Chapter 6. Swallowing eyes

 


***

 

“Huff, huff…”

 

The emperor retreated faster than ever.

 

He pushed the injured empress and children forward and crawled to the edge of the shivering children.

 

In addition to that, he pulled out the children hiding in the gap of the collapsed wooden post and crawled there to hide himself.

 

“…!”

 

The Empress was shocked and could not help but be taken aback.

 

She couldn’t even keep her mouth shut at the ugly and cowardly appearance of the emperor, her husband.

 

“Oh my God!”

 

But she couldn’t just sit idly by in this critical situation. Even though she was shocked she had to stay alert.

 

Roselyn quickly scanned her surroundings, taking in the terrain. They needed a place where they could step on and hide.

 

The powerful monster that became toxic when it was angry, was slower than she expected.

 

And more importantly, it had a weakness: its back. It was a weak point that could crush that huge body with a single blow.

 

The Empress stood up, keeping a close eye on her constantly bleeding Achilles tendon, which was painful and bitter, but she had to endure.

 

”Empress…”

 

The injured child, who was pushed by the Emperor, followed her with blurred vision.

 

The Empress, who was glancing at the child, raised the tip of her pale lips and said with a smile,

 

“Can you run?”

 

“….Yes.”

 

“That’s great. Run away as fast as you can. You must go in the exact opposite direction that I am going. If you can, shout loudly.”

 

The monster came running.

 

The child looked at the Empress with blurred vision and nodded firmly.

 

”Thank you very much. I will be sure to …………….”

 

Asking the child to scream was a lure so that the monster could show its back. 

 

“Be careful, child.”

 

The child nodded bravely, though he knew what he was about to do was dangerous. 

 

Roselyn knew using the child as a lure was wrong, and it hurt her heart. 

 

The more sorry she felt, the more she felt a heavy responsibility to save these children, without fail.

 

She took a deep breath and pulled out the piece of wood stuck in her ankle.

 

“Ah…”

 

It was painful as her flesh was torn.

 

She didn’t pull it out with the doctor’s help, so there was a good chance that her foot would be severely damaged.

 

Still, Roselyn stood up with her trembling legs.

 

“Your Majesty………..”

 

“I’m fine…………..”

 

The horrified, pale faced child finally burst into tears when he saw the noble Empress breaking into a cold sweat to endure the pain.

 

“Please…”

 

The child, who was crying with his mouth closed, jumped up and ran towards the other side, making a loud noise at Roselyn’s request.

 

“Heyyyyyyy!”

 

His scream rang out in the darkness.

 

When the monster showed its back in the direction the child was fleeing, the Empress quickly lifted the Knight Lenovo’s sword.

 

It was a step that ripped her flesh and bone.

 

The Empress rushed as fast as she could towards the back of the monster that was chasing the child.

 

***

 

‘It’s disgusting….’

 

The Emperor, awakened from his reverie, mumbled as he watched the Empress approaching him with a limp and gloomy walk.

 

She was a woman with a more noble figure than him, the Emperor, who was born of royal blood.

 

He felt a shiver run down his spine as he looked at the Empress, who, despite knowing that her brother was imprisoned for blackmailing the Emperor’s mistress, came to the banquet.

 

‘Is she even a human?’

 

Ever since Roselyn became a cripple, she hadn’t laughed, and the few words she had to say had become even fewer.

 

No matter how beautiful she was, how could a woman like that be called human?

 

‘She’s a witch.’

 

The Emperor grinned cruelly, biting the inner flesh of his lips. It was a mocking smile.

 

Whenever he closed his eyes, he saw the Empress of that day. The Empress was covered in monster’s blood with one of her torn ankles.

 

The frosty look in her eyes as she stared at the Emperor, who was hiding behind the wooden pole like a scared cat. 

 

Following her gaze, the hidden children also looked back at the Emperor.

 

Twenty-four pairs of eyes stared at him with equal temperature.

 

He was the cowardly, foolish, and shabby Emperor of this land.

 

Their eyes touched the heartbreak that Gillotti had struggled to suppress.

 

Even though he survived without any fatal injuries, the memory of that day left a great scar on the emperor. It was a great humiliation, a day of disgrace that he wanted to hide.

