I will leave this place once His Majesty’s conditions become more stable and settled.
Sighing, I wish I get to have a day for myself where I could completely rest without having anything to worry about.
An around-the-world trip sounds amazing.
That’s the first thing I’ll do after I leave this place and I could already imagine myself having a wonderful time, especially when I rarely went on a trip back in my previous life.
My shoulders dropped at the realization.
My sullenness was apparent in the otherwise beautiful morning that Lina, who was preoccupied with combing my hair, noticed the shift in my mood as she tilted her head and asked,
“Is there something wrong”
“… No, it’s nothing.”
Lina rubbed my shoulder soothingly before tending to my hair once again.
Looking at my reflection in the mirror, I saw a woman having platinum blonde tresses that reached all the way to her waist.
I am back to my original appearance since the bracelet I wore previously was taken away.
My hair was so long that it took Lina much longer to take care of it and I know it was a taxing process, but she didn’t seem to mind as she tended to them skillfully.
“Lina, that will do for now.”
Lina shook her head, “No.
Let’s braid this part and twist it upwards.
You would look like a noblewoman once I do it properly.”
“But I’m not even a noblewoman, so why should I look like one” I asked.
“Well, you’ll look even prettier with your hair braided.
I’ll do it so just sit down and relax, Iona.” She said firmly.
Realizing she had already made up her mind and wouldn’t be easily swayed, I gave up altogether and sat back, letting her twist and shape my hair the way she wanted.
I know she was enjoying this from the way she was humming to herself.
“You’re going out for a walk again, right
So… lately, the emperor… I mean His Majesty kept telling me to go out for a walk.” I almost slapped myself in the mouth for having forgotten to use the honorific befitting the emperor’s title. I have to be more careful!
“Didn’t you visit the garden of Dallam the other day How was it”
Just as expected, Lina braided my hair on both sides and twisted it elegantly towards the back for a kempt look.
She secured it with hairpins while making sure it’s hidden between locks of hair, and she placed a brooch on top like icing on a cake.
I do look like a noblewoman, and I found myself nodding in approval.
“They planted a lot of cactuses.
I was quite surprised, really, since this place is somewhere North, right I never knew you could grow cactus here.”
I told her all of the cactuses I saw in the garden, describing them in full detail with their varying sizes.
Those plants must be a gift from the ruler of the south, the old kingdom of El Terra, for the emperor.
Out of all the enormous lands spanning the empire, the Itirium Archipelago was the one that had almost the same climate as Korea, which makes it unsuitable for cactuses to grow in.
But people often said that they use ‘magic’, which enabled cactuses to grow in this land that had four different seasons.
I have no idea how that works.
I’ve never come across magic the whole time I’m living in this world of fantasy, even if the emperor himself could also execute such magic.
Oh! I remember seeing him produce a sword.
Maybe that could count as magic.
But even with that in mind, it was something that was not easily understood since magic was a mysterious concept.
“How does that even work Do you decompose an object, along with its atoms and molecules before fusing it together And how do you even do it properly Do you whisper a chant of some sort, and hope the message will be sent to whoever’s listening Does that make sense”
I was so invested that I didn’t realize I uttered those words out loud.
“… What Cactuses What does it have to do with atoms and molecules” Lina replied, her forehead creasing in confusion.
I shut my mouth instantly.
It slipped my mind that something that’s perceived as common knowledge in Korea does not apply here.
This place’s current civilization was the same with the earlier eras.
With that said, transportation of goods was not easily achieved, so plants that were usually seen in the southern regions were uncommon.
On top of that, no one could step foot in the Dallam Garden without the emperor’s permission since it was secured by magic.
So consequently, Lina wouldn’t be able to know about cactuses.
“Cactus is a plant that commonly grows in the southern areas.
It has a bunch of needle-like thorns covering its round body.
Usually, it only grows in hot climates, so you could imagine how surprised I was when I saw a lot of them growing in the Dallam Garden!”
“You’re really smart, Iona.” Lina remarked with a smile.
His Majesty was the one who explained it to me.”
Two days ago back in the Dallam Garden, my mouth parted at the sight of growing cactuses and the emperor, who saw how bewildered I was, confidently explained how it came about.
Of course, the magic that puts the large garden in control was astonishing, but it was not something that caught my interest.
But with the way the emperor was looking at me sweetly as he explained, I didn’t have it in me to correct him, especially when it was the first time I ever saw bearing such a gentle face.
How could I even correct you, when you’re looking at me like that
I know I would only feel guilty if I told him that I already know that since saying it would only make him sad, and he would probably look like a black leopard or a big dog with drooping ears.