“Your Majesty, have a drink!”
After the Duke of Barantes left, Anastasia, who had been reporting her absence to Madame Rochester, heard Selene’s voice and turned her head.
A teacup was in front of her. However, the contents inside were red, and its appearance was unusual. Anastasia asked, narrowing her brow.
“This… what is it?”
“It’s deer blood sent by Duke Barantes!”
Hearing that she was coming back, he said that he had prepared something urgently, and he seemed to have meant this.
“The person who brought it told me that deer blood is good for the body. It relieves fatigue, replenishes energy, and warms the body… Oh, I almost forgot the most important thing!”
“What do you mean, the most important thing?”
Selene lowered her voice subtly and she whispered to Anastasia, as if she was telling something very secret.
“It’s good for energy. Why don’t you send it to the Central Palace too?”
“Anyway, the Duke said that you should drink it all without leaving any leftovers.”
Selene grinned and hurriedly turned her back on her words, and Anastasia shook her head in disbelief.
Thinking of her father, who must have asked for good things to feed her in a hurry, Anastasia could not help but be moved by his sincere heart.
But if there was one problem…
‘It doesn’t look very delicious.’
Anastasia said to Selene with an awkward smile.
“If you leave it, I’ll drink it.”
“You have to drink it. It’s precious.”
“Your Majesty, Sir Colton Nervion wishes to see you.”
At that time, Anastasia looked puzzled at the news that another maid came in and delivered.
‘What’s going on?’
However, as her return was so sudden, she soon opened her mouth casually.
“Bring Sir Colton in, and prepare some refreshments.”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
Moments later, Colton appeared in the reception room, where Anastasia was left alone.
With a restrained gait, he came right in front of Anastasia and greeted her.
“Greetings to Her Majesty, the noble moon of the Empire.”
“Welcome, Sir Colton. It’s been a while since I saw you last.”
“Yes, Your Majesty. Long time no see.”
“Sit down. The maids will bring refreshments soon.”
“No, Your Majesty. I just dropped by…”
“You must have come to ask me something.”
Anastasia shrugged as if she had expected as such.
“Then… let me ask you carefully.”
Colton spoke with great care.
“By any chance… Is your illness cured?””
Colton was not easily able to speak. As if it would be a very disrespectful thing to say the name.
After hesitating for a while, he finally opened his mouth again just before Anastasia felt frustrated and urged him to just speak.
“Amatis’ disease…? What is that?”
“You don’t even need to be careful around me, Your Majesty. I have already seen it all.”
Colton continued speaking with a somewhat sad expression on his face.
“I heard that it is an incurable disease, but there are cases where it is cured without a reason with a miraculous probability. Your complexion doesn’t look like that of the patient, I wondered if Your Majesty might have made a full recovery…”
Then Anastasia realized Colton’s misunderstanding, and hurriedly opened her mouth with a bewildered expression.
“Yes? Ah, sir. What you saw then… Obviously it was not a big deal…”
“Your Majesty, how can the blood loss be nothing?”
“Of course it is, but it is…”
Anastasia chose her words with a very troubled look.
There was nothing wrong with her body, and the doctors couldn’t even guess the cause, so she just forgot about it.
Most of all, it was the first and last bloodshed on the day Colton caught him.
“It’s not unreasonable to think that way, but I checked the condition with the palace doctor right after the blood break. There was no problem.”
“Is it… are you sure?”
“Okay. So you don’t have to worry about that. In fact, I thought your worry came from a different matter.”
“If anything else…”
“I thought you were here because you were wondering why I suddenly came back.”
“… Do you have any reason?”
“Since it’s you, I’ll trust you and tell you. The truth is….”
Before bringing up the important story, Anastasia habitually took the teacup in front of her and tilted it to her mouth.
She tried to swallow the liquid inside her mouth, but the taste of the liquid she thought was tea water was strange.
The unexpected disgusting smell was so intense. Anastasia eventually reflexively coughed and spat it out.
“… Your Majesty!”
“Oh, I’m sorry. It’s hard for me to put up with…….”
Colton’s voice was heard in astonishment.
Anastasia was ashamed of having committed an uncharacteristic disrespect, so she hurried to wipe the mouth, but stopped belatedly when she saw the red mark.
‘Wait, I think this is going to look a little weird…’
“Your Majesty, why…!”
As she raised her head, Colton was looking at her with a pale face. Anastasia hurriedly opened her mouth to fix it.
“No, sir. It’s not that. I drank blood…”
“Now the blood is … Is it flowing?”
