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42 Ugly Past Memories

 [OH. I haven't worn the lingerie that Leni and Lani chose for me.]

Tilly only remembered the sexy lingerie that she brought when she was looking for an outfit to wear. She was supposed to wear the lingerie on their first night together. But Kiho didn't even give her the chance to change after their wedding.

[Gosh, we didn't even shower.]

Well, they did shower separately after their first time. But since she was too tired to look for her lingerie, she went to bed and wore Kiho's shirt instead.

[I'll just wear the lingerie on our last night here in the island.]

After hiding the lingerie in the closet, she chose a floral maxi dress with cap sleeves and a pair of sandals for her outfit. She put on light makeup and tied her hair in a messy bun. When she was done dolling up, she went out the room.

She smiled when she saw Kiho walking towards her.

[Gosh, my husband is so sexy.]

The captain was wearing a pale blue collarless linen shirt, black trousers, and a pair of boots. His sword was attached to his belt.

"Hon, why did you get your weapon?" she asked with a knotted forehead. "We're just going out for a stroll, right?"

"It's already late at night," Kiho said while placing his hands on her waist. Then, he kissed her forehead before he continued. "We're the only people in the castle right now. We may never know, but we might be ambushed. I have to make sure that you're going to be safe with me."

"Uh-huh," she said, a little bit distracted because she was busy checking him out.

Kiho's gorgeous body was emphasized by his fitted linen shirt.

Just look at those broad shoulders... that wide expanse of chest... his taut waist... and of course, his washboard stomach...

[We can't forget about the abs, right?]

But the most important thing was the hidden gem inside his trousers...

[I want to play with it...]

"Eyes on my face, lady," Kiho teased her. Then, he cupped her face and gently moved her head so that she was looking up at his face instead of gazing down on his crotch. "Who was it that said she wanted to stroll by the beach?"

[Me, I'm the dumb one who said that.]

"Fine. As a noble lady, I have to keep my word," Tilly said. "I shall not think of lewd thoughts for now. I won't also touch you indecently."

Kiho raised a brow at her, a glint of mirth in his yellow eyes made it look like he was laughing softly at her "promise." "Let's see how long you can keep your hands off me."

She gently hit his arm that seemed to amuse him even more.

[#RIP, my innocent little Kiho.]

***

"KIHO, there's something we didn't do during our wedding that I wish we did," Tilly said while she was walking with Kiho by the beach. Of course, they were holding hands. "I heard it was done in other cultures."

The surface of the sea was sparkling as if it was sprinkled with millions of crystals. The moon was full so the night sky was a little bit brighter than usual. The wave sounded nice and the breeze was cool. The sand also felt soft under their feet.

In short, the ambiance was so romantic.

[Perfect for a late night stroll.]

"What is it?" Kiho asked curiously. "If we can do it right now, then let's do it."

"I want to dance," she said with a smile. "In other cultures, couples dance in front of the guests during the reception party."

[Well, at least, it's the tradition from where I was living in a modern world.]

She stopped walking when Kiho did. When she looked up at him, she noticed that his face was red from embarrassment. That made her worry. "What's wrong, hon?"

"Tilly, I haven't danced in my life yet," Kiho said as if he was embarrassed by that fact. "Commoners don't usually learn dancing because it's a luxury we can't afford."

While for nobles like her, dancing lessons were a privilege they enjoyed since childhood.

[I was lucky to be born rich even in my second life.]

"His Majesty tried to make me take etiquette lessons that nobles have since childhood," he continued. "But I skipped them all to practice my swordsmanship."

The emperor took Kiho under his wing when the captain was still a young boy.

[That reminds me... Emperor Aku and Princess Nia are way older than us.]

If she remembered it correctly, the twin royals were turning thirty soon.

[But they look as young as we are.]

The Moonchesters weren't blessed with eternal youth. But they aged really, really slow. So even if they were in their early thirties now, they still looked like they were in their early twenties. And they would stay that way for a very long time.

[Talk about lucky.]

"Now I kind of regret it," Kiho said with a sad voice. "I know that I've said many times that I don't care about other people's opinion. But still, I don't want to embarrass you."

In her past life, Kiho inherited her father's title when Winter was born. But even though he became a duke, his lack of "proper etiquette" was still an issue for other higher nobles. And so, he stopped attending social gatherings with her.

Before, she was relieved to go alone because she knew that the captain would only embarrass her. She didn't even consider his feelings then. Gosh, she wanted to b*tch-slap her old self.

"Kiho, I just want to dance with you," Tilly said gently. Then, she placed a hand on his cheek. "I can teach you how. And I don't care even if you mess up in front of other people. I just want to have fun with you. But if you're uncomfortable, I won't force you."

"It's not that I'm comfortable," Kiho denied. "I just don't want to embarrass myself in front of you. You're the only person that I want to impress the most. That's why I aim to always be perfect for you."

