Flowers of Worship - Chapter 13
Before leaving the castle, I stood in front of the castle’s tapestry. Other castles usually make tapestries in honor of myths and ancestors’ achievements, but my father ordered tapestries on the famous New Year’s Day. It was one of the most beautiful tapestries in our castle. Everyone who came and looked at the tapestry admired it and some ordered similar tapestries for their own castles. But none of the castles had tapestries like Hastred.
My father loved books, but sometimes he stood in front of this tapestry and looked at it. He had no interest in such things, however, the tapestry was an exception. It was very precious. This tapestry was handled with great care by the maids.
“The Duchess has a very good eye.” Said the maid. What? She turned her head and smiled, then said.
“I was amazed at how beautiful everything she brought was. Especially this tapestry…We couldn’t take our eyes off of it.”
“But she was the most beautiful.”
I only thought my father ordered it, but my mother…it was the tapestry she brought.
My mother was beautiful and sickly. She married to Hastred because this place is famous for medicinal herbs and advanced medical science. She was born as an only daughter of a wealthy man and used all drugs possible, but it couldn’t help her frailty. I’ve heard very little about her, giving birth to me with difficulty and as a result she ended up living only a few years. I thought it was just a political marriage from a noble family.
I remembered my mother as I headed to the port. To be exact, my mother’s portrait.
I don’t look much like my mother. I wonder if I look like him. Red hair and golden eyes were inherited from my father. My mother had purple eyes and honey-blond hair. She was obviously a great beauty.
How did the mother who gave birth to me feel? Was there a great deal of guilt about giving birth to a daughter to the Sarian family, or was there a lot of joy about seeing her child? I do not know.
How does she feel to have a daughter living like a man? Was she proud or lamenting?
I ran into Eden, who arrived just in time to get to the ship from the pier. I was going to say a simple hello, but I was speechless at the sight of Eden’s body. He had a skeleton-like body just like when I saw him a few days ago. It made me sad seeing his intense stare with the face of a man who neither sleeps nor ate.
Eden’s mouth opened and called me without making a sound.
“Your Highness, were you not comfortable with Hastred?”
His face was distorted as I talked to him and wrapped my arm around his shoulders and boarded the boat. As if he was about to cry. I patted him on the shoulder and led him to the cabin where he would stay.
“No, it was comfortable.”
“It looks like you haven’t eaten.”
“A little… a little bit.”
“It will be more difficult on the ship.”
Ugh. Eden shook his head.
“It’s alright, I don’t get seasick.”
How do you know that? Eden grinned bitterly at my inquisitive face.
“Because I’ve been stuck on a docking ship when I was constantly sold off.”
The voice that said it was sorrowful. And it was probably an expression that stabbed the wound. Whoever kidnapped him had made him an item of trade behind the scenes. That’s why he’s moved around.
“You will now regain your rightful place. And no one would dare to do that.”
At my end, Eden muttered, “Yes.”
The ship went on for a week and arrived at Yen Son. There was already widespread news of my coming to Yen Son. It is said that my uncles and aunts have left the castle and have been in the capital for some time. I was interacting with the royals in the capital and claimed the injustice of my inheritance.
For a week I was eating with Eden again. Eden spent the whole time on the ship eating, sleeping, or studying. He was learning everything at a rapid pace. Magic, swordsmanship, and other studies. In particular, his etiquette was flawless, perhaps because he was born as a prince and raised in a grand mansion, so he must have been accustomed to it.
He must have been anxious, but he did not ask any question on whether it would be okay. As if he knew such a question was meaningless. It’s a question I was meaning to repeat because I was scared and anxious knowing everyone else knew that it’s meaningless.
However, I was not in a position to say that we could express our anxiety. I’m not here to save him. He and I are just united for each other’s purposes. So it’s deceitful to say I have good intentions.
Eden, who was standing next to me on the deck as we entered the port of Yen Son’s royal palace, opened his mouth with his eyes nailed to the palace.
