Chapter 1 Part 1
“How are you?”
I nodded quietly. Kwanach seemed to be making an effort to be inconspicuous, but he couldn’t completely hide the melancholy that instantly stained his eyes.
A painful face, like that of an abandoned beast. The base of his mouth was drooping, and his tightly tense jaw flinched slightly.
‘You said it was okay for me to hate you. Liar.’
The funnier part was me, whose heart started to ache as soon as I saw Kwanach’s face like that.
Even though it was right after we had confirmed our feelings for each other, our rapport had become rather misaligned and twisted little by little. It would have been easier if I truly hated Kwanach for his insanely overprotective attempts to lock me away.
But I didn’t hate him.
No matter what I did, I couldn’t hate Kwanach. I was just confused by ambivalent emotions.
Kwanach sat on one knee beside the bed and stared at me. His dark eyes glowed with a variety of emotions.
His large hands wriggled occasionally. He wanted to touch me, but he seemed to be holding back.
‘What are we really doing with each other…..’
I let out a long sigh. Kwanach was watching me closely.
“Is your body okay?”
Kwanach’s thick eyebrows wavered. His eyes flashed with concern.
“Should I call the doctor right away?”
“No, I’m not sick. I’m just frustrated at the thought of staying inside. I’d like to go for a walk and get some fresh air.”
“But you don’t let me go out.”
“You weren’t in any condition to walk.”
“I can walk now.”
Kwanach seemed conflicted for a moment, and then said with a deep sigh.
“Shall we go for a little walk in the garden together?”
“Aren’t you busy?”
“I have time for you. And I can’t let you go alone.”
I couldn’t believe he couldn’t even let me go alone to the greenhouse garden in the imperial palace, which has been thoroughly protected like a prison.
Kwanach seemed to think that he would have to accompany me if I wanted to leave this peaceful prison-like bedroom. Anyway, it was good to be out of the bedroom for the first time in a long time.
“Yes. Let’s go for a walk together.”
I nodded, and Kwanach smiled gently for the first time in days.
Immediately, Kwanach called Marianne and ordered her to dress me warmly. While Kwanach waited outside, I finished getting ready and left the room.
As before, the corridors were crowded with armed knights. It was a bleak scene that I was not used to seeing at any time.
‘Did he already declare war?’
I had no way of knowing since he didn’t tell me.
The bleakness continued not only in the corridors but also outside the main building. The knights were all armed as if it was war time. Every time a soldier walked, his metal soles rang loudly.
‘What about Roman?’
I looked at Kwanach, who was right next to me.
Even though the Imperial Palace looked very safe, Kwanach was stiff. His whole body revealed alertness.
While I was inside, the weather had turned a bit more chilly. It was winter in the Empire now.
A chilly wind was blowing, but it felt so refreshing to be out of the room. I walked slowly, breathing in.
My body was much better now, so I had no discomfort. Still, Kwanach walked several times slower than usual, concentrating on my every step.
When I finally reached the greenhouse garden, my heart was filled with joy.
A feeling of greenness enveloped me. The place with plants was always the most comfortable place for me. I said to Kwanach as I breathed in the deep green scent.
“I would like to have a flower pot in my room.”
“Anything will do. The room is very empty.”
“All right. I’ll get it.”
Kwanach followed me silently from a step behind, as if he wanted me to enjoy nature. I gently placed my hand on the nearest tree with a heavy heart.
However, the moment I touched the plant, I suddenly felt a tremendous force shaking inside me.
‘…… What is it?’
It was the power that had become extremely weak after I left my homeland and the Silver Forest. That was the natural limit of the Awakeners of the Catatel family.
But now it was different.
Shhhhh. The tree that resonated with my power shook, and suddenly new branches began to grow from the tips of its withered branches. New leaves, green and fragile, immediately sprouted.
I was so startled that I stepped back, pulling my hand from the tree. In an instant, Kwanach came up to me.
“I don’t know. I don’t know why. …….”
I clenched my trembling hands. Kwanach looked carefully at the tree I had touched.
In no more than a few seconds, the tree had grown taller. The newly sprouted green leaves alone numbered in the dozens.
