C/W : drug use, past rape experience
The next day passed peacefully without any incident. However, because of the fatigue that continued to pile up on her body, Senia yawned more frequently that she almost dozed off during meals. In Carr’s eyes, he can’t help but looked at her adorableness, especially as her cheeks will flush red with embarrassment for showing such un-ladylike behaviour in front of him.
“Sir Carr, if it’s possible I’d like to continue our journey tomorrow.”
Carr wasn’t surprised when he heard her request during dinner. Although, he had expected that they would stay for another two or three days. However, he understood why Senia wanted to leave.
“We already treated all the people who were seriously injured. The city is already back to its usual atmosphere. All I can do now is pray and blessed the city, then we can continue with our journey.”
A blessing was part of the divine works to prevent sickness and bestowed prosperity for everyone. The demand for a blessing was always high which became the main source of income for the church. It would be enough for other priests to do, so Senia decided that she could leave the city now.
Senia smiled all relieved when Carr didn’t complain about it.
“Then, I’m going to take a good rest today because it will be a burden if we travel with my body all tired. Oh, and Sir Carr, if you have anything to do, it’s okay to stay out here a little longer.”
Carr shook his head. In all honesty, he’d rather go out of the city right now because of Lu’s presence in the city.
“That’s good. Let’s get some rest tonight.”
“You two are going already? I don’t think there’s another city as comfortable as this one.”
Just before the two could get up from their table, a third person joined them. It was someone that Carr expected to see, but still, he couldn’t help but scowled seeing the woman pulled off her hood revealing her black hair.
Contrary to him, Senia was surprised and delighted to see the woman joining them.
“Saint Lu? Uh, how are you here?”
“Didn’t this man tell you about me?”
Carr turned his head away, avoiding the responsibility when Lu pointed her finger toward him. Even though he knew that she would join them tonight, he couldn’t even inform Senia about it.
“Well, I heard you left town, so I didn’t think I’d see you.”
Senia quickly changes the subject, sincerely smiling toward the other woman.
Lu paused at the sight of the bright smile and girlish tone. In her memory, Senia was not a lively woman whose smile could reach her eyes.
‘My eyes must have deceived me.’
Lu kept a calm expression – not wanting to acknowledge the change she saw on Senia.
“I didn’t want to be as lazy as someone. You haven’t been able to get a good rest in the last few days, have you? Every time I walked around; all I can hear about is you.”
“As a person who is chosen by God, I did what is natural of me.”
“As expected of you…”
“But it was tiring, so we were thinking of leaving tomorrow,” Senia continued before Lu could finish her words.
“Tiring?” Lu asked confused.
“Pardon? Ah, yes. In all honesty, it is tiring but it’s worth it.”
“But… you never said that before.”
The sun’s saint was a woman who worked hard day and night until she would collapse due to exhaustion. She was kind to a fault and selfless. She was someone who lived with the concerns and respect of the priests because she didn’t take care of herself. It was what Lu expected from her, but right now she sounded no different from regular humans.
“That’s right. Back then… I don’t think I could have admitted it,” Senia smiled shyly, scratching her cheek.
“What’s make it different now?”
“Well… I’m not sure.”
The trip, which was the only opportunity for her, where she can escape the constant scrutiny of the priests, could have been the cause but she knew that it was not the only one.
The two saints continued to stay quiet. Senia mulling over the question while Lu observing the saint who now looked different from what she remembered. The rattling sound next to them broke the silence and the two turned their head toward Carr, who finished with his meal, trying to get out of his seat.
“Ah? Sir Carr, are you going in?”
Carr nodded at the answer, deciding to give the two women some time alone so they could talk comfortably.
Lu watched the two and, at that moment, she knew what the cause of the change. The blue eyes, which she believed to be innocent and only full of life for a fleeting moment, had changed into those of a woman who was madly in love.
“Saint Senia, I have a favour to ask of you,” Lu with a stiff face, finally brought up the main reason why she came to visit her.
Lu pointed at Carr, who still hadn’t left his seat, “Give me that man.”