She giggled at that. "Hon, no one if perfect."

"You are, honey."

She laughed heartily. Of course, she was very giddy. But she had to talk seriously with him. "Kiho, I'm not perfect. So you don't have to force yourself to be perfect for me. I have so many ugly layers. Are you saying that you can't accept them?"

He shook his head eagerly. "No. I accept you wholly, Tilly."

"So do I," she said to him with a smile. Then, she lightly pinched his cheek. "I accept all of you, Kiho- the good and the bad."

He didn't say anything but his eyes glowed beautifully.

Tilly let go of the captain's hand and made a curtsy to him. "Captain Kiho, may I dance with you?"

"Of course," Kiho said, then he offered his hand to her. "It's my honor to have a dance with you, Lady Prescott."

And they spent the night dancing waltz to the beat of their hearts.

***

TILLY woke up feeling hot.

[Literally, okay?]

When she was fully awake, she realized that she felt hot because Kiho was spooning her from behind. His arms and legs were wrapped around her body as if he was afraid that she would run away from him.

[So clingy.]

Not that she was complaining.

She loved it���

... especially because she could feel his "morning wood" pressed deliciously against her hip.

[Good morning to me.]

"Honey?" Kiho whispered in a hoarse voice. Obviously, like her, he just woke up. "You awake?"

"Uh-huh," Tilly answered, grinding her hips against him to feel his erection even more.

[Gosh, why am I so horny?]

The captain groaned in her ear. "Can we do it?"

As a response, she just rolled her hips until his erection was pressed nicely between the cracks of her buttocks.

That made them moan simultaneously.

Just the feel of his warm breath against her neck already made her wet.

It seemed like she wasn't the only one who felt really eager that early morning.

Kiho, without "warming up" her body first, hooked his fingers at the waistband of her panties and pulled it down right away.

A few moments later, she felt the tip of his cock at the entrance of her moist center.

Then, he slid in easily.

Tilly, once again, was thankful that they were the only ones in the castle who could hear her lewd moans.

***

[THIS is refreshing.]

Tilly felt happy while watching Kiho make pancakes for breakfast.

Her body was still sore from their morning sex and she couldn't even walk properly. The captain had to carry her to the kitchen like a princess.

[The sex was that good, y'all.]

Anyway, Kiho didn't let her help him prepare food so she was just sitting prettily while admiring his sexiness.

"I'll wash the dishes later," Tilly offered. Before he could refuse, she spoke again. "It's only fair that I do that because you've been doing all the chores since we got here."

And that was because ever since their first night in the castle, she had been making love with Kiho many times a day. She would instantly fall asleep after their "vigorous activity." Each time she would wake up, the food was already prepared for her.

[He's been taking good care of me all this time.]

"Okay," Kiho agreed when he probably realized that she wouldn't change her mind. "But for now, let me take care of you."

When he was done making the pancakes, he setup the table himself.

A few moments later, they were now sitting side-by-side while having their simple but delicious breakfast: pancakes, sausages, and some maple syrup. Instead of tea, they both chose to have coffee.

"I don't want this to end," Tilly said. "Can we go on a vacation again after your mission?"

"That will be hard, honey," Kiho admitted sadly. "Three weeks from now, the Clean-Up Hunt will begin."

The "Clean-Up Hunt" was Emperor Aku's project.

Before autumn ends, flesh-eating monsters called Crades would go out of their hidings and hunt humans. These monsters would go in hibernation every winter and so they needed humans as their stockpile of food.

So annually, nobles and knights from different parts of the empire would join the hunt to eliminate Crades and keep the civilians safe.

It was a dangerous job so to entice more people to join, Emperor Aku came up with a game. Every year, the emperor would release a clone of an ancient beast in wherever the Hunt would be held. Whoever catches the clone would win the game.

[But only men are allowed to join the Hunt.]

Then, the winner would choose the lady that would gain the title of the 'Beast Priestess' of the year. The chosen lady would have the honor to serve the High Priest for three days...

[Wait...]

Tilly gasped and accidentally dropped her bread knife when she remembered what happened during the Hunt the year that she married Kiho in her past life.

Captain Sherwood won the Hunt and that idiot dedicated his win to Princess Nia. Of course, Emperor Aku went batshit crazy because of jealousy. Half of the forest vanished in the map and many innocent people were heavily injured as a result.

[Including Kiho...]

How could she forget that Kiho lost his left eye and left arm because of that incident?!

As compensation, Emperor Aku ordered the Grand Mage of the White Tower to make a prosthetic eye and arm for Kiho. But despite that, the captain never regained his full confidence again. And that was mostly the reason why he never accompanied her to social events.

[No... I won't let my Kiho suffer that fate in this lifetime!]

"Tilly!"

