Chapter 1. Prologue
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Raha looked at the altar, where a series of tags of the members of the Neslien family were placed one after another. In the most invisible corner was placed the tag of the Marquis of Neslien. It seemed that Jamela was good at her job.
“He’s like a commoner living in the countryside, he was too ignorant of imperial etiquette. I think he will come in next week to at least be educated in a more human way.”
Raha, who recalled the words of Karzen’s wizard, took a step.
“I want to light a candle.”
“Yes? Yes, Princess.”
Normally, the commoners would light a candle on the altar themselves, but the nobles light the candles with the help of the priests. And Raha, who was from the royal family, was helped by two high-ranking priests.
It was only natural that the priests in the Holy Land were higher in ordination than the priests who stayed in the imperial palace. The two high-ranking priests who had followed from the Holy Land like water flowing through a stream joined Raha.
“I must raise one too.”
As Raha lit the candle, Jamela also received a candle from the priests and walked to the altar. Until she returned, Raha stood by High Priest Amar, staring only at the altar.
“Would you like to raise one as well?”
The commoners. Many people lit the candles on the altar at once. But the etiquette of the commoners and the nobles was different. After Jamela returned, High Priest Amar also lit the candles directly.
It was a great courtesy for the deceased for the High Priest to light candles at the altar outside the Holy Land. Perhaps if there had been other nobles here, Jamela thought, they would not have intended to raise candles, but everyone burned candles, soaking up the atmosphere.
The nobles were …….
“Oh, the captain of the Kingsguard, light a candle too.”
At Jamela’s words, Captain Blake of the Kingsguard stopped for a moment. It was the moment he was about to refuse.
Even Raha helped. Jamela, the future Empress, was friendly to the priests, as befitting the public opinion of the present Delo aristocracy. In fact, Raha did not seem too hostile. But then again, that Princess was like that to everyone, so it was nothing special. The only people who were not friendly to the Holy Land were Karzen and his military.
Blake was pushed by the atmosphere and eventually carried his steps. It is very appropriate, on top of the fact that the Princess of the empire and the Emperor’s fiancée recommended it at the same time. If it was done poorly, the word could spread that the captain believed in power and behaved arrogantly.
“Young Lady, I understand that the Duke of Winston is also entering the palace.”
Just as a priest brought up another story to talk to Jamela.
As if timing it right, High Priest Amar quietly opened his mouth to Raha. It was a very short word.
“I would like to see him for a while.”
“The night after tomorrow, come by the back door at 1 o’clock.”
Raha stopped talking. The two did not have any further conversation, even though there was time left before the captain of the guard, Blake, came back after lighting a candle.
* * *
Late at night.
High Priest Amar thought as he walked in a hurry.
‘The Princess has much more complete control over the attendants than what can be seen from the outside.’
At first glance, she was an imperial Princess with no power. She only possessed a perfect lineage and the eyes of the heir. She was a helpless and beautiful imperial princess living a life captured by her twin emperor. That was the normal image of Raha that people knew.
However, it was a firm-faced lady-in-waiting who just now opened the door of the outer palace for High Priest Amar. She didn’t ask any questions and just told him the shortest distance to the inner palace.
Outside, there was a splendid party thrown by Jamela to commemorate Holy Land’s willingness to come. It was a hectic time as the ripples had just begun to spread. Raha was, of course, captured by Karzen. Still, with Duke Winston and Jamela present, she would be released shortly.
Kingsguard Captain Blake only monitored the “situation with Raha and the High Priest together,” or he went to Karzen when the time they were attached was noticeably less. In any case, the basic duty of the Kingsguard captain was to protect the emperor.
High Priest Amar opened the door and entered. The maid who opened the outer palace gate briefly explained to him, and he was able to get to the inner palace bedroom without getting lost.
After a few moments of knocking on the door, he pushed the handle.
Shed stood up with a frown on his forehead. As soon as he saw him, High Priest Amar nearly burst into tears of pain.
“You look really well. I’m glad. I’m glad.”
High Priest Amar held Shed’s hand for a moment. As he concentrated his energy, the High Priest’s refined sacred power flowed into Shed’s body.
“Medicine is a temporary measure, for it is a much safer way to infuse the sacred power.”
