Chapter 1 - Part 1
“What are you talking about?”
Lelia blinked dazedly at the mysterious sound.
When Romeo looked at Lelia, he smiled inexplicably.
Then he shrugged his shoulders and said, “It’s the medicine I needed.”
“…Research material, right?”
“Well, it’s similar.”
Judging by his reaction, it seemed that he had no intention of telling her what the drug did.
“I needed it right away.”
Romeo murmured and then fiddled with the vial.
“It’s the last thing I will say, so listen carefully. It’s strange and creepy, so I won’t say it twice.”
“When we were young… You saved me.”
“I’ve always admired you. Always respected and loved you, and it will continue to be true in the future.”
“I will always be by your side, as if I became a disciple of yours. Same as a friend, too— So…”
“You should rely on me and use me, too. Shouldn’t you give me a chance to repay the favor?”
As Lelia called out in her small voice, Romeo’s expression crumpled.
“…Were you a bit uncomfortable with it? It’s hard to console you, really…”
Romeo shook his head with a pale face, but his ears were red.
Lelia was grateful for his desire to comfort her.
As a child, the first person she became friends with was Romeo, right? Being with Romeo made her feel at ease.
She hesitated for a moment, then opened her mouth.
“So do I. Rather, you guys saved me. I think of all of you as my heroes.”
Romeo’s brow wrinkled. He opened the vial and tried to drink, but he looked at Lelia in annoyance.
“You finally came up with something embarrassing… Stop it?”
“You have quite the personality…”
“It’s good? I know.”
While Lelia was bewildered, Romeo gulped down all of the medicine. Then he wore a refreshed expression, like someone who drank a beer.
Lelia looked closely at Romeo to check if it was really okay.
The expression on his face didn’t matter.
He said it was research material, so was it okay to drink it like that?
“I’m going now.”
Romeo got up from his seat lightly, as if his business was over.
“Don’t cry alone at night. If you’re scared, call this man. Okay?”
Before Romeo left the room, he suddenly turned around.
“Just in case, you…”
“I said I love you earlier, but are you not mistaken about something? I didn’t mean it that way at all, okay? If you misunderstood, it’s your loss….”
“Weren’t you leaving?”
“It’s not like that, but if you want to use me politically, you can beg me to marry you…”
“You want to be beaten like Kalix?”
Romeo raised his hands and ran away from Lelia, who was about to rush at him.
After Romeo left, the room became quiet.
Lelia smiled sadly, as if she was disappointed.
Perhaps because Romeo had come to visit, he seemed to have been a great comfort.
Okay… Since when have you been a family? There was no reason to be hurt at all.
The condition of Emperor Perseus was strange.
She has been feeling anxious for a while…
When she faced the emperor, who had almost turned into a nuisance, her heart suddenly sank.
Even after taking a sedative, he murmured “Lelia…” she saw his bloodshot eyes and she came to a realization.
Emperor Perseus was very hard-headed.
Empress Marianne intended to hand over her throne not to Cedric or Damian, but to her youngest prince, who was her child.
Looking at the situation now, she wondered if it was the right time to be working against Cedric and Damien.
The emperor was ready to give up everything for Lelia.
‘At this rate, he is about to give up the throne.’
She had to find a way to stall.
The worried Empress Marianne went to the emperor and made a proposal.
She said that it would be better for him to leave for a while and come back, even if it was for medical treatment.
She acted benevolent and pitiful.
“She will need time, too. Keep your distance for a while, and wait until the child’s heart has opened a bit, Your Majesty.”
The emperor was gradually convinced, because it seemed so obviously right.
It was the first time for the emperor to feel so weak. Perhaps that’s why she was able to persuade him with all her heart, and it began to work on him.
So the emperor decided to leave the Imperial Palace for a while to recuperate.
During that time, government affairs would be handled by Cedric.
Empress Marianne intended to actively take advantage of this opportunity.
Princess Lelia was about to abandon the throne and run away anyways.
So she made good use of this time…
‘I need to cut down Prince Cedric’s reputation.’
The aristocrats close to her had suggested getting rid of him sooner rather than later, but Marianne shook her head.
She couldn’t kill him though, because she had some affection for him from when she’d raised him.
But as for the throne…
The next person to inherit the throne as emperor had to be the child of her own blood.
Only then, can she keep her power for a long time.
Lelia wanted to leave the Imperial castle as soon as possible and return to her estate.
“Lelia, for the time being… How about you stay in the capital for a little bit longer?”
Uncle Carius said this with a very conflicted expression.
Lelia wondered, because it almost felt like a request.
“I feel like I want to take you home right now, but…”
Carius bit his lip.
This morning, before leaving for recuperation, the emperor called him and begged him earnestly.
He asked Carius to convince Lelia to stay in the capital until he returned.
When he returns after clearing up his mind, he’ll ask Lelia for her forgiveness again. All he asked was for her to wait for him.
Perseus’ condition was serious.
