Asha slowly confessed everything while looking at Karaf’s face, which seemed lost.
Everything that happened in the past, and even the tragic ending. All without exception……
As he listened to the story, Karaf’s face changed every moment in shock.
He felt strange as if he didn’t exist in this space. He was dazed and unable to move.
It was an unbelievable story for him, but Asha’s expression as she told her story was so calm that he even felt scared.
When she finished speaking, his face was as pale as a ghost.
It was as if all the blood had drained from the tips of his hands and feet.
Obviously, Jackal was the one that was bleeding, but he was the one who had a ghostly appearance with no blood on his body.
Everything that was left inside him crumbled.
He felt as if a great thorn had pierced his heart.
He felt as if the spike his mother had put in his heart as a child was now so deep that he could never get it out again.
His cold body no longer felt any sensation, so he wasn’t sure if he was still alive.
There was a silence between the two.
Through the small square window, a cold wind, like a midwinter breeze, passed between them.
It was a deep, dark silence that never seemed to end.
Karaf said nothing for a long time, then he staggered, dragging his boots, walking out of prison.
As soon as he was out of sight like a shadow, Asha wrapped her arms around her knees and buried her face in them.
Finally, she came to the idea that nothing had changed.
She felt miserable so much that she couldn’t bear it.
She said harsh words at him when the butterflies and flowers were closer than anyone else.
Her heart ached so much as if she had said harsh words to herself. Asha held onto her chest with both hands.
* * * * *
Karaf did not know where he was going and wandered aimlessly, out of his mind.
Then, suddenly, his legs gave out and he fell to the ground.
He lay down on the ground and tried to collect his thoughts but to no avail.
What she had told him a moment ago was pieced together in his head like the pieces of a puzzle, making no sense at all.
He doesn’t understand those goosebumps all over his body…….
Seeing the goosebumps on his arms in a daze, Karaf clutched his chest as if having a sudden panic attack and began to gasp for air.
He was at his limit.
He had endured only until the blossoming ceremony, but his mind and body were now in a bad state.
He forcibly dragged his body, which was not moving as he wanted, and returned to his room. Then he swallowed an excess of his usual medicine and passed out.
* * * * *
He had a vivid dream as if he had returned to the past.
Karaf woke up in bed because of the sunlight, then looked out the window at the cloudless sky and touched his chest.
‘That’s right. They were all lies That didn’t happen.’
It was a nightmare like a long rainy season.
Karaf shuddered and forcibly brushed his hair to get rid of his thoughts, and went directly to the empress’s palace.
He felt that he could relax if he saw Asha’s face at this moment.
He wanted to see her smile, covering her mouth as she teased him, ‘Did you have another nightmare?’
When he thought of Asha, the pace of his steps grew faster and faster, and soon he was running.
However, when he arrived at the Empress Palace, he stopped. He suddenly witnessed the happy scene of Asha holding a bouquet in her arms.
He immediately hid behind a wall and watched her.
Next to Asha, her maid Sonya chattered briskly with delight.
[This is the flower that Baron Violet asked me to give to Lady Vanessa! How can there be such a beautiful purple color?]
[I know right. It’s really beautiful.]
Asha held a bouquet of purple violets in her arms and happily sniffed the scent emanating from them.
Karaf couldn’t understand why the jealousy boiled inside him.
Could it be because those purple flowers are similar to the color of the fresh hyacinth candy she had picked before?
No, it’s not.
Karaf shook his head.
Jackal Hyacinth is no longer here.
Because all those damn nightmares were fake. The man Vanessa chooses is not Jackal but him.
But even so, he never felt relieved.
He could give her everything he had. He was the only man in this Empire who could make her happy and prosperous at any time without caring about money or fame.
Common violets like that were scattered throughout the rose garden.
However, she didn’t show such a happy face when he showed the entire luxurious rose garden, and it angered him that she smiled so easily with just a simple bouquet.
He couldn’t stand the fact that she, who always looked at him with fear, was genuinely happy with the gift given to her by a man from a similarly named family.
Asha returned to her room, carefully unwrapped the bouquet, and placed it in a glass vase of water.
She was admiring the sunlit vase with a soft smile, but at that moment someone appeared from behind and snatched the vase from her.
