I looked at the empress and nodded.
“Yes, please let me see her for the last time.”
As I looked at her calmly, the empress looked at me as if she was about to collapse at any moment, but she then calmed down and resolved herself.
“If that’s what Lady Carbella wants.”
After a long time, she nodded with a bitter look on her face.
“I will allow it. I will tell them to leave the prison empty tonight.”
The empress understood what I hadn’t been able to convey through my words. I was so grateful for her, so I folded my hand and bowed my head to say goodbye.
“Once you do what you want, Lady Carbella can go where you want to go. I will bear the responsibility to His Majesty. So go where Lady Carbella wants to go.”
Those words made me feel emotional. I lowered my head slowly again.
* * *
Carbella Rudbihi went out, and the empress looked at the door for a long time. The maid beside her told her she should lie down, but she couldn’t do it easily.
Her son was a son who wouldn’t get hurt even if she didn’t care about him. But that son put Carbella in his mind. What a tangled relationship.
Before and after the conversation with her, she pondered a lot of thoughts. She had a vague idea that maybe Carbella could untangle the tangled relationship. Eventually, it reached this point now. Things happened, and it became an irreversible relationship.
All the secrets were revealed to her son, which she had been trying to hide. However… To think that her son would kneel down to her, throwing everything he had. She didn’t expect that he would reveal all of his feelings and ask for her freedom, only to save Carbella Rudbihi. She really didn’t expect her son would be like that.
Only today did she realize why her son suddenly changed his mind and tried to become a crown prince. It was because he wanted to use the authority that only the emperor, empress, and crown prince could use. Even if Carbella killed or harmed the imperial family, even if she rebelled, he wanted to use his authority to wash away all her sins once and for all. Even if that meant they would never see each other again.
The empress shuddered and closed her eyes. Her breathing, not yet fully healed, quickened. She must have been having nightmares for quite some time.
* * *
The way down the basement stairs was heavy. It was hard to go down step by step, as if shackles were hanging over my feet. It felt empty as I walked down the stairs alone, with torches one on every ten steps as my companion. There was no one, so I could only hear my footsteps.
I took a few more steps and reached the jail. It was said that my mother and Sir Shubart were locked in the farthest room and the farthest room across from it, respectively. They said Sir Shuabart was on the right.
I turned to the right and walked. I also passed several torches and arrived in front of solid bars.
A dark figure caught my eyes. Sir Shubart was turning away, but he seemed to somehow know I was coming.
He had no answer. I waited for him for a long time, holding the bars.
“…I’m sorry, Bella.”
What Sir Shubart said after a long time was an apology. It was an apology, not a complaint from me or a question of why.
“Do you hate me?”
At last, Sir Shubart turned around. There were scars all over his face.
“Come to think of it, I’ve never been an adult to you.”
“That’s not true.”
Sir Shubart chuckled.
“Yes, Sir Shubart.”
“I’m sorry for telling you that I have no regrets until the very end.”
“Thank you for stopping us.”
I couldn’t look him straight. I couldn’t see it well because my eyes were distorted. Still, I thought Sir Shubart was smiling as always.
“Don’t be sorry. That’s my words.”
I quickly wiped the tears running down my cheek. I stubbornly open my eyes.
“Next life, if there’s a next life.”
“I hope we don’t hurt each other then.”
Sir Shubart lightly patted my hand, holding the bars. Like he was telling me to stop crying. After a while, I finally stopped then handed Sir Shubart one of the two small glass bottles.
“…This is all I can do for you.”
Sir Shubart took a small bottle. And as if he always did, he had the cool smile he always showed.
“Thank you very much.”
I turned my heavy feet. Even though I was walking away, Sir Shubart was looking at me. There were no eyes in the back of my head, but I was sure he was looking at me. The more I walked, Sir Shubart’s figure became darker, and the road in the opposite direction seemed brighter. And, I saw my mother just like how I saw Sir Shubart. I drew near the bars.
“…When I was young, I wanted to be like Mother.”
“If I was asked to choose the most wonderful person in the world, I would just think of Mother. I think it’s always been the case.”
Even in the bars, my mother didn’t look back at me.
“I thought everything my mother did was the right thing to do.”
My mother was still silent, but I kept talking while holding the bars.
“I think I was afraid of Mother. Right, as if the world would end if I disobeyed my mother.”
“I thought Mother loved me.”
It felt like my mother’s back had stiffened instantly. Was it just me? Did I get that illusion because of her long, flowing hair?
“I loved Mother. Maybe even now. I don’t want to see the end Mother really doesn’t want either.”
“And I hated Mother. I didn’t want to live like this. Mother…”
She was speechless. I slowly took a breath and opened my mouth again.
“Have you ever thought of me?”
I tried not to do so, but resentment eventually came out.”
I heard my mother’s cold voice. My heart skipped a beat at the rejection that sounded without hesitation. I was under the illusion that someone was grabbing my heart, forcibly twisting and squeezing my blood.
My mother turned around. Her eyes, like elegant wine, shone even in this darkness.
In the end, my mother was like that… but now I didn’t have any expectations and felt no more resentment.
I took out the remaining small glass bottle and held it out to my mother. My mother looked down at the glass bottle I held out for a while, and then she accepted it.
“…It’s the last thing I can do for Mother.”
I relaxed my hands. The hand holding the bars slowly loosened and headed to the floor.
“Mother, next life.”
“Next life, I will be born as Mother’s mother. So I will ensure you don’t have such a hard time. So if there is a next life, I will see you then. Mother will be born as my daughter. Even if the role changes, we’ve experienced it once, so we can do better then. I hope we will be normal people then.”
I smiled as hard as I could. The dry eyes of my mother’s eyes sparkled for a moment. Soon a drop of tears fell down.
I turned slowly. In fact, I thought I had a lot of things I wanted to say, but I didn’t seem to be able to say even half of them. But I didn’t think it necessary to do more.
I took a step at a time and moved away from my mother. The footsteps, which had been slow as if stamping one step at a time, became faster as each step increased. I bit my lip and continued my way.
“… I’m so sorry.”
I felt like I could hear my mother’s hazy voice as I moved a little further away.
* * *
Chapter 8 Someone leaves, Some stay.
It was early morning before dawn when I left the jail. The surrounding was dark because the torches were turned off.
Where should I go now?
What should I do now?
I felt empty as if someone had dug into my head. Feeling the cold for no reason, I moved my feet to get out of the palace. However, it wasn’t long before I had to stop again. It was because there was a carriage I had never seen before.
“I’ll take you there.”
And even the coachman and a person like an escort knight were my first time seeing them. I couldn’t help but wonder. I hoped that Valery didn’t send them. I couldn’t even ask who had sent them because I was afraid.
A man in armor held something out to me as I stayed still. It was a small note. When I received the note and opened it, a short note was written on it.
1 thought on “TVDIGAO Chapter 88”
A short note was written on it…
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