Home Post 1200-chapter-15


As soon as Elfreda spotted the king, she felt a chill run through her entire body. Ejnar was staring straight at her. Her mind went blank, unable to think of what to do next, but she knew she needed to act immediately.

She quickly bowed her head and quickened her pace.

However, the sound of heavy footsteps followed her at a similar rhythm, reminiscent of a hunter tracking its prey.

Given his longer stride, he would catch up soon.

As the footsteps drew nearer, Elfreda felt as if her throat was tightening and involuntarily shut her eyes tight.


Finally, he caught her wrist and spun her around to face him.

Elfreda looked up at him with a fearful expression. Ejnar narrowed his eyes at her, and a quiet, cold anger settled over his face, contrasting sharply with Serina’s more overt rage. Despite not leaving the confrontation unscathed, the embarrassment of the situation was unbearable.

Having to show herself in such a state again, Elfreda deeply bowed her head towards him in a despairing manner.

“…This is just.”


“A quarrel.”

“With Princess Serina?”


A suffocating silence came. Overwhelmed by embarrassment, Elfreda tried to explain further.

“It’s not just me who ended up like this. I slapped the Princess’s face first…”

She attempted to continue her explanation but couldn’t find the right words. Elfreda ended her attempt feebly.

“She’ll be reflecting on it, too.”


A cold smirk appeared on Ejnar’s lips.

“So, the Queen doesn’t even listen to a word I say.”


Right after, Elfreda asked, puzzled.

As he took off his jacket and handed it to her, Elfreda held the jacket without understanding why and stood still until suddenly.


Ejnar swept her up in one arm. Surprised, she looked at him, but he, with a face without any warmth, just stared ahead and instructed her.

“Cover yourself up to the top.”

Only then did Elfreda understand and cautiously draped the jacket over her head to hide her injured face.

Within the space obscured by the jacket, she breathed with difficulty.

As she breathed, his body scent filled her senses, and she felt his warm body temperature through it. It was fragrant and warm.

Ironically, at that moment, Elfreda felt protected. It was a rare sense of peace she seldom experienced, almost making her cry. Eventually, tears started to drop one by one from her eyes, which were on the brink of crying.

She thought about how much worse she would look if she cried with a bruised face. Elfreda was thankful he couldn’t see her expression right now and bit her lip hard to keep from making any noise.

She knew she had to stop crying before he took the jacket off.

With that worry, Elfreda tried hard not to cry and quickly stopped them.







The darkness lifted, and light returned a moment later.

As Ejnar took off the jacket, his eyebrows furrowed at the sight of her face covered in red marks. The left cheek, hit twice in a few days, was a given, but the reddened eyes from crying and the bloodied lips, which were fine just moments ago, worsened his frown.

“Why are your lips like that again?”


Elfreda, unable to find an excuse, awkwardly moved her lips.

Ejnar chuckled. Did she think he wouldn’t notice the tear streaks on her cheeks? Her act of feigning innocence was cunningly cute.

He asked her with a cold face.

“What did I tell you?”


“You forgot already?”

There were many things he could have referred to, but in this moment, the answer was clear. Avoiding Ejnar’s gaze, she carefully spoke,

“Wherever, whenever…”


“Act like I am the spouse of the king.”

“And this is the result?”

Elfreda felt slightly intimidated by his interrogative tone.

Indeed, her actions today would be unimaginably disrespectful and audacious in Macaeri. Was it ever conceivable for Elfreda, the Emperor’s illegitimate child, to dare touch Serina carelessly, the Queen’s legitimate daughter, even with the tip of her finger?

Thus, even if she had a motive to hide her background from the people here, originally, she wouldn’t have responded in such a ‘head-turning’ manner.

No, she wouldn’t have.

If Ejnar hadn’t kept impressing upon her the dignity of a queen and the position as the spouse of a king, if she hadn’t developed a sense of duty not to disappoint him, at least in such matters.

Still, she couldn’t just say all this outright. Knowing it was unavoidable didn’t make it any less frustrating or unfair. She was also concerned he might find these situations tedious. Of course, anyone would think the same, not just him…

“…Is it true that you hit first?”

Caught in her worries, Elfreda was taken aback by the unexpected question but nodded after a moment. The order of events might have been a bit mixed, but…

A sigh escaped Ejnar then, leaving Elfreda uncertain of its meaning.

“Fine, well. As long as you weren’t just on the receiving end…”

His gaze sharpened as he advised her.

“Remember, Macho does not just sit back and take it. If we’re hit once, we strike back twice, thrice.”

Ejnar’s voice carried a significant weight.

“That is our rule.”

The word ‘our’ made Elfreda’s heart thump heavily. He included her in ‘our,’ as if saying she was now part of Machi as if showing a hint of warmth towards her. Despite her previous intimidated state, she couldn’t help feeling uplifted.

Nodding as if to commit his words to heart, she cautiously spoke.

“About Princess Serina’s issue…”

“It’s not for you to step in.”

Ejnar’s previous kindness turned cold as he drew a line.

“Focus only on your matters.”

Then, word came that the doctor had arrived, and Ejnar left. Elfreda was left awkwardly silent before she received treatment for her injuries from the palace doctor.

The doctor, brimming with curiosity but focusing solely on the treatment, seemed almost comical, though she had already endured the ultimate embarrassment in front of Ejnar, so it was easy to ignore.

‘What happens now…’

She felt stifled by her powerlessness in the situation. She hoped, perhaps wishfully, that things wouldn’t escalate further.


* * *


In the midst of the council hall, filled to the brim with nobles clamoring for vengeance over the incident of Serina’s escort killing civilians of Mach, the noise level was like a bustling market.

“We must execute the queen and the princess immediately as retaliation. This is an insult to Machi!”

“Let’s lead our armies to attack Makeri and avenge the Previous King and Prince Anders!”

“How dare they look down on Machi! Your Majesty, this incident cannot be overlooked!”

Amidst this chaos, Ejnar felt a throbbing headache.

‘…What are these people thinking?’

How could they spout such baseless nonsense?

Even if the Emperor of Makaeri was considered a coward compared to Gunnar, Makaeri remained Makaeri. They were barbarians who had managed to conquer vast territories for the first time, uniting numerous tribes to dominate the east and even establishing a nation.

Even if Machi mobilized everything or even formed an alliance, launching a preemptive strike on Makaeri was a sure way to failure.

The formidable strait that Makaeri had crossed to reach Machi would serve as a significant obstacle should Machi attempt an expedition against Makaeri. While using the neighboring nation of Giver as a base was an option, it was a risky venture even for Giver, which had barely fended off an invasion from Makaeri a few years ago.

These fools clearly didn’t understand the vast difference between defending one’s country from invasion and embarking on an offensive expedition. However, Ejnar did not bother to explain this in detail.

He had a quicker and more effective method in mind.