Red blood poured down on the pure white napkin an eerie shape.
Avelin frowned and muttered a small curse.
As she gasped for breath, Avelin pulled out her handkerchief she had prepared for her, and thoroughly wiped her spilled blood.
‘It was a good idea to set it on a day to celebrate the moon.’
The empress’ spies were all over the Sienna Palace.
She was an empress who pretended to be naive and kind in front of her, but she couldn’t fully trust her.
Avelin couldn’t trust anyone here except the maids she brought from Hazel manor.
If the maids had discovered the traces of the blood she vomited today on any other day, it would surely have been communicated to Anastasia.
Of course she would doubt her.
‘Anyway… Bleeding like this isn’t that bad. I have to be willing to endure it.’
After seeing Anastasia bleeding with her own eyes, she was relieved.
Even though she must have been diagnosed by the palace doctor that her body was so damaged that she was bleeding, seeing her pretending to be calm until the end.
‘Now there is nothing to worry about.’
Avelin smiled sweetly and stood up from her seat. Now it was time to go out for volunteer work.
Avelin’s service area was not specifically defined.
She hung a large map of the kingdom on the wall and threw a dart there to volunteer.
So today’s volunteer work area was Elswood, a slum located in the northernmost part of the capital.
‘Is it because I vomited blood that I had no strength? Even if I choose it, it’s so pitiful there…’
She complained, but she didn’t go out of her way to change it.
Because her choices had always been important. No matter how pitiful the result was, she couldn’t touch it.
Avelin, in a white dress, rode her carriage to Elswood, treating the poor who needed it but could not afford to see a doctor.
Even those who were initially wary of her saw her treating her patients with her divine powers, and they were instantly captivated and began to line up in front of her.
“Saint, I broke my arm yesterday.”
“Saint, my back hurts so much.”
From that moment on, people have been calling Avelin ‘Saint.’
Avelin didn’t feel bad about hearing that name. It was a bit disappointing that she wasn’t ‘Her Majesty.’
‘Hey, I have to stop now.’
Shortly after starting her treatment, Avelin felt her energy running out.
‘Is it because I spilled blood? … Hng, I want to go to Sienna Palace and rest.’
Looking at the dirty affected area in the smelly and barren land made her feel worse and worse.
In the end, Aveline said she would stop treatment and return to the palace
The patients were disappointed or protested when they heard that, but it was none of Avelin’s business. Now she wouldn’t even look north when she throws the dart.*
*TN: she won’t go there again
“No, there’s no law that says that. I just came here! Sigh, should I have come earlier…”
“Oh, did you hear the news? People are coming from the temple over here now!”
As she was getting ready to go back, Avelin paused when she heard that.
“I heard the High Priest is there, too. Let’s go over there!”
“Really? That’s good!”
All the people left the temporary treatment center, and Aveline, who was left alone, looked interested and said to the maid next to her.
“I need to see the High Priest.”
“What? But you’re not feeling well…”
“I have the energy to meet him and say hello, so you don’t have to worry.”
Avelin, who smiled a little, soon left the treatment center and found a place where many people gathered.
Soon, she found the High Priest without difficulty. Surrounded by countless people like bees, they were treated with divine power.
Avelin approached Lyell with a smile, and upon seeing her, the people made way for her.
At the familiar voice, Lyell turned his head in surprise. Lyell’s lips twitched when he saw Avelin.
“I see you’re all here.”
With an angelic smile, Avelin had a look of astonishment.
“I think we are connected by a deep bond. We would all meet in this place.”
“I had heard that you were here for volunteer work.”
Lyell responded with an expressionless face.
“I thought you were gone, but I guess you’re still here.”
“I’m going to meet the High Priest and leave. It’s fate to see you here.”
“Oh my God, two people who are loved by the Goddess are visiting at the same time.”
At that moment, someone interrupted their conversation with an excited voice.
“Now it looks like only good things are going to happen to Elswood. I am so relieved!”
Hearing those words, Avelin smiled tremblingly as she heard them.
“However, you two seem oddly similar, seeing you side by side like this.”
Upon hearing that, Avelin asked coldly.
“Oh my, is that so? In what way?”
At the same time, Lyell’s expression hardened slightly. But it was such a subtle change that no one around him noticed.
