how much the head of menservants hates Mr. Hendrickson.
Actually, everyone who worked here learned about this profound hate, however, they never learned what ignited it.
From their point of view, it was always the butler who contrived the conflicts. And if it wasn't for the protection the Count offered to Mr. Hendrickson, their boss has- maybe- killed Mr. Hendrickson long ago.
Yet for them, Mr. Hendrickson was as gracious as their beloved lord, as polite as a wounded fairy tale king. He never showed a lack of manners or used vulgar words, no matter how much the butler provoked him. They all have a mutual understanding of why their lord favors and respect him to this high extent.
And they were ever jealous of his closest maid Be-an and envied her position. They actually fought each day between themselves to be in his service. Hence, they never wished to disturb his rest or step on his request.
Still, orders are orders. They never cared about whom you respect or care. This was the fact every maid wished that she learned about before she entered the manor and sign the pact of slavery.
"Check Hendrickson quarter and report to me." Seaben ordered, then stormed out like a savage beast, leaving the six remaining maids arguing between themselves; which one of them is going to disturb Mr. Hendrickson rest.
The butler's mind was occupied by a lot of things, so he didn't notice the two pairs of pale yellow eyes following his movements when he passed close to the entrance of the main hall.
With conspicuous leisure, Akila strolled the area, inspecting the decor. She seemed impressed by the collection of the ceramic tea set and earthenwares that were beautifully displayed through the main hall.
¨ This is absolutely out of Nicolai taste. ¨ She echoed inside her mind. While her gaze chased after the hirsute tall man, who awkwardly wore the black uniform that didn't suit him at all. Playing the role of an aristocratic butler wasn't a good fit for a dealer in grapheme lore. He looked so painfully fake, and out of place, in her humble opinion.
Once Seaben eyes noticed her presence, she bestowed on him an ambiguous sneer that delivered a frigid meaning. He instantly understood it. As a result, he stopped and hastily retreated, adopting the longer path to his office without giving a formal greeting. After being assured that he had reached a safe distance, far from that beast oversight. Seaben paused, catching his breath And mopping the dribble of sweat that moistens his hair.
The Cocrotta's Esere presence indicates the presence of his old master "Lord Shiva" the Destroyer. He must be, outside, flying all over the barrier, eagerly waiting for its decadence.
With tired strides and slow puffs, Seaben had miraculously arrived at his office. He sat behind his desk, calming his trembling limbs over him, tightly locked the door. When the wave of fear had left his limbs, he brought out a small box, securely concealed in bookshelf stationed right to his desk, it was made from the beech wood and have a splendid pattern. In its middle, there was a beautiful ornament mimicked a three white jasmines, under it, the two ¨ D ¨ characters and the number six were engraved in Latin.
He reached to his index finger, retrieving the ring that was hidden under the dense hair. After he placed it in a circular shaped slot, he rolled the ring inside the slot in the same direction of the clock's hands to open it.
Inside the wooden box, there was a small glass bottle that resembles a perfume container, half repleted, with a dense crimson liquid. And there was also a neatly folded piece of brown paper. When he unfolded it, it gave the slight impression of concealing an unpleasant secret. Aside from the Latin words that lined up to form the terms of the contract, there were two spots for signatures one of them was occupied while the other was still blank. There was also a three jasmine flower pendant and a small pouch.
Seaben examined the contract, he read and reread it numerous times. Each time he finished reviewing a set of Latin words, he plucks off a handful of hair from his face or the back of his hands. In the end, he raised the feather quill pen and projected it above the blank spot. A drop of black ink tinted the contract, slowly spreading to make a dark stain on the old brown paper.
An intense battle took place inside Seaben head; to sign or not to sign this contract. Eventually, he refined to write anything, Since he decided that there was the other tactic he has yet to try. Since, working with the Count Francis Leal Dimontez granted him more freedom compared to the contract the Duchess of Di Nobilis offered to him.