He listened to the doctor, who said that he was seriously ill and needed some stability.
When Carius saw Perseus in person, his handsome face was drenched with sweat and he had such a haggard look.
His eyes looked blank and empty. The emperor, who had everything, had eyes that looked like he had lost everything.
Seeing a similar look on his face when Elizabeth died, he couldn’t refuse him.
He said it was his last request.
“Lelia. If the Imperial castle is uncomfortable, let’s find a mansion in the capital and live there.”
Lelia had noticed her uncle’s motives.
It was obvious that it was a request from the emperor. But if her uncle, who felt more strongly than anyone else about Emperor Perseus, came out and said this…
[Did he even threaten the territory?]
Lelia’s brow wrinkled. She didn’t like it when the Superion’s were at a disadvantage because of her.
But she didn’t want to stay here anymore.
“Anyway, Emperor Perseus will be leaving the Imperial Palace for a while, so no one will bother you.”
Lelia couldn’t even speak.
It’s not that he’s the only one hurting.
Lelia nodded her head a number of times.
Yeah, it wouldn’t be difficult to hold out a little longer if I don’t have to see the emperor.
However, after her uncle left, Julianna immediately came to visit her. Lelia had a change of heart.
She didn’t want to meet her, but once again, Julianna opened the door without permission.
She had an openly uncomfortable expression on her face, but Julianna came closer.
Tears were threatening to spill from the corners of her eyes.
“… I, I was wrong.”
[What else are you trying to say to make me upset again?]
It was the opposite attitude from the last time. She was rather anxious when Julianna came out like this.
“Because I was wrong… Don’t bother my father anymore. Don’t hurt him.”
“And you… It wasn’t just you who had a hard time. My father had a really hard time, too. To the point where I feel sorry for him.”
Julianna knew he often remembered his previous wife after her death, and was quite distressed about it.
She remembered how sorry she felt for the child everyone thought died alongside her mother.
“I don’t know how much pain, guilt, and hardship he must have felt because of you. You don’t know So… If you hate me, only be angry with me.”
Julianna spoke gibberish and continued muttering.
What to say to her, Lelia pondered…
She just decided to let her know the facts directly.
She thought Julianna was misunderstanding something.
“I’m sorry, Princess Julianna. I have no interest in you.”
“I don’t hate you, and I have no interest in you. To be honest, I don’t even want to talk face to face with you like we are now.”
“…What do you mean?”
“It’s just annoying. I don’t know why you’re doing this to me…”
“Well then, why are you harassing my father? If it’s not because of me, then why? It can’t be!”
Her words didn’t make sense.
Lelia sighed deeply.
Julianna, who had been crying for a while, quickly became angry.
“Then… Are you really just angry with your father?”
“How can you do that? You’re not the only victim! Rather, the victim is my father!”
Lelia’s head was pounding. She couldn’t figure out what logic and what qualifications she was deciding on.
“How can you do that? How can a person do that? How can you be so cold to your father?”
Julianna soon looked at Lelia with disgusted eyes, as if she were seeing the world’s one and only villainess.
Soon she said, as if she was warning.
“Don’t hurt my father and brothers again. If you make my family cry again…. I will never forgive you.”
“Didn’t you know? That’s what people call you behind your back.”
[Editor: WOW! Savage!]
Julianna seemed to have been greatly shocked and hurt by those words.
While her lips trembled, she soon stepped back as if she was afraid.
Then she ran out with a sobbing sound.
Lelia fell into bed because she lost all of strength in her body.
She should’ve just ignored her until the end.
In the end, she was so angry that she said something she probably should have said to Julianna.
She bit her lips, feeling a strange guilt.
She wanted to run away.
Lelia lay on the bed as if she were collapsing.
“…Like a fool.”
Tears welled up in her eyes.
Regrets poured in.
It felt like standing at the intersection of a thousand roads.
She kept thinking that she should not have returned to the Imperial castle.
“…I should’ve just run away by myself, so that I wouldn’t damage the land of Superion.”
Belated regret came in.
Lelia muttered to herself in an empty voice.
“…Should I run away now?”
She fell asleep crying like that, without even thinking of wiping away the constantly flowing tears.
It seems she fell into a deep sleep for a very long time.
When she opened her eyes again, Lelia realized that a very long time had passed.
But it was weird.
“Where am I?”
She definitely fell asleep in bed, but the bottom of her bed rattled.
[Can a bed rattle?]
Lelia forced her stiff eyes to slowly open.
Then she realized where she was lying down, it was the bench in a carriage. She didn’t even know, because it was uncomfortable. In fact, it was soft and cozy.
It was then.
“Hi, did you sleep well?”
She was surprised by the voice coming from the opposite side and turned her head.
“I wish you had woken up later. Otherwise, it’s not worth the kidnapping.”
In front of her was her Oscar, looking at her with a light smile on his face.
There was a chill that travelled from the top of her head to the tips of her toes.