Her eyes blankly glued to the garden. The piled snow had melted away as the weather shifted to warmer. It got warmer in a few days, making it not easy for her to adapt. The flowers which bloomed in the garden swayed back and forth along the wind. Several petals flew with the wind and fell at Iris’ feet. The color of the petals reminded her of Cadere’s red lips.
Then, Iris touched her lips with her fingertips. As if it was something natural, Cadere’s last appearance and a long kiss flashed in her mind. At the same time, an unfamiliar breath lingered on her lips. The tongue that met with another tongue created wet sounds. As their saliva mixed together, Cadere drank it and bit her lips. It was hard to sit properly because all of her strength was drained from her body.
Iris’ stiff shoulder and weak fingers were trapped between Cadere’s soft yet strong fingers. Cadere’s sharp eyes twinkled as her eyelashes fluttered along with the movement of her eyelids.
A few days had passed but Iris could remember as vividly as if it happened yesterday. She tried to erase it but to no avail. Instead, only foolish questions filled her mind, such as: “Is Parviz Kingdom allowed same-sex marriage?”, “Will the law change if the Princess becomes the ruler in the future?”, “What should I do to spend the night with a woman?”, and many other things.
But those thoughts didn’t last long. Because she got startled by the thoughts then hit her forehead, berating the idea to come back to her senses. However, it lasted a short time as the image of her and Cadere’s future together played.
Iris let out a sigh and got up from her seat, heading toward a gorgeous long mirror. This mirror was installed in the room the day after Cadere left. When she asked what this was, the maid replied in a voice with no emotions that it was sent by Cadere.
While her fingers glided the frame from gold, she picked up a note on the table next to the mirror. On the front, it was written in neat handwriting, “Dear my beloved mother.” She never unfolded this note. For some reason, she had a hunch that if she read it, something irreversible would happen. However, she couldn’t contain her curiosity and opened the note. Many days had come through, she believed it would be okay now.
The content of the note was very short. It was written that this mirror was the mirror of truth from the fairy. If she asked a question, the mirror would show and speak the truth. If she wanted to see it herself, she could tell the mirror. At the end of note, Cadere wrote, “I’m sorry for loving you, mother.”
“Are you trying to profess that you’re seeing me in a romantic way?”
Again, useless thought intruded in as pleased and made her blurt out something carelessly. Iris shut her lips and looked straight into the mirror, recalling the Silent Forest. She didn’t know about the details since she only read it from a book. No, no one in the Marchen continent knew about the details of the Silent Forest.
Because there were no people who ever came back from it. The dense forest was packed with green, and was assumed only peace-loving animals resided in the place. The reason such assumption existed was because no cries of monsters nor ferocious animals from inside the forest. So then, what was the reason for people not being able to return after going in? The gossipers couldn’t identify the cause and kept running their mouths on the subject nonstop.
Some said it was because it was a utopia, some said because an illusion magic enveloped it, and the others said because they were eaten by the owner of the forest who was guarding it. There were many other rumors spreading, but those three arguments were the most solid ones. Therefore, the Silent Forest at some point had become a place where death row prisoners or deported people were sent.
And Cadere was in such a place.
Iris couldn’t hide her nervousness as she bit her slightly grown nail. Why did she send the Princess there if she was going to regret this much? She continued to blame herself for acting based on emotion just because she was angry. The fears and memories when she was strangled by Logen had long gone. If it hadn’t been for the kiss, she would’ve been afraid of falling asleep every night due to nightmares hunting over and over again.
Iris, who was standing in front of the mirror, kept continuing to be concerned. She then joined her hands together with a solemn face and cleared her throat once, eyes directly at the mirror as she whispered cautiously, “Can you show me what Princess Cadere is doing now?”
The clean mirror turned opaque and the scene gradually changed. The spacious and empty bedroom was altered into green grass and lush trees. She could see Cadere closing her eyes while leaning against the tallest and biggest tree. It seemed she fell asleep in thin sleepwear and had a calm face. Fortunately, nothing happened to her. Iris was relieved by that.
However, when Cadere’s voice added up, Iris’ face turned beet red and her mouth agape slightly, showing how much she got embarrassed.
She should stop, but she couldn’t take her eyes off her. Rather, Iris took a step closer to the mirror. With a red face, her cloudy blue eyes scoured from Cadere’s hands, to lips, and lastly to the flushed pale face.
Her hunch was right.
She could no longer turn away or go back.