It was crazy, but it was the truth.
Olivia Fontaine, blinded by her ugly entitlements and her sense of inferiority, murdered her older sister and her brother-in-law who treated her with sincerity, and Wilhelm was unfairly embroiled in her conspiracy.
‘In the process, Louis was used like a chess piece.’
But the man didn’t know that. So he sounded like this.
“I understand that you are saying that because you are thinking of me. Thank you, but honestly, every time I hear that, it hurts.”
It was frustrating. She wanted to say it but she couldn’t speak.
“I’m afraid I’ll betray your faith, I’m suffocating and can’t stand it.”
There was no evidence. In the end, it was because Louis died and Olivia went crazy that she knew the truth before returning.
After her regression and things cleared up to some extent, she planted her spy in her mansion where Olivia was staying to find her diary, but to no avail.
As if she had already figured out her plan and got rid of it.
“Maybe it was by accident that the grass was mixed into the manger. Maybe some of my followers did something like that.”
“… I can’t say. It was Her Majesty’s carriage.”
“Everyone knows that my brother enjoyed riding the same carriage as my sister-in-law.”
“Give me another piece of evidence.”
Wilhelm demanded with wide eyes.
“I don’t have one.”
“So… don’t say that. You believe me, that I’m innocent. I don’t have the confidence to take responsibility for what you said.”
The remark was evasive at first glance, but it sounded like a plead. Anastasia looked at the troubled man with unbearable pity.
“I may have been involved in his death without my knowledge.”
“If I give you the evidence, will you believe it?”
“Proof that Your Majesty is innocent.”
Anastasia looked straight at Wilhelm and asked.
“If I showed you, would you believe me?”
Wilhelm paused because he couldn’t understand, and soon a bewildering sight caught his eye.
Anastasia snapped a rose that bloomed in the Goddess’ Garden.
Anastasia’s finger was pricked and blood was forming as she bent the prickly rose with her bare hands.
However, his bewildered question did not end properly.
It was because Anastasia suddenly knelt in front of him on one knee and held out a bloody rose to him.
Wilhelm’s eyes grew bigger and bigger when he heard the following words.
“I swear to you in the name of the goddess, by the gift of the goddess.”
“Empress, what are you…?”
“I promise to the one in front of me with my faith and trust in the goddess.”
Anastasia continued her oath.
“I believe in your innocence, and if it turns out to be a lie, I will take responsibility for my faith by taking my life.”
“So, I hope that the supreme sun of Rosenberg also believes in his own innocence.”
Originally, it was a term referring to the oath of allegiance that the first Emperor Rosenberg made to the goddess Rosenia, but as it was passed down to the next generation, the meaning was changed to ‘the oath of their own most precious thing’.
As the oath between the first emperor and the goddess was the prototype, it was used only when he was confident that there was no lie in their words.
The process was to bury their own blood in her rose, a symbol of her goddess, and hand it over with their oath.
Of course, there had been occasions when the oath was broken, although it was rare. In that case, there was a very high probability that great misfortune would befall the swearer in the near future.
Most of them even killed the swearer and their family, which was regarded as a divine punishment, and no one mourned or commemorated the death.
Even the funeral was not held properly, and it was even ridiculed.
In Rosenberg, where the goddess Rosenia was revered, it was not abused because of the weight of its meaning, and was rarely used in everyday life.
Because once an oath is made, it can never be withdrawn.
‘That, this woman…’
Wilhelm asked Anastasia, who raised her body, with an expression of disbelief.
“… was what you had done just now the pledge of the goddess?”
Wilhelm voiced his voice with a somehow angry look.
“Why, for such a matter, your life…”
“It’s not that serious.”
Anastasia denied it, interrupting him.
“I will no longer see you condemning yourself for a mistake Your Majesty has not done.”
“Why, so far as you…”
Wilhelm looked at Anastasia with a confused face, and Anastasia just smiled calmly.
Because I love you.
But unable to confess her true feelings, Anastasia struggled to turn it around.
