Chapter 1 Part 1
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The sleeping man was wearing an Imperial uniform. It meant that only his identity was certain.
He had a book open and it covered his face, so I couldn’t see his face. His hair was almost gray to be called silver.
The large body that did not fit on the bench indicated that the man trained his body hard.
‘Why would a soldier be in the greenhouse garden of the Imperial Palace…..?’
Besides, he was sleeping too.
Was it okay to be so free in the land of the Empire? It was suspicious.
I was about to call for an attendant when the man woke up and stood up, shaking his head, perhaps he felt my presence.
The book that covered his face fell to the floor.
The man stared at me with a vague expression. I met his purple eyes.
His stiff gray hair was quite long and came down close to his shoulders. It looked like it was usually tied up. I saw a hair band fall to the floor.
As I thought, the man bent down and picked up the hair band that fell on the floor.
He roughly tied his hair up and stepped closer to me. It was a man of languid and light appearance.
As I faced him, I realized the man’s large physique. He wasn’t as huge as Kwanach, but he was definitely big.
I opened my mouth, trying not to show signs of nervousness.
“Who are you to occupy the Imperial garden like it was your private property?”
“Who is this lady?”
The man scratched his head.
My face hardened at the man’s rude attitude. I didn’t have to act coercive in my position as empress, but I also had no reason to be ignored.
“I think you’d better be polite.”
“Well, who are you?”
“Usphere Catatel Radon.”
“…… Radon? Oh.”
The man was dazed, but he smiled faintly as if he had realized something.
“You are the new Empress of the Sun Empire.”
The man’s demeanor didn’t change much despite the fact that he knew I was the Empress.
‘What in the world are you doing here?’
He bowed to greet me, but his gestures were exaggerated, making him look like a ridiculous actor.
The man took another step closer to me with a curious smile on his face. I frowned and scowled at him.
“Reveal your affiliation and name.”
“Hahaha. I’m a veteran, Your Majesty.”
“Should I say “reservist”? I just came back to the Imperial Palace and submitted my resignation. I don’t know if the feisty emperor will accept my resignation.”
He will be free to behave as he pleases with me, the outlander empress. I understood that but how could he talk about the emperor in a disrespectful way? Just as I was about to speak sternly, the man revealed his name.
I will understand in a hundred steps. Handu, just as I was about to say sternly, “How can you even be an emperor…” the man revealed my name.
“This little fellow’s name is Jaxor, Your Majesty.”
Jaxor. It was a name I knew.
It was a name that anyone with even a passing interest in continental affairs could not fail to recognize.
Kwanach, the leader of the Southern Revolution, has a right arm and a left arm. One was Baron Oslin Beinard, a strategist, and the other was Jaxor, a slave soldier like Kwanach.
It was this man who was now facing me.
In particular, Jaxor said that he and Kwanach were like brothers. They have lived in slavery in the same place, sharing the same hardships since they were four years old.
There were dozens of bards alone that recited their deeds. Of course, some of them were different from reality, and some of them were a bit exaggerated mixed in.
“….. You’re Lord Jaxor?”
“No knighthood, so no need to call me Lord, Your Majesty. You can just call me Jaxor.”
As Oslin refused a noble knighthood, Jaxor wasn’t knighted either.
However, he was the general commander of the Imperial Central Army. He wasn’t just a nobody.
“I can’t believe you’re a veteran. Did you tell His Majesty you were leaving the army? Why?”
“You seem to know me.”
“I think it’s rare to find anyone on the continent who doesn’t know the name Jaxor.”
Jaxor laughed, raising his eyebrows. He was like a man who didn’t know how to be serious.
“I’m just tired of military life, that’s all. I just want to take a break. I can hang out with the beautiful ladies. Isn’t my face too good to rot on the battlefield?”
He said jokingly, but it was true that he was quite a handsome man.
Of course he wasn’t my taste. I preferred a man who was more solid and discreet than this casual and pleasant one.
After a stream of thought, I felt a little embarrassed. I made an effort to put the name Kwanach out of my mind and cleared my throat.
“I’m sure His Majesty is very worried that you’re going to retire.”
“Haha. No, we’ve just been through a lot…. …No, he scolded me. He said that I should stay at the Imperial Palace and talk some more.”
“I hope you change your mind. I’ve heard that you’re a very dependable person.”
“Really? Haha. I suppose so.”
Jaxor took another step closer to me, tilted his head. The distance between us was so close that it became uncomfortable.
He stared at me, his purple eyes shining.
“By the way, …… the Empress seemed to be quite attentive to our Majesty.”
“Why do you say that?”
“No, I don’t mean to be presumptuous, but it was a political marriage that might have been quite humiliating for the Achaia kingdom. Besides, Kwana…… No, His Majesty is a little blunt. Especially for women, that brutality is beyond description.”
