Book 8: The Mercenary’s Promise || Chapter 26: A New Dawn, A New Day (1)

“See her again? You’re still hanging on to the hope that Yggdrasil exists?”

The pair sat down under the starry patch of sky with Kanari’s hand firmly on top of Shin’s. She knew that the youth was at his most vulnerable state and needed comfort to stay afloat. Kanari wished that she could do more for her mourning loved one, but ultimately, the only thing that she could do was to be there for him.

“Yeah…” Shin dropped his head and closed his eyes. Everyone on earth knew that Yggdrasil was a myth that has never been proven. A central well in the Immortal Realm that housed all of the dead souls of all living things? If one looked at the matter objectively, they would be able to point out the fallacies of that claim. Not to mention, there hasn’t been any Spirit Immortals that returned from the Immortal Realm to help validate the existence of Yggdrasil, and the tale had only been passed down through the ages by desperate men and women that had lost their loved ones.

Shin heard the myth of Yggdrasil from Ariel, who had lost her parents in the war while Ariel heard it from the First Elder, who wanted to give her a little hope. Just like that the tale of Yggdrasil had been passed down from generations long past, without any evidence to prove it exists. Nonetheless, it was the hope that kept Shin pushing on.

“Kanari… I’ll be honest with you.” Shin moved his fingers to intertwine Kanari’s with his. “I don’t know if Yggdrasil exists. I don’t know what would happen when I reach the Immortal Realm either. What happens after death… What if I hustle all my life… Go through years of blood, sweat and tears… And when I finally enter the Immortal Realm, only to find out that Yggdrasil doesn’t exist. Only to find out that I can never feel the touch of Ariel anymore… I’m terrified.”

Right now, Shin wasn’t the indomitable Prince of Water that struck fear in any of his opponents’ hearts. Right now, Shin was just a boy who had lost love and was afraid of never finding it again. His heart rate skyrocketed, and chills started to form all over his body. Shin didn’t feel secure. For the better part of his teenage years, Shin firmly held on to the belief that Yggdrasil exists and once he became a Spirit Immortal, he would get to see her gorgeous freckled smile once more. However, deep in the recesses of his mind, there was a prickling thought that Shin had buried down unconsciously.

‘What if Yggdrasil was that? Just a legend?’

It was a petrifying thought, one that haunted his nightmares and terrorised every fibre of his being. Shin wanted to see Ariel again. Not just because he loved her, but he wanted closure as well. Due to how abruptly Ariel had passed, Shin had never confessed his love for her. All these years, he had been thinking about what could have been if he wasn’t so wishy-washy in the past and had sealed the deal with a confession. How would their relationship progress? If Ariel was alive today, could they have already been engaged or better still, married?

“They say that time is the best healer, but I still remember her touch like it was yesterday. Every time I make a decision, I feel that she’s right here next to me, watching my every move.” Shin grabbed hold of his amethyst necklace and hung it up high in the air as he leaned down on the rocky ground. “So yes… I have to believe that there’s an afterlife. I have to believe that Yggdrasil exists. That’s the only way that I can remain sane.”

“…”

Kanari watched as Shin continued to pour out his feelings. Her eyebrows were raised high while she hugged her knees deep into her chest. As it stood now, there was no way that Kanari would be capable of digging into Shin’s heart and claim his number one position. That title was still firmly held by Ariel, and it seemed to be immovable. Being someone that was attracted to Shin, Kanari had been observing the youth from the sidelines for many years now. She had often seen Shin consult that gorgeously flawed pendant multiple times. Kanari knew how much Shin treasured the amethyst necklace and each time she saw him pour that much love, love that she knew she wouldn’t get, the maiden couldn’t help but feel jealous.

“I’m sorry, Kanari. I do need to get my act together. I know that it’s a selfish thing to ask you to wait for me to get my emotions in order, but I do need time.”

“You’re right… Shin, you are selfish.” Kanari agreed with Shin for the first time. Knowing that he had let her down, Shin sat up and removed his hand away from Kanari’s with guilt. As he was, Shin didn’t deserve the beauty’s affection.

However, before he could continue on with his speech, Shin felt his entire weight being pushed down by something massive. Falling onto the floor once more, the young man felt his wrists being pinned down and his four limbs could barely move. Shin looked up and saw an ethereally breathtaking face, just inches away from the bridge of his nose. At this distance, he could see the deep red pupils of Kanari’s that shone brighter than any blood rubies in this world.

“W-W-What are you doing?” Shin tripped on his words as he held back his shock. Kanari was currently mounting him like a horse, and their faces were so close that just the slightest of movements would force their lips to touch.

“Since you’re selfish, I’m gonna be selfish too. I’m not going to wait for an answer. I can’t afford to. You said that you liked me and that’s enough.” Kanari smiled. “I may not be your number one. Not now, not ever. But you are my number one, and I’m not letting you go. You can chase Yggdrasil all you want in the Immortal Realm. However, in the mortal realm, I’m going to do whatever it takes to make you look in my direction.”

Without waiting for an answer, Kanari released the constraint on her neck and fell down straight onto Shin’s chapped lips. Her eyes closed, Kanari let her primal instincts take over, ignoring the dazed look on Shin’s face. Before Shin could wake his mind from its confusion, Kanari had already grabbed hold of the young man’s neck and forced it into place. The pungent aroma of scented roses filled all of his sensory organs, but Shin could hardly enjoy it. All of his consciousness was focused on the soft touch that dominated his lips and the slithery tongue that invaded his mouth.

