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1.09% A Barbaric Proposal / Chapter 1: Chapter 1 | A Bloody Courtship (1)
A Barbaric Proposal A Barbaric Proposal original

A Barbaric Proposal

Author: Rimuruuuuu

© WebNovel

Chapter 1: Chapter 1 | A Bloody Courtship (1)

The letter was completely crumpled from her hands.

It was the second letter they had sent.

[Rienne] ". . ."

Rienne stared down at her pale, cold hands. The blood had completely left them, and they didn't feel like her own anymore.

The letter's details were straight and to the point.

—'I've been waiting for fifteen days now. Please, give me your answer.'

It was the same as the first one.

—'To the Princess of Castle Nauk. The leader of the Tiwakan Mercenaries sends a proposal of marriage. We look forward to hearing from you.'

And in the name of this proposal, the Tiwakan Mercenaries had been laying siege to her castle for the last fifteen days.

[Maslow] "Princess."

The voice that called to Rienne belonged to Maslow, an advisor to the aristocratic delegation. It was shaking and filled with worry.

[Maslow] "You won't accept it, will you? They're nothing but wild beasts who know nothing of human decency, just doing as they please. To have the audacity to propose like this…! This is proof of their savagery!"

[Rienne] "But if we don't accept, do we have any other way to stop them?"

Trying her best to steady her voice, Rienne opened up the crumbled letter with her hands.

[Rienne] "We don't have the strength necessary to drive them away on our own. You know that."

The only remaining symbols of power in their once great kingdom was Rienne, Maslow, and Weroz—the captain of the guard. They were nothing compared to how splendid the Nauk Kingdom of old was.

Weroz spoke in a heavy voice. Though he was uptight and rigid long ago, he was over forty years old now.

[Weroz] "We can still fight them. I'm prepared to offer up my life if need be."

Rienne knew of Weroz's loyalty. She knew he was honest when he said he was ready.

And that was all the more reason she needed to accept the proposal.

She couldn't let all the knights who thought like Weroz needlessly throw their lives away.

[Rienne] "We'll all end up dying together."

[Weroz] "P, Princess…!"

Weroz shook his head, but Rienne couldn't bring herself to lie.

It had been fifteen days.

In only fifteen days, Castle Nauk had been completely isolated and not long ago, their supply routes had been cut off. The people were exhausted from fighting, and the few guards that remained had completely lost their spirits.

They had no chance from the very beginning. From the start, the mercenaries had an army ten times the size of the castle's reserve troops.

Not to mention the Tiwakan Mercenaries, known for being the cruelest and most barbaric army on the entire continent, were suffering no real loss. For them, this was no different from hunting rabbits.

They could easily hold out for months if need be.

But not before everyone in the Kingdom of Nauk starved to death.

Taking a deep breath, Rienne spoke.

[Rienne] "I will accept their offer."

Maslow and Weroz shouted out together.

[Weroz] "No, Princess!"

[Maslow] "No, you mustn't! You're only saying that because you don't know what the people of Tiwakan are like!"

She'd heard enough rumors.

They said the leader of Tiwakan was the son of the God of War, birthed after his mother was raped. As a result, the God of Death cursed him, and the God of Earth continually rejected his body.

His cursed existence was one that could never perish on the battlefield.

[Maslow] "They say he was one of the ones who turned his back on God. As such…"

[Rienne] "Perhaps he desires men more than he does women?"

Hearing Rienne's straightforward and blunt remarks, Weroz stuttered out.

[Weroz] "Well, as you already know, the Tiwakan Mercenaries do have more men… in their ranks…"

Maslow was an experienced advisor, so he used clearer language to stop Rienne from accepting the offer.

[Maslow] "As such, women who spend the night with men like that tend not to live long, Princess."

Hearing that, a shadow downcast over Rienne's eyes. It was enough to make her shiver. Just what manner of beast was this man?

[Rienne] "But I don't think he'll kill me in a single night. He wouldn't have asked me to marry him if that's what he wanted."

Maslow shouted out in a panicked tone.

[Maslow] "You can't, Princess. Or have you forgotten what Lord Kleinfelder is trying to do right now for your sake?"

