“Mr. Lakis. I’m back.”
As soon as Yuri got home, she greeted Lakis in a manner that she was now somewhat used to.
“I came back early though…”
But as she walked into the house, she couldn’t help but stop. Her red eyes were fixed on Lakis’ face as he came into her sight.
Feeling Yuri’s gaze, Lakis tilted his head and asked.
“Why are you looking at me like that?”
The moment his low voice reached her ears, she felt slight goosebumps on her neck for some reason. Sensing his doubt, Yuri simply replied. However, the reason she was looking at him with such an unfamiliar gaze was definitely not ‘just because’.
She didn’t know why but somehow, she felt the current Lakis was a little different from how he was when she left the house. But she couldn’t figure out exactly what was different.
As she continued to lock eyes with him, a subtle sense of tension seemed to crawl up from her toes. The faint pressure that usually circled around Lakis also felt heavier than before.
Yuri calmly watched Lakis as he approached. His nicelyshaped lips parted slightly.
“I washed up first while I was waiting.”
A low, deep voice flowed into her ears.
“Ms. Yuri, you should also…”
However, Lakis wasn’t able to finish his sentence. He suddenly groaned the next moment and shut his mouth. Yuri watched as he knit his brows and quickly brought his hand to cover his mouth.
Drip, drip, drip…
And she also watched as surging dark red blood squeezed past his fingers and dropped to the floor, one after the other.
For a moment, Yuri held her breath without even realizing it.
Her eyes had a rare hint of agitation in them.
The sight of Lakis’ eyes narrowing and distorting as if he was enduring the pain was laid out before her. The moment she saw it, her heart began to beat just a little faster.
“Did you get hurt earlier?”
She thought he might have gotten injured when he was looking for her in the shopping district during the day, so she asked.
At that, Lakis met Yuri’s gaze and said in a calm voice.
“No. This…it’s nothing.”
His voice and expression were composed as if he was trying to reassure her. He looked like he thought nothing of what just happened.
“The floor’s dirty now because of me. Sorry.”
With the way he was acting, someone might think they hallucinated the sight of him vomiting blood. Suddenly, Yuri grew suspicious whether the reason he already washed up was because of this as well.
“Is it really nothing?”
She asked again but like before, Lakis nodded his head to agree.
“Yes, it’s nothing.”
“You threw up blood yet it’s nothing?”
At that moment, Lakis’ gaze changed slightly. He calmly stared at Yuri’s face in front of him.
Her expression was still as blank as before and her voice flowing into his ear was as monotonous and calm as usual. But somehow, Lakis felt Yuri was a little angry right now.
But oddly enough…
As he watched Yuri like this, his mood grew a little better. For a moment, an obscure light flashed through Lakis’ eyes. Still, he didn’t want to worry her, so he slowly opened his mouth and added an explanation.
“This is a temporary thing…it won’t happen anymore.”
Yuri quietly stared at Lakis’ face as if she was trying to verify the truth of that statement. Then after a while, she opened her tightly shut lips and said.
“Go back in and wash up. I’ll clean up the floor.”
Maybe it was just his imagination, but still, he felt Yuri’s mood had lightened a little. Lakis stared into the face looking at him for a while and soon enough, he went to do as she asked.
* * *
That night, Lakis looked down at Yuri sleeping next to him with a deep look in his eyes.
‘…this is a little dangerous.’
He slowly swept up her hair which was sprawled over the bed and fiddled with it. Soon, Lakis pulled it closer and brought it to his lips.
Every time he saw her, he could feel a hard to control desire growing bigger and bigger. Although he wanted to hold her preciously in his arms and cherish her, he also wanted to put his trace on her from head to toe and make a mess out of her.
Lately, he felt he was almost stepping onto the latter side.
‘But doing that would be really scary.’
His moonlit blue eyes stayed on Yuri’s sleeping face for quite some time. And after a while, Lakis once again took hold of the small hand on top of the bed.
The face still sleeping defenselessly before him was both lovely and annoying.
Lakis pulled her hand to himself and like he did to her hair, he gently kissed her hand.
“I hope you don’t make me wait too long…”
Lakis began to think of how he could reduce that waiting time. It was another night where he alone could not fall asleep.
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Part 13: Make love sweet & salty.
A major investigation was launched over the explosions that enveloped the shopping district. It had occurred at a busy hour so there were a lot of casualties and many of those casualties were nobles.
They hadn’t found the culprit yet, but it was found that the substance used to cause the widespread explosions was an alchemized item, so the Alchemist Tower was caught in a crisis.
Naturally, Damon was twice as busy.
“Those damn old fogeys.”
Damon was just coming out of a summon from the Central Council.
His face had crumpled menacingly. This was because those old men only knew how to talk yet they were badgering him to track down the alchemist who made the explosives immediately.
In the Alchemist Tower, Damon was one of the most deeply connected alchemists with the Central Council. He was the successor to the great noble Salvatore family and also exerted substantial influence in the Alchemist Tower so perhaps you could only call it natural.
So if the Central Council had any little thing related to the Alchemist Tower, they immediately called Damon to bother him. Of course, Damon was very annoyed by this.
The Central Council took this incident as a challenge to the nobles. In the past, they looked down on commerce & trade but now, it had been a long time since the nobility dipped into the business sphere.
The actual owners of the shopping malls where this incident took place were also nobles. So actually, it would be weirder if these stubborn and unbending old men were not outraged.
Most of all, this incident resulted in massive casualties.
Because Damon was also there, he was shaken at the thought of what might have happen if he was directly caught up in that explosion. Of course, even the Salvatore family did not plan on just letting this incident pass.
‘Dammit. Why are they leaving me with the job of tracking down the culprit though?’
Damon called for a carriage and began heading to the Alchemist Tower while spewing curses. The Central Council were overlooking an important fact.
‘It’s not only people in the Alchemist Tower that can use alchemy.’
Although they made a great fuss and exaggerated about ancient alchemy being revived in the East, Damon knew. He knew that the alchemy of this generation was completely different from ancient alchemy.
The reason eastern alchemists were able to make magical and novel items was because of the ‘blessed stone’.
It was an unknown gemstone with mystical powers.
Even in the Alchemist Tower, only a handful people knew of its existence and they were people with deep connections to the Central Council, Damon included.
The gemstone was usually ground into powder and processed with commonly used jewels then entered into the Tower. Jewels were stronger than other items, so they were regularly used for alchemy refined items.
So other alchemists did not know that the stone powder mixed into those jewels ignited a mysterious power which was actually the source of alchemy. However, alchemists must have that material in order to create a mysterious phenomenon but on the other hand…
As long as an ordinary person had that stone, they could recreate what the current alchemy was able to do. Of course, the strength of their power would differ according to an individual’s ability which is why some alchemists like Damon were very well-known.
‘But I don’t know where in the world the Central Council found such a stone.’
Damon looked outside the window of the carriage and frowned.
Honestly, it didn’t matter much to him at first. He thought the thing called the ‘blessed stone’ was amazing, and he was proud that he could show off his genius talent through it.
But as the interference from the Central Council became more and more severe, he began to think he couldn’t put up with this anymore because it was so sh**ty.
That was why when he heard that something called the ‘philosopher’s stone’ would be at the secret auction this time, he went there personally.
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