Chapter 1 Part 1
*gahhhhhhhh, another sweet chapter but why don’t they kiss already!!! How I wish it’s an R19 novel 😭😭
As Kwanach gestured, the attendants who had been waiting in the corner of the dining room approached at once and cleared the plates. Then, one after another, the desserts were placed on the table.
My favorite raspberry cake was the first thing that caught my eyes.
I guess I was excited even though I was full. Half a piece of cake was finished in a flash.
‘My stomach feels like it’s going to burst …….’.
I heard that the land of the empire was rich and great for farming, perhaps that was why the food was so fresh. Everything from the food to desserts was delicious. The head chef seemed to have very impressive skills.
The sweet and refreshing taste on the tip of my tongue was addictive, but I put down the fork because I thought I would suffer from overeating if I ate more.
Then, Kwanach, who was staring at me from the opposite side, asked,
“Why don’t you eat more? There’s a lot left.”
“I’m so full.”
“Is it bad?”
Kwanach’s eyes instantly became sharp. If I said it was bad, he would fire the chef. I shook my head quickly.
“The food at the Imperial Palace is among the best I’ve ever had. Everything.”
“But you didn’t eat much.”
“No, I ate much more than usual.”
“A little bird would eat more than that.”
“I’ll increase the amount. But I really can’t eat any more today. I’m so full.”
Kwanach nodded in frustration.
“Kwanach. If you have time, can we take a walk? Walking helps with digestion as well.”
At that moment, Kwanach suddenly dropped the fork he was holding.
Clink! The silver utensils collided and made a loud sound. Kwanach stared at me with furrowed brows.
“A walk? You want to go for a walk? With me? Just the two of us?”
“Do you not like walking?”
I was perplexed by the unexpectedly intense reaction. I was so full that I just wanted to take a walk.
“I can go by myself. I just wanted to tell you that I think the interior of the Imperial Palace is really nice and beautiful to walk around.”
“No, it’s not that I don’t like it.”
Kwanach could not continue speaking. The redness on his face began to spread quickly.
Kwanach lowered his feverish face and waved to the servant. The servant quickly and quietly approached and poured him a cup of cold water.
I watched Kwanach with a mixture of confusion and curiosity.
Before I knew it, he was red up to the tips of his ears, and the fingers holding his forehead were trembling finely.
Was he nervous? No, he was embarrassed. Why? Was it because I asked him to go for a walk?
I asked as he gulped down some cold water.
Then Kwanach raised his head and stared at me. His dark eyes wavered as if they had lost their destination.
He again took the water cup and drank all of it. Then he took a slow deep breath as he placed the empty cup on the table, feeling a little calmer.
Kwanach said in a hoarse voice, his red lips twitching.
“It’s the first time you’ve asked to do something together. I was a little surprised.”
“Oh, that’s not quite right, is it?”
“Let’s say …… a little.”
A hint of embarrassment flashed across Kwanach’s face. He cleared his throat, got up from his seat, and approached me.
Then, he gently extended his hand towards me.
“I’d like to take a walk with you, Usphere. Would you like to walk with me?”
I was the one who first suggested the walk, and in turn, Kwanach had gotten embarrassed and asked me instead.
“Yes, that would be great.”
I smiled slightly, took his his hand and stood up.
* * * *
We walked slowly, arm in arm, keeping pace with each other through the vastness of the Imperial Palace. Even at night, the fountain was still emitting brilliant water.
The stones surrounding the fountain were luminous stones. At night, the soft light spouted by the stones looked even more beautiful.
It was early winter in the Radon Empire, and wearing a short fur cape was perfect for walking.The cool night air and the scent of grass lifted my spirits.
I suddenly lifted my head and gazed at Kwanach.
The moonlight was streaming over his clear, strong features. It was nothing new, but once again I was amazed at his appearance.
Perhaps sensing my gaze, Kwanach turned and looked at me.
An ambiguous silence hung in the air, so Kwanach spoke first.
“How did you spend your day? I heard you went to the greenhouse garden.”
“How did you know?”
“I know everything.”
“I looked around, and I even brought some books from the library. What about you?”
“It was just normal.”
“You’ve been very busy, haven’t you? Is it normal?”
“Isn’t it normal for the emperor to be busy? How many heads am I responsible for?”
Kwanach answered nonchalantly, but to me he sounded extraordinary. Is it really so ordinary to know your duties as emperor and to carry them out faithfully every day?
