The Queen Who Deserves To Be Tainted - Chapter 1
Translator and Editor: Feli and Tea
“His Majesty will not come tonight.”
The haughty voice of Lady Magnem rang in Elfreda’s ears. Elfreda hesitated for a moment, but that was all.
Actually, it was something I had already anticipated. I have not received a friendly glance from my husband, of course, or anyone else throughout the wedding today. It wasn’t something new, as it had been the same since I arrived in this kingdom.
The unpleasant glares directed at her were to be expected. Elfreda came from a distant land, far from here, the Makari Empire. Despite being only half-blooded, she had the blood of the Makari people flowing within her, for she was a princess. To the people here, it was the blood of the barbarians who had killed their beloved king and prince.
So, Elfreda steadied her resolve to not be too hurt, even if her husband, who had lost his uncle and cousin at the hands of her grandfather, despised her. If they knew, they would likely accuse her of audacity and shamelessness. Lady Magnem’s haughty voice continued.
“Go proceed to remove Her Majesty’s ceremonial garments–”
Suddenly. A maid hurriedly entered Elfreda’s chamber, delivering shocking news.
“The King has arrived.”
At the announcement, the haughty expression on Lady Magnem’s face froze momentarily. However, as befitting her experience as a former Queen’s head maid, Lady Magnem quickly regained her composure and inquired.
“Are you certain?”
“Yes. His carriage has just arrived at the palace gates…”
“The King is entering.”
Following the voice of the royal herald, several sets of footsteps could be heard. Upon hearing the news of the King’s arrival, the maids surrounding Elfreda, in the midst of disrobing her ceremonial garments, hesitated for a moment and then quickly bowed their heads. Elfreda, wearing a somewhat dazed expression, looked at the sturdy figure of the man entering her chamber. The man was as tall as her father, making it inevitable for one to raise one’s head to see him.
Even in the pitch-black night devoid of stars, resplendent sun-like hair, distinguishable from afar, was the first to captivate Elfreda’s attention. As she lowered her gaze in astonishment, she found herself locking eyes with eyes that resembled a lush and deep green forest in a humid midsummer. Enchanted by the beautiful eyes that had seized her from the very first moment, Elfreda forgot even the need for greetings and simply continued to gaze at him.
Of course, there was a sense of bewilderment, for she had not expected his arrival at all. And this was not a sentiment felt by Elfreda alone, it was shared by others present in the room.
“Y-your Majesty… What brings you here?”
Lady Magnem asked with a clearly perplexed expression. The King glanced at her briefly before casually replying.
“Is it strange for a groom to seek his bride?”
Indeed, it was not. However, for this newlywed couple, it was an unusual occurrence.
The King’s expression had appeared unpleasant throughout the day. It was only natural, for he had accepted into his life a woman with the bloodline of the barbarians who had killed his uncle and cousin. Therefore, it was expected that he wouldn’t eagerly come here to fulfill the wedding night. However, Lady Magnem quickly noticed something.
‘Indeed, it would be a significant diplomatic breach to keep things modest from the very first night.’
Elfreda had come here as a form of diplomatic marriage. Outwardly, they had to maintain the appearance of welcoming a new queen. No matter what the reality was.
‘So, he has come for a brief visit, it seems.’
Lady Magnem finally smiled in satisfaction and lowered her head.
“I apologize for the lack of preparation due to your sudden arrival, Your Majesty.”
“There’s no need for any separate preparations.”
Right. After all, his majesty would be leaving soon.
Anticipating further instructions to follow, Lady Magnem waited.
“Why do you ask?”
The King’s puzzled question sent a shiver through Lady Magnem’s heart.
This is… odd.
“Why aren’t you all leaving?”
Something is wrong here.
“Or are you all going to watch my consummation with the Queen?”
No, something is definitely wrong. Forgetting her manners in her confusion, Lady Magnem stared directly at the King with a flustered expression. But the annoyance in his eyes was clearly directed at her, not that uncouth barbarian woman. Caught in his gaze that seemed to be scolding an intruder, Lady Magnem hesitated for a moment with her mouth slightly agape. Soon, she pressed her lips tightly together and lowered her head again.
“My apologies, Your Majesty. I shall take my leave.”
With that, all the maids in the chamber followed suit, leaving Elfreda alone with the King. Unable to comprehend the situation fully, Elfreda continued to gaze at his face.
Elfreda silently repeated his name several times, a name she had learned not long ago. From head to toe, he was flawlessly beautiful, just like his name. Then, while she was still staring at him in a daze.
“My face will wear out.”
Turning his head to meet Elfreda’s eyes. Startled, Elfreda’s face turned a deep red. She hadn’t expected to be caught, but now that she was, the embarrassment was overwhelming. Almost involuntarily, she lowered her head deeply and uttered the words reflexively.
Observing her discomfort, Ainar approached her, seeming somewhat uneasy. Though it was only a few steps, with every sound of his footsteps echoing, Elfreda’s heartbeat intensified.
Finally, his cold fingertips touched the tip of her chin, and Elfreda instinctively raised her head. They were now very close, just as they had been during the wedding ceremony earlier in the day. It felt as though her breathing was becoming difficult, just like it had at that moment.
