MHCEN Chapter 2
Chapter 2: Marry Me
The journey took three months, but it wouldn’t have lasted this long if they had given me a good horse and carriage!
‘I should have noticed when he emphasized that it was two months!’
I had barely come a long way with two powerless little horses and a carriage with rotten wooden wheels that moved more strangely.
I only set foot in the foreign land of the Leonhardt Empire after three months of being stuck in a carriage with barely any luggage.
Originally, I’d have to go to the prepared annex, unload the baggage, and then see the emperor.
However, I ignored all of that and headed first to the imperial palace, the main palace where the emperor stayed.
‘Apparently, they were all rejected and sent back anyway.’
I heard many young ladies and princesses from other countries came as empress candidates, but they all lasted less than a few hours before being spurned.
If so, I’d have no reason to unpack my luggage because I’d be in the same situation anyway.
‘Let’s quickly get rejected.’
And let’s run away.
That was the conclusion I had made after thinking seriously about it on the way here.
I decided to run away from the dreaded Lupeon Kingdom.
In particular, there was no cushion in the carriage, so my back felt like it would break, and every time the muscles in my shoulders tightened, my decision solidified.
I’ve somehow endured getting hit and sworn at… No, actually, I didn’t hold back and paid them back the same way.
I hadn’t run away from the kingdom so far because I could handle it no matter how much my family bullied me.
But selling me to someone else crossed the line.
‘And to a horrible man known by everyone as a tyrant?’
If my marriage didn’t work out this time and I went back after being rejected, it was obvious he’d sell me out to someone even more eccentric sooner or later.
The first one was hard, but the second wouldn’t be. It was clear then that there would be no rebuff, no chance to escape.
‘I absolutely hate that! I’d rather be a fugitive and live in hiding for the rest of my life!’
If I ran away from another country, the news would arrive late, and they couldn’t release soldiers immediately.
I pounded my swollen waist with my fist and inspected the imperial palace of the great empire spread out before me.
‘Wow… It’s incomparably larger than the size of the kingdom.’
Since the land was so vast, the king would never find me if I escaped from the empire. Seeing the imperial palace so magnificent that it made people shudder made my courage surge.
‘Perfect. Let’s get rejected quickly!’
My plan was foolproof. I hummed to myself, feeling proud.
Suddenly, I heard footsteps.
The ground shook horribly enough to transmit vibrations. Startled, I hurriedly turned my head to find the source of the sound.
In the distance, I saw someone walking towards me, leading a large group of people.
I had never seen his face, but it was easy to guess his identity just by looking at him from a distance.
‘It’s the emperor.’
Even though our eyes met from such a long distance, there was no other person here other than the emperor who could create a sense of intimidation that would make your hamstrings tingle and hair stand on end.
The wind blowing straight ahead carried the shadowy smell of death.
An emperor who would go down in history as the worst tyrant in the history of the Great Empire–Livanfell von Leonhardt.
He was the one who had to reject me.
The golden eyes, shining like the eyes of a beast shining in the dark, were terrifyingly fixed on me.
I slowly lowered my head and looked away politely.
‘Why did you come out? Did you hear of my arrival? Could it be he came here just to spurn me?’
Okay. I didn’t intend to drag it out anyway, so it’s good that it’s quick.
I’ll say I’ll go back the moment he tells me to leave or shows displeasure.
The Emperor of Leonhardt, Livanfell, who appeared with a large escort and attendant, stopped right in front of me.
Eyes that cut flesh like a sharpened sword stabbed me.
“Are you the princess of the Lupeon Kingdom?” His low-pitched voice, as if playing a musical instrument, created an enchanting melody.
“Greetings, Your Majesty, Emperor of Leonhardt. I am the princess of Lupeon Kingdom, Terriella Lupeon.”
“Raise your face.”
As soon as my greetings were over, an arrogant order was issued.
Of course, I had no right to refuse. As I slowly raised my head, our gazes entangled like threads of black thickets.
It was then. A light flashed in his dull golden eyes.
‘Huh? What was that?’
Even before I could wonder further about it, Livanfell took one step closer, obsession reflected in his golden eyes.
Happiness spread across his face as if a wild beast, suffering from an unquenchable thirst, had finally found a way out.
Livanfell took a closer look at me and bit his lip, blood quickly appearing on his thick lips.
He didn’t care about that, though. Instead, he grabbed my wrist tightly and pulled it hard.
In an instant, we got so close that our noses touched, and our breaths mingled.
In my surprise, I forgot to lower my head and stared at Livanfell. His eyes fluttered and he shuddered.
“…I finally found you.”
My mind, which seemed to have been possessed by something, was awakened by his heavy muttering.
But it was already too late.
Livanfell raised one corner of his mouth and declared in a loud voice, “Jaerim, tell everyone that I have found the empress.”
…huh? What did I just hear?
