Chapter 1. Prologue
Three hours had passed since Raha began grooming.
She stared at her reflection in the mirror. She was the most valuable bloodline in the empire, and the dress she wore, as befitted her status, was dazzlingly beautiful.
“You have to leave now, Princess Raha.”
Raha followed the urging of the maids and left the palace. After a long corridor, a luxurious main palace, a huge courtyard and stairs, she arrived at the central gate of the Imperial Palace.
“You’re here, Princess.”
A large number of nobles were already waiting in line. The great nobles standing in the front row pretended to know what was going on. Raha’s seat was even further forward than theirs.
The season was winter. Every time Raha took a breath, her breath shattered white. Her cheeks were slowly freezing, but she didn’t move. She was just watching this beautiful triumphant ceremony.
A long carpet leading from the main gate of the Imperial Palace. If it were not for the intricate gold thread patterns embroidered on the edges, it would have been very similar in size and shape to the romantic red silk fabric used in wedding halls. Raha thought to herself. Oh, there was one more difference.
This silk fabric was full of bloody smells.
It was so thick that even a sudden heavy snowfall wouldn’t be able to hide half of it.
Raha smiled, and a nearby Duke laughed with her.
“You must be very happy to see His Majesty after a long time. Princess.”
At the same time, the knights lined up on either side of the platform lifted their ceremonial swords. The crossed swords shone sharply in the sunlight.
A number of knights walked in between them. The gaze of the man in the front row was fixed to Raha.
“I congratulate you on your victory, Your Majesty.”
Even with her frozen cheeks, Raha thought she should have an amazing radiant smile. To the ‘half-Emperor’ who stood before her.
“You should call my name. You’re stiff.”
Raha added in a lovely voice.
“I missed you, Karzen.”
Karzen Del Harsa. He was Raha’s twin brother, the only complex son of the noble previous Empress. He was also the temporary emperor of this massive Delo Empire.
As twins go, Karzen’s hair color was the same blue as Raha’s. It was one of the long-lasting features of the direct royal family that inherited the family name of Del Harsa.
However, while Raha’s eyes were the same deep blue color as her hair, Karzen’s eyes were just dark gray.
The color of her eyes was the reason why Raha had to smile like a fairy, wearing a thin dress that showed off her shoulders even in this harsh midwinter.
“I’m glad Karzen wasn’t injured. I went to the temple every day to pray.”
Karzen, who was looking down at Raha, reached out to her neck. A hand that stopped just above her chest. For a moment, inconspicuously, Raha’s breathing stopped.
“You wore the necklace I gave you.”
The hand touching the large diamond, with a pure gold finish. It was a position where his hand could press her breasts if he went down a little further. Karzen eventually withdrew his hand.
“I have brought my lovely twins some new trophies.”
It was the loot that was being dragged in messily, stepping on the carpet at the same time.
One beat later, Raha knew it was “men”. Their mouths were gagged, and their colors were a mess. The only thing they had in common was the color of their hair, which had turned completely white.
“These are cheeky test subjects that were secretly created in the Western Kingdom, who didn’t know their position.”
Cheeky test subjects….
It was an apt description. Some of the kingdoms that hated Karzen had secretly built laboratories to create weapons that would kill the royal families of the Delo Empire.
That unfinished weapon, failed test subjects, were the spoils of war that Karzen was towing today.
“Do you remember, Raha? Last year, I brought these test subjects from the Holy Kingdom and gave them all to you.”
Karzen’s voice became calm.
“There are none left now, though.”
Raha’s breathing stopped lightly. Karzen casually grabbed her hand. The emperor’s hard fingers digging between Raha’s soft and thin fingers were like hooks with chains. It cut sharply deep into her skin, immobilizing her completely.
“In return for sparing the lives of these trophies, the old kings knelt down. The Del Harsa royal family should also get what they deserve.”
“Yes, Raha. I’ll give them all to your bedroom slaves, as always.”
Bedroom Slaves …….
There was no one here who didn’t know the meaning of those words at least. Even in this passionate and free-spirited Delo Empire, only Princess Raha could use the word. It was a symbol of power, a symbol of obedience. Sometimes it was a symbol of a strange emotional flame……..
“Karzen is the only one who thinks about me.”
Karzen, who was observing Raha with strange eyes, finally jawed. The knights carried the newly brought slaves into Raha’s palace.
The gazes of the nobles, who had even been careful to breathe, focused on the two men standing in the middle row.
