Chapter 1. Kill the Empress
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Roselyn stopped breathing at his words.
“Why should their deaths be an excuse for you to die?”
Roselyn glared at him with fire in her eye.
But Tamon maintained his serene face even in front of her stern gaze.
In fact, her anger sometimes made him laugh in amusement.
“It’s a sin to fail to protect…Yes, that’s possible. But who told you that your death would pay for your sins against the death of that many people?”
“Because they’re dead!”
“Yes, that’s right. Dead people don’t talk. So the idea of dying for the price of sin is ultimately your idea and your feeling.”
Tamon’s words became a hammer, pounding her down harder and harder.
Her fists, which had been clenched tightly to withstand it, shuddered.
“Does that mean I should pretend I don’t know about the sacrifices of the dead? Because I can’t hear their voices any more.”
Tamon shrugged at her retort.
“So do you think they want you to die?”
“It wasn’t like they wanted to die….”
“Aha! They died unfairly. So you’re saying you want to die on your own excuses, and you don’t need their thoughts anymore? You’re really ignorant, you know that.”
“Don’t say my mind is an excuse.”
“Then should I call it stubbornness or avoidance?”
“It’s not like that….!”
Roselyn opened her mouth to refute him and then stopped in surprise.
She had rarely been this excited.
Not in everyday conversation, not at the round table, not with anyone.
‘Why am I doing this?’
Startled, Roselyn fell silent.
Tamon, who had been looking at Roselyn pityingly, continued to speak again.
“Could it be that they want you to survive to the end so you can bring them justice?
“They’re not that kind of people.”
“Really? Well, yes…. You know them best. So I ask you. Do the dead really want you to die like this?”
The faces of those who died passed in front of Roselyn’s eyes.
Her chest tightened with guilt and grief. She still wanted to go after them right now.
The truth was, she was tired too.
She wanted to go after them, shouting, “I’m tired of being the wise, intelligent, resolute empress.”
She just couldn’t understand at all why she had to be hated for living righteously, and why, her precious ones, had to die because of it.
She was so frustrated and heartbroken too…………
That was why she wanted to go on crying like that.
“If it were me…”
Tamon’s voice softened.
“If I died protecting someone I loved. But my loved one blames herself for my death.”
“I’d love to come back from hell and tell her.”
His gentle voice made Roselyn raise her head, which was hanging low.
When their eyes met, Tamon didn’t chuckle as he usually did.
He just faced her nonchalantly and said, (*Tamon’s words are what the dead would tell Roselyn.)
“I’m fine, you know.”
“So I hope you’re okay too.”
Roselyn’s eyes were distorted. Even though they didn’t sound alike, their voices and Tamon’s now overlapped.
Why was that, she wondered?
“It’s not your fault.”
The tip of her nose hurt as if she had eaten something spicy. Roselyn struggled to chew the thin flesh in her mouth and suppress the emotions that were building up.
“Live, more brilliantly than anyone……….”
Roselyn turned away and gazed once more at the dazzling sea.
“Be happier than anyone.”
Tears ran down her dry cheeks, but she didn’t wipe them away.
Roselyn pretended not to know that she was crying.
Luckily, the man in front of her also pretended not to notice it.
The first meal in Amor passed so quietly.
“What is this place!”
Gillotti woke up frustrated.
Everything around him had gone black.
Not only was it black. Something black and sticky was caked all over his body, holding him down heavily.
“Get off! Hello! Is there no one there? Come and clean this up immediately!”
He ordered nervously.
But there was no one rushing over. He struggled with his whole body as he cursed.
At that moment someone stood in front of him. It was someone with a very large and terrible sense of momentum. Gillotti knew someone who could give him such an intimidating feeling.
“Oh, oh, you idiot. You’re a pathetic one. If I had one more child left, I wouldn’t pass on the throne to you.”
Blue eyes flashed in the darkness.
Immediately, a bolt of lightning flashed and Gillotti’s face got whipped. His cheeks burned.
“I’m sure it’ll be ruined if I leave my country to a man like you! What is the golden empire? I’m sure you’re the one who’s gonna break it down!’
The previous emperor was very angry.
He visited the Duke’s residence.
