Chapter 1. Kill the Empress
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A squall passed by in a brief blur.
A sound that he couldn’t tell if it was wind or rain covered the area around Tamon’s mansion.
It sounded so desolate that if you listened for a moment, it sounded like a woman crying.
Walking down the corridor, Tamon looked out the window at the pitch black emptiness of the sky.
He had heard the sound of such a cold wind sometime before.
It was even rougher than this, the sound of Tanatos’ harsh snow wind.
Was it already three years ago?
It was so deafening that he really thought someone was crying.
Of course, he wasn’t the type to be bothered by any noblewoman crying in the corner.
Rather, he hurried, fearing that someone would catch him.
Trying to avoid the nobles, he came across a group of lovers enjoying a secret meeting.
He came into the wrong path, pretending not to see them and getting out of the way.
Tamon stepped into a deep place in the main palace.
He was trying to get out of there as quickly as possible but he caught a glimpse of silver hair.
Of all places, that sound coincided with the afterimage of silver hair.
He wondered if it was the sound of her crying.
The new Empress of Tanatos.
The woman who was forced into the position of empress when the previous emperor died and his only rambunctious son became emperor.
A hint of curiosity led him to her.
Someone was standing on the secret terrace, a short distance from the banquet hall.
His guess was right. It was her.
Empress of Tanatos, standing staring up at the sky with fallen snow.
She looked at the snowy sky for a while. He could see her red, frozen face.
He thought she was crying, but that voice wasn’t crying, it was singing.
The humming was a traditional Tanatos song that he had never heard before.
The light melody that children would sing echoed quietly through the thin voice.
For some reason, Tamon couldn’t take his eyes off the figure in front of him.
The woman standing next to the emperor was like a cold, hard piece of ice, whereas the woman standing alone, with everyone behind, was like a snowman standing in the sun.
Like a snowman slowly melting in the sunlight, dangerous and lovely.
It was too personal a sentiment to hold for an empress of another country.
Tamon gave a faint laugh and turned to leave.
“Charlotte, could you pass me my drink that I put there?”
But a gentle voice, one he had never heard before, politely echoed in her voice.
If it was a nobleman’s courtesy, he had to show his presence and shed his voice so that she would not mistake him for others.
But Tamon couldn’t do that.
Instead, with a slightly more careful hand, he handed her her drink.
Perhaps it was because it was dark, or perhaps it was because she didn’t expect another person to be there of course.
She just gently tilted her head to the side and said thank you.
From the lukewarm, mumbled last pronunciation, it seemed that she was already a little drunk.
Roselyn, who was sipping a strong drink of ice, suddenly smiled.
“By the way, for what it’s worth, the person really seems to have lost his mind.”
“How dare he try to take the Garolf Mine back from this country? His Majesty is also terrible. How could he be so enchanted by crystal salt?… I told him that that mine has a high potential future value.”
Tamon listened to her words silently, his eyes narrowing in amusement.
The Garolf mine was part of the mountain range east of Tanatos that he had tried to secretly pull out of the meeting today morning.
So the person the Empress’s mentioned as ‘a lunatic’ was probably referring to him.
‘I thought you didn’t care. You seem to think I’m crazy.’
Despite the feeling that he had to turn his back, his steps were heavy.
There were constant warnings that he had to sneak out, but Tamon just stood there, pretending not to hear a glimmer.
Oh, this was all that woman’s fault.
It was that woman’s fault that he was hiding so vulnerably in her own castle, in her own secret place.
‘Yes, I have to be more careful.’
Wasn’t this the time when delegations from various countries were coming and going?
Unlike her cold and calm appearance, she seemed to have a bit of a defenseless side.
But she built such a wall of ice in the morning meeting.
“Disapproved. It is Tanatos’ law that the emperor alone cannot dispose of the imperial property placed on the books. Since I, the Empress, do not approve of this transaction, this contract is not officially valid. Also, if you try to handle things this way again in a meeting without me, I will be out of all future meetings with Amor.”