“So if you don’t want me to die, then stop blaming yourself.”
“You’re not going to kill me using this as an excuse because you don’t like me, right?”
Anastasia added playfully to relieve the frozen atmosphere, but it seemed to have no effect.
Wilhelm stared at Anastasia with bright red eyes, and Anastasia explained with a muddled look.
“…I don’t hate you.”
When Anastasia asked with a look of misunderstanding, Wilhelm repeated it.
“I don’t hate it, you.”
“Who can hate someone who believes in their innocence… even risking their own life?”
There were many people who didn’t. Anastasia silently swallowed the backbiting.
‘…you’re too nice.’
Anastasia asked with a chuckle.
“So you’re not going to think about it?”
Wilhelm nodded after a brief silence, and then Anastasia’s expression brightened.
It was worth it to come here. She thought she should thank Selene.
“But what are you doing here?”
At that time, Wilhelm’s question awakened the reality.
“This is the way to the ballroom.”
“Yes? Oh, well…”
“Were you on your way to the ball?”
“No. I’m just going for a walk…”
Roughly equivocated, Anastasia immediately returned the question.
“How could Your Majesty have come here… Now that I see you’re wearing a tailcoat.”
“Have you been to the ball?”
Wilhelm answered quickly.
“Just for a walk, too.”
“You’re wearing a tailcoat?”
“…because today is a ball.”
Wilhelm made a poor excuse.
“I hate it when it’s crowded and noisy, but I wanted to feel the atmosphere. That’s why I wore it.”
It seemed that there was a family history for not being good at lying. Louis as well as Wilhelm…
“I see. Actually, I was thinking about going to the ball to show my face.”
For a moment, she felt like playing a joke.
“You don’t like loud noises, so I’ll probably go alone.”
Wilhelm asked right away.
“Are you going to the ball?”
“Yes. There seems to be a lot of people waiting for me.”
“… I’m not going, but you’re going?”
“Is there any problem?”
Wilhelm answered quickly.
“There is no one to dance with.”
“Are you planning to dance with another man?”
Was it her mistake if she could see the flames burning through Wilhelm’s eyes when he asked about it?
Anastasia somehow wanted to tease this man more.
“Well, if your Majesty doesn’t come, there’s no choice but to…”
“This is the way to the ballroom.”
Wilhelm took the lead quickly, and Anastasia asked with a surprised look.
“Your Majesty, are you going too? I thought you didn’t like crowded and noisy places.”
“And watch you dance with another man and start a scandal?”
Wilhelm responded as if he could not help it.
“I have no choice but to sacrifice myself.”
“If you describe it as a sacrifice, you don’t have to come…”
“It’s for me. Have you forgotten that I and my wife are one? If the false scandal destroys the prestige of the imperial family…!”
At that moment, Wilhelm suddenly stopped talking, and Anastasia looked at him in wonder.
Soon, Anastasia’s mouth cried out with a startled groan.
Anastasia looked at her wrist caught by Wilhelm with a panicked face and turned to Wilhelm.
“I forgot about this.”
Wilhelm, who was staring at the finger stabbed by a rose thorn earlier, apologized with a frown.
“I’m sorry. I should have cared about this first.”
He’s sorry…? Anastasia thought with a panicked look.
‘Has His Majesty ever apologized to me?’
She hadn’t remembered since she returned. Anastasia looked at him with a confused look, and Wilhelm skillfully pulled out a handkerchief and stopped the wound of Anastasia.
Anastasia frowned slightly as she felt the pain, and Wilhelm murmured in a sighing voice.
“It’s your second time. Getting pricked by a rose.”
“But you didn’t cry this time.”
Wilhelm raised his head and made eye contact with Anastasia.
Holding her wrist at a close distance, Anastasia felt her heart beating fast and received Wilhelm’s gaze.
He was smiling brightly like the sun in the night. Looking straight at her with two eyes fixed on her.
She couldn’t do it…
More and more she didn’t want to let him go.
She knew she shouldn’t do it, but… she kept feeling that bad.