✍️✍️✍️✍️ Garden Of Poison Chapter 71 Complete Chapters ✍️✍️✍️✍️



Careless little rabbit (Chapter 71)

Anastasia gasped, sucking in her breath as if she saw a ghost in the corridor, as the cursed prince looked nothing less than a spectre with his dark and hollow-looking eyes. The young man asked her,    
"Where are you taking me??" As Gabriel had not noticed Dante, he placed his hand on Anastasia's hand as if to stop her, unaware that she had halted her steps a few seconds earlier.      

Anastasia noticed Dante's gaze shifting from her eyes to the servant's hand on top of hers. She quickly let go and stepped away from him, despite the damage already being done.      

"A servant and a maid sneaking through a dimly lit corridor," Dante deadpanned as he made his way to come to stand before them.      

"Prince Dante, I was helping h—" Gabriel began to explain himself, only to close his mouth when Dante snapped his narrowed eyes in his direction, clearly annoyed.      

"I didn't give you permission to speak," Dante glared at the servant before he glanced back at Anastasia, noticing the long pipe in her other hand. "I thought I told you not to wander in the corridors and be distracted by things that don't concern you. But you seem slow when it comes to following simple instructions."      

Anastasia wished to speak to respond but couldn't with this servant standing next to her. She clutched the pipe, and though she didn't dare to look at Dante, she could feel his piercing gaze on her.      

The young man had believed that no royal family member ever visited this side of the palace, which was why he had felt brave enough to climb the stairs leading to the palace courtesans' quarters. But who knew that he would be caught so quickly?      

He bowed his head even deeper, hoping to gain the infamous prince's attention as he wasn't allowed to speak.      

"Are you unaware that male servants are forbidden from entering this area?" Dante demanded as he shifted his piercing gaze to the male servant, who stood in close proximity to the young woman, only an inch away from her.      

Gabriel took this as his cue to speak and said, "My Prince, I was ordered to clean. I was instructed to bring down the head."    

Anastasia's eyebrows subtly furrowed. Was it true? Or was he only fabricating the first excuse he could find? She heard Gabriel say, "I believe the maid was confused, misunderstanding my intention while I was heading up the stairs and tried to warn me. But my sole purpose was to retrieve the head and bring it down."      

Dante's lips twitched, and he said, "I thought you were helping her, not the other way around."      

Anastasia bit the inside of her cheek because, at this rate, the new servant would die at Prince Dante's hands! The new servant didn't know anything about the first prince and was oblivious to Dante's intolerance of people lying to him. The young man had come here in hopes of finding his sister, and she didn't want him meeting an untimely demise.      

She raised her head along with her hands that held the pipe.      

The servant nodded and quickly said, "She was thinking of using the pipe, and I told her I would help her with it. It was, after all, my job…"      

Dante's gaze locked with Anastasia's brown eyes, and they appeared frozen, trying not to give anything away.      

"You were tasked with bringing down a head, yet you come unprepared. You must be one of the servants transferred from Lord Dunkirk's estate," Dante had heard about it, and he couldn't help but question the motive behind the lord's gifts.      

"Forgive me, Prince. I failed to consider the height," the servant murmured, sensing the heavy atmosphere.      

Anastasia saw Dante's hand reaching for the pipe, his fingers lightly brushing on top of hers, and she released it from her hold. She watched the prince offer the pipe to the servant before ordering in a dead tone,      

"Go on then."      

She felt a shiver run down her body. Looking at a severed head was one thing, but holding the decaying, rotting mass was entirely another. She noticed the look of apprehension etched on Gabriel's face as he took the pipe from Dante's outstretched hand.      

Unable to look at it any longer, Anastasia averted her eyes from the scene, and at the same time, Madame Minerva and a guard descended the tower's stairs. Upon noticing the prince, the woman offered a deep bow and greeted him,      

"Prince Dante. So glad to have this one's head removed from here. Queen Maya must have informed you about the complaints from the courtesans, that the smell made it unbearable for them to sleep."      

"She didn't mention it to me," Dante's words were curt as he stared at the back of the male servant's head. "She must have told Gilbert."      

Madame Minerva bowed her head again, ready to leave with the guard. As the woman walked in the direction of the corridor where Anastasia stood, the maid instinctively shifted her body to avoid meeting the woman's eyes, and this action was something that didn't go unnoticed by Dante.      

Anastasia turned her gaze towards Gabriel, who took down the courtesan's head, grasping it firmly with both hands. She observed the servant trying to suppress the urge to vomit, a sensation she wasn't far from experiencing herself.      

"Go down to the dungeon and have it burned in the furnace. Take the pipe there, too," Dante ordered the male servant.    

The young man nodded and bowed, "Yes, Prince. I will have it done right away."      

