Surely we must have done it? Erna felt perplexed. An old saying came to her mind which said that ‘Men could fulfill their s*xu*l desire at any time, even with a woman they didn’t have feelings for.’ Kalion had said he wanted to get it over with quickly, so Erna presumed that was what had transpired.
While she checked her body once again, to be sure, Kalion shook the empty whiskey bottle and took a long, deep breath, and softly said, “I think we need to talk.”
“Alright, let’s talk,” Erna said unenthusiastically.
“I couldn’t do it,” said Kalion in a defeated tone, quite unlike his normal self.
Erna wrapped herself in the comfort of the woolen blanket and sat on the bed, listening intently as he related the events of the previous evening.
“So what stopped you then?” she asked. Her voice indicated that she was baffled. Kalion approached the bed where Erna was sitting; an irritated look across his face, but stopped halfway and retraced his footsteps.
“You know what, why don’t you try it?” he said sternly.
“Try what?” she replied.
“Oh come on, stop acting like you don’t know what I’m talking about. This is the problem between you and me. I’m the only one trying. So how about you try it this time?”
“What are you saying?” she asked innocently.
“Men say that they can have s*x without involving emotions. But from what I’ve seen, I believe women can too. Even though it’s taboo to talk about it, we all know that it happens.”
Erna was speechless at Kalion’s words, she was naive in a lot of ways but after pondering what he’d said, it did make sense. He wasn’t wrong in what he said.
“What now? Can’t you do it?” he said, challenging her.
Erna was now clenching her jaw. Looking at his face – which screamed out, ‘I knew it!’ – she could see the auspicious omen unfolding. Her head pounded from the strong liqueur she’d consumed, as she unwrapped the blanket from her body, and swung her legs off of the bed. Kalion stood directly in front of her and stared at her in expectation.
She felt mortified by his brazen attitude, as if he viewed her as a ‘lady of the night,’ exchanging her services for monetary gain. But she sat still before him, swallowing what she wanted to say; he would feel indifferent to anything she said now.
What do I do now? Erna recalled the process of intercourse, from books she’d read and gossip she’d overheard in the castle. She knew that a man’s penis needed to get er*ct… Her thoughts stopped there, her eyes were glued to the area between his solid legs. This time, she was in a position to undr*ss him, just as he had demanded her to do last night. She reached out her trembling hands.
Just grab them and pull them down. That’s all you have to do.
But, just before touching him, she recoiled. Kalion didn’t laugh at her behavior. Instead, he said with a serious face, “You hate me.”
She nodded her aching head vigorously at his words. He continued to speak with a nonchalant look on his handsome face as if he knew that she’d say that. “And I hate you. This is the problem.”
“What do you mean?”
As soon as Erna replied, Kalion inhaled deeply and said, “We hate each other so much that a mere touch from one another is sickening. How do you think we can make a successor this way?”
“Then what do you suggest we do?” Erna was nervously biting her nails.
As Kalion had said, their flesh must inevitably meet. However, as it was impossible to even do that, quite frankly, it didn’t seem like they’d be able to pr*create.
“Firstly,” Kalion said with a somber face, “we have to get to a point where we can put up with each other!”
* * *
Erna heard a light knocking on her slightly ajar bedroom door. She could make out the silhouette of Orpé, her assistant. Looking past her, she saw the big, detailed old grandfather clock, carved out of pristine wood, at the end of the hallway. Since the hour hand was pointing at twelve, it would be time for most of the people in the Grand Castle to eat lunch. But this was also Erna’s time to wake up.
She often went to bed late and woke up late. However, it wasn’t because she was lazy. By nature, magic became stronger and more manageable during the night hours, whilst everyone slept and the world calmed down. Therefore, the wizard Erna used that time to study and practice magic.
As Orpé was about to open the door, thinking that she should go inside and draw the curtains, as per usual, a voice came from inside, “Orpé, come in please.”
She hurriedly opened the door fully and then stood in shock. “Duchess!”
As soon as she’d stepped into the large, spacious bedroom, she saw Erna sitting in front of her desk. Orpé quickly approached her and looked over her slowly.
“Did something happen? What woke you up? My word! And you’re already dressed!”
Erna placed a hand on her forehead and shook the other at her assistant’s turbulent voice, “Can you lower your voice, my head still hurts…”
“Hurts how?” asked Orpé.
“I have a hangover.”