“You shouldn’t be kicking me out like this.”
“You don’t know what everyone will say if you keep isolating him, right?”
Olivia came one step closer to Wilhelm. Then Wilhelm took a step back with a frown on his brow.
Olivia smiled coldly, making eye contact with Wilhelm.
“Everyone thinks you’re trying to brainwash the Prince.”
“Isn’t it? Didn’t you put the Prince in your grasp and try to shake him?”
While Wilhelm was so bewildered that he couldn’t say anything, Olivia stepped up to him again and said,
“I did not kill the Emperor and Empress, and everything that is said about it is nonsense. They’re disparaging me.”
“Didn’t you try to get rid of the rumors by brainwashing like that?”
“Lady, you are crossing the line now.”
“Answer me honestly, Your Majesty.”
Olivia opened her eyes and asked.
“Did you really not kill my sister? Didn’t you kill my brother-in-law? Are you truly innocent?”
“…Disappear right before my eyes, Lady Fontaine. Unless you want to be beheaded for contempt of the Emperor.”
“I have nothing to fear, Your Majesty. I lost my beloved older sister in one morning and now my nephew is about to be taken away as well. I have nothing to lose now.”
Olivia took a step closer to Wilhelm with her grudges.
As she stared at him with sharp eyes, her resemblance to Empress Violet was uncanny, it took Wilhelm’s breath away.
He looked at Olivia, holding his breath calmly.
“Do you really think that the death of the Emperor and his wife was just an accidental death? Then why do so many people doubt Your Majesty?”
Wilhelm wanted to make an excuse, but he didn’t move, as if his lips were clinging together.
Olivia was attacking only Wilhelm’s weakest points right now.
“The truth can never be hidden till the end, Your Majesty. Someday it will be revealed for sure. Then your Majesty will lose everything. You will be stigmatized in history as the scoundrel who killed his half-brother, and you will face a disgraceful end.”
“So before that, take me as a concubine. Give me Louis back.”
Olivia put her hand on his chest and said in a whisper.
“If you do so, no one would dare think you killed the Emperor and Empress. I’ll help that happen. Then your legitimacy will not be shaken.”
Olivia pulled up the corners of her mouth and drove in a wedge.
“Isn’t that a good thing for Louis? He thinks I’m his real mother. You should also think about the child’s emotions.”
“Think carefully and make your decision, Your Majesty. It won’t mean anything to wait for time to solve it. The rumors about your enthronement will never go away.”
At the end of the sentence, Olivia, with an elegant smile, slowly lifted the hem of her dress and said goodbye.
It was not long before she disappeared from Wilhelm’s sight, fluttering the hem of her dress.
Wilhelm, left alone, stood looking stiff for a while and covered his face with one hand.
But not a big hand could hide all the despairing expressions behind it.
Wilhelm struggled to breathe for a while, emotionally driven.
Being alive, suddenly it was so hard.
Then, an unfamiliar voice interrupted his solitude.
Surprised, Wilhelm turned to the sound.
In the rose garden where he thought no one would be, someone was slowly appearing.
“I apologise, Your Majesty. I overheard it unintentionally.”
Anastasia stood in front of Wilhelm with a calm look. Wilhelm looked at Anastasia with a blank look.
Anastasia bit her lips in silence.
As she told the ladies, Anastasia was going to spend time playing with Louis instead of attending the ball that day.
“So if you fold this part…”
“Your Majesty the Empress.”
While folding origami, Louis suddenly called Anastasia. Anastasia looked at Louis.
“I heard there’s a ball today.”
“Aren’t you going?”
“Well, I’m not going.”
“I’m going to play with Louis.”
Louis’ expression shook briefly at the words. But soon he shook his head.
Anastasia asked with a quizzical look.
“You don’t want to play with me, Louis?”
“What’s wrong with your expression?”
“What if the Emperor dances with someone else?”
“Then he might fall in love with someone else.”
Louis pouted his mouth with a serious look.
“…I don’t like that.”
Anastasia was embarrassed by the unexpected remark and shook her head soon after.
“I don’t think so, Louis.”
“Why are you so sure?”