The upright neck and cold purple eyes.
It was Tamon who encountered dozens and hundreds of nobles as he clashed with the many nations.
The new Empress of Tanatos was neither the best of them, nor the most perfect of monarchs. But there was something about her that chilled people’s hearts.
“Charlotte, do you know? It is said that when the full moon is large and the snowflakes fall, the souls come down during the snowfall.”
She said as she reached for the scattering snowflakes.
“Today’s the anniversary of my grandfather’s death. Oh my grandfather….. I wonder if he’s here.”
Tamon never knew a woman who looked so cold could be so vulnerable when no one was around.
“I wanted to say at least once that I should have listened to my grandfather, but…When will he come…?”
He wanted to keep an eye on her for a little longer, but he had to hide himself as the presence of people approached.
He had no further contact with the Empress after that.
Aside from running into each other, they had never spoken in private.
Neither of them had ever looked at the other with any kind of fondness.
And yet, Tamon kept staring at her.
He was fascinated by her all the time. There were times when he deliberately tried to get her attention, but still without any success, he started to look at her again.
Sometimes he admired her, sometimes he felt sorry for her……………
Sometimes he wanted to reach out to her like crazy, and sometimes he tried to run away, saying he was sick of it, but eventually he stared at her again.
She was another man’s wife, the Empress of an enemy country.
He consoled himself that he was no more than interested, but maybe he was already then………
Tamon stopped in front of the door to Roselyn’s room.
Her voice had been hovering in his ear a few days ago as he stood still, holding the door.
“Why do I have to mix my body with yours all the time? The life force is ……. There doesn’t seem to be any need for it.”
He kissed her ankles in his spare time.
The ankles were not the only place his lips touched.
He left traces of himself everywhere his gaze reached.
It was the marks of Tamon’s lust, but it was also an act to push his life force into her, who still hadn’t recovered her strength….
The desire stirred him.
It urged him to bring every excuse he had on his behalf to hold her.
Need? That’s what she said because she didn’t know.
Tamon needed her every moment.
His re-stabilized body wanted her more than ever before, and even the sight of Roselyn’s red lips tormented him with a burning thirst.
So he really needed her every moment.
He was in desperate need of her.
If he could, he didn’t want to remove Roselyn from his body.
No, he didn’t want to get out of her forever.
“But my upright Majesty (Roselyn) will not understand………….”
Smirking, Tamon took out his dagger.
He had struggled for several days to prepare for his departure, but simply holding her and sleeping with her was not enough.
With a disinterested glance, he cut his arm with the dagger.
It was not enough to bleed just a little.
To buy Roselyn’s peace of mind, to get her off her guard, this slight cut would have to be ……
The sharp edge of the blade made a long, deep gash from the inside of his elbow to his wrist.
The dark sliver of shadow guarding Tamon came into view in a panic at his action of wounding himself.
Tamon stopped the approaching shadow.
Hesitantly, the shadow silently hid itself in the darkness.
Tamon put a little more strength into the hand that held his dagger. The wound became deeper. The weight of the blood dripping down was getting heavier.
He roughly wrapped his handkerchief around the wound and threw the knife he was holding into the dark.
“Take care of it.”
The darkness shook briefly, and Tamon opened the door with one hand, his handkerchief stained red.
Roselyn’s panicked gaze fell on him as he approached.
“What’s wrong with your arms..….”
“Surprise attack, an assassin.”
“I bled out too much. I’m dizzy.”
Tamon inwardly complained to himself, but on the surface he sighed as he walked up to her, holding out his arms.
Her panicked purple eyes were adorable.
He had the feeling that maybe he really was a crazy person.
How could he possibly try get this woman’s attention every moment?
How and why is he so crazy when the person in question does not have a single intention to do so?
Looking up at him, Roselyn approached him with a sigh.
Looking at her as she approached, he had the feeling that living madly wasn’t so bad.
If Roselyn was crazy enough that she wasn’t afraid of him, if she was crazy enough that she didn’t know about his own madness……………
Would that be okay?