Governor's Bride - Chapter 19
The branches rustled as they reached out towards Deertes. Quickly passing by Lachlan and enveloping her body. As if trying to stop him from intervening, they carefully lifted her up. Lachlan started quietly, waiting for the trees to make their next move.
A miracle from old legends was taking place in a far-off land.
Witnessing such a sight, he was amazed. Considering they were trees from their home country, they remembered the forest fairy.
For a split second, he heard an unfamiliar voice. It wasn’t a human voice, but it was definitely calling out to Deertes.
Why. Are. You. Here.
It was the first tree that was planted on this land that was speaking. Where most of the branches wrapped around Deertes were from.
Not long. Dying.
As soon as the first tree said so, others beside it started to shake violently. Suddenly, rocks started to hit the ground as the roots of the tree crawled up to the ground.
The branches gently picked Deertes up and made their way to the fountain. Cracks started to form in the ground and freshwater soon rose, filling up the fountain.
The tree slowly lowered her into the fountain, while holding onto her with its leaves and branches. Lachlan approached Deertes’ side and looked at her.
Then, as soon as she was submerged underwater, her body started to violently shake.
Once again, the branches moved. This time to embrace her now half submerged body. Amidst the darkness, pale blue lights started to swirl and wrap around her body. By now, Deertes’ body was shaking even more violently. It was an odd sight to see the trees trying to save her.
From all the information he had gathered, Lachlan had an idea as to why Count Russell had kept his daughters hidden away in his mansion. Whereas the trees wanted to help return the forest fairy confined in the human world, back to the forest. Hence the Count was afraid that his daughters would one day disappear.
At this moment, Lachlan could understand why the Count felt that way. The anxiety he felt that the trees would return Deertes’ soul to him, but not her body.
Lachlan moved. Grabbing onto Deertes’ body as he removed the twinkling branches. The heat that he had felt moments ago quickly disappeared, leaving behind a body as cold as ice.
He wished he didn’t know, but it was as clear as day. The moment he held onto her, he knew that he would never let go of her body even in his death. The paintings that he had cherished more than his life, paled in comparison to even a strand of her real hair.
This was not a cold picture, but a real, warm and soft body of a person that lives and breathes. The face he sometimes hated, this was not the familiar soft smiling face he has always stared at.
Before him, was someone Lachlan had never thought he’d ever meet alive, as long as he was on this land. When he had left her in the desert before turning around, he felt a feeling he had never felt before. When he had found out that there were beasts after her, he regretted his every action and would grind his teeth as he thought back on his stupidity.
After becoming a governor, all Lachlan could get his hands on were her portraits and information. That’s what Deertes was to him. A legend that was in a land which took three months of sailing to reach.
Then, somehow, she had made it into his territory and sworn herself to him. That’s how she had become his own.
‘Now… You’re planning to die and leave me? I’ve barely gotten my hands on you, I can’t let this chance slip by.’
No. Get up. You still have to live and become mine. I came here for that purpose.
At that moment, Lachlan reached out and hugged Deertes.
Slowly, Deertes opened her eyes. Glancing around, her eyes soon fixated onto Lachlan.
After a while, tears begin to flow. Lachlan shuddered at the sight of her recalling everything as he wiped away her tears with his lips. Though it was a friendly gesture, they both knew.
There was no love in that moment at all.
Only the joy of the one who possessed, and the despair of the one who could no longer escape.
Deertes slowly opened her eyes again. A week has passed. Brian sighed heavily as he watched the servants carrying and moving piles of grass to the governor’s residence. The grass they carried were ones that were cut out from the old building.
Ever since that day, Lachlan had been visiting the old building. This caused many to feel perplexed as to why he suddenly cared about it. Brian too, was confused. So, while pretending to be crazy, he went and asked Lachlan.
Do you want my fist to fly, my foot, or the words that come out of my mouth to? Was what Brian had assumed Lachlan would say, leading Brian to contemplate which of the three he would indeed receive.
“It’s because the plants from the home country are good for her.”
“Keep that in mind.”
“Then, what I need to know is… Ugh, damn it. I’m sorry, it was a slip of my tongue.”
“It’s alright. Regardless of where you go, being honest is always an advantage.”
