Cage Devotion～The Engagement was Broken and I was Locked Up. I Will Never Forgive You~ - Chapter 3
- Cage Devotion～The Engagement was Broken and I was Locked Up. I Will Never Forgive You~
- Chapter 3 - Abduction
Translator: MadHatter Editor: MadHatter
What was this woman talking about?
Elias arched his eyebrows in a perplexed way.
A promise? He was utterly clueless about such a thing.
“Who in the world sent you? If they want to take my life, I’d be willing to at least hear about it as a souvenir of my death. I have so many suspects that I can’t narrow it down.”
Elias appeared to be losing his cool due to the stillness. Elias had no choice but to address her, to which the woman reacted with a twitch. Like a child who has just received a prize, she appeared to be extremely delighted to be called upon, and her fidgeting was evident.
―Something went through Elias’ mind.
Well done, Kitty. That was good.
The kitten chased the ball for her master and fetched it, getting covered in mud. The deafening sound of laughter was audible all around them.
Kitty, Kitty. Come, I’ll give you a treat.
But the illusion soon slipped away as if to answer the premonition of not wishing to remember.
The woman watching over Elias let out a sound of self-mockery under the veil as he slowly shook his head to the side.
“…After all, was that the extent of the memories for you? That can’t be helped.”
“Enough of your oracular nonsense, state your purpose. What do you want?”
Elias cut off her babbling. His expression got progressively worse. She had an absolutely obnoxious way of speaking. Indeed, her voice was so beatific that one could almost hear it if they were not so attentive. Like before, there was then a tingling feeling of familiarity in him. It was something from the past that should have been forgotten and sealed away―
Trying not to dwell on unnecessary thoughts, Elias decided to explore his surroundings. He nonchalantly checked the area visible from the entrance of the carriage out of the corner of his eye. Apart from the woman, there was no moving object in sight. Some objects, probably human remains, were lying around, but they were presumably his attendants who had been killed. As for survivors, there were none. It would be fair to assume that the horses that served as transportation had been crushed as well. The dispassionate part of Elias’ mind analyzed the situation.
Either he was going to be killed, or he was going to survive with a slim hope of survival, but apparently he couldn’t avoid dealing with the obnoxious woman. Neither did the woman seem offended by Elias’ irreverence. If anything, she was wagging her tail with more and more glee. That, too, made his spirits fray somewhere in his heart.
“What is my purpose? It is only one thing. It is you.”
“My life huh.”
“What an outrageous thing to say. Do you regard me as such a heartless woman?”
“Even after you’ve killed all my men?”
“Companions and witnesses will not be needed. You alone are enough to welcome me to heaven.”
“After all, you are assassinating me, aren’t you?”
The woman laughed with a snicker and tilted her head.
“This is a quandary. My Lord, are you by any chance a suicidal man?”
“…Look at what you did and the situation in front of you before you say anything.”
“My Lord. But wouldn’t you get rid of obstruction if it was in your way? Would you not dismiss an annoying bug with your hand if it were to fly in front of you? All I can say is that I followed suit. Am I not right?”
Elias heard something move, like someone stepping on gravel before he could curse. Listening closely, he thought he heard the woman signal with her hand toward a place he couldn’t see. Her demeanor turned moody, if not heartless.
Though they were not visible to his vision, he discovered the presence of other creatures after careful probing. If he had to venture a guess, they were her companions. No matter how much the demi-human may boast of having physical abilities far beyond that of humans, it was difficult to conceive that a group of people, including soldiers who had been trained and armed on a daily basis, had been destroyed by a single demi-human. As expected, it became increasingly apparent that there was no means of escape.
“What then? A hostage exchange?”
At Elias’ call, the woman switched to a different tone and began wagging her tail again, this time in a pleasant mood.
“What would I exchange for?”
“Obviously, my identity is the bargaining chip. In any case, the aim will be my fortune, my assets, my wealth. If not you, then your employer must have requested it. What do you want? I’ll give you some things, but the Fifth Prince is now in a disadvantageous position. Nothing too lofty may be asked for.”
“I have no fascination for such things.”
“What would that be of worth to me?”
