# I’ll give you my heart


 

Lucerne spoke in a low voice with a growl.

“You guys are probably the only ones who are still alive despite how much you disrespect me.”

“Kyaaaagh! What the heck, when did that man come?!”

“Ah! That’s right, that guy was there! I forgot!”

“Mom, Mom…!”

Startled by Lucerne’s voice, the children each buried their faces in my thighs, sides, and chest.

Lucerne, who was leaning on a chair, lazily and uninterestedly tilted his head.

Dipeume, who placed the items used to take care of the children in his bag, approached Lucerne and bowed his head.

“Your Majesty, the urgent treatment has been completed, but the children are not in good condition because they have been neglected for a long time.
This home is also not suitable for children to recover.”

“Do you mean they might get sick again?”

“That’s right.”

Geo alternately looked at Lucerne and me with anxious eyes.
It was a look of wonder as to what Lucerne was doing, but I also thought Lucerne was an impostor.

Lucerne seemed to be pondering for a while, but replied with a tone that he was still uninterested.

“It’s none of my business.
Astia will leave here anyway.”

Suddenly I got goosebumps in my forearm.

I promised to be Lucerne’s.

What will Lucerne ask me to do in exchange for sending a doctor to the children? I was willing to make the deal because I thought my life was not a waste, but when I saw the faces of the children, my heart shook.

Can the children get along without me? Can they live in this poor environment without getting sick or hurt?

Can I get along well away from the children? Will I be able to keep my promise to Lucerne despite the news that my children are sick?

I lowered my head and hugged the children more tightly.

Geo took his eyes off Lucerne and muttered, burying his head in my chest.

“Mom, where are you going?”


Marley and Rie raised their heads at Geo’s question.
Seti, who approached, disheveled, also panned her eyes slowly as if trying to grasp the situation.

I didn’t want to leave the children, but I had no choice.

……If you’re children who’ve been helping each other, if you’re children who’ve been working together, you’re going to get along without me.

When I didn’t answer, the children urged.

“Mom, where are you going? Mom was at home every day.
Can you go outside now?”

“Wow, Mom, are you healthy now? So can I go for a walk with Mom now? Awesome!”

“Oye! So the first thing I need to do with Mom is martial arts.
I’ve been perfectly trained so far!”

How can I say it?

Can I tell you I’m leaving you? I can honestly say that I’m leaving forever, but I don’t want to hurt them.

“Hmmm… I’m going to buy some yogurt, so keep an eye on the house, okay?”

When I said that, I had thought of my mother, who had run away, and my mouth did not open easily.
Can I give my children the same grief and pain I’ve experienced? I wasn’t their real mother, but in this situation the children believe that I’m their mother……………

I didn’t know what to do with all these worries, and as I was stroking the backs and heads of the children, Lucerne spat out the news.

“Noisy.
Astia is mine and she will come with me to the Imperial Palace.”

That fucking bastard!

She glared at Lucerne with her eyes wide open.

“What? Imperial Palace? Isn’t that where the emperor Lucerne lives? If you go, you will die!”

“Kyaaak! No! No!”

“Geo, guys.
That’s the truth.”

“No! Mommy can’t die!”

“Oh, I really thought that man was a bad person!”

I tried to stop it somehow, but the children started shouting at random.

“Mommy can’t go! I don’t like it! Wahh!”

“I hate you mom! I hate you! Bad! I hate you all!”

“I will take better care of my younger siblings than I do now and listen to what they say.
So don’t go and stay here.
Please?”


Geo cried.

“Mom, it’s okay to lie or not keep your promise.
Yeah? It’s okay to just lie in bed like yesterday.
So please don’t go.”

“Hey Geo….”

Seti asked with her eyes wide open, not knowing what the situation was.

“Mom, how are you going?”

“Oh, where are you going? That’s it…….”

What should I answer? I don’t know anything about Lucerne except that he lives in the imperial palace because he’s the emperor.

As I was mumbling, Seti agitated me.

I sighed deeply, made eye contact with the little three-year-old girl, and smiled sadly.

“Well… I’m going far away from here.
At this man’s house.
I have to sleep there for ten or a hundred nights.”

“No!”

Only then did Seti, who’d just grasped the situation, scream and hug me tightly with her short arms and small hands.
I could feel the urgency coming from her as she clung to me.
Her heart was beating anxiously.

