Chapter 1. Prologue
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Did the witty Princess inform her twin brother of what she had just found out?
Is she convinced that all of that is very close to the truth?
Did she also tell number 192?
Amar’s head was now full of questions. Raha said, putting her hair behind her ears.
He passed a lock of hair behind his ear and said, “By the way, I am a slave of mine.
“But, I like my slave very much. I won’t harm him unless he bothers me.”
There were so many questions that Amar wanted to ask, and it was at that moment, when his lips were quivering, that the head chamberlain came to visit.
He naturally stepped in between Amar and Raha, and said in a polite tone,
“His Majesty would like to dance with you.”
“His Majesty? Okay.”
Then Raha opened her mouth and asked Amar.
“Will you stay until tomorrow?”
“…… Yes. Yes, I think so. Princess.”
“Then I hope you enjoy the banquet comfortably today. I’m sure His Majesty would like to see you in a relaxed mood.”
Amar’s head became complicated. But essentially, the words of that Princess were not wrong. The young tyrant also brought the Priests of the Holy Kingdom with him, treating them politely, but that was all.
The High Priests of the Holy Kingdom knelt as long as Karzen wanted, but the test subjects died in Raha’s bedchamber.
It meant that Karzen had already done as much as he wanted. Of course, if they were just a regular country instead of the Holy Kingdom, there would have been a lot of heads on the chandelier. But this much was Karzen’s tolerance, so they would have to be satisfied with it.
Then Raha said she was looking forward to tomorrow’s banquet and followed the chamberlain.
It was quite tolerable to dance with Karzen several times.
* * * *
Few hours later.
“What about Raha?”
As Karzen tipped his cup and asked, the Captain of the Kingsguard, who was near him, opened his mouth.
“The Princess returned to her palace early. It’s time.”
Then Karzen looked at the huge clock sculpture on the wall of the main banquet hall. It was already 10 o’clock. The time Raha had to go back.
It was the time that Karzen had decided on years ago.
“Did you follow them?”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
Raha talked to the High Priest for a long time earlier. Come to think of it, Raha ….. Yes. What emotions does she have toward God?
Is she really cursing God, living in a birdcage as the price for inheriting all the signs of power?
“Should I take a look at my twin for a moment?”
Drunk with amusement, Karzen mused. Normally Raha would not leave her chamber after receiving new slaves.
But this time, for once, there was a change and she went outside earlier, so how pleased he was with her character. Perhaps the step back to the inner palace would not be light.
He thought he would comfort her a little. It was the moment when Karzen was about to walk out.
That was when Duke Esther approached. When he saw him, Karzen paused. He was a ruthless tyrant, but Duke Esther had no reason not to take a little time out of his day.
Her sister, Countess Borbon, was Karzen and Raha’s old nanny.
“What can I do for you?”
Duke Esther bowed his head lightly with his characteristic clerical expression.
“I congratulate you on your success, Your Majesty.”
After giving a half hearted congratulations, Duke Esther brought up a serious business.
“Isn’t it time for Your Majesty to welcome a bride? As you’re full of energy, I think now is the right time.”
Karzen’s steps came to a halt.
* * * *
The maid called her politely, but Raha was in no mood to stay.
She had been staying at the outer palace ever since she came back from the banquet hall.
The palace that was given to Raha was one of the largest palaces in the spacious Imperial Palace. Its structure was also unique.
It had a separate inner palace in the center, surrounded by a large courtyard, and an outer palace on the outside.
The buildings were completely independent. Therefore, the inner palace could not even be entered without passing through the courtyard.
Usually, Raha stayed in the outer Palace. Even though it was the outer palace, it was large enough to house the emperor’s most favored mistresses, and the interior was gorgeous.
And the Inner Palace, which Raha usually never set foot in…….
It was where the slaves stayed.
It was where Raha would obligatorily spend a week every few months.
That meant that she had to go straight to the inner palace instead of the outer palace now. At least there were no foolish maids in Raha’s palace who did not know that Karzen’s words of authority were coercion.
