Chapter 1 Part 1
“If I die, I will not die alone. I’m going to take Roman with me somehow.”
Kwanach was prepared to die.
“Didn’t you say you hated war? For me, this was the best way to prevent war.”
I was really dizzy when I learned of Kwanach’s original plan.
And if he really dies….
I didn’t even want to imagine it. Kwanach had reassured me that Oslin had prearranged for me to look out for him in case of his death, but his words were not reassuring at all.
“You need to take better care of yourself, Kwanach.”
“Don’t just say the word. I think I know why you are so sensitive about my safety. It’s such a dangerous plan. I really don’t want to imagine it.”
It was one thing to have the empire in turmoil if something terrible happened to Kwanach, but above all, I was not confident that I would be fine without him.
Kwanach’s death, the land without him.
It was my first assumption, but what came over me at the end of my imagination was boundless fear.
“You’re not the only one who’s scared. It’s the same for me. If anything happened to you…….”
“Usphere. I won’t do that. I would never leave you…….”
Kwanach rushed over and hugged me. I steeled myself in his arms.
It was a miraculous power that came back to me. This was the second life I’ve been given. Unlike my previous life, I intend to protect it all.
Not only to stop Roman and Diaquit, to prevent war and maintain peace, but also to love Kwanach, my husband.
* * *
A few days later, Kwanach said that he had leaked false information that had been planned to Jaxor.
If indeed Jaxor was Roman’s spy, then Romain would fall into the trap and come to the northern border region. To catch Roman, Kwanach and I had to go there, too.
“It would be dangerous if they knew that you were coming with us.”
I agreed with that opinion. I had to join Kwanach’s procession secretly.
I was thinking about what to do and eventually came up with a way. Although Kwanach was very dissatisfied.
So it was late at night when Marianne and I headed for the small room next to the bedroom. Marianne followed me with a complicated look on her face.
“Your Majesty, are you sure? How can you dress like this…”
My platinum hair was all tied up in a wig, and my chest was wrapped tightly with a bandage. I was dressed in sloppy, dirty clothes and even wore a mustache.
At first glance, I looked like a skinny male porter.
“It’s not good to know that I’m with His Majesty. Moreover, who would imagine the Empress of the empire posing as a porter in this outfit? This is the safest way.”
“Yes, of course no one could imagine that……”
Kwanach had just departed for the north border. I was going to follow late and sneak into the carriage of the procession.
Only then it would be difficult for Jaxor to notice I was following him.
Also, if my presence became known, someone might try to kill me, as they had the last time.
Besides, it would be much easier to search for Roman if I could walk around freely.
Fortunately, it was known to the outside world that I was still imprisoned in the imperial palace, so I could avoid suspicion.
“I can’t believe His Majesty accepted this plan. I was really surprised.”
“I begged and pleaded. He thought he would go without me. I told him that was a bad idea.”
“Of course not. No way.”
Marianne followed me, dressed as a man. She was much taller and looked much better dressed as a man than I did.
Kwanach turned red and looked like he was about to burst into tears when I made the plan to sneak in as a porter and follow him to the border.
It took me quite a while to convince him, but in the end, he surrendered. Instead, I decided that Marianne and Oslin would go with me to secretly help me in my infiltration.
Oslin would accompany Kwanach on business and would be in charge of managing the various supplies, and the porters would be under his command. Thanks to this, it became possible for Oslin to take care of me impersonating a porter little by little.
“I can’t believe Your Majesty is dressed in such a shabby outfit..….”
Marianne directly helped me dress as a man, but she looked far more fussy. But I was instead full of vitality. It was very comfortable to wear men’s loose clothing.
I felt like I could do anything in my current state. No, I had to. The most important role in this project was mine, if nothing else.
‘Safely joins Kwanach’s procession and finds Roman at the border.’
I recited my goal in my mind again as a reminder. Then I patted the dejected Marianne on the shoulder a couple times and said.
“Then let’s hurry up and leave.”
We had to hurry to catch up with Kwanach and get into the wagon at the back of the procession. The procession should have stopped by now, and they should be getting ready to pitch their simple tents and camp out.
