Chapter 4: Unexpected Ally – Part 1

After nearly an hour of exertion, both Selene and Trinity appeared drained, unable to move. Selene lay beside Trinity, her hand resting on her daughter’s back, while Trinity had her face buried in a fresh, clean pillow, with her butt in the air.

Fortunately, Michael and Richard, with the assistance of four other men, had managed to bring in the new beds. They relocated Selene and Trinity before dismantling the old bed and hauling it away.

Selene summoned enough strength to sit up. Trinity groaned into her pillow, wiping drool from her mouth and hastily fixing her hair. Strands of silver and scarlet hair intertwined, clustering on her face and shoulders.

“Are you okay, Mommy?” Trinity’s voice held a rugged quality. It didn’t sound as frail as she looked; it possessed a gentle power, akin to Isabella’s.

Selene pulled back the sleeve of her dress, flexing her muscles. “Didn’t you know Mommy was once the strongest person in Amana?”

“Yes. You say it all the time. Every man wanted you. You could’ve taken down an army. Blah. Blah. Blah.”

“Well, I never brag to anyone about that. But you’re never impressed with anything I do!”

“That’s because you’re boring,” Trinity growled, relishing in the metaphorical knife she dug through her mother’s heart. “And a slut. A boring slut.” 

Selene placed both hands over her breast and cried, “Oof,” with each insult. 

Grey chuckled, leaving Selene surprised. She, along with Isabella, had believed Grey to be mute, as indicated during the slave auction. She never heard him cry or laugh, though he silently pretended to. And now, the look on his face revealed a genuine emotion, raising questions about the authenticity of his previous reactions.

Trinity, on the other hand, was even more startled by Grey’s unexpected laughter. She hadn’t noticed him. She didn’t even know who he was. 

Selene observed her daughter’s reaction, imagining smoke pumping from Trinity’s nose with each short breath as she marveled at Grey’s beauty. Selene had brought numerous childhood friends to chat with Trinity, but the young mistress had never displayed such a mesmerized reaction. 

Finally, Selene felt like she and her daughter shared some genetics.

The dynamic between Selene and Trinity was unique, filled with bickering and insults. Selene had always dreamed of having this type of relationship with the child who bore her name. Over the past few years, she had allowed Trinity countless wins due to her sickness, fearing that her daughter might pass away at any moment. But now, things were different. This was the time to assert her dominance.

Selene’s eyes drifted to her daughter’s sweaty nightgown, which showcased her budding figure. Playfully, the mistress pinched Trinity’s nipple and cooed, “That’s my girl.”

Without missing a beat, Trinity executed a perfect karate chop at her mother’s throat, sending Selene flying from the bed. Selene giggled, rolling on the floor in her fine red dress.

As Selene staggered to her feet, she turned to Isabella and said, “I may need your help making it back to my room. I think I’ll leave my precious Grey to attend to my disheveled daughter.”

Trinity, flustered and stammering, protested, “Y-you can’t do that. I’m not dressed to see a boy—slave. I mean, a boy can’t see me like this. I need real clothes!” From her angle, Trinity thought her clothes were practically see-through. They were somewhat transparent, but not what Trinity imagined. To defend herself against Grey’s eyes, she wrapped herself in her blanket, sheltering herself like a turtle.

In one swift motion, Selene snatched the blanket from the bed. Because Trinity was holding tightly to the edges, she was flung around repeatedly until Selene’s magic caused the threads to disappear into thin air.

Then, with a wicked smile, Selene revealed a foldable fan from between her breasts and used it to cover her evil grin. “I’m sure Grey wouldn’t mind bathing you.”

Trinity’s red eyes matched her flushed face as she executed a spinning kick, planting her foot onto Selene’s chin. The mistress was thrown back into Isabella’s arms.

As though she had performed this action a dozen times, Isabella carried Selene’s limp body from the room. “Grey, please help the young mistress with whatever she needs.”

