“… Have you calmed down?”
Long after, Wilhelm asked Colton with a grave expression on his face. Colton lifted his still whimpering face, barely nodded, then blew his nose with a “sniff.”
“Then tell me now. Why on earth did you cry so much?”
As to why he was crying, he was crying continuously without his mouth open, and from the standpoint of the observer, he had no choice but to worry.
It was all the more so because he usually didn’t shed a tear at anything.
“Is there a serious problem?”
Wilhelm’s conjecture once again distorted Colton’s face as if he were going to cry.
He guessed there was. Wilhelm sighed inside and opened his mouth.
“Collton, it’s already been more than 10 years since we’ve known each other.”
“It’s okay, tell me. If it’s not murder, I can solve any wrongdoing.”
“… Are you serious?”
“It’s a mistake related to Her Majesty.”
“… What, you punk?”
Wilhelm’s expression immediately became fierce, and then softened for a moment when he saw Colton’s expression of fear.
“… Tell me. What did you do wrong to the Empress? What serious problem do you have with her?”
Colton looked very distressed to speak. But he soon made up his mind and slowly opened his mouth.
“Her Majesty the Empress…”
“Your Majesty, eat this and take it easy.”
“Thank you, Selene.”
“Don’t mention it. By the way, Sir Nervion left the reception room in a hurry earlier.”
Selene, who brought a new refreshment for Anastasia, who was focusing on official duties, asked with a questioning look.
“What happened? He looked like he was about to burst into tears.”
“That’s… I think Sir Nervion misunderstood something.”
After finishing the answer, Anastasia, who had been thinking for a while, added.
“As expected, I should go fix it now.”
Colton kept his promise well last time, and she wondered if she would tell Wilhelm, but she was also uncomfortable.
It was when Anastasia was about to rise from her seat.
“Your Majesty the Empress, His Majesty the Emperor has come.”
At the news of the sudden visit, her expression was blank for a moment. And Wilhelm strode inside without a moment for her to speak.
It was the moment Anastasia was about to ask him what was going on with a panicked look.
Wilhelm hugged Anastasia tightly, and Anastasia was surprised and froze due to the sudden hug.
Anastasia came to her senses and asked him, only after the maid stepped out of the way.
“Your Majesty, what…”
“Nothing to say.”
A murky voice stopped Anastasia’s words. He spat out at Anastasia, hugging her more forcefully.
“Don’t say anything.”
Anastasia instinctively noticed that something had happened, with his voice trembling like a spiny tree.
“How could you…”
“… That’s why you left me?”
“That’s why you came back? Like this… To make sure you’re going to abandon me…”
“Your Majesty, what the hell are you saying now…”
It was strange for Wilhelm to say all these mysterious things, so Anastasia pulled him off and tried to look at his face.
But he didn’t allow it. A strong grip gripped her as if he would never let her escape.
“Right now, I can’t see your face.”
It was a quivering voice. Anastasia noticed the seriousness of the situation and her expression hardened.
“Looking at your face… I don’t think I can stand it. I…”
Wilhelm hugged Anastasia tightly as if he was digging into her, as if his emotions were coming up while saying that.
It was a hug that seemed to hold on to her. Anastasia couldn’t say anything because of the desperation she felt from him.
“I don’t think I can forgive myself. How can I… Until you become…”
At the sound of his anguished voice, as if he had been whipped, Anastasia now gave up the thought of asking him about the situation.
She’d have to appease the man first. The idea came first.
“Your Majesty, calm down a little bit… What? Because I’m here.”
“How are you… How can you be okay in this situation?”
Now Wilhelm was almost crying. As a result of that reaction, Anastasia began to fidget.
“Have you come back after clearing your mind? That’s why you were so kind to me earlier?”
“I didn’t know that, and I… I was happy alone…”
At that moment, Wilhelm’s words stopped. It was because Anastasia suddenly took hold of his hand.
Anastasia gently caressed Wilhelm’s hand, conveying the warmth of her hand.
Then, the shattered breathing gradually calmed down. But it was still unstable.
To Wilhelm who was frozen, Anastasia whispered quietly.
“I want to see Your Majesty’s face.”
“Can you show me?”
Wilhelm trembled once more at the soothing voice. Suddenly, he could feel the power draining from his body.
