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A FATHER\'S THOUGHTS

Dreams and Voices.

Since when did it start?

Vincent Raphael Halstead knew that all of these dreams and voices started hunting him after his mother died.

His father who was always busy never had a time for them. As if his father was possessed, he had become obsessed with his work. Vincents mother falling ill because she can stand the absence his father had created. He was worried before but after a while, it was nothing but a common recurrence in their family.

It was normal for him to eat alone. It was normal to mind his business alone because everyone was busy trying to live on their own. His mother would often say that he should not fall in love. The loneliness that comes after the ecstasy was dragging her to her death. Nevertheless, Vincent knew that his mother had loved his father very much.

But what can he do? He was just thirteen at that time. So, he kept his mind open trying to observe people. Wondering what was love until he had a conclusion.

Love is a passion that burns too fiercely. It burns and it hurts. After its burn only ashes remains. He had kept this though deep inside him as he grows up. Not expecting anything from his father now that his mother was gone.

That was what he thought. Until he started hearing voices and having dreams. It was a woman who had a beautiful eyes that reflects the blue moon under a lovely night. Tears flowed on her eyes, with her last breath, she said,

”I am sorry, I should have treasured you more. Forgive me, my dear little Duke. ”

As if he was in a complete trance, the stinging pain seeing the woman breathe her last hurts so much to the point that he had a fever after that dream. He was constantly seeing her flashed her smile despite the blood and the pain she felt. Her eyes were gentle and it was assuring him that everything would be alright.

Vincent was baffled by it. How come such stranger can extract a strong emotion from him when he basically lived his whole life being a cold emotionless one. It did not make any sense. However, after that, he had never dream of that lady again.

Vincent continued his life living. His expressionless and cold face was known to the servants. They even once told that it perfectly reflects the cold weather in their land, the northern lands, Ashbourn. He was the perfect copy of his father and the desirable heir he should be. No one expressed their doubts for Vincent can kill even if his age was only 15.

Well, he had left that land a few years back after his mother died for him to attend the academy. Now that he was seventeen, he only needs two more years to graduate and return.

His life in the academy was simple. Vincent did not associate himself with other people as they all find him too burdensome and he doesn want to spend his energy on meaningless chatters. He knew the flow of power very well and he was quite aware that the Halstead duchy stood just below the empire.

They have absolute authority besides the imperial family and Vincent knew how to use that power very well.

Today, he was inside in his room, reading few books that will be discussed on the next meeting by some scholars when he heard a knock coming from his door. Closing the text book, he asked, ”Who is it? ”

”Young master, its a messenger from the duchy. ”

A messenger? He asked. It was the first time his father had written first. Sighing, he opened the door only to received a letter with their crest on it. He did not dismissed the messenger yet as he needed to write back if there was something important.

Please return for now as I have something to tell you personally.

Your father.

There were no greetings nor affection stated in the paper. It only had a simple command to return as soon as possible. Well, Vincent did not expect any of it though. Walking back inside, he thought of the activities in the academy this month. There was nothing and all of the children had gone home for this was the time for the academys three month vacation.

Realizing that he was free, he packed some of his things and ordered, ”Prepare the carriage as I am also going. ”

The messenger obediently followed the young masters command as he was also previously ordered to take the young master with him. Leaving the room, Vincent only pack a few books and papers need for his study. He already have some clothes on their estate.

Without any delay, he left his room and lock the door. As he walked, people were staring at him. He knew that they wanted to be acquainted by the sole heir of the Halstead duchy but he rather be away from leeching people. Nothing good comes to associating himself with them.

Climbing the carriage, everything was prepared. When the messenger and the knight stationed noticed that the young master had finally made himself comfortable, they finally ordered to depart.

Since he had nothing to do, Vincent opened up a book that talks about politics hoping to spend the remaining time reading it for his social studies. The messenger and the knight was outside ensuring his safety.