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Seeing Gabriel begin to walk away, Anastasia took it as her cue to return to the servants' quarters. But when she took two steps in the direction of where Gabriel was headed, she heard Dante say,      

"I didn't say you could leave."      

Anastasia stopped in her tracks, watching Gabriel disappear with the rotting head at the end of the corridor. She had hoped to escape with h—    

"He's not coming back," Dante stated, and it was enough to cause Anastasia to turn to meet his midnight eyes, which contained a raging storm of emotions.      

Anastasia wanted to say that she didn't do anything, but the extent of her innocence depended on how much Dante had heard Gabriel's words before she had noticed him. He took a step towards her, and she turned stiff.      

"Do you know what happens now, Anastasia?" She heard him ask her.      

Anastasia cursed her luck that he had been present at the same place as she was, as if waiting to catch her making a mistake. She nervously said, "I—I have extinguished all the lights in the other corridors. I should continue with my work…"      

"It should have been the first thing that crossed your mind before laying your hands on a man's arm and dragging him away," Dante took another step towards her, and Anastasia felt her heart tremble in trepidation, sensing the air of uncertainty and impending fate. "Or better yet, you should have remembered my words, but you are a careless little thing, aren't you?"      

An overwhelming desire to escape surged through Anastasia, urging her to run away. She only needed to move a little before she would be able to flee, but she couldn't because she was acutely aware that it would only compound her mistakes.      

A soft gasp escaped from her lips when she felt Dante's cold fingers coil around her wrist.      

"Prince Dante," Anastasia softly protested when he turned in the opposite direction from where the servant had disappeared.      

Dante's grip on her wrist tightened, and his jaw clenched for a second. He said, "I warned you," and he began to walk, compelling Anastasia to follow him as he refused to let go of her hand.      

Anastasia could feel her heart pounding in her chest with every step they took towards the darkness and the inner side of the palace. The servants had long since retired to their quarters, while the royal family members were nowhere in sight, leaving the corridors deserted. She wished for Princess Emily or even Princess Niyasa to show up to save her, but no one did.      

"Where are we going?" Anastasia asked him as she tried to keep up with his long strides that moved swiftly along the marble floor.      

Dante finally stopped when they reached a particular corridor. He turned and met her eyes and said, "As you seem to enjoy the corridors so much."      

Though the corridor lights had been extinguished, it didn't mean that it was completely dark. Moonlight filtered through the windows, casting intermittent patches of light and shadow on the floor. Anastasia felt him tug her hand such that she stood before him in a segment of the corridor concealed by darkness. Her thoughts were scattered, her mind racing with the potential implications of what the prince had on his mind for her.      

First, she was going to be punished, and second, the prince had decided to punish her in the corridor, where anyone could find them. She asked him,      

"What if someone comes?" Wasn't he worried that if someone caught him with her, the rumours he disliked so much would spread further?      

"Then you will have to be quiet, won't you?" Dante cocked his head. Even though they stood in a place covered in shadow, he could still see Anastasia's anxious expression.      

When he released her wrist, Anastasia was about to sigh, but her breath caught in her throat when she felt his hands settle on the sides of her waist and bring her closer to him. In one swift motion, he spun her around, and it was then that she noticed from the corner of her eyes that the window was not far from her.      

"Why didn't you put me in the dungeon like the others?" Anastasia tried to distract him, feeling one of his hands trail upwards along her spine.      

But Dante already knew what she was trying to do, and his hand travelled up the nape of her neck before his fingers buried themselves in her hair. He tilted her head backwards, exposing her delicate arched neck to his view.      

Anastasia shivered as she felt Dante's lips brush against her ear, causing goosebumps to rise on her skin. She heard him,      

"Clearly, the regular punishments don't work on you and we need another approach."    

Usually, the first prince's words were cold and harsh, but there was a different quality to his voice as he said those words now. Something so alluring that it could cause any woman's knees to turn weak, and Anastasia fought the desire, steeling her body, determined not to fall prey to its seductive influence.      

Calm down, Anna! Anastasia tried to calm herself, but the words flew right out of her mind and out the window when she felt Dante's lips gently brush the edge of her ear. Her face burst into flames, and she attempted to move away, but his hold on her back was firm, keeping her pressed against him.      

The next second, Anastasia felt Dante not so gently bite her earlobe, making her wince,      


Anastasia's senses ignited with a mixture of pain and heat. The words she was about to speak evaporated into thin air when she felt his wet tongue glide over the bite before he sucked on it.      

Her hands that were placed on Dante's chest began to crumple his shirt under the overwhelming sensation. Her body trembled as he continued to gently suck on the bite to ease the pain, but as her heart thudding against her ribcage began to settle, he bit her ear again, making her cry out.      

"Shh," Dante hushed her before licking the bite which only caused her to grip his shirt tighter. He said against the shell of her warm ear, "Perhaps now you will be able to pay better attention to my words, hm?"      

