Chapter 1. Kill the Empress
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The warmest region in Tanatos was the southeast.
Centered on the Kralturian Mountains, the northwest was Bern, the capital, and the southeast was Noem, where fishing was well developed.
Noem had a large land but there were not many households.
Despite the advantage of being the warmest region in this harsh winter country, it was very difficult to cross the Kralturian Mountains.
However, those who had once crossed the mountain range would not go back to the northwest.
They were settled in Noem, a simple but warm, rustic but peaceful place to live.
The imperial control was weak, so as long as the lord was good, they could live without suffering. Noem was originally ruled by Viscount Tulpe.
Five years ago, his domain collapsed due to a tsunami, and he went bankrupt after spending all his money on restoration work.
So the ownership of the land changed, and it was the Count of Puglish who bought the land.
The Puglish was a central aristocracy, and they owned the Laminoa region, not far from the capital.
Compared to the size of the land, Laminoa was a rich region where beans and turnips were farmed well.
It was neither a large nor a small power, and its reputation was not bad.
The Countess of Puglish was well known as the Empress’s confidante, but that didn’t mean that she received a great barony or salary from the Empress.
However, the Countess Puglish had a good eye for land and was very successful in each area she purchased.
Whenever she bought a farm, there was always a good harvest the following year, and whenever she bought a mountain range, something was discovered in the mountains.
Iron ore, silver and gold, and even hot springs have been found in the area.
Some said that the empress might have passed on the information for the sake of her entourage of maids, but Countess Puglish refrained from saying anything.
Anyway, Noem was one of the lands that the Countess Puglish had purchased.
Everyone watched to see what great things would happen in Noem, but after six months or a year, there was no news.
By the time two years had passed, no one was interested in Noem, because there were bigger problems than the good news of the land the Countess had bought. The Emperor had killed the empress, and the Emperor’s lecherous mistress had given birth to the Emperor’s child.
It was such a terrible event that a year, or even years of fussing would not be enough.
It didn’t matter that the Countess Puglish, the Empress’s confidante, had disappeared from society without anyone’s knowledge.
It was a three-story mansion built on a low cliff, in the sunshine.
At the back of the mansion, there was a swing made by stringing together the branches of a huge seasonal tree.
Anna sat on the swing and gazed endlessly across the sea.
This was the land that Roselyn had originally sought and purchased.
It had a view of the ocean, it wasn’t too cold, and it was a short distance from the capital.
So Anna was happy to buy the land for her.
It was a no-brainer, but it was worth it just for what Roselyn wanted.
But the person who wanted it wasn’t here, and she was the only one left looking out at that empty sea.
“I’m sorry, Anna. I guess I didn’t stop it well enough. That’s why something is happening to me.”
“Your Majesty ……”
“… Don’t hesitate to leave …………. It’s the safest place, and it’s far away. Very far away.”
“I have prepared what you will need at the seaside residence in Noem, just in case.”
“Why do you say that? How can I…”
The last conversation she had with Roselyn was clear in her ears. And her last words she said to her.
Anna thought of those words under her breath once more. The tears she had been holding back flowed down her cheeks as the cold sea breeze grazed her eyes.
Just like Roselyn had said, Noem’s mansion had a lot of things she needed.
A way to protect her fortune, a new identity that would allow her to go anywhere, and even a few documents that would allow her to protect Anna’s family home, Rotrega.
Count Puglish abandoned Anna as soon as the Empress was cut off by the Emperor.
Originally, the two had not married out of love, but merely as an inter-household bond.
However, during that time, they had lived not so badly.
Anna was the most important maidservant of the Empress. She also appreciated Anna’s ability to increase her wealth.
However, when the Empress was dismissed by the Emperor, the position of maidservant became the most dangerous position.
Count Puglish kicked Anna out so that he and his family could live.
“This is the way for everyone. You can go wherever you want. You can go back to your parents’ house or you can go far away, but you will have to leave all the wealth you’ve accumulated as Countess Puglish.”
If she didn’t take Roselyn’s advice and divulged more than half of her estate, she would definitely be broke.
Anna left the capital, disappointed by the cold duplicity of her husband who had lived skin to skin with her.
Noem was another piece of land that was about to be taken from her if she hadn’t handled it beforehand.
She was glad that she was able to protect it.
“I didn’t want to come here alone…”
This was the ocean that Roselyn had wanted so much.
Her mansion in particular was spectacular at the scene of the rising sun.
If Rosie had seen it, she would have no doubt quietly been happy with her pure white cheeks turning red……
Anna couldn’t get over the feeling of emptiness.
Even though she was alive, she didn’t feel like she was alive. She felt like she was falling into a swamp of emptiness and suffocating.
“… Cain.” (Roselyn’s brother)
If she had rather waited for him, if she had waited for him even in conflict with her mother, maybe she would be here now with Cain.
Without falling into Natasha’s dirty scheme, Roselyn, Cain, and she could have come here for summer vacation together.
