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UTROSU Chapter 144

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After hearing all of Anastasia’s story, Wilhelm remained silent for a long time.

It was so shocking that it wasn’t unusual. Anastasia waited quietly for his response.

“… Actually I.”

At one point, Wilhelm opened his mouth with a serious look.

“When I heard the voice in my dream, I felt uncomfortable, but I wasn’t sure.”

“…”

“When I investigated whether there was any contact between Hazel and the High Priest, there was no result.”

However, if Anastasia heard the voice of the Goddess directly from the temple, the story is different. It couldn’t be dismissed as just a normal dream.

“Does the Goddess want us to correct the oracle?”

“… And also.”

Anastasia pondered something and asked.

“Is this not the first time it has happened?”

“What… what do you mean, not the first time?”

“Why, the day the High Priest was struck by lightning in the dry sky and collapsed. Remember? At the Goddess’ memorial service.”

“Of course, I remember…”

Wilhelm muttered with a raised face.

“We will have small misfortunes in the near future to prevent great misfortunes.”

“Don’t be alarmed, my daughter. She was like that back then.”

She remembered being cynical about the friendly name. She couldn’t believe it was real.

“It was an oracle that came down out of nowhere, but nothing particularly troubling has happened since then.”

“Except that the High Priest suddenly fell down after being struck by lightning.”

“I think maybe the Goddess gave me a sign from then on.”

Anastasia, who had said so far, soon muttered embarrassingly.

“… Is this too fitting?”

“No, you have a point. It’s not common to be struck by lightning.”

Wilhelm nodded with a frown.

“There were many other priests standing around, but it was strange that it only got the High Priest. In addition, the sunny weather that day suddenly became dark from the ritual.”

“That was a strange thing, too.”

The situation at the time was so urgent that she couldn’t wonder, but in retrospect, it was definitely strange.

“I’m going to find out the situation for now. If the oracle has been manipulated, what is the sign on Lady Hazel’s shoulders, and how can the divine power be used… There are so many questions.”

“It won’t be easy. I don’t know if the High Priest was all involved in this, but if it turns out to be the case, he wouldn’t have made a sloppy case for a crime that is at least capital punishment.”

“That was my concern, too. So there was only one answer.”

Wilhelm looked at Anastasia with an expression of what it was.

“I need to meet the High Priest in person.”

“Meeting him… What are you going to do?”

“The current High Priest is the only person in Rosenberg’s history who was born a commoner and rose to that position.”

Regardless of the place of origin, those born of divine power in Rosenberg are treated as priests and nobles.

And the High Priest, who is the head of the priests, is elected by vote by the priests’, and it is common for them to come from high-ranking nobles in order to increase the honor of the temple.

However, Lyell’s innate divine power is greater than that of others, and he also honed it with unrelenting effort, eventually becoming the first commoner to claim the position of High Priest.

“Then the lust for fame would be enormous. I’m going to aim for that. He may not have even dreamed that I would suspect that the oracle was rigged, so if we think carefully, it might pay off.”

“If the High Priest himself confesses his sins, then the simplest and cleanest solution is.”

“Yes. But even if it fails, I’m sure I’ll find the evidence. So…”

Anastasia, who spoke bitterly, hesitated for a moment.

Wilhelm looked at Anastasia as if to speak, and Anastasia finally opened her mouth as if she had gathered up her courage.

“Would you mind waiting a moment?”

“… Huh?”

“Until I can confidently hold my position…”

Suddenly, Anastasia’s cheeks were a little reddish.

Wilhelm looked at Anastasia with an expression as if he had been hit hard.

“I want you to help me continue to live as Your Majesty’s Empress.”

Did she hesitate to say that? Just in case he refused?

… Really, it was an absurd idea.

The startled Wilhelm smiled and then pulled Anastasia with a nervous expression towards him.

“Ah…”

Wilhelm felt indescribable happiness as he hugged the woman who was suddenly cradled into his arms.

Anastasia’s warmth warmed Wilhelm’s whole body.

The thought that he no longer had to embrace only her empty virtual image and only the traces that left him made him even more exalted.

“Of course.”

Wilhelm replied in a slightly trembling voice, as if he could think of the opposite situation.

“Say the obvious, why don’t you. I have always been.”

“Now that I’m back…”

In his arms, Anastasia opened her mouth with a groan.

“It is clear that the voices demanding for Your Majesty’s decision will grow louder.”

“My decision was always you.”

At the words, Anastasia looked a little surprised.

It was because before her return, when Avelin appeared and worried her, it was the same as what Wilhelm had said then.

‘… This man.’

Anastasia unconsciously dug deeper into Wilhelm’s arms with a sudden surge of emotion.

