He hesitated. He had been asked to do something that had never once crossed his mind because, he truly believed to be his fault. Everything. He looked at the faces before him, debating whether truly this was a good idea. And yet, something faint within him was convinced that this was the right choice.

They gave him time to think it over. Times ticked by awfully slowly and when Asher thought he couldn speak up, he did.

The room fell silent, Jamil made him comfortable and they all waited to hear it. However, he only pulled up the sleeves of his robes. They were surprised but gave him time.

With his other sleeve, he began scrubbing his skin, hard enough to redden it. Scared he might hurt himself, Jamil held his hand. He wanted to reprimand him when his eyes caught sight of something.

He lowered his hand and asked Hayami to rinse the towel in the water beside his bed. She did as requested and Jamil wiped the spot his little brother was working on.

He did this very slowly. It didn take long and what he wanted to show them was revealed. They were all trying hard to hide the fact that they were angry but failed. However, they still waited for him to talk for they knew, that once they spoke, finding out what was happening would be impossible.

It was a day like any other. After his being rescued by his father and older brother, he was moved to a different part of the residence. His new room was big and full of very beautiful things. He had a big window he would stare out of all day ad food was brought to him three times a day.

This was the best. He was happy and would have loved it if it would have stayed like this forever. He was assigned a new maid who like everyone else had something all the rest did. Something only he saw. At first, it was almost invisible to spot, like faint waves of dust being blown away.

But, with time, it grew to mask her whole body. The first time it grew, she had put something in his food. It was his favorite meal and oblivious to her intent, Echo ate it without leaving a single drop. And as she came to pick up the cutlery, he noticed it.

The faint, almost invisible smoke was growing and so was her smile. His consciousness was robbed at that time and when he came to, a not so new face was next to him. She had green hair and did not look like anyone he had met before.

On seeing that he was awake, she bowed and checked to see if his fever had gone down. She did not speak and he had no strength to ask of what happened.

His eyes closed and he slept. That was her first.

Things only aggravated from there. His personal maid, Mady, would hit him. Starve him. Leave him to do his own chores and abuse him in public. He began thinking of how peaceful it was back when he lived in the forest house. He would at times find himself going back there.

However since it was under construction, he could not do much. His whole world was crumbling and he did not know what to do. It got worse to the point that he could not even stay out too long. But, when father came home, she would act composed.

Echo would try to tell his father but that only mad her angry so he stopped. Stopped trying to reach out, stopped thinking. And became a toy for her to release what she thought was right. He became a doll that endured it all.

”How can you not do it right! ” she yelled.

Echo could not hear her. His body was cold that day. They air was heavy as it had been for the passed few days. He looked up at her and she was speaking.

”Ah, shes at it again. ” He thought.

He looked away. Mady was angered by this and lifted her hand in the air attempting to strike. Echo, who had been waiting for it, steel himself but the Thunder never hit the ground. He looked up to see the not-so-familiar face. She shoved Mady aside and reached out to him. Out of habit, he shielded himself.

The strange maid picked him up and placed him to her side. Using her clothes, she wiped his hands and straightened his clothes. Mady seeing this came and pushed her away but she don budge. Instead, she stood up and looked her in the eye. She did not speak. She did not move but her eyes, said it all.

Turning back to Echo she bowed and ushered him to the direction of his room. Echo looked at her confused. He wondered why she went out her way to help him. Why only, she out of everyone else helped him. Why only she did not have the cold eyes everyone else did.

”Why? ” he muttered.

”It is my pleasure to serve you, Master. ” She said bowing.

He suddenly remembered her voice as she had heard these words before. Two years ago, after his father had won the war, mercenaries brought war slaves to him. Not interested, he was about to drive them away when Echo walked in and picked her. He was not sure why but his body had acted up on its own.

His father, Abir, had no choice but to accept his sons request. And at that very moment, even with her disheveled appearance, small malnourished body she pledged her allegiance.

Of course, everyone had their doubts about her but after a while, everyone forgot she ever existed. He was sad about this but was happy as well that he still had someone who could protect him when his family was away.

With an intention of thanking her, he looked up but his face became horrified with what he saw Mady was about to strike the other maid with an empty bucket. Seeing his expression, she turned and the bucket came crushing at full speed on her head.

”No! ”

It was too late. He was not able to react in time. She fell on the ground limp.

”Wake up. Please. No no no no no no…please… ” he prayed.

When he tried shaking her, his hands fell on something warm. He looked at them, they were red. Mady dropped the bucket and she too looked horrified at what she had done. She pointed at him then at her. She thought of something to say. One thing came to mind.

”It was you. Its a- ”

She heard laughter that chilled her to the bone, stopping her in her tracks. She looked at the young master. Something about him felt off. He was smiling and laughing at the blood on his hands. He sighed and turned to her. He made himself comfortable. She was about to wet herself from what she was seeing.

”No, no. Please continue. ” He said.

Echo raised his head and looked at her. She took two steps back, tripped herself and fell. She wanted to get as far away as possible but her body did nothing but shake. The young masters eyes that were the same as the late Grand Duchess were now icy, cold and a chilly blue. No trace of the timid scared little buy she liked to taunt was anywhere to be seen.

”I kne- ”

”Knew what. ” He retorted.

Tears stained her eyes. Her voice was stuck in her throat. In a few seconds, she turned to only run away screaming. Sighing, Echo was once again on his feet.

”Your orders. ” The green haired maid asked.

He looked up while saying, ”It isn time yet. ”

Echo walked all the way to his room as his eyes slowly turned back to their original state. Once they were back to their original color, he found himself in his room before the laid came once again. She seemed to have been running helter skelter all around catching the attention of everyone.

As soon as their eyes met, she screamed hysterically.

”Shinigami! ” she called out. That was the last thing he remembered.

He finished.

Hayami reached out to him and asked, ”Where is the maid that helped you? ”

Echos eyes sparkled.

”She is…Lana ”

Jamil seemed to recognize her.

”The strange one. ”

”Lana not strange. Master called. Lana answered. ” She said.

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