sounded and yawned. He rubbed his eyes and slowly opened them. He had not slept
so peacefully in a long time. Normally he would be haunted by nightmares and a
general unease whenever he slept out of fear that someone might be waiting for
the opportune moment to strike. But for whatever reason, he slept peacefully
for the first time in years.
Merlin began to wonder what had caused for him to sleep so soundly, but he did not have to wonder for long.
“Zzzzz….zzzz.” The sound of gentle breathing came from beside him.
Merlin glanced to his side and saw Asha sleeping next to him. He froze. He opened this mouth but no words would come out. In such a situation, Merlin did not even know how to react.
Fear? Surprise? Anger? What was he supposed to feel?
Merlin felt his human heart beat with excitement. He quickly drew a rune on his right hand to stimulate his demonic blood.
He looked underneath the cover and saw that Asha had completely recovered. She had regained her lost weight and her cheeks were pink again. She was still wearing the seductive silk robe. Gritting his teeth, Merlin turned away and careful got out of the bed.
What was she thinking by coming back here, Merlin wondered. And why didn’t she kill him in his sleep?
“Hmmmm,” Asha sounded and rubbed her eyes.
Merlin stood beside his bed, readying himself for her assault.
Asha opened her eyes and the first thing she saw was Merlin.
“Good morning,” she smiled.
Merlin did not answer.
“It’s rude to not greet a lady in the morning.”
“You are not a lady,” Merlin replied.
Asha pouted and sat up. “That hurts.”
The cover slipped off her and the morning sunlight warmed her body. With a slight smile playing at the corner of her lips, she stretched her legs, displaying her bare thighs.
“Stop it,” Merlin said. “You know your seduction magic is wasted on me.”
“Do you sense any magic in my eyes and voice?” Asha asked.
Merlin scowled. He had to admit that the only reason why his heart was pounding was because he felt attracted to her. Her disheveled black hair fell over her shoulders and covered part of her face. Her purple eyes now appeared less demonic, but were filled with a sense of innocent mischief.
How long had he wished for such a woman to share his bed. Yet her purple eyes and long pointy ears clearly showed him that Asha was not a woman.
“Well, now that you know I’m not using any magic, we should have a bite to eat,” Asha said and jumped out of the bed.
She walked over to the broken table and sighed. “You still haven’t fixed that?”
Merlin remained silent. He was trying to understand what Asha wanted from him. Why was she suddenly acting so familiar with him when she still wanted to kill him yesterday.
She kneeled down and touched the ground. Suddenly the broken parts of the wooden table began to glow with a purple light, indicated that she had charged them with magic. Immediately, Merlin took a defensive stance.
But instead of attacking him like he expected, her magic reconstructed the table.
“This should do,” she said and turned around to face Merlin. “What do you think?”
“T-thank you,” Merlin stuttered.
Asha closed her eyes and smiled. It was the sweetest, most beautiful smile he had ever seen.
She then turned towards the shelf where Merlin kept his food supplies and took out some dried fruits and salted ham. She place them on the table and grabbed a chair and sat down.
“Time for breakfast,” she announced.
She began to eat Merlin’s food even though she didn’t need to eat. Dumbstruck, Merlin simply stood there and watched her as she continued to act as if she had been living here the entire time.
“What are you doing?” Merlin asked.
“What do you mean?” Asha asked.
“I know that nymphs don’t need to eat human food, so why are you acting as if you were...”
“A human woman? Your mistress? Your wife?”
“That is because I am planning on seducing you. And once I have won you over, you will release all my brothers and sisters from the Grimoire book.”
Merlin blinked a few times, trying to understand what she meant. Had Asha just openly stated her intend to seduce him?
“I don’t understand,” he said. “You aren’t using any magic in your voice.”
“That is because I am planning on seducing you in the only way you will accept it,” Asha said.
“By pretending to be human?”
“No,” she smiled. She stood up from her chair with a piece of dried salted bacon in her mouth. She turned and approached Merlin until her breasts touched his chest and the piece of bacon touched his lips. “By being the type of woman that you want.”
Merlin raised both of his eyebrows. He finally understood her intentions. Asha knew that he could resist her magic, so she decided to seduce him like a human woman would.
“And what makes you so sure that that I will fall in love with you?”
Asha giggled, grabbed his hand and placed in on her warm, soft breast.
“I have pride in my abilities, Merlin,” she said. “Using magic is not the only weapon I possess. We nymphs are masters of seduction in every way.”
Using her mouth, she stuck the bacon into his mouth and moved away.
“Well then,” she said and opened the door. “It’s time for me to go.”
“Where are you going?” Merlin asked, flabbergasted by her confidence.
“My body does not need food, but the life force of young men,” Asha said. “You eat your meal and I will find my own.”
She slammed the door shut.
With the bacon still in his mouth, Merlin felt overwhelmed by what had just happened.
Merlin ate breakfast just like Asha had told him to, even though he never had the habit of eating breakfast. To him it was a waste of time and food, yet somehow he felt compelled to obey her.
Perhaps it was natural for men to obey the orders of pretty young women, he reasoned. After all, even though his eyes were purple just like Asha’s, he was still half a mortal man.
But what was the purpose of stating her intention to seduce his heart? Did she think that if he knew, then it would easier for her to make him love her?
Merlin sighed. He always thought that there were clear differences between human women and nymphs, but evidently they both liked to play mind games.
But no matter how Merlin thought about it, he could not fully understand Asha’s intentions. So instead of losing his mind with that, he decided to go through his usual daily tasks as if Asha had never existed.
He took the wooden bucket and went to a nearby lake to draw water. The town of Marlborough had its own well, but all the women of the town ran away with fright when he appeared with his bucket. Wanting to avoid such situations, Merlin decided to draw water from a lake deep within the forest.
It was a long trip, but he had become used to it. A few hours later, he arrived at the lake and kneeled down to wash his face. He examined the reflection on his face on the surface of the water. He saw that there was a red mark on his neck.
“She tried to kill me,” Merlin murmured and felt the red line that indicated that someone had pressed a sharp object against the fragile skin. “She tried to kill me in my sleep...but she couldn’t do it.”
Merlin sat on the grass and breathed in the fresh forest air.
“What should I do?” he thought. On one hand, he now knew that Asha wouldn’t kill him in his sleep, nor would she try to seduce him with her magic because she knew that he could protect himself from it. Yet the longer he allowed for her to stay with him, the higher chances of her actually succeeding in seducing him. But at the same time, he had no way to get rid of her without getting blood on his hands.
Shaking his head, Merlin lay down on the grass.
It was funny really. Just a few days ago he was desperate for some company, but now he was thinking of a way to have Asha disappear from his life.