After the events from the ball, the guards were doubled and the secret was out. Well, most of it, as Lucian told Genevieve, it’s mixing the truth with a lie. So, the backstory now was that Genevieve is Lucian’s cousin from his father’s side and is here to be Victoria’s bodyguard until the threat is dealt with.
The good news was that from the blood on the fan, Lucian could track down the assassin. The bad news, Genevieve needed her arm fixed since it was severely damaged.
"I’ll need to fix it in my lab." Lucian said, studying the cut and seeing some damaged pieces. "I am amazed that you can still use it."
Genevieve frowned. "But what about Victoria? What if she gets attacked?"
Lucian sighed and stood back, lighting up a cigar, much to Victoria’s displeasure.
"Then Vicky will have to come with us for the time being." Lucian answered in a matter-of-fact tone. Victoria shot him a warning look as the four of them took a carriage to the Archer Manor.
"Should you not be focusing more on the assassin?" Genevieve questioned and Lucian frowned at her.
"I can track him down anytime I want but you need to be repaired now," he answered and she fell silent. A warm hand was placed on her shoulder, making Genevieve glance at Victoria who smiled warmly.
"You did well, regardless of what Lucian says," she said the last part curtly as she glanced at Lucian. He just shrugged his shoulders as the carriage stopped and Thomas opened the door. Lucian climbed out first, with Genevieve trailing behind him.
It seems so foreign to me despite it being my birthplace Genevieve thought as they entered the manor. Lucian took off his coat and handed it to one of the housekeepers.
"Renee will serve you tea." Lucian instructed, taking off his white gloves. "I’ll be heading to my lab to fix her."
Genevieve followed Lucian to his laboratory, not saying a word as a sense of comfort washed over her. She couldn’t place it and that weighed heavily on her mind as Lucian fixed her arm.
"You seem to be in deep thought." Lucian noticed as he welded the golden metal pieces together from where the lines were cut off. "Do you want to talk about it?"
Genevieve looked at him surprised. "You never ask me about my thoughts."
"Yes well… it’s never been an issue and uh… just tell me!" Lucian snapped, flustered at his realization.
Genevieve smiled at Lucian’s embarrassment. "I was wondering why this place feels so different than the palace. It feels… safe."
Lucian stopped and pulled up the welder’s helmet that covered his face. His green eyes searched Genevieve’s and finally, he sighed.
"That’s the programming, not to mention this place is the safest manor in all of England. Your sensors are on pause since Victoria won’t be in danger whilst in here. When you return they’ll be back online." Lucian explained, putting down the welder and crossing his arms over his chest.
"May I ask you something, Master?" Genevieve asked cautiously and Lucian gestured for her to continue. "Do you care for Victoria?"
Lucian was taken aback by her question and then sighed. "You’re too sharp for your own good."
Genevieve waited patiently for him to answer the question as he ran a hand through his hair, debating whether or not to speak.
"Yes," Lucian admitted. "I was Victoria’s only friend growing up. Her mother always kept her locked away in fear of her daughter getting injured."
"Why would she be afraid of that?" Genevieve asked.
"Because her mother wanted the throne and the only way she was going to obtain it was through Victoria."
Genevieve nodded, "Manipulation."
"My family has always been known to… associate with the royal family." Lucian said after a brief pause. "Our talents lie with the magical arts and because of that, an Archer has to be beside the heir to the throne."
"Growing up, my mother often took me to play with Victoria despite her mother's disapproval. She believed I would ‘taint’ Victoria’s mind." Lucian grinned. "She was half right."
There was a knock at the door, interrupting the little story and Gertrude, a maid, stuck her head through.
"Sorry to bother you Master," the old woman apologized. "But I will be ducking out to by some groceries."
Lucian frowned. "Can’t Renee do that?"
"She is taking care of Her Majesty."
Lucian looked at Genevieve as an idea came to his mind. "Allow Genevieve to take care of it, you need to rest that hip of yours."
Gertrude gazed at Genevieve before nodding, handing her the small list and a brown basket.
"Go to the marketplace and buy these items." Lucian handed her a pouch full of gold coins. "Take a coat with you."
Genevieve complied, following Gertrude to the front door before taking the white hooded coat and putting it on. The edges had black fur on them, making it warmer.
So she took off, following the directions that the voice in her head was telling her. She had to admit, it was beautiful and exciting to be going somewhere on her own. As she walked on the sidewalk, Genevieve observed the people around her.
There were old couples, orphaned kids on the street, young couples. There was something that caught Genevieve’s attention.
'A woman is always accompanied by a man,' she noticed as the marketplace came into view. It was fairly big, hundreds of wooden stalls with different items on display, people shouting offers while others looked around.
