“I had a nightmare.”
Wilhelm confessed in a slightly quivering voice.
“It was my dream on the day of the carriage accident, my brother choked me, asking if I had killed him.”
Anastasia was silently listening to Wilhelm’s struggling confession.
“Maybe I really…”
He hesitated for a long time before continuing.
“I may have killed him, as they say. So it wouldn’t be strange if Louis hated me.”
“So I can’t go see him. If I feel that feeling when I face him… I won’t be able to stand it.”
“There is no way Louis would think that way.”
Anastasia broke the silence and denied it. Wilhelm looked at her with a slightly surprised face.
Anastasia relaxed her expression a little and then continued.
“If you don’t go to see Louis with that in mind, he may misunderstand more. That Your Majesty hates him.”
“Actually… that is also my guess.”
Anastasia, who smiled awkwardly, said again.
“Now that I’m his friend, I’ll ask him when we get closer.”
“What are you asking?”
“What do you think of His Majesty?”
“…don’t do anything useless.”
“It’s not useless at all.”
“Even if Louis thinks so.”
Anastasia continued in a soft voice, but clearly.
“I’m going to change his mind. Because it’s a misunderstanding.”
“…why would you go so far?”
Anastasia tried to open her mouth, but rather, Wilhelm, spurred on by her answer, could be heard speaking again faster.
“Misunderstanding? How can you be sure of that when I’m not even sure?”
“But I believe in it.”
Anastasia confessed calmly.
“Your Majesty did not kill the Emperor and Empress.”
“So take responsibility for my faith.”
Anastasia said, looking at Wilhelm with an unwavering eye.
“I hope you are convinced of your innocence, too.”
Wilhelm could not say anything with a stunned face.
Anastasia looked straight ahead again. The sight of the Central Palace standing majestically came into view.
“We’re almost there.”
Anastasia turned toward Wilhelm and bowed gracefully.
“Go home safely, Your Majesty. And… Have a nice dream.”
After a simple farewell, Anastasia turned around and turned to the Empress’ Palace as if she had no regrets.
But in reality, she was trying to hold back her lingering regrets that she could not get used to.
After that, Anastasia visited Louis almost every day.
“…you’re here again?”
Every single day she visited him, and she could see that Louis was a little tired of it, but… Who cares? They were friends now!
“Friends see each other every day.”
“Aren’t you busy?”
“I am busy.”
Anastasia shrugged her shoulders. Louis looked at her like she was a liar, but she really was busy.
Because she became Empress, she became the head of international arrangements, which is perhaps Rosenberg’s biggest event.
In addition, volunteer work and sponsorship were continuously carried out, and Asterim’s school construction progress had to be checked.
“But I have to make time to come see my friend.”
But Louis was the one who put the most effort into it. It was natural.
“There’s nothing more difficult than moving people’s hearts.”
And Louis was very wary of her at first. She had to spend a lot of time and effort to relax his mind.
“You don’t want me to come? Are you sick of me?”
Anastasia asked Louis with a wistful look.
Then Louis flinched and couldn’t answer back.
Anastasia laughed inwardly as if she knew.
‘I’m so good at playing with you. You can’t hate it.’
It was basic to make a new liquid monster, which is his favorite, every few days and change it, and she was playing various games to suit Louis’ taste, such as origami games and war games with dolls.
Louis was still very vigilant about Anastasia, but was often involved in the two-player games.
“Don’t come tomorrow.”
“Why? Was today’s game boring?”
“…but don’t come. I’m tired of playing with you.”
“Hey, isn’t it always new and thrilling? I’ll be back tomorrow. With more fun toys.”
“…then you can just come.”
It was a repeat of the repertoire every day. The little cutie.
‘I don’t think you’re fully open to me yet, but…’
Still, the relationship between the two was clearly better than at the beginning.
At least he didn’t put up a lot of sharp thorns like a hedgehog and keep his distance.
For now, that change alone was satisfactory enough.
