19 XVIII. The Painting

After that evening, Magnus informed the king and the queen that he was harsh and decided that he did not want to call off the engagement. He decided that he loved Casey so much that he wanted to marry her right away.

But of course, the king has another idea. He wanted to reward Magnus for his bravery in saving the princess by a painting that will be done the next day. Casey told him to go with it and he did. He was getting ready as he wore a black Ditto suit before he went to the drawing-room as the artist has arrived from Red Cast to paint them. Casey was adorning the red dress that suited her so well.

They sat for the portrait. It took the artist one week to get it done. In the meantime, Casey was planning on their wedding with his grandmother and her mother that will be held at the end of the month. The king was slipping away in the library with Magnus and was discussing some tomes that were delightful for him to read.

The revealing of the portrait was the next thing to be done. Magnus was ready and he was leading Casey to the drawing-room where the artist was waiting for them as well as the others. James and William were back for the weekend to see what will the artist interpret the bravery of their oldest brother.

"Oh, I hope that it will be marvelous," James whispered to him before Casey was kissing cheeks with her mother and their grandmother. Magnus scowled at him.

"And what would you suggest that the artist will interpret me as?"

"A very angry lord that wanted to kill all the bandits," James quipped before Will snorted.

"Last time I recall it, it was you who were killing the bandits like a mad lord, not Magnus," Will said before James hissed at him.

"Shut your pie hole,"

William smiled before the artist was clearing their throat and everyone was focusing on them.

"Now, I will present to you the painting that I have been commissioned to capture the bravery of Lord Magnus Flemington," they smiled before they were moving to grip the cloth that covered the painting.

"Behold!"

The artist pulled the cloth and Magnus was blinking his eyes as he was looking at the painting. No, it cannot be! He thought before he stood up and went to look closely at the painting. There it was, the painting of a knight in his shining armor killing a dragon that was going to eat the maiden in the red dress.

Magnus recalled that Casey has been wearing red riding habits but he did not wear any armor of course. He was wearing black riding habits before he was looking at the artist.

"Ah, I see that you are speechless, my lord. Now, let me explain what I have done to interpret your bravery, my lord," they said before the artist was moving to explain the painting.

"The dragon was to represent the bandits that have been terrorizing our country for so long from the Fik forest. And thanks to Lord Magnus and his brothers, they are nothing but a little flimsy problem now for every one of them is dead,"

"Then, I heard from the scandalmongers that the captured princess was wearing red riding habits, yes?" the artist asked before Casey scowled at him, probably irritated that the scandalmongers were spreading gossips about her but she nodded nonetheless.

"Yes, that is correct,"

"But of course, I would not put the riding habits in the painting because it would go against everything. So, I decided to make the princess as the maiden in the red dress, a little interpretation on my part of course but it spread the message all the same," the artist said before the artist was focusing on the knight now.

"And then, here Lord Magnus, all mighty and strong on his horse as he slew the dragon to cut it off from eating the maiden. He was interpreted by my intelligence as a knight in shining armor and had saved us all from the threat of the dragon. And so, I will name this painting Flemington and the dragon. That name was quite catching if I say so myself," the artist said as the king and the others were clapping.

"Bravo, bravo. I know you will not disappoint me. Now, shall we have some tea to celebrate this?" the king said before grandma was ringing for tea. Everyone was chatting and looking at the picture but only Magnus was feeling the shiver of his sweat as he was staring at the reincarnation of the painting Saint George and the dragon.

*****

Magnus was sipping on the ale as he was looking at the fire in the library. Everyone had had dinner and they were retreating to get some peace in the drawing-room but he retreated here, among the tomes and leather-bound books, to get some peace of mind.

He sipped the ale as he did not know what to think about anything right now. Was he bound to be trapped in this body forever? Was his old body died and he cannot go back to London now? There was so many questions but so little answer to each one of them. He sighed before someone was walking into the library.

"You do love to be alone, don't you, my love?" Casey's voice was filling his eardrum before he turned around. She was smiling as the lavender gown was hugging her feature perfectly. Her auburn hair was unbound and caressing her waist as she went to the decanter and poured some of the ale for herself.

