Chapter 9. Are you throwing yourself away?

***

 

“Is that a cry?”

 

It was a sound that brought Roselyn to consciousness like a continuous sunbeam.

 

She lifted her closed eyelids and stared into the air. Her head was immovable.

 

Her body was already frozen.

 

She managed to turn her eyes and stared at the huge figure coming through the snowstorm.

 

Blink.

 

Something pitch black flickered across her increasingly blurred vision.

 

It was the presence of someone huge, approaching at a frightening speed.

 

And when it became clear what it was, Roselyn laughed bitterly.

 

“Why, of all people, would I be seeing a vision of that man…?”

 

Why would the general of an enemy country, the man who had always gazed most deliciously at her neck…? 

 

Roselyn was numb even as the apparition stopped nearby.

 

All she could do was raise her blood-frozen lips slackly and smile.

 

The man standing atop the horse looked at Roselyn and growled in a beastly voice.

 

“You were banished to death, but you’re still lying here in this snow, as if you’re going to rule over it.”  

 

 

The voice was far too vivid for an illusion.

 

“It’s so like you, Empress.”

 

Roselyn barely grasped at her dull consciousness.

 

She slowly closed her eyes and opened it again, but incredibly, the figure did not disappear.

 

“…… Tamon…Kra…”

 

The man laughed like an angry beast as Roselyn stammered his name as if he liked it very much.

 

“I don’t see any will to live in your eyes.”

 

“…”

 

…apparently she wasn’t seeing things.

 

The man wasn’t an illusion. He approached her as a real entity.

 

His hot hands reached under her cold, frozen, scarred flesh.

 

The burning hot hand embraced the poor empress, sloppily touching her spine.

 

“Do you want to die?”

 

He asked the obvious.

 

“There’s no reason to live.”

 

“Why?”

 

Was it because death was really coming? 

 

Roselyn couldn’t hear his question very well.

 

Even her white vision, which she assumed was due to the blizzard, seemed to be a sign of her senses dying.

 

She looked at Tamon with a fading gaze.

 

“Rather, you have many reasons to live now…”

 

She thought to herself as she faintly heard his voice.

 

‘I’m tired of everything. I had no reason to live, no desire to live.’

 

She just wanted to die like this.

 

Tamon pulled Roselyn close to him and asked as his hot breath touched her ear, 

 

“Are you throwing yourself away?”

 

“……. What?”

 

She asked with faintly open eyes.

 

“Yourself.”

 

Tamon whispered again, his face as sharp and grim as a sculpted statue made from a crude blade.

 

“It’s a life that’s barely hanging on.”

 

It was a life that would be gone anyway. There was no need to answer.

 

“The love for this country. Do you have any of that left?”

 

Indeed, she remembered the voices of the people who had knocked on the gates begging for her life until the end.

 

“It’s a longing for what’s left of my life.”

 

But still, there was no will to live at all.

 

“Why on earth would I want to live?” 

 

Roselyn slowly closed her empty eyes.

 

That was her final answer.

 

Somehow, she felt the strength in the hands of the man holding her back.

 

It was as if his warmth, contrast to her icy skin, had left marks on her skin.

 

As Tamon hugged Roselyn with his forceful arms, he whispered in her ear as she closed her eyes.

 

“All right, if you throw yourself away like that……….”

 

Roselyn’s breath was almost gone.

 

“I’ll gladly pick you up and run away.”

 

His voice sounded so distant, like a hallucination, that Roselyn had no strength at all to react.

 

Just then.

 

Something hot covered her lips. It shook her with a jolt so powerful that it brought her out of her near-disappearing state.

 

“….!”

 

She opened her eyes wide, her vision filled with Tamon Krasis. With a white blizzard behind him, Tamon was staring at her relentlessly with his red eyes.

 

What is the meaning of this?

 

At that moment, something flowed into her on the connected lips.

 

Something so hot that it scorched her throat.

 

A huge life force that shook her whole body.

 

“Huh!”

 

Roselyn pushed him away in a fit. But his lips pressed harder and harder against hers, opening them up.

 

A stream of hot saliva ran down her thin chin, rising in a haze of steam beneath the two lips that had bitten each other wide open.

 

“Ah…!”

 

His red tongue was pushed viciously past her tongue and down her deep, wet throat.

 

It stirred her throat as hard as it could and sucked in her powerless tongue.

 

The Empress’s thin body shuddered and her limp body grabbed the man’s thick shoulders like she was having a seizure.

 

Her breath caught in a messy rush.

 

His tongue tangled in her mouth.

 

More dangerous was the wild force that roused her life force, which was fading fast.

 

The man’s lips, which were despicably rough on the Empress’s, finally fell after a few moments.

 

Roselyn squeezed his shoulders as she shuddered with the soaring vitality in her body.

 

Her whole body was boiling with heat, but strangely enough, she had no strength at all.

 

“Now …… you are mine, Empress.”

 

His voice cut off the thin saliva that had continued like incontinence.

 

At the same time, Roselyn’s consciousness, which had come back with a flash, lost again.

 

‘You, what are you talking about?’

 

She gasped and grabbed Tamon desperately by the cuff of his shirt, but she didn’t have the strength to catch her diminishing consciousness.

 

***

 

Tamon’s horse rode briskly through the blizzard.

 

The cold wind passed by, scratching her cheeks like sharp claws, but it couldn’t touch a single expression on Tamon’s face.

 

He even took off his thick cloak to wrap Roselyn and held her in his arms.

 

The leather armor he wore was tremendously vulnerable to the cold, but he only casually quickened the ride, unconcerned as a winter beast that felt no cold.

 

Taking the reins of his fast-running horse in one hand, he looked down at the small body he was holding in the other.

 

A woman with a pale complexion who could not open her eyes, wrapped tightly in his cloak.

 

‘I can’t believe I’m holding this woman in my arms.’

 

It was a strange feeling.

 

I felt as if the sweetness of some primordial and naked desire was floating on his tongue.

 

It was as if he was holding a forbidden fruit that he was not allowed to eat, not even to look at, not even to think about.

 

Even though he knew it was a poisonous fruit, it was so fragrant  and sweet that he didn’t even want to swallow it.

 

He had no intention of spitting it out again, not even a little.

 

He thought of that rough kiss again. Then his throat started to choke up. He swallowed hard and rough as if he was trying to quench his thirst.

 

Like a piece of bread that he ate while starving, he just wanted to swallow it even though he might choke. His appetite, which was rising fast, was not curbed at all.

 

“…..”

 

His lower muscles that were bulging like they were tearing beneath the leather armor swelled violently. Tamon was more than a little disturbed by this outburst of desire that he couldn’t quite understand.

 

He had no choice but to kiss her, but his body was running wild.

 

Nevertheless, it was fortunate that he was calm as if he had taken a walk.

 

He stared at the abolished empress of the hostile country, who held him with quiet, piercing eyes, as if his beastly, angry desires were not his own.

 

Her face fell back and opened gently, angular and deadly, still covered in blood, revealing her white, dry lips.

 

How could she have such a sweet tongue inside those rough, cold lips…”

 

It was something he never really cared about, but now that he knew, he couldn’t help it.

 

Now that he has it, he wants to covet it to the fullest.

 

‘So you have to live. Unconditionally……….’

 

He laughed like a hungry beast, and lowered himself close…

 

The blizzard, which had been quiet for a while, hit hard again.

 

The white snow tried to block his view, but it couldn’t block his running feet.

 

Tamon jumped into the middle of the crowd, who was waiting for him, and shouted sharply at his men.

 

“Get out of Tanatos at full speed now! Anyone who comes after me will be banished! We’re leaving!”