 

That said, even if he were to return to the past again, he wouldn’t be able to stab the monster to death like the Empress did.

 

That was why he hated the Empress even more. To the point of disgust.

 

She was a different kind of woman.

 

She was a woman with the “ability” that his father wanted.

 

She had grace, wisdom, and courage.

 

Having a woman like that as his companion, Gillotti would never become greater.

 

In fact, the Empress’s light made him look half-baked. Standing in front of her, the Emperor was nothing more than a weak child.

 

The Emperor hated the Empress. He hated her more than anything.

 

The Empress made the Emperor look ridiculous.

 

The more amazing she became, the more shabby he would seem.

 

The Emperor had no need for such an Empress.

 

Furthermore, the prosperity of the country would not disappear without a single Empress.

 

‘So she must be gone.’

 

His twitching lips quivered as he looked at the Empress up close with cold eyes.

 

“How could you come to the banquet with your crooked leg?”

 

Without looking around at the noisy crowd, the Empress sat resolutely.

 

Looking ahead with her back straight, Roselyn’s lips quivered quietly.

 

“Just because my leg is crooked doesn’t mean the path I walk is bent, Your Majesty.”

 

Emperor Gillotti’s eyes narrowed as he gazed at Roselyn.

 

She felt the sharpness of the Emperor’s gaze, but she did not falter. For the first time in forever, her voice continued once more.

 

Even a mouse will bite when cornered, so how could she remain silent?

 

“Wobbling won’t lead me down the wrong path. I’ll always look ahead more carefully to make sure I don’t get lost or fall.”

 

Roselyn was now in a tight spot. No, more accurately, she was at the edge of a cliff and there was nothing more she could do.

 

Whether she went forward or backward, she would die. If that was the case, then she would have to make the last effort before she died.

 

‘Please, I hope that the boy will make it out of this palace safely.’

 

Roselyn looked up more firmly.

 

She could see that her situation was as dangerous as if she was standing alone on a thorny road. But that wasn’t important right now.

 

Roselyn clenched her cold fingers. Her clenched fists were shaking.

 

‘Mother and father….’

 

She hoped her parents were safe.

 

She wanted to be the only one to fall.

 

She prayed more than ever that if anything happened to her, they would be safe.

 

This was the national treasure that the Sunset family held.

 

That was the only thing she had to hold onto.

 

If anything happened to her, the Emperor would take it first. Therefore, the last place for negotiation must be held tightly.

 

It was also the reason why she showed up in this uninteresting banquet hall.

 

To turn all eyes on her.

 

Roselyn clenched her fists and inhaled deeply.

 

And, perchance, as she averted her gaze to see the suspicious eyes watching her, Roselyn suddenly spotted someone unexpected.

 

It was Tamon Krasis of Amor.

 

He was a predator who wielded great power over all of Amor’s diplomacy and finances.

 

He was much more bulky than a full-blooded nobleman, with a huge body and a steely gaze as menacing as that of a warrior.

 

With someone who had been guarding the front lines of Amor for over a decade and serving as a great general, it was no surprise that he had a gruesome energy.

 

Even the blood disease that had passed down in his family about four years ago did not manifest itself in him, he was a man who had been, and still was, holding down the frontier and crushing the surrounding countries with carnage.

 

Unashamed in his celebration of his retirement, he threatened the surrounding nations in other ways.

 

It was doubtful if he was someone who had used only his body for the last fifteen years.

 

He was a general who left politics behind and went to war, but he was very smart and quick-witted.

 

Roselyn bumped into him several times right after he’d come out on the diplomatic line.

 

Whether it was adjusting the territorial waters of the Avent Strait, or looking at the final agreement on Noronia’s war supply rights, or the friendly agreement between Tanatos and Amor….

 

He was the most tenacious negotiator and a skilled threat.

 

‘If that man grabbed you by the neck, he’d bite your every bone.’

 

She never let her guard down even once. She was scared.

 

Not once did she leave any room for weakness. Because she didn’t know what would happen next.

 

He was the one who made her feel most nervous and at the same time most alive.

 

He was looking at her as if he was going to swallow her up with his eyes.