2 Trust and Skepticism

The sky which was earlier ablaze with the fire of the setting sun, has its clouds turning gray as they wait for the coming of the night. The moon was waiting for darkness so it could light the entire kingdom until the rosy-pink light of dawn visits once again.

It was evening and the time for work for the Vasillis had already ended. Possibly much earlier than that, but there he was, standing in the window up above. The man's eyes were wandering around anxiously as if searching for something that does not exist.

His work has indeed already ended, but there was still one job left for him, he thought. He will never stop until he is satisfied with the results. His patience was getting shorter day by day and kept looking at his watch, wondering where his men were at by this time.

Just as he thought about it, he saw three men from outside the window, rushing to make their way inside to report to him.

After a minute, a knock was heard but the Vasillis remained standing by the window.

"Come in,"

Vasillis said, giving them permission. "You were all out until evening, there better be something good to hear."

The three had grown even more nervous as they tried to get rid of the lump in their throats. They knew they would get scolded, not the slightest chance to escape the anger of their boss. "M-my lord," one of them started, "We found nothi-"

Vasillis turned around and slammed his hand on his desk, startling the three exhausted men. "There must be, there must be something…" Vasillis whispered as he looked down, trying to look for a clue, still clinging to the hope of finding his friend.

He looked at his own men and started to doubt if they were telling the truth, maybe someone had paid them in secret, or so he thought. He sat down, frustrated as he shook his head. He knew he was only being skeptical, these men of his would never lie to him, seeing how tired they were.

Even so, he believes that they can find something that will lead them to a hint, a step closer to finding his friend.

"I am sure there is something…"

~~~~~~~~~~

Before the chaos,

1888, Antares.

The two kingdoms were named after stars and were said to be protected and blessed by the Goddess Asteria.

The Goddess Asteria was worshipped by all the people living in the Star Kingdoms, praying for her to bless them with the light that would guide them to the right path and the light that would prevent them from going to the hands of danger.

But even the Goddess's blessings of protection did not stop them from wars and conflicts.

The Star Kingdom, Canopus, was ruled by King Lionel. The king was a kind ruler who prioritized his people. He was considerate of the people's voices. He loved only one woman, their queen, and had three sons.

On the other hand, Antares was also a star kingdom, truly different from Canopus. Their ruler, King Cadell, was ruthless. There was not a single day that the kingdom was at peace, only days where the skies had turned red, the blood of people raining all over the land, and Tartaria, the jail of Asteria, was always full of sinners from Antares.

If one could wish for a land not to exist, Antares will be the first to come to mind.

And one of the people who once disliked the kingdom before would be the lady from Midford House. The shadow of Alexander Midford.

Alexandria got up from bed, in a bit of a daze as another useless day started again for her. Cross was late again, she thought. Or perhaps she had awoken much earlier than planned, her body was quite an alarm, automatically waking up before Cross would even do so.

A knock was heard from across the room, just as she had thought of it, the man in question had appeared.

"My lady, this is Bastien Cross."

"I could tell. Come in,"

The door slowly opened and revealed a man in his thirties, he had shoulder-length hair with one of its sides tucked behind his ears. Bastien Cross was dressed in a black fashion; a six-buttoned double-breasted tailcoat, black trousers, and a crimson vest with the crest of the Midford House on his tie and cuffs. A typical outfit of butlers.

"It looks like you had woken up before I had even arrived, My lady."

"That was the case these days,"

"Well, I would end up jobless if you continue to do my work for me, My lady."

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Alexandria just stared at him, it was not as if she could do something to prevent herself from suddenly waking up.

Cross let out a chuckle. "It pains me to see you unbothered if I ever lose my work." he said, "Is My Lady not going to be sad if I leave?"

Alexandria looked at him with a blank face, "Even if you are being serious in your question, it still sounds like mockery to my ears." she responded.

Bastien Cross smiled and gave a slight bow, "I was only jesting, My Lady. Please do not take it as an insult to your sickness."

One of the twins had an unknown sickness at the age of ten, none of the members of Midford House knew the cause of the sickness. But as time went on, instead of concern, she received plenty of hate and disgust from people. To think that even people lower than her had the guts to insult her only because their master does not favor her.

"Sad, you say. I long wondered what that feels like."

She could still remember what had happened when she was ten years old, but even anger or feeling of wanting to take revenge was gone. Before she knew it, she could no longer feel anything, every day of feeling numb inside was difficult, her surroundings always seemed like black and white.

She removed the blanket and the butler approached at once to help her get off the bed.

Alexandria was wearing her sleepwear, it was a light white dress with long sleeves. Bastien Cross helped her take it off gently and the Midford lady was alright with it. She was used to having Cross do the jobs that the maids should be doing for her, but the maids obviously did not like her.

After all, they only favor what their master likes so that they would not get on his nerves.

"My lady, things such as this should now be done by Miss Griselda, do you not think so?" Cross muttered while helping her get dressed.

"No need for that, I do not put trust in any servants other than you."

Bastien Cross smiled, "That brings me joy, yet I still doubt if you truly trust me."

"I do trust you."

"You do not trust me, I am just a person you are least skeptical of."

Alexandria silently sat down on the stool, facing the vanity with Cross just behind her, "Why would you think so?"

Cross started to brush the lady's long black hair while smiling, "I have known you twins for so long, I know how wary you two are. You both never trusted anyone but yourselves." he responded.

"There were even times when I wondered if both of you truly never doubted each other."

Alexandria Midford stared at herself in the mirror, Alexander is the only person she has, of course, she trusts him. She trusted no one, not even herself, but trusted her twin brother who promised to stay with her until the end.

'Trust...Doubt…' she repeated in her head, "Hmm, I wonder."

The two of them did not utter a word as Cross fixed her hair, however, the silence was broken when they heard a loud knock, no one would ever knock like Griselda Quin, so they knew at once who it was.

Before Alexandria could even speak, the door swung open revealing the lady they had correctly guessed.

"The Lord of the house is furious and would like to speak with you!"

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