29: Doubts and Confinement (Luca Edition)
I went to the study room where the Duke was working on a report regarding territory. After receiving his approval without delay, my father, who was comfortably leaning on the back of the chair, said as if he was just chatting.
“With how you are right now, it’s hard to entrust the future d’la Love Duke’s guardianship.”
Luca furrowed his eyebrows in disapproval silently.
There were two requirements for a lady of this country to inherit the court rank. One was to be a direct descendent, and the other was to have an adult male recognized by the monarch as a guardian.
When Philia and Luca’s engagement was announced, everyone understood that Luca would be Philia’s future guardian even if they didn’t announce it explicitly.
Although Luca had just become an adult, everyone from the academy recognized his eccentricities. He had been entrusted with all sorts of duties as the actual successor, and now he was pretty apt to do them with ease.
Considering the Duke’s age, the surrounding opinion was that when the time was ripe for the court rank ceremony, he would be old enough to be recognized by the King.
And, of course, Luca intended to do that too. The Duke’s responsibilities were terrifyingly stressful work, from handling all sizes of business to territorial government and national politics. Still, he didn’t have any plan to hand over the privileges and duty as Philia’s guardian to anyone.
There was no way the Duke, who cherished his sole daughter so much, would blindly leave her guardianship to anyone. He should have been content with Luca as her husband and her guardian, as someone who would not harm Philia’s position. Philia would also be able to live her life as usual.
“What are you saying all of a sudden… Is there an even more adequate person than me?”
“I haven’t found one yet. But all I have to do is find or raise one before I die.”
“Are you serious?”
“Ah, I’m not against your marriage to Philly at this point. It’s just the person who will hold the Duke’s family’s real power will change. It’s not like it’s stipulated that a guardian can only be a husband, right?”
“Don’t joke around…”
Luca spat out bitterly and glared at his father.
The Duke’s deep green irises calmly received Luca’s chilly emerald green gaze.
“If one holds the real power of Duke’s family, that means one also has grasped her fate in his hand. I can’t let any other man do that to her.”
“Well, of course. That’s possible. The person could give you and Philly a cold shoulder once he grasped the power in his hand. Once I’ve passed away, he can do whatever he wants with Philly, ignoring you, her husband.”
“If you know that, then why?”
“The current you, who couldn’t see anyone but Philly, is too dangerous because you cannot protect Philly from cunning people. To protect Philly means one must protect the Duke’s family. Do you even understand this?”
Of course, he understood what his father was saying. However, when push came to shove, he would cast aside both the country and Duke’s family to protect Philia. He knew that he would run away with her.
For Luca, it was fine as long as Philia was there.
“I have raised Philly as a person who will be succeeding d’la Love, and she properly understood her duties. She used to be distant in the past but lately, she seemed as if she had prepared herself. It was her preparedness as someone standing above the people that even if she replaced me, she would protect what she ought to. Whether it’s household members or the fiefdom.”
“No one can substitute that person.”
“That might be the case for you. That’s why you must never let anyone replace you.”
He finally understood what his father wanted to say, but he couldn’t nod obediently. Looking at his son, who was like that, the father’s tone became gentle.
“Philly wasn’t an active child, but you do know that she was zealous about raising the lifestyle of the fiefdom, don’t you? That child was precocious and sometimes made suggestions that surprised even us, the adults. It was at the age of twelve that she proposed we should change the name of the guest house for the poor to Vocational Training Center, and instead of charity, they should provide everyone skills and jobs.”
Luca, who had been watching over Philia since childhood, naturally knew that.
It was different from being a zealous philanthropist. Seeing his elder sister naturally caring about those unavoidably living a low life seemed to save him from his bitter and lonely childhood. He became more and more devoted to her. The place beside her, who extended a helping hand to those in a weaker position, as naturally as breathing, was warm and comforting.
