“This king sceptre is the reason, you unseeing one! It belongs to Mr. Winters’ collection of ‘fine objects’ and, as I was informed by the eldest Foresmyth girl’s house-guest, Joshua Newton (you see, the eldest Foresmyth girl is one of the youths with whom Daphne and Joshua had a working deal acquaintanceship and used for some extra jobs because of her acutely fine looks), that apparently, it has supernatural qualities.”
“Do you mean magical abilities?” Alexandra had heard tales of such things, but she had never believed the words that were spoken only to fool or entertain young children.
“It is said that the sceptre can bring the dead back to the living. It has eternal powers over the underworld.”
Alexandra began to perk up again. It was nice not to have a large, sharp diamond pointed at her face any longer, and, although she doubted what he said was reality, merely the ramblings of a deranged, vengeful servant, it was nice to fantasise about what the sceptre, if its talents had been anything but speculation, would be able to do for her and her parents. Even so, when she next spoke, Alexandra noticed that her voice was still tinted with doubt and mockery.
“Does it have a name, this ultimate stick of power?”
Rhaïd laughed, his voice slicing like a light into her heart.
“Not as of yet. I haven’t heard enough of its past to know if it was given one, and I could not give a name to something already owned.”
“Owned…as in, like it is owned by Mr. Winters,” Alexandra said coldly.
“Not any more. I have liberated it from him. He didn’t respect its influence and just kept it stored in a dusty antiques display case. It was nothing to him but his property, which is not how something of value like this should be treated.”
Just like your impression of the life of servants, Alexandra thought to herself.
“You don’t know what sort of trouble this could cause. Whilst tampering with the lights is one thing, stealing a priceless artefact is an offence so much greater!” she cried out, exasperated.
“Not trouble, victory. Especially for me, as the main user of such greatness. Using the sceptre, I shall bring my parents back to life, and we will live the story we never got to during my childhood. We will be free, and will be able to live as natured destined us.”
“You never know what could happen. That’s implausible in the least!” Alexandra frowned.
She shivered in the cool air of the unheated servant’s quarters. Wearing only a maid’s uniform of black dress and white apron, it appeared to be a tad chilly down where they were shut off from the rest of the world. Out there it was late-afternoon haze and subtle warmth.
Alexandra studied Rhaïd’s wild eyes again, displaying a life of his so different from the steady businessman that he had been acting a few hours ago… The few hours that had spun the world on its axis and not asked for mercy from any of them.
Those eyes were begging for change, even if their owner chose not to bring himself to the level of a beggar; they were asking for the empathy that naturally unwound itself from Alexandra’s heart. In all the previous words that had dripped from her lips, Alexandra had known to be wary, but now she meant no harm at all, even when it was an unsure decision whether Rhaïd himself meant her harm.
She took a single step towards Rhaïd, intending to remove the cane from his grip, and so remove his harmful thoughts with it.
“Stay back!” he cried, and pointed the sceptre at her once more, so that the end with the large black diamond was directly facing Alexandra again. “Don’t think it impossible. I’ve seen that you understand how the rejection feels, but if you are not ready to accept the idea and step over to my side, I’m afraid that I shall now have to kill you.”
Alexandra parted her ruby lips and screamed.