“What?”


“It’s about the healers trapped underground.”

Dianel approached, narrowing the already limited distance even further. 

A gloomy energy emanated from his feet.
The power was directly aimed at where Hierian was hiding. 

At the same time, my shadow started wriggling and twitching.

“Hierian!”

Startled, I tried to step back, but Dianel tightly embraced me from behind.
He continued to trample on the shadow and whispered into my ear.

“Yes, it was me.
I despise them, the healers who were born with the blessing of Eora, beings that spread light in the world.
I always wanted to torment them, to give them a life worse than death.”

Dianel gently grasped my hair as if stroking it and then pulled it tightly.

Instinctively, my gaze rose, and our eyes met.
The eyes that met were fierce and filled with an eerie vitality.

“You are the same.
The Savior who inherited the power of Eora the strongest.
It would be great to chew you up and devour you, better than death.”

“Dianel, let go now.
Or else-“

“I don’t want to.
You didn’t realize that I was beyond salvation.”

Dianel pressed himself closer to me and murmured.

“You wanted to know the secret that Dalton was hiding, didn’t you?”

“How could you…?”

“I am Dalton, the one you met.
Knowing that I wouldn’t become your partner if I revealed myself, I intentionally disguised myself as him to become your partner.
I thought that by doing so, I could make you trust me.”

“What?”

Looking at me questioning, Dianel raised the corners of his eyes and smiled.
It was a genuine tone of enjoyment.

“Do you know who is behind VisViscount Leven? It’s your father, Count Astita, the person who deceived him and took his money.”

“…”


“To cheat the local minor nobles, you need someone with connections to the royal family.”

“…And that’s you?”

No, it couldn’t be true.
Unbelievable words flooded in, making it hard to breathe.

“…I entrusted you with my family’s affairs, believing in you.”

Because of my negligence, my family could suffer even greater harm.

But there was no reason for him to torment our family like this.
I looked at him with a glimmer of hope. 

However, his next words shattered my expectations.

“The actions of the Empress were quite annoying.”

“…”

“To remove the thorn-like Empress, I decided to make use of your family.”

I couldn’t believe all these words, and I couldn’t articulate a proper response.
As a result, my voice sounded disjointed.

“…Why?”

“I already told you.
I despise you.”

“…Just for that reason.”

“If it causes you suffering, I will do anything.”

“…”

“Foolishly, you should not have trusted me.”

Dianel kept his head bowed.
Although his fangs, which had briefly revealed themselves, seemed like they would sink into my neck once again, I couldn’t take any action.
I simply trembled. 

The rising anger turned my vision red and made the back of my neck stiff.
No matter what excuse he could give, this anger didn’t seem like it would subside.

“If your words are true, I will never forgive you.”

I said, my voice filled with sincerity.

Dianel smiled as if he was genuinely enjoying it. 


“Please, don’t forgive me.”

He kept his head bowed.
The soft and teasing sensation tingled my forehead. 

Strangely, as soon as his lips touched my forehead, the seething anger that had risen to the top of my head subsided.

It was ridiculous and strange, and I didn’t know the reason why.

‘Could it be that such a thing could calm my anger?’

There was no way I could have feelings for Dianel.
That was impossible. 

I didn’t harbor any emotions for him beyond being a colleague or anything less. 

Let alone liking him, even the fact that my anger subsided with his lips brushing against my forehead was absurd.

Unable to forgive myself, I pushed Dianel away roughly and slapped him across the cheek. 

It took a moment for my senses to return after the impact hit me with a chilling shock.
In front of me stood Dianel, who had become an enemy to me and my family.

Even after being slapped, he was laughing as if it was something enjoyable.
It angered me even more, contrasting with the times when he used to beg me to stroke his head.

‘How could I have been so complacent?’

The frustration turned into words that flowed out.

“I regret trusting you.
I even briefly thought you were a good person.”

“I suppose you wish I were dead.”

“…Yes.”

Dianel smiled bitterly. 

I turned away from him, unable to bear his lack of guilt or hesitation. 

Hierian, hidden in the shadows, remained silent as ever.

It was an urgent situation.

