Red Labyrinth - Chapter 3
Translator and Editor: Lea and Aki
Icaryl backed away, shuddering. She bit her lips again, frowning like a child. Soon, blood flowed and dyed her white clothes. As she gulped down her saliva in pain, she stuttered and covered her mouth with her hand. She was frightened of the man’s eyes.
Instinctively, his big hand pressed down her shoulder as she tried to escape. She was caught too easily. His other hand grabbed her wrist and pushed her. He whispered in a low voice, “You’re hurt.” But it was funny how that pain was suddenly transferred to her abdomen.
No, actually, it wasn’t her lips that were hurting. She swallowed a groan, clenching her fist. She became nervous. Her drooping long eyelashes were shaking. The pain she had felt was very sharp. It was as if a knife had been stabbed below her belly button. She even wondered if this man had really just poked a blade in to kill her. Then he opened his mouth to say something, perhaps because he felt bad.
Where is he looking? Icaryl felt a strange sensation. The red light of the sunset dyed the ships of the invaders and painted the man’s figure, sculpting his face. Now, it was crystal clear to her. His blue eyes and the strange scent of blood. Slowly following his gaze, she saw her pale ankles revealed under the white cloth.
Blood was flowing along her legs.
Her head froze. It felt like her heart had stopped beating. It was nothing other than her first menstruation. The evidence of her becoming a complete woman. The sticky dark red liquid disturbed her view. Her whole body trembled like an aspen tree.
It was the day everyone had waited for. But Argonia was gone. Nothing would happen to her, even though the maze was carved on her ankle. Icaryl burst into tears without realizing that a pair of blue eyes were looking at her.
On the day of the complete destruction of Argonia, Icaryl became a woman.
Icaryl was now on her way to the Imperial Government.
She guessed it the moment tea was offered to her.
As soon as they got off the carriage, the blunt, speechless Imperial servants, who were sumptuously dressed, supported Icaryl as she had trouble walking because she felt unwell after the ride. Her whole body was soaked in a bathtub filled with perfumes, along with her shivering toes and arms. Her drooping hair, like seaweed, was mixed with cream and honey and was rolled out with rose oil. After she wore a foreign dress that was brought by the Imperial servants, who were women, in exhaustion, a liquid was spread on her white face as it didn’t look too pleasing to the eyes.
Soon, she was thrown into a huge defensive room decorated with amber and gold, revealing the splendor of the Empire. Her heart was thumping, and her mouth went numb. She became alert as she witnessed a handful of men and women sitting in luxurious chairs in the distance chatting among themselves.
There were a total of seven people.
Three elderly men, who were wearing bright red hats decorated with long pentagonal gold bars, were dressed in a pearl-colored Sudanese attire with a white gold cane. One of them was leaning back in his chair, dozing off. As she looked at the eyes of the other two nobles, it was as though they had stabbed her with needles. They were whispering among themselves.
A woman was sitting at the top. Icaryl intuitively recognized that she was someone like her mother, Nina. Of course, she was much more beautiful than her mother, who had constantly twitching cheeks and confused pupils due to the influence of her incest, or her sister, who always covered her mouth with a fan because of her beautiful jaw.
Her dark brown hair, elegantly lifted up and adorned with pearls, had a smooth gloss and a few white strands flowing down her white neck. Her blue eyes, which were curved gracefully under her neatly trimmed eyebrows, and fine nose like a parrot’s beak, were magnificent facial features. Besides that, she had a long neck, and her figure was as elegant as a deer that had come to drink water by a lake.
‘Yeah. That man.’
The person remaining was someone she knew. He wore a black and silver uniform overcoat and leaned on a golden chair in a slightly loose and arrogant posture. He was swirling his teacup, his eyes fixated on it. He was the one who had trampled upon her country and brought her to this distant foreign country. The man, puzzled by the woman who was calling him repeatedly, suddenly raised his eyes and stared at Icaryl. She noticed his blue pupils clearly even though he was quite far away.
Unknowingly, she stepped back as she felt a stabbing pain once again. Like that day, his gaze was only following her shaking red ones. The day that she had become a ‘woman’.
She didn’t remember how the man looked down on an immature woman in a dress that was stained red. Feeling a creepy, nerve-wrenching sensation wounding all over her body, she began to go crazy. She wanted to scratch, tear, hug, and cry. It was hurting and she resented everything. Hatred grew as she cried.
‘Cursed blood! I hate Argonia! You bastards! Your rotten intestines are worse than a dog’s! What am I supposed to do now?! God’s filth! Even if you die, be torn into twelve pieces and burn in hell, crazy bastards! Devils! Why did you leave me alone? Die! Die!’
She began to scratch her skin with her fingernails. She felt goosebumps as if maggots were crawling all over her body. Soon, blood flowed from her skin, but she didn’t stop.
‘Dirty. Dirty. Dirty. I’m sick of it. Filthy!’
Her madly self-acting hand was brought to a halt by force. Even if Icaryl tried to resist her anger and annoyance, she ran like a madman, laughing strangely and scratching her flesh. She looked happy despite having her blood flow out of her body.
“Even though you’re a coward, you’re fierce. Do you think this is your castle?”
At that moment, Icaryl, who was originally weak, became exhausted. She glared at the man, who stared down at her expressionlessly with his bloodshot eyes, gasping for breath.
But she quickly sank when she saw his curiously twisted lips. Surprised, Icaryl shuddered away from his gaze. She could hear a ringing laugh from him. His long fingers scratched the sweaty nape of her neck like a hook.
And with the calm subdued voice that followed, she froze up.
“Good. You almost urged me to kill you because of your annoying behavior.”
Despite being the cold-blooded one, he stroked her in his arms and calmly spouted at her. Icaryl could easily see that he meant it. So she stayed calm. He mumbled politely, scooping her up.
She had never imagined that rudeness and politeness could coexist in one’s life. His scent rushed in as he bowed his head. Icaryl lied down like a prey who met an enemy, who was looking up at him as if she had been stunned. As his nose and lips swept her sweaty forehead and eyelids, her face was flushed.
In that condition, he trudged along. The blood dripped on the back of her feet that was swaying in the air. Even though his fine clothes got stained, he didn’t seem to care.
“You need to change your dress.”
Blood continued to drip. When he was halfway up the second stairway, he was lightly greeted by the sailors on duty. Then, he opened his mouth as if he had just remembered something.
“Lucien Till Arahadang Kazaria Esperis.”
It took a few seconds for Icaryl to find out it was the name of the man. The continental name was very long. However, there was no one in that small country of Argonia who didn’t know her. The city of Baek knew about their noble whore.
The breath of the man calling her name made her become even more flustered and made her shrank even more into his chest.
Soon, he opened a door as he reached a room. It was a stuffy room with no windows. She felt like she was entering a blocked prison with a cannibal. Striding into the room, Lucien put her down on a desolate desk. She thought of escaping as soon as she was released, but she didn’t have any strategies or places to go to, did she?
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