Carr wanted to protest more, saying how this was not what they agreed upon but even before he could say anything Senia already opened her mouth.
“What are you talking about?” Senia asked gently but the smile was no longer on her face.
“I asked you to hand him over because I wanted him. I asked this in a literal way.”
Lu knew that if she warned Senia that Carr was a dangerous man, the younger woman would still argue with her. However, if Lu decided to be stubborn as a child and insisting on asking Carr to be handed over, she might have a chance. It was only possible because she knew of Senia’s personality.
“Carr is not a thing, so it is not up to me.”
“I’ve already talked to him. If you allow it, he will come to me.”
“What?” Senia looked at Carr in disbelief while the mercenary trying to deny it.
For Carr who couldn’t speak directly to Senia, he was at an absolute disadvantage and he couldn’t attack Lu directly, because she could follow through with her threat of spouting lies on how he attacked her to Senia. If that happened, Carr couldn’t defend or explain himself to Senia.
Senia frowned when Carr didn’t respond and watched as Lu pointed more toward him.
“I heard he used to hunt monsters. I want to use him as my escort, it also doesn’t hurt that he is good looking, and so far, a decent personality. You’re strong, right? So, you can use someone else during the trip, right Senia? If there’s anything you need, I can find someone from the Moon Church.”
“You have Sir Carr before?”
“Didn’t you know? We’ve been seeing each other every night for two days. Didn’t he tell you that?”
Once again, Senia glanced at Carr. He knew that he couldn’t explain himself to Senia, he knew that he didn’t do anything bad, but he felt a bit sick especially when he saw the sulky expression on Senia’s face. It was adorable an expression, but Carr felt guilty like he committed a mortal sin.
“That’s how it is anyway. It’s a win-win situation for us because this man is also looking forward to some time with me. All I need is your permission.”
Lu was inwardly satisfied seeing the sudden tension between the two. She leaned slightly to Carr’s side, touching his chest as Senia stayed silent in front of them.
Senia knew the rumours that the moon saint tended to spend the night with attractive men. It started as a rebellious act, but now Lu used sex to soothe her physical loneliness or to just search for pleasure. Senia also knew that Lu – not even the moon church, cared about the rumours.
“You’re lying, aren’t you?”
Senia smiled gently although it didn’t reach her eyes.
“Are you doubting what I’m saying?” Lu frowned – pretending to be offended, “You know that I’m frivolous as a saint, but you are thinking that I’m still lying about this?”
“Well, it’s a little bit embarrassing to admit but I can tell this kind of thing.”
“You can tell? Ha!”
Lu burst into laughter, believed that Senia was joking.
“Do you really have that kind of ability? You’re naïve and not able to differentiate between goodwill and hostility.”
“Did I look like that? I take that as a compliment then.”
At first glance, the cold and tense atmosphere between the two wasn’t apparent because of the noise going around from the surrounding area. However, Carr who was the only person that listening to their conversation could easily feel it.
The silence between the two continued and Lu glared at Senia who just smiled bitterly.
“It is just a misunderstanding,” Senia broke the tension, “I always could sense who is my enemy and what lies been told to me.”
“What do you know about telling a lie, don’t make me laugh.”
As if contemplating her next word, a troubled look found their place in the usual clear blue eyes – giving a sad light.
“I know that Bishop Hales, who is kind toward everyone else, doesn’t like me. She said how I am a saint who insists on being kind to the point of foolishness.”
Instead of Lu, it was Carr who was surprised by the revelation. He didn’t think that Senia would be able to notice such things based on Lu’s story.
“And I know there are many people who don’t like my stubbornness when I decided not to hurt the Great Devil and I know that Lady Lu, who always shows a cold side to me, is actually helping me.”
“I can tell but I don’t know why you are trying to take Sir Carr by telling lies, could you just tell me honestly instead?”
Lu parted her mouth open and closed them again as she tried to lie. That was an unexpected outcome. She always thought Senia was someone who was pure and had high integrity, but right now it felt like all images she had on Senia were being shattered.
