Chapter 1

 

Ten years after Emperor Carmun de Idelberg ascended the throne, he declared an end to the war with the neighboring countries.

 

After many wars, Idelberg had become the largest empire among its neighbors, and the neighboring countries agreed to his proposal because they were no longer willing to shed their blood in a battle that they could not win.

 

The war that started with the last emperor was finally coming to an end.

 

However, despite the end of the war, many countries were still in turmoil, the biggest complacency of which was Emperor Idelberg’s secret intentions.

 

Many words were spoken in the Idelberg Empire when the young Emperor did not embrace any woman.

 

After the war, the emperor decided to take concubines from various countries for the sake of peace.

 

Therefore, the neighboring countries appointed their eldest daughters, and where there were no daughters, the highest ranking noblewomen were appointed, and concubines were sent to each country, numbering as many as 27.

 

***

 

Her lips were torn and a scab was formed around her mouth. She couldn’t make more of an expression than usual due to the pain caused by even the slightest movement.

 

Not one of the maids came to see Helen despite her injuries.

 

She was the useless Helen.

 

Her father always told her she was defective.

 

Helen’s position in the Cordelia Empire was poor.

 

Helen? Who is she? Oh, that princess…?

 

This was the reaction of everyone. According to her father, everything about her was defective, except for her sister Edith. Cordelia was a country made up of the blood of the grandchildren of those who failed to become emperors. They were all killed when they failed to emperors.

 

Her father wanted to make Edith emperor, not Helen, so he trampled on Helen.

 

‘It can’t be helped, I’m not the best.’

 

She touched her chapped lips and opened the small window of het room.

 

In that room, no bigger than a servant’s room, Helen prayed fervently.

 

Just once before she died, she wished to get out of this wild castle, so she could die comfortably.

 

As she opened the window to pray, she saw her father walking towards her angrily.

 

‘He’s gonna hit me again!’

 

Her lips still haven’t healed. He hit her often…

 

Her hands trembled with fear.

 

“If my hands shake, father won’t like it.”

 

He didn’t like it when Helen’s hands or her body shook, saying she looked like a bug. If she did this in front of others, he would punish her.

 

So she had to stop.

 

But Helen couldn’t stop shaking no matter how much she wanted to. Rather, her body trembled as her father approached.

 

Please…

 

“Helen!”

 

She heard my father’s angry voice, and her hands stopped shaking.

 

More accurately, her breathing stopped.

 

“What are you doing? I thought I told you not to do anything useless.”

 

“Um, I, uh, didn’t do anything ….”

 

At that moment, Helen choked up as if someone was strangling her.

 

She crawled across the floor, making a rattling sound.

 

She crawled to her father’s feet, begging him.

 

“Oh, oh, father. Please …spare me.”

 

Helen stammered, forgetting the words. In addition, bruises could be seen here and there on her face and body, which had been crumpled by the Emperor’s violence. 

 

“This useless thing…!”

 

Terribly angry, the Emperor kicked Helen with his foot as she grabbed his leg and left the room without further ado.

 

The Emperor hadn’t been feeling too good lately. The Emperor of Idelberg, who was still invincible, was winning the war over and over again.

 

Her father wouldn’t have been so angry if Idelberg Emperor had lost the war even once.

 

The man did not appear to be a human being. There were even rumors that he had even caught the legendary Hotch.

 

Her father came to relieve his bad feelings, but Helen was not doing too well.

 

She was on the verge of dying. She was suffocating.

 

But her father had no intention of calling a physician or a priest to help Helen.

 

If others saw Helen’s wounds, they would be suspicious. Externally, he was the perfect father for his daughters.

 

“You’re going to die.”

 

The Emperor could see Helen’s blood on his shoes.

 

He scrubbed his shoes off the grass as if they were covered in dirt.

 

That was it.

 

***

 

Helen, who was left alone, felt a pain that seemed to stop her breathing. She was rather glad that she was going to die like this.

 

She hated God for not listening to her wishes, but she would rather die than live like this.

 

She was going to die soon anyway. When her sister reached twenty and ascended to the throne, she would kill her first, the thorn in her eyes.

 

It would be better to die of a heart attack than to be decapitated and hanged on the city walls.

 

‘At least I wouldn’t be a laughing stock.”

 

Suffocating, Helen gulped and felt happy. She wished her breathing would stop.

 

She wished with all her heart, and wished again.

 

But, as always, God was not on her side.

 

Helen’s powerful life brought her back to life, and when her father came to visit the next day, he looked at Helen and said, “I can’t believe you can’t even die properly.” 

 

He only clicked his tongue.

 

***

 

It was a series of boring days. Helen was stuck in her room and did nothing but reading books, and every once in a while her father would come in and beat her.

 

“If you were only half as Edith, or even half as much, I wouldn’t be so angry!”

 

“I’m sorry.”

 

Helen couldn’t even speak well in front of her father, and when she answered in a muffled voice, his expression became even more eerie.

 

That day, too, he hit her to the brink of death.

 

Blood burst and bruised all over her body. Not having the strength to get up from the floor, she lay down on the cold floor and looked up at the window.

 

Nothing came out of her eyes because the tears had dried.

 

‘I’m just going to die in a heap.’

 

Dying was not easy either. She would rather die than live like this, but she didn’t have the courage to take her own life.

 

‘I’m stupid. Father is right.’

 

” … half of your sister Edith.”

 

‘Which part?’

