༺ Border Town (6) ༻
Although they had only ventured a little further into the forest than they intended to, the night sky made it neigh impossible for the both of them to see their hands in front of their face.
With the clouds blotting out the moonlight and without a light source from harbor lights, the atmosphere around them felt considerably worse than when they were in Border Town.
The forest seemed to be enveloped in darkness as neither light nor moonlight could penetrate its impervious canopy.
The witch had cast a simple spell that created fire, one that simply provided light without endangering the surrounding objects around it. It allowed Amelia and Siwoo to navigate their way through the forest and to the villa where they would be resting for the night.
Upon the duo’s arrival at Cloud Mushroom village, the place where the villa was located, it was apparent that a bizarre situation had taken place.
Looking at the scene in front of him, Siwoo couldn’t help but wonder if the scene was what earth would look like 200 years after its destruction.
It was just as the lady had mentioned before. Scenes of trees growing in weird places could be seen all over the village. A tree had managed to sprout in the middle of a mansion and smashed its way through the roof, another had managed to sprout in the middle of a street, whilst another was towering over the wreckage of a demolished house.
Oak trees that had managed to grow past the height of 50 meters dotted the residential district as their canopies loomed above them.
On their way to the villa, they chanced upon the sights of the devastated village and eventually arrived on a street where the cobblestone had been covered with acorns.
They arrived before a villa, a building that stood out amidst the residential district. It was the only building that still retained its lights.
After navigating the twists and turns of the ruined street, the duo’s face was filled with bewilderment as they gazed upon the structure.
The ‘villa’ they were searching for just so happened to be suspended in the air, dangling in the middle of a 20-meter-long tree.
The disaster that had struck the village had occurred over 10 years ago and yet the villa had been built 3 years ago. Leading one to the conclusion that it was built that way on purpose.
Would it be better to describe it as an unusual hotel instead of a villa?
There were undoubtedly many hotels on earth that looked to emulate such a design after all. For example, a motel built in the middle of a desert, a bed that is perched atop a hill to provide the best alps view, or even a room that was built 20 meters underwater.
The villa was probably built with the same thought process in mind.
“Are you sure you got the right place?”
“Although it looks small on the outside, the interior has spatial magic cast on it expanding its space.”
Looking at the small villa in front of them, Siwoo struggled to believe Amelia’s words. Surprise could be seen in the duo’s eyes as they stared at the floating structure in front of them.
The villa seemed to dwarf the duo from their point of view.
Amelia lightly kicked off the ground, looking like an angel soaring up to meet the heavens. As Siwoo clambered up the ladder that had been conveniently lowered from the entrance of the villa.
A sense of dread crept into Siwoo’s heart as he made his way up the ladder. He had never seen a ladder possess such height in his life as the one in front of him after all.
After a brief struggle, Siwoo managed to reach the top of the ladder where he was confronted by none other than Amelia. It looked as if she had seen into the eyes of Cthulhu himself as her eyes were laser-focused on the open door of the villa. 1[E/N: The author didn’t use Cthulhu but it was the best analogy I could find (ง’̀-‘́)ง come at me]
“What’s going on?”
Siwoo, who had rushed to her side, stood shell-shocked as he looked at the peculiar situation that had developed in front of him.
Instead of the wide-open interior of the villa that they had come to expect, the space in the villa was exactly as they saw from the outside. No spatial magic had been used to artificially increase the space within it.
In fact, if one of them wanted to know the whereabouts of the other person, all it would take was a simple glance to identify their position.
The shabby exterior of the villa did not reflect its modern interior. The tree house was built with state-of-the-art equipment and made to resemble modern flats, commonly found in America.
Not a speck of dust could be found as the duo peered in. Unlike the traditional style of Gehenna, the villa’s interior looked akin to modern hotels.
However, it was not without it’s flaws.
A pink candle stick illuminated the room with a seductive atmosphere, and a large bed could be seen occupying a space in the villa.
Hanging over the bed was a mirror, which allowed anyone lying down on the bed to have a bird’s eye view of anything that might happen.
And that wasn’t the worst of it..
The only thing that separated the bathroom and the bedroom was a transparent glass wall.
Could it be any more obvious that this was a love hotel?
Siwoo was lost for words as Amelia remained silent, her thoughts unknown.
“Not a word, Janitor.”
“But I haven’t even said anything yet.”
“Don’t even think about it.”
Amelia had a faint suspicion of the identity of the perpetrator behind this event. Her friend was the only suspect in the equation after all. Heaving a sigh, she raised a hand to rub her forehead, she could feel a headache start to set in.
Her first piority was to explain the situation to Siwoo so as to avoid any suspicion. Pausing for a moment, Amelia turned to look at Siwoo.
“Just so you know, this is the first time I’ve been to this villa.”
Amelia’s surprise wouldn’t have been this exaggerated if it wasn’t her first time visiting the villa.
In fact, she was even twirling her hair as she spoke!
