Each time she sealed her lips in such a manner, it felt as though an intangible barrier had been erected, a barrier Rezette could never breach. This silent standoff resembled an unwavering refusal, a reminder that he could never fully penetrate the private world she shared exclusively with her twin.
Suddenly, an urge welled up within him, a desire to shatter that impenetrable barrier.
Rezette knew he couldn’t erase the marks of another man from her body using his power. But what if he covered those marks with his own?
His gaze descended, tracing a path down her chest before settling upon her flat abdomen—a body that seemed devoid of any sign of life. Unconsciously, his hand found its way to Elise’s belly.
Rebecca Petisson’s composed words echoed in his mind. In the height of summer, she had mentioned that Elise’s belly would become noticeable, arousing suspicion due to its undeniable absence.
Shadows danced in Rezette’s blue eyes as he looked down at Elise.
A woman carrying my child…
For a brief moment, he entertained the notion of Elise having a slightly protruding belly. Strangely, he didn’t feel any resistance, unlike when he had initially accepted Elise’s proposal. In fact, the thought of her bearing his child made her even more beautiful in his eyes than she appeared at this moment.
It was a sensation both incredible and somewhat maddening.
Rezette bitterly mocked the transformation of his own beliefs, a transformation that had taken only six short months.
Unless I’ve been bewitched.
In Genovia Irienn’s discerning eyes, it appeared that Rezette had fallen utterly under the princess’s enchantment. The names of Elise frequently escaped the lips of Rebecca Petisson, Alfred, Sobeul, and even Ruben Diark, whenever an opportunity presented itself.
Rezette’s forlorn countenance, even if he only admitted it to himself, suggested that he was ensnared in some enchanting spell. Elise had cast her irresistible allure upon him.
Otherwise, why would he willingly engage in such reckless undertakings, actions that could lead to the conception of another being like himself?
It was not merely a matter of indulging his desires; he could not afford to be so heedless.
In a peculiar twist of fate, Elise’s fainting spell had turned out to be a stroke of luck. Had she not collapsed, it would have been exceedingly difficult to anticipate the ramifications of her expressed desire to see him.
Rezette detected a subtle undercurrent of magic at Elise’s lower back as he ran his hand down her slender waist, his thoughts entwined in contemplation.
“It serves as a reminder not to grow complacent. While she may be living solely for you at present, how long will that last?”
“Isn’t she simply biding her time, waiting for the right moment to escape? Will she continue to reside in Rotiara?”
What were the odds that the Argan Emperor still drew breath?
If he were indeed alive, and if Elise were to discover…
Then what were the chances that she would choose to return to her twin brother?
The answer was glaringly evident, rendering speculation futile. Even in the confines of Rotiara, she felt mentally stifled without him. How could she not yearn for her homeland? Wouldn’t her heart lead her to reunite with her twin?
Fortunately, this was Rezette’s domain. Anything he did not allow would not reach Elise. It was best to keep her in the dark, not only concerning the Argan Emperor but also the disconcerting rumors circulating in the southern reaches of Grandel. Even the whispers about the princess’s fate, gradually seeping northward.
Here, within his territory, Elise had only one focus.
Rezette carefully dampened the sheets and gently lowered her onto the bed. He tenderly brushed his fingers against her cold cheek, willing warmth to course into her skin.
“You said you wanted a child.”
The notion of ensuring her stay, preventing her from escaping, didn’t appear as a malevolent idea. In fact, it seemed like the perfect solution—a flawless strategy.
Elise would have the child she yearned for, and he would have her. She would be entirely preoccupied with herself, the life growing within her, and nothing else. She wouldn’t possess the time or energy to concern herself with the events unfolding beyond the confines of Rotiara.
Right up until the moment she approached childbirth.
Then, without warning, his vision shifted, taking on a nauseating hue of green, as though blood had been inverted. Echoes of his earliest memories flitted through his mind, much like they had yesterday. Rezette gazed down at the pitiable sight of his mother’s lifeless body, sprawled before him as if resurrected within the illusion that clouded his eyes.
A profound revulsion surged within him.
Gradually, his sanity reasserted its grip.