Herace was left alone in the dark.
It was the same as then.
When her family died and Knights took her and pushed her into a damp, shady prison.
Yes, just like that time, she…


She was alone.


Due to the fear, Herace sat down, hugged her knees and buried her face in them.
There was a pungent smell of something burning everywhere, and people screaming could be heard.
She covered her ears and buried her face deeper, but to no avail.
Feeling something wet and soggy touching her, she glanced down and saw blood pooling up and swallowing her slowly.




She screamed and struggled, but it didn’t work.
The puddle of blood that looked like a rotting swamp surrounded her, her legs unable to move.
The fishy smell of the liquid sloshing just below her chin made Herace extend her arm out to escape.
But, like her legs, her arms, which were bound to her body, did not obey their owner’s wishes.


“S-Save me.
Get me out of here… Ezekiel… Ezekiel, help me.”


The first person that came to her mind was her husband, Ezekiel.
Unable to wipe her tears away, in her fear and terror, she repeated her husband’s name.
If it was Ezekiel, he will come.
Just like that time.


Sure enough, as soon as she called out to Ezekiel, in the dark place right in front of her, a hazy light came on.
A brightly lit man appeared and there was no doubt it was him.
Herace recognized Ezekiel and reached her hand out of the puddle.
Her hand had been restrained by something until a moment ago, but when she found him, it broke free.


“E-Ezekiel… Hic.”


But Ezekiel did not come for Herace.
Wait, looking closely, he wasn’t alone.
Next to him was a woman with shiny blonde hair and a child in her arms.
The three of them laughed and chatted about how much fun they were having, but when they saw Herace, their faces hardened all at the same time.
Seeing her husband’s cold face, Herace’s eyes filled with despair.


Blood gushed out of the puddle, wrapping around her outstretched arm towards Ezekiel, and led her back into the swamp.
With a thud, Herace was tied again.


Ezekiel turned his back.
At the same time, the blood rose one step further.
Herace was tired of the red blood getting into her mouth, but the more she struggled, the more liquid came rushing in.


“Help me.
Someone, help.”


Herace barely managed to speak as she raised her head as high as she could.
Then, as if a play was about to begin, an incomparably bright light shone in front of her.
As she lowered her eyes, Herace saw the one who appeared and shouted.




It was her older brother, Chris, whom she had not seen since he was taken to prison.
Thanks to Ezekiel, his life was saved, but he was banished from the empire without even attending Herace’s wedding.
It was heartbreaking to hear that he was limping due to his injured leg as a result of the torture, but she could not express her feelings to anyone at that time.
The best that she could do was to speak to her husband and ask a favor for her brother.


[“Herace, you’re the only one left! You have to survive! Do you understand?”]


Chris looked exactly like the day she last saw him.
Blood splattered everywhere on his torn clothes.
In the midst of that, the eyes that worried about her, his arms reached out to hold her hand.


Her brother has been like this since childhood.
Having acted as Herace’s parent in place of their father, who behaved eccentrically towards her, he always put his sister ahead of his own well-being.


Forgetting the blood rushing through her nose and mouth, Herace struggled to grab her brother’s hand.
But before she could move her feet, her brother disappeared, and a middle-aged woman, who had cared for her as a child while her mother was sick, popped up in his place.


[“Lady, you must defend your honor with this.
The Marquis must have wanted that too.”]


Tears flowed nonstop from the corners of her eyes that resembled Anna.
The woman pulled out a pill the size of a thumbnail.
Her brown leather shoes came close to Herace’s eyes, and bluish liquid dripped down her face.
Then, even in the dark, a halo of light was formed clearly.




When the blue liquid touched her face, she became confused.
It felt like something was blocking her breathing.
Herace gasped as she could barely breathe, and the middle-aged woman took another look at her with eyes full of pity, then quickly disappeared.




She could barely stand the dizzying sight.
Two white hands appeared and gripped Herace’s cheeks tightly.
As soon as the noble lady came to her senses, she saw a wet face that looked elegant.


[“Herace, do not forsake Charles.
Charles is the only child I have.
When I die, you must take care of Charles.
I ask for that poor child.”]


The weeping lady had blonde hair typical of the Imperial Family.
Her blue eyes, which were a little brighter than Herace’s, were trembling due to the fear of what’s to come.




The lady was Princess Ulysse, the mother of Charles.
She, who was also Duchess Serpence, had come to see Herace shortly before it was revealed that she had been involved in the treason.
Her clothes, expressions, and words drenched in the rain were as sad as she was back then.
At the earnest mother’s plea to her, Herace wept and said to her.
That she failed to keep her promise to the princess.