[Rienne] "He said he would find reinforcements from the Kingdom of Sharka and bring them here within ten days."

Rienne wasn't the sort of person to be pessimistic, but she didn't want to hold onto what could turn out to be false hope.

After all, she was Princess Rienne of the Arsak family, ruler of Castle Nauk, and responsible for the lives of everyone who lived there.

[Rienne] "Ten days have already come and gone. There's no guarantee he'll return, nor that he'll bring back the reinforcements he promised."

[Maslow] "Do you not trust Lord Kleinfelder? He's doing more for you, Princess, than he's done for his own life. I'm certain he'll return with the reinforcements."

[Rienne] "If it were possible, he'd be back already within the allotted time."

Rienne mulled over the promise of Rafit Kleinfelder, a knight of the Arsak family with a thorny look on her face.

When they first heard word that the Tiwakan Mercenaries were marching on Nauk Castle, Rafit had left without a moment's notice for the Kingdom of Sharka. His mother's family was one of the largest in the entire nation.

If anyone could get their help, it was him.

Just ten days, he had said.

He told them to hold on just for that long.

Rienne wanted to believe in him, but a flicker of hope in the palm of her hand was nothing in comparison to the crushing reality before her.

[Rienne] "We can't delay any longer. Even if he does manage to return, the Kingdom of Sharka would never provide us with enough troops to drive back the Tiwakan Mercenaries. What country would want to wage war with them now? Even the great Kingdom of Lekes decided to humiliate themselves by signing a peace treaty them."

It was five days past the appointed time. That was all the evidence they needed.

Even Maslow and Weroz knew that it was pointless to hope for reinforcements.

[Rienne] "Whatever the reason is, we all know that Tiwakan's proposal is real. They wouldn't be waiting for an answer while laying siege to the castle if it wasn't. Their troops could easily break the gates and walls at any time they so choose."

Looking back at the only other two people left to the defend Castle Nauk with her, Rienne made her decision.

[Rienne] "As heir to the Arsak family and the last of my blood, I have a duty to defend Nauk. If my marriage to one man can protect everyone's lives, it's a small price to pay."

[Weroz] "Princess…"

He didn't have it in him to fight her on this. Closing his eyes, Weroz accepted her choice with a sigh, his face filled with remorse as the edges of his eyes wrinkled.

But Maslow wasn't ready to give in.

[Maslow] "Then what about Lord Kleinfelder? The Kleinfelders are presently one of the most power families in all of Nauk. That isn't a relationship you can cut off so easily; not without consultation."

As an advisor to the aristocracy, Maslow had long since maintained a good relationship with the Kleinfelders. He was one of the many who believed that Rafit Kleinfelder would one day marry Rienne and become Nauk's ruler.

[Rienne] "There's no point in discussing it."

[Maslow] "Can you say that to the Kleinfelders, Princess?"

[Rienne] "And tell me, what were the Kleinfelders doing as Castle Nauk's guards bled out waiting for Lord Kleinfelder's return?"

Rienne's expression turned cold.

Though Lord Kleinfelder was technically her 'lover', her relationship with him had never once been loving.

The Kleinfelders kept an iron grip on the nation's wealth and power, something that didn't go unnoticed as the little kingdom started to crumble. With that power in his hands, Rafit urged Rienne to marry him after his father's death.

One way or another, Rienne fought off the official engagement in order to stave off the Kleinfelder's attempts to gain joint control over Nauk.

Perhaps, he could've been a genuine sweetheart towards her.

But the Kleinfelders were too greedy. They would consume all of Nauk, which was already barren, leaving nothing but the bones behind.

[Rienne] "I'll send my reply to the head of Tiwakan."

Weroz and Maslow looked up at her with their faces distorted.

Speaking with a steady and direct voice, Rienne gave her answer to the two people who fought against her decision for different reasons.

[Rienne] "I accept their offer."

An hour after her answer, they received a response.

A place for Rienne and her proposer to meet had been decided.

Rienne was to be escorted by Weroz and a few other guards.

Looking at it from here…

As the sound of the horses grew in her ear, Castle Nauk grew smaller in the distance.

