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407 Fantasy Nigh

 As night fell, Marlene sat by the window and blankly stared at the scenery. At this moment, her emotions were a mess.

The night scenery of the Land of Atonement was unlike any other places that Marlene had seen before. As far as one's eyes could see, the surrounding scenery was in full pitch-black apart from the sparkling lights of the fortress. At the border of this orderly land, even the radiance of the moon ceased to exist. Raising one's eyes to it, the odd darkness spread in unique tranquility and peacefulness.

Marlene stretched out her hand and gently stroked the window before her eyes. The ice-cold tactile sensation came through, but it wasn't enough to calm the maiden. Instead, Marlene felt she was as rigid as if she were in an ice cave. Her muscles were totally tight like she was huddled in a corner and shivering like a mouse waiting for a cat's arrival.

This can't do!

Marlene shook her head in denial before forcing herself to her feet and turning her attention indoors.

Although this fortress was only recently built, the facilities were comprehensive. Furthermore, after considering individual characteristics, Rhode came up with simple decorations for the rooms when he designed the fortress. And before Marlene's eyes, her bedroom showed a quiet and calm atmosphere. A white, soft bed laid beside the cyan curtains above the window, which let off a refreshing mood. Besides that, there were ancient carvings and slightly mysterious-looking pieces of furniture which seemed secluded and beautiful.

Am I overreacting?

Marlene inched towards the mirror beside her bed and observed herself. The maiden in the reflection was as beautiful and graceful as always. However, this time, she wasn't in her usual gorgeous robe, but in an elegant and luxurious black dress.

This was apparel which nobles put on for dance parties and banquets. As the heir of the Senia Family, this dress had been through meticulous alterations to fit Marlene's body nicely, highlighting her slender waist and bosoms. The black silk yarn fell gracefully on her shoulders, showing off a pair of fair shoulders and tender arms. At first glance, this plain-looking skirt let off the silver radiance of a galaxy river flowing along with the gentle movements of the maiden. Matching with a silver necklace and a pair of delicate gemstone earrings, she let off an elegant charm.

Such dress up undoubtedly made one the center of attention in a ballroom. However, it inevitably felt out of place as she wore it in the room. Marlene looked at her reflection blankly as she stacked her palms on her chest and puckered her brows slightly.

"Mine's are a little small compared to Anne's..."

The maiden mumbled softly and after a few moments, she abruptly startled and lifted her head as if she had just woken up from a short dream.

"Th-This looks ridiculous."

Marlene blushed and hurriedly scuttled to the wardrobe on the other side of the room. The maiden opened the doors of the wardrobe and rummaged through the dresses attentively. Marlene let out a long sigh after a few moments before closing the doors of the wardrobe. She sat down on a chair and held her hand against her forehead.

"What exactly am I doing..." The maiden muttered under her breath.

Since this morning, Marlene had tried on all the dresses in her wardrobe and her makeup was also re-applied at least two to three times. However, Marlene still wasn't satisfied. To her, these clothes would either seem too childish, overly flirtatious or simple in Rhode's eyes... which made it hard for Marlene to decide. Although in the final moments, she had decided to wear her favorite black nightgown, she began to feel ill at ease while waiting... After all, this gown was too outrageous in this place. What would Rhode think if he sees this? Will he think that I'm vain? Haughty? Ostentatious?

Marlene had never experienced such emotions before. In fact, the maiden never thought that she would have such an irresolute day. Ever since she was young, she had never been this way before. Even when she learned about her family secrets from her father and heard her life mission, she had never been this hesitant. But now, she realized she was acting like a timid and overcautious girl who was letting her imaginations run wild.

Why am I acting like this?

Marlene couldn't figure out why she panicked in this situation and was even this hesitant and indecisive. She was even dubious over her feelings towards Rhode. Although she admitted that she didn't hate Rhode and had a favorable impression of him... she shouldn't have been acting this way regardless.

Marlene couldn't be blamed for feeling depressed in this difficult situation. After all, their relationship indeed was somewhat odd. Most human relationships would develop step by step from gaining interest in one another and finally reaching the last step of sexual intercourse. However, their relationship was totally different. Both of them didn't advance step by step, but instead, they skipped the middle step and got straight to the last. It was so fast that Marlene wasn't even able to buffer her thoughts for the middle step.

