Chapter 1. Prologue
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Raha breathed heavily.
“I wish I could run away from here.”
It was a meaningless whisper.
She stepped through the broken door and entered. Already the great temple of the Holy Kingdom had been trampled to pieces by military boots, and all the hard doors like this one had long since broken down.
The large space inside the door was not the cold atmosphere that immediately came to mind when she thought of a laboratory. It was a bit more peaceful and moderate. That was strange. Her vaguely held expectation that it would be a more horrible sight to experiment on people was off.
There was a man chained to the floor with his mouth gagged. He must have been tied up once there, where the knights of Karzen had found him in order to keep him in line.
Raha went deep into the room holding her breath, paused in front of the man.
This was because the appearance of the man staring at her as if he was going to kill her was unbelievably beautiful. Perfectly balanced features. Eyes that blazed fire. Even if he was a distant cousin of the baronial family who had just moved to capital from the countryside, he was bound to captivate the eyes of the social world at once.
However, the admiration was short-lived.
Raha rolled up her sleeves and placed her left palm to her lips. The man who had been glaring at her as if he was going to eat her alive noticed a trickle of blood from Raha’s left hand a second later.
Doubts did not last long.
The man’s jaw was lifted and Raha removed his gag. It wasn’t long before he was free of the tight leather restraints. There was something that touched the man’s lips before the cold air.
It was Raha’s lips.
It wasn’t a romantic act, like a lover’s kiss. The fluid that clearly came over from between the mucous membranes that touched each other. It tasted like metal.
It was blood.
Even when the man was panic, Raha poured the blood, which she had been holding to the fullest, into the man’s mouth.
“Don’t spit it out, you have to swallow it to survive. Please.”
Muttering quietly, Raha wiped her lips with the wet cloth she had prepared beforehand. After quickly wiping off the man’s lips, which were smeared with her blood, she lifted the cloak that had fallen to her chin again.
It all happened in a blink of an eye. It wasn’t only the men who felt this way. In fact, it took less than five minutes for Raha to do all of this as well.
It was as if she had been preparing for it for quite some time.
She left with a leisurely, innocent, and relaxed look on her face, characteristic of a typical blue haired Princess. The slight urgency that she had seen while feeding the man her blood was completely gone.
Turning around, she approached the wall on the right. Almost as soon as she snapped the beautiful branches adorned the wall, she heard rough footsteps coming from the entrance.
The man who jumped in wildly also had blue hair. His features were very similar to Raha’s, indicated that he was extremely close to her.
At the same time, the sound of rattling military boots followed the man, and no small number of close guards entered the room. Their faces were uniformly pale, as if they were frightened.
They had been that way until just before they discovered Raha.
The stiff-faced Karzen spotted Raha and strode to her. Raha snapped off a shimmering branch and blinked.
“What’s the matter?”
As if she was an immature aristocrat, riding on the back of a tiger without knowing fear. It was a ridiculous act of pure innocence, but it wasn’t bad, because she was a dazzlingly beautiful princess, she just looked like a masterpiece.
As she always was.
Karzen let out a slow exhale . He waved his hand roughly, and the Kingsguard immediately bowed and retreated.
“What were you doing here?”
“I hadn’t been here in a temple in a long time. It’s the first time I’ve been here since I was a little girl, and it’s a place I’ll never come back again.”
It was only then that Karzen’s expression slowly relaxed. He gently brushed a strand of shaggy hair from Raha’s forehead and said,
“I was about to cut off all the priests’ heads because I thought you were gone.”
He spoke casually that no tyrant in history had dared to say. However, Laha’s smile remained the same.
“I won’t disappear, Karzen.”
A smile of amusement crossed Karzen’s face.
The twins’ voices sounded strange.
“You can’t steal those eyes and disappear.”
Karzen whispered, raising his hand.
His fingers traced Raha’s lips slowly. The fingertips lightly press down on her chin. Her red lips spread thinly. Not the slightest crack in their expressions, even when he could push his fingers into her mouth at a moment’s notice.
They were the faces of the twins who looked too much like each other.
