Chapter 1. Kill the Empress
Natasha called Anne’s name as she screamed.
Anne, who had brought a warm hand towel, ran to the bedroom gasping for breath at the screaming call.
“Ugh, Anne! Where’s the medicine?!”
“Lady, hang in there. It’s only been an hour since you took the medicine.”
Anne put down the hand towel and bucket she had brought and quickly massaged Natasha’s chest and stomach gently.
Natasha was suffering from severe postpartum pain, perhaps due to the aftermath of having a baby in a hurry.
Her breasts, which leaked so much milk that they soaked her clothes and were hard as stones, could not be milked properly, and even grazing them was painful.
It was just as serious underneath where the blood kept coming.
Anne changed the towel she had put underneath several times, but there was still so much blood that it was still wetting the bedding.
Anne took care of Natasha in a cold sweat.
Anne was the only one who knew Natasha’s situation, so it was only her who had to take care of Natasha.
As a result, Anne’s body was getting more and more tired day by day, but that did not mean that she was in a position to escape.
She hurriedly rubbed Natasha’s hands and feet with her hands.
“……It’s very noisy outside.”
Did the medicine work?
Natasha spoke to Anne in a much calmer voice than before.
Natasha’s room was the warmest room in the palace.
If a window opened, they could see the lobby of the main palace and the corridor of the west tower, where the emperor’s office was located, so she could watch his movements from time to time.
Even in the pain, she could hear the footsteps of the soldiers through the tightly closed window.
Anne had to strain her ears to hear them.
Anne looked at Natasha’s face and asked softly,
“Should I go check ……?”
It was dawn.
It was unusual for the emperor to move his soldiers at this hour.
While Natasha was worrying for a while, someone tapped lightly on the door of her room.
The door was opened and the vizier came inside, carefully looking around the perimeter.
He rushed over and knelt down at Natasha’s bed and embraced her.
“Why didn’t you tell me in advance if it hurt this much?”
As soon as he saw Natasha sweating, Roxon’s face contorted.
“How can you be so foolish…….”
He moaned, rubbing her cheek with his thin fingers, as if he could not help feeling sorry.
Natasha looked down at Roxon’s whitish head with cold eyes, but when he raised his head, her face was saddened with dewy tears.
“I hate you.”
“I hate you so much for making me so sad.”
Natasha turned her head, tears dripping down her neck, like a flower that could not win against the dew.
Roxon’s heart sank as tears rolled down Natasha’s face, which was pink and swollen from postpartum pain.
He quickly begged with all the vigor he could muster as he kissed her fingers.
“Don’t say that. I’ll do everything I can for you.”
As if waiting for those words, Natasha looked at Roxon’s face.
Sweat beaded on her forehead due to the pain she was desperately enduring.
“Have you done everything I have told you to do?”
Roxon nodded vigorously.
“Secretly, and without the emperor’s knowledge, I returned the lands of Oshanta to your son’s name. As I told you in advance, I have manipulated the books by putting in the name of a marine merchant. So you have nothing to worry about.”
“……what about the medicine I told you about?”
“I have already looked into that through the Lumatia herbalist. Since the July festival starts tomorrow, I will take advantage of the hectic time to mix it with the emperor’s medicine.”
Natasha finally breathed a sigh of relief at the word that Roxon had prepared everything.
“Did you try to betray me, Your Majesty……?”
Natasha silently tightened her grip on the bedsheets.
When Natasha heard from Roxon that the emperor had ordered to bring Gertium’s youngest sister to the palace, she washed away any trace of guilt that remained for Gillotti.
Gillotti was just using her after all.
From that mouth that whispered hundreds of times that he loved her, he had eventually brought in another woman to be the new empress.
Shamelessly, the girl wasn’t even an adult yet.
‘So I must find a way to live before I am discarded. Did you think that Natasha would retreat so easily, Your Majesty?’
Natasha calmly cleared her mind.
On the most glorious day in July, she “planned” to have a baby.
This was also the reason for filling the Imperial Palace with Roxon’s people beforehand.
The third week of July, when the emperor couldn’t leave his seat and the most grand events would be held.
Her child would come into the world as the emperor’s only child in name and in reality.
Since the emperor would not be able to see the child after this time, the imperial throne would naturally pass to the child.
“Roxon, I trust you will do well without me.”
“Trust me. Just me.”
Roxon sadly hugged Natasha’s shoulder.
Personnel had already been appointed to ‘help’ her give birth.
After all business was over, Natasha was no longer able to deal with Roxon. She just wanted to lie down and rest as soon as possible.
Natasha glanced at Anne. She stood behind Roxon, pale and startled.