“This was neither prepared by nor requested by me. I’m as surprised as you.”
“I hear you loud and clear, Associate Professor.”
The flustered expression that hung from Amelia’s face made the experience all the more worthwhile.
“That’s good to hear”
Removing his shoes, Siwoo entered the villa and slipped into a pair of slippers that had been placed at its entrance.
Shutting the doors, a tingling sensation could be felt through Siwoo’s body.
The realization finally dawned upon him that he was in a love hotel with Amelia.
He pondered on whether this was a sign from Amelia, a green light if you would.
After all, they did intentionally venture into Border Town today. Without any other company, almost… like a date. She had even worn sexy lingerie and had treated him quite well the entire trip. The portal was conveniently broken, and she conveniently had a friend’s villa, which had quite the romantic atmosphere, to stay in.
She was a witch after all and possessed the dignity that came along with it. Amelia’s pride wouldn’t have been able to handle it had she been the one to make the first move.
He wondered if this was her way of seducing him.
Siwoo shook his head while his fuzzy mind was running wild. Shaking his head, Siwoo tried to clear his mind of the thoughts without any success.
“Fuck… That can’t be true.”
Siwoo wasn’t sure if there was a third party pulling the strings, but he knew for a fact that Amelia had no reason to pull off a stunt like this.
She wouldn’t have needed to create such an elaborate plan to drag him under the sheets to play the devil’s tango with him.
Siwoo was incredibly cautious, his eyes focused on a blind spot on the wall. He didn’t want to risk offending Amelia with a peek at her figure. Using bodyweight exercises or going to that happy place in his head, Siwoo tried to distract himself. He was doing well until the sounds of water hitting the toilet floor tiles reached his ears.
It was the sound of running water sliding off Amelia’s body.
After becoming a witch, one would gain freedom from a multitude of things.
A branded witch would acquire a ‘spiritual body’ which transcends their mortal bodies and free themselves from the shackles known as the law of nature.
The spiritual body would free them from aging, sickness, and hunger. It’ll remove the need for consumption to survive, sleep, and even the need to remove any digestive byproducts.
The only flaw was that the body was unable to regulate its owner’s temperature by will. Unsurprisingly, that had been solved by magic.
Despite all that, witches continue to enjoy mouth-watering delicacies, sleep in soft comfortable beds, and clean themselves in the most luxurious bathtubs they could find.
Their greed as humans would still remain even after becoming witches.
The same could be seen with Amelia, who had entered the bathroom and bathed herself.
The sound of running water slowly came to a stop as Siwoo noticed splashing sounds coming from the bathroom.
Unable to keep his eyes away for any longer, Siwoo shifted his head in the direction of the toilet slowly.
Looking into the translucent wall that separated the two rooms, he could see Amelia’s silhouette with her hair tied up sitting in the bathtub.
Siwoo shrieked in response, because of Amelia’s tone, Siwoo had thought that he had been caught red-handed.
Fortunately, it didn’t seem to be the case.
“Bring me some of the wine in the cellar and a stick of those cigarettes I bought today.”
There was a cellar in this cramped space? Siwoo turned to take a look and noticed the entrance of the cellar hidden in a small corner in the room.
Amelia was able to see and understand Siwoo’s busy silhouette through the glass as he went about his task.
Although she hadn’t told him to, Siwoo took great care to get the ash tray ready.
He set them down on the glass door of the bathroom while making every effort to avoid looking at Amelia. Siwoo carefully laid the ashtray in front of the glass door, careful to not catch a glimpse of Amelia’s naked body.
“Bring it in, please.”
It didn’t end there, however.
Amelia had proceeded to order him to enter the bathroom where her naked body lay.
“What? I- I can’t do that!”
Siwoo struggled to keep his composure.
He was sure that this was just one of Amelia’s traps.
If he truly did enter the bathroom, choosing to follow her orders. A terrible punishment would surely befall him.
It wouldn’t be strange for her to say ‘A filthy slave like you. Dares to cast his gaze upon a witch’s body? I believe castration is in order.’
“I’m not going to repeat myself. Get in here.”
Amelia fell silent after issuing the order.
Taking a deep breath in, Siwoo planned out his next actions.
It was simple really. All he had to do was go into the room, focus his gaze on the floors, and hand the bottle of wine to the bathing witch.
“Then, if you’d excuse me.”
Siwoo entered the bathroom with his head bowed.
The bathroom was filled with steam, largely caused by the candles whose flames were fluttering in the turbulent air.
A rosy fragrance lingered in the atmosphere.
The first thing that Siwoo noticed was that Amelia had placed her clothes and underwear into a basket on the bathroom floor.
They were all neatly folded up and at the very top lay her very mature lingerie, having only small amounts of fabric to cover her modesty.
“You don’t have to look away from me. The bubbles help to cover everything after all.”
Hearing those words, Siwoo gathered his courage and looked up.
As she had mentioned, the bathtub was so filled with bubbles that it was hard to see the bottom of it.