In the beginning, Kanari’s teeth collided multiple times with Shin’s lower lips, showing her lack of experience in this matter. But that didn’t stop Kanari from trying. Bit by bit, Shin could taste the sweet nectar of her lipstick, laced with the raw zest of a maiden’s kiss. Kanari’s tongue swirled around, unguided and unsure of what to do and her shaking mouth sent tremors all around her nervous system. With his thoughts short circuited, Shin forgotten about all his earlier troubles and allowed himself to get lost in this moment.

His hands freed, Shin moved them up Kanari’s thighs, up till her back and finally landed on the nape of her neck. Bending it into the appropriate position, Shin took over the kiss with his own skills. Kanari felt her tongue being evoked from its territorial dominance as it was forced back into her own mouth. At this moment, Kanari knew that she was being kissed back. The pressure on her neck aided Shin in finding the perfect point to trigger her senses, evoking a pleasure that Kanari had never known she was capable of feeling.

After a full minute, the pair finally regained their reasoning as their primal urges sank down. Releasing her hold on Shin, Kanari reluctantly parted ways with the handsome young man’s delectable mouth, leaving behind a sultry string of sweet, transparent saliva. Being on the bottom, Shin’s mouth was dripping with endless amounts of seductive liquids, which had sent a cupid’s arrow into Kanari’s beating heart. Her dream man was lying right under her, hot and wet. She was tempted to go in for one more, but Kanari resisted her urges against the wishes of every molecule in her body.

“That’s my answer. I won’t give up.”

The ethereal beauty jumped out from her mounted position and rapidly made haste away from the gorgeous blanket of stars, leaving behind a shell-shocked Shin who had all his limbs sprawled out. Sitting up and straightening his back, Shin watched as Kanari bolted away back into the encampment where her three girlfriends were awaiting the good news. As the girl disappeared from view, Shin’s mental functions slowly begun to come online and almost immediately, his face turned as red as a tomato and steam began to flow from the top of his head.

‘What… Just happened?’

Shin knew what happened, obviously. But he didn’t want to admit it. Shin threw his head onto the granite floor and gazed upon the stars. What did he think of? Well, there wasn’t really a need to voice that out…

❖❖❖

‘ARGHHHH!!! WHAT DID I DO?! WHAT DID I DO?!’

After Kanari had left Shin alone in the romantic location that Elrin had specifically picked out for her confession, the girl ran away as fast as her legs could bring her. She had planned this confession up in her head hundreds of times. If it went well, she would hug him, and they would begin to date. If it didn’t go well, Kanari would just try to salvage their friendship while burying her undying love for the man. Never in her wildest dreams would she have planned to savour her first kiss with Shin amidst the stars.

‘SO EMBARRASSING!!! SO EMBARRASSING!!! SO EMBARRASSING!!! SO EMBARRASSING!!!’ Kanari held her puffy and reddened face with both her hands. Though it was still in the thick of the night and the temperatures were cold enough to warrant winter clothes, Kanari felt as if she had just walked out of a sauna. Sweet heavenly sweat fell from her top and stained the rouge that had explicitly been put on her by Elrin.

‘I forced a kiss on him!!! What if he thinks that I’m a pervert?!’ Kanari questioned herself. She didn’t know what happened. After her confession, everything seemed to pass by like a movie. The girl that kissed Shin wasn’t her. At least, it wasn’t the logical part of her brain.

‘Wait… But he kissed me back, so maybe he doesn’t feel that way.’ The young maiden vividly remembered the scrumptious taste of Shin’s seductive tongue. The way it moved in her mouth, the way she got electrified with each swirl. Then, the image of Shin lying beneath her resurfaced in her mind. Shin’s lean and thick neck. The heavy breaths that he took, expanding and contracting his broad chest. The musky aroma of a man after a hard day’s work. All of those sensual details towered over her consciousness, forcing her to shake her head as her face turned redder and redder.

Without knowing, Kanari was already a stone’s throw distance away from her tent, where Elrin, Ella and Emma were waiting for her with great fervour. She was reluctant to walk in. Not because Shin had rejected her confession and had asked her to wait, but because of her whorish deed that still tingled her heartstrings and fed her guilty conscience.

‘It felt good though…’

The imp within her made itself known as she remembered every second of that life-altering experience. If she had a time machine, Kanari would unquestionably return back to savour those delicious lips once again.

‘No… If I can earn his heart, I would get to do that anytime I want!’ The young maiden looked at the bright side of things. Why be so hungover on the past when she could make countless more memories in the future. If Shin were to become her lover, they would get to experience that kiss thousands of times again. They might even take it one step further…

‘Yeah! So what if I was rejected? I still have a lot of time!!!’ The young maiden looked at the bright side of things and pumped her fist high in the air. Both Shin and her were expected to enter the Spirit Venerate realm, breaking the two barriers of mortality with ease and quadrupling their lifespans. That meant that they had about four hundred years on this earth together. Kanari didn’t believe that she wouldn’t be able to move Shin’s heart in four hundred years.

‘One step at a time…’ Kanari thought. She had already taken the first step in the marathon. In the long haul, Kanari believed that she would obtain her objective. However, before that arduous journey begins, she still had one significant hurdle to cross. And that was the lit up tent in front of her with three feminine silhouettes that were prancing back and forth.

‘Now… How do I explain this to those three busybodies…’

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