Aristocrat and a servant in the world of magic

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Chapter 1. Farewell to the past

Today is a dark day. It’s raining for the third day in a row. The old maple tree under my third-floor windows began to wither. Many things die in this castle. And my mother, the maid Greta, too, from stone sickness. It’s been two weeks now. It’s very hard for me as a fifteen-year-old teenager. I didn’t want to get out of bed. So I lay there. Tossing and turning and whining about his life. But Martha, the maid, entered the room.

«Young Master Claudius, get up, breakfast is waiting for you.» «She’s the same age as me, beautiful. Dark hair, strong features. Always in high spirits, although there is no reason. — It’s been two weeks. No matter how sad, but we must live on. My father is waiting.

«He’s a scoundrel,» I said, pulling the blanket over me threateningly. My mother was a servant here for many years. Count Leonid Knut, an old man in his late eighties, warmed up to her when his wife died of a strange stone disease. Now he is almost a hundred years old. He always talks about his grandchildren. His children left the world many years ago. They have the slave trade business, and he has it.

«You can’t talk about your master like that. He loves you. In your own way. She began to pull off the blanket. How beautiful she is. I’ve liked it since I was a kid. We grew up together. She considers me a friend, and I think more of her. But we can’t be together. «No one canceled my classes, either. Teacher Matvey Ulok does not tolerate truants.

«He can be patient. There are no other students in the castle. You don’t want to study with me. Like I didn’t ask for. — My dastardly father hired him years ago as a healer, but when I was eight years old and started to develop abilities for magic (from the author of the human race, only aristocrats have abilities and are inherited), he also became my teacher. A lively and cheerful young man of forty-five. I didn’t know his true age, though, because he was a demon. And so it has a blue skin color and small horns. He knows a lot about the world. He says that he was kicked out of the College of magicians for his progressive ideas in the field of potion brewing. What a clumsy fellow. You can’t lose a warm place in this world.

«I can’t study with you, I’m a servant and a slave. And you are the Count, "she said, pulling off my clothes and beginning to dress me. — And your father was against it when my mother, Ilina the housekeeper, asked for it.

«That doesn’t surprise me. «My dad’s a big social distance advocate. «The poor and slaves should know their place,» he likes to say.

With her help, I dressed in a cool white coat and pants. My shyness only made her laugh.

«We used to wash together when we were kids, don’t be shy. She said, stroking my head.

«We’re not kids anymore. I said, turning away. You look at her and you can’t say that she’s a child, that’s what kind of breasts she grew, not less than the third size. It’s hereditary in their family.

She just laughed and took my hand and we went to the «meal hall» as my father used to say. The servants and maids bowed to me on the way. I don’t like it. Until eight years ago, I was just an ordinary kid, living in this castle as the son of a maid. I was preparing to become a butler. But one day the Count had a whim, and he recognized me as his son. This was a complete surprise to me. My mother didn’t tell me who my father was. I personally thought it was Pavel the butler. A handsome, strong man in his late forties, bold. Impudent to the count, about the equality of people says. The Count tolerates him only because he knows how to keep his servants in order and discipline. He’s smart, even if he’s a slave. I wish he was my father.

«Son, sit down. There’s some good news for you. «My father was sitting in front of a huge table about forty meters away. Various delicacies and viands were placed on it. There’s clearly more food than we can eat together. He liked that after him this food would be eaten by servants and slaves. So he took a bite and licked most of the dishes. I’ve had to eat with him before, too. When I remember, I shudder.

«Yes, young master, sit down next to your father. And not to your usual place. Pavel the butler said. Dressed as always in a black tuxedo.

I sat down. Martha, the maid, placed a napkin on my lap. It was so uncomfortable. Her hands are warm. I was sweating profusely. A strange feeling came over me. An alarm or something.

«As you know. He paused.«I’m old and I want to see my grandchildren. Many years ago, my children son Bendy and daughter Smilga left me after the death of their mother Tamara. My dear wife. He looked sad at that. — So two weeks ago, after learning about the sad events. «Well, the bastard didn’t talk about my mother’s death. — They decided to come with their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They have a civil war going on in the neighboring country of Ionia, so they decided to wait it out with us. Their crown Prince Slavio is at war with Uncle Losyon.

— So I am certainly glad that they will come, I will be able to at least finally get to know them.

«Here’s the catch. They don’t want you here. That’s why you’re going to the Academy of Miracles. There you will be taught magic, and you will be able to choose your own path in life. Maybe you’ll become a minister or a mage in the guild. Maybe a military officer or an adviser. All doors are open to you. He grinned.

«But not this house, as I understand it. It is closed for returns.