Even though it sounds like a compliment, Brian’s face could not help but scrunch up. He would have preferred if he were punched, kicked or sworn at. The fact that Lachlan was answering his question with a truthful answer meant that some of the responsibility for taking care of Deertes now rests on his shoulders.
If anything, this meant that should anything happen to Deertes while Lachlan was away, Brian will be the one responsible and the one who bears the consequences.
Brian crumpled a piece of paper. F*ck.
Chapter 2 – The Governor’s Lady
Deertes looked up at the ceiling. Ever since she woke up in the room, she has been greeted with the same ceiling. With nothing else to do, she lay back down.
Upon realising that Deertes was awake, the maid that was sitting beside the door immediately got up. Deertes’ eyes darted towards her.
When Deertes called the maid’s name, she bowed her head slightly to show she heard her call. Deertes didn’t say anything else after that. After calling the maid’s name, she turned her head back.
Donned in a white hat on her head, a black dress that covered her neck, arms, and legs, with a white apron atop it, she was no different from the other maids. However, the reason why Deertes could not take her eyes off of Helen was because of her appearance.
Dark brown skin tone, large eyes, a tall, feminine and skeletal figure, short curly hair, and protruding cheekbones.
It isn’t hard to tell she’s a native from Saul. Hence why, when Deertes had first opened her eyes, she had screamed so loudly when she had first met her.
One of the most well-known and talked about stories were of mine which poured out all kinds of jewels and natives who ate people.
“It’s said that the lost explorer of Saul was discovered as a pile of bones.”
“Oh my god. Only bones?”
“Yeah. The flesh underneath the skull was completely gone. There were even stories of how there was a tower of skulls in the village.”
“How could such a terrible thing…”
“Apparently strangers had appeared and threw poisoned spears to hunt them. It’s also said that the moment they’ve set their sights on something, it won’t make it out alive.”
The story had a primal fear of the unknown, which forced it to be drawn to, and the story of Saul’s native population at home has always been an interesting topic, not only for men of high-end saloon status but also for children running around the streets.
The story captivated humans’ fear of the unknown, causing people to be attracted to it and for the story to end up being a well-known topic amongst not only the nobles in high-end salons but also the children running around the streets.
Deertes too has heard of stories about the natives that were told by and across new ships that came in. Everytime, she would pay close attention to their words so that she could tell everything to Serene when she got back. Immediately as she recollected the cruel stories, she pulled up and covered herself with the blanket.
“Don’t- Don’t come any closer!”
Helen clicked her tongue and shook her head as she took in Deertes’ words. For a brief second she went outside, before entering once again, this time with a man.
One side of the man’s face was bruised and he had a bushy beard. But even so, Deertes could tell he was a native from the home country.
Deertes, relieved, asked him to move closer. The man, Craig, introduced himself as the doctor and persuaded Deertes to not be afraid of Helen.
Helen was the only maid who was in the room that could take care of her whether she liked it or not.
“Are there any other maids…?”
“…I do not have the power to assign maids tasks.”
“Then who can I ask?”
“…for now, you need not worry about the maid… Though might I ask, where did you fall from? The way you broke your shoulder made it pretty difficult to heal. It might sound funny to add this but… there’s no harm in lying down to rest and relax.”
As soon as those words left Craig’s mouth, Deertes could not help but laugh. It was absurd to suggest for her to ‘relax’ in such a situation. Even though she knew it would very likely fail, she asked Craig.
“Is there any way I can communicate with those in Bernst? And… since you’re a doctor, if it’s alright with you, could I get a veil to cover up my face?”
Craig glanced at Deertes before shaking his head.
“No need to fret about such useless things. Just focus on getting better first. There’ll still be time after you’ve made your recovery. And as for the veil…”
This can’t be true. Were the words that hovered over her throat but she couldn’t voice it out.
Since then, Deertes has heard many questions from Craig. How she got here, how she felt she got here, and about Cassar. No, the man called Lachlan.
“The governor of Endeavour…?”
“…You weren’t aware?”
“Tch. Don’t say that name out loud so suddenly.”
Craig seemed flustered at her words. Though after a while, he warned Deertes to refrain from calling Lachlan with the name Cassar.
“…Just keep that in mind. Anyway, just don’t ever bring up that name in front of others.”
Craig wore a serious expression on his face. Deertes could not help but reply with an “Okay.” Although his response did little to quell her curiosity.