Chapter 1 Part 1
*The past of the young Kwanach and little Usphere.*
While one boy was lying in a stable, immersed in despair and pain for two days, a girl was looking for a place to hide.
It was Usphere. She too had just arrived in the Radonia Mountains to defeat the monsters.
The subjugation from Achaia gathered at the castle of the Sterndal Kingdom near the mountain range. The Kingdom of Sterndal was the home of Usphere’s mother.
A small country with a small population. Even after her mother’s death, her father formed an alliance with Sterndal and sent reinforcements to Sterndal.
Achaia was a region that was swarming with monsters several times more than any other place. No one dealt with the monsters better than the Achaia soldiers.
When Diaquit learned that the Southerners were coming to defeat the monsters, he personally led a support force to visit Sterndal. He probably wanted to establish various political relations with the South as well. From that time on, Diaquit’s political ambitions were already considerable.
The reason why Diaquit took Usphere to Sterndal was simple.
“People on the outskirts like us rarely have opportunities to meet with southerners. Who knows? You might find a good marriage partner there. Make yourself pretty and make a good impression.”
She had just awakened, her power was not great, so find a good man and marry him was the only value of Usphere.
It was too early for her to get married, but that didn’t matter to Diaquit at all. He was in a position to say, “You’ve had your first menstruation, what does it matter?”
However, since arriving at Sterndal’s castle, Usphere had been silent. Diaquit couldn’t hide his disappointment.
He pretended to friendly and broadened his connections, and he was unhappy with Usphere acting like a doll.
Usphere came out of her room to escape from her brother’s urging and pressure. As she avoided the eyes of Diaquit and the people, she found her feet in a corner.
It wasn’t a place for royal horses, but a stable for ordinary soldiers’ horses. The facility was quite shabby.
‘There’s no one here.’
Usphere breathed a sigh of relief and walked into the stable. But there was a person already in there.
A boy huddled in the corner of the stable.
Usphere was so startled that she almost screamed. But there was no one around her, as she had come to a place where she wanted to be alone. If someone saw her like this, they might not believe her or say something bad about her.
Usphere staggered back and made a rustling sound.
Even though it was a small sound, the boy, Kwanach , quickly woke up from his sleep and sat up.
Usphere nervously holding the hem of the dress tightly in his hand. Kwanach looked very suspicious to her. His appearance was tattered, and she could see glimpses of blood stains between the torn fabric.
His wispy black hair hadn’t been cut for quite a while, or it had grown into a straggly mess. His bangs were so long that she couldn’t even see his face very well. She could clearly see that his lips and cheeks were torn and covered in blood.
‘Is he someone who works here?’
Usphere made her own guess, but Kwanach was too shabby to be a royal palace person. Those who worked in the royal palace had to dress neatly even if they were in a very low position.
But now, Kwanach looked like a beggar.
And he seemed to have been injured. ……. Why was he sleeping in a place like this?
Usphere judged that Kwanach was not a dangerous person.
Currently, the Kingdom of Sterndal was densely populated with a large defeating force. The security was so tight that there was no chance for a suspicious person to sneak in.
Moreover, in her eyes, Kwanach looked more pitiful than dangerous.
On an impulse, she spoke to Kwanach. It was a moment of courage for the timid and weak Usphere of her previous life.
She felt a kind of sympathy for the wounded and abandoned Kwanach. She had thought that she was the most insignificant person here, but the sympathy that arose when she met someone who looked even more pitiful than she did.
That was the beginning.
At that moment, when Usphere had shown unusual courage, Kwanach’s mind went blank. Kwanach looked at Usphere in a daze for a while.
The moment he came face to face with Usphere, he suspected that he was dreaming.
As such, Usphere was not suitable for this shabby and dirty stable. Only the sun seemed to shine around her.
It was the second day since Kwanach had been abandoned in the stable. A fever was rising in his injured body, the meantime, he couldn’t even put water in his mouth, let alone bread.
It was not surprising that he was hallucinating.
“Um, are you okay?”
Quanagh really thought she was a mirage until Usphere once again spoke in a pure voice.
Finally, Kwanach stood, dragging his tired body, and glared at Usphere.
“…… Who are you?”
Just one spoken word seemed to tear his throat. A violent cough broke out. He vomited blood that had collected in his mouth to the floor.
Usphere’s shoulders shook as she spoke.
