‘…Oh My God.’
Erel was shocked because she hadn’t expected Mirdal to recklessly attempt to kidnap her.
The Mirdal she knew, wasn’t the type of person to take unnecessary risks. He would have devised a more elaborate plan, giving himself ample time to persuade or secretly take her away. In particular, his strategy would include methods to deal with Barkan, who has already publicly declared Erel as his.
Erel’s gaze fell upon his smooth cheeks and defined jawline that were absent of any facial hair. She suddenly realized that Mirdal’s courage came purely from his lack of experience with failure.
Compared to Barkan, Mirdal is a significantly younger Masaka, who lacks experience and strength. All he has is his boyish confidence and determination.
She couldn’t accept his reckless decision to kidnap her. Unlike Mirdal, who had nothing to fear, Erel had many things to protect.
‘I have to act carefully.’
Erel struggled to gather her courage. Any normal person would have been terrified in this situation. Not only did she lose the ability to control her movements, but Mirdal had complete control over her body.
But Erel was well informed when it came to Mirdal. She even knew about the small drawbacks of his ability.
‘Shadows are weak against light.’
Erel’s eyes frantically darted around the store as she searched for something that could help her. Fortunately, the hat shop had lanterns scattered around to create a warm ambiance.
As an idea formed in Erel’s head, she gradually wiggled her fingers and toes. Luckily, part of her left leg remained outside Mirdal’s influence.
Before Mirdal could pull her out the back door of the store, Erel quickly used her left foot to punt a lantern with all her might.
The lantern swiftly flew up into the air and the flame illuminated their surroundings. It wasn’t very bright, but it was enough to surprise Mirdal momentarily.
Erel felt the grip on her hand loosen. Although it was only a few seconds long, it was the perfect opportunity to escape.
Erel immediately jumped out of his shadow and ran without looking back. In order to escape, she needed to run to an area where Mirdal’s influence could not reach.
However, even after escaping Mirdal’s shadow, her body didn’t move as it did before. Eventually, she tripped on the carpet and fell forward.
Her knee slammed down on the marble floor hard. Erel realized instantly that something was wrong due to the severity of the pain. It was so painful that she wondered if the fall caused a knee injury. She couldn’t even get up and run, let alone move from where she fell. The pain that indicated something was wrong, frightened her even more.
A chilling voice could be heard close behind. Her eyes darted about as a shadow crept towards her prone body and began to submerge the surrounding area in darkness.
“Bad Noona. You should be scolded.”
[Ding! Mirdal’s Favorability Has Decreased by 2.]
The moment she received the despairing notification, Mirdal smiled cruelly and extended his hand towards her. Erel’s complexion paled with a sense of crisis.
‘I’m going to get caught again.’
Although Erel knew it was useless to rebel, she shrank back to avoid his hand. Just as he was about to grab her shoulder an explosion occurred.
A large flame ignited and burst right in front of her. It was so large that it was incomparable to anything like a lantern. Mirdal, who was defenseless, almost lost all his hair due to the flame.
A painful moan fell from Mirdal’s lips as he quickly withdrew his outstretched hand. His reaction was swift due to his Masaka reflexes, but it was clearly not enough since his smooth hands were already glowing red. If his reaction had been even slightly delayed, he most likely would have suffered irreparable burns.
Upon sensing his opponent’s malice, Mirdal’s pale complexion quickly became flushed with anger.
“Who are you?!” Mirdal shouted in a savage tone.
However, the only response he received was a tremendous burst of flames that seemed to consume the entire store.
Within the terrifying swirling flames, only the deafening sounds of destruction and explosions could be heard. Covering her head, Erel instinctively laid face down on the floor.
She couldn’t figure out what was going on because her vision was obscured by her loosened hair fluttering about wildly. However, she could feel the heat of the flames from head to toe.
Suddenly, someone grabbed Erel’s hands and helped her stand. The hands were similar to Mirdal in strength and size but were too hot to even comparable.
