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Chapter: 19


Episode 19: The Memories of the First Opera that was Not Beautiful (IV)

The carriage, which seemed like it would never stop, finally stopped. As soon as the door opened, Canaren was the first to jump out. The fresh outside air whirled past her body. She felt cold even though there wasn’t a chill in the air.

It was then she realized there was cold sweat running down her body like rain. Her whole body felt heavily soaked with water. Though she was with Yulif, she couldn’t help but be nervous with the Deltinus in front of her.

Still, as she got off the carriage and was freed from the narrow space, her nervousness, which had been hanging over her head, gradually softened.

"Your complexion is pale. Are you okay?"

Yulif’s hand reached out as he spoke with his sweet voice.

He didn’t say a word in the carriage.

Of course, she knew. He couldn’t speak in Hwira in front of Deltinus, and she knew that Yulif, like her, was wary of Deltinus the whole time he was there.

Canaren gently rubbed her lips silently while she took Yulif’s hand.

"I’m so pleased that you’re taking such a precious step into my theater and I’m so happy I don’t know how to express myself…"

The man who hurriedly ran out of the building was speechless.

He must be the owner of the theater as he was wearing a high-quality suit, but he was quite embarrassed to see the indistinguishable Deltinus and Yulif.

"I am guarding His Majesty."

Before Deltinus started to make a fuss, Yulif made the first move. The theater owner quickly and politely bowed his back 90 degrees to Deltinus.

"It is a great honor to have Your Majesty visit the theater in person!"

"Is it ready?"

"Of course! I prepared everything as you instructed. It must be lacking compared to the Imperial Palace, but please do not stand outside, come inside."

The theater owner was busy serving Deltinus.

Yulif took Canaren with him and moved slightly away from the man who was speaking loudly.

"This is Garde Theater. It is the largest and most spectacular theater in the capital."

The building was more luxurious than any other mansion. At the top of the dome-shaped maroon roof stood a statue of a woman made of gold. One of her hands rested on her chest and the other stretched out toward the sky, seemingly depicting the act of singing.

The building was filled with wide-open eyes.

Canaren especially liked the statue at the top. One could see it better from above. As soon as she thought of that, she felt like her wings were tickling.

"Both of you are on good terms. I don’t know who’s the owner. You can look around later."

The cold scolding of Deltinus flew in. Yulif took his steps first. Canaren was forced to follow the two into the building.

The inside was more gorgeous than the outside. The drawings painted on the ceiling showed off their presence clearly in the bright light of the chandelier. Sculptures detailing every fold of its clothing were set up everywhere, and even the stair railings were embossed with patterns.

It was impossible to describe everything in words. She was overwhelmed by the splendid lobby.

An exclamation erupted from Canaren’s mouth.

"Wow…"

"You’re slow."

"Go first. I will follow you soon."

"Is it natural to leave the two of you alone? Don’t let me wait forever."

Deltinus, who went up to the second floor alone, leaned against the railing and said sarcastically.

She would have liked to look around a little more. Canaren left her regrets behind and climbed the stairs. The warmth from Yulif’s hand soothed her disappointment.

"This is the seat with the best view. It is the pride of our theater."

A man who appeared to be the owner or manager of the building opened the door on the third floor.

A huge hall filled each of their fields of vision.

A huge red curtain embroidered with gold threads hung under the ceiling, where mirrors and lights were densely installed. The audience in front of the stage was completely empty.

The three people stood on the balcony in the middle of the third floor, it was a special seat where you could see the entire stage at a glance.

Canaren’s eyes twinkled. The stage she saw in person was far more, no, incomparable to what she had heard from the sisters in the village, splendid and grandiose.

‘Will the stage soon be filled with people in various kinds of clothing singing in unison?’

Her heart was pounding with anticipation already.

"Dangerous."

A strong arm wrapped around her waist. It was Yulif’s arm. Preoccupied with the stage, she was almost hanging over the railing.

Canaren moved away from the railing as he hugged her.

The scent emanating from his arms was strangely familiar. It was the scent she smelled in her bed every day.

As soon as she realized that, her face became hot. It was Yulif’s room, and it was only natural as it was the bed he had been using. But why did she only realize and become conscious now?

She knew nothing had happened between her and Yulif. Yet, shame, for unknown reasons, kept tormenting her.

Canaren pushed Yulif hard. Without a word, Yulif released his arm as soon as he dropped her away from the railing.

Deltinus, watching the two of them, burst out laughing.

