Chapter 1. Prologue
Raha slowly emptied her soup, reached for the salad, and looked at the man sitting across from her. The man didn’t eat in a hurry. Certainly, the gestures of eating showed the appearance of being educated since young.
But …He ate well.
With each movement of his hand, all the food laid out in front of him was gone. Raha was suddenly reminded of a tea party she had attended.
“I’ve been raising horses lately. He’s a studly seed, but when I bring him an apple, he chews it right up and swallows it. He eats a lot, and I want to keep feeding it.”
Surprisingly, there were quite a few ladies who agreed with her words.
Raha had never raised anything properly, so she just heard it and let it go. But that was what she remembered now. Was it because the man is like livestock that eats well?
She suddenly asked when he saw the man drinking water.
“Would you like some champagne?”
The man looked at her alternately and at the bottle of champagne that Raha had lifted. He stood up and approached Raha.
‘You have a habit of doing that.’
Smiling, she handed the glass of champagne to the man and watched as he circled the table. With long, straight legs, the man quickly strode back to his original position.
He lifted the glass lightly and drank the champagne. She thought about saying a few words and lightly teasing the man, but quickly stopped.
The food was good, she was hungry, and she liked the man sitting across from her eating the food.
So she was focused on eating quietly. After she had eaten all the way to dessert, she felt so much better, and Raha stood up with a mouthful of tea.
“Don’t touch it. The maids will be here later to clean up.”
She said this as if a nobleman would normally take care of her food, but since there was no one here, it might possibly be misunderstood.
She got up and went out towards the dining room door. Behind her, she could hear the distinct sound of the man following her. Raha chuckled.
‘Yes, he’s a slave with more habits and senses than I thought.’
Raha headed for the bedroom. Actually, the inner palace only had a bedroom, a bathroom, a hallway, a dining room, and not much other usable space.
‘I should tell the maidservant to make a small study or something. No, this slave would be more interested in holding a sword.’
Raha thought, and went to the bedroom window. She sat down on the chair and said,
The man sat down across from her and looked out the window quietly. It had a large window, but the landscape looked desolate. The inner garden wasn’t pretty, nor was the loyal gardener who would painstakingly decorate the place where the owner had no interest.
While she was casually looking at the strangely shaped wildflowers that grew in unison, the man suddenly asked,
“What are you going to use me for if you keep me alive?”
Raha answered without looking away from the window.
“For my sexual desire.”
The man didn’t laugh, instead he just stared at her. But Raha laughed out loud.
It must have bothered him for a long time, and she thought he held back for quite a while.
“What is your name?”
Raha slowly made eye contact with him. She was expecting him to look at her with wary eyes like he did when they first met, but he didn’t. It was hard for Raha to read the emotions in his eyes in the present.
“What was the number they gave you in the lab? What was it, the number 192?”
“Shed ………………… yes.”
She repeated the man’s name without meaning. Perhaps it was just an alias.
“I’ll call you 192 in public. Shed.”
Raha smiled, her eyes bent. Now they were alone, and wasted time, but it had only been a week.
No, if Karen knew that the slave was alive, even within a few days, Shed would be drawn into his presence with interest.
Raha was about to talk to this arrogant slave but fell silent. Come to think of it, it seemed like every time he spoke to her, he reminded her of someone else.
Karzen Del Harsa.
The twin who spoke softly, coating her with sweetness.
This arrogant slave was neither sweet nor gentle, but …….
She kind of like the fact that the noble emperor and a humble slave behave the same way to the Princess.
For Raha, the two of them were not too different. Oddly enough, as soon as she felt that way, she began to feel lighter.
“Don’t speak to anyone outside. Only use respectful language to me and the Emperor.”
The man just nodded his head, even though she thought he was going to ask why.
It was unexpected. As soon as she thought that, she started laughing. Once again, she found herself reacting with “unexpected” or “unpredictable” when this man was obedient.
But how arrogant this slave was. It was only natural.
Raha looked at the man’s hand and said,
“You may call me Princess, Master, or whatever you wish.”
“As I wish?”
Shed stared at Raha, then opened his mouth.
