The emperor and Diana were the first to leave the cabinet.
Diana, who felt the eyes following the two, clenched her teeth and endured the urge to turn around and shout.
The emperor was silent throughout.
It was only when they left the hall in front of the conference hall and approached the emperor’s bedroom that he finally spoke.
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
The emperor’s eyes contained complex emotions that could not be explained in one or two ways.
“I will be your shield until the end. So you must be strong and hang in there.”
“It’s been a long time since you became a family with us, and the storm hasn’t stopped since.”
“I think it’s all because God cares about you very much. The earth will harden after the rain, so let’s overcome this crisis.”
“Yes, your majesty….”
However, Diana was not very relieved even when the emperor comforted her.
Not anyone else, but Kaelus, was accusing the temple! Didn’t he just tell her that she didn’t do anything wrong?
Then he swung a knife at the temple, or at her.
The emperor still stared at Diana with a stiff look on his face, and then came to his feet.
“Calm down for a moment. I’ll call you back soon, Diana.”
“Yes, your majesty.”
Diana bowed her head and withdrew.
She realized that when a certain level of shock suddenly hit her, she couldn’t even cry.
“I was going to apologize….”
After arguing with Helios at the prayer meeting, Diana seriously decided to apologize to Kaelus.
She didn’t mean to, but she managed to admit that it was her and Helios who made him struggle so much that he wanted to die.
Why couldn’t you wait a little longer?
Sitting behind the emperor, she did not see the expression of Kaelus reading the complaint.
However, there was no need to check his expression. His sober tone and unshakable upright posture made it clear that he had long been determined to do this.
If you were going to do this, why did you tell me that I didn’t do anything wrong?
If she had honestly expressed my feelings at that time, she wouldn’t have reached this catastrophe today.
She thought Kaelus wouldn’t betray her.
Diana stood idly in the Lily Palace garden. All sorts of emotions swirled in her heart, and she couldn’t even realize where she was.
How long has it been? The sun, which was high in the sky, tilted far west before she knew it.
Helios appeared behind her with a click of footsteps.
Without a word, Diana turned her head and looked at her husband.
Questions popped up.
“Did you know this would happen?”
“No. I was embarrassed, too.”
Helios sighed quietly.
“In fact, I did prevent the duchess from making the accusation public herself. I thought it was over, but I didn’t think he was going to do it himself…”
“Once… …I stopped her…”
“Yes. In return, I made him Duke and gave Hestia Attica.”
“I thought all I had to do was stop Hestia. I have no excuse. It was my mistake, Diana.”
Helios admitted frankly.
Diana laughed helplessly in some vague despondency.
“You’re even saying you’re sorry for me.”
“Because that’s true.”
Diana looked down.
“Was he that angry…?”
Helios did not answer.
Actually, he had been angry for a long time. Ever since Kaelus declared that he would no longer be friends with Helios and Diana.
It’s just that Diana didn’t admit it. Or she thought it didn’t matter if he was angry.
Nevertheless, Helios felt that Diana’s attitude itself was quite different from usual.
Before the meeting, when he tried to have a conversation with Diana, she defended herself by putting a solid wall around her. Protesting that she did the right thing, or criticizing the other person’s dishonesty.
But how is it now?
Of course, Diana was angry at Kaelus’ betrayal. Still trying to figure out why he did it and his situation.
That alone was a great development for her.
“To be fair, Kael accused the temple, not you.”
Helios said exactly what Hestia said in the office a while ago. As she pointed out, in order to solve this situation, it was necessary to clarify the target of the arrow.
“The temple has become cold to you anyway, so it’s better to take this opportunity completely.”
If we use it well, it can be a chance of a genius. It is to neatly oust the temple forces that permeated the imperial palace.
But Diana was skeptical.
“I’ve been a servant of God almost all my life. And if I get out of the temple, what am I?”
“You are the crown princess of the empire. Isn’t that enough?”
“Yes, the scarecrow like crown princess.”
Helios didn’t really respond to that. Because it was him who turned her into a scarecrow.
But it couldn’t be helped. The power to hold her without knowing how to handle it properly drove her to the brink.
The authority of the crown princess, poorly wielded by Diana, turned all the central nobles of the capital into enemies. Until she finally owed the royal family a huge debt.
As a cold ruler, Helios had no choice but to keep Diana in the Lily Palace, just as he took dangerous goods from a child.
It was a way of protecting her in its own way. Although she doesn’t understand.
Diana let out a long sigh.
“How much more will they push me?”
In fact, the answer to this question was also given by Hestia in the office a while ago.
Helios asked with a wretched heart.
“Diana, did you apologize to Kael?”
Tears fell from Diana’s eyes.
It was only then that she was keenly aware of the starting point of everything.
“Diana. Hestia… … For Kael’s sake, she’s seriously going to do anything.”
“Her goal was clear from the start. To inflict the same pain on us that caused Kael to die.”
Helios twitched the grass under his feet.