Not to mention, ever since Marlene was born, she had never fallen in love. Love in stories and fairy tales were only suitable in wonderful dreams. However, the love which she sensed and felt was not completely consistent with the love stories. But in fairy tales, the prince wouldn't engage in such illogical developments with the princess.

Due to this, Marlene had conflicting views. There were many times that she had decided to call off this date, but she couldn't pluck up the courage. And right now, the most important moment of her life was finally here.

Knock knock knock.

Hearing the knocks on her door, Marlene innately leaped up like a startled bunny. She looked at the door in uncertainty and subconsciously placed her palm on her chest before sucking in a deep breath and forcing herself to calm down.

"Who's there?"

"It's me, Rhode."

"...!"

Marlene felt her heart almost stop beating as she stood on the same spot and regained her senses after a few seconds. She tidied her hair and the creases on her dress before inching towards the door. It was incredible that even though the maiden was so familiar and used to Rhode's voice, at this moment, she was triggered with unprecedented stimulations.

I-I think it's better to change back into my usual robe.

As Marlene approached the door, she once again hesitated. She turned around and looked at her uncertain self in the mirror before shaking her head violently. There's no more time now. I can't possibly make Mr Rhode wait for too long. Since things are this way now, I don't think I need to overthink anymore...

Marlene sighed before gently unlocking her door and pushed it open slightly.

"Hmm?"

The instant Rhode met Marlene, he revealed an odd expression which tensed her emotions. As I thought. This dress is a complete mistake. If I knew this would happen, I would've worn my usual robe.

However, the odd expression on Rhode's face only lasted for a second before he regained his usual expression and nodded towards Marlene.

"Hi there, Miss Marlene."

"H-Hi, Mr Rhode... Please come in."

With full of uncertainty, Marlene nodded towards Rhode and invited him into her room. At this moment, the maiden's head was a complete blank. The noble etiquette she learned and practiced for so many years had been thrown to the ends of the earth.

Rhode also seemed to notice Marlene's eccentric behavior and a trace of craftiness flashed in his eyes. Under Marlene's invitation, Rhode sat by the table. At this moment, Marlene was completely rattled and she didn't even notice Rhode's peculiar expression.

"Miss Marlene, I'm thankful for your invitation. So, you invited me here tonight for..."

"Ah, th-that..."

Marlene slightly blushed at Rhode's question. She sat opposite Rhode and lowered her head in panic while gazing at the tableware. Her gaze wandered all around, avoiding direct contact with the man before her. At this moment, Marlene was acting like a child who didn't dare face her parents after doing something wrong.

"This... Mr. Rhode. I remember you made a trip back to the stronghold, right? How are Christie and Lapis doing?"

After a few seconds, Marlene finally asked. However, it was entirely out of topic.

"They're doing well. Apart from those Southern idiots who sent some men to create trouble, nothing much happened. I brought Christie and Lapis to the fortress and Lize has arranged their lodgings."

"I see..."

Marlene replied and the atmosphere became silent once again. Rhode didn't speak as he attentively scanned the maiden before his eyes. On the other end of the table, Marlene continued to stare blankly at the tableware and abruptly regained her senses after awhile.

"Ah, yes, sorry... Mr. Rhode. I have forgotten that I invited you for tea..."

Marlene stood up in panic and poured a cup of red tea for Rhode. However, perhaps due to her excessive nervousness, her hands slightly trembled and red tea overflowed and spilled onto the table.

"Ah!"

Frightened by the spillage, Marlene gasped and instinctively tried to wipe the water stains off the table with a cloth. However, the maiden instantly retracted her hand upon getting into contact with the boiling tea. And at this moment, she lost her balance and tripped to the ground.

"Ah...!"

The maiden's screams abruptly stopped because at this instance, Rhode grabbed her hand and dragged her into his arms. The maiden loosened her grip of the teapot and along with a crisp smash, the teapot shattered into a pile of debris after hitting the floor.

"... Argh... Argh..."

Marlene began to tremble as she whimpered.

I screwed up.

I have never messed up anything before, but how did things turn out this way? I thought as long as I tried my best, I could say anything. So how did things become like this? So stupid, so foolish, so sluggish. What curse did I get myself into?

"I'm so sorry, Miss Marlene."

