Chapter 16

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The next day. (*In the past)

 

The emperor’s chamberlain came up to Raha with a smile on his face as usual. And he carried this heavy chair, saying it was a gift from Karzen.

 

“Please sit here. It’s from His Majesty the Supreme Emperor.”

 

And Raha sat down in the chair and looked at the new slaves that had come in that day. They were the slaves that Karzen had given her again as a gift, saying that the chair was a waste of money. The madman was skilled in the art of war and tactics, went to countless wars but never died.

 

The only ones who died were the large number of prisoners of war that always dragged in.

 

Raha hugged her knees and looked down at the slaves.

 

At that time, Raha knew how the person was dying. The sight of a person giving up all hope and dying was more terrible, cruel, horrible, and frightening than she expected. It was the skin that became strangely white and the breath that gradually disappeared. They could not grasp every greed and ambition, life and wishes…….

 

It was that curse that lingered in her ears.

 

The curse of being hurt by these bloody eyes.

 

‘You can breathe it out, hating me.’

 

‘You can blame me for being born.’

 

Raha spent many days with her face buried in her knees like that.

 

It was always like that.

 

***back to present***

 

After a while, she heard the presence of someone.

 

Raha, who was crouching down in a chair, said without even raising her head.

 

“Don’t stay above my field of vision.”

 

Shed walked over to her and quickly bent down. Sitting on one knee, he looked very knightly. How can he be slave and look like a knight?

 

But Raha didn’t have the energy left to deal with him any more. With her head still buried in her knees, she said,

 

“Go back and sleep.” (Raha)

 

The reply came back slowly.

 

“You….” (Shed)

 

“…….”

 

“Are you going to stay here?”(Shed)

 

Really……. He was such a cheeky slave that his lips could be chewed.

 

“Don’t talk to me so informally.” (Raha)

 

“Are you going to be here?” (Shed)

 

“…… Ha.” (Raha)

 

Raha realized that she had given the wrong orders from the start. The problem was that she had left that lowly slave, who behaved as selfishly as Karzen did, out of amusement.

 

She understood the fact that he wasn’t like any mercenary or some dirty trash.

 

Maybe he had a higher status than that.

 

So?

 

Even if he was royalty of an exiled country, would he be more precious than the legitimate Princess of the empire?

 

How dared he look at her sympathetically. He talked like she couldn’t sleep here. She signaled to him to get out of her sight at once, but that witty slave, who should have read it clearly, was still pacing around.

 

How dare you.

 

The attitude, which he had until the morning, was much better for Raha, who was clearly distancing herself.

 

It was like a fire burning in her chest, which she had covered with a wet cloth long ago.

 

She parted her lips and spoke slowly.

 

“I’m going to sleep here. Because I always have.”

 

“…….”

 

“So you go back and sleep. That’s an order.”

 

Shed stood up slowly. If he was even disobedient to this, Raha thought she would go crazy. Yes, he still has some brain.

 

As she thought this, something warm was placed on her shoulders.

 

“…….”

 

She could see the cloth flowing over her frail arms. It was the shirt that Shed had been wearing earlier.

 

“…….”

 

Yes. It was cold in the hallway in this west wing. It was to keep the corpses from rotting even longer. Perhaps Karzen had given the order, but unlike the warm bedrooms, there were no lights on at all in the hallway.

 

Her chest, which had been slowly calming down with the cold air she was used to, was now pounding so hard that she felt like it was going to jump out at any moment. Raha lifted her head, feeling as if tens of thousands of needles were piercing her chest.

 

The eye-piercing light shone on Shed’s silver hair. The shirt he had been wearing was removed, revealing a hard body with scars everywhere. And those blue-gray eyes that were still staring at her.

 

Raha slowly opened her mouth.

 

“Do you pity me?”

 

There was no reply, not even much change in the dry blank expression on Shed’s placid face. But she always read the atmosphere that was delicately laid on people.

 

The problem was that it was an unacceptable answer for a slave, or even for others.

 

You’re pitiful.

 

With that expression.

 

The eyes stared at her.

 

Raha slowly got up from her seat. It didn’t take long. Her cold hand slapped mercilessly on Shed’s cheek.

 

“…….”

 

The slave’s cheek heated up. Even after being hit in the cheek, Shed just kept looking at her.

 

The only thing trembling was Raha’s hands. 

 

“Raha.”

 

Shed’s mouth slowly opened.

 

“The knight said the engraving combination is wrong so it bled.”

 

“…….”

