That night, Aurora was unable to sleep.
Everyone was busy with their own task, leaving nothing for her to do. The barrier put up Dorsen not only kept the beasts from finding them, but it also kept out the harmful rain. It was as though the barrier purified the area inside. Because of that, they didn't have to worry about anything and could finish their tasks with a piece of mind. She wondered if Lucius would find his way back. Although they told her he would, she wasn't so sure.
Aurora sat on the bed in a daze as she thought back to what the Priest and Rune Mage told her.
Although there were still some things she wasn’t clear about, she understood the main point. The reason his skin was as cold as ice, the reason there was never a change in his expression, the reason he could use mana despite being a human…it all made sense.
He was even indifferent towards her although he knew she’s a Witch.
If it was someone else, they would have been enraged. It was because of a Witch his family ended up like this, and yet, Lucius calmly provided her with the choice to become his temporary fiancée.
Then what would happen if he found out she’s the Black Witch’s daughter? Would he kill her in his anger? Even so, as someone who was directly affected by her mother’s curse, he had the right to know.
As she contemplated if she should tell him, she heard rustling outside her tent. She thought it was the Knights who were guarding her getting ready to change shifts, but the sound came from the back.
Before she could ask the Knights, the temperate inside her tent dropped and out of nowhere, the silhouette of a person appeared just outside. She wanted to call for help until she thought of someone.
The silhouette disappeared and then she heard two loud sounds as though someone fell down. The front of her tent lifted up and as she thought, it was that person.
His eyes were still as dark as the night, his clothes covered in bright red blood. He gave off an aura of a raging beast. Aurora thought the possibility of being killed by him was…pretty high. He was in a state of confusion and his bloodthirsty eyes were obvious. He probably didn’t recognize her at all.
And yet…he was here…in her tent. Even though his two swords were sheathed he still gave off a dangerous aura. Aurora held her breath and waited for him to strike…
When he took a step towards her, she stepped back. His sight followed her every movement. He closed in with one step and placed his hand on her back, pressing them together. Lucius buried his head in her neck. His nose and mouth were pressed against her, giving her a ticklish feeling.
Aurora didn’t dare to move. She was afraid if said or did anything, he’d cut her into two with a flick of his hand. In the next moment, she felt the nape of her neck hurting. He had actually bitten her! Although his teeth didn’t pierce her, it was enough to make her flinch.
She then remembered what the Priest told her.
“The negative energy from the Black Witch’s curse mixed with the blessing, permeating their mana core. It eats away at their body and doesn’t calm down until finding an outlet. Every time they use their mana, the negative energy goes out of control and doesn’t settle until spilling blood. Understand?”
Wait a minute…does that mean…he wants to eat her?!
His face drew closer until she could feel his breath upon her lips. When his lips pressed down onto hers, she closed her eyes. But when he bit down on her lips, she opened her eyes. He wasn’t gentle at all. He was like a starving beast. After he finished biting and sucking on her tongue, leaving her gasping, he stepped back and stared at her with lust.
Could it be...?
“I see. If that's how it is...” She whispered to herself.
Without hesitation, she took her dress off and let it pool on the floor. She took out the pin holding her hair together, and let it flow loosely. Standing in front of him completely nude, she didn’t shy away from his piercing stare. She moved her hands carefully as she undressed him. He didn’t move a single muscle and just watched her silently.
Aurora took his hand and tried to guide him to the bed, but he didn't budge. "It's okay." She said with a soft voice, as though she was speaking with a child.
This time he let her pull him and didn't resist. She laid down on the bed and positioned him over her.
When his lower half pressed against her thigh, she felt that it was hard and firm. He grabbed her breast with his left hand, while he continued to kiss her. But his kiss was cruel, as he used his teeth to draw blood from her lips. She frowned but didn’t stop him.
Suddenly, without doing any preparation he thrust deep inside her.
Painful. It felt like her body would split into two. The pain from her lower body consumed her entire mind. Even though she was no longer a virgin, this 15 years old body of hers returned to its previous state. It was a pure body that had yet taste the length of a man.
While tears welled up in her eyes, she bit his muscular arm and dug her nails into his back. He didn't bother to stop her from biting him. To him, it was though as a feather was brushing against his skin. Even though she knew what to expect, it still hurt. Especially since he had lost himself and didn’t do anything to provide her relief. He had long ago lost all his rationality.
The pressure and the accompanying pain from his length inside of her was too much for her to handle. They were connected completely as his body pressed down onto her. Without any care for her, he repeatedly thrust in and out.
Blood flowed out from their point of union, staining the bedsheets. His sensitive sense of smell picked up the scent of blood. Wet sounds reverberated through the whole room as he kept thrusting vigorously. Every time she moaned he felt the need to go deeper.
Aurora didn’t push him away. She thought if he could direct his negative energy this way without hurting himself, then it was her responsibility to accept it. Although her body was that of a young girl, her true age was 30. So, she wouldn’t blame him for this, nor would she cry about losing her virginity a second time.