“No! Umm no! Let’s go! Take us with you! Seti, let’s go!”

Rie, who had been whining, shouted loudly.

“Right! Mom, take us too! Take us all too!”

“Uwat! Yeah! Come with me! I’ll defeat the devil Lucerne!”

“Come with me, Mom! We’ll protect you.
We’re pretty good at using magic now.”

“Uh? Go, let’s go together?”

Wait.
Isn’t that a good idea? Can’t we really go together?

She looked back at Lucerne with a broad smile.
Naturally, he snorted, raising the bridge of his high nose even more.

“Impossible.”

“Don’t do that, let me take them with me! Please?”

Realizing my intention, the children stopped crying and shouted.

“Mister! I take good care of my younger siblings, and am good at cleaning and washing dishes! I’ll be nice, take me with you and mom! Yes?”


“Let’s go together! Let me go with you! Mister! I won’t call you bad anymore!”

“Wow! Mister is handsome! Really handsome! Mister is cool!”

“Please!”

“Noisy.”

She hugged the small shoulders of the children and begged earnestly.

“Please, please.
I don’t want to part with my children.
I’ll do anything you ask, so please, let me stay with these kids.

“Hey.
You have already promised to give me you.
I have nothing left you have to give me.”

“There is.
There’s something I haven’t given you yet.”

“Sounds useless.
I have everything.
There is nothing you can give me.”

I looked straight into the rainbow-colored eyes that burned hotly as if cold.
Lucerne’s eyes reflected the haggard but beautiful Astia.

This was a fight I won.
Lucerne will not be able to deny it.
It was the emperor who put his precious knee on the floor several times just for Astia.
He was a man who could not accept her death and tried to destroy the world.

I emphasized each and every word.

“If you don’t take the children, I won’t be able to laugh at your side.
Maybe I will get sick from not eating properly and die soon.”

“I will not let you do that.”

“When I hear the news that the children are sick, I might get caught and hurt by the guards like last night while trying to sneak out of the castle.”

“This will be an opportunity to try cutting my body, which I couldn’t do yesterday.”

“I may suddenly disappear from your presence one day and never appear again.”

Lucerne did not answer.
As expected, Astia’s absence was the scariest thing for him.

I decided to push him some more.

“Yes, you can leave the children if you don’t want them.
But keep in mind.
Having me without children is like having a shell without content.
If you want a doll in Astia’s appearance, do as you please.”

Lucerne slowly got up from his seat and approached.
He reached out his fingers and lifted my chin up.

“…As always, you are truly cruel.”

“Is that so?”


“You became another man’s woman and abandoned me, and now you ask me to accept the children you had with another man.”

Well….
Come to think of it, I’m a bit sorry about that.

“……sorry.”

A twinkle flashed through his beautiful eyes.
Lucerne moved his lips several times as if he was about to say something, then he spat out a single word in a small voice that seemed to dissipate at any moment.

“You will still be you, but sometimes you seem like a completely different person.
The disease has changed so many things.”

That’s right, since I’m not Astia; it’s natural that it’s different.
It’s rather surprising how similar she is to me.

For Lucerne, who loved Astia, he might not like my appearance, which is different from the original Astia.
Knowing that Astia is already dead and I have taken over her body, he might become even more tyrannical than in the novel.

Then what can I do? To survive, to be with children.

I shook my head.

“I’ve changed, don’t you like it?”

All I do is act as her, hiding that I am not his Astia until death.

Lucerne’s answer was short and without hesitation.

“No.”

I let out a sigh of relief inside.

“That’s fortunate.”

“I only ask you one thing.”

“Please speak.”

“You said you still had something left to give me.
Tell me what it is.”

I also answered without hesitation.

“As long as the children stay in the imperial palace, I will not run away from you.
And…”

It was hard to say for sure.
It was something I had never done before, and I didn’t have the confidence to do it.
Besides, I wasn’t the Astia he wanted, but Lee Hye-rim.
However, I couldn’t think of anything that would please Lucerne as much as this.

“And, someday, I will give you my heart.”

Lucerne’s eyes trembled and shone brilliantly.
He let go of his fingers pushing up on my chin and straightened his body.
The bright sunlight poured down on him.

“Great.
I accept.”

I became the wife of a beautiful man with four lovely children.

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