With a deafening crack, the wooden training pillar in the knights’ training ground was reduced to splinters, scattered like shrapnel in every direction. The wood had been procured by Cedric, who had boasted that it was “ironwood” that would endure for several years. It was said to be a hardy tree, crafted by repeatedly drying it after being soaked in seawater dozens of times, yet Kalion’s fist had shattered it with ease.
“What? So weak?” Kalion sneered, picking up a broken piece of wood and tossing it aside with a dismissive gesture. He strode into the building, the knights looking closely at his back until he disappeared into the shadows.
The knights who would usually chime in with jokes and jests as Kalion trained, today kept a safe distance, not daring to even get close to him. After a long, tense silence, they exchanged furtive glances and cautiously began to speak.
“As usual… is he acting strange today?”
“It seems so.”
Rumors of Kalion’s erratic behavior had begun to spread among the knights of the Hessenguard. At first, they had thought something might have happened to upset him that day, but his behavior had gradually become increasingly aggressive and harsh, even to the point of shocking his fellow knights. He had even begun to curse and berate Cedric, who was one of the most respected members of the order.
Despite his behavior, Kalion had not neglected his duties as lord. However, no one dared to confront him about his changed behavior. Who would dare speak out against their lord, when even Cedric was taken aback by Kalion’s harsh words?
“We’re fine, but…” one of the knights said, tapping the ironwood pillar with a worried expression, glancing towards the distant building of the mages. The knights were used to being led by Cedric and his unorthodox ways, and they knew it was not their place to comment on their lord’s behavior. They knew that to do so would only result in a punch in the face.
Another knight spoke with a worried expression, “Is everything alright with Queen Erna?” The concern was palpable among the knights, as they all wondered what would happen if Erna were to end her relationship with Kalion.
Though they had been married for a long time, many still saw Erna and Kalion as a passionately in-love couple. They were the envy of many, with their relationship appearing to be without any major problems.
But after the war, the two had little time to be together. There were so many issues that needed to be dealt with, and among them, the spread of magic circles in Hessenguard and in the queen’s castle were problems that only Erna could solve.
Even Erna, as strong as she was, couldn’t live a day longer than others. She had to deal with the magical problems while Kalion had to deal with the internal and external affairs of Hessenguard.
Perhaps it was because of this that Kalion, when he was with Erna, revealed the longing he had felt during their time apart. In other words, he clung to Erna, smothering her with his affection.
The knights were all too familiar with the transformation of their lord, Kalion. They knew that when he left the castle to patrol the border alone, he became a despondent puppy, but when he faced the enemy, he was a fierce, mad dog. Nevertheless, Kalion claimed he’d be in trouble without Erna.
Whispers and rumors of Kalion’s strange behavior circulated throughout the castle. The people of the city had eyes and ears everywhere, and while discussing the queen and king was strictly forbidden outside the castle walls, inside was another story. No one knew the true nature of their relationship, but one thing was certain, if Kalion continued on this path, he would have much to regret.
Kalion sauntered into the bedroom with an air of nonchalance, his mind unfettered by the opinions of others. For him, the connection between him and his partner was all that mattered in this moment. He shed the remnants of the day and made his way to the bed, where Erna awaited him.
With a resounding thud, the door closed behind him, but Kalion paid it no heed. What was there to be concerned about? His gaze fixed upon the bed and the woman sitting there, as familiar and constant as the stars in the sky. He yearned to hold her fiercely, to possess her completely.
He approached the bed with purpose and seized Erna’s wrist, pulling her onto the bed with a force that left no room for resistance. Erna offered no resistance, and Kalion felt a smile tug at the corners of his lips.
He was becoming more like Marius with each passing day, he realized. But no, he was better. He had mastered the art of brute force and unrestrained passion, with no qualms or inhibitions.
As Kalion’s hand forced Erna’s legs apart, he thrust himself into her body with a brutal force, giving her no warning or chance to prepare. She let out a loud, pained cry, but Kalion paid it no mind, convinced that she enjoyed it.
But as he moved with a roughness that even he found excessive, he realized something was amiss. Erna would usually push him away weakly, telling him to stop. But today, she remained silent.