Author: lipzoldyck

 

After a moment of hesitation, I opened my mouth.

 

“…I apologize, Your Imperial Majesty.”

 

[The God of Destruction, Ciel, bites Hessed’s defenseless finger.]

 

[The God of Knowledge, Hessed, promises to send Ciel to a dog training center.]

 

The Emperor’s eyebrows twitched.

 

“I heard that the Saintess once fell in love with Kyle. Rumors of it spread all over the social circles of the Empire.”

 

“But everything is in the past. Right now, I don’t have feelings for the Crown Prince. Neither do His Highness the Crown Prince.”

 

At my words, the Emperor’s complexion hardened.

 

After a while, he opened his mouth in a cold voice.

 

“The existence of a saintess brings stability and peace to the people of the Empire. In that respect, the Imperial Family always respects the temple and the Saintess.”

 

The influence of the temple was strong in Illide, where most of the empire’s people believed in the Gods.

 

“Especially Ariel, you’re different from the saintesses of the past. You should know it yourself.”

 

The Emperor’s eyes shone sharply.

 

It was easy to guess the real reason the Emperor wanted me to marry Kyle.

 

They seem to go well together, let’s strengthen the harmony between the temple and the Imperial Family… No matter how good the story is, the original meaning lies a little deeper.

 

“Who is my existence becoming in the Imperial power?”

 

At my question, the Emperor wiggled his eyebrows.

 

[The God of Benevolence, Oman, dethrones the reckless Emperor who threatens his life saver and invites you to ascend the throne.]

 

The Emperor’s concerns weren’t entirely meaningless. When I went to the festival, everywhere I went, there was only my story. Most praised me, and there were many who worshiped me.

 

The Saintess who saved the empire by blocking the Demon Realm gate in Ares, this time revealed the identity of the demon who tried to act as a saintess and defeated her.

 

In addition, when the news that the deity of a god involved in the Demon Realm had been stripped spread, there were even people who deified me.

 

And maybe… from the position of the Imperial Family, it was something to be wary of.

 

‘The Saintess who was the passageway between Gods and the people, becomes the hero and god of the Empire. She’s praised as a more powerful hero than the Emperor or Crown Prince?’

 

“I hope to always maintain an amicable relationship with the temple.”

 

In the eyes of the Emperor, I could fully read what he meant.

 

[The God of Benevolence, Oman, urges you to set an example by usurping the throne and taking his son as a concubine.]

 

[The God of Justice, Hetuse, doubts whether the anger of Oman is mixed with selfishness.]

 

Ignoring the chat window in front of my eyes, I opened my mouth to the Emperor.

 

“If I refuse your request, will I become your enemy?”

 

Then he spoke without a smile.

 

“How could I make the Saintess my enemy? I just mean for you to consider it in a good way so that there isn’t any unnecessary waste on the temple.”

 

If I marry Kyle, my glory will help the Imperial Family, and by becoming a ‘family’, I will also establish a strong relationship with the Emperor.

 

However, if I don’t, it seems like pressure to accept that the relationship between the temple and the Imperial Family may become uncomfortable.

 

[The God of Knowledge, Hessed, agrees only half with Oman, and seduces you to seize the wealth of the Empire with Cass after ascending the throne.]

 

I swallowed a small sigh and took two steps towards him. An item I had packed in the pocket before entering the Imperial Palace jingled.

 

“Your Imperial Majesty.”

 

Looking into the Emperor’s eyes, I lowered my head. Then I sat down in front of him and knelt down on my knees.

 

“It’s not that I don’t understand Your Imperial Majesty’s will, but I still can’t accept this national marriage.”

 

A heavy silence hung over the audience room.

 

I looked into his eyes and said.

 

“For I want to live as ‘Ariel’ rather than the head of a temple or a saintess.”

 

[The God of Justice, Hetuse, likes your subjectivity.]

 

At my words, the Emperor hardened his eyebrows.

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“Even if I say this, it will not change that my house is a temple and I’m a saintess. But I value my life very much. That’s why I can’t live a life I don’t want according to someone else’s will. Even if one day I get married… I want to be with whoever I want.”

 

[The God of Art, Mond, recommends Reihausd to ‘Whoever I Want’.]

 

[The God of Destruction, Ciel, whimpers while holding Kyle’s stake.]

 

[The God of Knowledge, Hessed, sits cross-legged leisurely and arrogantly.]

 

The Emperor frowned hearing my words.

 

“At the end, you’re rejecting my offer.”

 

“That’s right. And this…”

 

I held something in my hands out to the Emperor.

 

The Emperor glanced at the object in my hand and made a surprised expression.

 

It was a garnet necklace I bought at an auction house one day. I heard it was a necklace that the deceased Empress Dowager had given the former Empress 30 years ago.

