The presence of the Demon Dragon in the imperial family had already been predicted from the time when numerous disasters occurred one after another.
It had never happened since he reigned, and there was no record in history books that such a national crisis had occurred.
People all criticized him, saying it was because of the Emperor who abandoned the real oracle and took on the fake as his Empress.
‘But was that really Anastasia’s fault?’
Wilhelm didn’t think so. He only made the person he loved his wife.
What does the Goddess gain by threatening the existence of her descendants?
If she was Rosenberg’s mother, would she not want her descendants to live happily ever after with whoever they want, as long as there are no major flaws?
So this would just be a natural process of decline. Unfortunately, he was just standing at that threshold.
However, he was the Emperor who inherited the blood of the Goddess Rosenia. Therefore, he was obliged to go out tomorrow and defend the Goddess’ home against the rebels who were trying to devour her imperial castle.
There was the woman who shook his whole decision.
“Are you sure you want to go?”
His Empress, Anastasia.
“Can’t you stay with me?”
She looked at him with her pathetic eyes.
The woman in the white dress was as beautiful as when they first met, but she couldn’t hide the deep depths of fear on her face.
Wilhelm looked at his wife, who was about to burst into tears.
She must have already guessed. In fact, the odds of winning this fight were slim.
Anastasia grabbed her own hand with her trembling one. Her hand, which was always warm, was very cold because of tension.
It was as if he had made it that way, and his heart was heavy as if it had been put on a stone.
“Can’t we run away?”
“Once I’m alive, I’ll work on the next one.”
But there was no next time. Wilhelm and Anastasia were well aware of this.
Once the site was taken away, it was very difficult to restore it, and there was no precedent for that.
“No, it’s okay if you don’t have anything else…”
Still, this was better. In fact, for Anastasia, the issue of Wilhelm’s life was more important than continuing the prestige of the empire or the existence of the imperial family.
“The title of the Empress is not important to me. I don’t have to live in a fancy palace. I just… I just need you by my side.”
He called her by her nickname in a sad voice. Finally, Anastasia, who was sobbing with her hands wrapped around her face, looked at him with a glimmer of hope.
“I will definitely come back.”
But her lips trembled, realizing that he would not forsake her duties as Emperor.
“I would rather go with you.
“Even if things go wrong.”
Wilhelm grabbed Anastasia’s shoulder and said firmly.
“You have to live. You must live.”
“I cannot live without you.”
That little whisper was close to a scream. Anastasia bit her lip to keep from crying any more, and then she continued her pathetic appeal.
“You’re the only one remaining who I care about after losing my father. I don’t have any children, so I don’t have any other lingering attachments to this life.”
“Let’s go together. If we live, we live together, and if we die, we die together.”
“Yeah, I guess so.”
Wilhelm opened his mouth with difficulty.
“If I’m with you, I might become a coward without knowing it. I’m afraid I’ll forsake my loyalty and run away with you.”
Wilhelm put his trembling hand on Anastasia’s shoulder and gently lowered his head.
“So I can’t go with you. I…”
“I’m sorry, Asha. But don’t get me wrong. I am not going to die tomorrow.”
Wilhelm took Anastasia in her arms and spoke in a determined voice.
“I will definitely win and come back. For you who are waiting for me, to save you who said you would die without me.”
At those words, the tip of his nose wrinkled, and the anxiety that had enveloped Anastasia until then was instantly relieved.
Yeah, this guy can’t die for me.
He is a man who values me more than his own life. He is a man who has stood firm in his place despite the enormous opposition…
“… I know.”
Anastasia answered in a voice, one that was more stable.
“I won’t say goodbye. You are a person who keeps his promises.”
Anastasia faced Wilhelm again and smiled.
“It’s still too early for this to be the end.”
“You’re right. The end is not yet for us.”
Wilhelm made her eye contact with her and smiled the same.
“The time we spent together is very short for that. It’s too embarrassing to die like this.”
He had not yet held a child who resembled her and him both in his arms, he had not seen him find a mate, he had not seen him marry, and he had not seen him give birth to a child.
He couldn’t die until he saw it all. Even if he felt it unfair, even if he felt sorry for her, he will surely come back alive.
So, I promised that I would come back to her safely…
“Your Majesty, are you okay? Your Majesty!”
