Chapter 1 - Part 1
A few days later…
At the knock on the door, Emperor Perseus said, “Come in.”
“Your Majesty, I have something urgent to say…”
Suha came inside particularly carefully. As if to confirm what was the state of Emperor Perseus.
He hurriedly decided to rest at the Empress’s suggestion, but there was a separate reason why he came here.
On the surface, it was to recover his health. In fact, it was to find traces of Lelia, who had spent her childhood in the temple. And lastly…
“It’s okay, come closer.”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
Suha came closer as if he was relieved.
Emperor Perseus felt his head throbbing at the moment.
“You are a bug who didn’t even recognize your own child.”
The voice of the dead Lydios began to appear. This voice was the signal.
“I was a savior who rescued your daughter. Why did you kill me? You killed your brother? You will never be forgiven even if you die!”
After listening to that creepy voice for a while, the figure of the dead Lydios appeared. After that, he couldn’t remember anything. Hearing the knight’s report, he said that his eyes had turned blue and he wielded his sword.
It was like pure madness.
The last reason he came here was to meet the high priest and receive treatment for madness. He may not be able to heal, but he had to call for help first.
After his last conversation with Lelia, he began to see hallucinations and visions.
The subordinate approached cautiously and glanced at the emperor’s condition.
Perseus managed to understand his mind clearly.
“What’s going on?”
“Well, there was a strange report. It’s such a strange report, I came because I thought I should let your Majesty know.”
“… There’s a soldier around here who said he saw Princess Lelia.”
“Who was he looking at?”
Emperor Perseus was able to drive away the hallucinations of the dead Lydios at the moment. The news was that ridiculous.
Lelia couldn’t have been here. Lelia was staying in the Auraria Imperial City. Safely next to Carius.
“You are hearing all sorts of nonsense.”
While Perseus was dumbfounded, Suha also said awkwardly.
“I heard it and asked if he saw it wrong… but the Princesses’ appearance described by the soldier is similar to the real thing. I’m reporting it just in case.”
Emperor Perseus agonized for a moment.
Currently, news has already spread in the Imperial city, the capital of Auraria, that Lelia has disappeared. However, the empress prevented the news from being delivered to the emperor. On the surface, the reason was that it would give a big shock to the emperor who left for vacation. But the inside story was different.
The empress thought this was an opportunity. Lelia was a hindrance to power in many ways. RIght now it was advantageous to remove her existence and send her to another empire. So, she prevented the emperor from getting the news until as late as possible, only finding out when it was unavoidable.
The emperor, unaware of this fact, narrowed his eyes. He was uncertain.
“Where did he see Lelia?”
“It was near the forest. The soldier seemed to have witnessed it while having a secret meeting with a woman in the village.”
“No, it was with a man with dark silver hair.”
The words crumpled Perseus’ forehead. At the same time, someone’s face came to his mind. The crown prince of the Hraesvelg Empire.
He felt impatient for a moment. Perhaps the soldier thought that since it might be the real Lelia. He started preparing to go straight out.
Perseus took some escort knights and headed to the forest where the soldier had witnessed seeing Lelia.
The forest was small and quiet. It was a wide forest, but the terrain was flat, so the search would not be difficult. He divided the escorts to look around. Then he walked to one side with one escort.
It was then.
“You’re the murderer that killed your daughter’s savior.”
It was starting again. The voice of the dead Lydios began to mock and harass him. Perseus stopped and touched his head.
“Your Majesty, are you okay?”
As he looked back at the escort, the dead Lydios overlapped on top of the knight’s face.
“Elizabeth, he was the one who killed her, not me.”
“And he tried to kill your daughter. He is as good as a beast.”
Emperor Perseus’ gaze changed suddenly.
In an instant, he pulled out a sword and swung it at the escort knight. The knight, who managed to avoid the sword, quickly began to run away. This was because of the order he received a few days ago. If Emperor Perseus’ eyes change suddenly, run away as soon as possible. Then, gather the knights and accompany the wizard to visit him.
Following the instructions he received, he quickly returned to his company. The knights who spread across the forest must have already gone far, but they were rather close. He had to bring the remaining knights and wizards there. Until then, he only hoped Emperor Perseus would not encounter anyone. Because the emperor, engulfed in madness, cuts down everything in front of his eyes.
“Brother, why did you kill me? Bad brother…”
“Do you know what your dead wife said to me? ‘I don’t need a husband who doesn’t recognize his child.’”
Lydios’ mocking face was vivid in front of him. Perseus swung a sword to get rid of the illusion.
Lydios, who was split in half by a wielded sword, appeared from behind.
“Can you hear this voice?”
“Perseus… How can you not recognize our daughter?”
The voice of his dead wife began to appear. Perseus’ face was distorted into pain.
In an instant, the surrounding area turned into a burning fire. He could see a building burning in front of him. His wife was dying there. Perseus ran straight into the building through the flames. But the surroundings changed again.
The door opened and someone came in. He saw a little girl. It was when he first met the young Lelia. When he saw the child for the first time, he should have hugged her as soon as he could.
