The maid silently examined herself in the mirror, making sure not a single strand of auburn hair was out of place, and there was not a single wrinkle in her skirt. She smiled a bit and left the bathroom, startled to find her master stumbling around in the hallway, too drunk to even stand on his own.
"Master Reaver!" The maid shouted, pulling the man up. "What's happened?"
"Oh, you foolish girl, just take me tofmhchcmabers..." He slurred. "My, my chambers..."
The maid nodded and pulled him along, trying her best to place him in his bed without discomfort. Pulling his shoes off, she asked, "Master Reaver, do you want me to-"
"Please take everything off, I can hardly move." Reaver's eyelids drooped, closing his eyes.
The loyal maid nodded and did as was told, gently rubbing his feet once everything was off of him. She watched his face closely, making sure everything she was doing was to his satisfaction. A blush rose to her cheeks once she realized she had the most captivating creature in Albion, nude, in front of her. She looked down.
"C'mere, come here." Reaver patted the space on the bed beside him. "I said come here." His voice rose once he had gotten no response.
The maid whimpered, and did as she was told. She slowly and hesitantly lay down beside him on the bed.
Her master draped his arm around her chest and lay on her, sighing. "Ya know... I haven't been this drunk in a while."
The maid nodded. "Yes, I know."
"Oh, of course you know. You're always such a good girl, you always came to work on time and always had a positive attitude even before you moved in. Such a good girl..." He yawned before hiccuping. "Can I tell you something?"
"Of course, Master Reaver." She was worried she sounded too eager. She swallowed. "Anything."
"When I was just a handsome young man, I lived in a town called Oakvale." Reaver smiled to himself as he reminisced. "Such a lovely place. Lush and green, the skies always clear and a perfect shade of blue. I lived there, penniless, working as a milk boy. I only lived in a small one-room hut. I could hardly ever afford to get food on the table for myself, there was a time I didn't eat for a week. But every coin of what I made went to her first; her needs before mine. Always."
"Mon amour. Mon bel ange. May she rest in peace. Je l'aimais." Reaver sighed. "Aida was her name. She was a sick girl. Couldn't hear, and her vision was slowly leaving her as well. She was incapable of getting a job, but she helped around the village for coins. She had hardly any friends, but she loved me. Oh, how she loved me..." He buried his face in the maid's chest.
The maid gasped quietly and hesitantly began to ruffle his wavy black hair. So soft. "I... don't fret now, Master. I'm sure Aida's in a much better place now."
Reaver looked up at the maid, gritting his teeth in rage. "Not after what I've done. All of them died horribly. They curse me from beyond the grave; I know it. I see them in my dreams every goddamned night. I hear them still."
The maid swallowed hard. Reaver noticed this, and softened his expression before grazing his thumb against her cheek. He noticed how her eyes closed at even his softest touch. "What did you do to make them hate you, Master?"
"I was an honest, hard-working, generous, loving man. The opposite of what I am now. But I had one fault; arrogance. My vanity got the best of me." Reaver spoke. "I had heard of a place called the Shadow Court. You could go there, and sell your soul for whatever it was in life you desired the most. I myself had desired immortality. I was terrified of getting older, of aging."
The maid listened, her eyes wide, predicting what happened next.
"I sold my soul to the horrible Shadows. They told me as long as I brought someone to them once a year, I would keep my beauty forever. Overjoyed, I ran back to Oakvale. Though, what I've done soon set in. I ran through the fields, hours and hours of running. I had to beat the shadows there. I had to save..." He paused. "It was too late. I arrived, and Oakvale was being devoured by shadows. The green; all farmland and life was being sucked away from it right before my eyes. It became Wraithmarsh."
"No. That's not horrific." Reaver sat up. "What's horrific was I could hear each of them screaming, begging for their lives. My parents. My brother. My Aida," He inhaled sharply, "shouting for me. My name. She needed me." His eyes welled up with tears as the maid watched, shocked.
The maid sat up in front of him and wiped his tears away with her thumbs. "Shh..."
"I cannot just forget about it though. I will never be able to forget it. Whenever I close my eyes, I see it."
"Perhaps you're traumatized." The maid said.
