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Episode 86 – Seduction
Elaru picks up Kiel’s ring and the two of them go to Black Pearl restaurant where she intends to give him the ring and explain its usage. Unfortunately, as they enter the lobby of the restaurant, they run into Rhur Rroda – Kiel’s older brother, and his date. Kiel and Rhur engage in a word battle. Elaru pretends to be clueless and mentions Rhur’s reputation as a “flower plucker”.
Elaru looked helplessly at Kiel and asked curiously. “I always thought it was very rude for people to call your big brother a flower boy in such a condescending manner. There is nothing wrong with liking flowers. Don’t tell me that I misunderstood?”
Kiel’s face broke out into an involuntary smile. His heartbeat accelerated in exhilaration. This word battle had become just as thrilling as an actual battle. Seeing Rhur lose miserably gave him a delightful sense of pride.
Joining hands with Elaru to beat a common foe… this feeling wasn’t bad at all. On the contrary, this feeling made his blood boil, made b.u.t.terflies flutter in his stomach. This feeling was simply…
As Elaru’s beautiful eyes stared at Kiel in feigned confusion, Kiel thought that today she looked more beautiful than usual. She was always incomparingly attractive, but today, she was too magnetic, too alluring. Even his icy heart couldn’t help but feel moved as he gazed down at the beauty.
This time, he wasn’t being teased by her, this time, he was the third party watching her tease someone else. And at this moment, for the first time, he saw everything clearly.
This side of Elaru… was the side that he loved the most.
As soon as the thought entered his mind, ripples of heat started coursing through his entire body.
A side that he loved?
Kiel’s hot blood suddenly ran cold. This thrill, this glee was too addictive, too dangerous. He shouldn’t allow himself to feel this way! He needed to stop it from the seed, for if it grew and spread, it would become resilient and ever-present, like weeds, impossible to root out.
But how does one stop their own feelings?
Kiel’s solution was to stop thinking about it and bury it deep down.
Unlike Kiel, Rhur wasn’t feeling wonderful at all, in fact, he felt as if someone just punched the air out of his chest. Even the sweet, creamy wine left a bitter taste in his mouth. He was usually quite eloquent, but this redhead left him speechless.
It was one thing if Kiel provoked him, and it was another if it was the girl he was trying to court. A thousand poisonous things that he could say came to mind, but he couldn’t say any of them. Otherwise he would risk leaving a bad impression that would negatively impact his future plans.
He wasn’t even sure if the girl was taking jabs at him while pretending to be ignorant or if she was actually ignorant. Since he wasn’t sure which of the two was the case, he couldn’t settle on which course of action to take. All he could do was minimize his losses.
He had to endure the urge to retaliate.
Unfortunately, the waves of glee coming off from Kiel made the enduring inconceivably hard. When was the last time Rhur ate a loss while dealing with his little brother? He was usually the one to walk away victorious!
It’s fine. This minor sacrifice will be worth it in the end. He comforted himself.
Fortunately, he didn’t need to endure for long. Luck seemed to be in his favor, for right at this moment, their ordered food arrived.
* * *
Ayah poked her food around the plate, feeling as if the remaining three in the room had forgotten her existence. She kept glancing around, but no one in the room paid her any attention. She tried coming up with a way to join the conversation, but she felt like an outsider, as if b.u.t.ting in would only cause her to embarra.s.s herself. Therefore, she remained silent, communicating only through her facial expression which was getting darker by the minute.
Elaru ate as gracefully as ever, concentrating on her food and trying her best not to look at Rhur, who was sitting opposite of her. Each time she looked at him, she’d get an urge to burst out laughing. Regretfully, she couldn’t laugh, not only would it be inappropriate but it would also totally ruin the ignorant and innocent image she was trying to portray.
Of course, Rhur would eventually realize she was pulling his leg, but she wanted to take advantage of playing the fool as long as she could. Once he realized that she was teasing him, the quick-witted playboy would tease right back making it very hard to secure an easy yet satisfying win.
Unlike Elaru who tried her hardest not to look at him, Rhur, on the other hand, stared almost exclusively at Elaru. His eyes wandered towards her plump red lips that looked edible, like ripe cherries. Each time she licked them, he would feel a hard to repress the urge to take a bite on them. Each time he met her large teal orbs that were clear of all emotion, he got the desire to break that calm into thousands of pieces.
Either because of the wine he was drinking or because of his inner thoughts, a soft pink flush colored his pale cheeks, making him look even more enticing than usual.
The gaze he stared at Elaru with was heated, looking at her as if she was the food he was dining on. And boy did he eat tantalizingly slowly, making every bite look erotic.
One had to hand it to him, if there were a compet.i.tion on grace and allure, he’d definitely win first place.
He nibbled on his food softly and sensually, as if he was nibbling on the ear of his lover. Then he licked his lips and let out a soft sigh of yearning.
Kiel had an incomparably hard time enjoying his food. Each time his gaze accidentally wondered to Rhur or when he heard his soft sighs, Kiel’s stomach would turn, and he would have the urge to puke. b.l.o.o.d.y meep! Have you no shame?! I am right here! Right here!! Even your date is sitting right next to you!
Rhur elegantly licked his spoon clean and then he placed the spoon between his puckered lips and fluttered his long eyelashes.
