Chapter 1 Part 1
“I think there’s one more person, Kwanach.”
I mumbled in a low voice, and Kwanach raised his eyebrows in wonder.
I quickly explained my hypothesis to Kwanach. But I think I was too quick. Kwanach stood there blankly, stopping me.
“Wait a minute, wait a minute.”
He thought for a couple of minutes, then nodded his head in agreement.
“Did you guess just based on the situation?”
“No, it makes sense enough. I was thinking about who Roman’s spy might be.”
“The person who interrogated Roman and came as an escort last time we went to the Fahar river. Do you know anyone who fits both of these descriptions?”
“If the spy knew what Roman had done to the Fahar River, he might have been suspicious of our infiltration and reported it.”
Kwanach’s face hardened. He only licked his lips a couple of times and didn’t say anything.
I looked up at Kwanach, who was just standing there. His eyes, shaking slightly, looked somewhat frightening. I reached out and grabbed him by the sleeve.
Kwanach flinched and finally spoke.
“I can think of one…. ….”
“Who is it?”
As soon as I heard the name, it was easy to see why Kwanach was so upset.
Jaxor was a man who was a slave as Kwanach since childhood, and spent time with him as a friend and brother in arms. Just imagining that Jaxor was a spy must have been painful for Kwanach. He was one of the few people in the world that Kwanach could trust completely.
“It might not be Jaxor. It’s just a guess.”
I said, trying to soothe Kwanach. I grabbed his hand unknowingly. I was very restless.
I don’t know much about Jaxor myself, but his story was very famous, spreading all the way to the northern frontier. He was one of the commanders who were the biggest contributors to the building of the new empire.
Several anecdotes were also famous that showed how loyal Jaxor was to Kwanach.
In the course of the revolution, Kwanach faced death many times. On each occasion, it was Jaxor who was ready to give up his own life to protect Kwanach.
“No, I think you need to check to be sure.”
Despite my worries, however, Kwanach quickly regained his composure.
Kwanach’s eyes, which had been wavering from place to place, were now firmly centered again. He held my hands tightly and said.
“Actually, I thought Jaxor had changed a bit lately. I also wondered why he suddenly said he was retiring and then suddenly came back to the Imperial Palace.”
“How can you be sure?”
“If Jaxor is a real spy, it’s better to use him than to get rid of him right away.”
“We can catch Roman by deliberately giving only false information. I’ll just watch him first. I’ll keep you out of the line.”
“…… Um, are you okay?”
I twitched my fingers in Kwanach’s fist. I was worried because I suggested the possibility that Jaxor might be a spy.
He seemed cool headed, but Kwanach’s inside might be quite a mess.
But Kwanach spoke plainly.
“It won’t go wrong because of affection.”
“No, that’s not what I meant. I’m asking if your feelings are okay. He’s like a brother you cherished.”
“He’s one of my best friends that I trust. Still, on the battlefield, things can change at any time and in any way. It’s almost like a war situation now.”
“Do you think there will be a war?”
I swallowed hard. The horrific scenes I had seen in my previous life came vividly back to haunt me.
“I lost Roman, and if you’re right, he’s in a situation where he’s got some very strong allies scattered around. Those b*stards are itching to invade this country. I wouldn’t be surprised if a war starts soon.”
“I think it’s for the best. We can use this opportunity to ravage the entire continent and remove all the seeds of danger.”
These were desperate words to me as I fought a lone battle to somehow prevent a war.
“Kwanach. It will be a big war. It won’t be easy if all the North joins forces together. The rugged terrain and weather in the north will be poison to the Imperial forces. And Roman is preparing something too…….”
“I understand. It’s going to be a long war.”
Kwanach said in a firm, calm voice, he seemed ready to jump into battle at any moment.
Once again, I realized that Kwanach was a man who had lived on the battlefield as a slave soldier since he was a child, and had come this far by fulfilling everything on the battlefield.
For Kwanach , war is the most comfortable and easiest way to go.
You can start a war without daring to think about it and fight until one side is destroyed.
I quickly withdrew my hand from Kwanach’s. Kwanach flinched and glanced down at me.
