A chilly wind hit the tree where he was leaning against.
The leaves have turned completely red in the cool Autumn weather.
The wind, which was swaying around the tree, took the blood-like autumn leaves with it one by one and dropped them to the man’s side.


[Medea’s child…….]


As the last autumn leaves settled on the man’s back, a strange voice penetrated through the tinnitus.
He couldn’t hear anything, but the voice was so clear in his mind.


[……I can help you.]


The voice rang as if it were tapping up Ezekiel’s chin.
He looked ahead, wiping the blood from his ears. Flutter.
A piece of paper flew in and touched the tip of his finger.




“Get out of the way.”




A rat’s dead body was seen in the corner next to the guard.
Ezekiel was furious that Herace had been in this nauseating space for more than 10 days.
Even though he knew it was because of him.


“I just got the permission.
So if you don’t want to die, get out of the way right now.”


He pressed the guard, barely holding back from swinging the sword in his hand.
Only then did the guard hold out the key to the shrine where she had been thrown in carelessly.
Ezekiel took it as if he had deserved it and walked down the stairs.


“That…… the crime of the sinner is a little big.
I think her brother was taken away from here a while ago…….”


Ezekiel crumpled his face when the guard who followed him said that to him while he was looking around.
He could still vividly remember the expression she had made when he was taken away.


‘I should have moved faster.’


The exile of Herace’s brother, Chris, was already known to everyone.
It was he himself who had reduced the death penalty to banishment.


‘Stay away from Herace.
You are an adult now.’


He saved Chris, not because he was fond of him.
Chris tried to keep his sister and Ezekiel apart somehow, so Ezekiel hated him.


But to Herace, he was her only brother and a truly cherished family.
He was the one who gave her the same affection as a parent, on behalf of Marquis Devone, who abused Herace for bizarre reasons, and the Marchioness, who died early.


“……did you touch her?”


When Ezekiel asked faintly as he walked down the long hallway, the guard shook his head strongly.
He swore in the name of the goddess that he didn’t touch Herace.


I’m a knight.
No matter if she is a sinner or not, she is still a noble lady…… No, I didn’t do anything to her.”


In fact, it was common for guards to touch a woman who was considered a sinner and thrown into prison.
In particular, if a sinner came in for an irreversible crime such as treason, it was common to be executed or enslaved unless there was a special reason, so there was a high possibility that she would have been subjected to harsh handling by guards.


However, in the case of Herace, she was a prisoner who was ordered not to be touched, not only by the new Duke, but also someone higher than him.
No one could touch her unless the person had eaten a leopard’s gut.


“That statement should be true.
Or I’ll hold everyone, including you, accountable.”


Before the guard could even nod, Ezekiel seemed to have sped up his gait and reached his destination.
And soon afterwards, the sound of jingling keys was heard in the dark hallway.
A hard iron door opened with the sound of iron scratching.




Ezekiel ran inside as soon as the door opened.
And there he saw a woman sitting against the cold stone wall with a dark prison uniform and blank eyes.


The shackles wrapped around her ankles seemed to slip off of her skin, and the exhaustion appeared all over her face as if she were about to collapse.
She looked different from the Herace he knew.
The unique beauty that would not fade remained, but her stunned expression made her look like a dried and twisted flower plant.


‘She’s like this…….’


Ezekiel remembered her smiling brightly just two weeks ago, choosing a veil for the wedding.
On that day, Herace’s expression was as lively as ever.


He resented himself for causing this situation.
But what had already happened, happened…….
He made her suffer, but he had no regrets.
Ezekiel approached Herace carefully and called her name.




Herace slowly looked up at Ezekiel, who was right in front of her.
She moved and the shackles around her ankles moved along with a jiggling sound.


“…… Is it time for my execution?”


It was the voice of someone who had already given up everything.
Ezekiel clenched his teeth.
He didn’t want to see her like this.
He didn’t mean to give her a hard time.
He just…….


Ezekiel, who internally tried to make an excuse, cursed and suppressed his words.
No matter what excuses he made, he did it himself.
So he had to take responsibility.


The thought of being hated by Herace weighed heavily on his mind.
He fell on one knee and faced Herace, swallowing dry saliva.
The clouded blue eyes were full of despair.


“………when am I going to die? My brother was taken away.
Then I’m sure I’ll be next, right?”


Herace asked again.
Ezekiel wished he could curse.
She would have known to some extent.
That he was the whistle-blower of this treason.


