Lovers Beyond The Mirror - Chapter 12
Translator and Editor: Effe and Nabi
Chapter 12 – Desert Bride (7)
The date of the wedding, which seemed far away, was approaching.
While spending hectic days with matching clothes to the wedding and learning the order of the wedding ceremony, time had passed. Everyone in Chaitun was focused on Kudra and Ranua’s wedding.
Chiarin, who clenched her fists saying that there should be no mistakes or shortcomings, was in a state of more spirit than Seriana.
“Ranua, do you remember all the wedding orders?”
“I can’t! Let’s look at the order again…!”
“Calm down, Chiarin. I looked at it more than five times today on my own.”
“Don’t worry. Huh?”
“Whoa, I showed Ranua my ugly side.”
Gently patting Chiarin’s back, whose shoulders were drooping, Seriana turned her attention to the vases ornately adorning the entrance to her room. The vase full of bright yellow ponyl flowers was a gift Anulla brought to celebrate the wedding.
“I thought I had warned Nurabi enough, but I guess not.”
Chiarin’s voice was cold, realizing that Seriana’s gaze was still on Anulla’s gift.
The flower language of the ponyl flower was, ‘the tears of one who covets what overflows in a fountain.’
Chiarin was shocked by Anulla’s behavior, who took advantage of her absence and gave that thing as a ‘congratulatory gift.’
“Does Anulla love Vaisha, not Kudra?”
Recalling Chiarin’s advice that Kudra’s name should not be called recklessly in crowded places, Seriana hastily arranged his titles.
She said that not only Kudra, but also Ranua’s name should not be called carelessly with, so the only time she would be called by name in the future will be the moments when she and Vaisha were alone.
“Maybe, I took her place…”
“Not at all, rest assured, Ranua.”
Although Chiarin answered firmly, her face darkened.
Seeing Seriana like that, Chiarin began to grind her teeth again. She wanted to throw the flower away right away, though she couldn’t because of the tradition that whatever came as a wedding gift should not be thrown away until the ceremony was over.
She then glared fiercely at the maids, who were standing still unable to make even their breath loud.
It was a warning.
The maids swallowed a gulp in Chiarin’s eyes, who once again refused to forgive those for letting Anulla into this room.
“For Kudra, there is only one Ranua in this world.”
There was only one Ranua, but he didn’t say that she was the only one he would love…
Seriana managed to smile as she swallowed the words up to her throat. Isn’t she already presumptuous? She said before that it was enough for her to stay by his side as his wife and she was greedy for a place.
‘If Vaisha had a loved one… then, I—‘
Just the thought of that took her breath away, although Seriana didn’t show it. She shouldn’t be greedy.
Let’s be content with him calling her Ranua. no more than that; Seriana thought so and calmed her heart.
“You’re not thinking of something strange, are you?”
“What? No. I was just thinking about the wedding tomorrow.”
Even her mother didn’t know what she was thinking… Well, she wasn’t exactly interested.
But, Chiarin was different.
She looked straight into her eyes, looked at Seriana’s complexion, and she checked her mood. She was now receiving the attentive care she had not received even when she was a child.
“Didn’t I say you should never step on the red road?”
“…Yes, until I tell Helaim. This is a path that can only be reached after officially receiving Ranua’s name and descending the altar with Kudra.”
While wrinkling her brows as if embarrassed, Chiarin answered her questions steadily.
Only Kudra, son of Helaim and the daughter Ranua, could walk on the red road. If an unqualified person steps down the red path, they would buy the wrath of the gods and live with all sorts of unclean things.
Such a woman, of course, could not be Ranua.
For that reason, those who came to see Kudra and Ranua’s wedding had to watch them from a distance from the red road instead of approaching the road.
Though the warriors carrying the palanquin that had no choice but to approach the Red Road had to move outside the Red Road to the altar, carrying the palanquin that Ranua had ridden on their shoulder.
“You must never step on the red road until you reach the altar.”
Seeing Cgiarin’s appearance resolutely emphasizing the figure again and again, Seriana nodded her head with a firm face too.
She didn’t want to miss the chance to be by Vaisha’s side, by accidentally stepping on it.
“I will never step on it.”
The morning of the wedding was bright.
Seriana, who had to receive her massage after soaking her body in perfume the night before, woke up refreshed as she smelled the incense that cleared her head.
At dusk, she heard the chirping of the mountain birds that came to drink the water of the oasis.
“Are you awake?”
Seriana, who lightly answered Chiarin’s voice coming through the screen, washed her face with clean water prepared by the maids and chased away her sleepiness.
Seriana got up from the bed after dismissing the maids and walked over to the window. Perhaps, because of the lack of tall trees, she could get a glimpse of the sparkling surface of the oasis.
As she gazed at the oasis reflecting the dawn light, she thought of Vaisha. His one and only Ranua, his only wife… Seriana smiled as she recalled the heavy yet soft voice of Vaisha.
“You look good. What a relief.”
“Thanks for your concern.”
Taking Chiarin’s hand and sitting on the low sofa, Seriana shifted her gaze over the table.
Various fruits were cut into easy-to-eat shapes on a translucent glass bowl decorated with gold rims. The fruit grown in the oasis was sweeter than any fruit she ate at Rajen.
Yellow juice overflowed from the bitten flesh and ran down her white fingers and arms.
“Do you like the taste?”
Chiarin asked, wiping the juice from Seriana arms and hands with a handkerchief. She nodded her head as an answer, diligently chewing with her little mouth.
Seeing so, a soft smile settled down on Chiarin’s face as she saw the yellow-green eyes twinkle.
