This continues from the Prologue, and is the common route Toya, Luji, and Uru‘s routes will all go through. R-18 game! But I will not post any R-18 CGs in my reviews and there will be spoilers.
Just then, Toya intercepts the conversation as he demands to know what’s going on. After learning on what happened, he takes Sharu to one side and whisper something to her – something which made her face twist with anger and shock but she can only remain silent. Toya goes back to Naala’s side and declares her as his wife. Before she can protest, he quietly tells her to cooperate with him as the Rusu’s king’s sister. He saw that Nooru was strangely attached to her so he sent his men to find out more and discovered her background. He persuades Naala that it’s better to work with him – to find a cure for Kusashi (as he’s currently researching on this) while being in a marriage in name, then to get taken away by the guard. He reassures her that he won’t use her as a political tool and is not interested in her body. Even though Naala thinks that his aim is too unrealistic, Toya remarks that that is what makes things interesting, and he plans to make the world more interesting. In the end, Naala agrees to his offer. Nooru picks this very moment to enter as he congratulates them, and tells them to go ahead with their first night aka consummation, much to Naala’s alarm. Toya reassures Naala that they’ll fake their way through this somehow and tells the guards to take Sharu back to her room.
Toya makes Nooru stand in the next room, and attempts to act it out but it’s so fake Naala has to suppress her laughter lol. Nooru even offers to help out but they both quickly reject this and Toya apologises to Naala as they have to put up something more convincing. He ends up having to touch her chest and well they somehow make their way through. Toya has to keep muttering to himself that he’s only acting but he soon starts calling out her name instead. He even bites his finger to spill some blood to make it more convincing since she’s a virgin. Naala thanks Toya for keeping his end of the promise, and he awkwardly insists that he didn’t have any such thoughts. Laughing at this, she tells him there’s no need to emphasis it like that and she knows that she isn’t that tempting. After they’re done, Nooru comes in as he decides that they should hold a banquet the next day to celebrate. Toya doesn’t want this though, insisting that he wouldn’t want his new bride to tire out and fall ill. He’d like her to get used to the situation first. After Nooru’s gone, Toya tells her to rest first and they’ll discuss the other details the next day. Toya insists that he’s going out to walk for some breeze and quickly leaves the room, leaving Naala wondering what’s wrong. (He probably got hard, that’s what lol.)
Naala wakes up the next morning and a young boy, Uru, greets her. He’ll be serving her from today, though Naala mistook him for a girl at first due to his petite figure. Toya returns later that morning and while Naala is impatient to know more about their agreement, Toya wants to talk about it as they take a walk around the courtyard, and later the market. But on their way out, Zamda (a minister) approaches Toya as he wants him to take a look at his proposal again. But Toya reminded him that he wanted him to correct it, and it becomes evident that he’s here to mock Toya for getting too engrossed with his new wife, as he views Naala as a sexual object rather than a fellow human being. In fact, he even recently got a new female slave and has her walk on all fours. Toya’s tone drops to absolute zero as he coldly remarks that women aren’t beasts. Whether they are slaves or women captured from other lands, they are all women and should be respected as beings that can give birth to children – unlike a man like Zamda. He even threatens Zamda to receive the same treatment of being violated by a man in order to understand how women feel. They capture women in order to allow their country to recover, and it would be a bother if more people like him were allowed into the First District. Still, he is a minister after all even if it’s the lowest rank. But the next time he says something similar, Toya says that he won’t hesitate to have him violated till his death. Zamda obviously didn’t expect all this and quickly dismisses himself.
As much as Toya hates to admit it, such people are allowed in the First District since they’ve privileges. Naala though, is clearly surprised by this side of Toya’s, very different from his usual personality. It’s almost as if he stands on the side of Rusu women. Toya replies that he wants to protect women, and to stop the vicious cycle in Nasula: people who are captured and forced to bear children, will only naturally grow to hate Nasula and hence many chose to die instead. There’s still a lack of women and repeat cycle. It’d be preferable instead for them to come to grow to like Nasula and want to have children on their own will. The best way though is to discover a cure for the disease, so that they’ll no longer need to capture women. He wants to seek Naala’s cooperation since compared to Nasula, Rusu is less affected by this disease. He wants to find out the reason and hence would like her to gather information from the women. If the cure is completed, and he can persuade the parliament members to try and let all of them return home too. To go even further, he’d like for both countries to have normal relations.
