Chapter 1 Part 1
Kwanach handed over a small bowl with a blunt face. The bowl was filled with a few dried raspberries coated with sugar.
“Try it. I brought it because I thought your mouth would be bitter. The bread won’t help right now.”
“Thank you very much. I love raspberries…….”
It made me feel better, as if it had been prepared just for me.
“At the Imperial Palace, you can have plenty of fresh raspberries and sweets with raspberries.”
The quality of the raspberries produced in Achaia was poor. It was sad that the good quality ones were so hard to come by.
I picked up a few dried raspberries from the bowl and put them in my mouth. Immediately, the sugar grains melted and dissolved on my tongue, spreading sweetness, followed by the freshness of the raspberries.
I felt naturally better and more energized. The nausea from the motion sickness seemed to have calmed down. Kwanach carefully took the cup that was in my hand and put it away.
At that moment, a doctor came into the room, dressed as if he had just woken up and was in a rush.
Kwanach stared at the doctor with a completely different gaze than when he looked at me.
“Come quickly and examine the Empress.”
The doctor walked over to me, looking depressingly frightened.
He stood trembling in front of me, as if he was about to collapse.
How could he be so scared, no matter how rugged Kwanach was?
Apparently, he was of a particularly timid disposition.
He was summoned at dawn for me. I wasn’t even very sick……I felt sorry to see him so frightened.
I opened my mouth to somehow neutralize the chilly atmosphere.
“Are you from the Imperial Palace?”
“Yes, yes, Empress…. I’m Simon….I’m a doctor.”
Simon bowed his head.
He must be quite capable to be able to work as a doctor in the Imperial Palace, but he still looked like a boy. He seemed to have been born with a stutter.
His hair was almost orange-red, and his eyes were green. His pale skin was covered with freckles. He looked even more pitiful as his thin body was shivering.
“Thank you for coming so early in the morning. It’s not a big deal, I just had a bad case of seasickness, but I’m feeling a little better now……”
At that moment, Kwanach interrupted.
“Take a thorough look at the Empress from head to toe. She was in a lot of pain. She couldn’t even walk properly while you were snoring in your sleep. When you’re dead, you can sleep to your heart’s content.”
“Yes, Your Majesty….”
“The Empress is different. Even if she has a little tummy ache, her body can be overwhelmed, so be extra careful with the examination. Do you understand?”
I looked at Kwanach with troubled eyes. Kwanach only furrowed his brow as if there was something wrong.
The lie that I was frail seemed to have gotten through to Kwanach too well. Not even my father had ever treated me like flimsy glass that would break if he touched me.
While Simon was examining me very meticulously, Kwanach watched me furtively from behind. It was a cold stare.
I was the patient, but Simon was the one who was worried during the entire examination, trembling with fear.
Simon’s examination findings were normal except for motion sickness.
Kwanach could not believe it at all. He made Simon’s face even more pale when he threatened him to do better.
In the end, Simon was finally able to leave the room only after he reexamined me again. After Simon left, I looked back at Kwanach and said,
“The Imperial Doctor is very young, isn’t he?”
“Yes, eighteen, I think.”
“Oh my god, he’s younger than me. It’s the training age but he’s already an imperial doctor.”
“Once seen, he memorizes everything. He goes through the body’s anatomy degree on the sly. No one can be more knowledgeable with the human body than Simon. He was a slave like me, but I recognized his extraordinary skills and brought him to the palace early on.”
It seemed that the rumors were true that Kwanach appointed his men on merit alone, regardless of their origin or age.
“He’s a great man. But you don’t like him, do you?”
Kwanach spoke, tilting his head as if to ask why I was asking such a question.
“I think he is a very competent doctor. If I hadn’t liked him from the start, I wouldn’t have let him on this ship. The only drawback is that he’s a little more timid than the others.” Kwanach clicked his tongue.
“Then why did you give him a hard time?”
Kwanach tilted his head as he stared at me again with a look that said, “What? When?”
I guess he wasn’t aware of it at all.
Perhaps because of his vicious look on his face, he scared people when he didn’t mean to.
Kwanach had the face of a pretty gentle husband to me, but if I had met him as a boss, I think I would have been quite scared.