“Should a queen of a kingdom bow her head so easily?”
Again, her head instinctively started to bow at his disapproving tone, but his touch prevented it. With an abashed face, Elfreda thought he was right. She was no longer just a half-blooded princess of Makari; she was now a dignified queen. Yet, she had spent 17 years of her life living cautiously, always mindful of others’ perceptions. The strength of those years couldn’t be easily overcome just because her status had changed.
“But, for what reason are you here…”
As his finger remained on her chin, the silence stretched, and the now bashful Elfreda blurted out whatever came to her mind. She clearly didn’t realize that her words echoed the earlier question from Lady Magnem.
Ainar whispered almost imperceptibly and then repeated it in a murmur.
“Is it so strange for a king to seek his queen in her chamber?”
“Well, it’s just…”
Elfreda hesitated and finally summoned the courage to confess.
“I thought you wouldn’t come.”
“Why is that?”
“Because you despise me.”
At his exclamation, Elfreda felt a glimmer of hope. With slightly widened pupils, she cautiously inquired.
“Is it not…”
“You seem to understand your situation well.”
However, before it could fully blossom, the emotion was squashed. In his cold gaze, Elfreda’s eyes quickly withered.
“I despise you.”
Elfreda acknowledged it calmly, making an effort to not let her emotions show. It wouldn’t be right to subject him to wounded looks here. She cleared her throat and managed to say one more thing.
“Then… may I suggest that you leave now?”
He looked at her intently. Thinking that her words might have been too cold, she added.
“If it’s because of diplomatic concerns then you did enough– Ah!”
Just then, Ainar took a step closer, as if poised to taste the sweetness of Elfreda’s lips. Surprised by the sudden and tender kiss, Elfreda’s eyes widened in astonishment. To her amazement, she found her lips parting naturally, and in that delicate instant, Ainar gently pressed into her, as if savoring the essence of her being.
Passionately and fervently, Ainar’s warm and moist presence surged into Elfreda’s mouth like a tempest, exploring the delicate inner crevices of her mouth, brushing against sensitive spots, and intertwining with her tongue. He moved with a raw intensity, akin to a thirsty creature finding an oasis, stirring Elfreda in a whirlwind of sensations.
The pace was faster than Elfreda, who had never even experienced a gentle kiss, could keep up with. Much later, Ainar released her, and Elfreda’s face was flushed a deep red.
Whether it was simply a matter of breath or a matter of excitement, it was unclear. Seeing Elfreda’s somewhat awkward demeanor, as if she knew nothing about relationships between men and women, Ainar chuckled softly and murmured.
“If you’re acting like this over something so simple, how will you handle what comes next?”
“Mixing my life with yours isn’t as difficult as you seem to think.”
Slowly, he began to remove the numerous hair ornaments that were entwined in Elfreda’s hair, each one gently extracted with seemingly delicate movements. The tightly bound hair unraveled and fell as each ornament was taken out, cascading gracefully, but the beautiful subject of this transformation remained frozen. This was due to the coldness in his eyes, in stark contrast to the tender touch of his hands. The sharp end of the ornament he extracted gave an illusion of it piercing her neck.
“There’s no need to deceive others.”
As his gentle touch withdrew, the icy gaze became even more pronounced.
“If you don’t want this, just say so. I don’t have a hobby of trespassing on my beloved wife’s boundaries.”
Under his demanding gaze that sought an answer, Elfreda couldn’t help but feel a bit flustered. There was a moment of silence that hung between them. Ainar interpreted it as hesitation or contemplation. Just as he was about to turn away from her as promised…
A desperate hand reached out and grabbed Ainar’s sleeve, barely managing to hold on, lacking the courage to touch his wrist. Ainar glanced at the hand gripping his sleeve before looking at Elfreda. Somehow, her eyes held a pleading look that captured his gaze.
“Please, don’t g– Aah!”
In an instant, he turned back and once again devoured Elfreda’s lips. Although the second beast-like attempt was a bit more familiar, Elfreda had no room for any distractions or thoughts as Ainar pressed her with such determination that she stumbled backward.
Catching her breath, she staggered back until her calves met the edge of the bed. In a reflexive motion, she stumbled and fell. Ainar quickly caught her waist, allowing her to lie down on the bed in a stable position.
Ainar promptly positioned himself over Elfreda, his hands greedily tracing her delicate collarbone. Elfreda shivered as his lips trailed over her skin, emanating warmth. Unwittingly, she clenched his hair. Then…
Ainar slowly lifted his head to gaze at Elfreda. As their eyes met, she felt the heat that had been coursing through her body dissipate, replaced by a chill in the air.
Is this the gaze one would receive from a lover attempting to embrace her? Is this the gaze fitting for a man who had passionately kissed her neck just moments ago? Elfreda questioned herself, her heart plummeting as she saw Ainar’s eyes, so cold and indifferent, like frosty footsteps.
The abrupt news she had received several months ago echoed in her ears once more.
“Elfreda, you should go to the capital and become the queen.”
Elfreda finally realized the reason why she had come here. It was her punishment, a reminder to not forget her purpose in life: to marry a man who despised her and endure the consequences until her last breath.
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