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[Illsyore’s point of view]
It was high noon when I woke. Nanya was up and cooking breakfast already, while Ayuseya was cleaning my clothes… or trying to.
Ah! That reminds me, I forgot to wash my clothes last night… I thought.
“MASTER!” Tamara shouted and jumped on top of me.
“OMF!” I groaned while the nekatar giggled.
“Master came after Tamara! Master fixed Tamara’s ear!” she said in Shorayan.
“Yes, I know… also, it’s fine to speak in Kalish now.” I petted her.
“Really? That’s a relief…” she let out a sigh and then gave me a cat kiss on the cheek.
“You are very lively, I see. How are you feeling?” I asked her as I got up.
“I’m doing good! My body doesn’t hurt, and my ear works fine! Prince Reynolds was so brutal when he cut it off that I fainted, but… he was brutal to Shanteya too…” she said and lowered her ears.
“I know, I healed her too. Is she awake?” I asked the nekatar, but I didn’t see the el’doraw coming in.
“Yup! But she said she wasn’t coming out yet. I think she cried. When I licked her cheek, it was salty.” she said rubbing her cheek on my palm.
“Crying?” I said.
This news worried me.
Why would Shanteya be crying? I wondered.
“I’m going to go and check on her.” I said as I moved Tamara aside and got out of bed.
“Nyu?” the kitten tilted her head and looked at me curiously.
Upon entering the room, I found Shanteya sitting in her bed and looking out the window. She didn’t look to me as if she had been crying, but she didn’t appear to be her usual self either. There was something wrong with her, something out of place, but I couldn’t tell what.
I closed the door behind me and walked up to her.
“Good morning, Shanteya. How are you feeling?” I asked with a smile as I took a seat on the edge of the bed.
She didn’t answer.
“Shanteya?” I asked as I reached out and took her hands into mine.
I’m worried about you… I thought.
After a few seconds, she looked back at me with empty eyes.
“Illsyore, can I ask you to release me from slavery?” she asked.
“What?” I asked with an awkward smile.
Her words surprised me, they shocked me even. Of all things, I wasn’t expecting her to ask me such a thing. It was weird, and I found myself at a loss of words.
How could I explain what sort of emotion I felt in that moment when she basically asked to break the bond between us? I knew she was entitled to her freedom, but without this contract of slavery, she couldn’t receive the [Bond of Trust] boost.
What is she planning to do after this? Will she leave me? Why? What did I do? I asked myself trying desperately to find an answer to these questions, to this fear that kept growing inside my heart.
I didn’t want to let her go. I didn’t want to be separated from her, but if this was her desire, I had no choice but to do this.
“Why?” I asked with a trembling voice as I lowered my head.
“Because if I keep staying by your side, I’ll always be left in the shadows. I know this is selfish of me, but… I don’t want to continue like this. I’ll only keep on suffering…” she replied as she gently stroked my hand.
“What does that mean?” I asked since I couldn’t understand.
“I can’t tell you…”
I looked up at her in shock and felt a sharp pain in my chest. How could she say something like that? How could she leave me like that? I didn’t know nor understand this painful situation. All I knew was that I was going to lose Shanteya NOW.
Our paths would split, and we would go our own ways…
“Illsy, please let me go…” she added.
I looked down.
Let you go? Does this mean I-I-I’ll give up on my slave? What? Wait… no… She’s not a slave. Well, technically she is, but she’s not a slave… She’s… What is she? A friend? Maybe… Is she a lover? No, but she’s a… she was… the… I couldn’t think properly.
All of my thoughts were jumbled up, and I felt my tears rolling down my cheeks.
“This is it?” I asked.
“Yes…” she replied.
“Shanteya Dowesyl… I release you from the slave contract with me. Thor Or Non…” I said with a trembling voice, but I felt my Magic Energy working.
“I accept.” she replied.
[Shanteya Dowesyl has accepted to be released from the Slave Contract with Dungeon Lord Illsyore]
The slave ring around her neck vanished.
“You are free…” I muttered.
“Thank you…” she said and then got out from bed. “I won’t be imposing on you any longer.” she walked up to the door.
Is this it? Is this where our journey ends? After all of that? Who am I to blame? Is it that stupid prince? Should I have killed him? If it wasn’t for him, Shanteya wouldn’t have wished to leave me… But… this was not something he could ruin… This… This is something I broke… I thought, and while I was in deep thought, I heard her close the door behind me.
“What’s going to happen now? What did I do wrong?” I asked as I looked out the window.
My voice was trembling, my tears were flowing down my cheeks, and I couldn’t help but wonder that if she was just a slave to me, a friend, why was I crying? What reason was there for this pain inside my chest when I saw her as a mere friend… or slave?
“Even thinking about you as a lover is hard… Haha… ha.” I said with tears in my eyes.
I thought back at what she said to me and remembered word-for-word Because if I keep staying by your side, I’ll always be left in the shadows. I know this is selfish of me, but… I don’t want to continue like this. I’ll only keep on suffering…
“What does she mean by being left in the shadows? Shadows of whom? Nanya and Ayuseya? Tamara?” I fell on my back and looked up at the ceiling.