Ezekiel placed his hand under Herace’s knees.
He said softly, lifting her up easily.


“You can’t die.”


It was the first time he had ever gotten so close to her since he became an adult.
It was overwhelming to think that her body could be so light.
Yes, he had hurt her.
It was him, no one else.


Herace didn’t rebel much even though she was suddenly carried by him.
Sinking in his arms like a doll with a broken string, she just faltered and looked at his face with vacant eyes.


Ezekiel escaped from prison without taking his eyes off Herace.
While the guards guarding the prison were frozen, he moved forward with her in his arms.
He could see them looking at them, but it didn’t matter to him.


He lowered his head and whispered firmly to Herace.






Just live.
I’ll take care of the rest.”


Ezekiel, who had left the basement holding Herace, couldn’t take his eyes off her, even now.
She was dazzled by the sunlight she hadn’t seen in a long time, but the shadow made by Ezekiel gave her proper sunlight.


Two months later, Ezekiel arrived at Serpence Castle with Herace.
The maids admired her, and dressed her splendidly in a white dress.
However, only tears flowed down from the eyes of Herace, his new bride.



Herace has not said a word to Ezekiel since she married him.
It was strange as she had accepted the proposal without saying a word, however, as it was like hitting a wall, more and more people in the Serpence Castle disapproved of her.


However, Herace, who was confined to her room in the castle, repeatedly embroidered all day and acted like all the rumours had nothing to do with her.
Ezekiel noticed that it was the least thing he would like to see.


“If it were me, I would be thankful and live comfortably, filling my stomach to the brim…… Look at her attitude, perhaps because she’s from a noble family.’


“I know.
She was supposed to be a slave, but she took the position of a Duchess…….”


“But it didn’t work for young master Charles.
Who knew.
The Duchess, who was His Majesty’s sister, would join the rebellion?”


“It’s safe to be alive.
Outside, the Duke seems to be talking about treason, locking up his mother and chasing his younger brother away, but we know that.
The Duchess… No, she’s a sinner now.
It’s surprising that the Duke doesn’t resent the Emperor for not giving her the death penalty, given what she had done before.”




The power of the word was great.
Those who were so kind to Charles and Herace turned cold in an instant at the mention of that word.


But it was also natural logic.
The moment they got entangled with that word, it was death and she couldn’t guarantee the life of her family.
Moreover, it has been only a few months since the treason was revealed.
Even those who had deep sympathy still did not dare to defend or sympathize with Herace who had been dragged out as a sinner then.


Ezekiel was the only one who didn’t care about the weight of the word “treason.” He cracked down on the mouths who uttered those words in front of her and only cared for Herace’s feelings.
Some people clicked their tongues, saying it was easy to hide their feelings so far, as he took care of Herace with such utmost care.


“I buried Marquis De-, no, Father.
Tell me whenever you want to see his grave.”




“And your brother.
Don’t worry too much because he’s doing well.
I’ll send someone to tell you about his situation from time to time.
If His Majesty’s anger subsides, it will be difficult within the Empire, but you may meet him outside.
I mean…”


Herace was strangely calm even as she heard of the death of her father, the Marquis.
As if there was no such person in the first place.
However, when the names of her brother, Chris, her fiance, Charles and the Duchess, Ulysses, were mentioned, she stared at Ezekiel with a colder-than-usual face.


Of course, Ezekiel never showed any signs of displeasure no matter what the expression on her face was.
He always treated his wife from a lower position.
Because it was him who committed the crime.




It was the same now.
Ezekiel, who entered Herace’s room carefully, tried to call her but gave up.
Herace, sitting by the window, was absorbed in something and concentrated without realizing that he had come in.


Her small hand went up and down.
Ezekiel, noticing that Herace was embroidering, quietly stood behind her and watched.
The sight of a sharp needle sticking into the cloth and coming out again was silent, but it was still unique.


Her embroidery skills were so admirable that she was praised from an early age.
She enjoyed embroidery quite as much as she was praised, so those close to Herace were presented with small embroidered items by her at least once.


Ezekiel was also given a handkerchief with a pretty blue bird as a gift once.
However, Ulysses got angry when she found out that her son’s fiancee, Herace, had presented a handkerchief to Ezekiel.
The blue bird spreading its wings on the handkerchief was torn and burned to ashes from her hand.
Since then, Ezekiel has neither heard nor seen Herace presenting a blue bird embroidery to anyone.

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