No woman would not fall for him if he was determined to seduce her, but even if that was not the case, no woman would reject him since he is the Emperor of the empire.
Nevertheless, he made his special move after a long time.
An ordinary woman would immediately fall in love with his breathtaking looks and body scent, but she was different.
She still looked away from him and remained indifferent.
Then, Karaf suddenly grabbed Asha’s hand.
The moment his cold hand touched her skin, memories of her past came to mind, and Asha shivered unconsciously.
Karaf looked down a bit, remembering Asha’s swollen hands from the other day.
“Your hands are very cold. Are you nervous because I’m next to you?”
Certainly, if any woman of lower status sat next to the Emperor for the first time, even next to the dazzling throne, anyone would be nervous.
Asha slowly removed her hand from him.
“…… I’m not.”
Karaf asked again, moving his head closer.
“…… Then why don’t you look at me after seducing me? Didn’t you like the flower when you saw them up close?”
He asked mischievously, but Asha with trembling eyes did not reply.
Karaf became more competitive when she didn’t even respond despite exuding such an alluring scent.
He calmly took a bottle of wine in one hand and poured it directly into his glass and hers.
The fragrant wine dripped from the luxurious bottle engraved with golden roses.
Originally, he would have taken the drink that others would have given him, but now the situation is completely reversed.
He said with a gentle smile, trying to hide his impatience.
“It’s my favorite drink. It’s made with flowers, and the aroma and taste are amazing. It’s a precious drink, so I don’t bring it out unless it’s a special day, but I want you to try it too.”
Asha immediately recognized what kind of alcohol it was just from the scent of flowers that wafted from the alcohol.
That’s what she drank every time she spent the night with him in the past…….
He, who enjoys drinking, always made her drink before going to bed, but she felt a little embarrassed when he said that he drank it on special occasions.
But then something caught her attention, beyond his face, curious as a young boy.
Asha’s eyes suddenly turned sharp.
You’re here … assassin.
She just looked at the assassin, took the glass that Karaf had poured, and slowly spilled it on the floor.
The blood-red wine spilled on the floor resembles his eyes.
Karaf’s smile faded from his lips and he frowned at her rude behavior.
“What are you doing now…….”
Before he could finish speaking, a dagger flew from somewhere.
Asha reflexively stopped the dagger with the glass she was holding and struck it off.
She was only able to stop the attack because she focused all the wind’s energy on the assassin.
She already expected it, so she wasn’t too nervous, but what happened next made Asha’s eyes widen.
Soon, a smoke bomb flew through the window, and the banquet hall began to fill with smoke.
In the past, she had heard of the incident from maids but was never told that smoke bombs were used.
Soon, a woman rushed through the thick smoke.
Another dagger was in her hand…….
Asha blocked the attack once more, but the glass was now completely shattered and it fell to the floor.
Then, blood dripped from her hand, which was stabbed by the broken glass.
Asha frowned slightly at the pain.
The assassin was the woman standing in a corner.
No one paid any attention to her as she vaguely danced in a corner, even dressed in the most common colored dress.
She thought that she had set up the assassination without anyone noticing, but Asha kept an eye on her.
Asha thought that the woman who acted most inconspicuously and made suspicious movements was the assassin, and her prediction was correct.
When everyone was socializing, she was the only one who looked around suspiciously and anxiously, as if she had no interest in such things.
Also, unlike the other women who had given up on being the butterfly, she kept glancing at them, especially the wine glasses.
In the past, assassins have tried to assassinate Karaf by poisoning his drink.
And knowing nothing, Karaf drank the liquor the servants served him and vomited blood on the spot.
But the assassin wouldn’t have known that a real butterfly flew into the banquet today.
So when Asha was ordered to come to his side and walk toward the throne, she felt embarrassed.
And it seemed like she changed her plans the moment Asha spilled the poisoned wine on the floor.
Asha also expected she would take a different action if she failed to poison them, but she didn’t expect her to use smoke bombs.
Asha narrowly dodged the assassin’s fast-wielding dagger, as if in a passionate dance.
Dodging her attack, she was a bit flustered, but she soon clenched her teeth as if about to kill the saboteur, and lunged forward with more violence.
Asha recalls the dagger defense Jackal taught her and defends herself strongly.
At this point, she thought that it would be really nice if the dagger Jackal gave her was in her hands.
It was not easy for her to stop the attack without a single weapon.
In the end, the assassin’s dagger slid down her arm ripping her skin.
At that moment, Asha’s head was spinning and she was dizzy.
Suddenly her whole world began to look yellow.
As she looked down at her arm with a trembling face, she saw dark red blood oozing out of her open wounds.