Raha burst into laughter. This insolent slave was the only one besides Karzen had called her name like that.
Well, that’s good, too.
“You’re really insolent. You are a slave but you call me like that.”
He was the first one who survived in the Inner Palace and Raha taught some things to this slave who was willing to talk to her.
Don’t use the bathroom over there, it only has cold water. Do not go to the west wing, which is connected to the bedroom. Don’t even open the doorway to the west wing. Do not even look at the door on the west wing when it opens. You may go out to the rear garden on the other side of the corridor in the east wing as you please.
“As long as you keep to that.”
To the man who heard the Princess’ words, her words could only mean one thing.
Do as you please. Anything.
It was strange.
What on earth could she believe about him that made her go this far? Did she really just want a toy? Shed could only stare at the Imperial Princess. Her beautiful eyes had a hint of life in them.
* * * *
On the day the twin emperor presented her with the slaves, the blue haired Princess was confined to the inner palace for a week. It was now customary, and most of the nobles all knew about it.
Therefore, it was quite unusual for Raha to go out to the Grand Banquet Hall less than two days after being presented with the slaves.
“I’m afraid I’m interrupting your fun, Raha.”
“It’s all right. Karzen.”
Raha said, fiddling with the earrings that Karzen had given her.
“Karzen doesn’t have a fiancée yet. So I should do this.”
“You’re very thoughtful, my twin.”
Karzen was delighted when Raha said this. It was a word to fit Raha into his vacant fiancée’s seat. She used to spit it out feeling like she had a bug on her tongue, but that has clouded over a lot. This much she could say without cracking her smile even a little.
She went straight to the grand banquet hall and took the highest seat.
It was where the Emperor and Empress sat.
Now that the Empress was vacant, it was no surprise that Raha sat there.
It wasn’t wrong etiquette, but Raha didn’t feel good. It was only natural. She put her elbows on the armrests and stared at the group of nobles.
When Karzen first ascended the throne, he defeated the small kingdom adjacent to the border. Even then, such a banquet was held.
The nobles at that time were intoxicated with the news of the victory brought by their young and beautiful emperor. Faces that drank the expensive liquor with vigor all around. Hands that gripped each other’s waists as they were dancing just plain raw enjoyment.
One month later.
Karzen conquered another kingdom on the opposite side of the border from the one before.
Even then, the nobles enjoyed a joyous victory feast.
Two months later.
Karzen trampled three small kingdoms located in the plains.
Since then, one out of every five people had started to get a little scared.
Three months later.
Karzen trampled two kingdoms located on the sea.
The repeated victory banquets were no longer entertaining.
Six months later.
Karzen revoked the title of the frontier Count, who insisted that Raha with the eyes of the heir, should be restored to the throne as per tradition. The head of the frontier Count and his immediate family members were chopped off piece by piece and displayed like a chandelier in the center of this grand banquet hall.
Only that day, the imperial banquet in the Grand Banquet Hall, which had not yet waned, was filled with fear. No one drank alcohol, but everyone’s face was red and everyone danced as best they could. No one looked up and only stared into each other’s eyes.
No one looked up any more.
The Emperor’s throne was piled high on the platform. No one made eye contact with the Princess sitting next to him, looking bored.
A melody so sweet it melted her ears filled the grand banquet hall. Raha laughed while watching the champagne glasses piled up by the servants. Even today, alcohol was hardly reduced.
It wouldn’t reduce until the end.
She thought it was better to serve alcohol in chocolate. As the host of this banquet, Raha thought in advance about the food to be served at the next banquet.
It was a banquet where alcohol never ran out.
It was abominable that the Emperor had lost his mind.
Raha got up from her seat.
The head attendant next to him spoke up immediately. She stepped down onto the platform with a slight wave of her hand.
The nobles saw Raha and bowed their heads and gave way appropriately. Raha headed for the west corner.
The priests of the Holy Kingdom who were brought to this empire under anti-coercion. They seemed to have been treated much better than the other prisoners, but it was clear that they were still being neglected.
What crazy tyrant would dare to bring in the priests?