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On the meadow that was soaked with the soft rays of moonlight. The lips of the touching boy and girl slowly descended. Their breaths full of regret filled the emptiness in both of them with excitement.
“Na Han.” The girl looked at the boy with shy eyes under her trembling eyelashes. “Can we meet again?”
At the girl’s soft voice, the eyes of the boy, Na Han, were filled with the girl’s face. He was so enraptured by this feeling of love he had felt for the first time to the extent where it was so precious he didn’t dare to even touch it recklessly.
So Na Han suppressed his overwhelming feelings for a moment and made an oath to the girl. “I’ll definitely find you, no matter where you are. I swear on everything within me.”
“Promise me that you’ll definitely come back to see me.”
“Alright, I will. Instead…” Na Han raised the girl’s hand which was on top of an instrument and hooked his finger with hers. “When we meet again, I’ll ask you to marry me.”
The girl’s eyes quivered slightly at the unexpected words. Engraving even the slightest of her tremors to his memory, Na Han continued to speak. “You can’t take it back when that time comes.”
“Knowing all of this, will you still accept me?”
A red hue began to creep up around the rims of the girl’s eyes. The girl nodded her head, her teary eyes curling up slightly.
Na Han, whose lips curled up slightly copying the girl, whispered in a low voice into her ear, just before kissing her again. “I’m now yours, Yeon Hwa.”
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pls do not share this anywhere or u will always stub ur toe when u walk past a door frame !! this translation has been stolen from mioscorner.com, pls only read there i’m begging u :kneels:
A winter, ten years later.
To think the country of Yeo, which was a subordinate country, would want to revolt against the empire of Ahwan, the superior country, by seeking independence. The Emperor of Ahwan ordered the one and only crown prince of the empire to destroy the country of Yeo.
“Bestow the Crown Prince the Black Iron Sword.” The emperor’s order came with a large box.
The Black Iron Sword was the most precious sword in Ahwan, and was said to be awarded only to those who had made great achievements for the Empire. Bestowing this to Kang Yoon already showed just how much expectation the Emperor had for this conquest.
The Crown Prince, Kang Yoon, knelt down and reverently accepted the Black Iron Sword. Although the sword fit snugly in his hand, as if it had been made for Kang Yoon in the beginning, he felt a tremendous sense of weight at the same time, as if he were carrying a huge mountain on his back. As if all the expectations and hostility that was aimed towards him were fully contained in it.
The pitch black eyes that seemingly concealed the dark night within them were exposed under the helmet and darkened even more. The lone Kang Yoon endured it silently and kneeled toward the Emperor once more.
“I, Shin Kang Yoon, will definitely subdue the rebellious country in obedience to His Majesty’s great imperial order.”
Kang Yoon, who showed his imposing dignity until the end, soon led an army of 10 million and headed for the country of Yeo. And the fact that the country of Yeo had been preparing for a rebellion for a long time was overshadowed by the fact that the Crown Prince of Ahwan was able to capture it in just three days.
* * *
The palace was filled with grey smoke, which billowed violently over the blazing flames. Screams mixed with the scent of blood erupted from every corner, and the shrill screams that seemed to be making their last ditch effort disappeared as if it were futile, not even leaving any screams in its wake.
A land of harrowing hell. A large armed shadow fell over it.
It was Kang Yoon, the Crown Prince of Ahwan. The dark eyebrows and rigid eyes that were exposed under his helmet, like they were revealing a firm incision, were exquisite and delicate, and his high nose bridge was like a sheer cliff. His mouth, which was prettier than most women’s, was as red as blood, and his sharp jaw revealed his masculinity and formidability.
The son of a god. The perfect man. Kang Yoon, the owner of all those names, was indeed a beautiful man. To the point where no one dared to even think of him as the one who caused this horrendous tragedy.
Kang Yoon gazed at the country of Yoon with endless indifference in his eyes, as the blood-filled wind continued to howl. It was a great mistake for the country of Yeo to revolt against Ahwan. Even if they had the greatest military might amongst the subordinate countries, a subordinate country was still in the end, ultimately a subordinate country.
‘How could Ahwan be unable to handle the rebellion of a country that had already submitted to them as a subordinate country?’
Kang Yoon steered his horse leisurely as he watched the traces of Yeo being helplessly swept away by the forces of Ahwan. There were long red bloodstains in the white snow, as if directing him on where to go.
Soon, a soldier knelt before him and said, “Your Highness, apparently the former king who had been fleeing eventually consumed poison and committed suicide with the crown prince. What should we do?”
“Suicide you say.” Kang Yoon furrowed his brows and brooded over his words lowly. His voice was so heavy and overbearing that it weighed down people’s hearts just by listening to it.