“I’m sorry.
I’m really sorry…..”


[“……so that’s what happened, but I understand you.
I would have done the same.”]


The voice of someone other than the princess was heard as Herace apologized.
When she blinked her eyes, Princess Ulysse quickly changed into a handsome man who looked just like her.
His pretty smile and friendly face revealed his surroundings.


The man who was Herace’s fiancé and childhood friend, wiped her cheek with a bright smile.
His moderately long red hair fluttered and touched Herace’s cheek.
Herace called the man’s name in a sorrowful voice.




[“My brother is a good person.
Unlike me, my brother has the power to protect you.
So Herace… You don’t have to feel guilty about me.”]


After pulling Herace’s hair back and tidying it up, Charles gave her a long kiss on the forehead just as he had done as a habit when they were children.




The voice calling her name trembled.
Charles looked down and met Herace’s gaze.
He was smiling, but his warm eyes filled with sadness.


[“…….I’m sorry.
Herace, I’m so sorry… But I can’t help it, I have to tell you.
Because this will be the last time.”]


Charles was always honest with his feelings.
He was the heir to the Serpence Duchy and the Emperor’s nephew until his mother’s guilt of treason came to light.
Growing up without difficulty, befitting his position, he did not pay attention to anyone.
Thanks to this, he was a bit tactless, but he was welcomed by most people as he was bright by nature.


For Charles, his fiancée, Herace, was special.
The only person in his eyes was Herace.
He had always been considerate of her and was honest.
At that time, his confession was too aggressive and burdensome, but she was not offended because Herace knew that it came from a good place.


[“Herace, I love you so much.
I’ve always loved you.”]


So Herace felt sorry for Charles.
She was terribly ashamed for forcibly erasing him in her life over the years.
When Herace showed her tears of guilt, Charles wiped her tears with a gentle hand.


[“I’m sorry for burdening you with these words until the end.
I’m the bad guy.


“Charles… I… I’m…”


[“…You must live happily with my brother.”]


As his voice scattered, Charles became an afterimage and disappeared with the light.
Seeing him who seemed to disappear in an instant, Herace shook her head.
She wished he hadn’t gone.
She wanted to forget everything and go back to her childhood days with him.


“Charles… Ugh!


The puddle that was holding Herace firmly tightened and constricted her even more.
The bewildered Herace shook her head, trying to get out of it, but it was everywhere.
The space was filled with blood to the top of her head.


She closed her eyes, but when she opened them, everything was red.
The bloody smell that engulfed her body further accentuated the horror she felt.
Herace let out her last breath, unable to make a sound.


But even in that last breath, she swallowed blood.




Herace was originally weak.
If she was shocked by something or even when the weather turned slightly cold, she would lay ill.


Needless to say, it was difficult for even healthy people to go through childbirth.
So, after taking the ring, Ezekiel thought that Herace would of course lie on the bed and would not be able to move.
But somehow, Herace was silent for several days.
She was locked up in her room, but Ezekiel felt a strange sense of betrayal when he heard that she was doing well with her son.


‘…….Why are you okay?’


He knew it was his own useless emotion.
But it was more difficult for him to see his wife fine with his madness, than dealing with dozens of enemies alone in a war.


He thought it was a dirty move, but Ezekiel deliberately visited Charlotte and Miguel frequently.
It was not easy to see the woman who was troublesome at every single thing she did, and the thing that was not even a human, so disdainful that he couldn’t stand to look at it.
So Ezekiel endured and persevered, hoping his wife would give him a small response because he was afraid to expect anything.


[T/N: Wow.
Thank you for your hard work Ezekiel.]




When he thinks of his wife, he gets strangely thirsty and goes insane.
Especially whenever he sees her blue eyes, it was like he was on the verge of beheading an opponent in a war.
Those disquieting, tense moments stretched out and dominated all his time.


‘It must be the same as that person.’


The sense of shame about his actions, which he couldn’t even fathom himself, gradually turned into a question.
Ezekiel suddenly thought of his father who had passed.


After being entrusted to the Emperor and living in the capital, he had never seen his father healthy.
The father, who he met again as an adult, was lying on the bed.
He couldn’t even be called a living person, it felt like being faced with a corpse.
It wasn’t shocking, but it was truly strange.


However, it was the image of his father when he was young that remained in his mind.
His father was so restless because he could not have his mother.
His father’s obsession with his mother led her to run away.


Doubts, of course, were directed at the child’s existence.
His existence was ominous and filthy. 

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