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4 The Dreams of the Pas

    Lucia felt like she was in a dream. She was lying and rolling on soft cotton clouds. The air was cool, didn't feel hot as usual. There was no smell of manure either.

    Still closing her eyes, Lucia groaned. She reached out a hand, trying to find anything to grab. She unconsciously pulled a pillow. Bringing the pillow to her chest, she took in the smell of roses.

    Roses...!

    Her eyes blinked open. She didn't hear the usual sound of horses neighing. The straws didn't prick her soft skin either. Bright light shone on her. She realised that she wasn't in her straw bed. The events that transpired last night flooded into her mind

    Keiran! Yes! That's right!

    Lucia quickly sat up. A wave of dizziness hit her due to her sudden movement. She groaned in pain.

    "Don't move like that." A familiar voice greeted her. "You'd feel dizzy."

    Lucia turned to the sound of his voice. "Keiran!"

    "Yes, it's me." Keiran smiled brightly. "It's nice to see there's someone else in this big mansion."

    Keiran wore the same outfit as last night's. He walked inside with a tray of food. But it wasn't a proper breakfast. Lucia could hardly call two pieces of apples and a glass of plain water a proper meal to start the day. She noticed that there was a vase of red roses on the bedside table. She remembered the sweet scent that woke her up from her dream earlier.

    "Sorry that I couldn't prepare a decent breakfast for you. Apparently this mansion doesn't have the ability to prepare food from the scratch and I'm not a good cook." He looked sheepishly at the content of the silver tray in his hands.

    "It's okay, Keiran. My usual meal wasn't any better than this. I'm lucky to have fresh apples as my breakfast." Lucia offered him a smile but the smile was returned with a deep frown.

    "They abused you, right?" Keiran asked in a serious tone.

    "Yes." Lucia didn't have the intention to hide it from him. "It's already in the past. I have you now."

    Keiran sighed. He placed the tray on the bed before pulling out a chair to sit opposite Lucia. "It's actually a blessing in disguise, you being abandoned here. If you continue living there, I couldn't imagine what else you have to go through."

    "You're right." Lucia looked up to the high ceiling. A painting of faeries were drawn beautifully on it. She wondered who was the painter. The painting looked real. "I didn't expect that someday I'd finally have a friend, get to live in a mansion and no longer have to be afraid of bullies."

    If someone asked the past her if she would ever imagine this day to come, she would call the person silly. But now, she knew it wasn't impossible. When she had thought she had left alone to wander on Earth, she was guided by the fae lights to meet Keiran.

    "I want to wash up first before eating. I feel gross." Lucia jumped out of the bed.

    "I found some dresses in the attic. They look quite old but you could still use them. All of them are in good condition." Keiran went outside for a moment before he came back with a wooden box with carvings of flowers. "I don't know who left them"

    Keiran put the box on the carpeted floor. Lucia opened it and peered inside. There were dozens of child sized dresses in there. The designs looked a few decades old but they were clearly made from high quality fabrics.

    "Maybe they belonged to the lord's daughter?" Lucia wondered, referring to the mansion's unknown owner. Some of them were quite big for a six year old child, more over a skinny one like her but she did find some which would fit her albeit a little loose.

    As Lucia wanted to take a bath, Keiran went to wait outside. She squealed in delight once she stepped inside the bathroom. The marble floor looked bluish under the sunlight from the big window on the side. The was a big tub and a shower head at the center of the spacious bathroom. A toilet was located in a cubicle at the far corner. There was a countertop with a vast sink and mirror.

    It looked magical for a girl who had to live in dirt.

    Lucia slipped of her mud stained dress. She quickly filled up the tub. The water smelled lovely, even without the soap. It was as if she was bathing in a sea of flowers. This house was simply magical!

    After brushing off the dirt and feeling satisfied with her clean state, Lucia dried her body with a soft towel she found in the countertop cabinet. She picked a light blue dress and wore it on her bony figure. She sighed blissfully when she saw her reflection on the huge mirror.

    She looked very much alive.

    "You're done already?"

    Keiran was leaning against the banister, looking so excited with Lucia's appearance. She wore a pair of leather shoes that he had found together with the dresses. Two uneaten apples were held in her small hands.

    "Why do you look so excited?" Lucia asked curiously.

    "Let's go to the pond behind the house. We could fish for you to eat. You couldn't sustain longer with only apples."

    "Okay!" Lucia easily agreed to his suggestion.

    They went out of the mansion through the back door in the kitchen. There was a small gate and pathway that led to the forest. Lucia looked up to the sky. She didn't remember when was the last time she could properly smile when she saw the sun in the midst of a clear sky.
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