Chapter 1. Kill the Empress
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Asrell looked suspiciously at the shabby-looking woman who knocked on the door of the mansion.
Her hair was full of leaves and dirt, and she had soot on her cheeks.
Her dress, which must have been neat before, was also wrinkled and torn, and there were no slanted corners.
In a good way, a woman who seemed to be a bum and in a bad way, a little crazy, introduced herself in a calm and polite voice, unlike her appearance.
“My name is Anna Rotrega. I came to see the owner of this mansion.”
Asrell suppressed her vigilance, and told Anna that this mansion was temporarily rented and that the original owner was not present here.
Anna nodded her head calmly, as if she already knew.
“I know. I have come to see the owner who temporarily rented this mansion.”
“Can you tell me exactly what kind of owner you are looking for?”
Anna hesitated before pronouncing the strange name she had written on the note.
“… Isn’t there a person named Aranrosia here?”
“Ah, you’re looking for Asha.”
Asrell was still a little wary of Anna, but she couldn’t just ignore her words that she had come to find Asha.
“Please wait a moment. I’ll ask Asha and come back.”
No matter how much she was Asha’s guest, she couldn’t easily get in because she didn’t go through identity verification.
With a voice full of regret, Asrell put Anna in front of the front door and hurriedly went up to the second floor.
Has it been a minute long?
“Who is it?”
A horrifyingly heavy low tone grabbed Anna’s back.
As startled Anna turned her back, the first thing she saw was a shadow large enough to cover her.
A man was looking at her, standing at the bottom of the stairs with his back to the sun, but taller than Anna standing on the stairs.
Anna quickly glanced at her opponent with her eyes wide open in surprise.
His slightly tanned skin looked menacing, and his red eyes shining as transparent as rubies on his face shadowed against the sun were sharp.
‘Those red eyes… ?’
As soon as she saw the man’s red eyes, Anna immediately remembered who he was.
It was Tamon Krasis, the owner of that gaze, who always followed Roselyn.
Astonished, Anna took a step back and greeted Tamon with respect as in the Imperial Palace.
“Ah, you are Tamon Krasis of Amor. My name is Anna Rotrega.”
Tamon’s eyes that were shining sharply changed.
Tamon couldn’t have not known who Anna was.
However, he couldn’t recognize her immediately because of her behavior that was very different from when he met her at the imperial palace.
He then looked at her with a loose smile.
“I finally see the Lady of the Pink Rose Forest.”
At Tamon’s soft mutter, Anna’s eyes widened.
It was a secret code between Roselyn and Anna.
But how did the foreign minister of a foreign country know that?
Come to think of it, why was he in this mansion?
While Anna was confused by the sudden flood of information, the closed front door opened again.
“Lady Anna, please come in… Oh, Master Tamon is also here.”
At Asrell’s hospitality, Tamon smiled softly and pushed Anna’s back.
“The farmer of the carrot farm is waiting anxiously, so let’s go up.”
Anna followed Tamon Krasis to the second floor.
It was not difficult to grasp that this man was the owner of this mansion when Anna saw his stride up the stairs and the attitude of the servants in the mansion.
‘Why the hell is Tamon Krasis of Amor here? No, what’s the connection between Roselyn and him?’
Amor was no less than Tanatos’ enemy.
It wasn’t an open war, but the bad relationships in the past had piled up and they weren’t friendly to each other.
But how the hell did Roselyn end up staying at Krasis’s mansion?
Anna followed Tamon into the parlor on the second floor with confused eyes.
And before her bottom touched the sofa, the door suddenly opened and she had to get up again.
A familiar voice she might never hear again called Anna’s name.
Anna, who had tears in her eyes just hearing the voice, quickly turned around and looked at Roselyn as she called for her, and covered her mouth in surprise.
Roselyn, covered in a thin veil, came running.
Seeing a bruised face peeking through her veil, Anna ran to Roselyn with a white face again.
“Oh my God, Rosie! What’s going on with all this! Gillotti, the damn b*stard made you like this? Oh, my God! That crazy bastard made you like this……!”
Without Asha able to say anything, Anna burst into tears and hugged Asha.
Mistaking that Asha’s makeup was a real wound, Anna burst into tears on the spot.
Anna’s hands were trembling, unable to hold her tightly for fear of Asha’s pain. Asha belatedly noticed that she still had the fake makeup on her face.
