On the next day, I decided to use the remaining of our 3-day provisions and replenish the rest of our supplies that I could find from the forest. The forest where the monster lived felt alive somehow. As I looked around uneasily, a soldier next to me came up to talk to me.
"What is it? Do you feel unwell?"
"…actually it's the monster."
At the same time, I started to feel something wrap around my ankle. The feeling on my leg made me want to freak out. No way…
Their grip was so tight that I couldn't scream. I looked around, scared, and the Prince looked back at me.
He gave me a strange look.
I was so frozen and I couldn't even think of what to do, but it seemed like he noticed something was amiss. The thing on my leg felt like one of the monsters, which had a habit of dragging their victims from behind, I read in the novel.
I willed my lips to scream but I was too much in shock.
"You…" The moment the Prince tried to say something, the tentacle on my ankle yanks me back.
I opened my eyes to somebody shaking me roughly. Thank G.o.d it was the Prince and not the monster.
No, not thank G.o.d. It would be better if it was the monster instead because when I came to my senses, the Crown Prince was looking at me furiously. He growled out a reproach, "You idiot, you should have screamed! Why did you keep silent? You were so expressionless that I didn't know you were caught!"
The Prince's angry voice echoed.
Are we in a cave?
We came with a lot of Distinian soldiers but it looks like the Prince and I were the only ones left.
When I blinked blankly at him, the Prince snapped at my shoulders as if to make me come to my senses.
"Aah!" I suddenly felt a stabbing pain and screamed and hit the Prince's hand out of reflex.
The Prince, however, was even more surprised at my reaction.
He looked down at his rejected hand and quickly came to his senses to ask me, "What? Are you hurt? Please show me. I may not be able to heal it fully, but I can use a bit of divine magic."
"Ah, no. It's okay."
He reached towards me, but I pretended I didn't know he was coming and slipped back to avoid his hand.
When I rejected him again, he looked a little defeated.
It seems that I really need to avoid the Prince no matter what. My shoulder wounds weren't due to the monster, but because of the Prince after all.
Last time, I didn't know the full extent of the damage the Prince caused when he grabbed my shoulders. Or maybe, it was because I didn't expect to get hurt by just that. But still, the Prince shouldn't underestimate his grip strength. He may be 14 years old and was surrounded by strong soldiers, but shouldn't he know to treat women gently?
Whatever the reason, the Crown Prince believed that the wound on my shoulder was caused by the monster. So he looked at me with an incomprehensible smile as I cradled my shoulders and took a step back.
When he moved closer, I took 2 more steps back.
No matter what, I couldn't show the Prince I was hurt.
When I got home on that day, I saw that the wound from the bathroom mirror was worse than I thought. At first only the Prince's handprints showed up, but then it started swelling, bleeding and looking really gross.
It would be better if the Prince didn't know.
If he finds out that this was caused by him and I can't use my arm because of him, he would be so annoying. Because of his personality to take everything he did with a sense of responsibility, if he injured someone he would probably try to take full responsibility by helping with rehabilitation or compensating them for the rest of their life.
The latter may be acceptable, but it was different if I had to stick to him because of this. The Prince still hates me enough to kill me, but even with his righteous nature that makes it less likely for him to kill me, there was still that possibility.
"I, I'm okay. D-Don't touch it."
"What? It's not like I'm going to eat you. I've seen your naked body since I was a kid. Now quickly show me the wound."
He seemed to think I was ashamed. Why can't he think it was because I really hate it?
I wondered if it was because the old Celebi was too aggressive.
As I continued to step away from him, his patience eventually exploded. He clutched his head and said with an irritated voice, "Hey! I don't want to see your bare skin either. I just need to see how deep the wound is! You grew up sheltered so you don't know how serious the situation is, if you touch it and it hurts, then you might've broken a bone! If you don't want to lose your arm for the rest of your life, come here now!"
I wasn't hurt by him touching me, but by him grabbing me.
My shoulders, which have been treated at the clinic, was now restored to a level where I can live normally. But if he grabbed me like before, I was sure the damage would be unrecoverable.
The Prince wasn't aware of how strong his grip was, so my arms might fall out.
As I was thinking of such thoughts, the Prince came closer.
Oh, that expression only came out when he was really p.i.s.sed off. After dealing with his temper thus far, I've seen his angry face several times but I've never seen him this angry before.
The Prince could barely breathe out to calm himself down. He looked at me with a distorted smile and an eye that was out for my life.
"Will you strip for me?"
Him asking me to take off my clothes was not sweet at all, unlike what the old Celebi would always hoped for.
Rather it sounded like 'I will kill you'.
I can't stop this anymore. It was pointless to keep fighting the stubborn Prince.
I coughed dryly from the tension, turned my back towards him, and pulled my coat down to the waist.
"What, this… handprints?"
"What is this…"
While checking my wounds that spread from my shoulders to my back, he remained firm and silent for a while.
He must've thought of the reason why my wounds were more serious than he thought. The other wounds were probably from the monster when it dragged me on my back, but the Prince might have guessed that only a man could do the other wounds.
It can't be helped. Nothing could stop him now. Let's just ask for medical fees. Then when he says he'll take responsibility…
As I was considering my next course of actions suddenly…
Suddenly, my whole body was covered in gooseb.u.mps. It was cool in the cave, but the cave felt like we were in the middle of winter.
And the reason for that was right behind me..
Behind my back, I could feel the Prince releasing an enormous amount of energy.
Wh-what? Why is the Prince suddenly releasing so much energy behind me? Could he have reached a point where he can read minds and knew that I was going to charge him for my medical fees? If I looked behind, will I be killed?
After much hesitation, I looked back and met his eyes and saw the unbelievable amount of energy surrounding him.
I thought the Prince was angry with me, but he looked different this time. His golden eyes, which always had a warm light to them, now were a brutal blood color.
I looked at his eyes and turned away quickly.
Even in the novel, the Prince would get to this stage on very rare occasions. His magical eyes would make an appearance only when he was absolutely furious.
What the h.e.l.l?
The abnormally huge power he possessed was the dark power he absorbed after killing the dragon.
He was normally in full control of his powers, but when he loses his temper he's full of anger and his power leaks out. The force was so huge and fierce that it was impossible to control and wouldn't stop until everything was destroyed.
Because the Prince was aware of this, he had always tried to remain calm and reasonable, no matter what so he won't lose control. Originally, Prince Raven was always gentle and rarely got this angry. Only once in the novel had he reached this point and that was when his beloved Elf Queen was kidnapped by monsters and was at the brink of death.
I thought it was a shocking development when I read it, but what was most shocking was that he would run wild.
But what did I do that made him so mad?
I did nothing wrong.
Proofreader: Arie BeeKo-fi
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