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25 Old Man

After having a chat with Tilla for quite a while, Caspian escorted Anastasia towards her room.

When they reached a little further away from the servants’ quarter, Caspian asked Anastasia, “You seem pretty close with your handmaid. When did you two first meet?” He wanted to know how many years it would take for Anastasia to be as worried about him as she was for Tilla.

A sweet smile appeared on Anastasia’s lips as she recalled the first time she had met Tilla. “I met her when I was six years old. She was 7 at that time. Her mother used to work in our castle and she had brought Tilla with her that day.”

‘Eleven years, huh!’ Caspian thought to himself and asked again, “Then when did you start... liking her?”

Anastasia chuckled and replied, “I did not have any friends to play with so I instantly liked her. And after that day, she did not come back for more than a week, I was really sad. So I demanded my father to let Tilla stay with me. And from the very next day, Tilla and her mother started living in the castle. We were inseparable after that.”

Caspian smiled and thought, ‘We already live in the same castle. So that is a start.’ He also noticed how easily her father had fulfilled her demand.

Caspian glanced at Anastasia who was walking a little further away from him.

She was breathing in the fresh air and was admiring the beauty of Wentworth elms trees whose branches were hanging down, almost touching the ground.

It was Anastasia’s first time being outside her room in the broad daylight. And the Kilerth Castle looked anything but ghastly.


The central wing where she resided could be seen a little further ahead from where they were walking right now. The sandstones used to build the castle varied in color from stone to stone. Some leaned more towards black while some towards grey in the color spectrum.

Anastasia finally understood that the building naturally had grey and black color rather than by the fading away of the paint. The castle wasn’t painted at all on the outside, unlike the castle in Orsenia. 𝒾𝗻𝐧𝓇𝒆𝒶𝒅. 𝒸૦𝒎

However, the castle still looked old. And the decorations and furniture inside also were vintage. And it intrigued her a lot.

So, Anastasia turned to look at Caspian, who was already looking at her, and then asked, “Caspian, do you know how old this castle is?”

Caspian gave a nod and replied, “Of course. My brother had it built during his reigning period and I often used to come here to watch the construction of this castle. After the construction was completed, we shifted here from our old castle.”

Anastasia was baffled to hear that the old-looking castle was younger than Caspian. She shot a quizzical glance at him and asked, “So it is less than 20 years old?”

“What? No!” Caspian smiled and gave Anastasia the exact number, “It is around three hundred and fifty years old.”

Anastasia abruptly stopped her feet and turned to face Caspian. Caspian also stopped and looked at her. She had a stunned look on her face so he asked, “Is something wrong?”

Anastasia pointed at the castle and stuttered, “Y-You just said that the castle is 350 years old.”

“Yes, it is.” Caspian puckered his lips and added, “So?”

“So you said that you watched this castle getting constructed!” Anastasia still had that confused look on her face.

“Yes, I did.” Caspian now knew why Anastasia looked so surprised. But he still pretended not to know what she was implying and asked, “Ah! I get it. Do you want to know something specific related to the construction? Maybe you want to know how many workers were used.”

“No!” Anastasia scoffed and gently stomped her feet on the ground. “I want to know about you! How old are you?”

Caspian simply sighed and started walking. “I don’t want to scare you by telling you my real age.”

Anastasia pouted and complainingly shouted at him, “Caspian! Why are you running away?” She gathered her gown and ran after Caspian. “Wait for me!”

Caspian could hear light footsteps closing in behind him. He pressed his lips tightly to suppress his laughter and began walking even faster.

“Argh!” Suddenly, Caspian heard a thud sound accompanied by Anastasia’s cry. He turned around to see that Anastasia was sitting on the ground while holding her ankle.

He instantly sprinted to her side and asked very worriedly, “What happened? Did you sprain your ankle?” He glanced at her shoes with a slight heel and got angry, “Why are you wearing such tricky shoes?”

Anastasia was smiling all this while because she was just pretending to be hurt. It was a trick that she would often use on Tilla.

When he was about to take off her shoe, she wrapped her arms around his arm and said, “Caught you!”

Caspian glanced at Anastasia’s face to see her grinning widely. And he burst into laughter seeing that playful side of her. “Oh, you even know how to fake injuries, huh?”

Anastasia teasingly nodded her head. “Now answer my question,” she asked a bit authoritatively.

But Caspian clicked his tongue and kept on playing along, “Since you sprained your ankle, I have no choice but to carry you to your bedchamber.”

“Carry me? No. You cannot-”

Caspian disregarded her protest and swiftly lifted her in his arms.

“Caspian! Put me down!” Anastasia wriggled her body and tried to get off his hold.

“Sure.” To make her quiet, Caspian pretended that he was about to drop her. Anastasia gasped and grabbed the ruffles of Caspian’s shirt.

Caspian smirked and said, “Looks like you don’t want to let go of me.”

“Caspian! You were about to...” She subconsciously stopped midways as her emerald eyes were stuck on Caspian’s perfectly crafted face. He had a constant smile on his face as he walked slowly. She didn’t want to protest anymore because she was feeling as if she was flying high in the clouds.

When they entered the central wing of the castle, Caspian looked at the old walls which reminded just how old he was. He gave a quick glance to Anastasia and then said, “I’m four hundred and seventeen years old.”

Anastasia held her breath and kept on staring at Caspian for a good few seconds. But then she chuckled and dismissed him, “You are lying!”

“Why would I lie to my wife?” Caspian asked with a straight face.

Anastasia chuckled again thinking he would join in her laughter. But he never did. And with a bewildered look on her face, she tried to make him confess his age again, “But you just look like you are 22 or 23... Why do you look so young if you were that old?”

Caspian carefully climbed up the stairs while saying, “That’s because we vampires age very sluggishly after reaching a certain age.”

“And to humans, we look like we didn’t age a day because they will perish away before they can see any significant changes in our appearance.” Caspian suddenly felt his stomach twisting at the thought of Anastasia perishing away after a few decades.

They finally reached Anastasia’s room. And Caspian gently put her down on her feet.

He noticed displeasure in Anastasia’s face and thought that she hated him now that she knew how old he was. He leaned down to look at her face and asked, “Do you still want to make this old man fall for you?”

Contrary to what he had thought, Anastasia gave a wide smile and enthusiastically replied, “Mhmm... if you have lived that long then you have seen things which I never have. That means I can make you my personal library from whom I can hear countless stories about great adventures.”

And right there, Anastasia broke a piece of shell that was guarding Caspian’s cold heart.

“I will share all of my adventure stories with you. Or even better, we can go on our own little adventures every now and then.” Caspian smiled and gave a kiss on Anastasia’s forehead, making her heart skip a beat for him.

Caspian kept on gazing at Anastasia’s soft lips for a while, contemplating something. ‘She is my wife after all. Isn’t it natural to want her?’

“Is something wrong?” Anastasia gave a questioning glance because her husband seemed to be lost.

Caspian smiled and gently caressed Anastasia’s lips with his thumb. And he finally vocalized his inner thoughts, “Wife, let’s have our first night today. I will come by to pick you up in a few hours.”

“First...” Anastasia wrinkled her brows and was about to ask something but Caspian was faster than the wind. He had already left the room to deal with some stately affairs.

Anastasia let out a sigh and whispered, “First night of what? Dinner?”

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