Chapter 23 – One Cold Night (2)
Despite the peaceful way they’d ended things a while ago, Eugene hardly slept a wink. Her senses hyper-aware of the fact that another person was on her bed. She kept tossing and turning, refusing stubbornly to turn towards the man sleeping beside her.
Still, what Kasser had said was true; the bed was spacious. If one were adept at sleeping without the habit of rolling around, they wouldn’t be able to reach the other person sleeping with them at all. Still, it was endearing to her the way he only stuck to the edge of the bed, agonizingly close to falling.
It was fortunate that he slept like a corpse. So still and hardly moving to change sleeping positions.
It’s an incomprehensible contract. Why did Jin Anika insist on remaining untouched by the king? What is her purpose? She couldn’t help but think.
Anika was a woman who had every means to an end. It was so unlikely of her not to sleep with the king. If she disliked pregnancy and avoided it, there were always known methods of contraception.
It was common sense that if you strove hard to get the title which would help in whatever plans you have, you’d sell yourself to the most powerful person in the kingdom, gain his trust, and use it to your advantage.
The king would definitely fall for her charms, but Jin Anika did not even bother to try. Something did not add up.
She is not a naive character who’s obsessed with purity…
The endless thoughts forced Eugene to blink her eyes open in frustration.
There must be a reason why then she’d preserve her purity. But for what?
Unfortunately, she couldn’t figure it out, even after thoroughly thinking through the novel she wrote. No plausible explanation still came to mind.
It doesn’t matter what Jin Anika’s purpose was. Right now, I’m the one with a huge problem.
She’s the one who had to produce a child and to do that, she had to get intimate with the king. There was no artificial insemination in this world or any other way to get past this.
It felt like an impossible task for Eugene, who had no intention of marrying, let alone giving birth. With these reflections keeping her restless, she thought that she would stay up all night.
But as the minutes passed by, exhaustion slowly kicked in and she finally fell into a deep slumber.
It was pitch black… Her whole body was tied up.
She tried to scream for help, but her voice didn’t come out. With her arms tightly wrapped around her torso, she was helpless and immobile.
It was suffocating. She felt sick at the stench that permeated through the air. And most of all, her limbs cried in pain and agony.
In her ears, inscrutable whispers, which sounded like echoes of incomprehensible spells, rang repeatedly…
Eugene opened her eyes. The first thing she noticed was that someone was panting hard as if trying desperately hard to breathe.
It wasn’t until later that she realized that it was her. The king’s face was dimly visible above her–he held her shoulders tightly and looked down at her, concern written on his face.
Struggling, Eugene opened her lips and tried to say something. However, her jaw trembled uncontrollably. Not only her jaw, but her whole body shook violently as well.
Tears fell through her eyes, rolling endlessly down her cheeks, dampening them. The horrible sensation that she had never experienced before had yet to leave her, further causing tremors to erupt from her body.
She could hardly breathe properly, her veins turning blue by the second.
“Anika. Breathe slowly. Mind the energy flowing inside your body and move along that path.”
Eugene could only shake her head. She couldn’t understand what he was saying.
“Hurts… it hurts…” She gasped painfully…
Kasser felt a surge of panic seeing her in such pain. He had never seen her so defenseless and weak before. If he left her to be in a state of shock, she would suffer from internal injuries and would be ill for several months.
He raised her upper body by putting his hand underneath the small of her back and embraced her struggling body tightly.
And slowly, blue streaks hung over his blue eyes. His pupils, along with the streaks, formed into vertical slits just like that of a feline.
“I’ll help you. Focus. Calm down and breathe slowly. You have to get out on your own.”
As soon as he injected some of the Praz into her body, her energy gradually drained out.
‘What happened? It’s never been like this before.’
Rather than being absorbed by force, it felt like his power helped Eugene in its free will…
Eugene could suddenly feel her breathing calm down. Prior to this, she felt subjected to boiling lava, making her insides unbearably hurt. But with Kasser’s help, a cool breeze seemed to calm her down a little.
She, instinctively, embraced the surge of comforting energy surrounding her.
Watching her deal with his power, Kasser’s brow creased to a frown. It was not long before Praz, who had escaped from him, poured back into his body. Like an excited child, it revolved around him before finally merging with its master.
He consciously suppressed his energy and advised her.
“You feel like you’re drowning right now in a swamp. Think of it as clear water instead, then slowly free yourself…” He directed.
Gradually, her convulsing ceased. Her constant twitch also toned down, diminishing over time that passed.
With its end, Kasser found Eugene still snuggling into him as a child in his mother’s arms. However, he could not find it in himself to push her away, not at this time with what she had just experienced.
People’s body temperature… is it naturally this high?
Her body felt hot like boiled water.
The strange position bothered him. The skin of the other person felt strange–it was smooth and soft, unlike his and the warriors who had calloused skin.
She was so delicate.
He sighed with dismay as his body began to entertain his primal instincts. It also didn’t help that she was wearing a thinly veiled gown that hardly prevented him from actually feeling the body beneath the cloth.
In an attempt to pacify his yearning, he averted his thoughts to the bizarre happening that took place a while ago.
Having seen her gasp for air, Kasser felt a myriad of emotions surging through him, and he thought he had lost control of Praz for a while. But he was fascinated after witnessing his Praz alleviate Eugene’s struggle.
That can’t be right.
Apparently, a little while ago, his Praz did something it wasn’t known to do.
This power belonged to the king, its master, the only one who could control it. And it only moved on its own when the king’s life was in danger.
Although Praz was not a living organism, Kasser sometimes thought otherwise. It’s a unifying power that acts on his flurry of emotion. Somehow, it understood him.
It’s like Praz had perceived that the queen was in danger and moved to protect her. It hadn’t protected anyone before except the king.
Her body drooped underneath him. The tremors also stopped. Kasser looked into whether she was confused.
Eugene knew she was clinging to him like a koala hanging from a tree, but she could care less right now on how she looked or acted as of the moment.
“What was it?” the king asked.
Her parched mouth felt rough. She felt as exhausted as a person recovering after a severe illness.
“The dry season is over.” He continued.
“Every time the dry season is over…Does everyone feel that way?”
“I don’t know with others. But someone with a special ability can sense it.”
“Special abilities, like Praz and Ramita?”
“Did you also feel it then?”
“Of course. When the dry season is over and into the active period, it’s like waves of energy coming inside me. I guided you so as to not be swept away by these waves, but it seems like you forgot.”
As they continued to converse, Eugene eventually leaned her head on his chest. Every time he spoke, his deep voice rang with vibrations which she found pleasing to the ear. Her anxiety subsided and she became more and more comfortable in his arms.
The same went for Kasser. His vigilance over the queen was all but diminished at this moment. This was because of his Praz, which was pleasantly purring in his body. It was a cold night in the desert, and he was enjoying the warmth Eugene exuded through her body.
It never once occurred to him that Praz could affect his feelings this way. He had only ever considered it as a subject of control rather than communion.