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3 The Haunted Mansion

    "I'm no human, Lucia."

    Silence filled the room. Lucia could only stare to Keiran's conflicted face. Her mouth gaped open slightly. Her eyelashes didn't even fluttered, as if she was frozen.

    "Sorry, I've scared you." Keiran abruptly stood up and turned his back to her. "It's dangerous for you to leave this mansion right now. You should wait until the morning.

    Keiran walked away from the couch, didn't look back to Lucia. Seeing his lonely back and hearing how distant he had sounded just now, her heart hurt. It was like seeing her own self, back in the Mason Manor.

    Lucia quickly placed the mug on the table before running to get him. She reached out a hand, grabbing his arm and turning him around to come face to face with her.

    "Do you want to kick me out?" Lucia asked with a low voice.

    Keiran was startled. "No! I didn't mean to..."

    "Then, why do you want me to go?" Lucia peered at his face.

    "I just..." Keiran averted his eyes from hers. He looked defeated, but he didn't pull his arm away from her grip. "I don't want to see you scare of me. And I don't want to force you to stay here."

    "You don't scare me. So what if you're not a human? You look human to me!" Lucia said with a firm tone, emphasising the last sentence.

    "How could you not be afraid?"

    Keiran was puzzled. He stared confusedly at the girl's little face. She didn't lie. There was determination in her big blue eyes. It was like the clear pond behind the mansion, the one he always frequented whenever he felt extremely lonely.

    "I don't sense that you would bring any harm to me. And for your information, I always trust my instincts." Lucia smiled cheekily.

    Keiran suddenly laughed out loud, so hard he needed to crouch down on the floor. Now it was Lucia's turn to feel confused.

    "Do you think I'm lying?" Lucia crossed her arms, arching an eyebrow while looking at Keiran.

    "You... are you sure you're a human?" His laughter was still bubbled, he slowly got up from the floor.

    "I am a human, not fae." Lucia pouted. "Well, my wounds tend to heal faster but I can't teleport, fly or even curse someone."

    "Okay... okay... I'll believe you." Keiran rubbed his eyes, tears coming out due to his laughing earlier. "I want to thank you, if you really want to stay here."

    Lucia eased into a smile, no longer pouting. "It must be hard on you, Keiran. Being all alone in this huge mansion."

    His eyes dimmed, a faint smile graced his thin lips. "I just got used to it."

    Lucia wanted to ask more, but a yawn escaped from her little mouth. Keiran chuckled, he looked more relax than before.

    "Come. I'll show you to your room."

    Knowing that she needed to sleep, Lucia followed Keiran from behind. As the mansion was brightly lit with candles and chandeliers, she could clearly see the interior of the mansion.

    The marble floor was so smooth, she could see her own reflection on it. The curtains were black against the gold colours of the window panes, made from a high quality velvet. Old paintings of beautiful gardens were hung on the wall. A black, soft carpet was laid on the stairs leading to the upper floors.

    "This mansion is so clean! How do you manage it?" Lucia's curiosity was piqued. Keiran said he was alone in this place after all.

    "I don't really know but this mansion seems like it listens to my orders. Like, when I think of the house should be lighted up, the would be fire on the candles and chandeliers."

    "Wow!" Lucia exclaimed in excitement. "You don't need to worry about the cobwebs and dusts!"

    "Yeah." Keiran laughed hearing the remark. "But I do not really ask it to be cleaned. This mansion stays clean all the time. And me myself do not know why."

    Both of them turned to the right corner once they stepped on the floor upstairs. More expensive ornaments came into view, making Lucia interested in their shapes and sparkles. They were totally different from the items in Mason Manor!

    "But, the mansion looks old and creepy from the outside." Lucia recalled what she had saw the first moment she looked at the mansion. "It is because you wanted to ward off the intruders? I'm sure the robbers would love to find a mansion like this."

    "It has always looks haunted from the outside. That might be a reason." Keiran opened a door and gestured for Lucia to enter. "Once, a group of robbers tried to break into the mansion. I hadn't done anything but suddenly they ran away like they saw the face of Death itself."

    "How convenient." Lucia whistled. She looked around the bedroom. It was spacious and filled with beautiful furniture, reminding her to the Mason daughters' rooms.

    "This could be your room from now on. Please make yourself comfortable." Keiran plumped up the pillows on the big canopy bed. "There's an en suite bathroom so you don't have to use the one downstairs."

    "Do you need to go to the bathroom too?" Lucia sat on the bed. It was so soft, unlike her bed made of straws in the dark stable.

    "I don't. But I know the basic of humans' needs." Keiran winked. "We'll do something about your clothes tomorrow. I don't think you want to take a bath in your sleepy state. Call me if you need anything."

    "Thank you, Keiran. For everything." Lucia smiled. "Good night."

    "I should thank you too. Good night, Lucia."

    The lights went out before Keiran exited the room. He slowly closed the door. Lucia laid in bed, her thoughts wandered with her encounter with him. Feeling exhausted, she drifted off to sleep.
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