“His Majesty doesn’t go to the ball very often. I mean…”
“I just got the news from Lady Andrey, and it is said that His Majesty the Emperor is attending today’s ball, Your Majesty.”
Embarrassment flashed across Anastasia’s face at Selene’s timely utterance of words.
“… His Majesty? Really?”
If it was a ball, there would be so many people that he would be trampled to death, so why suddenly…?
It was when Anastasia did not understand her worfs.
“Look. What if His Majesty the Emperor dances with someone else?”
Louis scolded Anastasia with his anxious face.
In this situation, she had no other excuse.
‘His Majesty is the male lead, so he won’t fall in love while dancing with another woman, Louis.’
… She can’t even say that!
“Come on, Your Majesty. You can play with me another day. Go and dance and reconcile.”
“No, Louis. Now is…”
“Come on, come on!”
Louis pushed Anastasia out of his room, and Anastasia, who was doing her origami, was kicked out of his room.
She felt a headache coming so she pressed on her forehead.
“Hey, Selene… Why did you say that?”
“I am sorry, Your Majesty.”
But her expression didn’t show any regret at all. Anastasia narrowed her brow and said firmly.
“Still, I’m not going to the ball. It is too late to prepare now.”
“If it were Your Majesty’s beauty, even if you left without doing anything, everyone would applaud in admiration.”
“… Anyway. I just want to go for a walk.”
Louis wouldn’t have noticed if she stayed in the Empress’ Palace like this.
Anastasia left her regrettable maids of the Empress’ court behind and set out for her walk.
The night breeze was cool.
While walking for a long time, Olivia came into Anastasia’s sight.
‘Lady Fontaine? Was she here to attend the ball?’
Anastasia didn’t want to run into her for no reason, so she hid in the rose bushes around her. She was going to stay like this for a while until Olivia passed by…
“Your Majesty the Emperor.”
An unexpected voice dazed Anastasia.
Anastasia slightly raised her head with incredulous eyes to find Wilhelm.
There was Wilhelm, dressed in a tailcoat.
Looking at the road, he seemed to be returning from the ballroom to the Central Palace.
‘…did he really go to the ball?’
But why on earth? It was when Anastasia was wondering at his unusual move.
“I had something to say to you, so I came to see you like this.”
Anastasia sighed inwardly as the story seemed to be prolonged. It was too late to show up now, and she was embarrassed.
Even though she was hiding, she felt like she was eavesdropping, and her heart was pounding.
But… …the story began to flow into a spectacle.
“The truth can never be hidden to the end, Your Majesty. It will definitely come out one day. Then you will lose everything.”
…how could she talk like that to someone else.
Anastasia was seized with an impulse to run away for a moment.
However, she waited for the conversation to end with great effort.
After Olivia left, a breathtaking silence filled the space.
She could see what he would look like and what he would be thinking about being left alone there.
Anastasia appeared before him cautiously.
His face, which was suffering as if he were about to die, was surprised to find her.
“On my way for a walk.”
Anastasia grappled with her lips.
“I happened to hear it.”
“I know. Your Majesty had no part in his death.”
Anastasia said emphatically.
“I believe it.”
“You always sound like that.”
Wilhelm asked, smiling absurdly.
“Why are you so confident?”
“Your Majesty, I know…”
Anastasia hesitated to reply.
“You’re definitely not the kind of person.”
“You sound like you know me well.”
He seemed a little ruffled up at the word.
His bloodshot red eyes looked directly at Anastasia with resentful eyes.
“You don’t know anything about me.”
“What do you know?”
‘I know, I know, I know.’
What he liked and disliked. How much he loved his brother, and how much he suffered after his death.
The fact that he is a good and soft-hearted person enough to suffer nightmares for years for a sin that he did not commit is all.
But she trusted him for that reason alone.
‘… The real culprit is someone else.’
Words that could never come out of her mouth echoed in her throat.
Anastasia looked at Wilhelm with a sad expression.
His eyes that looked like they were about to cry at any moment made a scratch at Anastasia’s chest.
As Anastasia grinded her teeth inside, she blamed the woman who was the culprit behind all of it.
‘She is the woman. She was the one who killed His Majesty the Emperor.’