After returning to the palace, Lucius immediately sought an audience with the emperor. Lucius entered the emperor’s bedroom with a reflective expression, where the emperor was bedridden due to his illness.
“Your Majesty, I have discovered evidence of the Empress’ treason,” Lucius declared.
The documents Lucius had obtained contained information about the noble family that the empress had tried to eliminate, and a letter that bore the empress’s orders, serving as compelling evidence to be presented in court.
“I have also secured testimony that implicates the empress in an attempt to poison my mother,” Lucius added.
The emperor, upon receiving the documents presented by Lucius, appeared unfazed.
“What is the purpose of all of this?” the emperor asked.
“Your Majesty, the empress, manipulates people with the help of black magic wizards,” Lucius explained.
There was also a letter that suggested the emperor had used unethical methods, but the emperor didn’t even pretend to pay attention to Lucius’s words.
“Be quiet. Are you doubting the love the queen has for me?” the emperor asked, irritated. “That is not treason, what are you talking about?”
The emperor’s eyes were sharp, and he coughed in anger.
“If you have any free time, use it to do your job properly. No, if you have any sense, hand over the position of the crown prince to Hart. Don’t you know better than anyone else that you’re not fit for the job?” the emperor said.
Until now, Lucius had not held much faith in the emperor. He couldn’t trust his father, who was just sitting by passively even as his life was in danger. However, he believed that the bond of blood was somewhat different from that of the empress.
If I could provide the right evidence, he would believe me.
It was something he had believed in and quietly prepared for a long time.
I can’t just abandon the position that my mother fought to keep all her life.
I really wanted to see you now…
It was a feeling that he didn’t like to have, but sometimes his time with Freya seemed to clash.
“Freya, if you’re hurt, my heart is torn.”
When he remembered her pale face, his whole body would lose strength. Freya’s smile suited her well, her smile kept him alive and made him exist.
“I will surely make you happy.”
As he rubbed his forehead with his hand, he finally realized that his entire body was covered in dust.
“I was going to see Freya in such a state.”
He quickly washed up and went to find the hot springs to relax and relieve his fatigue.
He let out a sigh, and his lips alternated between a sigh and a laugh, spilling out with a smile.
“Did our mother close her eyes because he was unjust?”
He was referring to his father.
Staggering through the woods, he entered a small courtyard with hot springs, and a strange figure caught his eye. In the moonlit hot springs, Freya was waiting for him.
“Is this a dream?”
The shattered illusion was a thing of the past after he took a few steps. The long wound on her back was clearly visible under the damp cloak. Lucius seemed to be pricked by the sight of the frightening wound he saw for the first time.
“Freya, who hurt you?”
“What? That’s… ”
A sour voice flowed with the night wind.
“I’ll go. Just turn around for a moment.”
He couldn’t see Freya’s face, but her voice clearly rejected him.
“Even if she hates it, she can’t do this.”
He slammed the bottle, and the sour smell of alcohol spread into the night air. At the moment when Freya came out to pick up her cloak, a rough hand grabbed her shoulder.
“What’s this, I ask.”
“It’s a very old thing, and has nothing to do with His Majesty.”
As Freya stepped outside, her body shuddered like a cherry blossom in the wind. No, she couldn’t tell if it was the cold air or his touch that made her shiver.
“Answer my questions first.”
“Please let me go.”
“Why should I?”
She thought she was getting closer to him but now was the time she felt furthest away. Freya struggled to endure everything that was happening now. Water dripped between the two of them, soaking the grass.
“Please send me away.”
“If you don’t talk, I’ll make you.”
“Don’t threaten me.”
“I can do anything I want. You know what kind of person I am, don’t you?”
Betrayal towards her father, disappointment in Freya being pushed away, and feelings of guilt towards her mother mixed together in the wind, causing rough words to spill out of his mouth.
“Adding a couple more wounds like this won’t make a difference.”
Feeling the full force of his gaze, Freya felt a sting from the wounds on her forehead.
“You know very well, how inexperienced my body is.”
“Freya! Don’t talk like that. I’ve made so many mistakes, but still…”
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