Genevieve glanced at the list in her hand and collected all the items listed, paying for them with the gold coins Lucian had given her.
'We need not stay here any longer,' Genevieve thought as she turned to leave when she barged into something. She fell backwards and collided with a wooden crate, breaking it as she fell onto the ground on her butt.
"Watch where you’re going." a deep voice snapped and Genevieve looked up.
Brown eyes full of irritation were the first thing she saw before taking in the rest of him. He wore a black hood, covering most of his face but Genevieve could still see him as clear as day.
"I am sorry," she whispered, picking up the items that had fallen out of her basket. There was a sigh and he bent down to help clean up the mess. When everything was back into the basket, he helped her up.
"Seriously, where is your escort?" He asked, scanning the area for a male.
"Escort?" Genevieve frowned. He looked at her in disbelief. "Is that what they’re called?"
He looked to where she was pointing to a blonde male walking next to a young girl with blonde curls. He had his arm hooked into hers and they were smiling happily.
"You don’t know what they are?" He asked Genevieve and she shook her head. "Someone could rape you and even rob you."
Genevieve frowned at those words and he had the impression that she didn’t know those words or what they meant. With a sigh, he gestured for her to walk.
"Come on, I’ll walk you home," he muttered. Genevieve didn’t move and he growled impatiently. "I can’t walk you home if I don’t know where it is."
"Oh." Genevieve blinked and walked ahead. She could hear his footsteps behind her and took note of the strange looks people gave her as they walked past.
"Ignore them," he murmured, walking beside her. She was slightly startled but kept looking ahead. "Rich bastards."
There is resentment behind those words. Genevieve looked at him. "You do not like nobles?"
He snorted. "That is one way of describing it."
Genevieve frowned and opened her mouth to question further when Lucian’s voice rang out. They both looked over and saw Lucian running towards her with a worried look on his face.
"There you are." He called, as he reached her and took the basket from her hands. "I thought you were lost or something worse happened."
Lucian then noticed the stranger next to Genevieve and narrowed his eyes. "Thank you for escorting my cousin," he said, grabbing Genevieve’s hand and pulling her to his side.
The stranger watched. "Maybe you should think twice before sending an innocent girl like her out, unescorted." He said sourly before walking away.
Lucian snorted. "Brat," he muttered and began walking away, dragging Genevieve with him. She glanced back over her shoulder and watched him disappear into the crowd.
Lucian finished sowing the dark purple cloth together before holding it up in victory to Victoria, Albert and Genevieve. They were sitting in the lounge room, cups of tea and biscuits on the wooden coffee table.
"Guess what it is!" Lucian said excitedly and Victoria rolled her eyes.
"Something for Genevieve," she answered in a bored tone and Lucian pouted at her.
"Really Vicky, an A+ for your enthusiasm." Lucian said sarcastically. "But what is it exactly?"
This time, Albert took a swing. "Knowing you it has to have some kind of… magic in it."
Lucian’s eyes twinkled. "You know me too well. This little bodysuit will allow Genevieve to camouflage and blend in to her surroundings. It’s also impenetrable against bullets and waterproof."
When Lucian handed it to her, Genevieve looked at him questioningly. He gestured for her to try it on and she went to another room to change. She removed her clothing and slipped it on over her naked body.
Genevieve frowned as she could still see it and told Lucian of this dilemma. He chuckled at her.
"You will need this," he said, holding out a matching cloth but this one was small. She took it and he pointed to her head, so she slipped it over her head, looking out through the gap for her eyes.
Victoria gasped and Albert swore while Lucian grinned smugly. Genevieve frowned and looked down, not finding her body at all.
"I am a genius," Lucian declared while Victoria stood up, holding her hands out in the air.
"Genevieve, where are you?" Victoria asked. "Place your hands in mine."
Genevieve complied and Victoria gasped at the sudden weight in her hands and looked at her.
"What is this all for, Master?" Genevieve asked and he held up her bloodied fan.
"You’re going to find the assassin and bring him here so I can ask him some questions," he answered in a matter-of-fact tone and then groaned. "I need some wine."
Renee, a young maid who looked around fourteen with jet black hair in a low bun, quickly came forward with a glass filled with red liquid.
"Thank you Renee, you may go." Lucian dismissed and she curtseyed before exiting the room. Lucian took a couple of sips before putting the glass down and holding the fan out in front of him.
"Dnif eht renwo fo siht doolb." Lucian’s voice echoed and the fan began to float in the air. "In the name of Archer, I command thee!"
A string of red came out of the fan and went through the room, out the front door.
"That string will lead you to him. Knock him unconscious and bring him here without getting detected." Lucian instructed and Genevieve nodded, only to realize that he couldn’t see it.