* * *

In the empty office, after Siara had left, silence filled the room.

Dianel, left alone in the darkness, finally let his expression soften. 


His face, which had been wearing a fake and dangerous smile, gradually changed, returning to its original form.

Dark circles appeared beneath his eyes, and his cheeks lacked vitality.
Leaning against the damp wall of a dim and humid back alley, his face resembled that of an old man waiting for death.

He stumbled and sat down on a chair.
It was filled with forged documents that the Empress had thrown at him.

Among them were records of his involvement in human trafficking and his compliance with Viscount Leven. 

A quick investigation would reveal the lies, and the Empress knew it too.
That was why she had left numerous loopholes in the documents.
She intended not to save Dianel from this situation and avoid taking responsibility by employing various methods.

But Dianel had no intention of revealing the truth.

Since losing her son, the Empress had despised Dianel fiercely.
She would go to great lengths to tarnish his reputation. 

She didn’t hesitate to risk her honor either.
It was proof of the intense hatred she held towards Dianel, which stemmed from her son’s death.

The incident was caused by Dianel succumbing to the influence of the Demon King.
Regardless of the circumstances, he was responsible for what he had done.

However, Dianel did not apologize.
There was no point in apologizing when her son was dead and would never come back.

Instead, he allowed the Empress to take advantage of the situation for her benefit.
She had used her sympathy to gain assistance from various nobles. 

Additionally, by not blaming anyone for her son’s death, she managed to rise to the position of Empress.
It was also convenient for the Emperor, who desired an heirless Empress to avoid potential internal conflicts.

After ascending to the position of Empress, Yertina began actively plotting against Dianel.
However, he pretended not to notice. 

He still saw nothing but hatred in her eyes.
It was his responsibility.

Dianel let out a sigh as exhaustion filled his eyes.

‘A grief of losing a child.’

She said it was a painful experience as if her flesh and bones were being torn apart. 

Although there had been times when his flesh and bones were truly torn apart, it was not as tormenting as what Yertina had endured.
Perhaps her suffering was more severe.

Perhaps he didn’t know if it would all end when he died.

‘Now, is there anything I can do, even a small apology?’

A wry smile appeared on Dianel’s lips.
It was a reasonable trade since he had also received assistance from the Empress.

Soon, Siara would regain her power.
And there would be ample opportunity to provoke hatred within her. 


It was time to finally put an end to this.
The only thing left was to ensnare her.

With his tired body, Dianel reached out and grabbed the bottle of wine on the office desk.
The deep red wine mixed with a lethal poison filled the glass.

“… “

Silently, he stared at the glass for a moment before quickly downing its contents.
Then he took out a blank sheet of paper and began writing carefully.

[〈Suicide Note〉

I, Dianel, the Crown Prince of the Orthodox Empire, take my own life.
It is a suicide, not a result of anyone’s scheme, and all the documents placed on this desk are the truth.

Punish severely Viscount Leven and his accomplices who committed crimes with me, and distribute my wealth among the victims. 

Especially, set aside a budget to comfort the affected families. 

The Golden Palace being built near Astita is for that purpose.
Proceed with its construction as soon as possible.]

Piece by piece, the writing came to an end.
Dianel remained buried deep in the chair.

Death had seemed frightening and dreadful, but he felt more at peace than ever before.

Dianel closed his eyes calmly.
In the space before him, the image of Siara, whom he had seen a moment ago, continued to flicker.
The large wings fluttered behind her.

How incredibly beautiful it was, blinding to the eyes…

A faint smile appeared on the corner of his lips, which had been sealed shut all along.
As his rising and falling chest grew still, he ceased to breathe.

* * *

Long, long ago, in a time when Eora, dragons, fairies, and other ancient races lived and breathed.

Eora, who shared all their powers and grew weak, said:

This way, the world will descend into chaos.
I will seal all the ancient races and create humans to inherit the power and guide the world myself.

There was resistance, but Eora succeeded in carrying out her plan. 

However, there was a problem: a vessel to contain the darkness.

No one desired to experience the greed of containing darkness.

In the midst of this, one soul stepped forward.

“I will do it.”

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