“She’s not just a benevolent lady but also a realist, so it’s perfectly natural for the King and others to wish she could become the next Queen. As expected of my daughter. However, I don’t want my child to go as far as bearing the burden of the country. It’s just that I have to hand over what I carry, and I do think my child is an apt vessel who can do it too.”
“You mean the current me will do nothing but pose a hindrance.”
“You want to understand it properly? You are also my prided son.”
“Please stop saying that. I feel disgusting.”
His father laughed wickedly at what Luca said with sincere disgust.
“Although our blood ties might be thin, your abnormal affection and devotion are for some reason exactly like mine. I know you can’t be changed at this point. But for starters, remember to endure even if on the surface. And stop messing or confining Philia like an animal.”
So you wanted to say that after all, Luca thought bitterly.
“I’m really unwilling to do that from the bottom of my heart. You must have understood that too if we are the same, right? I can’t help it myself.”
“You have to even if you don’t want to. She’s sweet on you, but if you take advantage of that and drown yourself in it… It will be too late when you realize it.”
As it has been said, listening to older adults was a virtue. However, as a handsome young man, Luca pulled a scowl because his father said it intentionally. Instead of nodding honestly, he turned back on his heels while lightly waving his hand.
Watching over the slender retreating back, the Duke stood up abruptly.
He approached the chessboard in the corner of the room, placed the white queen made of ivory in the middle, and placed several black pieces around it.
He then flicked one of the black pieces, the king piece made and carved out of rosewood with his finger, and knocked it down.
“The crown prince has retreated… After all, the child raised by that mother can’t act forcefully to a woman. In this regard, it’s healthy and safe. The problem is….”
The Duke’s smooth white finger that didn’t know what manual labor was, pinched the knight’s piece, leaped over the fallen king’s piece, and placed it on the queen’s side.
“The brat of Cesari seems like stirring something. Unlike his father, who only has the military in his mind, he’s a sly and sharp person. The first thing he did was involve himself through our project’s relationship. He’s quite an able person for a brat…”
While chuckling, he placed the rook piece opposite of the knight’s piece, in a position sandwiching the queen’s piece.
“Well, will our family’s rook be able to protect the queen? Though, of course, he would have to protect her from the knight.”
The Duke’s eye shone like a young boy taking pleasure in the game as he was sliding the black and white pieces on the chessboard, looking as if he might start humming.
“Since you have snatched my beloved Philly… You should at least let me enjoy it to the fullest, no?”
The gesture of his hands gently caressing the white queen looked affectionately.
The pieces, obviously unknown about the person looking at everything cheerfully from over the game board, seemed like they were earnestly struggling, keeping tabs on others and consulting.
As soon as I closed my father’s study room, I spontaneously exhaled a sigh. Irritated by myself, I ruffled my quirky hair.
I knew very well why my father said that.
I was already aware I was getting out of control these days. Any sensible human would have wavered to confine his beloved and devour, shake, embrace and wreak havoc on her to the point she couldn’t even move.
I made a mockery with my uncanny behavior, but even then, Philia didn’t blame me.
No, she did plead to stop, but no matter what I wanted to do, she never rejected me and let me do as I pleased.
I didn’t want to torment my beloved either.
However, each time the name of another man came out of her mouth, each time I realized she was thinking about that man, I felt so much rage. Everything in front of me became red and carnal desire began to boil up inside me. I couldn’t help but push her in a corner.
I was aware of the questioning look in Philia’s eyes, and I also knew she wanted to say something.
If she talked about that man, and if I caught even a glimpse of her feelings about the man, that wasn’t me. I was positive I wouldn’t remain sane.
“You’re just like a little kid who is grasping a treasure and doesn’t want to separate from it. What a poor soul, not even noticing that it’s getting crushed from you holding it too tightly in your hand…”
“She’s sweet on you, but if you take advantage of that and drown yourself in it… It will be too late when you realize it.”
The things I didn’t want to hear kept buzzing inside my ears, repeatedly tormenting me.
