The first sensation he reacted to was the soft blanket over his body. There was also an appetizing smell in the air, which aroused his hunger, causing rumblings in his stomach. The blurred vision when opening her eyes got used to the dim light, until she sat up in bed. There was a voile fabric hanging around the furniture that had wide canopies that held the wood well. p>
She was still very fragile, assessed the skinny arms with the skin stuck to the bones and soon after took her hands with thin and long fingers to her face. Her chin looked protruding, while her cheekbones should have lost their healthy appearance.
The awakening brought not only hunger, but also the desire to integrate into the world. She then reached the edge of the bed and propped herself up on weak legs. The four years lying on the bed always brought difficulties to awaken the muscles. So get quick help.
— Madam, please don't push yourself. - Said the lady-in-waiting, who promptly grabbed her, clasping her work-calloused hands around her slender waist.
— Tell me, Margareta, how are my flowers? she asked in a broken voice, lying back on the bed while the maid paced the room, preparing a special bath.
— They are the most beautiful in town, as always, my lady. - Margareta directed a smile at her and returned to fill the bronze bathtub that was near the window.
— Open the curtains, Margareta. ’ The request was granted promptly, the heavy royal blue velvet curtains pulled back, but the sun had not yet risen. It was dawn, the first hour of the twenty-ninth of Februarius .
Even so, the beautiful new moon appeared in the sky, as a warning to Belassiz that, despite his condition, the world did not stop and the lunar beauty remained the same. She smiled, watching the starry sky, until Margareta reached over to remove her cotton nightgown.
The lines on the side of the maid's eyes were already beginning to appear. It had been four years since she'd seen her, but she remembered small details like the freckles speckled across her cheeks and the wavy red hair that fell down her back that now looked neatly tied back in an old-fashioned hairstyle.
The matriarch smiled, accepting the help to get out of bed and into the bathtub. Margareta carefully massaged her black hair and rubbed some cold liquid over the strands, which ran down her back causing a pleasant shiver.
— Sorry, ma'am.
— It's okay, I appreciate all of my body's reactions. It's a reminder that I'm still alive, isn't it?
— You are more than alive. - She commented, with a more restrained smile and that made Belassiz think about how the life of his sweet companion had changed in the last four years.
Margareta was part of a long line of ladies-in-waiting who accompanied Belassiz from the earliest times. One after another, they were trained and educated to take care of the mansion, hire servants, take care of Belassiz while she was in a state of sleep. p>
As soon as she finished the shower, she sat in an armchair and had her hair patiently brushed. While brushing the hair, Margareta tells the most relevant news from the mansion, including the new employees and the growth of the flower plantations that extended to the properties of Clan Vordon.
— Count Vordon, how is he?
— The earl passed away last year, madam.
— Oh! And his wife? p>
— Countess Tatiana paid us a visit this week, she had to travel to Wardos, with her granddaughter who is going to debut, so she came earlier to give you a gift for that day.
— Is Cintia already going to debut? Belassiz blinked, life did not stop. Margareta went to the desk and picked up an oval-shaped music box, wound it up and handed it to the teacher. The Countess' gift was a small souvenir from when she was still young and used to visit Belassiz at spring events. It had been nearly eighty years since then. Her relationship with the people in that world was so short, but the matriarch cherished all the little memories.
— Lady, shall I summon the Coven? — Margareta asked, while taking a burgundy dress from the closet that Belassiz rejected, wanting to wear black.
— Leave it for later, we have a lot to do. she said, still feeling her stomach growling for food.
In the hall, the banquet was prepared and all the servants were waiting for the matriarch wearing their beautiful uniforms, neatly arranged in a row.
Belassiz thanked everyone for coming and asked them to sit with her. It was always unpleasant to have the solitary meal with so many eyes on her. The new employees introduced themselves, when Margareta asked them to get up from their chair to address the lady. p>
The meal didn't last long, as Belassiz didn't feel like eating so much, but she liked to see plenty in front of the table and people sharing a moment of rest together. Soon everyone returned to her duties and she was taken to her office.