“You seem to have lost more weight.”
It was funny, though hunger was familiar to the noble women of Rajen.
Rajen’s social circle was a place where there were a lot of people who did not even drink enough water to reduce their waist even a little.
And, Seriana was a noble girl who had to endure the harsher environment among them. This compares to the past when she had to fast for a week before the banquet under her mother’s watch.
Seriana smiled brightly at Chiarin, who looked at her worriedly.
“Ah, how is my master so beautiful? If it wasn’t for the new bride, I wish I could just kidnap you and see them again.”
“Chiarin always talks in a fun way.”
“I mean it”
She replaced her answer with a laugh.
Chiarin, who burst out laughing at the sight, was diligently serving Seriana, guarding the surroundings so she wouldn’t notice.
It was probably Anulla.
Even though she warned Nurabi again to crack down on his successor, it did not occur to her that Anulla, who presented her with a lavender ponyl flower, would cooperate to make this wedding go unharmed.
“Oh, have you finished eating?”
It had been a while, but her condition was strangely absent, so Seriana tilted her head.
Chiarin, who smiled casually, blinked at the glass bowl, which had not dwindled in volume, and the maid, who was waiting for her, came and quickly began to tidy up her table.
“The amount of food you eat hardly increases.”
“Ah… I’m sorry.”
“It’s nothing to be sorry about, so please don’t make that face, Ranua.”
Chiarin shook her head, pretending nothing was wrong with Seriana, who easily spit the words that she was sorry because it didn’t fit her noble status as a princess.
The Masters used to make it easy for them to behave in a high-status and unmanly manner.
‘I thought she was scared at first, yet it wasn’t…’
Chiarin quickly shook her head, biting her words and breaking the ensuing thought.
Again, the important thing today was the wedding.
As she thought only of that, she motioned a small beckoning to the maid standing next to her.
At the beckoning, the bathtub was ready and the hot water was ready. Seriana, who had washed her body lightly, entrusted her body to the hands of the maids and Chiarin.
The clothes she wore to the wedding were the same as the ones she usually wore but a bit different.
The short sleeves and tight-fitting white robe had been cut below her chest and near the chin, revealing all of her stomach.
The top was too short compared to the clothes that usually covered up to her navel.
The wide-legged white bottoms looked the same until the straps on the sides were wrapped around the waist, although the way the ends of the pants were gathered above the ankles and tied with a string was different from usual.
Just when she thought she was concerned about her exposed belly, the maids took a long veil and started to wrap it over Seriana’s body.
A pure white veil, tightly embroidered with gold thread, wrapped around her waist once, and hung down below her, spreading like her skirt.
“After the wedding, you’ll be wearing a red dress for public events together.”
Seriana nodded her head at Chiarin’s explanation that she couldn’t wear red right now because it was before she had formally bowed to God.
After dressing her clothes, it was the hair.
Leaving a little bit of her charming hair, they braided the hair next to her forehead and next to her ears, gathered it together with her uncombed hair, and tied it high, then again divided her hair into five sections and braided it tightly.
They then twisted it up and rolled it up, then assembled the gold backing and secured it.
Finally, they pinned several of the hairpins in the shape of leaves. With it adorning her hair, Seriana’s hair looked like a flower bud that had just bloomed.
The seemingly never-ending adornment ended with earrings, a necklace and anklets worn as well.
“Ranua, your hand…”
Following Chiarin’s words, she reached out her hands.
Chiarin knelt down on her knees, held her hands together, then gently pressed her forehead to the palm of her hand and pulled it off.
Then, with the tip of a small, thin brush, began to paint on the back of Seriana’s hand.
As a vine grows, like how a flower blooms, the red dye penetrates her pale skin.
Chiarin, who had painted on both hands from her wrist to the tip of her fingers, this time attached her forehead to the top of Seriana’s both feet and started drawing her there, just like her hands.
She knew for the first time that she could decorate her body any way she wanted without jewelry. It dried quickly, and the pale green eyes twinkle as she gazed at the red dye seeping into her skin.
Eventually, Chiarin put her brush down, waiting for the dye to dry, and put three or four thin ring bracelets around Seriana’s wrists.
As she retreated, wiping her hands, she approached with another veil from the one the maids had draped around her waist and shoulders.
Unlike the previous one, which was long and wide, the square veil was embroidered on the rim using gold thread and had a gold tassel on the four corners.
The maids put it on Seriana’s head.
She slowly got up from her seat, supported by the maids, feeling her vision blurring through the thin fabric. The tufts on the four corners of the veil probably acted as a weight to keep the thin veil from being blown away by the wind.
“You are beautiful.”
Now, it was time to move.
As in Rajen, her body began to tremble thinly. The tension in her mouth made it dry and it was difficult to swallow. Her feet didn’t move as if she was more nervous than at her first wedding, which was an informal ceremony.
“Are you nervous?”
“Don’t worry. Everything will be fine, you know? You must not step on the red road until you and Kudra come down from the altar.”
“Yes. I know. I know.”
At Chiarin’s request, Seriana meekly nodded her head.
She thought that further warnings would be of no use to Seriana, who was so nervous about the wedding approaching her nose.
‘It’s so suspicious that Anulla is quiet.’
She wanted to delay the wedding a bit if she could, to see what Anulla was up to now.
However, it was impossible.
“It’s all right, Chiarin. The order of the wedding and the instructions were memorized over and over again.”
Chiarin smiled as she struggled to contain her anxiety.
From now on, all she could do was pray for Helaim to take care of the daughter, Ranua.
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