Mar woke up when the night fell. There was a letter from the emperor today.
[Concubine Edith won’t be coming over today.]
Mar thought it would be better if Edith didn’t come.
He had something to do tonight.
There was a sentence that came to his mind at this moment.
[What should we do at night?]
“Why am I curious about that?”
Mar’s expression became strange. This was because of the emperor’s ridiculous remark.
Mar crumpled up the letter before tossing it to the floor. His letter must be treated like this and thrown away. It was ridiculous that he even wanted to answer his letter.
Mar looked at the fallen letter and carefully unfolded it again.
He needed to confirm something.
‘How weird. This is……’
Mar wrote the same words as the emperor on the paper that has been prepared.
Concubine Edith won’t be coming today.
As he expected, it’s exactly the same.
“…Why? How come?”
There were many things Mar was unaware of, but he knew that people’s handwriting style was distinctive from each other.
Helen’s handwriting was very different from his.
Mar began to wander the room curiously. Upon checking every nook and cranny of the room, he realized that he already knew the location of objects in the room.
‘Why am I familiar with this?’
The more he checked around, Mar’s expression became even more grim.
He felt like in the middle of a labyrinth.
He didn’t feel that way when he was still in the library.
Mar finally opened the door to the office.
Whenever he saw familiar objects, it was as if he couldn’t remember it. His head began to throb.
The office consisted of two desks and a bookcase that surrounded them.
She stood in the middle of the carpeted room and looked around.
‘What was the sense of deja vu that he felt every time I knew the emperor?’
Mar agonized over it for a long time.
The reason why I didn’t have any memories of the past, and why the emperor was familiar with me.
Edith, who I’m sure I love, felt so unfamiliar to me, but why is the emperor….
It’s been ten years.
Ten years ago, he lived in the library like a soul that fell into an unknown place.
What was the reason that he was able to live without losing all the desires that people generally need?
What is my day-self doing?
Is it true that the emperor locked me up? Perhaps the reason why I was able to keep living is because of the emperor?
“…That must not be it.”
To think so gave him goosebumps.
But then, why did the emperor keep me at his fingertips?
He seemed to have no intention of giving him proper answers.
“I have no choice but to find it out on my own.”
Mar searched every room. He looked like a thief.
He suddenly found a letter.
– My one and only brother, Onderon
And a portrait consisted of a woman and him together.
Mar’s face became noticeably rigid after he unfolded the letter calmly.
The woman’s face in the portrait really resembled Helen.
Marr seemed to have run into an unexpected world.
Helen had a dream a long time ago. It was a dream about when her mother was still alive.
Unlike her father, her mother used to cherish and love her very greatly.
The woman was the only one who said she was prettier than her sister.
In her dream, she was sitting with her mother over the field and shared the story with each other in whispers.
“Mother! It, It’s been so long…!”
“You still have the habit of stuttering when you’re nervous.”
Her mother smiled gently and stroked her hair. It’s the touch that she hasn’t felt in a long time.
“You grew up well. Pretty and brisk.”
“…Do you really think so?”
“Of course. My pretty daughter.”
Her mother looked just like her. She had elegant blond curly hair paired with a bit of blue hues on her eyes.
The color was very pretty, and she was a woman who could be called a beauty.
There was someone regarded as her mother’s older sister who she often heard from her mother since she was young. She heard that she looked just like her mother and they could be passed as identical twins.
‘I’ve never seen her before.’
She only heard that her mother’s sister went through a bad situation and she couldn’t see her anymore. Her mother’s expression was not good whenever she talked about her sister.
So, she didn’t ask more.
Her mother smiled and pulled her hand. They were suddenly sitting next to each other on the ground and she opened her eyes wide while staring at her mother.
“Why are you so rigid? Are you embarrassed with your mother?”
Her mother, whom she met for the first time in a while, looked around the same age as me as if she didn’t age at all.
She was just contemplating because she felt awkward for being such a baby to her mother like when she was young.
It’s not that she didn’t like it.
She rushed into her mother’s arms and hugged her waist tightly. She couldn’t feel it since it was merely a dream, yet she felt comfortable.
“I’m all grown up.”
Her mother scolded her, but her voice was full of affection.
Back in Cordelia, she never showed up in her dreams no matter how bad she wanted to see her.
“I missed you. My daughter.”
Her mother stroked her head gently.
When her daughter’s hair fell between her fingers when she raised her stroking hand on her daughter’s head.
“Is Edith doing well?”
She felt stiff at the startling mention of Edith that escaped her mother’s mouth.
Mother, I became the concubine of the emperor in her stead.
Father ordered me to kill the emperor, and I would probably die soon after.
But she couldn’t say this.
Her mother was already dead, and she wanted her, who appeared in her dream, to remain peaceful for a while.
Hazel answered while smiling prettily.
“I hope you’ll always be happy. Even if you are not on good terms with Edith as sisters, after all she’s your family ….”
She was always left speechless whenever her mother talked about their family.
Her mother knew it, too. Edith and her father hated me.
Edith and her father also hated her mother.
