Since then, Anastasia had been busy with the Foundation Day preparations just around the corner.
‘As the empress, I’m the last one to take charge.’
As a result, there was a lot of pressure and responsibility to do well.
Anastasia worked extremely short of her bedtime.
“Your Majesty, take a break.”
Selene, worried, gave Anastasia a sweet juice to refresh her.
“I think you’ve been overdoing it lately.”
“The founding of the country is just around the corner… I’m too busy to do anything about it.”
“Your Majesty is not the only one who can work. I’m so worried that you might faint. You didn’t sleep for 10 hours this week…”
Selene appeared anxious, stomping her feet.
Anastasia laughed at the expression of her sincere concern.
“Okay, then I’ll go to the Imperial Palace.”
“That’s good, too! It’s been a while since you’ve been there.”
That’s right. Anastasia had no time due to minor problems in the preparation process for the Foundation Day, and eventually asked for understanding in advance when Louis moved to the Imperial Palace.
“Louis, the founding festival is just around the corner, so I won’t be able to see you often for a while. Will it be okay?”
Louis nodded hesitantly, and Anastasia hugged him with gratitude and regret.
‘Even so, I haven’t seen you in a long time.’
Countess Fiagel regularly reported that Louis was doing well, but he could not be left alone.
Of all things, Wilhelm was also away from the Imperial Palace when Louis moved to the Imperial Palace due to leaving for an inspection shortly after. He wasn’t due back at the palace until next week.
‘No matter how busy I was, I was indifferent. I should go now.’
Anastasia, feeling sorry, packed her presents and headed to the Imperial Palace.
“Isn’t it Her Majesty? Did you come to see Prince Louis?”
Anastasia came in a hurry and gasped and smiled at her.
“It’s been a long time, I’m afraid.”
“No, it’s not. There’s been a lot of rumors in society that you’re overdoing it due to international preparations.”
“What kind of rumors…”
“On how hard you work. You have dark circles under your eyes.”
When Anastasia heard it, she was surprised and touched under her eyes.
She hadn’t been able to sleep lately, but she didn’t expect it to be that much…
“Don’t worry too much. I explained this to Prince Louis. He seemed to understand.”
“Thank you, Countess Fiagel.”
Anastasia immediately went to Louis’ room.
Anastasia approached Louis with a trembling expression on her face.
He was painting as usual.
“… Her Majesty?”
Seeing Anastasia who he had not seen in a long time, Louis paused for a moment. Anastasia walked over to Louis, who put down her brush.
“Sorry. I haven’t been here in a while.”
“… I know, right.”
Louis replied in a voice that was barely noticeable.
“You came after a while.”
… He’s pissed.
Anastasia apologized to Louis with a look of helplessness at the unfriendly voice.
“Sorry. I’m so busy these days… …”
“Actually, I’m not annoyed by it.”
Anastasia doubted her ears for a moment and looked at Louis.
He was seen biting his lips, his eyes red as if he was about to cry.
“You kicked me out of there.”
“Louis, what… … No. I’ve been really busy all this time…”
Anastasia appealed to Louis with a feeling of wanting to cry over her chagrin.
“I love Louis so much.”
“How can I believe that? You’re not even a real mother.”
At those words, Anastasia completely hardened as if she had turned into ice.
“The Empress does not truly love me.”
“Go. I hate you.”
The word hate pierced Anastasia’s chest like a dagger.
Anastasia looked at Louis with a shocked expression.
“I don’t want to see you. If you’re going to leave me, just go. Don’t pretend to be nice and go away!”
Anastasia left the room with a confused expression on her face, leaving Louis alone, who started to weep.
“Good job, my baby.”
In his ears, Olivia’s voice sounded like hallucinations.
On the night Louis moved to the Imperial Palace, unbelievably Olivia came to the bedroom.
Olivia put her index finger on her lips with a threatening look.
“Be quiet. I’ll rip your mouth off if you make a noise.”
Frightened by the provocative words, Louis shut his mouth with his big eyes.
Only then did Olivia pat Louis on the head with a satisfied look.
“As expected, my baby.”
“Hey, how did you…”
“How did I get here?”
