“You found the wrong seat. This is the place of the Empress.”
Avelin bit her lip and opened her mouth.
“I don’t think it’s a good example to leave this seat empty to receive a delegation.”
“But it is not a good example to show someone who is not the Empress as the Empress.”
Wilhelm replied firmly, without blinking an eye.
“Is there any reason for the lady to come here in the first place?”
At his remarks completely ignoring her own presence as the next Empress, Avelin couldn’t stand the humiliation and trembled.
But Wilhelm looked at Avelin coldly, as if he didn’t know anything about it, and Avelin had no choice but to back down.
“Your Majesty, the delegation has arrived.”
Then Colton came to tell the news. Wilhelm nodded his head, and then the door opened, revealing the delegation of Vislante.
They approached Wilhelm, who sat on the throne, and bowed his head politely.
“I greet the one and only sun of Rosenberg on behalf of Vislante.”
“It took a lot of hard work to come a long way.”
“No, Your Majesty. Thanks to your attention, I was able to come comfortably.”
After the greeting to the Emperor was over, it was originally time to bow to the Empress.
The one who stood as the head of Vislante’s envoy naturally glanced at the position of the Empress.
‘Did he say the Empress was missing?’
However, it was the time when they were about to end their greeting without showing any expression.
“The only moon in the Rosenberg Empire, the Empress enters.”
There was a sound that shocked everyone present.
Before long, the sound of the heavy door opening again with a huge friction reverberated in the large banquet hall.
Everyone held their breath and focused their eyes on the one who would appear through the huge door.
– click, click.
Breaking the quiet atmosphere, a woman walked into the inside of the large banquet hall elegantly.
She wore a bright red satin dress, with her ears, neck, and arms also wearing bright red diamond accessories, and the woman wore the Empress’ crown over her head.
She was the perfect, impeccable Empress.
They were overwhelmed by her dignified appearance for a moment and were unable to move, but they greeted the Empress, who returned with hurried manners to everyone present.
Finally, she fluttered the hem of her voluminous dress, and Anastasia arrived in front of Wilhelm.
“I am a little late.”
A calm, unshakable voice came out of Anastasia’s mouth.
“Anastasia Rosenberg, greetings to the Imperial Sun.”
After saying hello, there was no reply right away.
Anastasia looked up at Wilhelm, her gaze, which she had previously held down slightly.
Obviously, he looked surprised. Yeah, it would be even weirder if he wasn’t surprised.
However, in the situation where everyone was very cautious and still, someone has to move. Anastasia smiled and walked over to Wilhelm’s side.
Her destination was right next to him, the seat of the Empress. Anastasia took a seat next to Wilhelm, who was still stiff.
“Greetings to Your Majesty the Empress, the beautiful moon of the Empire.”
Surprisingly, it was Vislante’s envoys who broke the frozen situation.
“It is an honor to meet you. Actually, I volunteered for this delegation to see Your Majesty the Empress.”
“Is that so?”
“Yes, Your Majesty. Your Majesty probably doesn’t know me.”
Among the envoys of Vislante, the one who stood at the head of the envoy continued to speak fluently.
“Actually, the Duchess of Barantes, the mother of Your Majesty, was my niece.”
“I know, Duke Romut.”
Anastasia nodded her head casually.
“I also heard about the guests while preparing to entertain the delegation. Thankfully, it was my mother’s uncle.”
“Yes, Your Majesty. Do you remember me?”
“It’s been so long since I saw you.”
Anastasia, who smiled slightly, noticed the nobles who were starting to come to their senses one by one, and then she gently turned the flow of the conversation.
“Oh, I’ve held too many people who have come a long way. Your Majesty, it would be better to guide the envoys to the guest palace.”
“… Don’t do that.”
Wilhelm barely parted his lips, and Anastasia turned to Mrs. Rochester. She, too, was so surprised that her face turned white.
“Mrs. Rochester, would you mind escorting the envoys to the guest palace?”
“Yes? Oh yes, Your Majesty.”
Mrs. Rochester came to her senses belatedly and then nodded her head.
Then, as Madame Rochester led the envoys of Vislante with the maids of the Empress’ Palace, half of the banquet hall was empty.
The remaining Rosenberg nobles still had a bewildered face as they could not adapt to this situation.
Anastasia then turned to Wilhelm again.
