The streets are lulled with the quietness of the night despite the bright lights illuminating the cobbled paths. There are only a few people roaming around, guards continuous patrol in the area and most of the folks had gone to hiding with the news of the monsters’ attack. Senia and Carr headed to their inn while walking through the shadows, avoiding people as much as possible.
Senia anxiously looks back and forth in every alley as both knew that if news got out about Carr’s real identity they would be in trouble and Carr wouldn’t be safe. They had been nearing the inn when they heard a sound coming from the main street.
“It’s a monster!”
“The west door has been broken!!”
The guards were screaming and running in one direction. Senia and Carr, who were hiding in the alley’s shadow, stuck their heads slightly out and looked at the main street. Five trolls were struggling with their wounds and regenerating with three or four spears embedded in their bodies.
“Ah….” Senia sighed. Without her divinity, she couldn’t do anything to help and she couldn’t let Carr helped either because of his red eyes. However, the moment a troll attacked a civilian’s house and lifted a man with one hand, Senia ran out reflexively.
“L-Let me go, Sir Carr!”
Carr had grabbed Senia’s hand, stopping her from intervening in the situation. Senia tried to push her way out but of course, her strength was nothing compared to Carr’s. She complained, pleading for Carr to let her go so she could save the man, but Carr never yielding his grip.
The guards were struggling to save the man as the troll continued to gain strength. The captured man was vomiting blood as if he was dying, but then when everyone thought the man’s life going to end, a piercing light fell from the sky and attacked the troll with no sun.
“Ah….!” Senia opened her eyes wide as she recognized that divine invocation. It was a punishment given by the moon to judge the earth.
Once the soft, blue-coloured spear-like light disappeared, the troll died leaving nothing but ashes in its wake.
“I didn’t want to come out and handle this matter because it is annoying… why don’t you use your powers?”
A young woman who was wearing a hood walked into the dark alley and snarled in annoyance to where Senia and Carr were hiding.
A wave of flowing black hair down the shoulders and purple eyes could be seen from the shroud of the hood. A composed and calm face despite looking after a dying person, from her height and aura emitting from her, Carr could easily tell that the woman was much older than Senia although her beauty could compete with Senia.
Lu, the moon saint, the woman who was loved by the moon god Lumar, had her gaze fixed on Carr causing the man to hide more in the shadows and turned his face away. Lu looked at Carr a moment longer before she turned her attention back to Senia.
“I heard you’ve recovered your powers. Isn’t it in perfect condition?”
“…. Yes, it is. I just have to go through special procedures to recover them.”
While they were talking, Senia spotted the rest of the trolls were rampaging in chaos.
“Please, Lady Lu, it won’t be easy for the people here. Please help them!”
Lu folded her arms in her chest calmly and tilted her head slightly as she watched Senia pleads. She was different to what Carr’s thoughts about Saints. In his mind, the image of a saint was someone who was devoted to the people, willing to sacrifice and selfless. Looking at the moon’s saint he couldn’t help but feel uneasy.
‘If you’re a saint, don’t you have to help people without the need for someone begging for you?’
“….Well, I can’t help it. I’m not that heartless as to watch people die.”
“Since yesterday was a full moon, my power is at an all-time high. I’ll take care of the mess here so you can go on your way. Just don’t tell the priests and bishops that you met me, I don’t want to be caught.”
Senia nodded her head and Lu just turned around lightly shrugging her shoulder.
“I’ve never seen you so incompetent,” Lu said quietly as she started to walk away. “Honestly, it’s ugly. I hope you don’t look any more unsightly.”
It was a short sarcastic remark that ended the conversation. Anyone would think of that as mockery however Senia only let out a bitter laugh as she watched Lu walked away leisurely.
“Come on, Sir Carr. It looks like we aren’t caught. If it’s Lady Lu, we can trust her.” Senia reached out to Carr’s hand, gently guiding him back to the inn.
“……It doesn’t look like you’re okay,” Carr muttered quietly as he couldn’t see Senia’s expression.
Due to the uproar in the night, the inn was lit up and everyone was gathering in the hall on the first floor. All of them were already prepared to run away but at the same time, they couldn’t overcome the anxiety of being alone and leaving their properties behind.
While Senia was reassuring the people in the hall, Carr had slipped to the stairs and head straight to his room. He could hear the cheer from the people after they learnt that Senia was the sun’s god saint and that all the monsters were nearly eradicated. The pensive atmosphere in the hall drastically changes.
Senia was trying to back away from the crowd as they continued to thank her. It was only after Senia told them that she needed rest to recover her divinity that the crowd let her go.
“I will donate enough money to the temple of the sun god tomorrow! Here’s a toast! Let’s celebrate until the sun rises!”
Senia quietly laughed seeing the festive atmosphere and made her way upstairs. She headed straight for her room however she hesitated in front of it. Strange feelings and thoughts started to wash over her that made her uneasy, especially the sight of Carr covered in blood and wounds.
At the sight of the glowing pair of red eyes, a face splattered with blood and wound marks engraved by heaven, anyone that saw him would know that they were sins, a source of evil…. a pariah of the society. The very fact broke her heart making it difficult for her to breathe. She quickly turned around and headed to Carr’s room.
With a shaky breath, she carefully knocked at his door.
“Sir Carr…. It’s Senia.”
It took a seconds later when the sound of the door unlocking could be heard. Senia went quietly inside after making sure no one was watching and turned her face to look inside the room.
However, instead of the bed, Senia was facing Carr’s bare torso. The sight of the strong muscles and body covered with battle scars was giving her feelings she can’t quite put her hands on even though she had touched and seen that body before. Carr simply tilted his head as he watched Senia covered her flushed face with her hands.
“Ah, uh…well, I know you’re tired….”
