Chapter 18

 

 

Translated by Rae

***

 

“How ridiculous.”

 

Carmun’s suspicious gaze was aimed toward Cecillia.

 

“Why do you think my dog got injured? Is it because you saw him directly?”

 

“Yes.”

 

To be precise, she heard it from the maid in the Lion Palace.

 

Cecillia nervously clenched her trembling hands. She could not bear the thought of returning to her homeland after being abandoned.

 

She didn’t know what her father would have said to her, and if she was not divorced but being expelled from her position, she was pretty sure that she would be sold to an old man with a big and bumpy belly in her next marriage.

 

“Haha… You are a very ridiculous woman.”

 

The ridiculous laughter of the Emperor filled the drawing room. Cecillia couldn’t calm down because she felt the chilly atmosphere inside the room.

 

She was overwhelmed with anxiety.

 

“Viester.”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Bring it.”

 

When Carmun gave a command, Viester quickly understood and went out of the drawing room.

 

When no one spoke out, Carmun stared at Cecillia in the midst of the quiet drawing room.

 

What kind of expression this woman was going to make the moment she saw that Louie is completely uninjured?

 

He frowned slightly.

 

Shortly after, the door opened and Viester returned with Louie.

 

“!”

 

At that moment, Cecilia’s eyes grew wide until they nearly fell from their places.

 

After checking that Louie was completely uninjured, Cecillia looked at her maid, Velly, the look that said she was going to kill her for this.

 

Cecillia’s palms were pressed against her curled nails and blood escaped from the cutted flash.

 

“Y-Your Majesty… I, I really didn’t know…!”

 

Velly sensed that something was wrong and clung on to her master.

 

When the deposal had been confirmed, she might even die. He personally knew that Cecillia’s personality just wasn’t beautiful.

 

Velly’s body trembled like a leaf.

 

“The reason why Louie couldn’t go out lately was because he grew old and his knees had gotten weak.”

 

He stroked Louie gently on its head when the dog approached him with a pant.

 

Louie rubbed his face against his hand, perhaps because the touch felt pleasant to him while waving his long and soft tail.

 

Unlike people who would have freaked out when he looked at them coldly, the animals followed Carmun around a lot. There was a faint smile on Carmun’s face when he looked at Louie, but it was too faint unrecognizable to everyone because he was wearing a veil.

 

“It seems like you know Louie better than its owner.”

 

Cecillia’s face seemed to crumble when she finally learned the reason why Carmun was being so sarcastic toward her.

 

“Your, Your Majesty….”

 

Cecilia’s gaze changed. She gave a piercing look at her maid, as if she was blaming the poor girl.

 

“Velly….”

 

It felt like there was fire in her eyes. Velly noticed that my path was now very dark, and tears flowed down. Tears welled up in Velly’s eyes when she realized that the path ahead of her had become very dark.

 

“Should I punish you?”

 

“I apologize. Your Majesty, I have committed a mistake.”

 

Carmun got angry again when Cecillia quickly apologized to him.

 

He wondered if he should accept it when she apologized to him like that? It would be so easy for her.

 

She must’ve gossiped about him behind his back for having a terrible personality sometimes because he was a warmonger.

 

“Mistake? I thought I already gave you a chance.”

 

Carmun gently rubbed his chin using his hand.

 

Cecillia’s eyes trembled nervously. She didn’t know what kind of words were going to escape the Emperor’s mouth.

 

“If you know anything about the medicine tube, confess to me.”

 

What’s with the medicine container… Did the Emperor really want to know about it so much?

 

Did the owner of that medicine container really have the Emperor’s heart?

 

Cecillia was upset because it looked like she was chasing the traces left behind by the Emperor’s lover.

 

The thought of the Emperor rolling around in bed with another woman made him angry again.

 

Concubine Edith and the young maid.

 

She didn’t want to tell him if she was going to die soon.

 

When neither Cecillia nor Velly decided to speak, Carmun looked at the Viester and gave a reply.

 

“Return Concubine Cecilia to her homeland and lock the maid in a dungeon. She will be released if she confesses.”