The emperor’s face was so close that I couldn’t help but admire it.
My heart, which didn’t react unless they had a decent appearance, trembled uncontrollably.
‘I must have misunderstood because I was distracted by that face.’
It was a reasonable doubt because, obviously, the emperor treated other young ladies and princesses very coldly! So cold! I heard you refused them.
So I had to go back because I was coldly rejected, too. There was no way I was special.
Yes! That’s right!
“Your Majesty.” I brushed my hair back with a smile, hiding my confused thoughts. I must have misheard because my hair was covering my ears. “I seem to have misheard you. I’m sorry, but will you repeat that…”
“Marry me, Princess.”
“As expected, you told me to go back– What?”
I was hearing nonsense again. Even when I tried to deny it, the word ‘marry’ stayed in my ears.
‘No. Why are these letters stuck in my ears?’
I hurriedly shook my head to brush off the word. Don’t get in my ears!
And with hope, I asked again, “I guess I’m deaf. I think the long journey has caused some hearing problems. I should have gone to the annex first… That’s why you just asked me to go back, right?”
“Do I have to say it three times for the Princess to understand it?”
I was dumbfounded. Judging from that response, I don’t think I misheard.
“You’d like to marry me?”
“I’m glad you don’t seem to have any hearing problems.”
I had a lot to say, but I was speechless. I couldn’t figure out where to start.
‘Why? So suddenly? With me? Get married? Marry me?’
Could this be a dream? Was I still on the way to Leonhardt Empire by carriage, and I was having a nightmare because of the arduous journey?
I gently pinched my wrist. Ugh. But it hurts. This wasn’t a dream!
…It’s a bigger deal because it’s not a dream!
‘Are you crazy?! You want to marry me? Why the hell?!’
I sent all kinds of signals to Livanfell, expressing the swear words I couldn’t say with my eyes. Livanfell, who could not have known this, talked with his aide behind him in relief.
“Jaerim, since the empress has been decided, set the wedding date.”
“Yes, Your Majesty. Shall we set it at the earliest date possible?”
“Call the high priest and set the best date. It’s a day when we’ll welcome the princess as empress of the empire, so we can’t choose any random date.”
“Yes, I understand.”
“…But don’t make it too late.”
“I’ll choose the earliest and best date possible.”
“Hurry up and pick a good day.”
“Understood. An early date seems like a good day.”
“…Make an invitation list, report it, and send a letter to the Lupeon Kingdom.”
Those distinctive and gorgeous features constantly moved, but I couldn’t understand what they’re talking about.
「With his violence, alcohol dependency, and lustfulness, you could call him the worst man on the continent.」
Suddenly, the words I said to the king before I went here came to mind.
I had to make it right before things went wrong.
I didn’t come here to get married. I mean, I came here with the thought of being rejected.
“Your Majesty! Getting married…!”
I had no intention of getting married!
I was about to say that but stopped when I saw Livanfell’s sharp gaze.
He reacted sensitively, like someone who knew what I was going to say.
“Princess. Did you come here as a candidate for empress?”
…Ah, that’s right.
I forgot about it for a while, but I was a candidate for empress sold by the kingdom, right?
I came here to marry him, but when he asked me to marry him, I actually had no intention of going through with it and planned to pretend to go back.
‘It’s like I’m asking you to kill me!’
I pursed my lips and turned my gaze to the clear sky. It’s too good a day to die.
When I didn’t respond, Livanfell continued his conversation with Jaerim, “Where is the princess going to stay?”
“In an annex owned by the imperial family on the south side of the palace.”
“We can’t just have the prospective empress stay in a place like that. Change the place, Jaerim.”
“Shall we move her to the main palace?”
Did I just hear him say ‘main palace’? Then, alarmed by the conversation between the two, I turned toward the main palace, which was so splendid and grand that it looked frightening.
‘There… It’s where the emperor lives.’
Why were things escalating?
“Until a proper bedroom is prepared, have the princess stay in the VIP room in the main palace.”
“I’ll get it ready.”
The VIP room of the main palace where the emperor’s family stayed only on very special occasions…For me?
“Looks like the princess hasn’t even unpacked yet. Could it be that you came to the imperial palace without unpacking or resting? To see me?”
The first one was correct, but not the second.
Livanfell looked disapprovingly at the shabby carriage I had been in, loaded with much luggage. The attendants, startled as if they had heard it as criticism, suddenly began to move in perfect order.
My insignificant belongings quickly lined up and went into the main palace.
‘If I had known it would be like this, I’d rather have unpacked before coming. Then, I could have bought some time.’
If I stayed like this, I’d be led into the palace by those attendants, just like my luggage.
I grabbed hold of my disturbed mind and faced Livanfell.
“Your Majesty! In fact, I was forced to…!”
At my call, Livanfell frowned and met my gaze.
‘What’s wrong with his eyes…?’