The soldier had no choice but to futilely avoid his gaze even though it wasn’t their fault. It was obvious that Kang Yoon’s coronation altar would be built in Ahwan after the completion of this conquest. Thus, he had tried to offer the rebellious king of Yeo as a sacrifice for the throne, but the sacrifice had deliberately killed itself.
There was no better sacrifice to offer to prove his qualifications as the new emperor than the king of a rebel country. But unfortunately, it seemed like he could only put his bones on the altar.
After a moment of thought, his placid black eyes turned cold. “Just cut off his neck and bring it back. A sacrifice must fulfil its duty as a sacrifice.”
“Yes, Your Highness!”
Having already caught the leader of the rebellion, the work that needed to be done was already completed. Thus, it was when Kang Yoon was preparing to order the return to Ahwan.
“Your Highness, there is still something you need to confirm for a moment. There is still a member of the Yeo country’s royal family remaining in the palace.”
“I’ve already ordered for every member of the royal family to be killed, except for the former king.”
“But… it’s a little…” The soldier had an awkward expression on his face and couldn’t say anything. Just what was it that made this man so aesthetic?
Kang Yoon furrowed his brow and followed the soldier to the place where he led him to.
The place where he arrived was the palace that was located in the deepest part of the Yeo country’s palace. Unlike everywhere else, this palace, which had a signboard that read ‘Inner Palace’ smelled less of blood. That meant that either everyone had already fled, or that no one had even bothered to protect this place in the first place.
Kang Yoon crossed the empty inner palace. Eventually, beyond the wide open door, he could see someone sitting calmly in an empty room devoid of any furniture. It was a woman wrapped in red clothes and talismans from head to toe.
Was the talisman used to cover her eyes? Or was her resignation merely a mask used to hide her fear? The woman in red continued to only stare at her impending death.
‘She must be the queen in the rumours.’
Kang Yoon had also heard of Yeo’s new queen. A puppet queen who lived with all of her previous life erased, and was said to have been brought as a medium to store the original soul of the previous queen, who had died young. He didn’t care about the trivial matters of a subordinate country, so he brushed it off after hearing about it.
The queen of the rumours who he was facing personally was much stranger than he thought. The blood coloured clothes and talismans attached to them were strange, but none of it was as strange as the atmosphere of her very existence.
Kang Yoon’s footsteps, which had paused for a while, started again after a while. Then, he drew the Black Iron Sword at his waist and brought it to the woman’s neck. The cry of the cold sword shook the quiet air of the inner palace.
“Who are you?”
The blade of the sword, which seemed to be able to cut deeply at just a mere touch, came closer to the delicate skin of the woman. Beyond the thin talisman, eyes that had already lost their life head to the sword used by Ahwan to destroy the country.
The woman raised her eyes and stared at Kang Yoon. “Queen Jeong Hae, the queen of Yeo.”
If a camellia was a sound, would it sound like this? She was cold, sad, and had lost everything about her, leaving only a shell of her behind, yet her pitiful nature brought about a sense of fondness. Like the petal of a camellia flower that had fallen alone on a frozen snowfield, like that fierce and lonely red hue.
“Will you take my life?”
At the sound of her voice, which was as cold and buried just as deep into you as an ice pick, Kang Yoon added some more strength into the hand that was holding the black iron sword. “If it’s necessary.”
The moment his eyes that had been shaking for a moment, sank back into the deep darkness again.
The sword let out a short and sharp cry. However, what the sword that had drawn a sharp trail had cut off was not her neck, but a talisman that was covering her face.
“However, I should check your face first.”
“I don’t need the neck of a fake queen.”
It was the moment the face of the woman, Yeon Hwa, was engraved clearly in Kang Yoon’s eyes.
The talisman fell slowly, like the withered petals in the wind on an autumn day. The sound of the thin talisman hitting the floor was deafening.
In the silence, Yeon Hwa’s face was engraved in Kang Yoon’s eyes as thickly and deeply as ink stains spreading on white paper. Pale skin that seemed to have never seen the rays of sunlight, full lips with pale but fine lines, and a straight nose that resembled a beautiful eave. And those eyes, that revealed no emotion. The woman’s eyes were beautiful enough for them to draw someone’s attention with just one look, but there was not even a little life within them.
No matter how brave someone is, they are bound to express their feelings in front of a sword, whether it be determination or fear. Nothing could be inferred from this woman’s eyes. Whether it be fear, terror, a commitment to protect something, resentment, or even resignation. Only a deep darkness that seemed to have no end was in this woman’s eyes. It was as if you would fall into the abyss if you looked too deeply into them.
Kang Yoon felt the ground beneath him spin and put the sword back under the woman’s neck. “How can you call yourself Queen Jeong Hae when you are not Queen Jeong Hae?”
“Because everyone here calls me that.”
