I tried to find my composure as I calmly looked back on the past to figure out what went wrong, but nothing came to my mind.
Yeah, it should be fine.
So what am I supposed to do now?
I was baffled on how to respond and solve this unprecedented situation.
“Alastair, get out of my way.”
I dismissed him in an adamant tone, but Alastair refused to budge.
Are you not hearing me, or are you ignoring me?
Alastair watched me.
I did not avoid his gaze and looked straight into his eyes.
Alastair’s hand that held my shoulder released his grip and caressed my cheek.
It was a friendly behavior that was unexpected in this situation.
Reflexively, my eyes trembled.
His hand progressed unhurried and deliberately on my cheek.
While he was brushing my cheek, I overlapped my hand with his.
His hand, as he stroked my cheek, began to descend slowly.
My body stiffened for a moment with a familiar sensation…
Alastair’s dreamy eyes slowly grazed my throat.
My body trembled at the cool-hot sensation that tickled my neck.
Finally, his hand that was stroking my neck stopped.
Then slowly and unhurriedly, he began to wrap his fingers around my neck.
Despite the shallow power, I was feeling strangled already.
Alastair grasped my neck slowly.
I was sure that he would tighten his grasp.
But, despite my intuition, he did nothing.
With a stiff neck posture, his eyes were so dry that no emotions could be found.
Just blinking my eyes at the feeling of confronting a machine.
Tick Tick Tick.
The sound of the clock was deafening in the room.
As the clock passed, it seemed that the inevitable would happen.
But nothing happened.
If Alastair put any effort into his hand, my neck would be easily crushed by that force.
It would be easy for him, like crushing a flower in the palm of your hand—where crushed flowers will color the palms with their own colors.
Alastair knows that.
Does Alastair not want to mar his hands, or does he want to kill me but want me to live at the same time? Or is he looking at a toy in his hand?
I don’t know anything.
At first, I had to work very hard to stay calm with his titillating fingertips fondling me. But now, the effort was unnecessary.
As if someone poured cold water on me, I was cold.
At first, my feelings were surprisingly hot. As if a harsh cold season came after a scorching season, and I forgot the extended heat, now chilly for a long time, leaving me icy.
Maybe he was looking forward to it. He said that even if his brainwashing was released, he would still maintain and convey his feelings. I didn’t believe it, but a part of me was expectate.
I didn’t want Alastair to still love me, but I could only hope that our relationship could still be maintained.
The string that connected this relationship is the ‘brainwashing’ that I was striving so hard to get rid of.
As soon as I realized this, the disappointment of recognizing this brutal reality left me a ruined wreck.
And, as usual, I removed the traces of the debris and quickly hid them.
I breathed out and let my calm facade wash over me.
“Alastair, if you want to kill me, listen.”
I wrapped my hands around his cheeks and tried to make eye contact.
It was impossible to make eye contact with his blurry and unfocused eyes, but I tried anyways.
“I’m the only one who can unleash your brainwashing. So you shouldn’t do this to me.”
I lifted one of my hands from his cheek, placing it on his hand that was holding my neck, and gingerly removed it.
Was it because my words reached his ears? Or was there some other reason?
He gently lifted his hand from my neck.
“And I have one more thing to say—”
I smiled at him faintly.
I struck him on the neck with the full extent of my mana within my hand.
Alastair let out a small breath and collapsed on top of me.
I accepted his body and carefully laid him on the bed.
Then I pulled the blanket up to his neck and covered him.
I know I had already made up my mind to accept my fate if Alastair pointed a blade at my neck—and yet here I was contradicting my vow.
But what can I do?
I haven’t unraveled Alastair’s brainwashing yet.
I could only comply with his knife against my neck when he was of sound mind.
‘Why did Alastair suddenly do that?’
It would be ridiculous to assume that the drug that I gave to relieve his brainwashing two years ago is now causing a reaction—but his response was so similar to that time…
If there was anything different from that time, it was that there was no hatred in his eyes.
Instead, his eyes were unfocused and dry—without emotion.
Those were the eyes when he was dazed from the tortuous brainwashing sessions.
I have a hunch that when Alastair wakes up, he won’t remember what happened.
Just like last time, you won’t remember anything —and then you will tell me that you love me? And then should I accept your words as if nothing happened?
Strange laughter bursts out of me.
I can’t stop laughing because it’s all just so damn funny.
A wave of dizziness overcomes me—I could fall down right now.
I stumbled backwards.
The air in the room became thorns and pierced my lungs.
I couldn’t stand it any longer. I ran out, fleeing.
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