Chapter 10

 

I saw my brother Jenner sitting in the front seat. His face was red and he looked very angry. I could see that he was trying to resist the urge to shout.

 

Diaquit wore his usual gentle mask, but the slight contraction of his brows revealed his displeasure.

 

The ministers were on the verge of grabbing his neck.

 

Fortunately, my father was bedridden and could not attend. Perhaps if he was here, his condition would have worsened.

 

Kwanach’s voice echoed through the ceremony hall, which was filled with astonishment and confusion.

 

“Is this the end of the ceremony?”

 

“Yes, yes, …….”

 

The officiant priest nodded hurriedly. Kwanach looked at me again and said, 

 

“Did you hear that? Now officially you are my wife. Usphere Catatel Radon.”

 

Giving me a new last name, Radon, Kwanach called me.

 

He still had those shaky black eyes that hid what he was really thinking about.

 

* * *

 

‘Somehow, everything is a lot quicker than in the previous life.’

 

Kwanach wanted to go back to Radon Empire as soon as the ceremony was over, without a reception. No one dared to spoil his good mood, so everything went quickly according to his request.

 

I was given time to exchange brief greetings with my family, but it wasn’t really that much time.

 

I took off my heavy wedding dress and looked at the green dress that Kwanach brought. It seemed to be a design that was in vogue in the Empire these days.

 

‘Did he bring me a dress before?’

 

I didn’t pay much attention to clothes, so I couldn’t remember.

 

‘I feel a little off today.’

 

It was a subtle discomfort. A subtle change in detail… I couldn’t tell if it was a good sign or a bad sign.

 

I changed my dress with the help of the maidservant. I had to wear three layers of skirts. The lace, layered here and there, was magnificent. All the lace was delicately woven with silver thread.

 

As the time approached for my ride in the imperial carriage, the tension I deliberately buried began to slowly rise to the surface.

 

The time of my death was getting closer.

 

I would be passing that tree where I was bound for three years as a ghost.

 

I used my veiled headpiece to hide my nervousness. The white veil covered half my face.

 

I left the palace with a heavy heart. I went to visit my father in person to greet him on his sickbed. My father was so distressed that he burst into tears……

 

“It’s for the sun of Radon!”

 

The imperial knights chanted as I appeared. The knights lined up in two rows with their swords held high.

 

I walked through the knights. At the end of the line was my carriage and Kwanach.

 

I walked step by step and finally reached Kwanach. He looked me up and down and said in a low voice, 

 

“Do you hate it that much?”

 

“Huh?”

 

“The Radon Empire is worth living for.”

 

I froze for a moment at his sudden words, then opened my mouth.

 

“I don’t hate going to Radon, Kwanach.”

 

“But you are walking with a face like you’re about to die.”

 

“I’m just nervous, that’s all.”

 

Kwanach looked at me with a frown.

 

“I’ll ride in the carriage with you.”

 

My mind was hazy with the completely unexpected suggestion. Things have changed so much since before the regression.

 

“With me? But what about the etiquette?”

 

Kwanach had a black horse that he brought with him. There was only one carriage. It was only to carry me.

 

“I know that it is impolite in the North for a groom to ride with his bride in the same carriage.”

 

‘If he knows that, why is he still doing it?’

 

In all the many times the scene was recalled, Kwanach had never stepped into my carriage.

 

The situation had jumped in an unexpected direction.

 

“But I can’t help but feel uneasy when I see your expression. It seems like you’re about to collapse. Or are you thinking of running away?”

 

“What do you mean run away? No, I’m not.”

 

“How can I be sure if you’re not?”

 

“I have just taken the marriage vow. I am your wife and I am obligated to live as your wife.”

 

“You are sincere. Are all Princesses like that?”

 

Kwanach’s tone was sharp as if he was being sarcastic.

 

However, I was busy thinking.

 

‘Should I ride in the carriage with Kwanach?’

 

I couldn’t completely rule out the possibility of an assassination attempt. I had preparations ready to prevent any danger. I bit my lips as I felt the hard seed hidden in my palm.

 

I wasn’t too worried about surviving on my own. The problem was Kwanach. A well-aimed arrow could hurt him.

 

As I remained silent for a long time, Kwanach said in a harsh voice,

 

“You don’t want to ride with me?”

 

At Kwanach’s words, I shook my head out of thought.

 

“No, I was thinking about something else for a while.”

 

“What were you thinking about?”

 

“…….”

 

“I still think you’re in pain. I understand if you don’t want to be with me, but I’ll still ride in the carriage with you. Your husband has been acting like an incorrigible man since the first day of our marriage, so there’s no point in bad-mouthing him.”

 

I felt that if I refused, I would spoil his mood from the first day of our marriage.

 

Just the two of us, perhaps my magic would be enough to protect us both.

 

“No, I don’t mind. I’m rather flattered. Let’s ride together.”

 

Kwanach curled his thick lips.

 

“No, you don’t have to say that.”

 

As I stared at him, I wondered.

 

‘Why does he think I hate him so much? Is it because I am sold into a loveless marriage? Or is it because he doesn’t like me either?’