“Lady Natasha needs her rest. She is very tired.”
“Oh, I see.”
Roxon kissed repeatedly the back of Natasha’s hand in disappointment and had no choice but to get up.
He looked at Natasha, who turned around without seeing him off, as if he felt sorry for her, and sneaked out.
Roxon hurried through the quiet hallway where not a single walk remained.
One member of the Kingsguard, hidden in the dark corner of the corridor, watched Roxon’s back as he left.
(*Natasha had already secretly gave birth, but on the third week of July when she will fake giving birth to make it look like the baby is born on the right due date to fool the emperor, but I’m sure the emperor already knew her plan because the emperor’s guard was watching Roxon, who was Natasha’s baby’s real father.)
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In Tanatos, July was considered the month of birth and blessings.
The land of snow and ice was flooded with colorful flowers, and the trees showed their true green leaves as the snow melted.
Children went outside to play as much as they wanted, and the young nobles began the social activities they had been waiting for.
It was also in July that the first emperor first raised his flag in Tanatos.
Even though the real founding date was later, in September, people preferred July to September anyway.
Therefore, to celebrate the month of July, when the people became masters of the land, the festival was held from the first to the last day of July.
The first week was the commoners’ festival.
They opened the seats and left the lights on at night, enjoying themselves and making merry as if they had forgotten the day and night.
Meanwhile, the guests of honor arrived to attend the imperial July Festival.
The Imperial Household also opens its gate to welcome the guests.
The imperial banquet began in the second week.
For about two weeks, all the imperial palaces were lit up with lights, and spectacular banquets and events were held, days and nights.
It was also a time of friendship with delegations from abroad. The Imperial Family’s marriage agreement was also made around this time.
In the last week of July, the imperial family and commoners all mingled and enjoyed it together.
Commoners were also allowed to participate in the imperial garden parties, as long as they had the proper attire.
Of course, due to security issues, it was not possible to accommodate large numbers of people, and they were not allowed to enter the main palace.
However, there were many other events, large and small, held at the Imperial Palace to enjoy.
[July in Tanatos is an absolute must-enjoyment.]
These were the words any Tanatos people would say.
It was the same for Roselyn.
Even her tiger-like grandfather and her busy mother and father spent a lot of time with their families at the mansion only in July.
Not to mention Cain, who was always on Roselyn’s side.
Memories of going to the flower expo that bloomed only in July, of going to the Imperial Palace banquet hand in hand with everyone else, days of playing hide-and-seek in the blooming garden with Anna.
Even though she hated Gillotti and the events at the Imperial Palace were hellish, it did not taint those memories.
Therefore, as soon as Asha arrived in the capital, she wanted to go to her old mansion.
It was Tarmon who reacted unexpectedly.
“Hey, how about we go there later?”
“I think we should stop by our quarters first. Everyone is tired. I think we should unpack our luggage. ….”
Asha glanced back at Tamon’s words.
The newly arrived Tulip Knights, who had taken the place of Jorge’s knights, were really closer to the “standardized” knights.
They were strong and firm, their faces unwavering at any given moment.
Lutre, who served as Tulip’s captain, followed them with a look that said he didn’t even know what fatigue was.
‘’I’m fine. I haven’t used even 10% of my strength yet.”
Lutre chuckled and let them know that he was still alive and well, but Tamon ignored his words.
“I know you’re tired, even if you do look that way. You said that because you’re being considerate.”
“No, I’m really….”
Tamon turned around and stared at Lutre.
Lutre nodded quickly.
“Alright, I’ll go unload the luggage.”
As Tamon lied with a nonchalant look on his face, Asha couldn’t help but to look at him strangely.
It was strange for him to behave in such a suspicious manner.
“Then how about the group go to their quarters first? I’ll go to the mansion myself. It’s a place I can walk with my eyes closed, so…”
Tamon’s face scrunched up at Asha’s words. He shook his head as if to say absolutely not.
“We’re here and you might be in more danger. That is an absolute no-no.”
Tamon’s words made Asha laugh.
“Who knows me here and now that I am in danger?”
She was wrapped head to toe in Amor’s costume.
It was a figure disguised in advance, just in case anyone recognized her distinctive appearance.
And yet it was funny how overprotective Tamon was of danger.
“The quarters are in the East, right? It is very far from the mansion. So you go ahead.”
Tamon grabbed her wrist as if to say it was not okay.
Asha looked alternately at her captured wrist and at Tamon, staring into his eyes.
Now this was something strange.
Her instincts screamed sharply. Tamon was trying to hide something from her.
“Is there a reason I shouldn’t go there?”
Tamon’s eyes hardened slightly at her question.