Kalion quietly studied Erna’s face while she slept. Her lips in particular.
When he happened to meet gazes with Erna in the parliament, she had squinted and sucked in her lips as if she had seen something she wasn’t supposed to. The corners of her clamped mouth had raised a bit. To the point where he had wanted to applaud her because she could express her feelings well through just her lips.
Was it because Kalion had seen that expression often? If someone were to tell him to draw Erna’s face, Kalion would only draw a short stick where her mouth would be. Of course with one side slightly slanted upward. But her lips right now were different from what he normally thought.
Her plump lips, which looked so good, were so dark red that they seemed to bleed. Perhaps because it was a place that highlighted her exceptionally good complexion on her white face, Kalion’s gaze continued to stay on her red lips.
Then, he saw some other deep-colored marks on her. Kalion noticed on her shoulder something that resembled teeth marks.
When she slept, her lips, which normally should be closed, were partly opened due to her lying on her side, exposing her neat white teeth. And deeper into her mouth was a pink tongue.
Kalion absently gulped at the moment he peered inside her mouth. Was he becoming nervous or something? Her hair falling over her lips fluttered from her face each time she breathed. Kalion lowered his head. When he brought his face close enough to almost touch hers, he, too, could feel her breath on him.
Kalion felt the muscles all over his body stiffening with tension as she breathed warmly past his face. He felt a sweet scent from her breath. Something so sweet he could probably taste it if he swallowed.
Casually he spread his lips, thinking that just feeling her breath was not enough. At that moment, Erna’s closed eyelids slowly went up.
Their eyes met at a distance shorter than the size of a normal hand. Kalion had to face her sleeping dark green eyes. He could see himself reflected in them. He liked them quite a bit.
Erna’s hazy eyes became focused at the same time she blinked them a few times. When surprise came over her eyes as she opened them, she realized what Kalion was doing.
Trying to kiss someone who’s asleep…
When Kalion stuttered, not knowing what to say about his actions a little while ago, Erna, who shook off her sleepiness by rubbing her eyes with the back of her hand, said, “Are you trying to take this?”
When he heard a voice full of sleepiness instead of a voice yelling out “What on earth are you doing?” he looked down at her hand that was brushing up against his chest. In her hand was the Piece of the Sea he had found. Seeing that there was a pressed mark on her fingers, Erna seemed to have been holding that even before she fell asleep.
When he had approached her, however, that beautiful jewel had not come into his field of vision.
Kalion thought about the time when he found it at the ancient site. Hadn’t he taken it because he had been blinded by its beauty or something, knowing that there wasn’t much time left before the entrance was closed? After escaping, Cedric, who was with him at that time, had grumbled for days: “That crystal is blinding me!”
He had been so distracted, but why hadn’t he seen it a while ago?
Then, his gaze went back to Erna’s lips again. With his eyes going back and forth between her eyes and the crystal, he found the answer to the question he heard a while ago. The color of Erna’s lips was deeper than that of the Piece of the Sea. That’s all. Other than that, there was no other reason why he hadn’t seen it.
“What are you doing? I said take it.”
While he was still hesitating, a fully woken Erna spoke out again.
She recalled the situation from a little while ago. When she had opened her eyes at a presence, she had seen a familiar blue color even though her vision was blurry. When something was right in front of her, normally she’d be surprised, but at Kalion’s eyes, she had almost comfortably closed her eyes again. Like it was natural for him to be here.
Then after she was fully awake, she felt something strange when Kalion shifted his body back.
Why was he so close? On top of that, he didn’t even wake me up. Then, looking down at the crystal in her hand, she took a guess. Did I tell him to take this thing?
Wondering why he had come closer than he needed to, to her it seemed that he had tried to take this while sleeping. Well, she didn’t need it anymore.
Erna said to him, who had quickly scurried away, “What’s wrong with you? Did you hear about Marquis Canavan?”
“Then you must know that I don’t need this anymore. Because that man fell even before he could use his hands, there is no need to dedicate this to Haband anymore. I’m just going to write a letter asking for a replacement for the envoy. Fortunately, he didn’t die, thanks to Vanessa’s outstanding medical skills. And it can’t be argued that Haband couldn’t manage the punishment for us.”