He had a favor to ask.
“Because of you. It’s your fault that you’re not enough!”
He asked the Duke’s daughter, who was already engaged to be married, to be the Crown Princess.
The Lady of Sunset family, famous for her cleverness in many fields. She was the granddaughter carefully raised by the previous Duke of Sunset, who was a former Secretary of State and Prime Minister.
Roselyn V. Sunset.
“If I die and there is anything you do not know, be sure to consult with your Empress. Never make any decision on your own. Do you understand? I asked you if you understand!”
The previous emperor’s roar was still fresh in Gillotti’s ears.
Gillotti, startled, and replied repeatedly. “Yes, yes, yes.”
The previous Emperor had oppressed him even to the moment of his death.
Hilariously, the very words that the previous emperor muttered right up until he died were, “You fool.”
The one that’s not enough. Not enough to be an Emperor. He was like a bug who was lucky enough to become the Emperor.
Gillotti shouted as he pushed aside the darkness that was gripping him. He still was immobilized. And it never let go of him.
As he struggled, they became more and more insistent, choking the life out of him.
“What the hell am I missing? ……! What am I missing? What is it?”
That was the moment.
Something bright burst in front of him.
Standing in the center of the light was the Empress.
She looked at him with a brighter and clearer face than ever, instead of the emaciated, tortured figure that he saw the last time.
She was vivid and beautiful.
Just like the first time he saw her.
No, much more than that.
“Didn’t I tell you to stop?”
“Its power will kill you. All your evil deeds will become your karma.”
The glowing butterflies roamed around her.
“……… It will come straight to you, Your Majesty.”
The butterflies fluttered up as if to protect her and offer her protection.
“You’re already dead!”
Gillotti shouted through his clenched teeth. Then all the fluttering butterflies that were protecting her flew in unison toward Gillotti.
He was on fire from the glowing butterflies. As the light cleared the darkness around Gillotti, the identity of the heavy black thing that had been hanging over him was revealed.
“You killed us….”
With that, they, who were innocently dead, grabbed Gillotti and dragged him down.
Dead and black, they desperately held him back and cried out.
Gillotti screamed and jumped up. He was covered in cold sweat.
Natasha, who was sleeping next to him, was awakened by Gillotti’s scream.
She stood up with a sleepy face and gently patted him on his shoulder as he gasped for breath.
“Did you have a bad dream?”
“The Empress is alive. I’m sure she’s alive! I knew it. That tough woman is still alive!”
Gillotti held his head, shivering with chills. He mumbled incessantly as if he hadn’t yet woken up from his dream.
“‘O……….. if father finds out. He’ll hit me on the cheek. No, no, no! I’m missing something, what is it? What is it?”
“My poor Your Majesty….The Empress is dead.”
Natasha held the trembling emperor in her arms.
Gillotti trembled for a long time in Natasha’s soft arms and then unexpectedly stood up.
Natasha fell to the side of the bed under Gillotti’s unexpected movement.
“I need to find out if the Empress is really dead. She’s alive, and she must be alive!”
Gillotti scurried out of the room without looking at the fallen Natasha.
Natasha sat down at the foot of the bed and stared in dismay at the emperor’s back as he left the room without even looking back.
Her cheeks reddened with embarrassment, even though there was no one around. She gritted her teeth and stared at the emperor as he disappeared.
“Really Your Majesty? I thought everything would be fine if the Empress disappeared.…….”
Her orange eyes, like spring sunshine, glistened fiercely.
She took a deep breath as she stroked her raised stomach.
“Well, I’m fine.”
Her face had somehow returned to being gentle and kind.
Natasha slowly stood up and crawled to the center of the huge emperor’s bed.
She smiled as she patted the fluffy pillow and the bedding stitched with gold thread, and then patted her stomach with both hands.
“Someday this will all be yours, child.”
The sky was on Natasha Roanti’s side.
She was pregnant when the Empress died and disappeared.
“Be born and push your foolish father away. Until then, your mother must support him well.”
Natasha took a slow deep breath and lay down in the middle of the bed. Her body and mind were stable as if this place was hers.
Her golden hair was scattered on the red-colored bedding.
She quickly fell asleep as if nothing had happened.