“What did you study today?””
“Well… …studied history.”
Louis, who had been answering strangely, added as if he had almost forgotten.
“I took the test and got a perfect score.”
“A perfect score? Really?”
Anastasia asked Louis with a startled look.
“Wow, Louis. That’s amazing. My friend is such a smart person!”
Louis replied coyly.
“A perfect score is a given, not a big deal, Olivia said.”
Inside, swearing at Olivia, Anastasia laughed awkwardly.
“Never, Louis. The perfect score is amazing! You’re saying that you got everything right without a single mistake? You have to get a lot of compliments! Would you like me to stamp you a ‘You did a great job’?”
Without Louis asking what it was, Anastasia took a small stamp out of her arms and slapped it on the back of Louis’ hand.
Louis frowned and looked at the mark on the back of his hand.
In a round circle, a pretty rose was smiling with the phrase “Good job!”
“What is this?”
“I made one for Louis.”
Anastasia replied with a shrug.
“It’s a seal that tells us how great Louis is Oh, I brought you a present.”
Anastasia winked at Selene, who was behind her, and Selene came with a box as if she had been waiting.
Louis looked at the box that appeared in front of him with a questioning expression.
“What is this?”
Louis opened the box carefully. Immediately, she heard a small breath.
Anastasia asked, looking pleased at Louis’ surprised expression.
“Do you like it?””
It was full of sweet desserts. Fresh strawberry whipped cream cake, a grape-filled tart, a brownie that looks thick just by looking at it…
“Wow… It’s pretty.”
“I brought it to eat with Louis. It seems like you’re having a hard time studying these days.”
Louis looked back at Anastasia with a startled look and asked.
“This? With me?””
“Of course. You should share delicious food with your friends.”
Anastasia, who smiled and replied, asked Selene to set it up, and soon the table was filled with colorful desserts.
“Eat a lot, Louis.”
But Louis looked excited, but he couldn’t easily touch the dessert.
Anastasia, who considered it strange, asked.
“Don’t you like desserts, Louis?”
“You weren’t eating… If you don’t like what I brought…”
Louis quickly opened his mouth. Anastasia stared at Louis.
Louis flushed slightly and opened his mouth cautiously.
“Actually… I’ve never eaten anything like this before…”
But she knew right away that it was a stupid question.
‘Olivia must have stopped him.’
Anastasia once again cursed Olivia inwardly, as she affectionately advised Louis.
“Try it, then. I hope it suits your taste.”
Louis looked skeptically at the strawberry whipped cream cake in front of him.
‘How delicious can it be?’
Then, without much expectation, he carefully dipped the whipped cream and put it in his mouth.
Louis’ eyes widened. This… … It was the first taste in his life.
‘Wow, it’s so delicious…! It’s like sweet clouds are dancing in my mouth!’
Eventually, Louis began to eat the desserts on the table in a hurry as if someone was chasing him. Seeing that, Anastasia smiled a little and worried at the sight.
“Eat slowly, Louis. No one will steal it.”
Is this what it means to feel full just by watching him eat?
At some point, Anastasia forgot to eat dessert and just watched Louis eat.
When she saw Louis eating deliciously with a happy face, she felt like her mouth was filled with sweetness even though she didn’t eat anything sweet.
‘…but you look a little tired these days.’
His skin, which had always been soft, had looked rather rough lately.
Anastasia stared at Louis, who was absorbed in dessert, and asked the child.
“Louis, are you sleeping well these days?”
At the question, Louis, who was eating strawberry cake, gently raised his head.
The way the white whipped cream was on his nose was so cute that Anastasia momentarily stared blankly at Louis, forgetting the question she asked.
Meanwhile, for a short time before spitting out an answer, quite a complex light flashed over Louis’ face.
But soon he answered casually.
“Yes, …But why do you ask that?”
“Well, no. You just seem a little tired these days.”
Louis replied in a strange voice.
“So you don’t have to worry.”