Chapter 14

 

 

“By the way, how long are you going to be here?”

 

“Do you want me to leave?”

 

“I have to change my clothes.”

 

“I can help you with that…..”

 

“Oh, my God! What are you talking about?”

 

I was expecting him to say, ‘We’re a married couple’ again, but he didn’t.

 

Kwanach said with a smirk.

 

“That was a joke.”

 

“Kwanach!”

 

“It is quite amusing to watch your expressionless face crumble, but I’m going to leave you now. You must be tired, so get some rest and I’ll see you tomorrow.”

 

“…… Yes. Get some rest.”

 

Kwanach nodded slightly and started to walk towards the door, but suddenly paused.

 

“It’s a little sad to just go.”

 

“What else are you going to do?”

 

Plop.

 

Kwanach put one knee on the bed without warning.

 

“We are husband and wife, shouldn’t we at least kiss each other goodnight?”

 

Kwanach gently held my fingers. Before I could do anything, his rough, hot lips fell on the back of my hand.

 

It was a soft kiss on the back of my hand. Then, he gently let go of my hand and said as he locked eyes with me.

 

“Good night.”

 

I froze for a moment, then finally answered.

 

“…… you too, Kwanach.”

 

* * * *

 

With a click, the door to the room where I was staying slammed shut.

 

As soon as he left the room, Kwanach stopped in front of the door. A mass of ragged breaths went up and down his throat.

 

The knights, who had been quietly waiting for the emperor to appear, bowed their heads in unison.

 

“It’s a lot harder than I thought.”

 

Kwanach swept his hair with a deep sigh.His heart was beating impatiently and erratically, and his body ached from the heat.

 

He thought long and hard about the feel of Usphere’s skin against hot lips. It was soft and fragile. Was human skin really that soft? Her hands were so thin that if he squeezed them hard enough, they would shatter.

 

Her light green eyes shook with anxiety. When he looked at her, he wanted to throw his patience to the wind and dive into her, but he held back.

 

He’d been holding back for several years anyway. It would be easy to wait a few more months to fully grasp her heart.

 

He didn’t want to appear to Usphere as a rugged barbarian. He didn’t want her to think of this marriage as a business, nor did he want her to reluctantly live in captivity with him.

 

“This time I will protect you, Usphere.”

 

Of course, it was not easy to suppress his desire, because the one he wanted so much was right in front of him. He was anxious. He wanted to have her.

 

Kwanach clenched his fists tightly. He didn’t want to give in to his desire and get drunk on her when Usphere didn’t want to. Because Usphere deserved respect.

 

She was the only person he wanted to serve.

 

In front of her, his hard-earned position as emperor became useless. He wanted to kneel down and obey her.

 

“She is elegant and beautiful, my princess.”

 

It had been a long time, but Usphere still looked the same. No, in fact, her beauty seemed to have grown more intense.

 

“I’m glad you don’t remember me.”

 

It would be better if she didn’t remember him in his shabby days.

 

Even now, when he wore the emperor’s crown and imitated the noble appearance, he came up far short compared to her. He was always impatient. Since their first meeting, he was already unable to control his nervousness and had spoken roughly to her many times.

 

“Let’s be more careful. I need to calm down a bit.”

 

Kwanach swallowed a lump and walked with the knights. It was a night when the moon was at its dimmest, and the faint moonlight cast a slight white glow over the sailing ship.

 

Kwanach let out a ragged, hot breath as he entered the parlor. Oslin was already there.

 

“What is it?”

 

Speaking in a sharp voice, Oslin’s eyebrows gently lifted.

 

“What do you intend to do?”

 

“About what?”

 

It was obvious that Kwanach didn’t have to hear the reply, he knew it was about Usphere.

 

Kwanach undone a few buttons on his shirt, trying to cool the heat in his body. Then, he said sharply, looking at Oslin, who was sitting with a disgruntled expression on his face.

 

“Have I ever disregarded your opinion? No, I haven’t. Not once. So let this one slide.”

 

“The proposed alliance was a contrivance. You know that, don’t you?

 

Oslin was quite upset, so he spoke casually like he used to.

 

“Achaia could be subjugated so easily that it would not even damage the Imperial knights. If you’re going to make an alliance, demand more. I don’t understand.”

 

“I think the terms are enough.”

 

Indeed, Kwanach could have demanded more, but he got Usphere, the center of his world. He didn’t feel the need to set any other conditions.

 

“Marriage is the best way to build a strong political foundation. You’re going to blow that opportunity? You know, the empire is still unstable, unlike what it appears to be.”

 

“Then you should try harder to strengthen the inner sanctum of the Empire, Oslin. Isn’t that your job?”

 

“D*mn it. I can’t understand you. You’re usually more rational than I am, so why this time…….”

 

 

“Don’t talk anymore and get lost. It’s hot.”

 

Oslin lifted his glasses in his hand and gave him a startled look.