When Naala questions why he couldn’t stop the kidnapping of women in the first place, Toya explains that the king has what they call “sages” – more accurately it’s 12 ministers under him. They’ll hold a meeting when a major decision is to be made. If it’s the king’s movement, he needs to gain at least four ministers’ approvals. To be honest only one is on his side, Noor. Naala is surprised that he managed to gain approval for women to do the decision-making (on who they want to marry). It turns out that one minister, Orte, was in favour of this and he’s from a very influential family whose lineage is the next oldest to the royal family, and the man himself is a good speaker. But still, there’s a lot of opposition to this decision-making item ‘cos the previous king’s rules still stand: when the number of women reach a certain limit, they need to kidnap from Rusu. Though to be honest he thinks that times have changed and so should be old ways of thought. Naala can’t bring herself to trust him completely. Toya then remarks that he’s actually a surprisingly weak person and hence wants to fight side by side like this. He feels that humans are strongest when their hearts are together, as compared to when one is alone.
As he happily takes her hand, Naala observes that he has this innocent, child-like aura about him. Toya then points out a blooming flower, as he says that he’d often drink while watching the flowers bloom. Hearing that he does this alone, Naala wonders if he doesn’t have any friends – such as Slen. Toya vaguely answers that they’re only like that ‘cos of a common person they both know, so it’s a bit of a special relationship. Naala remarks that she also has times when she drinks alone, and so Toya invites her to join him the next time a flower blooms. Just then, her hair gets caught in a branch. While helping her get it untangled, Naala comments that hair is a woman’s life so she can’t bring herself to cut it. This shocks Toya, who takes her words at face-value. Naala tries to calm him down, and says that if it’s necessary such as to protect something important she will cut it. Moreover, men usually prefer women with long hair. Toya feels otherwise though, and that she’ll be cute with short hair too. His straightforwardness constantly embarrasses Naala, and she asks again why he had to kidnap her. Toya answers that if he didn’t, she’ll probably be killed by his men and he couldn’t bear to see it. Asking how she feels about him now, Naala thinks that she doesn’t hate him as much as she did in the beginning. But she approves of his vision which makes Toya brighten up. He successfully untangles her hair and comments on its unusual colour, saying that it’s pretty like a jewel.
Naala continues to accompany Toya for the day. At night though she can’t fall asleep and seeing this, Toya says that he’ll do charm for her, something which he only knows. Telling her to close her eyes, he places a stone on her forehead and asks the dream spirits to guide her to a pleasant sleep. This shocks Naala, ‘cos it’s the exact same charm which only she and her mother knows. She immediately recognises the stone Toya has as the one her father gave her mother. Toya explains that he got this from his maid and also learnt the charm from her. When she hears that her mother has passed away already ‘cos of the disease, Naala breaks down even though she more or less expected this in the corner of her mind. Hugging her, Toya apologises even though Naala says that he didn’t order for her mother’s capture – it was his father. Still, Toya feel apologetic since Nasula was responsible. But Naala knows that her mother must’ve seen Toya as important as her own child, since she taught him the charm and gave him the stone – something which represented her father. Toya recalls that Samar saved him from that closed-up world of his, and guided the mentally-young him when no one else cared about him. When Samar fell ill, he prayed with all his might to the spirits to not take her away but it failed. This makes Naala recall what he said about being long dead and realises that this was what he was referring to.
Samar’s last words to Toya was that it must’ve been fate for them to have met, and hopes that he’ll have a good fate and come to marry someone he loves and to use his power for the future of the lands. Hearing this, Naala realised that by her mother changing Toya, her mother also somewhat saved her life. Naala promises that she’ll return to normal the next day and asks to remain like this for a bit longer, though Toya himself also ends up tearing. Toya vows that he won’t give up to fulfill her dream, it’s destiny that brought them together as comrades.
Naala dreams of a past childhood memory, when she came to a field of red flowers even though it was forbidden ‘cos it was said that the spirits resided there. But she came crying, praying for her mother and father to return. A young boy appears there and Naala mistakes him for a spirit, asking him to fulfill her wish. He only smiles sadly as he apologises, ‘cos he can’t do so now. Wanting to know his name, he asks her what she thinks his name is instead. Naala decides to name him after the flowers, Bayar. Clearly amused, he pats her head and says that just as he’s her spirit, she’s his spirit too. Naala wakes up from her dream, and recalls that after that she often went down to the fields to find Bayar and even pestered him to be her future husband. Though now she can’t remember his face, and can only wonder why they stopped meeting.
