Chapter 1. Kill the Empress
Tears or fluids.
No matter how hard he squeezed, the tears wouldn’t come out, but the body fluids… well… a man with a lot of energy could extract as much as he wanted.
Perhaps, Roselyn wouldn’t believe this but Tamon wasn’t that comfortable with holding women.
He never really wanted to hug or look at someone.
It was only when he was younger that he was able to relieve his desire through combat.
That’s not to say that there weren’t women who fell in love with him and stuck around, but strangely enough, he didn’t feel like it. It’s that strange awkwardness.
More than anything, the problem was his keen sense of smell.
It was not a matter of smell, it was a matter of each person’s scent.
At a distance where he could have a normal conversation, the scent was faint or hardly noticeable.
However, if the distance was close enough to where they have to take off their clothes or kiss, it was a different story.
It wasn’t a matter of liking it or not. It was just the awkwardness of all the scent of others that could be felt up close.
Except for one person.
Roselyn, Empress of Tanatos.
While walking ahead, Tamon turned his head and stared at Roselyn.
Roselyn stared at him as if to ask why.
A few years ago, she was much thinner when he first saw her, but only her eyes were deeper.
Purple eyes were not common, but they weren’t very rare colors, but when Tamon first made eye contact with her, he got a strange shock.
A bright purple color that shone densely under her thick eyelashes.
There was hardly any expression on her face, but she had the power to make people unable to move just by staring at them. (*Not the literal power that freezes people, it’s her scary stare that makes people afraid.)
And at this very moment, it was no different.
Tamon held out his hand, looking at the brilliant purple eyes on Roselyn’s expressionless face.
Roselyn’s neatly curved eyebrows came together as if to ask, “What the hell does this mean?”
Nonetheless, Tamon grabbed Roselyn’s hand, which hung still and unconcerned.
“There are a lot of swarms here.”
“I can walk on my own… ….”
“Once you’re stuck, you can’t get out.”
Holding her tightly in his arms, he whispered in a low voice.
“Sounds like me.”
Roselyn stared at him blankly, not smiling at his joke.
Tamon chuckled and strode out of the muck. He stopped just as Roselyn came to her senses and told him to put her down.
“Here it is.”
Roselyn followed Tamon’s gaze.
As soon as she turned to look, she was struck by the illusion that the starlight that was scattered over the sea earlier had landed right in front of her.
Roselyn became dazed.
Moonflies. Luminous butterflies that appear when the moon rises. It was said they don’t live in cold places.
‘I don’t think I’ve ever seen one in my country.’
Roselyn was told that there were butterflies like this, but it was impossible to bring them to Tanatos because butterflies have a long larval life and a short life span when they metamorphose into a butterfly.
“They hold on for ten months before they can change into what it is now. After that, they fly around and play for 10 days and mate for two days. Three days later, they lay their eggs and die. It’s a short life.”
Tamon tugged on Roselyn’s hand as she watched the butterflies dance in a daze.
Then he walked between them nonchalantly and lay down on the lush grass. Tamon’s large hand covered her eyes.
“Let me show you how the stars dance.”
Tamon happily retreated the hand that covered Roselyn’s eyes. Roselyn slowly opened her eyes and looked at the sky.
It wasn’t the stars dancing. The sky, the whole sky was filled with moonflies. Their lights flickered in front of her.
“These butterflies will start to lay their eggs soon. It’s just the right time.”
Even his voice felt like a fragment of a star.
Is this what it feels like to live in a dream?
“Do you know what makes the butterflies glow?”
Roselyn looked at Tamon as if demanding a response. Tamon murmured as he looked up at the sky.
“To live is why they flap their wings so desperately and send light.”
“But isn’t it the same as laying an egg and dying?”
Tamon looked back at Roselyn.
Keeping eye contact with her, he said.
“No, it’s not. You either die, leaving an egg behind, or you become nothing but dust.”
“That’s a big difference.”
It was strange.
Because Tamon’s voice sounded like he was saying something else.
Are you going to die with nothing, or….
Do you want to die leaving something behind?
It was as if he was asking Roselyn to choose.
Ronasso Bashel scrambled to Tamon’s mansion.
It’s only been a day since they returned.
‘I’m in trouble.’
Originally, Tamon should have gone to the royal palace immediately to report the return.
He used his heart condition as an excuse to push Ronasso to the royal palace.
Ronasso could make the report on the spot, but the final report should be made by Tamon in person within a few days. In any case, it was a fact that everyone knew that the king, the highest echelon of power in this country, favored him, especially since he was a distant cousin of the king.
Though a very distant cousin, the blood continued a bit, and it was already well known that Tamon had helped the king in his fight for the throne.
However, the basic character of the current king was enterprising and belligerent.
If he wanted something, he would draw his sword with a smile, and if he thought a person was an enemy, he would strangle him without hesitation.
Even if that person was a loyal subject until yesterday, the king would not hesitate to act when he thought otherwise.
“I heard that the General brought something back with him from Tanatos, and I’m wondering what it is.”
There were minions of the king among the delegation that had gone to Tanatos.
There were about thirty of them at most, and they were all members of the Knights of Barnes. Half of them were chosen by Ronasso himself. The rest were Tamon’s replacements.
Who is it that is working for the king?
‘Damn it, that’s not the point. What the hell does Tamon think he’s doing?’
Ronasso gasped as he stormed into Tamon’s mansion.
“Where is the General?”
At the words of his hurried search for Tamon, the chamberlain jumped out and said in bewilderment.
“He’s resting in the annex…………Lord Ronasso! You cannot disturb him… “
“We’ve been rolling around together until yesterday, and what’s the difference of going in today? Get out of the way, it’s very important. It’s the king’s business!”
How could the chamberlain stop Ronasso when he mentioned the king?
If it was really important, he might have brought the king’s anger.
But the chamberlain, Satine, was somehow more afraid of his master than the king.
Tamon Krasis was never an angry person.
But they all knew how terrible he could be once he got angry.
‘Oh, I don’t know if this is a good idea…’
Satine stomped after Ronasso.
However, he wasn’t so worried because he knew that it was Ronasso who would be scolded, not him.
Arriving at the annex, Ronasso opened the door without knocking, calling Tamon loudly.
“It’s me, we have a big problem….ack!”
A dagger suddenly flew with a whoosh and accurately grazed Ronasso’s cheek and pierced the wall.
Ronasso, who opened his eyes wide in surprise, heard a deep, low-pitched voice even before he came to his senses.
A cracked, tired voice.
Startled, Ronasso opened his eyes and stared at the bed.
Standing up from the bed, Tamon’s red eyes glared at Ronasso.
“Get out before I throw another one.”
In Tamon’s bed, Ronasso saw a small form that had not yet awakened. It was a woman, and a silver-haired one at that.
‘…… I knew it. It’s her.’
It was the figure in the blanket that Tamon had carried during the trip back from Tanatos.
His nervous men did not dare to ask him.
The only person who spoke to him was Ronasso, but even Ronasso could not stare at the blanket he was holding. So Ronasso told himself not to pay attention.
Ronasso stepped back with a sense of desperation.
He thought that he would take care of it himself.
A small part of him hoped that the person in bed might not be the woman.
‘Of course it’s her. There’s only one with silver hair and purple eyes.’
But Tanatos officially announced that the Empress was dead.
‘It couldn’t be her….’
But why did the figure look like her…..?
“You don’t need two eyes to see, right?”
Tamon took out his dagger again.
Startled, Ronasso ran out the door as if escaping.
‘Where the hell did he hide the daggers like that?’