Since when had he been looking at her, that she met his eyes straight away. Complex emotions were seen in his trembling eyes.
“Your Majesty, what the hell is this…”
“Everyone get out.”
Wilhelm opened his mouth, still fixing his gaze on Anastasia.
“I have something to say to the Empress alone.”
At those words, everyone said nothing, and snuck out of the banquet hall, peeking at each other.
Soon, the large banquet hall was empty. Anastasia was finally left alone with Wilhelm.
Wilhelm’s eyes suddenly turned red in her vision.
The corners of Anastasia’s eyes were gradually getting wet as she looked at him.
He opened his mouth as if he was vomiting.
“Am I dreaming now?”
“Because I haven’t slept a bit lately… Am I even dreaming such an absurd dream?”
At that moment, Wilhelm trembled. It was because Anastasia grabbed Wilhelm’s hand.
She shook her head, not taking her gaze from Wilhelm, who was surprised by her.
“It’s not a dream, Your Majesty.”
Anastasia opened her mouth in a trembling voice.
Equally, his trembling voice asked her.
“Leaving me like that, why…”
His wounded heart was clearly revealed through his eyes trembling as much as his voice.
Anastasia was reminded that she had done so much wrong to him.
Naturally, she guessed while she was away. It was obvious how much damage he must have suffered from her actions, and she had nothing to say about it, even if all he had left was resentment and hatred.
However, when the resentment and hatred in the eyes she met were blurred and filled with wounds and sorrows, her heart sank.
He couldn’t help but hate her. But even that hatred was overwhelmed by the heart that longed for her, and when she saw it gradually dying, Anastasia felt like her heart was being ripped apart.
If he had hated her to death, if he had stared at her with cold eyes… It wouldn’t have been so miserable.
“Because I wanted to see you.”
Anastasia painstakingly opened her lips to confess her feelings.
Maybe he got an unexpected answer. Wilhelm’s eyes fluttered like a candle in the wind.
“I wanted to see His Majesty, so I came.”
He was the person she had always missed even in the same Imperial Palace. There was no way she didn’t miss him during the time she was away.
She desperately wanted to see him, and tears welled up like a fountain every day feeling sorry for him.
Whenever that happened, she cherished the handkerchief that he used to wipe her tears from, and she wiped her tears alone.
Then, even though it seemed a little intolerable, she had courage. The courage to live alone with it for the rest of her life.
She continued to take care of herself that way. However, this man must have refused even that, and in just one month, he became so thin.
“How did you hurt your face so much…”
Anastasia bit her lip to prevent herself from crying, tears threatening to come out at any moment. At the same time she carefully reached out her hand towards his face.
“What the hell am I saying…”
His fine skin had become rough. Even if it was true that he hadn’t slept properly, the corners of his eyes darkened.
It was not a result of a day or two. That alone showed all the hardships so far, and Anastasia ended up shedding tears of grief.
“I’m sorry. I left without a word… That wasn’t supposed to be the case…”
Anastasia eventually burst into tears at the sadness that rose like lava in her chest.
Wilhelm smiled and stood up from his seat at the sight of a child crying uncontrollably as if she had lost her mother.
Then he whispered her name and approached Anastasia right in front of him.
“Why are you crying?”
It was a sad voice. He pulled out her handkerchief and gently wiped Anastasia’s face, still crying.
Her face was red, unable to overcome her emotions. Wilhelm saw that, and was suddenly overcome with an absurd thought.
Clearly, he firmly believed that it was him who was hurt the most by the woman’s departure.
But now that he saw her crying…
‘Maybe that’s not necessarily the case.’
But it was ridiculous. How can the person who abandoned the other be hurt more than the person who was abandoned?
Nevertheless, to the extent that it occurred to him, Anastasia was crying in agony as if she were killing herself.
Even the little part of his heart that hated her turned into compassion when it saw her.
It was a ridiculous idea. What a pity for the abandoned.
“I’m the one who wants to cry now.”
He said jokingly and held Anastasia tightly in his arms, who showed no sign of stopping.
The strong and warm arms made Anastasia even more sad.
Why, why are you…
‘He’s never changed and he’s endlessly sweet to me.’
Anastasia put her face in his arms and continued to sob.
The scent that she missed flowed deep into her lungs as if comforting her.