Chapter 1. Prologue
Erdos, who was leaning against the carriage and puffing on his cigar. He gasped in shock and hid his cigar behind him, startled like a juvenile delinquent who had been caught smoking by his parents.
Of course, I could still see the smoke in the air, but I pretended not to notice.
Come to think of it, in the original story he was a heavy smoker who always lived with a cigarette in his mouth. Yet, I’ve never seen him smoke in all my years here.
Plus, he didn’t have the bitter smell of tobacco, but of a faint perfume. It seemed that he smoked in secretly and somehow got rid of the smell before visiting me, probably in fear of harming little Rosie.
“Oh, Rosie. You’re back.”
He greeted me awkwardly and secretly handed the cigar to a servant behind him. I could see it all, of course.
“There’s an accident ………”
“Yes. …… There are several dead bodies.”
I didn’t dare tell him that I was at the scene. Perhaps he already knew what happened, but Erdos wanted to hear it from my mouth.
Erdos’ eyes glowing a light pink, followed me with concern. It was a bit unfamiliar.
Esteria was the heirs to the divine God. They were different from ordinary people in many ways.
The most different among them was their expression of emotions. They were so indifferent to others that I thought they were puppets.
The family members weren’t so bad, but that didn’t mean they were good either, instead they unconditionally punished anyone who touched the same bloodline.
I remember the lives of many who were killed for nothing in the original story. So when I see the ‘human’ emotions that Erdos, Nanuk, Eryte, Bernique, and Leav have towards me, I feel nothing.
If I was a normal nine-year-old, I might have been surprised, but I had a life before that.
I was the one who found my dead grandmother’s body after school, but I actually didn’t think anything of it even then.
She was just dead. A little cold, a little hard, and nothing more, I had no further impressions.
It was the same this time. I wasn’t interested in seeing the escorts or the nobleman falling down, pierced by the shadows.
They just seemed dead. That was it. Could it be that I was the most inhuman person here?
I thought about it for a while.
Erdos, who had magically removed the scent, picked me up and lifted me.
“Are you sure you don’t need to rest?”
“No. I want to stay with you.”
Erdos said with an emotional look in his eyes. Feeling a little overwhelmed, I surreptitiously averted my eyes.
“Let’s go get something to eat first.”
Come to think of it, it was a little past lunchtime and I was pretty hungry. I agreed and we headed to a three-story restaurant with a balcony on each floor.
Erdos and I were ushered in and took our seats on the third floor balcony. The warm sunshine permeated pleasantly.
As we walked in, I took a closer look at the customers and saw that all the clothes they were wearing appeared very expensive, it seemed like the restaurant was only for aristocrats and rich merchants.
“Rosie, you mustn’t be a picky eater.”
Erdos said as he watched me sort through the carrots. Funny enough, in the corner of his plate, there was a collection of peas.
When he noticed me staring at them, he immediately ordered the waiter to clear the plate.
What a picky emperor……The name “Iron-Blooded Emperor” would probably feel ashamed. Erdos added quickly as I looked on superciliously.
“Father is a grown up so it’s okay.”
It was a ridiculous excuse, but he seemed to have a point. He was a tall man, at about 190 pounds.
I gave him a cursory nod. But the uneaten carrots were still piled up in the corner of my plate.
“Rosie, look over there.”
As I turned to his voice, I saw a huge clock tower standing between the buildings.
“They say that buildings in the capital are built to at least three stories high, no matter how low they are. The clock tower, which rises exceptionally high between those buildings, is visible everywhere in the capital.”
The beautiful ivory-colored tower shone like a grain of sand in the light, and the clock at the top glowed with a gorgeous golden hue.
There was a huge clock hanging from the top of the tower. It was decorated with hundreds of silver jewels and stained glass windows. It was gorgeous, the clock tower with its prominent glamour would make people forget that they were looking at the time.
It seemed to draw my attention to itself.
“Do you know what the words written on the frame are?”
“What are they?”
The words “Honor to Esteria” were displayed on the edge, but I pretended to have trouble reading and kept my mouth shut. Erdos smiled gently at such a sight .
It means “Glory to Esteria, our root, the new Esteria, or the royal family. And there is another meaning, do you know it by any chance?”
“Uh, the Esteria Empire?”
“You guessed it. You’re very smart, Rosie.”
Speaking of which, the original story mentioned the clock tower several times. It was said that the first emperor built it to commemorate the founding of the country.
This time, he pointed to a place where the drawbridge was located. There was a huge river that crossed the capital of Esteria, and the bridge that connected it to the tall steel towers on both sides of the river was nothing short of spectacular.
That was also from the original story. When they went to the Imperial Academy, they all went through that bridge to get there.
Suddenly, I briefly remembered about the girl Eryte met in the original story when he went undercover, and the place where the girl lived was in the back alley of the capital.
