Chapter 1. The beginning of everything
Sponsored by Curufin 💖 (3/3)
“Good morning, Your Highness. You woke up later than usual today.”
Jane asked curiously as she saw Ellea woke up late. Normally, by the time she came in, Ellea had gone out for training and the room was empty.
But today, when she came into the room, Ellea was still lying on the bed.
“I guess I was tired yesterday.”
“Then, you can sleep in for a day.”
“No. I feel better after a good night’s sleep.”
Perhaps the alcohol had a positive effect on her, because as soon as she lay down, she fell asleep.
Thanks to it, she woke up later than usual.
“Should I prepare breakfast?”
“No. I’ll eat after a short run.”
“Yes. I’ll tidy up your room in the meantime.”
Jane was tidying up Ellea’s room when she spotted something on her desk and immediately asked her.
“Princess, do you have this originally?”
“Huh? Which one?”
As Ellea approached, she saw that what Jane was holding was the black handkerchief that Chaylen had tied her wrist yesterday. As if to prove that yesterday’s encounter was not an illusion, the handkerchief remained with her.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen it before. Then I’ll put it up here.”
Jane folded the handkerchief and placed it on the desk again, and Ellea looked at it and at her wrist.
‘The bruise looks like it will last longer than I thought.’
The bruise was still pretty much there and she was wondering how to hide it from others, but suddenly she remembered her encounter with the man yesterday.
‘Oh, by the way, he had already given me two things.’
The unidentified man left a trail like that every time she met him. Last time it was a small sword, this time it was a handkerchief.
She looked at the black handkerchief and wrapped it around her bruised wrist like yesterday. She tried not to get involved with the man somehow, but without knowing it she was already entangled.
Ellea stretched out on the terrace to clear her complicated mind and looked up at the clear sky.
‘I hope the days will continue to be as peaceful as that sky.’
With that thought, she hurried to prepare for her training.
Somewhere in the same rush to start the morning.
The owner of the room, Chaylen, stood in front of the mirror and took off his clothes, under the morning sun a scar was revealed on his right shoulder which had been hidden.
Judging from the size and shape of the scar, it must have been very painful at the time.
Soon, the scar was covered by a jacket, and Chaylen, in front of the mirror, was dressed neatly, differently from before.
His eyes, as he tightened his tie for the last time, showed a strong determination. Because today was the day that Chaylen had been waiting for.
‘This day has finally come.’
It was indeed Chaylen who was reflected in the mirror, but what he saw was the form of someone else.
A man with purple hair and blue-green eyes, just like himself.
“It’s just the beginning.”
As Chaylen mumbled unknown words to the man in the mirror, Arun opened the door and came in. Arun’s face was uncharacteristically full of tension.
“Have you finished your preparations?”
“Let’s go now.”
“I have prepared the carriage for you.”
They went downstairs and approached the carriage waiting at the entrance. As the servant approached and opened the door, Arun held out an envelope to Chaylen.
“I’ve put everything you need in here, sir.”
“Have a safe trip.”
Noticing Arun’s nervousness, Chaylen rather smiled and joked.
“People think I’m going to the battlefield.”
“Isn’t that the same as the battlefield?”
“Well, it’s not wrong. Don’t worry and wait.”
The carriage quickly exited the mansion after Chaylen climbed in.
Arun, who had his head down, raised his head as the carriage disappeared and looked at the spot where Chaylen had disappeared.
“I’ll be waiting here.”
Shanil was slowly sipping her tea, thinking about today’s meeting of the nobility. Duke Raymir seemed to be in a bad mood lately, as if something had gone wrong, so she was suitably curious.
‘Father will do well. Terban didn’t show any special moves either.’
Her father would take care of things as usual, and Shanil moved on to what she had to do.
It was related to Ellea.
‘I must put the Imperial Princess away completely. Because if that woman had clearly made a mistake, there’s nothing Zevenica can do about it.’
As Shanil was slowly drinking her tea with this in her mind, a maid knocked on the door.
“Lady Shanil, I have brought the person you mentioned.”
“Let her in.”
When the person Shanil was waiting for arrived, she put down the cup she was holding. The door opened and a familiar maid walked in.
When the maid looked around and seemed anxious, Shanil smiled and said, as if she had good intentions.
“Don’t be so frightened, sit here.”
“Yes, Lady Shanil.”
The maid carefully sat down across from her, and Shanil stared at the maid and asked.
“What is your name?”
“So Marie. Do you belong to the palace of Princess Ellea?”
Shanil showed her kindness at Marie’s answer and tried to reassure her again.
“Don’t worry too much. I didn’t call you here to blame you.”
Marie was a little relieved at her words and cautiously asked Shanil why she had called her.
“Why did you call me here..…”
In response to Marie’s question, Shanil announced the start of the mission and began to tell her story that she had thought of beforehand.
