History : A Touch of Color in The Gray
Book 1 : Shading the black .
Date : October 25, 2017
Beta: Lyra corrected on 25/10/17 and Fluffyluffy corrected on 25/10/20
Fandom : D Gray Man
Disclaimer: No, I do not own D Gray Man and I am not making any profit from this story.
Summary : hmm, read the first chapter, we'll see after that...
First chapter of Shade the Black ! A monthly adventure that will have lasted a little over four years, ended on December 25, 2021.
Apart from the layout and a few mistakes, I did not want to modify my teenage writing too much because, well, I was proud of it at the time so read at your own risk ^^
Happy reading: D
Chapter 1: Welcome to the Kamelott
I drummed my foot on the ground to the rhythm of a random music that kept repeating in my head . So yes, I was a little stressed. But in my defense, it was my first job interview. Forcing myself to calm down, I smiled shyly at the man in front of me. To be honest,I never thought I would one day look for a job as a maid.
Firstly, because I was more of an arts person and frankly, who still employs chambermaids these days?
And that's the whole problem. I was no longer in our good old twenty-first century with all its problems of pollution and chemical stuff they call fruits. No, I had found a way to the land in the past (or an alternate universe but whatever) . Because, of course, who wants a good, normal high school life after all?
Maybe I don't seem that stressed out. but that's because I hadn't yet digested what happened to me .
You know, it's like when someone dies. You don't really realize they're not here anymore until the funeral. Or the crematorium. Well you know what I mean, right?
Anyway, I had only found out about my condition when I woke up that morning to an old lady that lived on the outskirts of a little town without having any idea what I was doing there.
The old lady, her name was Eglantine,had after graciously explaining to me that she had found me in a neighboring village that got destroyed the day before by a big fire and and finding out about my apparent lack of memory, quickly shipped me off to her brother, Ernest Impleton, who was apparently a steward in the house of a wealthy nobleman, to find work there.
She must have felt sorry for me. Seems like It was December 26 (1884 shit!) Here, and the snow and the cold were very present.
Completely confused but amused by the name of the family, (Kamelott, like King Arthur's town or Road and Sheryl in D-Gray man. Seriously, I didn't think people really had that name…) I had followed, not knowing what else to do, leading to the present moment.
"Eglantine… " suddenly started the old man in front of me, making me jump. "Let me know you seem to have some memory problems. Do you at least remember your name? "
Fortunately I wasn't that bad in English, because given the archaic language (19th century English man) ... Trying somehow to form a grammatically correct sentence, I smile again at the old man just to save time.
Perhaps at the time, with his 60 years well packed, the employee commanded respect from his fellows comrades, but for me, with his receding hairline and bushy eyebrows, he only reminded me of my uncles.
"My name is… Eve Campbell, sir." cue shy smile again, hoping he helps me.
My name wasn't really Eve Campbell…not at all actually. My name was Ennaël, but for the time, using that would go badly. Also, when you arrive in a new place without knowing how, you always have to find a new alias! Yes, I know, too much manga… but what do you want ? We can't change ourselves. Or at least not often. And since it's been ten years since I left my books, it might be hard to stop. Although if I stayed any longer in this era ... there would be a way.
By full weaning. Urgh ...
Anyway, I chose Eve Campbell, because with people calling themselves Kamelott as an employer, it was a bit of a private joke. But if I'm not engaged, I would surely change, because I think it would quickly get annoying to be called "Eve" all the time. Maybe something like Eleanore? It sounds good and more Victorian ... Although between the two, I preferred to be engaged, because how is it that I was supposed to survive in the nineteenth century as I literally did not even exist? Practically all my skills were intellectual or computer involved and it was not something that was okay for a non-noble woman of the time.
Even if it pains me to say it, being hired thanks to my connections was my only chance.
So determined to get this job, I did my best to meet the steward's expectations. Even though I didn't really have the faith to be a maid.
No seriously, have you ever watched "Gran Hotel" or "Downtown Abbey"? Employees get up at dawn, go to bed super late, and most people are treated like rotten rags! and they never stop! I'm not sure I can keep up with the pace when I need a minimum of 8 hours of sleep ...
