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   Chapter 3 Present

Gilded Cage By butterfly_effect Characters: 4838

Updated: 2018-12-17 17:03

Carlisle followed the sound of the chains to the courtyard with the peach tree. Peach blossoms were floating down, peppering the courtyard with pinkish petals. This beautiful scene was marred by the girl being chained to a pillar. She was pulling at the metal chain that circled her wrist. It was a long chain which allowed her to walk around the courtyard. But she was chained nevertheless.

Something sharp seemed to prick his heart when he saw this scene unfolding in front of him. He quickly walked across the yard to the girl and took hold of her hand. He was about to break the chain encircling her wrist, when something sharp sliced across his face. And she struggled out of his hold.

He widened his eyes in shock, numbly he touched the wound on his face. Did she hate him to such a point?

After struggling away from his hold, Arina ran as far away from him as her chain allowed. Her hands cradling her head, she rocked back and forth as if comforting herself. Carlisle was about to walk closer to talk to her again when he was pulled back by Joanne.

Joanne shrieked in fright when she saw the wound on his face.

"I am so sorry, Lord Carlisle. I swear Arina didn't mean it. I swear. She is not right in her head. No one can get close to her without getting scratched or pecked at these days. Poor girl. She thought she was a bird. She no longer thinks straight. She acts as if she really is a bird!"

"A bird, " Carlisle said numbly. Regret filled his heart.

"That's right. Poor girl. She's still so young. When she first approached me, she was still sane. Not totally sane, sometimes she would look at you like a bird or space out for a second, but not like this." Joanne then clamped her mouth shut, as if realizing she should not disclose this info to a random stranger. She then looked at Carlisle guardedly.

"Now, Lord Carlisle. You have seen that my house is safe. Thank you very much. You'd better find an inn before it's too late." Joanne knew something was off. The man who claimed to be Lord Carlisle of the Ivory Manor had came prepared. He investigated her. But she had to do something to protect this poor girl who hired her. She could not fail her.

"Arina works under my master. My master is searching for her. How did she fall under your care?" Janus asked in the place of his master who was still in shock.

Joanne sneaked a peak at Carlisle. No doubt, the lord looked

as if he was in shock. His face pale and his eyes filled with remorse. Did Arina really work under this lord? That was then she remembered, before Arina fully lost her mind, she gave her a wooden box. She told her to open it when someone came to find her. Arina's order was to drive anyone who claimed to be finding her away, but if in the end someone really found her, open the wooden box.

Joanne was afraid to leave Arina alone with these two men, but thinking of the condition Arina was in now. Joanne concluded that no one could really come close to her. If they decided to kidnap her or harm her by force, Arina must struggle. Furthermore, if they decided to kill them, there's nothing she could do. She could not fight, unlike her husband who was part of the Ivory Manor, she was just someone who worked in the kitchen.

"Arina, before she completely lost her mind, gave me an order in the case someone really find her. She gave me a wooden box, I am going to take that. You two don't get close to Arina. There's no guarantee what she will do."

Joanne quickly returned with a wooden box. She opened the box in front of the two men. Inside were two letters and a wooden plaque with the Ivory Manor ensign. One letter was for her and the other was directed to 'Master Carlisle'.

Carlisle's hand began to shake after reading the letter, but he quickly controlled his emotions.

"Madam Joanne, thank you for caring for Arina. I would like to bring Arina back to capital for treatment." Carlisle was back to his usual gentlemanly smile.

Joanne had read the letter left for her in her own room. Arina told her if Carlisle decided to bring her back to the capital, she should not stop him. Arina was still part of the Manor after all. And she thanked her for her care up till now.

Joanne nodded, but was still quite skeptical. "I understand, but as you can see Arina does not allow anyone to come close to her. Do you plan to... to take her back by force?"

"No, of course not. Arina... does not trust me now. I will wait till she trusts me, " Carlisle answered softly. "It seems like I'd have to intrude on you for awhile, Madam Joanne. I hope you won't mind."

"No, of course not. But I just don't know if you could succeed. I am the one who take care of her from the start. That's why she seems to recognize me. But I really don't know."

Carlisle gave Joanne a bitter smile. "We'll see."

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