The travel from the academy to the Northern Land of Ashbourn only took a week with the use of magic. The empire was already advance about magics and it was associated to everyday lives of the nobles.

The moment Vincent had arrived, he felt something was off as the atmosphere of the duchy was rather noisy than usual. His purples eyes observed the place and every servants who greeted him. Since it was autumn now, the wind was somehow cold and it perfectly describes the weather of the north lands.

The butler first greeted him, ”Welcome home your master Vincent Raphael Halstead. ”

Vincent nodded, letting the servants assist him with his bags. Removing his black gloves, he asked, ”Where is father? ”

”The Lord is not yet home. However, he specifically instructed us to notify him the moment you arrive, young master. ”

Vincent only stare. ”Then, thats good. Please prepare my bath and some foods that are not heavy. I am a little bit tired from my travels. ” Vincent moved along not waiting for replies.

”As you wish young master. ”

Vincents room had the color of black and white. The curtains were black enough to keep the suns rays seeping through. His sheets and pillows were mostly black without any embroidery designs as he wanted to keep it simple.

However, the furniture was luxurious. It had the color of white and had a beautiful design engraved and every detailed was thoroughly made. He also kept a few bookshelves inside as he kept his favorite books in his room to access them freely than to store them in the estate library.

Opening the door, Vincent was greeted by fragrance of sweet flowers coated with the smell of winter. It was somehow comforting and a little bit familiar for this was his room after all. Without any change of his expression, Vincent took off this coat and laid in his soft bed feeling the fatigue he accumulated from his travels be wash out by the softness of his mattress. He can wait to take a bath soon and eat for he was famished.

Since the death of his mother, he only went home every time his father ask him to or if the new year banquet in the territory arrives. And after how many years of being away here, he was finally back even though it was only for a short moment.

He stayed there laying on the bed without thinking anything. As soon as that, he heard a knock coming from the door, so he sat on the bed. ”Young master, the water is already ready. ”

”Prepare my clothes. ” Vincent simply added before entering the luxurious bathroom of the Halstead duchy.

Everything was made of black and white marbles. It was very pleasing to the eyes. The water coming out was hot enough to put a steam on the entire room. Since it was already cold, the hot water had caressed him out of his sore muscles.

In contrast to any nobles, Vincent hated when someone was touching him so, all the servants knew that he doesn need any assistance when it comes to bathing. Letting his body be soaked on the hot water. He sighed a little feeling a little drowsy.

What does father want now? Vincent contemplated on the reason why his father wanted him to go home in the first place. Realizing that he had no clue, he sighed in defeat and just let everything flow into what they should be.

The servants prepared a simple sandwich accompanied by chamomile tea. Dressed in his new fresh ironed clothes, Vincent sat on the chaise facing the window where there was a view of the snow mountain soaked with the suns rays was. And like that he spent his time resting and waiting for his father to summon him.

It was already late in the evening when the servants had notified him that his father was already home. Knowing that his son, Vincent was also home, the duke ordered for him to join dinner. Vincent did not changed his clothes as he find the bothersome and annoying. He was at home anyway without any guest, who would criticize him?

On his way to the dinning room, he noticed the amount of food being carried was a little to big for two people. Do we have guest? He asked looking down at his clothes but not deciding to change any of it. He was too lazy to even care for it.

Knocking on the door, his father gave the permission to enter. Taking a deep breath, he twist the door knob in order for the door to open. But little did he know that his father was not the only one who was waiting for him.

He heard the voice of a woman. Feminine and delicate.

A little puzzled, Vincent frowned.

”Ah, Vincent, you
e here? ” His father spoke and theres a smile plastered on his face. Vincets gaze were fast. He already saw the woman who had the most delicate voice he had ever heard.

Vincent stood there not moving. His eyes were questioning who was the lady. ”This is Neirin Circe, and shell be your older sister. I hope you get along well. ”

Sister?

This lady will be his sister?

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