“You know what?”
Turning my head at Eden’s words, he looked straight to the palace, to his fate, and said.
“You’re the first person who’s been nice to me for no reason.”
“I don’t know what kind of person you are…Thank you for being a good person to me. If I…am trapped inside the tower… If anything happens to me.”
Eden’s blue eyes showed tears. Still, he was putting strength on his entire body. The sea breeze wasn’t strong, but his wind of fate was wilder than the storm and now he was ready to take it all with his small body.
He was leaving me a will before he died.
“Take the sword.”
“It’s too good of a sword to rot with me.”
He bit his lips tightly. The pale face was bit-red. And it was because he was trying to hold back his tears. He couldn’t stop saying one more word and said.
“It was such a precious sword to me.”
He didn’t say anything to me for the last time.
“It was such a precious sword to me.”
It’s already a past tense.
Eden tried to kill himself. He studied all the time except for eating or sleeping, and he did everything he could. No matter how princely he was, he was still a child. A child who has been dragged and abused half his life. It wouldn’t have been easy for the kid to discuss a deal on an equal footing with me.
Was it the fact that you thought that nothing could be achieved? Nevertheless, why did he try so hard? Why? What was it like to keep trying without hesitation even when there was no hope? Maybe it’s akin to making a wish.
There was no sign of tears on Eden’s face as he got off the ship. He had the face of a noble prince when he got off and got on the carriage. There were already two carriages that had arrived, one for royalty, or Eden. We broke apart as soon as we got off the ship. I wanted to comfort him for the last time, at least to comfort him that he would be fine, but there was nothing I could say.
“Your Grace, I will see you soon,” Sophia said with a smile. Sophia’s eyes were filled with worries and tears knowing Eden’s situation. She was restless that her first student would be hanged. Sophia’s eldest son and Eden are of the same age. Naturally, she was bound to feel Eden like her own son.
Eden smiled kindly, nodded at Sophie, and got on the carriage without even looking at me. As soon as they got on the carriage, the guards locked the door from the outside like Eden was a sinner. When Sophia was about to open her mouth in tears, Chris grabbed her wrist.
“Be careful, Sophie. It’s the palace.”
“The opponent is a guard,” Chris added in a low voice. The Mercenary Knights and the Guards do not get along very well. The Guards think that we are dirty people who move with money without loyalty, and we think that the Guards were arrogant with a high nose without skills. However, if we have to say so, the Guards were bound to be above us, because we were under a contract that the king directly controlled. And the Guards were all aristocrats.
Eden was just smiling as he heard the door lock from the inside of the window. He then turned away from us by lowering his eyes.
So his carriage left first.
“You’re in a bad mood….”
Chris murmured in the carriage. The carriage was quiet. All three were not in the mood to say anything. The little prince left with his foreboding death, and we were left speechless. Watching him escorted like a criminal without saying a word, all three of us were in a bad mood.
Then Sophia raised her eyes.
“Why do you feel dirty? When and why do you feel so dirty when you sold the Crown Prince to the palace?”
My eyes have shut in an instant. Sophia seemed to know. And since I didn’t say anything, it seemed like we had endured it together, but seeing Eden’s pitiful appearance, it looked like she completely exploded. Chris’s eyes widened. His gray eyes glared at Sophia with murderous intent.
“Are you done?”
“Tell me, how many people in the capital have known of the Crown Prince’s existence?”
“You know what’s really special about you? You have been telling your father our side of the story, and you secretly expose us to your friendship with the guards’ commander. Is it okay to be a double spy? Doing it one by one. So why the hell are you doing this?”
Sophie couldn’t beat her madness and burst.
“I did not.”
“Don’t pretend you’re not! Don’t even think that the master doesn’t know! Do you think we’re stupid? What kind of a statue is the master to not know?! Why do you treat people like idiots?! You’re not the only one who’s having a hard time and not the only one who is poor. Do you think everyone else has no brains?”