At the same time three years ago, Wilhelm visited the palace for the first time in a long time.
“Greetings to the Emperor, the sun of the Empire.”
“Stand up, Wilhelm.”
Alexander hastened him to his feet.
“You don’t have to be so formal in front of me.”
“That’s how I feel at ease. Please understand.”
“If you say so.”
Alexander shook his head and asked.
“Yeah, how’s your life as a drifter? It won’t be easy to wander from place to place with a prince’s body.”
“It’s free and good. I’ve dreamed of traveling around the world and painting since I was young.”
“Well, your drawing skills have been outstanding since you were young. It’s nice to see you having fun.”
Alexander nodded and smiled.
“How long are you going to stay in Rosenberg?”
“I was about to leave soon.”
“Then it was good I called you today.”
Alexander said with a smile.
“Actually, I asked you to do me a favor.”
“If you have any request…”
“I just came back from Ishstabil.”
Alexander patted his chin reminiscently.
“Well, I can’t forget the rose garden I saw there.”
“Yes, could you go there and paint some landscapes?”
Alexander asked, squinting his eyes.
“I’ll give you a reward.”
Wilhelm burst out laughing involuntarily.
“I will draw it without pay.”
“Uh-huh, that’s not okay. To hire an up-and-coming painter without pay. Are you going to make me an evil Dmperor?”
“This is the first time Your Majesty has asked me for a favor.”
Wilhelm refused the reward until the very end.
“I just want to draw.”
“Then let’s do this.”
After thinking for a moment, Alexander opened his mouth as if he had come up with a good solution.
“Instead of drawing it for free, let’s get you to draw for your older brother.”
“Then I will do what you want.”
“Your Majesty, but…”
“If you don’t like it, you get paid.”
Seeing Alexander answering playfully, Wilhelm smiled in dismay as if he couldn’t do it.
“I see, Your Majesty. Then we will leave tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow right now?”
“The rainy season will start soon, so I think we should hurry up.”
“Then I will drop off my carriage, so you can ride it.”
“Your Majesty, you can’t.”
Wilhelm refused with a bewildered expression.
“Such a move…”
“No, didn’t you say that you were drawing for me?”
Wilhelm was very perplexed and expressed embarrassment.
“Think of my position, Your Majesty.”
“You’re so down to earth.”
Alexander shook his head as if he was being picky and offered an alternative.
“Alright, then you can go in the Empress’ carriage.”
“Your Majesty, that’s…”
“Don’t say no to this. If you do that, you will be ordered.”
At Alexander’s stern words, Wilhelm nodded helplessly.
‘It’s not polite to keep refusing… Her Majesty’s carriage would be fine.’
He didn’t know then. What a catastrophe that choice would bring.
After Alexander’s audience, Wilhelm tried to leave the palace as quickly as possible.
Because he didn’t want to show anyone what he looked like in the Imperial Palace.
Then, a sharp voice caught him.
Wilhelm sighed with a puzzled expression on his face.
“Are you pretending not to know your mother?”
As Wilhelm turned his head, already tired, a woman approached him with her purple eyes wide open.
With her plentiful platinum-colored hair in a half ponytail, her features were splendid, and she was so beautiful that anyone could call her a beauty.
She was his biological mother, Eleanor. After the death of the former Empress, she held the position of becoming an Empress within the paramours, but she ended up not becoming an Empress.
Even after the death of her husband, Alexander’s mother-in-law remained in her imperial palace without abandoning her ambition to make her children Emperor.
His departure from the Imperial Palace as soon as he reached adulthood was also intended to discourage his mother. ‘Your son has no will to the throne, so please give up.’
Eleanor completely ignored the son’s message.
She said, “You entered the palace after a long time and you didn’t come to visit your mother…!”
“I’ve seen you here, haven’t I?”
Eleanor admonished her son in her hoarse voice.
“You are now twenty-four. You should start getting married and settle down. I have also looked for a good marriage spot.”
“You did something meaningless. I have no intention of getting married yet.”
“Aren’t you thinking of getting married? So you’re saying you’re going to die after wandering abroad for the rest of your life?”
“… that too.”
Wilhelm, who had been thinking for a while, replied.
“It wouldn’t be bad.”
