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Webcomic / Under The Oak Tree

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Under the Oak Tree is an ongoing Korean Web Serial Novel by Kim Soo-ji. It Is also being adapted into a Korean Webtoon.
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Maximillian is a young noblewoman with a stutter who has had about the most traumatizing childhood possible. Raised by her abusive father, she has grown up being constantly beaten and told she is worthless and unworthy of love or happiness. Confined to her room for most of her life, she has little will and zero self-confidence.

When her father is ordered by the king to deal with a rampaging dragon, he marries her off to the commoner knight Riftan Calypse in return for an oath to deal with the dragon in his stead. Riftan spends a single night with Max before heading off on his mission.

Three years later, Sir Riftan has slain the dragon and become the kingdom's most celebrated hero, but Max has given up hope, believing the rumors that he has found another woman... until he shows up with his knights to collect her. Turns out he took his marriage vows very seriously, and he promptly whisks her off to his fortress.

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Now in a loving marriage, and surrounded by people showing her care and concern for the first time in her life, perhaps Max can begin her journey to healing and self-confidence.

But the journey won't necessarily be smooth. Max is plagued by crippling doubt and self-loathing, and as the lord's wife, she must rapidly adjust to a position of authority she has never been prepared for. Politics are afoot, monsters infest the land, and war is brewing.

The comic's official English translation can be read here.


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  • Abusive Parents: Duke Croix, hoo-boy. He regards his daughters as tools for strategic arranged marriages, and believed Max's stutter meant nobody worth allying with would want her. He blamed her for this, and constantly beat and insult her over being useless to him. It's given her issues she may never fully get over.
  • A Man Is Always Eager: Riftan is almost constantly horny for Max. He frequently holds himself back when he thinks she's not up for it, but doesn't realize that she is far too shy to speak up when she is in the mood, leading to occasional needless frustration.
  • Arbitrarily Large Bank Account: After plundering the dragon's hoard, Riftan became one of the richest men in the kingdoms. When he brings Max to his castle, he gives her leave to spend all she likes decorating the place (to her consternation, since she'd never been allowed to so much handle a coin before,) and can pay staggering sums of wealth for things when he needs to.
  • Court Mage: Ruth is Riftan's official wizard, performing healing magic and providing magical support in combat, as well as various services to the castle.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: Averted. The dominant religions are called Catholicism and Protestantism, and they worship God with a capital G.
  • Extreme Doormat: Max at first. Under her father's beatings, she quickly learned to be silent and accept her lot. She gradually learns to (sort of) stand up for herself in her new life, but it's a very slow process.
  • Gilded Cage: Riftan tries to prevent Max from doing any kind of labor, and stay confined to her quarters. It comes from good intentions, because he wants to give her the life of a leisurely noble he feels she deserves, but it drives her crazy. After they get into their first major fight over it, he finally realizes his error and relents.
  • Happily Married: Riftan and Max have some tension due to lack of communication and his smothering overprotectiveness, but they nonetheless are intensely in love with each other.
  • Idealized Sex: Zig-zagged. Max's wedding night with Riftan is bloody and painful, but after he returns, he is much more attentive about things like foreplay, and she comes to love sex with him. They both often seem to have more stamina than is physically possible, though.
  • Insatiable Newlyweds: Once Riftan returns from his campaign against the dragon, he thoroughly and repeatedly makes up for all the sex he hadn't been having with Max.
  • The Medic: One of Ruth's major duties is providing magical healing. When Max turns out to have a particular talent for it, he begins tutoring her in the art.
  • Monsters Everywhere: Travel outside the settled areas can be very dangerous, since the wilderness is crawling with monsters. Riftan and his knights have to perform regular sweeps around the lands near the castle to root them out.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Well, not always completely harmonious, since they have communication issues, but they are both very devoted and happy in their union.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Thanks to her abusive upbringing, Max has terrible, terrible issues speaking up for herself or voicing her desires. This causes a lot of misunderstandings with Riftan. He often takes her silence or terseness for dissatisfaction with her life or marriage, when she's actually stunned by his kindness to her or afraid to tell him how she feels.
  • Porn with Plot: The novel has very detailed, explicit descriptions of Max and Riftan's lovemaking. The webtoon dials this back, opting for Sexy Discretion Shots when things get hot and heavy.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Riftan was utterly focused on getting back to her during the campaign against the dragon, to the dismay of the ladies he attracted the attention of.
  • Shrinking Violet: Max, thanks to the abuse she suffered. She has trouble speaking up or socializing, and often apologizes when she shouldn't.
  • Speech Impediment: Max has had a severe stutter since childhood. Her father regarded it as rendering her much less valuable for a strategic Arranged Marriage, and tried to beat it out of her. Eventually he just abused her for being "damaged." Ironically, this most likely made it worse.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Riftan often tries to keep Max confined to their room or a small section of the fortress. While it's kind of justified since the surrounding lands are a monster-infested wilderness, he can become too smothering about it, trying to prevent her from going even into relatively safe public areas of the castle town.
  • Training the Gift of Magic: Ruth senses that Max has unrealized magic potential, and begins training her to use and control it. Riftan is not happy with this at first and tries to forbid it, but eventually relents when Max is persistent about it.
  • Unexpected Virgin: Riftan knows how to pleasure Max from the get-go, and she assumes he's bedded other women. When he mentions that she's his first, she is surprised, and he explains that he learned what to do by listening to other mercenaries boast of their... ahem... "conquests."
  • Vitriolic Best Buds:
    • Riftan and his knights constantly argue, curse and insult each other, but they have each other's backs when it counts.
    • Downplayed with Ruth and Max. He can be very sarcastic and loves to tease her, but he's the first true friend she makes at the castle, and is sweetly supportive of her in his way.
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