“I… I hate war, Kwanach.”
“I know you don’t like it, because we are enemies with your country. I understand that you don’t like the situation because it is against your country. Tell me if you want to bring anyone here.”
“No, it’s not that. You might get hurt….”
“I’ve never lost any war before. Don’t worry.”
“But It’s still dangerous. I, I know how cruel war can be.”
“The Imperial Palace will be peaceful. You will enjoy the same old life here. Oh, one thing is different. Because I’ll most likely be on the battlefield. But, if you wait a few years….”
“So it’s peaceful here?”
I squeezed my own hands together, which I had taken out of Kwanach’s hand. My shoulders trembled.
“People are dying outside and you tell me I can enjoy a luxurious life here?”
“If the North were to form a coalition and attack, it would be a much bigger war than we’ve ever seen. Many people will be killed, and even if the Radon Empire is victorious, a generation will struggle with the aftereffects of the war.”
“All the while I am here in false comfort.”
I have not run this far since my regression to enjoy my ease and luxury.
I had no regrets about my life. The fact that I was dead was not so regrettable.
It was miserable to be tied to a tree as a ghost, but it would be different while I was alive. Being treated as a spoiled person and living confined to the royal palace was just as miserable as before.
However, I hoped to revive to prevent the tragedy triggered by my death.
‘If war breaks out this time, I have a feeling it will be even more gruesome than in my previous life.’
I felt shallow goosebumps on my skin. I saw firsthand the scene of Roman’s experiment. Something much more extraordinary was about to happen.
I couldn’t just let it happen.
“We have to try everything we can before this turns into a war. First, catch Roman. Capturing him and revealing the fact that Diaquit and him poisoned me, their cause for war will be obscured.”
“I’m putting maximum effort into tracking him down…”
Kwanach was also aware of the impasse in the situation. I spoke hurriedly.
“Please use me. Plants don’t lie. They can see through magic. They are not disillusioned. Perhaps I can find out where Roman has gone.”
“No, you can’t.”
Kwanach’s voice instantly grew cold.
“It’s a dangerous situation. Don’t ever step up.”
“May I examine the plants near the Imperial Palace? It would certainly help with tracking. You can stay with me. I’ll stick close to you.”
“I was next to you at the banquet, but you almost died.”
Kwanach revealed his calm anger as he recalled that time. His huge body towering in front of me looked like a hard rock that could never be broken. Or maybe it was a giant wave that was about to crash into me.
I felt suffocated for a moment.
“So…… I have to stay cooped up in this room forever?”
“I know it’s frustrating, but please be patient. When the situation calms down, you can leave the room.”
“What room? Then, I’m allowed to go around only the Imperial Palace?”
“For how long? You mentioned that there might be a war. Then I will be here for several years without any promises….do nothing…must I sit pretty?”
“I know how much you care about me. But, ……”
“No, you don’t understand.”
Kwanach interrupted me.
“You’ll never know what it means to me to lose you.”
Kwanach growled in a damp voice, then slowly knelt at my feet. I sat on the edge of the bed, stiffly frozen, and stared at him.
He was the man they called the Sun God. He was the emperor of the new empire. The man who had colored the entire continent with tension and fear, knelt before me.
Even though he knelt down, our eye level was similar. He grabbed my forearms with both hands and spoke as if pleading.
“Will you stay here?”
His eyes were watery.
“I know it’s an unreasonable request. I also know that you are the kind of person who would gladly step forward for the sake of those people, even if it means getting yourself hurt.”
“I always thought you were more fit to be Emperor. No matter what happens to the thousands of people, as long as you are safe…..I will gladly sacrifice many others.”
Kwanach stared at me as he recited the words.
My heart ached at the infantile urgency in his expression and the single-mindedness with which he pressed his emotions.
Despite the horrible things he was saying, his two eyes were unstoppably obedient. His teary eyes made him look innocent like a little lamb.
However, I could feel the obsession and madness behind it.
“So, Usphere, please. I can’t let you out. I can’t do that.”
I was asked to be locked up so sadly and desperately.
What should I do with this man who tries to bind me with the face of passion more than anyone else?