Chapter 46 – My Dear Daughter (1)
Curiously, he stopped his movement at that moment and let his trousers go, choosing not to take it off. However, it was not out of mercy, but because of suspicion.
“Because you are overwhelmed with fear?” He questioned with a dubious look on his face.
His scruple was not without base, but he didn’t show it outwardly. Instead, the way he was asking her was similar to challenging her. It was as if his eyes were transmitting these messages to her: Why wouldn’t you dare to touch my body? Was it perhaps because you were a mere lowly prostitute?
Facing this blatant mockery, Gris felt she tethering on the edge. But she steadied herself before she gave a brief response.
Except Duke Vianut didn’t seem to be convinced with her answer since her words were something he didn’t expect. But his queer expression suddenly shifted as if he had concluded something.
“I think I was right. You know what I’m talking of.” He said, abruptly showing a smile as bright as the sun.
However, Gris didn’t understand the reason he was suddenly smiling to the point his dimples were visible. In fact, he was being way too relaxed here that she felt it to be very peculiar. After all, for someone who thought they would be given a fell*tio, he didn’t seem as excited as he should be.
From her knowledge, most of the customers who came to the brothel would be breathing heavily, their veins popping out of their hands and nape. She would see an outline of their lengths between their legs signifying their ar*usal – the blatant expectations on their faces at the night that was about to come.
When she recalled how the men looked when they wanted to do the deed, Gris discreetly looked at the place between Duke Vianut’s thighs. And unexpectedly, she couldn’t see any sign of those desires present.
Catching that, a ray of suspicion suddenly crossed her mind.
Was this a test? Had he been trying to see whether she was the kind of woman who instantly gave their body to other men when pressed?
What would have happened if she had given in just now? Would there be a sword ready to strike her neck? Was the rumor she heard – that he is the one man who believes in keeping himself pure before marriage – be true?
While Gris was entangled with her thoughts, he suddenly stood up, no longer looking interested in her or even about who she was looking for.
“I had fun talking with you.” He enunciated, directly ending the conversation and briskly left.
She wasn’t surprised by this because this was the way their conversation always ended: on his convenience.
She was fatigued from the events that seemed to hit her like a storm, feeling as if she could crash at any time. And though she knew she wasn’t in a position to do so, she fell ill. Therefore, she stuck herself under the blanket for days that seemed like eternity to her.
And she dreamed of the time past.
In it, her beautiful mother appeared, looking as elegant as always in her forever-favorite golden gown coupled with her sapphire-studded crown. And right now, she was waving to her with a tender smile.
Gris then looked around the place they were at. It was a sunny field with a thick forest on both sides of the clearing and a stream of river in front of it. It was a sight that was very familiar and dear to her. So, when she saw this, tears welled up in her eyes.
Furthermore, she could see her father, sister, and younger brother beyond the river. And they were currently sitting at the table, peacefully conversing with each other. It was tea time. Not only could she hear the musicians’ beautifully played songs, she also saw a maid harvesting the grapes nearby.
Then she spotted two seats out of the five seats surrounding the table were empty. And, without even asking, she knew that one of it was for her while the other for her mother.
When she saw that, she unconsciously began to move, wanting to go there. She wasn’t alone as she walked though, because her mother was accompanying her to cross the river. However, she seemed to be disturbed by the scars she could feel on Gris’ hands.
“My dear daughter… What happened to your body…?” She asked as she carefully examined Gris’ condition.
Hearing her question, Gris subconsciously looked down at her body that was full of scars. Right then, she was wearing a white dress used for normal wear. It was short enough that her calf was showing. And under the hems of the skirt, one could discern some faded scars she received during her stay in the brothel.
But, even though she knew it was just a dream, she still did not want to tell the truth to her mother and distressed her. So, she chose to hide it.
“I did a lot of things before.”
But, her mother looked even more sorry for Gris, as if she had already known and said, “Let’s go beyond the river and eat dessert together then.”
There, Gris noticed the table was full of zucchini pie and black tea that she particularly favored. Moreover, her mother also said she brought a special strawberry cake for them to enjoy.
It was moment that felt too real to be a dream. Sweet desserts and heaven-like surroundings surrounded her senses, and most importantly, the presence of the people she missed the most in the entire world.
And this made the tears and grievance she held within her heart almost burst free from its confine. The hardship she had experienced after that day dance before her mind, but as always she shoved it away.
It was her dream, and she didn’t want to remember such things when she could feel her family’s warmth. So, Gris lifted her white dress to cross the river, wanting to reach her other loved ones.