Hellbound With You - Chapter 594 Fait and square*
Chapter 594 Fait and square*
Cautiously, Zeres just stared at Alicia for an immeasurable amount of time. As she waited for him to speak, Alicia could see the muscles in his jaw clenching and then relaxing.
"Okay," he sighed, nodding. "You don't have to worry, Alicia. I am not leaving because of that petty reason you're talking about." He told her. His tone was sure and firmer than usual.
Still, Alicia's eyes narrowed, and she leaned closer onto him, causing Zeres to immediately take a step back. "Really? That's not the reason?" she questioned, her silver eyes dissecting his expressions.
He nodded, and Alicia could tell he wasn't lying. However, she didn't back off. "Then, what's the reason? Is this something you really wanted to do?"
"Yes." Again, his eyes were utterly sincere, giving her nothing that could arouse her doubt. Alicia could only nod. It seemed this man really want to leave, and she wasn't forcing himself at all. But why did she still felt uneasy about letting him go? Wait…
As if a light bulb appeared in her head, Alicia suddenly looked suspicious. She took a step closer once again but then again, Zeres also took a step back. "And you're doing this solely for yourself and not because of someone else, right?" She watched him carefully as she spoke.
Zeres's face stiffened, but he still answered her almost immediately. "Yes," he said, but this time, Alicia had seen the lie in his eyes and heard it in his voice. This man wasn't good at lying.
When Alicia didn't say a thing and just glared at him, he looked away. "I must… I must leave now, Alicia –"
"Who allowed you to leave?" she cut him off. Zeres whipped his gaze towards her. His brows creased as he looked at her with questions in his eyes. "You think I will let you go if you lie to me like that?"
"I didn't –"
"You did. Your answer to my last question is a lie." She stepped forward, and when Zeres took a step back again, she continued stepping forward, forcing Zeres to keep on stepping back as she spoke. "Now tell me. You're doing this for whom? I know you're not doing this for yourself, so don't even try to insist on it."
Finally, a tree trunk stopped Zeres's retreat. His back now against the tree. He was about to move sideways, but Alicia had slammed her palms against the tree trunk, even shaking the huge tree slightly because of the impact. Trapped between the queen's hands, Zeres bit his lips and rested his head back against the tree. He let out a quiet sigh as his gaze settled in the darkness above.
"Queen… are you really going to corner a man this way?" he spoke slowly and unwillingly.
"Don't try to change the topic. Look at me and answer me."
"I must admit, you're acting a little scarier than Ezekiel right now."
"Don't make me repeat myself, Zeres."
"You're even reacting as serious as him now –"
Alicia grabbed his collar, forcing him to meet her gaze. "Tell me, is it me? Are you perhaps doing this for me?"
Something strange flickered in his eyes as his lips opened and then closed. It was apparent he was wavering, torn whether or not to answer her. His struggle and that look in his eyes were enough for Alicia. The answer was obvious, no matter how much he tried to hide it.
"Why? I need you to explain –"
Suddenly, Zeres's hands were on Alicia's shoulders. He pushed her back at arm's length, and without letting go of her shoulders, Zeres dropped his head and looked on the ground. His silver hair was cascading down like a silver silk waterfall hiding his face from her.
"Please…" was all he said. His hands on her shoulders trembled a little.
Alicia pressed her lips tight. It seemed like whatever he was hiding was beyond simple. Could it be something even she couldn't imagine? Why can't he just say it? Why was this person like this?
"You're not going to explain anything, are you?" Alicia's voice softened. Looking at Zeres that moment made her feel a little guilty as if she was a naughty devil cornering a poor angel. She sighed and said "fine," as she turned, facing away from him. "But if you don't tell me, I'll assume it's something much worse than I could even imagine. Don't expect me to let you leave if you won't tell me what you are hiding." Her voice was firm and decisive.
When the man behind her didn't speak, she was about to leave when she felt him touched a strand of her hair.
Alicia was stunned, but Zeres didn't give her a chance to turn and suddenly hugged her from behind her. The shock immobilized Alicia for a moment.
"Wha… what are you –"
"I'm sorry," he whispered as his arms around her tightened slightly. The words he said and his pained voice confused Alicia even more.
"W-what the hell's wrong with you?!"
Zeres let go of her. When Alicia whipped around, he already had his back towards her. "I'm leaving, Queen. Please, don't come after me again."
The moment he said those, he was gone, leaving Alicia utterly frustrated and confused.
"Wait, you little!!" she yelled, angered before she too immediately disappeared.
The Black Forest was always the most special place for the witches. It was the only place where some of the witches' powers were restricted, like their teleportation power. No one, even the queen, could leave or enter the forest without passing through the entrance in their original forms.
Thus, Zeres had to materialize right before the exit for him to be able to leave. To his surprise, Alicia was already guarding the exit. She was glowing like a bright moon, and her twin blades were in her hands. One glance, and Zeres knew she was ready for a serious battle.
"I already told you I couldn't let you go." Her voice echoed. "You'll have to defeat me first if you want to leave. I must at least show the witches proof that I did my very best to stop you. And this is the only way for us to let them know I didn't kick you out of here."
Zeres's eyes slightly opened wide. "Alicia, there is no need for this, please. You can just tell them the truth, that I left on my own and that you really tried to stop me."
"Zeres… words without proof will only cause endless doubts and suspicions. Some of them will definitely think I see you as a threat to my reign, and so I coerced you to leave. So since it seemed you're leaving for my sake, it won't be a problem for you to fight me because this is also for my own benefit. If you leave by force, the witches won't question me if they see you hanging out with the vampire prince."
"Alicia... Please - "
"If you refuse to fight me, I will keep coming after you. So don't be stubborn. If you want to leave, fight me for real. I'm not letting you leave unless you defeat me fair and square."