Amadeus was waiting for her, sitting in an armchair. The lawyer had long black hair and eyelashes that were increasingly curved and majestic. Belassiz praised the red and gold outfit, which was very eye-catching and matched the high-heeled boots. p>
The meeting with Amadeus was necessary for the signing of important papers and, as requested the last time she awoke, he would pass on to Margareta all her properties, and divide the assets with the Coven.
— I requested the presence of Janos and Leria to be the witnesses. Amadeus said, handing over the envelope with the typewritten document. After the reading, Belassiz took off his glasses and waved his hand in the air.
— I said the estate would be divided among the entire Coven. she commented, pointing a shaky finger at the document. “I don't see Ceria's name.
Amadeus took a deep breath and poured two glasses of brandy, handing one of the glasses to the matriarch.
— Ceria of Tardos has passed away, my lady.
Belassiz returned the body back to the table, without taking a sip of the brandy. She looked seriously at the lawyer.
— How did this happen?
— Lady, Ceria traveled by ship, and unfortunately, after a storm on the high seas, the ship sank.
Belassiz leaned his elbows on the table. The last memory he had of the young woman was of her smiling, lying beside her on the bed, before she fell back asleep. Ceria was dedicated, and she respected all life on Earth, she didn't deserve such a tragic ending.
— Please plant violets in her honor, will you? They were her favorites. You already know, a tribute the way I like it. p>
Each important person in Belassiz's life who departed was honored in the form of flowers planted on her property. Amadeus agreed and soon created a document with her wish to be signed.
When Janos and Leria, the mansion's oldest employees, entered the office asking for permission, Amadeus directed them to sit on the sofa. He explained the implications of that document and what they needed to do. Just put your fingerprints in the ink and mark your fingers on the paper.
After reading the document, Janos looked worriedly at his mistress. He asked if that was okay, and if she really wanted it. Belassiz just smiled and shook his head. Leria cried as she signed the document made of paper and special ink. A sparkling glow enveloped the document and sealed it, being deposited inside a small trunk to which Amadeus was the only one who had the key.
— Four years from now, my curse will come to an end and I will no longer see the light of this world. - Belassiz said, in a sweet tone, her voice reassured the employees who knew her since they were a child, since her parents worked for her before them. p>
The matriarch didn't want everyone to know about this condition, so she sealed the words spoken at that moment in a protective spell.
When the sun was about to rise, Belassiz was taken to the flower field to enjoy the scenery. She stood there, admiring the warm colors covering the pastures and crops. There were all kinds of flowers, camellias, tulips, hydrangeas, colorful roses. And all the flowers bloomed at sunrise on the twenty-ninth, even the youngest ones, to welcome Belassiz into his last year of curse.
— Lady, the Coven is here. - Margareta informed, helping her to rise from the chair. "Don't you want to make the switch?"
— No, not this time. - She answered. It was common for her to use magic to change her appearance. Youth was always highly prized.However, he wanted to enter the hall au naturel and that way everyone would see his real face.
The coven was an aggregation of witches to which generations of Witches from Genevra were a part. Belassiz was the matriarch of the Clan, and since there were no pure-blood heirs, it was up to her to pass leadership to the next witch.
There were thirteen in all, but with Ceria's death, only twelve women gathered around the hall's round table. They all looked worriedly at Belassiz, since not only her appearance was different, but the new information took them by surprise.
The decision of the new leader would be kept until that day came to an end, and so they could welcome the new leader.
— I know you are worried, but as you can see, this is the moment for the new era to begin. I know that everyone has many doubts, I wish I could have the strength to listen to them. How about lunch now?
The feast was served and Belassiz listened with joy to all the news they had to tell, but with regret at the memory of Ceria's death.
— What do you want to do now? asked András, one of the witches closest to Belassiz.