And at this moment, Rhode's voice sounded in her ears. The maiden widened her eyes strangely and gazed at the man before her eyes. Although Rhode was still displaying his usual expressionless face, this time, Marlene discovered his smile was filled with a few traces of apologies and slyness.

"If I've put you into a difficult situation, allow me to apologize... To be frank, Miss Marlene looks really adorable right now, so I can't help but see just how cute you are. But it seems like this is your limit..."

"Eh?"

Marlene widened her eyes in shock as she stared blankly into Rhode's eyes.

"M-Mr. Rhode, you know..."

"A young lady invites a man to her room late at night, dressed in such a luxurious dress. Anyone can understand what this means, unless one's an idiot..."

"Ah... Ah..."

Marlene's fair and smooth cheeks instantly blushed. Oh Lord, Marlene could swear that although she was indeed thinking of this, her head had always been considering how to explain to Rhode. Since she had forgotten that she was the one who invited Rhode, it clearly proved her intentions.

At this thought, Marlene immediately felt an immense sense of shame as she lowered her head and clenched her teeth like she was trying to curl up and resist this sudden shame. However, Rhode didn't give her the chance. Instead, he gently caressed her cheek, hugged her up, and placed her on her bed.

"M-Mr. Rhode!"

Feeling the soft, fluffy bed on her back, Marlene tightened her body. Although she did predict that things would end up at this state, Rhode's fast actions had exceeded her imaginations. She gazed at Rhode in uncertainty and clawed onto her skirt while her body was as stiff as an ice sculpture. But out of Marlene's expectations, Rhode didn't act as she thought. He didn't rapidly 'attack', but instead, he quietly looked into her eyes while revealing a rare conscientiousness.

"Although I understand your intentions, I would still like to ask you again. Miss Marlene, are you really willing to do this?"

"..."

"I admit, I do feel good about you and I like you a lot. But I don't treat you as my most important romantic partner. So I will mostly be unable to return the same treatment you expect. Is this fine by you too?"

"I... I..."

In a state of confusion, Marlene gazed blankly at Rhode and revealed her rare timid side. However, Rhode didn't stop confessing.

"I'll put this upfront... I'm a dominating man. If you are willing to become my woman, then you will be my woman forever. And now... You still have a chance to turn back."

Marlene couldn't help but leaned her head to the side shyly. Her face was flushed red and at the same time, she pouted her mouth slightly.

"... Mr. Rhode is so cunning... You clearly said I was your woman before... What do you want me to say now..."

"That's my attitude and opinion, Miss Marlene."

But Rhode wasn't angry as he faced Marlene's childish-like reply. Instead, he unrolled a slight smile and squished Marlene's chin with his right hand to turn her head towards himself.

"Now is the time for you to express your feelings... isn't it?"

"... I... gree..."

"What? I didn't hear it clearly. Say it louder."

"... I ag... agree..."

"Sorry, the wind was too loud and I can't hear clearly."

"I... I... I..."

Marlene's face flushed red at Rhode's teasing. She gaped and finally gritted her teeth.

"I agree... to become Mr. Rhode's... w-w-woman..."

"Good."

Rhode nodded in satisfaction after hearing Marlene's answer in a sobbing tone. He extended his arm to gently fondle the maiden's cheek before leaning in towards her ear.

"Since Marlene said so... Then, from today onwards, you are my possession... If you don't agree, I will make you understand."

Rhode extended his hand and began to gently caress her chest hidden beneath the elegant evening gown. Sensing this strong stimulation, the maiden shrieked and innately shook her head to reject Rhode's advancement. However, at this moment, Rhode forced her to look into his eyes before going in for a deep kiss on her lips.

The instant Marlene felt Rhode's lips on hers, her ice-cold body melted as though she had blended into hot water. A familiar and comfortable sensation constantly released from her body as she slowly stretched herself in itchiness and joy. At the same time, her entire body softened and all she could do was to awkwardly stick out her tongue in response to Rhode's lure.

"Wu... En..."

Coming out from the quiet room were the sounds of heavy breathing and the salivary sounds of tongues tantalizing each other.

Rhode nimbly undid the knot on Marlene's nightgown. The outer shell that enveloped the maiden fell off entirely and what was left was the alluring, naked body of an innocent lady. Sensing the chills of the late night breeze, Marlene slightly shuddered and she began to moan softly along with Rhode's gentle caresses. At this moment, with a hard sensation entering her body, Marlene abruptly shut her mouth and turned her head to the side like a child acting in a fit of pique.

