Red Labyrinth - Chapter 0 - [Prologue]
Translator and Editor: Lea and Aki
Chapter 0 – [Prologue]
It was harder than I thought. To define a woman named Icaryl.
Many people knew her as a poor scapegoat because her life was both dreadful and miserable. A woman with slender legs, skinny wrists like branches of a tree in winter, and blueish, pale appearance. A woman with an ailing and weak body was apparently a thorough underdog and a prey.
However, it was not appropriate to say that this woman, who seemed very unlikely to have the ability to kill a single bug, had often seduced and even killed a healthy person alive. So, I’d say she was just a victim of the accusation.
Those violent feelings of hatred have always scared her for nothing more than anyone else. In a safe situation, she could enjoy people’s company, but in her anxiety, she could easily be frightened by the trembling wind of the outside world.
So, it was her misfortune that she had a mental attitude of staring at whoever died in front of her eyes. Despite such cruelty, women were always weaker, more innocent, and helpless than children.
A woman, even though she was physically and mentally ill and was considered to be cruel even for the eighth time in her lifetime, was always effeminate.
Icaryl Sibonne was just the same.
Now, let’s go back to her story.
She was a whore.
In fact, she had never sold her body for money, but that was when she was a child. The life that she had been through so far was so humble and precious. A sweet little girl wearing a golden crown stuffed in a shell made of copper. What? Too much of a metaphor? At least, it’s not like she was rotten.
Of course, if someone else was talking about her like this, she would have asked them to pinch her with a hazy and shy smile on her face. That childlike woman, who could not bear the urge and contempt of a moment and who could hold onto the sleeve of a hateful man all her life, was Icaryl.
Firstly, she was the youngest daughter of the Argonian King.
Argonia is an island country, the pearl of the black sea, and the oldest land since man lived. That’s where she came from. If she had been conceived under the queen’s navel and was regarded as a boy, she could have lived her life more comfortably. She could have ignited the Kingdom’s flame, eliminating all the sufferings of her people.
The Kingdom had a good prejudice that the princess would grow up to be the most precious person. A girl. But, the fact that she was the King’s youngest daughter made her a whore. Ironically, it was easy to diminish her will thanks to her age.
It might not be clear whether it was because of its longest river or because it was remote from the main continent, but Argonia was a land dominated by bizarre native religions and superstitions. It might not be reasonable that she was born in a sick soil brainwashed by a bizarre religion that kept her away from her brother-in-law, making her believe that it would stain the sacred blood. According to their faith, the last flower from the king’s body should have been cut and presented to God.
So as soon as Icaryl became weaned, she was treated as a sage.
First of all, she was weak from her birth. Finding out that the princess was only able to walk when she was five years old, the priest thought she would die soon. She also couldn’t speak well and had to chew porridge because her small teeth would often fall out. Her red eyes were beautiful, but her left eye was a deformed squint.
The king could not expect any more princesses because he was infertile with congenital epilepsy, frequent sickness, and aging. The one remaining princess, Icaryl’s sister, had to give birth as the future king’s woman, and could not dare to be desired as a ‘woman of God’.
When Icaryl turned seven, the priests made her walk with a cane on her back and forced her to swallow meat and seafood. They often slapped her across her cheek for not being able to open her deformed eye properly. It’s all because the woman to be devoted to God had to be perfect. As time passed on, the little girl grew up to be a beast with the ‘precious’ blood running in her veins.
Perhaps because she was afraid of abuse, she ended up learning to walk around properly in less than a year, allowing her to stare at the other person with incomplete eyes. However, it was a good thing if the aftereffects of the attack showed signs of doubt, paranoia, and violence for the rest of her life.
Although the princess was not a beauty to attract the audience at once, she survived like a maggot enduring winter. She was dwarfed to an abnormal extent for her age, but she was able to walk and talk without a hitch. That was enough.
The king’s daughter, known as God’s maid of honor, was to be sacrificed to God in a ceremony when she finally became a complete ‘castle lady’. It was said among the priests who were the God’s servants, the royal family, and the nobles that it was a sacred custom to purify their souls and bodies that were stained by the world.
It was a ritual in the name of the ‘God’s maid of honor’. Icaryl had always been appalled by the strange glances of men since she was young. She knew instinctively the disgust of them, which seemed to price the beasts that were to be caught at the festival.
Her dry face and her skinny body, which was reflected in the mirror and on the surface of the water, were not beautiful to her. But the priests tried their best to fatten her like an expensive pig as if they had spotted a flower that would bloom even if it was withered.
Some would say that such a miserable child should rather be stopped from breathing. However, Icaryl’s desire to live was stronger than anything. Even though her body was yearned by different species disguised as the shell of divinity, she was able to live somehow. Maybe it was because she was unaware of the horrors of the ceremony as she still had a long way to go. But whether she knew it or not, the result was bound to be the same.
The grotesque obsession of her older sister who was wearing a gold-padded coat, of visiting her occasionally and enjoying the groaning, was unshakeable. Even when she was caught in the eyes of Orabim the king’s successor. Rather, she only became stronger.
Her sister, who was 12, upon knowing that the future king had his eyes only for Icaryl, once threw hot boiling water on Icaryl’s hand out of anger. That burn on her hand was never erased.
After it happened, when Icaryl was passing by her sister’s palace, she accidentally pushed her beloved sister into the pond. As she was apologizing, she smiled at her crying sister.
By the time she was 14, her body still seemed to be undergrown even when the inner parts of her body were slowly shining.
However, there was no change in her growth at all.
Icaryl was a parched soft-hearted girl with a fleeting presence that could be wiped out by a door. The color of her hair, which was initially brown, wouldn’t have been as white as snow if it weren’t for the priest who applied honey and oil to her hair every day. Her cheekbones, neck, arms, and legs were skinny and shabby. Only her thin, delicate and foggy red eyes, that defined her bloodline, were worth looking at.
Her nervous gaze had caught many strangers glaring at the red lips and fluffy eyebrows of hers. She felt like she was about to die, but she lived strongly.
But that was all.
A couple of years later, Icaryl remained the same even after her coming-of-age ceremony. It was like a flower bud stuffed without blooming. Even though her chest was developing, her body still didn’t have the appropriate shape of a woman yet.
The most highly anticipated old priest grumbled, suspiciously glancing at her on the day of her coming-of-age ceremony.
‘You must have inherited the blood of the royal family.’
In other words, she had inherited a mysterious descending disease from her father, which meant that she might have a defect as a woman.
Icaryl was ashamed and resentful, but it was good that her ceremony was delayed. When she saw her unripe body and clean vagina, she used to believe the priest’s words and often thought that she might not be able to be a woman for life.
She didn’t know if it was bad luck for her.
Days passed by but still, she remained the same, with her frosty hair and her skinny body.
And then, one day, the people from the Continent invaded the island of Argonia.
Pankeat. The greatest Empire that flourished by war and plunder. The people of the Empire were very cruel and unsympathetic, and unnatural enough for the Argonian kingdom, which was too small for its old history. The lands were suddenly filled with the smell of dust and blood. The invaders quickly reached the capital and threatened to kill them all.
At first, Icaryl was unaware of the war, but eventually, she became terrified when the Imperial soldiers came outside their royal city. Her fear was magnified by the screams of the priests of the temple and from the smoke rising at every corner she placed her eyes upon.
‘I don’t want to die!’
What Are Pilot Novels?
Pilot novels are novels that will only have 1 chapter released from our group. We hope that someone else can continue these novels for the enjoyment of everyone!