— Just enjoy the beautiful landscape of Genevra. — The carriages were ready, there were three that would take them for a tour of the Village. With her tired eyes, Belassiz admired the simple changes in the landscape, the Village grew along with the modernization of the world, but she didn't lose the bucolic air she always loved.
They arrived at the central square and were greeted by the curiosity of residents, especially those who had not yet had the opportunity to see it in person.
Belassiz entered the church, causing a stir among some of the Village's inhabitants who felt that witches were not welcome on holy ground.
— Father Galadriel. Her legs reached as far as the second row of chairs, but then, tired, she sat down. “It's really good to see you.
— Belassiz, my friend. — The priest, already retired, still lived under the roof of the church. Although he no longer worked, leaving the masses in the hands of the youngest priest in the area. “Last time I saw you…” He tilted his head to the side, studying her. "She was as beautiful as she is now."
— Very gallant, as always, Galadriel. She smiled, getting some kisses on her hands. "I'm sorry to cause your butts to panic."
— Don't worry, the weather in the city was already very still. It is always good when Belassiz de Genevra awakens.
— I came to talk about it. - The smile ended, and the farewell tone made Galadriel sit down next to her friend. There was so much history to remember, but the only thing Belassiz had to say to him was that her heart hadn't changed like her appearance. p>
Her heart was still his.
Foreheads came together and a silent farewell took over the church. p>
As soon as she left the center of the village, Belassiz still wished she could see the Amarua river, the nearly two-century-old fabric factory and the ruins of Melvina Castle. The landscapes that made up her life in Genevra, before the curse consumed her. Despite not talking about that stormy night, Belassiz did not regret having summoned the Goddess of the Moon to protect the Village that were about to be swallowed by the wrath of Ameth, the sorcerer who took his mother's life.
Belassiz woke up from frightening memories when her companions called her to a ceremony. p>
By the end of the afternoon, she felt exhausted, she wouldn't be able to walk even if she wanted to. So a wheelchair was provided and she accepted tea, which was served in the manor's kitchen.
— Madam, I'll be serving tea in the drawing room. - Margareta spoke, while she wiped her hand on the apron tied around her waist that seemed fuller.
Belassiz smiled as he stared at her in silence. There was something different about her lady-in-waiting from the moment she woke up. She hadn't paid attention at the time, and the day's events had led to other thoughts, but now she might have the answer.
— A blessed child will be born in twenty weeks. Am I right, Margareta? Did you think I wouldn't sense a new life being generated?
The lady blushed, stopping in the middle of the kitchen.
— It's not that, I just didn't want to bother you, ma'am.
Belassiz moved a weakened hand and Margareta approached.
— Everything that concerns you is important to me.I am very happy, this child will be healthy. She placed her hand on the lady's belly. — She will be happy, she will be a mischievous child, but with a heart filled with love and kindness. You will have a long life, full of adventures and loves. I feel like she will be like her mother, a sweet and strong woman.
Margareta could not stand it and began to cry, thanking the matriarch for her predictions. p>
When they gathered in the hall, she heard a good song being played on the piano and she missed being able to sing, her voice was no longer the same and she began to feel failing little by little. Just as her body began to lose movement. When sunset arrived, Belassiz admired it from the main balcony of the mansion, accompanied by the people she loved. He had let in visitors from other lands to see his crops, and the place was bursting with laughter, singing, and happiness.
The sun went down and the moon returned to the sky, radiant and powerful, showing her that life went on. Even though hers was coming to an end. p>
As the night progressed, and the stars shone in the sky, the announcement of the end of her curse was blown by the wind. The bonfire that lit the large backyard was shared by all, and no one noticed when Belassiz's breath of life was taken over by death, taking her away from that plane.
There was no pain, dying was like being in your field of flowers, surrounded by tranquility, welcomed by the warmth of the spring wind. She could still hear the voices and singing, she could feel everyone's love being shared. She would still be among them for the rest of her life.