Chapter 06

Translator: Blushy
Editor: delishnoodles

Riri’s eyes widened when she saw her reflection in the mirror. Her hair was carefully done up and adorned with a dazzling silver, peony hairpin and a golden crown. 

The blue bridal hanfu of the royal family of Koran was a luxurious piece, embroidered in gold with peahens. 

Her face was covered with makeup with a hint of red around her eyes. 

She looked as if she was a different person in the mirror. 

“You look beautiful.”

The maid, who had helped her do her makeup and dress her up, gently placed a hand on her shoulder. Riri saw that, in contrast to her words, the maid looked at her with pity. The maid continued with the same expression on her face. 

“His Majesty has asked me to explain to you how wedding ceremonies work in Koran. The ceremony will begin at noon today. It is custom to perform the following rites in order: the formal proposal, giving the name and birth date prospective bride to the groom’s side, placement of the name and birth date at the ancestral altar to confirm compatibility, sending of betrothal gifts, selecting an auspicious wedding date and the wedding ceremony. But those rites will not be performed this time.”

The wedding ceremony in Koran wasn’t that much different from Shinzui’s. Riri was startled when she heard that they wouldn’t be performed. The maid saw the look on her face and spoke. 

“His Majesty said that it would not be good to take too long. So, only the traditional ceremony, which is only performed by the royal members of Koran, where the groom and bride drink water that the Emperor has scooped out from the Snowflake Spring, to seal their pledge will be conducted. You will be escorted to the Snowflake Spring in a flower carriage for your unveiling.”

It would take many days to perform all the rites.

Aren couldn’t wait that long in his state of mind. 

Her heart beat loudly. Would she marry Seirai if her plan fails? 

She never thought about marriage before. She didn’t have time to be distracted by other things since she was heading straight towards her goal of entering the inner palace and making the treasured incense. 

Most importantly, she didn’t know what love was. 

She couldn’t believe that she was in a foreign nation dressed as a bride. 

“Are you ready, Riri?”

She looked beyond the door and saw that Seirai was about to enter the room. 

He was wearing a blue wedding hanfu with a matching pattern and a golden crown on his head. 

The groom’s luxurious hanfu suited his handsome face. 

Despite her circumstances, she was fascinated by his handsome appearance. 

But she strained her face straight away when she noticed four strong guards standing behind Seirai. They were probably there to make sure that they wouldn’t run away. 

“I am, Seirai-sama.”

She slowly stood up and walked towards him. 

She had told Seirai the plan through Kousho. 

Kousho visited her prison again with the promised items and told her that Seirai will be helping them after he had left the first time. Apparently, Seirai had told him, “I’m worried about His Majesty because he’s my father, so I would like him to stop this wedding.”

Riri followed Seirai out of the room and told herself that this was a once in a lifetime gamble. 

It would be the people of Shinzui and Koran who would suffer if she failed. 

She walked down the corridor with Seirai with determination in her mind. 



In Shinzui, the groom comes to pick up the bride in a carriage or palanquin decorated with flowers on their wedding day. Koran had the same custom. Riri and Seirai were seated in a palanquin decorated with colourful flowers. 

The palanquin was carried by six strong men, and they paraded slowly through the palace. 

“Congratulations, Your Highness the Crown Prince!”


The people of the palace gathered near the flower palanquin, kneeled down and expressed their congratulations since it was an auspicious occasion, but their expression looked somewhat clouded and puzzled. 

(Of course, they are puzzled. They just heard that the Crown Prince is getting married.)

Riri looked around the palanquin. Everyone must have believed that this wedding was strange, but no one raised their voice to question the ceremony, nor did anyone oppose the wedding. Everyone was frightened of what would happen if they were to disobey Aren. 

She suddenly noticed something when she looked in the direction that the palanquin was going in. 

(It seems like they’re avoiding the palace that Kousho-sama is staying in.)

Aren must have believed that it would be a disaster if Kousho found out about this before the ceremony took place and caused a commotion. 

“Riri, are you sure your plan is going to work?”

Seirai, who was sitting next to her, whispered. The men who were carrying the palanquin were probably also guards. Seirai smiled as he waved to the court ministers and spoke to Riri in a way that wouldn’t alert the guards of the conversation. 

“I don’t know, but I didn’t want to run away without trying.”

With that in mind, she knew she had no choice but to carry out her plan. 

She was anxious. She really wanted to run away with Kousho when he came to rescue her. 

But she knew that she would regret it for the rest of her life if she had.

“I’m going to do what I can, but if I fail…”

She felt suffocated by that thought. The future of Shinzui and Koran rested on her shoulders. 

The thought of many people suffering from war in the future sent chills down her spine. 

“Riri, don’t think about what will happen if you fail whenever you are going to do something.”

Seirai’s voice suddenly sounded sincere. 

She quickly looked at him and saw that he had an unusually serious expression on his face. 

“If possible, I didn’t want you to be in any danger. But when I heard about what you were going to do from Kousho, I was surprised and impressed at the same time since it was an idea that I wouldn’t have been able to come up with. I don’t know if it will work, but just think about succeeding. If something does go wrong…”

Seirai suddenly laughed. 

