Chapter 1. Prologue
Sponsored by M. Thank you 💖 (3/4)
The political meeting finally ended after the morning.
Karzen tilted his head when he heard that Raha was coming. Raha was not very serious these days. Originally, there were many banquets and events, large and small, at the Imperial Palace, and it was completely Raha’s role to prepare them.
However, since Jamela came in, Raha often left the main palace office. There, Jamela was the only one wearing a blue dress to show off. Karzen quickly lost his excitement. After repeating the wasted steps several times, the steps to the office became less frequent.
“Your Majesty, the Princess is here.”
A short time later, Raha followed the chief chamberlain in. Seeing her dress, Karzen raised his eyebrows.
She had always worn only dresses that came up to her neck like the priestesses in the High Temple, but not today. The thin dress that was just right above her chest was similar to what Raha used to wear before. Karzen naturally began to look at her white skin, but there was not a single red mark on it.
Truly dazzlingly beautiful, his twin stopped in that polite seat where the other nobles stopped and opened her mouth.
The distancing that seemed to be deliberately placed was sometimes considered cute. Karzen made a gesture. Raha approached Karzen submissively, closing the distance.
He pulled Raha’s hand and sat her on his thighs. The hand that hugged and swept down the waist was so natural. As if she really was Karzen’s mistress.
“Why haven’t you come to see me lately, Raha?”
“You’ve had state meetings every day, haven’t you?”
“People would think I have meetings all day long.”
Raha smiled. Karzen looked into her eyes obsessively as usual and reached out. Touching Raha’s soft face, Karzen opened his mouth.
“You have a fever.”
“I guess it’s because I walked on a cold road. Did I dress too thin?”
“I wonder if that’s why your skin looks whiter.”
“Should I keep wearing something like this?”
“Yes. Raha. Only wear like this.”
Karzen spoke in a languid tone.
“If it’s cold outside, we could set up a long corridor.”
“From the emperor’s palace to the inner palace?”
He wanted to do a large construction project this winter. It was purely because he didn’t want Raha to be cold. But how long did he want her to wear revealing clothes even in winter?
Raha started laughing.
“I’m fine. It’s not even that cold.”
Her cheeks were frozen red. Everyone would know it was a lie, but Karzen just touched Raha’s chin without saying much.
“If it’s okay with my twin.”
Karzen said, stroking Raha’s back.
“Did the wizard tell you about the new slave?”
“Yes, but I think he’s too young.”
“It was so because there’s no one suitable right now. That means there are too many raccoons squealing to start a war.”
Karzen muttered disapprovingly.
“Still, you’ll like his face a lot. I picked it out because it’s a stout one.”
“Yes, he’s good too.”
Karzen whispered, but still frowned his forehead as if it were no good. He was able to see better because Raha was wearing a thin dress and she was close to him. Raha’s body was clearly running a fever.
It was pretty bad too.
“Is your doctor taking good care of you?”
“He prescribed some medicine, but I haven’t taken it yet.”
“Why didn’t you?”
“I was coming to see Karzen. I wanted to see you as soon as possible.”
Karzen chuckled. He pulled on the rope, holding Raha in his arms. When the attendant came in, he ordered.
“Bring some ice.”
Immediately, translucent ice was brought in a bucket. Karzen fumbled with the ice with thin silver tongs and held Raha’s chin with one hand and pressed it down. Raha’s mouth opened without resistance. The red tongue inside caught Karzen’s gaze. He lifted a moderately sized piece of ice and quickly pushed it into her mouth.
The heat remained and the ice melted as it slid into the hot mucus membrane. The ice melted and mixed with saliva. Raha’s mouth, trying to close, did not work as she wanted. It was because Karzen held her chin open with force.
The fluids accumulated in Raha’s mouth flowed down the open lips. Karzen stared into Raha’s mouth, not caring if his fingers were wet. If anyone saw it, it would have seemed like it wasn’t a finger that he wanted to push through that red hole.
Some time passed. Karzen looked over at Raha’s tongue, which was frozen and unmoving, and finally let go of her chin. With the back of her hand, Raha was finally able to wipe her chin, which was wet with melted ice and saliva.
“I’ll have to send some ice to your palace.”
Raha couldn’t believe he suddenly put ice in her mouth and called it a cure for fever. If Oliver had known, he would have flagged it.
“My doctor would be surprised if he knew.”