“Your eyes look like that man.”
Contrary to his current mind, a cold voice popped out of his mouth.
“Take her back.”
That was it.
He did not recognize his daughter, did not hug her affectionately, and pushed her away coldly. Lelia’s eyes, which had known everything even then, looked somewhat empty. Resentment and wounded eyes passed through the child’s gaze. Her heart was broken.
“I’ll show you when your daughter was younger.”
He heard Lydios’ voice again.
The landscape in front of him changed again.
“You should never be caught that you are a woman. Do you get it?”
“Yes, your Majesty.”
It was a dirty and skinny child.
Little Lelia was kneeling in front of Lydios, who was in the emperor’s clothes.
She nodded while hurriedly picking up and eating food prepared on the floor like a dog.
“Thank you for feeding me delicious food, Your Majesty. I’ll do everything you tell me to do!”
Little Lelia said happily and smiled.
Lydios, who was standing in front of her, turned his head. Looking directly at Perseus, he shrugged as he watched. His smiling face was like a devil.
“I fed your daughter, put her to sleep, and saved her. And you killed me? Huh?”
“Your daughter has been living like a beggar… How have you been?”
The scene changed again.
In front of him stood young Julianna, who had a pale face and two red cheeks.
It was the first time she called him dad. Julianna came to him with a lovely voice. He vowed to protect this child for the rest of his life. She wasn’t his blood at all, but still, he cared and loved her as if she was his own biological child.
“Oh, my. You look so happy.”
Lydios mocked with admiration.
The scene changed again.
It was a small tower of the Imperial Fortress where Lelia lived.
It was a night with a large, full moon and exceptionally sparkling stars.
“To eat and sleep comfortably while carrying the name of the murderer who killed my mother! Isn’t that too unfair?”
“Besides, are you going to hurt Julianna? Do you know what punishment you will face if you dare to harm the imperial princess?”
Young Cedric and Demian shouted as they watched Lelia. Next to them stood Julianna, who was standing quietly.
Lelia, who was in a shabby condition, was in front of them.
“Come here. The daughter of a murderer.”
“Come here and kneel down and apologize. You deserve to be dealt with by imperial law, but if you sincerely beg for forgiveness, we will save your life.”
Lelia fell on her knees because Julianna had a small scratch.
“I’m sorry, my princess.
I’m sorry, princess…
Little Lelia had to repeat the words endlessly until she lost her voice.
Kneeling and head bowed, threatened by Cedric and Demian. She apologised endlessly with her forehead hitting the floor. The three young children laughed at the sight.
Little Lelia endured the laughter of the three children giggling above her head, repeating her apology like a parrot the whole time.
Perseus’ heart was torn apart.
“Uhhh… Urrrghhh…. Stop, stop…!”
Perseus fell onto his knees as he lost strength. He sobbed on the floor.
“Are you still going to blame me for killing your wife? If you want to be resentful, shouldn’t you blame yourself?” Lydios whispered mockingly.
Perseus’s eyes changed. If his wife hadn’t died… Even if only his wife survived. In order for his wife to save her child, she would not have asked Princess Iris to take care of her child.
If so… If so… !
His eyes widened at his hatred. Perseus started wielding his sword again. He cut and slashed at the illusion of Lydios. Then the scenery changed again, and Lelia, who had become an adult, appeared.
Lelia looked at him coldly and said, “I don’t need a father.”
“It has always been that way, and it will always be that way.
After I met Your Majesty… I got down on my knees and prayed. I hate being hungry. I don’t like to starve. I hate living by eating the soil again… It is the same reason I ran away from the Imperial Castle.
This place is like hell for me. Do you still want me to stay here?”
Lelia’s resentful eyes followed him.
Perseus began to run away. He ran away from the resentment that pursued him. He ran like crazy and saw a little hut. Oh, that hut. That small hut in the Imperial Castle where his dead wife came in and out of with affection. He remembered a day from the past.
“Why do you keep coming here, leaving behind the vast and gorgeous Imperial Castle?”
“Yeah, it’s a good place to study secretly…”
Elizabeth grunted and looked at him. Seeing her face, his soft emotions rose.
Young Perseus smiled at his chubby wife and said, “It’s fine, I’ll be quiet.”
Suddenly, years passed, and another day came to mind.
“Why did you go to this hut? How dare you? How did you find this place?! Did Princess Iris tell you about it when you were young? That place is…!”
It was at that same hut that he had been threatening young Lelia asking why she had gone there.
“It is… There was no place for Iris’ bloodline to go. Answer me. Why did you go there?”
“Um, I don’t have anything to eat… So…”
“I’m so hungry… I went to find something to eat. But I didn’t steal anything! I just looked and came out right away!”
Perseus opened the door to the hut.
If only everything was a dream, if only he could turn back time.
When the door of the hut opened, it seemed as if his wife, who had been immersed in her research, would find him and smile. Yes, if he could start all over again… However, when he opened the door and entered, all he could see was the illusion of Lydios.
“You are now being punished for killing your brother with your own hands.”
“… Stop, stop!”
He swung his sword without hesitation.
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