Anastasia carefully pulled him off and faced him. At the same time, Anastasia’s expression changed to bewilderment.
“… Your Majesty.”
His eyes and nose were all red. He was crying loudly during that quiet time.
Surprised, Anastasia hurriedly reached her hand towards his face. The wet marks on his dry cheeks hinted at how many tears he had shed.
The unexpected appearance brought a bigger stir to Anastasia’s mind. His tears always made her suffocate.
Anastasia asked, caressing her cheeks with a sad expression.
“What made you so sad?”
Wilhelm asked, dropping the remaining tears that had gathered around his eyes.
“Are you really asking because you don’t know?”
“You’re just saying things I don’t understand.”
Anastasia whispered, wiping the tears away affectionately.
“I don’t know.”
“Colton told me everything.”
Wilhelm struggled to move his lips and spit out the cruel fact that tore him apart.
“The fact that you came back here to leave me completely.”
“How much… How painful it must have been.”
Anastasia tried to move her embarrassed lips, but again this time he was a little faster.
“Sorry, I found out too late… I didn’t even know it was like that, just thinking about it…”
“Your Majesty, no.”
Anastasia interrupted him in a hurry. But even that denial seemed to have the opposite effect.
Wilhelm twisted his face again and began to shed tears.
“Your Majesty, I’m not…”
“You don’t have to lie to me.”
Wilhelm suddenly revealed his decision with a sad expression on his face.
“I will definitely save you. By mobilizing all of Rosenberg’s doctors, or even bringing them from abroad if necessary…!”
“There’s no deadline.”
Anastasia furrowed her brow and cut Wilhelm’s words resolutely.
“I see what you are misunderstanding now. Sir Colton seems to have spoken nonsense to His Majesty.”
“… How could you say that?”
Wilhelm asked with a shocked face.
“Are you really going to hide it from me? Did you intend to die so quietly?”
“No, Your Majesty, I am healthy.”
“Healthy… Ha, does a healthy person spit out blood?”
Wilhelm made a startled expression, as if he had heard nonsense.
“It’s been a long time since I vomited blood. Even before leaving…!
“The day Sir Colton witnessed it was the only day I bled. After that, I never did.
“It was because I drank the deer blood my father sent me by mistake.”
Yes, all of this is now due to that.
Anastasia frowned and continued her explanation.
“The taste was so disgusting that I spit it out without realizing it. But Sir Colton was so surprised that he ran away without giving me time to explain…”
Anastasia said that much and sighed briefly. If she knew it would get this big, she would have just swallowed it no matter how bad it was then.
“Your Majesty, on the day of blood loss, I went to the palace doctor for a checkup. The palace doctor said there was nothing wrong.”
“You look like you can’t believe it.”
In the end, Anastasia decided to use the most obvious method.
“Normal, Your Majesty.”
“As expected, it’s normal.”
“Mine are normal, too.”
“My results are the same.”
All the palace doctors lined up in front of Anastasia shouted to the top like a chorus.
At the perfect harmony, Anastasia looked calm.
Wilhelm, on the other hand, was still suspicious.
“… Can I really believe it?”
“What? What do you mean…”
“Don’t tell me you’re all fooling me, right?”
“No way, Your Majesty. If it is revealed, all of us will lose our heads.”
One of the palace’s doctors tried to say in a bewildered voice and replied.
“The Empress is very healthy now, so you don’t have to worry so much.”
“You hear that, Your Majesty? I’m perfectly fine…”
Anastasia’s words were scattered by Wilhelm’s embrace.
Anastasia stood in that state, unable to say any more, at the sudden touch of his embrace.
“It’s a relief, really… I’m so glad…”
Wilhelm’s joy was not expressed in a general reaction, even though she was fine.
He was crying again, barely spitting one syllable at her in a trembling voice.
Anastasia finally felt as if all the emotions he had felt in the misunderstanding were being conveyed.
In his swaying arms, Anastasia opened her lips in an equally trembling voice.
“You were that worried about me.”
He loves her that much.
It was a fact that came to her like a cry in her ear undeniably from a certain moment, but it didn’t seem like it had ever reached her as clearly as that moment.
The love gathered by his tears came like waves and soaked her whole body and soul.