As soon as I came in contact with the tree I felt as if the intangible walls inside me had been torn down. And the magic that had been suppressed ramped up vividly. The power was stronger than ever.
It was a familiar feeling that I had experienced a long time ago.
Immediately after the regression, the day I went to the Silver Forest in my young body to nurture the power that had been so weak in my previous life.
It was then that I heard the voice of the forest. After a short conversation with the Goddess’s sister who was asleep there, I felt a tremor deep inside my body and the trees started to grow like crazy. It even touched the clouds.
The tree grew so tall and so large that it could be seen from the royal palace.
‘It’s just like that time.’
It was a release of power that had been held back.
I felt like I was overcoming the limit.
‘Could it be the …… Goddess?’
My power has returned since the last dream. Is this really a coincidence?
‘The Silver Forest also said this. The human continent has already fallen into danger and the power of Goddess Fahar has weakened……..’
In this time of crisis, I had gained a power that was almost a blessing. There must be a reason for this power.
‘What am I supposed to do with it? And why me of all people?’
If the Goddess wanted a hero to save the world, there would have been many better options than me. I was far too short to be a savior. My body was not strong enough, and the magic I used was more suitable for defense than for attack and destruction.
‘What kind of test was the dream I had the other night, really? Did I pass that test?’
Kwanach looked at me with a worried gaze.
‘What if this power came with some obligation…What am I supposed to do? Do I have to prevent a war caused by Kwanach ?’
That has been my purpose from the time of the Regression to the present.
I called him in a faint voice.
“I feel my power returning, perhaps even stronger than when I was in my homeland.”
“Yes. The Awakeners of the Catatel family lose most of their power as they move away from the Silver Forest… …I don’t know what that means either.”
Kwanach looked at me with a confused expression.
I looked over his shoulder. The knights stood far away but I wanted to avoid talking about it in the presence of other people. I didn’t want to have to reveal to the whole world that my power had returned.
Power was always stronger when the enemy didn’t know about it.
“Well, let’s go back to your room first.”
“Let’s do that…….”
As I left the garden of the greenhouse and made my way to the main building, I felt my strength waning by the minute.
I could feel the energy of the trees and grasses growing dozens of times brighter than usual. It made me dizzy.
Without any direct contact with the plants, I could almost faintly understand what their spirits were saying.
The plants in the Imperial Palace were generally scared. Fear, fear, fear was pervasive.
I went back to the bedroom and immediately asked for some seeds. Kwanach seemed to be wondering while gently delivering his order.
“Why do you need the seeds?”
“Yes, you’ve never seen my power in person.”
“Oh, you said the other day that you can grow a seed. Is that really possible?”
“In my country, yes. Here… I’ll have to try now.”
A few moments later some seeds arrived in the room.
Since I left my homeland, I have not used my powers as I once did. In the Kingdom of Achaia, I was able to do many things with this power.
‘If I really get my power back……’
I would be able to protect myself for sure. Perhaps I could convince Kwanach to let me out of this room.
I held one of the seeds tightly in my hand to test my strength. The seed was very small, light, and flat.
I felt a sense of resonance with it. After awakening, when I came into contact with plants, I instinctively felt a surge of power from within.
It was the same now. Since coming to the empire, the power that had been quiet has begun to intensify. I couldn’t even control it.
It was happening. A seed in my hand sprouted, and within seconds, a stem grew. It was a vine plant with an unknown name. The green trunk swayed like a wave and grew infinitely long.
The vine climbed up my arm. Just as I was about to get cramped, the vine left my arm as if it had a will of its own and began to sway.
Unlike nature’s vines, which grow only when there was something to rely on, these vines were on their own. And so the vines grew until they reached the ceiling.
It all happened so fast.
I hurriedly controlled the power. The vines stopped moving, and the plant, having lost its magic power, slumped to the ground and crashed.
It was hard to breathe. I stood stunned for a moment, looking at the floor. The dark green vines were intertwined.
I turned my head away and locked eyes with Kwanach, catching his attention after a few moments of confusion and surprise.
“Usphere, this is ….”
Kwanach looked surprised as well. His eyes were filled with strength and trembling.