Chapter 1 Part 1
As I started to speak quickly, I had a slight pain in my lungs. I thought it would be more comfortable to raise my upper body.
As I struggled to sit up, Kwanach quickly propped me up with a distracted look on his face. A firm arm pulled me up, supporting my back. I was now leaning completely against Kwanach’s chest.
Leaning against him without any distance between us was a really childish concern, even in this tense situation.
‘I must look horrible….’
I was sure my hair was a mess and since I couldn’t take a bath for a while so my appearance must be shabby. I know I said I didn’t care much about dressing up but I still didn’t want my husband to see me looking this ugly. I felt embarrassed.
But I was still too weak to sit up properly on my own. I had no choice but to leave myself in the hands of Kwanach.
“You know who did it. What do you mean by that?”
In a low voice, Kwanach ran his big hand through my tangled hair. He didn’t seem to care about my appearance at all.
He ran his hand through my hair, passing it behind my ear, and faced me forehead to forehead to check my fever.
“You don’t have a fever anymore… ….”
Kwanach gave a small sigh and kissed me briefly on my forehead and the tip of my nose. I was flooded with tenderness.
The murderous spirit and madness I saw from him earlier seemed to be a mirage.
“No, Kwanach. I’m not ranting because of the fever. I saw it on the day of the outdoor banquet. No, more accurately, I saw the memory of a tree.”
I talked a lot, and then something like the sound of metal started to mix in my throat.
“Just because I blocked out the toxicity in the process doesn’t mean that my body is healthy. It will take quite some time to fully recover.”
It was hard for my body to do this when the shadow of the threat it posed to the empire and the continent was so thick.
Kwanach’s dark brows furrowed at my words. I slowly told him about the scene I had magically witnessed on the day of the banquet at Guilier.
The true identity of Roman, the master of the Guilier. And the unknown experiments that Roman was conducting.
Kwanach’s face scrunched up as he listened quietly to my story.
“It seems certain that the Guilier has deliberately spread sclerosis. And it’s not just to monopolize the drug and increase the profits.”
“To use the people who died of sclerosis for their experiments…..?”
Kwanach murmured lowly.
“It looks like it. Last time I heard that there was a strange rumor circulating among the commoners. Rumor has it that sclerosis is a disease transmitted through humans.”
“I heard it too.”
“That’s why sclerosis patients are sometimes discarded without treatment. They don’t have many funerals after they die.”
“If they’re abandoned bodies like that..… The temple will take care of it. If they follow the original procedure, they’ll cremate it after the prayer.”
“But so far, the Guilier had taken the bodies.”
“I wonder if the temple is involved.”
Kwanach’s voice was calm, but there was a little bit of cold anger building up on it. It was a calm anger that felt even more intense.
Yet the hand that held me was so gentle, so strangely incongruous.
I was out for only fifteen days. I thought it was not a long time, but during that time, Kwanach seemed to have changed a little.
Then, suddenly, something caught my vision.
Bloodstain was seen on the cuff of Kwanach’s sleeve. I couldn’t help but reach out and touch his sleeve, and Kwanach flinched and rolled up the sleeve.
“Are you hurt?”
“It’s not my blood.”
“Let’s get back to the temple story.”
“Ah, the temple…I don’t think the believers would have known Roman’s true identity and actively cooperated with him. They are basically beings who serve the Goddess Fahar.”
“And what Roman does is an insult to Goddess Fahar.”
“Yes. And the less power the Goddess has, the less power the priests have. Some may know of Roman’s evil deeds, but not all of them will go along with it.”
“I think so too. It probably would have been too much trouble to dispose of all the increasing number of corpses in the temple. So they took them to the Guilier, holding funerals there instead.”
“No …… I don’t know what they’re doing with those.”
“It must be awful. They may be doing something to keep the Pernen Royals in power.”
“Do you think that’s true?”
“I don’t know. I didn’t even know the blood vessels of that crazy family remained. I shouldn’t have missed it. Because of my negligence, you are now…….”
