Space. One of the deadliest traps of any relationship. Give them too much, and they will forever slip out of your grasp. Don't give them enough and you weaken your appeal as a man thus leading them to lose interest and get away all the same.
Jasmine was currently at the border of a breaking point. A point that was likely to be reached if he pushed too hard. So, Konrad decided to give her time to cool down before working to regain her trust.
Dusk announced itself with the darkening of the sky, and chilling rain trickled onto the ground. Odd, it wasn't the season for it. Perhaps it echoed her feelings and wished to further sour his mood?
He used to enjoy the rain. But on this particular occasion, it felt really misplaced. He raised his eyes to the dark sky, and when he returned it onto Jasmine's earlier position, she was gone.
The rainfall didn't alter Jasmine's course. She ran until she no longer had any strength left. Until her legs gave out and she fell face first while gasping for air.
Suffocated…she felt suffocated. And the maid courtyard she often wished to escape from seemed like the only amiable location at the moment. So, she dragged herself back to it, hoping that the usual chatter and bickering of the new maids would snatch her attention.
But it didn't.
When she passed the entrance of the building, the same feeling of loss followed her tracks. The same oppressing sensation that squeezed her heart and reminded her of having been nothing more than a plaything. The words spoken by her side could not reach her ears, and she sat dazed with her eyes staring into nothingness.
"What's wrong with her?"
"Did she finally lose it?"
"Who cares about her? Let's play a game!"
The maids clamored in the vicinity.
And seeing that this place could not help her cope, Jasmine stood up and left.
It still rained. The cold quickly spreading through Jasmine's body and invading her bones, but she still carried on at a slow, wavering pace, not knowing that in the shadows, she was being observed.
Ultimately, she reached a desolated pathway occupied by nothing but the high walls of the inner court.
Night had fallen, and the rain slowly subsided. But her drenched clothes outlining her body and the tragic beauty within her face only made her look more appealing.
At least, that's what Wenzel, the sixth prince thought has he trailed her alongside a group of head eunuchs.
"Is she the one your highness fancies?"
"Your highness' tastes are truly refined. It will be that girl's honor to become your highness' woman."
The eunuchs bootlicked.
Although they were head eunuchs, they had exhausted their potential, and their future prospects were not high so, they sought a sturdy tree to rely on. Wenzel Von Jurgen was the perfect tree. Easy to please, and always providing abundant rewards.
In the last three years, they had captured many low-ranked and mid-ranked palace maids for him to enjoy.
This time would be no different.
"Don't forget to give her the opportunity to struggle. You know what to do. Give me a good show but remember that I must bed her tonight."
"Yes, your highness!"
Being of a high position with distinguished status, there were some things he didn't need to personally do. He only needed to hang some reward at the nose of well-trained dogs, and they would carry out the task for him.
Still, he was eager to see how she would squirm in vain struggles. It was a sight not to be missed for sure.
Using six head eunuchs to capture a low-ranked palace maid was overkill. So only one actually shot toward Jasmine while the others stood watch to prevent any outside interference.
The shadow flashed in front of her, too fast for her mortal eyes to follow.
"Are you the low-ranked palace maid Jasmine?"
The sudden appearance of the head eunuch was not spotted by Jasmine who carried on with her walk while still being lost in thought.
The head eunuch thought she was purposely ignoring him and so was enraged.
"I'm talking to you!"
He snapped, and the pressure of the seventh step True Knight Rank came crashing onto her.
She staggered, and a thin line of blood trickled down her lips.
"My apologies, head eunuch. I didn't see you."
Was he that hard to notice? Was that girl purposely trying to enrage him?
"Regardless, you are in luck. The sixth prince fancies you and requests your presence."
Jasmine directly replied and carried on with her walk.
The reply was so spontaneous that for an instant, the eunuch was taken aback. Even Wenzel in the distance felt his cheeks burn. Was he truly that unappealing? He would definitely ravage her until even the strength to beg for mercy would vanish from her body.
"Lowly maid you better listen carefully. Being graced by the sixth prince's attention is your greatest honor. You better comply with haste and serve him well. Otherwise, don't blame me for being merciless. In any case, you will be in his bed tonight!"
Life really was cruel to the feeble. Was a moment alone too much to ask for?
"He can have my dead body."
She category refused.
"That's not for you to decide!"
The eunuch's hand formed a claw that snatched Jasmine's neck and hauled her into the air.
"Needing to send his goons to obtain a woman. The sixth prince is really…brilliant!"
She spat, and although her neck being squeezed caused her to quickly lose strength, she fought hard to free herself from the eunuch's grasp.
But to no avail.
The eunuch sneered, spun and tossed her onto the ground. Jasmine tumbled in a loud thud, and her entire body ached.
"Since you don't cherish yourself, why should I?"
"Hahaha…is the emperor really that much of a cuckold to allow his son to act unruly in his harem?"
The Holy Emperor was the only man allowed to touch the women of the inner court. What they were doing was not only illegal but punishable by death. Naturally, nobody cared about the disappearance of a low-ranked palace maid every now and then.
In any case, within the inner court, people disappeared all the time…
Jasmine dragged her body from the ground and stood up straight with a defiant stare and fists balled up for a fight.
"Me what? Did they not only remove your balls but also nail your tongue?"
Although she was weak and unable to escape. Although the situation was hopeless, she would fight with all she had!
Her teeth were now planted on her tongue, and she was ready to bite it off if the need arose.
The eunuchs' pressure once again directed at her. She was about to stagger when suddenly, the pressure vanished and was replaced by a warm hand at her back.
The tall figure of a jet-black haired godlike man appeared at her back, and a warm stream of energy spread from his hand to alleviate her pain and mend her wounds.
She stuttered in surprise.
"Shush. Now is not the moment to talk. Let me first treat you."
Konrad gently replied with his gaze solely focused on her, as if unaware of the eunuch's presence.
"Boy, this isn't a matter you should meddle with. Seeing that we both are eunuchs, and I am your superior, I advise you to step aside!"
The eunuch inferred Konrad's status from his clothes. But Konrad spared him no glance which only served to infuriate him.
Why was it that all those low-ranked peons were looking down on him today?
"Since you don't value your life, die!"
The eunuch snarled as he pounced toward Konrad with his bared claws.
Konrad's left fist crashed into his face, causing his bones to crackle, his skull to fragment, and his body to fly through the night sky and crater the faraway ground. His blood spurted from both the front and the back of his shattered face, and life no longer existed within his body.
"Are you feeling better now?"
Konrad asked in the same gentle tone with his right hand still pouring energy into Jasmine as if nothing had happened.
"Y...yes. Thank you."
She replied, with a blank stare. It was the first time in her life she had seen such a terrifying punch. The ferocity contained within was too stark a contrast with Konrad's gentle gaze.
But immediately, a group of five figures dressed in head eunuch clothing encircled them.
"Who the h…?"
Before they could finish their inquiry, Konrad made a grasping motion, and vast telekinetic power wrapped them, compressed their bodies and bones, and ground them into meat paste in a feast of blood and gore.
"That's good. Fortunately, we both have good fortune. Otherwise, the rest of my life would have been full of regret."
He declared while stroking her cheek. And he wasn't lying. While crossing the alleys back to his den, a female sounding mental message echoed within his mind, only saying a few compelling words.
"She might not survive the night."
Then it gave him a direction, and he shot toward it.
But although he looked at her with a gentle, reassuring gaze, his heart boiled with rage.