100 First Big Figh
"WE MET again, Wixx," Tilly said while looking up at the statue of the Red Phoenix. "You didn't even say goodbye to me."
Right now, she was alone in the prayer room dedicated to the Red Phoenix.
She was done praying to the Blue Dragon and the Golden Tiger as well. The Red Phoenix was the last one that they had to visit. And now, it was their break time. She said to the priestesses that she would spend her break time in that room.
They only left her when she promised that she wouldn't stay for too long.
"Sentinel said that you're probably back in your real body," she whispered to herself. "Don't worry, I will find you soon."
She was about to pray again when she saw tiny red lights on the top of the Red Phoenix's head. Of course, she felt nervous because she thought she was under attack again. But when the red lights clustered and manifested into a person, she was relieved.
And felt sad as well.
Tilly couldn't help but cry at the sight of him. "Captain Denver…"
Captain Denver seemed to be surprised when she called him. When he turned to her, his feet slipped and thus, he slid down on the statue…
… and fell on her.
She stepped backwards to avoid him. But then, she stumbled and fell on her bottom. The next thing she knew, she was already lying on the ground with Captain Denver on top of her.
"Careful," Captain Denver said, his one had catching the back of her head so she wouldn't hit the ground. "Why are you so clumsy, Lady Nystrom?"
Tilly stared at Captain Denver. Then she remembered that in the past, he was forced to leave their fellow Fire Mages to follow her final order. And most of all, she was the reason why the Fire Mages died in her first life. She sobbed like a kid because of heavy guilt caused by those painful memories. "I'm so sorry, Captain Denver."
KIHO blinked several times while staring back at Sentinel.
He didn't know why the spirit guardian was there. The last thing he remembered was he was picking up the book on the floor.
And then all of a sudden, Sentinel was already there.
"I just came here to hang out with you, Your Grace," Sentinel said as if he could read the confusion on his face. "I got bored accompanying Lady Nystrom."
"Tilly," Kiho said, then he stood up. He didn't know why but he suddenly got the strong urge to see his wife. "Where's Tilly?"
"The duchess is in the prayer room of the Red Phoenix, Your Grace."
"Thanks," he said, then he ran out of the room despite Sentinel trying to stop him.
Thankfully, there was no one in the hallway when he came out.
Using his speed and stealth movements, he was able to go to the prayer room of the Red Phoenix without anyone noticing him. Then, he slowly and quietly opened the door.
He was surprised to find Tilly on the floor…
… while Captain Denver was on top of her.
Also, Tilly was crying.
He knew that there was definitely a reason why the two were in a compromising position. He trusted Tilly with all his heart and he believed that she would never cheat on him. He was also aware that Captain Denver was only loyal to his wife because of the heart.
But for some reason, he felt very irritated today.
"Captain Denver," Kiho said menacingly, causing Tilly and Captain Denver to turn to him at the same time. "Please get away from my wife before I lose my cool."
Captain Denver stood up immediately. He tried to help Tilly stand but he beat him to it.
In just a heartbeat, Kiho was already kneeling beside Tilly. He cradled the back of her head in his hand while his other hand held hers as he helped her get up. "Are you okay, Tilly? What happened? Are you hurt?"
"No, I'm not hurt," Tilly answered. "It looks like I startled Captain Denver when I called him as soon as he appeared on top of the statue. He slipped and I thought he was going to fall on me. When I moved backwards, I lost my balance and fell on the ground. Thankfully, the captain caught me so I wasn't hurt." She put one hand on her tummy. "Our baby is safe, too."
"That's a relief," he said, then he helped his wife stand. After that, he glared at Captain Denver. "Why are you here, Captain Denver? I understand that you're worried about Tilly because she has the heart that you need to protect. But you know that I'm here with her. Do you not trust me?"
"It's not like that, Duke Nystrom," Captain Denver denied calmly. "I just feel uneasy for some reason. I thought I needed to check on Lady Nystrom."
"Well, now that you've seen that my wife is safe and sound, you may leave," he said in a harsh tone.
"Hon, please calm down," Tilly said gently while patting his back. "Captain Denver is just doing his duty."
"He's overstepping his boundary," he said to his wife but his glare was fixed on the captain's face. "I'm the husband, Captain Denver. It's my duty to protect my wife all the time. If we need your help, we'll tell you. But as long as I'm with Tilly, you're not needed."
"I apologize if I overstepped my boundary, Your Grace," Captain Denver said sternly. Then, he turned to Tilly. "Lady Nystrom, I apologize. You almost got hurt because of me. I'll make sure this won't happen again."
"It's okay, Captain Denver," Tilly said in an apologetic tone. "I apologize for this. But Kiho is right. You shouldn't be here. We don't know if there are spies in the temple. We must protect your identity as a Fire Mage."
Kiho's brows furrowed. He knew that his wife was kind to everyone. But he didn't like how patient she was with Captain Denver who clearly overstepped his boundary. I hate this.