«Don’t be so angry. My grandchildren will live here. You didn’t think you’d stay forever. «It’s clear that he wasn’t saddened by my mother’s death. He just wants to get rid of me.

«How much time do I have?» — I realized that this cannot be avoided.

«You’ll leave tomorrow, in the morning. Pack your bags and say goodbye to the servants. I know you’re friends with them. He grimaced at that. «Although I didn’t approve of it.

«Can I take Martha with me?» I’m supposed to be a servant, according to my status. I stared at my father, then at the laughing maid.

«No, she’s staying here, I have my own plans for this cutie. He smiled nastily. «If you have the money, buy it back. That’s the incentive for you. Its price is three hundred gold pieces. — Although I know that its price in the slave market is a maximum of thirty gold pieces.

— The amount is too big for her. But I agree. Don’t hurt her, Daddy, before I collect the right amount.

«You can tell right away that you’re my son. You also notice beautiful ladies. I thought you didn’t notice her.» No, I noticed it. At least you’re not one of them. He began to laugh nastily as he licked his fried chicken. «Just don’t marry her as soon as you buy her. You can be a mistress or concubine. Do not disgrace my glorious name of Knutov. I’ll give you five gold pieces of pocket money a month. If you live modestly enough

«And thank you for that.

«They’ll give you free food and uniforms. On vacation, as you understand, do not come to me. Find a part-time job in the city, there are probably restaurants or hotels there. You wanted to be a butler. So get to work.

«Certainly a father,» I said sadly. You can’t make a lot of money in a job like this.

«Don’t borrow money, and don’t give it to anyone. Study hard and don’t offend anyone. Stick to the ladies carefully. If she gets pregnant, send the bastards to me. I’ll accept my grandchildren. But don’t sleep with dwarves or mermaids, I don’t like them. Avoid centaurs, too, because they smell. And in general, there are no girls better than people. Although I’ve been with elf ladies before, I don’t recommend it either. They may be cute on the outside, but they’re vindictive and mean on the inside. And most importantly, a seven-hundred-year-old woman can hide under the guise of a beautiful girl. Ugh, that’s disgusting. So here’s my son. If you have any questions, write me an email and I’ll help you as much as I can.

«Very well, Father. I will be an exemplary son.

We ate quietly. Then I went to Matvey Ulok’s classes. He was standing, as always, in the laboratory in the tower of magi, near a table with various test tubes and phials. The smell burned my nose as always. His white lab coat and glasses made him look ten years older.

«Oh, my disciple has deigned to come.

— Yes teacher.

«I hear they’re sending you to the academy to study. A famous place, I studied there myself. Although a long time ago.

«There will be a lesson today or not. I have to pack my things and go to my mother’s grave.

«No, there won’t be any lessons. Drink this potion as always and you can be free.

— Yes teacher. — I drank the red potion like I did all the days of training before. What he didn’t tell me about them. He only said that it would help for the growth of magic.

«The academy has rules. Observe them. Do not join sects and cults, you will not find strength in them anyway, but there are problems. There are four streams. Strong magicians go to the «Red Squad», weaker ones to the «Blue». Who has little magic «Yellow». And you’ll go to the White House with almost no magic. Everyone laughs at him, but don’t be offended. Study hard and you will be able to move up a rank. I myself was in «yellow» at first, but by the end of training I became «blue». You won’t get to red for sure. No matter how hard you try. Only the elite study there. Sons of kings and rich men.

«No, I’ll be the strongest and earn enough money to buy Martha out.

«Ah, you finally understand your feelings for her, but it seems too late. Don’t waste any time here, go talk to her. Say goodbye. Leave good memories of yourself. You’re not going back to this house.

— And what will you do next as a teacher?

«The Count will keep me with him. After all, I keep him sane with my potions. You were born because of my love potions. ha-ha. He laughed. «Run faster.

I hugged him and ran to find Martha. Over the years, we’ve become friends. The maid was waiting for me in my room, just as I thought, packing up my things. She’s so beautiful today. A sense of longing came over me. I was beginning to miss her.

«Master, what kind of things will you take?» Your father gave me permission to take only one suitcase of things. And all your things are much more.

«Leave it to me. Don’t even call me by my first name. I hesitated as she came right up to me, brushing the fluff off my robe.

— Claudius. She said in a languid voice. — I’m sorry to break up so suddenly. We’re childhood friends.

«You’re more than a friend to me.

«I don’t understand.»

«I will buy you out of slavery and you can live with me.»

«Don’t worry. Live your life. I can handle it here. Tears welled up in her beautiful eyes.

