Chapter 1. Prologue
Sponsored by M. Thank you ❤️ (5/8)
*Earlier before Raha went to see Karzen.
“It is truly amazing to have the eyes of an heir.”
Karzen muttered. If not for that borrowed, blue-sky eye, Karzen would have already taken Raha to bed. But it was the eye of the heir that even the tyrant’s wildest desires could not subdue. Therefore Raha was perfectly protected.
She shouldn’t have known it at all, though, since the prior emperor didn’t bother to tell Raha.
‘I wouldn’t mind a little more touching.’
Karzen murmured. Indeed he wouldn’t. He raised his hand to just above Raha’s chest and the horrible sensation did not appear.
At first, when he tried to hold Raha’s hand, the intense sensation surged through him. But as the study of Lesis progressed, the more clearly the number of slaves inscribed with magic branding increased, the more parts of Raha Karzen was able to touch.
Fingers, hands, arms, shoulders. Waist, face, neck.
Karzen twitched his forehead lightly and murmured.
“Is the insignia still good?”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
Karzen’s gray eyes looked carefully at the insignia.
The experiment had been going for several years. Lesis said that the experiment could only be conducted when he received this sign, so the price he received despite the previous emperor’s reluctance was being paid.
Perhaps if the lord of Hildes had not suddenly appeared and asked for Raha, Karzen would have slowly waited for Lesis’s experiment to succeed.
“Hurry a little more. If Raha leaves for Hildes kingdom, it will be difficult to bring her back again.”
“Of course, Your Majesty. Would there be….”
Lesis swallowed dry saliva. His success and his goal in life all depended on that little miniature, the proof of Delharsa’s connection with the Holy Power.
“As long as the experiment succeeds.”
Karzen promised Lesis.
It would be that day when he would fully inscribe the branding in Raha’s eyes. Karzen, as the sovereign of Delo, would declare all-out war on the Holy Land. He would downgrade the Holy Land, which was guarding the spiritual pillar of numerous imperial and royal citizens, and instead build a magical tower in its place.
All the respect, authority, and honor that the priests received would be handed over to non-mainstream wizards like Lesis.
For this reason, Lesis always did his best to do his research, carving magic branding on the bodies of the slaves and taking them to the imperial princess’s inner palace.
“It is truly a blessing that Her Imperial Highness sleeps with the slaves every time.”
Lesis spoke softly. Karzen blinked lazily, resting his chin on one hand.
“My twin has a weak heart.”
“Yes. Really beautiful and weak.”
Karzen chuckled. Looking to the side, Severo looked like he wanted to argue with that statement. It was interesting. Severo could not hide the fact that he was in love with Raha’s face and could not hide the fact that he was so happy to see her, but he was the one who made his ears bleed when Raha was colder and calmer than anyone else.
Blake Duke, the captain of the Kingsguard, seemed to agree with him. But Karzen didn’t even pretend to listen. He didn’t believe Raha was cold and calm.
They could make so much noise without knowing Raha.
They didn’t see Raha, who was frozen in a daze, hugging her knees, in front of the dead bodies of the slaves as if she had stopped breathing, and so they thought that way.
‘Raha del Harsa.’
A cold body temperature that was indistinguishable from a corpse. A body that had stayed in place, unaware of the cold. The eyes of the heir that only showed fierce hatred and rejection at the hands of Karzen.
“Why is my twin so pitiful?”
How horribly Raha’s eyes trembled at that moment.
She did not know that his generosity would eventually spur him to spend more time carving the branding in her own eyes.
Knowing that Raha’s eyes would darken with anger and contempt, Karzen felt sorry for Raha and only contained a laugh.
His weak and frail twin.
A pitiful and beautiful princess.
“Your Majesty, since the Princess is healthier now, you can give her more slaves like before….”
“I have many complaints about the royal lord of Hildes being a bedroom slave. What a bunch of useless people talking.”
There was a flood of complaints even when he brought the slaves from the the Thirteen Kingdoms Union. If he pushed the slaves into Raha’s bed on a daily basis as he had done before, there was a strong possibility that it would be interpreted as a great insult to Hildes, whom Karzen himself called “the eternal ally.”
Karzen was a conquering monarch and had no intention of abandoning that title. Once the national marriage was over, the war would resume again, and he was not so foolish as to taunt the ally who had saved his life and his men.
“But we can still give her a few lively presents, if not as many as before. Besides, Severo brought a decent amount of things out of the desert, too, didn’t he?”
