Chapter 1. Prologue
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The cold air blowing from the malfunctioning bathroom made Raha’s shoulders reflexively shiver. Shed looked at her and stepped over. He grabbed her wrist and strode to the bedroom. Raha could tell by the fact that his hands were very cold.
Her hands were always much colder, but only this time.
Squeak. They entered the bedroom and the door closed. The warmth from the stove burning hit her, but somehow it didn’t ease her heart one bit. It was rather uncomfortable, as if something was caught in her throat.
Cold water dripped along Shed’s chin as he turned his head. The thought that he would catch a cold if he wore those wet clothes for a long time reflexively flashed through Raha’s mind. Raha reached out to undress the slave. It was too natural to take off that slave’s clothes, so it was not a big thought.
Her natural hands caught hard in the air. Their gazes collided.
“Why did you do that to me?”
There was no explanation. He didn’t even talk about what he heard when he met Amar.
That was enough.
Who betrayed whom?
Was it because he poured water that held the temperature of midwinter into his face? The blue-gray eyes were as cold as a tyrant’s.
But Raha del Harsa.
The eyes of the noble Princess were no different. They were not different from the frozen sea. Just like when he saw her for the first time. With the expression of a noble lady who touched and examined heartlessly to gauge whether he was just a jewel worth considering.
With such cold eyes, Raha opened her mouth.
“Because you were the experiment.”
“My twin was horrendous and I needed the result of the experiment quickly.”
“I cut you off, because you seemed to have different feelings about being an experimental subject.”
It’s like drilling a hole in his head and pouring cold poison into it.
“That’s why it was comfortable. If I didn’t do what I did, would you have taken the medicine from the Holy Land?”
There was a sense of guilt, nostalgia, and loss that might have remained in every word. Lock it all away in the winter solitude. Still holding his hand, she whispered in a brutally soft voice.
“If you are an experiment, you must behave like one.”
“You can’t love me so much because of your carnal desires, Shed.”
“You have no idea how hard it has been for me.”
Shed looked down at her, motionless, like someone who had been stabbed with too many blades to count and then left to die. He just stared at the Princess. It seemed that if his body was cut now, there would be nothing left. His gnawing heart scattered to tatters.
A long silence fell. This beautiful imperial princess remained dazzlingly beautiful, cold, cool, lovely, worrisome, miserable, sometimes crumbling, often in ruins, and he could not look away from her…
It was horrifying.
There was a very long silence.
How long had he been quiet?
Just two senseless and vivid syllables.
“Your brutality is no different than your twin.”
Shed slowly lowered his upper body, still holding Raha’s hands. Cold, icy lips were pressed against Raha’s lips. After a slow touch as if to bring an end to all the time spent together, he raised his head unsympathetically.
“In the name of the Holy Land, I thank you. Princess Raha del Harsa.”
There was no more emotion of any kind left in the blue-gray eyes that looked upon her.
* * *
The next day.
Raha did not enter the inner palace.
When she had work to do, she could not enter the inner palace, let alone the outer palace, but if there was any difference between then and now, it was that she did not enter the inner palace even when there was nothing to do.
She sat with her knees wrapped in the study of the outer palace, staring blankly at the empty vase. Oliver came once. He went, but only to prescribe her medicine that would nourish her body with a complicated look on his face.
“It’s snowing again.”
Raha stared out of the window at the words of the chambermaid. Tomorrow was the day that a distant relative of the Marquis of Neslien would be entering the palace as Raha’s slave.
Still, if he became a slave this time, he would be safe for the time being. All the nobles would be willing to spare themselves to death, so there would be no slaves to be given away for the time being.
Raha stretched out her arm and opened the tightly closed window. A cool breeze blew in. She reached out her hand. The falling snowflakes didn’t catch in her palm and fluttered everywhere. After trying to move her hand a few times, she stopped.
It didn’t catch her eyes. The white things tormented her heart in this way. Only her hand began to freeze red in the harsh winter wind.
She watched the snow starting to cover the floor. It was her first day off in a long time, but she had nothing to do.
One thing and one thing only made her very angry.
She didn’t want to call him a slave, so her words went wrong.
Then she heard a voice.
“Are you trying to get frostbite?”
