Chapter 1 Part 1
I hurriedly put the book I was reading back on the shelf as he hurriedly walked over. When he was right in front of me, Kwanach’s voice trailed off.
“What are you doing here, skipping lunch and dinner? Do you want to collapse? I couldn’t concentrate on my work because of you. I’m worried! I’m really ………! Huh, don’t look at me like that. Damn it. I can’t even get mad at you.”
Kwanach let out a hot breath. His chest rose and fell wildly.
I stared at him, confused by my husband’s sudden arrival with a fever.
“Oh, is it that time already?”
I couldn’t believe it was dinner time. I thought it’d been just an hour or two.
Now I thought about it, Marianne called me at every meal. But I was so focused that I didn’t even feel hungry, so I sent her back.
Kwanach just sighed, his lips quivering as if he was trying to say more. I didn’t mean to worry him.
I slipped out of the bookshelf and stood facing him.
“I’m sorry, Kwanach. I lost track of time while reading.”
“Are you angry?”
Kwanach relaxed his stiff shoulders. There was a rather softer feeling on his face, which was exuding fierce energy. It still had a rough impression though.
Kwanach said in a friendlier voice.
“I wasn’t trying to be mad at you. The words came out rough. I’ve been in the city for a day, and I’m not sure what happened to my head. I heard that you were only here without eating anything….. I’m sorry.”
“No, I’m fine.”
At first, I didn’t have any idea what Kwanach was really feeling, but after a few days of being attached to him, I could read his emotions little by little.
He looked depressed.
At first glance, he just looked scary, but I could feel the tips of his dark eyebrows pointing downward.
I turned my head fully to look up at him, to get a better look at the expression on his face. The harder I looked, the more I could see the evidence of emotions spreading and dissipating in minute detail across his face.
It was like the fun of solving a mystery, and I was getting lost in it. Kwanach cleared his throat a couple of times and said,
“Do I have something on my face?”
“Yes? Oh, no….I was just looking at it out of curiosity.”
“What is it?”
“Your expressions are more varied than I thought.”
“I’ve never heard of it before.”
“Maybe it’s because other people don’t look at you closely. That’s how it was for me at first.”
Kwanach’s dark pupils flickered and he looked down instead of into my eyes.
‘Is he embarrassed?’
He dodged my gaze, and his lips wriggled. A couple of times his neck’s vein bulged up. It was hard to see because of the dim light, but his face seemed redder than before.
Kwanach, still unable to look at me properly, suddenly held out his hand.
“Anyway…… let’s get out of here. Have you finished the book?”
“I’ll come back tomorrow. I’ll make sure I’ll eat well from now on.”
I didn’t think anything of it earlier, but suddenly I felt a sudden surge of hunger. I even felt dizzy, albeit faintly.
I took Kwanach’s hand firmly and moved on.
He stared at me blankly and suddenly pulled my hand inside his arm.
“I think you’ll be more comfortable with your arms folded.”
Kwanach craned his chin and stared straight ahead.
‘He’s embarrassed again, isn’t he?’
Kwanach’s wild jaw began to twitch. The more I found something unexpected, the more I kept seeing this husband, who was twice my size, a little…….
‘He looks cute.’
It’s funny. He’s so majestic that he’s been nicknamed the Sun God.
I was afraid that Kwanach would be offended if I told him that, so first I had to think inwardly to myself.
I walked with my arm around Kwanach’s. I could vividly feel his firm, hot arms even through the cloth.
The moment I walked out of the library….
“What is all this?”
The table was spread out in the garden in front of the library. It was a dinner party where the traditions of the South and the North were woven together. The aromatic and warm smell of freshly prepared food tantalized my nose.
“I thought you’d be hungry, so I told them to bring the food here.”
“This much food?”
“I’ll dine with you.”
Kwanach escorted me with polite gestures.
I sat down on the chair he gently pulled out for me, feeling a bit awkward.
“It might be a little cold outside.”
Kwanach wrapped a thick blanket that the servant was holding over my shoulders. Then he sat down on the opposite side and looked at me. He looked a little nervous.
I said while fiddling with the end of the blanket he had draped over me.
“Kwanach, have you eaten yet?”
“I’m sure you must have been hungry while attending political affairs.”
“You’re the one who skipped lunch and dinner…”
“No. Let’s eat together every meal starting tomorrow. I’ll go to where you are.”