Anyway, I would try and at worst, I'm sure I could be a teacher in the countryside. Considering the reading level of the poors, I clearly had the level… Hell! Now that I thought about it, I was a part of the intellectual group of society now! I even knew several formulas and aspects of Physics, Chemistry, SVT or Maths that had not yet been invented!
Wow. It feels good to feel smart every now and then ...
Anyway, Mr Impleton seemed interested in my knowledge of French. He explained that they often received guests from other countries and that it was interesting for their house to have bilingual employees . Which I think was rare at the time given its approval. He was even more pleased when I told him that I had a rudimentary knowledge of Spanish and told me cheerfully that his master spoke Portuguese. I didn't really see the connection though…. Maybe he thought I could learn the language more easily? Well if he was happy with it... Finally, to my relief, he wished me a warm welcome. It was much easier than I thought. It was a noble house ! A recommendation from his sister and it was okay? No research on my past? No request for identity papers or age? Good for me, but it was a bit strange ...
Well, good or bad, I was hired at the Kamelott manor.
The first few days were… difficult. No, downright horrible actually. Seriously, I was even surprised that I was able to do half of what I had done: I never thought I had the stamina. Quite frankly, life as a maid at the end of the 19th century was as I thought it would be: deadly tiring. I hadn't even been able to open a book in a week! Not that I had any books now… wow depression, my new friend.
Every day, you had to be operational at 6 a.m., that is to say, getting up at 5:30 a.m. Atleast . Because to wash in cold water under the eaves in the middle of winter, you had to have faith ... But hey, not having much choice, I had bear with it and go. On the other hand, there was at least some very good news… toilets existed! I almost cried with joy when I discovered them near the bathroom. The good referent, Elinor, (the one I had to track until the job got in my bones) had told me that they had just been installed for the employees. The invention was recent and revolutionary. I could only nod vigorously.
In short, after having eaten in the large kitchen in the company of the various butlers and maids, we joined precisely at 6 am and the managers of the employees, Mr. Impleton and Mrs. Eudora Landless gave us our tasks for the day. From there followed a cleaning frenzy because everything had to be done before 8 at the latest. At that time, the servants went to wake the family while the valets' feet and housemaids, which I was a part of, would help Berthe the kitchen head-chef and set the table. While the employers were having breakfast , we would rush to clean their rooms. I then helped Addie and Jeanie to bring the sheets and other linens to the laundry so they could wash them and then, finally! it was time for a glorious break of varying length, depending on the work to be done during the day.
By this time, it was usually 9:30 a.m., and I was already at the end of my life.
After that, I was usually assigned to the kitchens peeling vegetables or potatoes for lunch. In the afternoons, I would help the other maids with whatever task I was assigned to until dinner, where I had to tidy up the library or any other room that had been used during the day. Right after doing the dinner dishes, it would be finally over, and I usually collapsed in my bed until the next day. And then a new day would arrive and we had to do this whole thing again.
It was so trying that, even on New Years Day, I couldn't last til midnight. But luckily, despite my lack of skills, I hadn't been hired as a washerwoman or worse, a kitchen maid, the one who did the most menial chores that no one wanted. It was all the same, very trying but when I saw the kitchen maid, little Louise, scouring the large burnt pots at barely fourteen years old I could not help but be relieved to have to 'only' dust the household .
Anyway, believe it or not, but in a week, even scanning every corner of the house, I had never seen even one of my employers! I was about to believe they were doing it on purpose. Of course, they weren't present on my first three days but they was no excuse for after...
Anyway, that afternoon Mr Impleton came to see me. After several questions about my life at the mansion, he handed me an envelope containing my earnings for the week (my first pay!) And told me that I could take a break until dinner, to go see the city for example. I only had three hours of break in a whole week of work but it was already incredible considering the mind-blowing pace of the mansion. Ecstatic, I hastened to go to my room to change into one of the two old dresses that Eglantine had given me before my departure and made my way outside.
On January 3, 1885, it was particularly mild. Despite the snow covering the ground and the very cold weather of the last few days, the sun had finally succeeded in breaking through, and its rays cheerfully warmed the atmosphere. Calmly, I began to walk along the path leading to the front door. Quite frankly, I didn't really know what to do with my free time. Usually when I had a bit of time I would grab a computer and read fanfic, or write and draw, but I couldn't really do that here, at least until I got myself a book and some pencils.
