Chapter 78 - This Can’t Be Love
‘Oh, I knew it!’ Cecile realized and sat up in bed, glaring at the book in her hands. No wonder getting Estian to bring her some books had been easier than expected, despite his firm stance against it during the past week.
“I think we can go through checking them in no time with your help.”
She should have been wary of him saying this with a smile, but in her joy of finally having a book return to her, she carelessly answered, “I’ll do my best to help with whatever!”
And this was the consequence she got. As Cecile wavered, fidgeting with the book, Estian asked, “What are you doing? Go on and read the next part.”
Her eyes turned to the book at his urging. She hesitated to open her mouth for a long time before barely bringing herself to read a sentence aloud. “His lips roughly… covered hers. Harsh panting… filled the room… Aah… Haah… The sounds of hot gasping filled the room… His hands went to her chest and… Aarrgh! I was wrong!”
Unable to finish the page she was reading, Cecile tossed the book on top of the bed. She rolled up the sleeves of her pajamas and—seeing goosebumps on her arms—rubbed at them like mad as she looked at Estian, who had been lying comfortably beside her. He picked up the fallen book and peacefully asked, “What’s the matter? Why don’t you finish reading? Who knows when we’ll check all its contents at this rate.”
Cecile turned teary-eyed at that. Never had she imagined that when Estian suggested they confirm whether the book was safe or not, this was the method he had in mind—reading aloud the book from start to finish. First, she felt incredulous when he suggested she try, and then she grew wilful. ‘Yes, I shall read it! Read and prove the innocence and purity of this book!’
Cecile had spoken so gallantly only to soon realize there was a problem. ‘I forgot that all the books I had were of those kinds.’
Those kinds, as in the kinds with titles that were embarrassing to mention in front of strangers. The title of the book she was to read was ‘He Becomes a Beast Every Night’. It was easy at first, but the moment she got to the part of the first night, Cecile did not know where to look. Wait a second, do I have to voice this part starting now?
As if he had noticed her hesitation, Estian had asked, “What is it? Is there a problem after all?”
Cecile would surely lose her books again if she were to retreat here, and she could absolutely not afford to do so. She braced herself again and continued, but the moment she reached another steamy scene, she could not hold on any longer. ‘I know what happens after this!’
It was a book she had read many times. The scene waiting to unfold beyond this point depicted the process of the female lead learning about how the male lead became a beast overnight. ‘I can do it. I can do it.’
Even as Cecile attempted to brainwash herself to keep on reading, she was attaining enlightenment in how there was a world’s difference in reading the book alone and voicing it for another person to hear. The scene had made her smile happily when she was enjoying it by herself, yet—for some reason—it felt very awkward and embarrassing to read it out loud. “Your Majesty, is this really the only way?”
In the end, Cecile begged Estian for an alternative method. Then, as if he had been waiting for her to ask, he stood up and approached her, saying, “It’s not that there is no other way.”
“What is it?”
“If you can’t read it…” Estian trailed off and came even closer. “Wouldn’t it be better to try it yourself?”
Estian embraced Cecile by the waist and they fell onto the bed.
“What? What do you… Umph!” Cecile tried to say something, but her mouth was blocked by her husband’s kiss. He then opened the book she had tossed aside with one hand.
Cecile’s books had been checked numerous times by not only Tania, but other people as well. Estian also had Richard—whose head was starting to stick on—examine them just in case for any hexes, but fortunately, no particular problems were found. Still, he felt uneasy. Putting aside that the book with the dragon lord’s spell had saved everyone, the unknown boded ill-fortune.
‘It just doesn’t seem like all these things happened by chance.’
Estian could instinctively tell that something or someone was behind all these happenings. If so, did that mean that Cecile was sent to him intentionally by another? Estian gazed at Cecile, who was gasping for breath beneath him at the end of a long kiss, her lips slightly swollen from his gentle bite. He felt his breathing grow rough at the sight of his wife looking at him with a confused face.
He truly could not understand himself. At first, he thought his liking for Cecile was only because she was amusing, but when he saw her return to the audience room during the fight against Girgantia, he had felt a pain he had never experienced before. To be exact, it was less pain and more of an aching near his heart, yet his mind reeled worse than the time when his arm was cut off. Estian could only think of one thing at the time—he could not let Cecile get hurt. When she had licked the injury on his face after the situation was over, he had almost lost his mind. He had no intention of denying his feelings anymore.
He liked Cecile.
‘Even though there’s no way that can be,’ Estian silently muttered to himself. He turned to look at Cecile again.
“Your Majesty?” she called out.
Her voice was beautiful. The clear view of Cecile’s face rendered Estian unable to figure out whether his senses were fading or sharpening.
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