Kwanach’s face flushed with vivid pain.
I put my hand on the back of his hand.
“No, Roman is a genius of transformation magic. Of course you couldn’t find him.”
“Still. Especially when it comes to the mistake that injured you.”
This time I touched Kwanach’s cheek. His thick lips were quivering.
“I think you’re going to cry now.”
“Kwanach, I’m not dead. I’m fine.”
“You almost died.”
Kwanach squeezed his eyes shut and then opened them again. His dark eyes were filled with pain.
At that moment, Kwanach’s voice that I heard just before I passed out from the poison flashed through my mind.
“I thought I could protect you this time. Again…you….”
‘This time’. It was as if he had known me before.
However, even after going through all my memories before and after the regression, I had never known Kwanach. All I knew was that we had met briefly before the regression, at the wedding.
He couldn’t have been referring to that time. Unless Kwanach regressed like I did……No, it could have happened to someone else like me.
I stared at Kwanach. His eyelids had a small twitch.
“You said something to me just before I collapsed. Do you remember?”
“I’m not sure.”
“I was just wondering, did we meet before? It was before we got married. I think you said something with that meaning…….”
Kwanach hesitated for a moment, then quickly answered in a firm voice.
“I’ve never said anything like that. Usphere, I think you misheard me.”
“…… Is that so?”
Kwanach wrapped his large hands around my cheeks and neck at once and spoke in a low voice.
“Yes. You were running a fever at the time. You must have heard wrong.”
“Yes. Yes, I did. You may be right. I’m sorry for saying such a strange thing.”
I could not be stubborn because I said I was not a party to the incident, but I was left with a faint but unsettling feeling.
Kwanach gently rubbed my cheek. In a guilty voice, he murmured.
“Don’t say sorry. It’s my fault.”
“How is it your fault? It’s Roman’s fault.”
“It’s a toxicity that works on a similar principle to sclerosis, so Roman is probably the real culprit. I don’t know why he targeted me, but….wait.”
I stopped talking when a hypothesis suddenly came to mind.
I tried to think in an unrecovered state, and the fever began to rise again.
I was an Empress who had not yet held an official ceremony. An outlander who had no power.
Why did they want to kill me? Why did they dare to take the risk of killing me at a banquet where even the emperor was present…..
I felt as if the pieces of a puzzle were coming together to form a complete picture.
I came to this land through a political marriage, if I was poisoned like this….
The same thing that happened in my previous life was repeated.
Two weddings. Two assassination attempts. And then comes the war.
If the marriage alliance was broken, and the North had an excuse to start another war. Shortly after our wedding, I was assassinated in the Emperor’s residence.
The time and place had changed this time, but the process was similar to my previous life.
Diaquit Catatel. My brother would have a strong justification to unite people.
A tragic princess who was married and assassinated in the empire. An older brother started a war in the name of his beloved sister.
It was a plausible picture.
Unlike in my previous life, Diaquit told me he would take time to prepare for the war more thoroughly. But….
It was here that I began to track down the secret of the Guilier and the sclerosis. If the truth about the sclerosis was revealed one by one, Guilier would collapse and Roman’s secret experiments would come to nothing.
The Guilier would have to remove me. I don’t know where the story leaked from, but I’m sure they’ve heard that we were investigating the cause of sclerosis.
Still, Roman would have chosen a more cautious approach. There was no need to try to poison me at an open banquet attended by the emperor. In fact, it was a banquet hosted by the Guilier itself.
If his goal was to eliminate me, a better method was to aim for me when I’m alone. Since he had the Imperial Chef under his control, he could have targeted the Imperial Palace for ample opportunity.
‘But he didn’t. This is obviously a political performance.’
It was to pin the blame for my death on Kwanach.
It was an attempt to break the marriage alliance and bring people together in the name of war in the North.
The outlines of the events became clearer.
The fever rose even higher in my body and my heart began to beat faster. But my vision and reason were clearer than ever.
Diaquit Catatel and the master of Guilier, Roman, were working together.