“Do you really want to see this mother fainting?”
“I’ll be going now. I have to pack up for tomorrow.”
“What do you mean going? Where else?”
“We’re going to Ishstaville.”
“Are you going to draw again? Wilhelm, please wake up! This is not the time for you to be like this!”
“You’re the one who needs to wake up.”
Unlike his mother, whose voice continued to rise, Wilhelm kept her dry and cold voice throughout and nailed Eleanor.
“I’m not going to do anything my mother wants me to do.”
“Giving up will be good for your mental health. Then stay healthy.”
Eleanor grabbed Wilhelm in a hurry from behind, but Wilhelm never looked back and went on his way.
If he turned around now, it’s like giving Eleanor room to be swayed.
He shouldn’t do that. All past efforts will come to naught.
He knew very well that Eleanor would not forsake his ambition in any words.
So he had no choice but to help his mother as a son.
She couldn’t stigmatize Alexander as a tyrant who killed his brother’s ambition.*
*TN: implying that he killed his ambition for the throne.
“Greetings to Her Majesty, the sun of the Empire.”
Olivia greeted Violet with an elegant figure. Violet greeted Olivia with an innocent smile.
“Welcome, Ollie. I heard the wedding preparations are going well.”
Olivia answered back as if she were talking about someone else.
For Olivia, the current situation wasn’t that important.
Because sooner or later this miserable situation would be completely overturned.
“Louis, your aunt is here. Auntie!”
Three-year-old Louis tilted his head in Violet’s arms. Olivia gave such Louis a brief glance and soon turned away as if she was not interested.
She didn’t have much affection for her only nephew.
The fruit of her sister’s love that took away her happiness, couldn’t be adored. Basically, she didn’t like kids that much.
“Ollie, will you hug Louis?”
So she was most annoyed when she heard this kind of question. It was because it was obvious that she would look too cold-hearted if she said no, so she had to force himself to hug the child.
Again, Olivia hugged Louis without saying a word. But she was annoyed because her wrists were sore and tired.
Eventually, Olivia hugged the child awkwardly for a moment and put him back down.
“Come often before you get married, Olivia. I’m not going out for a while anyway.”
“It’s because of your pregnancy, isn’t it?”
Olivia clenched her teeth and asked.
“Why haven’t you revealed it to the public yet?”
“In the beginning, miscarriage can happen. I’m going to reveal it when I get to a stable period.”
“Besides, my carriage isn’t even in the Imperial Palace right now.”
“What do you mean?”
“Ah, in fact, Prince Wilhelm went to Ishstabil to paint, and His Majesty unloaded my carriage. It’s good, well. I wasn’t planning to go out for a while.”
Hearing Violet’s words, Olivia’s eyes lit up.
“So you are saying that Prince Wilhelm is using Your Majesty’s carriage right now…”
This must have been a heaven-given opportunity.
‘Prince Wilhelm, I need you to help me.’
A strange smile appeared on Olivia’s lips.
After some time Wilhelm returned to his mansion in Rosenberg after completing the necessary work in Ishstabil.
It was late at night.
“Welcome, Prince. It’s nice to see you late at night.”
“Long time no see, Colton.”
Wilhelm shared a gentle hug with his academy classmate, Colton, who had come to his mansion just in time for his arrival.
“You always go out, so I haven’t had the time to meet you. How have you been?”
“I am always the same. I’m good. How about you?”
“I am the same. I’m going to take a bureaucratic exam soon, so I’m busy, but…”
It seems like he had been studying quite hard lately, so his dark eyes caught his eye.
“Still, I can’t resist seeing the Prince, who returned after a long absence.”
“It is a great honor.”
Wilhelm grinned, Colton asked in a startled voice.
“What is this carriage? It looks nice … Whoa, is it Her Majesty’s carriage?”
“Yes. This is the carriage that His Majesty gave me to go to Ishstabil safely.”
“But you’re not returning it to the Imperial Palace right away?”
“It’s too late now, so I’ll return it as soon as there’s light tomorrow.”
“I see. Well, it’s too late to enter the palace now.”
“Yes, let’s go in now.”
Wilhelm, speaking casually to Colton, entered the mansion with him on his shoulders.
Neither of them knew at the time.
What kind of tragedy would the choice be…