…if it weren’t for that loud cry. It would have happened no matter what happened.
Anastasia, who was on the verge of fainting due to tension, quickly pushed Wilhelm and opened her arms toward Louis who was running to her.
Louis quickly came into Anastasia’s arms, and Anastasia was quickly relieved after seeing Louis safe with her eyes.
“I’m glad to see you again, Louis.”
“Me too, Your Majesty.”
Louis asked Anastasia, looking here and there with a face that seemed on the verge of crying.
“Are you feeling better now? Doesn’t it hurt?”
“Yes, I’m fine. Is Louis hurt?”
Louis, who had tears in his eyes, began to whimper and replied.
“Your Majesty protected me. So I didn’t get hurt.”
Louis said, hugging Anastasia tightly.
“Thank you. It’s all thanks to Your Majesty that I’m safe.”
“Thank you for being safe too, Louis.”
There seemed to be more to say, but she couldn’t hear anything from Louis who had his face in Anastasia’s arms for a while.
But the bottom of her dress was getting wetter and wetter, and Anastasia was forced to notice, feeling Louis’ body shaking.
This kid, he was crying right then.
Anastasia called the child’s name in a soft voice.
Louis’ face, who raised his head only then, was already covered with tears.
Anastasia’s eyes also became moist after seeing that.
Louis twisted his face as if he were about to burst into tears and confessed to Anastasia.
“I love you, too.”
“At the end… You told me you loved me.”
He clearly remembered what Anastasia, who hugged him tightly, told him in a trembling voice just before the wagon crashed.
“I love you. I loved you so much.”
Louis realized at that moment. That that moment was the end of their short lives.
Nevertheless, in order to leave a good memory, Anastasia was confessing her love to him while hiding her fear.
“I was really scared back then… … Her Majesty said she loved me… So it was okay.”
As soon as he came to his senses, he immediately looked for Anastasia, and he wanted to tell her the same thing he had heard her say, but he could not.
When he thought that Anastasia’s care might go wrong, inexplicable despair engulfed the child.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you that I loved you the same way back then.”
He regretted it. Why couldn’t he tell her that he loved her right away at that moment?
Why hadn’t he been able to properly respond to her numerous confessions of love that she had handed over until now?
When he thought that maybe it could end like that, he became very scared and distressed.
Even at the moment when the end of life became clear, her love toward him, was undoubtedly enough to wrap around him and protect him.
He realized it too late. She had already been his mother for a long time.
“I also love Your Majesty a lot. I really have a lot to say… … Huh!”
After confessing, Louis finally burst into tears, and after that, the world began to cry.
It was the second heartbreak after the last time they reconciled with each other.
Anastasia, startled, hurriedly calmed Louis.
“Louis, it’s okay. it’s okay.”
Anastasia comforted Louis with all kinds of friendly words, but Louis never thought of stopping tears.
It was a time when Anastasia patted Louis, who was crying.
One word mixed with the sound of crying, faint but clearly stuck in the ears, hardened Anastasia as if she had become a stone.
She realized what had been said over and over again and again. She didn’t hear anything in vain.
She finally got her love recognized by the kid.
As soon as she realized that, Anastasia’s eyes also turned red.
Louis’ cry stopped after a long time.
After her son-in-law* became quiet, he ran away with his swollen eyes closed as if embarrassment had suddenly risen, and Anastasia looked at Louis’ back with a loving gaze until the end.
*TN: while this would refer to a different relation normally, I kept it because he’s like a son to her through marriage
Then she realized. Wilhelm was still there.
“Your Majesty must go now. You must be busy.”
Anastasia, who naturally recalled the situation before Louis broke in, tried to hurry up and let him go, and Wilhelm looked at Anastasia with a strange expression and opened his mouth.
“I haven’t heard the answer yet.”
“No, what answer…”
“You’re doing it for me, right?”
Wilhelm kindly repeated the question.
“From the beginning to the present.”
“…I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Anastasia quickly cleared up the situation, avoiding his persistent gaze.
“I’m grateful for you saving me this time. I must have exaggerated that expression. If you misunderstood.”
“What I said earlier was just…”
Anastasia sighed briefly and ended the conversation.
“As I said, I just wanted to reveal the truth. I don’t want innocent people to be suspected.”
“Yes, I understand your righteousness.”
Though she thought he would get angry, Wilhelm responded unexpectedly calmly and got up from his seat.
‘…Is that it?’
It was when Anastasia was embarrassed by a clearly different reaction from last winter.
