Chapter 1: We Were Once Engaged (1)
I want to kill. This thought pervaded my mind. I had never wished for death upon someone until today.
I should have learned swordsmanship. Why did I sit under the shades while Nassar swung his sword excitedly? If only I had learned the way of the sword… I would not feel so weak, so pathetic.
‘It’s too late to regret…’
I want to kill. So seriously, it was the first time I wanted to kill someone.
I should’ve learned swordsmanship. I should have learned with Nassar, frantically and desperately when he ran around with his sword excitedly. I only I had learned it… maybe I would not feel so… weak.
‘But it’s too late to regret.’
I laughed at myself, languidly. Regret shook my core. I should have practiced swordsmanship. I should have.
I have so much regret, regret that I could not kill this beast in front me.
This beast stood before me. He gripped on a shiny blade while my hand clutched on nothing.
“…..I will never forgive you.”
He smiled casually without care, without worries as I stood at the edge of the cliff.
There was a time when I found that carefree smile of his so beautifully handsome.
The image of my father’s deathly still body lying on the floor and his pool of blood…
My jaws tightened as rage overtook my senses of logic.
“I will take revenge…”
“Revenge? How? The Hessus line is extinct, and with what strength do you have on your own?”
He came a step closer with eyes of mockery laughing at my bitter tragedy. He delighted in the idea of holding me to shame, of killing me in front of the masses.
‘I won’t allow you to play with my life.’
I took a step back.
Sands and stones rolled down the cliff.
“Even if I die, I won’t allow myself to fall in your hands, Sheemons.”
I closed my eyes and threw myself away.
His hand did not reach me; all I saw was a black shadow flying above the blue sky.
Somewhere, the crow’s cries echoed.
A few months ago, the topic of engagement in Sumeros became a wild talk amongst its citizens.
Sumeros, a trading hub, had long been at the center of repeated invasions and retreats by many countries and thus’ resulting in a place full of culture and products as rich and complex as history itself.
From a peacock’s tails, fruits imported from the south, spices originating from the east, pink salt, colorful tiles, glasses, to gold masks with rainbow tinted hues that lightens under the sun…
Sumero’s market was filled with a variety of items found all over the world.
“A girl’s engagement should be spectacular!”
“Of course. And a white veil with an innocent dress… ah…”
Before the engagement, the Hessus House was boiling in tumultuous busyness.
A flurry of gifts…
A merry laughter…
And there was Leila who looked at the mirror as she had a pleasant conversation with the maids. Her face was veiled, her lower half covered.
She was Leila Hessus.
Her family, Hessus, was a long-standing house that stood firmly despite Sumeros’s turbulent history.
There was a saying… ‘The king of Sumeros changes, but the Hessus will remain.’ The Hessus House was of a deep, enormous background.
“I had predicted that you and Mr. Sheemon would end up together.”
Unlike the maids who predicted their engagement, Leila held no expectations of her future together with Sheemon until it was publicly decided.
It felt like a dream… a passing dream that could end at any moment.
Ten years had already passed since she met him.
Sheemon was an orphan who lost his parents at an early age when the Luminite forced seized and captured Sumeros years ago. Leila, who chanced upon him, asked her father to care for him. They had lived under the same roof since then.
Sheemon grew up a beautiful man, his eye-catching look bewitching the women of Sumeros. Often, they would dream of him in their sleep for they knew he was out of reach. Sumeros’s women knew the relationship between Leila and Sheemon was close so they gave up.
And Leila herself had long held Sheemon in her mind.
“By the way, miss, what is this? It looks like a love potion!”
Senia, a maid who looked at the items that arrived for the engagement ceremony, lifted up a red-glazed bottle.