I quickened my pace, following the dirt track leading to the gate. I needed a distraction, and fast. In the week that I spent ... well ... in the past, I had not really had time to think about what had happened. Everything goes by so fast! I didn't even remember how I got here ...
Lost in my thoughts, it took me a while to notice the footprints in the snow in front of me. Jumping at the chance to take my mind off such depressing thoughts , I eagerly followed the clues, and quickly came to a small clearing, barely out of the way.
In the middle of it, was a blonde woman bundled up in a comfortable-looking white cape breathing heavily, sitting on a fallen tree trunk. Rushing to her side with concern, I did my best to help her regulate her breathing. After a few minutes and a final fit of coughing, the woman looked up in my direction and smiled shyly at me.
"Are you feeling better ?" I asked worriedly as I removed my hands from her shoulders, still squatting in front of her.
"Yes, thank you," she said, straightening up. "I'm sorry, I seem to have had a seizure, I thought I could at least get to the entrance but..." she sighed sadly.
" There are no problems. Do you want me to accompany you to the mansion?" I asked, hoping for a positive response. I really didn't want to be alone with myself anymore.
She looked surprised for a few moments, then nodded, smiling. I helped her up and offered my arm, giving her my support.
"So" she began after a few moments "What are you doing in the forest in the middle of the afternoon ?"
Pushing a tree branch out of our way, I answered awkwardly. Even afters spending a week immersed in the English language, I still had a hard time forming my sentences. "I work at the Manor, and the… um, manager? of employees gave me my afternoon. I didn't know what to do, so I thought I… could go to...going to? town… "
"Ho, have you been working at the mansion for a long time?" She asked nonchalantly, gazing at me.
"No, a week... I think…" I said uncomfortably under his gaze. "The job is tough, but all of the… hum, people, I have met are… hum... have been really nice to me and I have… a bed and food…" I stammered, the words coming out hard.
Her gaze softened and she gave me another smile before speaking in slightly accentuated French. "Oui, les employés du manoir sont très gentils. "
"Oh vous parlez français ?" I suddenly smiled excited as I picked up my mother tongue. It had been at least a week since I had heard it and, phew! I missed it! Well, we had exchanged a few words in French with Berthe Duchemin, the chief cook, but there were always other servants in the kitchen and it was not very polite to speak in a language they did not understand.
"Of course." She said suddenly shyly. Not sure what else to say, I let the conversation die and concentrated on the path. Slowed down greatly by the snow, we had just reached the main road. Soon we would see the mansion.
Fortunately, the awkward silence did not last, and I was soon drawn into a very interesting conversation in French about maid work with the blonde woman. I didn't really have any knowledge on the subject other than my week as an employee and the few movies and series I had seen in the same theme, but finally being able to use all my vocabulary gave me wings and I spoke and spoke lively, the conversation was fueled by anecdotes from both sides. For the first time in probably a week, I laughed heartily at what the woman was saying, and was almost disappointed when I saw the main door of the mansion.
"By the way, I didn't ask you what you wanted to do at the mansion?" I asked curiously.
"Well I'm going home. She said amused. "I wanted to go to the gate to welcome my husband and daughter, but it seems to be too difficult for me now. She explained as she gracefully climbed the stairs to the mansion. " What is your name ? "
Still shaken by the implication that she was, in fact, my shadow employer, it took me a few moments to respond. Meanwhile, the doors of the mansion had opened, and Rosina Ramsey, the housemaid of the hostess ran out, hastening to let her mistress into the warm mansion.
Huh. I had just met my boss. Shaking my head, I decided to go help in the kitchen, Christine had promised me that she would make mushroom soup tonight.
"There you go, Eve!" Jean exclaimed, dropping another bag of potatoes at the foot of the table before huffing and wiping his forehead. "Shermann said it was the last bag for tonight."