«You’re lying. I see. I love you, and you love me too. I will definitely find the money.

«Don’t worry. She hugged me.«We can’t be together. Even though I love you too. I’m a slave.

«I don’t care who you are. I was a slave myself before, but then the count recognized me. I’ll set you free. I said, and began to cry myself. She pulled away.

«Here, take this pebble. I found it in the river, behind the forest. It was a power crystal, I realized. But it broke down a long time ago. It doesn’t cost anything. But he’s the only thing I have of my own. Slaves have no property of their own.

«I will keep it as my most precious treasure. «I took the stone.

«And a special gift from me.» Which I can still give you. She kissed me lightly on the cheek. It was so nice. «Let’s get ready, I still have to clean the house.» Otherwise, the butler Pavel will skin me.

«Yes, he can. I know that.

So we started packing. When I was done, I left the castle. How old and decrepit he is. The gardener has long been eaten by magic slugs, so no one cares for him. I walked on and on, following the familiar path. I reached the small chapel of the Religion of Light.

«Hello, parishioner. Honey agarics are you going to see your mother? Angel, a small, hundred-year-old man with wings and pince-nez, asked.

— Good day and light to you, Shepherd Dolen. I bowed in the characteristic manner of the religion of Light. My father kept his parish for the castle. It is obvious that he has many sins, because he sat with the angel in the confessional almost every day at night. Maybe he also got a maid mistress. There are also rumors about the castle. — Yes, I’m going to my mother. I’m leaving tomorrow. I’ll go to the academy to study.

«Your father talked to me about it. He only wants what’s best for you.

«Yes, I know. — Of course not. He only does it for his own sake. He wants to see absolute nobles. Their grandchildren and great-grandchildren, not me, a half-breed. Your own sin.

«I, the shepherd of Light, absolve you of all your sins. Go into the world with Light in your soul. He said, and made a circle around my face.

«Thank you, Father. I said, though I never believed in this heresy. If there is Light, why is there so much evil and injustice in the world?

«Go in peace. Tell your mother I said hi. I’ll keep an eye on her grave.» Rest assured.

I bowed to him and went to my mother’s grave. Although he recognized me as his son, he did not release her from slavery. Therefore, she is buried behind a maple tree, in a modest grave with a small gravestone with the inscription «Greta the slave of Count Knut and the years of her life». The ceremony of her burial was modest. The Count didn’t say a word on it. But I brought flowers every day. Other flowers are next to mine. Martha must have brought them, too. Only that’s how she tied the rope. For three loops. Warmth surrounded my body. I felt that my mother was there.

«Hey, Mom. I came to see you today for the last time. I sat down by her rock and put my hand on it. — I’m being kicked out of my house. But don’t worry, I’ll go to the academy. I’ll become a magician or an official. I wanted to take Martha with me. I picked up her flowers. They smell of it. «But my father forbade it. The price for her freedom is three hundred gold dal. He will send me five gold pieces a month. Sixty gold pieces a year. In five years, three hundred. But I don’t have to buy anything for myself. Whether I can handle it. This is a check from him. After all, in the slave market, I can buy ten people like her. And maybe even better. «I was thinking a little. Ten female slaves. How nice it would be to come home with ten girls waiting for you. Especially ready for anything just order. Unlike Martha, who, once free, can simply go to another person. After all, she will be free. «Time changes people,» my mother always said. «Mom, should I save her?» She can be happy with someone else. Five years is a long time. What should I do? I need you so badly right now. — I didn’t cry. Let her remember me as strong. «Bye, Mom.»

I got up, brushed my robe and trousers off the ground, and walked towards the castle. The rain was falling mercilessly, but I didn’t notice it. When the shepherd saw me leave, he just waved his hand. What a vile man. Everyone is mean. I hate this vile world. Maybe Martha doesn’t love me, just doesn’t want to be a slave, that’s all. I saw an opportunity, so it works. Before that, I received zero attention. And now, when I found out that I wanted to release her directly, I began to kiss her. Or maybe he could just ignore her and buy a beautiful slave at the Academy of Miracles for thirty gold coins. And how much fun I’ll have with her. These thoughts disappeared as soon as I saw her in the window. She’s the one I want to be with until I die. I love her. My heart began to beat faster. My breath caught in my throat. She’s just cleaning the window, that’s all. She’s a slave here. But it turns out that she is also my slave right now. I’ve never thought of it that way. Whatever I tell her to do, she will do today.

«Maid Martha, come to me. I shouted. When she saw me, her face changed and she began to smile.«I command you, maidservant, come to me. I pointed a finger near me. She nodded and left. Three minutes later, she’s standing next to me.

