Chapter 1 Your Only Chance to Escape is Now
Lavella frowned slightly.
L: “Now I- I think I heard you wrong.”
Lavella’s clear voice was filled with laughter, her shoulders shrugging. She was a lovely woman, with her fingers brushing against her ear as if she’d heard a strange sound.
I: “You heard it perfectly.”
The man smiled and reached out his hand, wrapping it around Lavella’s small hand, so that it covered her ear.
He was determined to get this pillow head matter out tonight.
TL/N: 베갯머리송사를, lit. pillow-head, is a term for when couples sleep side-by-side, and one person tries to convince the other of something.
L: “Just now…did you say marriage? You want me to become Empress?”
I: “That’s right.”
L: “You must be crazy…”
After such a night, Lavella, not expecting this nonsense, raised her eyes.
L: “Have you forgotten who I am?”
I: “I know, you’re the cold-blooded, merciless assassin that is the captain of Kiria, the best assassination guild in the empire, right?”
TL/N: He spoke this in a slightly teasing tone^
Lavella’s eyebrows arched even higher in a teasing tone. She looked down at the man who had his hand around her waist.
Black hair like the night sky, and glistening amethyst eyes…he was a handsome man. Of course, Lavella didn’t like him simply because of his looks.
L: “No, I’ll have to reject this proposal. The man I kiss and sleep with is not Prince Iscka Rubitz.” Lavella whispered, putting on the clothes she’d thrown next to her.
I: “Sooner or later, you’ll have to accept who I am, Lavella.”
The man, who’d been lying down, sat upright and began to toy with the tips of Lavella’s long platinum blonde hair.
I: “Besides, I’m not going to ever let you go, so you’ll have to live with me forever.”
Lavella’s golden eyes narrowed.
I: “So, Lavella, you have two options…”
A thick and sharp tension hung over the air.
I: “Become my empress,”
I: “…Or kill me.”
Lavella, who’d been looking into those amethyst eyes, climbed onto the man. The bed shook slightly.
L: “Then I’ll kill you.”
Lavella, who’d replied in a straightforward way, picked up the dagger she placed near the bedside.
The man showed no signs of fear, even though he knew better than anyone the sharpness of Lavella’s daggers. He was like a man who would willingly die at her hands without regrets.
I: “…Kill me, Lavella.”
The man gave a small smile and pulled Lavella’s hand to his neck. The edge of the sharp dagger met his skin.
I: “Your only chance to escape is now.”
Blood trickled down as the dagger dug into his flesh. Lavella, seeing the red drops staining the white sheet, almost dropped the dagger.
Her immobile hand felt foreign to her. The man laughed softly as he gazed into her conflicted golden eyes.
I: “…You can’t kill me.”
L: “Why are you so confident? I can cut your breath short in an instant.”
The pointed dagger clattered to the ground.
I: “You don’t know?”
The man smiled, the corners of his eyes tilting up.
I: “It’s because you love me, Lavella.”
I: “As I love you.”
The man’s lips moved softly, as if he were enchanting something.
Lavella closed her eyes at his quiet yet seductive voice saying her name.
How had all this happened?
Her thoughts traveled back in time…
To when she first met this guy, Iscka.
It was on a dark night, the moon dimmer than usual.
A rope with a sharp hook at the end sliced through the air.
A man pulled on the rope tightly and began to climb the wall. He reached the top in no time, and turned around, beckoning behind him. Five more hooks followed, each firmly grappling the wall.
There were a total of six people at the top.
The eyes of the five men all turned to their leader, Lavella, who was the last to come up. Compared to the men, she had a slender and delicate-looking build.
She crouched down like a wild cat, golden eyes surveying the mansion, then turning to her men.
L: Two to the left, two to the right. And you, follow me.
Although these instructions were given soundlessly, the men moved swiftly like swords. The groups each went in different directions, running fast, yet not even the sound of rustling grass was heard.
L: There it is.
Lavella reached the destination given to her by the client. She studied her surroundings, trying to gauge the distance between her and the balcony above.
L: Can I just jump up this high?
Suha, who understood Lavella’s thoughts, bent down and held out an arm.
Lavella stepped into his hand, he gave a slight push, sending her as far as he could.
With the help from Suha, Lavella flew like a bird and landed gracefully on the top of the balcony.
Lavella hid herself in the shadows, away from the line of sight.