 

Carmun decided on the two precisely.

 

Although Cecillia said it casually, he didn’t seem to have it. However, there was something bizarre about the medicine tube.

 

Those were probably the answers that came from the maid’s mouth.

 

Carmun looked at Velly with a cold gaze before leaving the drawing room.

 

That was the end of the situation. He was a heartless man who prevented her from clinging to her desire as a concubine.

 

Viester called in the knights and passed over Cecillia and Velly to him.

 

Right before the knights led them to separate the two, Cecillia raised her hand to stop the knights.

 

“I have something to say to my maid for a moment.”

 

“That is impossible.”

 

“She has been serving as my hands and feet for a long time without muttering any complaints. Can’t we at least say farewell to each other? I will have to leave this place and return to my homeland, so I can’t see Velly after she comes out. So please do a little favor for me.”

 

The knights hesitated at Cecilia’s sincere words.

 

They were even more moved by Cecillia’s appearance, who looked really delicate.

 

“Just for a moment.”

 

“Thank you.”

 

Cecillia showed a beautiful smile before looking back to Velly.

 

Velly was already trembling in fear.

 

“Velly.”

 

“I’m, I’m really sorry, Your Highness…. I, I have committed a mortal sin. Please forgive me….”

 

“I’m fine.”

 

Cecillia pulled the frightened Berry into her arms.

 

Her well-managed pink hair gave off the unique smell that was originally owned by Concubine Cecillia.

 

When she relaxed a little, Cecillia murmured softly in her ear.

 

It was a voice that wouldn’t be heard by anyone else but Velly.

 

“Suicide. If you tell His Majesty anything regarding the medicine tube, he will kill you. Not just you. Your family as well, this room is the place to dry poisonous herbs and use it as medication, right? The herbs here can slowly kill a person if they use the strong one.”

 

“Your Highness….”

 

“You will be able to leave this world easily if you die.”

 

Tears eventually fell from Velly’s eyes. The knights tilted their heads when the streams of tears constantly fell down.

 

“Your Highness Cecillia…. H-hukh…….”

 

“You should go now.”

 

Then, Velly cried as she got separated from Cecillia.

 

Cecilia turned around with a cold expression on her face after looking at Velly, who was being taken to the dungeon, and went back to her palace to prepare for her return to the homeland.

 

***

 

It wasn’t until late that day when Helen finally opened her eyes to find herself lying down on the bed.

 

Ellie hurriedly helped Helen by supporting on her shoulder when she saw Helen struggling to get up by herself.

 

“I-If you still don’t feel well, please lie down a little more.”

 

Helen shook her head.

 

Her body was stiff, and my head felt like it was almost broken.

 

She needed fresh air and water.

 

Ellie quickly reacted when Helen reached out her hand to drink water.

 

“D-do you know how panicked I was? If you were sick, you should’ve told me that you were sick!”

 

“I’m sorry.”

 

Helen’s cheeks heated up for no reason seeing Ellie spitting out words full of concern about her.

 

Forgetting that she still had a headache, she just stared blankly at Ellie.

 

“Are you still sick? You have a fever….”

 

“No….”

 

Helen stared at Ellie as she spoke, meanwhile the maid lowered her head.

 

Ellie felt awkward at her gaze, but now she knew that she shouldn’t have avoided it anymore.

 

Because she knew her master was just like an injured kitten.

 

Helen opened her eyes wide and looked at Ellie, even though she knew she shouldn’t have done this, she kept feeling sick and gradually became weaker each day.

 

She wanted to behave like a spoiled child and rely on someone else.

 

‘This is exactly why I liked it when the man stroked my hair.’

 

Then, she remembered the man who was trapped in the library. The man who didn’t like to be left behind as he tried to hold onto her for a little more.

 

‘He must have gotten hurt as well.’

 

Somehow Helen was able to understand his feelings, so she missed him even more.

 

She felt weird. Her fingers were numb because her heart fluttered.

 

“How strange….”

 

According to Ellie, she had been sick all night long.