“Oh no, Anna. I’m sorry, I surprised you. I forgot to take this off.”
Asha took off her veil, revealing her scaly and puddled skin.
“Oh, what to do!”
Anna’s cry grew even louder when she saw her bare wounded face.
“Anna, calm down and look at this.”
Looking at the crying Anna, Asha gently ripped the fake skin off her right cheek.
Anna’s eyes widened as she burst into tears at the bizarre sight.
Asha smiled apologetically, and peeled off all of her fake skin that Asrell had been putting on painstakingly since morning.
“These are all fake scars. Look at me, Anna. I’m fine.”
“Rosie? What the hell is this…… ”
“Sorry to startle you, Anna.”
Asha smiled softly and hugged Anna once more to comfort her.
There were so many stories to tell, but now was not the right time to unravel them all.
The two hugged each other for a while, as if sharing warmth, and then slowly pulled away.
Anna’s excited cry had completely subsided, and Asha’s face lit up with joy and concern for Anna.
“My story will be too long, so I will tell you all slowly in the evening. Now more than that…… What happened to you?”
Asha asked, pointing to the figure of Anna, whom Asrell thought was nothing more than a bum.
Anna, who barely stopped her tears from sobbing, looked down at her dirty dress with her blushing face.
“Oh, it’s not really a big deal.”
Anna sniffled her red nose and flushed her cheeks in embarrassment.
Asha, who sat Anna on the sofa, looked at her quietly, waiting for her next words to follow.
“I’m actually running away secretly…”
“What? Run away? Someone kidnapped you……!”
“Oh, no! No. It’s not kidnapping!”
“Then you were imprisoned?”
“It’s not even that. Actually….”
Anna hesitated about how to tell this, but she just told the truth.
“There is one leech attached…”
Asha raised one of her eyebrows at the very unexpected words.
Tamon, who was watching them from a step away, gathered his eyes as if intrigued.
“A leech? Who is that?”
Asha asked, seemingly confused.
Anna shut her mouth for a moment, then in an angry voice she spat out someone’s name.
The full story of the incident dated back to about a week ago.
Now it was really only a day away from the capital.
Anna was nervous because she had arrived at the time promised with Rosie.
She had already almost reached the capital, so what was important to Anna was to lose the watchdog of the imperial family.
She declared after stopping the carriage in a remote village just before reaching the outer castle.
“I think I will have to stay here due to circumstances. There is not much left to the capital, so please go first, Duke of Gertium.”
The July festival had already begun, and it was already several days after the foreign delegations had entered the country.
On a normal schedule, the nobles of their home country should have arrived last week, but Perso was still on his way to the imperial court at a very slow pace to keep up with Anna’s schedule.
At this point, Anna was sure that Perso would go his own way.
“I’ll stay here until the lady wants to leave.”
Surprised, Anna bit her teeth tightly.
As she remembered, it’s only an hour or two from here to the mansion of Gertium.
As it was a family that carried troops, it was impossible to occupy a land large enough to include all of them in the capital, so a mansion was built about an hour away from Bern.
Anna hoped that Perso would go to it, but the stubborn man wouldn’t leave.
Anna said, grinding her teeth with a false smile.
“Just go ahead.”
“The escort is over until we reach the capital safely.”
“I’m fine. So far, I’ve been able to travel alone by myself, and it’s only half a day away from the capital.”
“Your father asked that I would take care of your safety until the end. And Gertium is always responsible.”
‘Did my father really say that?’
Anna was the first to have such a suspicion, but she had no way of confirming it now.
In any case, the responsibility shown by interest was really overdone.
How strong was that responsibility to be able to ignore even the emperor’s call?
Anyway, the more she got to know Perso Gertium, the weirder it was, and Anna could not understand this man at all.
Taking a deep breath, she offered her next best bet.
“Then please attach some of the Duke’s knights to me. That’s enough. I’m not a Princess of any country, and I’m not even a noble under threat of assassination.”
“You are noble.”
“… Thank you for saying that, but I’m not in a position to face assassination threats anyway.”
“But just a few days ago, you almost fell off your horse, and yesterday you went out for a walk at night and you almost got lost. I don’t think you can go alone because you keep putting yourself in danger when you’re alone.”
A vein popped up on Anna’s forehead, who still had a fake smile.
‘….oh, this crazy guy!’