Shed’s expression sank a little at the word “medicine,” recalling Raha’s tears. High Priest Amar could not read the look on his face and hurriedly pulled a blue diamond bracelet from his pocket. It was that bracelet that Priest Paris had brought with him as an occlusion measuring device.
The bracelet, which he had brought back previously, saying it would take some time to check the result, reacted differently this time. It was as if it was flickering. The diamonds shone brightly.
High Priest Amar opened his eyes wide. By all accounts, it meant that the bio-materials had been fully filled. High Priest Amar prayed a prayer of thanks to God and shook Shed’s hands.
“I’ll prepare a way out of this palace right away.”
Shed did not answer immediately. It was shortly after that the unexpected words fell, as the High Priest seemed to be looking for a date.
“And now I must be honest with you, my King.”
“What is it?”
‘’If it weren’t for the Princess, we would never have gotten the results so quickly.”
For a moment, the light faded faintly from Shed’s eyes. Yes, he knew. He slept with Raha a lot. They slept really well. They slept like crazy. Maybe if that was what the High Priest wanted to talk about…….
High Priest Amar spoke with a firm expression.
“From the beginning, the Princess knew everything and helped us to get this data.”
It was truly a rare occurrence.
“It was all thanks to Her Imperial Highness.”
Shed had never in his life failed to understand what the other person was saying. So this was the first time Shed did not immediately understand what the High Priest said.
No. Even though he heard and understood, he felt as if he refused to hear it himself. Just before he was overwhelmed by the despair of not wanting to understand.
“What do you mean by that?”
“The Princess knew all this from the beginning…… What is it ……”
High Priest Amar prayed in his heart. For the peace of one and the wishes of the other.
“The Princess was a very smart woman.”
The clever Princess, who knew from the beginning that the Holy Land had deliberately leaked the story of the laboratory to Karzen and that she needed the biological material and had to do the mating.
The heartless Princess who had never said anything to Shed and hurt him when necessary to accelerate the experiment…….
There was no need for another story.
“That’s why the Princess used you.”
Shed felt like his head was going to stop. No, he felt like his lungs were being squeezed.
High Priest Amar slowly trailed off.
“So don’t feel guilty about the Princess.”
“You were just being used……..”
* * *
Perhaps because it was a banquet welcoming the delegation of the Holy Land, Raha could have worn the decorations more simply today. It was hard to wear earrings that seemed to tear her ears every time, so she wore the light diamond earrings that she liked.
Raha took a longer bath than usual. After Shed was given to her, Rach did not take as many leisurely baths as the royalty and nobility seemed to do. She washed quickly and simply, changed her clothes, and immediately went to the inner palace.
So not a single word was exchanged, and the attendants were vaguely aware of it.
The fact that the Princess really cared deeply about her slave.
Today, however, was different. After Raha had been soaking in the hot water with bath salts for almost an hour, she slowly got up. She put on a cloak over a light negligee like pajamas that she wore.
So it took her twice as long to get to the inner palace than usual.
Today it snowed again. Even the glass ceiling of the corridor in the East Wing was covered with snow. Raha walked down the long corridor without stopping once, even though she felt the feeling of walking in the snow for the first time in a long time.
Finally, she arrived in front of the bedroom.
Raha’s hand gripped the handle and stopped still for a while. The handle was made of cold metal with a layer of leather, but it was cold from Raha’s hand, so there was no warmth.
Raha, who had been staring at the closed door, eventually pushed the handle.
There was no one in the bedroom.
Panicked, Raha looked around the bedroom. But there was really no one there. She opened the door to the hallway of the west wing with the bedrooms, went to the dining room, went to the dressing room, opened the bathrooms one by one….
She opened the last bathroom door and was puzzled.
Because Shed was standing there in wet clothes in that malfunctioning space that she had told him not to use because it only produced ice cold water. It didn’t look like he had come here on purpose. It felt like he came here without thinking.
Shed slowly turned around. Raha was speechless for a moment.
He was covered with cold water from the top of his head, his silver hair, his face, and even his jacket were all cold and wet from the water.
The look in Shed’s eyes as he stared at her was even colder than that. It was a look that was colder than the first time he woke up as a slave.