Olivia said, pulling the corners of her mouth up.
“I can go wherever you are.”
Although it was wrapped in vague words, she actually entered through a secret passage to the Imperial Palace from the outside.
It was made for evacuation in case Violet was alive, and Alexander, Violet, and herself were the only ones who knew the existence.
The first two were already dead, and now she was the only one who knew the existence of the secret passage.
Without knowing this situation, Louis was just terrified.
“Really… Can you come wherever I am?”
“Of course, baby.”
Olivia said with a shrug.
“You’ve gotten a lot closer to the Empress these days. You must have forgotten everything I said.”
“My poor baby.”
Louis was habitually trying to excuse Olivia, but Olivia suddenly stroked his head with a sad expression on her face.
“You are being deceived.”
Louis was startled and closed his eyes tightly. What followed was brutal.
“You don’t really believe the Empress is nice to you these days, do you? Innocent thing. You didn’t know because she kept coming.”
“Oh, no. Her Majesty the Empress will keep coming…”
“For the time being, well, maybe.”
Olivia snorted and cut off Louis.
“But one day she will leave you. Because you were only a means to improve the Empress’ reputation in the first place. Actually, the Empress doesn’t really love you. How can she do that, since you aren’t a child born from her?”
“Above all, dear, must not forget that you are the son of the former Emperor. You’re an emperor and an empress, and you’re going to be a threat of a man when you grow up. In fact, would she be thinking of breaking her boundaries and killing you?”
“No. Neither of them are like that…”
“Are you vomiting my words now? You’ve gotten a lot cheeky since you didn’t see it.”
“But, not really…”
Louis shook his head with a look as if he was about to cry.
“No. Her Majesty the Empress loves me. His Majesty the Emperor loves me too, she said His Majesty…”
“No! I am the only one who loves you the most.”
Olivia spoke harshly in a whisper, and put her fearsome face in front of Louis. Now Louis had a face that looked like he was about to faint.
“Didn’t I tell you? They’re all lying. Why are you being fooled by those words?”
After that, Olivia’s brainwashing continued.
Neither Anastasia nor Wilhelm had any sincere affection for Louis, and she scared him by saying that they will either throw him away or kill him if he loses his usefulness.
At first, Louis resisted it, saying it couldn’t be, but Olivia came to her bedroom almost every night, scolding, soothing, and brainwashing him.
It was impossible for a child not to be swayed by it yet. Besides, already once he had a history of being brainwashed by Olivia, which made it easier.
“Prince, it seems that the pillows are often wet these days.”
One day, the maid who was cleaning Louis’s bedding asked her with a puzzled expression.
“Did you cry at night?”
He cried. After Olivia passed away, he was overcome with fear and sorrow that Anastasia would really abandon him, and he wept.
“… No. It’s just that I often have dreams of scary monsters these days.”
Louis, however, swung around with these words. It was because Olivia had thoroughly enforced his enlistment.
“If you tell anyone that I am here, I will kill you and myself, so watch your mouth, sweetheart.”
He couldn’t be more terrified of a threatening word with a creepy expression on it.
So Louis was getting exhausted day by day.
Moreover, Olivia’s brainwashing was working properly, as Anastasia was busy preparing for the Founding Day and couldn’t see Louis.
‘As Olivia said, I think the Empress does not really love me.’
Anastasia had asked him for forgiveness in advance, but it all felt like an undertaking to throw him away.
So, when Anastasia came to visit after a long time, he unwittingly removed all the sediment that had accumulated in the past.
But as Anastasia returned to her wounded expression, Louis had to realize.
‘Olivia lied again.’
If she hadn’t truly loved him, she wouldn’t have looked so hurt by his harsh words.
Louis wept bitterly for saying bad things to Anastasia, but it was already too late.
‘Her Majesty really won’t come to see me anymore.’
When he thought of that, he became indescribably sad. Louis’ voice grew louder.
“Oh my God, Prince! What are you doing?”
Surprised by the sound, the maids ran and comforted Louis, but nothing comforted Louis’ heart.
‘It’s all my fault. Olivia tricked me into doing this because I was a fool.’
But the next day, something unbelievable happened.