Love, As Deadly As Death - Chapter 3
Translator and Editor: Effe and Nabi
As her smile softened the lines around her eyes, her expectant face looked innocent and beautiful. Ivan nodded as he watched her.
Apparently satisfied with his silence, Amelia closed the door and turned away.
She responded to the call.
“You can’t even leave me alone for a moment?”
“You left without a word. The High Priest asked me to see if anything had happened.”
“I just went out for a walk. I felt suffocated.”
Before long, the sense of someone’s presence in front of the door began to gradually fade away.
When no trace of anyone could be felt, Ivan quietly opened the door to the prayer room. It felt as though the conversation with Amelia had been a dream; no one remained in the empty garden. He had to leave before the guards arrived.
Before leaving the prayer room, as he quietly surveyed the interior, he saw the statue of the priestess, hands clasped with her eyes closed.
According to the plan, he should have greeted her by plunging a knife into her heart, yet he couldn’t do it. It was merely the fascination of seeing black eyes for the first time in his life.
Suddenly, an inappropriate laughter escaped his lips.
Of course, it disappeared in an instant.
Ivan turned his head forward and took leisurely steps. Seizing the opportunity before the knights returned, he climbed over the castle wall.
“You were told not to follow.”
“This is my duty.”
Seeing Rodan, who was waiting for him, respectfully bowed, Ivan pursed his lips and took off his robe, handing it to him.
“You went over the temple wall, of all places, so how could I not wait?”
Rodan draped the robe over his arm and added an explanation that his actions weren’t out of ignorance.
He was right. Ivan’s resentment towards the temple was not of a mild one. Moreover, just earlier, after eavesdropping on the conversation at the tavern, he had wanted to slit the priestess’s throat immediately.
Ivan was well aware that it was an inevitable choice for Rodan.
“I didn’t kill her.”
Rodan’s face showed a faint unease at his nonchalant response. If he hadn’t killed her, did it mean he had inflicted some injury?
“We merely had a civil conversation.”
Rodan’s brow furrowed slightly as if he had heard something absurd.
“You set the fire, didn’t you?”
“You nearly beat the apprentice priest to death and snatched his identity badge.”
He meticulously pointed out Ivan’s wrongdoings. Even though he could have been seen as arrogant, Ivan didn’t retort. While there was an obvious difference in status, as the son of a nanny, he got along with Rodan on a fairly normal level.
“Is that so?”
Ivan casually turned his head and walked away.
“Still, there was some gain.”
He hadn’t been able to confirm whether the priestess was truly invulnerable, but it didn’t seem like he had suffered any losses. The night when Amelia was alone and even the guards were neglecting their duties. He knew it would be difficult for such an unbelievable opportunity to come again.
“Next time, tell me about the outside world that I didn’t get to hear today. I’m curious about many things.”
Her eyes lifted sharply at the ends. However, it was the curiosity that she couldn’t hide, directed at the intruder revealed in the late night, and the interest in the outside of the temple. All of it meant one thing.
Purity, naivety, and innocence.
“The ‘gain’ you mentioned…”
“I met a curious child who is very interested in the outside world. We became friends.”
A young one seeking attention and affection.
Such things were generally easy to exploit.
“You weren’t planning to run away again, were you?”
As Louis questioned suspiciously, Amelia quietly shook her head.
“If I were trying to run away, why would I have been in the prayer room? I would have been undoing the chains on the locked door.”
It was an uncommonly valid point. Louis let go of his doubtful expression and finally nodded.
“I was surprised you weren’t in your room all of a sudden.”
“I apologize for that.”
When she responded to him with a face that showed no hint of apology, Louis didn’t jump or deny the insincere apology either, as if he sensed it.
“Well, rest well.”
“You too, Louis.”
Amelia closed the door as she stepped into her bedroom. This time, she was particularly lacking in sociability or affection. If she had revealed her true self instead of hiding it, she would have caused countless more incidents.
Louis sighed and turned away.
She waited to hear the sound of the footsteps growing distant before she walked towards the bed. Her touch as she removed her pearl earrings and placed them on the bedside table was indifferent.
“Why did you come at that time?”
In truth, she didn’t feel particularly good. Apart from not being able to escape, she hadn’t even heard the stories from outside the castle walls.
“There was so much I was curious about.”
She was curious about the world outside the walls. How lively the market was, what kind of clothes people wore, where they lived, what they did in their spare time, how they dated.
“And how ordinary people raise a family and live.
She was almost blank when it came to that. She had lived her whole life in confinement, and the only beings she had encountered in the world were her deceased mother, Aaron, a few familiar faces, Louis, and the numerous changing servants.
Ah, there was one more.
A younger and frailer girl.
Amelia, who was born as a twin, had an unnamed sister. The name Amelia was reserved only for the one who continued the lineage.
“No, please. No! I will do everything you ask…”
“Twin girls are unheard of.”
A younger one died before passing the age of three, despite her mother’s pleas.
Amelia tightly closed her eyes as she recalled the moment when a knife was plunged into her sister’s heart. It was a dreadful memory from a long time ago, from her very early childhood, yet it remained stuck in her mind, refusing to fade away.
“Just kill me instead!”
At the thought of her mother’s screaming voice, her hand flinched. While groping the side table to regain her composure, her hand pulled the earring into her palm. As she applied pressure, the sharp end of the earring pricked her palm.
Only then did she come back to her senses. Amelia let out a short sigh and released the earring. It wasn’t a big deal. Several scars already remained on her palm, serving as evidence.
“I don’t want to die.”
She didn’t want to die like that.
A clear sense of refusal and animosity arose in her black pupils.
Before the night came when she had to fulfill her ‘duty,’ she had to escape somehow. If it were impossible to do it alone, she would use whatever else she could.
“How much longer until the day of duty?”
Duke Russell, the leader of the nobility, opened his mouth as he raised his glass. Aaron, who was sitting across from him, quietly nodded his head.
“Amelia from this generation is already twenty, huh?”
Duke Russell chuckled softly and downed his drink in one go.
“Why not have a drink? After all, you’re not a real priest anyway, right?”
With the neck of the bottle in his hand, he offered it to Aaron, who smiled awkwardly and shook his head. Whatever his true nature was, he was pretending to be a priest on the surface.
“I’m not really in the mood.”
Duke Russell easily withdrew. Although he was thought to be presumptuous, whether Aaron drank or not didn’t matter much to him.
“The woman is already prepared.”
Aaron’s movement, fiddling with the empty glass, paused for a moment. It was a fleeting moment, almost imperceptible.
“Are they disposable?”
At his question, Duke Russell chuckled softly.
“How could that be? Rarely do they conceive in one go.”
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