"Let me, my lady,"

"Such a gentleman. I wonder how I got lucky," Casey said before she took the ale and sipped on it. Her stormy eyes were focusing on Magnus as he refilled his own glass.

"So, what do you think of the painting?" she asked before they were snuggling against each other in front of the fire as it crackled in the fireplace. Magnus sighed as Casey turned to look at him.

"Something's bothering you," Casey said before Magnus smiled. He turned to look at Casey but he shook his head.

"No, I am not,"

"Are you thinking about your reincarnation then? Or how you would like to go back to your own time?" Casey asked him before Magnus turned to look at her. Then, he slowly nodded.

"Did you unlock to go back then?"

"No, I don't. Not that I don't want to but—" Magnus has to find the right word so that Casey would not accuse him of anything. And what's better than the truth? "I cannot leave this place now since I have met you, my love," he said before he was gripping her chin and he was sighing slowly.

"In my own world, I was a scholar, a mythical creature scholar and I would love to see perhaps the creatures to breathe and live among them. But it was a lonely life. I don't have any siblings, I can barely go by with my parents but they were dead a few years back and I don't have…anyone that would be waiting for me back there," Magnus said before Casey was sucking on her breaths.

"The only person that I ever wanted to spend my life with forever is with you, Casey, and perhaps my brothers as well as my grandma," Magnus laughed before he shook his head.

"That old dowager sure got a lot of steel in her backbone," Magnus said before Casey was biting her lower lips. Magnus noticed that.

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"What?"

"Nothing.,"

"I know you want to say something so, spit it out, Casey. What is it?" Magnus asked before she sighed.

"Well, the scandalmongers were not kind to your grandma when she was younger and I know for a fact that she IS the scandalmongers. Only people don't usually know it was her," Casey said before Magnus laughed.

"What?"

"I know that my grandma was many things but a scandalmonger? Surely you don't think she had a lot of time on her hands," Magnus said before Casey was narrowing her eyes at him.

"She is! And if you don't believe me, wait till one of your brothers were in trouble and see how your grandma will try to dispute it," she said as she was pointing her finger at Magnus. He bit it.

"As you say, my love. Now, shall we just enjoy each other or do you have something else to do?"

"Magnus! Wait until the wedding, you know we cannot get in trouble to sleep together now,"

"Why not we're engaged and I don't think your dad would be mind. He was hinting at me to give him a grandchild already,"

"Magnus!"

But Casey's scream was being consumed by one of the many kisses that Magnus bestowed on her for many years to come.

*****

James was walking up to his bedchambers before his grandma was calling after him. Not thinking a lot about anything, he went to meet him as he was rapping at the door of her bedchambers.

"You called, grandma?"

The old dowager was reading something before she smiled as she saw her second grandson. James with his brown hair and blue eyes would be considered as a rake among the society but the old dowager knew that his heart was pure and soft.

"Ah, James, come in. Please entertain your grandma for a while," she said before she patted her side of the bed as James sat there. She was looking at him as she was trying to calculate what would be the best way to tell him about the offer that she made in her hands.

And the ways that she will make sure James will tie the knot as well.

"Why do you call me?" James asked before Lady Ashley smiled at him.

"I was wondering if you could accompany me to the house calling tomorrow. I know Lady Lockwood would love to see you again. It has been a long time since you were calling on her," Lady Ashley said before James stiffed a bit. He thought he could hide it but Lady Ashley everything.

Nothing escaped her watchful eyes.

"I don't know. I have promised—"

"You will accompany me, young man, and I will see you tomorrow, is that understood?" she said firmly before James sighed, knowing that his grandma has one once again.

"Of course, grandma," he said before Lady Ashley patted his cheek.

"Good lad, now tuck me in. We should be up and early tomorrow morning. And do not drink tonight. I can hardly smell any alcohol these days,"

"Yes Grandma," James said before he was tucking her in and kissed her cheeks before moving out of her bedchambers. Lady Ashley was smiling wickedly for she knows that her grandson will not refuse the offer of marriage for the person that he thought to avoid forever. Not on her watch.

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