Dante was still irritated at the memory of the servant's hands on hers, and to think he had told her to be careful about men. He asked her,      

"So what was the servant talking to you about?"    

Anastasia felt Dante's lips graze down her ear before travelling to her throat. She didn't dare to move because she knew if she moved her head, it would only bring pain where Dante had buried his fingers.      

He was torturing her for information by weakening her senses!    

"He already told you," Anastasia whispered for an answer, not wanting him to behead the servant.      

As much as Anastasia was trying to keep herself under control, her body was betraying her. Prince Dante wasn't supposed to have experience with these things, considering how he never slept with any women in the palace and was busy fighting wars, but he was proving her wrong.      

Dante's breath hit her skin, and his nose grazed the skin there. "I want to hear it from you. Tell me," every breath of his hit her differently, loosening her guard and melting her.      

"He was walking up the stairs…" Anastasia replied with her eyes closed.      


"Why?" Anastasia repeated, lost in the sensation and feeling like she was committing a sin.      

"Mm," Dante responded, wanting to dig his fingers into her body. "It felt like you were protecting him. I didn't know you were friends."      

"We are not! I don't know him," Anastasia replied, which was partly true. But Dante was far from convinced, and his hand travelled lower down her back.      

"But you know something about him, don't you?" Dante pulled his head away from the crook of her neck so that he could look at her and she opened her eyes. She was breathless, and her eyes widened when she felt his hand on one side of her bottom, and she felt him loosen his grip on her hair.      

"I—I don't know anything," Anastasia quickly replied, and added, "I was only extinguishing the flames; why am I being punished?" She asked the question she hadn't dared to ask before.      

Dante's eyes narrowed as if she had sparked his anger again.      

"Because I cannot watch you being touched by another man, so stop fucking letting it happen," Dante lightly gripped the nape of her neck, and a delicate gasp escaped Anastasia's lips.      

He let out a dark chuckle, half amused and half irritated by something.      

A second later, Anastasia felt Dante sink his teeth into the side of her neck, and she cried out in pain while clutching his shirt tightly. The bite was harsh, bringing tears to the corners of her eyes.    

"P—Prince Dante, it hurts…" He had found out that she had lied.      

Instead of pulling away, Anastasia felt him dig his teeth deeper into her skin, and she whined quietly. When she felt him release her skin, she heaved for air. But Dante didn't let her go from his arms. His tongue languidly licked against the bite mark he had left, and he felt her stiffen briefly.      

Anastasia had never thought about these things, and every sensation of pain and pleasure she felt was a newfound experienced. An uncontrollable moan escaped her lips when Dante sucked on the skin that he had just bitten. She tried to hold it in, but the more she tried, the more his lips were intent on breaking her control that was already slipping through her fingers.      

"What are you doing to me?"      

Anastasia heard Dante question in slight frustration against her neck before he raised his head and dropped his hand, which was resting on the back of her neck. As he did it, her hair that was tied in a bun loosened and soon her hair fell on her shoulders and back.      

Anastasia came to face Dante with his smouldering eyes looking at her. With their bodies pressed together, their lips had drawn close, both breathless from what their souls wanted.      

Dante's eyes fell on her parted lips as if they were inviting him. He said,      

"Don't let anyone see you like this, or someone will eat the rabbit."      

Anastasia's thoughts were scattered, and her lips trembled before she could ask, "Was… was that what you were doing?"      

Mirth filled his midnight eyes, and Dante remarked, "I was sampling you."      

Anastasia finally felt him release her from his hold and failed to notice his eyes briefly move to look at her neck. One corner of his lips subtly curled up, but she didn't understand why and only took it that he took pleasure in punishing her.      

"May I return to the servants' quarters?" Anastasia asked him, looking away from him.    

Hearing Dante hum, Anastasia was ready to run when she heard him warn her, "Don't run… Unless you want me to chase you."    

After what Dante had done to her… Anastasia took the warning seriously, so she wouldn't commit another mistake right before him. Her heart hadn't stopped beating loudly. She gave a slight nod and a bow, turning around with her cheeks burning, and she walked as fast as she could without running or looking behind her, while still feeling his eyes on her.      

Anastasia crossed the corridors of the inner palace before pausing her feet. Her face burned as bright as one of the torches on the wall. She covered her face, whispering,      

"Oh God!! I need to flee soon!"      

After gathering her mind and body that could still feel the pleasure and pain that Prince Dante had left on her, she began to continue walking.    

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Not too far from them on the inner side of the palace, Queen Maya stood in her son's room, formerly occupied by King William, with her arms crossed over her chest, anger written all over her face. In a state of vexation, she spat out,      

"Even though I had her placed under arrest within the palace, somehow she managed to get the seal that protects her position, rendering it impossible for me to arrest her again. Aziel and Dante must have helped her!"    

