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Ethereal Paradigm: A Canvas of Black
Author :ICARUS
© Webnovel

99 The Pianis

"I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is."

-Alan Wilson Watts

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"Hurry up! Ms. Selene will scold you again. And let's get you changed shall we?"

I wanted to scream... but I can't. And it's a very weird feeling, one that I can't completely comprehend. The strong urge to fear... that remains as an urge, like a stimulus not able to reach its destination.

"Xerxes, Odette... Please do get the master changed, now. Surely, we can't let him appear before our teacher like this, who even came from a far country to tutor us." He called out to an old man, holding out a teacup in a black array of a butler's dress code and with him, rather, young maid... and both of them are very familiar.

"Yes, master." the butler replies, both bowing their heads.

"Shall we go, young master Jaiden?" They then started to escort me, and I don't know as to where we are even going

We then continuously walked along the corridor of this still-empty Mansion with walls filled with nothing but abstract paintings framed with gold, and any other than that, I am unable to notice, as I am rather distracted, by the fact that my head and my stomach hurts so much. This memory of them, and this familiar pavilion, that looked like a slaughterhouse that night, is too nauseous... and now, here they are, standing in front of me, whose warmth I can feel...

"Young master, Is something wrong?"

The next thing I know is that I'm now standing in front of a mirror in a familiar room that I perceived to be mine, looking all surprised at what I'm seeing while being groomed by the two servicemen... I've returned to my younger self, and it's not until this moment, that I just realized it.

"Is this perhaps not an illusion? Maybe this is just another time reversion or something." I thought, as though doubting everything that's taking place... but, somehow, I know that such a disruption to natural laws is plain implausible and yet, again, this is a Paradigm Shift that I'm talking about, and the possibility of the unimaginable happening is not that minuscule. I need proof, at least that this is not what I'm thinking it to be, and I think I have the perfect one. And hell, I'm not restarting it all over again. Not in reality, even in an illusion, nor in my video games, mainly because pressing the 'Try Again' button is a pain.

I looked in my hand and my contract's insignia with that Goddess is already there, although smaller to fit my young innocent hands. A good sign, that this is indeed an illusion, although an elevated type that's pretty difficult to delineate as different from reality.

"Young master?"

"Eh? Oh, nothing...." I answered, but still with the confused face.

"Listen, master... I have had served you ever since you were born. I know if something's bothering you." replied the black butler while fastening my ribbon. I remember this man, now that I look at him closely. He's our mansion's main butler, trained to both protect and offer top-tier service. And the young maid beside him, preparing my shoes is his mute and endearing daughter. I even remember that she's the first I admired from the opposite orientation, besides my little sister and my mother. Why? Her silence is just too peaceful and she's very refreshing to be with.


"Thank you for the concern, but, truly I'm fine. By the way, Xerxes..."

"What is it, young master?"

"What day is today?"

"December 23rd, Master..."

23rd huh? So, if I'm correct... It's to happen two days from now. Hmmm... Still, that Patriarch, what a commendable Paradigm Shift. Now I know that the denizens of that realm are not a joke.

Then, the butler's daughter, although realizing that something's wrong with me examined me silently, looking all curious why his master's talking rather change. Well, yeah... It might not be a good time to say this, but I always did have that mischievous aura when I was a kid, and this, that I have now, is completely different.

"Odette... Don't disturb the young master... Now, then young master, shall we go? Miss Selene and the Master is waiting for you in the living room. "

"Ok, and one more thing... Where's mom and dad?"

"At a meeting with the other Aristocrats, Master, as they seem to be in a hectic schedule... They will visit here on your brother's birthday..." He answered, bowing his head with the palms of his hand in his chest.

"Jean? Where is she?"

"Playing at the garden, Master... You were with her a while ago, did you forget?"

"Ah, right... I'm gonna go now. Thank you."

"No problem, young master... It's our pleasure. If there's something that I can help you with, then please do approach me, young master." Then, as per aristocratic customs, I left the room before them.

Maybe, I got distracted that I did not notice her... Then, out I went, towards the designated area... The rather large and empty living room was my first visage of Death came to be.

I trended my feet onto this veranda where I once and for the last time admired the moon... in these long hallways and finally, on the stairs leading to the venue... and there, sitting on the same nostalgic piano, is a lady with a very large hat with a peacock's feathers, it's our professional piano teacher, serving my family for almost a decade now, teaching the both of us, any instruments that we want to learn, especially the piano... and in front of him, stood that man...

"Hey, do you know that you're standing in the same place where you're likely about to kill your parents and your little sister?" So, I wanted to say but kept the thought to myself.

"Jaiden! Hurry up! We can't let Miss Selene waiting!" Seeing me, walking down the rather scenic stairs coated with this red carpet.

"Y-yeah..."

'Good morning, young Master, Jaiden." She greeted, the same as to how that butler regards me, head bowed down and right hand on the chest... but with this unexplainable peculiarity.

Then, the lecture started... teaching me the basics, and my brother, the advanced and I think I'm gonna throw up soon... being around with this man, and this teacher, that's been showing me this psychopathic smile and this enormously dark intent... Was she always like this? A mere pianist?

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