 

These were all understandable reasons. Still, I had a duty to smooth things over with him, so I continued calmly.

 

“It’s not because I don’t like you, it’s because I’m really nervous. There won’t be a single carefree bride on her wedding day.”

 

“…….”

 

“I’m grateful if you ride in the carriage with me. It would not be inconvenient, would it?”

 

“Why?”

 

Kwanach retorted sharply at the words I just added out of politeness.

 

“Sometimes the carriage feels too small.”

 

“What nonsense are you talking about?”

 

Kwanach, who was trying to maintain certain politeness in his speech, suddenly became rough.

 

“What do you think I am?”

 

He was the first emperor of the Radon Empire, the emperor of the lowest of the low, the sun god. And he was such an overwhelming and fascinating man that the qualifier was not at all unnatural.

 

Of course, in my previous life, he was an enemy who trampled on my homeland.

 

“I came from slavery, and people even slept together in less than half of this wagon. You don’t know that, do you? Did you agree to this marriage without knowing my origins?”

 

Kwanach said in a somewhat heated voice as if he was trying to corner me.

 

I gasped at his question.

 

Didn’t I know where he was from? How could that be? Even a child from the countryside could be able to tell stories about the saga of Kwanach.

 

I thought he was trying to calm me down, but Kwanach’s eyes looked very serious.

 

I lightly grabbed the hem of my dress with my fingers and said,

 

“I knew this even before your proposal came. Kwanach, I knew not only your origins but also every one of your heroic tales…”

 

“Heroic?”

 

Kwanach chuckled sarcastically.

 

“Do you think I was a hero when I was a kingslayer? I know that everyone treats me like a savage. Just because I’m your husband doesn’t mean you have to say something you don’t mean.”

 

“Why do you say that?”

 

The more I conversed with Kwanach, the more perplexed I became. In the future I once saw, Kwanach turned into a war-addicted madman.

 

But the Kwanach of today was an emperor that the entire continent praised. He had accomplished many things in a few short years.

 

Aside from the fact that he had trampled on my homeland, one of the facts that he created a wave of slavery on the continent was highly appreciated by me.

 

I wondered why such a man would talk himself down.

 

‘Is he testing me?’

 

Perhaps he was trying to find out what I thought about him.

 

For once, I didn’t have to make up a story out of nervousness. I didn’t know what kind of man Kwanach was, but I knew Emperor Kwanach Radon very well.

 

I said with sincerity what I thought after reading his biography and many of the articles that were published.

 

“No matter what the boring people say about you, I believe your accomplishments will never change.”

 

Kwanach chuckled and opened his lips.

 

“I think you’ve heard exaggerated stories about me. I’m not as great a man as you think. I’m not a hero.”

 

“If you are not a hero, then there is no one in this age who should be called a hero.”

 

Kwanach’s eyes wavered slightly.

 

“…..That’s enough. Let’s stop this conversation and get moving.”

 

Kwanach came back with a hard look on his face again. As he turned and walked towards my carriage, the Imperial Knights looked flustered.

 

One of them, who appeared to be the captain of the knights, approached and said,

 

“Your Majesty. Your horse is ready…..”

 

“No need.”

 

“But the protocol….”

 

“I order you to go away. It seems like you have two heads. You don’t mind if I cut off one of them, do you?”

 

Kwanach cornered the knight captain with an intonation that sounded as if it had been written by a government’s administration. It was a completely different voice than when he was speaking to me.

 

The knight seemed to be familiar with Kwanach talking this way. There was no sign of panic on his face. I guess I was the only one who seemed surprised.

 

Achaia was a conservative country in terms of etiquette. I firmly believed that royal authority would come from such a thing, and I didn’t doubt it.

 

Kwanach turned to me as I stood in front of the carriage.

 

“Why?”

 

“What? Oh …….”

 

He furrowed his brows, bit his lip, and said,

 

 “D*mn it.”

 

“Kwanach?”

 

“It’s my habit of talking if you’re surprised by it.”

 

Kwanach stroked his dark hair.

 

“Cutting off his head was just a joke. I’m sure they think it’s a joke too. So there is no need to be afraid. They will not be frivolous with you.”

 

“I’m not scared.” 

 

It was just strange. He was the one who was praised by all, even if he was not forced to adorn himself. He was the emperor of the new age, who was obeyed by all.

 

“Then what’s wrong with your expression?”

 

I inadvertently touched my face with my fingers.

 

“How do I look now?”

 

“I’m asking because I don’t know what kind of expression you have. I’ve never met someone whose face doesn’t show emotion.”

 

No, those were the words I wanted to give back to him.

 

“Hurry up and get in the carriage.”

 

“Oh, yes.”

 

As I stood in front of the carriage, grabbing the skirt of my dress and wondering how I was going to get into the carriage with this fluffy skirt on, Kwanach, who was standing beside me, suddenly knelt down on one knee.

 

“……?”

 

The knight, who seemed unconcerned with the “decapitation” joke, now seemed surprised. As they should be because the emperor knelt down in front of me.

 

***