«You called me Claudius. Do you need something? «She’s so beautiful.» Her perfume stung my nose. His breathing became frantic. My hands began to sweat.

«Not you, but you, you are my slave.»«I’ll give you whatever orders I want.

«Yes, master. You are my master. I’ll follow any order you give me. Her eyes were glassy. Her collar turned red. You can see that she resists, but to no avail.

«On your knees.»

— yes. She got to her knees, her face flushed.

— Kiss your sneakers.

— yes. Tears welled up from her glassy eyes. And she began to kiss them.

«That’s what I thought. If my father orders something like this in these five years, you’ll do it too. Now I understand my father’s words: «Don’t trust the slaves, they have no souls.» He’s always right. Get out of here slave. And serve your father for the rest of your worthless life. Tomorrow I will start a new life at the Academy of Miracles.

She stopped kissing my feet. When she got up, her eyes were no longer glassy, and she turned and ran back to the castle. I didn’t go to the castle, but decided to take a walk in the park.

«What a brute I am. She’s my friend. My favorite. And that’s what I did, "I slapped myself. It didn’t hurt, but it didn’t have to. «The world is so unfair. Why do we even live in this world? Who we are to this world. I don’t understand my role in this world. No one wants me. Now Martha, too. One hope for this stupid Academy. Maybe I’ll find a new meaning to live in it. I will become stronger and change this world. I will free all the slaves in the world. So that no one has to humiliate themselves so much in front of others. The world will suffer. But in the end, it will become cleaner and better.»

«How interesting. A new mortal is before us. This was said by a black raven perched on a tree branch. «Hoping to be chosen to save the slaves.» Maybe we can help him.

«Why not?» said another raven, but a white one.

«Who are you?» I said, taken aback.

«We are the gods of this world. The true gods. Not a fictional god of Light. We are the god Orin and the god Irin.

«So you want to help me save all the slaves.»

«Yes, but first you must apologize to the maid Martha. Ask for forgiveness, get down on your knees. We’ll give you hints from time to time. This will help you achieve your goal.

«What do you get out of it?» «The gods don’t just do things,» my father says.

«Tell him the truth, brother. Black raven Orin said.

«Tell me yourself.» Irin the white raven said

«Tell me already.» My patience was wearing thin.

«You’ll be doing little errands for us. We need help. Irin said

«So that’s what it is. You need help. So you are weak gods. I don’t need the help of such gods. I need strong allies.

«We need a demonstration, all right. Orin said.

I began to choke. I just forgot how to breathe. He fell to the ground. Convulsions began.

«That’s enough, the kid’s got it. Irin said. I was able to breathe again.

«What was that?» I asked, holding my throat, which was aching terribly.

«This is only a small part of our strength. So you just don’t have a choice. We will conclude a contract. You’re helping us. We’re here for you. Here, put a bloody signature.

A piece of paper appeared next to me with the text on it. I read it.

«The signatory of this agreement undertakes to comply with any of our orders. Feed us with your life force. And give away a part of your soul. If he cancels the contract, he will give us his whole soul. We, for our part, are committed to helping him achieve his dream of „Freeing all the slaves in the world.“ And we will return all the taken vital forces and part of the soul in full compliance with the contract. Place for caption».

I had no choice. I put my finger on the paper. Pain shot through him and blood flowed. I’ve heard from my teacher about such contracts. They did not benefit the signatory. But what could I do? I didn’t want to die.

— And the guy turned out to be smart. And you said, "It will take a long time to resist.» But it’s not like that, "Irin said happily.

«Without revealing us to Irin.» We need to look solid in front of the client.

«I signed your contract. What you want from me. I said in a resigned voice.

«Don’t be so sad. The gods will watch over you. You are chosen. You heard the first order. Ask Martha for petitions. And the advice is simple. Don’t stand in the middle of the road and help the lady on the left. Ha-ha. Irin laughed. His brother, too. And they flew away together.

What a mess I’m in right now. How did it come to this. We urgently need to read about such cases in the Academy library. But first you need to find Martha. I really did a bad thing. The castle is huge. I passed corridor after corridor. But I didn’t find it. I asked the servants, but they didn’t see her. And those who saw her said that she was crying bitterly. I went to see her mother, Ilina’s housekeeper. As always, she was standing in the kitchen, counting the food supplies.

«Good afternoon, Mr. Claudius. I’m glad you’re well. I heard about your departure. It’s so sad. My heart darkens at this. She hugged me. Even if she’s in her late forties. She’s very attractive.

«I don’t want to leave either. I will miss you all. I said, and all the servants in the kitchens started nodding their heads. — I offended Martha. So I want to apologize.