…It was a ridiculous fantasy.
Even if she had married Cain, there was no way that the insufficient emperor would not have been jealous and envious of his wife.
He would have pushed Roselyn and Cain into the grave by any means necessary.
He probably couldn’t overcome his inferiority complex and wanted to kill his wife and all her family.
But it didn’t matter.
Because at least she would have walked the path of death with them.
“How could I be the only one who survived…?”
“What the hell is the point of this life?”
Anna slowly got up from the swing and stood in front of the cliff.
Roselyn left her a fake identity and a huge fortune.
“If anything happens to me, I hope you will be happy to use all of this.”
The reality that Roselyn had given Anna was all the property she had received from her family.
200,000 hectares of land in the east, tens of millions of gold accounts, even her prized artifacts and patrons.
“When did she prepare all of this?”
“Did she know she was going to die?”
“She should’ve thought about running away first! She should’ve!”
Anna knew better that Roselyn was not someone to prioritize her own safety.
Even when Anna, at eight years old, pecked and climbed a tree in the yard and fell, little Roselyn would shield Anna with her weak body.
Even in front of her grandfather, whom Rosie loved and feared more than anything in the world, she never told him that she and Anna had climbed the tree and fallen.
“I climbed it alone. Why, just because. I’m just a kid who likes to be naughty once in a while. Grandpa.”
If Roselyn leaked Anna’s name, her grandfather would not only shout at Roselyn’s parents, who had failed to educate her properly, but also at Anna’s parents.
That was how scary and strict Roselyn’s grandfather was.
It was Roselyn who loved her fearsome and strict grandfather the most.
Still, Roselyn did not rat out Anna.
Only later did the two burst into laughter, saying that her grandfather actually knew.
Rosie was such a child and became such an adult.
Anna’s most reliable friend who shared infinite love with the people she cared about.
“…… What am I doing now?”
Anna moved forward slowly.
She had no master to whom she had sworn allegiance, no friend to whom she shared her life, no companion whom she had sworn to love.
With no one to share her joys and sorrows, life was an emptiness itself.
“Oh, I’m floundering in such a lazy depression because I don’t have to worry about making a living.”
Anna knew it, but she couldn’t get out of it.
She didn’t have the energy to get out of it.
It wasn’t a bad idea to fall into melancholy and settle for a life of emptiness like an arrogant and weak nobleman.
What could anyone say to her?
Anna Puglish was gone, and Anna Rotrega’s life was meaningless.
A deep depression drew Anna into an endless darkness.
She had endured all this time, waiting for something without knowing why, but now she wanted to stop.
Anna trudged to the edge of the cliff.
The sea shook quietly today, as it had yesterday.
Anna walked slowly towards it, which beckoned her gently to come.
Anna’s nanny, Rwanda, called to her like a madwoman.
“Stop, please stop, Miss! The letter! I’ve got a letter for you! Miss!.”
The word “letter” made Anna stop in her tracks, but it was too late.
A chilly wind blew.
The creepy energy of death pulled her down the cliff.
Slowly, slowly, her body tilted.
Anna, who was willing to jump towards it earlier, twisted frantically.
She saw Rwanda’s hands reaching towards her with a blank face.
The seal of the yellow letter that her hand was holding caught her eye.
She didn’t know why, but she knew she had to see it.
Anna twisted frantically as she fell, clinging to the edge of the cliff.
The ground crumbled as it hit her, spewing dust into the sea. She swallowed hard as her hands clawed its way up the cliff edge which she was hanging narrowly.
Rwanda came running over and grabbed Anna’s hands.
In a flash, cold sweat poured down her back.
Anna hugged Rwanda with trembling hands.
“You can’t go so dangerously close to that edge. Are you hurt?”
“Yes, I’m fine. But, Rwanda, what kind of letter is this?”
At Anna’s question, Rwanda held out the letter to her.
Anna tore opened the letter quickly with her shaking hands.
Perhaps because she almost died then came back to life, her heart beat wildly.
[To the lady of the pink rose forest.]
As soon as Anna read the first sentence, her body shook. The familiar, beautiful handwriting filled white paper.
“Ah, ah, ah!”
Anna burst into tears, unable to read even half of the letter.
“It’s impossible. It’s impossible. …………!”
“It doesn’t make any sense…..”
She really wished this nonsense was real. She hoped it wasn’t a lie, or a dream.
Is this what relief feels like when a heart broken into ten pieces joins into one? Anna’s chest trembled from the flood of emotions.
She held the letter to her chest and wept incessantly.
“Oh, my. What’s wrong, Miss? Stop crying, please. Why do you cry so much?”
Rwanda, who was also in tears at the sight of Anna crying so sadly, suddenly hugged Anna and patted her shoulders repeatedly.
Anna muttered the same words in a daze.
“She’s alive…she’s alive. She’s alive!”
…… Rosie…Roselyn is alive!