Author: alyalia

“Your Majesty! Your Majesty!”

 

“…What’s going on?”

 

“H-Her Royal Highness…”

 

At that moment, Hailey rushed over and reported that Charteron was having a seizure again.

 

Charelize loosened her grip. There was a fairly loud sound as the sword fell on the floor. A moment later, the former duke widened his eyes at the sight of Charelize on her knees.

 

“I give up the throne… Can you tell me how to make it?”

 

“You… now… what…”

 

The former duke, who had been agonizing for a while, sighed and made a suggestion. “…If you do it wrong, her life could be more dangerous. I learned it from my father over the years and finally mastered it. Just let me make it.”

 

Charelize had no choice. She returned to the Marsetta Duchy, taking the former duke with her.

 

An hour later, the former duke came out holding blue pills. Charelize, who was examining the blue pills closely, picked one up and ate it to see if it contained poison.

 

Then, the former duke spoke in a stern voice. “I don’t play with Marsetta’s blood.”

 

After she was sure nothing was wrong, Charelize put the blue pill into Charteron’s mouth. As if Charteron felt a little more comfortable, her fever gradually subsided, and her breathing became even more.

 

“Charelize.”

 

Charelize, who quietly closed the door so as not to disturb her sleep, turned around when she heard the call of the former duke who was waiting near her.

 

“Luensir and Charteron… both of them mean calm and comfortable.”

 

“…”

 

It was named after a discussion with Arensis because she wanted them to live a different life from her own. But it felt strange to hear those names being said by the former duke. She felt like she had to protect her children.

 

Charelize wasn’t planning on getting help and forgot about that help. However, this didn’t mean she wanted a leisurely conversation. She didn’t like it because it felt like they were like a ‘father and daughter’ who had a really good relationship.

 

“As promised, I’ll release you. Still, I can’t give you complete freedom, so please go down to the territory.”

 

“…Is it okay to go against your nature to not change the decision you’ve made? Isn’t there something else you want?”

 

“Because you saved my child.” Charelize’s face seemed to show that she had no other reason as she answered in clear words.  

 

“Let me ask you just one thing.”

 

Charelize slightly nodded her head in response to the former duke’s request. He was ‘her mother’s enemy,’ but at the same time, he was ‘the benefactor who saved her daughter’s life.’ So she could tolerate that much.

 

“You… why on earth didn’t you kill me?”

 

“…I already said it back then. You should live to pay for your sins.”

 

“Your exclusive maid. You cared enough for her to register her as a princess and even give ‘Isla’ as her last name. The woman who killed that maid was even being executed.”

 

Even though he had been imprisoned in Helsen Prison for several years, he still seemed to have the same personality. Now, Charelize didn’t have to hide anymore and didn’t really care if she got caught.

 

“…It’s not like I never thought about killing you. Should I poison you like you did to my mother, or should I just cut your throat… I really thought about it countless times. But, the reason I didn’t do that is…”

 

So Charelize decided to be honest.

 

“Because you were still my ‘father.’”

 

“What…?”

 

“You never loved me, but I wasn’t like that. The first time, I was beaten for taking a handkerchief. Do you remember how many times I went to you and apologized after that?”

 

“…”

 

“You never once wondered why I fell down on the stairs or climbed a tree.”

 

“That’s…”

 

“Don’t do that again or scold me. If not… you should have at least told me not to do something stupid.”

 

Charelize was once again resentful of the former duke, who hadn’t asked anything until the end.

 

“…You didn’t like the color of my hair, which resembled my mother’s. That’s why I agreed to the decision to send me to Peschte Empire. You have no idea what I wished for on the day I left.”

 

A heavy silence sank. The former duke opened his mouth with difficulty. “If I ask for your forgiveness rather than letting me spend the rest of my life in peace… Can you do that?”

 

“I couldn’t understand my mother who drank the poison for me but hid it, but now I understand.  She knew that her child was worth something even if she gave up her life.”

 

When asked if she could forgive him, Charelize smirked.

 

“I, too… I can do that as many times as I want for my children. So… I can’t forgive you anymore. Now that I have become a parent, I can’t possibly understand you for not loving me.”

 

“…I see.”

 

“Don’t you dare ask for forgiveness from me. If you say something like that one more time, I will kill you with my own hands.”

 

“…”

 

“You think I can’t do it? My ‘father’ died a long time ago.”

 

“…”

 

“Don’t think that just because you’re a ‘father,’ I can’t kill you this time too.”

 

Passing by the former duke, Charelize suppressed her rising emotions and swallowed back tears.

 

After standing still for a while, the former duke imagined hugging little Charelize, who ran towards him. He walked slowly, regretting that he should have called her name a little more affectionately or served as her father just once.

 

On his way out in the direction given by Hailey, the former duke ran into Luensir.

 

“You…”

 

The former duke was moved to tears as he felt as if he was seeing Charelize as he was when she was younger.

 

“Thank you for saving my sister.”

 

The former Duke, who came to his senses at Luensir’s bow politely, bit his lips.

 

“…Have you ever resented your mother?”

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“I was asking if you hate being born as a twin.”

 

The former duke, who came to see Marsetta Duchy after a long time, remembered his old days. So, he was curious about the thoughts of a young child who seemed different from his own.

 

“I will hold Charon’s hand no matter how many times.”

 

“…Why?”