“I can smell blood.”
“I stepped in a puddle of blood earlier.”
Karzen finally lifted his gaze. He glanced at the man bound in chains and whispered in Raha’s ear.
“I’ll give you all sixteen of them, including him, as your slaves.”
The voice was infinitely sweet, as if to make up for the roughness of it.
After a while.
Karzen, who had invaded the Holy Kingdom to the astonishment and horror of the entire continent, returned proudly to the imperial palace.
The priests were semi-forced carried in a gorgeous carriage that could be used for serving the country’s noble guests. The pale faces of the faithful nobles turned as pale as gray, but no one dared to speak up. Moreover, Karzen had apparently graciously invited the priests as “noble guests”.
Superficially, that was.
The otherwise exhausted priests turned white the moment they were ushered into the dining hall.
This was because the same cleaned and washed experimental subjects were dragged in front of them.
They could understand why they were naked because they were slaves who served the Princess’ chamber.
The problem was ……
It was a vivid stigma engraved on their bodies.
The smell of burning flesh hit their nose. The priests froze completely . The story about the slaves being dedicated to the Princess was well known. However, it was the first time they had ever heard of such terrible art engraving on the body.
“What the hell is that… .”
Karzen slowly enjoyed the shocked look on the priests’ faces.
“Oh, art is a little painful. I know how precious my twin is, and I don’t want impure molecules to harbor evil thoughts. They must not become dangerous in the pursuit of pleasure.”
Karzen’s eyes radiated a bright glare. It was only the priests who were trembling badly. The additional priests finally spoke up at the sight of the experimental subjects unable to even scream.
“Oh, engraving something like that….can they live?”
“Of course, priest. If they’re lucky, that is.”
However, none of the slaves had lived past a week.
“So let’s drink together as a sign of reconciliation, priests.”
There was nothing but sheer boredom on Karzen’s face. He looked like a relaxed aristocrat watching a light play, listening to the musical performances of his patronage artists.
It was the prisoners of war who were twisting and bleeding horribly to death. It was just common entertainment. At least for Karzen it was.
* * * *
At the same time, in Raha’s inner palace.
“There was nothing special about being an experimental subject for the temple. Everyone except this one is not even in a state to be brought to the bedroom. This one is also going to die soon……”
A short reply.
Karzen’s wizard smiled deeply and bowed his head. No one in the inner court knew that the blue eyed Princess’s mood would bottom out on the day that she carved her enchantments on the slaves. So, even the wizard kept his tone properly in front of Raha, only on this day.
Raha stared at the man lying on the bed.
He was washed clean, and even though he was a slave, he belonged to the Princess, so he was quite decorative……. He still wore the gag, and his eyes were blindfolded. Even handcuffs were still there, so to anyone’s eyes he was treated like an animal.
Now that he had the stigma, he didn’t need these anymore.
Perhaps Karzen had ordered this on purpose to scare the priests.
Raha released the man’s handcuffs, took off the blindfold, and threw it on the floor.
The man’s face was really beautiful. Even though he was pale, it was the first thing that came to her mind.
“It’s the same…….”
The breath that was gradually disappearing was no different from the slaves that had been there. It was not that different from the usual scenery…Raha was sad. Those many slaves who died in front of her, with such complexion, expression, and breathing, slowly drew their last breath. They all had one thing in common.
They all breathed their last breaths in hatred and anger towards the Raha in front of them.
Raha’s trembling hand hovered over the man’s cheek. The man couldn’t open his eyes at all, even though there was a shadow.
Raha clenched her hands tightly. Instead, she sat down with her knees folded, resting her cheek on it and lightly stroked the man’s hair.
She buried her face on her propped up knees, watching the motionless man.
She was used to sleeping with dead bodies.
It was the only funeral Raha could give him, not leaving him, but watching him until he let out his last breath. The funeral, which was held hundreds and thousands of times, was repeated again this time.
There were sometimes people who relieved their loneliness by watching them die.
The night passed mercilessly slowly as new slaves entered Raha’s inner palace.