Flowers Of Worship - Chapter 6
Translator and Editor: Skye and Sarah
What did surprise me was that the duchess kneeled on the floor before coming in and fell into her thoughts. She had braided her hair at the back of her head so it wouldn’t bother her; however, there were many strands that had come loose as if she wasn’t yet good at doing her own hair, despite that there was a strange charm to it that made her even more beautiful. The moonlight, her crimson red hair, and her troubled face, that had serious expression a while ago, now had lips slightly raised as if smiling, the curve of her lips seemed genuine.
I didn’t think she would come just to kneel there forever, leaving me hanging without any sort of contact. I approached carefully and opened the door, I thought she’d just laugh and disappear like a fairy. Even though it was her who visited other people’s bedrooms in the middle of the night, I still moved with my feet as if it was I who didn’t want to scare her. I didn’t want to surprise her as she looked like a butterfly that I felt would fly away at any moment.
When our eyes met, her golden sword gently glimmered under the sudden rays of moonlight.
“You weren’t sleeping.”
“Your Grace, how far back do you remember?”
I didn’t answer. I was startled by her direct question and felt it was rude. It was a matter of life and death to me. You want me to give you a truthful answer in exchange for you providing me a bed and meal for only a day, while I’ve been beaten and swung around like a slave for years? My face must have been full of vigilance since she sighed and jumped into my room. I stepped back a little while she closed the window. It was a little saddening that the only way I could defend myself, even when my guard is at its peak, is to retreat, I then stepped back once more.
“Your Highness the Crown Prince.”
She looked back at me searching my eyes for the truth. I tried to play the role of a fool again, which I’ve acted as one in the past, but I became embarrassed, so I suddenly couldn’t think of how to do it. How did I act in such a role before? I think it was good enough just to stutter and laugh like a fool.
“I beg your pardon. Your mother died of a serious illness the year after His Majesty’s death,” She uttered as soon as I blinked giving my best effort to convince her of my innocent child façade.
At that moment, I couldn’t say anything. My heart seemed to have stopped. Of course, I thought my mother would still be in the palace. I thought I’d be able to meet my mother and hug her as long as I returned to the palace.
I was on the verge of rage when I reflected, why isn’t she looking for me or going to any lengths at all to make herself forgiven.
“Your father also died last year.”
Why didn’t my father find me?
I always wondered about my father’s affection. I was worried that he might have forgotten me. Did he hate me, his very own son? Maybe he didn’t like me at all. Maybe I wasn’t good enough? Not a moment passed where my mind wasn’t clogged with such thoughts, but I never imagined that my father would have died or that I would become an orphan.
Tears welled up in my eyes.
I couldn’t cry. Then I would admit everything, and even though I knew it, I couldn’t piece the shards of my heart back together with my two little hands.
I’m an orphan.
I’m an orphan, no one’s looking for me.
My knees buckled, and I crumpled on the ground. The thought that I should not cry made a warning sound in my head, but I couldn’t help it, the tears continued to spill out.
“Ahhhhhhhh!” When I screamed, the woman quickly embraced me and covered my mouth. Her meaning, that I shouldn’t alert others to the noise. I can’t even cry. The world doesn’t even allow me to cry. Until now I didn’t know of my father’s death nor my mother’s.
Millions of questions crowded my mind: why my father wasn’t worried about me, was my mother sick because of me, why I had to go through this, and who made me look like this. The truth is, I didn’t want to ask anything. It was so painful that I didn’t want to think about anything. I just wanted to keep crying. I felt suffocated.
My body trembled. I just wanted to die.
I thought everything would have worked out properly if I simply endured it. I wish I had died in the first place if this was how it’s going to end. I wish I had died back then.
The woman sat on the floor with me. She held me in her arms. She took her hand off my mouth and put it on my back when I cried. I don’t know how much I cried until I felt palms patting on my back. I gasped and cried until my racing heart finally calmed. My nose was stuffed and my face hurt. The woman’s clothes, an expensive Hararan, were completely ruined by my tears. Nevertheless, the woman just patted me as if nothing had happened, is she being so nice to me because I’m a prince? But am I even still a prince?