I shook my head to get rid of them and headed towards Philia’s room. I was sure she must have been tired and asleep, yet given how many times I forcibly embraced her half-asleep before going out for my errand in the morning.
However, contrary to my expectation, she was awake, albeit lying down.
“Phi, are you awake?”
When I entered, her dazzling white skin in the slightly lit room entered my view. Her ice-blue eyes blurred from the afterglow of repeated lovemaking sessions, looking up at me to show she wanted to say something.
Looking at how her chin appeared even thinner than before, I couldn’t gaze at her. She had become so thin because of my cruelty. I averted my eyes.
“You must be thirsty, right? Do you want water?”
Philia nodded honestly, hearing the words meant to divert the attention. However, as she wasn’t even in the condition to get up by herself, I held water in my mouth and approached her.
Even though I was just helping her drink water as she was so tired because of me, I looked nothing less of a vulgar beast when the pit of my stomach tingled from the breath that escaped her soft lips.
I savored her plump lips, going against the logical command that I should separate from them quickly. But I narrowly managed to separate because of the annoying voice that lingered behind my ears.
Father’s advice resurfaced, and I took a deep breath to calm my heated body. And as I desperately settled myself, Philia muttered suddenly.
“That’s not good….”
What was not good? The moment I looked down at her doubtfully, I was pierced by her ice-blue gaze.
“What happened, Phi?”
As my shoulders quivered, feeling guilty about the indecent passion I was holding, Philia extended her hand to me with a somewhat frantic look.
When I scooped up her thin fingers, she stared at me with her unwavering and straight eyes.
“You… You know, no matter what happens, I will still love you. This feeling won’t change no matter what.”
The words of love she spoke illogically made me feel as if my gloomy heart was gently hugged. Only Philia could rip my heart apart and plunge it into despair or rescue it and affectionately warm it up.
She always reached out for my heart. Although she wasn’t aware, I felt like I was being protected.
Philia nodded firmly to reassure me, without making fun of me because my voice became hoarse. It was uncouth as if my throat was choked up with something.
She continued to speak with a serious face that made me think something was bothering her.
“Of course. That’s why… I hope you can be honest with me.”
But before I could hear the continuation, there was a knock on the door.
“Excuse me, It’s me, Dandro. Is Lord d’la Love here?”
“Yeah, I’m here.”
I replied without concealing my displeasure to disturb my time with Philia, but the steward remained unfazed as if he was already accustomed to it.
“I apologize, but Lord Cesari—”
“Chase him away. Don’t let him take even a single step inside no matter what he says.”
I immediately ordered reflexively without listening to him until the end. It was the name I didn’t want to hear the most right now. I was aware my face became cold and stiff.
I will definitely not let him meet Philia. No, I have even decided not to let him enter this house where her presence lingers, and yet Philia, who was pulling my fingers, said something outrageous.
“Wait, Luca, it’s fine since I will talk with Lord Cesari.”
“So you are planning to meet with that man?”
Philia’s eyelashes quivered as she flinched slightly when I looked at her, still drowning in anger towards Cesari.
“That way, you don’t have to meet that man again…”
“Meeting him alone while keeping me on the sideline? What are you thinking, sister?”
I didn’t want to let her near Cesari, who had always been a womanizer and an unfaithful person. Still, the way he was looking at Philia these days wasn’t something like a conventional sexual interest but a twisted, tangled, dark lust. I also sensed it despite my reluctance. It was a bottomless lust that by no means can be fit into the sweet lovesickness.
I could see he was well aware of Philia’s reaction towards the annoying sarcasm he spat out about me. An avarice interest, to the point he even wanted to feel her breathing.
Wasn’t it like signaling him to say come and consume me if she wanted to be alone with someone who was looking at her like that?
That was what I wanted to believe, but I couldn’t read Philia’s thoughts, and I felt irrational anger well up in me.