“No… It’s a misunderstanding, Sir. I mean…!”
It was that moment. Colton closed his mouth and made an urgent voice with a face that looked like he was about to cry.
“Oh, I’m sorry, Your Majesty.”
Then, he left the reception room as if he were running away after saying that. Anastasia couldn’t even hold onto it.
“… I’m doomed.”
Anastasia followed Colton’s back with a stunned look.
After returning from meeting the Vislante delegation, Wilhelm took a 180 degrees turn from what he had looked that morning.
Wasn’t he eating lunch that he skipped all of a sudden, and taking the nap that he refused, saying it was a luxury?
For Colton, who Wilhelm’s health had been the biggest concern lately, it was a very happy event…
‘It’s hard to be happy about who made this change.’
This did not mean that Anastasia’s return was not pleasant.
Considering only political issues, the situation only felt troublesome.
Personally, he rather…
‘I’m glad you came back.’
That said, even when Anastasia wasn’t there anyway, the divorce issue between the two showed no sign of being resolved.
Wilhelm vehemently refused to divorce Anastasia and was only ruining himself, so from a subordinate’s point of view, he was rather glad that Anastasia would return and Wilhelm would regain his normal life.
There was only one catch.
‘What is the state of Her Majesty the Empress?’
The image of her spitting up her blood the last time he saw her was still vivid in his mind, with no sign of being forgotten.
He left Anastasia like that; how he suffered alone with his guilt.
It was Colton who kept the handkerchief she had vomited blood on because he couldn’t throw it away.
‘Not now, not later. You must not tell His Majesty. Okay?’
Anastasia’s request was a request, but he was afraid that Wilhelm would be irrevocably ruined if he found out about Anastasia’s disease.
‘The one who left without a word to prepare for their last time alone… Why did you suddenly come back?’
Was she completely cured?
Since she was not caught until the end to avoid the Emperor’s strict surveillance, she must have been hiding in a deserted place.
‘Has your health improved because you are living in a country with good water and fresh air without stress?’
Later, when he grabbed his brother and asked him, he said that there were cases in which Amatis’ disease was cured very rarely, with miraculous probability, for no reason.
‘How rare is it that each case is the subject of a popular doctor’s thesis…’
After all, there was no law that such a miracle cannot happen to Anastasia.
‘Maybe the Goddess did such a miracle as an apology for her mistake.’
If so, I would be delighted. Even if Anastasia changed her mind to stay with Wilhelm, it was a matter of concern later.
When he thought about that, Colton was suddenly in a good mood and had to go to see Anastasia right away.
It was before he asked her about her physical condition, but he was excited as if he had already heard the news of her full recovery.
‘I heard that her complexion looked very good in Leas Palace. She must have come back after making a full recovery.’
However, from the Empress’ Palace, which he found with a pounding heart, Colton was once again shocked and had to leave as if he were running away.
‘No way… Did you come back with the intention of dying here to dissuade His Majesty the Emperor and to have Lady Hazel welcomed as Empress?”
What came after a reasonable guess was a deep sense of guilt.
‘What the hell did I do not holding onto someone who was so ill…!’
The pain must have been severe. If she had lived in the countryside, she wouldn’t have gotten enough medical support…
‘I’m trash… ! At that time, I should have just informed him of her condition and let her recuperate at the palace.’
Anyway, she wondered if the Goddess would not allow such a time for the poor terminally ill.
Colton was really going crazy, as he seemed to have contributed to the aggravation of her condition.
Eventually, Colton could not overcome his bitterness and he began drinking from his own office during the day. He couldn’t stand it with his sober mind.
Then, at some point, Wilhelm’s call came in. Colton was also so sorry for Wilhelm that it was painful to see him, but he could not refuse the Emperor’s orders.
“It’s an unusual daytime drink.”
Wilhelm was astonished to see Colton appearing drunk and with his face puffed up.
“That’s how happy I am to have the Empress back. I’ll give you special permission only for today.”
“I am sorry, Your Majesty. Why did you call…”
“I want to send the palace doctor to the Empress.”
Colton was stunned at that.
“I think she needs a health checkup. She must have been in the country for a month or so. We’ll have to check her condition closely.”
“… Your Majesty.”
In the end, the moment he heard that, Colton couldn’t stand his drunkenness and began to laugh.
Wilhelm’s eyes widened as he looked like he was about to cry.
Eventually Colton began to cry out loud. Wilhelm couldn’t help but be puzzled at the sight he had never seen in the past 10 years, except when the snail he had been raising had died.