Unlike a while ago, life was flowing in his eyes. I was scared because the view that was strangely out of focus looked slightly off.
Livanfell’s long fingers pointed at the carriage I had ridden. “Could it be that carriage wasn’t just for the luggage, but for the princess as well?”
I could almost see the god of death standing behind Livanfell!
‘His eyes! I’m scared!’
My lips, trembling in fear, stuck together and didn’t open. I couldn’t answer his question, so Livanfell frowned and summoned the aide.
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
“Are the financial conditions of the Lupeon kingdom not good these days?”
“…No? I haven’t heard anything like that. More than that, Princess.” The aide, who lightly dismissed Rivanpel’s question, scratched with a quill and tilted his head as if something was wrong. “Most of the luggage you brought is old and difficult to use… It looks quite bad. Did you bring luggage you were supposed to throw away by mistake?”
So the aide must have been inspecting my luggage for a while.
‘You stupid kingdom punks! If you’re going to send me to the Empire, you should have sent me a bunch of good stuff!’
Didn’t it ever occur to them that the empire would get offended if they sent such a subpar candidate? They were a nuisance to the end!
I was worried that the stupidity of the Lupeon family might have caused me trouble.
As soon as the aide finished speaking, Livanfell’s eyes shone fiercely. Sensing something strange, he alternately examined the shabby carriage and my old luggage.
I didn’t know what he was thinking, but Livanfell’s face grew colder and colder. Seeing the chill on his face, as if a cold north wind had swept through it, made me think I would die if I stayed here any longer.
If I told him I didn’t want to marry him while he had that expression, it was like I was begging him to kill me.
I managed to part my frozen lips and acted calmly. It’s not like me to be frightened by this.
“W-w-w-where is the VIP room?”
I needed to step back in order to move forward.
The luggage I brought went to the incineration area where they were supposed to be, and expensive and good items took their place.
The maids clung to me as soon as I came to the VIP room, saying they would relieve my fatigue from traveling.
After washing with warm water, I filled my hungry stomach with the food they had prepared. I wore a silk dress and lay down on a soft bed as they massaged my weary body with perfume.
It was a luxury I had never experienced before in the kingdom.
‘That’s why… That’s why… I’m falling asleep!’
When I opened my eyes again, the dazzling moon shone high in the sky.
‘The life of the future empress… it’s really nice.’
I faltered for a moment and almost gave in, but I had to stay alert. It’s a pity to push away this kind of luxury, but I couldn’t marry a tyrant like this.
Even if they didn’t kill me right away, ‘marriage’ meant living together for the rest of our lives.
I had to be careful because they might kill me a few years later. He might like me now, but he could change his mind.
‘Mother told me to choose a good man to marry.’
I didn’t know why he suddenly asked me to marry him, but I had to clear up the tangled misunderstanding and run away safely.
As I made up my mind to run away, a strange voice interrupted.
“What are you thinking about with such a grim expression?”
I turned to see Livanfell leaning against the door.
“Could it be you’re thinking of running away?”
I tilted my head in feigned confusion and put on the most nonchalant expression on my face. Livanfell slowly raised the corner of his lips and approached me with a bleak expression.
He paused in front of the table and tapped the pendulum of the slowly swinging clock with his finger.
“It wouldn’t be good to run away.”
Would he threaten the Lupeon kingdom if I did? Unfortunately, his threat did nothing for me.
Whatever happened to Lupeon because of my escape was none of my concern. They should have expected something like this when they sold me.
“Looking at the carriage you rode in, the luggage you brought, and the dress you wore… I don’t think you have any lingering attachments to the royal kingdom.”
Ah. He figured it out.
Livanfell immediately noticed my situation.
“By the way, this isn’t just for the future of the Lupeon kingdom, but for the princess as well.”
Livanfell, who forcibly stopped the swinging pendulum of the watch, met my gaze. It felt as if the flow of time had stopped for a moment.
The cloud covered the moon, and Livanfell was covered in darkness. Just then, a warm yet cold voice gently landed on my shoulder.
“It would be difficult if people find out the princess has divine powers. Will you be okay?”
I stopped in my seat, forgetting to breathe.
In the dark, I saw his golden eyes shining brightly with confidence, not doubt.
“It’s been a hundred years since the birth of the last saint, wasn’t it? There is no way that the continent and the temple will leave you alone.”
‘How did you know?’
The reason why I was fine even when I was bullied in Lupeon Kingdom…
Even when my older sister grabbed me and we rolled down the stairs, or the chair that brother broke and fragments flew, and even if my younger sister recklessly wielded a horsewhip.
I felt the pain, but the reason why I didn’t have a single wound, the reason why I was neither injured nor killed by such insignificant wounds…
It was because I was a saint with divine power.
 Livanfell called his attendant 재림, but the manhwa fan-translation called him Jerry.