Home Post 800-chapter-61


At that moment, Archen had an intuition.

…It was all over. Carinne would no longer greet him cheerfully when she saw him. She would not pay attention to him, walk beside him, or share laughter with him. She would completely erase him from her world.

“I know it was wrong to have such feelings. I know that Your Highness was not sincere.”

He barely managed to utter a few words through his trembling lips.

It was shameless, yet he hoped that the princess would show him mercy. He wished that she would be lenient and forgive his presumptuous feelings. If the princess forgave him generously and allowed him to stay by her side, even if he could not return to the way things were before, he would be content just watching over her.

That alone would give him the hope to live on.

However, Carinne did not respond. She just recoiled, her body trembling as if she could not believe it. There was no sign of mercy in her wide-open eyes. The faint spark of hope that remained was extinguished. It vanished without a trace as if it had been washed away.

A cold chill ran through him as if a hole had been punched in his chest.

“I will never appear before Your Highness again.”

This was it. He was finished. He and the world that surrounded him came to an end. The last pillar that had been supporting the ceiling collapsed with a rumble. He gave up and lowered his eyes. He could no longer face Carinne. He could not bear the look in her eyes, which must have been filled with shock, contempt, and pity.

…This was how it would end.

Archen felt sorry for himself for believing that he would not be caught until the very end. Just as he gave up on everything and was about to step out of the room…

“Don’t go.”

Carinne’s tearful voice caught his ankle as he tried to leave the hallway.

“You idiot. How can you live in this world when you’re so clueless? I kept dropping hints.”

Archen lifted his head and looked at her, doubting his own ears. She was sobbing. Her lively green eyes, always filled with energy, were now glistening with tears.

“I told you when we first met. I said I came to see you. I asked if you were interested… I asked if you had someone you liked…”

Carinne choked back a sob before she could finish her sentence. A tear rolled down her cheek.

“I wasn’t joking. I was always sincere, and I was never insincere, not even for a moment.”

Archen could not believe what he was hearing. She said she came to see him and it wasn’t a joke? He recalled what he had heard on the day she came to the Duke’s castle.

“Archen, I came to see you.”

At the time, he thought she was just making up an excuse to meet Duke Lucas. He thought she was using his name because she knew they wouldn’t let her in if she said she was there to see the Duke.

“Actually, I’m not joking. I’m serious. I like you.”

He thought it was the same kind of flattery, that she was trying to win his favor so she could use him to get to Duke Lucas somehow. It was ridiculous and pathetic, and he was partly angry. He wondered how much she must have looked down on him to try such an obvious trick.

So, he vowed to never get involved with her again.

However, that thought didn’t last long. Whenever Carinne showed interest in him, whenever she smiled brightly at him, he realized that she was a better person than he thought. It wasn’t something he could control.

After he realized that her goal was not Duke Lucas but himself, he couldn’t stop giving her his heart.

He had finally made up his mind. He would accept the fact that there were some things in life that couldn’t be helped. He would humbly accept that Carinne’s feelings for him and her perception of him wouldn’t change, no matter what.

Nevertheless, she kept showing her feelings. She had said she came to see him, asked him if he was interested, and asked him if he had someone he liked. If he had heard correctly, if he had understood correctly, then Carinne was…

For a split second, time seemed to stop.

A faded wish that he had forgotten about, buried deep in his memory, suddenly became clear. His heart pounded like crazy. His mind went blank as if lightning had struck. His eyes opened wide, and his breath caught in his throat. All he could see in front of him, his reason having abandoned him, were Carinne’s lips.

“Don’t you know yet? I…”

Carinne couldn’t finish her sentence.

He was drawn to her like a magnet and pressed his lips against hers. Carinne was surprised but didn’t resist. She closed her eyes. She felt a large, warm hand, covered in a leather glove, on her cheek. The hand held her face tightly and then gradually became as gentle as if it were touching soft fruit.

On the other hand, the man kissing her was rough and clumsy, as if he had never kissed anyone before. She tried to guide him in the right direction.

When she was starting to feel breathless and dizzy, he suddenly pulled away and pushed her back. He had been the one to initiate the kiss, but he looked even more surprised than her.

“I, I, I…”

He stammered, his face flushed.

Carinne pressed her index finger to his parted lips and whispered softly.

“Be quiet.”

Her emerald eyes, shimmering gently, warmly embraced his bewildered blue eyes. Carinne stood on her tiptoes and wrapped her arms around his hesitant neck.