At the moment when Asha looked back in surprise, a red-eyed man threw the vase to the ground with a cold stare.
It was Karaf from the past.
The sharp sound of breaking glass filled the room.
Sonya covered her mouth in surprise.
However, he didn’t stop there and continued to stare at Asha, cruelly crushing the purple flowers with his shoes until the shape of the flowers became unrecognizable.
The purple liquid from the flowers stained the red carpet like blood, and at the same time, Asha’s purple eyes which looked like the violets began to fill with tears.
She was a very beautiful woman even when she cried, but in the past, he hated her for not showing him a smile.
So, he would always talk to her cruelly.
[……Who dares to give flowers to my Vanessa! Who’s the reckless bastard? ]
He stared at Asha, who was crying without saying anything and then left the room.
The current Karaf, who was standing by the door and watching the whole scene in disbelief, stared blankly at the other self that passed through his body.
‘No way, am I having another nightmare……?’
He wanted to see Asha smile but ended up seeing her cry. It’s also because of the illusion that resembles him.
‘He’s fake……. It’s not me.’
Karaf trembled with his eyes wide open.
In the past, he summoned Baron Violet, who presented the bouquet, to the imperial palace separately and took away his baronial title.
The crime was a ridiculous false accusation of rudely harassing Vanessa and damaging the honor of the Imperial Family.
It was clear that the poor baron, who had been reduced from an aristocrat to a commoner overnight, had not been properly aware of the news from the imperial palace since he used to live on the outskirts of the empire.
With a pure heart, he wanted to gift violets that his family has planted and cared for in the family for generations to Vanessa, whom he admires.
Not even knowing that the emperor would be angry since in the flower language, violets meant ‘innocent love, please think of me’.
The current Karaf was looking right next to Asha, like a bystander.
Even in the midst of this, someone outside could hear it, and it seemed that the sound of crying came from the delicate Asha, who was crying quietly and sadly.
Asha buried her face in her hands and trembled.
Karaf put his hand on her slender shoulder, but his hand went right through her shoulder.
He couldn’t interfere in the slightest with the situation, as if he had turned into a ghost.
Shortly after him, Sonya appeared and comforted her.
Karaf didn’t know what to do and remained motionless.
For some reason, he felt a shiver run through his body.
It was because he wanted to beat up that crazy guy who looked exactly like him, but at the same time, he understood him.
As if he shared a mind with him.
No, we just looked alike…….
‘No…… That’s not me. There’s no way I can make her sad. I wanted to make her happy….’
Karaf swallowed and watched what came next.
Flowers other than black roses were no longer allowed into Asha’s room.
Even the mood in a funeral hall would not have been as gloomy as in this room.
The news that the Baron had been sacked for giving Vanessa flowers quickly spread throughout the empire.
Some people thought that he had told Vanessa a nasty joke with a bouquet, but those who generally knew the baron’s character cursed the emperor behind his back, knowing that he was innocent.
Because Karaf’s obsession with butterflies was pretty well known.
After that, everyone was afraid of the Emperor and didn’t even try to get close to Vanessa or talk to her in private, let alone think about giving her a gift.
No one could know what kind of crime they would be framed for and what kind of punishment they would receive.
Asha gradually became completely isolated in the palace.
It wasn’t Karaf’s intention, but he caused it.
Even in the ballroom, the nobles whispered as they saw her alone.
It was as if the flower and the butterfly of the empire did not get along.
The rumors reached Karaf’s ears and angered him unbearably.
It was unacceptable to him that there was another emperor in history who would treat Vanessa like this when he loves her very much.
Karaf firmly believed that there would not be another emperor in history who would have given Vanessa all kinds of gold and silver treasures and all the best things in the imperial palace as much as he did.
Rather, it was she who didn’t love him. He was sure that his love for her was unmatched by anyone else.
He was sure that he was much better than the previous emperor.
His promiscuous father left his mother, a butterfly, to play around with other women.
On the other hand, he thought that he was a hundred times better, no, a thousand times better since he only focused on one woman without paying attention to other women.
However, as the days passed, Asha grew thinner like her mother, and her expression darkened.
She had the best food, medical care, and amenities in the palace, but she seemed to be getting sicker and sicker.
Karaf from the past was biting his nails with anxiety and nervousness.