It was understandable.
Those two beautiful men were also the slaves of Princess Raha. It was easy to understand how slaves could be in such a position.
Karzen, the young emperor of the Delo Empire, was a blood-crazed man. He had usurped, killed, and trampled and destroyed countless kingdoms. Among the royalty and nobility brought from there, the most beautiful looking men were cast as slaves for Princess Raha.
As a result, Princess Raha’s beautiful palace became an object of envy for anyone, and a symbol of corruption for far too many nobles.
The conservative old nobles would sometimes talk behind her back that Raha should hang herself after giving birth to a child with blue eyes.
Even though she knew and heard all these words, she did not know.
She had a smile that was all too suited for that amazing beauty and noble status.
Karzen opened his mouth as he escorted Raha to the grand banquet hall where the victory banquet was prepared.
“Your night will be fun for the time being.”
The nobles who followed were scared to death and pretended not to hear. A well-intentioned conversation that could only be spoken in a late night soirée garden….
It was some time later that the unchanging smile of Raha cracked.
“Speaking of which, there is someone who helped me greatly in this battle to defeat the 13 kingdoms.”
There was a rustling sound that could be heard at the same time as Karzen’s words.
As if he had been waiting in advance, the man who followed the chamberlain and separated the nobles. The red carpet that started at the palace gate continued for a long time until it reached this grand banquet hall, and the man walked out stepping on the bloody carpet without a care in the world.
His terrifyingly cold and burning bright blue eyes were so beautiful that the nobles were buzzing. Karzen looked down at the man and opened his mouth.
“King Shed Hildes.”
For a moment, Raha’s fingertips stiffened. The faded, pure white hair, not unlike that of the test subjects who were dragged in earlier, disturbed her vision. Even though it was not a close distance, the man’s eyes were fixed as if they could penetrate Raha’s gaze.
At the same time, the murmurs filled the grand banquet hall.
“If it’s Hildes, is he the king of the Kingdom of Hildes?”
“The name of the monarchy was Shed. He would have originally been veiled royalty.”
“I heard he didn’t show his face for long because he wasn’t well….”
“What’s going on here?”
Karzen said, looking down at Shed Hildes.
“You said there was something you wanted in return for your exploits for the Delo Empire. It was also very interesting.”
Karzen looked back at Raha as he said this. He continued to speak with an odd smile on his face.
“The king should tell her directly.”
An expressionless face with a faint chill turned towards Raha.
“Raha Del Harsa.”
A raw voice, unfathomable in its depths, rang in Raha’s ears.
“I want her, Your Majesty.”
At that moment, murmurs passed through the nobility. It was beyond belief. In public, in front of the emperor. The monarchy was by far the first man who had ever spoken such words as a proposal to that legitimate princess. It should be the first and last time.
Raha’s hands tightened. Karzen ran past Raha with a strange expression. The young emperor’s gray eyes flickered subtly with malice mixed with curiosity.
“My precious twins are not to be given as a reward.”
A clear smile permeated into Karzen’s voice. It was not a pleasant smile. The eyes of the temporary Emperor, with so much blood on his hands, glowed with a brutality that could not be hidden.
“If the King of Hildes survives as your slave until winter, I will officially make you his fiancée.”
It was a statement that made people doubt their ears for a moment. A slave? How can you turn the king of a wealthy and powerful country into a lowly bedchamber slave of the Princess? But Shed Hildes, the king, was not the least bit upset.
It was only then that everyone realized that the terms had already been agreed upon between the emperor and the king. There will be all sorts of speculation from tonight, but for now, it was just quiet.
Everyone waited only for the Princess’s reply.
“What do you think? Do you think of what I think?”
Karzen’s tone was soft, but Raha didn’t have a choice. As always.
“You are going to have a wonderful slave, Raha.”
Raha had been hardened for a while. The Princess cast a smile on her white face.
“Thanks to Karzen.”
It was the same as always.
The sudden situation that plagued the nobles did not last long. The orchestra played again. The sumptuous triumphal banquet resumed without a hitch. The beautiful king, who had received all the attention of the nobles, had already left the grand banquet hall, guided by the chief chamberlain.
Raha laughed all the way through the night at the banquet, which was so fancy that it hurt her eyes. She laughed as much as Karzen wanted her to. It was just laughter.
As an Imperial Princess who had grown up stealing the Crown Prince’s eyes, she had to draw such a smile to please her crazy twin brother.