Chapter 1 Part 1

 

***

 

It was the morning of my wedding. The day I would welcome a man I had never seen before as my husband. 

 

 “Do you think I’m good for nothing?”

 

My muttering voice resonated in the palace garden. Early winter in the North was bleak. It was hard to find green in a garden without proper care. The dry bark was gray.  A low saturated gloomy landscape, just like me. I was standing by a thorny vine. I put a finger on the vine and spoke to it. 

 

“If the marriage alliance is successfully concluded this time, I’ll have done some use as a Princess.”

 

Even if it was a sold-out marriage, I had no right to refuse.

 

‘It’s your duty.’ 

 

My brother Diaquit’s voice lingered in my ears. I was to be sold for the political benefit of the kingdom. To be married to a man I had never met. It was my duty. 

 

Just then, the voice of the plant echoed in my head.  

 

〈 Usphere. If you get married, will you really leave this place? Will I ever see you again?〉 

 

The whisper of the sweet plant was transmitted through my soul.  The plants in the garden were the only ones I trusted and depended on.

 

Catatel’s awakeners were born with magic related to earth and plants. The awakener of this generation was me. The power given to me was to peek into the plant’s memories and talk to them.

 

Like the previous awakeners, I couldn’t use magic such as splitting the earth, causing earthquakes, or creating earthen shields. Power that could neither attack nor defend. My homeland, located at the far north end, was particularly frequented by monsters. It was thanks to magic that kept the royal families safe for centuries in a harsh environment. 

 

Only one child per generation of royalty is born with the blessing of the Silver Forest, a child who can use powerful magic. They were called the’Awakeners ‘. 

 

The Awakeners, as the shield of the kingdom, had firmly defended this land. However, for some reason, no awakeners were born in the family for nearly a hundred years. While there were concerns over whether the protection of the forest had ceased. After a long wait, when I was ten years old, I awakened the magic. The kingdom that was hopeless while protecting the earth without an awakener was delighted. 

 

However, as expectations were high, so were the disappointments. When it turned out that I had no power to protect the kingdom, arrows of accusations of all sorts flew to me. 

 

‘Half witted, half awakened, lacking princess.’ People chattered. It was not that I wanted to be born like this. I couldn’t even go into battle, so l just stayed in my room. Gradually I was isolated from the royal palace. The only friends I had left were plants.

 

Now I was not so lonely or sad. I got used to this kind of isolation. But that didn’t mean that I expected a marriage would proceed without any consultation with me. Diaquit, who was acting as regent on behalf of our father, spoke confidently. 

 

“Even if I let you know, what difference would it make? We have no veto anyway.  You should marry the first emperor without question.”

 

I thought about my brother’s cold voice, and then spoke to the thorns again.

 

 “Have you heard people talk about this marriage?”

 

〈I have. There are maids who come to manage the garden from time to time. I heard what they were saying.〉

 

“I want you to show me that memory.”

 

〈Are you going to be okay?〉The plant’s voice trembled slightly.

 

“Of course.”

 

Probably they were talking badly about me, but l was no longer hurt by those words. I got used to it. I closed my eyes and let the memory of the plant’s soul flow into my mind. Soon a blurry scene unfolded.Two maids stood in the corner of the garden, talking. 

 

<It’s too early for a royal wedding. There’s nothing to prepare for.>

 

<Everyone says it’s a humiliating alliance. If we make fancy preparations, it will be even weirder.>

 

<By the way, why would the First Emperor want to marry an imperial princess?>

 

<There was a rumor that he wanted the blessing of the forest. Even if the Princess doesn’t have a single ability, she’s an awakener anyway. She might pass the magic power to the child.>

 

 <I wonder what would happen to our princess after she gave birth to a child with magical powers. >

 

<She might be pushed aside by concubines and lovers and be treated coldly…>

 

<If I were to be taken to the empire and find myself in such a situation, I would be miserable.>

 

<By the way, does the First Emperor have any concubines?>

 

<He doesn’t yet. It hasn’t been long since the empire was founded. He’ll bring women from all over the place, starting with our princess. Isn’t he the great conqueror? >

 

The plant’s memory stopped. I slowly opened my eyes and let out a breath that I had been holding in. Curiosity and compassion were mixed in the voices of the maids. What could be more pitiful than this marriage? 

 

A few hours later, I remembered the man who would become my husband. Kwanach Radon. A man was formerly a slave soldier, but started a revolution and directly founded an empire. The beautiful and powerful First Emperor, known as the Sun God. The man who waged war with the might of the entire continent, and created the myth of the undefeated. Kwanach had finally extended his power to the northern end. 

 

When he visited my homeland, Achaia, he offered two options. Either give up the only princess or be conquered by his empire. It was a marriage alliance, but it was actually a predatory marriage. I was a sold bride, and this marriage was nothing more than a political surrender.

 

However, I was not frustrated or disappointed. I was used to being treated like this. Moreover, as a princess, it was a natural duty to protect the peace of my motherland. In the beginning, I had no illusions about this marriage. Since I was the price to pay for peace, it was quite cheap. Although my family was embarrassed to the end that I was marrying a lowly slave. 

 

“Marriage to a war fanatic slave who knows no faith!”

 

Those who admired Kwanach called him ‘a conquering emperor like the sun.’ Those who looked down on him called him a war fanatic. He would not have felt the need to spend money on such an embarrassing wedding. Today’s wedding was probably very miserable and gloomy.

 

***