Kwanach’s procession, which consisted of the smallest number of people, was not going to stop at the intermediate cities, but was going to proceed quickly to the border, camping only occasionally. Externally, the situation was that Kwanach had left the imperial palace, conducting business to inspect the local army in preparation for war.
However, their actual destination was the border region bordering the north. The most important thing was to move quickly so as not to meet others on the way.
I also had to hurry. I stood Marianne up for a moment and moved busily.
“Please wait a moment.”
Marianne looked a little nervous.
I decided to use the secret passage of the Imperial Palace to secretly catch up with Kwanach. There should be no stealthier way out of the Imperial Palace than this.
I had been in and out of the basement of the Imperial Palace many times before to study sclerosis, so it was familiar to me.
I turned the ornate carved statues on the wall, just as Kwanach had taught me, and soon the bookshelf on the other side began to move.
Marianne shrugged her shoulders in surprise. Soon an entrance to an underground passage appeared between the bookshelves.
“We can go down this way. You’ll have to walk diligently.”
Marianne seemed to be nervous, but she quickly returned to her usual stern expression.
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
We quickly descended the stairs to the underground passage. We didn’t have much time to rest if we were going to catch up with Kwanach before dawn.
This was the underground passage that Kwanach built in case of war. The war hadn’t happened yet, but the situation was just as tense. It seemed obvious that if Roman was left to his own devices, war would soon follow.
We ran tirelessly through the secret passage.
* * *
Neighhh! The horse was calling.
The underground passage led to the outside of the capital. When Marianne and I exited, the horse we had prepared in advance were tied up near the exit.
From here, we had to ride the horse to the nearby area where the Kwanach was located.
There, Oslin, who had left beforehand, planned to take us there. It was as if we were his porters.
I gently stroked the horse, which had been tied up for a while. The horse was very docile and seemed to be able to handle the long ride.
I mounted the horse first and extended my hand toward Marianne.
“Get on behind me.”
I knew I would be doing some basic riding. I learned at an early age since I was a Princess. I had never ridden with anyone behind me though.
Marianne climbed into the horse clumsily. She spoke with embarrassment.
“I have to serve Your Majesty, but I don’t really know what to do.”
Marianne, thinking of propriety even in such a situation, I burst into laughter at the sight of her.
“Hold on tight.”
“Your Majesty, your waist…I should hold it? Oh my…..”
Marianne’s hand gestures were very careful as she wrapped her hands around my waist. It was an apologetic voice.
It was unusual for me to see Marianne so confused.
“You need to hold on tighter.”
“Yes, Your Majesty….”
Marianne then held me tightly.
I motioned to the horse, and it moved forward, gently but quick. We rode for a while, orienting ourselves to the star that would be our reference point.
The winter in the empire felt like spring compared to the north, but the night wind on the horse was quite harsh. I was glad I had come with a good layer of clothing.
The place where we came in contact with Oslin was in the middle of a forest road, so it was difficult to know exactly where it was on the map. But I had a place to turn for help.
When we seemed to have reached the tangent point, we got off our horse. I put my hands on a few of the trees around us.
Marianne didn’t know what I was capable of, so she looked at me with a puzzled expression. She was curious but didn’t ask recklessly. She was a cautious maid.
‘I have to meet someone here. I want to know where it is, can you help me?’
As I asked the tree, I remembered Oslin Baynard’s face in my head.
<Oh, that man has been wandering around this forest path since the evening darkness fell. We will guide you, Chosen One. >
The gentle voice of the tree rang out. The plants had always been friendly to me, but they seemed to welcome me much more than usual.
The word “Chosen One” also sounded somewhat different than usual.
Whissh! Soon, the trees around me began to sway in unison.
“Ah, Your Majesty. The trees.. ….”
Marianne came to my side in surprise.
“It’s okay. I did it.”
“They are telling us the answer. We will walk along the path they lead us.”
The direction of the tree branches was turning in a certain place. It would lead me to where Oslin was.