“I had assumed you would realize that after I embraced you so restlessly, but you still don’t understand, do you?”
“What are you saying?”
“Please don’t make me do anything more horrible to you….”
I clenched my teeth as a vision of Philia running away from me and jumping into Cesari’s arms flickered in my mind.
I climbed on the bed, forcibly tugged off the cord holding the canopy cover in place, and bound her down with this as my bestial urges flowed.
I tied her right arm to the inside of her right leg and then tied the other side in the same way with my tie. When I did that, Philia was now tied up in an immoral posture where her legs were bent and could not be closed.
“I-I hate this.”
Philia shook her head with a face like she was about to cry, but I felt a terrifying lust for Philia even though I knew what I was doing was cruel.
There was absolutely only one person I considered to be a goddess or the holy mother. I felt a guilty pleasure surging inside me when I tied and soiled her with my obscene carnal desire; she who was always kind and affectionate towards me.
“It couldn’t be helped. Since you are not listening to me…”
“What do you mean by I am not listening… Rather, where did you learn about this…”
“I will not tell you.”
I remembered the memories I didn’t want to answer her question and unconsciously pressed my lips tightly. My beautiful Philia was getting attracted to many men even though it should have been sufficient for her to love me only.
I became nauseous when I imagined how a man could defile her in his lewd delusions, but I must be the lowest scum to play with her like that and make those delusions reality.
However, I had no intention to stop.
I gently pushed my way through her under the bush, whose color was even darker than her hair, and opened her labia that was hiding her modest lewd bud, revealing her sensitive core. I deliberately kissed the pretty colored core softly.
My body became insanely hot from her sweet voice and the twitching inner thighs, but instead, I gave her gentle cunnilingus in reverse as a punishment for her sensitive body.
Her sweet smell grew stronger as the place that was accepting me spilled out sticky love nectar.
“I was feeling pity… but you seem to be enjoying this greatly, aren’t you?”
“A-Awful… No, this is….”
I knew I was doing a cruel act, just like Philia said, but I loved and also hated her to feel the pleasure despite all of this. Will she not feel pleasure even when forced by another man with her lewd body?
I wanted to ravage her deeply right now to make sure she only belonged to me, but I had something to do before my lust-filled outbreak.
“Amazing, your nectar is overflowing steadily… I will give it plenty of love when I come back.”
“Wait, you aren’t saying that…”
“Please stay here obediently until I drive away that pest. You should remain here quietly even if you don’t want to in this position, OK?”
Perhaps I might have wanted to do this for a long time so that Philia didn’t run away.
I unconsciously smiled at the cruel thought that maybe I should leave Philia like this forever to keep her from escaping. In the bed, Philia was waiting only for me impatiently, wet from the desire of wanting me only.
I should have been soothed by her warm feelings and all sorts of expressions. However, such imagination was fatally tempting for me.
“Luca… Please, release me.”
Philia’s sorrowful voice brought me back to reality.
“Please, let me also come along with you together to meet Lord Cesari.”
Just hearing his name made my bleary thinking cold and clear.
“Sister, every time you mention that man, I want to do something even worse to you.”
I wanted to be gentle to her, but I was frustrated at myself for not being able to act that way.
In reality, Philia wasn’t the kind of woman who deserved to be humiliated like this, and she might have hated the man who made her do this from the bottom of her heart.
In fact, I wanted to tear apart that guy’s throat immediately. But if I did that, the Duke’s family nor I would get away with it, nor would I be able to protect Philia. I guessed this was what Father meant when he said he couldn’t entrust everything of Philia to me as I was right now.
I was really a childish and pathetic man who was only venting out his frustration of being unable to do anything on her.
“I am requesting you, don’t make me do anything crueler than this…”
I touched her thin cheeks, which had lost weight as gently as I could.
She might’ve been stubborn as she looked at me silently, but I felt like she forgave all of my actions.