 

“Because Charon was there so that I could be born.”

 

The former duke smiled slightly after hearing Luensir’s answer. “Are you saying you two are one?”

 

“That’s not true, but it’s not entirely wrong.”

 

The former duke stared at Luensir, who said something incomprehensible. “How old are you?”

 

“I’m six years old.”

 

“…Don’t talk like an adult. Act like your age.”

 

After stroking Luensir’s head, the former duke tried to get into the prepared carriage.

 

“My mother… did you know why she named me ‘Lino’?”

 

“Lino…?”

 

“It was to protect me.”

 

The former Duke had a blank look on his face.

 

“Your Royal Highness!”

 

“Martin?”

 

“Her Royal Highness is looking for you. She just woke up.”

 

“…I’m coming.”

 

Martin called Luensir, saying Charteron, who had woken up, was looking for him. Surprised by what had happened, Luensir went inside.

 

The former duke, who got into the carriage, continued to think over what Luensir had said. He couldn’t remember anything and couldn’t figure out why the previous duchess’ nickname was a means of protecting someone.

 

* * *

There was good news in winter. Charelize started to sleep a lot, and when being examined, they found out that she was having her third child.

 

Arensis once said that he missed their children’s childhood and was delighted with the gift that came at just the right time.

 

In particular, Charteron was smiling brightly as she would have a younger sibling. When her younger sibling was born, she said she would teach them how to shoot an arrow herself, and she came every night and sang them the lullaby she had learned from Arensis.

 

Even Luensir, who rarely expressed emotions, patted Charelize’s stomach and confirmed the baby. He was beyond happy.

 

Unlike her first pregnancy, her third child was so gentle that she didn’t even feel morning sickness. Just like that, she spent her days smiling. But one day, she heard words like thunder out of nowhere.

 

“Now… What did you say…?’

 

“The baby in Your Majesty’s stomach is very small and unstable for the number of months.”

 

“…”

 

“I’m sorry, but the baby…”

 

Baron Alec swallowed his advice to give up on the baby. Even though she didn’t listen to the end, Charelize seemed to know what Baron Alec was trying to say.

 

“…Save it. Weren’t the twins, who you thought I would have a hard time, born healthy? You can save it.” Charelize denied it, shaking her head strongly

 

“Your Majesty, please hear me. Of course, I also hope that Your Majesty’s baby will be born safely. But…. based on the baby’s pulse…”

 

“…No. It can’t be.”

 

“I dare to risk my life to say this. It’s not like there’s no heir to the imperial family, and I can never put Your Majesty in danger.”

 

Despite Baron Alec’s advice, Charelize did not back down.

 

“For today… go away.”

 

“…Your Majesty.”

 

“Didn’t I tell you to go away!”

 

“I apologize. Please think of His Majesty, Royal Prince and Princess, and the Elioter Empire.”

 

At Charelize’s anger, Baron Alec was forced to leave.

 

Charelize, who, of course, wanted to save the baby in her stomach, tried to ignore it. But Arensis and the children. The words to think about Elioter’s empire continued to linger in her mind.

 

If she listens closely, she can almost hear the baby’s heart beating. But how can they tell her to give up on her baby like that? Charelize couldn’t choose a side.

 

A few days later, before she could even do anything about it, her unborn child died. Even though she tried her best to protect that child, she couldn’t bear it and had a miscarriage.

 

Charelize sat down in front of her mother’s tombstone and shed tears. What’s more heartbreaking than the death of her third child was her children’s reactions. The children who would rush to her office and rub her belly one after another when their classes were over now didn’t mention anything about younger siblings. It might have been to be considerate of their heartbroken mother. Still, seeing them trying so hard to pretend not to notice was disappointing.

 

So Charelize buried her third child in the corner of her heart and lived as if nothing had happened. She couldn’t bear to do this or that if she didn’t do that. She forced herself to hold on.

 

Winter has come again for her. That was when she found out she was having her third child. That day, a feeling of awkwardness that couldn’t be expressed in words lingered in her mind. She didn’t like it, so she overworked herself and eventually collapsed. Arensis’s anxiously calling voice became increasingly muffled.

 

“Y-Your Majesty Mother…?”

 

“Mother! Mother!”

 

With her children clinging to her sides and crying, she completely lost consciousness.

 

* * *

With her last memory still vivid, Charelize knew that the place she was walking now was in her dreams. Lilacs were spread out all around. She bent down to look at the lilacs and saw a baby tiger running from afar.

 

In a surprise, Charelize took a step back without realizing it. The speed was so fast that the nearby baby tiger stopped when it saw her.

 

“Come here.”

 

Feeling sorry for that, Charelize caught it as it tried to turn away. Seeing her stretching out her hand, the baby tiger hesitated for a moment and then fell into her arms. It rubbed its body against her, making a pleasing noise.

 

After a while, the baby tiger was startled when it saw a light purple butterfly sitting on a lilac. It got up as if it should go now.

 

Feeling sorry for no reason, Charelize stroked its body and hugged it tightly again. As she felt sleepy, she felt small arms wrap around her neck. Puzzled, she looked closely and saw where the baby tiger had gone was a little girl. She was a kid with dark blonde hair and green eyes. 

 

Table of Contents
Reader Settings
Font Size
Line Height
Font
Donation
Amount
alyalia

Ko-fi Ko-fi

Comments (0)