Chapter 1 - Prologue

Name:Shadow Emperor Author:무연
Shadow Emperor Chapter 1


The last person to resist was slain, blood splattered. The entire space was engulfed with the pungent stench of blood doused on the floor, the only beings present in the room were him and her, along with the cold bodies, piled up high like mountains, giving off an intense scent of death and slaughter.

Viscous red blood dripped down his sword.

He strode towards her, stepping on a puddle of blood as droplets of it slid down his brown hair with each step.

In a cruel and terrible situation, he was calm and breathtakingly beautiful. But despite that, the woman shivered as the man locked his gaze—simmering with fury—onto her.

He did not like the way her eyes peered at him—it was irking. Hence, he grabbed her chin and forced her to face him.

“You’re mine.”

The women responded with a scowl, glaring daggers at him.

“Your Majesty, the person I vowed my loyalty to is not you.”

Eyes deeper than the abyss stared back at him.

With her unwavering nature burning—a rousing possessiveness came to life in him, and at the same time, the rage he felt towards her disobedience was roaring fiercely.

“Isn’t your vow pointless? You’re now in my hands.”

When she attempted to evade his touch, his arm slid around her waist while his other hand clutched both of hers that was pushing him away, locking them.

“I can have it whenever I want.”

He kissed the rebellious woman’s lips roughly.

His senses trembled as he smelled something other than the blood in the room. He captured her chin and coerced her into opening her lips when she denied him entrance. He entered through a small gap and tasted every corner of her, despite the woman’s protests.

Their forceful kiss was far more exhilarating than the fragrance of blood swamping their surroundings.

He fiercely kissed the woman wanting to escape from his aggressive attack. He desired her lips and would do so again and again—however, rather than quenching his bursting hunger, he thirsted for her even more.

While he was madly craving for her lips, the metallic taste of blood that caught his tongue halted his movement.

Taking advantage of the time he abruptly stopped, she slipped through his arms and moved away from him.

Only after the woman veered away from his grasp, he feel the slight tinge in his lips and casually brushed it—blood stained his fingers. A smile crept across Leonard’s lips at her never-ending rebellion.

“It was Lena who I swore my loyalty to as a knight, Leonard. Not you.”


“I am not Your Majesty’s knight. So please let me go. I need to go back to him.”

Leonard’s eyes narrowed. His stern gaze turned towards Ezelle—rather, at her unyielding defiance.

It’s been a year since she arrived, and regardless of what anyone says or how persistently she refuses, Leonard now owns the knight. Ezelle constantly denied the fact that everyone acknowledged and accepted this claim.

“Do you think I’ll let you go? I already have you in my hands. Why should I let you run back to the crown prince of a small country?”

A smirk appeared on Leonard’s lips. Ezelle’s body trembled in anger—her raging urge to attack him was evident with just a glance.

But she can’t do that, and neither can she back away.

Lena was the person Ezelle wanted to serve for the rest of her life.

(T/N: In case you got confused just like I am. Lena was the name of the country where Ezelle served, that’s for sure. If the translations in the chapters I’ve read are correct, Lena was also used as the king’s name or possibly as a surname. So, either their topic was meant for a ‘person’ or a ‘country,’ let’s all figure it out together.)

Although she couldn’t stay with him as a woman, being a knight was all she dreamt of. That was the only wish that Ezelle had.

Ezelle eventually lowered her gaze to the ground in front of Leonard.

“You brought me here to fill your curiosity. But I can’t give you what you want, neither as a woman nor as a knight, so……!”

Ezelle couldn’t finish her words as Leonard threw his sword in front of her.


But what was sharper than that was Leonard’s gaze.

The stench of blood that had previously filled the hall had vanished. Without making a single concession, their ferocious gazes collided.

“Death is the only way for you to see Lena.”

“……What are you talking about?”

“For as long as you are still breathing, I have no intention of letting you go. Can’t satisfy my curiosity? There’s only one option left, isn’t there?”

Leonard, more than anyone else, understood how strong Ezelle’s will to live was. And he had no intention of handing her over to anyone but himself.

With this, there was only one way—enough to convince her to give up.

Both as a woman and a knight, he is the only one who can own her.