“I am afraid, Your Majesty. It’s an honor that this doesn’t put too much pressure on the precious mark of the Delo Empire.”
The holy relics that Severo secretly sneaked out of the desert to avoid the wise men. With this, there would be no damage to the royal family insignia.
Karzen still needed the “eye of the heir”. Since it was alive and well, Karzen felt little fear of death. The Eye of the heir had obvious protective powers for the entire imperial family anyway.
He just had to hold Raha captive in the Imperial Palace for one year only. During that time, even if she were to bed as many slaves as she wished, he would gladly overlook it.
“Your Majesty. It is time to resume the grand council.”
The chief chamberlain came banging on the door and announced in a polite voice. Karzen smiled with satisfaction and rose from his seat.
* * *
“Father, you have to do well.”
Outside the hall, Kingsguard Captain Blake Duke whispered to the Marquis of Duke. The Marquis of Duke patted Blake on the shoulder and entered the meeting chamber.
“I dare to address His Supreme Majesty the Emperor.”
In the room where numerous nobles were solemnly taking their seats, the Marquis of Duke stood alone and spoke.
“I request that His Majesty’s national wedding and the Princess’s wedding be postponed until the wise men return.”
The aristocrats were at once greatly disturbed by the unexpected words.
“Won’t it take at least a year for the wise men to return?”
“Yes. Aren’t we supposed to have a national wedding this spring?”
“But then again. How little authority would there be if there were no wise men for the national wedding?”
“A year is too late.”
While the nobles were fussing, Karzen’s expression did not change in any particular way. Duke Winston saw his expressionless face and realized something.
‘It seems that the Marquis of Duke had received an order from His Majesty.’
Most of the great nobles knew that Karzen was not that interested in the marriage. If the Duke of Esther had not spoken, he (Karzen) would still have no fiancée until now.
A bloodthirsty monarch had always tended to bother with marriage…. ….
‘It’s not going to work.’
The earlier the national wedding and the Princess’s wedding was, the better for Duke Winston.
And why did they want to postpone the Princess’s wedding? He wanted to get rid of the Princess as soon as possible. Duke Winston gritted his teeth as he waited for his turn to speak.
“What does Duke Esther think of this proposal?”
Duke Esther, who had the highest speaking order, rose from his seat. He looked bored.
‘You are not on my side, are you?’
Duke Esther was selfish. And he was also a long-standing neutralist. Countess Borbón was poisoned by the former Empress, and from then on he didn’t even try to hide his dislike of Raha.
In spite of this, it was also comical that he actively supported the marriage with the Hildes kingdom. He seemed eager to get rid of her.
Duke Esther, who seemed uninterested in all these rumors, continued speaking with the same bored expression as usual.
“I agree with you. The Delo Empire has long received the blessing of the wise men. It would be against the rules of etiquette if the wise men did not attend the national wedding.”
“Duke Esther also agrees?”
“Yes, I do…..”
Duke Esther glanced at the Marquis of Duke.
“We’ll actively use Esther’s forces with the connection of the desert….”
It was an unexpected remark. A small crease formed between Karzen’s brows.
“Esther expresses his respect for the imperial family and will bring the wise men in at least during the spring, even at private expense.”
The nobles spoke in whispers at Duke Esdar’s words about using his considerable private fortune for the emperor’s national wedding. Duke Esther asked the Marquis of Duke.
“What do you think, Marquis Duke?”
The Marquis of Duke’s one remaining eye was momentarily stained with bewilderment.
“Yes, Duke Esther…. Your devotion to the imperial family is admirable.”
Duke Esther nodded lightly and took his seat again. Soon there were no other opinions at the table of remarks that came down to the Dukes in turn. Rather, the nobles had to be slightly nervous because Duke Esther had shown so much concern for the emperor’s wedding.
“The Winstons must also do our best to prepare for the Princess’s wedding.”
Karzen’s expression hardened lightly at Duke Winston’s polite words, but that was all.
A few days later, news spread through Delo’s social circles that the private troupe, run by the Esther family, had departed for the desert.
*If you don’t understand what just happened, I’ll explain. It seemed that Karzen and Marquis Duke had planned to postpone his wedding and Raha’s wedding for his wizard (Lesis) to have some time to do his experiment to get Raha’s eyes, using the excuse that the wise men weren’t present. So Duke Esther’s men went to the desert to get the wise men earlier in time for the wedding, trying to fail Karzen’s plan.