The only thing that Siwoo managed to catch a glimpse of was her shoulder line.
Amelia’s slender neck, which was usually hidden by her hair, caught Siwoo’s eyes.
“Give me a stick of cigarette first.”
Snapping out of his momentary stupor, Siwoo shook out a cigarette from the pack and placed it in between her lips.
Siwoo recalled that Amelia never smelt of cigarettes and wondered if it was magicked away by a spell.
Hearing her order, Siwoo carefully poured the bottle of wine into Amelia’s glass.
Inhaling the smoke from the cigarette, Amelia sipped on the wine and closed her eyes.
Although the bubbles did cover much of her naked body, Amelia was still quite exposed.
Her bosom, milky white arms, and silky armpits came into Siwoo’s view.
“Yes, I’m listening.”
“Have one for yourself as well.”
Siwoo hurriedly placed a cigarette into his mouth.
It seemed as though the cigarette was quite the effective method in tamping down the persistent sexual desire that distracted him.
“You won’t reject it this time, will you?”
“Heh… No. I’ll listen to you this time because you also listened to my request, Associate Professor.
She could’ve quickly stemmed the root of her annoyance on the dock had she killed the middle-aged man that had humiliated her and yet she had accepted Siwoo’s plea to not extinguish the man’s insignificant life.
“I heard that you were a pretty good mathematician before you came here. Is that true?”
If they actually went into the details of the matter, they would find that he was only ever a promising mathematician.
More than that, it was truly surprising for Amelia to be aware of the background of a measly slave.
It didn’t take him long before Siwoo realized what this conversation was leading up to.
“I’m in need of an assistant who can both organize and manage my research materials.”
“As I’ve mentioned 5 years ago, I’d like you to be my exclusive slave.”
Siwoo’s jaw dropped.
In an instant, it felt like a bolt of electricity ran through his brain as he regained his senses.
Five years ago? Wasn’t that when Amelia asked him to serve her at night?
Siwoo began to question his interpretation of what Amelia had said that day.
“Associate Professor, I apologize if this sounds rude, but may I enquire about something?”
”Only if it’s not too rude.”
Siwoo’s Adam apple bobbed up and down as he gulped.
“Didn’t you approach me 5 years ago to serve you during the night?”
Thinking back on the event, Amelia had approached him after his work was over and gave him the offer.
The Siwoo back then had been but a mere mathematician on earth before being thrown into Gehenna and had been told the many horror stories of witches from the slave traders and therefore refused the offer. Terrified of what was to come if he did accept.
Following that rejection, he was hounded by Amelia and tortured for every waking day as punishment.
At least that was what Siwoo thought she had done.
“Well, that’s a rude question.”
Furrowing her brows in displeasure, Amelia took a sip from her wine glass.
“I merely told you to come to my room after work that day. Never did I mention anything about you serving me at night.”
“Why would you ask me to come to your room in the first place?”
“I had to evaluate your usefulness after all, and my room was closer compared to the research building. So… Janitor… You actually think of me as a slut who’d allow any man under her sheets?”
The question carried a chilly tone.
Her reply hadn’t actually answered his question and was kind of vague, but Siwoo didn’t have the guts to contend against her.
“I sincerely apologize for my transgression.”
As he said so, Siwoo bowed his head in apology.
He still believed that his assumptions was natural.
And yet what Amelia had said did make sense.
He had never seen Amelia drag any man into her rooms for any sort of nightly activities before.
She focused solely on her magic and was a conservative through and through.
Would Amelia, of all people, try to bring a slave she had just met into her bed?
Was it possible that she fell in love with Siwoo on first sight?
This could only mean one thing. That he was the one living in delusion from the very beginning. 2[T/N : ax disease – it’s a disease(병, figuratively) where the patient believes everybody has a crush on him/her. It’s a play on words 찍다 which means to swing an ax(=도끼) on woods and also to have a crush on sb in slang. 도끼병- it has another meaning “Delusion”. So we are going to localize it as “delusion” ]
There were times when Takasho had added fuel to his assumptions but clearly it was a mistake on his part.
“I deeply apologize!”
“I don’t wish to hear an apology from you about this matter. After all, that’s how all the males I’ve come across think.”
Amelia’s fury swept through the room like a chilly gust of wind in a snowstorm as Siwoo kept his head bowed at a 90-degree angle, clearly repenting his misunderstanding.
The nervousness from before had faded and what was left were only the thoughts of calming her down and improving her quickly souring mood.
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- 1[E/N: The author didn’t use Cthulhu but it was the best analogy I could find (ง’̀-‘́)ง come at me]
- 2[T/N : ax disease – it’s a disease(병, figuratively) where the patient believes everybody has a crush on him/her. It’s a play on words 찍다 which means to swing an ax(=도끼) on woods and also to have a crush on sb in slang. 도끼병- it has another meaning “Delusion”. So we are going to localize it as “delusion” ]