We’re in the same family. Why did they….
On the day her mother passed away. She felt as if the hatred of the family seemed to have taken away her mother.
After that, she was trapped in the castle tower and grew up being isolated from the world.
However, the mother who came to her dream still told her to take care of their family.
“This is my dream.”
“You have to tell me what I want to hear in her dreams.”
In the end, she failed to hold back her tears and burst out crying.
‘The mother in my dream is simply a fiction I made with my imagination.’
And worse, how miserable she must be to get angry at such a thing.
“If otherwise, how can I survive? I can’t live because I’m suffocated….”
When she looked at her mother with tears and pity in her gaze, she raised her hand and gently caressed her eyes.
“Live how you want to be. Don’t listen to your family, do whatever you wish to do.”
She looked up with widened eyes when she heard the words she heard for the first time in her life.
The mother in her dream asked calmly.
“What do you wish to do?”
What does she want to do?
She never thought about such a thing. Because it was already hard for her to survive.
However, there was one answer that came to her mind for her mother’s question.
“I want to live. I don’t wish you to die just yet.”
She didn’t want to listen to her father.
She didn’t want to part with Mar and Ellie.
She didn’t wish to kill the emperor either.
Her mother smiled softly and caressed her hair. She remained the same as she was when she was still alive.
“I hope whatever you wish for will come true.”
Her mother’s figure gradually faded and disappeared.
When the wind blew, her mother disappeared in a blink of an eye.
The moment she screamed in surprise, she woke up.
It was late at night, she was in her room.
The lingering image of her dream went on. It’s been a really long time since she met her mom.
She didn’t know that her mother was still so young when she died because she was so young back then.
She already missed her mom again.
She got up from the bed. She was still in a wreck due to the poisonous herb. She didn’t know if one day was enough for her to recover, but Van has been carrying a lot of stuff since yesterday.
Medicine, maids, thick blankets, potions that were good for restoring your body energy, even Van himself.
He had brought more while she was sleeping, but when she came out to the living room that was connected to her room, there was a pile of luggage.
“…That’s too much.”
Now she was really at loss.
The reason why the emperor did this was her second question.
If the talk about her got into her father’s ears, he would want her to proceed with the next plan without hesitation, that was to kill the emperor.
He really wanted her to kill the emperor.
If he found out she was useless, someone else would replace her to do the task.
Her shoulders trembled in fear.
She got to know her feelings a little bit through her conversation with her mother in her dream.
The first was because she began to fear death, despite being so calm before.
The second was because she no longer wanted to be controlled by her father and sister just because they were her family.
“But what the heck should I do now?”
She couldn’t ask someone for help, but she didn’t have enough confidence to get through it on her own either.
She racked her brains, but in the end she came up with no conclusion.
And the morning came.
By dawn, Van headed straight to the Lion Palace.
“Your Majesty, this is Van.”
When he knocked on the door, he heard a thud followed by a deep sigh from inside.
Soon Carmun, who seemed to have just woken up, showed up.
“What did you find out?”
“I’m here to report to you.”
“Come on in.”
As soon as Carmun opened the door, Van was startled.
“…Have you been robbed?”
“I would have been relieved if I were robbed.”
Van chuckled at Carmun’s response.
Like what Van said, the room looked like h*ll. All the drawers were opened and the inside scattered as well as other things.
Carmun seemed like crap as well.
Carmun, who was dressed in a not-fully-buttoned shirt as if he was exhausted to do the rest and he brushed his hair loosely with his hands.
“So what about your report?”
Carmun’s eyes became keen.
“There are several maids who said they saw a maid who brought the poisonous herb to Concubine Edith’s abode heading toward the Empress Palace that evening.”
“Which palace does that maid belong to?”
“She belongs to the First Concubine, Ersa.”
“Do you think that maid is the culprit?”
Carmun continued to talk as he walked through the cluttered room to his office. The office was similar to the room, which had already been a mess as soon as he woke up.
Suddenly a bunch of curse words directed to the guy from the last night filled up his mind.
Why did he do this?
He raised his chin to suppress his anger, the look of annoyance was apparent on his face.
When Van couldn’t get the words out properly when seeing the angry Carmun, he shook his head as if signaling him to continue speaking.
“Keep talking. So I asked if she was the culprit.”
There was a glint of anger in Carmun’s eyes.
He was holding himself. He still remembered what the doctor who examined Concubine Edith told him.
‘She was lucky. If she were to inhale it a little more, her limbs would have been paralyzed or she wouldn’t have been able to wake up anymore.’
His blood ran cold thinking the moment she couldn’t wake up anymore.
“Upon much consideration, it seems like someone had ordered her to do so. There are more than one suspicious person in this.”
“That’s right. I think so, too.”
Carmun murmured while covering his mouth with his hand.
“But just keep the fact that the maid was killed in mind.”
Carmun had no intention of overlooking the fact that the maid was killed.
First of all, his priority was to find out who’s behind this incident, so he would just leave it for the time being.
“Then check on Ersa first. She would have dropped something behind.”