Chapter 1 Part 1
“His Majesty has always asked me over and over again. If the Empress were to try anything even slightly dangerous, I have to immediately stop her …….”
“Is that so?”
“Don’t say a word. How well does he take care of the Empress? He even checks the food three or four times before putting it on the table. Even then he tried to see if it was good enough.”
“I didn’t know that…”
In fact, if someone were to add poison to my food with the intent to harm me, it wouldn’t have much effect.
Poisoning was a very classically used technique to assassinate royalty.
Since my regression, I have been diligently devising ways to prevent my death. In addition to cultivating my abilities, I had also made many other preparations. This was before my marriage to Kwanach.
One of the abilities was to develop a resistance to poison. Since I was a child, I deliberately ingested poisonous plants in small quantities. So I would not die from most toxicity. My body might become paralyzed, though.
But Kwanach didn’t know that, which was why he had been so overprotective of me.
Still, I didn’t know that he would test my food himself….
What if the emperor himself gets hurt?
While bringing up the hunting outdoor banquet hosted by the Guilier, I needed to tell him not to do that in the future.
* * *
Of course, Kwanach didn’t listen to what I said.
He said that what goes into my mouth must always pass through him first, and that was the way he became my husband… …. Honestly, I could not understand it.
He was too stubborn to continue the conversation on that topic.
He also decided to go with me to the outdoor banquet. Guilier’s owner was surprised but he had no reason to refuse us.
It was the place where many nobles gather. The emperor said that he would attend in person, to thank Guilier for his labor and wish him good luck, so it was strange for him to refuse.
Thus the day of the outdoor banquet came.
I was frustrated. I still couldn’t find a way to produce sclerosis medicine in large quantities, and the same was true for purifying the Fahar River, which was as big as the ocean.
I couldn’t even find any evidence of the direct involvement of the Guilier in this. All I could do was peek through the memory of the plants. I hoped that I would be able to uncover some of the secrets at this outdoor banquet.
The hunting ground where the banquet would be held was a forest owned by the Guilier, about an hour’s carriage ride away from the Imperial Palace. The number of horses and guards accompanying the nobles to this outdoor banquet was considerable.
I rode in the carriage with Kwanach. I wore a comfortable dress and had a shawl around my shoulders.
Kwanach wore a black riding suit. His hair bang was pulled back. The tight-fitting clothes made Kwanach’s body, which was much thicker and firmer, stood out even more.
Kwanach sighed with an anxious look on his face.
“Everything will be fine, so don’t worry too much, Usphere.”
Kwanach sighed, as if he couldn’t hear me.
“I can’t believe we’ve come so far from the Imperial Palace. It’s problematic. The forest must be full of insects. And it’s cold.”
(*gosh Kwanach, she is not a baby. Well, he might think she’s a baby lol)
I was so used to the northern winters that the imperial winters didn’t even seem like winter to me.
“Your body is weak. It looks like it’s going to break soon….”
Kwanach stealthily grabbed my wrist. Rough, thick fingertips gently stroked and swept over my skin.
His big hands stayed there even as he covered all my lower arms with his hands. It was strange to see a hand that pressed down so hard, so firmly.
Kwanach stared at me with feverish, lustful eyes. I have been so busy with sclerosis lately that I haven’t been able to relax with Kwanach.
As soon as I came to the bedroom, I would fall asleep right away. We slept in the same bed, but nothing ever happened. No couple’s night work.
I wondered if Kwanach was okay.
I was suddenly curious. The words he said he would wait until I was ready circled in my head.
He was worried about my body and had been very patient.
‘Honestly …… I’m still not sure.’
I didn’t care about physical intimacy at all. I didn’t even know how to do it. In the North, they just said that women should stay put and do what their husbands told them to do.
Kissing Kwanach had always felt good to me. But beyond that, how could I want what I didn’t know, when I had never experienced or imagined it properly?
Despite my behavior like a wooden stone, Kwanach was always kind and considerate. I felt both grateful and sorry.
‘He’ll be kind too if we consummate, right?’
With my meager knowledge, only sloppy and hazy imaginations came to mind. I was embarrassed just by that, so I gave a small cough.
Then Kwanach flinched and said urgently.
“Does your throat hurt?”
“What? Oh, it’s nothing.”
“If you’re sick, let’s go home.”
My face flushed, as if Kwanach had caught me in an embarrassing imagination. I shook my head and reassured him.
“I’m fine, really. And it’s easier to get the information if I’m here.”