The second kiss was shorter than the first. His lips were trembling, but his hands remained the same. He held Carinne’s head and looked into her eyes, breathing heavily. It wasn’t because he was out of breath from kissing. His heart was beating so fast from being nervous and excited that it felt like it couldn’t handle it.

How did she know?

It was because Carinne was in the same state. Her heart had never beaten so fast in her entire life. She felt like her heart was going to burst if they continued like this, so she tried to catch her breath, though he lowered his head again.

Their lips met, and their breaths mingled. This time, it was longer than the second. He pulled away when she was starting to feel dizzy from lack of breath. However, it didn’t end there. He kissed her again. It seemed like it would end after the fourth kiss, but he kissed her again.

And again for the sixth and seventh time…

He collapsed, but when he got up, he didn’t look tired at all. She wondered if it was really the same person who had looked like he could barely stand a moment ago.

He was about to kiss her again when she gave up counting how many times they had kissed. Carinne stood on her tiptoes and tightened her arms around his neck, trying to make it easier for him to kiss her. He responded by pulling her head up and pressing his body against hers.

The kisses were so sweet that it was torture to wait while the other person caught their breath. Since they were both short of breath, as soon as one of them pulled away, the other would kiss them again before they could take a deep breath. As a result, they couldn’t breathe properly, and their breaths became shallow.

She wished he would stop for a while, but he seemed tireless.

Instead, he kissed her passionately, as if he had been deprived of kisses his whole life. As he did so, he unknowingly pushed Carinne until she fell backward onto the bed. Archen’s face was right in front of hers. When he shook his head slightly, his hair, like gold thread, fell like a curtain between them, covering Carinne’s face.

With her vision blocked, she felt like it was just the two of them in the world.

“If this is a dream, I hope I never wake up.”

He whispered, his face so close that their lips almost touched. His deep, beautiful voice was like sweet syrup. His gaze was also gentle and affectionate, and she wished he would always look at her like that.

Carinne brushed his hair out of his face and caressed his cheek.

“Does it still feel like a dream?”

He didn’t answer. It seemed like he hadn’t heard her, lost in his own world. Or maybe he really thought it was a dream. Well, if that was the case, there was nothing she could do. She would just have to keep going until he realized it was real.

Carinne made up her mind and pulled his head toward her. He obediently followed her lead.

Their lips met again and again.

She wrapped her arms around his shoulders, and he propped himself up on the bed with one hand while holding her cheek with the other. They moved slowly, savoring each other, and before they knew it, they were lost in each other, the pace of their kisses quickening and growing more intense.

Their senses were so heightened that their entire bodies tingled. Even so, she didn’t want to let him go. She wanted to feel him for as long as possible. If she knew a spell to stop time, she would have cast it without hesitation. And she would have made this moment last forever.

Unfortunately, that was impossible.

The kissing on the bed felt like it was over in a flash. Archen pulled away from her and lay down next to her, breathing heavily. Carinne took that as her cue and removed his glasses from his face. His gaze followed the glasses before returning to Carinne.

He smiled faintly, the corners of his eyes crinkling.

“Were they uncomfortable?”

“Very much so.”

As soon as she finished speaking, she pressed her lips against his. Something hot touched her lips again. However, the kiss didn’t last long because they were lying on their sides, and Carinne kept yawning because she was so sleepy.

After two days of barely any sleep, it was only natural. She couldn’t fight the sleepiness any longer, and when Archen tried to kiss her again, she put her hand up to stop him.

“I’m so sleepy…”

Carinne mumbled weakly and nuzzled her face into his chest. Strong arms immediately wrapped around her head. She closed her eyes, feeling safe and secure in his embrace. She listened to the lullaby-like whispers coming from somewhere.

“I love you, Princess. I love you. I love you. I love you…”

It took her a few seconds to realize who the voice belonged to. Just like before, he sounded like someone who had been holding back from saying those words.

‘I love you too.’

She wanted to say it out loud, but sleep overcame her reason. Her body went limp, and she fell asleep peacefully in Archen’s arms, listening to the endless love confessions whispered in her ear.

Archen didn’t stop whispering even after Carinne fell asleep. Like a starving man devouring a plate of food, he repeated the words ‘I love you’ over and over again, consuming them entirely.

After a long while, when it got dark, the whispering finally stopped. The hand that had been running through Carinne’s hair moved down her spine and to her waist. He held Carinne close and kissed her on the forehead. Then, he closed his eyes, hoping that she would still be there when he woke up the next day and hoping that he would never wake up from this dream.