Tilly was surprised when she heard Kiho's loud voice. She blinked a few times before she realized that he was shaking her shoulders. "W-What happened?"

"You suddenly froze in your seat as if you got into shock," Kiho said in a worried voice. "You weren't responding when I was calling you. What happened, honey?"

"I just... remembered something bad."

His forehead knotted in confusion. Then, he used the back of his hand to wipe the beads of sweat on her forehead. "Do you want to talk about it?"

She gently shook her head. "Kiho, you've been joining the annual Hunt ever since you became a knight, don't you?"

He nodded, worry still visible in his eyes. "Yes. Especially now that I'm a captain. After all, the captains of the Four Orders are required to join the Hunt."

[Then, I can't ask him to withdraw from it.]

She could only think of another way to change his fate.

"Kiho, you never won the Hunt, right?"

He looked mildly offended by her question. "Only because I had no reason to win."

"Then, can you win for me?"

"Do you want me to?"

"Yes, please," Tilly pleaded seriously. "No matter what happens, promise me that you'd win the Hunt."

She knew that she was being selfish but she believed in Kiho. Captain Sherwood was crazy strong, but so was her husband.

"I'll win the Hunt," the captain promised her. "So please calm down, honey."

She was relieved to hear that. But she also felt guilty. "Are you not going to ask me why I'm asking you this selfish request?"

"I don't want to force you to say something that you're not ready to share with me yet, Tilly," Kiho said. "I'll do what you want and just patiently wait for you to open up to me."

"Thank you, hon," Tilly said, touched. Then, she hugged him and buried her face on his neck. "Thank you for spoiling me."

***

"YOUR plan to make Lady Prescott discover your secret failed, huh?"

Nia rolled her eyes at what High Priest Howard told her. White hair, green eyes, pale skin- the High Priest looked like a young man in his late twenties even though he had already lived for more than a century. "For some reason, my mind control doesn't seem to work on her anymore."

Right now, she was in the prayer room with the High Priest.

Today was the day of their weekly rendezvous. As the emperor's fiancée, she was required to meet the High Priest every week to receive his "blessing" ever since she had her first menstruation. The "blessing" from the High Priest was supposed to make her body physically fit for childbirth.

After all, it wasn't easy for siblings with very powerful Mana to conceive a child together.

[That's exactly the reason why Moonchester couples have long engagement.]

Just like what happened to her and Aku.

She was born as his betrothed but their engagement had only been official recently. She had to undergo a rigorous amount of "preparation" before the Elders accepted her.

[But of course, they didn't know that I'm taking medicine to make myself infertile.]

Aside from her loyal servants, only the High Priest knew her secret.

"That's a shame," Howard said while pouring her some tea. "Your plan to control Lady Prescott expose your secret to have you exiled failed. That was your only chance to stop your wedding. Why don't you just expose yourself?"

"If I do that, I'll get executed right away," she said. "I've been using mind control on Lady Prescott so that she would strike a deal with Aku after she exposed me. I wanted her to ask my brother to make her child the heir to the throne so in return, she'd convince the Royal and the Noble Faction to just have me exiled instead." She sighed and shook her head. "But Lady Prescott has changed. I don't think she's capable of influencing either side to help me if ever I was exposed."

"What will you do now, Nia?" the High Priest asked her. "I've already received the oracle that His Majesty has been waiting for."

She froze in her seat.

"Your wedding date has been decided," he said with a smile. "You're supposed to get married eleven months from now. You know that I can't keep this from the emperor for too long, don't you? The last time His Majesty was here, he almost blew up the temple when I failed to give him the information that he wanted."

"I know that very well," she said. "Aku may act carefree outside. But the truth is he's just good at hiding his lunacy."

"His Majesty isn't lunatic," he said with a soft laugh. "He's just obsessed with you. Obsessed enough that no matter how many times you tried to kill yourself in the past, he just revived you over and over again."

She hissed in anger.

But of course, the High Priest wasn't shaken. "Do you think His Majesty would leave you alone if you were exiled? Of course not. He'd follow you even to hell, Nia. You can't escape him." His green eyes glowed dangerously in the dark. "I can see the unbreakable bind you have with him, my poor little princess. No matter how many times you get reborn in whatever world it is, Aku would find you again and again."

"I can change that," she said firmly. "I just need the heart. If I have it, I can summon the sky beast that could burn anything in the world- even the unbreakable bind that you speak of."

"You only have a year to get the heart, Nia," Howard reminded her with that annoying smile of his. "If you get married to Aku, the bind between you and him will only get stronger. Once it happens, not even the sky beast could burn it."

"I know that," Nia said while clenching her hands tight. "As soon as Lady Prescott gives birth to her son, I'll rip her heart out. And if she doesn't have what I need..." She caught her reflection in the mirror behind the High Priest the exact time her red eyes glowed in the dark. "I might as well rip her baby's heart out, too."

***

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