This banquet was like a secret gathering so it would be hard to get information. And there would be a lot of political talk going on in secret.
There would be plants everywhere in the outdoor banquet hall, and they would be my spies.
There would be no better time than today to find out all sorts of information about the Guilier.
Kwanach knew this too, so he couldn’t no longer dissuade me from not going. I just sighed. He said that no matter how much we tried, there were still many dangerous things left in this world.
Kwanach looked a little sad as he said it.
Beep. The sound of a whistle rang out in the distance. Hunting was in full swing.
There was a lot of hunting going on.
The forest owned by the Guilier was very dense and large. The paths were polished smooth from place to place, and the number of wild animals was managed carefully.
Nature cultivated artificially. Hunting in this environment was actually a game.
Such a safe and splendid hunting ground. The rumors that every nobleman was waiting only for an invitation from the Guilier seemed to be true.
Even men who seemed to have no talent at all for combat enjoyed the safe game and jumped into the hunt to show off their masculinity.
Kwanach rode into the forest astride his horse with only a long bow. He wanted to stay with me, but I sent him away. He also had to listen carefully to the various stories exchanged on the hunting grounds.
I remained among the noble ladies, although it seemed that some of the ladies interested in hunting also went to the forest, wearing riding clothes instead of dresses.
There was a vast clearing in the middle of the forest where the tea party was held.
A tea party in the forest? It was romantic to hear a bit about it. The air was filled with the smell of spurting greenery and the sunlight reflected on the grass and sparkled.
However, I was disturbed by the occasional sounds of the hunting. I’ve never been a big fan of hunting for fun. I don’t like to shed blood meaninglessly.
But I knew that hunting was a part of socializing among the imperial nobility. I hid my discomfort and joined in the conversation with the noblewomen, smiling appropriately.
All the faces I had seen at the tea party I had hosted the other day were here today. Even the ones I had never met before were members of famous families.
Oslin’s sister, Linvera Brooks, was also at the gathering.
Everyone seemed surprised by the appearance of Linvera, who had been confined to social circles and hiding. I was delighted to welcome her.
In the middle of our conversation, I left my seat at an appropriate moment. Linvera, who was standing beside me, opened her round eyes, looked up at me and asked,
“Your Majesty, is there any problem?”
“No, I just want to go for a walk. Don’t worry about it.”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
I was bothered to leave Linvera by herself. I wished her husband would come with her. The Marquis of Brooks was in his estate, quite a distance from the capital.
However, I couldn’t take care of her right now, besides the Kingsguard. I was going to ask whatever I could from the plants scattered in all directions.
Still, I was glad that Linvera was less self-conscious than she was at the last tea party.
I moved away from the clearing and began to stroll along the well-marked forest path. The guards and Marianne followed me a few steps behind.
Then, when we were reasonably deep into the woods, I raised my hand to the bark, pretending to rest for a moment.
Soon the plant’s loud voice shook me.
<Are you human?>
“Hello. I need the wisdom of plants. I want to talk with you. Will it be okay?”
<What is it? What do you want? >
The plant’s voice was quite sharp. The branches of the trees swayed gloomily, even though the wind wasn’t blowing hard.
They had never reacted this way before when I used my abilities. Perhaps it was because of my awakened abilities, the plants were always friendly to me.
Visually, the forest was very clean and well maintained. Why would life that grew in such an environment behave so sharply?
“I don’t mean you any harm. I’m just curious about the owner of this forest.”
<Do you know who it is? >
“I heard that the Guilier is in charge of this place. Is that so?”
The Guilier’s master was a middle-aged man named Roman.
He was from a commoner background, but with his tremendous business skills, he took over the trading company to the venerable Guilier a few years ago.
Roman has yet to show up for today’s outdoor banquet.
After dark, an evening ball was to be held in the forest with an orchestra here. Perhaps he would come out at the end of the party.
I had never seen him in person, but from what I had heard, he seemed to be an entrepreneur, a bit of a smooth talker, and quite ordinary.
“By any chance, do you know the owner of Guilier, Roman?”
However, as soon as I mentioned the name Roman, the sound of the tree intensified.
<That traitor! The destroyer! He is vicious!>
With a crack, the tree’s branches shook even more, and the dry leaves collided with each other, creating a rumbling sound.
The tree had a hard time settling down and spoke at random.
<Exterminator! Slaughterer! A Devil!>
My body stiffened with the fury I could feel in my soul. What in the world had Roman done to make them behave like this?