The saint of the sun wasn’t as naïve as she thought, she was like an ordinary human like anyone else. She was not foolishly innocent, but she insisted to do her duties as a saint even though she knew all the lies and hostilities that were directed at her. It could only be done if someone has great mental power and being able to do it without God’s words guiding her way and still sacrificing herself….
Lu couldn’t help but ask the question herself. She couldn’t come up with the reason why Senia had to live like a saint and now that she got another glimpse of Senia beyond her mask, she didn’t understand why she did that, why she would do that.
And that’s when something came to her mind, just as Lu was saved by Senia when she had no one, Senia too, now, had a place to lean on.
Lu turned her eyes to Carr. At a glance, the man looked ordinary – there was nothing special. However, Lu could tell that it must have been his influence. He is the one who has turned the saint who always acted prim and proper to reveal the human under the pretentious mask.
It was too late for her to intervene between the two and Lu just sighed frustratedly.
“This man will be a bad influence for you, and you won’t listen to my warning, aren’t you?”
“Yes, I don’t believe that he will be bad for me. I’m grateful that you are worried about me, Lady Lu.”
There was no hesitation or doubt in Senia’s voice. The person that sat in front of her was Senia but at the same time, it was not that it confused Lu that shattered all her faith she had built up when it came to the sun saint.
“Then, I won’t say anything more.”
Carr sighed when he heard that, but the relief didn’t stay long when Lu continued with her words.
“Instead, I have something to talk to him about. Let me borrow him for a second.”
Senia looked back at Carr, waiting for his response as it was his decision if he wanted to talk to Lu or not. Carr, however, felt very uncomfortable to be left alone with the moon’s saint again. He glanced at the woman, noticing how calm she was and ended up nodding reluctantly toward Senia.
“He says it’s fine. Then, I’ll go back to my room first.”
“If it’s possible, we shall see each other before we leave. Good night Lady Lu,” Senia smiled politely and only once when she disappeared that Carr turned his whole attention to Lu.
“Is there more to talk about?”
“There is actually,”
Lu sighed deeply as her dark purple eyes focus on the glass in front of her.
“You said you are leaving tomorrow, right?”
“I believe so.”
“Then just sit there comfortably and accompany me until I finished with this bottle.”
Carr was hesitant and positioned himself as far as possible from Lu. He knew that she wouldn’t attack him in a crowded inn but that didn’t mean he would put down all his defences in front of her.
Lu ordered a bottle of red wine while Carr just watched as the waiter opened the lid intricately. He was sure it cost a fortune that it caused his nose to wrinkle. He knew that Lu was an avid alcohol drinker but the smell coming out of the bottle would have because ordinary people could get drunk from it alone.
“I never thought that she would ever change, but from how it is she looks like a different person. How the hell did that happen?” Lu frowned as she sipped the red liquor in her glass and looked at the stairs where Senia had disappeared to.
Carr turned toward the stairs, wondering if Senia would come down, but there was no one. He turned his head to the table when Lu slides a glass full of wine in front of him. Carr sighed as he took a sip, noticing that the taste and aroma of the expensive alcohol were not the same as the usual one, although the burning sensation on his throat struck differently.
“I only heard about her past from you, so I don’t know. Isn’t she the same? I never see her as a flawless saint.”
Carr answered between coughing from the wine.
“Honestly speaking, she used to be like a statue – the perfect image of a saint who didn’t know anything about her suffering or that she could lean on to someone.”
The image of Senia that Lu had was those from the time before she was cursed. Lu missed those days where Senia was able to restore her power just by praying under the sun, where she was the perfect saint for her and everyone. The fact that Senia was born in the same status as she made Lu motivated to continue with her life.
“Perhaps it is the devil’s curse. If it weren’t for that period where she was helpless for three years, maybe nothing would have been able to break the wall she surrounds her heart.”
Carr’s throat tightened when Lu brought up Senia’s condition. He glanced around the room when his head started pounding. At the same time, his vision started to blur and lean on the table to support his body.
“However, that doesn’t mean she can open her heart to a man. You’re going have to get out of here.”
