She rolled in her hard, small mattress. It was surely the bed of an ascetic. And if there was something that she certainly was, it was an ascetic, who led a perfectly spartan life. How she wished this was the full truth about her. What a dream would it be if that was her biggest identity.
Yes, she indeed led a wonderfully penitent life, free from almost any unavoidable flesh pleasures, a perfect nunlet. But her main identity was being a monster, a helpless freak. And she had the sour delight of one unique, terribly deliberate and sadistic pleasure.
Of course, she was also an obsessive necromantic scholar and took her fair share of enjoyment from her adepthood in the Ninth’s witchery tradition, but she took it only to her mind and the outskirts of her heart, the furthest that the awe by power and knowledge could reach inside her. There was only that one pleasure that hit the core of her rotten heart.
It was vicious. It was tangled with pain and despair. It was deliberate as hell and all its demons, but she felt she needed it like her feeble muscles needed blood pumping through them. She wouldn’t literally die without it. Her sin-born body cells wouldn’t cease their activity. But her pathetic soul wouldn’t bear not having this that felt like its only nourishment.
She genuinely believed that would be for the best to let her cursed soul starve, to die slowly in desperation. It could seem only fair but, truly, it was far from being enough to make even all the evil she had nourished from. Nevertheless, as well as a monster from birth, she was also a terrible person. She was deeply egoistic, and would never on her own will abstain from the sick pleasure of hurting Gideon Nav.
Having Gideon Nav full attention on her was the only relief Harrowhark Nonagesimus felt from the dreadful burden of being herself. And that blissful attention couldn’t come from nothing but hate, for she couldn’t bear it any other way. So she hurt Gideon, again and again and again, as her miserable years passed by. So her eyes, repeatedly, met those sharp, bright golden eyes, filled with boiling rage, and she felt like she could breathe only because of them.
Gideon’s fervent stares were the notes that gave rhythm to the horrid symphony of her years – they would only be a blur of agonizing, intolerable noise otherwise. It would be for the best not having them, of course. Nav didn’t deserve any of it. And she, more than anything, didn’t deserve Nav. But she was a terrible person, so she took from the other girl everything she could take.
With those thoughts, reminiscing Gideon, she lost awareness of her hard mattress and her surroundings. Fragile and pale body inert, her mind fell into the unconscious realm.