Trinity gasped. She had heard her mother mention Grey before, but she couldn’t believe that name belonged to a slave. And being a slave meant Grey couldn’t disobey Isabella’s orders. Still, Trinity couldn’t let him help her in the bath. That’s why she rummaged through her drawers to find another set of pajamas—ones that wouldn’t be so “revealing” after sweating. Then, she sprinted out of the room like a track star.

Grey leaned his head out of the room to watch Trinity make her way to the bathroom.


The bathroom had two parts: a small dressing area with a closet filled with towels, a cute couch, and a long mirror, and the main room contained a clawfoot bathtub and a toilet. It was more spacious than Grey’s room.

Grey was forced to wait for Trinity inside the dressing area. After some time, Grey realized he never heard the sound of running water. Concerned for Trinity’s well-being, he knocked on the door twice with a gentle tap.

No response.

He knocked harder.

Still, nothing.

Grey turned the handle, but Trinity shouted, “Don’t you dare open that door.”

The young girl was lying on the bathroom floor, her butt in the air again. Trinity’s strength had given out and she needed help. 

“You open. You die.” 

Grey considered grabbing a female servant downstairs, but Trinity had been alone for so long. Plus, he was ordered to help her. In Grey’s mind, Trinity’s body was nothing to marvel at. She was one of the undead, a walking monster. He was more worried about vomiting if he saw her entire body exposed.

To find a solution, Grey grabbed three large towels and opened the door. He threw the towels at her with his eyes shut. Then, he slammed the door.

“Wow. Your aim sucks,” Trinity muttered. “I mean, I know your eyes were closed, but seriously, dude. How badly can you miss?”

Grey sighed.

“You can’t talk, can you?” Trinity asked while reaching for the towels.

“Hmm,” Grey moaned.

“Oh! Mommy—” Trinity cleared her throat and corrected, “Mom kept talking about this kid that couldn’t speak but was good at everything. I didn’t realize you were a…”

She didn’t want to call Grey a slave again, so she didn’t. Trinity thought having slaves was despicable. She studied anything about the northern states that she could and wished her world was like theirs.

“The way my mom was so fond of you, I never assumed you were in this house,” Trinity uttered. “And I’m in a towel now. Can you turn on the water and help me get in the tub?”

Grey slowly opened the door, only to see Trinity wrapped in all three towels. One covered her torso, the other her lower body, and the last one covered her head and shoulders.

He ran the water for the bath, being sure to check the temperature frequently. Then, Grey helped Trinity stand.

“Close your eyes,” she said, hugging herself tightly. “And if you peek.” She raised both fists.

Grey closed his eyes, but his curiosity got the best of him. Grey saw Trinity move around in her gown earlier, and he hadn’t spotted a single tattoo. That just didn’t seem possible, seeing how circulating mana required both parties to envision the same flow of mana. But without tattoos, that would make the process more than risky for her and Selene.

Unable to hold back, Grey peeked at Trinity’s torso through one eye as she was stepping into the bath. Fortunately, she had deceived Grey and was still wearing her sweaty nightgown. Unfortunately, she noticed Grey.


Grey stood outside of both bathroom doors. Now, both of his eyes were black, and the one Trinity struck was swollen.

He continued to picture her skin. Trinity’s flesh was far less clammy than Selene’s. It wasn’t quite alive, but it wasn’t dead either. In fact, it was more like a human’s flesh than vampire skin.

More importantly, he saw through some of Trinity’s nightgown because of her sweat. There definitely weren’t any tattoos.

Grey sat on the floor, contemplating how that could be possible. For Trinity to have such a strong control of her mana while having a mana circulation disease was beyond impossible. He had only read about these things in books, so Grey wasn’t sure about his theories, but he knew enough to understand one thing. Trinity was stronger than Christian.

Understanding mana flow was a spellcaster’s most valuable skill. The clearer the mental image, the more potent the spell, and tattoos played a role in improving the mana flow. However, they also acted as constraints, limiting the magic’s full potential.

Grey likened it to water flow. Living without tattoos was akin to possessing the power to summon a streaming river, while having tattoos was like directing that river through narrow pipes. The inked designs hindered the overall magical output.

Realizing there might be a book in the library that could shed light on his understanding, Grey headed down the hallway. To his surprise, Christian stood at the library door, slowly turning the handle and attempting to peer inside.