“You’re pretty to look down at,” Someone whispered sweetly into Erel’s ear, who was completely exhausted.
“Next time, I will make sure you only lie down in front of me. It’ll be even more enjoyable if you’re naked.”
Even in her confused state, Erel frowned upon hearing the vulgar words. She managed to stand upright thanks to his help, but due to a sharp pain radiating in her knee, she was unable to maintain her balance. Inevitably, she had to lean against his chest for support.
When Erel leaned against him slightly, the man smiled satisfactorily. He then took it one step further and wrapped his muscular arm around her waist.
“You smell good today as well.”
The man lowered his head and whispered with his lips against her flowing hair. He closed his eyes and inhaled deeply.
“Sweet peach blossoms, smoke, ash, and the scent of pain and fear… These are all my favorite things.”
‘Where were you planning to run off to with this mouth-watering smell?’
The man lightly clicked his tongue and the sharp sound caused Erel to finally come to her senses.
Upon hearing his name, Barkan unexpectedly did not get angry. Rather, the corners of his sensual lips lifted into a smile, and he even laughed softly.
“It was worthwhile to send my name in a big inscription. Remember it well.”
When he mentioned the flower cart he sent, Erel’s frown deepened. It was a natural reaction since the flowers were the reason for her current predicament.
“Oh, my. Did you hate the flowers? Would you prefer jewelry instead?” Barkan laughed and continued. “Extravagant women are attractive.”
The confident smile was very masculine and sensual, but when Erel saw it, she silently pulled her hand out of his grasp.
“I’m really out of my mind.”’
Unfortunately, the place was not in good shape. The hat shop, which Beatrice had always praised, was engulfed in flames and ashes. It was hard to believe that it was once a place where an assortment of delicate and beautiful objects were displayed.
Standing tall amid the hellish sight, Barkan appeared calm and relaxed, which made him seem even more dangerous. In the midst of a sea of fire, he was too composed. Due to the peculiar atmosphere, she didn’t intend to take her eyes off him.
“At first you were hanging all over me, but now you don’t even want to hold my hand?”
Barkan grabbed Erel’s hand and raised it to his lips. He kissed the top of her pale hand and then after a moment, he nibbled on her fingertips.
“How strange… Human flesh is sweet… … Does that make sense?”
[Ding! Barkan’s Favorability Has Increased By 2]
Barkan’s favorability, which was lower than the floor, rose slightly. However, Erel didn’t feel pleased.
It was due to the madness reflecting on his smiling face as he said, “I wouldn’t know because I haven’t eaten human flesh yet.”
Thanks to this, the fingertips he nipped felt numb. He seemed like a man who was capable of anything because of the insanity that lurked just beneath the surface.
“Anyway, I feel troubled. It’s natural for a flower to attract insects, but I didn’t think it would happen so soon.”
Barkan then turned his head and directed his gaze somewhere else. She followed the direction of his gaze and saw Mirdal sprawled out on the floor.
“Oh my god.”
Erel clasped a hand over her mouth at the sight. Mirdal was also a Masaka, so he wouldn’t die, but it was still horrifying to see his charred body covered in ash.
It was a little uncomfortable to see someone as young as Mirdal suffering so horribly. Because of this, her expression began to reflect her inner thoughts. Barkan caught sight of her conflicted emotions and laughed sarcastically.
“I helped because I thought you were in trouble. Did I get it wrong?”
The picturesque smile on his handsome face was the same as before, however, Erel quickly realized that it was a trap and denied it.
“Oh, no! It’s nothing like that. Thank you for your help.”
For a brief moment, Barkan’s face was filled with displeasure. If Erel had shown interest in Mirdal or acted like he was a close acquaintance, it was clear that he would have done something.
“That’s a relief. I was wondering if that was your taste.”
Even though they were both Masakas, there didn’t seem to be any sense of brotherhood.
She thought that would be the end of it, however Barkan’s test wasn’t over yet.
“Then you have nothing to do with him, right?” he asked as he lowered his head. His golden eyes darkened with murderous intent.
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