First of all, I know of two rulers who failed to do so.
My father was the one who let go of political affairs after my mother died.
Regent Diaquit, who was not so interested in national politics.
Compared to them, Kwanach was a natural emperor. No matter what people said or rumored about his birth. Putting aside everything that happened in his previous life, he was indeed a great man.
“Kwanach, I think you are wonderful.”
The words in my mind jumped out suddenly.
Kwanach’s feet, which were walking slowly, came to a halt. His gaze changed from moment to moment in a variety of ways, and he looked at me carefully.
“It’s admirable to see you not neglecting your duties.”
“Oh, you mean that. It’s natural for an emperor……..”
“No, there are many who do not. Even the Pernen dynasty that you ousted out wasn’t like that.”
Kwanach cleared his throat and turned towards me. He seemed to be aware of the height difference between us, and bent deeply to meet my eyes level. He untangled our intertwined arms and held my hand tightly.
At that moment, the attendants who had been following us all turned their backs. It was as if we were about to do something that shouldn’t be seen.
For no reason at all, I felt nervous…
Kwanach said while staring at me.
“I think you’re…. …I think it’s nice to be honest.”
Kwanach was nervous, but seemed quite serious.
“There are many people who want to be honest, but can’t. Being honest is also a gift.”
I was silent for a moment, and then pursed my lips.
There was something quite poignant about being praised by Kwanach. I regressed, and there were quite a few things I kept from him, like the fact that I’m infertile.
I felt a zing in my chest, so I shook my head and answered.
“I lie too. I’m not that honest.”
“Then it’s a lie you must be thinking about. It doesn’t mean anything bad.”
“How can you be sure?”
In addition to the conversation, the question that had been lingering since I met Kwanach was also brought to the surface.
“Kwanach. Why are you so nice to me?”
It was an exciting and pleasant wonder, but I was always curious.
Why was this man so kind? To a woman who was still unfamiliar to him, who he had taken as payment for a political agreement.
“Can’t I be nice to my wife?”
“Most men wouldn’t treat their wives like you.”
“Didn’t I tell you that I liked you very much?”
“So …… why?”
Kwanach flinched and one step closer to me.
So close that we could feel each other’s breath. Kwanach’s hot hand gently crept up on my skin and grabbed my lower arm.
Kwanach hesitated as if he was lost. I held my breath and waited for his next words.
“You are beautiful, Usphere.”
My back tingled for a moment at the deep-sounding voice that struck my ears. Kwanach seemed too serious to let what he said pass easily.
“The moment I first saw you, I was shocked.”
It was the moment I first saw him too…….
I remembered the day of our wedding, when Kwanach was looking very stiff compared to now.
Did Kwanach think I was beautiful then?
I couldn’t imagine it at the time. Naturally, I thought that Kwanach would not like me.
“I’m not just saying to please the ears. I think you are the most beautiful being I’ve ever seen.”
I didn’t expect Kwanach to answer so seriously. I was bewildered, but happy, because who wouldn’t be thrilled by such a compliment?
His words were sincere. I think it was even more special because it was from Kwanach, not from anyone else. It was a compliment from a man so beautiful that it made everyone nervous.
For a man who had walked all over the continent to say that I was the most beautiful being he had ever seen, the weight of his words were quite heavy.
‘I guess I was Kwanach’s cup of tea.’
As usual, I didn’t understand it, but tastes are a diverse thing. I had no interest in romance or love, and for my own reasons, I didn’t want to insult him…
My husband’s kindness was somehow not cumbersome.
Kwanach stared straight at me and continued speaking.
“It’s not that you are only beautiful in appearance. It’s hard to describe. You also have a beautiful heart. I liked your honest yet gentle side…….”
As the words grew longer, Kwanach’s face stiffened slightly. The otherwise rough impression was getting intense, but only his eyes were shimmering softly, and I could tell that he was just more nervous than I was.
“Ah, am I speaking well? I don’t know. I’m not used to this.”
Kwanach looked at me with a slight frown.
Suddenly he reminded me of the black bear that people sometimes encountered when they passed through the rugged mountains of the Kingdom of Achaia. I had never seen one in person, but it was an animal that often appeared in paintings and tales of my homeland.
It was a huge and ferocious beast. A northern predator.
However, I had been told that when it’s in the hands of a human since its cub, it would be completely tamed and behaved like a docile sheep in the presence of its owner.
Was it my arrogant illusion if the Emperor of the Radon empire was only gentle in my presence?