And with that, this arc has come to a close. I’ll be going on a hiatus until mid March or April. During the hiatus, I'll do some editing and maybe make some changes. I'll also update the glossary. Thank you for reading!
That night, Aurora was unable to sleep.
Everyone was busy with their own task, leaving nothing for her to do. The barrier Dorsen put up not only kept the beasts from finding them but also kept out the harmful rain. It was as though the barrier purified the area inside.
Aurora sat on the bed as she thought about what the Priest and Rune Mage told her. That Lucius would find his way back. But she could feel a tense atmosphere coming from the Knights, as they weren't sure in what way he'd return.
Although there were still some things she wasn’t clear about, Aurora understood the main point. The reason his skin was as cold as ice, the reason there was never a change in his expression and the reason he could use mana despite being a human…it all made sense.
He was even indifferent towards her being 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 was the Black Witch’s daughter? Would he kill her in his anger?
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.
The temperature inside her tent dropped, and out of nowhere, the silhouette of a person appeared. Before she could call for someone, the person disappeared, and then she heard two loud sounds as though someone fell.
In the next moment, the front of her tent lifted, and he walked in.
With his eyes as dark as the night and his clothes covered in blood, he gave off the impression of a raging beast.
The possibility of being killed by him was…pretty high.
He was in a state of confusion, and his murderous aura was enough to make her knees tremble. He probably didn’t even recognize her at all.
And yet...here he was, standing in front of her. Aurora held her breath and waited.
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 pressed against her skin.
Aurora didn’t dare move. She was afraid if said or did anything, he’d cut her into two with a flick of his hand. His teeth scraped against her, making her flinch in response. He slightly opened his mouth and bit down. Although his teeth didn’t pierce her, it was enough to cause her discomfort.
It was then she remembered what the Priest told her.
“The negative energy from the Black Witch’s curse mixed with the blessing and penetrated their mana core. It ate away at their body. Every time they use their mana, the negative energy goes out of control and doesn’t settle until spilling blood or finding another outlet. Understand?”
Wait a minute now…does that mean he wants to eat her?!
“I see. If that's how it is...” She whispered to herself.
∞ Aurora pulled the straps to her nightgown and it poured down to her feet. 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 reached out 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 trying to coax a child.
He didn't resist this time and let her pull him. She laid down on the bed and positioned him over her. Her hands pressed against his chest. Aurora stared at his body in amazement. He was a tall man with a slim frame, but she would have never thought that underneath those clothes of his was a well-built body. It'd make any woman want to relentlessly cling on to him.
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 fierce, 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 as if 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 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.
"Mhm..." Aurora cried out softly. She tried to hold back her voice, but it was impossible when he continued to stir her insides.
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 she won't reject him. Although her body was that of a young girl, her true age was 30. She wouldn’t blame him for something she started, neither 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 noticed how 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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♦ When Aurora opened her eyes the next morning, Lucius was already dressed and sitting in the chair. She looked down and found herself clean and wearing a new dress.
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. He probably thought it was shameful he did such a thing to a girl who was still a fledgling.
Lucius clearly recalled every single thing he did that night. Most times, he'd forget the things he did during his violent state, but this time was a little different. While he was lost in the thrill 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 and saw her lying by his side, he wasn't repulsed at all. Instead, he found himself wanting to touch her and pull her closer.
Aurora and Lucius stared at each other, with neither saying anything. Seconds passed. And then minutes passed. While one sat 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.
Lucius opened his mouth first. “When I was a child, the first girl I fell in love with was killed because of my incompetence.”
"Oh..." 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 there was an organization doing human experiments to study 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 and escaped the mansion to visit her. When I finally met her again, she cried to me for help. She told me about how three of her friends went missing, but when she asked the adults, they kept saying her friends were adopted. She knew they were lying but didn't know what to do. I promised to help her find them no matter what."
“I spent the next few days using everything in my power to find the. I finally found a clue but when I went to tell her, I found that she was also 'adopted'. When I was close to losing my mind, my Father told me the truth. He had two Knights follow me, and another to watch over the orphanage. He told me about the organization and how the Knights watched the girl getting kidnapped. When I asked him why he didn't save her, he said it wasn't the right time. And how to save more children, sacrifices were necessary."
His Father was always like that. He didn't care about those who lost their lives if it was for the greater good. He didn't care about my relationship with that girl.
"I used my personal Knight's guilt towards letting the girl get kidnapped and forced him to show me where she was. Because of my reckless decision, I endangered everyone and...lost everything. I was too late."
When he saw her small weak body laying there listlessly, his vision turned black. 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, his Mother, Elianna Tear, ran after Lucius without telling her husband. She was worried that he would lose control of his emotions once he saw the girl dead. She knew that if she didn't stop her son, he'd encase himself in ice. And it would kill 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.
Aurora hoped from the bottom of her heart that those who destoryed her life burned in hell. Inclouding those two-faced aristocrats, but even though her hatred for Nobles were still strong, this man...she couldn't bring herself to hate.
Taking a deep breath, she resolved herself.
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 one thousand years ago. I am the Black Witch's only daughter."