Chapter 25 - Second First Night
Edna had been completely awakened by his harsh words‒their tone so cold she felt the silliness down to her bones. Did I try to walk into the fire? Lost in thought, she completely forgot that Eli’s shirt had fallen to the floor and she now stood stark naked. The events of her dream had happened more than two years ago, so why did she dream of that time of all things? Was it because she felt guilty when she saw that tragedy of a village earlier? ‘You have to be careful, Edna. Get your head straight in the game. You’re Edna now. You’re not Eden anymore.’
Hearing the shrill inner voice, Edna slowly moved and began to get dressed. As he was putting dry clothes on, Eli said, “Let’s go back now that the rain has stopped.”
Edna followed his lead without answering. It was certainly not a good thing that memories of the past came back to haunt her as soon as she arrived at Eli’s castle.
Mounting Edna up in front of him, Eli looked down at her. She didn’t say a word all the way to the castle.
“What kind of dream did you have for you to try going into the fire? Don’t I get a thank you for saving you from becoming barbecue?” He probed her, but Edna did not respond to Eli’s sarcastic remark. “You’re quiet, which is so unlike you. Cat got your tongue?”
Edna was still staring silently up ahead, pretending not to hear him. Eli rode on, grumpily brooding inside about her bad temper, thinking that Edna was angry because he hit her when he was only trying to save her life.
* * *
While passing through the dark corridor back at the castle, Edna told Eli behind her, “If you don’t mind, may I retreat to my room?”
Eli narrowed his eyes at her estranged ones. He was offended by her polite manner, which seemed to belittle him as an ignorant commoner, so he asked, “Where’s the hot wife I married today going?”
At that moment, Edna’s face flamed up. Eli stepped closer, lifted her chin, and stared at her eyes. They appeared to be whining that he had already had his way with her in the cave. “I have no intention of using a separate room, so why don’t you just keep up with me instead of pretending to be elegant? Do you want to make it so obvious that you think yourself superior because you’re of noble blood? Even though you’re already my wife?”
Edna swallowed dryly, looked into his eyes as deep as an abyss, and busily tried to figure out what he meant by keeping up with him.
Eli spat out as if he had read her thoughts. “I officially gave you the name of duchess and you don’t want to do anything for me? I don’t like being a vain husband, and I don’t want to have sex solely to produce a successor.”
“But I’m sure you gave me a separate room yesterday.”
Angry at what she said, Eli scoffed. “Are you throwing my words back at me?” he muttered coldly.
Only then did Edna realize that it was no use talking to him anymore.
“Th-then what am I supposed to do…” Edna asked in a trembling voice but Eli took her by the arm and dragged her into his room, saying, “You can dedicate your whole life to entertain me, both as a wife and as a bed warmer. I need to have everything that’s given me.”
Dragged away against her will, Edna hurriedly opened her mouth, “I have a favor to ask.”
Annoyed at what request she’d have, Eli stared at her full chest, feeling his desire grow, and waited for her words with unexpected patience.
“I’ll try to endure. I’ll try to put up with it, so please let me see everything in this castle tomorrow. Please also allow me to send supplies to the village.”
“What? You’re going to ‘try to put up with me’? What is there for you to endure?” Eli asked in a cold tone as he opened his door and pushed Edna through it. Edna glanced around the bed and moistened her lips with her tongue before answering, “Please let me exercise authority as your wife.”
“Didn’t you already have that qualification?”
As soon as he saw her glistening wet lips, his already hot desire burned like oil. Hugging her waist, he added, “What more permission do you need? I already told you. Do whatever you want. Don’t ever ask me for permission again. And if you ever try to make a deal with your wife duties like this again, then I’ll put your authority in the gutter, so keep that in mind.”
His cold words struck her again and, smiling faintly, she replied, “Alright, that’s very clear. No one can make such bold decisions like you. Thank you, for your all-so-great treatment of me. I will repay you for it until the end of time.”
At Edna’s arrogant words, Eli’s mouth contorted into a sardonic smile and he added, “Your well-seasoned tongue outshines that of nobles. But what do you mean by putting up with me? Do you mean that you can’t stand my repulsive smell?”
Edna looked straight into his eyes, flinching when meeting his gaze as cold as the northern winds. “No, it’s just… I meant I can’t perform well.”