 

The maid didn’t know what she was dreaming about, but she let out a series of groans for a while in her sleep.

 

‘It was a dream about my father.’

 

The dream was warm enough to be considered a nightmare, but then it felt more like a nightmare.

 

Her father would never show her that kind of smile.

 

If her father found out that she didn’t obey her father’s order… He might kill her for real this time.

 

Thinking so, she made up her mind. Helen was not afraid of death.

 

She already ran through it several times, and there were many times when I wished that I would have died instead.

 

But not now. She wanted to put off her death a little more.

 

‘I want to live a little longer….’

 

[t/n: this is so sad, imagine hoping that you just wanted to live a little longer…]

 

It was because of the man and Ellie. She didn’t want to see Ellie cry as she watched her master die, and she didn’t want to know the sorrowful face of a man who was just waiting for her.

 

‘Just until this winter goes by… Let’s stay a little longer.’

 

Helen prayed desperately as she saw the moonlight coming through the window.

 

God somehow listened to his prayers. But she wanted a harsh reward.

 

He allowed me to leave the palace, which was her wish, and he wanted her life in return.

 

Therefore, please listen to my prayer again this time.

 

Helen prayed in front of the window with both of her hands clasped against each other.

 

“Please let me live a little longer….”

 

Ever since she was born, there have never been days when she felt as comfortable as the last one year she lived here. She was happy and was able to experience a little joy in her life.

 

So she got greedy.

 

Soon after, the door opened and Ellie came in. She must have thought that Helen was lying on the bed. She seemed to be taken aback when her master stood in front of the window.

 

“You have woken up? How’s your head? Is it fine now?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“But the air is cold. Please cover yourself with something.”

 

When Ellie covered her with a blanket, Helen felt warm again.

 

She felt like she wanted to live again and again.

 

“Thank you….”

 

Ellie’s expression seemed a bit gloomy when Helen muttered softly.

 

Helen, who always says thank you for the trivial care, was strange. She found it strange that Helen would always be grateful and appreciate even the slightest care that others did to her.

 

If she were born as a princess, she would have gotten used to it.

 

Helen’s gratitude reminded her of an important matter that she had forgotten for a while. Ellie’s face changed quickly.

 

“What’s wrong?”

 

“Oh….”

 

Helen was quick on the draw once she realized that Ellie’s expression had changed. She wondered if this was because of her.

 

‘Is it because I got up from bed despite her telling me to stay in bed…?’

 

Helen returned to bed with a discouraged face.

 

“Don’t be angry, Ellie. I’m sorry.”

 

“I’m angry, really….”

 

Ellie waved her hand, saying it wouldn’t have happened. However, there was a sad look on his face.

 

“What’s wrong?”

 

“It’s… I’m afraid Your Highness will be offended if you hear it.”

 

“It’s okay. I want to hear Ellie out.”

 

Helen said while shaking her head. Contradictory to her sick state, both of her cheeks seemed to be tinged with bright pink like peaches.

 

Ellie thought while scrunching up her nose.

 

It was quite bad news. It may be a bit too much for the innocent and fragile princess to hear this as soon as she woke up after collapsing on the bed.

 

“Ellie. Hurry.”

 

However, there was no way Helen would let her go without saying anything.

 

“If you don’t feel comfortable while listening to this, you have to tell me quickly.”

 

“Okay.”

 

“Really. Don’t worry if it will offend me, you just have to let me know if you feel that way.”

 

“Sure.”

 

Ellie finally spoke out after she made a firm promise with Helen.

 

“That…. I heard that the Emperor’s aide, Sir Viester, had come this afternoon.”

 

“Okay.”

 

Why was it considered bad news?

 

Helen’s head tilted to the side.

 

“Sir Viester asked if there was someone who knew anything about the medicine tube. It was the prescribed medicine tube that I brought from the dispensary.”

 

“!”

 

“Your Majesty said he was looking for it.”

 

Helen felt a big pressure weighing on her chest. It felt like someone had prevented her from breathing properly.

 

Ellie nibbled on her lips while checking on Helen, who was slightly petrified.