“It’s not Hestia’s concern whether it’s just or not.”
Even with all kinds of dishonesty, she clung to only one goal. Ignoring even the shadow of death approaching Hestia herself, only to save Kaelus alone.
How can such a love exist?
Helios and Diana, who loved so passionately, never gave up on themselves.
No, it was a very temporary emotion that didn’t have to lead to it.* It took less than two years for that hot love to cool down.
*TN: to mariage
“Diana, I’ve said this before, but we have to get it right from the beginning.”
“From the beginning…”
Diana sighed long again.
The beginning of everything, a point of tragedy.
She had to apologize to Kaelus for making a bitter accusation and letting him down.
If her apology had been sooner, would her situation be so precarious today?
All sorts of assumptions cluttered Diana’s head.
But the important thing was, anyway, that Diana never felt sorry for Kaelus.
“Now the temple won’t help you either. No, I think it’s right that they can’t help you.”
“Oh, yes. That’s what happened.”
Diana shook her head.
Still, there was something that made her hesitate.
“If I apologize to Kael now, will everything go back to its place?”
Helios sighed as if the ground gave out.
What are you still afraid of, trying to run away with all these excuses!
“I don’t know about that. But you can’t tell anything without even starting, Diana.”
He was sick and tired of it. How long will she be hesitating?
Hestia’s words echoed again in Helios’ head. It’s something he wanted to avoid. He wanted to cover it up because it’s enough.
In the end, he didn’t want to pay anything for the wrong he had done.
A deep disillusionment gripped him. He didn’t want to be here any more.
Helios disappeared with the sound of footsteps.
Diana glanced up and looked at the back of her husband as he walked away.
a voice so low as to be heard only by her
“… I didn’t want him to die. I just wanted him to realize…”
The idea that they would recognize it without saying it was greatly wrong.
No mind could ever be fully conveyed unless it was told directly.
It was foolish to think that her sincerity would work as a short greeting that she gave every time she encountered him, and a holy bracelet that she made herself and presented.
We must meet to clear up the misunderstanding.
It’s not because she hates Kaelus, she just wanted to put justice right.
This time, she had to tell them properly.
“Yeah, right, right from the beginning.”
Although Helios was unsure, everything would go back to square one if she apologized herself.
Kaelus was a smart man. Because he was a kind man who always touched her tired heart first.
Nevertheless, Diana did not face Kaelus immediately. It was because she belatedly realized that he was taking a vacation and resting at home for a few days.
When confronted at the palace, she planned to ask him to talk, but Diana was at a loss for the slightest provocation.
That’s how much she felt burdened.
Her decision to give up her lifelong faith and apologize to Kaelus was one of the most important events of her life.
“I shouldn’t be dragging my feet….”
The external situation is also unfavorable, but the bigger problem was that Diana’s own resolution kept weakening.
Eventually, Diana decided to visit Kaelus’ mansion herself.
She was so nervous that she even forgot to include an announcement before visiting. It was a mistake that happened because she was only used to receiving contact from others as a crown princess.
Even in the carriage to the duke, Diana trembled violently.
Don’t tell me I’m going to be kicked out of the door. No matter how powerful the duke is, he would not throw away the crown princess.
Fifty thousand thoughts were mixed up in her head. Diana was dizzy as if she were about to vomit.
It was not long before she reached her destination.
Seeing the sudden rush of the imperial carriage, the duke’s butler ran to the front door in astonishment.
Diana stepped down quietly.
The mansion was very crowded with lights on, as if there was a party going on. It was a very different atmosphere in many ways from the lonely Lily Palace.
“I see the little moon of the noble empire…!”
Diana said in a trembling voice to the butler, who would be embarrassed but without a hitch.
“I’d like to see Kael. I have to tell him something.”
The butler led her into the drawing room. Then, he quickly headed to the dining hall.
Diana looked around, catching her breath. The interior landscape was almost unchanged from when she often visited in the past.
It was unexpected.
Hestia was so ambitious that she went from commoner to aristocrat and eventually to duchess.
Diana thought that she would have repaired the house how she wanted first.
She said she loved Kaelus herself. Helios also testified that she was willing to fight fire and water for Kaelus.
But Diana couldn’t believe it at all.
It was Hestia, who had no contact with Kaelus until she suddenly became a marquis wife. No matter how much she cried out about love, would it be true?
I’ve always thought that it’s just a cover for evil greed.
Why can’t I feel any of Hestia’s taste in this room? Don’t you want to show off your power with luxury, as do those who rise overnight?
Are you sure it’s just for Kaelus? That woman?
But at the sudden sound of footsteps, Diana hurriedly paid her respects.
The heart, which had been stabilized for a while, began to fluctuate violently again.
Startled purple eyes, neatly bound long silver hair.
A man who’s always been kind to her.
Yearning, apologetic, and sad.
As soon as she saw his face, all kinds of emotions flowed down like a flood of tears.
Kaelus reached out in embarrassment like he was at a loss as to what to do.