The first time he was rough and didn’t restrain himself. The second was no better. But by the third time she realized that he started to support his weight with his arms as to not crush her. His hands became gentle as he was fully absorbed in caressing every inch of her body.
By the time he had enough, Aurora was on the verge of passing out from exhaustion.
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The next morning, when Aurora opened her eyes, Lucius was already dressed and sitting in the chair. She looked down and realized that not only was she and the bedsheets clean, but she was also dressed in new clothes.
She slightly blushed at the thought of him cleaning her, but then shook her head at the impossibility of it. He probably called in a servant to do it for her.
She observed the Duke in silence. His stunned and serious expression was hilarious to her. But that’s right, she didn’t fault him for being like that. He probably thought she was only a child and felt that it was shameful he did such a thing to a girl who was still a fledgling.
Lucius clearly remembered every single thing he did that night. Sometimes he'd forget the things he did after his violent state, but sometimes the images were very clear to him. This time...was a little different. While he was lost in the excitement of hunting beasts, he picked up a sweet scent. He heard the voice of a young girl who was thinking about him. She was slightly scared, but also worried. It was that warmness that drew him towards her.
He remembered wanting to embrace her, wanting to mark her as his own. And he especially remembered the hot and moist feeling of being inside her.
Even though he regained his self-awareness and control of his body towards the end, he couldn't bring himself to stop. No. He didn't want to stop. His blood was boiling with undeniable excitement. He actually felt lust towards her. However, he just didn't understand the reason for it. It was a first for him.
When he woke up in the morning and saw her lying by his side he wasn't disgusted or repulsed at all. Instead, he found himself wanting to touch her and pull her closer.
Aurora and Lucius stared at each other neither without saying anything. Seconds passed. And then minutes passed. While one was sitting on the bed, the other was sitting in the chair. Both didn't know what came next.
Although Aurora wasn’t as innocent as she appeared when it came to sex, she didn’t know what came after. In the past, her body was only a tool used for surviving. Lucius was also the same. To him, satisfying his body's needs was on the same level as work. Something that needed to be done.
“I…” Lucius opened his mouth first. “When I was little, the first girl I fell in love with was killed because of my incompetence.”
Aurora was dumbfounded…why was he starting off with such a heavy story?!
“She lived in an orphanage in the city. I became friends with her and the others who lived there. At that time, I didn’t know that there was an organization doing human experiments to study their mana cores. They kidnapped children from orphanages since it was convenient.”
Aurora’s mouth parted slightly when she heard that. Her eyebrows scrunched as she continued listening.
“My parents knew about this but hid it from me. When they found out I was getting close to an orphan child, they tried to stop me from visiting her. But I was a stubborn child. When my Dad left for the Imperial Capital, I took the chance to escape the mansion. When I finally met with her again, she cried to me for help. She told me about how the children in the orphanage would go missing but whenever she asked they'd say they were adopted. She knew the adults were lying but she didn't know what to do. And this time, her two closest friends were gone. I promised to help her find them and had one of the Knights guard her."
Lucius chuckled in derision.
“I did everything I could to find them without asking my parents for help. A few days later when I left to meet her, I found out from the other children she was gone. One of the Knights told me she was indeed kidnapped. The Knight I assigned to guard her had continued following her but because there were too many people he couldn't make a move. I forced them to take me to where she is, ignoring their plea to wait for reinforcement."
"Because of my reckless decision, I endangered everyone and...lost everything. I was too late and she already died."
When he saw her small, weak body laying on there listlessly, his vision turned red. His whole body turned stiff. And then a strong burst of cold air burst out, turning everything it touched into ice. The last thing he remembered was seeing the girl's body turn pale blue and then white.
"When I came to, my Mother was lying in my arms. I killed her."
Apparently, she had already found out about the girl being kidnapped. She held the Knights back from attacking because she wanted to lure their leader out. When she heard her son was there she immediately set out, only to find that he lost control of his mana. She knew that if she didn't stop him, he'd encase himself into ice, killing him.
"I don't remember much about how she ended up there. I didn't find out until later that she had died trying to stop me."
He'd never forget that scene when he came to. She smiled and patted his cheek as though trying to comfort him, telling him not to blame himself.
Lucius lifted his head. "Although I’ve done something horrible to you, my heart has long frozen over. I don’t have anything but the title of Duchess to give you. If you’re fine with that, then allow me to take responsibility for what I’ve done.”
The one who should take any sort of responsibility was her. This man in front of her was the outcome of her and her parents’ selfishness. Her mother for caring only about revenge. Her father for caring only about killing Witches. And her, for only caring about her own life.
Taking a deep breath, she made her choice.
She decided she would not regret it. She would bear whatever ending resulted from her actions. If she had to pay the price, she would do so.
“My full name is Aurora Grannis Di Epheria. I am…...I was the Crown Princess of the Epheria Empire five thousand years ago. I am the Black Witch's only daughter."