Grey retreated into Trinity’s room to avoid detection. Thoughts raced through his mind. 

What was he doing? Looking for me? Did Christian learn that I was studying magic?

Panic gripped Grey, his heartbeat echoing in his ears, and his face throbbing in tandem. The realization hit him—he couldn’t risk reading a single page again.

The idea of Christian discovering his magical pursuits left Grey convinced that death loomed. Selene, he knew, wouldn’t be able to shield him if she learned about his secret studies.

But then Grey steadied himself. 

No. No. Think about it. Christian can’t prove that I know anything. He has to catch me reading, so I’m good for now.

His gaze shifted to the window in Trinity’s room, where a faint light hinted at the approaching dawn. Rosewood’s silhouette emerged in the dimness.

There it was—his goal. Before heading there, he needed to practice magic, and Trinity seemed like his best chance. Grey had already angered his only potential ally by peeking at her in the bathroom, and Christian was on his case. His only option now was to take a big risk in hopes of achieving a big reward.


Trinity’s hair was still wet when she made her way back to her room. She wasn’t too happy to see Grey sitting at her desk, but her face was burning in a somewhat delightful manner. 

Still, Trinity balled a tight fist and marched toward Grey. 

Raising his arms and legs in defense, Grey curled into a ball while holding a letter that he wrote. It read, “I’m so sorry! I just wanted to see your tattoos. But why don’t you have any? Without them, you could die while circulating your magic.” 

After snatching the paper from Grey, Trinity read the words repeatedly. Eventually, a cute grin adorned her lips. “You little rascal! Did you study magic?”

Grey flinched.

“I don’t get out much, but no slave on any plantation should know about the problems with circulating mana. And my dad practically made this rule a law in Southern New Vesland, so you should know that you’re in big trouble.”

Grey nodded and reached for the paper, still protecting his face from another potential assault. Once Trinity handed it back, he wrote, “Little rascal? You’re just two years older than me. And yes, I read books in the library.”

“Two years?” she grumbled. “I’ve been alive for twenty-nine years. Technically, my brain is like a fourteen-year-old human, but that’s beside the point. You should’ve lied, you know? Why would you admit to learning magic? That can get you killed, idiot.”

“I figured you’d kill me for looking at your body, so I should die honestly.”

After reading the paper, Trinity locked eyes with Grey. A moment of silence passed before they both erupted into laughter.

Grey played his cards and won the first round. He hoped that confessing his crimes would form a bond with Trinity, who was known for treating slaves kindly. Now, he needed to stick by her side for the final step of his plan.

Initially, Grey assumed this would take a few days. However, as he observed Trinity stumbling back to her bed and flopping onto her pillow, he questioned if he would ever get to execute his plan. Her movements betrayed a weariness beyond her years, and her deadly cough made its return.

Trying to sit up, Trinity was hindered by the renewed ache in her body, prompting her to roll onto her side and gaze at the trees beyond her open window.

“Is there anything you want to do before you die?” Trinity asked, tears welling in her eyes.

Grey wrote, “I want to see a giant snake in Rosewood forest.” He then brought the paper to Trinity’s bed, sitting on the ground in front of her. With a gentle reach, he wiped away her tears. “And you?”

“I wanted a friend,” she admitted. “I wanted to go to school. I wanted to have a crush. And I wanted to eat at a restaurant.”

Grey noticed Trinity’s intentional usage of the past tense. 

“Can I help with the friend stuff? You don’t look bothered by me being a slave. And there’s a good chance you’d understand my weird humor.” 

Trinity wept into her pillow and wished she could grow up with Grey. Then, she admitted, “I can’t bother my mom anymore because she’s struggling to circulate my mana. If she comes back here tonight, this disease will kill her too.”

Grey wrote something on the paper and forced Trinity to sit up, lifting her head and shoulders. Then, he showed her his paper. 

“Teach me to circulate your mana.” 

Once he ensured that Trinity had read the note, Grey walked to the lamp on her desk and burned it, tossing the ashes out of the window. Trinity was stunned silent as Grey removed his shoes and settled on the opposite side of the pillow, crossing his legs like her.