True to her words he was physically tired and exhausted, and he was sure that Senia too was tired, so he didn’t think that she would come to his room to have sex right away. He could hide the secret in his eyes if he hid in his room for a day, so for now they could just recover their stamina and then refuelling Senia’s power tomorrow.
Carr moved to sit down on the bed, watching Senia patiently as she tried to calm her confused heart. As she was trying to soothe her agitated heart she glanced at the bed and noticed the bandage and medicine laid there. Carr’s body had a shallow cut, fortunately, there were no serious injuries, but still, he was wounded from the fight earlier. It was a familiar routine for Carr to always bandage his wounds by himself, after all, he needed to survive on his own. At that sight, Senia couldn’t help but imagine his past and slowly approached the bed.
“Let me help you with the bandage. Please.”
Carr was good with first aid treatment and yet Senia still offered to help him. Carr hesitated for a moment with the sudden change of mood between them, but then he handed the bandage to her little hand.
‘Can I trust you…’
“…. I know how to do blessings, so you must think that I’ve never done this before, right?” Carr looked at Senia, a slight flush on his face when she able to convey his thoughts out loud. Senia gave a small cheeky grin, looking at him.
“Did I get it right?”
Carr nodded his head, admitting to the question honestly which caused the smile on Senia’s face to deepen. He was older, much taller, stronger, moreover, he was a demon but seeing his face turning red made him looked adorable in Senia’s eyes.
Senia, sitting beside Carr on the bed, started to clean the wounded arm. With the artificial light in the bedroom, Senia could see the wounds more clearly than before. There were cuts, stabs and some were bruises that are starting to turn blue. She carefully treated each one of them. The more she looked at the scars, the more she felt like each one of them was ingrain in her heart.
“’…. I think Sir Carr is a caring man.”
Carr looked at her incredulously. He noticed her expression turned sour as if she had eaten something wrong, but there was still a small smile lingering on her face.
“Ahaha…. I’m sure if Arte heard this, he wouldn’t like it. But I keep thinking like that.” Senia said carefully as she cut the bandage and put a pin to keep it in place. She looked at the wound on his waist and carefully touched it causing Carr to hiss.
“Ah, did it hurt? There is a slightly deep wound around the waist, so I should bandage it as well.” She said worriedly as she prepared the bandage.
He turned around obediently and showed his back to Senia for the first time. As she landed her gaze on his back, he could hear her swallowing hard. On his muscular back, there was a divinity circle that Arte carved with a dagger. At a glance, it almost looks like a brand of slave ownership.
Carr tensed slightly upon hearing Senia’s sigh. She was someone who would be heartbroken by the small wounds of others. So, to see a scar this big, one that was made by her very own family she feels perplexed and devastated. Carr’s hand stopped trying to pick up his shirt, he is still contemplating whether he should cover himself or not.
Warm and soft hands deftly touched his cold back cautiously sending shivers along his spine. Soft hair brushes against his bruise skin giving him goosebumps all over. It was then that he feels she was leaning her head against his back. Carr slowly relaxed against the delicate touch. He feels calm and at ease…and he doesn’t know why.
“I-I’m sorry.” The apology came out suddenly, Senia’s voice was filled with regret, “I-I know I don’t deserve this, but I keep relying on Sir Carr several times now. I don’t want to share my burden but because of my incompetence… So, I ask you with a selfish heart….”
Carr listened to her quietly, waiting for her to continue.
“…Am I a nuisance?”
Her head tilted down slightly as her fingertips swept through the wounds on his back. It was a cautious caress as if to relay comfort and console a weakened heart.
“Ever since in that small solitary cell, Sir Carr continued to soothe my anxiety. I know it was something I had to do but because I didn’t you…” Senia’s voice became melancholic and her hand that carefully touched Carr’s wound slowly fell.
However, before Senia could take her hand off completely away, Carr took it and place it on his upper chest, holding her hand tightly right to where his beating heart is.
“Ah?” Senia widened his eyes at the sudden movement. She didn’t know why Carr did it while Carr on the other hand had a frown on his face. For a moment he was annoyed at himself for not understanding Senia’s feelings.
The curse slipped out of his mouth without him knowing, instead of saying ‘no’ to prevent Senia from moving away. Even then the expletive denial word had to be swallowed back before it could properly leave his mouth.
When Arte had made a deal with him for making him not able to talk to Senia, he didn’t feel anything nor care about it. Now, he couldn’t help but resent the man. However, he didn’t need to say anything more when Senia managed to sense the desperation from his red eyes. She cupped his untainted cheek, gently caressing it easing the frown away from his expression.
Senia couldn’t take her eyes off him.
How could a demon, who she was taught to be her enemy all her life, could give off such a sad expression, a tender touch and making her feel hot and bothered just by sitting right next to her?
It was like facing the sun. Senia, who had both cheeks flushed red, asked quietly.
“I—I am a nuisance….?”
Carr, who was embarrassed to answer, thought for a moment. Either nodding his head or shaking his head might give a yes and no answer. It would be hard to convey his proper opinion to her without bringing up a misunderstanding.
Senia who realized the troubled look in his eyes tried to pull her hands away, but Carr just fastens them in place. He then decided to change the way he answers and lean forward to close their distance. He kissed her so tenderly around that twinkling sky-blue eyes that he loves looking at his way with so much kindness and acceptance.
That affectionate gesture contains more than just words, it’s the feeling he cannot convey and utter into words. He didn’t break their eye contact but continue to gaze intensely. It’s as if he wants to preserve these stolen moments in his memory for a long time.
It would be enough to ease Senia’s worries and disclose his gratitude toward Senia for everything that she had done for him. His gaze, which didn’t waver, would be able to deliver the meaning. This is more than he could ask for.