The first person who said that the two were similar, looked at each other’s faces alternately, and opened his mouth while comparing them.
“I do not know. I’m not sure if I could point it out specifically… I think you give off a similar impression.”
“Oh, right! Your impression is a bit similar. Perhaps it is because both of you are the best in the empire when it comes to being good enough to be loved by the Goddess?”
Everyone who heard the story agreed, and Lyell barely pulled up the corners of his mouth and smiled awkwardly.
Only then did Avelin, who discovered Lyell’s expression, smiled, approached him and spoke to him.
“Did you hear that, Father? They say we look alike.”
“We can’t help but look alike. They say that daughters take after their fathers.”
It was a very small voice that only Lyell could hear. Lyell turned his head and looked at Avelin.
At first glance, he looked expressionless, but Avelin realized that he was staring at her now and laughed.
“Thank you for all your kind words. It’s an honor and a nice word to hear from the point of view of being chosen by the goddess, to resemble the High Priest.”
“Then I’ll have to go back to the palace because I’m not feeling well now. See you again, High Priest.”
Lyell didn’t even accept her greeting now, but Aveline slipped out of the spot with a smile on her face that didn’t care a bit.
‘It’s a lucky day.’
It must have been that day, given that pleasant things happened one after another.
In the sunshine shining bright on my way down, Avelin walked joyfully toward the carriage.
At the same time, Colton was on his way to the Empress’ Palace under the covert call of Anastasia.
“Don’t tell the Emperor and come to the Empress’ Palace.”
Recalling the orders given to him, Colton’s steps toward the Empress’ Palace were heavy.
‘What are you calling me for?’
Anastasia had never called him this way, so Colton was naturally nervous.
‘No way… Did you change your mind about spending last night with His Majesty the Emperor?’
Was she not asking him to help her stay in the position of the Empress?
That would be the most reasonable possibility for now, Colton grew increasingly anxious.
‘Yeah, I should have somehow stopped you two from being together yesterday.’
No matter how much Wilhelm doubted the authenticity of the oracle, in the end it was just a suspicion and nothing was revealed.
Moreover, even that suspicion was absurd to anyone who heard it.
‘Of course, His Majesty is suspicious, so I’m following him, but…’
There has never been a High Priest who had dared to do such a big thing so far, and there was no evidence to raise any doubts.
Therefore, when he met the Empress today, he was going to ask her to remember what she said to him last time and behave properly.
It was like that’s what happened.
“What is this, Your Majesty?”
When he stood in front of Anastasia, what she handed him was a letter, not the expected request.
Anastasia quietly opened her mouth as Colton fiddled with the letter with an unfamiliar expression on her face.
“I am leaving tonight.”
It was a bombshell. Colton looked at Anastasia with wide eyes.
“Sir Colton supported my decision last time, so I am speaking in confidence. No one at the Empress’ Palace knows yet.”
“Your Majesty, what is this all of a sudden…”
“You know that I was with His Majesty last night.”
Colton flinched and looked at Anastasia.
“His Majesty has no intention of letting me go. So I am going to make a decision first.”
“Ha, but the reception of Vislante’s envoys…”
“The matter has been finalized in the handover. I know it’s a diplomatic disrespect for me to not keep my promise to entertain them, but… Please forgive me.”
“Ha, but this is so sudden…”
“I made this decision because I thought it would be pointless to stay here for two months.”
Anastasia smiled calmly and asked Colton.
“So when I leave, deliver the letter to His Majesty.”
“Can you do that?”
The smile on Anastasia’s lips as she asked him was pathetic and vague.
Seeing her smile, Colton unwittingly tried to catch her by saying ‘don’t go,’ but belatedly he came to his senses and bit his lip.
He wanted her to leave like that, but he wasn’t willing to let her go because she’s leaving.
“Sir, please take good care of His Majesty in the future…”
At that time, Anastasia paused and hurriedly closed her mouth. While Colton looked at it and wondered, a rough cough sprang out of Anastasia’s mouth.
“Your Majesty, are you alright…?”
Colton, who hurriedly took out a handkerchief and tried to hand it to her, saw the blood flowing down her hand.
He froze like a stone on the spot with astonished eyes.