Chapter 1. Prologue
Sponsored by H 💖 (6/10)
“Their bonding is an example of the empire.”
How long will it take for them to look like they’re just friendly twins?
Perhaps until the emperor went mad with lust and dragged his twin sister into bed with him.
That would be really frustrating.
‘I’m happy enough with my own slave.’
“But I hear that very close siblings are rather unmarriageable. Hahahaha!”
Raha stared at the man who laughed with a cold, expressionless face. The grand duke of the other country, who had made a joke that could not be considered a joke and looked at her smile, hastily changed the subject.
The party, attended by many people from other countries, seemed more diverse than expected. It was also an atmosphere Raha hadn’t experienced in a long time. Delo aristocrat-only banquets had already been so refined that they didn’t taste like this for quite some time.
Before going to meet Shed, she could have walked a bit more and greeted people. But today, she didn’t have to deal with them.
She would be very noticeable in a little while anyway.
Besides, she had learned the hard way during her not-so-long days with the slaves that it was better to spare whatever strength she had to deal with Shed at night.
She turned to her own people, stepping away from the crowd of other nations.
“Your Highness. You’re beautiful today.”
The ladies were comfortably conversing.The women of the great aristocracy receive a more rigorous education in the social side of things.
Being young, the shortcomings can be sufficiently supplemented. Raha chatted a few words with the country nobles whose faces were familiar.
Looking at the watch glittering with jewels, Raha thought of Shed. No, she naturally remembered him. Unable to help it, she smiled deeply, and so some who were not far away peeked at the Princess.
I thought about the shedding of the No, I thought to myself spontaneously. Unable to help it, the laughter drew deeper, and some of us who were not far away glanced over and stole a look at the Princess.
* * * *
“What about the Princess?”
Jamela stared down at her blue dress. It was a dress that matched the color of her eyes. It was a wise decision to invite quite a few royalty and great nobles from other countries to this “party to find the right marriage partner”. Otherwise, the gaze of the nobles at the party would be divided in half.
They look at the Emperor, and they look at the Princess.
There were no outrageous words going around when they looked at the Princess. Their lives were too precious. However, the noble people who have experienced imperial banquets several times will know to some extent.
That the Princess was more important than they thought. It was not just because she had the eyes of the heir….
“Jamela. Let’s go greet His Majesty.”
The greetings were all done earlier, and they had already danced once. Of course, it was obvious that Karzen was not the least bit interested in her. Still, Jamela was the daughter of the Duke of Winston. The great aristocrat was closer to the imperial family than others.
It also meant that there were more opportunities to make a better impression than others.
Jamela took a step. The neighborhood Princess, who had eventually shed some tears earlier, had gone to the lounge with the Queen and then locked herself in a corner.
“You must look good, Jamela. It would be better if you could attract his interest, but don’t overdo it. Keep in mind that you don’t have a leash.”
Jamela nodded very lightly in a small, fast voice.
The old nobles, who usually had the emperor to themselves, gave up their seats when the young lady approached, so Jamela could stand close to the emperor without difficulty.
A fleeting glance at her as she passed by was enough.
“How would you like to have some of that wine rather than the one you are drinking now?”
Jamela pointed with her fan to the right. It was one of the attendants, standing like an object with a silver tray of wine.
Of course, such commonplace words were still too much for the young authority figure to remember, and by the time he forgot, someone would have tried again. Jamela continued her words.
“The Princess said that wine is her favorite.”
Karzen’s gaze stopped.
He looked at the wine, then at Jamela’s eyes, and finally cast his gaze a little longer at the dress she was wearing.
She was probably the lady of marriageable age who held the emperor’s gaze the longest at this party today, with the exception of that Princess.
* * * *
Raha turned around. As she walked down the corridor, the chamberlain followed her.
“Where are you going?”
It was a plain answer that even felt numb.
“His Majesty will be disappointed if the Princess leaves her seat.”
“It’s not a very nice picture to have a twin attached to him at a party where he is looking for a fiancée.”
Raha’s steps never stopped.
But it was the same throughout.
“His Majesty is in a bad mood today.”
“Really? You take good care of him.”
The chamberlain was all smiled the whole time.
“Wouldn’t it be better for the Princess to take care of His Majesty than me? I’m sure he would be happy just to hold your hand.”
