Long ago, there existed a land divided into four countries: Sou, Kou, Do, and Ah. The King of Ah took on a wife from Kou and soon thereafter one from Do, creating a shaky alliance between the three nations. When the Second Queen gave birth to a son, the King cast aside the sickly First Queen and her daughter Aki into the depths of the Palace. But as Fate would have it, Princess Aki encounters a slave named Hakusei, who has peculiar golden hair and sky blue eyes. He promises his life to her and helps her train in the Six Arts under the guidance of the enigmatic merchant Seitetsu. However, when Aki outshines the Prince during a hunt in an attempt to gain her father's acknowledgement, she sparks a war by besmirching Do's honor and drives the Second Queen to poison her mother. With nothing left but her faithful Hakusei, Aki is banished to the small country of Kou with a vow to return to Ah one day for revenge. But in the face of the mighty allied nations of Do and Ah, will the two survive long enough to carry out Aki´s vow?
This manga is written masterfully so far. It is very deep and has a lot of drama. You really feel for the characters and I think it would be a great read for anyone who enjoys historical romance stories with lots of drama. I started off liking it emensely and the exchange between the princess Aki and her "barbarian" slave Hakusei is cute, natural, and enjoyable. The drama was understandable and enjoyable as well. However, even though I gave this story a 8.5 based on it's true merit which even I can see, I have begun to have an issue with the story. My issue is that I personally dislike Love triangles but it is obviously going in this direction now. This manga had me loving every min. of it. The interaction between Aki and Hakusei seemed genuinely sweet and were my favorite part. I was looking forward to the transition into their love. I knew there would be a lot against them given their status difference and other issues thay had to contend with, however, the flow in that direction came to an abrupt complete and in my opinion very harsh halt because of Aki. The story is not completed so it could get better again. I guess we will have to wait and see. I just felt the love triangle thing was unneeded. They already have plenty of drama in the story without it. The art is excellent in this manga. I have not seen art of this callerber in many romance manga. The drawings have a lot of detail. Both the backgrounds and the characters are drawn with great care. It's hard to find a manga that does both the story and art exceptionally. Usually one part is a great deal better than the other. However, this one is excellent in both departments. The person who made this is extremely skillful. The characters as I have mentioned already are very easy to connect with and have feelings for. They are drawn excellently and their personalities and motives match perfectly with the story. I like how Aki is smart and stubborn but in some cases, like in the case of her rejection of Hakusei's love, it upsets me. However, since they are both the main characters chances are that some measure of happiness will be achieved at some point for both of them. Hakusei is my favorite character. He is sweet and also strong. However, I am beginning to feel it's unfortunate that he fell for Aki (the princess), because although she treats him different than others do and accepts him for the most part, she doesn't even think about him or look at him in a romantic way at all... at least not yet. My second favorite character is Seitetsu. He's a interesting and mysterious guy who has helped out Aki and Hakusei many times. He seems rough around the edges, but he is actually a very devoted guy. Overall, this story is excellent in every way. Pushing my personal issues with it asside, if you want a exceptional Historical Romance with plenty of drama, this one is one you should check out.
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