 

Her sister, the one people loved and sparkled.

 

Her face was better too. She was a beautiful princess with fine hair, a beautiful smile, a beautiful atmosphere that made everyone loved her. She was the love of the Empire.

 

 

Helen, on the other hand, wore shabby clothes that even the maids did not wear, lived in a small room, could not brush her hair for days, and her hair was always a mess.

 

Her face was always covered with bruises and bloodstains.

 

“If I had looked even half as much as Edith, or even as much as an ant, would my father have loved me?”

 

***

 

The news of Emperor Idelberg’s continuous victories made Emperor Cordelia’s mood worsen.

 

Even going to Helen to take it out on her was a dense level of frustration.

 

How could he not make a single mistake? If only he had made that one mistake, just that one mistake, there was nothing more to wish for.

 

By that mistake, he would have taken the head of Emperor Idelberg.

 

As he was thinking this, a letter suddenly flew in from Idelberg.

 

[Declare an end to war…]

 

The Emperor’s head has turned quickly. In exchange for the end of the war, Emperor Idelberg wanted the eldest daughter of each country.

 

“Oh…”

 

The Emperor smiled, his eyes tearing like a dalmatian’s when he saw an opportunity. The Emperor called the servant outside the door with a happy face.

 

“Call my daughters right now! Right now!”

 

The Princesses.

 

The servant was flabbergasted.

 

It had been five years since Princess Helen had left the castle, so why was he calling for her? 

 

The servant had such a question.

 

***

 

“My father called me?”

 

“Yes. So hurry up and prepare to go to the main Palace.”

 

“I think you misunderstood. How could my father have called me there?”

 

“No, I heard him clearly. He told me to go get the princesses.”

 

“My father….?”

 

Helen’s heart tickled for no reason. Princesses?

 

Her heart was pounding at the title she hadn’t heard in a long time, and for a moment, the servant’s expression touched and fell with Helen’s happiness.

 

Helen was having trouble entering the main palace looking like this.

 

However, she didn’t have any extra clothes to change into. The other ones were in a similar condition.

 

“Let’s go now.”

 

“Yes.”

 

Helen followed the servant’s footsteps. The attendant tilted her head curiously as Helen walked with unbalanced steps. Her left foot was hurt because her father had stepped on it last time.

 

“Oh, I fell yesterday.”

 

“Oh, I see. I’ll walk slowly. Let me know if I’m going too fast. I’ll adjust my speed.”

 

“Yes…”

 

Helen was not used to such favors.

 

The servant looked at Helen with a pity look as she nodded with a perplexed face. As much as she was trying to hide it in a certain way, she already knew all about Princess Helen’s position. 

 

The poor princess.

 

Without knowing that the servant was looking at her with pity, Helen was busy hiding her feet.

 

‘Father called me to the main palace. I’m sure good things will happen today!’

 

That was what Helen thought.

 

But It didn’t take long for that illusion to be broken.

 

***

 

As the door to the parlor in the main castle opened and she entered, Helen saw her father and her sister Edith waiting for her. Edith was wearing a gorgeous dress, sparkling earrings and necklaces. Her fine blond hair swayed in the air.

 

She was beautiful.

 

As Helen hesitated with such a trifling thought, the Emperor looked at her and exclaimed with great joy.

 

“Helen! My proud daughter!”

 

Then he approached at once and embraced Helen.

 

Helen was puzzled, but then she realized something was wrong with the situation.

 

It was strange. She couldn’t believe her father was hugging her.

 

But she liked the feeling of being hugged in her father’s arms, Helen swallowed her doubts and squeezed her hands. 

 

She was afraid she would beg him to hold her more.

 

‘Then father will beat me again.’

 

The emperor looked down at Helen, who he was holding in his arms.

 

‘If you do well…’

 

The emperor’s head worked agilely.

 

“Sit here.”

 

The emperor released his precious daughter Edith and took Helen’s hand in his. He even removed the chair directly from her and gave her a gentle look, something he didn’t usually do.

 

His look gave her a burden, but she didn’t feel bad.

 

Helen’s cheeks glowed softly like a baby’s.

 

“My precious daughter.”

 

Then he patted Helen’s head.

 

‘Why…what’s wrong?’

 

Helen didn’t know why he was doing it. She wondered if he was going to suddenly change and hit her head.

 

The look in Edith’s eyes at that moment was very unpleasant.

 

She didn’t know Edith was capable of making that kind of  expression.

 

It was the first expression she had seen from her older sister, who was always lovely.

 

Strange.

 

She felt like this seat didn’t belong to her.

 

Feeling uncomfortable, Helen looked up and stared at her father.

 

“Why?”

 

“Oh, no…”

 

She stammered again.

 

Oh!

 

Helen covered her mouth in surprise.

 

‘What should I do?’ She couldn’t believe she was showing her ugly behavior in front of her sister. She was sure her father would punish her again.

 

Helen’s shoulders began to tremble slightly.

 

When the emperor saw Helen becoming frightened with her mouth covered, he patted her shoulders.

 

“My daughter Helen, I have called you here because I have something to say to you.”

 

“…… Yes.”

 

Such a gentle voice.

 

This was the moment Helen had hoped for her whole life, so why did it make her feel so sick?

 

It was as if it was right before a storm blew. The expression of her sister’s dissatisfaction played a big part.

 

“Emperor Idelberg, who recently won the war against another country, wants a concubine.”