“You’d better take a rest now. Your face is very red right now. Like a tomato.”
As Anastasia fumbled with both her cheeks in embarrassment, Wilhelm, who saw it, smiled softly.
Only then did Anastasia realize that he had made fun of her, and she glanced at Wilhelm, but he only calmly responded to her eyes and said this.
“I’m not falling for it anymore.”
What the hell was he not falling for?
Without being me to ask, he left, and Anastasia, who was left alone, muttered, still unable to take her hands off both cheeks.
It was strange that a person suddenly became sly. It was when Anastasia was constantly mulling over Wilhelm’s last words.
Mrs. Rochester rushed into the room. After that, she saw the appearance of the palace doctor that followed.
Anastasia greeted her with a friendly smile on her face, which she hadn’t seen in a long time.
“Mrs. Rochester, you were worried, weren’t you?”
“First of all… Get a checkup first.”
The joy of a reunion was for later. Mrs. Rochester tried to suppress her soaring emotions and asked the palace doctor.
“Dr. Faulkner, please be as meticulous as possible.”
After such a long examination, fortunately, there was no abnormality.
There was no particular discomfort when she woke up, so Anastasia accepted the result as if it were natural.
“But just in case, you have to take it easy, absolutely easy.”
After the court doctor went back, and only the two of them were left, Mrs. Rochester expressed her pent-up feelings to her heart’s content.
“You woke up safely and really… I’m so glad to hear that. I almost fainted when I heard that the carriage had fallen down the cliff. I’ve been so worried that you might not wake up… Heuck!”
“Mrs. Rochester, are you crying?”
“What do you mean crying? What do you mean… I’m not crying. How can I cry in front of Your Majesty…”
She seemed to cry, but Anastasia decided not to point out more to save her face.
‘I think I’ve gotten thinner.’
She seemed to have had a lot of heartache. Anastasia, sorry for no reason, apologized.
“Sorry to trouble you, Mrs. Rochester.”
“Your Majesty is also wrong. Is this something Your Majesty would apologize for? It’s all because of that vicious woman!”
Mrs. Rochester, who was whimpering, suddenly changed her posture and gritted her teeth to a squeaky sound.
From the mouth of Mrs. Rochester, clenching her fists, a lion’s roar of wrath erupted.
“How dare she do such a thing to our Empress, a shameless human being! An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and Your Majesty would give her a stoning sentence, right? You have to return a hundred times, no! A thousand times the pain you suffered!”
“Um… It’s hard to avoid the extreme punishment.”
‘But to end it like this…’
She felt uncomfortable. Besides, after Olivia’s death, she would never be able to bring the truth to the surface.
This meant that this was the last opportunity to investigate the death of the Emperor and Empress.
‘I can’t do this.’
It’s ridiculous for Wilhelm to suffer until his death for what Olivia did.
Let’s be determined. She must end what Olivia has done.
She didn’t dare let Olivia escape with death.
“Did you say that the Fontaine girl is now imprisoned in the dungeon?”
“Yes. That poisonous thing, eating three meals a day, every day, not guilty until the end… ugh, Your Majesty, where are you going?”
As Mrs. Rochester was grinding her teeth, Anastasia abruptly rose from her seat and draped a shawl over her shoulder.
When Mrs. Rochester saw the figure, she asked in disbelief.
“You’re not going to meet her in person, are you?”
“Yes. Please guide me.”
“Your Majesty, how long have you been awake! Besides, why would Your Majesty meet the wretched criminal…!”
Mrs. Rochester pleaded with Anastasia with her pale, tired face.
“Didn’t you hear what the palace doctor said? He told you to calm down, take it easy again!”
“But I don’t have time. The trial is tomorrow.”
“That’s true, but… … No, what the hell are you going to do with her? She will be sentenced to death anyway.”
“It just doesn’t matter. I…”
Anastasia frowned as she spoke her words.
“I will tell everyone all her sins that she has committed. I won’t let her die before that.”
“Yes? What is that…”
“Mrs Rochester, do you believe me?”
At the sudden question that followed the incomprehensible words, Mrs. Rochester was stunned for a moment.
But she nodded her head firmly, as if she was sure.
“Of course, Your Majesty.”
“Then follow me. After I meet the Fontaine girl, I have something to tell her.”
Anastasia muttered, raising the corners of her lips sullenly.
“I don’t think she will easily admit her guilt.”
Then she had no choice but to give her a choice. Whether she gets the worst punishment or the most evil one, it was time for her to fall.