«Well, you’re young. Make up again. And she went to the attic. All tearful. I told her right away. If you give birth to a young count, your son will become an earl. She just smiled and left.

«I didn’t do anything wrong with her. While.

I ran away. What a bitch. He wants my daughter to give birth to him. At least my grandson won’t be a slave. What a bad world. And they adapt to it. Maybe it was her idea to kiss me today. And be friends, too. Give me a pebble that I keep in my pocket. Hug me every day. She probably begged for expensive perfume from her teacher Matvey Ulok. Maybe potions, like the love potions she mixed for her or me. But I think too much. It was with these thoughts in mind that I went up to the attic.

«There you are. I’ve been looking for you everywhere, "I said as I entered the attic.

«Oh, you’re the master. You will still give orders. Her tear-stained face was rough. All the appeal is gone. All I saw was a servant girl. There was no longer any tenderness or kindness towards me. She was sitting on a small chair near the window, writing something.

«I came to apologize.» I don’t know what came over me. I got to my knees. «Forgive me, my beloved. My gentle friend. A tear rolled down my face.

«I don’t believe you, master. You don’t love me. We just came to collect our stuff before we left. She turned her head away from me. „Well, tell me what you want to do to me.“ The sooner we’re done, the sooner I can get away from your family in the woods.» Even if the magical beasts eat me, I don’t care.

«Believe me, I’m being sincere. I’m so sorry. And don’t run into the woods. I’ll buy you out, just like I promised. Wait for me, I’ll forgive you.

«You’re not lying. She came over to me and knelt down, too.

«I’m telling the truth. I swear on my mother’s grave.

«I believe you. You wouldn’t lie with an oath like that. She hugged me. — I love you so much.» You’re so precious to me.

«I care about you very much, too. I can’t live in a world where you don’t exist.

«I’ll be waiting for you.» As long as it takes. She kissed me on the cheek.

When I woke up the next day, I was happy. She forgave me, and now I need to keep my promise. And, of course, the contract. Just like every day before, she helped me get dressed and wash my face. Hugged a lot. My father and I started eating breakfast.

«My son. Here is a letter to the director of the Castor Otel Academy, give it to him personally. He owes me. So he’ll keep an eye on you. You’re my family. You’re my son. We are of an ancient and proud line of Knuts, renowned slavers. Every tenth slave in the country is sold by us. King Philip III personally thanked me for my service. Although I’ve been selling his elven clansmen all my life. Strange people. Stay away from them. Accept my blessing, my son, and you may go. The coachman is waiting for you at the entrance. It’s going to be a long trip. Two days after all. He turned to the butler. «Pavel, get some food off the table for his journey. I don’t want to spend money on roadside taverns. Moreover, it is dirty there. And tell that coachman gnome Gennady. Let him drink less dark kvass on the way. If I find out he’s drunk, I’ll whip him like last time.

— It will be executed. Pavel said, bowing slightly. And he began to collect food from the table in a paper bag. I tried to collect pieces that weren’t bitten off. And thank you for that. After collecting a lot of food, he left.

«That’s a nasty butler. I’ll sell it along with all the idlers.

«Dad, don’t sell Martha. As agreed. Her freedom for three hundred gold pieces. I slammed my fist down on the table.

«This is my son. That’s the way things should be handled. I won’t sell it, and I won’t use it myself. Not even Zhenya. Let her go as a wench. Let him suffer. And when you don’t come back for it in five years, I’ll laugh at it in front of everyone. And maybe then I’ll use it. She’ll be twenty then. Quite a berry will become.

«Swear to me, Father.»

«I swear, son. Five years of your sentence. He fumbled in his pocket for a moment. «I’ll even give you a bonus,» he said, placing twenty gold pieces on the table. — Take it while I’m kind. You’ve made me happy. Take a picture of the lady for yourself or save it for later. A wedding is expensive. Also buy a house. Give the priest a bribe. Pay the mayor and mayor for the paperwork. Liberation is not cheap. I got all worked up myself while I was freeing you.

«Now I’m sure you’re my father.» I respect you. You can’t break your oath. — I played on his ambition. After these words, he will not be able to break his word.

«I’m starting to like you.» Today is exactly the day of discoveries. In five years, we’ll talk like men, maybe. Don’t come by yourself, just write the address and I’ll come by myself. We’ll discuss everything. Maybe I’ll forgive you for your shameful background. He thought for a moment. — But how beautiful your mother was at eighteen, when I first fell in love with her.» Okay, go faster kid. Dad will be sad now. You don’t need to see this.

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