"Your highness! I bring important news from the entrance examinations."
A young man, wearing a second-year uniform, entered the extravagant room and knelt on one knee. He was the student who accompanied instructor Micheal Northfields during the examinations.
In front of him sat a handsome young man with blonde hair and green eyes. He was being served by two beautiful maids.
He looked at the student who just abruptly entered the room and said, "This better be important. Or else, you know the consequences."
The student began to sweat profusely but he managed to regain his composure.
"I assure your highness. I believe this matter will be of great significance to your rise to the throne."
"What is it?"
"This year, the Academy managed to admit two prodigious students; one being a tier 5 talent and another being a perfect scorer with a tier 4 affinity."
The handsome young man, who was the crown prince of the Kingdom of Nemphis, immediately stood up.
"Who are they? And where are they now?"
"The tier 5 talent is a commoner named Isabella Hunt. And-"
"A commoner girl? Too easy- just propose her to be my concubine and she will open her legs." The prince interrupted.
The student smiled wryly and continued, "And the perfect scorer is 'the Duchess's' son, Adrian Darkheart."
"'Her' son?" The prince again sat down and began to contemplate.
The second-year student, the only other young man in the room stayed silent, not daring to stop his train of thought.
After a few moments of contemplation, he snapped his fingers as a brilliant idea hit upon his head.
"Don't do anything to him, let him join my sister's side."
"No buts. I know it's a pity to let go of such a talent. But if I let him under my wings, I will have to antagonise mother, who is still neutral. If I have to chose between a perfect scorer along with his background from a hostile country and the queen along with her family, which is the second strongest family in the entire Kingdom- I would always choose the latter"
"Your highness is wise." The young man was smart enough not to ask why would befriending Adrian antagonise the queen.
"Both of them are staying at the 'Fredrick House'"
"Both of them?" The prince squinted.
He was not surprised by the fact that 'Fredrick House' was being used as it was a sort of private luxurious dorm for royalties or special students. But this type of dorms were mainly for one person.
"Well, Isabella Hunt is Adrian Darkheart's maid."
The silence was broken by a strong *thump* as the prince kicked the student hard on his chest.
"You son of a bitch, say that first!" The prince was infuriated.
All the schemes he had cooked were rendered invalid.
"Go and call in Eric." He regained his composure and ordered the student.
The young man managed to get himself up on his feet.
"I will leave then, your highness."
The prince, seemingly stressed, began to rub his forehead.
Adrian and Isabella, who made a special request to the authorities to let her stay with Adrian, were still getting accustomed to their new housing when they heard the door knock.
"Go." Adrian ordered while looking around the house.
Isabella simply nodded and went to answer the door.
She saw a young man of strong and tall build, wearing a purple striped uniform, standing in front of the door.
"Miss Isabella Hunt?"
"I am Eric Bradley. I am here to congratulate you on behalf of the prince." He looked down on her. He would not bow to a commoner, no matter how superior his or her talent was.
"Excuse me." Isabella closed the door.
Eric waited, knowing that she had gone to ask for permission.
A few moments later, the door opened again. The same girl was standing but there was a hint of nervousness on her face.
"The young master told you to… he told you to…" she could not utter anything beyond that.
"He told me to?"
She closed her eyes, clenched her fists and took in a deep breath.
"Fuck off! He told you to fuck off!" She mustered all of her strength and courage to say those few words.
Such a strong voicing of the words made the already aggressive statement even more aggressive.
The atmosphere became tense and silent.
"You… you…" he pointed his trembling finger at her.
His whole body was trembling from anger, his face twisted. Nobody ever dared to humiliate him, the rightful heir of Bradley house- a marquess family, like this. Besides, he already declared that he was here on behalf of the prince. He was so incensed that he was unable to gather words for a response.
Before he could say something, both him and Isabella heard a jeering laughter.
Both of them looked at the source of the laughter, and found a beautiful uniformed girl with blond hair and green eyes accompanied by two beautiful maids.
"Looks like I came at an unfortunate time." She smiled at him.
"Your highness is jesting. I will take my leave." Eric Bradley forced a smile while greeting the princess with a bow.
Even though he was from her opponent's camp, he did not dare disrespect the princess. Disrespecting a royalty was treason and was punishable by death.
He gave Isabella one last glance before leaving. He felt even more humiliated as the princess witnessed this shameful event.
"Are you princess Evelyn?" Before the princess could say anything, Isabella asked.
"How dare-" the princess interrupted her enraged maid, Stella.
"I apologise for her rudeness. Yes, I am Evelyn Greatwoods. May I have an audience with Sir Adrian Darkheart?" She curtsied.
"Young master was expecting you. Please come in."
Eric Bradley, who had yet to go out of their range, almost tripped over.
These were, more or less, all the events that happened that day; before the conversation with the princess of course.
Adrian was still lying on the comfy bed with his eyes closed. Isabella entered the room and stood still beside the bed.
"You want the answer, right?" His eyes still closed.
"Yes. What is the connection that I feel?"
"In a sea of white sheep, if there are two black sheep, will one of the black sheep feel connected to the other?"
She contemplated for a moment before nodding, "Yes."
"We are like that."
"So, we are black sheep?"
"Yes." He instantly opened his eyes realising his mistake.
"No! We are not black sheep."
"Then, what are we?"
Isabella peaked her ears. The answer was really important to her. She wanted to know what that damn fruit turned her into.
Her heart skipped a beat.
'Demon?' She asked herself.
"What is a demon?" She wholeheartedly wanted to know what she was.
Adrian got up from his lying position and sat on the edge of the bed.
"Give that to me. And also bring it here and sit on it." He pointed towards two objects.
She was a bit confused, but still brought the items.
She gave the comb to her young master and placed the small stool in front of him and sat on it facing the opposite direction.
He began to gently comb her hair while answering the question.
"Well, demons have some special traits. But I will tell the two of their core characteristics for now."
Isabella was feeling great. The gentle and straightforward use of the comb meant that he combed long hair before, and not a few times at that. The feeling reminded her of home. But it did not distract her from hearing what he was saying.
"Firstly, demons are sadistic and violent creatures. But they are also proud. Only the suffering they caused by their own hands makes them feel satisfied. And they care little about things like compassion, love etc."
No wonder she felt good at times when when she had scolded her siblings and her siblings cried. No wonder she did not feel bad at times when their whole family had to suffer due to various reasons. No wonder she felt that she did not belong in the society. It was because she was a demon.
"Secondly, all demons have desires. Desires they wish to fulfil without any sense of bottom line. It can be said that demons don't have any bottom lines at all. They will do anything to reach their goals. By anything, I mean ANYTHING." Adrian explained.
'What is my desire?' She asked herself.
But she had another question in her mind.
She turned back and looked into his eyes.
"I became a demon because I ate a 'cursed' fruit. What turned you into one?"
"Darling, I was not made a demon."
"I was born twisted."