[Rienne] ". . ."

Rienne turned her head to the side, staring at the castle she was leaving behind her.

…I wonder if I'll ever get back safely.


* * *


The location of the meeting was exactly at the halfway point between Castle Nauk and the Tiwakan's military encampment.

The Tiwakan had already set up a tent in advance. Rienne entered first, accompanied only by Weroz.

Though the point of all of this was a proposal, the atmosphere was more akin to a battlefield. Troops were on either side of them with only the tent between them, and the tension in the air was palpable.

[Rienne] "…He's not here yet."

Once inside, there was nothing but a table and two chairs facing one another.

Weroz stared angrily at their enemy's empty seat.

[Weroz] "I didn't expect it to turn out like this. To think they'd disrespect us to this extent."

[Rienne] "Well, thanks to them, at least I have some time to prepare myself. It isn't all bad."

So she said in jest, but there was a hint of sincerity to her words.

Being given some extra time wasn't too bad. Rienne was worried her anxiety would be obvious with how much she was shaking and how frightened she was when she first walked in.

She was being coerced into accepting this proposal, but she didn't want to look intimidated.

[Rienne] ". . ."

Rienne bit her lip, sitting in what she assumed was her seat.

In just a moment, the leader of the Tiwakan would enter. An illegitimate son, abandoned by the God of War.

Don't be nervous.

Rienne clasped her hands in her lap.

Don't let them look down on you.

This wasn't a proposal. This was a negotiation. Whatever they wanted from her, she wouldn't give it up so easily.

[Weroz] "Princess."

Suddenly, Weroz called out to Rienne, lowering his voice.

[Weroz] "I hear something."

[Rienne] "…What is it?"

[Weroz] "It was definitely a sword."

[Rienne] "What do you mean?"

[Weroz] "Someone is fighting. Those savages will find any reason to fight, even amongst themselves… Ah!"

Weroz's face turned red. Slapping his knee, he couldn't contain the apparent joy on his face.

[Weroz] "It must be Sir Kleinfelder! He must've led his reinforcements straight to attack Tiwakan!"

[Rienne] "What?"

Rienne lifted herself up with tears in her eyes.

[Rienne] "Then does that mean… I don't have to accept this proposal?"

[Weroz] "Of course, Princess! On your order, allow me to check outside. If they get caught up in battle, they'll try and pin the blame on us for breaking our promise."

Weroz took charge in leading the way.

[Weroz] "Hurry, Princess."

But just as Rienne started to take a step, the sound of the tent's curtain being pushed open sounded out; as if the world was mocking her.

Flap, flap.

A surge of strong, bright light poured into the inside of the tent.

Rienne let go of Weroz's hand and frowned. She blinked, allowing her eyes to adjust to the light and eventually, she began to see a black silhouette settling in her vision.

…There's something huge here.

The shadow looming over her was all she needed to realize how massive the person standing in front of her was.

Imposing, dark, stiff, and incredibly fierce.

[—] "I'm late."

His dry tone and languid voice passed through the air, like the wind shaking dry grass.

[—] "Princess of Nauk."

The head of Tiwakan had arrived, just as she had tried to escape this barbaric proposal.


It was so bright, she felt her eyes start to water. Rienne opened her eyes wide and stared at the man now approaching her.

Just looking at him made her feel like she was suffocating.

His intimidating stature overwhelmed her, and every time he took another step closer, she felt her body go numb.

The man's hair was indescribably black, but in contrast, his intense blue eyes were clear like water. It felt more like an animal was staring her down, rather than a person.

Rienne had never met anyone with such an intense appearance before. When she made eye contact with him, it sent shivers down her spine. And yet, she couldn't bring herself to look away.

In fact, though they called him a savage that was more beast than man, he was beautiful. The combination of deep hair and transparent lake-like eyes was breathtaking.


Rienne closed her eyes and opened them again.

But even so, the shock she felt at seeing such a stunning person didn't disappear so easily.

Pull yourself together. Decent looking or not, a barbarian is still a barbarian.

Rimuruuuuu Rimuruuuuu

"Please support the author "이윤아" and the translator"

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