She made her way to the study located in the outer palace, a place filled with all kinds of rare and interesting books that made people realize that Raha was ostensibly a favored Princess.
She began to look through the books, whether the maids were following her or not.
“Your Highness, you have to go to the inner palace.”
Raha took the book and turned around. Karzen’s chamberlain was looking at Raha with his eyes bent and smiling.
“If His Majesty knows about this, he will not like it.”
Raha, who glanced at the chamberlain, was focused on choosing books again. The chamberlain’s smile deepened.
Raha raised her body without answering. She was still holding some books in her hands. She moved without looking at the chamberlain.
Her pale yellow dress, which she had yet to take off, flickered and shimmered. So did the earrings and the necklace. The diamond ornaments fixed on her head were still there.
Raha headed straight for the inner palace.
The sound of footsteps following her was clear, but she didn’t look back. The footsteps finally stopped following when Raha was about to enter the corridor of the inner palace. Raha turned and looked back.
The chamberlain, who had a cold expressionless expression, made eye contact with Raha a beat later and smiled again with his unique creepy smile.
How could Raha not know that the delay was intentional?
Thorough management of facial expressions was something that was only shown to those in power. Raha was merely an imperial Princess with her life in the hands of those in power, which was no big deal.
She turned quickly and stepped inside without returning the smile.
The corridor in the east wing from the main gate of the inner palace to the bedroom was exceptionally long. Raha’s footsteps along the long red carpet became quieter as time passed, and she could no longer hear any sign of them.
She paused in front of the bedroom door. The door was already open, so she didn’t make a sound. She looked at the bedroom through the open gap.
Shed was sitting still in bed.
Again, he was looking up at the open window near the ceiling. Raha felt like she was going to laugh.
Yes, an empty, dilapidated garden was not very interesting to look at. Instead, there was more to see up there where the stars shone beautifully.
Just as Raha had done.
But then she realized that he looked like a caged bird, and her laughter slowly faded.
Then she called out to him.
Shed, who had been looking out the window, turned to look at her. It was strange and interesting to see how flustered he looked.
The thought that it was fortunate that she learned to step quietly completely passed by.
“Did you wait for a long time?”
“Not that much.”
Raha thought he was going to answer as dry as this morning. Shed, who frowned for a while, continued his words.
“I wasn’t waiting for you.”
He seemed to remember well the saying to speak like a slave. Although his tone was still arrogant, Raha was a generous owner, so she didn’t intend to make such a fuss.
Raha looked up at Shed, who had somehow made his way to her, walking with a broad stride.
So far, so witty.
He was such a polite man in action, unlike his words.
She handed him the books she had brought with her.
“If you get bored when you’re alone, read this. I’ll bring it back when you’re done reading.”
Shed blinked as he held the books in his hand. His eyes peeking down at the books. At that moment, Shed looked like a boy even though he looked like he was a year or two older than she was. It was strange.
She, too, once was a little girl, who had no worries.
Although It was funny to say it herself.
Raha, who handed over the books to Shed, took a step toward the bathroom.
And again, she laughed out loud at the sign of Shed following her silently.
Oh, so it seemed this was why people would raise livestock with affection.
Raha took out her earrings as she watched Shed mix water in the bathtub. The heavy diamond earrings were not the most appropriate jewelry for dancing, but it didn’t matter, because no man, apart from Karzen, had ever asked Raha to dance.
It was rude to dance with the same partner, so Karzen went on to dance with the Duchesses and high-ranking noblewomen in turn, as appropriate. As for Raha, whose body never swayed greatly, she was allowed to wear these ornamental earrings that only looked good as much as she wanted.
Likewise, she took off her heavy shoes with jewels on them, and her feet felt comfortable like they were melting. On the other hand, she was glad that she had eaten a good breakfast, because unlike the usual banquets, she felt much better today. It was easy to get tired when her stomach was empty and wore all kinds of heavy things.
Raha opened her mouth as she looked in the mirror.
She heard the sound of turning as Shed, who had been adjusting the temperature of the bathtub, stood up. He walked over and stopped behind Raha.
“Untie everything from the top.”