Chapter 1 Part 1
Kwanach acknowledged my speculation that the Fahar River might be the cause of sclerosis.
And the very next day. Kwanach decided to leave the Imperial Palace and investigate the Fahar River. The downstream of the Fahar River, which looked as wide as the ocean, flowed by the capital.
I wanted to follow Kwanach, but he didn’t like it, because of all the dangers that might lurk outside the Imperial Palace.
But I had to go there myself. No one was better at finding hidden information than I was.
The ability to interact with plants and get a glimpse of their memories. So I was going to try to talk to the plants by the river.
No one knew I had this ability. Because of this, Kwanach didn’t seem to think it was necessary for me to accompany him.
In the end I had to grab his arm tightly and tell him why.
“Why don’t we just go undercover? Yes? It’s not just work, necessarily. It’s been a long time since I came to the Empire, but I’ve never seen the outside of the Imperial Palace.”
“I would like to know what kind of land you live in. And there were no rivers as big as the Fahar River in the Kingdom of Achaia. It’s stuffy just staying underground…”
“If I go out with you pretending to be an ordinary couple, wouldn’t it feel like I’m out? I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.….”
Kwanach sighed deeply and hung his head.
“So I’m going with you then?” (Usphere)
“Yes, I’m no match for you. And you were the one who deduced the connection between sclerosis and the Fahar River in the first place.”
Kwanach looked at me gently and said with a smile.
“Oslin has told me many times that he respects your insight.”
I was a little embarrassed, but it seemed that I had indeed earned Oslin’s trust.
“He even went so far as to say that he wished you were working for the Bureau of Administration. He complains every day that his subordinates can’t keep up with his level.”
“Lord Baynard’s praise was a little excessive. Probably he was just making me feel better.”
“No, I agree with Oslin. You have the innate qualities to run a country. You are wise and compassionate.”
“I thought …… you didn’t want me to participate in national politics.”
I was inwardly flattered to be admitted by Kwanach, whom I had opposed with some trepidation.
Diaquit told me I was a woman who couldn’t even understand things like politics or state affairs.
I felt like I needed to tell ‘Kwanach’s words’ directly to my brother, who ignored me and treated me coldly.
Kwanach narrowed his brows and shook his head.
“I don’t mind. I’m just worried. Rationally, I think I need your help. It would be hard to find someone as wise as you.”
“Please stop saying that. I’m starting to feel shy. Let’s get ready and go out to the river.”
I grabbed Kwanach by the sleeve and shook him lightly. He gave a small smile.
“All right. Let’s get ready.”
“Yeah, sure. Hmm, we’re pretending to be a commoner couple on a river outing. Do you understand?”
Since we were to go undercover anyway, we might as well be thorough in our disguise. However, Kwanach’s expression was strange.
“Commoner? No, that’s going to be hard.”
“What? Why is that?”
“I can hide my identity by wearing commoner’s clothes, but think of your face, Usphere. Even a child would be able to tell that you are a noble even if you wear a mask.”
“No, of course not. I have a very plain face.”
Kwanach held my chin gently. His rough hand itched me when it touched my skin.
Kwanach stared into my eyes and opened his mouth.
“Who says you’re plain?”
“I’m not fancy.”
“You need to adjust your opinion about yourself.”
“That’s what I want to say about you.”
“You are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. You are very graceful……..”
“Stop! All right, stop. Okay, okay. Then let’s make it a wealthy merchant couple instead of commoners. Good, right?”
I felt my face burning red. My skin was heated and my chest was beating erratically.
Unlike when we first met, Kwanach now spoke like this without changing his complexion.
He held my face gently with his large hand. He approached me with a faint smile on his face and a twitch of his chin.
I flinched and closed my eyes. If Kwanach was used to give me sweet compliments, I was slowly getting used to kissing him.
It was a fixed routine to kiss Kwanach before going to bed. Lately I’ve been working on sclerosis and I think he thought I feel tired, so he would kiss me once lightly and let me go…
Our lips met gently. An intense, seductive scent wafted from Kwanach. I took a deep breath.
He seemed to suppress himself even when he tried to rush into me. His large body occasionally flinched.
His hot tongue briefly scraped the inside of my mouth.
“I’ll see you when you’re ready.”
Kwanach whispered in my ear in a low voice. I nodded, trying to get myself together quickly.