What I heard from Jaxor about Kwanach was quite different from what I knew.
I couldn’t believe he was cruel to women. I guess it was because he was big and fierce. Kwanach had always been kind to me. Sometimes he spoke poorly, but his true nature was kindness.
“I thought that being an empress was a daunting task.”
“It’s not. His Majesty is very sweet and kind.”
“Of all the people I know, the one who is the furthest from kindness is the Emperor. Perhaps you are not threatened in any way, are you?”
Jaxor whispered to me in a low voice.
“Just in case, just in case. After all, he’s not very good with women. No matter how good a friend and emperor he is, if he’s rough with you… …I won’t leave him alone.”
Jaxor laughed, flexing his eyes. It was a friendly smile with eyes, but I was very offended.
No matter how close he was with the emperor, I couldn’t stand the way he spoke ill of Kwanach.
“You don’t seem to know how kind he is when you say you’re close to Kwanach.”
Of course, at first I also thought that Kwanach might treat me rudely. But it was all misconceptions and prejudices.
It was the same when I talked to Diaquit earlier… …I got angry when he said bad things about Kwanach.
I didn’t know why I felt that way. It was not like they were talking bad about me.
I had pain in my chest where the discomfort was settled. I stared at Jaxor, my brow furrowed and my chin lifted.
“Jaxor, you’re being rude.”
“Ah, ……I see my words have offended you.”
“Yes. Very much.”
“I’m sorry. The Emperor and I have been too close since we were very young. Especially since Lord Bayard and I used to tease him about his wooden stone insensitivity.”
Jaxor kept smiling at me, apologizing honestly.
“It doesn’t matter how you two play when you’re with each other. But it is plain impolite to speak of my husband in such a manner in my presence.”
Jaxor has now shown a little embarrassment.
“His Majesty is a very kind man. I couldn’t imagine he’s being rough. In fact, he has been very considerate of me. So I hope you won’t say something like that again.”
“…… Yes, once again, I apologize. I didn’t expect you two to be so close already.”
“Also, would you mind stepping back? It’s too close.”
“Wow, haha, I’m sorry. I have a habit of approaching beautiful women when I see them.”
Jaxor scratched his cheek and quickly stepped back. He had a more polite gesture and a more serious face than before.
He said in a low voice.
“I’m glad you’re satisfied with your marriage in the Empire.”
“Of course I am. The Emperor is a perfect and kind husband in every way. I have great respect and care for His Majesty.”
Kwanach may have been rough with women in the past, but Jaxor’s attitude of teasing him about it in front of me was offensive.
That’s when I deliberately praised Kwanach with more exaggeration.
Suddenly, there was a sound of someone coughing behind me. I panicked because it was a familiar sound.
When I turned my head, I saw Kwanach standing there, his face all red and hot.
Kwanach gestured for the people behind him to leave and approached Jaxor.
“Did you hear that? Did you hear that? Oh my God.”
Jaxor raised his chin and said it proudly in front of Kwanach, and Kwanach’s face seemed to heat up.
“What are you doing here, Your Majesty? I’m sure it’s a busy time for you.”
“No, I’m, uh, well……”
Kwanach was clearly uncomfortable. He touched his neck and continued stammering again.
“You two just meet coincidentally…?”
“Yes. Isn’t that right?”
Jaxor smirked and asked as if he wanted my confirmation.
I was too embarrassed to make eye contact with Kwanach, so I kept my head down and remained silent.
“Just so you know, I came here because I was curious…and I’m definitely not trying to eavesdrop. …….”
I knew it, Kwanach heard it all. I held my breath as I felt my face start to warm up.
“Ha!” Jaxor laughed out loud and said.
“You might see the Empress sooner or later. What are you so worried about that you came here so out of breath? What is it?”
“You’re asking because you don’t know?
“Really, I don’t know, so I’m asking.”
“Think of your past behavior, you playboy.”
“What would I do to the Empress? I have no taste for messing with my friend’s wife, no matter how much I like women.”
“I don’t believe you when it comes to women’s issues. Apparently, I heard you talked nonsense to the Empress.”
“That’s why the Empress gave me such a hard time. Make it impossible for me to joke about it. It’s done, it’s done. The interrupter will now leave the room. Why don’t you two talk?”
With an exaggerated gesture, Jaxor bowed deeply.
“Oh, and when you’re done talking, please accept my application for discharge.”
“You….. we’ll talk about that later.”
“I don’t want to.”
Just like that, Jaxor swooshed past us and became distant.
And there was a stifled silence in the greenhouse garden. Kwanach coughed a couple of times, then parted his lips.