Kiel almost choked on his food several times and felt like slamming his head against the table repeatedly. He wanted to treat Rhur as a clown, think of his actions as comedic, but no matter how he looked at it, “funny” wasn’t the word that he’d use to describe it. Kiel was a straight male and quite disliked his brother, but even so, he had to admit that Rhur’s actions were quite enticing.
He imagined that if succubi and incubi of the fairy tales existed in the world of Halnea, they would all kneel down and take Rhur as their master.
This wasn’t Kiel’s first time seeing Rhur in action. On the contrary, he had witnessed it many times before, to the point of turning indifferent towards it. Even though he would feel distaste, disgust, annoyance, and discomfort when he was forced to witness Rhur courting a female, he had always thought it as none of his business. Therefore, the impact of Rhur’s actions on him was quite limited.
However, today, he couldn’t make himself step back and not care. No matter how he reasoned that it was none of his business, it didn’t help at all. It bothered him.
It bothered him to the point of barely being able to restrain himself from getting up and punching Rhur straight in the face.
Unlike Kiel who was restless to the point of fidgeting in his seat, Rhur’s actions didn’t bother Elaru in the slightest. In fact, she found it quite amusing. It was tickling her mischievous nature and making her want to mirror his behavior, curious to see how the two brothers would react. However, she figured that Kiel wouldn’t appreciate the gesture, and Rhur might misunderstand it as flirting, so she opted to not do it after all.
After several minutes of silence, Kiel couldn’t take it anymore, and he started a telepathic conversation with Elaru. “Ignore him. Just don’t look his way. He’ll run out of food to play with eventually.”
Elaru’s responded with a giggle: “Your brother is quite an interesting fellow.”
Kiel felt his heart drop to the pit of his stomach. “He isn’t interesting, he is dangerous. In the future, do your best to avoid him.”
“I can see that. Very dangerous.” She continued to chuckle merrily.
“I am serious.” Kiel spoke in a dreadful tone, as if talking about an incoming crisis threatening to destroy the world.
“I get that. But avoiding people is not my style. I prefer to fight it out head on. Don’t worry. I can handle myself just fine.”
“Do you think all his previous victims wanted to fall for him? He is really good at getting under your skin. Believe it or not, he is currently restraining himself because he hasn’t managed to get a feel for your personality quite yet. Once he gets a feel for what you are like, he’ll adjust his behavior to be to your liking. Once the only bad point he has about him, his personality, is removed from the equation, all you’ll be able to see is how wonderful he is. As far as I know, as of now, there hasn’t been a single girl he had failed at wooing.”
“There is a first time for everything.”
“If I were you, I’d rather not risk it. You can’t choose who you fall for. It’s better to be safe than sorry.”
Kiel couldn’t help but furrow his eyebrows. Elaru wasn’t taking his warning to heart, and that was making him more and more annoyed by the second. Why did this issue bother him so much?
I can’t have my ally elope with the enemy. Kiel concluded. Whoever she chose to a.s.sociate with was none of his business. As long as that person wasn’t Rhur.
Speaking of the demon, Rhur noticed that his target was avoiding looking at him, so he came up with a way to force her to look up – he started a conversation: “So…Lady Wayvin, how did you get acquainted with my little brother? Are the two of you… an item?”
Kiel’s eyes narrowed, and he interjected before Elaru could respond. “Our paths accidentally crossed and we hit it off quite well.”
“Oh? Considering how you abhor socializing, little brother, I thought that the only kind of people with which you’d get along well would be the dead kind.” Rhur gave Kiel a brief cold stare which Kiel returned with triple the amount of iciness. How dare you bring my mother into this?! Kiel clenched his fist under the table until all his fingers turned white.
Rhur turned once again to face Elaru, the ice in his eyes instantly melting. “What brings Lady Wayvin to Ashar? Are you here for Muni exams too?”
“That’s right.” Elaru confirmed.
“Once you enter Muni, you can seek me out. I’d love to show you around.” Rhur offered warmly. He wasn’t confident that this beautiful redhead had what it took for her to pa.s.s, but he couldn’t really say that out loud, could he? It would be better to pretend that he had faith in her. That way he’d win regardless of whether she pa.s.sed or not. And if she did, by some miracle, pa.s.s, then she’d remember his promise to show her around and seek him out.
“Thanks for the offer, older brother. We will surely seek you out after the exams.” Kiel spoke out slowly. Rhur’s eyes narrowed. “So, you two are an item after all? I a.s.sume you haven’t yet told grandfather about it?”
Kiel stared at Rhur, deliberating how to respond. On the one hand, Elaru and him weren’t romantically involved, so he should dispel the confusion and just be honest about it. Especially because his grandfather would throw a fit and make their lives difficult if he thought them to be together. Elaru was definitely not the kind of a girlfriend he would approve of.
Not to mention that if people got the wrong idea, this would impact his social and school life in the future.
On the other hand, denying their relationship was exactly what Rhur wanted to hear. Admitting it would be like giving him permission to court Elaru.
Coming up in the next episode:
“I’ll be happy to take her off your hands.”
“Well, it has been great to catch up with you, older brother. But Elaru and I have places to be and can’t afford to entertain you any longer.” Kiel downed his gla.s.s of wine and declared.
Kiel furrowed his eyebrows. What does she intend to do?
This vixen…! She did it on purpose!! She has been teasing me all along!!
“As you wish, Rhur.” She spoke in a husky voice that gave Rhur pleasant chills.