King Maxwell stood in front of the window with his back facing his mother while an empty glass sat on a table beside him. He said, "We have closely monitored everyone leaving the palace. Grandmother must have taken the initiative to arrange the documents in advance when Lady Sophia was crowned Queen on her birthday. She had them prepared as a precaution."    

Queen Maya clenched her teeth in anger before speaking, "Not all the Elder ministers are on our side. Maxwell, we need to secure our position. Those damn Elders. We cannot revoke her power for at least a month."    

"Grandmother doesn't hold the same extent of power as she did before, Mother. We have already won. I have been crowned as the King of Versailles. Now, all we need to do is wait for Evin to awaken."      

"The problem is Evin is showing no sign of regaining consciousness, and the subjects anticipate an heir to secure the throne. We might have won wars, but we are currently in the phase of healing. And who knows what the Mother Queen is planning, especially since she went as far as to persuade Dante to sleep with a courtesan to obtain a grandchild," Queen Maya pointed out, as this turn of events put them in an uncertain and precarious position. She said, "Until Evin wakes up, we must look for other options."    

"I am not in the mood," Maxwell rejected firmly with a glare directed at his mother.      

"I know it is a difficult position…"    

"Do you?" Maxwell turned to face his mother, "Do you understand what I am going through, Mother?"    

Queen Maya fell silent for a moment before she said, "This is not the time to break down, we cannot afford to be weak, and we need to stay strong. You and Niyasa are the only ones I have and can rely on. We are the only ones who can rely on each other. It is why it would do well for you to produce an heir sooner rather than later. Once that is accomplished, our future will be secure, and no one will—"    

"Will it ever end?" Maxwell asked his mother with a dark chuckle. "In the beginning, it was all about being the best. To be the best son, the best prince, the best king. And now that I am wearing the crown, you still fear it being snatched away."    

"And it is all for you, more than me," Queen Maya stated with a firm tone. She said, "Is this about her? You have Evin with you, Max. She is your soulmat—"    

Maxwell picked up the glass sitting on the table next to the window and threw it against the wall, which smashed and shattered into many pieces. He said in a low voice, "I don't want to hear it. Not a word." His blue eyes hardened, and he said, "Evin is not my soulmate."      

"Neither is that dead courtesan you were wasting your time on. It would be in your best interest to acknowledge and accept that Evin is your soulmate, so it will be easier for you when you step out in public together. The girl has been charmed and has made everything easy," Queen Maya said as she strategised for their future.      

"I loved her…" Maxwell whispered, at which his mother frowned. "Have you never loved anyone? When did you grow this heartless?"      

"Do not cast accusatory looks my way, Maxwell," Queen Maya said as she stared back at her son. While he held the title of king now, before all else, he was her son, and she wouldn't stand him looking down upon her efforts. She said, "What do you know of what I have gone through? I was supposed to marry the man I loved, but instead, I was brought here to this palace, cast into a position of lowly status. The palace swiftly teaches you that the only way to survive is to climb up the ranks, and I did what I could by fighting tooth and nail to become your father's first exclusive concubine."    

"So do not look at me with those ungrateful, accusing eyes for wanting a better life for you and your sister. Now that you are a king, it is time to stop behaving like a mere boy and shoulder your responsibilities," Queen Maya's eyes reddened as she confronted her son before adding, "You will visit the quarters of the concubines and the courtesans. See if any of them catch your fancy, or I shall personally send one myself."      

Maxwell's thoughts went to the evening when he had found Marianne struggling to breathe in her last moments. He had rushed in to help her, but she had lost too much blood, and he had cradled her head gently, locking eyes with her one last time.    

'Maxwell…' Her lips had formed the word silently, devoid of any audible voice before her eyes grew vacant.      

He couldn't forget the sight of it, and the memory came back to him like a flood, ready to destroy him.      

The anger in Maxwell's eyes subsided, and he said, "I want to be left alone."      

"I am not done talking to you," Queen Maya said to her son. She continued, "I have also told Norrix to take down the dead courtesan's head. There have been complaints about it. Maxwell, you cannot lower your guard even for a moment. One error will cost our lives."      

"I know." Maxwell reached for the door and said, "I did what you wanted, every word of yours. I will be taking a walk now," and he exited the room.    

Maxwell made his way through the corridors, and in no time, he came to stand in front of the Paradise Tower, staring at it with a longing expression for what he was told to do, and not following what he wanted to do.      

As he continued to stare, he heard footsteps from one end of the corridor, and as the person emerged from the shadows with dark brown hair, he whispered,      


Anastasia was on her way back to the servants' quarters when she noticed King Maxwell standing in the corridor. She felt him stare at her as if he was seeing a ghost. Not knowing what to do, she offered a slight bow and walked away from there.      

Maxwell turned to look at the woman walking away, who wasn't his Marianne and only held a resemblance to the dead woman.