Home Post 947-chapter-12


“You bet knowing only you would? How cowardly.”

Robert was the only one who knew Ejnar would visit Elfreda’s bridal chamber on their first night. Among Ejnar’s confidants, only he was aware of his plan to understand and exploit Makaeri’s true intentions.

“But even so, to mistreat the bride on the first night is like declaring war on Makaeri.”

“Everyone thinks Your Majesty is not afraid of war.”

Was that so?

Contrary to the Machi people’s willingness to engage in war, Ejnar preferred peace.

Not because he doubted victory but because he couldn’t bear the thought of losing. He didn’t want to lose even one more person from Machi anymore. Avenging his uncle and Anders didn’t necessarily have to cost Machi’s blood. He knew they wouldn’t want that either.

Above all, since Makaeri had already played a cunning hand, there was no need to act nobly in response.


“Your Majesty, your Verona tea is ready.”

As an attendant brought a warm cup of tea and placed it on Ejnar’s desk, he nodded indifferently, and the attendant quickly left. In contrast, Robert clapped his hands in admiration.

“As meticulous as ever.”


Without responding, Ejnar lifted the steaming cup of tea. He never expected to enjoy this tea as he was born into royalty, yet its aroma pleasantly surprised him.


* * *


The workload on her first day as the Queen was unbelievably heavy, leaving Elfreda at her desk even after dinner. It wasn’t until after ten p.m. that she finished all her duties.

Exhausted, Elfreda prepared for bed.

As she changed into her nightdress with the handmaids’ help, thoughts of the previous night naturally came to her.

‘…He won’t come tonight.’

She knew that he had come the previous night to avoid any diplomatic issues. It was common for couples in arranged marriages to live almost like strangers after the first night.

Then, she chuckled to herself.

‘So naive, Elfreda.’

When was it she was so wary of harboring any affection for him? When did she decide it was better to be a neglected queen in this impure marriage?

The thought of him being indifferent to her suddenly filled her with an irrepressible sense of loss and sadness. It felt as if she had already crossed a river with no return and suffocated her heart. After a long moment of gloom, while resting her hand on her chest, Elfreda shook her head.

‘No, it’s okay.’

She felt like he just needed to not know. It was okay if she was the only one who got hurt. Being hurt alone was something she was used to. Cut by his indifference and soaked in her tears, this feeling might fade over time. So…

“His Majesty is on his way to Solar Palace right now.”

…She was trying to reassure herself that it was okay.

Elfreda’s expression went blank, caught off guard by the unexpected news, and the handmaids shared her confusion.

“Should I say you’re unavailable?”

As she regained her composure first, she shook her head almost desperately.

“I can see him.”

When the handmaid left, Elfreda frantically tried to calm her racing heart.

“What, what should I do?”

“Just stay calm and don’t make a fuss.”

Chastised by the handmaid, Elfreda took a deep breath, though she couldn’t hide her flushed face. Elfreda recalled her earlier thoughts and tried to steady her heart. However, all efforts proved futile as his footsteps approached.

She felt thoroughly doomed. Her heart was racing so fast that it became difficult to breathe properly.

When Ejnar finally appeared before Elfreda, he was in his uniform, just like the night before… suggesting he might only stay briefly. Elfreda was secretly disappointed inside. Yet, she hid it and greeted him with a welcoming smile.

“I greet the Great Sun—”

Their eyes met. At that moment, Elfreda’s mind went blank, causing her to bow her head without realizing it.

“…of Machi.”

Her confidence started dwindling to a barely audible end. Ejnar watched Elfreda’s subdued form and then signaled the handmaids with his eyes.

The handmaids disapproved of Ejnar’s repeated visits to Elfreda’s bedroom—more precisely, how it would end up with Elfreda sleeping with him—but they dared not show disrespect in front of the king.

When the handmaids withdrew and they were left alone, Elfreda still bowed her head. Ejnar’s patience finally wore thin as he watched her quietly.

“It seems your greetings are more polite than the handmaids.”

Embarrassed, Elfreda slowly lifted her head at his remark.

“I’ve told you before; it’s not good for a queen of a country to bow so easily.”


Elfreda tentatively objected.

“You’re the king.”


“In front of Your Majesty… shouldn’t it be okay?”


Ejnar let out a sarcastic laugh.

“Do you not act this way in front of others?”

“There’s no reason to.”

Is that so? Yet, you seem too willing to bow in front of your sister.

Ejnar almost retorted sarcastically but stopped himself. In the meantime, Elfreda cautiously asked.

“What brings you here…?”

“What do you think brings me here?”

Ejnar stepped closer to Elfreda as he asked.

“A husband, to his wife’s bedroom.”


The question Elfreda asked wasn’t asked because she knew nothing. But still… perhaps there was another reason for his visit.

Elfreda’s heart began to pound painfully loud.

She realized then that she had been waiting for this moment all day. Shame washed over her like a flood, coloring her cheeks red. Ejnar particularly noticed the left cheek, which looked perfectly normal, as if the previous night had been an illusion.

‘…Last night.’

Disturbed by the unwelcome memories, Ejnar sighed. Elfreda flinched and glanced at him cautiously.

“…I didn’t mean for you to leave.”

As he looked at her as if asking what she was talking about, she explained with her face turning even redder in embarrassment.

“I mean… I wasn’t trying to ask why you came…”

At that moment, Ejnar stepped closer and abruptly captured Elfreda’s lips. Elfreda, who was caught off guard and unable to finish her explanation, hesitated before slowly closing her eyes and accepting him.

Her response was more obedient and cooperative than the day before. He was pleased with how quickly she adapted. He held on and didn’t want to let go of her tongue.


They were intertwined seamlessly as if they had been one in the beginning.

Elfreda emitted a soft moan and stirred.

Ejnar felt a strong urge to confine her delicate body. Holding her waist tightly with one hand, he gently stroked the cheek that had been hit with the other.

A soft moan came out.



He slowly parted his lips and looked at her. His body stiffened at the sight of her slightly dazed eyes. He brushed her slightly swollen pink lips with his thumb, and Elfreda blinked up at him. The hint of fear in her expression, as if she was trying to hide something strangely, stirred him elsewhere while displeasing him.

“You don’t seem very sleepy.”


“Your face looks fine.”

As he mentioned last night’s incident with Serena, a flicker of discomfort passed through Elfreda’s eyes.

Seeing this, Ejnar was naturally reminded of the question from last night.

Why did a woman, both a princess of Makaeri and queen of Machi, receive such treatment from someone born of the same womb as herself?