At The End Of The Hidden Greenery - Chapter 5
Translator and Editor: Effe and Yonnee
Because of the large amount of blood flowing from her, the miasma was purified at a much faster speed than usual.
It was a bit exaggerated to call this the price of borrowing the dagger, but it didn’t matter. She was going to let it go anyway.
“Ugh, ah… huuuh…”
The man’s groaning gradually faded. She had no intention of improving his condition, so she didn’t want to closely monitor his recovery.
She tried to stay close to see it. Her vision was blurry anyway. Tears flowed and she couldn’t see anything. Her wrist didn’t hurt, so she wasn’t crying because it hurt.
The amount of blood leaking out was greater than the speed of the wound healing. Before long, her head spun. Her legs buckled from under her and she collapsed to the ground. She couldn’t even keep herself from falling despite the danger of stumbling and injuring herself.
Jiwoo fell over like a piece of wood. Soon enough, her vision blackened. She felt someone grab her arm. She just lost consciousness.
Oh, everything… was nothing but a bother.
Even after she realized that she had fallen in love, nothing much had changed. Jiwoo only followed the crown prince with a more meaningful gaze.
As there was a decree in the empire that the imperial authority and the temple authority join hands to protect the world from evil beasts, the crown prince often visited the castle when there were no battles to be fought.
Jiwoo met the crown prince during a particularly peaceful time. The warm and cozy wind of the empire only raised Jiwoo’s heart, but did not calm it down.
When she came to her senses, Jiwoo was always looking at the crown prince’s back. She eagerly waited for the day he would come to the temple, and if she was dispatched to somewhere far away, she hoped to head to a place close to him.
When she learned this world’s language to some extent and became familiar with the culture here, she even feared that the crown prince would no longer invite her privately. However, even if he no longer needed to teach her, the crown prince continued to meet, and Jiwoo’s heart kept pounding as to when the time would end. As if it was going to break just like that, she viewed her relationship with the crown prince as something on a tightrope.
Then she met him at the dispatch site, it must have been a real coincidence. When Jiwoo, who was working hard, went out to a nearby lake to cool off, she unexpectedly met him.
His eyes widened and his lips parted slightly. The red eyes that resembled the setting sun that spread behind him, shook. It was a look of surprise that he rarely showed.
The crown prince, who was restless with his cheeks blushing, fumbled and opened his mouth like admitting a mistake. With his eyes turned to the side, he covered his mouth with one hand.
“I heard that you were dispatched to this area, Akarna…”
“In the end, I had to come here.”
The duty of subjugating the beasts and the Akarna’s mission had to overlap. Jiwoo chose this area this time because the crown prince was here.
But, the crown prince acted like a fool who forgot what he was going to say. The crown prince, who always spoke without hesitation with a dignified attitude, seemed particularly foolish today.
He tried to continue his words, but eventually gave up and bit his mouth. And he stared at Jiwoo. His face was red as if he ate all the heat of summer that followed that day.
Jiwoo’s condition was not that different from him. Her face grew hot and her heart pounded. But Jiwoo, who learned the words briefly, didn’t know how to beat around the bush.
“Your Highness, are you saying you came all the way to see me?”
“I just taught you the words. You’re too direct.”
The crown prince laughed. It was an unusually shy smile.
“If you say that, I’ll be embarrassed.”
“Then if I don’t say that?”
The crown prince smiled lightly and took her hand. She was startled by the sudden touch, but it wasn’t unpleasant. He bowed his head for a while, stroking her fingers, then suddenly raised his head.
She thought the red eyes were too close. An unfamiliar touch followed.
Whoosh— The sound of the gentle wind blowing through the leaves stopped for a moment. The sounds of birds, insects, and the clear flowing water of the lake, which had been chirping for a while, suddenly ceased to be heard.
She closed her eyes, drunken by the heat that surrounded her. While their lips were pressed against each other, the crown prince wrapped his arms around Jiwoo’s waist. As Jiwoo calmly hugged him back, their kiss deepened.
His tongue, which had been gently patting her lips, burrowed in. The moist flesh ran through her mouth, becoming more and more rough. The passion that ran through him spread throughout her body. She obviously came out to the lakeside to cool off, but it felt like she had fallen into the hottest place in the world.
After a while, the crown prince parted his lips and put their foreheads together. Hot, rough breathing passed through her face. The crown prince said in a hoarse voice.
“…Do you feel the same way as me?”
Jiwoo didn’t answer. This time, she held his lips first. Perhaps it was an excuse that she couldn’t speak eloquently because her vocabulary was still inadequate, but no neither of them complained.
She didn’t know much about politics. However, she knew that the position of the Akarna wasn’t all that bad to be with the crown prince. It was the union of the crown prince, the most precious blood line of the empire, and the Akarna, which God gave to look over the world. It was a relationship that God made with no one to express any dissatisfaction with.
Everyone seemed eager to bless them. Maybe even God. Maybe even the royal family. She was happy thinking that maybe she had fallen into this world to meet him. Instead of taking on the sufferings of this world, as a reward, God allowed her this kind of love.
She had a dream-like love that was erased.
She did not miss the past when she said she wanted to return to her home world, faithfully loved the present, and painted a brilliant future. Was it such an unrealistic wish? It was exactly five years that the future she envisioned was broken.
“…I heard you’re getting engaged to the Count’s daughter. What does that mean?”
It was like thunder on a clear day.
Even Jiwoo didn’t hear the news directly from him, but came to know about it through rumors circulating in the temple. As soon as Jiwoo knew about it, she immediately asked the crown prince. She hoped it was a false rumor, but unexpectedly, the crown prince did not deny the rumor.
“Are you saying you were seeing other people while you were seeing me?”
He gently hugged Jiwoo’s shoulder whose lips were trembling. It was to calm a sulking lover.
“Can’t you understand? It’s just… It’s just a political marriage. But you must understand that I love only you.”
“Do you think I’m just whining now?”
“Then isn’t it? I’m not in a position to go against private matters. If you’re sensible, I wouldn’t know, but you are complaining like this.”
Private matters. Complaining.
Jiwoo clenched his fists. The Akarna was just the Akarna—not a noble. She had no wealth, no good bloodline, no territory. The empire was under the authority of the emperor. As for the Akarna, she was just for the temple’s puppet to pursue their propaganda. She had no power.
Then, there was one more problem. After becoming Akarna, her period stopped.
During the five years of meeting with the crown prince, they had no children. Jiwoo was obviously infertile. To tell the crown prince not to meet anyone was the same as telling him to give up on having an heir.
It would have been better if he had been an ordinary nobleman. The crown prince was seated in a position much too high for Jiwoo to love. In the end, Jiwoo had only these words left.
“…That woman wouldn’t like it either.”
“I’ll try to convince her.”
The crown prince hugged Jiwoo, comforted her, and patted her back. She was like being treated like a pet. She felt dirty. It was dirty, and she didn’t know how to solve this or how to make it understandable.
And not long after, Jiwoo was really able to meet the count’s daughter, at an event hosted by the crown prince.
“I have decided to acknowledge you.”
It was an absurd thing to say. Who acknowledges whom? Was that how she’s supposed to say it in the first place? Wasn’t she woman the one who got involved in their normal relationship in the first place?
“We are lucky.”
It was lame of her, but Jiwoo asked. The beautiful count’s daughter covered her lips with a fan and smiled.
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