She could hear a faint snoring as she approached slowly, and sure enough, she could see a man stretched out on a bed through the open bedroom door.
Lavella wrapped her fingers around the dagger that was strapped to her thigh, her small body slipping through the half-open bedroom door.
The room was filled with the strong smell of liquor.
Lavella looked around, then quickly pulled a cloth out of her waist and stuffed it into the man’s mouth.
The man gave a scream that was suppressed by the cloth.
He was blindfolded as he turned, trying to see the intruder.
It took less than 30 seconds for the man’s ankles and wrists to be tied up, preventing him from resisting. Lavella, carrying a body much larger and taller than her, went to the window and threw the man down with ease.
The man fell first into the tightly stretched fabric held by the other men. Lavella, who jumped down, bounced off the fabric lightly before landing on the ground.
Two of the men bound the man in cloth, like a spider binding it’s prey to the spiderweb.
With a nod from Lavella, the figures clothed in black disappeared without a trace. No one had seen these intruders.
“Ack! Who are you? Do you know who I am?!”
Deep in the mountains, not far from the mansion, the man began to shout as soon as his gag was removed.
The man looked around in fear, yet all he could see in the darkness were the eyes of his kidnappers.
“Captain, what would you like me to do?” The tallest of the men asked, unsheathing his sword.
“Hey! Ah! Please, spare me!”
The man who’d been sprawled on the floor quickly got to his knees and begged. He was the one who’d committed numerous acts of evil, under the pretense of being the lord’s brother.
TL/N: The lord that governs this area (can be a Duke, Marquis, etc.)
Recently, the residents of this area had rebelled because they couldn’t stand the crime of taking a woman who was already married, which this man had committed.
The lord, troubled by his mother’s fierce disapproval, secretly visited the guild, having given up on his younger brother and his acts of evil.
Famous for his good personality, the lord had asked them to take care of his brother.
L: “We were asked to feign an accident, so let’s deal with this neatly. Afterwards, we’ll feed it to the wolves.”
Lavella’s cold instructions made the man’s face turn deathly pale.
“Gah, my flesh! Wolf-“
But before he could finish, the man fell to the ground, struck by the sword. Lavella’s golden eyes flashed as the man’s blood began to stain the ground.
L: “…Well that saved us the effort.”
Lavella and her men each climbed onto a horse, having completed their part. In the distance, two pairs of eyes could be seen shining in the darkness.
They belonged to a pack of wolves.
In no time, the group arrived at a village frequented by travelers, some distance away from that mansion.
“Well, that mission was too boring…” One of the men grumbled as he jumped off his horse and took off the mask covering his face.
“I wasn’t able to go with the captain…”
Although it was slightly annoying that they’d seen a pack of wolves at the end, the wolves were probably lured by the smell of blood, so fortunately, they didn’t follow Lavella’s group.
Now, all Lavella needed to do was to report back to the lord and receive the money.
L: “It was a request involving quite a large sum, so I have to show my sincerity.”
Lavella stroked her horse, then smiled and took off her mask, letting her platinum blonde hair fall. In the moonlight, her pale white skin and golden eyes shone as brightly as her hair.
“He must’ve been desperate, hmm? Considering how he paid that much money upfront…”
“I mean, it is shameful to have such a younger brother…”
Each of the men said their own thoughts while taking off their gear. Soon after, they all looked like ordinary travelers.
“Captain, we finished the job early…how about a drink?”
As they were walking to the village, Pessini, the largest of the group, pretended to lift a glass and drink. Behind his shaggy beard, his smile almost touched his ears.
TL/N: Essentially, grinning from ear to ear.
L: “I’m going to wash up and sleep, you all can go drink by yourselves.”
“Captain, what’s wrong with you?? It’s no fun without our captain…”
L: “Hey, you’re just going to get drunk, then leave everything for me to take care of. I want out.”
“Ah, but that’s just once in a while…I’m sorry, I’m sorry!”
Pessini, who was teasing Lavella, quickly shook his head when he saw Lavella’s hand go towards the dagger strapped to her thigh.
“Fine, then…I guess we’ll just be all depressed and drink alone.”
“Yeah, no thanks.”
Lavella snorted as she climbed up the stairs leading to the second floor of the inn, Pessini shouting and pleading behind her.
Then, as if she’d changed her mind, Lavella turned and went a few steps down.
“Oh, captain! You’re coming to drink??” Pessini looked at her in anticipation.