"Thank you Jean." I smile warmly at him. Jean Kind was a man who perfectly matched his name: he was terribly nice. As a Second Footman, he had more or less the same rank as mine and had been one of the people with Clarisse, my roommate, who had helped me the most to integrate myself this week. He did not hesitate to take time to show me where this or that thing was or how to do this or that. It was he who mainly took care of supplies or if the two masters of the houses had to go out at the same time, acted as second coachman after Joel Brenton. He was twenty years old and had been at the mansion since he was 17 so he knew a lot of useful little things or funny anecdotes about its inhabitants. The day before, he had even told me that he had once caught the Marquis' little brother drinking on the roof and that instead of chastising him, the Lord had invited Jean to join him. Justin and Emeline laughed, saying that it was impossible for the young master to get to the roof let alone with a bottle of alcohol because the Marquis hated to see him drink but Jean looked so honest that I tended to believe it.
"Miss Campbell, Marquis Kamelott is waiting for you in his office." Auguste Kettle suddenly announced before exiting the kitchen as quickly as he had come. He was the Marquis's personal valet and had rarely the occasion to put a foot in the kitchen unlike feet valets and he should have not wanted to stay there more than necessary.
A potato in one hand, a knife in the other, I blinked in surprise. A week without seeing anyone and then boom! the day after my meeting with the mistress, the master called me to his office? If that's not fishy…seeing me looking at my pile of unfortunate looking potato peels, Shermann told me that he was going to call Susanna to replace me and I left for the upper floors.
I stopped for a few moments to wash my hands and put a stubborn wick back in place. By the way, had my hair always been so light blonde? I even felt like my eyes were grayer than blue ... Maybe it was candle light? There was still no electricity everywhere in the mansion. Shaking my head, I smoothed my skirt nervously and knocked on the office door. At the sound of " come in !" Tired, I pushed open the door and entered the comfortable study. There was no one inside the room, but I could hear very clearly the sounds of rustling leaves in the library adjacent to the study. Calmly waiting for the master to deign to do me the honor of his presence, (no because seriously, it was he who had asked me to come! Was it a tactic of intimidation or what? ...Well, if that was the case, it worked.) I let my gaze glide over the scenery with a bored air ... before stopping dead, my mouth open, on a photograph on the desk.
"Ho mon Die… euh, Merlin. "
Yes, Merlin. No because quite frankly, it was better not to call on God in this room… or even in this house. No, let's do better and don't even mention him in this universe! Numb with shock, I closed my mouth and tried my best poker face. Trying is the key word here, because despite my best efforts, I still looked visibly shocked.
This was confirmed to me when "Master Kamelott" gave me a weird look on entering the room. Noiselessly swallowing, I watched him settle into his comfortable chair with a tired sigh. In turn, he judged me with his eyes for a few moments, before showing me the chair in front of him with a wave of his hand. Doing my best not to collapse in the seat indicated, I put a nervous smile on my lips and waited for him to speak.
"Miss Campbell ... Mr. Impelton said you did speak French, right? He said, removing his monocle. I nodded, not trusting my voice just yet. "Comment vous plaisez-vous au manoir ?" He suddenly asked how I liked the life at the mansion in a clearly accentuated French.
"Je m'y plais bien, merci, tous les employés m'ont gentiment aidé à m'intégrer" I articulated calmly, trying to make him understand politly that it was great, thank you, and could you please let me keep my job?
He looked at me for a few more moments before asking if I wanted promotion. "My wife…" he began very seriously. "Has very significant health problems. I would like to assign someone to her at all times, and since she seemed to enjoy your company yesterday, I would like you to fill this role. "
Still a little shocked by my earlier discovery, I replied that I would be very honored to do what was asked of me. He then explained to me my role in detail, my duties, as well as my benefits and half an hour later, I left the office, still in a daze. Walking to my bedroom, I collapsed on my bed, vaguely noting that Clarisse, my roommate, was not there .
Slamming my face into the pillow, I screamed as loud as I dared, muffling the noise as I tried to choke myself. I, who had fought so hard on the subject, had to face the facts ...
Because seriously, what were the chances that I ended up in D-Gray Man?
Hello! So here is a new fic :) As you may (or may not) have guessed, this fanfic will take place in two parts, one at the Noahs, one at the Exorcists and I may even start the second part in parallel, because otherwise I think it will not ever see the light ... ( edit 2020 : ahah, I didn't do it XD)
Think about reviews and see yah next time :3