It was a place where the poorest of the common people live. It was an area that no one goes near. Perhaps, it’s somewhere near that drawbridge.
“And there, too.”
Erdos, now pointed in the direction of the capital temple. I thought he had an ulterior motive to explain all the landmarks of the capital today.
However, every single thing I saw was magnificent, as it was the most beautiful country on the continent.
Esteria had developed dramatically in just over 700 years, and everywhere I looked in the capital I could see the products of that development.
“Although it doesn’t have a long history like the Rottenham Empire or the Chehetten Mado Empire, Esteria shines in itself.”
Erdos looked around at his country with a serious expression, full of pride.
“Isn’t it beautiful? All of this is Esteria.”
His voice oozed with a subtle admiration for his country.
“It really is beautiful.”
It was a fact that could not be denied. My world, seen through Rosiane’s eyes, was spotless and beautiful.
“You can do anything.”
“Because you are Esteria herself.”
I was, Esteria….It’s true, but it was also wrong.
Somehow, I felt heavy. As I just wriggled my fingers without saying a word, Erdos continued to speak.
“Whatever you say you want to do, father will accept it humbly.”
What I want to do…The only thing I ever wanted was death. Anything else was luxury and greed for me.
What is it that I want to do now? When I thought about it, I wanted to live at least until I was twelve years old, when the performance ceremony would take place. But I might die before that anyway.
“Don’t you believe me?”
I raised my head at his question. Erdos’ eyes shone with a dark light as he sat against the sun. He said with a smile.
“Even if you say you want to be emperor, I will let you be.”
I looked at Erdos with startled eyes. Is he crazy…?
I don’t want to be the emperor, and I wouldn’t do it even if he told me to. How could I be in the position of an emperor when I could not even wrap my head around the situation I was in?
“That’s a joke, isn’t it?
“Why do you think it’s a joke?”
I asked in a trembling voice, and Erdos asked back with a languid look. I had no choice but to shake my head because the look in his eyes was telling me that he was completely serious.
Erdos laughed aloud, noting how surprised I looked.
“I can do anything for you. Just name it.”
“If there’s something I want to do, I’ll tell you.”
“Yes, you must tell father first, alright?”
While I nodded, “I understand,” Erdos placed the coffee in front of him and the fragrant tea in front of me. He sipped his coffee and asked.
“Oh, by the way, I’m thinking of holding a banquet for your birthday next month.”
“A birthday banquet?”
“Yeah, it’s a celebration of the day you were born.”
Celebrating the day I was born was really an unfamiliar word. I had passed past birthdays that were never celebrated.
“If you think it’s going to be hard, your birthday will come next year and the year after that, so don’t think too much.”
What is it like to have a birthday celebration? This celebration would be for Rosiane, not me, but I felt like I wanted to feel it a little.
“Okay, the banquet …..”
I regretted saying the words half impulsively, but my regret was erased a bit by Erdos, who smiled and hugged me as if he was happier than anyone else in the world.
It was the dawn of the day when Erdos felt gloomy.
“Yes. Your Majesty.”
As Erdos, who was working in his study, quietly recited, a figure popped out from the corner of the study, which was empty until a moment ago, and positioned himself in front of Erdos.
“Report today in detail.”
When Rosie had gone alone to check on the cause of the traffic congestion, Erdos privately made sure that his personal guard, Deus, would follow the Princess without her knowledge.
He respected his daughter’s wish to go alone, but it was to prepare her for the forces that were out to get her somewhere else.
When asked to be in detail, although Erdos knew roughly what was going on, Deus vividly conveyed the situation at the time.
Erdos frowned when Deus told him that the Princess directly came forward and protected a boy she had never met.
”There was no threat to Her Highness, so I didn’t come out. It was just….”
Deus cast a downward glance and reflected on the situation during the day.
“The civilians who are not sensitive to magic didn’t seem to notice, but there was a suspicious energy in the boy whom Her Highness saved.”
“The swaying shadow piercing through the person was a very familiar sight. It was clearly Monk’s inherent kindred spirit, under the authority of Nyx.”
“But didn’t you say it was a boy? The Nyx followers led by Kantashat were only female, right?”
“That’s the funny thing, how could I forget the kinetic energy I felt during the war with Kantashat, the loser of the desert. Surely the power the boy used was the power of Nyx.”
Nyx was the goddess of the night. She gave her powers only to women, and Kantashat’s kingdom disappeared. After she was defeated, there was no one left to use her power.
A boy who used Nyx’s power? Erdos was about to rub his chin slowly. After a short pause, he said.
“Find out more.”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
Just like that, Deus disappeared as soundlessly as he had appeared.
‘A boy who received the power of Nyx….’
Erdos’s eyes glowed coldly.