This man had never given up on her for a single moment in her two lives. As if he couldn’t even think of such an idea.

And always, despite all the difficulties, he persistently kept his promise.

“It will be forever. So you don’t have to worry about that.”

Finally, now he loved her like he did in her previous life.

The sweet soothing voice was so warm that she realized the fact.

At a dreamlike moment, her heart was full, and eventually a tear fell from her face.

This seemed to solve all the troubles of the past year.

~~~~

Colton effortlessly dropped the empty bottle, which had been drunk down to the last drop, onto the table. With a squeaky, terrifying sound, the wine bottle was thrown from the floor.

He already emptied five bottles of it. But he had no intention of bringing any more wine. It was because he didn’t think he would get any more drunk than this.

‘You won’t forgive me.’

Colton saw Wilhelm leave the room with a puzzled expression on his face, and he was sure it was the case.

‘Let’s write a resignation letter.’

It was a conclusion after a long session of drinking.

‘I’ll be dedicated to protecting the Empress’s position until the very end. Only then can I be forgiven even a little.’

Not telling Wilhelm about Anastasia’s illness was something he shouldn’t have done, even if she had asked for it. He should have at least informed the Duke of Barantes of it.

Colton got up from his seat, his face reddened badly by several rounds of crying and binge drinking.

Then he went to his desk and wrote a letter of resignation squeezing out apologies for Anastasia.

“Sir Colton, His Majesty is back.”

When the resignation letter was completed, words like a death sentence were finally heard. Colton sighed and went to Wilhelm.

“I see you, the sun of the empire, Your Majesty the Emperor.”

Perhaps this will be his last greeting as his assistant. Colton raised his head with a somber expression.

‘… Huh?’

He immediately doubted his own eyes. If his eyes weren’t wrong, Wilhelm’s expression now looked very good.

No, such simple words could not fully describe Wilhelm’s condition now.

He looked happy. As before, Colton was startled by the look on his face, like someone who had everything in the world.

‘… Oh My God.’

Had he finally lost his mind? It was a reasonable guess. Colton’s ambivalence grew even worse.

‘I’ve been keeping my mouth shut for Her Majesty’s sake until now, but I didn’t know it would get this big…!’

Colton’s big-shocked whimper intensified. He tried to hold back his tears, but it didn’t work out.

“Your Majesty…”

He finally shrugged once more and knelt before Wilhelm.

“I-I was all wrong.”

“… What?”

Wilhelm, who was so happy that he reflected countless times on what had happened today, realized the words a beat late.

As he asked the question blankly, Colton’s cry, who misunderstood it as a rebuke, grew louder.

“Even if you feel betrayed by me, I have nothing to say. But I thought it would be a big deal if the Empress knew about her illness when she left…”

“Oh, Colton. That’s actually…”

“I don’t mean to say that my sins are light.”

Without even having Wilhelm to correct the facts, Colton pulled the letter out of his pocket and submitted his resignation letter. Wilhelm frowned.

“Colton.”

“The last days of Her Majesty… I don’t know how many days are left, but I want to be by her side and protect her until the end.”

“… No, wait.”

He was shocked to hear it. Wilhelm’s brow furrowed.

“Why the hell are you protecting the Empress until the end over me, her husband?”

When Wilhelm was dumbfounded, Colton struggled to swallow the cry and continued.

“I thought that I would be able to be forgiven even a little for the mistakes I’ve made to Your Majesty by doing so…”

“Colton.”

Wilhelm interrupted Colton with a brief sigh, but Colton did not give in and continued.

“Please let me do that, Your Majesty. So my heart…”

“Yes, it’s a misunderstanding.”

“It will be a little easier… yes?”

“It’s your misunderstanding.”

Wilhelm said, shaking his head.

“The Empress is not dying, and she does not have Amatis’ disease.”

“… What? I have definitely seen her bleed.”

Wilhelm explained calmly. What he saw today was deer blood, and he knew that because he had called all the palace doctors for a medical checkup. The results were all normal.

“So, you’re saying that I don’t need to do anything like protecting the end of the Empress. Even if something like that happens, I have to protect the Empress, why is that?”

After hearing Wilhelm’s explanation, Colton turned to stone and hardened.

‘So… I was mistaken, and I drank and cried and cried and got down on my knees from daytime…’

In his mind, the skit he made today flashed past like a lantern.

“… Ha ha ha…”

When he peeked at Wilhelm’s expression, he looked pathetic. It was obvious how much he would make fun of him in the future.

Oh, he was embarrassed!

Colton genuinely wanted to turn into dust.

‘I’d rather run away like Her Majesty did before returning!’

… The regret came later.


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