Just then, I heard a chair being pulled next to me. I turned my head and saw Kwanach dragging an extra chair over to me and placed it by my bed. He then sat down in the chair, which seemed small to support him, and stared at me. (*TL: how big is Kwanach I wonder…😂)
‘Why is he sitting here instead of leaving?’
His gaze stung my eyes. I glanced at him, smiled, and popped a raspberry into my mouth.
Kwanach stared at my lips and said.
“There are plenty of dried raspberries. You don’t have to save them.”
“You eat too little, like a rabbit.”
I almost spit out the raspberries I was eating in my haste. What did he mean rabbit?
“I’m eating normally.”
“Do you usually eat like this?”
Kwanach leaned his upper body towards me and stared at my lips intently.
‘It bothers me.’
I couldn’t eat anymore, so I swallowed the raspberry. Kwanach’s lips puckered up in a small pout, like someone who was missing something.
“Why aren’t you going? Don’t you need to sleep?”
“I’ve slept enough. Do I have to leave?”
“I’m sure you’re busy. And I’m also concerned about my appearance.”
Earlier I was restless with motion sickness, and only wore a chemise. The chemise in the north was made of thicker material, though, so my bare skin didn’t show through.
Still, I was embarrassed to show my pajamas to a man who hadn’t even slept with me yet, even though he was my husband. My hair was also randomly ruffled.
As soon as I became aware of it, the awkwardness crept in.
Kwanach shrugged his shoulders and said as if it was no big deal.
“Where am I going when there’s a patient to be taken care of? I’ve brought with me the documents to be approved first. I can do my work here.”
“I’m fine now, so….”
“But I’m not okay. Also, you look good, so what’s the problem?”
“My hair is a mess, and I’m in my pajamas.”
“Don’t worry about it. It’s beautiful.”
I closed my lips tightly at Kwanach’s words. He really was a man with a talent for making people speechless.
I decided to stop, because I was afraid that if I talked to him more, I would end up talking about my own face burning up.
“Don’t mind me, just lie down and get some rest.”
With a look in his eyes as if he would knock me down if I didn’t lie down, so I quietly lay down on the bed.
Immediately, Kwanach pulled the blanket and covered my body.
“Kwanach. Are you sure you want to be here?”
I couldn’t help but feel that I was a long way from breaking Kwanach’s stubbornness. I turned my head to the other side and closed my eyes.
I could hear the sound of Kwanach writing the papers next to me. And from time to time I could feel his deep gaze on my back and my neck. My stomach was subtly tingling, and my face seemed to be burning.
I shouldn’t feel bad when someone is being nice to me. But I couldn’t take his kindness lightly.
He and I were not a normal couple. There were so many things to take care of between us.
There would be a lot of people making a lot of noise about us. That’s the way it is with political marriages between royalty.
If he finds out later that I’m infertile…
This kindness may disappear. He’s being kind to me perhaps because I’m still useful to him.
If he knows the truth, will Kwanach be angry? I don’t know if he will be disappointed, or if he wants a divorce.
He only delayed our night work because he was thinking about me, but he wanted to have children.
‘Is it really that none of the awakeners of the Catatel family have any children?’
I’m sure there have been people who have tried to have children over the millennia of history.
I was told that the library of the Radon Empire was the largest on the continent. I’m sure I can find a way there.
No, I had to find it. Somehow.
* * *
It was the morning of the second day on the ship.
I woke up slowly. I rubbed my twitching eyelids gently with the back of my hand and looked around.
The chair where Kwanach sat was empty.
He didn’t leave my side all day yesterday. I tried repeatedly to tell him that I was really okay and that he should leave, but I couldn’t break his stubbornness. I even thought that his stubbornness could lead to a revolution.
At first, I was just curious about Kwanach, but gradually I got used to his presence. Eventually, I seemed to fall asleep with him by my side.
How much sleep did I get? It seemed that I slept so well last night that I felt like I couldn’t sleep anymore for a long time. Most of the sick feelings were gone.
My body got used to the swaying waves to some extent. I continued to drink the tea that was good for sickness, and the nausea almost went away.