“There are two choices you can pick. Be loyal to me. Dedicate your whole self to me. But if you can’t do those, then die.”

Leonard, who finished speaking his piece, looked at Ezelle with a cold gaze. As Ezelle considered her only option, she turned pale and slumped in front of the sword. Her trembling body was heavy for him to glance at. At that moment, he wanted to seize her in his arms right away and get drunk on her as much as he pleased to soothe his hunger.

However, now’s not the right time. He was going to show the reality in front of her, who stubbornly clung to the glimmer of hope that one day she’d be able to return to her own country.

“But even if you die, your resting place will never be on Lena’s land.”

Alive or dead, Ezelle belonged to Leonard. From the moment she set foot on Cadelle’s land and became Leonard’s knight, he already owned her.


Leonard’s words pierced Ezelle’s heart, causing a rift in her distant mind.

Tears shimmered in her eyes. Ezelle lamented the reality that she couldn’t change, even if she wished to.

“I can’t go back to Lena as long as I’m still breathing, right?”

Can’t she even fulfill her wishes in life?

Ezelle’s gaze, which had been fixed on the sword, shifted to Leonard.

Uncontrollable tears coursed down Ezelle’s cheeks. Leonard’s eyes grew wider as he watched Ezelle cry.

Right before her tears kissed the floor—Ezelle grabbed Leonard’s sword.

The merciless tip of the sword facing Leonard turned towards Ezelle.

Ezelle burst into brief laughter when she caught Leonard’s face painted with shock.

Without lingering any longer, the sword took its direction.

Towards her heart.

Chapter 1: Lena’s Ezelle

(T/N: In this part, no one knows that Ezelle was a woman.)

Her nose stung with the smoke stemming from every direction. In the thick of war, fenced by unrecognizable corpses of enemies and allies, a knight wearing a helmet rose to her feet, leaning on her sword.

The knight stood up and removed her bent armor. Blood and sweat gushed from the cuts, smearing her soiled clothes. As she took off her helmet that obscured her vision, a few strands of sweat-soaked platinum hair appeared mingled with her cheeks.

She looked more like a scholar than a knight with her pale skin and exceptionally small body.

“Cough. Cough.”

The knight, who coughed lightly due to the pungent smoke, cast her tired eyes forward.

The ground was littered with dead bodies. Blood pooling everywhere. Broken weapons and groaning sounds woven across the air.

The knight stripped off her armor, her mind stifling the pain screaming throughout her body, and aimed her sword at the enemy in front of her.

Crown Prince of Cadelle. Leonard Rose.

The best swordsman on the continent. The only best.

Even though she just directed the tip of her sword at him, her teeth quivered with fear. The flesh of the continent’s strongest man exudes unmistakable pressure, straddling all sides of this filthy ground.

Feeling like prey caught by a wild beast, the knight bit her lip.

“Lena’s Ezelle is nothing now that I see it. I find it hard to believe he’s a knight with all of this.”

Ezelle was mocked. Madness burned across her gaze, glinting through her blood-soaked hair, which had lost its original color. Ezelle—who drew Leonard’s attention—glared back at him and pulled her wet hair back.

Compared to the powerful country of Cadelle, Lena was a small country. Hence, the small country of Lena could not escape the sudden strike of colonial war brought forth by Cadelle.

No matter how hard you try to slay and slaughter the enemies, they keep on surging. On top of that, Lena was no match against Cadelle’s army, which had gained experience during the protracted colonial struggle.

All that remained were Ezelle and a few knights, but this was not a moment for surrender.

“It’s not over yet!”

Leonard smirked at her fine voice, worthy of her slender appearance.

The strongest swordsman against the three strongest swordsmen. However, one of the swordsmen had already died at Leonard’s hand. And Lena’s Ezelle would soon meet her death as well.

Ezelle swung her sword towards Leonard, who only gazed at her leisurely. Even though it was a swift move that could decapitate two knights at once, Leonard calmly blocked Ezelle’s sword.

Twing. Leonard strengthened the sword he was wielding with a mocking smile directed at Ezelle.


Ezelle, pushed back by Leonard’s power, took a few steps back.