With Marianne’s help, I dressed in a different way.
The dress was in a style that had recently become popular among merchants. The dress was hemmed from the inside and secured with strings, exposing my ankles and making it easier for me to walk.
On top of the dress, a jacket was worn for warmth. It was designed to resemble a riding suit, so it fit snugly around the waist. My hair was tied up in a bun and I wore a wide-brimmed hat.
The fabric was not as luxurious as the clothes worn at the Imperial Palace, nor did it have many jewels, but the color of the fabric was very gorgeous. In addition, ribbons were attached in various places, adding to the glamour.
I also wore several large rings to show off my wealth as a merchant.
“It’s also a trend to paint your lips darker, Your Majesty.”
Somehow Marianne seemed a little excited, helping me dress up. Eventually, she painted my lips redder.
“Your Majesty looks good in any style, and it was worth the effort to dress up.”
“I….. look a little strange.”
“No, you’re beautiful.
“Really? Do I look like a rich merchant’s wife?”
“Only in appearance. I think it’s best to hide your face if possible. Your Majesty has a kind of atmosphere that you were born with. I’m glad you chose a wide-brimmed hat.”
I thought both Kwanach and Marianne were giving me too much credit.
We finished our preparations and headed for the carriage in front of the main building of the Imperial Palace. There was a familiar face standing in front of the carriage.
“Oh, Empress. You look so different.”
It was Jaxor, smirking.
“Why are you here?”
“I’m your escort for the day.”
Jaxor winked. How could a man, who was a professional soldier, and rose to the rank of battalion commander, behave so playful? I know that he and Kwanach were as close as brothers, but I felt uncomfortable around him.
“His Majesty told me to do something without reducing the imperial food supply to a small amount, so… I want to retire and go back to the countryside. Still, it’s an honor to have His Majesty and His wife today. ….”
His purple eyes sparkled and he was about to kiss the back of my hand, I heard a low, raspy voice from behind me.
“Don’t say that, he’s planning to come back.”
Kwanach came up to me and hugged my waist with his firm arms.
Jaxor smiled curiously.
“There you are.”
I turned to look at Kwanach and my body froze a little in shock. His appearance was very different from usual. It wasn’t just that he had changed his appearance like I did.
His pitch-black hair had turned fiery red. He flipped his wispy hair neatly with oil. His clearly revealed forehead was smooth and handsome.
“Oh, I had a little magic help. Because my face is quite well known.”
More importantly, the newspaper had Kwanach’s portrait. His black hair, rare on the continent, was his symbol. So much so that the black hair, which was treated badly by the previous dynasty, was transformed into a symbol of strength during the reign of Kwanach.
He looked at me and said.
“….. Not good?”
“Oh, no. It suits you very well.”
“That’s a relief.”
I nodded enthusiastically.
He dressed more neatly than usual. Which meant he didn’t have his shirt unbuttoned to reveal his chest like he usually did.
He wore a vest that tightened around his thick torso over a shirt that buttoned up to his neck. It was a normal daily outfit that looked like he was going to go to work at some place.
‘Will this disguise work?’
The problem was that Kwanach’s face was anything but ordinary. His appearance was too outstanding for a merchant. His hair was slicked back and his face was clearly visible.
“Um, Kwanach …. I think you should wear a hat.”
“Yes, like me.”
“As expected, my red hair is not good. It’s better to cover it up.”
Kwanach’s face instantly became sullen. I said, shaking my head.
“No. No, it’s not like that. It’s your face. It stands out too much.”
“When such a handsome man walks around, all eyes will be on us…”
“Mmm, is that so?”
Then Jaxor, who was standing beside him, cleared his throat.
“You seem to have forgotten about me…. I’m well aware that you two are good looking, so why don’t you get in the carriage first.”
Feeling embarrassed by Jaxor’s words, I got into the carriagefirst. After a while, Kwanach came into the carriage with a hat.
With his hat covering half his handsome face, he finally looked like a merchant. Still, he couldn’t hide his overwhelming charm and would attract a lot of attention.
‘I need to check the riverside as fast as I can and go back.’
This was not an outing, but an undercover trip for state business. Kwanach’s handsome appearance tightened the tension that had been loose for a while.
The carriage rattled off and we headed for the Fahar River.