Living As the Villainess Queen - Chapter 353.1
“So that explains the empty state of this warehouse,” Kasser muttered as his doubts were finally dispelled. His eyes fixated on the ethereal glow of a mystical formation that blanketed the entire floor. Any attempt to obscure this artificial radiance could potentially disrupt the magic’s functionality.
But why just the floor? What about that ceiling I glimpsed? Kasser’s inquisitive gaze shifted upward. The ceiling remained shrouded in darkness. Given that the light was originating from below, it appeared that the magic on the ceiling was currently dormant.
Yet, an unsettling intuition gnawed at him, and in that very moment, a cascade of light cascaded from the ceiling in a geometric pattern.
“Eugene, look at that,” he urged, turning his attention toward Eugene. But she stood motionless, her gaze locked forward, unresponsive to his words. A sense of unease settled over him, and he gently shook her arm.
“Eugene,” he called, more urgently this time, but still, there was no reaction. Desperation took hold as he cupped her face, forcing her to meet his gaze. Her eyes held an eerie vacancy, as though she stood there in the grip of a profound slumber.
“Yes, Your Highness,” came the swift reply.
This time, silence met his call.
“Damned Mara,” he cursed under his breath. It was evident that Eugene’s unusual response was a consequence of the enchantment at play. He lamented his lack of caution; he should have been more vigilant and prevented her from entering the warehouse in the first place.
Surveying his surroundings, he sought a solution to their predicament. They were currently standing within the active magical formation. Should he attempt to disrupt it? Perhaps that would bring an end to the magic’s effect. But Mara’s counsel had warned against tampering with it. He also recalled Eugene’s caution about potential adverse consequences if the magic faltered, dissuading him from hasty intervention.
Impatience welled up within him. Time was a luxury he couldn’t afford to squander. Moreover, convincing Rodrigo to share what he knew seemed increasingly improbable at this late stage.
If I can’t manipulate the magic… Kasser’s thoughts drifted back to a time when he had forcibly pushed Praz into her during their prior attempts to aid her. At that moment, they had been prepared for the potential consequences of their energies clashing, knowing that both of them could be harmed. Surprisingly, neither of them had suffered any injuries. Now he understood that Ramita and Praz were two halves of a harmonious whole.
Gently encircling her with one arm, Kasser extended his hand and rested it on her chest. “Bring Eugene,” he muttered, focusing his mind. A bluish aura began to swirl around his palm, and the immense energy within him was swiftly unleashed. The loss of his Praz, which had been an integral part of him, seemed insignificant in comparison. With a sense of unease, Kasser could only watch Eugene’s face.
Eugene found herself standing in a familiar alley, but confusion gnawed at her.
“Why am I here?” She glanced around, her head cocked in perplexity. This was her daily route to and from work, yet the surroundings felt strangely distant, as if it had been ages since her last visit. She must have passed through this very alley earlier in the morning, on her way to work.
Realization began to dawn. “Ah, it’s because it’s daytime,” she murmured. Since her mornings began in a hazy blur and she returned home late at night, daylight rarely saw her traverse this alley. But the reason for her current detour eluded her.
“Let’s head home for now,” she decided, her steps carrying her forward with a peculiar sense of relief. The word ‘home’ triggered a flicker of memory, but it remained frustratingly out of reach.
Eugene continued to navigate the alley’s meandering path, its rises and falls as familiar as ever. As her home came into view in the distance, she abruptly halted at the sight of people gathered in front of it. The individuals, who had been engaged in conversation, simultaneously turned their heads to fix their gaze upon Eugene.
“There she is!”
“My money, what about my money!”
Eugene swiftly spun around and broke into a sprint, the voices of her pursuers, filled with anger and profanities, hot on her heels. It felt as though they could seize her at any moment.
She dashed with every ounce of her strength, using the labyrinthine, winding alleys to her advantage. Running until she was gasping for air, she realized that the enraged curses were no longer echoing in her ears. Yet, in a brief moment of distraction, she took a wrong turn, and it led her straight into a dead-end alley.
Panic set in as darkness loomed ahead. She attempted to retrace her steps, but in the distance, she could hear approaching voices growing louder.
Startled, she turned her head, her surprise and delight merging into a single cry.
Her beloved mentor, who had rescued her from despair and guided her toward a better life when she had given up on her family, beckoned her to come closer. Her teacher had been a lifelong benefactor.
“Eugene, come to me. You’re safe here.”
“Yes, Teacher.” Without hesitation, Eugene reached for her teacher’s outstretched hand, placing her trust in them without questioning their sudden appearance in this unusual place.
“Ouch.” A sudden pain shot through her ankle. She lowered her head, eyes widening in surprise. A slender, finger-sized blue snake had clamped its tiny mouth onto her ankle.
Gazing down at the minuscule serpent, Eugene found herself muttering, “How cute.” In a situation where fear and alarm would be expected, she felt neither aversion nor terror towards the snake.
“Eugene, we must hurry. Let’s go.” Her teacher’s urgent voice pulled her attention away. Eugene turned her head, ready to respond.
But her legs refused to obey. A constriction sensation enveloped them, and she looked down. This time, a substantial, thick blue snake, twice the size of her thigh, had coiled around her leg, its serpentine body winding its way up her.
Eugene remained motionless, unflinching even as the snake wound itself around her, a feeling of absolute trust coursing through her. There was no repulsion; she was certain this snake posed no threat to her.
“A blue snake… I’ve encountered this snake before,” she murmured.
The serpent’s eye, meeting her gaze, underwent a startling transformation, elongating vertically, sending a shiver down her spine as realization struck her.
She closed her eyes, then slowly opened them, locking her gaze onto a man with blue irises.
His azure irises quivered with emotion, and he held her tightly in his arms. Eugene, nestled in his embrace, closed her eyes, resting her head on his shoulder. The light from the magical formation had vanished, and Aldrit was nowhere to be found.