Chapter 1. Prologue
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“I guess it was a shock that the doll ran away.”
“He even put the flower on her chest.”
“Or maybe it’s because she took poison.”
“And she must be upset. The competition that she had prepared for so long has been ruined.”
Oliver chuckled as he listened to the whispering. He came to the Princess’s bedroom and changed the hand towel on her forehead.
“It is fortunate that one can always see only one side of a person, Princess.”
When Raha woke up from her illness, it was already early summer when spring had not even come.
The snow was no longer falling, and enough time had passed for everything in Delo to get better.
Except for a King who didn’t belong to Delo.
* * *
“Today’s experiment is over. Thank you very much, my lord.”
Shed, who had been sitting down, lightly grasped his hand and stood up. The priest brought him his clothes as he fully revealed his upper body. Meanwhile, the priest’s eyes were filled with deep concern. The King responded to the experiment quietly and silently. He was expressionless, even to the point of inertia. He looked like a person who had completely collapsed in one part of his body somewhere.
After putting on his familiar clothes, Shed left the room set aside for the experiment.
This was not the Holy Land, but it was a place that had been prepared in secret by the High Priests, who had planned it with great precision. It would be the most inconspicuous place to Karzen to the maximum extent. So, though, it was built on a quiet piece of land where all four seasons loomed particularly harshly.
A particularly ruthless season was winter.
It was long, cold, and snowed a lot.
Shed was walking down the not so long hallway and suddenly stared out the window. Every time he turned around, there was snow falling through the thick windows. It fell all day long. At dawn, midday, at dusk, and at night.
Every time he looked, it was always there. Isn’t it tiresome?
Soon he turned his gaze from the pure white snowy landscape.
Without any excitement, he responded to the experiment, ate meals, took baths, and waved his sword around.
It was nothing special.
It was, except for one thing.
Shed placed the jewel in his hand on his field of vision and stared at it. That blue jewel from the dagger that the Princess had given him. It was also the only thing that he had taken on his own volition from the Delo empire.
Why did he bring this?
Did he bring this thing because he was driven by some impulse?
He asked himself countless questions, but in the end, the answer never came out properly. Only one thing was clear. If he hadn’t brought this, he would have stopped looking at everything blue.
Even after leaving the skit, it was a skit like this. It was so pathetic that everything that added volume as the day went by.
Anyway, the only thing the Princess allowed him to have was the poor and crude delusions that hurt his eyes. Things that no longer mean anything.
Even though he repeated it many times.
Even though he repeated it constantly.
Shed’s hand, which was holding the blue jewel, slowly strengthened. Despite the protruding veins, there was no agitation on his expressionless face. But yes. He was going crazy. Every minute, every second. Every breath out and every breath in. Every time…
He felt suffocated.
Raha del Harsa.
He should have pretended to be pitiful and bought her sympathy. He should have curled up, pretending to be an injured beast, to the benevolent woman who shared sympathy with even the corpses she had never spoken to.
The cold, hard jewel pressed down on his skin and left a red mark. Shed hadn’t slept for a very long time. When he closed his eyes, he saw the eyes of the Princess, and when opened his eyes, he could feel the fingertips that he had held.
It was strange.
He knew that he was nothing to the Princess. She denied him everything so brutally. He couldn’t help but know that all the feelings he felt were just a disturbing element to her.
He could not forget a single word she said.
Why on earth did she look so pale? The brutal words she whispered while pretending to be kind. Did she want to watch the beast die before her eyes? Did she want to see someone alive? If that was the intention.
Shed, who had been staring at the blue jewel above his field of vision, slowly lowered his hand. Through the window with the curtains half drawn, it was still snowing heavily.
It seemed that the snow would never stop.
“Be sure to come back and destroy Delharsa.”
The experiment was going well.
They say that all wounds are slowly forgotten over time, but the blood that Karzen had spilled on the continent had not yet cooled and was still hot. The Holy Land, as promised, will not forget the bitterness of all its victims. They will not forget even in death, considering the experimental subjects who died horribly like playthings in front of their eyes.
The blueprints were woven large.
If there was one thing that Karzen del Harsa overlooked, it was the fact that the Holy Land was the spiritual pillar of the continent, no matter how much it was trampled on. No matter how many military boots they stamped on it, it would remain a thin vein of life that would be maintained until the death of the last believer.