“Blood, blood …..”
“Where are you from? Did you get hurt?”
She regretted coming in here, but she couldn’t leave a person this sick alone.
Kwanach coughed and staggered for a while, but eventually let out a hissing, hot breath and sat down on the floor.
It was not a polite appearance at all, even though someone was in front of him. Usphere was very surprised as this was the first time she had faced this kind of person. Confusion spread over her baby face.
Kwanach stared at Usphere and wiped his bloodied lips with the back of his hand.
‘What a noble lady is in this kind of place.’
From her appearance, she seemed to be a Northerner. He didn’t feel too good about Usphere’s surprised reaction.
‘Well, it’s understandable. A girl that pretty probably had never met a guy like me.’
Kwanach stifled a self-mocking sneer. Then he snapped sharply at Usphere.
“It’s none of your business. Don’t meddle and get out.”
“No… If you’re sick, you’d better get treatment.”
“Don’t pay attention to things like me. Why do you keep bothering me?”
The thought that he might be arrested for disrespect came to Kwanach’s mind, but it didn’t matter.
He would be beaten and faint again. He gave up, saying that that was how his life was.
Usphere hesitated and looked at Kwanach, who struggled to breathe. Because of her caring nature, she couldn’t pretend not to know Kwanach.
“How can it not when someone in front of me about to collapse……”
“Why did you come in here alone? You woke me up.”
The more Kwanach acted blatantly rude, the more Usphere’s eyes shook. Kwanach felt strange whenever her beautiful face frowned and the color of her eyes clouded.
‘Why isn’t she angry?’
It was obvious that she was surprised by his rudeness, but she didn’t have to say anything. It wasn’t enough even if she told him he was a dirty slave and trample on him.
‘She seems like a woman with a soft and weak personality. That’s just from the looks of it.’
When Usphere did not stop him, Kwanach stared at her.
‘Why is she so small? She’d break easily, wouldn’t she? Why are her eyes so big? Is she a deer or what?’
When Kwanach was sneakily observing Usphere through the long bangs covered by his eyes, Usphere was immersed in an unfamiliar feeling.
For the first time in her life, someone was this rude to her.
No matter how much she was ignored as an unworthy awakener, she was still a Princess. As royalty, she had basic pride and people treated her as a royal daughter on the outside.
However, the hypocritical attitude of the people sometimes poisoned Usphere more. The difference between what people say and what plants say made her even more suffocated.
It made the openly rude boy feel more at ease. At least he was better than those who wore masks in front of her and spoke ill of her behind her back.
Usphere carefully approached Kwanach, who was collapsed.
‘What is it?’
Kwanach glanced up at Usphere. Usphere habitually took out a handkerchief and held it out to Kwanach.
Usphere was standing up and Kwanach was sitting down, but their eyes were almost at the same level.
Kwanach stared at the handkerchief.
“Why are you giving me this? Do you want me to wipe it off?”
‘Wow, you’re a funny woman. That’s enough.”
Kwanach turned quickly to the side. But there was a strange surge in his chest. He had never talked to a woman this close before.
‘When I looked at her up close, her eyes are huge. And …… what scent is this? Do all noblewomen originally have this …… scent? I think I can smell it now. God d*mn it.’
At Kwanach’s rejection, Usphere opened her mouth awkwardly.
“I don’t know about your situation, but I came here looking for a place to be alone.”
“I’m sorry that I’m in here. You’d better not get involved with me. You’ll get a rough ride.”
“Can’t you tell when you see it? I’m a slave who’s being abused.”
Kwanach pointed at himself and chuckled, and Usphere opened her eyes wide in surprise.
Since there was no slavery in the North, that was the first time Usphere had ever met a slave.
“I was dumped here as punishment.”
“A knight scared a young girl, trying to take her body….Oh, d*mn it. Why am I telling this story to a girl I’ve never met before?”
Kwanach hastily concluded. From the noble’s point of view, it was not the knight who had done wrong, but the slave who had disobeyed his master.
It was not strange even if the person in front of him was displeased with his words and left.
“Really? How can a knight not know his honor?”
Usphere’s voice shook.
Kwanach paused in bewilderment and smiled quietly. Usphere’s reaction was too standard, so innocent even. That made this girl all the more interesting.
Kwanach said in a self-mocking voice.
“Honor is to be defended against people. For a slave is not a person, but a thing.”