‘You guys showed up with the intent to touch my nerves.’ If it wasn’t for the contract, it would have been him who was making fun of Canaren in front of Yulif.

Deltinus inevitably grinded his teeth. As Yulif said, it was even more painful because it was a contract he had made on his own.

If he had known that this would be the case, he would have placed more reliable guards.

With just a few people, he wouldn’t be able to touch even a single hair of Yulif.

However, he couldn’t leave the two alone. The reason? Now that this was happening, he would ruin their good time by staying with her until the end of the performance.

"When should the show start? All preparations have been made."

"Why don’t you ask the Duke. I don’t think he’s ready to see the show yet."

"Let’s start in five minutes."

"Yes, I understand."

Deltinus sat on a long sofa as if he was lying down.

Yulif took a chair and sat Canaren away from the sofa, and then he took a seat next to her. He seemed to be whispering to Canaren in a low tone, but he was so soft that she couldn’t tell exactly what he was saying.

‘It’s annoying. It would be nice if I could just kill him on the spot.’

As soon as he spit out a swear word that filled his mouth, the lights went off. It was the signal that the show was starting.

[The hour is coming when the sun goes down and the veil of night casts.]

A gentle voice slowly resounded in the hall. A strong light lit the stage. The red curtains were pulled toward both sides, and a woman in a pearlescent dress appeared from within.

[Night is a time when you and I can exist only for each other. Ah, you who comes like a fantasy.]

It was a melody that felt sad. The singer closed her eyes and stretched her arms out in front of her. The small jewels embedded in the dress reflected the light and shone like stars.

[Hold me until the night is over. Carve me in your eyes, on your lips, and on your soul. Then even if the night passes and the morning comes, you won’t forget me.]

Canaren’s gaze was nailed to the singer. She seemed to be absorbed in the song, as if she had forgotten to even blink.

But clear drops flowed from her large eyes, which had hardened like a stone statue.

In addition to their own language, the Hwira have a unique means of communication. It was the singer’s song. The songs of the Hwira have a dual structure of sound; one that everyone could hear and one that only the Hwira people could hear.

Thanks to the wings, the radius of activity was wide and each had a special ability, so it was a developed means to communicate closely from a long distance.

From the singing of a woman on stage, Canaren heard a faint sound. It was quickly buried in the sounds of various instruments and the melody of the song, and then rubbed in her ears for a moment, but it was enough for a person of the same Hwira tribe, Canaren, to understand.

The singer was also of the Hwira tribe, Canaren heard her and knew it.

Coincidentally, what Canaren heard was the woman’s heart. It was not uncommon for deeply hidden inner truths to be revealed through a song. When she was immersed in singing, emotions were bound to burst out regardless of her will.

‘How long do I have to live like this?’

‘I don’t want to sing.’

‘My life was ruined by a father I don’t know.’

‘I don’t want salvation. Who will save me? Rather, leave me on the street!’

It was a dark emotion that did not go well with the lyrics about earnest love.

She was wearing a pretty dress, and although she was singing as the protagonist on a colossal stage, she was not at all happy as a singer. Because she wasn’t on this stage because she wanted to be.

She had to sing songs she didn’t want to sing until blood came out of her throat.

Even if she lived, she was not living, and she could not even die at will.

On the surface, it might seem glamorous, but you were to be locked up in a place that was nothing more than a prison for the rest of your life.

Her despair and misery conveyed through her melody, seemed to be Canaren’s own emotions.

Despair and misery were always on her mind until she met Yulif.

Most of the Hwira people spend their entire lives in the village where they were born. Few Hwira people leave the village on their own out of curiosity or other reasons. However, they could not adapt properly and return to the village after some time.

‘Was that singer caught by someone like me? Was she beaten until she sang, and even if blood oozes from her neck, did she have no choice but to go on stage the next day?’

‘Is this the show I’m watching right now?’

"Ugh… Wheuk…"

Canaren grabbed her chest with both hands and let out a quiet weeping.

It seemed like she was taken back to a terrible time when she was caught by Deltinus and was locked up in a cage.

Like a hallucination, the whip that slapped her on the back whenever she didn’t listen to him sounded. Her stomach felt like it was twisting and hurting like it did back then, back when he kicked her stomach with all this might. Her heart was pounding and her chest was so tight that it was hard to breathe.

She was delighted and excited to see an opera for the first time in her life, but now she felt foolish. Had she known it would be like this, she would never have come. Indeed. There was no way Deltinus would do them a favor.


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