* * * * Trigger Warning – Mentions of suicide * * * *
Eyeballs moved under the tightly pressed eyelids. It was Celine, an apprentice priest, who was sitting in his seat, yawning loudly.
The sound of an object falling to the floor was deafening. She was often punished for her frivolous behavior. Today’s duty to protect the sick,corpse-like bodies of the ‘Thorglorins’ was a punishment for her actions yesterday when she spilled water from a vase in the same hallway the Archbishop would walk down.
No, despite her accident, an apprentice priest would never be assigned the duty of guarding the Thorglorin. The punishment was just an excuse for Celine to return to work.
Although the seven vessels inside the coffins were still alive, they were no longer useful.
It was widely rumored that the summoning prayer ceremony held by the Shinhwangcheong for 1,000 days had regretfully failed.
Since 700 years ago, when the system called ‘Thorglorin’ was established in order to summon ‘saints’ in a more stable and reliable way, it had never failed to summon one.
However, even after a week had passed since the ceremony, there was no response from any of the prepared vessels.
As a result, the public’s opinion, that the prepared vessels were not to the liking of the Holy One, was gradually gaining strength.
According to the rules, Celine, someone in the lowest rank, couldn’t even go near the Thorglorin. Even sitting and guarding like this was something that could only be done by someone of the highest rank.
When Celine overheard that they were going to wait until tomorrow and then send the vessels back to their families, she realized why she had been assigned this duty.
It is the glorious duty of an apostle of God to protect the coffins of the Thorglorin.
However, if it had been decided to return them, it didn’t matter who watched over the vessels.
All the priests and clerics were now solely on ‘the newly selected vessel’.
However, as she sat, pinching her thighs to keep herself, she never expected to witness such an amazing sight.
“I am a holy man!”
Shouting rang through the hallway. Celine shrugged her shoulders, her drowsiness disappearing in an instant.
‘Tomorrow, everyone will be jealous of me. I can’t believe I personally saw the arrival of a holy man! I’m only an apprentice!’
Celine knew she would be proud of this moment for nearly 10 years. When she pulled hard on the rope attached to the emergency bell, there was a dinging sound.
“The chosen vessel is the crazy…! Ahem! I mean… This lady is the beloved daughter of Rohermel from the Summerfence!”
With those words, the temple turned upside down.
It was an unfamiliar ceiling.
She had no idea there were people with the ability to grasp a situation within three seconds of opening their eyes until she read about it in a novel. In uncertain situations, those bold and smart individuals still managed to speak with confidence, unlike herself.
However, reality was quite different from the books she read.
When she first awoke and found herself dressed in what appeared to be a piece of cloth with no patterns or seams, she had trouble grasping the situation.
Her mental state was the cause of her confusion along with her dull senses, skewed perception, and the overwhelming sensation of being adrift at sea on a broken raft.
Thanks to the lack of strength in her arms, and the stiffness in her legs, she was unable to move her limbs. In addition, she had difficulties trying to speak since her throat was extremely sore.
She couldn’t tell if she was alive, on the verge of death, or already dead, but the conclusion was the same. She was completely immobile. Her eyelids were so heavy, making the task of blinking even a few times extremely difficult.
[Are you okay? Oh yes! I learned that I need to massage your arms immediately upon Advent. You don’t feel any sensation in your body, do you? Don’t worry, that’s completely normal. The soul and body are still separated, but in a few days, you’ll feel fine. In the meantime, allow me to assist you!]
‘What language are you speaking?’
A girl with amber eyes and brown curly hair appeared out of nowhere, speaking animatedly in an unknown language.
The girl resembled a puppy, leading her to believe she was harmless and feeling a little less wary.
‘I don’t even have the strength to be vigilant.’
The only thing she could manage was a frown. Her mouth was overly dry and each time she attempted to swallow, the piercing pain in her throat worsen.
‘Are you a nurse? Or a…caregiver? She looks to be about fifteen. Whoever she is, could she at least offer some water first?’
‘I can’t understand her words, perhaps she can understand me?’
Thoughts flew through her tired mind, but no words came from her lips. Only the sound of heavy breathing.
‘Where the hell am I?’
[In a little while, the Archbishop will come! Your Highness, the Crown Prince may come first. He just so happened to be here! By the way, out of all the others… Why did you… Did you choose your body? There are so many beautiful bodies… Ah! But I’m not saying that you’re ugly! You are very beautiful! It’s just that crazy girl… Ahem! Because it is the body of….]
The girl chatted away about something. Judging from her appearance, perhaps the girl was from a country in Eastern Europe.
Her language and accent weren’t English, German, or French. It was also different from Arabic, a language she was pushed to learn in order to improve herself.
She couldn’t figure out what language the girl was speaking.
In addition, the girl’s attire appeared to be some sort of uniform, which could be an indication of her status or work. She felt strangely calm because she fully expected an adult to come and explain everything.
Or perhaps she was using the calmness to distract herself.
She stared at the very unfamiliar ceiling with indifference. There was some magnificent artwork painted on it, but it wasn’t something she had ever seen before. Of course, it wasn’t the kind of art found in a hospital either.
The room was also absent of the typical smell of disinfectant that was unique to hospitals. Rather, the scent around her was light, yet very stimulating.
To put it simply, it was similar to the scent that was often found in massage parlors.
An aroma that makes you feel at ease.
‘I need to stay calm and try to recall my last memory. First… I don’t remember having an accident.’
The last thing she remembered was the sound of crying. It was an annoying cry.