Interesting.

Rhode subconsciously twitched his brows at this sight. Although this wasn't his first time enjoying this body, the sensation he felt this time was entirely different. During the first experience, Marlene's will was completely influenced by drugs and she only showed her instinctual desires. Even though her crazy desires were equally impressive, this current Marlene was much more worthy of conquering. Obviously, she had been framed down, but she still forcibly upheld her strong self-esteem. Such a Marlene was also quite adorable.

So, I will have some fun then.

With this thought, Rhode lowered his head and began to 'savor' her body. Like raindrops, his kisses landed on every corner of the maiden's body while his hands continued to rub and stroke. At the same time, Rhode constantly stuck out his tongue like he was licking cream off a cake.

"Wu... En..."

Under Rhode's affectionate care, Marlene quickly fell into a state of semi-consciousness. She had almost forgotten where and how she was as she only wished to shut her eyes and just concentrate on enjoying this pleasure sweeping her body like ocean waves. She was like a small boat arriving at the top of the waves again and again, enjoying this thrilling sensation.

Her body temperature turned hotter and hotter, but it wasn't there yet. Just a little, just a little more...

At this moment, the waves suddenly calmed.

"Eh?"

Marlene opened her eyes in a daze and gazed at Rhode. At this moment, Rhode's movements weren't as intense as before. Instead, his speed began to slowly decrease and at the same time, even though he skillfully fondled between her legs, he didn't take any further action.

Why? Why didn't he continue?

"It seems like I'm not skillful enough... Miss Marlene, do you feel uncomfortable?"

No, no such thing. Faster, faster. Continue...

Marlene gazed at Rhode with needful eyes. However, at this moment, Rhode seemed to have turned into a dummy as he only caressed the maiden's body and wasn't able to fulfill Marlene's desires. But the maiden could no longer tolerate it anymore. She writhed and clumsily pushed up her waist, wishing to continue the comfortable feeling. However, Rhode slowly withdrew from Marlene.

"Miss Marlene. If you want it, you need to say it, okay? If you don't say it, how would I know you want it?"

"I... I..."

After all, she was an unmarried daughter of a noble family and for her to say such a statement with a clear state of mind was too difficult. She blushed, and at the same time, her eyes were looking at Rhode with uneasiness. She softly groaned with hopes that Rhode would read her thoughts with this response. However, Rhode was not in the least concerned about Marlene's 'invitation' as he continued to slowly caress and tease the maiden while watching her.

"I'm waiting for your answer, Miss Marlene."

"I... I..."

The emptiness and longingness in her body turned stronger and stronger, and Marlene felt as if she were about to burst into tears. She couldn't stop shaking her head as the rationalities in her mind tried to avoid such shameful confessions. But at the same time, her instinctive desires also became much stronger under Rhode's teasing. And in the end, her desires overwhelmed her reasoning.

"I want... Rhode... to give me everything... please... Rhode... give me..."

Marlene couldn't hold it in anymore as she buried her face in her hands. Oh Lord, this was the first time she said something so shameless!

Hearing Marlene's answer, Rhode grinned and leaned towards her ear.

"As you wish, my dearest young lady."

After this reply from Rhode, Marlene felt a strong, intense heat instantly enter her body.

"Ahhhh...!"

Under joyful cries, Marlene innately hugged Rhode tightly as she rose her body up against Rhode's under his powerful thrustings. On the other hand, Rhode continued to fondle and kiss her body while his speed increased. Marlene's breaths hastened, and at this moment, she could feel an unparalleled thrill coming towards herself as she totally threw her shame to the back of her mind. Her legs wrapped around Rhode's waist as she greedily enjoyed his offense.

"...!"

After this frantic battle, Rhode deeply moaned and straightened his body while Marlene shivered all over as she hugged Rhode and let out weep-like sobs. After a few seconds, both of them collapsed onto the bed.

"Hu..."

Up until this moment, Marlene regained her senses from the franticness. She stared blankly at the ceiling while enjoying the pleasant lingering effect of intense joy. But suddenly, Rhode straightened his body once again, and she quickly felt a hard sensation.

"I won't let you sleep tonight, Marlene," Rhode said with a smile.