 

“That’s why the bodies are rotting now.”

 

“…….”

 

“He said they would remove the corpses when they start to rot.”

 

The knight did indeed state as much. They would remove these corpses before they smelled rotten. That was why Raha was sitting in this strange chair looking at the corpses, waiting until they rot.

 

But she had no reason to look at the corpses now.

 

Raha blinked slowly.

 

She forgot about that because she was soaked in a sense of humiliation.

 

“Blood leaked through the bedroom door.”

 

“The knights came and cleaned it up.”

 

Raha slowly rubbed her face with her hands.

 

Karzen’s freaking wizard would never clean up the bodies of these slaves until they rotted. But this time, he had made a mistake with his magic and they had rotted so quickly. The expression on the wizard’s face would be quite a sight to see if he had to clean up the mess right away tomorrow.

 

It was a good thing.

 

Objectively speaking, it was.

 

After looking at the faces of the dead one by one, Raha finally moved her body and walked. The thin shirt fell to the floor, but she didn’t look back or pick it up.

 

Shed picked up the shirt, and after silently looking down at the faces of the dead people, he finally got to his feet. Raha didn’t even look back, but she firmly closed the door leading to the corridor of the West Wing.

 

* * *

 

Unlike the cold corridor of the West Wing, the bedroom was warm and fragrant like the residence of an Imperial Princess.

 

Raha stood still, not sitting on the bed. Emotions were quiet, like a doll whose emotions have been castrated, but alive.

 

In fact, that Princess had been like that since the first time Shed met her. Sometimes she was that still and stopped like she was not even breathing.

 

It was also the first time it had been this long.

 

Even after Shed filled the bathtub with water, Raha continued to look into the air. He grabbed her wrist with his wet hand and got no response.

 

It was the same when the body got soaked in the tub of hot water and her braided hair was untangled. She was really still and silent, like sculptures, with only eyes open. It was the same when Shed took her out of the tub and wiped her body down. 

 

The soft towels that the servants had folded wrapped around Raha. Raha, wearing a light gown, felt a sense of reality only when she felt her body was up in the air.

 

“……?”

 

She found herself in Shed’s arms. He was walking with her in his arms to the bed. Her body was hot, which had been cold earlier, and her hair was wet with water.

 

She blinked her eyes several times only after she sat on the bed. She immediately dropped his gaze as soon as he noticed her gaze.

 

“Don’t stay above my field of vision.”

 

He seemed to remember exactly what she had said earlier. She didn’t know when he did it, but she was pretty sure it was him who washed her. Raha opened her mouth as she stared at the slave, who sat on one knee in front of her.

 

“Stand up and sit.”

 

Raha said and raised her body up. Approaching the meekly seated Shed, Raha grabbed him by the chin and lifted it up. The slave obediently lifted his chin.

 

She was going to slap him more on the cheek.

 

She was going to hit him a few more times.

 

But as she looked at his cheek, which was still red from earlier, her hand slowly lost strength.

 

Her hair, wet with water, stuck to her cheek.

 

“Don’t be arrogant.”

 

‘Don’t feel sorry for me or understand me. How rude is it to try to belittle people when they deliberately turn away from you? This slave must not have known that many of the people who were rude to the Princess had to give up their lives.’

 

Perhaps because he was living his life as an experimental subject, who had almost died. Raha swallowed the fear filled to the end of her neck and opened her mouth.

 

“Don’t think too highly of yourself because I saved you. I told you from the beginning …”

 

This slave, in the first place.

 

“You’re my night caretaker.”

 

The brutal words didn’t cause Shed to drop his head or avert his gaze. The cool blue-gray eyes looked at Raha without any change. It made Raha gasp. She wanted to slash him with words, but it didn’t work. No matter how many words she spat out like daggers, it didn’t make her feel good or happy.

 

She was the one holding his chin, but it seemed he was the one holding her whole body……

 

Raha pulled on the man’s shirt and kissed him roughly.

 

Perhaps she had hit him too hard earlier, the inside of Shed’s mouth was ripped open. The taste of blood could be felt through the torn skin. Even when Raha’s tongue mercilessly touched the wound, Shed remained still without moving.

 

Despite the painful pushing and bleeding, Shed silently accepted the kiss. However, his throat started to shake a little.

 

The same thing happened when Raha’s hand slipped inside Shed’s shirt. She didn’t know that Shed’s hands, placed on top of the sheet, had veins popped up. It was a reaction that had occurred since the moment she had first kissed him on the lips.

Notes

N/A

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