As soon as he opened his mouth, his breathing was hot and heavy. His usual calm and slow heartbeat began to pound uncontrollably fast. The humid air clung to his body like a desert wind and his ears were ringing that he couldn’t hear the conversation at the next table.
“What have you done…?!”
Carr hissed the words out of his mouth while trying to fight the heat that starting to rush all over his whole body.
“I think you’re already feeling it. This is my favourite medicine. It works best when paired with strong alcohol content.”
Lu spoke calmly as she sat next to Carr. Her eyes shone even brighter than usual. She moved closer to Carr, putting her hand on Carr’s thigh, knowing that he wouldn’t be able to run away. She watched as Carr was trying to control his body, his desire, by closing his eyes tightly.
The drug had ignited a sexual desire that Carr has never experience before. He tried to control himself, but the sweet scent coming from Lu and how close her body pressed against his only made the desire stronger than before. As the drug continued to spread faster all over his body, he started to lose awareness of his surroundings and only focus on Lu. The feeling was worse more than the time his soul was tortured by holy water. He is fighting himself for control as there was no way to calm his raging erection without direct stimulation.
“If you disappear, she may be able to return to who she originally was, although not completely. As a matter of fact, there are a lot of eyes here, so you only need to cause one commotion. Even if she’s a saint, if you lost control and attack – there’s nothing she can do about it. If Arte finds out, he’ll never let you go.”
‘That old man already wants to kill me….’
Carr swallowed the word that he desperately wanted to say but his throat hurt so much. He was the kind of person familiar with pain and torture, so, he tried to escape not wanting to stay longer. However, Lu opened her mouth before he could even move.
“I have the antidote here.”
She said sweetly, “It takes about 10 minutes for it to work, but it’s better than a few hours of enduring pain.”
Carr opened his eyes and turned toward her reflexively. Lu was sitting next to him with the pill on her tongue. The sight of her cherry lips part opens with her tongue stretched out, begging for a kiss, almost caused him to lose all his reasoning and control.
At that moment, Carr knew that Lu was a vicious woman. If he kissed her, it was clear that the last control he had of his body would break. But in 10 minutes he would manage to return his sanity. It wasn’t difficult imagining himself taking her as his hand cupped her full breast.
Carr growled, biting his lips as if trying to clear his drugged mind from the filthy thoughts. He could feel under his skin how nice it is if he could claim her, talk dirty to her, did all the rude things she wanted, but he knew rationally and deep down in his heart that it would only make things difficult for him.
Ignoring Carr’s agony, which felt like an hour – when in truth it was just mere seconds has passed. Lu pulled his arms slightly, snapping him out of his internal fight. She hoped that Carr would come to his decision soon as she knew that every man succumbed to their sexual desires and never overcome their rational thinking. They are just animals in heat.
That was the biggest reason why Lu hated men. They only use their cock to think and once their sexual desire took over. The aftermath was pathetic and disgusting.
That small gesture of pulling his sleeve reminded Carr of Senia. The image of Lu in his mind was replaced by Senia and now he could only see the painful and hurtful expression if Carr were to force himself to her. It was like a nightmare and the raging desire in his body was replaced with nausea.
“It’s no use trying to reject it. This won’t take more than a few seconds. I’m just going to…”
Lu’s words were cut off by the sound of glass shattered. She and the rest of the people in the tavern turned their heads toward the source of the sound.
Carr’s hand, which hand broken glass by force, were wet with alcohol and blood. Some of
the glass fragments deeply embedded themselves in his palm.
“Don’t joke around. I didn’t endure a hard life just to fall into this crazy shit.”
Carr clicked his tongue and managed to gather his sense of control. He slowly got up from his seat, his vision was still blurry as he made his way out of the door.
“You should know how to appreciate yourself. Isn’t it enough that you experience it with someone you don’t want to? Who would…”?
But before he could finish his words, Carr managed to open the door and made his way outside. He welcomed the cold night breeze against his skin as it cools down his heated body.
Lu was left behind inside while the rest of the customers gossip about the lover’s quarrel that happened between the two. She stood still like a statue, embarrassed about how the whole thing conspired. She was confused about how Carr managed to fight back against the effect of the drug.