Grey nodded and offered a hand to Trinity. However, she shook her head and exclaimed, “It’ll kill you too. I’m probably going to die tonight—I think. And I’m scared, but it’s okay.”

Grey began to speak, but his stutter was so pronounced that Trinity struggled to keep up.

“Christian will kill you anyway?” Trinity repeated after considering what Grey tried to say. 

Grey nodded. 

Trinity attempted to voice her protest, but a fit of coughing interrupted her. Grey extended his hand, offering a gentle shake to her blood-covered palm. Then, he reached for her other hand, crossing their arms one over the other. Grey wanted her to instruct him on controlling the flow, but he wanted their arms and bodies to emulate the swirling wind he sensed in the room to help improve his visualization. In his mind, Grey called their crossed arms and legs The Magic 8s.


Isabella finally succeeded in assisting Selene to bed, and the mistress felt unusually heavy. Perhaps it was the result of indulging in Grey’s delectable cooking. Grey had once explained the reason behind his culinary prowess. His mother had shouldered the burden of multiple jobs due to Marcus’ lack of contribution, compelling Grey to take charge of meal preparations for his siblings. Allegedly, he acquired his culinary skills through something called “YouTube,” a concept too distant for Isabella’s understanding.

Despite her limited knowledge of Earthly references, Isabella valued Grey’s extraordinary efforts. He didn’t resemble a typical slave to her. There was a certain intensity in Grey’s gaze that looked down upon everyone around him. It was as if he stayed at the plantation not just to assist but also to witness their struggles. Isabella found herself perplexed, uncertain whether Grey’s piercing stare reflected a desire to help or an unsettling enjoyment in their suffering.

“He’s special, isn’t he?” Selene said, her gaze fixed on the same forest Trinity had recently admired.

“Grey?” Isabella inquired.

“Something shifted in the house when he arrived. I can’t quite put my finger on it.” Though Selene felt depleted, she reserved enough strength to rush to Trinity’s side should another emergency arise that night. “The look in Trinity’s eyes. She seemed like she could live for the first time, if just for a moment.”

Tears spilled from Selene’s eyes. Like Trinity, Selene felt like she was going to lose her daughter soon, but seeing Trinity so lively had given her hope. But the fleeting appreciation of the moment was cut short as the estate seemed to tremble. Selene sat up in bed, scanning the walls, just as her door burst open with a gust of wind. The force was terrifying but it stopped almost immediately, slowing to a cool breeze.

“What was—” Selene began to say before the sound of shattering glass interrupted. The noise originated down the hallway, gradually advancing toward her room until a rush of wind burst through the door, blowing out her windows too.

Isabella was thrown to the ground, her head colliding with the dresser’s edge, drawing blood.

Selene rushed to her servant who was shaken, but alive. “I have to check on Trinity. Stay there and rest.” 

Selene attempted to reach the door, but the force of the wind proved too potent, and the debris lacerated her flesh. Compelled to utilize some of her reserved mana, she conjured a protective, red flame aura around her body, allowing her to navigate the hallway with greater ease.

“Help!” Christian’s voice rang out from the opposite direction of the wind’s source. He was near the library, dangling out of the window, desperately clinging to the ledge, with a shard of glass piercing through his fingers.

After letting the wind carry her to the end of the hallway, Selene, employing her mana, softened her descent by stomping against the wall. Gracefully, she rose to a standing position and seized Christian’s hand, lifting it off the jagged glass.

Selene transferred some of her flames to her son before releasing his hand. Though Christian crashed into the bushes outside, Selene’s aura prevented the wind from carrying him away. 

Selene pivoted toward Trinity’s room, a resolute glare etched on her face. “Trinity!” she cried. After hearing no response, the mana flames enveloping Selene intensified as she sprinted down the hallway.

But breaching Trinity’s door proved challenging, given the formidable wind magic at play. Driven by determination, Selene forced her way through. Upon standing inside the doorway, her eyes and mouth widened, and she emitted a passionate scream, “Trinity!”

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