Oliver pulled Raha’s hand carefully in surprise. Oliver, who closed the window and locked it, hurriedly examined Raha’s hand.
‘I’ll have to apply the medicine. But you didn’t harm yourself in the process. ……. Do you still untangle the emotional entanglements with your beloved doll?”
Words that follow like a tail only hit the core. Raha smiled.
“I didn’t. I won’t.”
“Don’t say anything to him. I’m saying just in case.”
It was an obvious command. Oliver nodded obediently with a complicated face. After applying all the medicine, Raha went to see Jamela.
“There are more people participating in the competition than I expected.”
“The reward is good.”
“I’m glad His Majesty collected your opinion.”
Jamela chuckled. After a few more confirmations of the schedule, Raha returned to the outer palace again. She sat in her bedroom in a daze, looked at the flowers and impulsively got up from her seat.
“Princess, at least a shawl…”
Raha put on the shawl and tied it in front of her neck and walked to the inner palace. The path, which the servants cleaned up twice daily, was clean despite the fact that it had snowed for some time today. It was easy to walk. Despite the white snow piled up on both sides of the long stone slab path leading to the inner palace.
She walked down the long hallway, opened the door and entered.
A familiar bedroom.
He was behind her, not much changed from before, and he made Rach feel a little more secure. She felt ashamed of herself for feeling such relief, but she had no choice.
She took off her shawl and put it on the table and climbed into bed. She leaned her back against the bedhead and held her knees together. Then she buried her face on her gathered knees and closed her eyes.
It was quiet for a while. Then she would lift her head up from time to time and check on Shed. When Shed reached the last page of the book, Raha opened her mouth.
Shed covered the book and walked to the bed. His weight weighed down the bed. Raha told him.
“Take off your clothes. All of it.”
There was not the slightest hesitation. It had happened before, but the feeling was different this time. Shed undressed.
He undressed casually, stripped naked, and sat down beside her. Just as Raha had ordered. Raha took off her clothes.
Then she stretched her arms around Shed’s shoulders. He intuited that most of Raha’s biological material was obtained, so there was no reason to mix her body with his any more, but it didn’t matter.
Even if Shed rejected, Raha had a lot to say.
‘Because you are my bedroom slave. Because you are a doll I received as a gift. Because you must satisfy my sexual desires. A slave has to do his job.’
Any words can hurt, but Shed did not say anything. The numb eyes just stared coldly at Raha.
It was as if something inexpressible in words was deeply seeping into Raha’s heart. She averted her gaze and put her arms around Shed’s neck. She finally met his gaze as she rose to her knees. Raha kissed Shed.
The lips felt cold. Regardless of his motionless tongue, Raha continued to feel in his mouth and lick his tongue. It felt like kissing a cold statue, but it didn’t matter. Even if he was really a statue made of marble, how wet Raha had been. The skin was the only thing that really turned her on, because he was such a wonderful slave.
As it was, Raha could insert his p*nis into her body and move. It just didn’t feel oddly good. A little later I found a word of determination similar to that not-so-good feeling.
It seemed a little miserable.
Raha took her lips away from Shed. She looked straight into the still emotionless eyes and said,
“Let me in, Shed.”
Then she took Shed’s hand and placed it on her chest. It only took a moment. Shed’s hands, which had not moved an inch, gripped Raha’s breasts tightly and without warning.
Raha let out an involuntary groan of pain. He massaged it. Her soft breasts twisted messily in his hands. Immediately rolling the hard rising nipples between his fingertips, Shed lifted Raha’s chin with his other hand.
A rough kiss. He kissed messily, as if trying to hurt the soft, pliable skin. With her jaw completely captured, Raha couldn’t move and had a hard time accepting the rough kiss.
By the time her jaw was twitching from the force of the hard tongue wash and roll, Shed slowly raised his head. Cold eyes looked down at her unimpressed and then lowered his face to her breasts. He swallowed, gnawing at the breasts, soft as flour dough, and bit painfully on the nipples with his teeth. Raha’s face contorted as she felt the pain and reflexively clutched Shed’s shoulders tightly with her fingernails.
No word of pain was uttered. But such words hurt her pride.
She didn’t know why.