"I understand, Lady Nystrom. Thank you for worrying about me," Captain Denver said formally. Then, he turned to him. "I'll take my leave now, Your Grace."
Kiho didn't react because he was still pissed.
After Captain Denver bowed to them, he was suddenly engulfed in a blinding red light. And just a few moments later, he completely vanished.
"Kiho, I don't like how you treated Captain Denver just now."
Kiho was shocked to hear that from Tilly. And he was a little bit hurt when he saw her glaring at him as if he offended her. "Captain Denver was at fault, Tilly."
"I know," Tilly said, still frowning at him. "But you didn't have to be that harsh. Captain Denver meant no harm. Why did you have to be that mean to him?"
"Are you taking his side, Tilly?"
"I'm not," she said firmly. "But I'm calling you out for your awful behavior."
He was rendered speechless upon the realization that for the first time since they met, his wife had called him out.
"I can't help but think that you're acting this way because you're jealous of Captain Denver," his wife continued. "Am I right?"
Of course she was right.
But he didn't want to admit that so instead, he just clenched his fists so hard that his nails dug deep into his palms.
I hate it when Tilly gets close to another man. I want every inch and every fiber of her all to myself. I don't want to see her smiling or talking to other men. I get the urge to lock her up in a cage when only the person allowed to adore her is me. I know that it's wrong. I'm also aware that this obsession can ruin us. But I love her too much. I will lose my sanity if I lose her.
"You should go back to the mansion, Kiho," Tilly said coldly. "We'll talk once your head is cool."
Okay, that hurt.
Kiho felt a lump in his throat. "Do you hate me now, Tilly?"
LUNA'S eye widened when Sentinel suddenly appeared on the floor while she was having tea in her room. The way he was clutching his head told her that something bad happened. "Sentinel, are you okay?" she asked when she stood up and walked towards him. Then, she knelt down beside him and gently held his shoulders. "What happened?"
"I'm suspecting that the White Snake appeared at the temple a while ago," Sentinel said in a voice filled with pain. "The duke saw a fragment of his past life."
She gasped at that.
"Don't worry. I managed to erase it from his memory," the spirit guardian assure her. "But it's taking a toll on my life force. Messing with the Black Serpent's memory almost made me combust and disappear. Thankfully, we were in the temple and the divine power in there somehow protected me."
"Are you sure you've erased it from his memory?"
"Yes," he answered, then he pulled his hands away from his head. "But I can't control his emotions, Luna. Whatever kind of emotion awakened in him when he saw the fragment of his past, I can't do anything about it."
"If his anger was awakened, then he'll never get rid of that feeling anymore," Sentinel said while shaking his head. "Let's hope that it doesn't strain his relationship with Lady Nystrom."
"We have to make sure that this won't happen again," Luna said firmly. "Shouldn't we go and hunt down the stupid White Snake?"
TILLY'S heart broke when she saw the pained look on Kiho's face.
She didn't like his rudeness towards Captain Denver a while ago and she was seriously pissed at her husband. But now that Kiho was looking at her like a puppy that was kicked by his own master, her anger immediately melted.
I can't stay mad at my original baby.
But she also knew that his jealousy towards Captain Denver wouldn't disappear until he understood why she was caring towards the captain.
There was only one effective way to clear that misunderstanding once and for all.
"Kiho, I don't hate you," Tilly said gently. "But you hated me in the past."
Kiho's brows furrowed in confusion. "I don't understand, Tilly."
She got emotional.
Opening up to Kiho about her first life wasn't easy. That was the reason why she never got the courage to confess to him about their past until now. If she could, she would keep this secret with her forever.
But she didn't want to jeopardize her present with him just because of what happened in her past life.
He deserved to know the truth.
Still, that didn't mean it would be easy for her to tell him everything. Reliving the painful memories of her past was also reliving her trauma.
"Tilly?" her husband called her with a hint of worry in his voice. "I'm going to touch you, okay?" he asked gently. Then, he lightly held her shoulders. "You're shaking. What's wrong, honey? Are you hurt anywhere? Is it because of me? I'm so sorry for being immature. Please don't be mad at me."
"Kiho, listen to me.���
"I'm listening, honey."
She took a deep breath before she could finally talk calmly. On the outside, at least. Because on the inside, her heart was beating erratically. "Will you believe me if I say that this isn't my first life?"
"What do you mean by that?"
"This is already my third life, Kiho," she explained. "My first life was almost the same one that I have right now. But my first life ended tragically."
The knot on Kiho's forehead deepened. He obviously looked confused. But she could also see that he was trying his best to understand her. "Tilly, if your first life was the same as the one you have right now, why did it end tragically? Where was I during that time? What was I doing for you to end up that way? And how about Winter?"
Tilly smiled sadly. "You and Winter didn't love me in my first life," she said in a cracked voice. Then, she touched his face as tears rolled down her cheeks. "And Kiho, I wasn't the woman you loved in the past."
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