L: “Come on, I’m buying.”
“Whoo! Captain, you’re the best!”
Lavella threw a bag of money, which Pessini caught and opened, beaming.
L: “Drink responsibly.”
Lavella, with a laugh, climbed back up the stairs, feeling light-hearted. She was just about to ask the innkeeper for some water so she could wash up, but soon, her plans were completely dashed.
“Wait! Please come out!!”
Lavella, who’d been arranging her weapons before going to bed, frowned at the sound of the innkeeper’s voice.
‘… What’s going on?”
“The group you came with is fighting downstairs! There’s no one around to stop it- please do something! At this rate, they’re going to destroy the inn!”
She’d come to find Lavella as they’d met several times before.
L: They’re fighting?
The innkeeper stamped her feet when Lavella asked this with an expression of disbelief.
They weren’t the type to go around causing trouble…
Lavella shook her head in wonder and followed the innkeeper without any of her gear.
Even before reaching the bottom of the stairs, Lavella saw the situation and grit her teeth. There were broken tables and broken glasses; spilled liquor soaked the ground.
The inside of the pub was a complete mess.
Most of the guests had already fled in fear, and in the middle of the mess stood the culprit, Pessini, who was panting.
L: “What are you doing?!”
Lavella’s voice rang clearly over the mess, and the bear-like Pessini shrugged his massive shoulders with a relenting look.
L: “What were you all doing, not even bothering to stop him?”
When Lavella looked each of the men in the eye one by one, they looked down and avoided eye contact. Even Piedan, whom she knew she could rely on.
I: “Captain? That little girl is your leader?”
A sarcastic voice suddenly interrupted her.
“Shut your mouth!”
TL/N: Pessini says this.
Based on this fierce response, it seemed that this was the person whom Pessini was quarreling with.
Lavella turned to the person Pessini had shouted at. A man was sitting on a table, bouncing one of his legs.
He had black hair and vivid purple eyes, like a personification of darkness. …By the way, was it a man?
Lavella tilted her head, looking at the face of a man that was more beautiful than a woman’s.
L: He seems fine.
Lavella looked at the messy pub and then looked at the man again. If he’d fought this much with Pessini, he should be dead or at least seriously injured by now. Yet…instead of being hurt, this man was picking up a rolling apple and taking a bite out of it.
He also seemed equally surprised by Lavella- his eyes were blatantly observing her.
I mean, he’d never seen a pretty girl like this. Lavella, who used her appearance like a weapon, gave a light laugh, taking note of all this.
She gave a sweet smile and opened her mouth. It was easy to charm people possessed by her, like a child given candy.
L: “I don’t know what exactly happened here, but I will apologise on their behalf. I’d like for this to be resolved here.”
I: “Are you the captain?”
But the man didn’t seem to be fazed by Lavella’s smile.
L: Oh, so it doesn’t work…
“… As you can clearly see.”
Lavella raised an eyebrow.
I: “Hmm, alright.”
The man, who was tapping his lip with his index finger, got up and threw the apple he was holding away.
I: “Well then, what should I do? Even if you apologise on their behalf, I’m afraid I still won’t be able to let it go…”
The man raised his chin arrogantly.
This time, Lavella frowned.
I: “That childish bear over there mistook me for a woman. Never before in my life have I heard such an insult.”
TL/N: “childish bear”= Pessini
What in the world have you done, you jerk…
TL/N: She’s talking about Pessini.
Lavella, having now found the cause for this situation, stared coldly at Pessini. She’d always been particularly strict about the men’s attitude towards women and children.
“Oh, I didn’t do anything, I just invited him for a drink! And look at that height! How could I have mistaken him for a woman?”
Pessini, frightened by Lavella’s look, turned his head and gave a small cough.
L: I’ll deal with you later.
“It’s my fault for not managing them properly, what can I do to make things right?”
Lavella, although having just shot a warning look at Pessini, said this as if she were calming down a younger brother. Their request hadn’t officially concluded yet, and no good would come out of making a big fuss.
The man glanced at Lavella, looking at her from head to toe. Blond hair that was still damp, and long, pale legs exposed by her tunic.
I: “How about you go out with me?”
There it was.
Satisfied, a corner of Lavella’s mouth tilted up.
TL/N: Just to clear some things up, Lavella was trying to get our mystery man to take her or get something from her instead of demanding something from her men.