Her words kept flowing through my mind. I kept hearing them again and again and again like a madman hears the voices of his imagination. It wasn’t like my question had an answer or rather that it was such an obvious answer, but I, like a complete idiot, wasn’t able to see it.
Why would you be suffering if you were kept in the shadows? What shadows? Who dared to cast a shadow upon you? Why did you leave, Shanteya? What did I do or didn’t do? I then thought of all the things that happened between us, everything from the very first moment I met her.
I remembered how I found her in that burning forest, how I struggled to keep her alive, how I slept in her arms for the first time, our first kiss, everything. All of our adventures together kept flowing through my mind, allowing me to relive them.
As I did this, I found myself hurting because in those moments, I also saw just how much I came to treasure this woman, how much I came to love her. Then I remembered the moment when I made Nanya and Ayuseya my wives…
“It can’t be… can it?” I wondered as I wiped my tears from my eyes.
It was a long shot. I could fail, but… it wasn’t like I had anything else to lose.
I ran out the door, slamming it open and literally ripping it out of it’s hinges. Right before she was about to walk out the door and leave this place, I entered the main room.
“SHANTEYA!” I shouted.
She stopped and looked back at me surprised. I ignored Nanya, who was glaring at me as if she wanted to strangle me to death, and Ayuseya, who wanted to join her in her endeavor.
“W-What is it, Illsyore?” asked Shanteya surprised.
I gulped, but I didn’t back down. This was the only answer my silly brain could come up with. If this wasn’t it, then I wanted to request a transplant or something!
Stopping in front of her, I took her hand in mine and knelt before her.
“Shanteya Dowesyl, do you want to be my wife? Do you wish to marry me?” I asked.
For the first time in both of my lives, I asked this question in all of its seriousness. I never had the guts to ask Alina. I made a ‘not not joke’ with Nanya and Ayuseya, but with Shanteya, I poured my soul and every drop of my being into this question.
There was a moment of silence, which felt like it was strangling and killing me little by little.
“Do you really want this? Even if I am a former assassin?” she asked as she began to tear up.
“Yes. I want to marry you even if you are a former assassin!” I declared.
“Even if I was abused and used by other men and women?” she asked with tears in her eyes.
“The one I wish to marry is Shanteya Dowesyl, no matter how bloody or dark her past may have been. I don’t care how many men or women used you and in what way, but if they try to lay their hands on you again, I will make them eat their own limbs!” I declared vehemently.
“You would accept me, the one called the Broken Doll of the Phantom Rage assassins guild?” she asked as tears flowed down her cheeks drop after drop.
“Yes, I want you as my wife, Shanteya Dowesyl!” I declared once more.
She closed her eyes for a moment, letting her tears flow, but no pulling back or running away. I hoped she wasn’t going to do that though, but in the end, it was all up to her. If she ran away or not, it was her choice, and this time… I had no means of stopping her.
That moment of silence as I waited for her answer strangled me worse than Nanya ever could have. My chest hurt so bad, but I knew it was a pain I couldn’t run away from. Moments like this one was what having emotions meant, enjoying and feeling both the good and the bad. Sometimes, I ran from the bad, but rejoiced when touched by the good. It was a roller-coaster ride with ups and downs, and now… I was at a breaking point.
“Yes…” came her reply as a whisper, but the message displayed in front of me was loud and clear.
[Broken Doll Shanteya Dowesyl is now your spouse!]
I’m going to get rid of that title someday… I muttered in my mind, but then.
“Huh? Yes?” I blinked surprised and looked up at her.
“Yes… I’ll be your wife!” my el’doraw said with a soft smile on her lips with rivers of tears washing down on her beautiful face.
The black ring similar to the ones on Nanya and Ayuseya’s fingers appeared on hers, sealing the deal and officially making her my third spouse. Back in Romania, I would have been jailed for this, but heck if I cared in this world! If I could love all of them equally and just as passionately, why shouldn’t I?
Thus, I got up on my feet and embraced her tenderly, while our lips connected in a beautiful kiss.
Still, I couldn’t believe I had to give up on my el’doraw slave in order to realize that I actually wanted her as my wife.
“Nya! All’s good that ends good!” said Tamara.
“You mean ‘well’, right?” Nanya corrected her.
“What did I say?” she tilted her head to the left, but I ignored her.
Picking up Shanteya in a princess carry, I turned around and looked at the three.
“Ahem… Erm…” I tried to say with my cheeks bright red.
“We got it. We’ll go catch some fish or something… Just don’t break the place.” Nanya said with a nod.
“Nya?” Tamara didn’t get it.
The kitten was grabbed by the demoness while they walked past us and left our small house.
Ayuseya walked up to me, and with a giggle, she told Shanteya “Go wild.” and then left.
“I-Illsy?” Shanteya asked with a cute and shy expression.
I gave her a kiss and walked up to the bed with her. I had no plans on holding back on her anymore! Shanteya was now my wife just like Nanya and Ayuseya!
Note from the author: Thank you for reading this chapter, I hope you enjoyed it! This marks the end of this Arc!
I’m going to see if I can add a Side Story or not to this Arc and then start Arc 5, which will focus more on the Darkness and someone new… 😉
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