The Hwan Empire was the nation that dealt with the ikjaes best.
There were only five habitats of theirs left in Hwan.
Eupju, where the first ikjae appeared, was still a headache, but the other places were close to getting their roots cleaned.

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Perhaps because of that, nowadays, the ikjaes in the Hwan Empire choose to stay low and not cause havoc.
Although it wasn’t known when they would act up again.

It was thanks to the current emperor, Jin Ye, for Hwan to be able to give them a hard time.
Her ability awakened at the road where her father pushed her to die.
At that time, she massacred the ikjaes there and she even seized the palace at once.

An absolute power.

That was the basis for Jin Ye to rule over the Hwan Empire.

She was a woman that shouldn’t be looked down on just because of her small and beautiful figure.
Seoyeob, who had looked at Jin Ye all this time, knew it better than anyone else, and that was why he sincerely revered her.

And from a long time ago, he had been in love with Jin Ye to the point his heart ached.

He didn’t even have a wish for her to know his heart.
He was content with watching her next to her side.
However, the existence of Yeon Mugeon surely troubled Seoyeob.

Should have I watched his dead figure before I returned? But if I did so, the people that went with me wouldn’t be safe…

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He pondered for a moment.
Suddenly, Jin Ye asked with a disapproving voice.

“But why do you look like that?”

Seoyeob didn’t know what she meant.

“What…?”

He wondered if his clothes were untidy, so he hurriedly checked on his clothes, but Jin Ye pointed to another place.

“Isn’t that blood on your left sleeve?”

“Ah…”

Seoyeob finally lifted his left arm and examined it.
Just like what Jin Ye said, his sleeve was soaked with blood.
It wasn’t noticeable because his darl sleeve, but if one had good eyes, it was noticeable enough.

When did this become like this?

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Seoyeob couldn’t think of any excuses as he was in an awkward situation.
In addition, as if it had been a lie that he hadn’t noticed it all this time, the pain surged the moment he checked on his arm.
Therefore, he grimaced subtly, and Jin Ye’s voice rang.

“Come closer.”

“…”

Seoyeob slowly moved his feet and approached her.
Jin Ye’s next order continued.

“Turn on the light.”

Seoyeob lit up the small oil lamp on the bedside table.
Jin Ye’s face was shown as the room turned bright.
As the light flashed in her red eyes, she didn’t look like she was in a good mood. Is she perhaps worried about me? Seoyeob faced her, completely nervous.

As he came closer, Jin Ye reached out her pale hand.
Seoyeob, who hesitated, slowly lowered down his body before her feet and reached out his arm to her.
Whether it was because of nervousness or because of the pain, his arm slightly trembled.

Jin Ye let out a short sigh and then ordered him again.

“Show me the wound in your arm.”

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Seoyeob tightened his jaw.
It was obvious Jin Ye would get angry if she saw the wound.
However, as a subject, he couldn’t disobey her order.

He slowly loosened the knot in his waist and opened his outer clothes.
However, as if she didn’t like that slow movement, Jin Ye pushed out his hands and tore off his upper clothes herself.

“Your Majesty!”

Surprised by the touch that moved behind his back, he stared at Jin Ye softly.

“Do you have a problem?”

The short question was completely imbued with coldness.
Seoyeob turned nervous.
If he didn’t speak well here, he would surely light up Jin Ye’s wrath.
He slowly controlled his breath which was blocked out by nervousness.

“I’m not, Your Majesty.
But, you don’t need to… use your hands personally.”

“But it seems like you acted like that because you don’t want it to get seen?”

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“…”

“A secret formed between Jo Seoyeob and me.
This cannot be good, can it?”

Whenever Seoyeob heard Jin Ye saying something like this, he felt like his heart was clenched.

Jin Ye said that not as a woman, but as the emperor.
He knew that he would never be able to have her.
Even so, he wondered if she knew that he sometimes had vain hope because of that side of hers.

Because of that, he often did dangerous tests.

“Please don’t doubt my loyalty.”

And then, Jin Ye would let him hear the words he always wanted to hear.

“I’m not doubting you.”

After giving a light answer, Jin Ye took out Seoyeob’s arm covered in bandages.
It had been long since the wrapped bandage completed its job.
Looking at the bandage covered in red, Jin Ye took off the bandage while feeling strange displeasure.

The wound showed under the light caught her eyes.

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