Diana crumbled to the floor on the spot.
Frustrated, Kaelus quickly sat on one knee in front of her and tried to raise her up.
But Diana held his arm first.
Kaelus forgot to be polite and murmured her name without realizing it.
The scene where the best beauty of the empire knelt before him and wept pitifully. It was worth touching the hearts of those who witnessed it.
“I’m sorry…! Because of me, you…”
“Oh, I’m so sorry…! I never wanted you to die…!”
“I’m sorry to bother you, Kael! I, I, I… I really didn’t know you were that bad, really…!”
Kaelus had hardened.
She’s crying and apologizing for criticizing him.
Kaelus was stunned for a moment.
If you could apologize like this, why did you push yourself so hard back then?
Wasn’t it a moral criticism based on a belief that can never be bent?
I thought you wouldn’t regret it even if I died.
Kaelus muttered unconsciously.
The fine voice was like a rope of salvation for Diana.
“I know you’re angry with me. That’s why I’m here to ask for your forgiveness! I’m sorry, Kael…!”
But he asked back blankly.
The emotionless purple eyes stared at the watery sea-colored eyes.
“Why are you sorry? Didn’t you never regret it?”
Diana clung more desperately to the questioning of her intentions.
“I regret it! I regret it, Kael! I turned away from your true feelings, I criticized what you did, everything…!”
“Yes! Oh, my God.…!”
Kaelus tilted his head.
That’s weird. Why didn’t he appreciate it at all? Why didn’t he feel lighthearted?
The criticism she made was so heavy and hard that he couldn’t handle it and even tried to kill himself.
Now that the stone has been removed, why is it that I’m not happy at all?
Kaelus was at a loss. What should he do with Diana holding his arms and sobbing?
Let’s comfort her first.
“Alright, Diana. Stop crying now.”
“It’s okay, stop crying.”
It was impossible to ponder one’s questions in front of a woman who cried endlessly.
In a nearby dinner room, Hestia was still eating with guests. Therefore, he had to finish this situation quickly and go back to her.
Kaelus took out a handkerchief and held it in Diana’s hand.
“I don’t care about the past anymore. So you should go back, too.”
Diana gave a desperate look to every word he said. For he was a lifeline.
“To be stuck in the past, you and I have a lot of work to do. Diana.”
“I once suffered from what you said before, but it doesn’t matter now.”
Diana was incredible. If she knew it would be so easy, she would have apologized earlier.
She couldn’t believe she was like this today because she insisted on not doing this easy thing.
“Oh, I’m so sorry, Kael…”
“I should have apologized earlier, but I’m sorry I’m so late…!”
Kaelus was increasingly confused.
Isn’t the reason Diana didn’t apologize was because she gave herself legitimacy to her accusations?
Her beliefs were rooted in none other than the teachings of God. It was not a disposition that could change over time.
Why on earth was she apologizing to him?
Assuming she didn’t have faith, there’s only one reason after all.
“Was it so shocking that I filed a complaint?”
Diana looked up at him with a tearful face.
“If that’s why you’re here… To be honest, I’m disappointed.”
“Kael, please don’t get me wrong and listen to me.”
In that urgent tone, he decided to listen.
“At that time, I didn’t think it was right to use unscrupulous means to do good. It was very important for me to establish justice. So….”
Diana shed tears again.
“I wanted you to realize… I didn’t hate you, I just… I think… I mean…”
A woman with her head down.
“I’m sorry, Kael.”
He let out a small sigh.
“I understand what you’re trying to say. So now I’m going back.”
“Don’t ask me for forgiveness anymore. I don’t remember it enough for you to ask for forgiveness.”
“You and I just moved according to our beliefs and our definitions. I don’t think either side did it wrong.”
“So you don’t have to apologize. Like I don’t regret my choice.”
Kaelus finished his speech and politely saluted.
“Then go home safely.”
“Kael! I, I, I…!”
Diana staggered on the hem of her skirt as she tried to get up in a hurry. Kaelus held her lightly and supported her.
The hand, Diana’s, clenched it.
“I still like you! Just like you used to be…!”
At that moment, Kaelus felt his heart cool.
“Your highness the crown princess.”
An expressionless face, a cold voice.
“Please let go of the past. And I hope you focus more on the present. I’ll do the same.”
“I love my wife like my life. It may not be the case with your highness.”
A cold purple gaze glanced over her.
“Just step back while I have the courtesy for you. Otherwise, I will make a formal complaint to his majesty about this.”
Diana withdrew her hand in surprise.
“By the way, next time you visit the duchy, I’d like you to send an announcement beforehand.”
Kaelus turned away and went out of the door without a moment’s hesitation.
The butler soon approached Diana, who was left behind, and bowed.
“I’ll take you to the carriage, your highness.”
Her feet didn’t move easily.
But she had to leave. His warning was by no means false.
Diana clasped the handkerchief that Kaelus had given her and followed the butler out of the drawing room.