“Then, what do you seek? Why are you wasting your time with me?”
The woman seemed to be staring at him under the veil. Chills crept down Elias’ spine.
“I am not wasting my time. This is exactly what I wish for. Your eyes. Your ears. Your mouth. Your tongue. Your throat. Your voice. Your hands. Your feet. Your chest. Your belly. Your waist. Your skin. Your hair. Your bones. Your flesh. Your organs. Your heart. Your soul. Your words. The very things that constitute you―”
At first, Elias frowned and wondered what sort of joke or nefarious prank this was. Then his face got paler and paler. The woman spoke without skipping a beat, as if it were a matter of course, but with a strangely passionate earnestness that had a mystifying undertone.
She said that she yearned for every aspect of Elias—from the top of his head to the tips of his toes, from his thoughts to his actions.
Finally, she interrupted him gracefully to bring it to a close.
“My Lord. I desire only one thing and one thing only.”
Instinctively, Elias backed away. There was practically no retreat. The alarm bell sounded. His grip on his sword tightened even more. An unsettling foreboding rose within him that he might be embroiled in something far more horrific than he could comprehend.
The woman’s voice was penetrating. The discomfort carried through the bloody air and seemed to pierce deep into the core of his body. The prince narrowed his eyes.
“I understand. Whoever you and your employer are, with your face concealed, are irredeemably moronic.”
“Indeed I am, my wise lord.”
Elias thought he had pulled his sword in the subsequent split second. It was not something he wore at his waist, and it was no use drawing it in the carriage. What he tried to pull out was the dagger he carried in his chest. Many noblemen would carry a dagger as a weapon of last stand―or for self-defense.
But it did not come to pass, and he was knocked down to the floor of the carriage. The woman leaped at Elias soundlessly and restrained him with her arms, but where in her slender arms did she conceal such monstrous strength? Mounted and pinned down, Elias could not move at all. His dagger was flung away.
“Damn it, let go of me!”
“No, my Lord. That thing will only wound you.”
“Who are you, and what are you going to do to me!”
The carriage creaked and the woman maintained her calm demeanor even though Elias tried to flail around under the mounted woman. No, she was wearing a veil so her expression could not be seen, but at least it was crystal clear that she did not care at all about the man’s resistance. With one hand, the demi-human easily stitched together the fragile human’s hands, and with the other hand, she tenderly and fondly traced his face.
“Who am I―who could I possibly be? You seemed to want to forget me. So let’s hold off on talking about the past for now. You can think of me as a nameless departed soul. But right, if it is about the future―”
The woman said with a joyful laugh, slowly leaning toward Elias and bringing her face close to his.
Through the veil, Elias felt his eyes locked with hers. A gulp caught in his throat as he swallowed.
“My love. I am your cage. A cage that confines you, binds you, loves you, and supports you until death. That is me.”
Elias was at a loss for words―then flushed with anger and tried to yell at her. But the woman shoved something into his open mouth. Before he can register it, his vision went black, and then came the sound of a creaking carriage, followed by the stifling sensation of his mouth being coated.
He didn’t notice that his eyes were being covered by anything—possibly the woman’s veil that had been lifted—or that he was being kissed more until he realized that the wet, lukewarm mass lapping at his mouth was someone else’s tongue. He struggled to escape, but the woman on top of him would not allow his body or mouth to separate. She pursued Elias’ escaping tongue, entangling it, sucking it up, and licking it away.
Elias soon felt his throat swallow something as he struggled to shift his body while gasping for breath. The woman’s lips then parted in satisfaction as she confirmed it. He jumped up in a flash and attempted to kick the woman away, but his body wouldn’t budge. What was going on, he wondered, as his consciousness plunged into the darkness.
“Sleep, my Lord.”
Drug. A thought that has already begun to fade led him to an answer.
Behind the darkness, he could make out the woman repeating the words as if she were singing them in a trance.
“The next time you awaken, you will be in a cage. For eternity, inside me―”
On the verge of fading into oblivion, familiar white ears twitched from beneath a veil that had slipped―and his eyes seemed to catch a glimpse of it.
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