Chapter 22: His Personal Goddess
“I’m not sure if she’s ready for that,”
While he is in a right age to get married and have children, Ririna is eleven years younger than him. The huge difference in their age made him wonder if she has changed her preference with men. Does she like men who are at the same age as hers? Or does she prefer younger men?
Ririna is currently at her peak in terms of beauty and career. While being known as a woman who makes a living with paintings and sculptures, her undeniable beauty is also known to wealthy families. While she was abroad, he had heard several young masters from different families seeking after her.
These thoughts made his mood sour. Whenever he thinks that she will leave him for another man it makes him feel like someone had stabbed him in his chest. If only he could keep her by his side but no, she’s like a tiger who would fight for her freedom if someone tried to cage her. She wasn’t the same woman who used to follow him around.
Not the same girl who was excited to see him whenever he gave a visit to their training camp to check how she’s fairing. Not the same girl who loved to laugh and play with the bears in the Eastern Provinces’ wild forests. She’s not even the same woman he took as a lover for months before her untimely departure.
She was like the Greek goddess of the moon and the hunter who refuses to be tied down by any potential suitors. She would rather kill them than forced to be possessed by anyone. Just like how Artemis ruthlessly killed Actaeon when he tried to rape her. Would he end up like Actaeon or would he end like Orion who was the only one who managed to capture the heart of the Moon Goddess?
He was a fool to believe that she didn’t matter in his life. A fool who believed that everything will work out to his liking. These mistakes he made in the past were what drove her away from him. He refused to believe that he loved her, that he needed her.
If only had he realized sooner that he indeed loves her and needs her, he probably wouldn’t have hurt her while she was with him.
When he took her in his bed, she cried. He assumed that she cried because she didn’t want him and this idea makes him angry at himself. His frustration that she will leave him for another man and his anger to himself for taking her innocence without her consent.
For the first time in his life, Eli felt shame and disappointed towards himself. In his mind, he had raped her. It wasn’t lovemaking. You wouldn’t call something like that love making if neither party felt love for the other, right? He had treated her like the other women he had before. He had sex with her is most primal and wild way until she screamed his name in unadulterated pleasure again and again.
When he found out that she had an accident on the last night they were together, he felt fear for the first time. This woman had made him feel emotions that he didn’t know he is capable of feeling. Emotions that aren’t needed for someone like him.
He was trained to grow up as an assassin, a mercenary for the government. Many lives he had ended with his bare hands. But with her, he started to question himself. He was being indecisive when it came to everything about her. When he found her in a hospital bed, injured and terrified in front of him, he blamed himself for making her fear him. He had pushed her to her limits.
Filled with guilt, he let her go even if he had doubts that she didn’t remember him or any of her pasts.
She deserves someone better than him. Someone who wouldn’t hurt her and love her unconditionally. Something that he believed he could not and refused to give at her. Eli thought by letting her go everything will fall back into their right places. He kept his engagement with Karissa even if his hand really itched to kill her.
He thought he would be the same as before as long as she wasn’t around, but he was wrong.
Her absence drove him mad. There wasn’t a single day that he wouldn’t think about her or miss her. She even haunted his dreams frequently.
Ririna is his personal goddess. He will worship and protect her this time with everything he has.
“Right, she’s still young but you aren’t. You should keep her on your side from now on. A little bird told me Hattori Ikeda is eyeing her,” His mother’s words made his whole body tensed up.
Why would Hattori Ikeda target her? It isn’t likely she had inherited the skills and knowledge of her deceased mother.
Hattori Ikeda is an enigma within the underworld community. He has arms and webs like a spider in the black market. Almost all the crimes and problems within the underworld have something to do with him. What’s more, no one knows his real name, age or appearance. He never shows himself to anyone but is able to pull all the strings in the background.
“Why? What’s his motive?” Eli asked his mother.
Yuna shrugged her shoulders and served the cup of tea she prepared to her son.
“No one really knows what he really wants from her but judging from the coincidence that she suddenly returned, I’m sure she was lured out by someone.”
Eli was in deep thought. He tried to think a reasonable and logical explanation for this. Why Ririna? She had left the Park Family for years. She had lived her life as a normal person for years. Is it because he’s courting her that Hattori Ikeda thinks that he could use her against him and the Park Family?
When he called Ririna yesterday, he found out that someone was following her. It may not mean she’s in grave danger yet but it was a clear warning that she was their target. Would it be better if he let her go once again?
He couldn’t live another day without her. These five years had proven that he was nothing without her. His team suffered a big loss when they lost her but eventually survived after three years. They couldn’t rely upon her skills forever.
He is considered one of the best in his field. One of the best, one of the strongest. Being strongest would be useless if he can’t even protect his woman. If these morons think that they could threaten his woman while he is around, they are gravely mistaken. They have chosen the wrong person to mess with. As if the devil himself will allow someone to hurt and bully his wife.
“I think he isn’t after her because of you. While of course, getting rid of you will be a good advantage on his part. The Park Family has been on his neck for ages.”
“What do you mean, he isn’t after her because of me?”
“Hmm… you know that she’s Yelan Han’s only daughter. After Yelan’s divorce to the Zhou Family, only Ririna had stayed on her side until she was murdered. Unless my dear friend Yelan had left something to her little princess…”
Eli got what her mother meant. Yelan Han had previously worked as a clinical researcher at one of his mother’s hospital. She was known as an inventor of antidotes and had discovered new poisons during her time as a researcher. Her findings are very confidential, even the government eyed and funded her researches. She was even a good friend of his mother.
At one time, Yelan Han saved his life when he was infected with a severe poison that refused to heal his wounds. She was the only one who managed to find out what it was and made an antidote. Yuna had once joked that since he owed his life to Yelan, he should marry her little princess to repay his debt.
He snorted at the idea. Eli was only thirteen years old at the time, and the little princess they were talking about was still walking with her diapers on. His mother really had a weird sense of humor, pairing him with a little girl. Only after he had saved Ririna from that orphanage that he found out she’s Yelan Han’s little princess.
Fate really is the mysterious one who loves to joke. The little princess he’d picked up from the orphanage became the witch instead.
They weren’t able to find out the identity of her stalker yesterday. The CCTV cameras within the area didn’t help that much. The man was able to disguise himself and slipped from the sharp eyes of his men. At least, Ririna was able to find out another lead. There was another person who was following her throughout the day. The man she claimed was the one who left her in the orphanage sixteen years ago.