“You don’t know, but I’ve seen you before when I visited the Princess’s Palace.”
“Oh, I see.”
“And that’s when I knew. I knew then that you could help me.”
“I can help you?”
Marie tilted her head when Shanil said she could help her. She didn’t really understand what Shanil meant.
“What exactly can I help you with?”
Seeing that Marie’s reaction wasn’t too bad, Shanil brought it up with a worried expression.
“I’m not sure what you can do to help. But from what I saw, there was something a little suspicious about the Princess’s behavior. It’s like she has some other agenda.”
At Shanil’s words, Marie took the bait , as expected.
“I have my suspicions, too. She must have a purpose.”
“That’s why I called Marie here. You are the only maid who noticed it. The others were fooled by the Princess’s appearance, but not you.”
“Yes. Everyone says the Princess is a good person, but I didn’t feel that way at all.”
Marie confided in Shanil what she had seen and felt. Ellea meant nothing to her anyway.
Rather, she wanted to somehow seize the opportunity to get out of there and go to Shanil’s side.
“So, Marie, would you like to help me?”
“Yes. This is also for the good of the empire. When this is all over, I will bring you to my palace. I really like you.”
When she felt that Marie was fully on board with her words, Shnail threw her the last of the bait. As expected, Marie took the bait without hesitation.
“Of course. If I can be of any help to you, Lady Shanil. I will assist you to the best of my ability.”
“Thank you, Marie. I’m so glad you agreed.”
“What should I do exactly?”
“Examine all the deeds of the Princess. Who she’s meeting and where she’s going? Only you, who is close to the Princess, can do this.”
Marie nodded with conviction at Shanil’s words. Unlike her initial concern, she was engrossed in her words.
She especially liked the idea of becoming Shanil’s maid. This would be a great opportunity to get out of the secluded palace.
And to be Shanil’s maid, the envy of all.
Marie was happy to accept the job, as she didn’t like Ellea anyway. Shanil smiled when she saw Marie liked what she said without knowing anything. Then she drank her tea, satisfied that she had achieved what she planned.
‘Wait while I bare all that you are hiding.’
Her black heart disappeared without a trace along with the tea.
At the same time, in one of the Imperial Palaces, there was a long table and chairs, like a conference hall, where people who had already arrived were sitting.
Duke Raymir was one of them, and his expression clearly showed signs of discomfort.
And so his eyes were fixed on an empty spot.
Raymir was now waiting for the owner of that seat to arrive, along with all the anger he had built up over the years.
The man did not answer the letters he sent and did not make any contact.
Raymir was thinking of going to see the man directly, but he waited for today because he heard that the man would be here at the meeting.
‘Be prepared. You’re going to hear a response today that I’m going to rip that mouth off and put it back to its original place.’
But unlike the other people whose seats were full, the one Raymir was waiting for didn’t show up.
That was, until the last main character appeared.
The commotion was short-lived, and when the door at the front opened and one person appeared, everyone stood up from their seats, maintaining their silence, and bowed their heads.
“I am pleased to meet you, Emperor.”
Greeted by them, Terban sat down on a platform up several flights of stairs. His aide and Bandel were guarding him.
“You may sit.”
At Terban’s words, the nobles took their seats.
Terban looked around at the troupe from above. Naturally he found an empty seat.
“One seat is empty.”
The aide shook his head as if he didn’t understand Terban’s question. Even the aide hadn’t heard anything special about it.
At his words, the nobles in the conference hall instantly became tense as they looked at him.
They couldn’t wait forever, so just as Terban was about to start the meeting, they heard the door open from behind them.
Since the situation was naturally quiet, the eyes of everyone present were drawn to it.
Thus, with everyone’s attention, one person appeared.
The person who came in stopped in the middle of the room and looked around the conference hall calmly, and his gaze was immediately fixed on one person.
On the other hand, Raymir’s eyes, which were the first to notice who it was, were immediately startled and he stood up, unable to control his emotions.
‘Yes, that’s the face I was hoping to see.’
Terban, who had been agilely observing the entire situation, was the first to step up and inquire about the identity of the uninvited guest who had suddenly appeared.
“Duke Raymir, take your seat. And if you don’t want to be taken straight to prison, you’d better reveal who you are.”
At Terban’s order, Raymir had no choice but to sit down. But his gaze was fixed on that last person who had just appeared.
At the low voice directed at him, the uninvited guest turned the eyes that had been looking at Raymir to Terban at the front. After a few moments of deep breathing, he bowed his head in courtesy to the Emperor, and the uninvited guest’s mouth finally opened.
“This is my first time to greet the Emperor.”
Then, with a greeting, he raised his head and introduced himself.
“I am Chaylen Kaicher, and I will be attending today’s meeting.”
Chaylen said his name and faced Terban’s gaze. He had a meaningful smile on his face.