“Wouldn’t it bother you?”
“How about you?….. Wouldn’t it be inconvenient if I visited you every time?”
I could hear the tension in Kwanach’s voice, that voice that at first I thought was angry, but now it sounded different.
I couldn’t believe the man who came up to bed last night with me was so nervous about meal suggestions.
“No. I don’t think it’ll be inconvenient.”
“Yes. I’ve always been a person who likes to be alone. Now I have to get used to being around you.”
“If you don’t want to, you don’t have to force yourself to accept it.”
“You’re not forcing me. It’s all right.”
“I’m glad to hear that. Hurry up and eat. The food will get cold.”
It was night, so there was a cool breeze, but the blanket was thick enough.There was also a small brazier fire burning nearby, and the right amount of warmth enveloped me.
In the garden, the smell of fresh grass mingled with the aroma of various foods. It was the midnight supper my husband had prepared for me.
I took a slow sip of the soup and glanced at Kwanach as I ate.
‘Why are you so nice to me?’
Even if he liked me, I was still a woman he had only known for about a week.
The more I realized his affectionate spirit that I didn’t know in my previous life, the more I felt that I must prevent a future where he would be out of control.
* * * *
After enjoying dinner in the library garden, we went to bed holding hands like the night before.
I wasn’t so nervous to have Kwanach lying next to me this time. I fell asleep right away with my hand in his firm palm.
As a frequent morning sleeper, I woke up when Kwanach had already left for meetings. Today I decided to visit the greenhouse garden. It was where most of the plants in the palace were gathered.
There, I wanted to listen to the various stories among these palace plants. I also planned to look up some information about the Wood Elves in the library.
After a quick breakfast, Marianne led me to the entrance of the greenhouse garden. Bright sunlight was shining on the glass of the greenhouse garden.
It seemed endlessly huge from the outside, and once inside, it was like walking into a giant forest.
The glass ceiling seemed to stretch high into the sky.Here and there, I saw rare plants that I had never seen before in my life.
They were all growing densely without a single dry leaf, as if they were being tended by a talented gardener.
Even though I hadn’t talked directly to the plants, the happy and refreshing energy they exuded were in the air. The smell of the thick grass naturally eased the tension in my body.
I would come here often, if not necessarily to get information.
I said to Marianne, who was quietly following behind me.
“Marianne, I’ll look around alone for a moment.”
Marianne bowed her head politely and then stepped away.
I was going to talk to the plant, and I didn’t want the others to see it if possible.
The fact that I was an awakener who could talk to and grow plants was widely known, but I had never revealed it personally.
I came to this Empire alone. I was still in a position where I didn’t have a single person to trust in this land. But the flowers and leaves were always on my side, never betraying me.
They were my eyes and ears, my reliable and fresh friends.
Although the energy from the silver forest felt reduced, it was still easy to talk to plants.
I stood in front of the first plant I saw and put my hand on its soft green leaves.
“Hello beautiful friend. May I talk to you?”
I spoke cautiously, and a gentle voice of unknown gender echoed in my head.
<So you’re someone who shares a soul with us! >
The green leaves shook slightly. It was as if a person shivered in surprise.
“I was blessed by the goddess Fahar.”
<That’s why when your hand touched me, it felt as good as drinking a blessing rain! >
“I’m glad to hear that. My name is Usphere. I’m from the north end of the world, and I came here a few days ago. But I don’t have any friends yet. Do you happen to know much about this palace?”
<Unfortunately, I don’t know much about it. It hasn’t been long since it was planted here. Instead, I know the longest-rooted tree in this land. I’ll introduce it to you. Why don’t you go see him.>
“Thank you very much.”
<Ah! I don’t know if it’s a useful story……. >
“Is there anything you would like to share? Any plant wisdom is always welcome.”
<I’ve seen the woman who came with you earlier a few times here.>
“Marianne? I sent her away.”
<Yes. That woman. >
I cast a glance in the direction Marianne had disappeared.
I wondered why Marianne, the head maid, had come to the greenhouse garden. Because this place was not her area.
“May I see the plant’s memory if you don’t mind?”
“Of course you can! I’d do anything for you, Usphere. >
I gave a small laugh and closed my eyes softly.
I began to see the memories of the plant’s spirit. What had happened in this vicinity played out vividly in my mind.
……It was a very unwelcome scene.