Kylian was relieved to see Anais’s eyes returning. He had always liked her eyes, the ones that calmly shimmered with white light.
Although Anais’s body had returned, she couldn’t speak. Just like the previous time her body returned, she felt a tightness in her throat as if something was stuck
Kylian briefly paid attention to the sounds coming from outside. The priests, making the clinking sound of chains and footsteps, were moving away.
“I’ve cleaned up for the wife.”
Anais tried to say something but couldn’t. She looked at Kylian, who was smiling and raising her hand above her head like a child, without saying a word.
“I’ve also applied the fragrance the wife likes.”
He continued to look into her eyes as if asking for praise. Anais found it strange that the large Kylian, who lived with her as a husband, seemed to seek praise.
During their time as a married couple, they had shared the same bed many times. However, he always slept on the left side of the bed, and she always slept on the right.
Still, because of the previous incident where he had cleaned her body, it felt awkward to be in bed together.
As Anais tried to withdraw her hand from his grasp, her lips brushed against his. He smiled and held her hand again, bringing it to his lips.
“Wife, can you caress me a little?”
He knew that when she returned to her usual self, with her original eyes, she would treat him better than usual. He remembered how, in the past, she used to respond well in the morning after waking up.
She was someone who enjoyed sleeping in the morning. Therefore, if he asked her or talked to her in the morning, she would listen well.
Anais slowly stroked Kylian’s head. Because of Kylian, who was caressing her cheeks as if leaning on her touch, this felt like a dream.
“Did you wake up too early, and your throat feels dry?”
Anais nodded. Then, she stopped stroking him and held Kylian’s hand.
The fact that she took his hand first made his heartbeat rise again. The thumping sound seemed to echo in his ears. Every time she touched him, it felt as if a large drum was cheering and resonating.
It briefly changed when she wrote ‘idiot’ on his hand.
“Wife, why are you playing such a prank?”
As if the joyful laughter from a moment ago was false, Kylian’s face turned sad. Then, he grabbed her hand tightly, and as Anais half-raised her body, he leaned his head against her waist as if embracing her.
Anais was startled when he began to sob, burying his face in her chest. She tried to pull Kylian’s body away with her free hand, but he remained still.
Anais was confused by his sudden change. Kylian, who appeared to be calm as if treating her like a different person, became flustered when she played such a cute prank. Despite regaining the wife he had been yearning for, Kylian felt overwhelmed by not knowing what was on her mind.
“Wife, I have no one but you. Even if the world disappears, having only you is enough.”
Anais tried to push him away again.
“But why are you doing this to me… My destiny is you, wife.”
Kylian separated his body, which had been closely connected to her touch. She was surprised that he was crying. His reddened eyes and the vivid golden pupils within. Tears flowed down his cheeks with every blink.
Kylian was convinced as he observed Anais looking at him. Her emotions written in the diary matched his. That it wasn’t fake.
Even though she might not be aware of his feelings back then, she expressed love for him , and it seems she still does.
“Wife, you haven’t said anything again.”
Anais looked at Kylian with a sad face. She found it more painful than she had anticipated to see him crying. The expression he had when he glared at her earlier was nowhere to be seen, replaced by a gentle voice and a crying face.
It was almost cruel how he misunderstood. She hoped that he would never truly understand her emotions, that he would continue to think she loved him.
While she thought that, she also knew it shouldn’t be like that.
Responsibility is different from love. She didn’t want to ruin his life with the emotions that would eventually turn into unhappiness. His anxiety and the unfulfilled sense of connection with others, the wrong choice of seeking them from her needed to be corrected.
“I love you, Anais.”
“Wife, we haven’t even exchanged the kiss of vow yet.”
He tried to read the emotions in her eyes as his anxious heart raced. She was afraid if her eyes were to appear like the eyes of the saint he used to hate.
“I can offer my life to you, wife. I want to give half of my lifespan and spend the remaining half of my life with you.”
He said so, confirming that her eyes matched his desire, and then he smiled.
Upon hearing those words, Anais felt a stronger will to live.
“I want to kiss you.”
“Is that okay?”
Kylian knew she wouldn’t answer. Anais was not someone who could easily speak such shy words. Saying that, he grabbed her chin. Then, he slowly approached.
At that moment, Anais turned her head. He adjusted his face in the direction she turned. Anais turned her head in the opposite direction again. Their lips touched, and in that moment, she sighed unconsciously. Realizing her willingness, Kylian pressed his lips firmly against hers again.
Gradually, as if their noses were touching, their lips completely sealed together. Kylian pressed his lips down on hers as if sealing them like a stamp before finally pulling away.
Anais was bewildered, wondering if that was a kiss.
“Why are you so flustered?”
Seeing her flustered, Kylian chuckled and overlapped their lips again.
He was delighted as Anais tightly grabbed his collar as if surprised, eagerly responding to his embrace. Anais didn’t have a moment to realize that this was her first kiss as her tongue entwined with his, moving in various directions. The exchange of his warm breath with hers felt embarrassing. The soft lips touching and separating, followed by his persistent exploration, felt both unfamiliar and pleasant. Anais let go of his clothes and grabbed Kylian’s hair.
Kylian teased her cheek and then touched her ear. Anais followed him, feeling overwhelmed by her reactions. Anais found it difficult to keep up with his mouth playing on her. He gently caressed her ear. Her ears blushed from his touch.
Anais’s gasps seemed to make Kylian feel like he should stop, but he couldn’t bring himself to do so. Anais was confused by the increasing pleasure every time she gasped.
It seemed like he wanted to engulf everything about Anais. Eventually, when her jaw became too stiff to follow his movements, saliva trailed along her jawline. He wiped it away with his hand, then resumed exploring Anais’s depths.
Eventually, he stopped as if he had come to his senses.
“Our first kiss.”
Kylian joyfully spoke, causing Anais’s face to turn red. She couldn’t speak, not only because words didn’t come to her, but also because it was too embarrassing. Instead, she held his hand, spread it open, and wrote on his palm.
It was the taste of the candy Anais had eaten before falling asleep.
And once again, she fainted.
* * *
As it was the throne room, Anais found herself beneath the stairs. The throne above her was truly imposing. Clutching a lemon candy tightly in her fist, Anais ascended the stairs.
“What are you trying to give me?”
Kylian, clearing the guards blocking his path, looked directly at Anais. His gaze fixed on the white of her pupils visible in her purple eyes.
“What is this?”
Anais, who had returned in Lillith’s body, handed something to Kylian. He didn’t bother to look at what she held.
“As you are my wife’s handmaid, attend to the empress.”
After yesterday’s banquet, the empress once again restrained her with a collar, rendering her unable to speak.
Anais thought that the empress wouldn’t act so without reason. She would undoubtedly know that Kylian got caught in the rain while being with her outside the banquet hall.
Others might have seen her, identical to the empress, holding Kylian’s hand and leaving the venue.
Moreover, the kiss yesterday. Anais felt that she had to acknowledge her feelings first. The kiss was too enjoyable, and that was the problem.
He wrapped responsibility and obligation with love and even went as far as to kiss her.
For her, it was a sweet moment like a dream, but he would regret it someday.
Nevertheless, she had to use it to make him come to his senses. It was a cruel thing for him, but it couldn’t be helped.
And if his destiny is Lillith. If she is trying to kill her and lied to her.
She wanted to make sure. There seemed to be so much circumstantial evidence and signs that she felt she already knew without asking, but she still wanted to make the final confirmation.
Before that, the task was to return to her original form and let him know that what’s inside her body is Lillith.