“So you admit that you’re not the real queen?”
“Since I’m the queen, everyone calls me Queen Jeong Hae.”
The woman’s eyes didn’t shake, even with a sharp sword touching her skin. It got on Kang Yoon’s nerves even more. He wanted to see that black mask of hers shake at least once.
“Queen Jeong Hae came to Ahwan a long time ago for His Majesty’s birthday as an envoy of the Yeo delegation. I also saw Queen Jeong Hae’s face at the time.”
It meant to answer honestly when asked since he knew that she wasn’t the real queen.
Kang Yoon opened his mouth, facing the woman’s eyes which were still empty. “What is your real name?”
“Not the name that people call you by, but the name that defines you as you.”
The lips of the woman which moved right away, as if she already had a fixed answer to that question, paused in their movement for the first time. Maybe she didn’t have a reply to it. Or perhaps she just didn’t want to answer.
The woman didn’t move, as if she had actually become a real puppet. It was like she had forgotten her original name while she was trapped in this place.
As if the whole world had stopped moving, a long time passed. It was in the long silence, when he started to think that it would be a waste of his time to wait any longer.
The woman said her name in a soft voice. “…Yeon Hwa.” For a moment, those seemingly endless eyes were filled with a deep sorrow. “Min Yeon Hwa.”
The first readable emotion disappeared in an instant with her short voice, but it left a more intense mark on Kang Yoon. It was to the point where he couldn’t breathe for a moment.
‘Promise me that you’ll definitely…’
Kang Yoon wrinkled his forehead at the pain that pierced his head strongly for a moment. Before he could even chase after the afterimage, it disappeared like a mirage and it eventually slipped through his fingers.
Did he have a dream last night that he couldn’t remember? Or was that woman playing a strange trick on him? An inexplicable sense of deja vu enveloped his whole body. It seemed like he was also becoming stranger while being with a strange woman.
“Are you alright, Your Highness?”
“…I’m fine. I must be a little tired.”
Kang Yoon thought that it was the fault of having to prepare too much for the conquest, and glanced at the woman, Yeon Hwa, again. He had clearly seen her shedding tears a while ago. But there wasn’t even a hint of red around the rims of her eyes. As expected, this too seemed to be a mistake.
“What shall we do, Your Highness?”
Mu Heon, a royal guard who had been guarding his back like a shadow the whole time, approached and asked for his order. It was a question on whether or not they were killing the woman here or if he had any other plans for her.
This woman was the only remaining member of the royal family in Yeo. He had to kill her here to ensure that there would be no consequences. But for some reason, Kang Yoon did not want to kill Yeon Hwa.
Was it because she was the only one who asked for death while everyone else had begged and asked for him to spare their life? Or was it because the eyes that seemed to have died long ago seemed to be familiar to him? No, it was neither of them.
It was her voice that had captured Kang Yoon’s heart. Camellia flowers that lost their red light for the last time in the accumulating snow, like scattered blood that gradually faded away. The sad scene that her voice reminded him of shook Kang Yoon’s heart.
Kang Yoon lowered his gaze to take a glance at Yeon Hwa’s body. A thin wrist exposed under red sleeves. At a glance, it showed just how poor of a treatment she had suffered in this place. Rather than not wanting to run away, it was more appropriate to say that she was waiting for death because she had no energy left in her body for her to run away.
“Well, what should I do…” A low voice flowed out languidly, like a beast that lowered it’s body for a moment.
‘A living sacrifice would be better than one that was already dead.’
After contemplating for a moment, Kang Yoon gave a short order, “Take her back to Ahwan.”
At those words, a crack finally appeared in that woman’s face. Although it was a small crack that one wouldn’t be aware of if they didn’t look closely, the change that was noticeable to his eyes for the first time eased Kang Yoon’s mood a little. Was she just being stubborn?
“Everyone, return to Ahwan.”
“Yes, Your Highness!”
Well, he naturally couldn’t know this for sure either. He just liked the fact that she wasn’t a living doll.
Kang Yoon turned around and got on his horse. Then, he took the lead and headed back to Ahwan.
If someone asked why he didn’t kill Yeon Hwa at that time, Kang Yoon would have answered him like this. He didn’t want to see that beautiful red light permeate the land of Yeo that had already transformed into hell on earth. If it was going to be shed, he’d rather it permeate the land of Ahwan.
hi! so this is the first chapter of camellia permeates the snow and the first of my pilot projects ! this chapter itself took AGESSS for me to tl bc the writing style for historical novels is just completely different to what i’m used to tling so i’m hoping that this chapter will pique another tl’s interest !!
i’m alr super hooked on this story, like how did both of them end up like that ?? the intrigue, mystery and their past AHHHHH i rlly hope someone picks this up soon QAQ