“Who sits on the throne now…”
When I asked her in a nasally voice, the woman just patted me. She looked a little worried about how to say it, then answered as if she couldn’t keep it hidden any longer.
“Grand Duke Rufold has now ascended the throne.”
At that moment I remembered my uncle who took care of me when I was young. He was a tall, and handsome man, he was kind to me so I thought he was a good man.
He gave me everything I wanted, allowing me to do whatever I wished. When I went to the palace I had to complete many difficult tasks, but when I was in his territory, I was free. I didn’t need to study and I could eat whatever I wanted. I was free to oversleep and didn’t care how I treated my servants. When I went out at night and told him, only the servants were scolded for telling him about what happened that night. I thought he really cared about me.
And that night. The night I went swimming in the middle of the night.
The night when all the nightmares began.
I still question if that night really was a coincidence?
‘The Grand Duke fooled me…’ As soon as I tried to open my mouth, the woman repeated her gesture to block my mouth and called me warningly.
My eyes opened wide. She knew what I was going to say, but still covered my mouth, then I suddenly realized.
The world knew.
She knows but pretends she doesn’t, my pain, my misfortune. Someone grabbed me while I was swimming and shoved me inside a carriage. No one heard me scream. The people I met since then beat me whenever I revealed my identity. Even using a whip! I was even beaten on my pharynx as they scolded me to be quiet!
(pharynx = part of the throat)
The moment he finally knew of his parents’ death, after a year not knowing, the woman whispered, “Earlier Your Highness hid his identity from me, with all due respect, it was for survival purposes, wasn’t it? However, just because your parents died doesn’t mean you have lost the reason to live. You have to struggle harder to survive. If you die now what was it worth to endure it all till now.”
What if I die now? When I conveyed this to her with my eyes, she finally laid bare the harsh reality with apologetic eyes.
“It’s going to be a dog’s death.”
Father, I wanted to live, but more humanly, I wanted to live as a prince. I ran so far for just one reason, and now I’m no longer a prince, but nothing. But, Dad, this woman wants me to live…If I die here, I’ll look like a dog.
It was the first time I’ve said that in a long time. Until now, I had been criticized, considered crazy when I mentioned similar things. The woman loosened her arms that she had held around me, and I immediately stiffened. I thought she might use them to hit me, yet she didn’t, she instead knelt on one knee in front of me, just as a knight would to its king.
“Hastred’s Sarian greets you. Please take care of me.”
My first knight is beautiful and friendly,
“Are you on my side?”
“Yes, Your Highness.”
She’s a liar.
I was still watching the very first lie of my first knight. She is not my knight. She will be my uncle’s knight. The whole world has fallen to my uncle. Everything is over while I pant like a dog for the freedom my uncle once gave me. My father shouldn’t have given birth to someone like me, he should have had a child who is wiser and more talented than me. This woman is a person who doesn’t deserve to see such a child.
I held back my tears.
If I had done well I wouldn’t have given him an excuse to rise to the throne. If I had been strong, if I hadn’t gone swimming that night, if I had studied hard, there would have been no way for my uncle to do whatever he wanted to do. However, I ruined everything by providing him the cause of this fiasco.
So I shouldn’t cry.
I don’t deserve to cry.
“Then you are my knight.”
“You move with my command.”
“Then help me with my ascension.”
[T/n: he used the word 복권 which also mean ascension or chance but it also literally means lottery ticket or simply lottery]
Her golden eyes moved faintly. Lottery? She seemed to be thinking about the word lottery. I barely held back my irritation and opened my mouth, swallowing my dry saliva.
“I know, I can’t be a prince, and I’m separated from the throne, yes, I can’t help it now. My uncle already threw away my chance, but even so, I am a person who inherited the legitimacy of the royal family. I should at least be treated as the Grand Duke.”
“In return…. ”
This woman doesn’t trust me, neither do I. She’s my uncle’s knight, and she’s the one who’s moving for my uncle. No, to be exact, she is the Mistress of Hastred and will move with her and Hastred’s interests alone. She is moving for herself.
So I just have to stick out my only chance.
It’s fortunate that I still have a hand in this situation.
Uncle, you should have killed me.
Otherwise, I’ll never let go of this feeling of revenge lightly.
“I’ll support your right to inheritance. In exchange for my legitimacy.”
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