 

“Hot? You really have lost your mind, haven’t you? Where did you get the heat from? I’m freezing to death. Why is it so cold in the north?”

 

Regardless of whether Oslin was whining or not, Kwanach loosened another button on his shirt. It didn’t matter what the climate was, because just standing in front of Usphere made him feel extremely hot.

 

* * * *

 

“Ugh….”

 

It was bad. I was curled up in bed and pulled the rope weakly.

 

I was dying of exhaustion yesterday but I woke up at dawn. It was because of the diabolical seasickness!

 

I tried to manage to hold it together on my own, it seemed impossible, so I pulled the rope to call for someone. A servant quickly entered the cabin and bowed.

 

“Empress.”

 

“I have motion sickness……. Can you bring me something good for it?”

 

I had never been on a boat for such a long time before. It was my first time experiencing it and I was terrified as hell.

 

The servant quickly left, saying she would bring me some good medicine for motion sickness and some tea.

 

Huh……

 

Meanwhile, I lay on the bed in my chemise and wheezed.

 

Suddenly, the door of my room slammed open. No matter how urgent the task, the maidservant did not come into the room without knocking, so I was surprised and raised my body up.

 

As expected, it was not a maidservant, but an unexpected visitor that caught my eye. It was a big man.

 

It was my husband.

 

“Kwanach…”

 

Kwanach came over to me with a tray. The tray in his hand looked as small as a child’s toy.

 

“Are you in a lot of pain?”

 

“Why are you ……?”

 

“Because you said you don’t feel good.”

 

I wanted to ask, “So how did you know and come so soon……?” But I felt sick and it was difficult to speak.

 

“I’ve brought you some medicine.”

 

“Yes…….”

 

“If I knew this was going to happen, we should have just moved on land. But it was too risky to cross another country’s territory by land, so we chose to take the boat route to the imperial territory…. I’m sorry.”

 

Kwanach wrinkled his brows and muttered. I felt a little confused and bewildered, not expecting the word ‘sorry’ to come out of his mouth.

 

“No, why are you apologizing? It was reasonable to go by boat. I just didn’t know I’d get seasick this badly.”

 

“Drink this first. The doctor is on his way. It’s too early, try to get some more sleep.”

 

Kwanach seemed to have woken the sleeping doctor and ordered him to come. It was before dawn, so of course, it was sleeping time. However, Kwanach showed no sign of sleepiness.

 

 

I couldn’t believe he came to see me at this early hour. I took the cup of hot tea that Kwanach offered me and looked at him while taking a sip.

 

A corner of my heart tickled strangely.

 

“How do you feel? Are you feeling better?”

 

“I’ve just had a drink, so……, I think I’m feeling better.”

 

Oh, when will that damn quack doctor come…… Oh. Pretend you didn’t hear that. It’s just my habit of talking.”

 

Kwanach lightly smacked his lips with the palm of his hand. I couldn’t help but let out a laugh at how uncharacteristically friendly the emperor was.

 

“Why are you laughing…?”

 

“Oh, I didn’t mean to laugh.”

 

Kwanach’s dark brows furrowed.

 

“Then what?”

 

“Just…..”

 

I didn’t know why I laughed at Kwanach’s actions either. It had been a long time since I laughed out loud. It was strange.

 

I never thought I would feel so free in front of a man who had trampled on my homeland in my previous life. Perhaps it was because Kwanach was more down-to-earth and normal than I imagined.

 

I had imagined the worst of the worst. I was prepared to endure even if he acted like I was just an insignificant war trophy.

 

However, despite my resolve, Kwanach was quite a cautious and courteous man. I felt sorry to deceive him.

 

Maybe if I could maintain the marriage alliance and prevent war, he would not turn into a monster like he did in my previous life. If the heir’s problem was solved, we may be able to live like a normal couple.

 

Feeling a little embarrassed, I cleared my throat with a good cough and said something else.

 

 

“You don’t have to be conscious of me and try to change your tone. It’s okay to talk casually. You are four years older than me…….”

 

“But I’m not okay with that.”

 

“Why not?”

 

“I want to be polite to you. I don’t want to treat my wife rudely.”

 

Kwanach said in a low voice without any expression. But the unexpected tenderness behind it touched my heart.

 

He was a big man, big enough to cast a shadow as he faced me. Until yesterday, he was definitely intimidating and scary, but now I could see a different side of him. He was rough, but kind.

 

It was the first time I had ever received such kindness from a man.

 

In my previous life, I was despised, and in this life, I was loved. 

 

It was strange and unfamiliar to receive such kindness from someone above me.

 

But it was not unpleasant. A strange surge of feelings touched a corner of my heart. 

 

I said, rubbing the teacup lightly with my fingers.

 

“Is that so? That’s very kind of you.”

 

“…….”

 

“You’re nicer than I thought you were.”

 

“And you’re sweeter than your cold expression.” Kwanach said.