Chapter 13 - A Night’s Sleep
Meanwhile, Gareth was led to a room on the second floor by a maid. He was surprised, as he had not expected the Townsend family to give him a personal room. It didn’t matter if he had to sleep in the hall, after all. Then he realized that Elena must be planning to provide him with a proper “night’s sleep.” A cold smile fell on his lips again. His manhood twitched, showing his anticipation for her arrival.
‘A woman…’ he thought. This wasn’t a bad idea at all. He sometimes needed a woman to soothe his violent temper. A stress relief, that’s what women meant to him. No more, no less. However, he was feeling a little different this time. It was the first time he had desired to embrace a woman while in a normal state of mind.
Gareth was quickly washing his hands and face when a knock sounded on the door, followed by a voice, “They say the food is ready, Boss.”
Still wearing his armor, Gareth walked toward the door and opened it to reveal a practically drooling Giggs. His subordinate quickly stepped back to let him take the lead. Gareth stepped forward without a word, and Giggs followed, smacking his lips.
Gareth made his way downstairs to see steaming food being served. He could tell that people had been hard at work in the kitchen. As the maids moved diligently to serve the well-prepared food, the knights of the castle and Gareth’s men began to gather in the hall. They approached the large table, where the aroma of freshly baked bread whetted their appetite.
“Wow, what a feast,” Giggs said as he sniffed and licked his lips. He was a man of big appetite.
At that moment, Count Townsend made his way from the second floor and sat at the head of the table. He then gestured for Gareth to sit with a hardened expression. ‘One night, and I won’t have to see his scary face again,’ the count thought.
He could smell the stench of blood coming from the man next to him—it made him wonder how many murders Gareth had committed. The very thought made him nauseous. This man wasn’t human. Nevertheless, he had to endure this situation since the man was already next to him.
Gareth sat down with an indifferent expression. Giggs and Hansen followed and sat near him. Although Gareth’s men were like brothers, there still existed a hierarchy of power among them. For this reason, the remaining knights sat down to the awaiting meal only after Giggs and Hansen did so.
At that moment, Elena came out from the kitchen, holding a large pot of stew.
Gareth turned his gaze to her once again, his black eyes darkening even further for a moment. She had tied back her ample raven hair, revealing pure-white skin. He noticed her eyes were a deep green and slightly upturned, and that she had tactfully covered her neck wound with her collar.
He slowly scanned her whole body, taking in the curves of her chest, her wasp-thin waist, and…
Gareth clenched his fists unconsciously, beginning to get irritated from how slow time was ticking. A night’s sleep was what she had promised. The fact that night wouldn’t come any faster further fueled his desire.
* * *
The dinner was filled with loud voices bouncing off the cold walls of the castle to fill the hall.
As someone who always ate in silence, Count Townsend couldn’t stand the noise. He glared sharply at Gareth’s men, the source of the commotion. However no one seemed to care, as the men continued to talk loudly as they ate. Only the knights of the castle grew anxious when they noticed Count Townsend’s irritation.
“Ahem!” Count Townsend cleared his throat loudly, accidentally causing his voice to crack in the process. It was humiliating to have to sit and have dinner with these delinquents. Moreover, he was extremely dissatisfied to see where Gareth’s eyes had been throughout the evening.
While he had been in the city to petition the king, Count Townsend had happened to see Gareth. He still remembered how the man, head held high and back unbent, had spoken bluntly to the king without holding anything back.
King Halbert had used Gareth to exterminate two noble families that had not been useful to him. The king had not taken issue with Gareth’s insolence at all since he was anxious to make him his subordinate.
Count Townsend’s white beard trembled at the memory. ‘No matter how strong and skilled he is, Gareth is a lowly being. Even if the king cares about him, the man is a mere mercenary,’ he repeated to himself.
Gareth had not paid any attention to Count Townsend’s secretive glimpses and disapproving eyes. He drank his cold, bitter beer and continued to observe Elena moving back and forth to serve the knights. ‘She’s holding out pretty well,’ he thought.
The woman must have been shaken by what had happened, but she was serving everyone as if nothing was wrong. Gareth only noticed that her hands were shaking when she approached him to pour him another cup of beer.
“She’s definitely something,” Gareth mumbled to himself as he stared at her sleek back retreating to the kitchen once again.
He wondered if the skin under her dress would be smooth and white as well.
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Lantern Against the Wind
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