The voice of the soldier holding him and howling became faint. As if poison had been applied to the arrow, the wound convulsed in pain and blood flowed out.
Wilhelm sensed his own death. There was no regret in this short and difficult life. Except for one person.
The sight of her seeing him off while holding back her tears until the very end was still in his eyes.
When he thought of Anastasia, his chest naturally throbbed. Hearing her crying out, it wasn’t hard for him to guess how she would react to him dying.
So it was more heartbreaking. Because there was a high probability that she would forsake her promise to him and follow him.
Before his last breath, Wilhelm called his predecessor anxiously.
‘If you have pity on your last descendants, please grant me my wish.’
He painstakingly continued his prayer inwardly.
‘I hope my wife does not end this life in vain because of me. Let her forget me quickly and let her live happily ever after.’
All he wanted was her happiness.
Because his short life had already made him exceedingly happy with her, and he felt that he had not given her enough to repay her for that.
His last minute prayers were, of course, for her. Even if he turned back time, the person who he would choose as his wife was of course.
‘… Anastasia Rosenberg.’
Recalling the name that had always been glorious, Wilhelm gave his last grin.
‘I hope that I can enjoy the honor of living as your companion in the next life.’
That was his only personal desire.
A single tear streamed down the corner of his tired eyes. After staring into the air for a few seconds, Wilhelm’s eyes finally closed completely.
With a short moan, Wilhelm got up hastily from his seat.
A heavy breath escaped from his mouth, and his eyes were red with blood.
Was that a dream? What…’
At that moment, he heard a voice sleeping next to him. Still breathing unsteadily, Wilhelm turned his head to the side.
Anastasia rubbed her half-open eyes and asked anxiously.
“What happened? You even had a nightmare…”
At that moment, Wilhelm couldn’t stand it and hugged Anastasia tightly.
Anastasia, startled by his sudden embrace, looked at Wilhelm with a puzzled expression.
“Wait a minute.”
Wilhelm whispered in a deep voice, burying his face in Anastasia’s shoulder.
“Let’s be like this for a moment.”
Anastasia asked in a frightened voice.
“Did you have a nightmare?”
Wilhelm opened his mouth with difficulty.
“I had a nightmare. The empire was in decline, and I had gone out to fight for you and never came back.”
At those words, he felt Anastasia’s body stiffen.
However, Wilhelm continued speaking without feeling particularly strange.
“I promised to come back, but I couldn’t keep my promise.”
“Sorry. Because I couldn’t keep my promise… I’m sorry for making you so sad.”
Feeling overwhelmed with emotion, Wilhelm exhaled hard. Anastasia just stayed silent and hugged him tightly.
“Would you… have you been alive even after I died? I begged the goddess to do so, because I thought you would have followed me…”
“I think so.”
Anastasia opened her mouth quietly in the same tearful voice.
“I would have survived for a long time even after you died, so I wouldn’t have gone to see you until a long time later.”
Lying with a red face, Anastasia tried to smile and buried her face in Wilhelm’s arms. It was not until his scent flowed in that it brought her stability.
“So you don’t have to be sorry. Most of all, it’s… because it’s a dream. That’s not reality.”
It was like talking to herself. Anastasia patted Wilhelm and whispered.
“You just had a nightmare. I’m alive here, in your arms.”
Wilhelm smiled, despondent.
“I must have been tired these days, seeing as I had such a strange dream.”
“I thought you were a little overworked these days. Sleeping less.”
Anastasia said, still patting Wilhelm.
“You’d better go to bed earlier from now on.”
“Yes, I will.”
Wilhelm finally looked at her again. Anastasia tried to smile and wiped away the tear marks on his cheeks.
“I’m sorry to wake you up. Let’s go back to sleep.”
Anastasia smiled slightly and spread her arms, Wilhelm willingly did so and laid down with her. As he laid down in her wide arms, a calm feeling of relief came to Anastasia.
“Since you woke up from a nightmare, you will surely have a happy dream.”
“I wish so.”
“You definitely will.”
She did too.
Anastasia swallowed the words she couldn’t spit into her throat, smiled and dug into Wilhelm’s arms.
It was supremely warm and comfortable, her paradise.
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