The dagger was smeared with poison from the glass…….
Her dress was stained with blood like a seductive rose petal.
The sharp cries of the women, the footsteps of the knights, the harsh shouts, and the sounds of the swords being wielded rang in her ears at once.
Asha held her bloody arm and slowly breathed in and out.
She was dizzy and breathless.
It was deafening as if she was trapped in a giant glass jar, unable to properly hear any sound.
When she slowly opened her eyes in a cold sweat, she saw Karaf, who was looking at her in shock, and Duran, the Knight Commander, standing in front of her.
The knights quickly subdued the escaping assassin, but that no longer matters.
Asha looked at Karaf and lost consciousness.
At that time, Jackal, who was riding with Sosa towards the capital, suddenly felt ominous energy and raised his head.
The Imperial Palace in the distance caught his eye.
Jackal sped up his horse and ran even faster.
His hair fluttered wildly in the wind.
* * * * *
How much time has passed?
Suddenly, she heard the sound of birds chirping and running water.
Asha frowned at the white light and then slowly opened her eyes.
Where am I…… ?
She was lying in a field of flowers that she had never seen before.
The flower field was filled with endless unknown flowers, and the scent of the flowers confused her.
It was a peaceful and beautiful place that even she thought was a paradise on earth.
Asha got up and walked barefoot through the flower field.
However, a small, shabby red flower suddenly caught her eye among all the colorful flowers.
Asha approached the flower with a faint smile.
“What a pretty flower. But it doesn’t seem to go well with the others flowers…….”
Asha felt sorry for the flower as if it was surrounded by nobles in the Imperial Palace.
So she asked, carefully stroking the petals.
“Do you want me to take you?”
But it was at that moment when she was about to pick the flower when she heard someone.
「“Don’t pluck that flower.”」
Asha raised her head in surprise at the voice she heard from somewhere.
In the distance, in the flower field, stood a man with long turquoise hair and a dazzling ivory silk robe.
His mysterious jade-colored hair strangely shone like gold when exposed to sunlight.
His appearance exuded divine energy.
He smiled and said.
「“It’s a flower that people who come here for the first time do not pay much attention to. You have found it.”」
Asha lowered her gaze feeling slightly embarrassed.
“I think each flower has a different beauty. I like these simple flowers, they are prettier.”
「“This butterfly is really different.”」
Asha was startled when he found out who she was.
The man still had a strange smile on his face.
「“Actually, all the flowers blooming here are people living in the Etzheim Empire. If you look closely, there are no flowers with the same shape.”」
All the flowers that represent the people of the Empire were gathered here.
Asha’s face turned pale from the fact that she had almost killed someone.
「“It’s alright. You obviously wouldn’t know about this. But where the flowers bloom is destiny. Flowers cannot choose where they will bloom, but they can choose how they will bloom. Just like humans.”」
Asha swallowed hard at the meaningful words.
Those words sounded like they were referring to her.
「“Of course, for a flower to bloom, several conditions must be met, but sometimes there are flowers that break everyone’s expectations and show amazing appearances. For example, a flower that bloomed alone between the marble cracks that no one believed could bloom.”」
Asha smiled involuntarily at those words and looked around her.
Here, flower buds that had not yet bloomed were also mixed with other flowers in harmony.
At that moment, the man’s voice was faintly heard.
「“As a butterfly of the empire, I wish you could care for and cherish all the flowers without discrimination like you do now.”」
Asha suddenly realized something and stopped.
Suddenly, the mural painted on the ceiling of the ballroom came to mind, and Asha quickly looked back at him, but her eyes widened a little.
Suddenly, there was no one, as if there had been no one there from the beginning.
There was no trace that the grass had been crushed where he was standing.
Asha had something she always wanted to ask God.
She wondered why he chose her to be a butterfly.
Asha felt a little regretful, but she walked aimlessly again, careful not to step on the flowers.
But not long after, a single flower, taking root alone on a cliff in the distance, caught her attention.
The flower, which was particularly large compared to other flowers, and in a bud state, was a black rose.
Unlike the other flowers where they huddled together, the black rose’s surrounding was full of desolate soil except for a dandelion that was a little further away.
Furthermore, the rosebud was rotting from the bottom without blooming, and it was hanging precariously on the cliff as if it was about to fall.
It was a flower that could not take deep roots in a barren land with no place to lean on.
Asha suddenly remembered Karaf and inadvertently moved closer.
But at that moment, under her feet, thorny bushes like tentacles began to protect the rose.
Asha staggered from the sudden gusts of wind and earthquake, but she put her hands up to block it.