Uru comes in with a letter from Sarana, asking to meet Naala. Naala decides to head out immediately, and tells Uru to inform Toya of her whereabouts just in case. Meeting up with Sarana, Naala learns that she has someone she really likes and wants to settle down with. Though Naala feels conflicted, as a friend she sincerely congratulates her and wants to meet the guy. Sarana is more than glad to introduce them to each other, saying that Bal is a weaver and her affection for him soon becomes clear to Naala as she goes on about him. When Bal shows up, Sarana confesses that she wants to introduce her friend to the person she likes. It’s the first time she’s ever revealed her feeling so things get a bit awkward and Naala promptly closes her eyes when Bal goes to hug Sarana lol. Unfortunately, Sharu witnessed all this and calls Sarana a traitor. Naala also sees a cowering girl behind Sharu, someone who recently started hanging out together with Sharu. Sharu accuses Sarana of throwing away everyone and their promise to return together for her own happiness.
Later that night, Naala is worn out by the day’s events. Seeing her, Uru offers to listen and when asked how one would feel if your friend found someone she loved, he naturally answers that he’ll be happy. While that is true, Naala thinks to herself about the complications of this matter. Uru then asks if she hates Nasula men. Personally he hopes for her to come to like Nasula, and will work hard for her to like it as he’ll always be on her side. Naala thanks him, and expresses that she wishes to build a good relationship with Toya. (If you’re going after Uru, Naala chooses to say that she likes Uru. He gets embarrassed and thanks her.)
The next day, Naala hears from Toya that the girl (who was with Sharu) attempted to commit suicide. Thankfully they managed to save her in time and Toya covered up the case as an accident since he can’t afford to give any “bait” to the opposition side. Naala wonders if the girl saw despair in what was supposed to be one’s happiness yesterday. Toya then informs her that he’ll be busy with research and will be sleeping in a different room for a while. But Naala sees that he’s burdening himself more. She can’t bring herself to condemn Toya when she sees him like this. One morning, Naala decides to bring Toya his breakfast when she hears that he hasn’t been eating recently. He doesn’t touch his food though, and didn’t even realise that she was still in the same room. When Naala advises him to rest, Toya suddenly bursts out shouting that he has no time to rest – if the cure will finish by itself when he rests then he’ll do so. He can only rely on himself, there’s hardly any support for this research and there are even people who mock him. Once again, the Toya now seems so different from his usual self to Naala.
Realising how he’d just reacted to Naala, Toya calms down and mutters that he doesn’t have one likeable quality. As Naala pats him, she says that he’s just tired. It’s too lonely to rely on just yourself, and one can’t realise a dream alone. Even though she may be labelled as a traitor, she wants to support him and Naala reminds him that she’s here too. Later that day, Uru offers to get some medicine to ease her weariness. (If you’re going after Uru, Naala chooses to say that she’d like him to massage her shoulders. He’s resistant at first since he feels that he as a man shouldn’t easily touch his female master. Wanting to tease him, Naala says that it’s an order and he has no choice but to do so. Naala feels better thanks to him, but Uru says that he’ll only do this when she feels absolutely darn tired. Naala praises him and he flushes and thanks her. Naala thinks this is also one form of fate between them.)
Naala wakes up to hear Uru and someone else talking outside – it turns out to be Muru, who serves Toya and is also Uru’s older brother. Naala also learns that Uru used to serve Toya together with Muru before. Muru came to convey a message from Toya: He wanted to come to see her this morning, but got dragged away by Noor for some urgent work. He’ll be back in the afternoon and invites her to eat in the courtyard while viewing a different flower bloom. Later, Naala learns from Uru that he really looks up to his brother, especially his loyalty. It’s not just following orders, but deciding to do what is best for one’s master. Naala thinks that he does well enough and though Uru feels otherwise, he is grateful to be serving a kind master. Naala feels that it’s okay to make mistakes sometimes though, and both he and Toya need to learn how to ease up. Uru doesn’t quite understand her words though.
Later Naala meets Toya at the courtyard. She feels that if it’s just her collecting information, she may miss important stuff out since she isn’t equipped with the adequate knowledge. So she wants to create a place where all the doctors can gather, collect information, and spread the word about his research. This way, it can also ease the women’s worries and also hopefully lift some of Toya’s burden. He should share the pain and difficulties with all those who support him. Toya asks if that includes her, and she agrees. Toya is worried that she’ll be put in a bad light though, helping an enemy, but she doesn’t mind. Naala adds that she likes his straightforwardness, and like a kid Toya brightens up and replies that he likes her a lot too which embarrasses her.