“It’s all your fault! Go away, it’s annoying!”
It was her younger brother, who was crying and pushing me away.
As a child, who could do whatever he pleased, being unable to travel due to the global epidemic was unbearable, and his complaints grew worse day by day.
‘What happened after that?’
At some point, she had grown tired of hearing his cries and left the house to walk around aimlessly.
“… … .”
Although she could fully open her eyes, her eyesight was still blurry. After blinking a few times, her mind became a little clearer, but she still couldn’t recall everything.
Other than a flash of light.
‘First, I have to ask someone to tell me where I am.’
She also wanted to know the reason for her state and why she couldn’t get up.
No, actually, she had a more pressing question.
‘Is this a hospital that provides assisted suicide?’
Her mother, a world-famous pianist, was a heartless person.
She was always in pursuit of perfection, so she couldn’t admit that she gave birth to an incompetent and talentless daughter.
Fortunately, a few years later, her younger brother was born and blessed with all the talents her mother had wanted her to have. Once that became apparent, her mother began to look at her with a frosty gaze.
As the years passed by, she often found living too painful to bear. Perhaps came here on her own accord to beg for assisted suicide
She recalled being on the edge of a cliff, pushed to the point of contemplating an absurd idea.
In any case, she lived in Switzerland, supporting her rich, talented mother, and caring for her younger brother.
A country where assisted suicide was perfectly legal.
However, when she tried to ask that important question, her lips refused to move. The girl continued to firmly massage her arms and chatter incessantly.
[Such an odd expression.]
It was then.
A languid yet relaxed voice filled the room, erasing the echoing sound of multiple footsteps around her.
[Are you awake?]
The moment she heard the voice, it gave her butterflies, her legs felt numb, and her mouth went dry.
She had heard plenty of people with good voices, but none as wonderful as this.
[Why did you choose Summerfence? Thanks to you, I now have a headache.]
He was a young man.
Based on appearance, he seemed to be a high-ranking figure.
Also, the girl, whose name she still did not know, was blushing and bowing.
‘Why is there a man here all of a sudden?’
It was only natural for her to be concerned about whether something difficult was going to happen to her.
While she was able to move her fingertips, she still couldn’t sit up or move her limbs, so she had no choice but to lay there. Lifting her anxious gaze, she tried to focus on the man.
“… … !”
For a moment, she forgot how to breathe.
Although she wasn’t looking at him directly, his beautiful platinum hair filled her vision, glimmering like pure melted gold.
The contrast between his tanned complexion and golden eyelashes….
His clothing had seemed like royal formal attire, but it fits perfectly. A white uniform with gold epaulets and a red belt.
The man had such an overwhelming presence. If at that very moment, he claimed to be a king, she would have accepted it immediately.
[But there’s nothing to worry about. As long as you’re mine, I will increase your value.]
One side of the bed sank down as he took a seat. When his large hand stretched out towards her, she flinched in response.
Of course, it would be a frightful situation to have a strange man, who was larger than her, evade her personal space. After many years and countless lessons, her reaction was a conditioned response.
Especially in a situation where she couldn’t move and was forced to lie down. It would be even stranger if she wasn’t afraid.
[You dare to avoid my touch? How unpleasant.]
Contrary to his words, he paused at her reaction, his hand moving away slightly. Then, he suddenly reached out and grabbed her chin, jerking her forward.
The force of his grip was strong as if he was trying to crush her jaw. His actions were like a switch, forcing her to awaken to the reality she had been trying to turn away from.
She was in an unknown place with a man she didn’t know.
‘I don’t understand why you’re doing this.’
‘What is my name?’
At that moment, her head began to throb painfully. She wanted to pull away, but the man had no intention of letting her go.
At the same time, his scent began to overwhelm her senses.
It was similar to the scent already present in the room, but heavier, which made it hard to breathe.
Subsequently, her body felt heavier as if gravity was weighing her down.
While under the influence of his intoxicating scent, she was overcome with the desire to succumb to his will.
It was such a humiliating feeling.
His essence was a captivating mixture of sandalwood, vanilla, and herbs. The scent of the land, where thousands of bones were buried.
It was the scent of conquest, along with the spicy citrus aroma of laurel wreaths…
[Send the flute to Rohermel. The poisonous weed that took root in the Summer garden has finally bloomed. Tell him that he did a great job cleaning up after his daughter and has sold her for the best price.]
[Ahem, Your Highness, the Crown Prince. Do you really want to say that…? The Duke of Rohermel…]
[Relay the message without any discrepancies. Otherwise, I will twist your neck.]
The harshness of his tone was unsettling to hear, causing her to flinch.
His raised brows made his expression appear intimidating. He didn’t look insidious or vicious, but he did seem ferocious enough to crush people.
And above all, those eyes…
His eyes resembled those of a wild beast. A predator waiting for the opportunity to attack and devour its prey. The effect of the golden gaze captivated and paralyzed her.
She knew instinctively that it would be unwise to go against him.
Her intuition told her that anyone with eyes like his was dangerous.
He lived a life without any uncertainty. For him, it was natural to rule, control, and possess others.
The kind of person she hated the most.
A chauvinist, born with the world at his feet.
“… … .”
The man held up a transparent water bottle, and suddenly all the accumulating unfavorable feelings she had for him dissipated.
[Would you like something to drink?]
Grab your membership on Ko-fi now for early access to our entire catalog for only $5!
Please Review and Rate on NovelUpdate!
❤️Thank you for reading and supporting us! ❤️