“Kousho, Garan and I will do our best to save you. So, don’t worry and just look forward and carry out your plan.”

“Thank you very much.”

She whispered. Kousho nodded, then stared in front of him. 

The Snowflake Palace where the Snowflake Spring was located was right in front of them. 



The Snowflake Palace wasn’t very big. It had a solemn aura and wasn’t decorated extravagantly. 

Riri got off the flower palanquin and stood in the garden of the Snowflake Palace. The garden was huge with several large tangerine trees planted in it. Surrounded by these trees, there was a spring with fresh water gushing out. 

“It was the scent of tangerines.”

The citrus scent from the Snowflake Spring helped her realise that she was in the palace when she was kidnapped and imprisoned. There were tangerines planted near the spring, so the scent must have affected the water as well. 

Seirai looked around while standing next to her. 

“My late mother loved tangerines. The tangerine trees began to produce sweet tangerines when she planted them near the spring, and it made her happy. So, my father planted several trees, and now there’s many of them.”

Seirai told her quietly. She believed that Seirai’s mother was loved by Aren when she heard this. She had heard that the Snowflake Spring was very important to Koran. 

It was a national treasure since the royal bride and groom drank from its water as part of their wedding vows. He had planted tangerines, which Seirai’s mother had loved, near the spring. 

(Princess Keika also told me that His Majesty became strange after her mother passed away and he began suffering from his illness.)

With the pain of losing a loved one and a body being destroyed by illness, Aren couldn’t keep his painful feelings inside anymore. 

“Oh, you’re here, Riri.”

Aren, who had been sitting on a chair near the spring, stood up.

He had a big smile on his face. 

The aides standing next to him were looking at him in fear. 

“The bridal hanfu suits you well. You can always make the heart soothing incense for me if you marry Seirai. I feel at ease.”

Did he say that in spite of knowing that his people would become victims of war in exchange for this heart soothing incense? Her sadness overshadowed her anger when she thought that. 

She understood that those who were suffering from illness depended on medicine and incenses to cure and relieve them of their pain. She saw many people like that when she worked in the downtown clinic. 

Emperors aren’t any different from the people in the face of illness. 

But unlike the citizens, the Emperor had authority and clout. 

The Emperor’s judgement has been clouded by his illness, and the only way to restore him to normalcy is… 

She believed that she had no choice but to carry out her plan when she thought that. 

“Your Majesty. May I burn an auspicious incense that is burnt during celebrations?”

She asked quietly and Aren looked at her suspiciously. 

“An auspicious incense that is burnt during celebrations, you say? Aren’t you thinking of burning a sleeping incense, so that you can run away?”

“I’ve had a chance to run away, but I didn’t. It isn’t a sleeping incense. I don’t mind if you let someone else try it first.”

She took some pastille from the small cloth bag that she was carrying. Aren indicated his chin at the soldier who was standing next to him. 

“Try it.”

The soldier nodded and rushed over. She took out a small incense burner that she had prepared and quickly lit the pastille. 

“It smells nice. I don’t feel any abnormalities in my body.”

Seirai sighed softly. 

“Your Majesty. Incenses are very important to Riri. May I ask that you at least grant her wish to burn the incense that she has made for celebrations at this important ceremony?”

Aren still looked suspicious, but he finally nodded, perhaps because the soldier who had smelled the pastille had been unaffected or perhaps because of Seirai’s words. 


“Thank you very much. Then, I will place this incense burner over here.”

There was a stairway to enter the palace nearby. She placed the incense burner at the top of the staircase and returned to Seirai. 

“Then, come here, Riri and Seirai.”

Aren prompted and they stood in front of him. 

There was a spring gushing with fresh water behind Aren. 

A waterway had been built into the spring and it carried water out of the palace. 

This water created the pond that had boats on it and would flow through the waterway and into the town where the citizens lived. 

She suddenly wondered if the clear water that had saved the citizens of Koran from famine would also be able to cleanse the heart of Aren, who was trapped in the darkness that was known as illness. 

“… Please, Your Majesty. Please don’t do this.”

She walked right in front of Aren and uttered her final wish. 

“Shinzui and Koran will go to war if this continues. If that happens, the citizens of both nations will suffer. Please. I can pretend that nothing has happened and return to Shinzui if you cancel this wedding. I will send you the heart soothing incense on a regular basis.”

She wanted him to come to his senses, so she desperately pleaded with him. He smiled kindly. 

For a second, she had hoped that he was having second thoughts. 

“How long are you going to keep talking nonsense for?”

But his tone was cold. 

“What is important is to protect you in this kingdom since you can make the heart soothing incense. Everything else is trivial. I don’t care who suffers from war.”

Riri wasn’t the only one shocked by his words. Seirai was clenching his trembling fists. 

“Your Majesty… Why won’t you listen to Riri’s words?”

Aren glared at Seirai, then snickered. 

“Keep your mouth shut. Have you forgotten what I have in my hands?”

Seirai had to fall silent when Aren implied that he was referring to Keika. He looked down. 

Aren held out his hands. 

“Come, Riri. We’re going to start the wedding ceremony. You and Seirai will be a married couple once it is over.”

Aren’s joyful voice echoed in the gloomy sky.