"Yes Master." Genevieve replied and left the manor. As she stood outside, night had fallen.
'The rooftops will serve better to our objective,' she thought and glanced up. Without a moment to spare, Genevieve climbed the manor and ran across the buildings. She kept a close eye on the red string from above while taking care not to fall off the rooftops.
When the string broke off and disappeared, Genevieve stopped in her tracks and looked around. There was a building similar to the Archer Manor but smaller, residing in between two broken, run-down buildings.
'Caution' Genevieve scanned around the building for an entrance. There was only the front door while the windows were all closed.
There was a creaking sound coming from below, snapping her attention to the back of the building. There were several cloaked figures exiting a wooden cellar door, talking amongst them.
'That entrance is the only way in,' Genevieve thought and quietly jumped down, landing on her feet gracefully. She was about to take a step when the moon shone down, clearing away from the clouds. Her shadow could be seen.
Quickly taking a step back, Genevieve looked at the cellar door. The whole backyard was lit by the moon’s light, how was she supposed to get across without alerting anyone?
"Is Sias coming or what?"
Genevieve glanced at the seven people standing around. There were two women and five men. One caught Genevieve’s eye, the honey-blonde woman who looked around nineteen of age. Her sapphire blue eyes and doll-like face gave off an innocent nature but not the warm and fuzzy one.
The other girl, dark-skinned with jet black hair shook her head. "Master Makarov and Mistress Minerva won’t let him leave until he comes up with a new plan."
Genevieve was surprised at her, she seemed tough and with the star-shaped scar just below her left eye, Genevieve assumed she had been through a lot. She seemed older, around twenty-three by a guess.
The blonde shook her head, biting her thumbnail in frustration. "This wouldn’t be happening if he just let me help him."
"No point on dwelling on it, Beth. Sias is stubborn to the core," the other girl said.
Genevieve pulled away from the conversation and noticed the wooden fence, surrounding the backyard. The side facing the house was covered from the moon’s light, making shadows. She quietly ran towards it and in the shadows, ran closer to the cellar door along the edge until she was just a few steps away.
As the group turned away, Genevieve quickly hopped down into the cellar and pressed her body against a shadowed wall.
"One moment guys, the door is still open." One of the voices called and the door closed. The whole area was filled with darkness, no light left in it.
Genevieve stared ahead, blinking until she could see perfectly. Then without haste, began walking down the long, stone wall passage until she reached a lit center. There were two different paths to take and she glanced at both.
Unsure, Genevieve walked over to the left and squinted, getting a better look at what laid further ahead. She saw holes in the walls, coming to the conclusion that was not the way.
She walked over to the right and kept her eyes on alert. This was obviously an assassins' den, meaning traps lay hidden in case of unwanted visitors.
Sadly, it turned out she was right. After dodging several triggers to traps, Genevieve found a hole in the wall, with voices coming out of it.
"-Better not disturb him. It’s bad enough that he has failed four times, now the Master is giving him one last chance to prove himself," a deep male voice said sadly.
"It’s his own fault, if he can’t win against a girl then he is useless." A female voice snapped in a cold tone. Genevieve waited until their voices faded into the distance before emerging from the closet where the hole was hidden.
Genevieve concluded the room she was standing in was a kitchen, from the sinks and chopping boards that she spotted. Quietly, she sneaked out and entered what looked like a mess hall.
'The red string should appear now,' she thought and looked around, spotting it up against the wall, leading up to the wooden stairs. Genevieve climbed the stairs and followed the string, careful to not be in the light or make too much noise. She had no clue how many assassins slept in the rooms she passed and frankly, wasn’t really looking to find out.
When the string disappeared into a closed door, Genevieve pressed her ear against the door, detecting movements. A plan formed in her mind as she lightly tapped the door and then quickly pressed herself against the wall next to it.
There were loud footsteps and the door flew open, revealing a VERY angered man who walked out into the hall. Genevieve quickly took the opportunity to slip inside as he began shouting things.
Genevieve frowned, the voice seemed familiar to her but she couldn’t place it.
There was a sigh and the door slammed, the man walking back into the room while running a hand through his jet black hair that stopped just above his shoulders.
"Those bastards, I’ll wring their necks in a minute," he muttered, slamming his hands down on the brown, wooden desk with blueprints of the Buckingham Palace.
Genevieve’s eyes widened and a quiet gasp escaped her lips as he looked over at the noise.
Brown eyes stared at her.
Okay guys, I'm heading back to school and entering my senior years. This is a very important and busy time so I will try to get chapters up as much as I can while not failing school. I would like to pass my HSC (High School Certificate).
OMG!!! Who is this strange man that Genevieve has encountered? Hmm...