“Elise,” he spoke softly.
She remained silent.
“Did you have another dream last night? It couldn’t have been so,” Rezette said, studying her with sharp eyes.
Elise seemed unaware, but whenever she had these dreams, a faint magical energy would emanate from her body. Initially subtle, the power grew more pronounced over time, detectable even by a gentle touch.
Only when he drew out that energy completely did Elise’s tears subside. It was evident that by doing so, he was freeing her from the grip of her brother’s dreams as well.
Elise didn’t offer any response. Rezette couldn’t help but wonder what she was thinking. Was that damn ‘Andrei’ plaguing her mind again? He couldn’t bear the thought of being treated as a mere replacement for her brother.
As Rezette’s hand moved from her nape down to her shoulder, he pondered where the Emperor of Argon had left his mark on his sister. Lately, whenever he saw Elise, that question lingered in his mind.
After closely examining her for over ten days, there were no noticeable marks on the surface. This meant Rezette might have to search more deeply to find any.
During their journey to Van Yela, he had caught a glimpse of her exposed upper body by the lake. Although he tried to dismiss any unnecessary thoughts, he couldn’t recall any distinct marks catching his eye.
Perhaps it’s on her back, buttocks, or between her thighs, Rezette mused.
At that moment, he decided he would examine her body soon. Just as he was lost in his thoughts, Elise spoke with a subdued voice.
“On the first day, I mentioned that I could explore the castle alone.”
“Yes?” Rezette furrowed his brow, not immediately grasping her point.
“Or did I say I would tour Lord Ruben’s territory?”
Elise’s disappointment was evident as Rezette struggled to remember her previous words.
“Or is it because there are plenty of beauties everywhere?” she finally revealed her concern.
“I don’t know if there are plenty, but right now, there’s one in front of me,” Rezette replied nonchalantly. Elise couldn’t help but glance around, checking for others.
With everyone else sent away, the reception room was now empty, leaving only Elise and Rezette. A flush of embarrassment colored Elise’s cheeks, but it wasn’t due to some cute reason like shyness or excitement. There was a weightier issue at hand.
“Don’t keep avoiding the subject like this every time! If you keep speaking like that, I can never say anything…!” Elise expressed her frustration.
To Rezette, it might have seemed like a trivial matter, and perhaps it was. In the eyes of others, their marriage was already unconventional in many ways, so who would care about such trivialities? However, for Elise, it was a matter of life and death. She was well aware of the situation, but that didn’t mean she didn’t desire it too.
“Then you should consider adapting in advance,” Rezette suggested.
Yet, Elise’s mind was clouded with negativity, and with each passing day, she found herself assigning more meaning to his casual remarks. Realizing this, she felt a deep sense of indignation and sadness.Rezette Kyrstan was an incredibly contradictory and wicked man.
“You said you didn’t want to embrace a woman like me… You spoke those strange words back then, and now you pretend it’s not true. You torture me with false hope every time,” Elise lamented.
“I’ve never pretended it wasn’t true,” Rezette responded.
“Then why don’t you come to me at night?” Elise questioned, her emotions laid bare.
Elise’s voice took on a whining tone, and she lost her composure. The embarrassment she felt made her wish she could hide under the table, resenting the man who had pushed her to say such things.
“Do you dislike being with me?” she questioned.
Rezette eventually pulled Elise away, lowering his head to examine her closely. She glared back at him, her face flushed and her eyes teary from burying her face in his chest.
“I guess you can’t make any excuses now. This clearly violates the contract,” Elise accused.
“In what way?” Rezette responded calmly.
“You promised to cooperate… unconditionally.”
“I said ‘if the conditions are met.’ Don’t you remember?” Rezette clarified.
Elise’s lips trembled, disbelief spreading across her face as if she had just uncovered a deception.
“So, are you going to keep avoiding me and use that line as an excuse?”
“If the circumstances don’t align, then yes.”
“What are those circumstances, and what are the conditions? Simply saying we have to get closer won’t cut it anymore. If you want to convince me, you’ll need more plausible reasons…!”
Rezette looked down at her, observing her anger and frustration, and couldn’t help but smirk. She appeared like a small rabbit, her eyes wide and her face reddened, as if tears were about to flow. At that moment, as she tried to coax him into hugging her, she seemed like a cunning herbivore.
Elise, who had been intensely staring at Rezette, blinked subtly.
“Just stop pretending you don’t want it…”
No, right. She wasn’t a rabbit; she was a fox.