Naala gathers all the Rusu women and expresses her intention to cooperate with Toya, who is researching on a cure for the disease – and hopefully when that happens he can persuade the ministers to let them return home. Though there may be uncertainties, rather than not doing anything she’d prefer to be part of this fight for women. Though the women aren’t fully persuaded, one of them clearly expresses her wish to meet with Toya to directly ask him about this. Naala goes to inform Toya of all this later, apologising for not being of much help. Toya thinks otherwise though, her existence itself is a huge help to him, and gives him much more hope than she knows of. For example, being in the same space alone like this is enough to make him cry tears of happiness. Naala thinks that he’s exaggerating but feel her heartbeat quickening even though she knows that he’s referring to her as a friend. Both of them go together the next day to meet the women again. Toya expresses his wish to work together with them to find out more information to develop a cure. Though he can’t confirm how long it will take, or that they can return immediately, he promises that he’ll do all he can to return them back home. Though there’s opposition such as from Sharu, two thirds of the women are persuaded to work together since it’s a glimpse of hope. It’s a good start for them though Naala worries over Toya overworking himself again. This time though he senses it from her already and reassures her.
After that, Toya started talking to the women to find out more, and a research room is also in the works. Though in exchange for that, Noor also asked Toya to focus on his kingly duties. That deadline of Noor’s is approaching so Toya is doing all he can on his research at the moment. For that day, he marked out the cases where the disease was contracted and discovered that the borders between Rusu and Nasula had fewer cases – aka where Zyeg River is. But there are people who died when still drinking its waters so Naala tries to think what’s the difference – just then she recalls that she hasn’t told Toya about her surviving the disease yet. She was afraid that he would be disgusted at first but decides to open up to him about it now. Toya thanks her for telling him everything.
Recently, Sharu has been avoiding Naala though one day they meet each other by accident. Naala quickly stops Sharu but an awkward silence grows between them. Sharu is the first to break it, as she says that Naala is being deceived by Toya, and blames herself for Naala’s predicament. Naala tells Sharu to stop burdening herself, and denies that she’s obeying Toya unwillingly. She truly wants to cooperate with him to help everyone to find a way to live in a world with Kusashi. Sharu thought that she wanted to return home with everyone first and foremost though, and angrily declares that she hates Nasula and its men. Sharu runs off to cool her head and tells Naala not to follow her. The next day, Naala continues to help Toya by gathering information from the women. To her surprise though, Sharu shows up. She insists that she only wants to cooperate to help to find a cure, and still hates Nasula men and that it isn’t for Naala’s sake or anything. Still, Naala is heartened by this progress and thanks her.
A few days later, Muru informs Naala and Toya that a maid has contracted the disease. She’s currently being isolated in the basement and Muru asks Naala not to go near it. The news makes their hearts heavy, as they’ve just been progressing well. Toya orders Muru to have the doctors to be put in shifts and to administer the medicine in development daily, and to report to him if there are any changes. Apparently Toya knew the maid, as he would also regularly ask the palace maids for information too. Toya knows that Naala is worrying over him and thanks her, remarking on how kind she is. Naala feels that the kind one is him instead, much to his surprise. She hasn’t fully forgiven him but no matter how much he’s condemned, he’s working this hard for other people. Toya comments that she’s kind, or rather strong, to be able to worry over someone who kidnapped her.
Naala is embarrassed by his straightforwardness, but he feels that one never knows when one will die so it’s better to convey what you want when you can. Naala wonders if he had experienced this before, and Toya admits that there were two people whom he wanted to apologise to but couldn’t. He quickly brightens up though, and says that he likes the beautiful, strong and kind Naala. He also adds that someone will be coming to visit soon, and to help the person. He refuses to say who it is, but admits that he’d rather not meet that person. Though he doesn’t mind as long as Naala is happy. Naala’s puzzled by his words, and can only wonder who he’s referring to.
After Toya leaves, Uru comes in with some tea. Seeing a red flower in the cup, Naala is reminded of the “Nameless Flower” which grows in fields alongside Tsegu River. This surprises Uru since it’s said to be the flower which causes Kusashi. Naala says that it’s just a myth though, and she likes the flower. She recalls how she often played with Bayar there when she was young, and even proposed to him. Though she’s certain that he was merely entertaining a kid, he said that he would come for her one day and gave her a flower ring made from the Nameless Flower. When she went back, her step-brother wanted to throw away the flower ring, since he believed in the myth too, but Naala swallowed it instead. Naala then recalls that the day she swallowed it she contracted the disease – or was it earlier? She can’t really recall the past well and ends up brooding over it for a while.