“Your doctor is the wisest disciple of the wise, so I won’t do anything.”
Karzen clicked his tongue. As per his usual temper, he would already have cut off the doctor’s head. But he was the wise man’s disciple, who was someone Karzen couldn’t touch recklessly. He was one of the few of Raha’s people.
Raha felt a little better when he said that.
“I’ll go and take my medicine.”
“Don’t you want to have dinner together?”
“What if I give Karzen a cold? It would paralyze the imperial affairs.”
“A cold is just a cold. It doesn’t matter to me.”
“If you say so, then.”
Raha took a handkerchief from Karzen’s pocket and wiped his wet hands.
“I should be fine in no time. It’s just a minor cold.”
“Still, I’ll send some medicine. If the Princess suffers with a cold, it would be a terrible blow to the imperial family’s appearance.”
Perhaps Karzen may hope Raha doesn’t get well too soon, though. Because if he wanted her to get well, he would have told her not to wear thin clothes that reveal her skin or wear something warm on top.
Suddenly, the warmth that had been resting on her shoulders vibrated like a shadow, and Raha quietly grabbed the handkerchief.
* * *
Karzen accepted Raha’s request and did not eat dinner with her. But he did not send her right back to the palace right away.
However, it was fortunate for Raha that Jamela’s father, Duke Winston, came to visit. Maybe it was because Karzen had the last mind, or just didn’t want to be noisy, at least because he didn’t want to do anything crazy by forcing Raha’s mouth to open and throwing ice in in front of Duke Winston.
“Princess. Please grant me the honor of walking you to the palace.”
Duke Winston insisted on taking Raha to the palace. Like the future father-in-law of the emperor, it was a duke with all his nerves focused on the imperial palace. Did he seem to think that Karzen might call on Raha again?
“It’s good here.”
Duke Winston walked a short distance away from Raha and opened his mouth.
“You don’t look well.”
“Maybe it’s because I didn’t sleep well.”
“You must be having fun with your doll.”
Raha, who was walking down the corridor of the Imperial Palace, answered without changing a single expression on her face.
“I’ll have to ask Lady Jamela about that later when she marries His Majesty.
“I wonder if she’ll enjoy the night with my twin?”
“I’ll ask her especially in the presence of His Majesty.”
“I’ve been disrespectful. I thought I’d have a chat, but I’m sorry.”
“…… yes, Your Royal Highness.”
Raha nodded lightly. There was silence after that.
“Well, then, have a peaceful evening.”
Duke Winston retreated. Raha shrugged her cold body after entering the room. The ladies-in-waiting led Raha immediately to the bathroom.
It was okay to warm up in hot water for a long time, but Raha chose to wash up quickly and come out. After changing into light clothes, she blinked when she saw the large bouquet of flowers on the table.
“What is this?”
”Count Paltz sent it.”
“Is that so?”
Count Paltz said he would bring it again, but Raha didn’t expect him to send it again so soon.
After a quick meal at the outer palace, Raha impulsively headed for the inner palace, holding a bouquet of flowers in her arms.
She walked down the quiet hallway of the East Wing to the bedroom. The warmth she felt as soon as she opened the door and entered. Again today, Raha’s hands, which were trying to take off her clothes first, were caught and restrained.
Shed looked down at Raha with a twisted face.
“You’re going to harm yourself. You’re taking off your clothes outside.”
Raha was unusually cold today. She took a bath in the hot water at the outer palace, but her hands were cold again while she walked across the courtyard.
Raha choked a little on Shed’s warmth as it transferred to her frozen hands. The hand that held the bouquet of flowers was inexplicably strained.
“Lie down. You have to do it.”
“Take the medicine and I’ll lie down.”
“Your doctor left them here.”
Raha finally saw the pills on the table. She frowned at her forehead.
“Do something I didn’t ask him to do.”
Earlier, Oliver left the medicine in the inner palace. It was not that Raha did not take the medicine on purpose, and if he left it to the maidservants, they would take care of it, but Oliver just left it with Shed.
‘Did the Princess get hurt by her doll?’
No, Oliver thought there was something more complicated than a fight. Oliver, Raha’s faithful doctor, had long noticed that Shed was the only thing she truly loved about this expansive palace and not so short a life.
No matter how good the medicine was, nothing was more important than the patient’s comfort. It was similar to the reason why doctors always made diagnoses for patients to take it as comfortably as possible and to purify their mind and body as much as possible.