"Perhaps." Reaver sighed. "Sometimes I think if Aida could see me now. If she would be proud or disappointed; possibly both. But I can feel myself begin to get weaker. I must find a sacrifice soon. But as for now..." He leaned in to kiss the maid on her lips, before passing out beside her.
The maid couldn't believe it. The love of her life kissed her. In that moment, as she felt the taste of him still linger on her lips, as she saw the way the moonlight reflected on his black hair, bringing out the blue hues in the dye, she knew she loved him. Not that she hadn't known before; she'd always known. She grinned widely, feeling as if she could take off and fly any moment now. It took everything in her not to get up and dance at that very moment.
But as she noticed the grey hairs beginning to sprout on his head, the small wrinkles that hid by his eyes, all that happiness went away in an instant. She began to sob, knowing she couldn't wake him up even if she tried, as she realized just what her love was about to make her do.
The journey to Wraithmarsh was short yet dangerous, though nowhere near as dangerous as the place itself. The poor girl was shaking, sweating, and hyperventilating by the time she got to the Shadow Court. She swallowed her thoughts as she went inside, wiping away some blood that dripped from her nose from an earlier beating by a skeletal figure. Her teeth chattered together in the bitter cold.
She finally got to the offering stage.
"You. You hold the Dark Seal." A sinister voice called out from the darkness. "You come for the Pirate King?"
"Yes." The maid sighed. "I am his willing sacrifice."
A pair of glowing white eyes appeared in the darkness, soon followed by the outline of a near-transparent hooded black body. "Oh? He doesn't give us many willing participants."
"Well I'm here."
A horrifying cackle called out from that figure. "Very well then."
The Pirate King rushed down the stairs in a panic. "Where are you, girl?!" He shouted. The maid jumped.
Reaver cut through the unnatural shadows attempting to hinder his journey. "Girl!"
He had made it to the stage. "You took my fucking Seal!" He groaned, then sighed, relieved. He approached her, ignoring the mocking judges.
It was too late. Her once shiny auburn hair was now silvery-white and wiry. Her once flawless porcelain skin was now aged and devoid of color. Her once hazel eyes now had a strange blue hue in them. Magic, no doubt.
Reaver winced, almost in pain. "Look at me-hey, look at me, girl."
The maid slowly did as was told. "I... had to... to save you." Her speech was slurred, and her knees began to buckle. Her eyes rolled back and closed.
Reaver caught her before she fell. "Hey, listen to me, I got you. It's all going to be okay. You're... you're going to be okay. I got you, right here with me." He glared at the judges before adjusting the woman, holding her bridal-style as he zoomed past any enemies within the court.
He ran through Wraithmarsh, grunting and groaning as he struggled the whole way. He tripped over a rock on Wraithmarsh road, now in Bloodstone. They were overlooking the city now.
The maid's eyes fluttered open. The blue hue was gone now, but her eyes were a steel grey. She whimpered in pain. "My... my legs. My heart, my head..."
"Shh now. I got you. We're only miles away from the city now. Just hang in there for me. Don't close your eyes again."
The maid cried out suddenly, not in pain. "I love you, Reaver." She blubbered out weakly as the tears began to pour down her cheeks.
Reaver's breathing began to pick up. "Shut up. Don't talk like that."
"No! Listen to me, for once! When are you ever going to listen to me?" The maid shouted.
Reaver was silent.
"I love you! I've always loved youAnd that was never enough!" She sobbed. "I was there, you know... when Sparrow was. Every time. You loved Sparrow, a brute who doesn't care about you... you love Aida, a dead girl... you love the Princess, a woman who loves someone else... you could never love me, and I worked my ass off for most of my life just so you would love me back. My whole life was built around you. For you. I killed myself to keep you alive, and I'm fucking satisfied with that. Just listen to me."
Reaver grazed his thumb over hers, stroking gently. "Were you ever going to tell me?"
"I didn't think I needed to." Her eyes looked up to the sky. "You don't even need to love me back."
Reaver clenched his teeth together as his eyes began to flood with tears. "Oh, my darling..." He stroked her wiry grey hair.
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry, Master Reaver." She choked out a final breath.
Reaver lost it now. He cried out to the heavens, holding the maid in his arms for hours. The maid whose name he didn't even know. The maid whose last words were "I'm sorry".