Through that long winter and spring, until one season passed and two more passed, Shed experimented like a machine. It was a few days after the day they squeezed out the last drops of blood of the imperial heir that remained in his body in a quiet laboratory detached from the world.
The King, who had not been seen for a long time, returned to the Kingdom of Hildes.
* * *
The Kingdom of Hildes was a peaceful land.
It was a wealthy kingdom with a lot of money, although winters were especially harsh. Moreover, it was a safe country by birth, as it was located in the far west, quite far from the center of the continent, with mountain ranges surrounding its borders.
It was a peaceful country with very little trouble. Being surrounded by mountain ranges also meant that the kingdom was less likely to be invaded by other countries. For this reason, the Kingdom of Hildes chose to be neutral in its foreign policy.
Of course, peace was possible only when there was sufficient military power.
Of course, that too is a peace that is possible only if it is based on sufficient military power. With the help of natural conditions, the kingdom of Hildes became a quiet, beautiful, and rich kingdom as it portrayed.
However, the fact that there were few cries in such a beautiful country meant that there was a possibility that civil war may often occur.
In such a country, good brotherhood has been very rare even in Hildes’ history.
The Commander of the Kingsguard of the Kingdom of Hildes blinked slowly.
“No. ……the King?”
It was like seeing a ghost. Hadn’t he been away for almost a year? No, didn’t he disappear?
The King who was standing right in front of him now, left a letter saying that there was no need to look for him. There was a big fuss about revealing the letter’s authenticity! Of course, the fuss was quickly put to rest because the letter was, by all accounts, the King’s handwriting, and the seal also was the royal seal.
Shed asked bluntly.
“Where is His Highness?”
“Oh my gosh. Are you the real king?”
The Commander was at a loss for words, and even his hands trembled a little.
“No, where the hell have you been?”
“The commander doesn’t always understand all the words at once, does he?”
“My Lord, it is not so. …!”
Shed wiggled his eyebrows and began to walk alone. The Commander hurried to follow.
“ My apologies, my Lord. His Highness is in his office. The name of the office was changed once. ……. Let me show you the way.”
The Commander hurriedly to the left.
“Where in the world were you? Do you know how worried His Highness and Her Highness have been?”
“I heard that my sister-in-law is in critical condition.”
The commander trailed off. He coughed once and said,
“Fortunately, she’s a little better now.”
Shed added in a dull voice.
“That’s a relief.”
The Commander replied cautiously.
“Because of what happened back then……. His Highness is really fine now. You know his personality.”
“Yes, I know.”
Shed answered, looking somewhat tired. He had never looked so tired.
The commander felt his heart ache. He didn’t know where the King had been, but he naturally guessed the reason why he left the kingdom.
“Here we are.”
Shed stopped in front of the big office. So it was what used to be called the Coral reception room before Shed left.
The chamberlain in front of him looked at the commander and opened his eyes wide when he saw Shed standing next to him.
“Oh, oh, my King?
“Deliver the news.”
The chamberlain hurriedly opened the door and entered. A few moments later, the door burst open. A face popped out. Even though they were half-brothers, the man bore little resemblance to Shed, but the blood continued to flow anyway, brother was brother.
The King of Hildes stared at Shed with his mouth slightly open. (*When Shed disappeared, his brother became King.)
“Your Highness.” (Shed)
The King said nothing. He looked at Shed with surprised eyes and quickly went inside. Shed followed him inside.
The King sat down and raised his hand and pointed to the seat in front of him. Almost as soon as Shed sat down, the king lifted up a piece of paper with words on it and showed it to him.
[Where in the world did you go and now you come?]
“I heard sister-in-law is in critical condition.”
The King sighed. He was a neat-looking man with a somewhat overwhelming atmosphere. His white-blond hair, which grew down to his shoulders, was tied up and passed near his left collarbone, and his appearance was a little terrifying, but on the other hand, he also looked very wise.
[It’s a lie.]
Shed frowned for a moment.
[You’ve been gone too long and I spread rumors. I thought you would return when you heard the Queen was in critical condition. Where on earth did you go and spend three years without news, Shed?]
*I wonder if Shed’s brother can’t speak, that’s why he communicates with written paper.
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