Raha stared at the chamberlain without replying. The chamberlain was one of the few people who could draw a pretentious smile on his indifferent face without feeling any agitation.
It was not that Karzen was a puppet who did whatever the chamberlain told him. However, when the chamberlain told Karzen about Raha’s stories in a strange way, Raha was troubled in her own way.
Raha blinked slowly.
“Should I change my clothes?”
“That’s a good idea. His Majesty likes the Princess to wear revealing dresses.”
The chamberlain took a quick look at Raha’s dress. Today she wore a dress that was so demure that it looked a little suffocating. It covered her neck and shoulders.
It was not what Karzen usually liked.
“Don’t you have very supple and beautiful skin, Your Highness?”
The smile on Raha’s face had somehow returned.
“Princess should wear something more bare.”
“That’s a wise idea, chamberlain.”
“If thePrincess holds him somewhere other than His Majesty’s hand, I think it will be a day to die of joy.”
The chamberlain was only polite in spite of his naked words.
“His Majesty’s joy is my joy.”
“The chamberlain is a very good speaker.”
Raha tapped the chamberlain on the forehead with her finger, as if she was touching a dog, but it did not change the smile on his face.
It didn’t change the way he looked at Raha, whose eyes were always hair-raisingly cold. Even now, only the way he looked at her was the same.
She felt that the way he looked at a caterpillar would be warmer than when he looked at her.
“I need to rest in the palace. I’m tired.”
* * * *
The nearby nobles froze and scowled at the words that Karzen had thrown at them.
There was another dance song.
The nobles all looked alike, regardless of gender. Still, the only difference would be the smell of perfume. Even that felt like a numbing of the sense of smell later, so there was nothing unusual about it. Karzen thought it was more interesting to watch the noble ministers shiver.
He had enjoyed such an exciting banquet only a few weeks ago, and this one was very pungent, even if it was somewhat disturbing.
There was no need to invite royal families from other countries with such sincerity. Preparing for the banquets, as always, was Raha del Harsa. The adorable twin was completely unable to distinguish the opinions of the palace officials.
He remembered that the captain of the Kingsguard had carefully said that the security of the palace might be a bit neglected thanks to them.
There were many people coming and going on a day like this.
After twelve more dances, Karzen returned to his seat and took a cold drink. The liquor reminded him of Raha. It was natural.
Karzen slowly lifted his chin. When he looked around the huge banquet hall three times, which was so crowded with people that he couldn’t see one end from the other, he realized.
There was no Raha.
He looked at the clock. The hands on the clock still read eight o’clock.
Ten minutes passed and he still didn’t see her.
The faithful chamberlain noticed that the back of Karzen’s neck was slowly hardening.
“Where is Raha?”
“The Princess is tired and has returned to her palace.”
“To the palace? Why? She has nothing to do.”
Of course, she danced with Karzen many times and guarded the grand banquet hall for quite a while, but …….
If she was an ordinary Princess, there was nothing wrong with going back by now.
If she was an ordinary Princess….
Karzen saw numerous nobles. There were so many people coming and going, and so many guests from other countries, that the palace’s security could be neglected.
“When did she leave?”
“About thirty-five minutes ago.”
“…… Oh, no way.”
He hoped Raha didn’t run away.
Karzen’s expression grew cold.
“Go and see if Raha is there. If she’s there, bring her to me.”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
Like all dignified servants of the Imperial Palace, the chamberlain exited the grand banquet hall with swift and graceful steps.
Karzen sat at an angle on the throne-like upper seat and tipped his glass.
His nerves were focused outside the door, and the dance tunes did two more rounds. The chamberlain did not return even until that moment.
Until, eventually, Karzen stood up and walked with broad strides.
* * * *
“Greetings to the Emperor.”
The maids bowed their heads as if they merged to the floor, but they didn’t come into Karzen’s eyes.
As he approached Raha’s palace, the ease was slowly fading from his gray eyes.
“The Princess is in the inner palace. …..”
“The Inner Palace?” (*the inner palace is where the slaves live)
“It’s been a while since she went in there….”
The behavior of the hesitant maids was unusual.
“Get out of my way!”
Karzen immediately kicked the maids and strode to the courtyard that led to the inner palace.
Spoilers next chapter: Karzen will meet the slave 192 (Shed) for the first time, and someone will die. But who? 🙂