 

It was an old item, so I thought it was an item collected during the count’s grandfather era, but I concluded that it was a stolen item from the Imperial Family bought by the count’s father.

 

“This…  is the necklace that the former Empress treasured the most. She told me that her maid had run off with a gift her mother had given her when she was engaged to me in her childhood. How the hell did you find this?”

 

I brought it just in case, and it was the moment I had to use it.

 

“The God of Art, Mond, helped me find the royal treasure.”

 

“My goodness…”

 

[The God of Art, Mond, expresses his affinity for the garnet necklace.]

 

It was true that Mond found the necklace. Even though it was at the auction house.

 

“When I healed Your Imperial Majesty, I borrowed the power of the God of Love, Odyssey, and though it was disrespectful, in the process I saw some fragments of Your Imperial Majesty’s past memories.”

 

The Emperor picked up the garnet necklace from my hand.

 

“You seem to have a lot of longing for Her Imperial Highness the former Empress. The pain you suffered when she left you was deeply lingering in Your Imperial Majesty’s heart.”

 

“…You saw… memories…”

 

I nodded.

 

“What I felt in Your Imperial Majesty’s heart was a deep regret. Even Your Imperial Majesty couldn’t help it because of the political situation that exploded day by day, yet you felt guilty that you made her lonely.”

 

The Emperor’s dark eyes contained a garnet necklace.

 

“Time never returns. The past leaves regrets every time, but the most regrets are…”

 

I opened my mouth recalling the past.

 

“I don’t think I’ve lived my life the way I wanted to.”

 

The fierce past life, the things I wanted to overcome and protect had no meaning when I thought about them now. I regretted not doing anything that would make me happy at that time. I wish I knew life was that short.

 

“So I’m trying to live my life according to my will.”

 

After a moment of silence, the Emperor looked at me with a different gaze than before.

 

“I want to decide my own destiny.”

 

I looked at him with determined eyes and opened my mouth.

 

A bitter smile formed on the Emperor’s lips.

 

“Yes, the Saintess is right. She was beautiful and free, sparkling like the Saintess. Because I still love the sight of her riding the horse and galloping through the fields.”

 

His dark eyes were reminiscing about the past.

 

“However, she couldn’t do that in the Imperial Palace. She had to follow the law and be polite. Like a star losing its light, she died day by day. I didn’t even notice that she was sick.”

 

“…”

 

“She must have resented me… After her death, I honored her by making a garden named after her, standing her tombstone, and sealing her with the title of former Empress (황후), higher than the Empress (황비)… What is the use of all that?”

 

(both words mean ‘empress/queen’, but 황후 is an emperor’s wife, and 황비 isn’t as official as the former)

 

The garnet necklace in his hand was as red as Kyle’s eyes.

 

After a while, I opened my mouth to the Emperor.

 

“The former empress in your memory that I saw always looked at Your Imperial Majesty with eyes full of love. It wasn’t a resentful gaze.”

 

At my words, the Emperor’s eyes shook slightly.

 

“Life in the Imperial Palace was difficult, but she must have thought it was worthwhile. Just being with the person she loved.”

 

Holding the garnet necklace, he lifted the necklace’s garnet pendant and brought it to his forehead. There were deep wrinkles on his forehead.

 

“But I have no confidence to love His Highness the Crown Prince as much as Her Imperial Majesty the former Empress loved Your Imperial Majesty.”

 

A smile formed on the Emperor’s lips.

 

I saw it and smiled with him.

 

“That’s why I can’t get married. If we do, I think we will have regrets for each other.”

 

Finally, the Emperor opened his mouth with a bitter smile.

 

“I understand what the Saintess is saying.”

 

Unlike before, when he pushed his thoughts, his face looked relaxed.

 

After a while he spoke seriously. 

 

“Forgive me for being rude with excessive greed. The Imperial Palace… promises to be friendly to the temple and the Saintess in the future. Please forget what I said today.”

 

“Thank you. Your Imperial Majesty.”

 

I succeeded in explaining my position to him as well as explaining that I wasn’t a threat to the Imperial Family.

 

“And…”

 

A garnet necklace was clenched tightly in his hand.

 

“Thank you for finding the item. It was something she treasured as her friend in her lonely life at the Imperial Palace. Although it may be belated, it will be a comfort to her in the Salerium.”

 

I lightly bowed my head.

 

[The God of Benevolence, Oman, is disappointed with the failure to usurp the throne.]

 

[The God of Destruction, Ciel, promises to never give up on Kyle.]

 

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this chapter is sponsored by Ddco (4/10)

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Comments (2)

  1. That was honestly so nice and melancholic even. It was just satisfying to see her take control and talk to the Emperor and explain her opinions and beliefs